Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Gotham

Go To

The Series:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Falcone. Is he just a Affably Evil Mob Boss out to keep his power over the city? Or is he a Noble Demon who cares for the city and fully believes that crime can only be controlled, not stopped, so he does what he does to keep Gotham from falling apart? The first season finale seems to indicate the latter, though it could still be a careful manipulation.
    • Was Tommy Elliot just being a bully in his first scene, or was he genuinely trying to reach out to Bruce only to be hampered by having No Social Skills, causing him to lash out later after Bruce rejected him? Knowing their We Used to Be Friends backstory from the comics makes a big difference.
    • Advertisement:
    • Selina ending her relationship with Bruce. Did she really not see the Waynes' killer? Is she just trying to protect herself and him from the assassins after her? Or is she a Woman Scorned since Bruce seemed more interested in how could she help catch his parents' killer than in her as a friend?
      • Later in the series: Was Selina joining Fish Mooney's crew and being OK with killing Gordon and Bullock an example of her holding the Jerkass Ball, since she never shows any murderous tendencies toward them either before or after that episode? Or was it somehow an expression of Selina's inner turmoil over killing Reggie, a subsequent acting out?
    • Jerome's motivation for killing his mother. Is what he's saying actually true, or is he just blatantly lying to Gordon's face? After all, we have no other indication that she was a terrible parent and considering who Jerome was based on, his motivation is very debatable.
    • Advertisement:
    • Was Silver's distress over Bruce's staged execution sincere or another act to make herself look more sympathetic? She quickly shifts to her usual personality right after, but Bruce's flattery seemed to strike a chord with her and as the following episode has Silver developing real affection for Bruce, it's hard to tell how authentic that emotional outpouring was and if it was indicative of her subsequent actions.
      • Even if her distress was legitimate, was she more upset because she was genuinely starting to care about Bruce, or was it because she knew Theo needed Bruce alive and might take it out on her that he wouldn't get his chance to cement his leadership of the Dumas-cult by personally sacrificing the last Wayne?
    • Did Jerome's insanity gas really turn Jeremiah evil, or was he always like that and the gas simply changed his appearance? Bruce believes it's the former, while Jeremiah himself believes it's the latter.
    • Advertisement:
    • Speaking of the above, the twins' history raises quite a bit of this. Were they both born bad? Were they both born normal (or at least with untreated mental issues) and only corrupted by their horrific lives? Was only one of them born bad, and if so, which one? Jeremiah telling lies to their mother led to Jerome’s abusive childhood and ostracism, but he also seems to genuinely believe that Jerome wanted to harm him. So was he deliberately trying to get his twin in trouble? Did Jerome really want to kill him? Or did Jeremiah’s extreme paranoia doom them both?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Despite heavy skepticism and a shaky beginning, the show lasted for five seasons, with Bruce Wayne fully adopting the Batman mantle by the finale.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • As Jack Gruber prepares to activate the electrical device he's wearing to do something to Gordon, he's suddenly defeated when Gordon tosses a cup of water on the device, shorting it out and rendering Jack helpless.
    • In the Season One finale, some fans were disappointed with the showdown between Penguin and Fish, as the latter went out in a rather mediocre fashion.
    • How does the great Azrael get defeated? He ends up blown up by an RPG wielded by an overweight mobster.
    • The Penguin goes down crying for Edward Nygma to love him, despite it being made abundantly clear that he doesn't care for him and he simply shoots the villain dead. Made only worse since Oswald was an already established Handicapped Badass who had a high body count since the show began. Ivy's magic healing allows him to recover.
    • The final battle between Batman and Jeremiah in the finale consists of little more than Batman disarming Jeremiah with a batarang, then knocking him out with another batarang.
  • Arc Fatigue: Admittedly, the whole mystery behind who wanted the Wayne parents dead is a little drawn out far too long for fans. Especially since Bruce is supposed to become Batman before uncovering the deep underbelly of Gotham's complex criminal underworld and taking it on. Meaning that Bruce might not be able to do much to actually challenge the Greater-Scope Villain yet since he's still a kid.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: It's a live-action Batman TV show adaptation without an adult Batman actually in it. Several fans and blog articles have also noted that the show must either not introduce popular villains, not have them be villains yet, or not allow Gordon and the cops to fully deal with them as they would therefore not be around for Batman to fight later. Starting in season 2, the show stopped being strict in this regard, showing many iconic villains full fledged and sometimes getting defeated definitely by Gordon or by Bruce in a Kid Detective fashion with Alfred as the muscle. While this meant the show no longer worked as a prequel to the traditional Batman mythos, it gave it a more satisfactory pacing ahs development that worked as an interesting reimagining of Batman.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Jerome Valeska was by far the most popular of the potential Jokers that the show introduced. His early death was a disappointment to a large chunk of the fanbase. In season three, he came back from the dead. Unsurprisingly, his return put smiles on the faces of those who wanted him to be Gotham's version of The Joker. Zig-zagged eventually however, as Jerome dies for good in season four, and his twin Jeremiah becomes the Joker. Both Valeskas however, are played by Cameron Monaghan; meaning that Jeremiah will act similarly if not identically to Jerome.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Zig-zagged with Oswald Cobblepot. Throughout the show, he continuously orchestrates his rise to ultimate power, becomes the primary crimelord of Gotham multiple times over and at one point even the Mayor, before his empire is undone by external and internal enemies, resulting in either his capture or apparent death. However, like a phoenix (penguin?) he rises from the ashes every single time to again outsmart his competitors and make another bid for the throne. Sadly, the last episode involves him depicted as more of a joke than anything - a largely nonthreatening criminal that Batman can so easily take down it doesn't merit screen time, a lesser villain that takes a backseat to Jeremiah, and a coward that is so afraid of Batman's silhouette he decides trying to regain his power can wait.
    • Falcone goes from being The Don who can inspire dread by his mere presence to being a pushover of an old man.
    • Tabitha Galavan got hit with this pretty hard. When first introduced, she was The Dreaded Professional Killer who carried on the majority of her brother Theo's tasks and was surprisingly scarier than he was. When she returns in the second half of the second season, she becomes Demoted to Satellite Love Interest for Butch and acts as his ultra-girly, lovey-dovey girlfriend.
    • Hugo Strange got hit with this in the second season finale. When he finally starts to lose his cool, he breaks down crying and tries to run away like a Dirty Coward, only to accidentally run right into Mr. Freeze and Firefly's crossfire getting injured like a cartoon villain and eventually arrested for his crimes completely disgraced.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Barbara in Season Two. In Season One, she's The Scrappy, hindering James with her Adaptational Sexuality doing nothing but slow down the plot with an unneeded Love Triangle and in turn changing Renee from a groundbreaking comic book character to a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend Stalker with a Crush who is hostile towards Gordon solely because Barbara was in a relationship with her before she was with Gordon. Not to mention all of the hypocritical actions she pulls because of this is quickly putting both her and Renee into The Scrappy heap. However, the finale rescues her somewhat by making it fairly clear that this is not the Barbara who Gordon will later marry. Come Season Two, fans can't agree whether the openly crazy Barbara is one of the most potentially entertaining characters on the show or still an annoying Big Bad Wannabe who does nothing but gratuitous scenes with both Galavans.
    • Fish Mooney is either hated for being "over the top," boring, and a pointless addition to the story who doesn't realize her incompetence in taking over Gotham, or adored by the fans who praise her for the badass moments she does have through her guile.
    • Bruce is seen as a normal likable kid who's naivety about the world is either very sweet or annoying. Most fans tend to think the latter, given that Bruce's childhood pretty much died with his parents and he's supposed to grow up to be one of the most cynical, badass superheroes DC has ever produced. While smart for his age, Bruce tends to be fooled or manipulated by villains in the show like Galavan and his niece Silver. It's times like this where fans just want Bruce to mature as fast as possible so he could become the Caped Crusader everyone knows and loves and finally save Gotham from itself.
    • Gordon has become this for a large number of viewers (and reviewers) thanks to his arguable What an Idiot! moments, and his frequent morally questionable actions. It doesn't help that all of the shows romantic plot tumors are centered around him and his obligatory love interests.
    • Dr. Leslie Thompkins: competent strong female doctor who is a perfect love interest for Gordon, or clingy jealous girl on a moral high horse whose character adaptation does neither the comics' Leslie Thompkins nor the comics' Barbara Kean justice? Real life facts may also muddy the issue: Morena Baccarin is pregnant with Ben Mc Kenzie's child, making the two leads a real-life romantic couple, and Morena Baccarin may or may not have become pregnant before her husband filed for divorce. Again, this is polarizing to some fans. And let's just leave it at that.
