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Top 10 Joker Moments

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Jamie Leslie Some villains want to bring about the destruction or subjugation of the world, others… but what does the Joker want? Join as we count down our Top 10 Joker Moments. For this list, we'll be taking a look at all the memorable moments that have taken place with the titular Clown Prince of Crime throughout his various media appearances, be them comic books, movies or television. Special thanks to our users Marc Magma, Draco9904, mac121mr0, Jack Morris, Oscar Emond and Blake Stolba for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Script written by Jamie Leslie.

Top 10 Joker Moments

Some villains want to bring about the destruction or subjugation of the world, others… but what does the Joker want? Join as we count down our Top 10 Joker Moments.

For this list, we'll be taking a look at all the memorable moments that have taken place with the titular Clown Prince of Crime throughout his various media appearances, be them comic books, movies or television. Also, if you haven’t caught up on your superhero storylines, spoilers lie ahead.

#10: His First Appearance
“Batman” #01 (1940)

One must ask themselves, has The Joker always been this maniacal and random? Well his first appearance in 1940’s “Batman #1” as Gotham's most twisted crime boss show us that, yes, yes he was. The Joker makes his own grand introduction via a live radio broadcast, announcing the muders and crimes he plans to commit. Besides this, he also takes down some city's most infamous gangsters and abducts Robin all at the same time. The villain is eventually captured by Batman and sent to prison, and thus begins one of the most interesting hero/villain relationships in comic book history.

#9: Batman Makes the Joker Laugh
“Batman: Arkham City” [Video Game] (2011)

Batman and the Joker have never been able to see eye to eye when it comes to humor, but irony is something the two can both apreciate. In one last desperate attempt to steal the serum that would cure him of Venom sickness, The Joker blindsides Batman with a knife, which only results in the hero dropping the antidote to the floor. Devastated and hopeless, the villain attempts to sip on the last few droplets left from the spill while Batman reminds the Joker that he would have never chosen to let him die.

#8: The Joker's TV Special
“Batman” (1966-68)

The Joker was always a fan of theatrics. In the villain's grand scheme to hijack the S.S. Gotham, The Joker baits Batman and the Boy Wonder to the Gotham City Opera Company, where he knew they'd attempt to capture him. Having been defeated by Batman’s gas pellets earlier in the episode, the villain decides to get even with some chemicals of his own. Subduing the two with sneezing powder, Joker now plans to unveil Batman and Robin’s secret identities on live television. This puts quite a twist on show’s typical death trap cliff hangar, and is a scheme worthy of the Crown Prince of Crime.

#7: Joker Drives Superman Insane
“Injustice: Gods Among Us” (2013)

The Joker, tired of losing to Batman decides to quote ‘try it on easy mode’ and go up against Superman instead. In “Injustice: Gods Among Us” The Joker murders Superman’s pal Jimmy Olson and kidnaps a pregnant Lois Lane. Using Kryptonite infused Scarecrow toxin, the Joker tricks the now delusional Man of Steel into killing Lois Lane. As if that wasn’t ‘funny’ enough, Joker rigged a nuclear bomb to detonate in Metropolis when Lois dies, destroying Superman’s home. Yikes. Superman kills The Joker in reprisal, but this was all part of The Joker’s plan, as because he was never able to defeat Batman, maybe an enraged and insane Superman will do it for him.

#6: The Joker Dies
“The Dark Knight Returns” (1986)

Batman's deepest internal battle is remaining a symbol of justice, and The Joker's prime directive is to persistently challenge that very notion. Like we saw in our previous entry, The Joker has met his demise at various points in his mythos, however none of these other instances stack up to his death in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”. In a desperate struggle, Batman was forced to snap The Joker's neck, but only enough to paralyze him. Opting not to kill him as it would destroy his moral code as well as public appeal, the Joker finishes the job himself as one last parting gift to dear old Bats.

#5: The Joker Reveals Himself
“Batman” (1989)

While we can’t say enough good things about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, Jack Nicholson’s performance in the 1989 Batman film is just as haunting and memorable. When crime boss Carl Grissom conspires to have his rival Jack Napier killed during a heist gone wrong, Jack is reborn as the Joker. Imagine Grissom’s surprise when Jack shows up in his office, alive and seemingly well. It is revealed however that being doused with toxic waste and the subsequent reconstructive surgery left him with a very unique appearance, and quite the personality disorder.

#4: Joker Has The Bat Family For Dinner
“Death of the Family” (2012

If your arch nemesis ever invites you over for supper, just politely decline. After capturing most of the Bat Family, Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood and Batgirl in 2012’s “Death of the Family” The Joker forces Batman to surrender, subsequently electrocuting him and knocking him unconscious. When The Dark Knight wakes up, he finds that the Joker has seated him at a mock dinner party, surrounded by his friends, whose faces are covered with bloody rags and been douses in gasoline. The Joker, with the help of a brainwashed Alfred, serve the gang up with what he claims to be their own severed faces. If that isn’t the stuff of nightmare fuel, we don’t know what is.

#3: Why So Serious?
“The Dark Knight” (2008)

Apart from seeing his city in chaos, we are often reminded that all the Joker really want’s is to share in a good laugh. This point was driven home in the earth-shattering performance given to us by the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.” As eloquent as he is maniacal, The Joker crashes a party and pulls a blade to mouth of Rachel Dawes as he tells her a troubling and likely fabricated story from his childhood. The whole scene exuded tension, however it was the last three words that would give us chills even to this day.

#2: Joker Kills Jason Todd
Batman #427 (1988)

As ruthless and cold as we know this villain to be, there's no getting past how utterly disturbing this moment in comic book history was. In “A Death in the Family,” Jason Todd’s Robin parts ways with Batman in order to find his real mother. After reuniting with her, The Joker kidnaps the two and brutally beats Jason halfway to death with a crowbar. Batman arrives on the scene just a moment too late as The Joker blows both Jason and his mother up in a fiery explosion. Out of every act of villainy the Joker has committed against Batman and his allies, this was the one that cut the deepest. Sorry, make that second deepest...

Before we unveil our pick for Top Joker Moment, here are a few honorable mentions:

The Pencil Trick
“The Dark Knight” (2008)

The Joker Finally Gets Batman To Kill Him
JLA: The Nail (1998)

“I'm Melting”
“Batman” (1989)

Joker Kills Black Mask's Henchman
“Batman: Under the Red Hood” (2010)

#1: Joker Shoots Barbara Gordon

If there's one thing the Joker can't stand, it's those that just don’t laugh at his humor. In 1988’s “The Killing Joke,” the villain decides to bring none other than Commissioner Gordon into his construct of madness by shooting and paralyzing his daughter in their own home. To add injury to insult, The Joker takes pictures of Barbara Gordon's crippled body, and forces her father to view them on his twisted carnival ride. Not only is this horrifying event every parent’s worst nightmare, but the physical and mental damage the Joker inflicted upon Barbara would become a permanent aspect of her character.

Do you agree with our list? What Joker moment did you find most iconic? For more Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to


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