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The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in all of cinematic and comic book history due to his iconic one-liners and morbidly hysterical jokes.
After all, a maniacal supervillain who dresses like a clown should have some pretty good zingers. Joker’s quotes are right up there with famous Batman quotes, which only seems appropriate since he is the dark knight’s arch-enemy after all.
Not only have some of the best comic writers written dialogue for the Clown Prince of Crime, from Grant Morrison to Frank Miller to Alan Moore, but some of the most iconic actors have played him with horrifying glee, from Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Joaquin Phoenix, and Mark Hamill.
That means the Joker has some of the funniest quotes ever written and performed.
Below are the best Joker funny quotes and phrases, collected from both his most famous comic book appearances to the most iconic movie appearances.
I’ve also included a bit of backstory on each quote to put it in context.
1. “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin Laid An Egg. The Batmobile Lost A Wheel And The Joker Got Away!”
On Christmas Eve, Joker takes over the television to air a pirated “Christmas Special,” giving Batman and Robin until midnight to rescue Commissioner Gordon from Joker’s traps.
But before he’s able to take over the airwaves, he has to escape Arkham Asylum. And since The Joker can never miss an opportunity to ham it up, he takes the Christmas spirit in stride and sings his way out of the asylum riding a… Christmas tree?!
Check out the clip below:
Played with absolute glee by the voice talent of Mark Hamill, this episode is also allegedly Mark’s favorite episode as himself playing the killer clown.
It’s full of gallows humor as Joker pretends to host a Christmas special, complete with commercial breaks and cutaways to killer toys terrorizing Joker’s hostages.
Here’s a video of Mark Hamill singing the fan-favorite line in an interview
I might be biased, but this quote was so “funny” at the time this episode came out in the early 1990s that my parents would even sing it.
I was a kid at the time, so they must have watched it with me, but it became an instant classic in my household, and many kids in grade school also knew it.
2. “This suit wasn’t cheap. You outta know, you bought it.”
From: The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight is without question the best live-action, on-screen portrayal of Joker that has ever been attempted, and unfortunately, Heath Ledger passed away before he could pick up the role again.
In this scene, Joker crashes a “meeting of the mobsters” to offer his services. In order to assert dominance in a room full of alphas, he immediately dispenses with one of their bodyguards.
But in classic Joker style, he can’t just come in guns blazing, so he offers this as an opening gambit:
“How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear…Ta-daa! It’s… it’s gone.”
Right after the Joker’s magic disappearing pencil trick, he threatens (or more like, teases) the mobsters not to mess up his new suit (that he bought with their stolen money) with this iconic line. Check it out:
3. “Well, That Was Fun. Who’s For Chinese?”
Now, Mark Hamil’s favorite Joker moment is actually the eulogy for Batman The Joker gives near the end of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series.
Joker believes a small-time crook accidentally killed Batman, so he throws him a funeral (which ends up being the “funeral” or should I say, execution of the crook himself.)
Here’s the full monologue:
“Dear friends… today is the day the Clown cried. And he cries not for the passing of one man, but for the death of a dream. The dream that he would someday taste the ultimate victory over his hated enemy. For it was the Batman who made me the happy soul I am today. How I agonized over the perfect way to thank him for that. Perhaps with a cyanide pie in the face. Or an exploding whoopie-cushion playfully planted in the Batmobile…but those dreams were dashed by the weaselly little gunsel sitting there in our midst. The cowardly insignificant gonif who probably got lucky when Batman slipped on the slime trail this loser left behind him. This mound of diseased hyena filth who’s not fit to lick the dirt from my spats…But I digress. The time for sorrow has passed. It’s time to look to a future filled with smiles. And I’ll be smiling again just as soon as we take that man THERE…and slap him in that box THERE… and roll him into that vat of acid THERE!”
And then, after Harlequin plays off Batman and the crook to a beautiful kazoo rendition of Amazing Grace, the Joker lets out a silent flood of tears for his fallen adversary.
Written by Paul Dini, the entire eulogy is a genius monologue that twists from “reverence to rage” and finally settles on “Who’s for Chinese?”
See, for the Joker to be the Joker, he can’t linger on his feelings too long… But as Heath Ledger’s Joker says in the Dark Knight: “Kill you? I don’t want to kill you. You… you complete me!”
Watch the entire brilliant scene here:
There’s another iconic line from this same episode – when Joker realizes his adversary has potentially fallen, he lets out a single, solemn joke… but his heart’s just not in it. He’s too sad!
Check it out here:
4. “Oh Salvator, why so formal? Mi Casa nostra es su Casa nostra”
The very dark 1993 Batman movie Mask of the Phantasm is an underrated classic. In the film, Batman is wrongfully accused of a series of murders undertaken by a similarly-dressed masked vigilante.
It turns out, this new assassin is slowly but surely taking down Gotham’s top mob leaders with a scythe-like blade and a grim reaper aesthetic.
