Batman Beyond

Episode 1

Return of the Joker

Aired Saturday 9:00 AM Dec 12, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

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Episode Summary

Return of the Joker

The Joker is back in town... and all the wounds he left are ripped back open. Is he for real?

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  • In what you could call the final episode of Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne and Terry McGinnis meet a blast of Wayne's past, arguably facing their most dangerous threat in their lives.moreless

    This TV movie brilliantly bringed back the most essential villain of the Batman Universe: The Joker, revealing finally his fate, along to the one of many essential characters of the series, mainly Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake (The third Robin). We saw how powerful is the Joker as Batman's nemesis, showing it easily when he killed one of the Jokerz without any mercy, and how affraid of him, or better said, traumatized, Bruce was after Tim's brainwash and posterior murder of the joker, showing that those scars never really heal. How you can't let the past go. How it hurts.moreless
Will Friedle

Will Friedle

Terry McGinnis / Batman

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Bruce Wayne

Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon

Commissioner Barbara Gordon

Lauren Tom

Lauren Tom

Dana Tan

Teri Garr

Teri Garr

Mary McGinnis

Ryan O'Donohue

Ryan O'Donohue

Matt McGinnis

Teri Garr

Teri Garr

Mary McGinnis

Guest Star

Ryan O'Donohue

Ryan O'Donohue

Matt McGinnis

Guest Star

Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm


Guest Star

Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm

Saluting Guard

Recurring Role

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • The flashback Batgirl and Batman both have their revamped designs from The New Adventures of Batman. However, the Joker has his classic design from the Batman and Robin Animated series.

    • Having a second Batsuit would make more sense. After all, in the pilot episode "Rebirth", the one Bruce wore was certainly a larger size. It would look very loose on Terry's slender frame unless it had the ability to adjust itself. There's the possibility Bruce redesigned the suit to better fit Terry after the episode "Lost Soul" if there wasn't a spare costume at the time.

    • The design on the chest of Nightwing's costume is red in one scene, when it should be blue.

    • In "a Touch of Curare" Gordon mentions that Dick Grayson left. Here, Gordon says Batman forced them to hang up the tights, but does that include Nightwing?

    • Tim Drake is the second Robin for this version. The character Jason Todd is not mentioned in the universe Warner Bros. Animation has created.

    • The voice of Angie Harmon, who plays Barbara Gordon, is not suited for character of such an age. Stockard Channing, who played Gordon in the series, sounds very different from Harmon creating a discontinuity in the movie.

    • In the opening credits, both of the Executive Producer credits are misspelled "Exectutive".

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Batman: Good bad dog.

    • Joker: Dee Dee?
      Dee Dee: (both) We're with you!
      Joker: Boys?
      Chucko & Ghoul: We're with you!
      Joker: Bonk?
      (Waits for answer)
      Joker: Oh, right. Dead.

    • The Joker: Ah, the new boy. Ears are too long, but I miss the cape. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. Woof!
      (Woof dives at Batman)

    • Batman: What's the matter? I thought that you always wanted to make Batman laugh.
      Joker: YOU'RE NOT BATMAN!!!

    • Joker: (to Batman) Beneath all the stern and Batarangs, you're just a little boy in a play suit crying for Mommy and Daddy. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

    • Terry McGinnis: How you doing, killer (Ace)?
      Dog on TV: I wish I were dead, I wish I were dead!

    • Terry McGinnis: I'm trying to make up for past sins. The state says my three months in juvi' wiped me clean, but my soul tells me different. Everytime I put on that suit, it's my chance to help people who are in trouble. I guess, on a personal level, it's a chance to look like a worthwhile human being again; in my eyes if no one else's. It's what I want Bruce.
      Bruce Wayne: Stupid kid. You don't know what you want; none of you ever did.

    • (To Terry)
      Bruce: I've been thinking about something you once told me, and you were wrong. It's not Batman that makes you worthwhile, it's the other way around. Never tell yourself anything different.

    • Tim Drake: I don't do this anymore. I have a home and family. I gave this up years ago. It was kids' stuff, that's all it was. Fun and games. Boy Wonder playing the hero, fighting the bad guys and no one ever gets ... Oh, God. I killed him. I didn't mean to. I tried so hard to forget. But I still hear the shot. Still see his dead smile. Every night the dreams get stronger! He's there when I sleep, whispering, laughing! Telling me I'm just as bad as he is! We're both the same!

    • (To the Joker)
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: So you fell in a tank of acid, got your skin bleached, and decided to become a supervillain. What, you couldn't get work as a rodeo clown?

