Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

"Without Batman, crime has no punchline."
―The Joker[src]

The Joker was the alter ego of the mob boss and former hitman Jack Napier that was Batman's deadliest archenemy who was menacing, merciless, shrewd, and extremely dangerous. He exasperated every wicked trick to take over Gotham City and ruin Batman's life both emotionally and physically. The “Clown Prince of Crime” had no pity for anybody he forced to take part in his wicked schemes either by intimidation or fraud and was particularly abusive and sick to his former sidekick and ex-girlfriend Harley Quinn, such as manipulating her to amuse himself. He also escaped death several times after his defeats with Batman.


Early Days and Origins[]

Jack Napier

A young Jack Napier

As an unknown and mysterious crook, Jack started out as a young mobster working for the mob triad of Sal Valestra, Buzz Bronski, and Chuckie Sol. At one point early on, before his forthcoming mishap, he and Bruce Wayne caught a glimpse of each other. One of his last jobs took place in Europe on the Mediterranean Coast. His target was Carl Beaumont, a businessman who had fled the States after the mob bosses discovered he embezzled a fortune.

Years later, he tried to rob the Ace Chemicals Plant, but Batman showed up at the scene and Jack fell into a vat of chemicals which disfigured him. His skin turned white, his hair green, and his lips red, giving birth to Joker, the clown prince of crime.[citation needed]


After becoming the crazy criminal and mob boss known as Joker, he started perpetrating crimes with the sole purpose of creating chaos. He would also give to himself multiple fake tragic backstories to convince people to have sympathy and working for him.

Christmas Event[]

Main article: Christmas With the Joker
CWtJ 42 - Joker and his hostages

Joker kidnapped Gordon, Bullock and Summer Gleeson

This is clearly evident during Christmas' Eve, when Joker escaped from Arkham Asylum on a rocket Christmas Tree and hijacked the TV signal of the entire city. Joker kidnapped Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson and Harvey Bullock, forcing Batman to overcome several challenges such as saving a train from running into a collapsed bridge and destroying a cannon installed in the Gotham Observatory; all this while he aired the events on TV. Batman located the source of the broadcast at Laffco Toy Factory, where Joker was prepared with several weapon toys and henchmen armed and ready to attack Batman. Joker almost dropped his hostages to death, but they were saved by Batman and Joker was returned to Arkham Asylum, where he spent Christmas, locked in his cell while singing Chrmiss bells and laughing.

Poisoning Gotham[]

Main article: The Last Laugh
TLL 10 - ..

Joker spread his laughing gas

However, some of his crimes seem to have a logical goal. On another occasion, Joker planned to gain major profits by spreading his laughing gas across Gotham. In order to achieve this, Joker used a load of garbage that was transported through the river and he sprayed the garbage with his laughing toxin. As a result, almost the entire population was infected and couldn't stop laughing; allowing the Joker to roam the city and steal from them at will. Batman went looking for Joker and after destroying Joker's robot named Captain Clown, Joker led Batman on a wild goose chase across an abandoned waste treatment plant. Joker almost succeeded on his intent of eliminating Batman, but the Dark Knight stopped him once again.

Mistaken Identity[]

Main article: Be a Clown
BaC 39 - Joker and Jordan

Joker posing as Jekko

When Hamilton Hill compared Joker with Batman, the Clown Prince of Crime didn't take it kindly. As a way to prove himself superior to Batman, Joker decided to infiltrate the Mayor's house and create chaos during Jordan Hill's birthday party. Joker took the identity of the hired party clown, Jekko and infiltrated Hill's house, leaving a dynamite candle in the middle of the garden. As he was leaving, Jordan hid on Joker's car and he ended up on Joker's hideout. Joker took advantage of the situation and used Jordan to lure Batman into a trap. Joker forced Jordan to watch as Batman failed to escape his trap, but Jordan ran away. Batman escaped Joker's trap and they took the fight to a rollercoaster, where Batman dropped Joker to the river below and the abandoned amusement park was utterly destroyed and Joker nowhere to be found.

Harley Quinn[]

As a recurrent patient of Arkham Asylum, the Joker was often psycho-analyzed, at one point by Dr. Harleen Quinzel. After one session, the Joker fooled Dr. Quinzel as he painted himself as a misunderstood soul crying out for the world to accept him. Quinzel soon found herself in love with the Joker, and broke him out of Arkham.

