Batman: The Animated Series/YMMV

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In the episode where the Scarecrow hits Batman with a drug that causes him to lose all fear, Robin has to step in to stop Batman from throwing a mook off a ledge saying that he's lost his fear of killing. This implies that Batman doesn't kill his criminal opponents not because he feels it is wrong or out of some sense of justice, but because he is afraid to.
    • That's not alternate, really. He is afraid to, in the sense that he's afraid of what he'll become if he gives in to that urge.
  • Awesome Music: In many, many ways. The show introduction is famous for the music as much as for its almost-a-storyboard art style. The second intro is less well-known, but also features some epic music. And most villains have their own (often awesome) leitmotifs. BTAS had a unique soundtrack for every episode, a feature that might never happen again.
    • The first theme spread beyond the show itself, turning up in nearly every DCAU show in either original or remixed form. It remained awesome in every incarnation.
    • For many, Shirley Walker's Batman overture is even more iconic than Danny Elfman's theme.
  • Complete Monster: The Joker qualifies big time.
    • Ferris Boyle, also voiced by Mark Hamill, claims to be a humanitarian - while authorizing and unauthorizing illegal experiments that ruin the lives of others behind the scenes. Just ask Mr. Freeze.
    • The Sewer King, whose exploitation of homeless children leaves Batman severely tempted to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule. The original script was intended to show him as far more violent and harsh, but the network made them tone much of this down.
    • Boss Biggis is a contender. He kidnaps random poor people off the street, enslaves them and forces them to work in the mines all to satisfy his own greed for gold. In some ways he's worse then the Sewer King as he dosen't care whether any of his slaves die or not. He punishes people over the most minor things by locking them in a box in the hot sun. When one worker gets thrown in for a minor display of disrespect, another man protests that he will likely die form being kept in the box, and Biggis replies "That's the idea!". Ultimately, though, he's not treated as seriously in-universe, as Batman doesn't hesitate to save him from being blown up,
    • In the episode "Showdown", which was mostly an extended flashback to Arizona, 1883, we meet Arkady Duvall, Ra's Al Ghul's then-lieutenant and son, voiced by none other than Malcolm McDowell. When we begin, Jonah Hex has tracked him across twelve states "on account of what [he had] done to [a] girl back east", and a barmaid at the beginning of the story tells Hex "He hurt one of my girls real bad." They don't go into detail, but he at the very least violently assaulted them. When we first meet the man in person, he's whipping one of Ra's workman for slacking, when all the poor guy was doing was trying to pick up something he'd dropped. He comes across as insufferably smug and arrogant, with a huge sense of entitlement, and it's clear that Ra's does not approve of his actions and is only putting up with him because he's his son and so he can keep an eye on him. When Hex is caught spying on them, Duvall orders the workers to lower him head first into a vat of molten lead, but Ra's intervenes. By the end of the flashback, Hex has captured Duvall and turned him into the authorities and Ra's has washed his hands of him and left him to his fate. When the man who thinks killing 90% of the world's population in order to restore ecological balance is a good idea wants nothing more to do with you, you must be on this list.
  • Discontinuity: The fans really hate the episode "Critters," seeing it as overly campy and full of Incredibly Lame Puns. Though the producers themselves have a soft spot for it and did a commentary on the DVD to defend it (though Bruce Timm notes up front that he completely understands why it's not everyone's cup of tea).
    • Also, Mr. Freeze's reappearance episode between "Sub Zero" and "Meltdown" in Batman Beyond was just....no.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dick was already pretty popular as Robin, Once he became Nightwing however the fans couldn't get enough of him.
    • Harley Quinn, who was originally known as the Joker's "Hench Wench", and had such a huge fanbase that she evolved into her own character and got her own comic book story.
    • "Thriftie", a girl who only appeared in the episode "Beware the Creeper" working at a clothing store, where she watches completely stone-faced as The Creeper ransacks the store looking for a new superhero outfit, snarking at his comments the whole time.
    • The Clock King gained such a ridiculously outspoken fanbase on 4chan's comics and cartoons board that it's most likely what led to the introduction of a new version of the character exactly like him in the comics, and possibly contributing to his other appearances before that. /co/'s power to uplift characters with dumb concepts that somehow make them powerful is truly frightening.
      • By "new version exactly like him" I assume you mean "some new character that shares the name, and has nothing else in common with the character from the show." You're comparing a Batman villain obsessed with knowing how long it takes to do things to a Teen Titans villain with precognition powers.
    • Before this series, Mr. Freeze was just a generic ice-themed villain. The writers reimagined him as an Anti-Villain with a highly sympathetic backstory, lifting him among the most popular of Batman's villains. Hell, even the much-reviled Batman and Robin took inspiration from it!
  • Gateway Series: It served as such for a lot of people for Batman.
    • It also served as one for the production team as this series served as the first building block and cornerstone of the DCAU.
  • Growing the Beard: While it started off very high quality, early episodes were more action-adventure oriented then the plot oriented nature the series became famous for. "Heart of Ice" was the first dynamite episode and you can see how popular it is on this very page. "Two-Face" parts I and II, before "Heart of Ice" in production order, also has a profoundly grown beard.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The interactions of Joker and Penguin inside Penguin's night club, The Iceberg Lounge, in "Joker's Millions" become this in one of the "Arkham Stories" during Batman: Arkham City.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Joker's laugh, though what really gets it there is hearing it from others affected by his smile toxin.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Beware the Creeper," the Joker accuses the Creeper (Jeff Bennett) of ripping off his act. Bennett would later voice Joker on Batman the Brave And The Bold.
