The Joker has paved his way to becoming one of the most recognizable villain of all time. Thanks to some incredible screenwriting, the villain has also became a source of thought-provoking quotes. To celebrate those, we have listed our favorite 15 quotes by The Joker.
The Joker appeared first in a comic book entitled Batman #1, more than 80 years ago, on the 24th of April 1940. According to its creator Jerry Robinson, who told the story of how the villain was conceived.
I began to toss around ideas and somehow I thought, well, he’s got a sense of humor – he’s a joker. I immediately made an association with the joker playing card with that marvelous grinning face. Then I made my first drawing of the Joker, a playing card with the Joker face on it.
When Bill Finger and Bob Kane saw the first sketches, they immediately compared the concept to The Man Who Laughs (1928), a silent film where Conrad Veindt played a character named Gwynplaine (image below). Gwynplaine suffered from a particularly odd disfiguring, which caused him to look as if laughing the whole time.
Decades have passed, and the character, created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson took modern audiences by storm, growing to constitute a favorite among comic book villains. Even marvel fans would agree that any other villain pales in comparison with that lunatic.
In this article, I listed my favorite quotes by the Joker from both movies and Gotham series. Make sure to drop your favorites in the comments below the article!
Best Quotes by The Joker From Joker (2019)
I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a f**king comedy. – Joker (2019)
When Arthur Fleck finally transforms into The Joker, he realizes that all his life was miserable, because he was never fulfilled. But when he kills the three guys on the subway, leading to riots all over the city, Arthur becomes a symbol. He feels important, and finally in the spotlight. This is an insanely important moment during the entire transformation of Arthur Fleck into the Joker.
You don’t listen, do you? You just ask the same questions every week. ‘How’s your job?’ ‘Are you having any negative thoughts?’ All I have are negative thoughts.” – Joker (2019)
One of the hardest lines to hear for me in Joker (2019) was when Arthur rips his heart out and opens on how depressed he is. This was great writing here – a scene that captures the form of a fallible system, which provides empty help and further marginalizes the poor. It was the last desperate cry for help of Arthur, and one that I truly believed in. He wasn’t hopeless from the start, but was turned so by the system.
The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t. – Joker (2019)
Probably the best line in Joker (2019) delivered with the gut-wrenching precision by Joaquin Phoenix. This line emphasizes how Arthur felt all the time. As defined by his bizarre “nervous laughter” condition, he was in pain, but people frowned upon him, and left him to suffer.
Furthermore, this quote by The Joker pinpoints the sad truth that we all make rules that favor majorities, therefore leaving the minorities either stranded or forced to abide. However, for some individuals, it is too much to ask for.
Comedy is subjective, Murray, isn’t it what they say? – Joker (2019)
I like this quote a lot, because it corresponds well with the way Arthur Fleck retaliates during his talk-show appearance. Murray made fun of him, and it’s exactly what many hosts do – Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel, or John Oliver. Mocking people has become cool, and it’s universally accepted now. Sure, in reality, too many stupid people discovered the magic of recording themselves, however what Murray did to Arthur Fleck was just cruel.
And in this one line, The Joker, with stack-decked plan to kill Murray, hints at the suffering that he’s been exposed to as a Sunday show case-for-laughter.
Best Quotes by The Joker From The Dark Knight (2008)
Madness, as you know, is like gravity, all it takes is a little push. – The Dark Knight (2008)
My favorite quote by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008). I can’t express how well it sums up the entire relation between Batman and The Joker. The villain believes that anyone can go nuts, and all it takes is one bad day – according to the famous line from The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.
However, when delivered by Heath Ledger, this line has deeper meaning. When he made Batman choose between Harvey and Rachel, he also pushed the boundary and – like gravity – pulled Batman into his game, thus making him finally kill. That was, in a way, this little push that broke the Bat.
I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger. – The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan directed one of the most iconic opening scenes in The Dark Knight (2008), and that’s just the prologue to the visual beauty of the whole film. The robbery is thrilling on its own, thanks to the fast-paced editing and the titilating soundtrack of Hans Zimmer. Symbolically though, this scene gives away the main theme of Joker’s madness. He likes to push people against the wall, and look at how they become animals. The reveal of Heath Ledger, as he leans on the bank security guard, oozes the villains menacing nature, and this line fits his trickster character well.
