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I was watching the ending of Return of the Joker where Terry fights the Joker one-on-one. Towards the end of the fight Terry says something that caught my attention:

So you fell in a tank of acid, got your skin bleached, then decided to become a super villain. What, you couldn't get work as a rodeo clown?

For reference:

at 2:43

Which is odd. I'm not familiar with Batman: The Animated Series ever dedicating itself to one specific Joker origin, let alone The Killing Joke. In fact it runs kind of counter-intuitive to the peek at the Joker's origin from Mask of the Phantasm where

The Joker was an ex-mobster working with Sal Valestra.

Did The Animated Series ever confirm that Joker became a villain after falling in a vat of acid?

  • Bear in mind that the Joker is an unreliable narrator, "...if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" - The Joker, The Killing Joke. – David Thomas Jun 19 '16 at 12:53
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    How are these at odds? Combined, this matches up fairly well with the Burton Batman. He was a mid-level gangster who is out on a job, and falls into a vat of chemicals, leaving him deformed. – phantom42 Jun 19 '16 at 13:23
  • @DavidThomas that's the point, though. This is Terry talking, not Joker. And Terry is a more reliable narrator that even Bruce in many respects. – GGMG-he-him Jun 19 '16 at 16:04
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    That's true, but from whom did he discover the Joker's origin? If it was the Joker (even if related via a third party) then my point stands. As the Joker's pre-Joker character is often anonymous I'm not sure that there are any facts available save for those originating from the Joker himself. – David Thomas Jun 19 '16 at 17:32
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In the "The New Batman Adventures" episode "Beware the Creeper," news reporter Jack Ryder does a story on the Joker at the Ace Chemicals factory, where we see a recreation (with actors) of Batman punching Joker into the acid vat. It's unclear whether this is a dramatization (it seems out of character for the DCAU Batman to purposely knock someone into a potentially-deadly tank of chemicals), aka maybe the Joker fell instead of being punched, but regardless, this is the closest we get to an answer. This is, of course, post-involvement with the Valestra gang.

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