The 15 Most Emo Moments In The Batman, Ranked

Bruce Wayne has never been a pillar of mental health, but each glimpse at Matt Reeves' take on the Caped Crusader has promised a movie that ramps the emotional instability up to 1000. Perhaps it's the Robert Pattinson of it all — just seeing him with the dyed black hair swept across his face and the greasepaint obscuring his eyes will have you convinced that "The Batman" offers the most emo iteration of Bruce Wayne yet. Or maybe it's the fact that Pattinson himself has taken very special care to call his character a "freak" and "a sad weirdo." Well, in case you've somehow missed out on Bat-weekend and haven't yet found yourself in a dark room watching RBatz growl at criminals, allow me to confirm these deep-seated suspicions: Batman has indeed achieved peak emo.

This was inevitable. Bruce Wayne's defining characteristic is being a tortured, brooding orphan so overwhelmed by his trauma that his only way of coping is to don a cape and cowl and punch petty thieves in the face. He lives in a Batcave! He calls himself The Batman! He represses his pain into deadly punches! He probably broods around his mansion while headbanging to My Chemical Romance and Nirvana! This is emo culture at its finest, especially because beneath all the darkness and no parents are some actual genuine emotions that poor Bruce can't figure out how to process. So in honor of his desperate need for therapy, here's a ranking of the most emo moments in "The Batman." 

Beware — major spoilers for "The Batman" are below.

15. Prolonged eye contact with a fellow orphan

This early scene serves as a real punch to the gut: while scoping out a murder scene, Batman learns that the Mayor's body was found by his young son, who's presumably around Bruce's age when he first lost his parents. The result is a tough display of just how hard Bruce tries to bottle up his emotions: every time the two end up in the same room, he finds himself drawn to the boy, staring as if seeing a young version of himself. The second time around, this comes in handy — it means Bruce is paying special attention to the kid just when he needs saving from an oncoming vehicle. But the real clincher is their silent moments of holding each other's gaze as if both sensing the unspoken connection of loss. It's actually kind of touching, but also an early example of resisting the urge to yell at the screen "Bruce, use your words!"

14. Rewatching his lover's quarrel with Selina

Speaking of Bruce opting for broody silence rather than communication, we later find our hero playing back the tapes of his argument with Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz). After teaming up to get more info on The Iceberg Lounge, their tenuous relationship crumbles when she runs into crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), who's later revealed to be her father. Batman and Selina get into a little lovers' spat when Batman accuses her of having a relationship with Falcone, which leads to her cutting ties and taking out the video contact lenses while he protests. Later on, we see him rewinding the tapes, unsure what to make of her response and maybe missing her presence a little. But of course, instead of reaching out for an explanation, he just sits at his bat-desk and angrily watches the bat-tapes until Alfred (Andy Serkis) comes in and catches him in the act. I half expected him to groan, "She's not my girlfriend" and storm away — and to my credit, he kinda does.

13. Showing no affection to cats

Shield your eyes from the angst! It takes a real sociopath to stare down at cats with indifference, but I guess we'll give Bruce the benefit of the doubt. He does eventually warm to Selina, which I assume means he makes peace with her pets, but it sure is sad when those poor kitties are rubbing up against his massive boots and get nothing in return. Maybe if he didn't spend all his time with shrieking, winged rats, he'd be more receptive to love.

12. Indoor sunglasses at breakfast

Bruce, what the f***. Clearly, he wasn't kidding when he called himself nocturnal — this man is legitimately allergic to sunlight. Since he spends his nights prowling the streets, I'm guessing that during the day he whips out the blackout curtains, burrows beneath his thousand-dollar sheets, and sleeps until sunset. Unfortunately, Alfred makes him attend one business meeting which, I'll emphasize, takes place indoors. But even the awareness that the sun would be out and could possibly shine through a window at any moment was too much for Bruce to bear. So while sharing a moment with Alfred at breakfast, he does his best Neo impression and throws on a pair of sunglasses

11. Shirtless spray painting sesh by the fire

When Alfred, the father figure he spent half the runtime bullying, gets injured, Bruce does not know how to process his emotions. So he does as any logical human would and ... takes off his shirt. But wait! There's more! He totally forgoes the usual index cards and string approach and lays out the clues to his mysterious supervillain via a very unique method: spray-painting the facts across the floor. Then he just stands there and ... stares at it. Someone, please introduce this man to healthier methods of dealing with grief. Like therapy, perhaps. Or a really long nap.

10. Going upstate to knock-off hedgefund dummies

Down with the establishment! With the mystery of the missing Annika (Hana Hrzic) sadly solved and Falcone six feet under (per vengeance), Selina Kyle will be taking down the rich white fools of upstate Gotham, one idiot at a time. And because Bruce could neither work up the courage to ask her to stay, nor could he walk away from his self-destructive lifestyle, this will be a solo mission for Selina, which makes it even sadder.

9. 'Alfred, I don't want your cufflinks'

Nothing says emotional trauma quite like rejecting the affections of your surrogate father! At every possible turn, Bruce bristles when absolutely anyone tries to show him some kindness — especially Alfred. Selina gets a bit of a free pass because she's irresistible, but when Alfred so much as offers him advice, Battinson has a tendency to storm away like a reprimanded teen and say things like, "you aren't my father." The best example of this comes when Alfred offers him some Wayne branded cufflinks, which Bruce immediately rejects. It's so sad it borders on hilarious — Bruce, sweetheart, this is the most veiled gesture of affection the world has ever seen. He's just trying to help you accessorize! God forbid anyone ever try to hug this stone-hearted dummy. Perhaps it's something he can build up to though, given he eventually takes the cufflinks and later even holds Alfred's hand. Physical affection from Bruce Wayne, who would've thought!