      • Increasingly base-breaking as of Season 3: is she a mourning widow who rightfully calls Gordon out on causing chaos everywhere he goes while facing no repercussions, or is she an Ungrateful Bastard living in denial that her husband was literally about to kill her and Jim only narrowly saved her life? As of "All Will Be Judged" and Lee's seeming Sanity Slippage, this is even more ambiguous.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In "How the Riddler Got his Name," Nygma sends threats to the GCPD... in the form of singing telegrams dressed as fruit, who provide the cops with musical clues sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday." There's no particular reason why they should be dressed in these costumes, we've never seen these guys before, and unusually for the Riddler, the costumes have nothing to do with the clues to the message. Even for this show, it's out there, it's never mentioned ever again, and the only possible reason seems to be because it's hilarious.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fact that this is another Batman-based show has not gone over well with DC fans, many of whom wish that DC would start building up the rest of its impressive stable of heroes into franchises instead of continually going back to the Batman well. Bat-fans (who are a bit more enthused, being Batman fans), tend to sarcastically counter with how Arrow, Constantine and The Flash (2014) must not exist to these people. And then others point out that there was no Green Arrow: The Animated Series, no The Flash: The Brave and the Bold, no Beware the Green Arrow, or four successful Flash movies, and then a Flash trilogy. And then still others point out The Flash (1990), and then still others point out Batman... and this is why we can't have nice things.
    • Also the fact it takes place in the Batman universe but excludes Batman. (The most popular character who brings in the most fans, and is the reason most people are even fans to begin with.) Many feel this is a horrible marketing decision, while others feel that the character of Batman has been milked to death, and think that the focus shifting letting other characters get the spotlight is a nice change.
    • Potential Jokers tend to create large rifts in the fanbase:
      • Jerome and the Red Hood, as well as any other potential future Jokers. Some fans love the idea of a younger Joker before he becomes the Joker, others feel that including the Joker in any way when there's no Batman is entirely against the point of the character.
      • Whether Jerome should be the Joker or not in general. Even people who don't mind the idea of the Joker appearing on a show with no Batman are split on this. While the character is fine, and many feel the actor nails the terrifying aspects quite well, people can't truly decide if he should be the Joker or turn out to be a Red Herring. Those who want the former point out that his performance in his first episode would be hard for any future potential Jokers to beat while those who want the latter think that having one of the first people hinted to end up like the Joker is dull and would rather have numerous potential characters to pick from.
      • Jerome's death. Either there are people relieved that he wasn't the real Joker, as they don't want Joker to have a definitive origin or be active before Batman, or there are people that loved the character, viewing the actor as perfect for the role and feeling that killing him off was a waste. Then there are those who don't mind that he is dead, but feel that his death insults the real Joker by implying that he is both a Legacy Character and a copycat... something that Joker is known to despise across his various incarnations. Whether Jerome lived or died, it seems nobody won. As Season 3 shows, his death didn't last.
      • Jerome's real death, and Jeremiah being the Joker. Some say that it's a brilliantly done twist and a well-written take on Joker's Multiple-Choice Past; others say that it was rushed out the gate and saw the twin brother twist as a cliche. Then there's another crowd who's just happy that Cameron Monaghan is now portraying the Joker.
    • Gordon killing Mario. Either it was fully justified, seeing how Mario was standing behind Lee with a knife or Gordon should have tried to talk him into surrendering, or at least shoot him in the leg instead of the chest. Some bring up that Gordon had easily done that to two of Falcone's goons earlier in the episode just to prove a point, yet he went for lethal approach with Mario, even after making a promise to his father that he'd bring him in alive. Others don't see how he could have shot Mario non-fatally, considering that Mario's legs and other "safe" body parts were hidden behind Lee, and that the virus might have made him strong enough to still kill Lee, and/or infect her with the virus by bleeding all over her, if Gordon hit him non-fatally. Barnes wasn't directly threatening anyone else's life either, except for Jim's - it's a totally different situation when there's a hostage or another person (Lee) in imminent danger.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Batman fans saw the reveal that "Viper" was really a prototype version of Bane's Venom coming the minute the trailer for that episode was released.
    • The Penguin not getting killed off for real in the Season 3 mid-finale and returning with a vengeance was long called out by fans.
  • Catharsis Factor: After Penguin suffered from severe Badass Decay in Season 2 due to Hugo Strange's "treatment," he comes back by killing his Jerkass stepfamily who spent the majority of their appearances being colossal dicks to him. It's actually quite satisfying to see Penguin getting a victory without going into a long story arc over it.
    • Seeing Theo Galavan’s defeat in “Worse than a Crime” is definitely cathartic. Watching the smug, sadistic Karma Houdini reduced to a broken, bleeding mess pathetically pleading for mercy from the two people he’s screwed over the most is almost too satisfying for words.
    • One episode after he put Barnes into critical condition, Azrael almost loses to Alfred in a sword fight, before being hit with a car by Bruce, shot half a dozen times by Gordon, and is finally blown to pieces by Penguin and Butch with a rocket launcher, from about 10 feet away. It was glorious.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: Has been accused of suffering from this. Numerous characters have their actions and motivations change drastically without reason, subplots may go nowhere or take unexpected and confusing turns, and several plot elements that seem relevant are forgotten or become irrelevant. Numerous reviewers have wondered if the writers are making it up as they go along. Perhaps the biggest proof of this is Montoya and Allen; after being important characters for the first half of Season One, including Gordon tasking them to find the Wayne Killer, the second half of the season saw them Demoted to Extra and they were officially dropped in Season Two, and the resolution to the Wayne Killer subplot happened without them.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Dr. Francis Dulmacher, aka the Dollmaker, from season 1, is a respected, soft-spoken surgeon who works with rich clients, and is the mastermind of a human trafficking ring, which he uses to harvest organs for his experiments. He often sends his thugs to abduct people, then takes them to his facility on a private island where said thugs keep them hostage. Early in the season, he sends two of his lackeys to abduct street children to such a fate, using charity as a lure. When his plan is exposed and the children are sent into protective care, he tries to have his lackeys hijack the convoy. Later on in the season, crime boss Fish Mooney finds herself in Dulmacher's clutches, with him intending to take her eye; later he shows what happens to those who fail or cross him, as he shows her his former lackeys disassembled and reassembled with female parts.
    • Jerome Valeska is a psychopath introduced being placed in Arkham Asylum for murdering his own mother, laughing at his crime when interrogated. Recruited along with other inmates by Theo Galavan to form the Maniax, Jerome functions as their leader, committing crimes such as taking hostages and throwing them off a rooftop; attempting to set fire to a bus full of cheerleaders; shooting up the Gotham City Police Department, personally killing their Commissioner; killing his own father; and taking those in attendance at a children's charity hostage, killing the deputy mayor of Gotham. Tormenting the thirteen-year-old Bruce Wayne, Jerome slowly begins slitting his throat, trying to kill him. After being killed and resurrected, Jerome encourages his followers to spread death and chaos as he announces his return and straps his own follower, Dwight, to a bomb, detonating it and killing him. As the chaos spreads through the city, Jerome again goes after Bruce, making it entertaining for himself by taking Bruce to a twisted carnival he's set up, tormenting Bruce before trying to kill him yet again. Taking over Arkham along with other criminals, Jerome has Jonathan Crane produce an insanity-inducing Psycho Serum, then chooses to kill himself to deny Commissioner Gordon arresting him. Sending a package of his Venom to his twin brother, Jerome ensures his nefarious legacy lives on in the creation of Gotham's most infamous criminal.
    • Dr. Hugo Strange is a former associate of Thomas Wayne in the Pinewood Farms project, meant to cure disease but abused by Strange to perform horrifying experiments on patients. When Wayne discovered Strange's deeds and shut the project down, he allied himself with the Court of Owls, having Wayne and his wife gunned down in front of their young son, Bruce. Becoming head of Arkham Asylum, Strange continues his torturous experiments on his patients, driving many insane or transforming them into monsters. Discovering how to bring the dead back to life, Strange resurrects Gotham's deceased criminals, who return as raving lunatics and go on to kill numerous innocents while Strange happily accommodates them to commit their crimes. When persistently investigated by Bruce and Commissioner James Gordon, Strange viciously tortures them before trying to kill them, along with Selina Kyle, the latter merely for having annoyed him. Ordered by the Court to detonate a nuclear device to destroy evidence of his experiments, Strange agrees, apathetic that this may potentially take out much of Gotham City. Strange later returns to create a Hate Plague, planning to unleash it on Gotham to drive the population into a killing frenzy. Playing both Gotham police and the Court as it suited him, Strange proved a narcissistic scientist who cared only for performing his depraved experiments.
    • Lazlo Valentin, AKA Professor Pyg, from season 4, is a sadistic hitman known for copying the MO of multiple serial killers. He arrives in Gotham and makes himself known to the GCPD by killing many of its cops in various brutal ways, which include slashing some with a cleaver; having one blown up by a grenade; and having many get shot by a machine gun. He later kills six homeless people, bakes them into meat pies, and forces the Gotham socialites to eat said pies. Upon being caught and sent to Arkham Asylum, he viciously kills an inmate for interrupting his music leisure, and kills multiple staff while escaping the Asylum. He then kills crime boss Carmine Falcone on Sofia Falcone's behest, and attempts to kill Commissioner James Gordon himself before Sofia shoots him.
