Batman (TV series)

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Holy tropes-on-this-very-wiki, Batman!

"But wait, the wildest is yet to come!"

This is the campy, colorful adaptation of the titular comic book character, produced for ABC from 1966 to 1968; it featured Batman (played by Adam West) and Robin (played by Burt Ward) foiling daffy and innocuous criminals via detective work and slow fist-fights which were punctuated by large comic-style POW!s, BAFF!s and ZONK!s.

With its patently absurd writing (particularly Batman's array of gadgets, which seemed large enough to cater for any given situation -- the legendary Shark-Repellent Batspray comes to mind) and shonky production values, this was more like a televised Pantomime than anything resembling portrayals of superheroes in modern day media. The series managed to become something of a cultural icon, but it is also partly responsible for the general public's dim view of comic book writing and comics in general today (though, at the time, it was a pretty faithful adaptation of the comics).

For most of its run, Batman aired twice a week, on successive weeknights (which was unusual at the time). The episodes were two-parters; a Cliff Hanger punctuated the end of the first episode and the narrator iconically told the audience to "tune in tomorrow -- same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!" The series switched to airing once a week in the final season.

Batman: The Movie, an original theatrical feature film based on the series, was released in 1966. Among other things, the movie's larger budget provided the Dynamic Duo with some additional vehicles that stuck around for the remainder of the TV series (by recycling footage from the film): the Bat-Boat, the Bat-Copter, and the Bat-Cycle.

The series tends to be polarizing for modern viewers. Many enjoy it for its sheer farce and surrealism -- or for its nostalgia value -- but at the same time, many modern Batman fans consider this Batman to be the opposite of the Batman they know and love. Many comics fans also consider the show to be responsible for tainting an entire medium in the eyes of the general public; to this day, mainstream news stories about comic books are likely to have headlines like "Pow! Zap! Wham! Comic Books Aren't Just For Kids Anymore!" The series is sometimes blamed for causing the Batman comic line to adopt a "campier" tone as well, but in truth the show wasn't all that much different in tone from the "New Look" Batman comics that immediately preceded it. The series did play a key role in the continued existence of the entire Bat franchise, however; comics sales had been in a serious decline, but the series provided a great deal of publicity, which led to a much-needed sales boost in Batman comics.

The show's legacy continued long after its cancellation. Almost a decade later, Adam West and Burt Ward would reprise their roles on The New Adventures of Batman, a Filmation animated series which competed with Hanna-Barbera's Superfriends. West would eventually wind up voicing Batman on the last two "Super Powers" branded seasons of Superfriends (Robin continued to be played by his longtime Super Friends voice actor, Casey Kasem).

West and Ward would play Batman and Robin in live action one final time (joined by Frank Gorshin as the Riddler) in the 1979 TV Legends of the Superheroes specials. In the early 2000s, West and Ward (again joined by Gorshin) portrayed cartoonish versions of themselves in a CBS Movie Beyond The Batcave, consisting of a modern day plot to find the stolen Batmobile mixed with flashbacks to the events behind the scenes of filming the series in the 60s. And in 2016, West, Ward, and Julie "Catwoman" Newmar made a full transition to cartoons in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, followed by Batman vs. Two-Face in 2017 just before Adam West's passing.

Because of numerous issues associated with the show -- most notably, music licenses and royalties for the numerous "Bat-walk" cameos -- it has yet to receive any sort of proper home video release, which is especially awful in light of the TV-on-DVD boom (Batman: The Movie has no such issues). Fortunately for fans, the series is currently[when?] airing on The Hub.

If you want better quality played Darker and Edgier, see Batman: The Animated Series or The Dark Knight Saga. For Silver Age fun-factor with more tasteful Camp absurdity, see Batman: The Brave and the Bold. For a Darker and Edgier take nonetheless heavy on Camp, see All Star Batman and Robin. And for camp absurdity minus the Silver Age fun-factor, see Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin (or, better yet, don't).

