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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In the episode where the Scarecrow hits Batman with a drug that causes him to lose all fear, Robin has to step in to stop Batman from throwing a mook off a ledge saying that he's lost his fear of killing. This implies that Batman doesn't kill his criminal opponents not because he feels it is wrong or out of some sense of justice, but because he is afraid to.
    • That's not alternate, really. He is afraid to, in the sense that he's afraid of what he'll become if he gives in to that urge.
  • Awesome Music: In many, many ways. The show's introduction is famous for its music as much as for its almost-a-storyboard art style.
    • The second intro is less well-known, but also features some epic music.
    • Most villains have their own (often awesome) leitmotifs.
    • BTAS had a unique soundtrack for every episode, a feature that might never happen again.
    • The first theme spread beyond the show itself, turning up in nearly every DCAU show in either its original or remixed form. It remained awesome in every incarnation.
    • For many, Shirley Walker's Batman overture is even more iconic than Danny Elfman's theme.
  • Catharsis Factor: Seeing Roland Daggett lose his wealth and reputation is satisfying after seeing him being a Karma Houdini in his first two appearances.
  • Creepy Awesome: Scarecrow, after his redesign in The New Batman Adventures.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dick was already pretty popular as Robin. Once he became Nightwing, however, the fans couldn't get enough of him.
    • Harley Quinn, who was originally known as the Joker's "Hench Wench", and had such a huge fanbase that she evolved into her own character and got her own comic book story.
    • "Thriftie", a girl who only appeared in the episode "Beware the Creeper" working at a clothing store, where she watches completely stone-faced as The Creeper ransacks the store looking for a new superhero outfit, snarking at his comments the whole time.
    • The Clock King gained such a ridiculously outspoken fanbase on 4chan's comics and cartoons board that it's most likely what led to the introduction of a new version of the character exactly like him in the comics, and possibly contributing to his other appearances before that. /co/'s power to uplift characters with dumb concepts that somehow make them powerful is truly frightening.
      • By "new version exactly like him", I assume you mean "some new character that shares the name, and has nothing else in common with the character from the show". You're comparing a Batman villain obsessed with knowing how long it takes to do things to a Teen Titans villain with precognition powers.
    • Before this series, Mr. Freeze was just a generic ice-themed villain. The writers reimagined him as an Anti-Villain with a highly sympathetic backstory, lifting him among the most popular of Batman's villains. Hell, even the much-reviled Batman and Robin took inspiration from it!
    • The Creeper‘s popularity got a big boost for his hilarious appearance in "Beware the Creeper".
    • Scarecrow, after being completely reworked in The New Batman Adventures, was beloved by fans thanks to some chilling voice acting from Jeffrey Combs and a downright terrifying redesign.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The fans really hate the episode "Critters", seeing it as overly campy and full of Incredibly Lame Puns. Though the producers themselves have a soft spot for it and did a commentary on the DVD to defend it (though Bruce Timm notes up front that he completely understands why it's not everyone's cup of tea).
    • Also, Mr. Freeze's reappearance in The New Batman Adventures was just... no.
  • Gateway Series: It served as such for a lot of people for Batman.
    • It also served as one for the production team, as this series served as the first building block and cornerstone of the DCAU.
  • Growing the Beard: While it started off very high quality, early episodes were more action-adventure oriented then the plot-oriented nature the series became famous for. "Heart of Ice" was the first dynamite episode and you can see how popular it is on this very page. "Two-Face" Parts I and II, before "Heart of Ice" in production order, also has a profoundly grown beard.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The interactions of Joker and Penguin inside Penguin's nightclub, the Iceberg Lounge, in "Joker's Millions" become this in one of the "Arkham Stories" during Batman: Arkham City.
    • In "Make 'Em Laugh", the Joker uses microchips to alter the minds of innocents and turn them into criminals. Then comes Return of the Joker...
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Joker's laugh, though what really gets it there is hearing it from others affected by his smile toxin.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Beware the Creeper", the Joker accuses the Creeper (Jeff Bennett) of ripping off his act. Bennett would later voice Joker on Batman: The Brave And The Bold.
    • Brianne Siddall voices Robin in the Adam West style sub-plot in the episode "Legends of the Dark Knight". Scott Menville would later voice Robin on Teen Titans. These actors respectively played the main antagonist and protagonist of Tales of Symphonia, turning the final boss fight into Robin vs. Robin.
    • In "Almost Got 'Im", Joker mocks Poison Ivy's use of "exploding pumpkins". A few years, Mark Hamill would be voicing the Hobgoblin, whose signature weapons are pumpkin bombs.
    • Alfred's "Are we developing an interest in rock and roll, sir?" from "On Leather Wings", after Atop the Fourth Wall started a Running Gag of Batman hating rock and roll.
    • "Dreams in Darkness" wouldn't be the last time Scarecrow tries to use Arkham's basement to poison Gotham's water supply with fear gas.
