There may not be a better or more durable villain in pop culture than the Joker. Seamlessly transitioning to mobster to camp clown to homicidal lunatic, the clown's 75 year history in comics is unpredictable and unique. That protean trait has aiding in adapting the Joker into television, video games, animation and film. Despite wildly different interpretations and designs, there is something ineffable and instantly identifiable that makes you instantly know that this is the Joker.
Of course, it's natural to wonder how you would be if you were in certain situations. If you were Batman or Lex Luthor. Even the Joker. Why anyone would want to be him, we couldn't say, but it's a thing, so why not embrace it? We've taken into account the most popular iterations of the Clown Prince of Crime to help you figure out which version of the character you would be to harry and plague the Dark Knight. Of course, we here at The Quiz take no responsibility for any lost teeth or stolen playing cards.
Do you know who created this painting?
No, it’s not just because the figure is wearing purple that this image is important to the Joker, though it is an odd coincidence. Maybe Joker was a butcher in a previous life. Well, he still kinda is one now. At least he isn’t a vegan. He would go around talking people to death about how great veganism is. Who needs that?
How do you dress?
The Joker has had many looks over the years, ranging from slight cosmetic variations (“I love purple”) to full on transformations—different clothes, scar tissue, tattoos and even dreadlocks (god help us all). The Joker’s visual style is incredibly important to the character; partly for the sake of irony and partly because his usually bright patterns demand that he stick out in a crowd. He loves the attention and knows he’ll get it one way or the other.
Do you want to kill The Bat?
Does the Joker really want Batman dead? It’s a question for the ages, and while it’s never quite been answered entirely, we have seen instances where Joker has had to react to the apparent death of Batman. A few times in an explosion, another time when Darkseid sent him back in time and just made it look like Batman died. Comics are weird.
Do you have an origin?
They say that once a villain has an origin, he becomes less scary. The Joker, not one to go by the rules, took this to another level. He has multiple origins, and none of them are real. Or one of them is. Or all of them are. He’s fun that way.
What's your favorite dessert?
Who doesn’t like some sweets after a meal? The Joker does, sometimes. We think. It’s kinda hard to tell with him. We’ve seen him use food as a weapon, reference it, but very rarely eat anything. Probably how he stays so thin. It’s not doing anything for his complexion, though.
Why do you antagonize Batman?
Batman’s life would be markedly better without the Joker, but Joker wouldn’t have much purpose without Batman. Nobody would be the other side of the coin for him the way Batsy is. Dick Grayson has a sense of humor. Superman wouldn’t work. Nobody cares about Green Arrow. For Joker’s myriad of reasons, Batman is his fixation.
How do you feel about Australia?
Are we messing with you with this question? Yeah, a little bit. Has Joker even so much as mentioned Australia? Maybe. Considering how much he dislikes the world, Australia is in as much danger as Gotham, if you want to be technical. Hey, did you know that in Grant Theft Auto’s continuity America and Australia went to war briefly? It was mentioned in Vice City.
What would you like to do to Harvey Dent?
Despite both being villains, Joker has had an adversarial relationship with both Harvey Dent and with Two-Face. As Harvey Dent, he tried to put Joker away. As Two-Face, he tried to kill the Joker for stuff the Joker did to him when he was still Harvey Dent. For his part, Joker always found Two-Face boring since he needed a coin to make his decisions for him.
Which musician/group do you enjoy most?
Music, obviously, plays a large role in the Batman adaptations on TV and in film. The unique nature of a great musician’s can add to a character’s mindset, while their style could go on to influence artists who could adapt that musician’s manner of dress to a character. For a long time, writers and artists have borrowed from rock and roll the visual lexicon of rock stars to shade in new dynamics to old characters.
Do you plan in advance?
The Joker has had many different incarnations. Sometimes, his psychopathy lends itself to obsessive tendencies—he’ll plan everything out. Other times, his mind is so scattered, he merely throws a rock into water to see how it would ripple. As with all long-lasting, mythic stories, there is no true version, just ones you like better than others.
Which of these comedians is your favorite?
The Joker loves comedy. He’s into a little bit of everything—from the classics to the modern day. Humor is derived from pain—either for the person targeted by the joke or used to nullify and process a trauma. And Joker sure does love trauma. Like a comedian’s act, the Joker’s personality and motives are updated to be as modern as possible. For each era of the Joker, there’s a comedian to go with him.
Which of these movies is your favorite?
