Joker Ending Explained


FULL SPOILERS! IGN’s Jim Vejvoda, David Griffin and Joshua Yehl unpack their theories about what the ending of the film means.

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  1. What if the entire movie was his thoughts and the ending of the movie is Joker recounting his life to the lady in the purgatory, where he then says you "wouldn't get it?"

  2. I think the ending is just tells us on how he finally embraces his insanity. He probably only imagined the final scene in his mind but 1 thing for sure he already accept chaos and violence as his heaven

  3. My theory about what the joke was at the end is this:

    While the joker was on Murray’s show he was talking about it being funny that he killed those three men. After he admits this everyone judges him for thinking it’s funny and Murray actually says he doesn’t agree and doesn’t think it’s funny. Fast forward to the end when the psychiatrist asks him what the joke was, Arthur responds with “you wouldn’t get it” meaning he’s about to kill her. That’s why he was laughing. His mind has been so changed to think that death is a joke now.

  4. Look, it's one thing to chat about the end of Joker, it's another thing to suggest Arthur died and he's imagining some ending as a dying hallucination. That's re-configuring the movie. That's like saying that Rambo is shot to death in the siege and imagines his talk with Colonel Samuel Trautman, just because you want to invent your own ending to the movie. So Rambo is dead and First Blood Part 2 is all an imagined dream where he's the hero again, that's the movie now, just because I want it to be. Seems fine, right?

  5. An interesting note to being up though is people's reactions to the death of the 3 guys. Especially since it sparked out of his delusional relationship, maybe that's what makes him so twisted, even when Heath Ledger was doing terrible things if you look at it all in that light it makes sense that maybe that's what the Joker is thinking.

  6. He thought that a cop telling a parent that their kid died in a car crash was funny. The Joke the kids parents died. She wouldn't get it because she's not a psychopath, he learns this throughout the movie from people telling him that his jokes aren't funny.

  7. I’m pretty sure his only delusional moments were the dating and the stand up, it’s an origin story and we know he goes on to fight Batman, his one and only destiny, otherwise he would have never existed, either he becomes the joker or another is inspired and becomes the joker. Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed, Bruce was there, pretty sure this is the beginning of his story as Joker not the end.

  8. Why does the ending need explaining? It’s pretty self explanatory. He becomes the joker and influenced the riot in the city which leads to the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents 🤷‍♂️ Nothing complex there…

  9. For me, Yeah of course he wasn't in the show in the beginning, He wasn't with his lover and the movie already tells us that.

    As for if his father is Wayne or not the movie leaves it up for interpretation.

    But the ending I believe is the moment he got hit by the truck he was taken to arkham, And then read about how Bruce's parents died and that interview was years later since he has white hair in his head and beard and also gained weight.

    P.S that moment where he was talking to the shrink, I wish that when the camera switched we saw Bruce Wayne asking him why he started all this and The Batman movie would start from that moment but the villain would not be Joker.

  10. Arthur Fleck is Bruce Wayne, a different version that got taken to Arkham after his parents were murdered. Everything we see, happened in the past. He was adopted by Penny Fleck and raised as Arthur. Unreliable narrator so we don’t know how much is real.

  11. Arthur was laughing at Thomas because Thoams told Arthur the truth about his mother , her condition , her bf abusing her and the dillusions of grandeur she had with Thomas being her physician.

    Thomas telling Arthur that he was adopted and orphaned , and now BRUCE WAYNE , Thomas”s child is now orphaned with dead parents is why he found it funny.

  12. For all we know the early scene where Arthur is hitting his head in the psych ward is the only real part and at the end when he laughs and says you wouldn’t get it was him imagining the whole film

  13. His mom being nice to him was fake. He had to bathe his mother. He fed her in bed. She can’t move. But after his illusion with the girl down the hall, he comes home and picks his mother up to dance? Also she’s usually always nice to him right but at one point she says “don’t you have to be funny to be a comedian” that was her real self. He didn’t like that. Also his cigarettes were fake. He’s broke. No job. How does he ALWAYS have cigarettes. He’s smoking in a hospital? In a therapy session? Fake. This movie is a pure mix of reality and fantasy and it was AMAZING

  14. One thing I noticed was that in the cop car towards the end, Arthur wasn’t handcuffed, which I thought was an indication of it being fabricated.

