Terry: I am Batman!
Batman Beyond (Batman of the Future in Europe, Japan, South America, New Zealand and Australia) is an animated Action Series that aired from 1999 to 2001. It was produced by the same powerhouse team that helmed both Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.
Forty-something years in the future of the DC Animated Universe, Batman no longer patrols Gotham City, having hung up the cape and cowl after age catching up with him forced him to break one of his most important rules. Crime eventually returns to overtake Gotham, this time in the form of Warriors-style street gangs who base their identities around Batman's former archenemies. The most prominent of these groups, The Jokerz, have a chance encounter with a teenager named Terry McGinnis (voiced by Will Friedle), who gets chased by the clowns right to the outskirts of Wayne Manor. An aged and reclusive Bruce Wayne (still voiced by Kevin Conroy) comes to Terry's aid, but the fight takes its toll on the former superhero. Terry helps Bruce back into Wayne Manor, but soon stumbles upon the Batcave and learns the secret of The Batman.
Bruce sends Terry away, but when the young teen returns home, the police are waiting for him. Someone has murdered Terry's father and all the evidence says The Jokerz did it. But when Terry finds evidence that connects his father's murder with Wayne-Powers Enterprises—the former Wayne Enterprises after a hostile takeover—he returns to Wayne Manor and steals an advanced combat suit to seek revenge. Bruce scolds Terry for his shortminded actions, but after working with Terry to figure out who murdered the elder McGinnis, Bruce allows Terry to don the mantle of Batman in full.
Bruce acts as both Mission Control and The Mentor by coaching Terry from the Batcave, lending the new Batman advice while watching his back through the suit's various high-tech capabilities. To keep their covers, Bruce hires Terry as a personal assistant (using their encounter with The Jokerz as the official story of how they met) and re-enters Gotham's social circles. Once Terry becomes Batman, he juggles that role alongside his schoolwork, family obligations (mother Mary and younger brother Matt), and spending time with girlfriend Dana.
The Gotham City of the mid-twenty-first century has the look and feel of an archetypal Cyber Punk setting, though some Noir remnants that were present back in the Batman: TAS still show up. Gotham still has its old feel—crowded, corrupt, and dirty as all hell—but now some cars can fly, and that includes the Batmobile. Wayne-Powers Enterprises lacks the philanthropic ideals from when Bruce ran the company and Derek Powers hates the new Batman's interference in his less-savory endeavors—and when Terry eventually causes Powers's transformation into the radioactive supervillain Blight, that hatred grows far more personal.
The show's creators tried to avoid re-hashing all of the old villains and give the show its own Rogues Gallery. A number of elements of the old Bat-Mythos were used in new ways: The Jokerz take their look from the sick imagery of the most famous Bat-villain, a number of older villains show up either in flashbacks or as aged versions of themselves, and Gotham PD has a Commissioner Gordon—only this time it is Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon, now in her sixties and opposed to the new Batman over a past falling-out with Bruce.note This also means that A Death in the Family never happened in the Timmverse.
Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series still had new episodes in production when Batman Beyond first went into development, so no "ending" existed before Beyond began. The actual impetus for the show came from a meddling executive requesting a Batman-in-high-school series that Warner Bros. could market to the Buffy audience. Beyond itself did not have a proper Grand Finale—production ended at the conclusion of the third season without a proper series finalé—but Terry's story eventually received a conclusion in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue".
Warner Bros. produced a direct-to-DVD feature, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, that bridges the gap in time between the end of Justice League and the start of Batman Beyond. The film details Batman's final fight with The Joker and provides deeper reasons for why he eventually gave up the role of Batman. Mark Hamill reprised his role as "The Clown Prince of Crime", to boot.
Rumors of a potential Live-Action Adaptation have popped up ever since the show's inception; at one point, Beyond became a forerunner for a new Batman film series, at least until Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins entered production. After the conclusion of The Dark Knight Trilogy and the arrival of Man of Steel, those same rumors picked up again.
Beyond had its own spinoff comic book for a while in the late 1990s, and DC published a mini-series based on the show in the early 2010s. In 2013, DC released three new digital comic series based on (but not in direct continuity with) the series: Batman Beyond, Superman Beyond, and Justice League Unlimited Beyond. Superman Beyond was cancelled first, and the others followed in late 2014. DC's post-Convergence relaunch featured a new Batman Beyond ongoing series. For the tropes featured in those comic book adaptations, check out the appropriate page. Beyond also spawned a spinoff animated series in The Zeta Project.
As part of DC's "75 Years of Batman" celebration, Beyond received its own special animated short.
Creators Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett went on to write Batman Live.
This show has a Best Episode Crowner.
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- Abnormal Ammo: One of Ma Mayhem's sons has a gun that appears to shoot quartzite sand. By the way it shaves the surface of a mannequin, it's pretty damn effective.
- A Boy and His X: The show had an episode of A Boy and His Giant Robot. Also A Girl and Her Boy (Who Is A Robot). A broody old man and his badass dog, and a whole episode dedicated to a boy and his badass dog.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade:
- Terry's batarangs are as sharp as the plot demands.
- Curaré carries a monomolecular sword capable of slashing through guns, lamp posts, and giant statues. We are first introduced to its absurdly-sharpness by seeing it slice a freaking tree in half in a single stroke.
- Abusive Parents:
- Ma Mayhem.
- King and Queen of the Royal Flush Gang value their children more as criminal accomplices than as kids, while expecting absolute loyalty from them in return. Realizing this eventually prompts first Ten and later Jack to pull a Heel–Face Turn and cut ties with their parents in favor of trying to live honestly.
- Academy of Adventure: Hamilton Hill High School.
- Action Girl: Barbara still has it.
- Max gets in on the action quite a few times. She saves Terry's life twice in the show's run.
- Actor Allusion:
- Aquagirl's origin, as given in the Justice League Beyond comic, makes her even more like Ariel, as Arthur obsessively shielded her from danger a la King Triton, which only drove Marina to dream about the surface world. Falling in love (in this case, with Warhawk) drove her to stay out of the water.
- When George Lazenby played the King of the Royal Flush Gang, he says at one point "We have all the time in the world." There is a crueler allusion as well:
King: Do you have any idea what it's like living in someone's shadow?!
- Adaptational Badass:
- Ace the Bathound, given a new treatment and role as Bruce Wayne's guard dog. He even got a flashback origin story in one episode.
- Spellbinder was based on an obscure Silver Age Batman villain from the comics.
- Affably Evil: Richard Armacost, the Agrichem executive who planned the cerestone heist in the episode "Big Time". He was extremely patient and civil with Charlie when he didn't really have to be and had considerable people skills with which to keep Charlie from losing his temper.
- Affectionate Parody: "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" is a rather extensive parody of the Star Wars franchise that pokes fun at both the movies and the fans all while paying them a certain amount of respect.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Max, who is black, too. However, she is one of the rare versions of this trope to receive Character Development and be useful to Terry on a regular basis.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: The Justice League Unlimited has Micron, who is the African American successor of The Atom, Warhawk, the biracial son of John Stewart and Shayera Hol and Kai-Ro, the new Tibetan Green Lantern of Earth.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Parodied and subverted: Batman enters a vent large enough to walk in, but the subsequent sections keep getting smaller and smaller until he has to blow his way out.
- All Animals Are Dogs: In "Babel", the sound manipulating villain Shriek releases a high-frequency sound similar to a dog whistle all over Gotham City. All non-humans are affected.
- Alliterative Name:
- Terry goes to Hamilton Hill High School, named for Mayor Hamilton Hill, who appeared in the original series.
- Mary and Matt McGinnis, Nelson Nash, Willy Watt. Lampshaded in "Egg Baby":
Terry: "Ma Mayhem??"
Bruce: "A tabloid gave her that name. It was the golden age of Alliteration."
- Alliterative Title
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: "Out of the Past" opened with Terry taking Bruce Wayne to a musical about... Batman. The sad part is that the idea for it came from the fact that someone actually proposed a Batman musical in real life. (Over a decade after production of Beyond ended, Holy Musical [email protected]! would actually open.)
Bruce:...you hate me, don't you.
- All There in the Manual: Their canon status is up in the air, but the commercials that aired during the original run gave a very good explanation for why Batman does not use the invisibility feature of the Bat-suit around the clock, especially when fighting. According to the commercials, "it's hard on the batteries."
- All There in the Script: Some characters' names are only given in the credits (primarily the Splicers and Bullwhip's gang).
- Alternate Company Equivalent: The "Terrific Trio", three people who gained superpowers in a scientific accident. The whole thing was a parody/deconstruction of the Fantastic Four.
- Always Save the Girl: Terry often prioritizes Max's safety over everything else. Bruce sometimes calls him out on his choice of priorities by telling him he should be dealing with bigger problems. Oddly enough, Terry rarely plays the trope straight with his actual Love Interest Dana, as she is almost never in danger at the same time as some bigger problem.
- Ambiguously Human: Shriek's lackey Ollie. He has purple hair, pale skin, pointed ears, and black sclera, but no explanation is given for his bizarre appearance, so it isn't certain whether he isn't human or he just looks odd because of "splicing" or some other method of genetically altering his body.
- Amicably Divorced: Warren and Mary. His death came as a heavy blow even after their separation, and years later Terry mentioned that whenever ends didn't quite meet for her, he'd help her out financially.
- Analogy Backfire: "Untouchable" has an exchange that goes along the lines of:
Dr. Blades: You can't just come in here like you own the place.
Bruce Wayne: I do own the place.
- And I Must Scream:
- The Earthmover. Being self-aware while trapped underground and horrifically mutated. An unsettling combination to say the least.
- Ian Peek's ultimate fate: the one force that still affects him is gravity itself, so he will fall through the earth until he hits its core. Since gravity at the core is equal in all directions, it would cancel out, and he'd be trapped floating there eternally (though he likely won't suffer too long; he'll either discorporate entirely, run out of oxygen, or starve/dehydrate).
- And That's Terrible: Killers, thieves, arms dealers are bad. But when Terry and Bruce look into a guy running a dog fighting ring, Terry feels the need to call him "scum." And the audience agrees.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Matt McGinnis.
- Anti-Villain: Mr. Freeze, the Terrific Trio, Armory and Starro all had sympathetic motives to their crimes.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Subverted. Terry thinks Bruce is being unnecessarily close-minded because he does not believe the rumors of a ghost haunting Terry's high school. It turns out that Bruce does not believe these rumors because he has seen real paranormal activity, and the reports sound too amateurish and "high-school" to fit into that paradigm. In the end it turns out to be something completely different.
- Art Evolution: Including a jump to digital coloring in the middle of the second season.
- Artifact Alias: An elderly Batman reveals that he thinks of himself by that name, not "Bruce Wayne," in his internal monologue, even decades after having given up active crime-fighting.
- Artistic License – Paleontology: In their final appearance, the terrorist organization Kobra planned to cause severe global warming and then rule the warmer Earth as dinosaur people. The reasoning for this being that dinosaurs were cold-blooded and couldn't survive in the present climate; which would be fine... if dinosaurs actually were cold-blooded. Even at the time the episode was produced, there was plenty of evidence that at least some dinosaurs were warm-blooded to a degreenote Jurassic Park, the primary source of the average person's awareness of dinosaur warm-bloodedness, had come out over 5 years earlier, giving the writers no excuse for not being aware of this advancement in paleontology (particularly theropods, which were the type the cult members spliced with), and nowadays it's considered very likely that most if not all were endothermic, with many species that are known to have lived in temperate or even polar habitats. After this plan is stopped their leader, Zander, (who appeared to have been spliced with a Tyrannosaurus rex) overreacts to the point where it seems like the temperature of the climate would kill him in less than 15 minutes. Even if a dinosaur the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex was cold-blooded, it would still be able to maintain its internal body temperature through something called gigantothermy or bulk homeothermy.
- Art Shift: The opening of the first episode, showing how Bruce retired, uses the darker color sensibilities of The New Batman Adventures in a subtle contrast to the paler and brighter colors of Beyond.
- Ascended Extra: One episode had Terry's friend Jared Tate get a new stepdad, Big Jim, who wins Jared over by buying him a car. The character and wedding event were only the backdrop to a robbery committed by Spellbinder, but Big Jim later became an Anti-Villain in another episode when he lost his job and could not afford to maintain his life-style. Being a talented weapons designer, he was hired under-the-table to build a prototype weapon with materials that could only be gotten by stealing from other high-end companies, eventually coming into conflict with Batman.
- Ascended Fanboy: The episode "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" revolves around Terry's friend becoming one of these.
"Sentries, to the challenge!"
- Asleep in Class: Terry is shown to fall asleep in class due to the pressures of balancing his normal life with the responsibilities of being the Batman. In "Sneak Peek", his chemistry teacher even remarks at how unusual it is that he's actually awake and paying attention.
- The Atoner: Revealed in stages; no mention is made of Terry's juvenile record until several episodes have passed, and it was not until the third season that the details of what happened were explained. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker openly established that while his father's death drove him to become Batman, it was his past failures that kept him going.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The monstrous "dog" at the end "Ace in the Hole." It makes a grizzly bear look puny, almost destroys Terry's suit in a single mauling, and then tries to eat him. Ace, fittingly, saves the day.
- Autobots, Rock Out!: Epic action setpieces are set to pounding industrial drumbeats and chugging heavy metal guitar riffs. However, the producers inverted this trope in "Shriek", where the villain of the title kills all the sound except Batman's footsteps. It is very effective.
- Ax-Crazy: Mad Stan is mad. Being voiced by Henry Rollins will do that for you.
- Back for the Dead: From the animated series we have a couple examples:
- Kairi is back in "Curse of the Cobra," only to die in the final minutes of the two-parter.
- Talia is actually long dead, but she - or rather her body being controlled by her father comes back. This probably counts for him as it's implied he won't be able to come back from this one.
- Backported Development/Clone Degeneration: Mr. Freeze's clone body was still bald despite having hair before his accident back in Batman: The Animated Series. Considering that his condition later redeveloped, it might've been an early sign of the clone body degenerating.
- Backstab Backfire: In a flashback in "Ace in the Hole", Bruce Wayne, while making his pilgrimage to the site where his parents were killed, was ambushed by a Jokerz thug who wanted to mug him. He effortlessly beat him, and then told the Jokerz to leave. The Jokerz thug wasn't done yet, so he tried to attack him again while Wayne was walking away. However, Wayne wasn't the one who stopped him: Ace stopped him.