    • Jeremiah Valeska is the aforementioned Jerome's seemingly orderly twin brother and a powerful but suspicious businessman. According to Jerome, Jeremiah is just as bad as he is and plans to make him his heir; when seemingly Driven to Madness by a special gas, Jeremiah states it did nothing but alter his appearance, and that he intends to usurp Jerome's legacy to gratify his own ego; Jeremiah starts off with a plan to detonate powerful bombs all over Gotham, before incinerating his new followers after he fails, and has his lover Ecco shoot herself to prove her loyalty. Jeremiah later teams up with Ra's Al-Ghul to destroy all the bridges out of Gotham and turn the city into a lawless despot. Obsessed with Bruce Wayne, Jeremiah does anything to become the center of his world, including shooting Selina Kyle; torturing a decoy of Alfred to self-mutilate; attempting to recreate the night of the Wayne murders with brainwashed victims, before trying to use Jim and Leslie as a substitute; and attempting to unleash chemicals onto the city to ruin it beyond repair. Emerging ten years later, Jeremiah eventually kills Ecco, stating they'll be others like her, before kidnapping and trying to drop Jim Gordon's young daughter into a vat of chemicals.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Barbara edges in that direction. She frequently has subplots that don't really go anywhere and that distract from the more important/interesting ones and was made heir to the League of Shadows out of nowhere.
    • Fish Mooney for similar reasons to Barbara.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Hugo Strange features this yet again. As always, Hugo is completely talented at his Mind Rape techniques and successfully breaks Cobblepot's mind and successfully resurrects Galavan Back from the Dead before turning him into his attack dog.
    • Azrael.
    • Jerome is just as insane, violent, and hilarious as you would expect from his inspiration.
      • Jerome's twin Jeremiah is an ice-cold, brilliant criminal and Evil Genius that is all but confirmed to be the Joker, getting the best of practically everyone in his first episode as Mr. J and becoming Bruce's most personal foe by far.
    • The Scarecrow, who takes heavy inspiration from his Batman Begins and Arkham incarnations and is just just as creepy as you would expect from the character.
    • The Mad Hatter has commonly been regarded as something of a pathetic joke villain - here he's a sinister, dapper hypnotist who specializes in making people murder friends, relatives, and strangers for fun, and is all the more entertaining because of it.
    • Victor Zsasz is reimagined here as a psychotic mob enforcer, which means he's way more stylish and badass than you might expect from the character but just as gleefully unhinged.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: This show frequently gets so absurdly grimdark and twisted, far beyond any live-action incarnation of the Batman mythos to date, that its twisted characters and bloody violence frequently cross the line into genuine hilarity.
    • Edward Nygma accidentally strangling his own girlfriend to death? Tragic. Losing control of his own body to his violent, psychotic alter-ego? Messed-up. Cutting her body up into pieces and stashing them all over the GCPD headquarters? Funny, in a dark way. Ed's own alter ego sending him on a scavenger hunt through the building to find all her body parts in all sorts of absurd locations, including a vending machine? Hilarious.
      Edward Nygma: You take over my body while I'm asleep, and steal my dead girlfriend!
    • Harvey Bullock is frequently a source of this, with his total disregard for the law, his own appearance and the well-being of others frequently making him one of the funniest characters on the show. Case in point: Harvey stealing and drinking from a bottle of wine from the same refrigerator at a crime scene where he and Jim find a crumpled-up dead body is pretty disgusting in both morals and hygiene. Him nonchalantly defending his actions by claiming that if he doesn't steal the bottle, the forensics guys will? Hilarious.
    • Jerome doesn't so much cross the line as he does play double-dutch jump rope with it, apropriately, considering who he's likely to become.
    • In season 3, Mayor Cobblepot, visiting a school, approaches a little boy sitting alone. On learning that the boy is afraid that the other children won't like him, Cobblepot suggests that if he never gives it a chance he'll never know... and if they don't like him he should wait until their backs are turned and push them down the stairs.
    • Jim defeats Jerome by literally punching his face off. If that wasn't extreme enough already, Jim's expression and Jerome's nonchalant "Ow" before falling over definitely makes it this trope.
    • Two of the people Jervis kills, he does by dropping a giant wrecking ball on them and squashing them flat.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It can be hard to get invested in any of the fates of these characters, since we already know what's going to happen. We know Gordon will fail in his one-man crusade to clean up the streets of Gotham, that the corruption of the city will only get worse, and that half of the characters we've already seen will fall into evil and/or madness.
    • Although Falcone's retirement and Maroni's death years before either meet Batman may prove that the show is willing to stray from what fans know as canon.
    • Regardless of the show's approach to canon the standard form of this trope is rearing its ugly head anyway. Gotham gets more over the top in evil and bizarreness with each passing episode while Gordon's efforts to clean up the city keep setting him back to square one at the very best and only end up making things worse at the worst. It's hard to care much when things only end up getting consistently worse.
    • Season Two is quickly shaping up to be this, aptly called "Rise of the Villains." On the one hand, seeing scenes such as Edward Nygma slowly becoming the psychotic Riddler or Jerome "inspire" the idea of the Joker after his untimely death are interesting to watch. However, watching unlikable asshats like Galavan and his crazy sister constantly get away with all the shit they're pulling and not be punished for it is pretty hard to watch. Almost makes one wish for Batman to come crashing through the window and beat the living snot out of them. Barbara is pretty unbearable too, having gone completely off the deep end and developing an unhealthy obsession with Jim, with no rhyme or reason, where she could have been a strong compassionate character like her comic book counterpart, a role Leslie Thompkins is fulfilling currently. The rookie cops recruited from the Academy in an effort to replace the corrupt cops of GCPD are pretty hard to get invested in as well, with two of their number already killed off; pretty much only serving as expendable characters so the main characters don't pay the ultimate price.
    • For a number of viewers, Gordon's character progression is a notable example of the occurrence. While characterized as an ultimately well-meaning and idealistic man stuck in a deadlock against Gotham's villainy, the recurring risk of Gordon losing himself to darker inclinations and the questionable acts he's been involved in, particularly in the second season, clash with his usual and intended depiction as one of the only honest cops in a city swarming with corruption, making a number of fans wonder how he's supposed to end up as The Commissioner Gordon. This continues into Season 3, only Jim's now off the force and operating outside of the law even more than before, even if his shady actions are for a good cause.
    • The show also gets this reaction for its more-than-a-few They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character moments. Get introduced to a new Ensemble Dark Horse? Try not to get used to them; chances are, they'll just be dead within the next episode or two regardless — and that's if they even make it past their debut episode.
  • Designated Hero:
    • A few fans are starting to question how much of a hero (or Anti-Hero) Selina Kyle is. Considering that she's committed numerous crimes for fun, betrayed multiple people, isolated herself whenever she doesn't get her way, and sometimes jokes about killing or screwing over people, it's becoming increasingly harder to feel sympathy for her. Though to be fair, this trope may be invoked since this is all part of her character after all.
    • Gordon, for many. His actions in season two, such as executing Galavan in cold blood and letting Penguin take the blame left some fans feeling less than sympathetic towards him. It doesn't help that he frequently (and with little hesitation) uses Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique when it's convenient for him. Some started to dislike him even more when, in season three, he shot and killed Mario Calvi, apparently without even trying to bring him in alive. Granted, it was right after he saw him trying to knife Lee right in front of him, but his reaction is made worse by the fact that it happened right after he had promised his father that he would bring him back alive.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Oswald has gotten this treatment very quickly. Adaptational Attractiveness has played a role in that for certain.
    • Edward Nygma gets this as well, due to being Adorkable and something of a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Ra's al Ghul's been getting this as well, not least because of Alexander Siddig's portrayal of a younger-looking, openly sexy version of the character. Al Ghul's flagrant and grisly murders of an innocent teenager and a defenseless old man, as well as siccing a ravening dog/man on the former, in "The Demon's Head" may be the writers' attempt to avert this trope.
    • Despite both being completely irredeemable, Cameron Monaghan's Creepy Awesome performance as the Valeska twins has gotten them both a bit of this from fans who find them attractive or just thrillingly entertaining.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dr. Gerald Crane is pretty popular among the fanbase for not only having an interesting and tragic backstory but also a terrific actor who nails the character. Some fans are actually wishing he would've been the Scarecrow.
    • For such a minor villain, the Electrocutioner also acquired quite a fanbase, namely due his creepy personality and mannerisms.
    • Jerome proved to be extremely popular, and despite being killed off early in the season, he was brought Back from the Dead in "Smile Like You Mean It", and set things in motion that would ultimately culminate in the creation of Joker. Even people who otherwise hate the show admit that he's incredibly entertaining to watch.
      • You wouldn't think that a victim of the Secret Twin plot twist could be this, but Jeremiah has also been incredibly well-received, and has a section of the fanbase that adores him just as much as, if not more, than Jerome.
