From: Batman (1989)
Who said it?: Jack/Joker
The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from Tim Burton’s first take on Batman way back in 1989. The movie was a smash hit and, believe it or not, shed the “campy” mystique mainstream audiences associated with the character thanks to the (still rather wonderful) Batman live-action television series left. It made general audiences aware of Batman’s original dark roots and the movie lent a hand to the revival of superhero films.
The quote actually is mentioned several times throughout the film and can be considered to be Jack Napier/The Joker’s (played by Jack Nicholson) catchphrase. In one memorable instance, when confronted by Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) while in Vicki Vale’s (played by Kim Basigner) apartment, he delivers the quote and explains that he just likes how the phrase sounds.
Geek wisdom: Although Jack/Joker says it doesn’t really mean anything, there is a way to interpret the quote to have a deeper meaning. Essentially, The Joker delivers the catchphrase to anyone he’s about to kill. This could be his way of asking them if they ever tempted fate and did something so dangerous that their life may be threatened.
While it may be sometimes exhilarating to do something death defying, it may sometimes be better not to, especially if there is a chance of perishing because of it. You only live once, you know.