Batman Beyond

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The new Batman and his rogues (clockwise from bottom left): Inque, a rejuvenated Mister Freeze, Spellbinder, and Shriek.

Mr. Fixx: You're pretty strong, for some clown who thinks he's Batman.

Terry: I am Batman!

Batman Beyond, an animated series which aired from 1999 to 2001, was produced by the same powerhouse team that started Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. This Action Series follows the adventures of teenager Terry McGinnis, in a story set about forty-some years in the future, where he accidentally discovers that the eccentric aged billionaire Bruce Wayne is, in fact, the legendary retired hero Batman. Also goes by the title Batman Of The Future in Europe, Japan, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

Having some personal reasons to dole out justice himself, Terry pressures Bruce to allow him to take up the mantle of the legendary crime-fighter. Initially reluctant, Bruce eventually accepts Terry because his father was killed while uncovering corrupt dealings in what was once Wayne Enterprises, now merged into Wayne-Powers Enterprises after a hostile takeover by Derek Powers several years ago. Sharing a similar thirst for justice with the original Batman and armed with an advanced combat suit, Terry works to make criminals afraid of the Batman once more while Bruce acts as Mission Control and his mentor, directly coaching Terry from the Batcave on most of his adventures.

The Gotham city of the mid-twenty-first century is an archetypal Cyberpunk setting, though some Noir remnants from the original series show up occasionally. It is still dirty, crowded and corrupt, only now the cars can fly. Wayne-Powers Enterprises does not have the philanthropic ideals that existed with Wayne heading the company, and Derek Powers is unhappy with the interference caused by this new Batman. His transformation into the radioactive supervillain Blight because of Batman only makes the hatred more personal.

The creators were deliberate in not trying to re-hash all of the old villains, trying instead to give the show its own Rogues Gallery. However, elements of the old Bat-Mythos are used in new ways; a street gang called "The Jokerz" borrows the sick imagery of the most famous Bat-villain and the series even has a Commissioner Gordon: Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl. She is into her 60s and, unlike her father, is extremely opposed to this new Batman, seemingly embittered by a past falling-out with Bruce.

This series follows the structure of a Revival. However, Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series were still in production when Batman Beyond was first pitched and developed, so there was no "end" before this show began. The actual impetus was a meddling executive requesting a Batman-in-high-school series that could be marketed to the Buffy audience. Because of this, it is not without its flaws; many new villains had generic motives and lacked the psychological edge of the classic Batman. But the show's best episodes sit right alongside the best of the other DCAU series. The strength in this series is in Bruce being a father figure to Terry, while Terry comes full circle as his own man and his own Batman, who even ends up surprising the old and jaded Mr Wayne.

A well-loved two-part episode brought in Superman and the futuristic Justice League, which proved so popular that it helped sell the series of the same name, which effectively replaced this series in 2001. Batman Beyond did not have a proper Grand Finale, simply ending production at the conclusion of its third season, but it did produce a feature-length special and eventually received a proper conclusion in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue."

Kevin Conroy of Batman: The Animated Series reprises his role as Bruce Wayne, while Terry is voiced by Will Friedle. There was a direct to DVD feature called Return of the Joker, with Mark Hamill returning as the Ace of Knaves himself, that helped bridge the gap between end of the "present" DCAU in Justice League and the future of Batman Beyond, including Batman's final fight with the Joker, and providing a deeper reason for just why he eventually gave up being Batman.

Interest in the series has evidently picked up dramatically of late;[when?] a special edition DVD collection has been released and the show is currently airing on The Hub network.

While it had its own spin-off comic book for a while in the late 90s, DC recently[when?] has published a mini-series based on the show; and now is publishing a new ongoing comic series. For the tropes featured in the current comic book adaptation, see Batman Beyond.

Creators Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett went on to write Batman Live.

Tropes used in Batman Beyond include:


King: "Do you have any idea what it's like living in someone's shadow?!"

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Ace the Bathound, given a new treatment and role as Bruce Wayne's guard dog. He even got a flashback origin story in one episode.
    • Spellbinder was based on an obscure Silver Age Batman villain from the comics.
  • Adaptational Weakling: Parodied In-Universe during an episode where Terry takes Bruce to a Batman musical for his birthday; it actually seems to pay more homage to the Silver Age incarnation. Bruce is unamused because it shows him and Commissioner Gordon and dancing about how criminals are a "superstitious cowardly lot" rather than actually fighting crime in the show. He leaves in the middle of that song, though Terry sings it happily in the Batcave. Robin is shown as a typical dude in distress, and singing about it. That may have not also helped Bruce's mood, since it took Harley Quinn ambushing the Robin of the time, Tim Drake, to get the jump on the Boy Wonder, with tragic results.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" is a rather extensive parody of the Star Wars franchise that pokes fun at both the movies and the fans all while paying them a certain amount of respect.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Max, who is black, too. However, she is one of the rare versions of this trope to receive Character Development and be useful to Terry on a regular basis.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Terry goes to Hamilton Hill High School, named for Mayor Hamilton Hill, who appeared in Batman: The Animated Series.
    • Mary and Matt McGinnis, Nelson Nash, Willy Watt. Lampshaded in "Egg Baby":

Terry: "Ma Mayhem??"
Bruce: "A tabloid gave her that name. It was the golden age of Alliteration."