Batman (TV series) is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Batman (TV series) include:
  • Abandoned Warehouse: Including, but not limited to, abandoned factories for surfboards, umbrellas and launching pads. For such a candy-colored town, Gotham City has an awful lot of abandoned buildings. It's no wonder there's such a rise in crime.
    • Sometimes averted when villains like Joker and Catwoman use active businesses such as a printing company and a restaurant respectively as a front.
  • Adipose Rex: King Tut.
  • Affectionate Parody: this article argues that the mere fact of playing a relatively ambitious live-action production of a superhero (viewed at the time as an inherently worthless material) had to be played as a superficial, deliberately light self-parody devised by mainstreamers who never even suspected that a rich timeless fantasy was lurking underneath.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Batman and Robin infiltrate a building via air ducts in "A Riddle a Day Keeps the Riddler Away".
  • Ammunition Backpack: Mr. Freeze wore a tank of freezing gas on his back to fuel his Freeze Ray.
  • Anachronism Stew: King Tut drowns Batman while quoting Shakespeare.
  • And I Must Scream: The Paralyzing Fog inflicts this on Batgirl.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Multiple examples.
  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Anyone Can Die: Generally avoided thanks to Batman being Crazy Prepared. However a few people, both good and bad, are killed in Season 1.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Special Guest Villains Lord Marmaduke Ffogg and Lady Penelope Peasoup.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking in the classic form of List of Transgressions: The list of Joker and Catwoman’s crimes includes "overtime parking".
    • Also, King Tut's line in one episode: "My Queen is disloyal, my handmaiden is a traitor... and everybody's being mean to me!" It's made all the better by the fact that Victor Buono is one of the hammiest hams in the entire series.
      • Not an example: His crimes are at one point listed as "Kidnapping, murder, grand theft, and malicious mischief." Although "malicious mischief" may sound like a frivolous charge, it is actually a real legal term meaning the willful or wanton destruction of other people's property.
  • Ascended Extra: The Riddler. Before 1966, he had only appeared in three stories total, two of which were in the 1940s. But his 1965 revival story caught the eye of the TV producers, who made him the series' first Special Guest Villain, and ultimately one of the top four.
  • Bald of Evil: Egghead.
    • Not to mention the second Mr. Freeze.
  • Bash Brothers: Batman and Robin, even more so in this adaptation than in most. This trope could have easily been called "Dynamic Duo".
  • Battle Butler: Alfred shows himself to be a surprisingly good fighter on occasion, able to deliver solid punches to henchmen and once single-handedly defeating the Joker in a fencing duel.
    • And then single-handedly trapping him in the Batpoles, which are conveniently unlabeled since Alfred had just repainted them, and sending him repeatedly up and down the poles with the Bat-elevator until the Joker was begging him for mercy. And then having the childish paintings he'd done to foil the Joker's art heist scheme being praised by the art world and sold for big bucks which he donated to a children's charity. A whole string of Crowning Moments of Awesome in a row.
  • Beach Episode: "Surf's Up! Joker's Under!" features Batgirl wearing a sexy one-piece bathing suit... and Batman and the Joker wearing swim trunks over their regular suits for a surfing contest.
  • Bedlam House: Averted. Arkham Asylum was not introduced in the comics until several years after the TV series' end. In any case, the show typically represents the villains as flamboyant, but sane, crooks, with King Tut (who has a form of insanity that presents itself as a Split Personality) being the only notable exception.
  • Beeping Computers: Bat-computer.
  • Between My Legs: A shot of the Dynamic Duo framed between Shame's legs in "It's How You Play the Game". It was an homage to similar showdown scenes in Western movies.
  • Big Electric Switch: Multiple episodes.
  • Big Good: Batman is this for Gotham City.
  • Billions of Buttons: Devices in the Bat-cave have tons of buttons on them.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: Each Cliff Hanger had Batman and Robin in mortal peril! Yet they always ingeniously escape!
    • This was double subverted at least once. In the episode where the Mad Hatter was using radioactive chemicals to terrorize Gotham, he locked Batman and Robin inside a "fluoroscopic cabinet" to have their flesh burned off by deadly radiation. His plan appeared to have worked: we saw two skeletons (actually dummies) wearing the heroes' costumes inside the cabinet. Once the "bodies" were discovered, a wave of horror and grief swept the entire world; even Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara burst into tears. Finally, in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Batman and Robin came out of hiding and explained that they had indeed escaped; they had left the skeletons behind as decoys in order to fool the Mad Hatter and his goons.
    • Also Lampshaded in the beginning of the second season. After the customary near escape, Robin exclaims that this time, he was really worried. Batman replies that he himself was not scared one bit. Has Robin not noticed how every time a criminal puts them at mortal peril, they escape? Robin concludes that they must be smarter than the criminals. Batman, in a crowning moment of narm, says that he prefers to believe it's because they're pure at heart.
  • Bound and Gagged: Batgirl in "Catwoman's Dressed to Kill".