- Badass and Baby: Kinda, it wasn't a really baby, it was a fake egg shaped baby.
- Badass Bystander: At the beginning of "The Call," Inque tries to make Batman back off by taking a bystander hostage and threatening to kill him. Unfortunately for Inque, the innocent bystander turns out to be Superman in disguise. Let us just say the rest of the fight did not go well for Inque.
- Badass Normal: Quite a few of Terry's Rogues Gallery have no major powers and are still able to go toe-to-toe with the new powered Batsuit. Mad Stan in particular has been beaten and tossed through walls only to get up without visible debilitation.
- Bad Guys Play Pool: Our first (and, for all intents and purposes, last) look at the Ts' lair is of their leader playing some kind of futuristic pool that involves the ball exploding when it lands in the corner pocket.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: One of the reasons that convinced the aging Bruce to finally hang up the cowl, after suffering a heart-attack in the middle of a rescue and being forced to pick up a gun to defend himself against a criminal.
- Bat Signal: Used once by Paxton Powers to get Batman's attention. Batman puts it out with a batarang. "Next time, use e-mail."
- Beastly Bloodsports: "Ace in the Hole" tells the story of Bruce's dog Ace, who had been raised for dogfighting, escaped during a police raid, and met Bruce during one of his annual visits to Crime Alley. Ace spots and chases the dogfighting operation ringleader, which leads to Batman tracking him down and putting him out of business.
- Beast Man: "Splicers" invokes the genesplicing arm of this trope, oddly enough as a popular fad among teens ranging from Animal Eyes and noticeable horns, scales, fangs all the way to a humanoid chimera and repulsive mass of mixed up flesh.
- Becoming the Mask: When a villain tries to convince Bruce Wayne that he is going crazy and hearing voices in his head, Wayne knows that the voices aren't coming from inside his head, because they keep calling him "Bruce". He doesn't call himself that in his head.
- Bedlam House: The Ranch, an institution that therapeutically "helps" troubled kids in "The Last Resort," turns out to be Bedlam For Children. Averted with the group psychology sessions in "Payback", which appear to be normal and healthy talk sessions, though they were not featured long enough to tell if they were or were not effective.
- Being Evil Sucks: In "Joyride", Lee, a Jokerz recruit, tags along as Scab, another member of the gang, hijacks an experimental advanced fighter craft. He becomes increasingly horrified as Scab goes mad with power and does things like attacking a rival gang armed with nothing but chains and tasers. When he overhears Scab denouncing the Jokerz as a crutch and ignoring Terry's warnings that the craft's illegal nuclear reactor is going critical that's the last straw. He knocks down Scab with a folding chair and leaves the Jokerz forever.
- Betrayal Insurance: Bruce Wayne seems to have been keeping a piece of Kryptonite locked away for years just in case.
- BFG: Many Beyond villains have at least one BFG in their armory, including Armory, who even builds one while tackling Batman.
- The B Grade: Carter's near perfect GAT score (compared to Max's perfect one) motivates him to wipe the scores from the school's record and attempt to kill Max as Terminal.
- Big Bad: Derek Powers AKA Blight is Terry's Arch-Enemy and serves as the Man Behind the Man for several episodes. However, this is only for the first season. He never shows up after his supposed death in the season finale.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Played for Dramatic Irony the first time we're introduced to the elderly Bruce Wayne.
Jokerz leader: Don't mess with us, we're the Jokerz!
Bruce: (smirk) Suuure, you are.
- Big Damn Heroes: Both Terry and Bruce get in on the act with this, often with the former saving the latter or vice versa.
- Big "NO!": A few villains do this upon losing:
- Shriek's reaction to losing his hearing.
- Invulnerable Man utters a horrified "No!" when his eyesight fades away due to Tamara's psychic attack.
- Derek Powers in the pilot ends up exposed to his own nerve gas. The moment he realizes this he screams "NO!" — he knows all too well what the stuff will do to him if he's not treated.
- Big Store: The Brain Trust had a building made up to look like a school for gifted children, as a cover for abductions: on closer inspection, rows of computer terminals were empty monitor casings, most floors had never even been used, etc.
- Bio Punk: The show has strong elements of this with the splicers and Kobra cult who are heavily into genetic manipulation.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: April Corso. She seems like a lab tech who, against all odds, is sweet on the much-older senior scientist she works with- so sweet on him that she jumps on him when he proposes. But she's actually cheating on him with the leader of the gang blackmailing the scientist into providing them physical upgrades so they can commit crimes. Her dialogue indicates that she doesn't care about her husband, just the money, and quite possibly only married him to set up the I Have Your Wife situation.
- Black and Nerdy: Max. She has quite the advanced computer programming skills.
- Black Best Friend: Max, short for Maxine.
- The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: In one episode, Paxton Powers casually throws away a Batarang (Terry had used it to pin a message to his wall). The "tail" end sticks in the floor.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Kneejerk, a member of the April Moon Gang, had retractable chainsaws in his wrists and knees. The latter proved to be a liability as they got stuck on walls and floors.
- Bloodless Carnage: Happens all the time, but it really calls attention to itself when Terry rips out a malcontent's septum ring. This seems to do absolutely nothing.
- Body Horror:
- Doctor Able Cuvier mutates into something several times his size, has his skin ripped off (by protruding bones), violently morphs his fingers into lobster claws, grows several extra eyes, sprouts tentacles...
- Toxic waste covers Earthmover, turning him into a living corpse embedded in the earth, with flourescent green toxic waste "blood vessels" extending from his body into the earth around him, controlling it.
- The Human Shifting criminal False Face can rearrange his face to impersonate anyone he wants. As a consequence of this ability, his facial muscles are so malleable that Batman actually caved his face in by punching him hard enough.
- Inque tried to drown Terry by forcing herself down his throat. Even the subtitles refer to Terry's reaction as "retching."
- Charlie "Bigtime" Bigelow, after being doused in an unstable mutagen, turns into an overmuscled creature.
- Chappell's muscles become oversized to the point of deformity after falling into a box full of his own Venom Slappers since he had already applied several Slappers to himself to fight Terry beforehand.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: The Big Bad of "Splicers", rather than just killing Batman when he has the chance, instead decides to "splice" him and then try to kill him.
- Boring Insult
- Bothering by the Book: Wayne doesn't agree to give the Royal Flush Gang the ransom for Paxton citing its against company policy to pay terrorists or kidnappers.
- Bottomless Magazines: Terry never seems to run out of Batarangs.
- Brainwashed: Spellbinder bases all his evil schemes on manipulating people this way.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In "The Call", it is revealed that Superman of all people has been possessed for years by a telepathic alien starfish.
- Bratty Half-Pint:
- Terry's younger brother, Matt McGinnis.
- DAK, a one-off character from "Where's Terry?"
- Bubble Boy: Scientists develop a special iso-field to envelope people like this. Unfortunately, someone weaponizes it into an impenetrable force field.
- Buffy Speak: When Terry uses Bruce's computer.
Terry: Computer. Analyze the metal this thing's made of.
Computer: Incorrect command.
Terry: Uh... Do the thing where you figure out what it's made of.
Computer: Request for spectrographic analysis.
Terry: Yeah, that's it. What you said.
- Bullying a Dragon: In the first episode, Nelson taunts Terry for not being athletic enough (the classic "loser"). When a gang of Jokerz shows up and Terry turns out to have sufficient fighting skills to chase off the entire gang, Nelson's response is "I always knew you were a freak." Fortunately for Nelson, Terry (perpetually) has bigger fish to fry.
Nelson learned his lesson eventually; in a later episode, when Terry intervened to keep Nelson from harassing Willie Watt, Nelson wisely backed down. When Watt came back ripped with muscle and sporting psychic powers, however, Nelson still didn't see fit to refrain from antagonizing him, though he at least had the common sense to get Watt to fight fair (Watt did cheat when things didn't go his way, though).
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Terry tracks down Blight, in a chilling use of the trope.
Blight: Who are you?!
Batman:...You really want to know?
Batman: You killed my father.
Blight: (irritated) Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?
- And again in "Speak No Evil."
Fingers: Where is my mother?
Van Dyle: I-I p-probably sold her.
Van Dyle: I-I don't know. I d-don't keep track.
Fingers: She was my mother!
Van Dyle: To me, it was just another gorilla.
- When Victor Fries is saved by Batman from an assassination attempt, the assassin turns out to be one of the many people Victor hurt years ago as Mr. Freeze, and Victor has no idea who the man is. Then again, the man is around 50 years older than he was when Victor was Mr. Freeze, so it's doubtful Victor would be able to recognize the man even if the list of people whose lives he ruined was smaller. But at any rate, Victor's list of lives he's ruined is apparently large enough for him to immediately believe this story despite not remembering him or having any proof, and he simply lets the man go, feeling he's caused the old, miserable man enough pain in the past without making him spend the rest of his life in jail for an act of understandable rage.
- And again in "Speak No Evil."
- Bystander Syndrome: Dana and Howard don't care much when Terry hears somebody scream in "Speak No Evil". It's to be expected when you live in a city as crime-ridden as Gotham.
- Butt-Monkey: Nelson gets victimized kind of a whole freaking lot. He rather deserves it, though.
- Terry learns to take note of his surroundings thanks to Spellbinder. It comes in handy in future episode “Mind Games”, where he goes up against an opponent with the ability to induce illusions and use telekinesis.
- When Inque manages to get into the Batcave and is in the midst of suffocating Terry via Orifice Invasion, Bruce shows up with a fire hose and wearing the costume of the Gray Ghost, Bruce's boyhood hero who first appeared back in Batman: The Animated Series.
- Cane Fu: Bruce's weapon of choice sometimes.
- Canis Major: In the episode "Ace in Hole", Terry (aka Batman) is locked in the dog fight ring with a vicious gigantic mutated mastiff.
- Canon Foreigner: Everyone on the show except Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, and Mister Freeze. Prominent examples would be Terry Mc Ginnis and his family, Max Gibson, Barbara's husband Sam, and every member of the JLU except Superman and Big Barda.
- Canon Immigrant: Batman Beyond as a whole is now one of the 52 universes in DC Universe Canon, Earth-12. Terry McGinnis has been indicated to be a future Batman in the main DC Universe, though he's mentored by Damian Wayne instead of Bruce Wayne.
- Captain Ersatz: The Terrific Trio strongly resembles the Fantastic Four. They all die horribly.
- Cast as a Mask: Used in the squickiest way imaginable when they brought back Ra's al Ghul, although it was nice to hear David Warner's voice again.
- Casting Gag: The future Superman was voiced by Christopher McDonald, who portrayed Jor-El in the opening episodes of Superman: The Animated Series. He was chosen, instead of having Tim Daly reprise the role, in order to show that Superman had grown up and beyond his character in the earlier series. In the same episode, Aquagirl was voiced by Jodie Benson—"Ariel" from The Little Mermaid.
- Caught in the Rain: A version of this, at least, in "Dead Man's Hand", where Terry and Melanie share a kiss in the rain after almost missing each other.
- Chainsaw Grip BFG: Used on the experimental anti-tank weapon in "Armory".
- Chair Reveal: Subverted. In the pilot, Terry raids a hovercraft with nerve gas and does not even wait for the pilot chair to turn around; he kicks it himself. Turns out the pilot is right behind him.
- Character Development: Terry begins the series as a cocky but slippery superhero who has a tendency to overuse cheesy lines. As the show progresses, he finds his physical and mental abilities growing to the point where he is able to fight crime at several points without Bruce's help in addition to developing a darker, more deadpan sense of humor. "Joyride" implies this was intentional on Bruce's part as his only advice when Terry encounters a deadly military vehicle is "so stop them."
- Chekhov's Boomerang: One of Mr. Freeze's ice ray guns comes in handy against Inque who can turn into liquid.
- Bruce actually pulls useful equipment from his gallery several times, such as his old utility belt when the current Batsuit gets corrupted, or the Gray Ghost's hat and goggles when he needs to hide his identity. It's awesome.
- Child Mage: In "Mind Games", Terry has to rescue a psychic little girl from an evil organization of telepaths who want to initiate her via kidnapping. While he saves her, he also gets her help since she's a pretty powerful kid.
- Chocolate Baby: Mary and Warren McGinnis, redhead and brown-haired respectively, have two black-haired sons. It is revealed in "Epilogue" that this is because Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA was overwritten with Bruce Wayne's without anybody's knowledge in an attempt to produce another Batman.
- City of Adventure: The show redefined the sense of scale, with "Old Gotham" easily dwarfed by the multitude of Babel towers that stretch endlessly into the sky.
- Clear My Name: Terry needs to convince the world that, despite what Barbara saw, he did not brutally beat Mad Stan to death by clubbing him with his own bomb.
- Cliffhanger: Most two part episodes.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Lacking Bruce's twenty years of intensive training, Terry depends initially on his powered exoskeleton batsuit; inverted in one episode where he proves he is just as good out of it, and actually has to fight the suit. In a bit of continuity backfilling, the DVD movie Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman essentially explained where Bruce Wayne got both the idea and technology underlying the Beyond suit.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Dr. Stanton in "Payback" is a youth counselor who neglects his own son.
- Coca-Pepsi, Inc.: Wayne-Powers.
- The Coconut Effect: If hovercrafts don't have wheels, why is there still so much screeching during car-chases?
- Actually used In-Universe. A robot that Grew Beyond Their Programming and can disguise himself as human through clever uses of holograms fakes his death after taking heavy fire and falling several stories by using said holograms to depict himself as a flaming wreck. The NSA Agents obviously believed that Damage Is Fire and got fooled long enough to allow the robot to escape.
- Colour Coded Characters: Inverted, what with Batman being the Dark Knight. All the gangs in the town, including The Jokerz and The Ts, are bright and highly visible. Most of the background characters wear bright colors to stand out from the scenery, particularly blue.
- Combat Pragmatist: Terry, especially in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- Content Warnings:
TV announcer: We warn viewers that the tape we're about to show might be too intense for children.
Young boy: Turn it up!
- Continuity Nod:
- The kidnapped heiress from the first episode is Bunny Vreeland, the daughter of Veronica Vreeland, a character who appeared in a few Batman: TAS episodes.
- The Batcave is a virtual museum of past adventures, including the beloved episode "Beware The Gray Ghost". Additionally, technology introduced in one-off episodes of Batman: TAS is treated as a fact of life in future Gotham.
- In "The Call", the starfish alien who seems to be a version of Starro was originally seen back in the episode of Superman: The Animated Series where Superman and Lobo are captured by a cosmic rarities collector.