When the last of the old-time mob bosses have to track down the Joker at an abandoned World Fair, the Joker (played once again by the incredible Mark Hamill) is absolutely gleeful to see an old friend. He’s full of manic joy and has no shortage of mafia-inspired puns that flew right over tons of kids’ heads.
“Can it be? Old Sallie “the Wheezer” Valestra! Welcome, paisan! It’s been a dog’s age!”
To those who don’t know, the term paisan means “fellow countrymen” in Italian and is a term used in a ton of mob media:
The joke that this headline is based on is a play on words on La Cosa Nostra, which is the name of the Italian mob.
Check out the clip below for the joke in context here:
Joker is absolutely unhinged in this movie. He has plenty of fun with his “home of the future” hideout, where he constantly plays house with a robot housewife, which leads to this classic line…
“What do you say, hun? Feeling the old electricity tonight…?”
But then he’s interrupted, and accidentally rips a piece off her face, which leads to this line that definitely went over kids’ heads:
“Ain’t it always the way? You get in the mood and company shows up…”
Check out the full scene below
5. “Compare Me To Batman?! I’ve Got More Style. More Brain. I’m Certainly A Better Dresser.”
From: Batman: The Animated Series, S1, Episode 11: “Be a Clown”
Joker really can’t suffer insults without dishing out a taste of his own medicine. That’s why, when the Mayor of Gotham calls Batman and The Joker “cut from the same cloth,” he goes off at the TV.
Watch the clip below:
6. “Aw, so you do think about me.”
Without giving away spoilers, the storyline of Under the Red Hood leads Joker, Batman, and Jason Todd to face off. Jason Todd challenges Batman’s moral code over his inability to kill Joker.
They have a pretty intense debate, which leads to this quippy one-liner that is so classic Joker.
Todd: “Ignoring what he’s done in the past. Blindly, stupidly disregarding the entire graveyards he’s filled, the thousands who have suffered, the friends he’s crippled. You know, I thought… I thought I’d be the last person you’d ever let him hurt. If it had been you that he beat to a bloody pulp, if he had taken you from this world, I would’ve done nothing but search the planet for this pathetic pile of evil, death-worshiping garbage and then send him off to hell!”
Batman: “You don’t understand. I don’t think you’ve ever understood.”
Todd: “What? That your moral code just won’t allow for that? It’s too hard to cross that line?”
Batman: “No! God Almighty, no. It’d be too damned easy. All I’ve ever wanted to do is kill him. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he’s dealt out to others, and then… end him.”
And then Joker says…
Don’t watch the rest unless you want spoilers – it’s a great film with an epic story that covers one of the most iconic storylines from the comics.
I will say, without giving anything away, there’s a great line at the beginning of the scene, where Joker is revealed to Batman and Batman has no choice but to ham it up.
“So, who’s got a camera? Ooh ooh, get one of me and the kid first, then you and me, then the three of us, and then one with the crowbar, then-”
– and then he gets punched in the head by Todd. You know, because he deserves it.
7. “Let her go” “Very poor choice of words…”
From: The Dark Knight
The first time Heath Ledger’s Joker and Batman face off is an amazing showdown that’s much too short. Of course, the Joker knows he can’t beat Batman in a fair fight so he resorts to cheap tricks, like a knife in his shoe, in order to get the advantage.
Batman takes out all of Joker’s men and is left face to face with Joker, but before Batman can get the jump on him, Joker has Rachel, Batman’s childhood friend and serious girlfriend of Gotham defense attorney Harvey Dent, at gunpoint.
He cracks the window, and dangles her out of it, which prompts Batman to ask him to “let her go.”
As the Joker says… “Very poor choice of words…”
Check out the scene below:
8. “You know, its funny. This reminds me of a joke…”
From: Batman, The Killing Joke
One of the best comics featuring the Joker ever written is probably The Killing Joke by Alan Moore. The comic was adapted into the 2016 animated film of the same name.
After a dramatic, cathartic moment where Batman and the Joker reconcile with the fact that they are cut from the same cloth, Batman offers a chance for the Joker to try and get healthy again.
The Joker is forced to turn him down and states he’s far too gone to be saved. However, the whole thing does remind him of a joke.
I won’t kill the punchline, so I’ll let you watch the clip below to see it for yourself. It’s the perfect ending to the film.
Now if that line gets BATMAN to laugh?! You know it has to be one of the Joker’s best jokes.
9. “You look good. Been working out? You could probably use a little sun. Then again, who am I to talk?”
Batman and Robin go to visit Joker in Arkham Asylum in order to uncover what he knows about the new mysterious villain “under the red hood.” Upon seeing Batman for the first time in a long while, Joker can’t help but tease the caped crusader.
Of course, he can’t help but make the joke self-deprecating, being that he’s been locked in a padded cell for years and always wears pale white make-up.
Here’s the clip:
After Joker takes his teasing of Batman too far, Batman throws him up against the wall, then drops Joker to the floor.
Joker gets back to the topic with another hauntingly self-aware line:
“You really think I would stir up so much trouble and not make sure you knew it was me?”
10. “Don’t like it? I’m crazy for it!”
