Arguably, Batman is DC Comics' most popular character. With ten feature films featuring the character since the late '80s, countless animated films and television series, it is clear that production companies can never go wrong with Batman -- he is extremely iconic. Part of that is due to the character's rich history and interesting characteristics. In fact, some of the most interesting characters DC has to offer are Batman villains. His most iconic villain is undoubtedly The Joker, who has been Batman's foil since the beginning in Batman #1 released in 1940.
Since then, there have been countless interpretations of the character over the years in the comics, on the small screen and the big screen. Each actor has given his own twist on The Joker, focusing on a particular facet of the character that makes him so compelling to watch. As you well know, any time you have a great (or terrible) character, you will also find 1,000 memes about that character. Sometimes, they point out a flaw in the performance or costume design. Other times, they pit different interpretations of the character against each other. They could also poke fun at some memorable lines and scenes from the media. Let's look at the 15 best Joker memes.
15 I'M NOT GOING TO KILL YOU
"Oh, I'm not going to kill you... I'm just gonna date ya, really, really, bad." Somehow, that doesn't reassure us at all. If anyone says that to you, you should run for the hills and never, ever look back. Also, if the person saying that like happens to look like Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad, chances are that it is too late for you anyways. He's probably got you tied up.
We can't imagine a date with him being particularly fun unless you're as nuts as Harley Quinn and you're into the abuse she is subjected to. Even if it was a date with Jared Leto, we're not so sure it's a great idea since he's a little too method for our tastes. This meme exposes a sad truth about Harley and The Joker's relationship.
14 HOW DID I GET THESE SCARS?
In The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger's Joker tells the story of how he got the scars on the corners of his mouth multiple times throughout the course of the film, but each time, the story is drastically different. This is of course based on The Joker's origin story in The Killing Joke graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland where the reader learns all about The Joker's past before becoming The Joker only to find out that he doesn't actually remember his past and sees it as a multiple choice scenario.
In his eyes, he has multiple origin stories. Perhaps Ledger's Joker isn't based on this story, but actually doesn't remember how he got his scars. That must be really frustrating.
13 KNOCK KNOCK
It's quite surprising that we rarely hear knock knock jokes from The Joker -- especially on film. Chances are that the writers thought it would be a little too cheesy to include that kind of joke. Then again, the joke featured in this meme is so brutal they probably weren't willing to go that far in the movies. Also, it would only work in a movie where The Joker knows Batman's true identity (which would actually work perfectly in The Dark Knight).
Still, we can't imagine Christian Bale's Batman is the type to indulge The Joker enough to let him tell his knock knock joke. Also, we imagine that if The Joker were lucky enough to tell his joke, Batman wouldn't have the same reaction as the one in the meme. He would most likely break his one rule.
12 LUKE SKYWALKER PLAYED THE JOKER?
Anyone who grew up watching the original Star Wars trilogy was stunned when they found out that Luke Skywalker himself -- Mark Hamill -- played The Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. The villainous role is such a far cry from his heroic work as Skywalker that no one would ever expect he could play such a maniac so perfectly.
Chances are that when you found out this little tidbit, you had the same reaction as Luke Skywalker at the end of The Empire Strikes Back when he found out that Darth Vader is actually his father. This meme sums up that feeling perfectly, because if you hadn't seen his name in the credits, you would have no idea it was him. His Joker voice is so far removed from his regular voice that you could have never guessed it.
11 NICHOLSON V LEDGER
The debate about who played the better Joker wages on, so the actors who played the character, Jack Nicholson and Health Ledger decided to weigh in on the affair. Ledger tries to prove why his Joker is better and lists all of his accomplishments including how great The Dark Knight is. The Dark Knight made far more money than 1989's Batman, it is higher on the list of top movies on IMDb and Ledger won an Academy Award for his performance.
Nicholson begins to get discouraged by all of these accolades. How can he prove his Joker is better. Well the one thing Ledger didn't get was a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That may be a great accomplishment, but that has nothing to do with playing The Joker. Sorry Nicholson, we think Ledger won this battle.
10 LET'S PUT A SMILE ON THAT FACE
Jared Leto's Joker wasn't exactly a smash with audiences when they went to see Suicide Squad. We get that he wanted to do a different take on the Joker but it felt like he was trying way too hard and people noticed. Even Heath Ledger's Joker. We imagine that Ledger's Joker wouldn't be particularly pleased with this portrayal. In fact, he would probably be very discouraged considering how much Leto bastardized the Joker.
He would most likely stop mid "Do you want to know how I got these scars?" speech because Leto's Joker is so distracting and looks ridiculous. It's a hilarious meme, because Ledger's exasperation is kind of like how a lot of people felt every time Leto's Joker was on screen. Never mind is right. Never mind watching Suicide Squad because it's such a disaster and Leto doesn't help it one bit.
9 BETTER THAN TWILIGHT
Still a better love story than Twilight? Better in what sense? Better because Twilight is extremely poorly written and the relationship between Bella and Edward is extremely underdeveloped (Does Bella have absolutely zero agency? Why does she have to blindly follow this sparkling fool?) or better because it makes more sense for a psychiatrist to be physically and verbally abused by a psychopath than it is for a high school student to marry an overprotective vampire who is over 100 years her senior and watches her sleep at night without her knowing?
