By José Pablo Harz
May 14, 2024

The director hides details that only a few were able to catch immediately. SPOILER ALERT.

It’s already one of the biggest hits of the last times, so much, it’s been one of the best-rated movies in IMDB and earned more than 300 million dollars in the international box office. “Joker”, directed by Todd Phillips, not only brings Joaquín Phoenix’s incredible interpretation of the Arthur Fleck role to the light but also references movies like “Taxi Driver” or more popular ones, like Batman. Even some of the most emblematic comics get a mention.

Some of these references weren’t noticed by the audience when they saw the movie, but we’re going to share them with you.

Warning: If you haven’t watched the movie yet, we recommend you stop reading.


1. Robert De Niro’s character, Murray Franklin, makes a reference to a character from “The King of Comedy” (1982), who shares a lot in common with the Joker, or Arthur Fleck. The main character was a comedian aspirant willing to do whatever it took to appear in his favorite TV show.

2. There’s a scene that clearly references an iconic scene in Taxi Driver, starred by Robert De Niro.

3. The young actor who plays Bruce Wayne is Dante Pereira-Olson, who played a younger version of Phoenix in the movie “You were never really here.” Joker’s director wanted to play with the possibility that Bruce and Joker were brothers.

4. When Arthur is doing his makeup during work, the way the scene is shot allows a silhouette to be seen. Coincidence?

5. The interview scene with Murray Franklin is similar to the one that takes place in the “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.” Joker is interviewed and it has a tragic ending.

6. When Arthur goes to Arkham to ask for information about his mother, a man tells him she was treated by the doctor Benjamin Stoner, who is “Anti-Fate” in the comics.

7. In the movie, there’s a brief homage to the co-creator of Batman and Joker, Bob Kane. The social assistant that attends Arthur is called “Debra Kane.” Same last name.

8. Joaquin Phoenix got the inspiration for his dancing moves from Ray Bolger.

9. When Arthur is waiting for his turn at Murray’s show, on the wall, there’s a drawing of the TV host that resembles Jack Nicholson’s version of the Joker.

10. When Joker is arrested and looks at the street riots around him, it resembles a scene in The Dark Knight where Heath Ledger takes his head out the window of a police car and laughs at the chaos.

 11. In the final scene, Joker paints his lips with his own blood… just like Ledger.

12. The movie’s script is based on the concepts from “The Killing Joke”, revealing that the Joker was a failed comedian.

13. The scene where Bruce Wayne’s parents are murdered has the thief ripping away Martha Wayne’s pearls collar… just like in the Tim Burton version.

14. Arthur’s partner, Gary, was inspired by Gaggy Gagsworthy, one of the Joker’s sidekicks in issue #186 of Detective Comics.

“Gary Arthur’s friend who suffered dwarfism … It can be a reference to Gaggy a dwarf accomplice of #Joker “

15. The man who faced Arthur when he got close to Bruce Wayne is Alfred Pennyworth, Batman’s famous butler.

16. The comedy club’s name, Pogo’s, was based on John Wayne Gacy, known as “Pogo the Clown”, a serial killer from the ’70s that served as inspiration for Pennywise.

“How less important is the name of the comedy club it was Pogo’s who was the inspiration for Pennywise.
John Wayne Gacy is known as Pogo the Clown, was a serial killer of the 70’s”

17. When the Joker enters the stage of Murray Franklin’s show, he kisses the doctor next to him, just like in “The Dark Knight Returns.”

“Another scene taken from Dark Knight Returns, the one of the doctor’s kiss. I already put the kiss of #Joker to Celina and now I will put the cartoons taken from the comics with that kiss that also appeared in the movie”

And you, did you notice these references?