10 Best Joker Quotes From The Dark Knight

Celebrities Attend Heath Ledger Tribute
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Heath Ledger's Joker in the 2008 blockbuster film, The Dark Knight, is one of the most captivating supervillains in film history (and responsible for one of the 15 Oscar nominations Batman films have received over the years). Joker has many memorable quotes within the film. Here are his ten best. 

10. "If you're good at something..."

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After a crashing a meeting of the various mob bosses, discussing what to do about Batman (and after an awesome quote in and of itself, where he does a "magic trick" by making a pencil disappear by driving it into the eye of one of the mob boss' underling), Joker suggests his solution for their problems - simply kill Batman. They laugh and tell him, "If it's so simple, why haven't you done it already?" and he replies...

If you're good at something, never do it for free.

9. "Everything burns!"

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After the mob bosses ultimately take him up on his offer and give him literally tons of money, Joker wants to make it clear that he is about rebelling from all society, even criminal society, so he proves it by lighting his massive cash haul on fire...

 It's not about money... it’s about sending a message. Everything burns!

8. "Do I look like a guy with a plan?"

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During a time where he is dressed as a nurse in a hospital, Joker explains his chaotic nature well...

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.

7. "Guns are too quick..."

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Joker taunts Detective Stephens while in "interrogation," explaining why he uses knives instead of guns:

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?

6. "Very poor choice of words"

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 During The Dark Knight, the Joker crashes a dinner party looking for Harvey Dent (we addressed the scene in our 8 Biggest Plot Holes of the Dark Knight Film Trilogy). He ends up holding Rachel Dawes at knifepoint near a window before Batman shows up to save her. The Joker then breaks the window and dangles Rachel from the window. Batman shouts to Batman, "Let her go!" and the Joker then says

Very poor choice of words...

and drops her from the window as he laughs. 

5. "We're destined to do this forever..."

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 At the end of the film, it is now Joker who is dangling near death. He taunts Batman, while accurately describing their dynamic...

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.

4. "Now I'm always smiling!"

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Before Batman shows up to rescue Rachel, the Joker tells her a story..

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, hmm? 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…[he mimics slicing his mouth open]…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!  

3. "I'm not a monster..."

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 Joker and Batman have a confrontation, at which point Joker explains to him that he isn't trying to kill Batman, Batman "completes him." Batman rebukes him, calling him a monster. The Joker tries to explain otherwise:

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. 

2. "Whatever doesn't kill you..."

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Joker's very first lines in the film are a wonderful encapsulation of him as a character. He says it as he robs a bank...

 I believe, whatever doesn't kill you, simply makes you... stranger.

That's the Joker in a nutshell, isn't it?

1. "Why so serious?"

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Throughout much of the film, the mob boss known as Gambol has been warring with Joker. The Joker tricks him into thinking that he succeeded in killing the Joker. The Joker then gets the drop on him and puts a knife in his face and tells him what could be his origin story, but whether it is meant to be literal or not, it is a stunning scene in the film and led to the most famous quote of the movie, which happens to include likely the two most famous single lines of the Joker, all in one quote (I've bolded the two famous single lines): 

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?

The Joker then kills Gambol with the knife.