Batman (1989): 10 Best Quotes From Jack Nicholson’s Joker

After Cesar Romero’s comical portrayal of Gotham’s Clown Prince Of Crime in the ’60s Batman TV series, there was the desire for a darker version of the villain that was more accurate to how the comic book version had evolved in the ’70s and ’80s. That’s exactly what actor Jack Nicholson delivered in director Tim Burton’s landmark 1989 Batman film.

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Nicholson’s magnificent performance as the Joker would serve as the template for subsequent portrayals of the maniacal villain in Batman adaptations for years to come. One moment he was making a joke, the next he was gruesomely murdering someone— and dropping flawless one-liners while he did so.

10 “He’s At Home—Washing His Tights.”

The Joker is quite eager to be a well-known celebrity in Gotham City, for better or worse. To make the headlines, he tosses $200 million in the air during a parade as “Trust” by Prince plays in the background.

He then grabs a microphone and seeks public approval via a lengthy speech. He proceeds to mock Batman by labeling him an inferior human and suggesting he is hiding. while delivering the above line that suggests what the Caped Crusader might be up to.

9 “Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?”

After messing with the art pieces inside a Gotham museum, the Joker starts a conversation with Bruce Wayne’s love interest, Vicki Vale. He is planning to disfigure Vicki, as he did with his own former lover, but Batman shows up to save the day.

As usual, Batman doesn’t cause any major harm to the Joker, and quickly departs using one of his high-tech gadgets. Instead of getting angry at the Bat for foiling his plan, the Joker marvels at Batman’s cool gadgets and inquires about their source.

8 “This Town Needs An Enema.”

Trust the Joker to switch the last letter of an English word for another letter that sounds much more twisted. After watching a news segment about Batman on TV in the early stages of the movie, the Joker becomes irritated.

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He destroys the TV and turns to one of his henchmen, asking him why a man dressed as a bat was getting all the press instead of a genius like him. It is at that moment that he declares he is going to be Gotham’s “enema.” To cap off the joke, he concludes by blowing a horn.

7 “Hello, Vinny. It’s Your Uncle Bingo. Time To Pay The Check!”

Vinnie Ricorso makes the fatal mistake of challenging the Joker as the new crime boss of Gotham after Grissom’s death. He tries to claim all of Grissom’s businesses as well as every gangster that worked under him.

While Vinnie is as the City Hall filing an affidavit, the Joker shows up with his goons and boasts how Grissom had handed over his businesses to him by signing the papers with his own blood. He then declares himself  “Uncle Bingo”, before hurling a steel-tipped feather pen at Vinnie’s neck.

6 “As My Plastic Surgeon Always Said: If You Gotta Go, Go With a Smile.”

Right before he releases toxic laughing gas to a crowd in Gotham using a giant balloon, the Joker makes sure to let them know that he considers them worthless people with meaningless lives. It’s harsh, but to the Joker that’s exactly how he feels about them all.

He also seems to enjoy the realization that at least the people will die laughing after they have inhaled the laughing gas. He also remembers to quote his plastic surgeon, who he went to for facial reconstruction after the chemical accident.

5 “I’ve Been Dead Once Already. It’s Very Liberating.”

When the Joker goes to kill Grissom, he thinks it’s one of his lovers at first. He turns around to see it’s Jack Napier. This makes him very disappointed. He goes for his gun, knowing that Jack wants payback, but Jack gets to it before him.

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Grissom then implies that if Jack kills him, he will be killed too. Jack claims that he already died and he’s been liberated, now living instead as the Joker.

4 “Never Rub Another Man’s Rhubarb.”

The Joker delivers this line in the middle of the film. When he is terrorizing Vicki and Bruce Wayne tries to stop him, he shoots him, upset that Vicki was talking to “another man.”

The Joker then looks at Bruce’s fallen body and smiles brilliantly before uttering this hilarious line, a bizarre way to say that a man should never steal another man’s lady.

3 “I Have Given A Name To My Pain, And It’s Batman.”

Nice for the Joker to finally admit that Batman does indeed ruin all of his plans. Throughout the movie, Batman keeps foiling all of Joker’s well thought out plans and ongoing criminal activities.

Unlike most iterations of the Joker, this Joker seems very willing and eager to permanently dispatch of his enemy. That obviously doesn’t happen, although he definitely gets close a couple of times throughout the film.

2 “Wait’ll They Get A Load Of Me.”

When Jack Napier finally becomes the Joker, he begins his streak of psychotic actions by murdering his former boss in his office. A newspaper is seen lying on the table with Grissom’s blood splattered all over it.

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The headline reads, “Winged Freak Terrorizes Gotham’s Gangland.” After glancing at it, Joker makes the above promise/threat, knowing the stories about him will pale in comparison.

1 “Have You Ever Danced With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight?”

When Bruce Wayne confronts the Joker and challenges him to a fight, the Clown Prince Of Crime shows that he has no intention of playing fair. He pulls out a pistol and asks Gotham’s hero the iconic question.

Bruce doesn’t understand what the Joker means, so he asks for a clarification. To which the Joker responds “I ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it” before shooting Wayne. Of course, we as the viewers know that the question also reveals Jack as the murderer of Bruce’s parents.

NEXT: The Better Bat: Every Batman Actor, Ranked By Comic Book Accuracy


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