  15. After the cop car he’s in is hit by the ambulance, we clearly see he’s unconscious. So I think the whole thing with him being pulled out of the wreck, the crowd cheering, him dancing was all a dream as he laid in the car unconscious. Then all the stuff in Arkham after is real.

  16. During the movie in his joke book he had a joke written about someone or people dying for no reason on the aide walk. When his therapist asks him about why he’s lagging. You see his note book of jokes and then the scene where the Wayne’s are shot. Only his twisted mind would understand why that’s funny. That’s why he says “you wouldn’t understand.

  17. I think the scene when the joker say "you dont understand the joke" is take in the future, when he get capture by the batman and get placed in arkham. And at that time he already knows that batman is bruce wayne "his little brother" so the joke is, "the irony when he know the world is crazy, and he want to make it even crazier or just destroy it, but his first action to achive this in the end make something that can bring order to this chaos world, and that is batman"

  18. If it's all in Arthur's head, then it means the Waynes never died, and that every confrontation between Batman and Joker were all in Arthur's head. Even Batman himself is an object of Arthur's fantasy.

  19. Im now even thinking what if he imagine it all… at the start he was smacking his head agains a door in the same white gown that at the end and the hospital look much more clean and modern that the all film… maynd he is taking credit for the riots and the killing of the waynes, cause that creates batman

  20. The final riot had to be imagined some way or another. To believe it would be real, would also be believing in all of Gotham having the same corrupt sense of morality as joker. People just don’t revel in death and chaos that way, even the poorest of the poor.

  21. So, he doesn't to jail because of the car crash, but in the next scene he is in Arkham Asylum, which suggests that many years have passed since the riots, especially when he says she wouldn't get the joke, it's because it's between the Joker and the Batman!

  22. Also have we forgotten how in the batman begins movie he was introduced as escaping arkham asylum, which in this movie he’s now in. That’s something to think about🙄🤔

  23. The white rooms look nothing like the yellow walls of Arkham in the movie. The whole movie was just a delusion by a man called Arthur Fleck, who is a mentally ill Batman fan in a real world institution.

  24. My perspective on the ending is that . .. It ends where it started which says to me the entire movie was a thought of arthers who was in Arkham the whole time . the movie starts out with him laughing with the therapist and after everything shows him laughing the same with the therapist . the joke she wont get is the movie we just watched . if you notice in the room the recorder or device on the table is more modern , as well as the hair style amd clothing of the therapist . if the whole movie is in fact the joke that arther thought then it may have given him not only identity as he felt he never really existed or where he comes from . but also inspires him to be the joker that he just conjured up in the present day with a grown up bruce wayne . then he kills the therapist escapes the asylum and batman and the joker are now on the same timline.


    how about the movie was the movie and he got caught in the end? they made a DC Joker movie and he wasnt the joker? sick theory.

    how about he was the inspiration to the joker? a Pupkin-esque taxi driver (wow cant see the relations there eh?") even if the same dude in the taxi is the same dude in the ambulane (i think the dance on the police car was imagined) he still incited the insane riots nad he was still the lunatic they looked up to.

  26. I think its just a made up story he tells the psychiatrists and the end. And maybe tells a different story every time he sees a psychiatrist. Hence why the joker doesn’t have an origin story.

  27. BATMAN just put JOKER in ARKHAM for the very first time, they are interviewing him about why he does the things he does, and he starts narrating the movie. That's my theory for the end scene.

  28. I like the ambiguity in the movie('s ending). However, I think that most everything that is shown portrays the reality Joker lives in except for his first participation at the Murray show and his relationship with his neighbour. Then again, some other scenes are embellished, for example when he is coming down the stairs dancing in euphoria or the very last scene at Arkham Asylum (where clearly the lighting plays a huge part in the set up). All in all, I find this movie to be fantastic! Just like Taxi Driver there is plenty of room for interpretation.