    • Brianne Sidall voices Robin in the Adam West style sub-plot in the episode "Legends of the Dark Knight." Scott Menville would later voice Robin on Teen Titans. These actors respectively played the main antagonist and protagonist of Tales of Symphonia, turning the final boss fight into Robin vs. Robin.
    • In "Almost Got 'Im," Joker mocks Poison Ivy's use of "exploding pumpkins." A few years, Mark Hamill would be voicing the Hobgoblin, whose signature weapon is the pumpkin bomb.
    • Alfred's "Are we developing an interest in rock and roll, sir?" from "On Leather Wings", after Atop the Fourth Wall started the Running Gag of Batman hating rock and roll.
    • "Dreams in Darkness" wouldn't be the last time Scarecrow tries to use Arkham's basement to poison Gotham's water supply with fear gas.
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: Both the Penguin and Catwoman were originally based on the characters as they appeared in Batman Returns instead of the original comics, resulting in a physically-deformed Penguin and a blonde Catwoman. When the show became The New Batman Adventures and all the characters were redesigned, the Penguin and Catwoman's alter-ego, Selina Kyle, became more in-line with their traditional comics selves (Penguin became normal-looking and Catwoman has black hair); Catwoman's costume in TNBA went the other direction, becoming all-black like the Returns version.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Many, many of the villains--their Day in the Limelight really shows just how much their lives suck.
    • Lloyd Ventris from "See No Evil", who is a criminal, a scumbag, a thief, and a liar, but whose entire motivation was to see his daughter.
  • Les Yay: Word of God confirmed Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's relationship was sexual, even if they could only obliquely hint it during the series.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Joker, especially in Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Though an excellent version, fans who claim that this series is the "definitive" or "true" version of Batman are misaimed as the original Word of God himself, Bob Kane, once stated that a key to Batman's success is that there is no definitive version and that he can be adapted and reinterpreted over time.
    • Also, those who credit Bruce Timm and Paul Dini as the "heads" of the series. It was actually Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski as co-producers starting out, but Radomski was more involved with the art direction than the story writing. Alan Burnett was in charge of the plotting team, and while later credited as a producer, Paul Dini was mainly a writer at the time.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Oh, yeah. This is a pretty dark series. Interestingly, the Nightmare Fuel episodes also tend to be Tear Jerker episodes.
    • The episode "Baby Doll" revolves around a washed-up actress with dwarfism who takes revenge on her former castmates. She continually switches off between the child voice she did on the show and her real, "adult" voice. This continues to be creepy throughout the entire show until the climax in a hall of mirrors at a carnival, where she sees herself in a funhouse mirror showing what she probably would have looked like without the condition as an adult. She then rages at the Dark Knight for foiling her plan, shouting, "Why couldn't you just let me make believe!?" before breaking down and crying. It perhaps goes without saying that this was an episode written by Paul Dini.
      • This is a great example of a nightmare fuel episode that also ended up being a tear-jerker episode, as mentioned above. The last time the actress says "I didn't mean to!" is just so tragic; no matter what she just did over the last 20 minutes, it's hard not to feel sorry for her just then.
    • Clayface, just by his ability that you can probably guess just from his name, can be Nightmare Fuel Personified at times. But the climax to his story, where he loses control over his powers when exposed to too much stimuli in a room full of TV screens, will give all children nightmares!
      • The "origin story" is disturbing as well. He was using small amounts of the serum to control his appearance. Some criminals he owes money to catch up with him, and inject him with so much serum that he starts melting.
    • The Joker is creepy enough in the series itself, but in "Mask of the Phantasm" he really skips over into this. When he is captured by the Phantasm and realizes she is going to kill him, Mark Hamill laughs so hard he turns the Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven. Shown here.
    • The fate of Clayface's "daughter" Annie (she gets reassimilated and is effectively murdered) is this, as well as Squick and Tear Jerker. Also functions as a Moral Event Horizon for Clayface.
    • The transformation sequence from the episode "On Leather Wings". The sequence is still disturbing now.
    • Scarecrow's redesign for The New Batman Adventures. Now he looks like a hanged man with the noose still around his neck. Also, you can't make out any physical features beyond his solid white eyes and teeth. Even the producers admit they're not sure there's an actual living person in the costume anymore.
    • Any episode that had the Ventriloquist and Scarface. Not outright terrifying, but subtly disturbing, given it's a man who starts being terrified by a puppet he himself voices.
    • "Eternal Youth". Poison Ivy turns people into trees and says that the initial layer is just an exoskeleton and it would take months for them to fully transform. The figures themselves, including and especially Alfred, are nightmare-inducing in their own right.
    • The episode "The Forgotten", where Bruce is captured by a slave camp, and the attack has left him with amnesia. The episode itself is pretty tame on the nightmare department, except for a particular dream sequence. The still disguised Bruce Wayne stumbles into a room full of mirrors, when all of a sudden he hears his own voice laughing. This leads him to stand before a mirror where the pre-amnesia Bruce Wayne is Laughing Mad. With absolutely no warning, the laughing Bruce turns into the Joker, whose arms break through the mirror and pull Bruce in, at which they come out from a sky-scrapper's window, plummeting towards the ground. As Bruce screams, the Joker is still laughing.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The general reception to the show at the time. And it still holds up.