- Genetic splicing is commonplace. Emile Dorian, Dr. March and Kirk Langstrom of Batman: TAS were its forerunners
- In one issue of the tie-in comic book, Commissioner Barbara Gordon revealed to Terry that she still suffered from flashbacks to when she was dosed with Scarecrow's fear toxin in the Batman: TAS episode "Over the Edge".
- Contract on the Hitman: Curaré
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Terry and Bruce are both cut from very different cloths. Bruce started fighting crime because he was a victim of it as a child, while Terry fights crime as redemption for his own criminal past. Bruce was born into wealth, while Terry comes from a struggling middle-class family. Bruce pushed away those closest to him to protect them, while Terry struggles to keep the people he loves in his life.
- Conveniently Seated: There was a tendency to show Terry and any other important character (Max, Dana, Nelson, etc.) in the front row, no matter how improbable it is that they would choose to sit there. Perhaps assigned seating?
- Converse with the Unconscious: Aaron Herbst in "Disappearing Inque" has spent months talking to the frozen Inque as if she were his confidant; he's fired when it gets to the point of kissing her ice block. Inque, who was conscious the whole time, is not happy about it after she gets out. He'd later be on the other end of this at the end of the episode.
- Cool Car: The Batmobile, and now it flies!
- Cool Old Guy: Bruce, naturally, and Superman, now wearing a stark black and white outfit with no cape that is supposed to show heavier influences from his Kryptonian heritage. Superman himself shows few signs of age apart from a few extra lines and grey temples.
- Cool Old Lady:
- Barbara Gordon is now commissioner and still kicks ass. While she is not a fan of the idea of a new Batman running around and hindering her operations, she warms up to him after he saves her husband.
- Terry's Martial Arts teacher Kairi Tanaga in the Kobra story arc, who first appeared in the original series.
- Cool Pet: Ace.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Derek Powers, season 1's Big Bad. Paxton Powers nominally takes over for him in the season 1 finale, but it just is not the same. Paxton is selfish and unscrupulous (and not seen very often after the end of season 1); Derek was just plain bad.
- Bill Wallace in "Earthmover" counts because of his illegal toxic waste dumping back when he couldn't afford to do it the proper (and legal) way.
- Crazy-Prepared: This is still Batman we are talking about. Terry is a good student (sometimes). It is shown just how prepared Bruce is in the episode "Black Out" when Inque invades the Batcave:
Terry: She's heading upstairs! (Bruce pushes a button, doors close.)
Bruce: Pays to be prepared.
Terry: She's getting through! (Bruce pushes another button, door becomes electrified) Man. You are prepared.
Bruce: (Cue Inque slithering up to the ceiling) She won't get through that way either. There's a layer of solid steel.
- Barbara, meanwhile, has also taken the lessons of her old mentor to heart, turning the Gotham police into a genuine force to be reckoned with.
- Create Your Own Villain: Derek Powers became Blight because of Terry throwing a nerve gas container at him as a distraction. He survived the exposure, but the cure turned him into a nightlight. Powers was already a Corrupt Corporate Executive; Terry gave him powers.
- Creepy Child: Tamara in "Mind Games", though she turns out to just be a scared little girl. With phenomenal Psychic Powers.
- Creepy Monotone: Terminal. This is especially jarring considering how he is the leader of a gang of Jokerz, traditionally the hammiest of villains.
- Crossover: With Static Shock, The Zeta Project, and Justice League Unlimited.
- Cryptic Background Reference: The Near Apocalypse of 2009. Nothing is known about it except it was the last battle between the first Batman and Ra's al Ghul where Talia finally betrayed him for good. No other details are known about it and so it has become a popular subject whenever fans demand more closure to the DCAU, although Word of God says they never really planned to cover the event in any of the installments and, at this point, it does not seem like they ever will.
- Curse of Babel: In "Babel", Shriek messes with soundwaves, preventing anyone in Gotham City from being able to communicate intelligibly.
- Cursed with Awesome: Terry takes his job of Batman differently at several points in the series. For the most part, he appears more appreciative and aware of how awesome being Batman actually is than Bruce did when he was still in the cowl, as seen in the second part of "Rebirth". On the other hand, when Max expresses desire to be Batman or a similar superhero, Terry tries to convince her that being Batman "isn't fun," and is not something to be lightly treated or entered into. In the famous "Epilogue" episode, an older Terry angsts over how Batman is a curse since he can not be close to Dana and, since discovering Bruce is his father, he believes he has been manipulated since birth to become Batman. By the end of the episode, it is shown that he has probably changed his mind.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
- Inverted with Shriek, who actually tried to make legitimate money off his inventions and became a criminal in order to secure funding for his research.
- Played straight with Spellbinder; the man has mind control technology, yet his plans seem to be to brainwash teenagers to steal stuff. He must have really, really hated his job as a child psychologist.
- Bane's caretaker took the chemical formula for Venom, which Bane now needs just to stay alive, and mass-produced it as a slap-on skin patch which he sold as a performance-enhancing drug.
- Dr. Peter Corso has cashed his checks: he runs a successful and respected medical clinic where he uses advanced cybernetics to create prosthetic limbs for those injured in accidents. However, he becomes the supplier and mechanic for a gang of criminals when they kidnap his wife. She isn't really kidnapped; she's actually just using both him and the gang to get rich.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: In "Lost Soul", Robert Vance uploaded himself into the company computer. The first thing he did upon awakening 35 years later was flip out and jack the city network. Terry espouses a view based on this trope:
Batman: You really think you're Robert Vance, don't you? But he was flesh, and you're just binary. They don't go together!
- For his next trick, he plans to kill his grandson by overwriting himself onto the guy's brain. A move also used by Ra's al Ghul in the episode "Out of the Past".
- Cyber Punk Is Techno: The opening scene definitely qualifies. Aside from that, the soundtrack (especially during the action sequences) is dirty industrial rock.
- Damage Is Fire: After taking heavy fire and falling several stories, a robot ends up a flaming wreck on the pavement. Said robot had created the flames through an hologram and relied on the belief of the NSA agents that this was normal to convice them to break line of sight to rush to retrieve his wreckage.
- Danger Room Cold Open: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" opens with him training against Robotic versions of Classic Batman villains.
- Dark Action Girl: Curaré.
- Darker and Edgier: Can you believe that this show, which featured a character's father being murdered and a colleague dying from nerve-gas in the first episode, was originally pitched as a kiddy Batman targeted towards kids?
- Dating Catwoman: Ten of the Royal Flush Gang and Terry, with Terry unaware until after she breaks up with him and Melanie never finding out. Bruce was amused when Terry asked him "This kinda thing ever happen to you?".
Bruce: Let me tell you about a woman named Selina Kyle...
- Dead Man's Switch: In "The Final Cut," Mutro Botha, the last surviving member of the Society of Assassins, blackmails Batman into protecting him from Curaré, who has wiped out the rest of the Society, by hiding a bomb in Gotham City, programmed to go off if he does not enter the proper code every 12 hours. It doesn't do him much good.
- Deadpan Snarker: Old Bruce, but the second half of the show's run presents Terry as an emerging, darkly comical cynic in the same mold as his mentor. In the first episode, Terry is cornered by Jokerz next to a creepy old gate complete with haunted forest. Cue Bruce walking out of the forest and telling those damned kids to get off his property.
Jokerz Leader: "We're the Jokerz!"
Old Bruce: "Sure you are."
- Death by Secret Identity: Ian Peek manages to learn the identity of both Terry and Bruce, but is stuck sinking to the Earth's core by the end of the episode.
- Debate and Switch: Shriek temporarily released a high-pitch frequency pulse throughout Gotham, causing chaos by making speaking incomprehensible and threatened a repeat performance using a more powerful pulse that would kill everyone unless Batman gave himself up to him. Terry wrestled with the morality of sacrificing one life for many, versus the loss his friends and loved ones would experience, and the disgust of sacrificing himself for the ungrateful populace of Gotham, who side with Shriek and insist Batman was at fault and should give in to his demand. Terry figures out Shriek is using two giant towers as a tuning fork and confronts him at his base of operations, destroying the towers in the process. Bruce asks him at the end if Terry would have given himself up had he not figured out where Shriek was and Terry evades the question, telling him to focus on their repair of the batsuit.
- Deceptive Disciple: Paxton Powers and Deanna Clay.
- Deconstruction: The show illustrates the toll being Batman has taken on Bruce's personal life. Because Bruce's dedication to fighting crime meant virtually forsaking his personal life, by the time he reaches old age he has become a bitter and lonely old man. All of his friends and allies are either dead or resent him so much that they want nothing to do with him, and none of his romantic prospects resulted in anything lasting. Before Terry came along, his only source of companionship was a dog. Bruce's actions may have served a greater good, but this shows that being Batman does come at a price.
- Deflector Shields: A villain called Repeller, who could use his impenetrable force field both offensively and defensively like Sue Storm, with enough force to break titanium. He was defeated when Batman lured him near an active giant turbine; the extremely loud noise caused him to deactivate his suit.note The suit's nature made it impossible for him to cover his ears.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Some episodes showed Terry to be a lot more competent than others, generally with regards to whether or not he has his own martial arts skills or needs to rely solely on the advanced batsuit and its complementary gadgets.
- Some of the advanced batsuit's functions were prone to a lot of variation. Especially noticeable with the strength-enhancement, which varied between giving him genuine super strength and being effectively non-existent depending on what suited the plot.
- Digitized Hacker: "Lost Soul" has a one-off villain like this: Robert Vance, a computer mogul who had his brain digitized and eventually went mad after he was shut down for decades. His first item of business after he's rebooted and hooked up to the 'net: Flex his digital muscles by wreaking havoc in the city. Second order: Commandeer Terry's computerized suit to kidnap his grandson and download himself into the younger body.
- Disney Villain Death: "Sneak Peek" had a nifty variation. The episode introduced Ian Peek, muckraking journalist who could control his tangibility; he could sneak into locked rooms and spy on people unseen. Sadly, he lost the ability to control his powers and fell through the building! The sequence is brilliantly animated, though there's a bit of uncomfortable Fridge Logic when Bruce wonders aloud if the poor guy is doomed to fall to the Earth's core; kind of a harsh punishment for a relatively minor baddie.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Terminal, the leader of a Jokerz gang tries to kill Max Gibson because she scored higher at a standardized test than him.
- Dissonant Serenity: The automated reporter's voice has the same cheerful tone in all stories, which is distressing when the story of a man with two children and an ex-wife is reported dead.
- Distant Prologue: The series begins with Bruce Wayne's final battle and decision to hang up the mask twenty years prior to the rest of the story.
- Doesn't Like Guns: One of the reasons Bruce gave up the Batman mantle was because his age forced him to threaten a thug with a gun.
- Downer Beginning: As mentioned above, the series begins with Bruce old and alone, sitting in his mansion with only his dog and his memories. His friends have either died (Alfred Pennyworth and Jim Gordon) or drifted away (Barbara Gordon is present but antagonistic, Tim Drake is absent at first and turns out later to have had a good reason to break off his acquaintance, and Dick Grayson remains absent throughout following a falling-out so terrible the details are never discussed). None of his love interests that he had back in Batman: TAS turned out well. He doesn't even have Batman any more, as he has a heart condition and his body is no longer reliable for sustained physical exertion.
- Dramatic Landfall Shot
- Driven to Suicide: Mr. Freeze. In the end (due to interference from Blight) he only managed to kill himself, instead of hundreds, though Terry tried to save him.
- The same thing was only just averted on Bruce Wayne's part, as part of a plot to kill him.
- The Terrific Trio discover that the Freak Lab Accident that gave them superpowers was slowly killing them and driving them insane. They set up the experiment again to force their colleague to reveal that the lab "accident" was anything but - at that point they refuse to stop it, deciding to kill themselves, along with him, and thousands more. Batman is forced to kill them to save the city.
- Drugs Are Bad:
- In "The Winning Edge", in which Bane's Super Serum Venom could easily be substituted for real-life steroidal compounds and other performance enhancing drugs. It approached the issue as a medical and criminal issue to be handled rationally. Bane himself appears in the episode as a shriveled vegetable as opposed to the giant we know him as, after years of Venom intake.
- A bit more heavy handed in the episode which associated virtual reality with drug use, which features Terry's friend and confidant Max going from wanting to take the operation down into a shivering addict willing to fight Batman to protect it after one brief session.
- The episode "Splicers" primarily revolved around a body-modification aesop, the genetic splicing served as a metaphor for tattoos and piercings, but the process was addictive, mind-altering and administered through injections.
- Dumb Muscle: Everyone thinks Big Time is this in his second appearance. He hates it, and it eventually leads him to try and backstab everyone to come out on top himself.
- Dumpster Dive: In "The Eggbaby," Terry leaves behind a computerized eggbaby he must take care of for a Family Studies project in a dumpster as he goes off to deal with the villains of the week. As his attempts to arrest them leaves Batman empty-handed, he returns to the dumpster just in time to see a garbage truck proceeding to empty its contents, prompting him to worriedly rush down, scoop up the eggbaby, and jet away.
Waste Collector 1: "Batman... dumpster diving?"
Waste Collector 2: (shrugs) "A fella's gotta eat."
- Education Mama: Terminal's mom pushes him to be the perfect student - and when he gets the second highest GAT score, she makes it clear that she is very disappointed in him.
- Egg Sitting: "The Eggbaby". And you can bet that Terry hates it.
- Egomaniac Hunter: The Stalker, he is wanted on several continents for poaching and decides to hunt Batman because he is the last potential challenge for his skills.
- Electric Instant Gratification: Shriek invented a tuning fork which provides this.
- Electronic Eyes: The Stalker has one to track prey.
- Emmy Bait: "The Eggbaby", by the producers' own admission. They did it by playing to the Animation Age Ghetto and doing a comedy episode, and it worked.
- Elevator Action Sequence: In the episode "Payback".
- Emotionless Girl: Tamara in "Mind Games", at first.
- Enemy Mine:
- Terry and his grade school nemesis Shawn in "The Last Resort".
- Terry and Stalker in "Plague;" Stalker emphasizes that he will be the one to kill Batman.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: The gang in "April Moon" consists of three Asians, a black man, and a woman.
- Establishing Character Moment: Terry beats up a Jokerz member harassing monorail passengers in his very first appearance. It was only after that he was shown to have a temper.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: In "Eyewitness", while the framed Batman is being pursued by Barbara and a SWAT team, Batman pretends to surrender and then throws a Batarang at Barbara, who dodges it... only to discover that Batman had been aiming at Spellbinder, who was lurking invisible behind her, the whole time.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot". Take a guess what happens in it.