From: The Killing Joke
In The Killing Joke, the mad clown prince of crime is in the market for some new property. He’s shown around an abandoned circus by the carnival owner, and the following exchange ensues:
Carny Owner: “So, had enough time to look over the property? It’s what you’re looking for?”
The Joker: “Well, it’s garish, ugly, and smells like piss. Can’t quite make out whether it’s bums or rats, but it’s piss. I’m a connoisseur when it comes to eau de toilette. As for the rides, any innocent little child getting on one could be maimed or worse.”
Carny Owner: “So you don’t like it?”
The Joker: “Don’t like it? I’m crazy for it!”
Not only is this a genius play on words due to the Joker’s psychological state, but of course the idea of children getting maimed would be his idea of the perfect investment.
But since this is the Joker we’re talking about, he doesn’t leave the puns there:
Carny Owner: “Okay. Okay, that’s great. So, the price, with what you’ve mentioned, we can negotiate.”
The Joker: “No need to. Sure your price is steep, but as I look around, all I can see is I’ll be making a killing.”
Check out the clip here:
You can pretty much guess what comes next.
But if you’d rather watch for yourself, here’s the rest of the clip from just after where the above quote leaves off:
11. “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.”
From: Batman (1989)
Before Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson’s Joker performance was heralded as the best there could be. Of course, the part was perfect for Nicholson’s manic acting style, so he really didn’t have to act much at all. As he famously told Michael Keaton in rehearsals, “we just gotta let the wardrobe do the acting.”
Here’s a scene where Joker confronts Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale in her flat. Joker, “in love with” Vicki, pulls the gun on Bruce and threatens him like so:
The Joker: “Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
Bruce Wayne: “What?”
The Joker: “I always ask that of all my prey. I just… like the sound of it.”
And then, of course, he shoots him.
As he leaves Vicki, he leaves her with this iconic line. Though, in order to really get the humor of it, you’ve gotta watch Jack’s performance as Joker.
Check it out here:
Nothing like a good raspberry to close out a scene!
Of course, Jack’s love of improv and unchained performance really hammed up the role, which made Heath Ledger’s performance so much more surprising and exciting.
For more of Joker’s darker side, check out these deep joker quotes here.
12. “I go Looney”
From: The Killing Joke
Since Mark Hamil said The Killing Joke would probably be the last time he played the Joker due to what the voice does to his vocal cords, the whole movie is truly a gem.
Not only is it based on the best Joker comic ever written, but it’s a fairly faithful adaptation – not quite as dark as the comic, but in some ways is even darker.
In one way that is both dark and light, the Joker gets a musical number that I’m absolutely mad about. Without spoiling the rest of it besides the main hook (featured above), you can check it out for yourself in the clip below:
13. “You know, kids, a lot has changed while your old Uncle Joker’s been away. New Gotham, new rules, even a new Batman. But now I’m tanned, I’m rested, and I’m ready to give this old town a wedgie again!”
Batman Beyond was a fun early 2000s reinterpretation of what would happen when Bruce Wayne retires and a new Batman takes on the mantle, and it’s set in a futuristic world.
While the show was a hit for kids who grew up with it, many might have missed the television show.
However, fans of the clown prince of crime should definitely check out the feature film version, once again starring Mark Hamill in the Joker’s first appearance in the series.
Despite being in his mid-80s, the Joker seems as spry and lively as he always was, complete with his devilish sense of humor.
A gang of criminal clowns gathers in a secret hideout, where it appears the old Joker has been calling the shots. One of the new clowns, Bonk, starts to question his authority. As any Joker fan knows, this is usually a bad idea.
Bonk: “He’s got us running around, ripping a bunch of geek junk, but no cash! He won’t tell us what his plan is, if he even has one! I-want-out!”
The Joker: “If you insist.”
He raises a gun on Bonk.
Bonk: “Hey, man, take it easy… I-I was just kiddin’!”
But the Joker pulls the trigger, and BANG! Literally. A flag pops out that says “BANG.”
Joker: “So was I.”
As Joker laughs it off, everyone else lets out a sigh of relief. Only it’s short-lived, as Joker pulls the trigger again and the flagpole bursts from the gun and pierces Bonk, dropping him to the floor.
The Joker: “Oops! No, I wasn’t!”
And from there, he goes into his underwear-yanking monologue. Check out the clip here:
14. “As though we were made for each other…Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else calls you ‘beast,’ I’ll rip their lungs out.”
From: Batman (1989)
In this scene, Joker and Batman have a bell-tower brawl. Joker takes Vicki Vale dancing with him. He stops and then decides, manically, to hold a gun to his head and pull the trigger. Of course, there’s a BANG flag in it. Classic Joker!
As we close in on the couple dancing while Batman fights off a henchman, Joker says this iconic (and hilarious) quote.
“As though we were made for each other…Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else calls you ‘beast,’ I’ll rip their lungs out.”
I guess Joker thinks of himself as the beauty!
Check out the clip here. THere’s also an awesome callback to the previous scene we shared from this version of Batman, so watch until the end for the payoff:
Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.