  • All There in the Manual: Their canon status is up in the air, but the commercials that aired during the original run gave a very good explanation for why Batman does not use the invisibility feature of the Bat-suit around the clock, especially when fighting. According to the commercials, "it's hard on the batteries."
  • All There in the Script: Some characters' names are only given in the credits (primarily the Splicers and Bullwhip's gang).
  • Amicably Divorced: Warren and Mary. His death came as a heavy blow even after their separation.
  • And I Must Scream: "Earth Mover".
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Matt McGinnis.
  • Anti-Villain: Mr. Freeze, Armory.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Subverted. Terry thinks Bruce is being unnecessarily close-minded because he does not believe the rumors of a ghost haunting Terry's high school. It turns out that Bruce does not believe these rumors because he has seen similar paranormal activity, and the reports sound too amateurish and "high-school" to fit into that paradigm. In the end it turns out to be something completely different.
  • Art Shift: The opening of the first episode, showing how Bruce retired, is done in the style of Batman the Animated Series. Though the difference is minimal, the slightly darker complexion of the characters stands out to the paler, brighter style of the rest of the show.
  • Ascended Extra: One episode had Terry's friend Jared Tate get a new stepdad, Big Jim, who wins Jared over by buying him a car. The character and wedding event were only the backdrop to a robbery committed by Spellbinder, but Big Jim later became an Anti-Villain in another episode when he lost his job and could not afford to maintain his life-style. Being a talented weapons designer, he was hired under-the-table to build a prototype weapon with materials that could only be gotten by stealing from other high-end companies, eventually coming into conflict with Batman.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The episode "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" revolves around Terry's friend becoming one of these.
  • Asleep in Class: Terry is shown to fall asleep in class due to the pressures of balancing his normal life with the responsibilities of being the Batman.
  • The Atoner: Revealed in stages; no mention is made of Terry's juvenile record until several episodes have passed, and it was not until the third season that the details of what happened were explained. Return of the Joker openly established that while his father's death drove him to become Batman, it was his past failures that kept him going.
  • Autobots Rock Out: Epic action setpieces are set to pounding industrial drumbeats and chugging heavy metal guitar riffs. However, the producers inverted this trope in "Shriek", where the villain of the title kills all the sound except Batman's footsteps. It is very effective.
  • Ax Crazy: Mad Stan is mad.
  • Badass and Baby kinda, it wasn't a really baby, it was a fake egg shaped baby.
  • Badass Bystander: At the beginning of "The Call," Inque tries to make Batman back off by taking a bystander hostage and threatening to kill him. Unfortunately for Inque, the innocent bystander turns out to be Superman in disguise. Let us just say the rest of the fight did not go well for Inque.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Bruce Wayne is still able to take on a gang of thugs in his old age, even if his weak heart leaves him collapsed afterwards.
    • Barbara Gordon is now commissioner of police, and reveals in multiple episodes that she still 'has it.'
    • When Superman appears in "The Call" he has not aged as poorly as Bruce due to his alien physiology, and retains all the formidable powers of Superman.
  • Badass Normal: Quite a few of Terry's Rogues Gallery have no major powers and are still able to go toe-to-toe with the new powered Batsuit. Mad Stan in particular has been beaten and tossed through walls, only to get up without visible debilitation.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Batman's failing body forces him to pull out a gun in one encounter, causing a Heroic BSOD and kicking off the show's premise.
  • Bat Signal: Used once by Paxton Powers to get Batman's attention. Batman puts it out with a batarang. "Next time, use e-mail."
  • Bedlam House: The Ranch, an institution that therapeutically "helps" troubled kids in "The Last Resort," turns out to be Bedlam For Children. Averted with the group psychology sessions in "Payback", which appear to be normal and healthy talk sessions, though they were not featured long enough to tell if they were or were not effective.
  • Betrayal Insurance: Bruce Wayne seems to have been keeping a piece of Kryptonite locked away for years just in case.
  • BFG: Many Beyond villains have at least one BFG in their armory, including Armory, who even builds one while tackling Batman.
  • The "B" Grade: Carter's near perfect GAT score (compared to Max's perfect one) motivates him to wipe the scores from the school's record and attempt to kill Max as Terminal.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Both Terry and Bruce get in on the act with this, often with the former saving the latter or vice versa.
  • Big No: Shriek's reaction to losing his hearing.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: April Corso
  • Black and Nerdy: Max. She has quite the advanced computer programming skills.
  • Black Best Friend: Max, short for Maxine. Unfortunately for a few fans, that is all she ever is.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: In one episode, Paxton Powers casually throws away a Batarang (Terry had used it to pin a message to his wall). The "tail" end sticks in the floor.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Happens all the time, but it really calls attention to itself when Terry rips out a malcontent's nosering. This seems to do absolutely nothing.
  • Bob Haircut: Inque's daughter Deanna in "Inqueling".
  • Body Horror:
    • Inque, an amorphous blob that can range from an almost-human appearance to a multi-limbed abomination.
    • Doctor Able Cuvier mutates into something several times his size, has his skin ripped off (by protruding bones), violently morphs his fingers into lobster claws, grows several extra eyes, sprouts tentacles...
  • Boring Insult
  • Bottomless Magazines: Terry never seems to run out of Batarangs.
  • Brainwashed: Spellbinder bases all his evil schemes on manipulating people this way.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In "The Call", it is revealed that Superman of all people has been possessed for years by a telepathic alien starfish.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Matt McGinnis.
  • Bubble Boy: Scientists develop a special iso-field to envelope people like this. Unfortunately someone weaponizes this into an impenetrable force field.
  • Buffy-Speak: When Terry uses Bruce's computer.

Terry: Computer. Analyze the metal this thing's made of.
(No response)
Terry: Computer?
Computer: Incorrect command.
Terry: Uh...Do the thing where you figure out what it's made of.
Computer: Request for spectrographic analysis.
Terry: Yeah, that's it. What you said.

  • Bullying a Dragon: In the first episode, Nelson taunts Terry for not being athletic enough (the classic "loser"). When a gang of Jokerz shows up and Terry turns out to have sufficient fighting skills to chase off the entire gang, Nelson's response is "I always knew you were a freak." Fortunately for Nelson, Terry (perpetually) has bigger fish to fry. Nelson learned his lesson eventually; in a later episode, when Terry intervened to keep Nelson from harassing Willie Watt, Nelson wisely backed down. When Watt came back ripped with muscle and sporting psychic powers, Nelson still didn't back down, though he at least had the common sense to get Watt to fight fair (Watt did cheat when things didn't go his way, though).
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: When Terry tracks down Blight, in a chilling use of the trope.

Blight: "Who are you?"
Batman: "You really want to know?"
Blight: "Yes!"
Batman: "You Killed My Father."
Blight: " you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"

    • And again in "Speak No Evil."

Fingers: "Where is my mother?"
Van Dyle: "I-I p-probably sold her."
Fingers: "Probably?!"
Van Dyle: "I-I don't know. I d-don't keep track."
Fingers: "She was my mother!"
Van Dyle: "To me, it was just another gorilla.

  • Butt Monkey: Nelson gets victimized kind of a whole freaking lot. He rather deserves it, though.
  • Call Back: Terry learns to take note of his surroundings thanks to Spellbinder. It comes in handy in future episode 'Mind Games', where he goes up against an opponent with the ability to induce illusions and use telekinesis.
  • Cane Fu: Bruce's weapon of choice sometimes.
  • Canon Immigrant: Batman Beyond as a whole is now one of the 52 universes in DC Universe Canon. Terry McGinnis has been indicated to be a future Batman in the main DC Universe, though he's mentored by Damien Wayne instead of Bruce Wayne.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Terrific Trio strongly resembles the Fantastic Four. They all die horribly.
  • Cast as a Mask: Used in the squickiest way imaginable when they brought back Ra's al Ghul, although it was nice to hear David Warner's voice again.
  • Casting Gag: The future Superman was voiced by Christopher McDonald, who portrayed Jor-El in the opening episodes of Superman: The Animated Series. He was chosen, instead of having Tim Daly reprise the role, in order to show that Superman had grown up and beyond his character in the earlier series. In the same episode, Aqua Girl was voiced by Jodie Benson--"Ariel" from The Little Mermaid.
  • Caught in the Rain: A version of this, at least, in "Dead Man's Hand" where Terry and Melanie share a kiss in the rain after almost missing each other.
  • Chair Reveal: Subverted. In the pilot, Terry raids a hovercraft with nerve gas and does not even wait for the pilot chair to turn around; he kicks it himself. Turns out the pilot is right behind him.
  • Character Development: Terry begins the series as a cocky, but slippery superhero who has a tendency to overuse cheesy lines. As the show progresses he finds his physical and mental abilities growing, to the point where he is able to fight crime at several points without Bruce's help, in addition to developing a darker, more deadpan sense of humor.
  • City of Adventure: The show redefined the sense of scale, with "Old Gotham" easily dwarfed by the multitude of Babel towers that stretch endlessly into the sky.
  • Clear My Name: Terry needs to convince the world that, despite what Barbara saw, he did not brutally beat Mad Stan to death by clubbing him with his own bomb.
  • Cliff Hanger: Most two part episodes.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Lacking Bruce's twenty years of intensive training, Terry depends initially on his powered exoskeleton batsuit; inverted in one episode where he proves he is just as good out of it, and actually has to fight the suit. In a bit of continuity backfilling, the DVD movie Batman: Mysteryofthe Batwoman essentially explained where Bruce Wayne got both the idea and technology underlying the Beyond suit.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Dr. Stanton in "Payback" is a youth counselor who neglects his own son.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Terry, especially in Return of the Joker.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Batcave is a virtual museum of past adventures, including the beloved episode "Beware The Grey Ghost". Additionally, technology introduced in one-off episodes of the original series is treated as a fact of life in future Gotham.
    • In "The Call", the starfish alien who seems to be a version of Starro was originally seen in the episode of Superman: The Animated Series where Superman and Lobo are captured by a cosmic rarities collector.
    • Genetic splicing is commonplace. Emile Dorian, Dr. March and Kirk Langstrom of BTAS were its forerunners
  • Contract on the Hitman: Curaré
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Aaron Herbst in "Disappearing Inque" has spent months talking to the frozen Inque as if she were his confidant; he's fired when it gets to the point of kissing her ice block. Inque, who was conscious the whole time, is not happy about it after she gets out.
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, and now it flies!
  • Cool Old Guy: Bruce, naturally, and Superman, now wearing a stark black and white outfit with no cape that is supposed to show heavier influences from his Kryptonin heritage. Superman himself shows few signs of age apart from a few extra lines and grey temples.
  • Cool Old Lady:
    • Barbara Gordon is now commissioner and still kicks ass. While she is not a fan of the idea of a new Batman running around and hindering her operations, she warms up to him after he saves her husband.
    • Terry's Martial Arts teacher Kairi Tanaga in the Kobra story arc.
  • Cool Pet: Ace, so very much.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Inverted, what with Batman being the Dark Knight. All the gangs in the town, including The Jokerz and The Ts, are bright and highly visible. Most of the background characters wear bright colors to stand out from the scenery, particularly blue.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Derek Powers, the first season's Big Bad. Paxton Powers nominally takes over for him in the first season finale, but it just is not the same. Paxton is selfish and unscrupulous (and not seen very often after the end of season one); Derek was just plain bad.
  • Crazy Prepared: This is still Batman we are talking about. Terry is a good student (sometimes). It is shown just how prepared Bruce is in the episode "Black Out":