  29. 3 suckers trying to put down a great movie by saying nothing didn't happen. What a waste of time. So basically he is dead, wtf… Do read some dc comics… What a crappy panel

  30. honestly i think every thing happened following arthur killing his mother is real , bc it kinda tells you that arthur had never showed his true nature , hes always hiding behind his clown makeup and his laugh , and even in his fantasies like the elevator scene with sofie and her daughter and the date it feels like his true self is haunting his dreams and tells him who he really is , like sofie mimicking blowing her head or the girl in the cab wearing the clown mask ,and when he walks up the stairs he looks sad and depressed but when he walks down the stairs at the end happy and hes dancing , it kinda tells you that in arthurs attempt to climb ladder of society and trying to bring joy into the world he failed but as hes walking down the stairs after killing his mother and randall he feels happiness and fulfillment and thats whats arthur been looking for his entire life , i'd like to believe that at the end that arthur , the person who thought he didn't exist had became a symbol to the true identity of the clowns of gotham (the lower class) and that at the end he found his true purpose which is bringing joy to himself through his horrifying past and miserable realty by making it into a joke to him … especially when he laughs at the end and the doctor asks him whats so funny and he didnt explain his condition or tried to fight it because now his laugh is real and he doesnt have to hide it anymore because now every one in gotham knows him and cant deny his existence , and i'd hate to know that the final scenes in the movie weren't real because i wanna think that at the end this miserable man that had been living this miserable life had finally found a happy ending to his story ……

  31. Go watch the movie again. “I always felt like I wasn’t real(there)” is repeated many times. “Hahahahahahahaha” “what’s so funny?” I was thinking of a joke” “what was the joke?” “You wouldn’t get it” the song he sings at the end and many things he has said along the way lead me to believe that he’s super sane like the comics and knows that he’s a fictional character and that his actions are of no real consequence.

  32. buuuuuuuuuuttt he can't be dead tho, cause bruce wayne seeing both his parents killed happened for real, if you've seen all the batman movies? amirite or wrong? and the joker appears after bruce is all grown up too? or are those movies not linked at all XD idk idk idk

  33. Also, Bruce Wayne just so happened to be leaving a play just like the last time Joker saw him. What are the odds of that. It clearly seems like something Joker fabricated in his mind.

  34. I think it´s all fake. The real moments of the movie are when he was knocking his head agains the door´s glass and the very last scene with the doctor. When he finds out that Tomas and Martha were killed, he imagined everything like it was his own making and that´s the joke!

  35. I think that everything happens in the film and that the ending is present day while joker is locked up in Arkham put there by Batman. While in with his doctor we thinks back to his origin, and thinks of a joke. He has to know that Thomas Wayne and his wife were murdered that same night in front of their son. The joke he thinks of is that Bruce Wayne is Batman and it’s ironic that the same night he transformed into Joker that Batman is created. He then tells the doctor she wouldn’t get the joke because she won’t.

  36. Am I the only one that thinks that the following scene is just him after he's been caught, and that everything that wasn't show to be a hallucination happened?

  37. It’s a character study film. It’s official. The ending is damn straightforward. Theories like “it’s all a fantasy”, “he died in that fridge”, or “he’s killed by that car crash” are making a brilliant movie dumb. It’s like saying there’s nothing to study in this “character-studying” film.

  38. I don’t think he died because in the end this is about Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis. I thought the ambulance were escape inmates from Arkham Asylum who saw him as a leader of a movement.

  39. Why would he imagine all the bad stuff and why would he tell those parts to the story? Why tell the story of Sophie liking him and then imagining it? Is he admitting he’s delusional and wants to talk about it? I doubt it. Also, DeNiro talked about a sequel(to Taxi Driver), and multiple people involved in the movie said the meaning was literal. As to Arthur dying, how would he narrate after his death? Narrating in an afterlife? That’s a huge stretch. It’s a metaphoric transformation, not literal living to dead transformation. EVERYONE would know TW had been murdered, are you kidding?


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