JF 16 - Harley and Joker

Joker and Harley

The first crime they pulled together as a team was the blackmailing of the mild-mannered salary man Charlie Collins. They forced him into helping them attack Commissioner Gordon during an event on his honor. This plan however, was foiled by Batman thanks to Collins' intervention and the couple of criminals were captured.[2]

However, Joker's abusive attitude towards Harley caused her to form a partnership with fellow criminal Poison Ivy, leaving Joker's side. The Clown Prince of Crime eventually noticed Harley's absence and he learned of her success alongside Ivy. Joker located them and tried to put and end to their alliance, but he was stopped by Batman.[3]

Joker Fish[]

Main article: The Laughing Fish

Joker managed to escape and set his next plan in motion when he transformed the fish of the Gotham Harbor into smiling creatures with his face, in an attempt to copyright the natural resource. Of course, his claim was denied and Joker attempted to murder the public officials who denied him his prize. Joker's attacks were almost successful as he managed to reach his victims, but they were both saved by Batman. Shortly after, Detective Harvey Bullock found Joker's hideout at the Aquarium and tried to round up the criminal, but ended up falling into a trap.

TLF 01 - Smiling Fish

The Joker Fish

Joker then threatened Bullock's life in order to stop Batman, who had also found his hideout. Joker threw Batman and Bullock into a shark tank, hoping that they were killed by the shark, but when they escaped the tank, Joker tried to escape through the rooftop, leaving Harley and his gang to be arrested. Joker was confronted one final time by Batman and realizing that he had nowhere left to run, Joker decided to drop to the ocean, unaware that the shark had been freed and was awaiting in the waters below. The police searched for Joker's body, but the Clown of Crime was nowhere to be found.

Some time after this, The Joker, along with Two-Face and the Penguin travel to Yucca Springs on an invite from Hugo Strange, who claimed to know the identity of Batman, but instead they were all captured by the Dark Knight.[4]

Gambling with the Devil[]

Main article: Joker's Wild

While in Arkham, Joker learned that ex-businessman Cameron Kaiser made his newly built casino resemble the Joker's look, which infuriated the Joker and forced him to escape in order to destroy Kaiser and his casino. However, Joker was confronted by Batman, who made him realize that Kaiser was expecting Joker to destroy the casino, so he could cash in the insurance money. After learning the truth, Joker went straight for Kaiser and almost managed to kill him, but Batman stopped him and Joker was returned to Arkham.

MWKB 58 - Joker

"Crime has no punchline..."

Eventually and with help from Harley, Joker captured Batman and almost killed him in a deadly trap, but he was saved by Catwoman. In revenge, Joker captured Catwoman and placed her in a deadly trap. The next night, Joker had a meeting with some fellow villains to whom he revealed the location of the Catwoman, bragging about his success. However, among the crooks was Batman in disguise and after learning the truth from Joker, the Dark Knight captured the madman and rescued Catwoman.[5] Later, Joker learned that Batman was apparently killed by a low profile crook called Sid the Squid. Joker took Sid to his hideout and tried to kill the man for having eliminated Batman, making Joker lose purpose on his life.[6] Eventually Joker learned that Batman was not really dead.

Sometime later, the Joker was hunted by The Phantasm due to his past ties to the Valestra Mob group. He also ended up disposing of Sal Valestra after the latter unwisely demanded his help in stopping the Phantasm. He later injected Arthur Reeves with Joker Toxin, and finally confronted both Batman and the Phantasm, actually Andrea Beaumont, the daughter of the man whom he murdered a long time ago, at the World of Tomorrow. When overcome and at the mercy of Andrea while the theme park was burning to the ground, the Joker couldn't help but laugh.[7]

ML 62 - Joker

Joke's on him

Joker was later part of the plan to eliminate Batman by kidnapping him and subjecting him to a fake trial in Arkham.[8] Later, the Joker tried to con his way to a local comedy trophy by using the Mad Hatter's mind control chips on the event's judges. Another time, the Joker stole a nuclear warhead and almost successfully set it off on the residence of Mayor Hill, but was ultimately stopped by Batman with help from Harley.[9] After escaping from Arkham once again, Joker decides to get revenge on the comedians that prevented him from winning a comedy contest and using technology stolen from The Mad Hatter, Joker turns the comedians into mindless followers of his commands. Without them, Joker attempted to steal the comedy trophy of the contest, but his plans were foiled again by Batman and Robin and he was captured.[10]