    • There's a lot more tied-up scenes for Batgirl. Plus, it's not like the Dynamic Duo aren't exempt of getting tied up... even BEFORE Batgirl showed up.
  • Brainwashed: It happened a few times with other villains, but it was the main gimmick for The Black Widow and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds. Averted with the Mad Hatter, who did not use mind controlling hats in the comics until years after the end of the TV series.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Several examples.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Happened a couple of times to Bruce, and also to Barbara Gordon, who is kidnapped by the Penguin in her debut episode and manages to change into and out of her Batgirl outfit twice over the course of her "captivity".
    • Of course, Batman knew that this would happen to him eventually, which is why Bruce Wayne never goes anywhere without dehydrated Batsuit tablets.
    • In one episode where "Bruce" was left in the death trap, a mook laments it's not "Batman".
  • The Cameo: In many episodes (particularly during the second season), Batman and Robin would find an excuse to climb a wall. Inevitably, a celebrity would open a window and exchange dialog with them. A far-from-exhaustive list of "Bat-Climb Cameo" characters:
    • Jerry Lewis.
    • Lurch from The Addams Family.
    • Edward G. Robinson as an art collector.
    • Santa Claus (played by Andy Devine).
    • Dick Clark.
    • José Jiménez
    • Werner Klemperer, in character as Colonel Klink (which, yes, raises a host of unanswered questions and even potentially Unfortunate Implications!).
    • Howard Duff in character as the hero of The Felony Squad, another 20th Century Fox show airing on ABC at the time (this series started its run a few months before Batman, which would make this a plug for the other show).
    • In a particularly memorable example, the Dynamic Duo encountered the Green Hornet and Kato in the window, greeting them as fellow heroes. In a later episode, these heroes were full-fledged guest stars, but now Batman and Robin believed them to be criminals, as they pretended to be in their own series (although it didn't go both ways; in the universe of The Green Hornet[1], Batman was a fictional program that various characters were occasionally seen watching on television).
  • Camp: Practically the Trope Namer, insofar as it popularized the use of the term in the mass media.
  • Canon Immigrant: Quite a few characters and concepts introduced for the show ended up in the comics. DC Comics does not have the legal right to use characters explicitly created for the show, however, so many of these are unofficial:
    • The Barbara Gordon incarnation of Batgirl was introduced in the comic version in collaboration with the writers for the TV series, as a ratings stunt for its third season.
    • There's also Chief O'Hara. Though mentioned in the 1960s, he first appeared on panel in the comics during the Steve Engelhart/Marshall Rogers run in Detective Comics.
    • This series actually invented Riddler's "less silly" bowler-hat-and-suit look.[2] In fact, it's only because of Frank Gorshin's Emmy-winning performance on this show that you've ever heard of the Riddler, who appeared a grand total of twice in the comics (both in 1948) prior to 1965.
    • The show also brought Mr. Freeze, a formerly obscure villain, back into the comics (and created the name Mr. Freeze, since he was Mr. Zero in the comics). In much the same way, Batman the Animated Series brought Mr. Freeze back into the modern comics decades later after a long absence, and introduced the tragic characterization that's defined him ever since.
    • King Tut finally appeared in the comics in 2009.[3] As a 40-plus year journey, this may be one of the longest canon immigrations on record. Technically, however, the comic book King Tut is a different character from the one owned by 20th Century Fox and Greenway Productions, with a different personality and visual look. Since King Tut is a historical figure (and thus in the public domain), this is kosher, but DC would not be legally allowed to publish a character similar to Victor Buono's.
    • Egghead had an unofficial cameo as an Arkham Asylum inmate,[4] and also showed up in issue #16 of the Batman the Brave And The Bold tie-in comic.
    • Aunt Harriet is often incorrectly thought to be a Canon Immigrant, but she was introduced in 1964, replacing the dead Alfred (he got better).
    • A great many of the villains originally created for the show make unofficial cameos as prisoner "extras" in the Batman the Brave And The Bold animated series, including King Tut, Egghead, Archer, Bookworm, Black Widow, Siren, Marsha: Queen of Diamonds, Louie the Lilac, Ma Parker, Shame, False Face and the David Wayne version of the Mad Hatter.
    • Much as with Gorshin's Riddler, Burgess Meredith's Penguin is so iconic that it's still not only referenced (The Daily Show drew comparisons between the character and Dick Cheney), it's also arguable that Penguin's the Bat-Villain least changed since the 60s depiction. He still does the laugh in the comics, too.
    • Subtler than most, but a few moments in The Dark Knight have Heath Ledger's Joker laughing rather like Cesar Romero's, most notably in the video he sends to police. Ledger famously locked himself away in a hotel room trying to find a laugh unlike Nicholson's, and the effect of the campy Romero laugh is unsettling in context.
  • Can't Get in Trouble For Nuthin': The Penguin, acting as a respected restaurateur as part of a Civilian Villain scheme, has considerable difficulty when he actively tries to get thrown in prison so that he can consult an expert forger criminal colleague (although this is because Batman recognizes that he's trying to get sent to prison and convinces the cops not to arrest him). When he was finally sent there, the criminal he wanted to meet got reformed.
  • Captain Obvious:

Batman: "According to my Bat Compass, north-by-northeast is in a general north-northeasterly direction."

  • Catch Phrase: "Holy [insert relevant joke here], Batman!"
    • "It's the Batphone, sir."
    • "To the Bat Noun!"
    • "Whoever he is behind that mask of his..."
    • "Stately Wayne Manor, home of millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson."
    • "Saints preserve us!"
    • "Wild!" - The Preminger version of Freeze.
    • *waughwaughwaugh* - The Penguin's laugh.
    • Did you forget, "old chum"?
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The Gotham city police department.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Episode "That Darn Catwoman". After Robin is placed under Catwoman's control, he breaks a chair over Batman's head while fighting him.
  • The Cheerleader: "The Joker Goes to School".
  • Chekhov's Skill: Batman had mastered an Indian rope trick called Ruszííí Szidááá Rákóóó years ago. It came handy in the third season.
    • Robin's bird call skills save them from a balloon in "The Duo is Slumming".
  • City of Weirdos: The citizens of Gotham City were pretty blasé. The Batmobile could screech to a halt in front of City Hall and the Caped Crusaders dash up the steps in their colorful costumes without so much as a second glance from passersby. Even looking out a window and finding Batman and Robin walking up the side of your building was treated as routine. Then again, given how often they climb buildings...
  • Civilian Villain: Very common, particularly with the frequently recurring Special Guest Villains. Sometimes played straight (e.g. "Catwoman Goes To College"), but frequently, the trope is only implicit. At the beginning of an episode, (for example) the Joker is allowed to move about freely and lay the groundwork for his next scheme, Batman and Robin being helpless until he commits an actual crime. The details of Joker's parole status, rationale for lack of outstanding arrest warrants, etc, are generally unspecified.
  • Clark Kenting: Here, it's very notable. As Bruce Wayne, Adam West uses a more laid-back, natural delivery, as opposed to Batman's intense, melodramatic manner, but it's still very recognizably the same voice. And Dick Grayson and Robin sound and act almost exactly the same.
  • Clown Car Base: It turns out that the Batmobile's trunk is spacious enough to hold The Joker, the Penguin, and six of their henchmen.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Played so straight, it could be a parody.
  • Companion Cube: In "A Piece of the Action"/"Batman's Satisfaction", Pinky Pinkston much prefers to converse with her sub-ordinate, Colonel Gumm, by pretending to talk to or explain things to her dog, Apricot.
  • Compelling Voice: The Siren, but it only works on men.
  • Concealing Canvas: In "The Duo is Slumming" and "That Darn Catwoman".
  • Continuity Nod: In "Ring of Wax", Riddler is careful to deactivate the Batmobile security system before driving it away. This seems to nod to his intro episode, in which he set off the security system trying to steal it.
  • Convenient Eclipse: "The Cat and the Fiddle".
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, almost to the point of being a metal Memetic Outfit. There have been plenty of other Batmobiles before and since, but in car-guy circles the George Barris version for this series is the Batmobile.
  • Cool Garage: the Batcave.
  • Cowboy Episode: "Come Back, Shame"/"It's How You Play The Game".
  • Crazy Prepared: This is still Batman, you know. Just with the emphasis more on the "crazy" than the "prepared".
    • For instance.
    • He even carries live fish in his utility belt just in case he encounters a hungry seal.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Batman to Mr. Freeze, as noted in the episode "Instant Freeze" (Freeze's origin here is strikingly similar to the Joker's origin in the comics -- thrown into a vat of chemicals by Batman).
  • Criminal Amnesiac: King Tut, owing to a simple blow to the head. Unlike most cases of this, the "good" identity knows what happens when bumped on the noggin, and takes steps to avoid it. Not that it helps.
  • Dance Battler: Batgirl, as portrayed by former professional ballerina Yvonne Craig.
  • Dance Sensation: The Batusi. It actually became popular in Real Life.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Despite a general addiction to overly-elaborate deathtraps, the villains occasionally demonstrate this trope:
    • The first Mr. Freeze was this because instead of a Death Trap, he just shoots Batman with his freezing gun. Sadly he got better.
    • Catwoman was this as well when she simply had a drugged Batman thrown out a twelfth story window! Once again he was prepared.
    • The Clock King and the second Riddler took advantage of Batman's habit of avoiding doors by setting traps near the window.
    • Penguin even was this by using Chief O'Hara as bait to lure Batman to a spot where he could shoot him with a machine gun.
  • Death Trap: You can rely on seeing one in the middle of every two-parter.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Arguably the first season of Batman and Batman: The Movie: In the pilot, the Riddler deconstructs the Superhero by tricking Batman into false arresting him so he can make a Frivolous Lawsuit for a million dollars, exposing Batman’s Secret Identity. The second episode shows the Penguin taking advantage of Batman’s Bat Deduction to commit crimes. Mr. Freeze is Dangerously Genre Savvy. Batman: The Movie ends lampshading Reed Richards Is Useless when Batman refuses Robin’s idea to alter the personalities of the world leaders for the betterment of the world (and then happens exactly that). The next seasons suffer great Seasonal Rot.
  • Diamonds in the Buff: The Penguin seems to have had this trope in mind for the movie he directed starring Batman and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In an episode where Robin is kidnapped by The Riddler, Batman, unable to get his henchwoman to tell him his location, decides to take her to the Batcave (after gassing her into a KO) and use SCIENCE to get the answer. Batman has Commissioner Gordon tag along to prevent him from doing anything that may be used against him in court, despite the henchwoman asking for a lawyer (who has not been provided, let alone taken to the Batcave with her) multiple times. Batman not-at-all-subtlety implies a 2nd reason (keep him from using the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique due to the danger Robin is in) but the first explicit reason is completely unneeded except to show Batman (and 2 high ranking police officers who had just said "she knows her rights") knowing nothing about U.S. law.
  • The Door Slams You: In "King Tut's Coup", two of Tut's henchmen do this to Robin, knocking him silly.
  • Dutch Angle: Used extensively. The wall-climbing scenes were filmed at an angle to make them look convincing. Meanwhile, the scenes set in villains' hideouts were filmed at an angle to emphasize how "crooked" the criminals were.
  • Easy Amnesia: King Tut.
  • Eek! A Mouse!: In "Nora Clavicle and The Ladies' Crime Club", Nora exploits it by replacing the men on the police force with women and releasing mechanical explosive mice all over Gotham City. All the policewomen couldn't do anything about it since they fainted. Justified as the women chosen for the police force are all housewives, an episode from a previous season show the force does have women on it.
  • Enthralling Siren: Lorelei Circe, The Siren, who can sing a note three octaves above high C to enthrall people.
  • Escape Artist: Zelda the Great.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Done with a Riddler Expy called Puzzler when it suggested they sell a prototype plane to a foreign government:

Puzzler: Have you taken leave of your senses?! I may be an Arch Villain, but I'm a American Arch Villain.

    • This may have been the basis for a line in a Captain America (comics)/Batman crossover in the 90's. When Joker discovers Red Skull's affiliation with the Nazis, he flat-out refuses, saying, "I may be a criminal lunatic, but I'm an American criminal lunatic!"
    • In the movie, when the Penguin was implementing a plan to get mooks inside the Batcave, he told the other mooks to be careful with their handling because they have mothers.
    • Shame uses this at one point saying he isn't all bad, just mostly bad.
  • Everybody Lives: The only exceptions are "Smack in the Middle", "A Death Worse Than Fate", and possibly "Instant Freeze" and "The Bookworm Turns" as well as Batman: The Movie.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Miss Iceland from "Green Ice"/"Deep Freeze" is never addressed by her real name.
  • Everything's Worse With Penguins: ...and Jokers, and Riddlers, and Catwomen! [5]
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Try to count the number of buildings, sets, and objects humorously labeled with the same titles the dialogue just gave them. You will give up. This even occasionally extends to henchmen with "Henchman" written on their shirts.
  • Expo Label: Constantly, especially on Batman's equipment in the Bat Cave.
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: A very old newsboy is cleverly used to Hand Wave a Plot Hole in "Zelda The Great":

News Boy handling the Gotham City Times Extra with the lines: “Big joke on bank bandit: stolen cash was counterfeit!: Extra! Extra! Get your newspaper here! Read about the bandit’s stolen counterfeit money, Yes that’s all what he did, steal counterfeit money!
Bystander: Hey, what was counterfeit money doing in the vault of the First National Bank?
News boy: Well, if you want to know it you will have to buy a paper I am not a special news service.
Bystander buys paper and leaves.
News Boy: And what was it doing there?(Reading the paper) Oh, awaiting at the bank for disposal. Seeing directly to the camera: Makes sense.

