With many so-so sequels and prequels hitting theaters this summer, its a good time to remember the mother of all superhero/action sequels The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker will live on forever as one of the greatest characters in cinema history. Below is a collection of the 13 best quotes (or in some cases memorable dialogue) by The Joker in The Dark Knight. I doubt we are missing much, but feel free to offer your two cents on the ranking.
13. I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger.
12. All right. So, listen. Why don’t you give me a call when you want to start taking things a little more seriously? Here’s my card.
11. Joker: Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
10 . Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. In… you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?
9. Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
Joker: I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You… you… complete me.
Batman: You’re garbage who kills for money.
Joker: Don’t talk like one of them. You’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.
8. This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.
7. Joker: If you’re good at something, never do it for free.
6. Batman: Let her go!
Joker: [holding Rachel out of a window] Very poor choice of words…
5. Joker: [to Gambol’s thugs, being held helpless by his own] Now, our operation is small, but there’s a lot of potential for “aggressive” expansion. So, which one of you fine gentlemen would like to join our team? Oh, there’s only one spot open right now, so we’re gonna have…Tryouts. Make it fast.
4. How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear. Ta-daa! It’s… it’s gone.
3. Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just… do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So, when I say… Ah, come here.
When I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know that I’m telling the truth. It’s the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and look where that got you. I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go “according to plan.” Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all “part of the plan.” But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!
2. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment! Well, you look nervous. Is it the scars? You want to know how I got ’em? Come here. Hey! Look at me. So I had a wife, beautiful, like you, who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks… Look at me! One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just want to see her smile again, hm? I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So… I stick a razor in my mouth and do this…to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling! A little fight in you. I like that. Batman: Then you’re going to love me.
1. [holding a knife inside Gambol’s mouth] Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was… a drinker. And a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn’t like that. Not-one-bit. So – me watching – he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it! Turns to me, and he says, “why so serious, son?” Comes at me with the knife… “Why so serious?” He sticks the blade in my mouth… “Let’s put a smile on that face!” And…Why so serious?