As you can see from the original video, the bank manager could see clearly that the string of the grenade was attached to The Joker and I'm struggling to understand why he kept it in his mouth.

There wasn't any glue and not only was the Joker not looking at him but there was ample time for him to make a rational decision and spit it out before the bus went away (enhancing his chances to survive).

Why didn't he?

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  • 2
    Even when it's going off he doesn't spit it out; I guess it's lodged in his mouth.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 31, 2018 at 10:13
  • 13
    If the joker pulled the pin out of the grenade first, then all that is keeping it from going boom is the guy's mouth holding the lever on the grenade down. If he spits it out, it'll explode.
    – JRE
    May 31, 2018 at 10:53
  • 7
    People don't always think clearly when other people are shoving grenades in their mouths. Especially not people like bank managers, who don't really know much about grenades other than they go boom.
    – Steve-O
    May 31, 2018 at 14:26
  • 3
    Not to mention he'd been shot just moments before. May 31, 2018 at 15:03
  • 3
    I am confused. He survived the grenade regardless... The grenade was a smoke grenade. As the Joker drove away the grenade went off and smoke started spewing out... Hence Joker saying "I believe whatever doesn't kill you makes you... stranger." But, even if the grenade was not a smoke grenade and you spit it out... grenades have a blast radius that would make it falling in front of your face just as dangerous...
    – Odin1806
    May 31, 2018 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


The film's official novelisation suggests that he was simply in shock at this point and incapable of rational thought. Blood loss, a massive chest wound and coming face-to-face with a psychopath aren't things that are conducive to quick thinking.

Bozo jammed a grenade with a purple thread knotted around the pin into the man’s mouth.

“I believe,” Bozo said, “that what doesn’t kill you—”

Bozo yanked off his mask. The manager’s eyes widened. He was looking at another clown face, one far more disturbing than any of the masks: white skin, green hair, a mouth horribly scarred beneath a red slash of makeup.

“—simply makes you stranger,” the Joker concluded.

The scarred clown rose and strolled toward the bus, the thread attached to the grenade unraveling from the purple lining of his jacket. He climbed into the bus and shut the rear door, trapping the purple thread.

Additionally, the grenade is large enough that it would have locked his jaw, making it (like the proverbial nut) all but impossible to spit out, especially for someone with a chest wound.

There's also the fact that from his perspective it's not that easy to see that the grenade still has the pin in. He might just be wondering why the Joker is trailing a thread without realising what it's for until it's too late.

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