Why so serious? – The Dark Knight (2008)
Back in 2008, everyone craved to wear a t-shirt with Heath Ledger’s face and that quote printed next to it. Ledger delivered one of the most thrilling moments in any blockbuster ever, when The Joker goes loco with one of the Gotham mobsters. After telling a blood-curdling – and one of many – story of how he got his facial scars, The Joker nonchalantly turns to a random thug, and asks “why so serious?”, seconds before he slits the face of the mobster. Chills were sent down the spine.
Let’s put a smile on that face! – The Dark Knight (2008)
This is part of the scene I described above, but this quote by The Joker is just as brilliant.
When the chips are down, these ‘civilized people’….they’ll eat each other. See I’m not a monster, I’m just ahead of the curve. – The Dark Knight (2008)
The whole philosophy of Heath Ledger’s villain was to turn Gotham’s citizens into mad dogs, wake their primordial instincts. He’s been keen on proving to the Batman that everything’s he’s been fighting for was in vain, and people do not deserve the attention.
And when you think about it, it’s scary how some of Joker’s quotes capture the madness of 2020. That one is just too much on point.
To them, you’re just a freak; like me. They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out like a leper. – The Dark Knight (2008)
Joker’s ability to poison one’s mind and manipulate constituted his main weapon of choice. In a scene when he clashes with the Batman during an interrogation, the Joker tries to poison Bruce Wayne’s mind. In a certain way though, he was right, and even predicted how Gotham no longer needed their vigilante at some point.
Top Joker Quotes From The Killing Joke (2016)
All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. – The Killing Joke (2016)
The classic line that makes up for a best summary of Joker as a concept. I think that this is where Todd Phillips drew his take on the villain. In The Killing Joke (2016), a quite literal animation of the comic book by Alan Moore of the same title, Joker is halfway fed up with playing cat and mouse. Batman and him are destined to do it forever.
best of Joker Quotes From Batman (1989)
Did you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? – Batman (1989)
After two Oscar-winning performances of Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix, some of us tend to forget Jack Nicholson’s more zany approach toward the character. The writing in Batman (1989) wasn’t as clever as in the newer movies, and Tim Burton fully embraced the kitschiness, and circus entourage of The Joker. But among the cheesy one-liners, Jack Nicholson delivered this phenomenal line flawlessly, hinting at the creepiest part of him, residing behind the make-up.
I’m only laughing on the outside. My smile is just skin deep. If you could see inside I’m really crying, you might join me for a weep. – Batman (1989)
Nicholson’s Joker was a trickster, and a pretty comic-book style villain. However, Burton wanted to hide psychological depth behind that facade, and that was later on so profoundly broadened by both Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight (2008) and Todd Phillips in Joker (2019). Through this line, Joker opens up about his emotional dichotomy, and how the make-up and laughter cover up the suffering inside. In the end, he is the tragedy and comedy in one, isn’t he?
Best Quotes by The Joker From Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
You’re harder to kill than a cockroach on steroids. – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
For an animated film, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) had it all – an engaging plot, great voice acting from Mark Hammill, and writing that wasn’t too childish for adult tastes. This was just one of those one-liners that reveal the deadly nature of The Joker. It’s also the kind of cheesy punchline that perfectly fits the bizarre sense of humor of the Clown Prince of Crime.
Gotta hand it to you, nice scheme. Costumes a bit theatrical, but hey, who am I to talk? – Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
Joker’s known to turn everything into a joke, including himself. This line is pretty self-deprecating, but also self-aware of just how over-the-top he is. It’s how Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) proves that its Joker isn’t a chatty-chatty, flat villain designed for a children movie, but an intelligent adversary of evil.
Top Jerome & Jeremiah Valeska Quote From Gotham (2014-2020)
To truly build something, you must first tear down what’s already there. – Gotham (2014-2020)
The entire use of Joker – known as Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska in Gotham (2014-2020) – refers to an extremist rebellion against the system. The Valeska Brothers planned to tear the city down, and let the new order rise. These were great antagonists, and they introduced the show to its much darker, and more intriguing side.
What were your favorite quotes? Add your comments below.