8. Every time someone calls him 'vengeance'

The first time someone called Batman "vengeance" right to his face, I thought I misheard. The second time, I was torn between awe and incredulity. Do you have any idea how much effort it takes to make a nickname catch on? Just try to wrap your head around precisely how many times Bruce Wayne had to prowl the streets, slam his fist into someone's jaw, and then bark his moniker at their bloody beaten form before folks got word that his preferred pronouns are in fact, "he/him" and "vengeance." Bruce must've had all the persistence of a 10-year-old boy trying to get his friends to call him "Iceman" or "Shark," except it's oh so much worse because he's a 30-something-year-old billionaire with guyliner and anger issues, who's probably hiding a homemade tattoo of the word "vengeance" somewhere on his body.

7. Emerging from darkness

For a weirdo recluse, Bruce Wayne sure cares a lot about his image. In addition to encouraging actual human beings to refer to him as "vengeance," Batman likes to put the fear of god in his villains by slinking in the shadows so he can wordlessly emerge from the darkness. To his credit, it's very effective — the petty criminals of Gotham are filled with terror once the bat-signal hits the sky. Little do they know that the so-called Dark Knight is just a lonely 30-year old orphan with big stompy boots that make sneaking up on people genuinely impossible.

6. The yodeling Riddler

Towards the end of "The Batman," Paul Dano's Riddler is so filled with contempt and frustration at Bruce failing to see the kinship he imagined between them that he starts ... yodeling, I think. Really, he's just screaming into the great abyss because when unable to communicate via threatening greeting cards, the Riddler doesn't know how to express his emotions. If all the serial killing and riddles didn't make it clear, this man is truly unhinged. So much so that he's giving emo-boy-extraordinaire Bruce Wayne a run for his money. The moral of the story? Never meet your heroes.

5. Flying through the streets

That's right, folks, you didn't imagine this scene. It really happened. The image of an emotionless RBatz all bundled up in his flying suit, pressing his limbs really close together so he can glide away on a grand escape is objectively hilarious but then it got a million times better. He wipes out on the street, absolutely eating s**t, and then limps away as though nothing happened. Now, he probably hurt a couple of his bones in the crash, but the biggest bruise was obviously to his pride. Not that he'll ever admit it, of course, because ... emo.

4. Bruce saying 'yes' when asked if he's hideously scarred

This one really speaks for itself. Bruce's general resistance to any and all forms of affection throughout the film speaks volumes about his broken emotional state, but man does he need a lot of therapy for this one. When Selina strokes his mask, pondering what lies beneath, and asks if it's meant to hide some "hideous scarring," our masked hero says "yes," a wince-worthy reference to all the emotional damage bubbling beneath his surface. This pairs pretty well with a point that his yodeling villain will make later on: the Riddler believes that wearing his mask allowed him to become the person he was all along (i.e. a sociopath who speaks in riddles). He suggests the same is true of Bruce, who puts on the mask to unleash his anger on the criminals of Gotham. All the while, the mask hides his identity: the still-traumatized orphan who never really processed his grief. Bonus points for self-awareness, I guess, but it really harkens back to those pale Nirvana head-banging teenage boys of the '90s, who rejected physical interaction because no one could understand their pain.

3. Every. Single. Motorcyle. Ride.

Motorcycle rides: a wonderful opportunity to brood about your trauma while looking like a total badass. Naturally, this movie is packed with broody motorcycles rides, headlined by our resident emo orphans, Selina and Bruce, who wear all-black outfits and repress their trauma in the moonlight. There are so many glorious scenes to choose from — like the early scene of Bruce entering the Batcave whilst bats literally swarm around him. It's a perfectly timed entrance. Did they rehearse it? Does he only coexist with them for the sole purpose of feeling cool when they awaken? Then there's the end, a bittersweet ride between Selina and Bruce as their short-lived partnership comes to a close and they depart at their crossroad junction. To make matters a hell of a lot broodier, Bruce watches Selina leave in his rearview mirror. Once again, verbal communication be damned, Bruce Wayne is gonna endure his sadness in silence!

2. Selina hunting down her father for vengeance

Selina Kyle, the hero we deserve, swooping in at the last second to crown herself the emo queen of "The Batman." Selina, who spends her free time collecting stray cats and orphans whilst donning a catsuit to commit badass burglaries, is certainly not a well-adjusted person. But then again, when you're standing next to Bruce Wayne, it's hard not to look like a perfectly functional member of society. As it turns out, Selina is just as messed up as everyone else who lives in Gotham, in large part because of trauma suffered at the hands of her father, Carmine Falcone. The Gotham crime lord has a thing for strangling women — having killed her mother and roommate — effectively setting Selina down the path of vengeance.

Something about the notion of murdering your father for wrecking your life strikes me as peak emo, so massive points to Selina for her determination to put a bullet in his head. She pulls off all sorts of stunts — jumping off a building and stalking through a nightclub with weapons strapped to her badass lace-up boots. (Un)fortunately, Batman dissuades her from going through with the murder for the sake of saving her soul, or something, but you gotta respect her efforts.

1. Bat-journaling

Journaling as a concept is angsty enough — but Bruce Wayne takes this s**t to the next level. Not only is Nirvana's "Something In The Way" blasting in the background (no doubt the soundtrack to each and every one of his journaling sessions), his diary entry is penned in black ink, with bolded scrawls, and underlines for emphasis. Plus, it features impeccable tidbits like Bruce dubbing himself a "nocturnal animal." On one hand, it's nice to know that he isn't totally bottling up his emotions ... but sitting in a dark, bat-infested cave and writing about your trek through another rainy night of crime is perhaps the least healthy thing I've ever heard. In true emo fashion, Bruce definitely thinks he's the darkest, grittiest guy around but really he's just a sad insomniac with a very intense diary.