(Welcome to The Dark Knight Legacy, a series of articles that explore Christopher Nolan’s superhero masterpiece in celebration of its 10th anniversary.)

Christian Bale’s “Batman voice” was one of the most divisive components of his iconic portrayal of the Dark Knight. Deep and raspy, like a lifelong smoker who just thrashed Marilyn Manson at karaoke, it was intended in-universe as an auditory disguise and intimidation tool – but many audience members found it silly. Regardless of your view on Bale’s bold acting choice, it not only helped define his take on the character, it made his ordinarily intense acting all the more so.

Among the most-imitated aspects of the voice is the way Batman yells. That bellow probably necessitated some kind of insurance policy specifically for Bale’s vocal cords, but it resulted in a wide array of memorable moments. In honour of The Dark Knight‘s tenth anniversary, we hereby present the complete, ranked collection of Batman bellows – 20 of them, across three films, not including anything delivered in a whispered, growled, or “ordinary” speaking voice. Grab a mug of honey lemon ginger tea, and let’s begin.

20. “I BROUGHT MINE!” – Batman Begins

Batman introduces Gordon to the Batmobile with a limp attempt at a joke, absent even a knowing glance. He’s freaking walking away when he says this line – robbing it of confrontational power, and suggesting the only reason he’s shouting is to be heard. Unacceptable.

19. “HOW ABOUT THIS?!” – Batman Begins

A woeful retort to Ra’s Al-Ghul in the pair’s climactic fight aboard a Gotham City monorail. Ra’s is accusing Batman of having no new tricks here, and the trick that Batman thinks is good enough to pause to introduce is…breaking Al-Ghul’s katana. Dude really needs to work on his fight banter.

18. “WHERE IS HE?!” – The Dark Knight

A strong opening line for Batman’s interrogation of mobster Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts). It’s a little vague, though: to whom is he referring? Could be anyone (even though it’s the Joker). A decent, if uninspiring, addition to the annals of Simple Batman Questions.

17. “SOMEONE KNOWS WHERE HE IS!” – The Dark Knight

Another line from the same scene with Eric Roberts. At this point, Batman has started to lose confidence in Maroni’s ability to share information, so he resorts to demanding information from “someone.” It’s this flailing about in inquisitive rage that sells the line.

16. “WHERE’S THE DETONATOR?” – The Dark Knight

A second-rate post-Begins “where’s the thing?” bellow, really. It isn’t repeated, which takes it down several notches, rendering it a simple question, rather than a demand. It also comes at the start of a scene that continues to escalate, making it an opening salvo, rather than a climactic scream.

15. “YOU DON’T WANNA HURT THE BOY, HARVEY!” – The Dark Knight

As lines go, this one from the final scene of The Dark Knight is pretty functional. Batman’s trying to prevent Two-Face from killing Gordon’s son, and he does so the only way his voice knows how. It earns some credit, however, from heralding Batman’s entrance into the scene – the only time this takes place in the trilogy. Good entrance!

14. “ALFRED! HELP ME!” – Batman Begins

A curious bellow, exclaimed when Batman is first exposed to Scarecrow’s fear toxin. He’s talking to Alfred over a communicator here, and there’s nobody else around, so there isn’t really any reason to use the Batman voice at all. Points for commitment, even if the sentiment is more of a cry than a yell.

13. “WHERE WERE THE OTHER DRUGS GOING? … WHY? WHAT?” – Batman Begins

The first thing bellowed by Batman in the trilogy sets up a motif that would run through many subsequent bellows: where things are. In this instance, this bellow – delivered to Mark Boone Jr’s corrupt cop – is a fine one, but it’s overshadowed by subsequent lines from the same scene.

12. “No. BUT I KNOW HOW YOU GOT THESE!” – The Dark Knight

So, the Joker asks Batman his standard “know how I got these scars?” question, and Batman responds with…kind of an unimpressive one-liner retort, before firing his gauntlet spikes into his face. A schoolyard taunt at best, effective only due to the subsequent attack succeeding – but actually gains points for commitment to a bad line.

11. “I DON’T NEED HELP!” – The Dark Knight

Batman lets loose his anger upon some hapless Batman wannabes, at the start of The Dark Knight. It’s delivered at a good roar, but the way it’s played, it comes across as more of a petulant defense – the Bat-equivalent of “you’re not the boss of me!” Could do better.