- The Royal Flush Gang are a loose Expy of Marvel's Hellfire Club, but with a playing card motif instead of Chess Motifs. They're a close-knit, generations-old fraternity of criminals with family ties, they live in a mansion and dress like 18th-century aristocrats when they're not in the field, they have code-names corresponding to individual playing cards, and their lineup includes a snarky, blonde Woman in White who's clearly based on Emma Frost (they both even have the code-name "Queen").
- The production team went out of their way to avert making obvious expies of classic Batman villains (like making, say, "Robo-Penguin") but sometimes made them vaguely similar (the shape-shifting Inque echoing Clayface, the illusion-casting/ mind controlling Spellbinder mirroring Mad Hatter, the evil businessman Derek Powers like Lex Luthor). Fans have also noted that many of them have mirrors with Spider-Man villains (Derek Powers = Norman Osborn, Inque = Venom, False Face = Chameleon, Stalker = Kraven, Shriek = Shocker, Spellbinder = Mysterio, etc)
- Derek Powers/Blight also has some parallels to Jack Nicholson's version of the Joker: in the Burton film, Jack Napier is responsible for killing Bruce's parents instead of Joe Chill, which causes Bruce to become Batman, and in turn leads to Batman accidentally creating the Joker by exposure to toxic materials, which results in his body becoming warped in an attempt to fix it. In Batman Beyond, Powers causes the death of Terry's father which leads him to becoming the second Batman and accidentally creating Blight by exposure to nerve gas, which results in him becoming a walking nuclear reactor in an attempt to fix it. They even both wear a fake skin to appear normal in front of others.
- Visually, Blight bears a substantial resemblance to the obscure Batman villain Doctor Phosphorous, also a glowing, radioactive skeleton.
- Simon Harper from "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" is an evil version of George Lucas. He's famous for (supposedly) creating a popular sci-fi series and his private estate is located in a secluded area. To hammer it home, his costume even resembles The Emperor's.
- Mr. Fanservice: Terry is a younger, initially cocky, Troubled, but Cute Batman.
- Even Evil Can Be Loved: Subverted in "Ascension". After Derek Powers is publicly exposed as Blight, his son Paxton works with Batman to find him, seeming concerned for his father's health and safety. It turns out that he just wants to make sure his father is gone so he can take over himself; he even stage-managed the accident that exposed him in the first place.
- Evil Gloating: Lampshaded by Bruce in "Where's Terry", right before taking by surprise gloating Shriek.
Bruce Wayne: Why do they always talk so much?
- Evil Laugh: A classic one when Blight discovers his powers.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: The radioactive treatment given to him for the exposure to his own mutagen nerve gas leaves Derek Powers looking like a pitchblack skeleton surrounded by fluorescent green tissue.
- Evil Redhead: Inque's daughter Deanna Clay kills Inque after she gains control of her monetary assets. Too bad Inque survived....
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot" The episode in which Terry's friend dates a robot.
- Expressive Mask: The Batsuit mimics the facial expressions of the wearer to an extent. A conscious style choice by the artists, so Terry was able to emote (eyes wide in shock was a particularly popular one).
- Eye Lights Out
- Eye Take: Terry has plenty of these moments, especially while Batsuiting it up on a mission.
- Facepalm: Terry actually does this a couple of times in the series, but most notably in "Mind Games" after he kicks a Mook out of a skyscraper and after hitting the ground, the Mook simply gets up, dusts himself off, and gives Terry a Death Glare.
- Facial Recognition Software: There is one that can search a database using a pieced-together image of a person's face, and then there is one that can search a database by seeing if your mind recognizes any of a series of fast-flashing photographs.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner:
- "Heroes made a choice. We had none."
- "Believe me, you're the only one who cares."
- Fake-Out Make-Out: Inque and Aaron Herbst in "Disappearing Inque". Aaron likes it, as he is infatuated with Inque, but she just used it to get out of a sticky situation and she hits and threatens him right afterward. She's not a nice lady.
- Falling into the Cockpit: In "Joyride", the Jokerz have no issues at all in piloting the top-secret military gunship they steal.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Soooo many.
- A really terrifying example is in the episode "Sneak Peek", where a tabloid reporter gains the ability to go through walls. He finds out that Terry is Batman and Terry tries to convince him not to reveal his secret. Unfortunately, this power goes bad and he starts to be like this permanently and falls through several stories. Terry tries to rescue him, but the reporter couldn't stay tangible for long and just keeps falling, presumably to the center of the earth.
- One episode had the intensely disturbing scene where a man fell into a hole slowly filling with toxic waste. His limbs fell off when he hit the ground.
- The episode about "Splicers" which ended with the Big Bad injecting himself with so much animal DNA he mutated in a gigantic blob-crab-monster. Yikes!
- The episode where Bane's crony died from taking way too many venom-derived slappers, while Bane himself was in an all-but-dead vegetative state.
- The show specialized in doing this while making it a Gory Discretion Shot. People were fed to crocodiles, run over by trains, and exploded. The one that sticks out is the end of "April Moon", where a doctor attempts to save his wife from the gang by giving them new equipment. By the end of the episode, it's revealed that his wife was actually in on it the whole time and was cheating on him with the gang leader. The doctor knows, but the leader doesn't. So he comes in to get upgraded anyway, and the pissed-off doctor tells him that everything will be fine as he lowers a drill toward his face. Cue black.
- Famous Last Words: "That's not funny... That's not..." The Joker in one version of The Movie after being killed by Robin.
- Dana in the white dress from the episode "Rats." She seems aware of it too because when she invites Terry out for a date, she calls and says "Meet me at Rhino's. I'll be wearing that dress you like." Cue Terry's shocked expression and "Whoa."
- She actually always borders on Ms. Fanservice with her sky blue dress, which is only about an inch low enough to avoid trouble with the censors, as well as being very form-fitting. Also, Blade and her mini skirts.
- Melanie in "Once Burned" also shows up in a Dangerously Short Skirt, in red.
- This could actually be generalised as a common fashion trend in the show; most young women are depicted wearing Dangerously Short Skirts.
- For girls, there's a lovely five-second scene of Terry in the shower after escaping Stalker.
- Fantastic Drug: the show loved this trope, which gives us very dark episodes, laced with terrifying imagery.
- "The Winning Edge" did a story about steroid use in athletics without using the word "steroids". They were "slappers" and turned out to contain the Venom used by Bane. The effects of Venom are much more disturbing than those of steroids.
- Splicers used animal mutagens to make a drug-like culture. No adverse or overt addictive side-effects were shown, but the Splicers were portrayed as being deviant and intrinsically more confrontational. Both this episode and "The Winning Edge" end up with Batman killing the villain with what basically amounts to a drug overdose.
- Total-immersion Virtual Reality (computer-generated euphoric hallucinations) was portrayed as being very addictive, with catastrophic side effects inevitably resulting from prolonged use.
- Fate Worse than Death: Some of the villains. An older Bane is kept on life-support as a vegetable, and a guy with a crush on Inque receives a similar mutation but none of the cool abilities. Ian Peek is eventually left incorporeal and sinks forever until he gets to the earth's core. Then there is this exchange:
Stalker: There are worse things than an honorable death.
Batman: Betcha it's a short list.
- Fauxreigner: Kairi fakes a heavy Japanese accent because it sells more fish that way. She speaks normally when she isn't working or teaching her students.
- Flanderization: Dana starts out as a sweet, friendly, teasing, mostly understanding girlfriend who tries to deal with Terry's new priorities and sometimes loses her patience and temper with his absences. By the second season, nagging him is almost all she does, with very little of the teasing tone she used to have. Justified; Dana would logically get more annoyed with Terry ditching her over time.
- Flying Car: Many (but not all) cars fly. The Batmobile can fly at speeds up to Mach 3.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- During the course of Hooked Up, Terry faces off with Spellbinder who attempts to use mind control on him. During this time Terry flashes back to several previous moments in the series, including one frame from when he fought a hideously mutated Dr. Cuvier in Splicers.
- In the episode "Out of the Past," when Ra's al Ghul in the body of Talia is about to run through Batman with a sword, he catches the blade in his hands and delivered the sword into the computer's control panel. This sends a highly visible electrical current through Talia's body where, in a couple of frames, Ra's al Ghul, whose essence had completely usurped Talia's existence, is seen matching Talia's agony during the electrocution.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: Justice League Unlimited showed a conclusion for the show.
- Fun with Acronyms: Galvanic Lifting Machine, pronounced "Golem" for the sake of convenience.
- Future Slang:
- "Schway" is a general slang term meaning good or cool.
- "Twip" is an insult used to describe people as either small or annoying.
- "Slag" is used occasionally.
- "Dreg" as in dregs of society.
- "Vid Games" is a common abbreviation for "Video Games".
- Game-Breaking Injury: Bruce Wayne quit his superhero days because his crippling heart condition would paralyze him mid-fight, thus forcing him to pick up a gun to defend himself and a hostage.
- Gang of Hats:
- The Jokerz are a traditional gang, full of punks and troublemakers who dress and behave in a manner evocative of The Joker. Their primary rivals are the T's, whose members adorn themselves with face-paint in the shape of the letter "T," reminiscent of the second Mister Terrific
- The Royal Flush Gang is a super-villain crime family that dresses in costumes and steal treasures related (sometimes rather tenuously) to playing cards; examples include diamonds, antique swords (The "spades" suit was originally the "swords" suit), and a yacht taken from a millionaire's club.
- Gangsta Style: Used very briefly by a Jokerz member in Hidden Agenda.
- Garnishing the Story: Pick one of these tropes and you can almost guarantee it appeared in the show, or was combined with one or more to produce a disturbing hybrid/mutated trope. A good example containing a couple would be "Splicers".
- General Ripper: General Norman in "Heroes".
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Season two went a little nuts with this.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Has its own page.
- Girl of the Week: Irene, for Terry in "Untouchable". Melanie comes off as this in her initial appearance, but came back a few times.
- Give Her A Normal Life: The episode "Inqueling" reveals that, before her mutation, Inque gave birth to a daughter she subsequently gave up for adoption. When the two reunite in the show Inque explains that she had grown up poor and let herself become Inque all for the money, and she wanted to give her daughter an easier life with normal parents and a large trust fund. When Inque reveals just how much money she has, however, her daughter tries to kill her in order to get control of her bank accounts. She points out that Inque never gave her anything except money, so why is Inque surprised that she is just taking more of it?
- Go-Go Enslavement: Max in "Curse of Kobra part 2". Which Terry lampshades: "Nice outfit."
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Terry is investigating an attempted assassination of Bruce Wayne and decides to visit what might be the source of the technology used in the attack. However, instead of sneaking in as Batman he dresses up as a delivery boy and brings over a pizza. He and Walter Shreeve end up splitting the pie and pleasantly talking about sound waves... at least, until Terry's questions get a bit too pointed and Shreeve tries to split open his head.
- Gone Horribly Right: Derek Powers apparently taught Paxton Powers to be ruthless in acquiring power. Let's just say that Paxton took it to heart and backstabbed his old man in the latter's final appearance.
- Good with Numbers: Not exactly. Apparently people don't bother to do simple math in their head anymore. Terry memorized the multiplication table, a skill which Dana finds strange and useless since everyone just uses a calculator.
- Gory Discretion Shot:
- The effects of Derek Power's nerve gas on animal test subjects. Also, the final moments of the poor guy who gave Terry's dad the info on said gas who got exposed to it in an accident. Mr. Powers shows some photos to a dictator interested in obtaining the nerve gas; we don't get to see the last 2 photos, but the expression on the dictator's face tells us it's not pretty.
- When Inque tries to suffocate Batman by cramming herself down his throat, Bruce manages to fend her off by spraying her with a fire hose, and we are then treated to the sounds of Terry heaving and the sight of Inque's leftovers spilling all over the ground.
- Grand Theft Me: A key plot point in "Out of the Past", after Ra's al Ghul had already oregon grabbed his daughter's body.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: In the comics, Terry had to use Bruce's old-fashioned grappler, among other gadgets from the first suit's belt, because Shriek knew the sound waves able to break the newest gear. At one point, Shriek destroys Terry's suit, and while Terry free-falls, he latches onto a building with the grappler.
Terry: Hey, this isn't so hard. The grappler tightens and Terry feels the force of it on his shoulder. Ungh.
Bruce: You were saying?
Terry: It really packs a punch.
- G-Rated Drug:
- The villain Spellbinder opens a VR arcade, where people can experience their greatest fantasies. However, he deliberately made the effect addictive. As soon as people leave VR, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. He uses this to get people to steal for him.
- Another episode features more conventional drugs, essentially steroids taken like nicotine patches called "slappers." It turned out that they're based on Bane's venom, which by this time has rendered him an invalid.
- Happily Married: Barbara and Sam. Terry's parents were divorced, but were still on good terms and his mother is severely affected by Warren's murder.
- Hair Colors: All sorts of colors are common among Terry's classmates, including bright green, bright orange, and one very pretty teen girl whose hair is pure white. No one thinks this is strange.
- Harmless Villain
- Headphones Equal Isolation: In "Untouchable", a maintenance woman was oblivious to a battle between Batman and the Repeller because of her headphones.
- Hearing Voices: Part of Shriek's debut was convinces everyone Bruce had gone crazy so he could be locked up. Bruce himself never believed it, and Terry eventually uncovered the secret - an oversized bandage that concealed a "tiny" two-way radio only Bruce could hear. After Shriek is defeated, they have an interesting conversation:
Terry: Tell me something - why were you so sure those voices weren't coming from you?
Bruce: Well, first, I know I'm not psychotic.
Terry: I hope your other reason is more convincing.
Bruce: Second, the voice kept calling me "Bruce." In my mind, that's not what I call myself.
Terry: What do you call yourself?
Terry: Oh, yeah. I suppose you would. [Batman voice] But that's my name now.
Bruce:Tell that to my subconscious.
- Here We Go Again!: In the episode, "Disappearing Inque", Aaron Herbst, who worked at Gotham Cryogenics is infatuated with a frozen Inque and talks to her in her inert state about his unfulfilling life. After he kisses the ice-block, he's caught on camera in the act and is fired. He then frees Inque and begs her to have a similar mutation. She does, but only in half-state, making him barely able to move. After Inque's defeat, he ends up in Gotham Cryogenics in the same situation on the other end with a female caretaker, with the camera filming her entire conversation with him.