Like music, popular films and its many stylistic genres and subgenres can affect the way they write characters and use them as influence to create new aspects to old ones. It’s why DC’s Elseworlds stories and Marvel’s What if? series were so popular. The many disparate versions of the Joker have lived in different times and reflect a mode of storytelling influenced by these different eras.
Which Joker is your favorite?
The listed versions of the Joker are the ones that have found the most relevance in pop culture. Fans have grown up (or soon will) with these different Jokers that have influenced their opinion of the character and how that character is defined. Each has, in turn, gone to influence the next, though as far as importance to the overall “Joker brand,” his comic original is the most influential.
How do you feel about Harley Quinn?
Despite her current ubiquity, Harley Quinn hasn’t been around very long—at least not as long as Joker himself. While Mr. J is over 75, Harley Quinn only debuted back in 1992. She was created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series. Meant to be a one-off character, she proved popular with the writers and fans. So much so that she kept appearing on the show, was introduced into the comics and is now a major part of (almost) every Joker adaptation.
Do you have any identifiable marks?
Like his character and motivations, the Joker’s look has evolved over the years and through many different adaptations while also keeping the iconic attributes that make him unmistakable and instantly identifiable. With comic book films being very popular, directors have done what they can to renew the character and alter him to make him their own. Christopher Nolan’s was a terrorist; David Ayer’s was a punk rock psychopath.
Do you have any pets?
There’s something about the Joker—probably the homicidal psychopathy—that doesn’t immediately make you think he’s a pet person. But he is. Sometimes. At some point, he and Harley adopted a pair of hyenas called Bud and Lou. They were very loyal and had a very strong hatred for Batman and Robin. Joker himself didn’t mind the two guard dogs, even getting mad when Batman knocked them out.
What’s most important in a joke?
Humor is important to The Joker (duh). His big jokes are well thought out and have layers to them—mostly about the silliness and meaninglessness of life itself. His smaller jokes, one-liners, can range from silly to deranged. He’s an adaptable guy, who even finds serious moments funny, because someone would be undoubtedly uncomfortable.
What's your humor?
If you’re going to be the Joker (or at least a Joker), we’re going to need to know your type of humor. We don’t have time to collect your tapes and critique them, so just take a look at the list and see what works for you. Look, we don’t have the space to list all of the subgenres, so just try and make due.
How are your teeth?
The Joker’s teeth are always a weird subject in his depictions in animation and the comics. Hell, even in the live-action movies now. Dental care is very important. You should brush twice a day and use floss whenever possible. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s worth it. Getting your teeth repaired with caps can be expensive and certain teeth whitening procedures are damaging to the enamel.
What's your favorite film genre?
Who doesn’t love movies? Okay, Batman probably doesn’t after his parents were shot outside of the Monarch theater, but everyone else does, right? Our taste in music, movies and everything else reflect aspects of our personalities and make it easier to figure out which Joker you would be. Now, answer this question so we can figure out which version of a remorseless, psychopathic killer you would be.
How do you feel about death traps?
Death traps are notorious in genre fiction, and the Joker sure does love a good one. Not only can you physically and psychologically torture and kill someone over a long period of time, but you get to do it in style. And that’s what’s important. But how important are death traps to you? They have to take a while to conceptualize, build and test, right? Not to mention how expensive they’d be.
Do you have any kids?
Family is important. Even Joker knows that. Sure, he kills families all the time, but he does it because he knows they’re important. In different continuities, the Joker’s had kids that he’s adopted, had with Harley, or just some attempts at a spinoff that never quite worked out. Look, you can’t win if you don’t play.
What's your favorite color?
When we were in kindergarten, there was always a marker or crayon we went to first. Whether our preferences bled into the type of clothes we wear or the pens we use—if anybody still uses them in the digital age—our color preferences say a lot about our personalities. There are entire studies done on the topic, and it was a thematic point in Breaking Bad!
Who do you dislike the most?
Again referring to Breaking Bad, remember when Walter White told those amateur meth cooks to “stay out of his territory”? Same concept here. All of these people have tried to interfere with Joker’s operations on Batman. They’ve all taken his attention away and had the possibility in becoming his greatest threat. Well, like Highlander, there can only be one.
Your weapon of choice?
Okay, let’s be honest for a second. No matter which Joker you end up with, you’re not going to be a physical match for Batman. That’s why you need some help. A weapon or an advantage, because, clearly, the Joker’s charm and fists just aren’t cutting it. So, with what would you confront Batman with?