  • Freeze Ray: Guess who...
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: This is the plot of the pilot episode; the Riddler invokes this when he cleverly tricks the Dynamic Duo into false arresting him and then demands Batman pay him a million dollars (in the sixties!). The point is not only the money (Bruce Wayne can afford it) but the fact that Batman must reveal his Secret Identity, thus ruining his Superhero career.
  • Full-Name Basis: Bruce is almost always referred to by the narrator and other characters as "Millionaire Bruce Wayne" and Dick as "his youthful ward Dick Grayson." Contrast No Name Given and Only One Name below.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Batman, probably even more so than his mainstream counterpart. Batgirl has an impressive repertoire as well. Not to mention the fact that all the villains can get their hands on or design weird gadgets and can assemble deathtraps.
  • Gang of Hats: Henchmen always have themes related to the Special Guest Villain. In the case of frequently-recurring villains, the theme may be more related to the villain's latest scheme than to the villain's own motif. A few illustrative examples:
    • In "Catwoman Goes to College"/"Batman Displays His Knowledge", her henchmen wear Gotham City University sweaters and "freshman beanies", and are named Penn, Cornell, and Brown
    • In "The Ring of Wax"/"Give 'Em the Axe", the Riddler's henchfolks have candle-themed names in keeping with the wax-museum theme of the caper.
    • The Mad Hatter's goons are a literal example.
    • Subverted in the pilot, where the henchmen are just generic gangster types.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Even this show has a few. One is in the Ma Parker episode her daughter's prison number is her measurements!
    • Then there's La Maison du Chat, literally The Cat House.
    • In one episode "‘The Joke’s on Catwoman", the charges against the criminals in front of a literal Joker Jury include "mayhem", which is an actual felony (effectively "permanently mutilating someone"), a very violent crime by the show's standards.
  • Giggling Villain: The Riddler. This is the portrayal that Jim Carrey based his own performance of the Riddler on.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Batman and Robin get trapped in a glass in the second season. They break the glass by using their voices.
  • Go-Go Dancing: The Kit Kat Club, Catwoman's home base, had caged go-go dancers performing for the patrons.
    • And then there's the Batusi, based on typical go-go dance moves of the 1960s (and named for the real-world Dance Sensation the "Watusi").
  • Grapes of Luxury: King Tut gets this treatment at one point.
  • The Great Whodini: Zelda the Great, in her eponymous episode
  • Hammerspace: Batman is able to store objects of any size in the small pouches in his belt or hide them under his cape, even the massive Bat-shield or the Empty Alphabet Soup Bat-container and Batfunnel. Occasionally the pouches are briefly much larger or even suddenly covered in controls or labels if he has to use gadgets from his belt on-camera, but by the next shot, the belt is back to normal. This is even more the case with Robin's utility belt, which doesn't even pretend to have pouches yet still holds all necessary gadgets.
    • Riddler's belt/girdle on his unitard also seems to store things despite having no pouches and being flush against his skin.
  • Harmless Freezing: Partially averted with Mr. Freeze's Freeze Ray. In his first appearance, those who a hit by it are either killed or nearly so. In later appearances, Freeze rarely uses it thanks to precautions taken by Batman.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In "The Joker Trumps an Ace", Joker labels his van as "Let Gayfellow Take You To The Cleaners!" to disguise it. Obviously 'gay fellow' was meant to be a pun on the Joker's cheerful nature, but given that his actor was a "confirmed bachelor" it does make one chuckle.
  • High Heel Face Turn: Constantly.
  • The Hit Flash: With on-screen sound effects, one of the show's defining tropes.
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Batman and Bruce Wayne have a phone conversation.
  • Hollywood Torches: In the episodes "The Bloody Tower" and "Marsha's Scheme With Diamonds".
  • Humiliation Conga: "Flop Goes the Joker": Alfred utterly schools Joker at fencing with a fire poker, then traps him on the Batpole elevators and sends him shrieking up and down for a good five minutes.
  • The Hyena: Joker.
  • Hypocritical Humor:

Gordon: You know I'm violently opposed to police brutality!

Suzy Knickerbocker: Oh, I don't know, Boy Wonder, I hear millionaire Bruce Wayne is really one of the hippies. All that marvelous money and fantastic Wayne Manor.
Batman: Stately Wayne Manor.