    • Wilson Bishop, the cool prison guard who helps Jim out in prison and eventually helps him break out. It helps that he's one of Gordon's few non-police, non-main cast allies not to die in his introductory episode.
    • Butch has a fair amount of fan sympathy for his funny villainy, being the resident chew toy for Penguin, Galavan, and everyone in between, and his genuinely sweet relationship with Tabitha. His popularity increased when the Season 3 finale revealed that he's Solomon Grundy.
    • Meanwhile, Chris Chalk is quietly making waves for his stoic, no-nonsense portrayal of Lucius Fox as the Only Sane Man in a cast increasingly populated by lunatics.
    • Barnes gets this treatment for being A Father to His Men, raising multiple Jerkass Has a Point issues, and being played by the one and only Michael Chiklis. Which makes his eventual stabbing in "Azrael" all the sadder, though he does survive for the time being.
    • Victor Zsasz is adored by fans for his feats of badassery and being an incredibly entertaining combination of Laughably Evil and Creepy Awesome.
    • Professor Pyg, both for the delightfully hammy, yet still bone-chillingly creepy performance of Michael Cerveris, and for being a well-incorporated Knight of Cerebus villain. Also, his Chicago-inspired musical number is as awesome as it is ridiculous.
  • Evil Is Cool: Arguably, one of the main points of the show, as is frequently the case with the Batman mythos. The Penguin, the Riddler, Jerome, Jeremiah, Carmine Falcone, Hugo Strange, Azrael, and many others are all liked for being Creepy Awesome (and occasionally hilarious) adaptations of the characters from the comics, many of whom (like Mr. Freeze and the Riddler) have never had a good live-action adaptation before. Even the Mad Hatter is popular.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Oswald, Barbara, Tabitha, Ed, Fish Mooney, and when under the influence of the Tetch virus, Lee. Ra's al Ghul and Sofia Falcone also. There's even something darkly attractive about the Mad Hatter and the Valeska twins.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Season 3 introduces Isabella, the lookalike of Edward's previous love interest (played by the same actress, no less) who greets him with a riddle when they meet, falls in love with him at first sight, doesn't mind his murderous past, and enters the stage at just the right time to cause a rift between Ed and Oswald. With many available explanations to pick from such as Clay Face, human cloning, a doctor who specializes in illegal plastic surgeries, and various conspiring factions who would benefit from weakening Penguin's position, what is the ultimate answer to the riddle of Isabella's identity? There is none. The whole thing turns out to be just a Contrived Coincidence. The entire situation is often brought up as some of the weakest, if not the weakest writing in Gotham's history.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Jim and Leslie Thompkins. It's telling how bad the fanbase is hating Barbara's character that within one minute of interaction between Jim and Leslie, the shipping launched in earnest.
    • Edward and Oswald have been steadily accumulating fans in earnest. The writers and actors also seem to be strong supporters of the ship, frequently tweeting about them during broadcast time and teasing the future of their relationship. Cory Michael Smith even coined the name "Nygmobblepot".
  • Flanderization: Harvey Bullock went from a highly observant, intuitive detective who's simply too jaded to fight Gotham's corruption anymore to a character that did little more than provide comic relief through one-liners and serving as a plot device for Gordon's stories, with his previous skills all but forgotten.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Oliver Sava, of The AV Club, thinks this is playing into Gordon and Cobblepot's relationship, with Oswald being the one interested in Gordon.
    • Gordon and Fish. Even when she's trying to kill him, she remarks on his prettiness and what a waste it'll be.
    • Gordon and Richard Sionis, as the latter takes more than a passing interest in Gordon the minute he steps into his office.
    • Then there's Copperhead, who gets a bit too close to Gordon after she knocks him out cold.
    • "Bruce... darling,"
    • Jervis, when Barnes visits him in Arkham, caresses Barnes' cheek. Could also count as No Yay, since hhe's thinking of his sister when he does this.
    • Once it's revealed that Jeremiah is just as messed up as his brother, he engages in some of this with Bruce. He stalks Bruce, calls him his "best friend" even when he's doing horrible things to the poor kid and his loved ones, and talks about how Bruce completes him. There's also the scene where he shoots Selina after she and Bruce kissed.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Anyone who knows their Tolstoy will get a lot more out of the Season One finale title, "All Happy Families are Alike."
    • At the end of the episode, when Bruce finds and presses the remote that opens the entrance to the future Batcave, the music that plays overhead is a piece by Prokofiev from Romeo and Juliet, called Dance of the Knights, in reference to Batman's epithet: the Dark Knight.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • "Spirit of the Goat" and "Penguin's Umbrella" saw a significant upswing in many people's opinions, with the show picking up the pace significantly after its rather slow start and developing its own interesting stories rather than relying on the Batman mythology to hold the fans' attention.
    • The Season One finale may prove to be another hair in the process:
      • The Foregone Conclusion the series is based on is shaken — Maroni, who should survive until Batman, has died, meaning everyone else's Plot Armour just got a big dent as well.
      • Barbara breaks down and crosses into Ax-Crazy territory, so the chance of watching Gordon leave Ensemble Dark Horse Lee and get back together with Barbara has just gone way down.
    • Season 2 received much more positive critical reception thanks to a more serialized and focused approach. Where the first season was more of a straight forward mob drama plotwise with wildly varying tones with too many characters and subplots, the second was where the writers decided what they wanted to make and leaned into the ridiculousness that the show is now known for.
    • Season 4. Not only is Bruce finally off his by becoming vigilante, but the series has its most engaging villain in Ra's Al-Ghul as the Big Bad.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Selina's murder of Reggie Payne, at the time in what she and Bruce thought was self-defense, is revealed to have been utterly pointless. Had Reggie told Bunderslaw about Bruce's activities as he threatened to do, all that would have happened is that Bunderslaw would have had "the Talk" with Bruce under slightly different circumstances.
    • While a number of fans saw it coming long in advance, Nygma's Accidental Murder of Miss Kringle while trying to justify his not-quite-Accidental Murder of her abusive ex makes their cute moments together harder to stomach, especially after Kristen was finally warming up to Eddie after an entire season of indifference at best and cold rejection at worst. As Nygma's Riddler personality tells him, the love of a good woman almost got rid of him for real.
    • In the fourth episode of Season Two, Galavan introduces Bruce to his ward, Silver St. Cloud, and they instantly click, which Galavan and Tabitha were counting on in a manner reminiscent of how Ra's Al-Ghul approves of Bruce/Talia. As Silver is a semi-recurring love interest of Bruce's in the comics and probably one of his more well-known significant others not named Selina, Talia, Vicki, Barbara, Zatanna, Diana, or Lois, the possibility was presented that she was an innocent, unknowing party in Galavan's schemes and there would be a relatively harmless Love Triangle with Silver and Selina vying for Bruce's affections. A mere three episodes later, we see that this Silver is willingly and gleefully complicit, intending to string Bruce along — right into Galavan's clutches — by wedging herself between him and Selina, which actually works for a time. This also highlights the limitations of Bruce's still-developing detective skills; whereas he once incorrectly pegged Selina as a Fille Fatale when she simply liked him as a friend (and something more), he's completely fooled by Silver's ruse.
    • The episode "Mad Grey Dawn," which features Nygma attempting to blow up a train station, aired less than 12 hours before the 2016 Brussels bombing.
    • The entire first two and a half seasons, especially those episodes in which Falcone appears, becomes this if you know what happens between Gordon and his son in the final scene of "Beware the Green-Eyed Monster", and the consequences of that action which begin to manifest themselves in "Ghosts". Worst of all is "Penguin's Umbrella", during which the possibility of Falcone having Gordon killed is teased quite a bit, including by Falcone himself.
    • Fish telling Gordon "you have a little danger in your eye. I wonder what you plan on doing with that" can be a bit hard to watch in lieu of him accidentally killing her under the influence of the Tetch virus.
    • Bullock telling Gordon that workplace relationships never work out can be quite sad when Jim and Lee's relationship does indeed fall apart about halfway through season 2 (for reasons relating to Jim's Married to the Job status), and they don't get back together until season 5.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Some fans weren't very accepting of Fish's mediocre Disney Villain Death in Season 1, while others believed she survived, considering a body wasn't seen falling into the water. Even Jada Pinkett Smith and the producer teased that Fish may have survived. Season 2 confirmed her death, but she came back from it anyway.
    • Many viewers didn't buy Penguin's death in 3x14, expecting him to either survive or be brought Back from the Dead, as several Gotham characters have in the past. Not even an episode after his death, it was confirmed that he survived.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • Gordon and Bullock can't seem to go an episode without getting in each other's face or arguing like an old married couple.
      • In "Rogues Gallery," Bullock is so excited to see Gordon again that he kisses him on the cheek.
      • Oswald obviously has a thing for Gordon, or just wants to be his friend.
    • Also, Fish Mooney auditioning and training a Femme Fatale henchwoman apparently requires a lot of kissing and flirting. You know, for practice, or whatever.