- Heroic BSoD: After Bruce is forced to grab a gun to defend himself whilst suffering a heart attack, he's so disgusted with himself that he hangs up the cowl and becomes a shut-in for the next 20 years.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Kairi Tanaga at the end of "The Curse Of Kobra" part 2.
- High-School Sweethearts: Terry and Dana
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- Sound expert Shriek goes deaf from his suit's amplification.
- Derek Powers is turned into Blight as the eventual result of being exposed to his own nerve gas.
- Paxton Powers. When the Royal Flush Gang abducted him for a ransom, money from Wayne-Powers could not be used because of a policy he wrote.
- Holding It for a Friend: When Terry is caught with "slappers" in his bag he (truthfully) tries to convince his mom that they are not his.
"They're not mine! I found them!"
- How Do I Shot Web?: Terry deals with this for all of a few minutes. Justified, as the suit responds to thought.
- Humongous Mecha: The Golem. Also, some of Bruce's spare costumes.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Stalker in "Bloodsport".
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Terry's batarangs are ridiculously collapsible (folding down into what looks like a 1.5x2" rectangle) and concealed in dispensers on his wrists and utility belt.
- I Am a Monster: Batman pleads with the Magma Man of the Terrific Trio to not destroy the city by continuing the experiment that gave them their powers, because he's a hero. Magma disagrees:
Magma:No... I'm an accident. Real heroes, they make a choice. I never did.
- Iconic Outfit: The Batman Beyond outfit is a highly popular costume and it's considered one of the best Batsuits. It would go on to directly inspire the outfit of the titular bad guy in Batman: Arkham Knight while some of the features, such as in-Cowl VR Display with inlaid gadgets that allows long-distance eavesdropping would be incorporated into Prime Batman's arsenal in the comics and the games.
- Idiot Ball: In the episode "Where's Terry?" Max notices one of the Ts has Terry's backpack. After following their gang to their hideout, Bruce knocks on the door and offers to buy the bag. He then enters the building, alone, after saying that he has considerable cash on him. Max does rescue him, but it was an alarmingly bad plan for Bruce.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: An assassin trying to get Terry's attention.
- The reasoning is also used by Max when Terry tells her about how he went to talk to Dr. Peter Corso about the cybernetic implants he has been making for a criminal gang (for reasons explained in the I Have Your Wife entry below) and he ambushed him with a sedative before moving his entire operation elsewhere. Max points out that while Peter did trick him, he also didn't use a perfect opportunity to kidnap or kill him or even just expose his secret identity, which suggests to Terry that Dr. Corso might not have actually turned evil.
- I Have Your Wife: Bullwhip and his gang kidnap the wife of surgeon and cyberneticist Dr. Peter Corso in order to extort his help in becoming superpowered criminals. Then it turns out she was with them willingly, and was in fact cheating on the doctor.
- I Lied: Paxton Powers says this to Terry when he realizes that Paxton is trying to kill his father, not capture him.
- I Love Nuclear Power: Played a little more logically than usual (not that that's saying much). After being exposed to his own nerve gas, Powers is treated with a heavy dose of radiation. This cures him...at the cost of mutating him into a glowing green nightmare who eventually develops full-on superpowers.
- Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: At the end of "Joyride," the Jokerz-initiate who has been dragged along with the gang takes off his red rubber nose after he realizes just how insane the situation is.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Earth Mover realizes that Batman has thwarted all its considerable efforts to entomb Jackie, it sends roots underwater to split the boulder that was blocking the Batsub's escape from the collapsing cavern. Given its reason for all of them being there in the first place...
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Will Friedle, who plays the main hero Terry, is best friends with Jason Marsden in real life, who played guest character Donny Grasso in "Hooked Up". The two actors have worked with each other in a number of other shows as well.
- I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: A Fantastic Four-ish group called the Terrific Trio goes insane and tries to set off a nuclear reactor. Terry tries to stop their leader by reminding him that he's supposed to be a hero.
Magma: No... I'm an accident. Real heroes, they make a choice. I never did.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Wayne-Powers security guards clearly trained here.
- Impersonating an Officer: One episode shows people from the criminal organization KOBRA dressing up as cops to get Batman to willingly hand over a boy they've been targeting, who knows what Batman looks like under his mask.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: That now give super-strength and limited invisibility.
- Impoverished Patrician:
- It was never explored in the show, but DVD commentaries and behind-the-scene features reveal that Bruce Wayne has lost almost all of the vast Wayne Fortune in the intervening years between the original series and the current story. He survives on the returns from his stock holdings in Wayne-Powers, which he could sell for a massive profit, but he would never do so because he would lose any last remaining influence over the company.
- One episode revealed this is the case for Paxton Powers. All of his assets are tied up in investments — he lives entirely on corporate perks.
- Ink-Suit Actor:
- Andy Dick as Slim in "Eggbaby".
- Henry Rollins as Mad Stan◊.
- While he did not voice the character, Howard Groote is quite obviously Paul Dini. This was noted in an interview on one of the DVDs.
- Instant Armor: Bruce Wayne's Powered Armor in "Disappearing Inque". He activates it as she grips him with her Combat Tentacles. It covers him entirely in a second, and he manages to free himself send Inque flying accross the arena with a punch.
- Insult Backfire:
Barbara Gordon: You're out of your mind!
- Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: In "April Moon", Terry is up against three villains who fight with deadly prosthetic limbs: one whips metal tentacles from his wrists, one can encase himself in powered armor and one has chainsaws on his elbows and knees. Guess which of the three goes down without landing a single hit on the bat. Granted, the placement of the chainsaws makes their use in combat awkward at best — Kneejerk's primary function seemed to be slicing open safes and vault doors.
- Invisibility Cloak: Terry's costume has a device to render it (and whoever is wearing the costume) invisible. It seems to work through a kind of high-tech camouflage, allowing him to blend into the background.
- It Is Pronounced Tro Pay:
- In Splicers, the word of chimera is pronounced as 'shi-mera' though the technical pronunciation is actually 'kai-mera'. While the name for the splicing company may have been called 'shi-mera' for fashionable preferences, Cuvier calls himself an actual chimera using the 'shi' substitute.
- Terry is corrected on how to pronounce Ra's al Ghul's name, and is told it's a common mistake. (It's "Raysh", not "Roz".)
- Ironic Echo:
- At the beginning of the episode "Babel" Bruce changes the subject, telling Terry that they have a Batsuit to repair. At the end of the episode, when Bruce asks him a question, Terry changes the subject using the same excuse.
- "Meltdown" has a sinister one, both times: "Remember: there may be some momentary discomfort."
- In "Heroes", the General reminds Hodges that if the Trio found out about their deteriorating condition, then they would've become dangerously psychotic. Later:
Dr. Hodges: But the whole city will become a hot zone! You're crazy!
2-D Man: I believe your words were "dangerously psychotic".
- Inspector Javert: Barbara tends to come off as such towards Terry. It's shown to its greatest extent in "Eyewitness," in which Spellbinder uses his illusion technology to make Barbara believe that Batman had murdered Mad Stan in cold blood. When he is exposed and promptly arrested, Spellbinder takes the time to taunt Barbara:
Spellbinder: You were so ready to believe the worst [in Batman], it was easy.
- Barbara even acknowledges herself that she screwed up big-time and gives Terry a public service award as an apology.
- Jury Duty: When Mad Stan blew up the City Hall (in a virtual reality simulator owned by Spellbinder) one of the things he expected from this was "no more jury duty".
- Just Friends: Howard has the nerve to say this to a super-strong gynoid girlfriend he bought when said gynoid has been actively trying to kill people for most of the episode. It does not end well. Terry even lampshades it:
Howie: (as Cynthia starts to malfunction in rage) Wrong thing to say?
Batman: Is it ever the right thing?!
- Karma Houdini: Several examples.
- Doctor Hodges gets off scot-free for what amounts to the murder of the Trio in "Heroes," though he does have to live with the guilt so this qualifies as a subversion.
- While Melanie loses her family, wealth, and her shot at Terry at the end of "Once Burned", she never faces jail time or other repercussions for the robberies she committed in that episode.
- Amanda Waller planned to murder Terry's parents but doesn't face repercussions. Not that it would matter anyway as she's Living on Borrowed Time.
- Terminal's overbearing Education Mama is never called out for her role in skewing his priorities to the point that he believes being outscored on the SATs justifies murder.
- Karmic Death: The villain in "Sneak Peek" is selectively intangible (i.e., he can walk through walls), but what happens to him once he can no longer control it?
- Kent Brockman News: The talking heads are no longer even real people, just computer generated blue silhouettes.
- Kick the Dog: Or inject them with growth hormones to turn them into monsters, whatever the Monster of the Week prefers.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ian Peek needs Bruce's help. He even offers to give up the footage he has of him and Terry if Bruce will just fix his intangibility problem. Bruce just turns around and walks away, prompting Peek to try to kill him. This is right after Bruce realizes that Peek stole the intangibility device and murdered its inventor.
- Kid Hero All Grown-Up
- Tim Drake quit being Robin and took up a normal life. Unwittingly, by use of a microchip implanted with the Joker's genetic material, he also was turned into a future incarnation of the Joker off and on. This was eventually discovered and removed.
- In the comic, Tim was later called to (very reluctantly) help coordinate movements of Batman and companions during a mass suicide bombing of Gotham. In the same comic, Dick Grayson was shown to be helping find and stop bombers under his own identity (i.e. not wearing a mask).
- Barbara Gordon, who was Batgirl as a teenager, quit the vigilante gig, went legit, and followed in her father's footsteps as Gotham's Chief of Police.
- K-I-S-S-I-N-G in a Tree: The episode "Rats" has Terry's little brother saying this about Terry and Dana, but Terry interrupts it at the last minute, throwing one of his shoes at the door.
- Lame Pun Reaction: So lame it hurts.
Batman: You're sure about this?
Bruce Wayne: All of their crimes are playing-card-related, and the earliest playing-card decks had swords, not spades.
Batman: How does the yacht fit in?
Bruce Wayne: It was part of a yacht club.
Bruce Wayne: I thought so.
- Lampshade Hanging: In "Untouchable":
Young Guard (As Repeller approaches): Get a load of the freak in the long johns.
Older Guard: You really haven't been in Gotham long, have you, kid?
- Large and in Charge: Ma Mayhem and Big Time.
- Last-Second Word Swap: From Meltdown
Batman(right after Freeze started his rampage): Oh... Freeze.
- Legacy Character: What is interesting is that there is a touch of infighting between the original and the new Batman over the name and position. Once when Bruce was returned to fighting shape via the Lazarus Pits Terry bitterly commented that there was no way he was going to be Robin. Then there was this exchange:
Terry: How did you know?
Bruce: For one, I know I'm not crazy.
Terry: Hope your other reason is more convincing.
Bruce: The voice was also calling me Bruce. In my mind, that's not what I call myself.
Terry: [confused look until it dawns on him] Oh... you would call yourself that. But that's my name now.
Bruce: Tell that to my subconscious.
- On the rare occasions when Bruce Wayne finds himself back in action, he is accompanied by the symphonic themes from Batman: The Animated Series. When he and Terry fight side-by-side in "Out of the Past," the theme from Batman: The Animated Series is remixed into a metal version similar to the Batman Beyond theme.
- A subtle version of it also plays in Babel, where Wayne steadfastly tells Gordon he will not order Batman to sacrifice himself due to public demand.
- When Superman shows up for the episode "The Call," the theme from Superman: The Animated Series plays.
- A distorted and ominous version of the Superman: The Animated Series theme plays when a Brainwashed and Crazy Superman attacks Batman.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Tamara from "Mind Games" was already established as competent, if young, skillfully managing to contact Terry despite being in danger and cooperating with him to save her. However, when he's in trouble, she casts a huge illusion to distract his opponent, and later strikes a guy blind with her powers to save Terry.
- Let's Just Be Friends: In the episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot", one of Terry's nerdy friends named Howard gets a robot girlfriend that's ''too'' devoted to him. When Howard uses this line on her, it does not go well, Terry even Facepalms when Howard says it.
- Licked by the Dog: Occurs gradually with Ace warming up to Terry.
- Lighter and Softer: Inverted, despite what the executives wanted. It was originally intended to be a show targeted towards the younger generation, and DVD commentary reveals that studio executives were constantly pushing for goofier gadgets (including a mini-Batcave in Terry's home) and kid sidekicks (Terry's younger brother, Matt, was apparently supposed to be Kid-Batman. No, not Robin, but an kid version of Batman). The finished episodes and storylines were substantially darker, including dealing with death, drugs (not in a Very Special Episode way) and bold-faced violence in a way other cartoons refused to approach. Critical and popular reception seems to have validated this decision.... except for the fact that in order to win an Emmy, the DCAU team had to submit the goofiest, most child-friendly episode in the show's history (though a fair amount of (sexual!) crap was still gotten past the radar).
- Limb-Sensation Fascination: In "Meltdown", Mister Freeze has his consciousness transferred from a Head In A Jar to a cloned body. After the completion of this process, he walks to the window, puts his hand to it, and says "cold" (it's winter) with a look of absolute joy on his face. He has been numb to the sensation for decades.
- Little "No": When the Terrific Trio recreate the dangerous experiment that gave them their powers which threatens to kill thousands, after their colleague reveals it wasn't an accident:
Dr. Hodges: Please, just turn it off!
- In "Disappearing Inque", Terry murmurs "No..." when he sees that Bruce is wearing an old set of experimental powered armor (stressing his heart and putting his life at risk regardless of the outcome of the fight with Inque).
- Loophole Abuse: Meta example. The executives wanted a show about Batman in high school, but nobody said that Batman had to be Bruce Wayne.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: In "Hooked Up", Spellbinder puts teens in a highly addictive one, so that when he cuts them off, they'll do anything to get back in - including steal for him.
- Lovable Nerd: Maxine and Howard.
- Love Makes You Crazy: In "Heroes", Dr. Hodges confessed of setting up the whole thing to kill Mike so that he could take Mary for himself. He didn't mean for Mary to be affected as well, nor for them to end up in their current conditions.
- Loving a Shadow: The old Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl, now Commissioner, admits that her infatuation with Bruce Wayne, the original Batman, had some of this during a conversation to try and persuade Terry from going on with being the new Batman.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Terry and Bruce, via a Government Conspiracy and genetic modification of Warren, Terry's father, who did the physical coupling with his mother. He does not find out until he is thirty, however, and he is pissed when he does. Word of God has also confirmed that Terry's younger brother is also Bruce Wayne's genetic son.