In the New Batman Adventure series "Joker's Millions" Joker inherits a fortune from a rival gangster but when it's revealed that most of the money is fake, and that the Joker has already spent those few thousand who are real; Joker is in a no win no win dilemma: If he admits to being fooled he'll be the laughing stock of the underworld; if he doesn't get any ready cash soon he'll arrested for tax evasion. Joker goes on a crime spree and is arrested; the biggest suprize is in the end in a police van where he meets his partner Harley Quinn disguised as a policewoman who had just escaped from Arkham Asylum; Quinn is very angry with Joker who tried a substitute "Harley Quinn" in his crime spree and offscreen she is heard beating Joker up! {Feb 21, 1998]


Regardless of the state of his seriously twisted mind, The Joker was a brilliant planner, and never appeared to run out of schemes. Often, The Joker's plans were connected to humor, though at the same time, were extremely perilous which resulted in him being dreaded wherever his schemes took him. The Joker could lie effortlessly and was remarkably accomplished at making up heart-rending stories that were capable of deceiving people into believing that he was simply misinterpreted, or in Harley Quinn's case, essentially taking pity on him and making her determined to help him in any way possible. His stories were well-known to have no limits, varying from a cruel and abusive father, to a runaway mother.


Over the years, the Joker used a wide variety of gadgets to exact his comedic murders. His equipment included:

  • Bladed playing cards[11]
  • Joy Buzzers[11]
  • Laughing Gas
  • Joker bombs (some real, some for pranks)[2]
  • Most famously, the Joker had an Acid Flower attached to his suit. This flower emitted a wide variety of chemicals, depending on the situation and the Joker's mood. Laughing gas and acid were popular variants.

The Joker owns two pet laughing hyenas, named Bud and Lou, which Harley takes care of.

Background Information[]

Joker's Name

Although none of the identities revealed in the comics for the The Joker ever gave him a full name, "Jack Napier" was used in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and later utilized in the DCAU as well. In Dreams in Darkness, Dr. Bartholomew refers to him by that name, and in Joker's Wild, his name can be seen in a file about him. Either they or the Joker himself could have altered his file to show that he had operated under a variety of aliases. It is also possible that the Joker did indeed use a number of aliases, and that Jack Napier is simply his most commonly agreed-upon name.



Feature film[]

Video Games[]


  • In the unfinished episode "The Gun Story", the Joker was originally going to be revealed to have been the one who shot and killed Bruce's parents, rather than the usual killer, Joe Chill.
    • This is a reference to the 1989 Batman film, which had the Joker be the one who killed Bruce's parents.
  • The Joker's voice was inspired by actor, Claude Rains and the Chief Blue Meanie from The Beatles animated movie, Yellow Submarine.
  • Mark Hamill who is the voice of Joker plays Luke Skywalker on Star Wars he is also the voice of several other animated villains.
  • The Joker's relationship with Harley Quinn is frequently shown as abusive and at times very pathetic, as the affection Harley feels is usually shown to be very one-sided; as Batman put it, the Joker is only capable of loving himself.


  1. At the start of the Animated Series, Joker is 44 years old, next to Batman’s 32. We know this because multiple sources that directly tie into Batman: Mask of the Phantasm state that Jack Napier in the flashbacks is approximately 35 years old. And we know because if The Phantasm (Andrea Beaumont)’s line “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years”, we know that the flashbacks take place 10 years prior to the film. The film is set 1 year after the premiere of the show (the film takes place in 1993). This means that the flashbacks take place in the year 1983, making Joker 45 in 1993 and placing his birth year around 1948. This would place him in his 70s today.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Joker's Favor
  3. Harley and Ivy
  4. The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne
  5. Almost Got 'Im
  6. The Man Who Killed Batman
  7. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  8. Trial
  9. Harlequinade
  10. Make 'Em Laugh
  11. 11.0 11.1 Be a Clown