    • On a more disturbing note, many viewers were Squicked when in "Red Hood," Barbara went from complimenting Selina's appearance to violating her personal space and trying to get her to wear sexy clothing.
    • Ed and Oswald have quite a bit of it once they start interacting in Season Two, with Ed acting like a Stalker with a Crush and the two essentially sharing an apartment. Leslie even initially mistakes a phone call between them as Ed talking to his dead girlfriend.
      • Season Three really takes this up, where they have a villainous sort of True Companions. Particularly with Ed's motivation for taking the bribe money back from Oswald's campaign supporters, enacting his genuine victory: love. Sure, Oswald, it's the people that love you...
      • And then there's episode 5 of season three, with the two sharing a very intimate moment in front of a fire: "You should know, Oswald, that I would do anything for you." And then the look on Penguin's face before he leans in for a hug... Several Nygmobblepot shippers were sorely disappointed it didn't go farther than a hug.
      • Confirmed, at least on Oswald's end, in "Follow The White Rabbit."
    • Selina and Brigit Pike/Firefly have earned a considerable amount of underlying tension. It's worth noting that Brigit is one of the few people Selina cares about and even goes to extreme lengths to rescue her from Arkham Asylum.
    • Selina and Ivy also have a lot in the way of this trope, although it turns into Foe Yay toward the end of the show.
  • HSQ:
    • The trailer for season 5 has Bruce and Jeremiah fighting in Ace Chemicals.
    • The promo for Season 5 episode 2 finally shows Batman.
  • Idiot Plot: "Rogues' Gallery" runs on the staff of Arkham Asylum (besides Gordon and Leslie) being utterly incompetent. Though, this is Arkham; considering its history, incompetence is an upgrade.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Hugo Strange's villain arc seems to be completely copied and pasted from Batman: Arkham City. Strange enters the series as a Villain with Good Publicity being financially backed by a Greater-Scope Villain while he carries on the majority of tasks for them and poses as the Big Bad of the second story arc before it's revealed that an evil organization has been ordering him around the whole time and inform him to destroy an Arkham facility as part of their ultimate plan. It also doesn't help that Clayface makes a last minute entrance into the story to work as a body double as well (albeit working for Strange instead of The Joker).
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Oswald gets paired up with Edward Nygma, Victor Zsazsz, Jim Gordon, Mr. Freeze, and Jerome Valeska.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • The Balloon Man. Yes he's a murderous vigilante but given the fact that he's had to learn the hard way how corrupt Gotham is and how broken he sounds when he tells Jim that no matter how hard he tried nothing he did ever changed Gotham for the better... it's pretty hard not to feel sorry for him.
    • Edward Nygma is also an example. Sure, he can be arrogant at times and he does occasionally come off as a stalker, no denying that. However, it's also very clear that he's trying as much as he can to be a force for good. He's just trying to put his skills in a position where they're wanted and needed. Hell, his early scenes with Kristen Kringle shed a different light on Edward when you realize he's trying to woo her; it's just his poor social skills that get in the way of her understanding that, which, combined with the police force as a whole taking his skills for granted, makes Nygma much more sympathetic. This reaches an apex when, after finally getting Kristen to fall for him, he reveals to her that he killed her boyfriend and accidentally suffocates her while trying to rationalize his actions to the horrified woman. He lets out an anguished scream and the Start of Darkness that began with his stabbing of Detective Dougherty is all but cemented.
    • Let's not forget Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot. Yes, he's a ruthless pragmatist with his fair share of blood on his hands, but he hasn't had it easy at all on his way to the top of Gotham's underworld. And then his mother gets killed, turning him into a full-on Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who's willing to die himself if it means he can take her killer — Theo Galavan — with him.
    • Even Jerome of all people could be seen as this. Yes, he's a violent, homicidal lunatic, but considering all the shit his mother and uncle put him through, it's not hard to see how he ended up the way he is.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In the mid-season finale of Season 3, the Penguin is executed and his corpse is dropped in the city bay, where we see his lifeless body sink to the bottom. Next episode, reveals that he's alive and well thanks to Poison Ivy rescuing him.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ra's Al-Ghul is the leader of the League of Assassins and the true brains behind the Court of Owls. After unleashing a deadly virus on Gotham, a brainwashed Bruce is sent to Ra's, where he orders him to stab Alfred. Bruce obeys, but breaks free of his conditioning. Ra's escapes, but not without letting Bruce use the Lazarus Pit to save Alfred. Ra's later returns searching for a mysterious knife. After killing the knife's previous owner and later on his son, Ra's turns himself in and is sent to Blackgate Penitentiary, and has his guards infiltrate the facility. Bruce later arrives to confront Ra's, and Ra's successfully goads him into killing him. Ra's is later resurrected by his loyal followers, and after regaining his powers from Barbara Kean, teams up with Jeremiah Valeska to turn Gotham into a no man's land, and kidnaps Bruce to take him to a building where they can witness the city's destruction. Ra's then dies during a battle with Bruce and Barbara, but not before congratulating the latter for her efforts, and telling the former that he must now choose to remain Bruce Wayne, or become Gotham's Dark Knight. Charming and intelligent, Ra's stood out as one of the most cunning criminals Gotham ever faced.
  • Memetic Loser: Jim Gordon is viewed as this by a large number of fans since everyone expects him to ultimately fail in his crusade to prevent crime in Gotham since Batman is the one who ends up doing that.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "It's a Batman show without Batman." (The premise of the series in a nutshell.)
    • After the first episode had foreshadowing for the villains that was rather blatant to say the least (as noted above), it became popular to make fake foreshadowing comments that are deliberately overdone such as "My name is Mr. Oker but most people call me Joe."
    • Alfred yelling "MASTAH BRUCE! GET YOUR BLOODY ARSE DOWN 'ERE!" (Possibly a reference to Alfred's wildly different mannerisms compared to his usual proper English gentleman act through most other incarnations.)
    • "It's Mad-Eye Mooney!" (A reference to Fish scooping out her own eye and Dollmaker replacing it with a differently colored one. Long story.)
    • Rendering the show's name as "Got Ham" on account of the wonderfully Large Hams the show has.
    • Bullock's hilarious "WHAT'S ALTRUISM?!" line in the episode "Viper."
    • "HEEERE'S BARBARA!!" in response to her breaking down the bathroom door in her Ax-Crazy state in the Season One finale.
  • Money-Making Shot: Bruce's skyward scream in the trailer, after his parents are shot.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Oswald Cobblepot crosses it at the end of the pilot episode when he murders a fisherman for food. What makes it especially heinous is that the fisherman didn't do anything to him, not even refer to him as Penguin (let alone compare him to a penguin).
      • If he didn't cross it then, he certainly crosses it when he has Isabella killed out of petty jealousy for Ed.
    • The attempt on Alfred's life is this for Molly Mathis, who had put a contract out on him.
    • A bit mild in comparison to the above, but if you thought Barbara would be a suitable love interest for Gordon, you certainly weren't anymore after she cheats on him with Montoya. Now, Montoya isn't being deliberately malicious to Gordon by making out with Barbara at this point, but after this, Gordon really gives up on her. She only gets worse from there, even going so far as to try to groom two preteen girls into femmes fatales (no wonder Catwoman started her adult career on the wrong side of the tracks). Then she really does cross the MEH in the first season finale when we learn that she, not the Ogre, murdered her parents, and right after revealing this to Leslie, she attacks and tries to murder her.
    • Theo Galavan is one of the richest also when it comes to potential ME Hs. He has Zaardon die in order to spring free the maniacs and kills a few guards as well. Then he orchestrates all of their atrocities like the dock workers murders, the schoolbuses attempted immolation, the GCPD's massacre and Jerome's little show. Afterwards he blackmails the Penguin into killing the other political candidates for him. On top of that it turns out that his ultimate plan is to kill Bruce an innocent boy. Finally he kills the Penguin's mother. Above everything else, it is this of course that the Penguin brings up to convince Gordon he can't be trusted, and when the Penguin says that about someone...
    • Things really started going downhill for Nygma morally speaking after he kills Kristin Kringle. Rather than confessing that it was an accident, he chops up her body and buries it in the woods and murders a hunter that stumbles on to him digging the grave. If all of that wasn't bad enough, he's definitely past the MEH the instant he murders Officer Pinkney as part of an ultimately successful campaign to frame Jim Gordon for his murder and distract everyone from Nygma's own crimes, committing two atrocities for the price of one. Lee Thompkins, by the way, miscarried in direct connection to the aftermath.
    • Victor Fries, despite normally being an Anti-Villain, crosses this when he — under Dr. Hugo Strange's orders — murders Karen Jennings. And actually looks like he's having fun. Of course, he did kill quite a few people and became a serial killer looking for a cure, so it might just be a more callous example rather than the only.
    • Strange himself already crossed it before the start of the series by conducting torturous experiments and betraying Thomas Wayne and ordering him and his wife killed. And then there's his sending Mr. Freeze after Karen, as mentioned earlier.
