Saturday, January 21, 2012

Media References Part II: Tim Burton Movies

The Tim Burton movies forever changed the perception of Batman in mass media and to this day remains a golden classic and a milestone in Bathistory. Because of its stature and success, many TV shows, series' and movies featured homages, nods and spoofs of Batman and Batman Returns. The following list is by no means a full one of all the references and spoofs of the show as the list goes insanely long, but collects the most interesting and memorable ones from the late 1989 to date.

* In Full House "Divorce Court", Stephanie and DJ dress as Batman and Joker from the movie

* Batman appeared numerous times on Tiny Toons. In 1990's "Gang Busters" an obvious Batman lookalike character encounters Bugs and Duffy entering his cave by mistake. He says "First that blonde and now this. Ah cheesh Alfred, why dont you just tell the world we're down here!"

In 1990's "Hollywood Plucky", Batman visits a Hollywood restaurant. Hamton tries to valet park his Batmobile

Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman also made an appearance in one of the episodes (although in TV show's costume)

And so did an animal version of Joker

Tim Burton made a cameo too

* Batman, referred to as Mr. Keaton, appeared numerous times on Animaniacs. Noticeably in 1993's "Taming of the Screwy" when he appears at WB party. Some of the other guests included were other movie icons of the times like the T-1000 and the Lethal Weapon cast

Penguin also made an appearance as the guest at the party

In "Twas the Day Before Christmas", Keaton exits the WB studios greeted by the guard saying "Goodnight Mr. Keaton, that's a lovely sedan!"

* In the beginning of the Batman: The Animated Series episode called "Off Balance", Batman meets an informant named Twitch on the tower of the statue of Liberty. The informant has black hair, a long face, and has been confirmed by the producers to be "Tim Burton". The series itself made a great deal of references to the movies

*The Simpson also made numerous references to the movies. Here are the most interesting ones. In "Last Exit to Springfield" the scene with the surgeon is recreated with Lisa. Same scene was also reenacted with Krusty before in "Homie The Clown"

In "Marge vs Monorail" the Flugelheim Museum rescue scene is reenacted with Mr. Burns and Smithers

*There were also references in Family Guy as well

*Nicholson's Joker made an appearance in South Park's "Imaginationland"

* In 2007's Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue episode "Operation Dog and Hippie Boy", the villain - CatLady - is an obvious homage to Pfeiffer's Catwoman

*Keaton's Batman made several appearances in the MAD cartoon

Classic phrases like "I'm Batman" and "You Wanna Get Nuts? Lets Get Nuts" made it into many, many TV shows and movies, most notably Seinfeld and American Dad in which the character pickups up a sign, breaks the glass next to him and screams "You wanna get nuts?! C'mon! Let's get nutsss"

Any interesting and worthy additions welcomed


  1. Gothamstreets

    There was one episode where Lisa goes to the dentist, it was called ''Last Exit to Springfield''. There it showed Lisa laughing at her new image manically much like Jack Napier's character did when he first saw his new image as the Joker in the 89 film.

  2. Oh... I'm sorry, I missed that part. You got it already.

  3. I think the reason why Pfeiffer was shown in Newmar's suit is because the S&M suit she had in the movie was too much for a cartoon

  4. Actually The Joker in the South Park "Imagination Land" episode is the Heath Ledger version. The giveaway is the brown shoes and socks where Nicholson's wore purple shoes.

  5. Its hard to say. The outfit is indeed Ledger's but there are no scars, no black eyes and the hair and wide mouth is that of Nicholson

  6. According to , the original air date of the episode is 17th October 2007. Anticipation for the movie was hot among Batfans, but this was several months before the "Dark Knight Mania" of spring/summer 2008. It's ambiguous, but the shape of the head, the "clean" grin and the haircut are definitelly Jack Nicholson's, and don't forget Nihcolson also wore a long coat. At least this was my impression when I watched it back then.

  7. This might be a bit of a stretch, but between 2003 and 2010 the professional wrestler Kane wore a pair of black tights crisscrossed with a stitch design that always reminded me of Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman costume (although his stitches were red instead of white). He's changed the costume a great deal since.

  8. Chipmunks Go To The Movies did a Batman spoof, Batmunk. While it references the comics a lot as well, there's some loose story elements and some specific references to the first Burton movie. The turbines in the rear of the car are very reminiscent of the ones on the Burton Batmobile.

  9. Dont forget in Gremlins 2 when the Batgremlin flies out of the room crashing out the wall it leaves the Bat symbol!

  10. The Batmoblie from Burton's movies appeared in an episode of Lois & Clark.