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I've come across the notion in various different movies that people don't want to be labeled Robin (with respect to the character from the Batman universe) on a number of times and I simply do not understand the reason behind it.

It could perhaps be because I'm not familiar with the original Batman movies that came around in the 80's or 90's. I've only watched the recent Batman movies by Christopher Nolan (which didn't directly feature Robin as a character). I didn't see a reason in these movies which would make people not wanting to be Robin. Could someone shed some light on this?

What I meant was that people seem to want to avoid themselves being labelled as Robin. Just like "Nobody wants to be called Beiber". I didn't understand why this is so or am I completely wrong in assuming that Robin as a character is hated upon.

Off the top of my head, I remember a scene from the movie Kick Ass 2 when Dave proposes a partnership to Mindy by saying something along the lines, "You know, I could be your sidekick, like Batman and Robin" and Mindy replies with "Nobody wants to be Robin". There is another scene from a movie I don't seem to recollect, but in that scene too one person says "Let's team up like Batman and Robin" and the other guy says "Really? Robin?"

Why does Robin seem to be referenced so negatively across various movies?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by cde, user5603, Meat Trademark, Catija, Johnny Bones Sep 29 at 17:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

"Why doesn't anyone want to be Robin?" - In which way doesn't anyone want to be Robin? Do you mean any actor or any character, what are you actually asking? –  Napoleon Wilson Nov 5 '13 at 18:21
There is robin in The Dark Knight Rises but still you need to clarify your question. –  Ankit Sharma Nov 5 '13 at 18:26
It's not because no actor wants to play Robin, it's simply because Nolan didn't want him in them. It may have something to do with the fact that "Batman & Robin" (1997) was really, really awful... but it might also be just that the story is about Batman, and there was simply no room for Robin in it. –  Tom Nov 5 '13 at 19:26
My bad..Rephrasing my query in a moment. –  DBC Nov 7 '13 at 8:51
I think I do understand your actual question now (even if it took some time) and it is indeed very different from the supposed duplicate. I thus reopened it. However, seeing that this question is about the general significance of the Robin character in modern culture and not related to a specific depiction of Robin (especially since he wasn't part of the 3 Batman films you saw at all), this might be better fit on Science Fiction & Fantasy, which is more tailored towards the actual comic origins of Robin and his various incarnations in the comics. –  Napoleon Wilson Sep 23 at 23:42

2 Answers 2

The stigma on being Robin is mostly due to his history as a comic book character. He was one of the first kid-friendly side kicks to be introduced, added to the Batman books as a character that young boys could identify with. Many modern readers forget, but Robin's alternate moniker "The Boy Wonder" actually reflects that he started out as a very young (and impressionable) boy. He was basically a reader-surrogate that allowed young readers to imagine themselves having adventures along with Batman. As thus, Robin was quite a childish character whose whole persona was centered around Batman (the real hero). The campy version of Robin in the 60's era TV show portrayed by Burt Ward helped cement the view that Robin was a silly character compared to the more serious Batman. It should be noted that Robin becomes a much more serious character later on, but by then his image as the fawning sidekick had already been cast in stone.

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In the Nolan Batman films, Christian Bale refused to work if there was a Robin in the series:

If Robin crops up in one of the new Batman films, I’ll be chaining myself up somewhere and refusing to go to work. (source)

There was also a bit of superstition around playing Robin, as the actors who have played him haven't had great careers afterwards:

Douglas Croft (played robin in 1943) went on to play two more roles in his career

Johnny Duncan (played Robin in 1949) went on to have a lot of roles, but mostly uncredited, so hardly a success

Burt Ward (arguably the most successful following his role as Robin in the 60s and 70s) Has worked on quite a lot of things since then, but is still doing odd parts as Robin to this day, so he can't seem to escape the role.

I apologise for this next one, we'd all like to forget it happened, but then there's Chris O'Donnell who "played" Robin alongside nipples Batman. He's had no major movie roles since then (depending on how you look at 'major', but does seem to be making his way via TV acting.

As a result, other actors may be reluctant to take their chances in the role in case it prematurely ruins their careers.

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Chris has headlined on a prime time show for 7 seasons, I say thats successful. –  cde Sep 26 at 9:26
I'm not entirely sure you adress the question that's actually asked here. It doesn't seem to be about any actors and Robin as a role at all, but rather about Robin as a character. –  Napoleon Wilson Sep 26 at 11:26
@NapoleonWilson The question title is currently "why doesn't anyone want to be Robin"; I was providing an answer to that. Along with the part in the question itself "What I meant was that people seem to want to avoid themselves being labelled as Robin". I think my response provides answers for that. I think the question might be a bit odd in itself as there's a few questions within the post itself. –  gabe3886 Sep 26 at 11:45

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