  • Invisible Villains: For when your budget is just too damn small to hire actual stuntmen.
  • Kick Chick: Batgirl specialized in ballet-flavored high kicks. She was effectively limited to kicks and Improvised Weapons by the producers, who wouldn't let Batgirl give or receive punches.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In "The Spell of Tut", King Tut does this to Robin.
  • Knockout Gas: An extremely common weapon on the show, in a variety of forms and colors. Most often used by the villains, but Batman and Robin use it too, in the form of "Bat-Gas," most often to transport characters to and from the Batcave without learning its secret location.
    • In "The Bookworm Turns" and "While Gotham City Burns", the Bookworm uses items booby-trapped with sleep gas.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The "Instant Costume Change Lever" near the Batpoles. How does it work? It just does.
  • Large Ham: Everybody. That's right - EVERYBODY. Even Batman himself, despite (or perhaps because of) being The Comically Serious.
    • Not so much with Alfred, though he does have his moments.
    • Penguin's comparatively subdued, too, and comes off as more of a serious threat because of it.
  • Latex Perfection: Although False Face is supposed to be an expert at this, pretty much anyone in this series can pull it off.
  • Laughing Mad: The Joker (of course), but especially the Riddler.
  • Lawful Stupid: The police. They're stupid in general, really, but there's an episode where Egghead becomes Commissioner (It Makes Sense in Context) and forbids them to arrest any of his friends. They go along with this to the extent that when someone reports a theft, the officer in question charges him with jaywalking. Not to mention Chief O'Hara's casual mention of how if he sees Batman and Robin he has orders to shoot.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Often when praising Batman, Commissioner Gordon would often look right into the camera. Batman sometimes did so as well when speechifying.
  • Leitmotif: Most of the major characters (including the villains) have one.
  • Lemony Narrator: William Dozier, the show's executive producer (and who was uncredited for his role), provided the memorable narration.
  • Lighter and Softer: As well as brighter and more colorful.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: "Instant Freeze": Mr. Freeze does this to a employee at the Princess Sandra’s Hotel.
  • Living Prop: In a Crowning Moment of Funny, Large Ham King Tut madly screams his dialogue to the ear of one of the beautiful mute Living Prop slave girls of his harem. She doesn’t change her indifferent expression.
  • MacGuffin Girl: A meta example, this blog explains that the first few episodes (like "Fine Feathered Finks"/"The Penguin's a Jinx") were lifted directly from the comics. Those episode’s story was taken from a February 1965 Penguin comic. The only marked difference was that Penguin attempts to steal the giant jeweled meteorite that is only mentioned in the show. Dawn Robbins does not appear in the comic story. It was easier and cheaper to kidnap the girl than create a meteorite for television, so the writers introduced Dawn Robbins.
  • Mad Artist: Bookworm is an author variant. His Berserk Button is his inability to get published, due to his lack of creativity. In one episode, the Joker inadvertently starts his own art movement and then runs with it.
  • Magic Countdown: In "While Gotham City Burns", Batman and Chief O'Hara have only a minute to save Robin from being killed in a Death Trap.
  • Master of Disguise: False Face.
    • Joker is described as such in his first appearance. He uses it later to good advantage imitating a rich, corpulent Maharajah.
  • Meaningful Name: Lord Marmaduke Ffogg, Mrs. Max Black, widow. Pat Pending, the richest inventor on Earth.
  • Mood Swinger: King Tut.
  • Mooks: They're lousy fighters, with only the occasional one ever landing a punch. On the other hand, they ARE snappy dressers, with cute Halloween costumes and even nicknames that play off the villain's gimmick or the theme of the show (resulting in a Gang of Hats).
    • Although the Mooks often manage to get in decisive blows when it counts, i.e. when it's near the end of part one and the Caped Crusaders have to be knocked out and placed in the deathtrap du jour.
  • The Movie: Batman: The Movie, released in 1966.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Batgirl was added in the third season in large part for this.
  • Mysterious Past: Averted. The Joker's past is well-known to Batman and the police department, though the viewer is only told that he was once a conjurer and hypnotist of repute.
  • Neutral Female: The typical gun moll in the series typically stands around during the fights like a complete ninny. Even Catwoman and the other female villains (as well as older villains who wouldn't be expected to be physical) stand back and let the Mooks do the fighting. The only woman who actively participated in the fisticuffs was Batgirl (or footicuffs, since as noted above she was limited to kicks).
    • Averted once with a moll who stole a cop's gun and tried to shoot the Dynamic Duo.
    • Chandell (Liberace), being more savvy that your average criminal mastermind, had a trio of female henchmen. When it came time for Batman and Robin to fight the male Mooks, the women did everything they could to get between the Dynamic Duo and the Mooks. Batman and Robin had to pull their punches to avoid hitting the women, leaving them open to the Mooks' attacks.
    • Averted in the Pilot, where the Riddler's moll actually tries to shoot Batman.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Gotham City had some serious problems with abandoned factories and warehouses. It's almost like they wanted them to be taken over by criminals...
  • Nice Hat: The Mad Hatter's hat looks good and shoots stun beams. What more could you ask for?
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Used by the villains of the show to surprise the Dynamic Duo.
  • No Name Given: Most of the villains, mooks, and molls went exclusively by their villain names, even when they'd supposedly reformed (the Penguin ran for Mayor as "Penguin"). The real names we know from the comics (Oswald Cobblepot, Edward Nygma, Selina Kyle, etc) were never used. Two rare exceptions are King Tut, whose harmless professor alter ego was named William McElroy, and the Mad Hatter, who was frequently referred to by his real name, Jervis Tetch. Other aversions: Mr. Freeze was identified once as Dr. Shivel (it was Batman the Animated Series that coined the Victor Fries identity), and Black Widow was Mrs. Max Black, widow. Of course, Lord Marmaduke Ffogg and Lady Penelope Peasoup had no villain names at all, although they hardly needed them. Also, we never know Miss Iceland's real name.
  • Noodle Incident: In "Penguin Is a Girl's Best Friend", a movie-making Penguin puts a scene in his script that is censored at the last moment on grounds of being indecent. It's never made clear exactly what was there, but it involved a milk bath, Batman, and Marsha Queen of Diamonds wearing exactly three large diamonds in parts unknown.
  • Only One Name: Alfred was never given a last name (since the character's official last name of Pennyworth wasn't established in the comics until 1969). Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara had no first names, nor did recurring characters Warden Crichton and Mayor Linseed.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase: "Same bat-time... same bat-channel!"
    • Although in at least one episode, it was "Same cat-time... same cat-channel!"
    • In at least one episode featuring Shame, it was "Shame time... shame channel!"
  • Out-Gambitted: In one episod,e both the Joker and the Penguin consider themselves victorious for seeing the inside of the Bat Cave, until Batman points out that they still have no idea where it actually is.
  • Outlaw: Shame and his gang.
  • Palm Fist Tap: Robin does this quite often, usually accompanied by a "Holy ____, Batman!" exclamation.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Common. The Joker, in particular, was sometimes able to fool people by simply wearing a hat.
    • While wearing his suit and clownface makeup, and without changing his voice. Gothamites are kinda dumb.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: "The Joker's Last Laugh". The Joker (a "master conjurer", according to Batman) bumps into Commissioner Gordon on the subway and manages to not only switch his cufflinks but also wraps several feet of antenna around Gordon's waist and down his pants leg!
  • Perp Sweating: In the episode "The Dead Ringers", Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara put Harry (Chandel's Evil Twin brother) under a bright light (which was labelled subtle interrogation lamp) while questioning him.
  • Plunger Detonator: "While Gotham City Burns". The Gotham City police use one to blow open a giant steel book and free the Dynamic Duo.
  • Police Are Useless: Lampshaded in "The Devil's Fingers" when it seems like Batman and Robin aren't available to fight the special guest villain:

Chief O'Hara: If you're thinkin' what I'm afraid you're thinkin...
Commissioner Gordon: Precisely, Chief O'Hara. The moment we've dreaded for years has arrived. This time, we're going to have to solve a case ourselves!

  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Presumably since exploring the origin as present in the comics would be too dark, Bruce Wayne's parents are merely stated as having been killed by "criminals" (possibly multiple ones), rather than going into detail. Also, curiously, Thomas Wayne is implied to have been a lawyer, not a doctor, in the pilot.
    • It Makes Sense in Context. Given that the show was all about squeaky-clean heroes, the son of a doctor shouldn't be someone engaging in violence constantly.
  • Pretty in Mink: A few furs, such as a white mink worn by Marsha, Queen of Diamonds.
  • The Prima Donna: Parodied with Dawn Robbins from The Penguin's a Jinx:

Oh, what a drag it is being a famous movie star and so rich. Why doesn't anything exciting ever happen to me?

  • Psychic Static: Egghead tries to use a mind reading machine on Bruce Wayne, looking for proof that he is Batman; instead, all he reads is inane trivia, so he decides Bruce can't possibly be Batman.
  • Public Secret Message: Batman talks to one of the villains over a broadcast radio station, but requests that all other citizens of Gotham switch off to avoid hearing his private message. Naturally they oblige.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Zelda the Great only steals (and quite reluctantly) to pay for the amazing devices she uses in her act. She ultimately performs a sincere Heel Face Turn.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Louie the Lilac.
  • Redheaded Hero: Batgirl; subverted, in that the red hair was actually a wig to help disguise her real identity.
  • Reverse Polarity: Batman does it in the 1st season episode "Better Luck Next Time".
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: Averted, unlike many comics depictions before and since in which Bruce Wayne is the poster child for this trope. In this series, Bruce Wayne is nearly as beloved and respected in Gotham City for his philanthropy as Batman is for his crime-fighting. In fact, he has been asked to run for mayor several times.
  • Robotic Reveal: ""The Joker's Last Laugh". Batman twists the nose of a bank teller and the top of the teller's head blows off, revealing springs and other mechanical parts. The teller was actually one of the Joker's android robots.
  • Rule of Funny: This series practically runs on it.
  • The Same But Less: This version of Batgirl is basically a lower-wattage version of Batman.
  • Schmuck Bait: Death bee beehive trip wire.
  • Secret Identity: Batman and Robin have them, of course:
    • Unlike many examples of the trope, however, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson seldom feign weakness. Wayne in particular is quite capable of handling himself in a scrap. Although in one case where Bruce went undercover as an ally of the Joker, he pretended to join ineptly in a fight against Robin and "clumsily" did more damage to the Joker's goons instead. In a later Joker caper, Bruce fought the mooks but pulled his punches just enough that they wouldn't suspect him of being a fighter on Batman's level.
    • Batman and Robin's secret identities are a frequent plot point. Batman's identity was actually uncovered by King Tut on two occasions, but his Easy Amnesia saved the Dynamic Duo.
    • Oddly enough, doubly played straight with Batgirl -- Batman himself has no idea who Batgirl is, and vice versa, despite Alfred's knowledge of both secrets.
    • The Green Hornet and his sidekick.
  • Secret Keeper: Alfred. Not just for Batman, but also Batgirl.
  • She Fu: Demonstrated by Batgirl.
  • Shout-Out: To Superman in "The Cat and the Fiddle".
  • Somewhere an Ornithologist Is Crying: In "Fine Feathered Finks"/"The Penguin's a Jinx", the Penguin has a model African penguin that quacks like a mallard.
  • So Once Again the Day Is Saved: "Tune in tomorrow! Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!"
  • Special Guest: At least one "Special Guest Villain[ess]" in every episode. If there were two, the second was billed as "Extra Special". The one exception was the Green Hornet crossover, where the credit read "Visiting Hero" for Van Williams and "Assistant Visiting Hero" for Bruce Lee, while the actual villain of the piece was relegated to the end credits.
  • Split Personality: King Tut.
  • Spotting the Thread: Batman figures out that the police chief has been replaced by False Face when he wipes his face with the wrong hand.
  • Stun Guns: In "That Darn Catwoman", Catwoman's goons use electric cattle prods to stun Batman into unconsciousness.
  • Stunt Double: Rather blatantly so in most of the fight scenes.[6] Robin's stunt double doesn't look much like him at all. Averted toward the end of "The Ring of Wax," where Burt Ward enters the shot as Robin, is confronted by a Mook, and gets into a fairly lengthy fight with him in a single continuous take, a fairly impressive stunt performance by the actor himself.
  • Superhero: Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, of course, but also Special Guest Heroes the Green Hornet and Kato.
    • This trope is deconstructed on the pilot episode when the Riddler makes a Frivolous Lawsuit for a million dollars after he cleverly tricks the Dynamic Duo into false arresting him. Batman must reveal his Secret Identity in court, ruining his Superhero career.
  • Tap on the Head: Multiple examples.
  • Technicolor Science: Common, particularly in the form of colorful Knockout Gas.
  • Tempting Fate: What one of the train security guards says in "The Great Train Robbery".
    • One of Lord Ffogg's goons refers to Batman as a slow bowler. No, he'll figure your boss out and spread-eagle the blighter's stumps.
  • Theme Tune: Nanananananananana... Also doubles as Batman's leitmotif.
  • There Was a Door: In a variant of Batman's usual Stealth Hi Bye, Batman and Robin practically always enter buildings through the window, even if this is unnecessary.