10. “HE MUST HAVE FRIENDS!” – The Dark Knight

This line drops to a growl by the time Bale completes the line, but he gives such a satisfyingly bassy finish to “friends” that it deserves inclusion here. It feels so warm and rumbly that you suddenly contemplate just how important friends are. What Sal Maroni knows, and Batman doesn’t, though, is that the Joker has no friends. Points deducted for poor deduction.

9. “WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO PROVE? THAT DEEP DOWN, EVERYONE’S AS UGLY AS YOU?” – The Dark Knight

A rare bellow of substance, delivered to the Joker at his story’s conclusion. If anything, the line itself is a little on the nose, encapsulating a theme of the film with blunt plainness. But kudos to Bale for infusing such a lengthy line with urgency and rage.

8. “THERE WON’T BE ANY FIREWORKS!” – The Dark Knight

Impressive solely because it’s delivered while being choked by the Joker. The text refers to the Joker blowing up two Gotham ferries, but taken out of context, it can be read as an enraged exclamation of fact. Imagine if you were expecting fireworks, but then were told there wouldn’t be any. Imagine that’s the emotion the Dark Knight is expressing here, and it works in a wholly different way.

7. “DO I LOOK LIKE A COP?” – Batman Begins

Batman’s final line to the corrupt Flass (Mark Boone Jr) is an effective send-off to the scene. It’s one of the Bat’s few jokes that’s actually kind of darkly funny. Indeed, Batman does not look like a cop, but what if he genuinely didn’t know? What if the question isn’t rhetorical? Given Batman’s obsession with asking basic questions of people, it’s entirely possible he’s lost connection with what police actually look like. Drops in value due to confusion.

6. “AAAR-HUGH! UAGHH! ERGGH! UGH! AUGHH! AAAAH!” – The Dark Knight Rises

Ordinarily, I’d shy away from effort sounds and combat grunts in a list like this, but Batman’s first fight with Bane, in a reservoir underneath the Wayne armoury, is somewhat special. Not only does it represent Batman fighting a superior foe, throwing all his strength at the challenge only to have his back broken; the scene plays out entirely sans music, letting the sound design take point. All the better to hear your breaking voice with.

5. “RACHEL!” – Batman Begins

The urgency of this line, screamed at Katie Holmes’ fear toxin-affected Rachel Dawes as they leap a chasm into the Batcave in the Batmobile, is palpable. It’s real emotion, which is rare from Batman. But this is really Bruce Wayne talking, so it can’t reach the top of the ladder.

4. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” – The Dark Knight

No words or even consonants in this one. It’s the closest thing to a battle cry Batman utters in these films, as he motorcycles down a Gotham avenue at the Joker, recently relieved of his 18-wheeler. An existential bellow for the ages.

3. “WHERE ARE THEY?! WHERE ARE THEY?!” – The Dark Knight

The roar comes out in full force in one of The Dark Knight‘s best scenes: Batman’s “bad cop” interrogation of the Joker. This snap comes after the Joker has expertly poked at his psychological weak points, revealing that he’s captured both Rachel and assistant DA Harvey Dent. It’s a continuation of Batman’s quest to discover the locations of things, or this instance people, and we feel every nodule-inducing decibel of it.

2. “SWEAR TO ME!” – Batman Begins

This is the moment where Batman truly becomes Bale’s. Mark Boone Jr’s corrupt cop can’t come back to that. Who could? It’s a full-throated roar, AND implies that Batman has taken the place of God in judging the wicked. An awe-inspiring moment for the Bat and a pants-wetting one for his enemies.

1. “WHERE’S THE TRIGGER?! WHERE IS IT?! YOU’D NEVER GIVE IT TO AN ORDINARY CITIZEN! WHERE IS IT? WHERE’S THE TRIGGER?! WHERE IS IT?! WHERE IS IT?!” – The Dark Knight Rises

This is Apex Bellow. Never has Batman been more furious, as the man who broke him threatens to nuke his beloved Gotham. Never has he bellowed so hard that his words begin to slur together in anger. Never has he bellowed such a wordy sentence. It’s got everything: rage, vocal gravel, volume, intensity, and best of all, a repeated demand to know where something is. This will be printed on Batman’s tombstone. It’ll be a big tombstone.

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