The Joker has many disturbing one-liners infamous for his paradoxical ability to validate villainy while still providing a nugget of truth. Here are 75 uneasy quotes spoken through the many Jokers' toothy smiles.
The Joker has come alive on our screens in all shapes and sizes, from the cartoons, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, most recently Joaquin Pheonix, and many more.
Nicholson and his grin were almost made for the part in Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman." The late Heath Ledger blew us away with his portrayal in 2008's "The Dark Knight," which lives on as one of the best performances of all time.
Jared Leto was met with a mass of criticism for his embodiment of the timeless character in 2016's "Suicide Squad." There is also the lesser-known Mark Hamill, who voiced the cartoon character in a 2016 film adaptation of the novel "Batman: The Killing Joke," written by Alan Moore. Cameron Monaghan also caught audiences' attention in the "Gotham" series.
Lately, many have focused on Joaquin Phoenix, whose jaw-dropping portrayal of the famous villain in 2019's "Joker" will be reprised in an upcoming sequel.
While we wait for this release, let's delve into 75 quotes from this clown prince of crime uttered by the different men who portrayed him.
The Joker in Tim Burton’s "Batman" quote: “Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?” | Image: Amodays
“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.”
"I've been dead once already. It's very liberating. You should think of it as therapy!"
"Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?"
“Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
"The pen is truly mightier than the sword!"
The Joker in Tim Burton’s "Batman" quote: "Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?"| Image: Amodays
"I now do what other people only dream. I make art until someone dies. See? I am the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist."
"As my plastic surgeon always said - 'If You Gotta' Go, Go With A Smile!'"
“New and improved Joker products! With a new secret ingredient: Smylex.”
"Never rub another man's rhubarb."
"No matter the situation, always wear a smile.”
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “Why so serious?” | Image: Amodays
“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 they treat you like a joke, leave them like it’s funny.”
“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.”
“There is no Yoda – there’s no one who points you in the right direction. You’ve got to figure that out by yourself.”
“You can’t kill me without becoming like me! I can’t kill you without losing the only human being who can keep up with me! Isn’t it ironic?”
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!" | Image: Amodays
"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.”
“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos…”
"You wanna know how I got these scars?"
"Do I really look like a guy with a plan?"
“Madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!"
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “The only sensible way to live is without rules.” | Image: Amodays
“I won’t kill you, because you’re just too much fun.”
“You can't sell dreams to someone who has walked through nightmares.”
“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.”
"I don't want to kill you. What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no ... you complete me."
“Some people want to see you fail. Disappoint them!”
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “If you’re good at something never do it for free.” | Image: Amodays
“Why So Serious?”
“Does it depress you? To know just how alone you really are?”
"A man with nothing to fear is a man with nothing to love. If you have nothing to love, you have nothing to lose."
"You can’t rely on anyone these days, you gotta do everything yourself, don’t we? That’s ok, I came prepared, it’s a funny world we live in."
“The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.”
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “Give a man a mask and he will become his true self.” | Image: Amodays
“Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.”
“They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out like a leper!”
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
“Nobody panics when things go 'according to plan'. Even if the plan is horrifying!”
“Give a man a mask and he will become his true self.”
The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Night” quote: “Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it’s easier than explaining what is killing you inside.” | Image: Amodays
“You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are.”
“It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message. Everything burns!”
“And how many dead eyes can you look into before you die inside yourself?”
“If you weren't so crazy, I'd think you were insane…”
"We live in a society where honor is a distant memory. Isn't that right..."
The Joker in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” quote: “I am not someone who is loved. I’m an idea. A state of mind.” | Image: Amodays
"Desire becomes surrender. Surrender becomes power."
“I am not someone who is loved. I’m an idea. A state of mind.”
"Do I look like the kind of clown that could start a movement? I killed those guys because they were awful. Everybody is awful these days. It's enough to make everyone crazy."
“For my whole life, I didn’t know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice.”
“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.”
The Joker in Todd Phillip’s “Joker” quote: “I’ve got nothing left to lose. Nothing can hurt me anymore. My life Is nothing but a comedy.” | Image: Amodays
“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't.”
“Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?”