- Mad Bomber: Mad Stan's first line is "BLOW IT ALL UP!" He is a complete Conspiracy Nut who is obsessed with blowing up large businesses and government institutions, thinking he is saving the public from mass brainwashing.
- Mad Love: Inque and a random sap named Aaron Herbst who supervised her while in prison. Aaron ends up requesting to be given shapeshifting powers like Inque, to which Inque responds by giving him only half the treatment, causing him to mutate into a liquidated, powerless blob, and in the end being on the receiving end of this trope.
- Made of Explodium: Cynthia, from "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot." You do not want to get her mad.
- Made of Iron: Several of the characters, as standard in superhero comics. Mad Stan probably takes the cake, though, as he is able to go toe to toe with a power armoured Terry and survive bomb blasts at point blank.
- Mad Scientist: They are EVERYWHERE! All of Gotham's original disturbed genome tinkerers must have had an all-night love-in to spawn so many.
- Magical Girlfriend: The aptly named episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" plays with this idea. Terry's geeky friend Howard purchases an (illegal) human-like synthoid robot which looks like a beautiful woman, whom he names Cynthia and has programmed to be "totally into me". Problem is, she is scarily possessive and has superhuman strength. She nearly kills a couple of people who bully Howard and Batman has to step in. When Howard decides they should see other people, she explodes. Literally.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Shriek.
- Man Behind The Curtain: Payback turns out to be the frustrated young son of a therapist in the episode.
- Market-Based Title: Called "Batman of the Future" in several European nations, Australia and Brazil, and "The New Batman" in Russia.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: To Spider-Man levels.
"For this, I'm missing a date?"
- May–December Romance: Bruce and Barbara had this kind of relationship before breaking up permanently.
- Meaningful Name: The deadly and proficient silent masked assassin, Curaré. Curaré is also the name for a poisonous plant used by South American native peoples to tip their arrows.
- Meaningful Rename: When Walter Shreeve, sound researcher and technician, is exposed as the attempted murderer or Bruce Wayne he complains to Powers that he can no longer show his face or use his name. Powers explains that the face is no great loss, and he will give Shreeve a new name more fitting to his powers: Shriek.
- Meat Puppet: The victims of Starro fall into this trope in "The Call" along with the Brainwashed and Crazy and Puppeteer Parasite tropes.
- Mega-Corp: Interestingly, Wayne-Powers is one of these to a greater extent than demonstrated in the original series. Some interesting storylines (especially in the first season) come from the tension of shifting the balance of power between ethics (Wayne) and profit (Powers).
- Merchandise-Driven: Paul Dini has stated that the primary reason this show was made was to sell toys.
- Mind-Control Device: Spellbinder's handheld Hypnotic Eye is the best example, but this being Cyber Punk there are others scattered throughout.
- Mind Rape: Happens to Terry twice in "Hooked Up" and "Mind Games".
- Mission Control: Bruce Wayne. Occasionally Max when Bruce is out of town.
- Mistaken for Junkie: Terry's mom jumps to conclusions upon finding suspicious looking patches in her son's bag. To her credit these were drugs, a steroidal compound known as "slappers," but Terry was bringing them to Bruce for analysis. Terry's (truthful) excuses do not help: "They're not mine! I found them!" Bruce helps clear up the confusion at the end.
- Mistaken for Murderer: Terry has to clear his name in the episode "Eyewitness," where Commissioner Gordon witnessed him beating Mad Stan to death in front of her. He was framed by Spellbinder's illusions, and Stan never died in the first place.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Melanie (Ten of the Royal Flush Gang) was personally and morally conflicted over her criminal ways in "Dead Man's Hand," where her membership in the Royal Flush Gang forced her to separate from Terry McGinnis, the completely normal and average in every way boy she fell in love with. In "Once Burned" her family, wary of her doubts, fake their own kidnapping in order to see if she would be willing to pay their ransom. However, though Melanie did pay the money, when she discovered the truth she realized that her parents had never loved her as a daughter, only as an accomplice, and abandons them and their criminal ways.
- Modesty Towel: In the episode "Renevant", Dana, Chelseas and other schoolgirls wear towels for the big shower scene.
- Monster Fanboy: Inque has an obsessed maintenance worker who maintains her prison and who helps her escape when management fires him after they discover his fixation. He wants to become like her, but only makes it half-way into an amorphous, barely intelligible gelatinous blob.
- More Dakka: Zeta and then Terry in "Zeta", while using a PCB making laser as a high-powered, enormous minigun.
- Most Common Superpower: Max Gibson is noticeably stacked, especially for a 17 year old high school student.
- The Movie: Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- Mugging the Superhero:
- Happened at least twice; once when a gang of Jokerz decided it would be a good idea to attack Bruce Wayne, and again when Inque took a hostage who turned out to be Superman. Both instances ended how you would expect.
- In "Countdown" a couple of Jokerz try to beat down Zeta. They still try to hurt him after he takes a lead pipe to the shoulder with no effect except the pipe bending from the impact.
Zeta: I don't have time for this.
- The Jokerz have quite a track record for this. In addition to Terry (at least twice) they've tried to mug Willy Watt and Static.
- Mugged for Disguise: False Face does this in the episode "Plague", where he steals the uniform of an airline employee. The real worker is later found bound and gagged in his undies.
- Murder, Inc.: The Society of Assassins.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: This was revealed to be the real motive of the science experiment "accident" that made the Terrific Trio what they were: Their supposed ally and colleague Howard Hodges knew beforehand the particle fusion generator was unsafe, but didn't inform them so that he could go out with Mary with Mike out of the picture. Unfortunately for both groups, Mary took part as well. The three aren't happy to find this out.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Why Bruce retired in the first place. His last job was hard on his old body, causing his heart to start to give up on him despite having to keep going. But because he was so weak, he was forced to use a gun however to stop a thug from killing him, Causing Bruce to realize he literally CANNOT be Batman anymore.
- Mythology Gag:
- Batman accidentally causes a character to be disfigured by chemicals, and as the doctors show him his terrible new visage in the mirror, he cackles maniacally... Tim Burton's Joker, or Beyond villain Blight?
- The episode "Heroes" had a team called the Terrific Trio. While they look suspiciously like ANOTHER family of heroes, the team's name originated in the Adam West series, referring to Batman, Robin, and Batgirl after the latter had been established.
- Ace is the DCAU's version of Ace the Bat-Hound, Batman's version of Krypto during The Silver Age of Comic Books.
- Subverted in "The Call" — the DC Animated Universe's first appearance of the Justice League has them face their first opponent from the comics, Starro. According to Word of God, this was a coincidence.
- Also in "The Call", Terry has to deal with a brainwashed Superman and asks how fast the Batmobile could go. When Bruce answers "Mach 3", Terry asks if that's "faster than a speeding bullet".
- "Out of the Past" has the actors playing Batman and Commissioner Gordon in the Batman musical Bruce and Terry are watching in the beginning of the episode sing about how criminals are "a superstitious cowardly lot", which was what a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne said about criminals in the first comic to reveal Batman's origin.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: In "Mind Games", after Terry rescues Tamara, a girl with Psychic Powers, from a Nebulous Evil Organization, he quizzes her for intel on their remaining foes;
Terry: What's the creepy lady's power?
Tamara: I don't know, but they call her Bombshell.
Terry: Oh, that's encouraging.
- Never-Forgotten Skill: Bruce Wayne has retired from being Batman, and has spent years being a bitter old recluse. However, Bruce has proven to be quite proficient with his cane, not just for attacking, but for casually blocking thrown knives with it. Then there's that one episode where he goes into a Lazarus Pit and apparently being made younger causes him to fight with all the skills of his younger self unforgotten.
- Never Found the Body: Several instances, and Terry tends to be pretty aware about it. He first points it out with Blight; after he "died", the exact words were used and it was implied that he would return. He never did.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Terry gets hit with this after his father's death.
- Never Mess with Granny:
- Kairi Tanaga in the "Curse of the Kobra" episodes.
- Barbara Gordon tends to be a badass.
- Never Say "Die": Averted frequently.
- Especially by Derek Powers, who often instructs his hired goons to kill Batman if he interferes with whatever plans he's hatching. Like the exchange between Powers and Shriek, where Powers gives the orders so casually and nonchalantly that it borders on Refuge in Audacity.
- The New Rock & Roll: Splicing is portrayed like this, with all the attendant cries of "It's not natural" and branding the splicers "Freaks". Oddly enough we are supposed to be on the side of the Moral Guardians, and the splicers rapidly start Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
- New Neo City: Neo-Gotham. One last part of "Old" Gotham was preserved by Bruce Wayne. Terry also mentions a New Neo Country, New Cuba.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Skillfully averted; though Terry lacks superpowers, the writers are pretty good about keeping him from pulling new skills out of thin air. They usually develop from the progression of his fighting skills and of the character in general, even though given that his "powers" are technological (from a super-suit), having new abilities or upgrades added in would be fairly easy and justifiable.
- 90% of Your Brain: The Brain Trust reiterates the classic "10% of your brain" mistake as what separates them from normal people.
- Noodle Incident:
- The assassination at the Berlin Airport, which gave the world the only known picture of Curaré.
- The "near-apocalypse of '09," where Talia al Ghul and Batman united in order to battle Ra's al Ghul one final time.
- The circumstances behind how Bruce got his limp. While never outright stated, one possibility is the result of The Joker stabbing him during their final battle. However, the fact that fifty-year old Bruce doesn't walk with a cane when he's seen out of costume somewhat disproves this. It could just be age.
- No-Paper Future: It does exist, but is very rarely used.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Referenced in "Out of the Past".
Terry: Guess I got caught up in old Roz here.
Talia: Raysh-al-Ghul was a man of many contrasts [...]
- Word of God from Ra's al Ghul's creator has it that "Raysh" is the correct pronunciation. Arabic linguists around the world tossed their arms up in anger, but the Word has been given.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: All of Dana's fears would have been eased by seeing Batman turn down Aquagirl's offer to go for a swim...
- Not Quite Dead: Inque.
- No Transhumanism Allowed: "Out of the Past": Bruce gets A Taste of Power by being rejuvenated in a Lazarus Pit. He is ashamed of taking it, calling it "unnatural... a cheat."
- Not So Stoic:
- Taken Up to Eleven in "Eggbaby". It even gets to the point that normally-jaded Bruce Wayne reacts with shock when he hears the cooing of the animitronic egg shortly after Terry exits the Batmobile.
Bruce: What's going on there? Is that a baby?
Terry: (Beat) Uhm...
Bruce: (taken aback) You brought a baby with you?!
Terry: It's not what you think, really!
Bruce: (stern) Terry, is there something you need to tell me?
- In "Ace in the Hole", Bruce tells Terry that he's sure Ace will be all right until he turns up again. His flashback reminiscence about how he found the dog, and his obvious relief when Ace is brought home safe and sound, make it clear that he was more worried than he let Terry see.
- Taken Up to Eleven in "Eggbaby". It even gets to the point that normally-jaded Bruce Wayne reacts with shock when he hears the cooing of the animitronic egg shortly after Terry exits the Batmobile.
- Not What I Signed on For: Joyride sees a Jokerz-initiation interrupted when the gang steals a military prototype combat vehicle. Throughout the episode the initiate is dragged along as the Jokerz commit bigger and bigger crimes, but at the end of the episode he knocks out the leader and takes off his red rubber nose when it becomes obvious that the situation is going to keep escalating into pure insanity.
- Nuke 'em: Implied in the second half of The Call:
Bruce: All I can do is have Barbara contact the military.
Terry: But they'll bomb the place.
Bruce: That's their job.
- Obviously Evil: One look at James Van Dyle's black and red prosthetic electronic eye is enough to let you know this guy isn't the champion of animal conservation he makes himself out to be.
- Offhand Backhand: Bruce several times; he is vicious with that cane. Terry gets his moments, too, usually with some form of improvised staff.
- "Out of the Past" has this parodied in Batman the Musical, where you could see an actor playing Batman doing this to three actors playing The Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin.
- Official Couple: Terry and Dana, as confirmed by "Epilogue".
- Oh, Crap!: A brief moment in "A Touch of Curaré" when Curaré realizes she is facing two Bat-heroes, not one.
- Old Master: Bruce Wayne. He regularly chides Terry for not listening to him, often when Terry falls into the same sorts of traps as he did in his cape-wearing days.
- Old Soldier: Of the superhero, crime fighting kind.
- Bruce Wayne is still able to take on a gang of thugs in his old age, even if his weak heart leaves him collapsed afterwards.
- Barbara Gordon is now the commissioner, and reveals in multiple episodes that she still "has it".
- When Superman appears in "The Call" he has not aged as poorly as Bruce due to his alien physiology, and retains all the formidable powers of Superman.
- Ace can take out a giant mechanical monstrosity even when he's around 90 in dog years.
- Older and Wiser: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon. In Bruce's case, crankier too.
- Older Than They Look: Superman is revealed to age noticeably slower than humans, so while he's around Bruce's age, he looks like he could pass for someone in his late 40s or 50s, and is just as spry as ever.
- One Bad Mother: Ma Mayhem from "Eggbaby".
- One-Man Army: Armory provides a very good example of this.
- One of the Boys: In a DVD extra, the creators admitted that they considered Max, although already a pretty blatant Tomboy, this.
- One-Winged Angel: The season 3 DVDs have a fun discussion with the writers all but apologizing for being so used to using this trope that it ruined the second half of the two-part episode "Curse of the Kobra":
"We had a great story in the first half, fun villains, and an excellent new character - a well-developed rival for Terry. He would have been a fantastic reoccurring character. If only he hadn't injected himself with Tyrannosaurus DNA, which for some reason turned him into a sort of snake-man who wanted to throw a nuclear weapon into a volcano, killing all the humans or turning them into more snake-people or... yeah..."
- Only in It for the Money: Inque, unlike most of Terry's other rogues, does not have any hidden agenda or personal goal behind her actions; she is a corporate saboteur working for money. As such, all her criminal activities on the show are as the hired agent of other characters. She is still a bad person, and sometimes takes a positive glee in what she is hired to do, but if nobody is bankrolling her she just stays home.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
Stalker: When you die, it will be by my hand, and my hand alone.
Terry: Thanks... I guess...
