The Joker’s Craziest Quotes of All Time
He’s called the clown prince of crime, the jester of genocide, the harlequin of hate — and he is arguably the most quotable super villain in history.
Since being introduced in the comics more than 75 years ago, The Joker has represented the antithesis of what Batman stands for. Now, the third big screen iteration of the character is being introduced in Suicide Squad with Jared Leto stepping beneath the white makeup and green hair.
Sometimes the Joker’s telling a joke, other times he’s expressing a profound thought. Whatever the case, The Joker is ever quotable — and his best quotes ever are worth revisiting. Check out the images below for a taste of the madness.
Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) was once a humble hitman for the mob. Napier always asked his targets before carrying out a hit if they’d ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight. One night, Napier came across a rich couple and son in a dark alleyway. He killed the couple, but ignored the son. Years passed, and the little boy grew up to be Batman (Michael Keaton) and Napier became the Joker. When confronting Joker in Vicki Vale’s (Kim Basinger) apartment, Bruce Wayne is asked by the villain if he had ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, leading Wayne to figure out the Joker killed his parents.
What doesn’t kill a gangster only makes him stranger. Being set up to take the fall for his boss, Jack Napier arrives to the Ace Chemical plant expecting the score of the life time, only to run into Batman. Trying to escape the Dark Knight, Napier slips into a vat of acid. The acid horribly scars him and Napier visits a plastic surgeon in hopes of fixing the damage, but even the doctor could not cure all of the damage. The future Joker asks for a mirror then quickly smashes it.
The New Adventures of Batman, showrunner Bruce Timm had his writers adapt the comic book storyline Joker’s Millions, where the Joker (Mark Hamill) inherits millions of dollars from a deceased rival mobster. The twist of the story and episode is all the money Joker has spent has been fake and the supervillain now owes millions of dollars in back taxes to the IRS. This quote shows that while the Joker is murderous psychopath, he can still crack a funny joke every now and again.
Future Batman Terry Mcginnis (Will Friedle) figures out something Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy) never did — how to beat The Joker. Coming back from death through advanced technology in Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker; The jester of genocide renews his battle with Batman and his mentor. Though he looks like a clown, The Joker hates it when the joke’s on him. Mcginnis understands that, and uses it to gain the upper hand against the villain, laughing at the clown prince of crime because he feels sorry for him. Batman loses the upper hand and the Joker pounces on Mcginnis, acknowledging the new Batman got under his skin.
This could be the closest the Joker has ever come to having a catch phrase. The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, says this line to intimidate his victims. People Joker’s asked “Why so serious” include fellow gangsters, henchmen and Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) romantic interest Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
The Dark Knight
In a tense scene between The Dark Knight and the harlequin of hate, The Joker utters this unforgettable line. It’s the first time The Joker has told the truth in the film, admitting to Batman that his arch enemy is what gives his life meaning.
While manipulating the still recovering Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), The Joker finishes his twisted pitch for evil with these lines. Throughout The Dark Knight, The Joker has introduced anarchy to both the underworld and political world, causing chaos in Gotham city. Here, he lays out his philosophy.
One of the darkest moments in Batman’s (Bruce Greenwood) history is the death of Jason Todd (Jensen Ackles). The Joker (John Dimaggio) captured the boy wonder, and mercilessly beat him with a crowbar and blew up the factory Robin was held in. Todd has since returned from the dead, but this moment taught Batman how cruel the Joker really cold be.
Things were relatively quiet for the Joker (Michael Emerson) once Batman (Peter Weller) retired following the death of Jason Todd in The Dark Knight Returns. That changed when crime in Gotham city became so rampant that The Dark Knight returned. Seeing his old nemesis in action knocked The Joker out of his comatose state and caused him to profess his desire to start up the battle between order and chaos once again.
It’s at the core of The Joker’s philosophy, that anyone — Batman included — is just one bad day away from being like him. In his own life, The Joker became the arch criminal after the death of his wife and unborn child in an accident on the same day he participated in a botched robbery, falling into a vat of acid.
There is an almost gleeful delight when Jared Leto delivers this line for the Suicide Squad movie. This is The Joker at his most sadistic, taking joy in the prospect of torturing someone and increasing his reputation as a clown not to be mess with.
After a crashing a meeting of the various mob bosses, discussing what to do about Batman (and after an awesome quote in and of itself, where he does a “magic trick” by making a pencil disappear by driving it into the eye of one of the mob boss’ underling), Joker suggests his solution for their problems – simply kill Batman.