    • Butch definitely crosses it in "Anything for You" by double-crossing Penguin and resurrecting the Red Hood gang to cause trouble just when Penguin thinks Gotham's safe again and having them kill people, like a priest who was blown up with a grenade. Adding insult to injury, their first attack involves shooting the statue of his mother and ripping its head off right in front of him, at which point Penguin's crusade against the alleged Gotham's monsters becomes a tad bit personal, to put it lightly. Its not his first horrific crime, it just stands out as the one that he did independently and without following orders.
    • Good luck guessing when Jervis Tetch crosses it, though if you still had any sympathy for him after he abused his sister, murdered a couple to get their home and a few people as part of his plan to get Alice—and more to torment Gordon, who he blames for her death—and finally forced Gordon to choose which of his girlfriends to shoot, it's a safe bet you didn't after it's revealed that he had deliberately infected Mario with the virus in Alice Tetch's blood, which, by the way, ends up wrecking Gordon's relationships with both Lee and Falcone by the time that saga draws to a close.
    • Mario himself goes over with his If I Can't Have You... moment towards Lee, which causes a lot of trouble for the one who walks in on it. Or at least his infected side did. It could be argued that the original personality is innocent.
    • Lee Thompkins crosses it when, after injecting herself with the Tetch virus, she buries Jim Gordon alive, with his only way out being the virus itself, and then taunts the entire GCPD about it.
    • If nothing else did it for the Shaman, forcefully slamming Bruce's finger on the Tetch virus detonator definitely pushed him over, as it made Bruce do something he would otherwise never have done.
    • Being The Man Behind the Man responsible for actions of the Shaman, brainwashing Bruce into nearly killing Alfred, The real leader of the Court of Owls, and a number of other atrocities throughout the show already qualifies Ra's Al-Ghul for this, but those are largely Offstage Villainy. His first on screen MEH was to use the innocent child Alex as a hostage against Bruce to try and force him to hand over a knife Ra's wanted, then killing him when Bruce refused.
    • Any illusions that Sofia Falcone had good intentions vanish in "Queen Takes Knight" with her murdering her own father. Even the idea that she's hurting Gordon to avenge her brother evaporates when she smashes the left hand of Lee Thompkins—Mario's widow. After that, Gordon declares open season on her, damn the consequences.
    • If Jeremiah having Alfred kidnapped and tortured wasn't bad enough, he definitely crosses it when he shoots Selina right in front of Bruce.
  • Narm: Has its own page here.
  • Narm Charm: On the same token, there's a segment of fans who love the show because of how cheesy it is.
  • Nausea Fuel: Absolutely everything about Jerome's brutally hacked and stitched face. It really doesn't help that he has to staple it back on and gets it partially peeled off in his fistfight with Bruce and Gordon, exposing his face muscles in Gross-Up Close-Up.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A lot of people assume that the show's portrayal of Alfred as a Retired Badass and Battle Butler is a relatively new idea, borrowed from Batman: Earth One and Beware the Batman. However, the idea of Alfred being a former military man and a tough guy in his own right dates back several decades, at least to the 1980s (probably even the Golden Age).
    • Likewise, the idea of Harvey Bullock being a corrupt cop at odds with Jim Gordon, which is actually how the character was originally introduced way back in the early 1980's. He underwent a Heel–Face Turn, and since then, his original portrayal has hardly ever been referenced in the comics or other adaptations... until now.
    • Selina Kyle being a street urchin who witnessed the Wayne murders actually originates from a never-produced Batman musical from the late '90s/early '00s. Unlike Gotham, however, the musical still had Selina and Bruce meet as adults.
    • People assume that the show's version of the Joker, Jeremiah Valeska, is very un-Joker like due to his more cold and calm demeanor, unlike the typical depiction where the character always laughs and comes across insane. However, Jeremiah's portrayal is similar to the Golden Age Joker, back when the character first debuted, and the Frank Miller version from The Dark Knight Returns, who wasn't as over the top as the character would be later portrayed.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The masked executioner in the pilot. He's a big guy.
    • During Selina's break-in to Arkham Asylum, she witnesses a group of guards escorting a reptilian looking man into the elevator lift with shock prods. Sound familiar?
    • Ra's Al Ghul only appears very briefly for one short scene in the 2-part Season 3 finale, and one scene was all he needed.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The tea in Hugo Strange's office in "Mr. Freeze." Might double as a Mythology Gag, in that the Batman: Arkham Series has Strange drugging the Warden with a derivative of Jervis Tetch's mind-control formula, conveniently hidden in the Warden's afternoon tea.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Barbara got this reaction from some viewers after the Season 1 finale, as turning her into an Ax-Crazy maniac finally made her an interesting (or at the very least, entertaining) character in their eyes, and think that this new direction is exactly what the character needed. While some fans feel that she's failed to keep the momentum going in subsequent seasons, at least she's no longer universally reviled as she was during the majority of Season 1.
    • Peyton List as Ivy is viewed far more favorably than Maggie Geha since she's now mentally an adult in addition to physically. This removes a lot of the Squick factor regarding the character and brings her personality more in line with the comics.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • The impression the Gordon/Renee/Barbara love triangle leaves on a large part of the viewership, with Barbara's Adaptational Sexuality and Renee going from a groundbreaking character in the comics to simply a jealous ex whose main relevance in the story seems to be her trying to dig up dirt on Gordon and pry him away from Barbara, weakening her involvement with the main detective plot-lines that are (supposedly) the driving force of the show.
    • As of season three, once Fan-Preferred Couple Jim and Lee have fallen into this for some viewers. To them, the romantic drama has overstayed it's welcome and keeps stealing screen time away from the more interesting plotlines.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The major dramatic tension in "Under the Knife" and "The Anvil and the Hammer" is that the Ogre might kill Barbara, which falls rather flat as the vast majority of fans were rooting for him to do it.
    • As of Season Two's "Wrath of the Villains", a number of fans might not be rooting very hard for Gordon, neither in a job sense nor in a personal relationship with Lee sense. His utter lack of consequences after shooting and killing Mayor Galavan in cold blood, not to mention coldly letting Penguin take the blame and go to and remain in Arkham, might have some fans rooting for Gordon's humiliation by the villains or at very least exposure for his crimes.
  • Same Story, Different Names: The plot between Gordon and Barbara is very similar to Thomas and Martha Wayne in Flashpoint.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Renee Montoya. See Unintentionally Unsympathetic below, and because she seems to only exist in the show to try and break up Gordon and Barbaranote  and investigate the murder of Cobblepot, in turn giving Gordon more to worry about. Even though she was starting to be rescued in some viewer's eyes when she realized she was wrong about Gordon and decided to help him doesn't stop her from chasing Barbara and sleeping with her behind Gordon's back.
    • Barbara, due to her ignorance and hypocrisy throughout season one. Some may feel she was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap as of season two.
    • Harvey Dent. Upstanding moral prosecutor in the comics, becomes a slightly shady attorney obsessed with one criminal (Lovecraft) instead of bringing justice. His bumbling actions nearly get Selina and Bruce killed, not to mention an innocent gardener killed.
    • This Mr. Freeze version is pretty unpopular for losing his famous motivation right off the bat (when his wife, Nora, commits suicide Deader Than Dead at the end of his debut), gaining a Narmy design, and becoming an unsympathetic Adaptational Villain with no real purpose beyond "hired gun for whichever Villain of the Week needs him next."
    • Ivy was this thanks to the massive squick factor about her blatant fanservice. It really didn't help that she's also stupider and cartoony in her characterization than most of the "strong independent woman" incarnations she's well-known for. She was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Season 4, though.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The average consensus is that it's highly enjoyable but flawed; it doesn't help that the other DC shows like Arrow or Flash are better at pacing and developing story arcs, while Gotham always seems to have too much going on that it feels a bit smothered.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The prosthetic Robin Lord Taylor wears to give Penguin's nose its beaky appearance has been inconsistently applied and the join between the prosthetic and Taylor's nose can be distractingly obvious in closeups.
    • In "Everyone Has A Cobblepot," we see one of Dulmacher's victims sewn up from various spare parts. The CG is terrible; especially notable since practical effects probably could have achieved a more convincing effect. But the unconvincing CGI makes the reveal more disturbing, so in a way, it works.
    • Man-Bat looks laughably bad in his cameo at the end of No Man's Land.
    • When Batman skewers Jeremiah's hand with a Batarang in the series finale, it's pretty obvious in a later shot that Cameron Monaghan is holding a prop hand.
    • In the final episode, Penguin is supposed to look like he's put on weight over the Time Skip; instead, it just looks like Robin Lord Taylor stuffed a pillow under his shirt.
    • In large shoot-outs it can be rather distracting when a gun doesn't recoil. The siege in "They Did What?" is an especially obvious offender.
