Pure Evil Wiki

NOTE: This page is only about his film version as the novel version of the Joker was voted Near Pure Evil, and thus only the film version of his info should be put here.

Do you 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. He turns to me, and he says, "Why so serious?" He comes at me with the knife. "Why so SERIOUS?!" He sticks the blade in my mouth—"Let's put a smile on that face!" Aaaand...why so serious?
~ The Joker telling his supposed backstory to Gambol before killing him - his most famous quote.
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. 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.
~ Joker explaining his worldview to Batman during his interrogation.

The Joker is the main antagonist of the 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight, the second installment of The Dark Knight trilogy.

He was a psychotic anarchist and notorious criminal mastermind who, describing himself as an "agent of chaos", rose to power in organized crime by thrusting Gotham City into turmoil and drew Batman ever closer to crossing the fine line between heroism and vigilantism.

He was famously portrayed by the late Heath Ledger.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

  • When robbing the bank, he ordered his men to kill one another to reduce the number of shares. He himself kills the bus driver goon and puts a smoke grenade in the bank manager's mouth.
  • Performed a magic trick with a pencil so that he could kill one of Gambol's men by jamming his head into it.
  • Threatened to blow up Gambol and his men with grenades if they attempted to attack him.
  • Killed Gambol by cutting his mouth with a knife after telling him about his "childhood".
  • After killing Gambol, he had “try outs” by having Gambol’s men stab each other to death with pool cues to determine who would join his gang, under threat of death for all if they refuse. It is unknown who, if any, won.
  • Videotaped and tortured a police officer who had dressed up as Batman, later hanging him from a large building.
  • Killed a person for every day that Batman did not turn himself in. Among them are Commissioner Loeb via poison and Judge Janet Surillo via blowing up her car with her inside it.
    • He would've killed Harvey Dent too, had Bruce not incapacitated him and hidden him somewhere safe.
  • Attempting to kill the guests of Bruce Wayne's fundraiser when they couldn't tell him where Harvey Dent was.
  • Tried to throw Rachel off the building to her death.
  • He tried to kill the mayor of Gotham and several other innocent people during a memorial.
  • Chased the vehicle holding Harvey Dent in order to try and destroy it. It was a hectic chase that also leads to more kills from him and the mob members alongside him.
  • Telling Batman the wrong address so that he would rescue Dent, toying with his emotions, killing Rachel, and orchestrating Dent's downfall, while also causing permanent damage to half of his face.
  • To break out of prison and capture Lau, he blows the room up with a bomb that was planted in the stomach of his schizophrenic henchman who was also captured, killing the other detained henchman as well as the other cell block residents and several cops.
  • Threatened to blow up a hospital unless Coleman Reese was dead, resulting in at least two attempts on his life. He later followed through on his threats when the deed wasn't done. Fortunately, everyone was evacuated, the two exceptions being a nurse, whose uniform he stole, and a police officer he shot.
  • Drove Harvey Dent to insanity through Rachel's death and visited at the hospital, convincing him to become a murderous villain and take his rage on James Gordon.
  • Blew up the hospital after managing to turn Harvey Dent into a villain and kidnapped the TV crew who were reporting on the incident.
  • Killed the Chechen, one of his criminal associates and one of the only few who had supported him and his proposition, just because he didn't view him as a worthy criminal. He does so by having the Chechen's own men cut him up and have his remains eaten by his dogs.
  • Burns half of the mob's money (while the other half burns as it spreads) with Lau bound and gagged on top of it as well, therefore killing him as well.
  • Rigged two ferries with explosives, then gave the triggers to each ferry to the passengers so that they would have to decide which ferry blew up, trying to prove that everyone was the same as him deep down. When neither blow up the other ferry, Joker attempts to do it himself out of frustration rather than accepting that everyone was not as bad as he claimed.
    • It's also argued by fans that if one boat used their detonator, it would blow themselves up rather than the other boat, considering how he previously lied about Harvey and Rachel's addresses.
  • Disguises hostages as henchmen and gags them so that the police and Batman would mistakenly attack or kill them.
  • In his final shown battle with Batman, Joker sicks the Chechen's dogs on him and later decides to beat both Batman ''and'' the dogs when they take too long.
  • He has tried to have Batman kill him and break his one rule. The first time he tries to do this by goading him into running him over. The second time, when Batman throws him off the building (he even laughs maniacally as he is falling only to be disappointed when he rescues him to prevent that from happening, thereby failing to make him break it).
    • To make matters worse, he tried to kill Batman after crashing his bike to avoid killing the former, and would've succeeded hadn't Gordon arrived in time to arrest him.
  • Shortly after getting defeated in their final battle, he taunts Batman when revealing the extent of Harvey's descent into madness to him.
  • Was the one responsible for the death of Harvey Dent, Gordon letting Batman take the fall for Harvey's crimes, and Bruce not being Batman for 8 years.
  • Though he claims he had an abusive childhood being tortured by his drunk father and that his wife left him in an alternate story, both are made up. His rough childhood might be somewhat true due to once madly claiming hating his father thus implying that he had a poor relationship with his father but he is still far past it with his heinous actions.
  • He is indirectly responsible for Bane causing a riot in the sequel and would've been more than glad to know he had created another monster like him.
  • Lives to incite chaos, destruction, disorder, insanity, mayhem and confusion in Gotham, attempting to create a city where there were no rules, laws and morals because of his misanthropic and hypocritical hatred and disdain for order and society itself. However, this doesn’t ever excuse any of his actions as they went far past it but it can help us understand why he does the things he does and he would continuously battle with Batman in order to make the city more entertaining for him since he has become desensitized to all his surroundings and an unfeeling monster that is ugly and crooked on the inside who has come to view life, nature and morality as a joke, which is why he wants to break Batman’s moral code to prove he can become just like him.
  • While his sense of humor is still prominent in this version, it is far less detracting than most due to being more realistic and less cartoonish in his traits of black comedy, not to mention that he has real weaponry, making him incredibly dark, broody, maniacal and most of all, disturbing.


