50+ Best Joker Quotes: The Madness Behind the Iconic Villain

Joker Quotes

Few villains are as well known as the hero: the Joker is the exception. And when you look at the Joker quotes, you can see why. The character has such eloquent lines between his casual acts of lunacy in Gotham City. The lyrical quality to his quotes makes it interesting to watch him even when he’s not in action. 

From the original comics to the Christopher Nolan adaptation and beyond, here are the best of the best Joker quotes. 

Joker Quote

Deep Joker Quotes

The Joker has some seriously deranged perspectives on existence. However, the criminal mastermind occasionally has some hints of wisdom. 

Here are some of his more poignant thoughts.

“His mask is his real face.” 

— The Joker, Batman: Arkham Asylum

“Their morals, their code; it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see- I’ll show you. When the chips are down these, uh, civilized people? They’ll eat each other. See I’m not a monster, I’m just ahead of the curve.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Memories are what our reason is based upon. If we can’t face them, we deny reason itself!” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke

“A man with nothing to fear is a man with nothing to love.”

 — The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Some people want to see you fail. Disappoint them!” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“The worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.” 

— The Joker, Joker

“As you know, madness is like gravity: All it takes is a little push.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face. She told me I had a purpose: to bring laughter and joy to the world.” 

— Arthur Fleck, Joker

“Does it depress you to know just how alone you really are?” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Comedy is subjective, Murray. Isn’t that what they say? All of you, the system that knows so much, you decide what’s right or wrong the same way that you decide what’s funny or not.” 

— Arthur Fleck, The Joker

Joker Quote

Funny Joker Quotes

Part of what makes a Joker appearance exciting is you are never sure what they’re about to say. They might say something completely unhinged, or they might crack a joke.

Here are some of their more humorous lines.

“I’m crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? Nooo, thank you!” 

— The Joker, The New Batman Adventures

The Chechen: [During a private sit down meeting with the gangsters] “What do you propose?”

The Joker: “It’s simple. We, uh, kill the Batman.”

[mobsters laugh] 

Salvatore Maroni: “If it’s so simple, why haven’t you done it already?”

The Joker: “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“A joke a day keeps the gloom away!”

 — The Joker, Batman (1966)

Joker Quotes

Gambol: [to The Joker during a private sit down meeting with the gangsters] “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t have my boy here pull your head off.”

The Joker: “How about a magic trick?”

[Pulls out a pencil and sticks it upright into the table.] 

The Joker: “I’m gonna make this pencil disappear.”

[Gambol’s thug walks over to kill The Joker, who slams his face into the pencil and kills him.] 

Joker: “Ta-daa! It’s… it’s gone.”

The Dark Knight

“Costume’s a bit theatrical, but hey, who am I to talk?” 

— The Joker, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Joker Quotes

Batman : [as Joker is holding Rachel out a window]  Let her go!

The Joker : [giving him a look]  Very poor choice of words…

The Dark Knight

The Joker : A little fight in you. I like that.

Batman : [off-screen]  Then you’re gonna love me. 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg! The Batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away!” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Animated Series

“You see, I’m a guy of simple taste. I enjoy dynamite, and gunpowder, and gasoline! And you know the thing they have in common? They’re cheap.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Can’t rely on anyone these days, you have to do everything yourself, don’t we!” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

Gambol : [During a private sit down meeting with the gangsters] “You think you can steal from us and just walk away?”

The Joker : “Yeah.”

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Lady, you’re harder to kill than a cockroach on steroids!” 

— The Joker, Batman: Dark Victory

“This town needs an enema.” 

— The Joker, Batman

Joker Quotes

Memorable Quotes

The Joker has some quotes that you just can’t forget. Here are some of his most memorable quotes.

Joker Quotes

“I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a comedy.”

— The Joker, Joker

“I believe, whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“It’s not about money… its about sending a message. Everything burns.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

“Do I look like the kind of clown that can start a movement?” 

— The Joker, Joker

“Without Batman, crime has no punchline.” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Animated Series

“For my whole life, I didn’t know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice.” 

— The Joker, Joker

“No matter the situation, always wear a smile.” 

— The Joker, Joker

Joker Quotes

The Joker The Dark Knight Quotes

Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker goes down as one of the most iconic performances in superhero movie history. His character work excelled, but the writers gave him a lot to work with. Heath Ledger Joker quotes are hands down some of the best. 

Here are some of our favorites. 

“Why so serious?” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight

Joker Quotes

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… *do* things.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. In… you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“Why don’t we cut you up into little pieces and feed you to your pooches? Hm? And then we’ll see how loyal a hungry dog really is.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.”

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“The pen is truly mightier than the sword!” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“Very neat! That ugly head of yours does have a brain!”

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan”. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“One by one, they’ll hear my call. Then this wicked town, will follow my fall.” 

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

“This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.”

— The Joker, The Dark Knight 

Joker Quotes

Joker Quotes from the Original Comics

There is no Batman without the original comics. So of course, we have the original comics to thank for the Joker as well. Here are some quotes from the comics and graphic novels.

“The real joke is your stubborn, bone-deep conviction that somehow, somewhere, all of this makes sense! That’s what cracks me up each time!”

— The Joker, Batman #681

“Madness is the emergency exit. You can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away… forever.” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke

“If the police expect to play against the Joker, they’d better be prepared to be dealt from the bottom of the deck!” 

— The Joker, Batman #1

“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke

“You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else…only you won’t admit it!” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke

“Both of us trying to find meaning in a meaningless world! Why be a disfigured outcast when I can be a notorious Crime God? Why be an orphaned boy when you can be a superhero?” 

— The Joker, Batman #663

“I don’t know what it was that bent your life out of shape, but who knows? Maybe I’ve been there too. Maybe I can help. We could work together. I could rehabilitate you. You needn’t be out there on the edge anymore. You needn’t be alone. We don’t have to kill each other. What do you say?” 

— The Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke

“You actually believed that all it would take is a few chemicals, a couple of days in drug-induced isolation and a cheap little nervous breakdown and you’d have me all figured out? Like there was some rabbit hole you could follow me down to understanding?” 

— The Joker, Batman #681

Joker Quotes

“You’ll never be sad, and you’ll never be lonely. You’ll always have me to dance with.” — The Joker, Batman Confidential #12

“You really want to know what it feels like to be the clown at midnight? Where there’s only ever one joke and it’s always on you? Well, here you are. Now do you get it?” 

— The Joker, Batman #681

Joker Quote

The Essential Joker Quote

Batman has many enemies. And there’s no reason the creators of the films couldn’t come up with more villains beyond the comics.

So why are there so many Joker movies and shows? 

Nine actors have played the Batman: much more than most, which only get one or two. And this doesn’t include any animated series or video games. This is only live action performances.

These nine actors include Lewis G. Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson.

There are only two less live action actors that have played the Joker. They include:

  • Cesar Romero
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Heath Ledger
  • Jared Leto
  • Cameron Monaghan
  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Barry Keoghan

So again: why so many Jokers? The Batman could have so many other foes to face. Why do we simply rehash the same villain again and again?

No Joker quote explains the necessity of the villain more than Heath Ledger’s Joker at the end of The Dark Knight. As he hangs upside down, he taunts, “Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

And with this Joker quote, the writers of The Dark Knight astutely explain why the Joker can never die. He’s the perfect foil and antithesis to Batman’s dark justice.

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