  • Squick: In Season 3, Ivy gets a Plot-Relevant Age-Up because the writers wanted to use her seductive personality from the comics. Trouble is, the audience still knows full well she's mentally a young teen, so while it's nice that we don't have to watch the original actress go through this stuff, it doesn't help much within the story.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Due to Foregone Conclusion, we know Gordon and Barbara are going to get married and have a kid by the time Bruce becomes Batman. But what with how many problems and stress Barbara is causing Gordon from her stupid actions, it's almost like Gordon is literally getting strangled by the red string. That is, unless it turns out Gordon falls in love with another woman that just happens to also be named Barbara, which seems more likely after the above-mentioned plot developments (although that would require the writers torpedoing the Jim/Leslie relationship first). Or, as of the first season finale, that Foregone Conclusion isn't quite as foregone as people thought — Barbara went into full-on Ax-Crazy territory and tried to murder Leslie. It's highly unlikely they'll get back together.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • As mentioned above, some fans loathed the series before it even began because it seemed like a Smallville rip-off done by Fox.
    • A lot of fans were upset by the reveal in interviews that not only would Scarecrow's backstory take more from the New 52 than his Year One origin, but that Jonathan Crane's father was Scarecrow first and Jonathan presumably takes the title up later. However, this was subverted, as not only was his father not the Scarecrow (just a Mad Scientist who was experimenting with fear), but the character was so interesting and the actor's performance was so impressive that he ended up becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse; in an ironic twist, some fans now wish he had gotten to be Scarecrow after all.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • In the earliest episodes of the show, the AV Club noted that the writers didn't seem to know what to do with Selina Kyle, as she was commonly reduced to a few token scenes stalking around silently in each episode. She managed to grow out of this later on.
    • Harvey Bullock began as the corrupt cop who made sure other cops "toed the (mob's) line" before he went through a Heel–Face Turn in "Penguin's Umbrella". Afterward, he became the cop who was so jaded from fighting corruption that he simply "gave up" and went along with it. This later S1 characterization came with Bullock frequently giving advice to Gordon to be more pragmatic, which provided an interesting dynamic in his relationship with the more idealistic Gordon. However, after S1, Bullock was relegated to the sidelines, being used for comic relief or do actions that would move along Gordon's story, with his previous characterization essentially forgotten.
    • Kristen Kringle was nothing more than a device to start Ed towards his descent into villainy, when she and Ed had great chemistry on-screen that could have been explored.
    • The Dollmaker seemed to be set up as a Greater-Scope Villain that would dwarf the mob bosses. Turns out he's just some crazy doctor who does illegal surgeries. And he was nothing more than an obstacle to keep Fish out of Gotham for a few months.
    • Dick Lovecraft. He was nothing more than an obvious Red Herring, instead of a viable suspect in the Wayne case.
    • The Electrocutioner also gets this. The show managed to make him into a very impressive and imposing sort of electricity-based philosophical madman (no doubt aided by the portrayal of Christopher Heyerdahl), but he's dispatched very quickly and anti-climatically shipped back to Arkham.
    • Remember Montoya and Allen? How they were becoming allies of Gordon and were going to investigate the Wayne murders in his place? Yeah, they were written out of the show after Season One without mention.
    • Richard Sionis could have been a major player in the Gotham underworld, acting as the precursor to Black Mask. And just as the show brings him back, he gets stabbed to death.
    • Anyone else disappointed with the death of Jerome so early in Season Two? He made for a great candidate for The Joker, but with his death, any development of that idea is lost. Until Season 3. He’s Back.
    • Puck, Gordon's heroic Nice Guy sidekick who stands up for him in prison despite knowing full well the danger of getting his ass kicked, and then dying from those injuries, off-screen, while the other characters are talking.
    • The Penguin's father. Hyped up as being played by Paul Reubens once again, being a complete and sympathetic 180 from that incarnation, and still loving his long-lost son despite knowing full well about his crimes, Mr. Cobblepot had the makings of being another Morality Pet for Oswald after the death of his mother. Instead, after just a couple of episodes, the father was accidentally poisoned to death due to inadvertently drinking some acid meant for Oswald — and all in a textbook Ironic Echo of his mother's death, too. And just to add insult to injury, this happened in the same episode as Puck.
    • Karen Jennings is a Creepy Awesome, not to mention badass, Woobie who knew Bruce's father, would have made a great Creepy Good ally foreshadowing Bruce's own dark future form and gives herself up before the end of her introductory episode right after Gordon, Alfred, and Bruce broke her out of jail in almost exactly the same way as Puck.
    • Azrael gets unceremoniously blown to smithereens by an RPG before establishing the sinister presence he has in the comics.
    • The nightclub owner, Jeri (Lori Petty) from "Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Madness". She had her face painted just like The Joker's was and was as charismatic and snarky as The Joker, making some fans believe she could have turned into the eventual Joker. Alas, all she was used for was to move along the plot of Bruce investigating his parents' murder.
    • Valerie Vale, due to being a disposable love interest for Gordon.
    • Alice Tetch; a young woman who's been through a hell of a lot, an object of obsession for her brother Jervis, with a horrifying and compelling backstory. Dead after just two episodes, with her freaking blood having a bigger role to play in the story than her.
    • Sal Martinez, a member of the GCPD's Strike Force and an expert sniper; despite having been written up with a good backstory and known for successfully managing to hit Zsasz, he was disgracefully murdered by Tabitha Galavan in his fourth appearance (in a close quarters fight, no less).
    • Harvey Dent, who is destined to become Two-Face. He appeared to be set up as a great ally to Jim Gordon and his quest to taking down the mob, whilst at the same time perhaps having his own personal issues, due to losing his temper with Dick Lovecraft (a clear foreshadowing to him becoming Two-Face). Despite the actor being promoted to regular status for season two, he only appears in three mere episodes and after the season is never mentioned again, with the potentiality of exploring the Dent character being thrown out the window. And bizarrely enough, the potential plot of him dealing with his darker personality is given to Edward Nygma/Riddler, which becomes a long running arc for him throughout the next few seasons of the show.
    • Speaking of Nygma/Riddler, starting with season 4 his role has been reduced to a Satellite Character, either as Lee's Romantic False Lead or Penguin's Heterosexual Life Partner.
    • Sofia Falcone. She entered S4 playing everyone she met- Gordon, Oswald, her father- like a fiddle, portraying the kind of Magnificent Bastard that you'd expect a top mob boss to be. She could have been a formidable villain for several seasons, but she only lasted half a season just to give Gordon (an admittedly deserved) "Reason You Suck" Speech before being unceremoniously dumped after getting shot in the head and put in a coma.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • There was no rush to kill Bruce's parents in the opening moments of the first episode. Showing them as "the pillars of Gotham," maybe doing some shady things themselves and having the first season finale be their murder would have been a far superior plot; as it is, their deaths leave Bruce with nothing to do throughout the season but "train."
    • Gordon being reassigned to Arkham seemed to be an excellent plot development. Previous episodes showed other people he had brought in had been deemed insane and sent to Arkham, so Gordon could meet them again and subplots with them could develop. A later episode in the series implies that Falcone wants control of Arkham for a secret reason that is critical to the mob war, so Gordon being sent there would let him investigate the mob war in a more proactive way. Nope — Gordon comes back to the GCPD after two episodes and Arkham is forgotten, with the only point to his reassignment to be introducing Leslie Tompkins, who would later join the GCPD.
      • Similarly, despite the story potential, Gordon's demotion and resignation in the Season Two premiere is over and undone in the very same episode.
    • Jack Gruber had the potential to be an Arc Villain for the second half of the first season — he was considerably more intelligent and dangerous than previous villains, had a hidden agenda he was working towards, and a Mysterious Past to boot. He's apprehended in his second episode and shipped back to Arkham after a very anti-climactic showdown with Gordon.
    • The idea of a Villain Team-Up between the Arkham inmates could have been a fantastic way to showcase some of the show's previous villains of the week while simultaneously introducing new threats. By the second episode of Season Two, half of them are dead.
    • Essen being promoted to Commissioner for only one episode before being killed off, with nothing really done with the plot before her death.
    • Gordon being on the run from Falcone seemed intriguing especially to those who hate how amoral he'd become. Sadly for that camp, the whole thing wraps peaceably in a single episode with Falcone calling it off and telling Gordon in no uncertain terms that he's only calling it off because of Lee.
    • Isabella's storyline in S3. At worst, it could have been an easy way to restore the Kristen Kringle/Ed Nygma relationship from S2, but the concept of a Kringle clone that not only knew a lot about Nygma but also knew how to seduce him could have provided fodder for intriguing storylines for Ed and perhaps other characters (Isabella did show up after Clayface debuted). Instead, all Isabella was used for was to drive a wedge between Ed and Oswald, and only a temporary one at that.
    • Once Oswald ascended to the top of Gotham's underworld (something he did a few times in the series), he'd never spend any meaningful time up there when it could have been interesting to see what kind of a mob boss he would have been. The worst time this happened? When Oswald successfully became the Mayor (with a legitimate vote, no less), since he now had the legal means to prevent the GCPD from interfering with his criminal operations. There was definitely an interesting storyline there.