"You think men like Thomas Wayne ever think what it's like to be someone like me? To be somebody but themselves? They don't. They think that we'll just sit there and take it, like good little boys! That we won't werewolf and go wild!”
“I killed those guys because they were awful. Everybody is awful these days. It's enough to make anyone crazy.”
"I've got nothing left to lose. Nothing can hurt me anymore. My life is nothing but a comedy."
The Joker in Todd Phillip’s “Joker” quote: “Can you introduce me as Joker?” | Image: Amodays
“You don't listen, do you? I don't think you ever really listened to me. You just ask the same questions every week. 'How's your job? Are you having any negative thoughts?' All I have are negative thoughts. But you don't listen."
“Ugh, why is everybody so upset about these guys? If it was me dying on the sidewalk you'd walk right over me! I pass you every day and you don't notice me! But these guys? Well because Thomas Wayne would cry about them on TV?”
“Have you seen what it's like out there, Murray? Do you ever actually leave the studio? Everybody just yells and screams at each other. Nobody's civil anymore. Nobody thinks what it's like to be the other guy."
"I hope my death makes more cents than my life."
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"I think I felt better when I was locked up in the hospital.”
The Joker in Todd Phillip’s “Joker” quote: “Do I look like the kind of clown who could start a movement.” | Image: Amodays
"Can you introduce me as Joker?"
“Memories are what our reason is based upon. If we can’t face them, we deny reason itself!”
"I'm crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? No, thank you!"
“I went crazy! And I'm smart enough to admit it! Why can't you?”
“Yes, memory is so treacherous. One moment you're lost in a carnival of delight, childhood aromas, the flashing neon of puberty, all that sentimental candyfloss. The next, it takes you somewhere you don't want to be. Somewhere dark and cold, filled with damp, ambiguous-shaped things you'd rather forget. Memories can be vile, repulsive little brutes. Like children, no?”
The Joker in Alan Moore’s novel, “Batman: The Killing Joke” quote: “Remembering is dangerous, I find the past such a worrying anxious place."| Image: Amodays
“Well, that's what a dose of reality will do to you. It's why I never touch the stuff. I find it waters down the hallucinations.”
"Remembering's dangerous. I find the past such a worrying, anxious place.”
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“So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, headed for places in your past where the screaming is unavoidable. Remember this, there's always madness.”
“When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot!”
“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 in Alan Moore’s novel, “Batman: The Killing Joke” quote: “By clinging to reality, you're denying the reality of the situation.” | Image: Amodays
“By clinging to reality, you're denying the reality of the situation. I mean do you ever think about how close we've come to world war 3 over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Silly goose it's all a joke everything we valued or struggled for... It's monstrous.”
"There’s nothing more contagious than laughter.”
“You’re all prisoners. What you call sanity, it’s just a prison in your minds that stops you from seeing that you’re just tiny little cogs in a giant absurd machine. Wake up! Why be a cog? Be free like us. Just remember, smile.”
“What’s the secret to good comedy? Timing. And what’s courage? Grace under pressure. And who’s the boss? I’m the boss.”
“Lunatics and idiots? Oooh, my kind of people.”
The Joker in the series, “Gotham” quote: ““There are two types of people on this planet, you see. Them you can trust, and them you can’t.” | Image: Amodays
“I’m more than a man. I’m an idea. A philosophy.”
“We could all go insane with just one bad day.”
“The best cure is the laughing cure.”
“There are two types of people on this planet, you see. Them you can trust, and them you can’t.”
“That’s why I’ll outlive you. That’s why I’m loved. Cause I don’t give a damn about the rules. In the darkness, there are no rules.”
The Joker in the series, “Gotham” quote: “The best cure is the laughing cure.”| Image: Amodays
From Monaghan to Ledger to Nicholson, the Joker, no matter who and how he is played, this trickster continues to nag at our societal psyche. This is strange since he is portrayed as a villain or anti-hero.
But, whether you agree with the moral leanings of this clown, his quotes can still inspire you to think critically about the world we live in today.
If you enjoyed these quotes from "Joker," you may enjoy this hilarious compilation of quotes from the "Austin Powers" films.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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