  • Heath Ledger's Joker was considered the evilest live-action version of the Joker ever filmed. It is actually worth noting Jack Nicholson’s Joker kills more people than Ledger's Joker. But most of Nicholson's kills are reported and happen offscreen while Ledger's kills are more twisted, brutal, realistic, and onscreen.
  • This page is only for the film version, as his novelization counterpart was not voted Pure Evil due to having a Pet the Dog moment that is never subverted or given a pragmatic reasoning.
  • It's unknown whether he would have been Pure Evil in the cancelled video game adaptation of The Dark Knight.
  • He is the only villain of The Dark Knight Trilogy to be Pure Evil as Scarecrow is only Pure Evil in the novels and Batman Begins video game adaption.
    • Coincidentally, Joker is Pure Evil in the films but Near Pure Evil in the novels, while Scarecrow is Pure Evil in the novels but Near Pure Evil in the films.

External Links


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Animated Features
Ommadon | Bryagh | Joker | Jacques | Thrax | Joker | Brainiac | Toyman | Eon | Lex Luthor | Major Force | Owlman | Superwoman | Joker | Madame Lorraine | Surtr | Solaris | Rough Cut | Atomic Skull | Joker | Professor Zoom | Darkseid | Talia al Ghul | Jack the Ripper | Trigon | Katz

Live-Action Films
Scorpio | Pazuzu | Mick | Freddy Krueger | Joker | Arjen Rudd | Pieter Vorstedt | Grand High Witch | It | Sheriff of Nottingham | Earl Talbot Blake | Charles Rane | Simon Phoenix | Ned Trent | Bobby Earl Ferguson | Miguel Bain | Donald McClintock | Travis Dane | Waingro | Daniel Harper | Robert Deguerin | Captain Dudley Smith | Poison Ivy | Dr. Jonas | John Milton | Azazel | Dr. Arliss Loveless | William Wharton | Cyrus Kriticos | Lord Voldemort | Akasha | Alistair Pratt | Jack Ferriman | Mr. Gray | Martin Asher | Peter Pettigrew | Laurel Hedare | Leland Jones and Billy Orser | Barty Crouch Jr. | Bill Cox | Peter Creedy | Lewis Prothero | Captain Vidal | Captain Poison | Dolores Umbridge | Bellatrix Lestrange | Judge Turpin | Joker | Skynet | Esther Coleman | Alexander Zalachenko | Lord Ozunu | Lord Henry Blackwood | Carnegie | Freddy Krueger | Burke | Jonah King | Cesaire | James Moriarty | Ares | Azog | Sauron | Saruman | Mickey Cohen | Lord Roderick | Bathsheba Sherman | Annabelle the Doll | Immortan Joe | Valak | Diana Walter | Erich Ludendorff | Niander Wallace | Leonard Dekkom | Duncan Taylor | Steppenwolf | Claire Wyden | Shere Khan | King Ghidorah | Black Mask | Victor Zsasz | Andrei Sator | Darkseid | Sub-Zero | Isla the Occultist | The Thinker | Gabriel | Baron Vladimir Harkonnen | The Analyst

