Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Go To
"I didn't count on being happy."

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • "I didn't count on being happy." Bruce pleads with his dead parents and himself to let himself go from the path of vigilantism in exchange for happiness with Andrea.
    • The kicker? There have been subtle hints during the show that Bruce's parents adored him and would've wanted him to be happy.
    • The simple fact that Bruce has to apologize to his parents for no longer being in pain just makes it sad.
  • The flashback in which Bruce receives the "Dear Bruce" letter from Andrea.
  • Alfred's shocked and despairing "My God!" when he first sees Bruce in full costume after Andrea leaves him.
    • Even worse is the moment right before. Bruce looks at the cowl, the last piece to put on, and stares at it. It's his one last chance to back away from his vow and start over. He put it on and never looked back.
  • When Batman visits Andrea's penthouse in the cowl, they have a tense conversation about her dad and his connections to the murdered gangsters. Andrea insults Bruce and tells him to leave. As soon as he leaves, she drops her drink and collapses on the bed, sobbing uncontrollably. She still loves him, but his mission and her revenge will never let them be together.
  • Advertisement:
  • After Andrea saves Bruce from being caught by the police, she explained what happened the night she left, and the two intend to make their relationship work again. After Andrea left the mansion, Bruce wonders if they can still have a future together. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be, when Bruce eventually discovers that Andrea is the Phantasm.
  • The shock and horror in Andrea's voice when she sees pre-transformation Joker leaving her house and realizing that he just killed her father. Not to mention the bloodcurdling scream she lets out when she sees the body.
  • Realizing that Andrea may quite possibly be the only person who could understand Bruce completely and totally yet, unlike Bruce, lost herself to her desire to punish criminals long ago, something that Bruce regularly fights against within himself every time he puts on the cowl.
    Andrea: They took everything from me, Bruce. My dad. My life. You. I'm not saying it's right or even sane but it's all I have left. So either help me or get out of the way.
    Batman: You know I can't let you do that.
    Andrea: Look what they did to us! What we could've had! They had to pay!
    Batman: But Andi... what will vengeance solve?
    Andrea: If anyone knows the answer to that, Bruce... it's you.
    Batman: [silent pause] Leave, Andi, now. Please.
  • Advertisement:
  • Since he can't ever catch his parents' murderer, this case will probably be Bruce's most personal. Though he's The Stoic, there's a lot of suggestion that digging up these memories and finding out these terrible truths is leaving him absolutely broken.
    Joker: What are you doing?! Let me go or we'll both die!
    Batman: Whatever it takes!
  • Andrea's quest for vengeance is so all-consuming, she consciously decides to abandon Bruce as the fair explodes around him so she can whisk the Joker away to whatever fate she has planned for him. It's only by pure luck that Batman ends up in a drainage pipe that takes him far enough away from the explosions that he doesn't burn or drown to death.
    • What's even worse is that in the tie-in comics, Andrea wants to make the Joker beg for his life before she kills him, only to realize that the Joker is incapable of feeling anything, denying Andrea the satisfaction and making her realize that the hitman who murdered her father is already dead. This pause of realization, an explosion blasts the two apart, allowing the Joker to escape once again, and leaving Andrea with Batman's haunting words echoing in her head "What would vengeance solve?"
  • Bruce's despair at the end and Alfred's speech:
    Alfred: I don't think she wanted to be saved, sir. Vengeance blackens the soul, Bruce. I've always feared that you would become that which you fought against. You walk the edge of that abyss every night, but you haven't fallen in and I thank heaven for that. But Andrea fell into that pit years ago, and no one, not even you, could have pulled her back.
  • The last two lines, which sum things up for both Batman and Andrea. "Do you wanna be alone?" "I am."
    • What makes it worse is that, in the end, Bruce would have taken Andrea back despite what she's done. Yet, when they meet again in the tie-in comics, it might have been too late. Bruce calls Andrea a murderer and Andrea doesn't care what he thinks of her.
  • The kicker to all this? Batman wins nothing when all is said and done. The murder spree is over, but only because, well, the entire hit list is gone. Bruce gets his Lost Lenore back, only to lose her again, even more tragically. The Joker is (presumed) gone, with all the baggage that comes with. As far as we see, Batman doesn't even gather enough evidence to clear himself from the police. Bruce's chain got yanked hard in this one.
    • Though tie-in comics does reveal that his name was cleared. But it likely didn't make him feel any better.
  • The final shot is Batman on his usual perch, but his head bowed in sorrow. Perhaps for the first time, he feels like being Bats is more like a jail sentence than a crusade.
  • "I Never Even Told You" by Tia Carrere. Its lyrics in context with the film are heartbreaking.
    I never even told you
    I thought you knew