    • A lot of fans would have liked to see more of Jerome and Jeremiah's interactions, feeling the show missed the opportunity to play fast and loose with canon and have two Jokers running around, at least for a little while.
  • Toy Ship: Bruce and Selina (of course). After Selina witnesses the Waynes' murder she seems to sympathize with the orphaned Bruce and begins watching him from afar. Later episodes have her sneaking into stately Wayne Manor to steal something ("Spirit Of the Goat") and then forced by Gordon to crash there for her own safety as a witness to the murders ("Harvey Dent"). She flat-out flirts with Bruce once she gets there. They kiss for the first time — c'mon people what part of Foregone Conclusion are we troping here? — near the end of "Lovecraft." And in "Under the Knife," their dancing together at the Wayne Charity Ball—a much more awkward version of similar scenes in Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises—was pretty clearly written to fuel the fire.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: That arc where Fish Mooney went off to The Dollmaker's island was completely disconnected from what else was going on in S1, and once it was over, the Dollmaker plot had no appreciable effect on subsequent stories or any characters- save for Fish now having one eye that was different from the other.
  • Uncanny Valley: There's something rather "plastic" about the Ogre's looks. Justified because he had plastic surgery. But it's also on his hair.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Gotham has been criticized for its handling of its female characters, particularly Barbara Kean, Renee Montoya and Kristen Kringle. However, this mostly goes away after the first season, with more development for Barbara, Lee, Ivy, and Selina, and the introduction of characters like Bridgit Pike and Vanessa Harper.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Renee Montoya. In her mind she might see herself as a good friend to Barbara, coming to her believing that Gordon is actually a Dirty Cop who's manipulating her. But her actions in doing so are to go behind Gordon's back twice to warn Barbara without any evidence aside from two separate informants — both of whom, she knows, have strong mob ties and also have every reason to lie to her. In addition, the second time she broke into Barbara's home, which Barbara is not pleased about. If anything it looks more like she's a jealous ex who's willing to latch onto any idea without evidence to break the couple up so she can get back together with Barbara. In fact, when the breakup does happen, it's clear that Barbara brought it on herself by blabbing about the child snatchers earlier, before Cobblepot's return (if anything, Gordon was smart to not tell her anything about Cobblepot); Montoya was little more than the accelerator in the long run.
      • And then there's how she acted after receiving the information from Cobblepot — after he stated that Fish had the necklace before it was found on Pepper, and flat out admitted he is using this information to get rid of his boss. What does Montoya do? Does she follow up on this information? Does she take it with a grain of salt as it comes from a guy that is most likely lying to her? Does she go to Gordon to find out if he was even aware of this? No. She takes this very flimsy information and jumps to the conclusion that Jim must have been fully aware and even planted the evidence, on Pepper. Then, instead of bringing this to the police, she goes right to Barbara and flat out tells her without any real evidence that her fiance is guilty to get them to break up. Gordon wasn't even aware of this theory until after he hears it secondhand from Barbara, which means after using this information to try to break up Barbara and Gordon, Montoya did absolutely nothing else with it.
    • While Alfred may mean well, not taking Bruce to get therapy after what happened, even if it was because of a promise he made, seems fairly cold. However, he has made it perfectly clear that he cares for Bruce in "Lovecraft." Though some believe that one of the crime bosses would have the psychiatrist manipulate Bruce for their own goals, so damned if you do, damned if you don't.
    • Bruce himself, since his abrasiveness and determination can sometimes veer into him being bratty. Especially in the Season Two premiere, when he chews Gordon out for not taking Penguin's deal by claiming he's putting his personal honor ahead of the greater good, especially since the whole point of Gordon's character is that he's roughly the only honest cop in a very corrupt town; not to mention the personal hell Penguin put him through in Season One.
    • Selina. While it could be argued that she's just trying to survive on the streets and can be nice when she wants to, often times she just comes off as incredibly self-righteous and very passive-aggressive in her dealings with other people, as if what's going on is everyone's fault but her own.
      • One of the best indication of this is during the kidnapping incident in one of the first episodes. While she is waiting at the police station to be collected by (supposedly) social services, she demands that the cop on duty take her to see Gordon, and when he refuses, threatens to claim he touched her sexually. The show presents this as an example of her being a plucky Guile Hero, when in reality she's ready to instigate a Pædo Hunt on a poor guy who's just doing his job.
    • Jim Gordon can be this in the closing minutes of the Season 2 finale. When it's revealed that dozens of superhuman monsters are on the loose across Gotham, he quits the force to get back with his girlfriend despite Bullock practically begging him to stay and help the city, borderline-insults Harvey by telling him to get a haircut, and leaves the second season carjacking his best friend.
    • Lee Thompkins from mid-Season 3 onwards: she ignores clear signs that her husband is infected by the Tetch Virus, and then even after it's confirmed by a lab that he was, she continues to blame Jim, despite him, you know, saving her life from her homicidal husband. She spends episodes telling Gordon over and over again how much he sucks and then... decides to take the Tetch Virus herself. She could come off as either a sympathetic Broken Bird, or a vindictive harpy.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: A few fans feel this way about Jeremiah's look in the finale. Cameron Monaghan already looked Joker-esque even before the bleached skin and lipstick, so the decision to cake him in latex seemed like the producers just wanted to one-up Heath Ledger's glasgow smile.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Sid (the white-haired speedster in the early episodes of Season 3) was mistaken for a female by some viewers thanks to his unusual hair and admittedly pretty face.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Barbara has a lot of them.
      • Barbara blabs about the child snatchers to the press and now expects Gordon to come clean about Oswald Cobblepot. If she hadn't done the former, they wouldn't have had to put their relationship on hold.
      • Another one from Barbara: after being sent away by Gordon, she returns to the city, walks up to Don Falcone's doorstep, and pleads for Gordon's life, which completely ruins Gordon's plan to save Gotham from the clutches of Falcone. The only two possibilities from this action would be Gordon would already be dead or the mob would use Barbara against him, especially after Gilzean already tried to use Barbara against Gordon moments beforehand.
      • And then there's her cheating on Gordon with Renee. To give more background as to why this is a monumentally stupid action: even though Barbara did a noble (but idiotic) action in going to Falcone to plead for Gordon's life, she gets used as leverage. After all is calmed down, now she decided she can't handle the stress and leaves Gordon a Dear John letter, only to head straight into Renee's arms. You know, the woman who, since the beginning, has acted like a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend Stalker with a Crush that has been breaking into her apartment to constantly tell Barbara that Gordon was corrupt without any real evidence, and whose actions essentially led up to all the problems that she had to face recently. At this point one can be forgiven for thinking, "Why Would Gordon Take Her Back?"
      • She calls Gordon after having given him a "Dear John" Letter and cheated on him with Renee where a 12 year old Ivy answers. She thinks that she is an adult woman and that Gordon is cheating on her with another woman. Something she sees as a betrayal.
    • In the first episode, the police goes to visit Mario Pepper, a suspect of the murder of the Waynes. As he was in parole, his relation with the law is already tense. The police ask to check his house.
      You'd expect: that he cooperates with the cops and allows them to check the house, trusting that they shouldn't find anything tying him to a crime he did not commit.
      Instead: he attacks the cops, escapes with all guns blazing, and tries to kill them during his escape. A T-Shirt labeled "I'm Gulty!" would have worked just as fine.
      Result: He is killed by the police, before he can kill one of the cops. And, considering the circumstances, it was hardly an unjustified shot.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: This show, despite the gruesome murders and scary villains, was nominated for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Family TV show.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Her Back?: A question asked by many fans of Gordon with regards to Barbara, who was at the time lodged pretty deeply in The Scrappy territory for her cheating on Jim with Montoya, her hypocrisy and her general bone-headed actions that cause more harm than good.
  • Win the Crowd: The combination of a promising trailer and strong performances caused the pilot episode to garner high ratings and reviews. Earlier skeptics have begun to accept this show, particularly for the atmosphere and Donal Logue as Bullock, Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot and Camren Bicondova as Selina.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • The reaction to Ben McKenzie being cast as Jim Gordon. Many people feel he doesn't quite have the look of a younger Gordon, especially since he doesn't (yet) have Gordon's glasses and/or mustache, his only distinguishing features.
    • Many fans thought that Robin Lord Taylor was too thin and attractive to play the Penguin, though the new creepy air he brought to the Penguin with an alternative bird motif led him to become the Breakout Character.
    • The casting of B.D. Wong as an Asian Hugo Strange got a few raised eyebrows.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • Bane's look hasn't gone over so well. Not only does he look too similar to Tom Hardy's version, but the padded muscles underneath his shirt aren't the least bit convincing.
    • The Batsuit that audiences finally get to see can seem a little underwhelming after so many years of waiting, especially since its obviously pieces of moulded plastic stuck on top of a skintight body suit.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report