Terry: "She's trying to escape!" (Bruce pushes a button, doors close.)
Bruce: "Helps to be prepared."
Terry: "She's getting through! "(Bruce pushes another button, door becomes electrified) "Man. You really are prepared."
Bruce: (Cue Inque slithering up to the ceiling) She won't get through that way either. There's a foot of solid steel up there."

    • Barbara, meanwhile, has also taken the lessons of her old mentor to heart, turning the Gotham police into a genuine force to be reckoned with.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Derek Powers became Blight because of Terry throwing a nerve gas container at him as a distraction. He survived the exposure, but the cure turned him into a nightlight. Powers was already a Corrupt Corporate Executive; Terry gave him powers.
  • Creepy Child: Tamara in "Mind Games", though she turns out to just be a scared little girl. With phenomenal Psychic Powers.
  • Creepy Monotone: Terminal. This is especially jarring considering how he is the leader of a gang of Jokerz, traditionally the hammiest of villains.
  • Crossover: With Static Shock, The Zeta Project, and Justice League Unlimited.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Terry takes his job of Batman differently at several points in the series. For the most part, he appears much more appreciative and aware of how awesome being Batman actually is than Bruce did when he was still in the cowl, as seen in the second part of "Rebirth". On the other hand, when Max expresses desire to be Batman or a similar superhero, Terry tries to convince her that being Batman "isn't fun," and is not something to be lightly treated or entered into. In the famous "Epilogue" episode, a much older Terry angsts over how Batman is a curse since he can not be close to Dana and, since discovering Bruce is his father, he believes he has been manipulated since birth to become Batman. By the end of the episode, it is shown that he has probably changed his mind.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
    • Inverted with Shriek, who actually tried to make legitimate money off his inventions and became a criminal in order to secure funding for his research.
    • Played straight with Spellbinder; the man has mind control technology, yet his plans seem to be to brainwash teenagers to steal stuff. He must have really, really hated his job as a child psychologist.
    • Bane's caretaker took the chemical formula for Venom, which Bane now needs just to stay alive, and mass-produced it as a slap-on skin patch which he sold as a performance-enhancing drug.
    • Dr. Peter Corso has cashed his checks: he runs a successful and respected medical clinic where he uses advanced cybernetics to create prosthetic limbs for those injured in accidents. However, he becomes the supplier and mechanic for a gang of criminals when they kidnap his wife.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno: The opening scene somewhat falls under this trope, along with the show itself.
  • Dark Action Girl: Curare.
  • Darker and Edgier: Can you believe that this show, which featured a character's father being murdered and a colleague dying from nerve-gas in the first episode, was originally pitched as a kiddy Batman targeted towards kids?
  • Dating Catwoman: Ten of the Royal Flush Gang and Terry, each unaware of another's identity until the end. Bruce was amused when Terry asked him "this kinda thing ever happen to you?".

Bruce: Let me tell you about a woman named Selina Kyle...

  • Deadpan Snarker: Old Bruce, but the second half of the show's run presents Terry as an emerging, darkly comical cynic in the same mold as his mentor. In the first episode, Terry is cornered by Jokerz next to a creepy old gate complete with haunted forest. Cue Bruce walking out of the forest and telling those damned kids to get off his property.

Jokerz Leader: "We're the Jokerz!"
Old Bruce: "Sure you are."

  • Death by Secret Identity: Ian Peek manages to learn the identity of both Terry and Bruce, but is stuck sinking to the Earths core by the end of the episode.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Some episodes showed Terry to be a lot more competent than others, generally with regards to whether or not he has his own martial arts skills or needs to rely solely on the advanced batsuit and its complementary gadgets.
    • Some of the advanced batsuit's functions were prone to a lot of variation. Especially noticeable with the strength-enhancement, which varied between giving him genuine super strength and being effectively non-existent depending on what suited the plot.
  • Did Mom Just Have Tea With Batman?
  • Doesn't Like Guns: One of the reasons Bruce gave up the Batman mantle was because his age forced him to threaten a thug with a gun.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Terry has to remind Max not to use his real name when he is in the suit.
  • Dramatic Landfall Shot
  • Driven to Suicide: Mr. Freeze. In the end (due to interference from Blight) he only managed to kill himself, instead of hundreds, though Terry tried to save him.
  • Drugs Are Bad:
    • In the episode with Venom, which substituted Bane's Super Serum for real-life steroidal compounds and other performance enhancing drugs. It approached the issue as a medical and criminal issue to be handled rationally.
    • A bit more heavy handed in the episode which associated virtual reality with drug use, which features Terry's friend and confidant Max going from wanting to take the operation down into a shivering addict willing to fight Batman to protect it after one brief session.
    • The episode "Splicers" primarily revolved around a body-modification aesop, the genetic splicing served as a metaphor for tattoos and piercings, but the process was addictive, mind-altering and administered through injections.
  • Dueling Shows: Spider-Man Unlimited, which was originally going to be an Animated Adaptation of Spider-Man 2099, was made to be Marvel Comics' answer to Batman Beyond. It was nowhere near as successful; it was canceled after one season.
  • Dumb Muscle: Everyone thinks Big Time is this in his second appearance. He hates it, and it eventually leads him to try and backstab everyone to come out on top himself.
  • Education Mama: Terminal's mom pushes him to be the perfect student - and when he gets the second highest GAT score, she makes it clear that she is very disappointed in him.
  • Egg Sitting: "The Eggbaby". And you can bet that Terry hates it.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: The Stalker, he is wanted on several continents for poaching and decides to hunt Batman because he is the last potential challenge for his skills.
  • Electric Instant Gratification: Shriek invented a tuning fork which provides this.
  • Emmy Bait: "The Eggbaby", by the producers' own admission. They did it by playing to the Animation Age Ghetto and doing a comedy episode, and it worked.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In the episode "Payback".
  • Emotionless Girl: Tamara in "Mind Games", at first.
  • Enemy Mine:
  • Establishing Character Moment: Terry beats up a Jokerz member harassing monorail passengers in his very first appearance. It was only after that he was shown to have a temper.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Terry is a younger, initially cocky, Troubled but Cute Batman.
  • Everything's Better With ... Everything: Pick one of these tropes and you can almost guarantee it appeared in the show, or was combined with one or more to produce a disturbing hybrid/mutated trope. A good example containing a couple would be "Splicers".
  • Evil Laugh: A classic one when Blight discovers his powers.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: The radioactive treatment given to him for the exposure to his own mutagen nerve gas leaves Derek Powers looking like a pitchblack skeleton surrounded by fluorescent green tissue.
  • Evil Redhead: Inque's daughter Deanna Clay kills Inque after she gains control of her monetary assets. Too bad Inque survived....
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot" The episode in which Terry's friend dates a robot
  • Executive Meddling:
  • Expressive Mask: The Batsuit mimics the facial expressions of the wearer to an extent. A conscious style choice by the artists, so Terry was able to emote (eyes wide in shock was a particularly popular one).
  • Eyes of Gold:
    • Bruce Wayne. It is just age, in this case.
    • Shriek's elfin assistant, and one can only guess why he looks so weird.
  • Eye Lights Out
  • Eye Take: Terry has plenty of these moments, especially while Batsuiting it up on a mission.
  • Face Palm: Terry actually does this a couple of times in the series, but most notably in "Mind Games" after he kicks a Mook out of a skyscraper and after hitting the ground, the Mook simply gets up, dusts himself off, and gives Terry a Death Glare.
  • Facial Recognition Software: There is one that can search a database using a pieced-together image of a person's face, and then there is one that can search a database by seeing if your mind recognizes any of a series of fast-flashing photographs.
  • Facing the Bullets One-Liner:
    • "Heroes made a choice. We had none."
    • "Believe me, you're the only one who cares."
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: A couple of pretty impressively horrific deaths slipped through the censors, proving that you don't always need blood to make a cringe-inducing death sequence.
  • Famous Last Words: "That's not funny...That's not..." The Joker in The Movie after being killed by Robin.
  • Fan Service: Dana in the white dress from the episode "Rats." She seems aware of it too because when she invites Terry out for a date, she calls and says, "Meet me at Rhino's. I'll be wearing that dress you like." Cue Terry's shocked expression and "Woah."
    • Dana borders on Ms. Fanservice with her sky blue dress. Also, Blade and her mini skirts.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Some of the villains. An older Bane is kept on life-support as a vegetable, and a guy with a crush on Inque receives a similar mutation but none of the cool abilities. Ian Peek is eventually left incorporeal and sinks forever until he gets to the earth's core. Then there is this exchange:

Stalker: There are worse things than an honorable death.
Batman: Betcha it's a short list.

  • Flip-Flop of God: The exact time of when the series takes place has changed back and forth according to Word of God. Originally, it took place 40 years after Batman the Animated Series in the year 2039. However, later, Bruce Timm would describe the series as taking place 50 years after the end of Justice League Unlimited, making the timeframe more along the lines of 2056. However, this does not match up with references to past events by certain characters as being no less than 40 years. When the 2010 comic series started, the date was once again established as 2039.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • During the course of Hooked Up, Terry faces off with Spellbinder who attempts to use mind control on him. During this time Terry flashes back to several previous moments in the series, including one frame from when he fought a hideously mutated Dr. Cuvier in Splicers.
    • In the episode "Out of the Past," when Ra's Ah Ghul in the body of Talia is about to run through Batman with a sword, he catches the blade in his hands and delivered the sword into the computer's control panel. This sends a highly visible electrical current through Talia's body where in a couple of frames, Ra's Ah Ghul, whose essence had completely usurped Talia's existence, is seen matching Talia's agony during the electrocution.
  • Fully-Absorbed Finale: Justice League Unlimited showed a somewhat confusing conclusion for this universe.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Galvanic Lifting Machine, pronounced "Golem" for the sake of convenience.
  • Future Slang:
    • "Schway" is a general slang term meaning good or cool.
    • "Twip" is an insult used to describe people as either small or annoying.
    • "Slag" is used occasionally.


  • Game-Breaking Injury: Bruce Wayne quit his superhero days because his crippling heart condition would paralyze him mid-fight, thus forcing him to pick up a gun to defend himself and a hostage.
  • Gang of Hats:
    • The Jokerz are a traditional gang, full of punks and troublemakers who dress and behave in a manner evocative of The Joker. Their primary rivals are the T's, whose members adorn themselves with face-paint in the shape of the letter "T," reminiscent of the second Mister Terrific
    • The Royal Flush Gang is a super-villain crime family that dresses in costumes and steal treasures related (sometimes rather tenuously) to playing cards; examples include diamonds, antique swords (The "spades" suit was originally the "swords" suit), and a yacht taken from a millionaire's club.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Season two went a little nuts with this.
  • Genre Savvy: Terry, sometimes. Also Bruce, as is to be expected. In Betrayal, Terry is kidnapped and drops his backpack containing the Batsuit. After Max hangs up from telling Bruce:
  • Max opens Terry's backpack and pulls out the mask. The phone rings and she answers.*

Bruce: Don't even think about putting it on.

    • In Betrayal, one of the guards transporting experimental chemicals knows right away that an abandoned car blocking their road is a suspicious sign.

Guard 1: I've seen month old fish that have smelled better than this.
Guard 2: Are you for real? Somebody might be hurt.
Guard 1: All right. Go check. *tosses large gun to other guard* Here. In case it's a fish.
Guard 2: *humoring him* Right. *deciding to be a little savvy himself* Lock up after me.
Guard 1: You don't have to remind me. *locks cab*

Max: (hugs Terry out of relief of him rescuing her)
Terry: (flinches) Max, the ribs!
Max: (lets go) Sorry.
Terry: (pauses and looks her up and down) Nice outfit.
Max: Yeah. Next to your pal Xander, you seem almost normal.

  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Terry is investigating an attempted assassination of Bruce Wayne and decides to visit what might be the source of the technology used in the attack. However, instead of sneaking in as Batman he dresses up as a delivery boy and brings over a pizza. He and Walter Shreeve end up splitting the pie and pleasantly talking about sound waves... at least, until Terry's questions get a bit too pointed and Shreeve tries to split open his head.
  • Good with Numbers: Not exactly. Apparently people don't bother to do simple math in their head anymore. Terry memorized the multiplication table, a skill which Dana finds strange and useless since everyone just uses a calculator.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The effects of Derek Power's nerve gas on animal test subjects.
  • Grand Theft Me: A key plot point in "Out of the Past", after Ra's al Ghul had already grabbed his daughter's body.
  • Grappling Hook Pistol: In the comics, Terry had to use Bruce's old-fashioned grappler, among other gadgets from the first suit's belt, because Shriek knew the sound waves able to break the newest gear. At one point, Shriek destroys Terry's suit, and while Terry free-falls, he latches onto a building with the grappler.

Terry: Hey, this isn't so hard. *The grappler tightens and Terry feels the force of it on his shoulder.* Ungh.
Bruce: You were saying?
Terry: It really packs a punch.

  • Happily Married: Barbara and Sam. Terry's parents were divorced, but were still on good terms and his mother is severly affected by Warren's murder.
  • Harmless Villain
  • Hearing Voices: One villain's plot was to convince everyone Bruce had gone crazy so he could be locked up. Bruce himself never believed it, and Terry eventually uncovered the secret. At the end, Terry asks how Bruce knew he wasn't crazy, which leads to this exchange:

Bruce: The voice kept calling me 'Bruce', and in my mind, that's not what I call myself.
Terry: What do you call yourself?
Bruce: [stares]
Terry: Oh yeah; I guess you would call yourself that. [whispers] But it's my name now.
Bruce: Try telling that to my subconscious.

  • Her Child, but Not His: Mary and Warren McGinnis,redhead and brown-haired respectively, have two black-haired sons. It is revealed in "Epilogue" that this is because Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA was overwritten with Bruce Wayne's without anybody's knowledge in an attempt to produce another Batman.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kairi Tanaga at the end of "The Curse Of Kobra" part 2.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Almost every one-off villain gets a Karmic Death somehow related to their weapon of choice. There were also two non-lethal variants: sound expert Shriek goes deaf from his suit's amplification and Derek Powers is turned into Blight as the eventual result of being exposed to his own nerve gas.
  • Holding It for a Friend: When Terry is caught with "slappers" in his bag he (truthfully) tries to convince his mom that they are not his.

"They're not mine! I found them!"