    • The Joker: Funny guy.
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Can't say the same thing about you.
      The Joker: Impudent brat. Who do you think you're talking to?
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Not a comedian, I'll tell you that.
      The Joker: Shut your mouth!
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: The real Batman never talked to you much, did he? That's probably why you were so fixated on him.
      The Joker: Don't play psychoanalyst with me, boy.
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Oh, I don't need a degree to figure you out. The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man.
      The Joker: I'm not hearing this...
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Get a clue, clowny. He's got no sense of humor. He wouldn't know a good joke if it bit him in the cape. Not that you ever had a good joke. I mean, joy buzzers, squirting flowers - lame. Where's the A material? Make a face, drop your pants, something!

    • (to the Joker)
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Let's dance, Bozo.

    • The Joker: You're out of your league, McGinnis. I know every trick the original Batman and Robin knew at their peaks.
      Terry McGinnis/Batman: Maybe, but you don't know a thing about me.
      The Joker: You? What's to know? You're a punk, a rank amateur, a costumed errand boy taking orders from a senile old man.

    • The Joker: What are you doing?!?
      Terry McGinnis: Fighting dirty.
      The Joker: The real Batman wouldn't...
      Terry McGinnis: I told you you didn't know a thing about me.

    • Terry McGinnis: What can you tell me about clowns?
      Barbara Gordon: In this town, they're never funny.

    • The Joker: Ah, not too shabby. The ears are too long, and I miss the cape. But not too shabby.

    • The Joker: I'm tanned, I'm rested, and I'm ready to give this town a wedgie again.

    • The Joker: Brave new world, which has such yutzes in it.

  • NOTES (19)

    • Awards and Nominations:

      - Won a Video Premiere Award for Best Sound

      - Nominated for a Video Premiere Award for Best Animated Video Premiere

      - Nominated for a Video Premiere Award for Best Art Direction

      - Won a Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Video Production

      - Nominated for a Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production

      - Nominated for a Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production

    • Apparently, Dick Grayson is still active in this time. Barbara says, "You should look up Nightwing sometime. Has he got stories." Nightwing is Dick Grayson's adult hero identity.

    • In the flashback, in one of the scenes with Batgirl hitting up a street woman for information, Black Canary is visible, holding the street woman by the shoulder. This shows a relationship with both Black Canary from Justice League Unlimited and the Batman comics (where Black Canary frequently works with Batgirl/Oracle).

    • Because of how Bruce makes peace with the ghosts of BTAS and Terry finally accepts the mantle of Batman for what it is, the film is considered the real series finale as opposed to "Unmasked."

    • There have been many questions as to when the film is set in the series timeline. However with Bruce Wayne once again taking the reins of Wayne Enterprises, the film is set some time after the events of the third season episode "Kings' Ransom".

    • Joker's stabbing of the original Batman in the leg during the flashback finally answers why the elder Bruce Wayne walks with a limp.

    • The Stacked Deck, a harbor-side bar renowned for scum, appears in the Batman: TASM episode "Batgirl Returns." Batman throws a guy through the window of the stacked Deck Club in the flashback. The dance club in Batman Beyond is called "Stacked."

    • The satellite looks a lot like HARDAC from "Heart of Steel."

    • The Orbital Laser Platform Joker uses in the film is a dead ringer for the one used against the rampaging Telekenetic Tetsuo in the anime AKIRA. The laser chase is very much inspired by AKIRA, and was apparently worked on by a person that worked on AKIRA. This is all according to the commentaries.

    • The twin Joker girls are apparently the granddaughters of Harley Quinn.

    • As the voice of Ghoul, Michael Rosenbaum appears to be doing his best Christopher Walken impression.

    • When this movie had it's UK television premiere on July 5th 2003, rather than show the UK's "Batman of the Future" edition, which features all the edits of the original American version, the unedited, widescreen American version, complete with "Batman Beyond" title, aired instead.

    • Eventually they (WB) released a non-edited version of the movie of DVD billing it as "the way it was truly intended."

    • Commentaries suggest there was a whole Penguin shakedown scene in the flashback search for Robin chapter that never made it. Also a scene where Bruce returns to Arkham to find a "sign" (animatics of this scene appears on the DVD).

    • The DVD commentary was recorded before the production crew had a chance to view the movie with test audiences.

    • There is another scene edited from both versions of the movie that features Bonk twitching to death after the Joker shoots him with his gas gun.

    • Tara Strong has a second uncredited role. She plays Barbara Gordon's secretary in the scene where Terry leaves Barbara's office.

    • When Bruce is checking the future-Joker's voice against that of the past-Joker, the clip is shown from a newly-animated segment of the original Batman animated episode "Holiday Knights," which was originally scripted but not produced when the episode was first made.

    • The US release of this film underwent a number of changes to make it more "child friendly", severly reducing the impact of several key scenes. Avoid.


    • Terry: Suspended animation due to floating around frozen in a block of ice.
      Terry's attempt to explain the Joker's return alludes to Captain America's return to life in Avengers (vol. 1) #4.