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: Both the Penguin and Catwoman were originally based on the characters as they appeared in Batman Returns instead of the original comics, resulting in a physically-deformed Penguin and a blonde Catwoman. When the show became The New Batman Adventures and all the characters were redesigned, the Penguin and Catwoman's alter-ego, Selina Kyle, became more in-line with their traditional comics selves (Penguin became more normal-looking and Catwoman got black hair); Catwoman's costume in TNBA went the other direction, becoming all-black like the Returns version.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Many of the villains - their Day in the Limelight really shows just how much their lives suck.
    • Lloyd Ventris from "See No Evil", who is a criminal, a scumbag, a thief and a liar, but whose entire motivation was to see his daughter.
  • Les Yay: Word of God confirmed Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's relationship was sexual, even if they could only obliquely hint it during the series.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Joker, especially in Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm.
  • Memetic Badass: You can find at least one comment from a fan that claims the DCAU's Joker is miles superior to Jared Leto's character in the DC Extended Universe.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Though an excellent version, fans who claim that this series is the "definitive" or "true" version of Batman are misaimed as the original Word of God himself, Bob Kane, once stated that a key to Batman's success is that there is no definitive version and that he can be adapted and reinterpreted over time.
    • Also, those who credit Bruce Timm and Paul Dini as the "heads" of the series. It was actually Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski as co-producers starting out, but Radomski was more involved with the art direction than the story writing. Alan Burnett was in charge of the plotting team, and while later credited as a producer, Paul Dini was mainly a writer at the time.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Joker's serial murder spree (complete with victim photos!) using Joker Gas in one of the earlier episodes.
    • Roland Daggett crosses it when he tries to blow up Crime Alley, knowing fully well that there are people that live there.
    • Fox from "The Terrible Trio" crosses the line when he tries to kill his own girlfriend for knowing too much.
    • Clayface killing his "daughter" Annie by reabsorbing her into his body.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Oh, yeah. This is a pretty dark series. Interestingly, the Nightmare Fuel episodes also tend to be Tear Jerker episodes.
    • The episode "Baby Doll" revolves around a washed-up actress with dwarfism who takes revenge on her former castmates. She continually switches between the child voice she did on the show and her real, "adult" voice. This continues to be creepy throughout the entire show until the climax in a hall of mirrors at a carnival, where she sees herself in a funhouse mirror, showing what she probably would have looked like without the condition as an adult. She then rages at the Dark Knight for foiling her plan, shouting "Why couldn't you just let me make-believe?!" before breaking down and crying. It perhaps goes without saying that this was an episode written by Paul Dini.
      • This is a great example of a nightmare fuel episode that also ended up being a tear-jerker episode, as mentioned above. The last time the actress says "I-I didn't mean to..." is just so tragic; no matter what she just did over the last 20 minutes, it's hard not to feel sorry for her just then.
    • Clayface, just by his ability that you can probably guess just from his name, can be Nightmare Fuel personified at times. But the climax to his story, where he loses control over his powers when exposed to too much stimuli in a room full of TV screens, will give all children nightmares!
      • The "origin story" is disturbing as well. He was using small amounts of the serum to control his appearance. Some criminals he owes money to catch up with him, and inject him with so much serum that he starts melting.
    • The Joker is creepy enough in the series itself, but in "Mask of the Phantasm", he really skips over into this. When he's captured by the Phantasm and realizes that she's going to kill him, Mark Hamill laughs so hard he turns the Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven. Shown here.
    • The fate of Clayface's "daughter" Annie (she gets reassimilated and is effectively murdered) is this, as well as Squick and Tear Jerker. Also functions as a Moral Event Horizon for Clayface.
    • The transformation sequence from the episode "On Leather Wings". The sequence is still disturbing now.
    • Scarecrow's redesign for The New Batman Adventures. Now he looks like a corpse with a noose around his neck. Also, you can't make out any physical features beyond his solid white eyes and teeth. Even the producers admit they're not sure there's an actual living person in the costume anymore.
    • Any episode that had the Ventriloquist and Scarface. Not outright terrifying, but subtly disturbing, given it's a man who starts being terrified by a puppet he himself voices.
    • "Eternal Youth". Poison Ivy turns people into trees and says that the initial layer is just an exoskeleton and it would take months for them to fully transform. The figures themselves, including and especially Alfred, are nightmare-inducing in their own right.
    • The episode "The Forgotten", where Bruce is captured by a slave camp, and the attack has left him with amnesia. The episode itself is pretty tame on the nightmare department, except for a particular dream sequence. The still disguised Bruce Wayne stumbles into a room full of mirrors, when all of a sudden he hears his own voice laughing. This leads him to stand before a mirror where the pre-amnesia Bruce Wayne is Laughing Mad. With absolutely no warning, the laughing Bruce turns into the Joker, whose arms break through the mirror and pull Bruce in, at which they come out from a skyscraper's window, plummeting towards the ground. As Bruce screams, the Joker is still laughing.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Hackle from "P.O.V."
    • Firefly was also not well-liked, at least in his first appearance in "Torch Song", widely considered one of the worst episodes in the series, where he was reduced to a one-note stalker who spouted flame puns.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The general reception to the show at the time. And it still holds up.
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