Batman: You're sure about this?
Bruce Wayne: All of their crimes are playing-card-related, and the earliest playing-card decks had swords, not spades.
Batman: How does the yacht fit in?
Bruce Wayne: It was part of a yacht club.
Batman: Ouch.
Bruce Wayne: I thought so.

  • Ink Suit Actor:
    • Andy Dick as Slim in "Eggbaby".
    • Henry Rollins as Mad Stan.
    • While he did not voice the character, Howard Groote is quite obviously Paul Dini. This was noted in an interview on one of the DVDs.
  • Insult Backfire:

Barbara Gordon: You're out of your mind!
Shriek: DUH!

  • Invisibility Cloak: Terry's costume has a device to render it (and whoever is wearing the costume) invisible.
  • It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: In Splicers, the word of chimera is pronounced as 'shi-mera' though the technical pronunciation is actually 'kai-mera'. While the name for the splicing company may have been called 'shi-mera' for fashionable preferences, Cuvier calls himself an actual chimera using the 'shi' substitute.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • At the beginning of the episode "Babel" Bruce changes the subject, telling Terry that they have a Batsuit to repair. At the end of the episode, when Bruce asks him a question, Terry changes the subject using the same excuse.
    • "Meltdown" has a sinister one, both times: "Remember: there may be some momentary discomfort."
  • Jerk Jock: Nelson Nash.
  • Just Friends: Howard has the nerve to say this to a super-strong gynoid girlfriend he bought when said gynoid has been actively trying to kill people for most of the episode. It does not end well. Terry even lampshades it:

Howie: (as Cynthia starts to malfunction in rage) Wrong thing to say?
Batman: Is it EVER the right thing to say?!

  • Karma Houdini: Doctor Hodges gets off scot-free for what amounts to the murder of the Trio in "Heroes."
  • Karmic Death: The villain in "Sneak Peek" is selectively intangible (i.e., he can walk through walls), but what happens to him once he can no longer control it?
  • Kent Brockman News: The talking heads are no longer even real people, just computer generated blue silhouettes.
  • Kick the Dog: Or inject them with growth hormones to turn them into monsters, whatever the Monster of the Week prefers.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ian Peek needs Bruce's help. He even offers to give up the footage he has of him and Terry if Bruce will just fix his intangibility problem. Bruce just turns around and walks away, prompting Peek to try to kill him. This is right after Bruce realizes that Peek stole the intangibility device and murdered its inventor.
  • Kissing in a Tree: The episode "Rats" has Terry's little brother saying this about Terry and Dana, but Terry interrupts it at the last minute, throwing one of his shoes at the door.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "Untouchable":

Young Guard (As Repeller approaches): Get a load of the freak in the long johns.
Older Guard: You really haven't been in Gotham long, have you, kid?

  • Large and In Charge: Ma Mayhem and Big Time.
  • Legacy Character
  • Leitmotif: On the rare occasions when Bruce Wayne finds himself back in action, he is accompanied by the symphonic themes from Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Life Imitates Art: The GAT scoring system is a numbered score up to 2400, which became the official SAT maximum score in 2005.
  • Lighter and Softer: Inverted, despite what the executives wanted. It was originally intended to be a show targeted towards the younger generation, and DVD commentary reveals that studio executives were constantly pushing for goofier gadgets (including a mini-Batcave in Terry's home) and kid sidekicks (Terry's younger brother, Matt, was apparently supposed to be Kid-Batman. No, not Robin, but an actual kid version of Batman). The finished episodes and storylines were substantially darker, including dealing with death, drugs (not in a Very Special Episode way) and bold-faced violence in a way other cartoons refused to approach. Critical and popular reception seems to have validated this decision....well, except for the fact that in order to win an Emmy, the DCAU team had to submit the goofiest, most child-friendly episode in the show's history.
  • Lovable Nerd: Maxine and Howard.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Terry and Bruce, via a Government Conspiracy and genetic modification of Warren, Terry's father, who did the physical coupling with his mother. He does not find out until he is thirty, however, and he is pissed when he does. Word of God has also confirmed that Terry's younger brother is also Bruce Wayne's genetic son.
  • Mad Bomber: Mad Stan's first line is "BLOW IT ALL UP!" He is a complete Conspiracy Nut who is obsessed with blowing up large businesses and government institutions, thinking he is saving the public from mass brainwashing.
  • Made of Explodium: Synthia, from "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot." You do not want to get her mad.
  • Made of Iron: Several of the characters, as standard in superhero comics. Mad Stan probably takes the cake, though, as he is able to go toe to toe with a power armoured Terry and survive bomb blasts at point blank.
  • Mad Scientist: They are EVERYWHERE! All of Gotham's original disturbed genome tinkerers must have had an all-night love-in to spawn so many.
  • Market-Based Title: Called "Batman of the Future" in several European nations and Austrailia, and "The New Batman" in Russia.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: To Spider-Man levels.

"For this, I'm missing a date?"

  • May–December Romance: Bruce and Barbara had this kind of relationship before breaking up permanently.
  • Meaningful Name: The deadly and proficient silent masked assassin, Curare. Curare is also the name for a poisonous plant used by South American native peoples to tip their arrows.
  • Meaningful Rename: When Walter Shreeve, sound researcher and technician, is exposed as the attempted murderer or Bruce Wayne he complains to Powers that he can no longer show his face or use his name. Powers explains that the face is no great loss, and he will give Shreeve a new name more fitting to his powers: Shriek.
  • Meat Puppet: The victims of Starro fall into this trope in "The Call" along with the Brainwashed and Crazy and Puppeteer Parasite tropes.
  • Mega Corp: Interestingly, Wayne-Powers is one of these to a greater extent than demonstrated in the original series. Some interesting storylines (especially in the first season) come from the tension of shifting the balance of power between ethics (Wayne) and profit (Powers).
  • Merchandise-Driven: The network wanted a show starring a younger, more kid-friendly Batman. What they got instead was a show that was arguably even more depressing than the original animated series and a movie featuring, among other things, child abuse, blatant death, angst and a Kill Sat.
  • Mind Control Device: Spellbinder's handheld Evil Eye is the best example, but this being Cyberpunk there are others scattered throughout.
  • Mission Control: Bruce Wayne. Occasionally Max when Bruce is out of town.
  • Mistaken for Junkie: Terry's mom jumps to conclusions upon finding suspicious looking patches in her son's bag. To her credit these were drugs, a steroidal compound known as "slappers," but Terry was bringing them to Bruce for analysis. Terry's (truthful) excuses do not help: "They're not mine! I found them!" Bruce helps clear up the confusion at the end.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Terry has to clear his name in the episode "Eyewitness," where Commissioner Gordon witnessed him beating Mad Stan to death in front of her. He was framed by Spellbinder's illusions, and Stan never died in the first place.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Melanie (Ten of the Royal Flush Gang) was personally and morally conflicted over her criminal ways in "Dead Man's Hand," where her membership in the Royal Flush Gang forced her to separate from Terry McGinnis, the completely normal and average in every way boy she fell in love with. In "Once Burned" her family, wary of her doubts, fake their own kidnapping in order to see if she would be willing to pay their ransom. However, though Melanie did pay the money, when she discovered the truth she realized that her parents had never loved her as a daughter, only as an accomplice, and abandons them and their criminal ways.
  • Monster Fanboy: Inque has an obsessed maintenance worker who maintains her prison and who helps her escape when management fires him after they discover his fixation. He wants to become like her, but only makes it half-way into an amorphous, barely intelligible gelatinous blob.
  • More Dakka: Zeta and then Terry in Zeta, while using a PCB making laser as a high-powered, enormous minigun.
  • Most Common Superpower: Max Gibson is noticeably stacked, especially for a 17 year old high school student.
  • The Movie: Return of the Joker.
  • Mugging the Superhero:
    • Happened at least twice; once when a gang of Jokerz decided it would be a good idea to attack Bruce Wayne, and again when Inque took a hostage who turned out to be Superman. Both instances ended how you would expect.
    • In "Countdown" a couple of Jokerz try to beat down Zeta. They still try to hurt him after he takes a lead pipe to the shoulder with no effect except the pipe bending from the impact.