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It is not clear what Mutro Botha's ethnicity is, but his accent slips repeatedly between French, English, and Australian. One assumes that this is Tim Curry's natural Cheshire accent coming through.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Orifice Invasion: Inque. Come to think of it, she is all the unpleasant ramifications of Shapeshifting Squick incarnate in one character.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Terry takes Bruce to see Batman: The Musical for his birthday. Terry finds the jolly, musical Batman to be great fun. Bruce is... not impressed.
- Overprotective Dad: Dana's father is very disapproving of her relationship with Terry, primarily because of Terry's criminal record.
- Painted-On Pants: Every female character in the show wears pants so tight, often times with a top to match, that their clothes might as well be painted on. Even minor characters that appear for one episode cannot escape this treatment.
- Palette Swap: Due to some error on the part of the crew, the cheerleaders at Terry's school wear blue and white in season 1 despite the school colors being green and yellow. This trope was used in season 2 to correct this.
- Paranoia Fuel: An in-universe example in "Inqueling": After Deanna seemingly kills Inque and strikes it rich with Inque's assets, Batman informs her that the sample the police took for evidence is gone. She looks around at the shadows of the plants, at the water, and the last scene is her fearfully clutching her knees as an eye forms out of the shadows. Whether this is representational or not is an exercise for the viewer, but considering Inque returns and Deanna doesn't...
- Batman did the exact same thing to Paxton Powers when he told him that they Never Found the Body.
- Parting Words Regret: Terry's last conversation with his father was an argument.
- Pass the Popcorn: Max and Chelsea do this when Terry and Dana have a lover's spat over his broken promises.
- Petting Zoo People: The Splicers, who got that way thanks to LEGO Genetics.
- Phlebotinum Overdose:
- Terry jabs the Mad Scientist behind the Splicers (who had gone One-Winged Angel) with multiple syringes, causing him to mutate uncontrollably into a disturbing asymmetrical monster.
- The doctor who was selling Venom as a street drug overdoses, going mad in the process.
- Playing Card Motifs: As the Royal Flush gang, the Walker family takes their names from the cards that make up a royal flush in poker: King, his wife Queen, their children Jack and Ten, and the robotic Brute Ace. In their debut episode, Bruce is able to predict their next heist after realizing that their crimes thus far have also followed a playing card motif, specifically that of the four suits.
- Plea Bargain: District Attorney Sam Young's reelection campaign in "Eyewitness" had it mentioned that, during his tenure, the District Attorney's office had a decrease on the ratio of plea bargains for violent crimes.
- Police are Useless:
- Invoked in the two-part premiere when Bruce refuses to get involved and tells him to take his evidence to Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Terry objects that the cops won't be able to do anything (presumably because Powers is too powerful to touch).
- Inverted twice in "Eyewitness" when Terry butts in and screws up police stings, then finds himself up against the full, Crazy-Prepared might of Barbara Gordon's police force. It's made quite obvious that Terry's Would Not Shoot a Good Guy mindset is not the only reason that it's one of the toughest battles of the series for him.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot:
- Powered Armor:
- The batsuit enhances the users strength (Terry suggests 5:1 or 10:1 in the pilot), gives a significant level of durability and gives the user limited flight along with other integrated gadgets. But what is most interesting about it all is in that it is otherwise made of a fabric-like material, able to fit inside Terry's backpack or a hidden motorcycle compartment without problems.
- Bruce's Bat-Armor, which is visually inspired by the "Kingdom Come" Batsuit.
- Shriek's sound-amplification suit.
- Power Perversion Potential:
- A kid who gains telekinetic abilities uses said powers to leave messages in the women's locker room for the girl he likes. Since the school population thinks it is a ghost, Terry briefly muses on the fact that his suit can do the same thing.
- In "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot," Terry's friend Howard flat-out buys a Sex Bot (and somehow managed to screw that up).
- Power-Upgrading Deformation:
- What the Splicers are up to, though they don't see it as a deformation at all.
- Blight's transformation as well. He looks like a walking, glowing skeleton, but hey, free fireballs.
- Pre-emptive Declaration: From "Golem": What's two stories tall and eats Jokers?
- Pretty in Mink: A few episodes showed a lady wearing a fur wrap in the background.
- Properly Paranoid: Bruce is ready for anything, but the writers always manage to avoid an annoying Ass Pull by taking advantage of the mythos and minor Chekhovs Guns.
- Psychic Powers: Willy Watt and the members of the Brain Trust.
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Terry versus Chapel (the guy who made Venom into Slappers).
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- In the pilot:
Mr. Fixx: You're pretty strong for some clown who thinks he's Batman.
Terry: I. AM. BATMAN!
- In "Splicers":
Terry: DON'T. TOUCH. MY. DOG.
- In the pilot:
- Puppeteer Parasite: Starro in "The Call" - see also the Meat Puppet and Brainwashed and Crazy entries.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: When Terry can't directly bust a villainy, he's really good at rattling his enemies about the consequences of their villainy to some degree.
- First he does this to Paxton Powers with the veiled suggestion that his supervillain father, Derek Powers, may have survived his son's attempt to betray and kill him since they Never Found the Body and Derek might return to revenge.
- Terry does a similar thing with Inque's daughter, who screwed her mother over and tried to kill her. The girl now lives in fear of the vengeance of the assassin who can be anywhere, as anyone or anything, seeing her in every shadow. At least Paxton could permanently beef up security with his CEO income, but there's no way she can afford the same expense, not to mention that while Blight is pretty easy to see coming, Inque is the ultimate infiltrator, almost impossible to keep out if she wants in.
- Quieter Than Silence: A variation is used in the episode "Shriek", where the only sound heard is a very high tone. It's not actually silence, but to show that Shriek has gone deaf.
- Earlier in the same episode they do go completely silent, with the only sounds being the occasional distorted footfall when Batman moves.
- Rat King: Patrick Poundstone aka Ratboy from the episode "Rats" can control the giant rats that live below Gotham. He is a Stalker with a Crush to Dana Tan, Terry's Love Interest and kidnaps her. When she rebuffs him, he orders his rats to kill her but Batman manages to save her. Other people were not so lucky.
- Reality Ensues:
- The series somewhat deconstructs the lifestyle of Batman and his Rogues Gallery, and it shows how it would affect them in the long run.
- A lifetime of crimefighting leaves its mark on your health. And no matter how badass Batman is, even he can't go on forever.
- Although Batman was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold for the majority of his career, it is revealed his lone and pragmatic attitude created a big rift between him and the rest of the Bat-family. Not to mention, being Married to the Job, he never really developed any of the romantic relationships that the DCAU previously hinted at.
- Making a teen your crime-fighting partner isn't a wise decision.
- Although he pulled it off many times, not even the Joker can keep cheating death when he is living the way he does. He ends up dying rather graphically twice.
- Unlike the comics, although it may vary, the film version of the series doesn't romanticize The Joker in any way. In fact it showcases just how horrifying The Joker could actually be.
- Bane's lifetime of using performance-enhancing drugs catches up to him in a nasty way, with his body becoming so dependent on it he is left wheelchairbound.
- Just because you bulked up in Juvie doesn't mean you are automatically a better fighter.
- Being Batman isn't fun and exciting. It can take a toll on your social life and its filled with nothing but tragedy, as Terry discovered.
- The series somewhat deconstructs the lifestyle of Batman and his Rogues Gallery, and it shows how it would affect them in the long run.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Bruce, surprisingly, despite his cynical and abrasive personality. Though he and Terry butt heads often, he trusts Terry's judgement and allows him a lot of leeway. He generally doesn't refuse Terry requests should Terry insist — though he attempts to convince him otherwise if he disagrees — and he never dismisses Terry when he comes to him with insane claims; in fact, he often assumes they're true before he assumes they're false. And when he does disbelieve Terry, it's usually not because he thinks the claims are unbelievable, but because he feels they're likely more than they appear (about which he's usually right), and he encourages Terry to investigate on his own despite his lack of belief anyway.
- Recycled In Space: Batman OF THE FUTURE was an actual title used in certain markets.
- Redemption Equals Death: Mr. Freeze.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. Many of the things that gave various supervillains their powers in the original have become mass-produced. For example, the LEGO Genetics that created Man-Bat are now available to the public as a bizarre form of body-modification known as "Splicing" and Bane's super-roid "Venom" has become the hot new street drug in the form of trans-dermal patches called "Slappers".
- Remember the New Guy?:
- Bruce introduces the Royal Flush Gang as old enemies from his own time as Batman, and both he and King refer to previous battles, but they had never previously appeared in any DCAU-production. Justice League would later include two iterations of the Royal Flush Gang, with Bruce fighting both versions. It also turns out that one of Bruce's past battles with the Royal Flush Gang ultimately led to Terry's birth.
- Max's introduction in the second season. She's written as part of Terry's social circle, yet she was nowhere in the first season.
- Retired Badass: Bruce Wayne.
- Revival: In form, if not timing.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Ace is a heroic example.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Dana was once kidnapped by Patrick the Rat Boy and his giant rodent servants.
- Rogues Gallery: Terry develops one of his own after time. Blight, Inque, Shriek, Spellbinder, the Stalker, Willy Watt, Mad Stan, etc.
- Rubber Man: The 2-D Man of the Terrific Trio in the episode "Heroes". His powers are nearly identical to that of Fantastic Four's Mr. Fantastic. Unfortunately, the Trio is Blessed with Suck, as their powers came at the cost of their decaying genetic structure. Eventually, they go psycho and do a Face–Heel Turn, forcing Batman to kill them. The 2-D Man is sucked into a high-powered fan and chopped into pieces.
- Sassy Black Woman:
Kobra Advisor: She's rude, she's sarcastic, and she has absolutely no respect.
Terry: Gotta be Max.
- Saying Too Much: This is how Terry almost immediately proves that Willie Watt is responsible for the strange occurences at their high school.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Willie Watt develops these in his debut episode. The closing, silhouetted scene of him in juvenile hall just makes them scarier. The next time he shows up, he's ditched them because they don't really work with his new tough guy persona.
- Secret Keeper: Max and, later, Dana.
- Secret Secretkeeper: Implied in "Unmasked". When Terry unmasks himself to reassure Miguel, a kid he's rescuing, Cobra later tracks Miguel down and checks his memories for Batman's true identity. The resulting image is Batman with the head of Miguel's action figure, which Terry takes to mean that Miguel didn't see his face well and subconsciously replaced the image. As proof, he walks over to Miguel's soccer game and mentions to Maxine that he sees Miguel everyday, and he hasn't figured it out. The last shot, however, is Miguel looking back and giving a knowing smile, implying that he does know but kept it secret.
- Second Place Is for Losers: In "Hidden Agenda", after scoring second highest on an exam, Carter Wilson was told by his mother that that makes him "the winning loser." Carter then strikes a vendetta against the top scorer, Max, who happens to be Batman's best friend.
- To point out how ridiculously high the standards Carter's mom were, he got 2397 out of 2400. The only person above him got a perfect score.
Mrs. Wilson: Almost doesn't get you anywhere in life. Almost gets you almost.
- Secret Test of Character: In "Once Burned," Melanie (Ten of the Royal Flush Gang) is told that her parents had been kidnapped by the Jokerz and were being held for ransom. However, it turns out they had staged the whole thing in order to test if Melanie truly was loyal to them after the earlier events of "Dead Man's Hand." Melanie is understandably upset when she learns the truth, and abandons them and their life of crime because of it.
- Self-Made Orphan: Inque's daughter killed her to gain control of her bank accounts... or so she thought.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Pulled off a few times throughout the show.
- Lee, a new member initiated into the Jokerz, quickly grew to question the senseless and uncaring actions of the gang. In the end, he got fed up and knocked down the near-insane leader who was hindering Batman from stopping a potential nuclear meltdown, and quit.
- On Ten (Melanie)'s second appearance, she refused to aid any side in the conflict between the Royal Flush Gang and Batman, and quit.
- Sensual Spandex: Ten
- Sex Bot: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" involves Howie, a friend of Terry's, flat-out buying a Sex Bot. Rather than exploit the traditional way, however, he used it as a means to make himself more popular at school and thus get a living hot chick as a girlfriend. The Sex Bot did not take this well.
- Sexy Discretion Shot:
- There is a scene where Terry and Ten are kissing, then fall on the bed and the camera slowly moves away...
- In the episode "Sneak Peek" Terry watches a news program "The Inside Peek" that exposes secrets, this time focusing on Paxton Powers. We see him grabbing a girl with his towel and it cuts to Terry's wide-eyed look which leads to this scene:
Matt: What are they doing?
Terry: This isn't for you. [puts hand on Matt's face blocking his view]
Matt: I wanna see, I wanna see!
[Mary turns off the TV]
Terry and Matt: Hey!
Mary: I don't want you watching this.
- Shapeshifter Default Form: Inque has a vaguely humanoid "combat" form that only has a white blob for a face. When in a peaceful mood, she takes on a more defined human shape and has a face while retaining a liquid look.
- Sharpened to a Single Atom: Curaré's sword.
- Shout-Out: To AKIRA, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Rock & Rule (!?), and many, many others. In an early episode Batman saves someone in a pose exactly like the cover of Amazing Fantasy 15 (Spider-Man). In "Heroes", Batman becomes trapped beneath machinery (and frees himself by lifting the massive object) in a scene that is a direct reference to an iconic Spider-Man sequence, even down to the shape of the machinery trapping the character.
- In the Season 2 episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot", Max borrows a catchphrase from another Max, and she delivers the "I hope I wasn't out of line" routine every bit as well as Don Adams.
- Silence Is Golden: The fight with Shriek in the car factory.
- Silence, You Fool!: In one scene with Ra's al Ghul and Bruce Wayne:
Bruce: I should have known you'd cheat death again, Ra's!
Ra's al Ghul: I don't cheat death, I master it.
Bruce: Sure Ra's, why not? Anything to hold off the Grim Reaper a few more seconds. I take it back, you don't cheat death. You whimper in fear of it!
Ra's al Ghul: slaps him Silence!
Bruce: And you hit like a girl.
- Skyscraper City: Gotham has grown even more massive, to the point where it seems to be nothing but superstructures. Rooftop parks, vertical commuter trains, and elevated neighborhoods are common. The opening shows Gotham's old skyline, which is positively dwarfed by the new skyline behind it.
- Sky Surfing: The Royal Flush gang, the Sentries of the Last Cosmos, and Spellbinder.
