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- Complete Monster: The Joker both pre-transformation and post-transformation.
- Completely Missing the Point: Not the movie itself, but afterwards it is established The Joker is still alive, and the Hand Wave given in a tie-in comic is that the Phantasm spared him because he was insane, and not culpable for his actions, thanks to the accident that made him into a Monster Clown. The point of this version of the Joker, and of this movie in particular, is that he is not legally insane, and has always been an evil, murderous bastard even before his toxic bath. It didn't make him crazy; it just gave him an excuse to cause mayhem For the Evulz.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The animated series' theme song (which was awesome in itself) is given a big-screen upgrade.
- The Birth of Batman. The close-up to the eyes and Alfred's reaction really sells it.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: The Joker says "Why so formal?" to Sal Valestra. Fast forward about fifteen years...
- Possibly an inspiration for the line.
- Magnificent Bastard: The Joker
- Nightmare Fuel:
- The grinning corpse of the murdered Sal Valestra.
- What The Joker does to Arthur Reeves.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: This was considered by many fans to be the definitive portrayal of Batman in cinema. Hence those who started with The Dark Knight Saga may not be able to appreciate just how different it was upon its release.
- Tear Jerker: For some reason, the scene where Bruce's proposal to Andrea is interrupted by bats fleeing the hole in the cliff gets to this troper a little bit.
- Vindicated by Cable: In this case, home video. For their part, Siskel and Ebert publicly expressed their regret on their TV show that they didn't review this film for its theatrical run, considering how good they found it on its video release.
- The Woobie: Bruce Wayne.
- Jerkass Woobie: Andrea.