Terry: What's the creepy lady's power?
Tamara: I don't know, but they call her Bombshell.
Terry: Oh, that's encouraging.

  • Never Found the Body: Several instances, and Terry tends to be pretty Genre Savvy about it. He first points it out with Blight; after he "died", the exact words were used and it was implied that he would return. He never did.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Terry gets hit with this after his father's death.
  • Never Mess with Granny:
    • Kairi Tanaga in the "Curse of the Kobra" episodes.
    • Barbara Gordon tends to be a badass.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted.
  • The New Rock and Roll: Splicing is portrayed like this, with all the attendant cries of "It's not natural" and branding the splicers "Freaks". Oddly enough we are supposed to be on the side of the Moral Guardians, and the splicers rapidly start Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • New Neo City: Neo-Gotham. One last part of "Old" Gotham was preserved by Bruce Wayne. Terry also mentions a New Neo Country, New Cuba.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Skillfully averted, though Terry lacks superpowers, the writers are pretty good about keeping him from pulling new skills out of thin air, they usually develop from the progression of his fighting skills and of the character in general.
  • 90% of Your Brain: The Brain Trust reiterates the classic "10% of your brain" mistake as what separates them from normal people.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The assassination at the Berlin Airport, which gave the world the only known picture of Curare.
    • The "near-apocalypse of '09," where Talia al Ghul and Batman united in order to battle Ra's al Ghul one final time.
  • No-Paper Future: It does exist, but is very rarely used.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Referenced in "Out of the Past".

Terry: Guess I got caught up in old Roz here.
Talia: Raysh-al-Ghul was a man of many contrasts [...]

    • Word of God from Ra's al Ghul's creator has it that "Raysh" is the correct pronunciation. Arabic linguists around the world tossed their arms up in anger, but the Word has been given.
  • Not Quite Dead: Inque.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: "Out of the Past": Bruce gets A Taste of Power by being rejuvenated in a Lazarus Pit. He is ashamed of taking it, calling it "unnatural...a cheat".
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Tamara in "Mind Games" is a scared little girl, but when she fights back she shows powerful illusion-casting abilities, as well as striking a guy blind with her powers.
  • Not So Stoic: This trope is taken Up to Eleven in "Eggbaby". It even gets to the point that normally-jaded Bruce Wayne reacts with shock when he hears the cooing of the animitronic egg in Terry's Batmobile.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Joyride sees a Jokerz-initiation interrupted when the gang steals a military prototype combat vehicle. Throughout the episode the initiate is dragged along as the Jokerz commit bigger and bigger crimes, but at the end of the episode he knocks out the leader and takes off his red rubber nose when it becomes obvious that the situation is going to keep escalating into pure insanity.
  • Nuke'Em: Implied in the second half of The Call:

Bruce: All I can do is have Barbara contact the military.
Terry: But they'll bomb the place.
Bruce: That's their job.

  • Offhand Backhand: Bruce several times; he is vicious with that cane. Terry gets his moments, too, usually with some form of improvised staff.
  • Official Couple: Terry and Dana, as confirmed by "Epilogue".
  • Oh Crap: A brief moment in "A Touch of Curare" when Curare realizes she is facing two Bat-heroes, not one.
  • Old Master: Bruce Wayne. He regularly chides Terry for not listening to him, often when Terry falls into the same sorts of traps as he did in his cape-wearing days.
  • Older and Wiser: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon. In Bruce's case, crankier too.
  • One of the Boys: In a DVD extra, the creators admitted that they considered Max, although already a pretty blatant Tomboy, this.
  • One-Winged Angel: The season three DVDs have a fun discussion with the writers all but apologizing for being so used to using this trope that it ruined the second half of the two-part episode "Curse of the Kobra":

"We had a great story in the first half, fun villains, and an excellent new character - a well-developed rival for Terry. He would have been a fantastic reoccurring character. If only he hadn't injected himself with Tyrannosaurus DNA, which for some reason turned him into a sort of snake-man who wanted to throw a nuclear weapon into a volcano, killing all the humans or turning them into more snake-people or... yeah..."

Stalker: "When you die, it will be by my hand, and my hand alone."
Terry: "...thanks... I guess..."

  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It is not clear what Mutro Botho's ethnicity is, but his accent slips repeatedly between French, English, and Australian. One assumes that this is Tim Curry's natural Cheshire accent coming through.
  • Ordinary High School Student
  • Orifice Invasion: Inque. Come to think of it, she is all the unpleasant ramifications of Shapeshifting Squick incarnate in one character. As ever, it could also be classed as Fetish Fuel or Nightmare Fuel, depending on the viewer.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Barbara Gordon was voiced by Stockard Channing in Seasons 1 and 2, but was replaced by Angie Harmon for Return of the Joker and Season 3. This would not be a first for the DCAU Barbara Gordon, as she did undergo this trope twice in her Batgirl days, too.
    • Queen was voiced by Amanda Donohoe in her first appearance, then by Sarah Douglas in her other appearances. Jack was first voiced by Scott Cleverdon, then Nicolas Guest.
    • Paxton Powers was voiced by Cary Elwes, then Parker Stevenson.
    • Both Zeta and Agent Bennett had different voice actors (Gary Cole and Joe Spano, respectively) in their debut episode than they did on The Zeta Project and their other appearances on Batman Beyond (Diedrich Bader and Kurtwood Smith, again respectively).
    • Big Time, voiced by Stephen Baldwin in his first appearance and Clancy Brown in his second.
  • Other Me Annoys Me
  • Overprotective Dad: Dana's father is very disapproving of her relationship with Terry, primarily because of Terry's criminal record.
  • Painted-On Pants: Every female character in the show wears pants so tight, often times with a top to match, that their clothes might as well be painted on. Even minor characters that appear for one episode cannot escape this treatment.
  • Palette Swap: Due to some error on the part of the crew, the cheerleaders at Terry's school wear blue and white in season 1 despite the school colors being green and yellow. This trope was used in season 2 to correct this.
  • Parting Words Regret: Terry's last conversation with his father was an argument.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Max and Chelsea does this when Terry and Dana have a lover's spat over his broken promises.
  • Pet the Dog: Inverted with Ace. The Great Dane does not like Terry all that much in the beginning, but they grow to like each other.
  • Petting Zoo People: The Splicers, who got that way thanks to Lego Genetics.
  • Phlebotinum Overdose:
  • Playing Against Type: Uber-nerd Seth Green as Jerk Jock Nelson Nash. This is even specifically pointed out in DVD commentary.
  • Police Are Useless: Inverted twice when Terry butts in and screws up police stings, and scarily averted in "Eyewitness", when Terry finds himself up against the full, Crazy Prepared might of Barbara Gordon's police force. It's made quite obvious that Terry's Would Not Shoot a Good Guy mindset is not the only reason that it's one of the toughest battles of the series for him.
  • Powered Armor:
    • The advanced Batsuit. Different than most powered armors in that it has the dexterity of fabric.
    • Bruce's Bat-Armor.
    • Shriek's sound-amplification suit.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • A kid who gains telekinetic abilities uses said powers to leave messages in the women's locker room for the girl he likes. Since the school population thinks it is a ghost, Terry briefly muses on the fact that his suit can do much the same thing.
    • In "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot," Terry's friend Howard flat-out buys a Sex Bot (and somehow managed to screw that up).
  • Pretty in Mink: A few episodes showed a lady wearing a fur wrap in the backgroud.
  • Psychic Powers: Willy Watt and the members of the Brain Trust.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot:
  • Punch-Punch-Punch Uh-Oh: Terry versus Chapel (the guy who made Venom into Slappers).
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:

Mr. Fixx: You're pretty strong for some clown who thinks he's Batman.
Terry: I. AM. BATMAN!