We suppose Bella and Edward win in terms of the quality of their relationship because at least Edward tries to protect her (even if he didn't particularly skilled at it -- just leave her alone if you want her to be safe). However, Harley and Joker definitely have a more interesting relationship, that's for sure!
8 EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MINDS
The text in this meme refers to a scene in The Dark Knight where The Joker confronts Harvey Dent in the hospital after his girlfriend Rachel is killed and he is gravely burned and becomes Two-Face. The Joker explains how the world is essentially chaotic and makes absolutely no sense. It's an incredibly intense scene, but people have often used it to create memes that refer to those particular lines of dialogue.
Rather than using screenshots from The Dark Knight, the person who created this meme decided to use an entirely different Joker: Jack Nicholson. It makes fun of how people sometimes use the wrong meme to make a point and people lose their minds because they can't handle that the person who created the meme made a mistake.
7 JOKER V TWO-FACE
The Joker has always been amazing at quick-witted comebacks. Whether it be in the comics, the films, the video games or the various animated series, fans remain on the edge of their seat every time The Joker appears because you never know what he will say next. He is an extremely captivating character and he is often times quite entertaining and funny. The meme above is a perfect example of that, where the Joker has a perfect comeback for Two-Face who requests The Joker get out of his face.
The Joker slyly replies, "Which one?" which leaves Two-Face stunned. This is yet another instance that proves how great The Joker is. Rather than acknowledge Two-Face's threat, he makes a joke out of the whole situation while also poking fun at the person threatening him.
6 BAD ANIMATION
Have you ever flipped through some of your favorite comic books and been amazed by the art found in those pages? Perhaps you were so amazed that you thought you would finally try your hand at art. You placed your pencil on the paper and started to draw but you soon realized that your horribly disfigured attempt at Batman is too embarrassing to share with others.
And thus ended your dreams of becoming a comic book artist. However, chances are that your lousy Batman art is much better than Jeff Matsuda's character design of The Joker for the animated series The Batman, which hit the airwaves in 2004. The Joker's hair and body type make him look more like an ape than the Clown Prince of Crime.
5 I'M GONNA LET YOU FINISH
This meme pokes fun at the ridiculousness that is Kanye West and his need to force his opinion on everyone else, even when no one asked him to. This reference goes back to the 2009 Video Music Awards when Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video for the song "You Belong To Me."
When she went on stage to accept her award, Kanye grabbed the microphone out of her hand mid acceptance speech and said, "Yo Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!" He was referring to Beyoncé's video for "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." As a result, countless memes have been created making fun of Kanye's attention-seeking, embarrassing outburst.
4 IT'S A KID SHOW, THEY SAID
Batman: The Animated Series was praised for its dark aesthetic that was a perfect homage to Tim Burton's take on the character. The series broke new boundaries for what one could expect from a children's program. Beyond its dark look, which is visually stunning by the way, the program was far more mature than anything people had seen in a kids' animated show before.
Now that you have a bit of backstory, that brings us to this meme. The show didn't shy away from violence and murder. Obviously, The Joker was a huge dispenser of violence throughout the series, often resulting in the death of his victims. It's a wonder that more small children weren't traumatized by the cartoon clown's after school programming mayhem and violence.
3 THE DARK SIDE
One of the most compelling things about Luke Skywalker is the dark past of his family. Despite the dark side within him and the fact that his father is Darth Vader, Luke vowed that he would never be tempted by the power of the dark side of the force and become evil. However, as we well know, some 20 years later, Luke became something far more evil than anything the dark side could imagine: he became The Joker.
Okay, maybe it was Mark Hamill, the actor who played both characters, but still! This meme does a great job of poking fun at that contrast. You have to admit that it is a pretty funny juxtaposition -- two characters at the polar opposite of the moral spectrum.
2 I'VE CREATED A MONSTER
We love this SpongeBob Squarepants meme because it makes fun of the ridiculous antics that went on behind the scenes during the filming of Suicide Squad. The rumors went on and on about how Jared Leto was so immersed in his portrayal of the Joker that he remained in character at all times on set.
Will Smith stated at one point that he didn't meet Jared Leto until the premiere of the movie. Before then, he only met The Joker. Other cast members have stated that Leto would send them creepy, disgusting presents and the director was completely freaked out by Leto. This was all obviously to create buzz for his performance, but it failed miserably, because he wasn't exactly a highlight of the movie.
1 LETO IS YOUR FAVORITE JOKER?
It's hard to believe that there are people out there that think Jared Leto's Joker is their favorite. We find that hard to believe because the character was so underdeveloped that it's hard to understand why anyone would feel attached to him in any way. So this meme perfectly encapsulates how any rational person would feel if they were told by a friend that their favorite Joker is Jared Leto.
Jerome Valeska played by Cameron Monaghan on Gotham is a proto-Joker and we perfectly understand why he would think it's hilarious that someone says Leto's Joker is their favorite. Although Monaghan's portrayal is another ripoff of Heath Ledger's take on the character (wasn't one ripoff enough?), we can at least say that his character is more interesting than Leto's.
Which of these Joker memes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!