Animated Television
Joker | Grant Walker | Brainiac | Darkseid | Granny Goodness | Karkull | Reverend Amos Howell | Alpha | Dick Hardly | David Wheeler | Katz | Fusilli | Stitch Sisters | The Intruder | High Priestess | The Dominator | Imperium | Lord Orm | Mongul | Doctor Destiny | Slade | Trigon | Brain | Joker | Hugo Strange | Cecil Creepler | Vilgax | Eon | Brainiac 1.0 | V.V. Argost | Ragnarok | Twin Masters | The Lich | Dr. Gross | Van Kleiss | Dr. Branden Moses | Aggregor | Evil Entity | General Modula | Galalunan Commander | Black Beetle | Anti-Monitor | Maltruant | Anarky | Adam Taurus | Arthur Watts | Cinder Fall | The Beast | Harlequin | Benatu Eshu

Live-Action Television
Antono Refa | God | Lucifer | Lilith | Alastair | Abaddon | Dick Roman | Michael | Arcadius | Joffrey Baratheon | Gregor Clegane | Walder Frey | Craster | Ramsay Bolton | Karl Tanner | Aerys II Targaryen | Count Vertigo | The Dollmaker | Werner Zytle | Matthew Shrieve | Lonnie Machin | Konstantin Kovar | Ricardo Diaz | Jerome Valeska | The Dollmaker | Hugo Strange | Professor Pyg | Jeremiah Valeska | The Trickster | Zoom | Indigo | Queen Rhea | Selena | Valentina Vostok | Quentin Turnbull | Julian McCaffrey | Dromos | Michael | Pete Daily | Henderson | Bartel | Anti-Monitor

Scarecrow | Lex Luthor

Video Games
Scarecrow | Joker | Scarecrow | Hugo Strange | Penguin | Calendar Man | Firefly | Sauron | Simon Stagg | John & Patricia Vale


See Also
A Song of Ice and Fire Pure Evils | A. Film Production Pure Evils | Amblin Entertainment Pure Evils | Arkhamverse Pure Evils | Arrowverse Pure Evils | Batman Pure Evils | Ben 10 Pure Evils | Cartoon Network Pure Evils | Courage the Cowardly Dog Pure Evils | DC Animated Universe Pure Evils | DC Extended Universe Pure Evils | DC Universe Animated Original Movies Pure Evils | Dead by Daylight Pure Evils | Die Hard Pure Evils | Godzilla Pure Evils | Gotham Pure Evils | Hanna-Barbera Pure Evils | Harry Potter Pure Evils | ImageMovers Pure Evils | Justice League Pure Evils | Legendary Entertainment Pure Evils | Lionsgate Pure Evils | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pure Evils | Middle-earth Pure Evils | New Line Cinema Pure Evils | Netflix Pure Evils | Roald Dahl Pure Evils | RWBY Pure Evils | Summit Entertainment Pure Evils | Supernatural Pure Evils | Sony Pictures Pure Evils | Superman Pure Evils | The Conjuring Pure Evils | Teen Titans Pure Evils | Village Roadshow Pictures Pure Evils | Wes Craven Pure Evils | Yu-Gi-Oh! Pure Evils

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Live-Action Films
Joker | Lord Ozunu | Burke | Ares | Lord Roderick | Sultan Mehmed II | Mutsushiro Watanabe | King Ghidorah | Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

Scarecrow | Lex Luthor

Video Games

See Also
Batman Pure Evils | DC Extended Universe Pure Evils | Godzilla Pure Evils | Netflix Pure Evils | New Line Cinema Pure Evils | Superman Pure Evils | Universal Studios Pure Evils | Warner Bros. Pure Evils

           TheBatman.png Pure Evils

Joker | Hugo Strange | Black Mask | Deacon Blackfire | Victor Zsasz | Mr. Whisper

Other Earths
Joker (Earth-31) | Joker (The Nail) | Joker (Joker) | Mayor Oswald Cobblepot | Barbatos | The Batman Who Laughs | Robin King

Batman (1989): Joker
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: Joker
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy
Catwoman: Laurel Hedare
The Dark Knight: Joker

Direct-to-video Movies
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Joker
The Batman vs. Dracula: Joker
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Lex Luthor | Major Force
Batman: Under the Red Hood: Joker
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Joker
Son of Batman: Talia al Ghul
Batman: Bad Blood: Talia al Ghul
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight: Jack the Ripper

Batman: The Animated Series: Joker | Grant Walker
Batman Beyond: David Wheeler
The Batman: Joker | Hugo Strange
Beware the Batman: Anarky

The Dark Knight Trilogy: Scarecrow

Video Games
Batman Begins: Scarecrow
Batman: The Telltale Series: John & Patricia Vale

See Also
Arkhamverse Pure Evils | Gotham Pure Evils