    • In "Splicers":


  • Puppeteer Parasite: Starro in "The Call" - see also the Meat Puppet and Brainwashed and Crazy entries.
  • Recursive Adaptation: The comic book based on the animated series based on the comic book.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mr. Freeze.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. Many of the things that gave various supervillains their powers in the original have become massproduced. For example, the Lego Genetics that created Man-Bat are now available to the public as a bizarre form of body-modification known as "Splicing" and Bane's super-roid "Venom" has become the hot new street drug in the form of trans-dermal patches called "Slappers".
  • Remember the New Guy?: Bruce introduces the Royal Flush Gang as old enemies from his own time as Batman, and both he and King refer to previous battles, but they had never previously appeared in any DCAU-production. Justice League would later include two iterations of the Royal Flush Gang, with Bruce fighting both versions.
  • Retired Badass: Bruce Wayne.
  • Revival: In form, if not timing.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Ace is a heroic example.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Dana was once kidnapped by Patrick the Rat Boy and his giant rodent servants.
  • Rogues Gallery: Terry develops one of his own after time. Blight, Inque, Shriek, Spellbinder, the Stalker, Willy Watt, Mad Stan, etc.
  • Rose-Haired Girl: Maxine.
  • Saying Too Much: This is how Terry almost immediately proves that Willie Watt is responsible for the strange occurences at their high school.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Willie Watt develops these in his debut episode. The closing, silhouetted scene of him in juvenile hall just makes them scarier. The next time he shows up, he's ditched them because they don't really work with his new tough guy persona.
  • Secret Keeper: Max and, later, Dana.
  • Second Place Is for Losers
  • Secret Test of Character: In "Once Burned," Melanie (Ten of the Royal Flush Gang) is told that her parents had been kidnapped by the Jokerz and were being held for ransom. However, it turns out they had staged the whole thing in order to test if Melanie truly was loyal to them after the earlier events of "Dead Man's Hand." Melanie is understandably upset when she learns the truth, and abandons them and their life of crime because of it.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Inque's daughter killed her to gain control of her bank accounts...or so she thought.
  • Sensual Spandex: Ten
  • Sex Bot: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" involves Howie, a friend of Terry's, flat-out buying a Sex Bot. Rather than exploit the traditional way, however, he used it as a means to make himself more popular at school and thus get a living hot chick as a girlfriend. The Sex Bot did not take this well.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot:
    • There is a scene where Terry and Ten are kissing, then fall on the bed and the camera slowly moves away...
    • In the episode "Sneak Peek" Terry watches a news program "The Inside Peek" that exposes secrets, this time focusing on Paxton Powers. We see him grabbing a girl with his towel and it cuts to Terry's wide-eyed look which leads to this scene:

Matt: What are they doing?
Terry: This isn't for you. [puts hand on Matt's face blocking his view]
Matt: I wanna see, I wanna see!
[Mary turns off the TV]
Terry and Matt: Hey!
Mary: I don't want you watching this.

  • Shapeshifter Default Form: Inque has a vaguely humanoid "combat" form that only has a white blob for a face. When in a peaceful mood, she takes on a more defined human shape and has a face while retaining a liquid look.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Curare's sword.
  • Shiny Midnight Black: All the black-haired characters in the show are depicted this way, especially in scenes taking place at night/evening.
  • Shout-Out: To Akira, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Rock and Rule (!?), and many, many others. In an early episode Batman saves someone in a pose exactly like the cover of Amazing Fantasy 15 (Spider-Man). In "Heroes", Batman becomes trapped beneath machinery (and frees himself by lifting the massive object) in a scene that is a direct reference to an iconic Spider-Man sequence, even down to the shape of the machinery trapping the character.
  • Silence Is Golden: The fight with Shriek in the car factory.
  • Silence, You Fool: In one scene with Ra's Al Ghul and Bruce Wayne:

Bruce: I should have known you'd cheat death again, Ra's!
Ra's Al Ghul: I don't cheat death, I master it.
Bruce: Sure Ra's, why not? Anything to hold off the Grim Reaper a few more seconds. I take it back, you don't cheat death. You whimper in fear of it!
Ra's Al Ghul: *slaps him* Silence!
Bruce: And you hit like a girl.

  • Skyscraper City: Gotham has grown even more massive, to the point where it seems to be nothing but superstructures. Rooftop parks, vertical commuter trains, and elevated neighborhoods are common. The opening shows Gotham's old skyline, which is positively dwarfed by the new skyline behind it.
  • Sky Surfing: The Royal Flush gang and Spellbinder.
  • Solomon Divorce: Terry lived with his father & Matt with his mother.
  • Something Completely Different: Even though it's still believable with the setting, "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" gives us a sort of Tron / Star Wars / The Last Starfighter plot.
  • Somewhere a Paleontologist Is Crying: In the episode, Curse of the Kobra, the terrorist organization of the title reveal that their plan is to alter the world's climate so that it raises to tropical levels and then combine their DNA with Dinosaurs. The reasoning for why they had to do this is because Dinosaurs were cold-blooded and so they could not survive in the present climate. Sounds perfectly reasonable... if Dinosaurs actually were cold-blooded. Even at the time of the episode's production there was plenty of evidence for some Dinosaurs being warm-blooded, nowadays that evidence has increased even further to the point where it seems all species of Dinosaur could have potentially been warm-blooded animals and that they could survive in a great majority of environments (even sub-arctic ones). There is certainly no question at all that Theropods (the carnivore group) were warm-blooded and they are the group Kobra was splicing its troops with. After this plan is stopped their leader, Zander, (who appeared to have been spliced with a Tyrannosaurus Rex) overreacts to the point where it seems like the temperature of the climate would kill him in less than 15 minutes. Even if a dinosaur the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex was cold-blooded, it would still be able to maintain its internal body temperature through something called gigantothermy or bulk homeothermy.
  • Speaking Simlish: "Babel," or at least, everyone is speaking Simlish to everyone else's ears.
  • Spell My Name Like It Sounds, Not Like The Beer: One would think that in 10 years time, the fanfiction writers would learn how to spell Terry's last name right, but sadly, many of them still cannot. The most common misspelling being "McGuinness" because that is the usual spelling but...seriously, fandom, Google is your friend.
  • Spin-Off: The Zeta Project.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Patrick the rat-boy and Willy Watt.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Terry and Melanie. Despite their personal feelings, their friends and family keep coming between them, even after Melanie has given up her life of crime. Their relationship is epitomized in "Once Burned" when Ten gives Batman a note to give to a boy named Terry McGinnis; she makes him promise to give it to Terry, but also makes him promise not to read it himself. Because of that promise he can never read the note, not even as Terry, and eventually throws it away unread.
  • Stealth Hi Bye: With the added bonus of actual invisiblity courtesy of the hi-tech batsuite. At this point it is not even fair.
  • Strawman Political: Anarchist caricature Mad Stan.
  • Stood Up: Dana, perpetually.
  • Super-Hero Origin: Deconstructed in "Heroes" when the recently-empowered heroes discover that their Freak Lab Accident was not exactly an accident and was not supposed to give them superpowers. It is a shocking reminder that there is a fine line between Hero and Villain.
  • Superpower Meltdown: Blight. It was implied he may have survived, but he was not seen again.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: When Powers' doctors pick him up from a frozen lake, they explain that they brought him some blankets in case he was cold. Powers, who at that moment is glowing with radioactive energy, just stares and says, "You are idiots."


Max: Do you think there is a connection?
Terry: Is Jar-Jar lame?