- Socialite: In the pilot episode, the socialite who Bruce rescues during his last mission as Batman is none other than Veronica Vreeland's full-grown daughter Bunny. The showrunners stated that they purposely wrote her as being Veronica's daughter both as a Continuity Nod to Batman: The Animated Series and also to show that everyone else in Bruce's life—including former love interests like Veronica—have long since moved on with their lives while Bruce was still fighting a battle that had once again become quite lonely (the point of that was so that when Terry would come under Bruce's tutelage 20 years later, it's a symbolic way of Bruce finding his purpose again).
- Solomon Divorce: Terry lived with his father & Matt with his mother.
- Something Completely Different: Even though it's still believable with the setting, "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" gives us a sort of TRON/Star Wars/The Last Starfighter plot.
- Space Whale Aesop: Don't be a bully, because your victim may gain control of a two-story tall robot and come after you.
- Speaking Simlish: "Babel," or at least, everyone is speaking Simlish to everyone else's ears.
- Spell My Name with an "S": One would think that in 10 years time, the fanfiction writers would learn how to spell Terry's last name right, but sadly, many of them still cannot. The most common misspelling being "McGuinness" because that is the usual spelling but... seriously, fandom, Google is your friend.
- Spin-Off: The Zeta Project.
- Stalker with a Crush: Patrick the rat-boy and Willy Watt.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Terry and Melanie. Despite their personal feelings, their friends and family keep coming between them, even after Melanie has given up her life of crime. Their relationship is epitomized in "Once Burned" when Ten gives Batman a note to give to a boy named Terry McGinnis; she makes him promise to give it to Terry, but also makes him promise not to read it himself. Because of that promise he can never read the note, not even as Terry, and eventually throws it away unread.
- Star Scraper: Evident especially in the title sequence where Old Gotham and its skyscrapers (which should be equivalent to modern day buildings in New York or Chicago) are shown, before Neo Gotham comes into focus, making Old Gotham look like a scale model by comparison.
- The Starscream: Paxton Powers was an odd case. You could technically say he was a successful Starscream killing his father Derek (or so it seemed) and taking over Wayne-Powers as CEO, even though he really only did so because he lucked out. The thing is, Paxton became a rather pathetic replacement, not at all like the dangerous and ruthless tycoon his father was. Squandering his newfound position on wine, women, and song, neither Bruce Wayne nor Terry took him seriously at all, and when he eventually got greedy and doubled crossed the Royal Flush Gang after hiring them to steal artifacts, he was hauled off to jail. (And he pretty much ruined the Royal Flush Gang's once stellar reputation in the underworld in the process. Paxton did threaten to buy the courts and have Barbara Gordon and the rest of the police department working in the sanitation department when his lawyers were done, but that was likely an empty threat. The important thing is, Wayne was finally able to regain full control of his company again.)
- Stealth Hi/Bye: With the added bonus of actual invisibility courtesy of the hi-tech batsuit. At this point it is not even fair.
- Strawman Political: Anarchist caricature Mad Stan.
- Stood Up: Dana, perpetually.
- Stuff Blowing Up:
- On one of the commentaries, the creators admitted that whenever they couldn't figure out how to end an episode, they'd just have a building blow up.
- One example took place nearing the end of Bruce's reunion with Ra's al Ghul, who at this point should have racked up quite a bit of experience and was smart enough to install automated fire extingishers into his lair. Unfortunately, once the fires are put out, Ra makes the critical mistake of pronouncing, "It's safe." Sure enough, one loose electrical wire strikes the Lazarus pit, resulting in... well, you know.
- Mad Stan embodies this, and became an Internet meme involving him popping out of somewhere, followed by everything blowing up.
Mad Stan: You think this is a joke? Look around, Batman! Society's crumbling! And do you know why? Information overload, man! As a society we're drowning in a quagmire of vid-clips, e-mail, and sound bytes! We can't absorb it all! There's only one sane solution: BLOW IT UP!
- Super Hero Origin: Deconstructed in "Heroes" when the recently superpowered heroes discover that their Freak Lab Accident was not exactly an accident and was not supposed to give them superpowers. It is a shocking reminder that there is a fine line between Hero and Villain.
- Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Downplayed with the Golem. Okay, it makes sense for a construction robot to be two stories tall and have super strength, but why is it armed with a flamethrower?
- Superpower Meltdown: Blight. It was implied he may have survived, but he was not seen again.
- Surrounded by Idiots: When Powers' doctors pick him up from a frozen lake, they explain that they brought him some blankets in case he was cold. Powers, who at that moment is glowing with radioactive energy, just stares and says, "You are idiots."
- Take That!: Even in the future, people are making jokes about Jar-Jar Binks.
Max: Do you think there is a connection?
Terry: Is Jar-Jar lame?
- Judging by the rather horrible way in which all three members of the Terrific Trio die, the episode's writer may not have been a fan of the Fantastic Four.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Terry.
- Technopath: Willy Watt.
- That's No Moon!: In "Babel", Bruce and Terry cannot figure where Shriek's sound generator is based until Terry looks at a double-spired building and realizes Shriek is using it as a giant tuning fork.
- There Are No Therapists: Well, there are. They just want to brainwash you into stealing for them. Or they have psychotic children that want to kill your loved ones.
- Title Drop: In the Fully Absorbed Finale Epilogue, Amanda Waller reveals to Terry the details of "Project Batman Beyond"—a project she designed to keep Batman's legacy alive after he could no longer be Batman.
- Tomboy: Maxine.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Terry starts out as a very sloppy detective and an overconfident-but-inattentive fighter. He has to hone his skills or die trying. Compare where he is in the first season to Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker or the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue".
- Willy Watt also took several of these—physically and mentally—after being admitted to a detention center for rampaging through the town with a large construction robot.
- Totally Radical: This is largely averted by sticking to Future Slang, but one splicer's warnings to not "diss" him sticks out like a sore thumb in Season Two.
- Trigger Phrase: In "April Moon," the phrase that shuts down Bullwhip and Co.'s cybernetics is... "April Moon".
- Triple Shifter: Terry has a lot of trouble pulling this off. Bruce did not have half as many things to juggle when he became Batman—school, family, and a steady girlfriend not being things he had to worry about—and he does not seem to understand why Terry can not be on call every minute of every day and night.
- Tron Lines: These seem to pop up in subtle ways all over the place. The Batsuit itself has some underneath its black exterior layer; they can be seen when the suit is damaged. The interior of the new Batmobile seems to be specifically based on the Batmobile from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The series starts off in the year 2019 for the prologue, and then goes to 2039 for the main series.
- Twist Ending: Lots of the show's episodes do this. Perhaps not quite enough of them to be "mandatory", but enough to make it a regular occurence. They are usually extremely creepy ones, too; most of them implied something horrible was going to happen just after the fade to black.
- Tyke-Bomb: Terry.
- Underestimating Badassery: People do this all the time to Old Man Wayne. They usually end up having his cane shoved in their face or getting tossed to the floor.
- Ungrateful Townsfolk: In "Babel", Shriek terrorises the entirety of Gotham City, then demands that Batman turn himself in...or else. As a result of the threat, Gotham residents—including some that Terry saved earlier in the episode—publicly denounce Batman, effectively turning their backs on him. A disgusted Max asks Terry why he would ever bother defending them. Even Bruce condemns the townspeople as ingrates and says he would not blame Terry for staying in.
- The Unreveal: Curaré's face is always obscured by a piece of cloth. When it is knocked aside in her fight Batman, he gasps in shock, but the audience never sees what he sees.
- Unusual Euphemism: Beyond is set some forty years into the future, so young Gothamites use slang like "schway" and "twip" in place of words like, "cool" and "twerp".
- Unusual User Interface: The Batmobile seems to hook directly into the Batsuit and is hinted to be mostly controlled by it.
Bruce: Just let the suit do most of the work.
- Uptown Girl: Dana's father is less than happy about her relationship with Terry, although it has less to do with their socioeconomic (and racial) differences and more to do with Terry's criminal record.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Derek Powers (a.k.a. "Blight") becomes more and more short-tempered during the first season, all due to Batman meddling with his plans. The resulting anger causes his fake skin to burn off so quickly that he has to replace it on a regular basis. Paxton takes advantage of this and drives Powers further over the edge—to the point where he becomes so furious that he burns off his fake skin in public, revealing that he is Blight.
- In "Joyride", Scab breaks down screaming in helpless rage when his Cool Car will not start anymore because Batman deactivated its power source.
- Villainous Legacy: The Joker might be dead, but his legacy—and the mysterious manner of his death—resulted in roving gangs of criminals dressed as clowns all calling themselves "Jokerz" and terrorising Gotham. Not that Old Man Wayne thought much of them.
- Villain's Dying Grace: The barely alive husk of Tony tries to kill his ex partner Bill and abduct his daughter to live underground, convinced that Bill had intentionally tried to kill him rather than his fate being a tragic accident. However, while insane, he still loves his daughter and when it's clear that she'll die without his help, he uses the last of his power to break through some underwater rubble.
- Virtual Ghost: In "Lost Soul", Robert Vance does this to himself so that he can advise his company from beyond the grave.
- Visible Invisibility: The Batsuit is able to turn itself invisible for periods of time; it goes from total invisibility to half-invisibility represented as only the shadows (and eyes) on it being cast.
- Voice with an Internet Connection
- Voices Are Mental: This happens in "Out of the Past". After The Reveal of Talia's true identity, Ra's al Ghul speaks in his own voice, though it should have been Talia's voice using her father's speech patterns. In a behind-the-scenes interview, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm say they did have a pseudo-scientific explanation for how it happens, which involved the transplantation of Ra's al Ghul's vocal cords, but they omitted it because it took too long and did not really fit with the episode.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Terry very cleverly Lampshades this:
Terry: [reading a note his Mom left him on the fridge] "Terry: Today was Beach Day. Where were you?" Oh, just out saving the world, Ma.
- It is also Lamp Shaded in one of the commercials in which Terry describes his typical day: "Wake Up", "Go To School" and "Save World" were listed in the agenda.
- Walking Wasteland: Blight.
- Was It Really Worth It?: Terry says this in "Heroes", after being forced to kill the Terrific Trio.
Dr. Hodges: (distraught) No. You don't understand, I was their friend.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Inque is a Terminator-like juggernaut, nearly unstoppable in normal combat. But expose her even to a gentle drizzle, and she falls apart and dissolves.
"Poor diluted fool."
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
- Terry wanted to please both Warren McGinnis and Bruce Wayne.
- Carter/Terminal, who became a Joker out of frustration at having to be the very best at everything.
- Willy Watt might seem like this, but he does not want to make his dad proud—he wants him to leave him alone or, failing that, die.
- We Need a Distraction: This is played with in "Where's Terry?". Bruce and Max trace a missing Terry's whereabouts to an abandoned subway system, but they need to make their way down a particular tunnel that is being zoned off by a construction crew. Bruce walks up to the construction crew and momentarily gains their attention by playing the part of a senile citizen, all while Max sneaks into the other tunnel. Just as Max is almost out of sight, Bruce points her out to the construction crew—who all chase after Max while Bruce casually strolls through the construction area, just so he can finish the rescue mission by himself.
- We Will Spend Credits in the Future: In Beyond, they are plastic, mainly featureless cards. Whether or not a character is able to judge how much the card is worth just by looking at it is inconsistent.
- We Will Use WikiWords in the Future: In the future of Beyond, "video game" has been shrunk into "vidgame".
- Wham Episode: At the end of "The Call" (Part 1), Superman has apparently pulled a Face–Heel Turn, which leads Bruce to give Terry the kryptonite that will take down Superman for good.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Given that Gotham's population in Beyond consists of transgenic humans, transgenic animals, cyborgs, realistic "synthoids", sentient computers, and other stranger beings, it is very surprising that they directly addressed this issue only three times ("Zeta", "Lost Soul", and "Speak No Evil").
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never actually find out if Derek Powers survived the submarine explosion.
- What You Are in the Dark: A minor example in "Zeta". The titular robot has the man who is hunting him cornered, with a gun on him. Zeta destroys the gun rather then shoot his tormentor.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Batman: The Musical! That the scene was inspired by actual plans for a "Phantom Of The Opera"-style Batman musical being kicked around at the time (it has yet to get off the ground) makes it funnier. It is apt to say it would have been a Tanz Der Vampire-style rock show, seeing as it was written by Tanz composer Jim Steinman. Listen to the demos online if you dare.
- Woman Scorned:
- Cynthia the android has a literal meltdown when Howard dumps her.
- Queen from the Royal Flush Gang.
- This is inverted in the episode "April Moon". It turns out that the doctor's wife was not kidnapped—she was working with her "kidnappers" and romantically involved with their leader the whole time. The doctor did not take this well.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
- The Earth Mover.
- Mr. Freeze, as always.
- The Terrific Trio.
- Working with the Ex: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon had a romantic history, and now she leads the GPD.
- Yandere: Cynthia, the android that Howard buys in the episode "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot".
- You Fight Like a Cow: Terry is more fond of it than Bruce ever was. It comes in handy during the fight with The Joker.
- You Have Failed Me: The Society of Assassins strictly enforces this policy. Any assassin that fails in their assignment is killed in turn. They never had to follow through on this threat because no member of the Society had ever failed to kill their target. Ever. That policy became their undoing after Curaré, the first one to ever fail, turned the tables on them. She was so dangerous that the last assassin hid a bomb somewhere in Gotham for the sole purpose of forcing Batman to protect him. Even that failed.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kobra infected Falseface with the plague they were planning to use against Gotham, reasoning that even if their plan were to fail, he would still spread the virus himself. When Falseface hears this, he refuses to believe it, reasoning that his past services would have prevented Kobra from mistreating him so.
- You Killed My Father: Derek Powers had Terry's dad killed. It leads to the following exchange:
Powers: "Who are you?
Batman: "You killed my father".
Powers: "Do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: From "Ascension":
Batman: "Enough. Turn it off. That thing's gonna kill him."
Paxton Powers: "You want this as much as I do."
Batman: "No. I wouldn't have agreed to this. You said you were gonna help him."
Paxton Powers: "I Lied."
- You Won't Feel a Thing: In the episode "Meltdown":
Mr. Freeze: You may feel some momentary discomfort.
- Your Cheating Heart: When Melanie returns to Gotham, Terry is in a steady relationship with Dana. Terry blows Dana off on the phone in order to make out with Melanie. Max does the right thing and calls him on his cheating ways later on.
- Zeerust: The producers were correctly able to predict that cell phones would be common place, though in the show, they still look very much like 90s cellphones. They were unable to predict that within ten years of the show being made, cell phones would be used for damn near everything.
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