  • Think of the Children: Invoked by name by Aunt Harriet in protest to the Marsha/Batman love scene in Penguin's film.
  • Those Two Guys: Gordon and O'Hara.
  • Throw a Barrel At It: In "Ice Spy", "The Foggiest Notion", "Penguin's Disastrous End", and "A Riddling Controversy".
  • Title Theme Tune: Indeed, it's the only lyric (if you don't count "Na"). Contrary to one rumor (believed and spread by Adam West himself, among others), the word "Batman" was indeed sung by vocalists, not created by horns.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Hanging around Batman and Robin, you probably become Badass by osmosis:
    • Aunt Harriet of all people during the two-part Chandell episode where she pulls a gun on his evil twin brother Harry! Talk about guts!
    • Alfred, at the end of "Flop Goes the Joker!" Not only does he single-handedly beat the Joker at Wayne Manor while demonstrating his fencing skills, he also gives the Joker his most humiliating defeat (see Humiliation Conga above).
  • Torture Technician: Parodied (?) when Mr. Freeze lowers Miss Iceland body’s temperature, convinced that she will fall in love with him when she hits fifty degrees below zero. When that fails, he subjects her to Harmless Freezing.
  • Train Job: In keeping with his western motif, Shame pulls one.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs:
    • King Tut.
    • The Joker, particularly when he enunciates "Batman and Robin".
    • Catwoman purrs hers, especially when Eartha Kitt plays herrrrr.
    • Lord Ffogg also has a propensity for this.
  • Under Crank: Used frequently, particularly in Batmobile scenes.
  • Values Dissonance: The often sexist way Batman would talk to Batgirl in the 3rd season,often telling her they can handle the caper themselves (sometimes AFTER SHE RESCUED THEM!), not thanking her sometimes when she did save them and instead commenting she should have gotten there quicker and the times Batman would say "she'd best leave crime fighting to the men. This kind of activity is not meant for women." Not to mention the ENTIRE EPISODE: "Nora Clavacle and the Ladies Crime Club". That episode would NOT fly today!
  • The Vamp: Many of the female villains, but especially Catwoman.
  • Villain Team-Up: The third season was built heavily on this. Two three-part episodes in the second season each had the Penguin team up with another villain (The Joker in the first one and Marsha, Queen of Diamonds in the second). Batman: The Movie had the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman all work together.
  • Visual Pun: The crooks' lairs are always shot in crooked angles.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: In Catwoman's first appearance, she subjects Batman & Robin to the Spikes of Doom version. But the walls stop just before they'd impale Batman, and anyway the spikes are made of rubber. She was just toying with him (it wasn't the Cliff Hanger of the episode).
  • Weirdness Magnet: Gotham City.
  • Well Done Daughter Gal: Legs in "The Greatest Mother of Them All"/"Ma Parker".
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Egghead used this as a clue when he correctly guessed that Bruce Wayne was Batman; he abandons the idea when his attempt to confirm it fails.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: For the most part, Gotham City seems to be New York under an assumed name. It seems to be in Gotham State and is adjacent to New Guernsey. It has a Queen of Freedom statue which is an Expy for the Statue of Liberty. Gotham's Mayor Linseed is an expy for New York City's Mayor John V. Lindsay (1966-73), and the state's chief executive Governor Stonefellow is a pun on New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (1959-73). Establishing shots of the city are often Stock Footage of recognizable New York locations like Central Park or the Flatiron Building. But there's also evidence pointing to alternate locales, and at least one reference to New York as another, separate, city from Gotham.
    • Adding another level of confusing, The Movie has numerous shots that are recognizably around Greater Los Angeles...
  • William Telling: Alfred attempts to show off his archery skills and places an apple on Dick Grayson's head. Bruce stops him saying it's not worth taking the risk so Dick places the apple on a stationary target. Alfred shoots and misses. Had they gone through with it the arrow would have hit Dick right between the eyes.
  • World of Ham: It would be easier just to name the characters who don't constantly ham it Up to Eleven.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Strongly enforced at all times. In addition, Batgirl could neither throw nor receive punches (but nobody said anything about kicks). There was one exception to this: Batgirl took several punches in one fight... against Dr. Cassandra's invisible henchmen.
  • Written Sound Effect: Originally optically superimposed over the action in the first season and The Movie; in later seasons, to save money, this was replaced by cutaway title cards.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Batman's specialty.
  • You Just Ruined the Shot: Batman and Robin foil a bank robbery... but it turns out to be part of a completely legal and authorized location shoot for the Penguin's movie. The Penguin shot the scene specifically to invoke this trope and entrap Batman. Batman told Robin he intentionally fell into the trap to find out what the Penguin was up to.
  • You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses: Several examples.

Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

  1. from the same producers
  2. Specifically, it was designed by Frank Gorshin, the actor who played the Riddler. He seriously hated the tights he was originally forced to wear.
  3. Batman Confidential #26 (April 2009)
  4. Shadow of the Bat #2-3
  5. and all the other villains Batman faces!
  6. Though one should bear in mind that what's obvious on a 21st century big-screen TV in high-def wouldn't necessarily have been so obvious in 1966.