  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Terry.
  • Technology Marches On: Wayne-Powers and other places are still using Cathode Ray Tube monitors. CDR's are the favored storage medium. Bulky 90's era flip-style cell phones are the predominant means of communication, without any of the additional features currently expected in a phone (no text, no email, no web, etc) and apparently nobody has Blue Tooth.
  • Technopath: Willy Watt.
  • There Are No Therapists: Well, there are. They just want to brainwash you into stealing for them or have psychotic children that want to kill your loved ones.
  • Throw It In: "Epilogue" revealing Bruce Wayne as Terry and Matt's biological father. Bruce Timm states that this decision was partly motivated by the fact that Warren's hair is light-brown and Mary is a redhead, making it genetically improbable for Terry and Matt to have black hair.
  • Title Drop: Happens in the Fully-Absorbed Finale.
  • Toe-Tapping Melody: Despite the cheesy music and visuals of the Batman musical he took Bruce to, Terry finds himself singing a refrain from one of the songs when later entering the Batcave.
  • Tomboy: Maxine. She much prefers "Max", though.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Terry. He starts out as a very sloppy detective and overly-confident, but inattentive fighter, forcing him to hone his skills or die trying. Compare him in early seasons to Return of the Joker or the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue".
    • Willy Watt also took several of these (physically and mentally) after being admitted to a detention center for rampaging through the town with a large construction robot.
  • Trigger Phrase: In "April Moon," the phrase that shuts down Bullwhip and Co.'s cybernetics is... "April Moon".
  • Triple Shifter: Terry has a lot of trouble pulling this off; Bruce did not have half as many things to juggle when he became Batman—school, family, and a steady girlfriend not being things he had to worry about—and he does not seem to understand why Terry can not be on call every minute of every day and night.
  • Tron Lines: They seem to pop up in subtle ways all over the place. Specifically the Batsuit has Tron Lines underneath its black exterior layer, and can be seen when it is damaged. The interior of the new Batmobile seems to be specifically based on the Batmobile from The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: The series starts off in the year 2019 for the prologue, and then switches 20 years later to 2039 for the main series.
  • Twist Ending: Many, many episodes. Perhaps not quite enough of them to be "mandatory", but lots of them—and usually extremely creepy ones, implying something nasty was going to happen just after the fade to black.
  • Tyke Bomb: Terry.
  • The Un-Reveal: Curare's face is always obscured by a piece of cloth; when it is knocked aside in her fight Batman he gasps in shock, but the audience never sees what he sees.
  • Unusual User Interface: The Batmobile seems to hook directly into the Batsuit and is hinted to be mostly controlled by it.

Bruce: Just let the suit do most of the work.

  • Uptown Girl: Dana's father is less than happy about her relationship with Terry, although it has less to do with their socioeconomic (and racial) differences than Terry's criminal record.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Blight over the over the course of the first season gradually becomes more and more short tempered due to Batman meddling with his plans and his fake skin burning off so quickly he has to replace it routinely. Paxton takes advantage of this and drives him further over the edge to the point where in rage he burns off his fake skin public.
    • Scab in "Joyride" breaks down screaming in helpless rage when his Cool Car will not start anymore because Batman deactivated its power source.
  • Visible Invisibility: The Batsuit is able to turn itself invisible for periods of time; it goes from total invisibility to half-invisibility represented as only the shadows (and eyes) on it being cast.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection
  • Voices Are Mental: "Out of the Past": After The Reveal of Talia's true identity, Ra's al Ghul speaks in his own voice, though by rights it should have been her voice with his speech patterns. In the behind-the-scenes feature, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm say that they did have a psuedo-scientific explanation for how that happens. The explanation involved the transplantation of Ra's al Ghul's vocal chords, but they omitted it because it took too long and did not really fit with the episode.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Very much so. Terry very cleverly Lampshades this:

Terry: (reading a note his Mom left him on the fridge) "Terry: Today was Beach Day. Where were you?" Oh, just out saving the world, Ma.

    • It is also lampshaded in one of the commercials, in which Terry describes his typical day. "Wake Up", "Go To School" and "Save World" were listed in the agenda.
  • Walking Wasteland: Blight.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Inque is a Terminator-like juggernaut, nearly unstoppable in normal combat. But expose her even to a gentle drizzle, and she falls apart and dissolves.

"Poor diluted fool."

  • "Well Done, Son" Guy:
    • Terry wanted to please both Warren McGinnis and Bruce Wayne.
    • Carter/Terminal, who became a Joker out of frustration at having to be the very best at everything.
    • Willy Watt might seem like this, but he does not want to make his dad proud—he wants him to leave him alone or, failing that, die.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: Plastic, mainly featureless cards. Wether or not a character is able to judge how much the card is worth just by looking at it is inconsistent
  • Wham! Episode: "The Call", Parts 1 and 2. At the end of part 1, it seems that Superman has done a Face Heel Turn. Bruce decides he needs to be stopped, and gives Terry the kryptonite to do it.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Given that future-Gotham's population consists of transgenic humans, transgenic animals, cyborgs, realistic "synthoids", sentient computers and other stranger beings, it is very surprising that they directly addressed this issue...twice. Only twice. In the episodes "Zeta" and "Speak No Evil".
  • What the Hell, Townspeople?: In "Babel," after terrorizing the city, Shriek demands that Batman turn himself in or else. Gotham residents—even some that Terry saved earlier in the episode—publicly denounce Batman as a result and effectively turn their backs on him. Max is disgusted, asking Terry why he'd bother defending them. Even Bruce condemns the townspeople as ingrates and says he wouldn't blame Terry for staying in.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Several episodes are extremely similar to a number of H.P. Lovecraft stories, including The Thing on the Doorstep and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, though Terry usually manages to stop the villains before they quite reach the Lovecraftian level of horror.
    • A Love Interest has switched her mind with her father, and now plans to switch his mind with a supporting protagonist. Are we talking about Talia Al Guhl or Asenath Waite?
    • A young man manages to find a way to bring back an ancestor from beyond the grave; said ancestor then attempts to kill his descendant and take his place. Lost Souls or The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
    • A character goes through an accident and ends up incapable of living in temperatures warmer than well below room-temperature. Mr Freeze was not created for the show, so any similarity to the protagonist from Cold Air is probably superficial, but then they bodies both start breaking down, making them incapable of living even at their [1] temperatures and start breaking down.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Batman: The Musical! That the scene was inspired by actual plans for a "Phantom Of The Opera"-style Batman musical being kicked around at the time (it has yet to get off the ground) makes it funnier. It is apt to say it would have been a Tanz der Vampire-style rock show, seeing as it was written by Tanz composer Jim Steinman. Listen to the demos online if you dare.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • Cynthia the android has a literal meltdown when Howard dumps her.
    • Queen from the Royal Flush Gang.
    • This is inverted in the episode "April Moon". It turns out that the doctor's wife was not kidnapped, and that she was in league with her "kidnappers" and romantically involved with their leader the whole time. The doctor did NOT take this well.
  • Yandere: Cynthia, the android that Howard buys in the episode "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot".
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Terry's much more fond of it than the original, and it comes in handy against the Joker.
  • You Have Failed Me...: The Society of Assassins strictly enforces this policy, any of their assassins who fail in their assignment are killed in turn. However, they have never had to follow through on this threat, since none of their assassins has ever failed to kill their target. Ever. That policy later became their undoing, as Curare, the first one to ever fail, turned the tables on them. She was so dangerous the last assassin hid a bomb somewhere in Gotham for the sole purpose of forcing Batman to protect him. Even that failed.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kobra infected Falseface with the plague they were planning to use against Gotham, reasoning that even if their plan fails he will still spread the virus himself. When Falseface hears of this he refuses to believe it, reasoning that his past services would have prevented Kobra from mistreating him so.
  • You Killed My Father: Derek Powers had Terry's dad killed. It leads to the following exchange:

Powers: "Who are you?
Batman: "You killed my father".
Powers: "Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"

  1. technically, Mr Freeze had been "cured" at this point and relapsed