So there are two scenes in The Dark Knight in which The Joker is dressed as a nurse and no one notices who he is.

  1. How did he get into the hospital with women's clothes and his make-up without anyone noticing?
  2. When he leaves the hospital and enters the bus, how come no-one recognizes him?

In the case of the bus, you could argue that maybe it was the same bus and driver from the bank robbery, but wouldn't people who are running for their lives accidentally get onto his bus as well?

  • 2
    IIRC, part of the Joker's speech during the boat scene related to how most Gothamites keep their heads down and ignore the problems around them. Only looking out for number one. The fact that no one did anything at the hospital would seem to speak to the truth of that assessment.
    – Steve-O
    Sep 28 '20 at 14:31

Firstly, the short and simple answer is because they don't. Part of that is that movies don't bother with the frills, if the frills get in the way of elegant storytelling.

This is no different from why people don't say hi/bye during phone calls, or why scenes don't get interrupted by people taking bathroom breaks. It would be more realistic, but it doesn't matter to the plot so incorporating it into the story provides no benefit.

Secondly, the hospital is in the middle of an evacuation due to a bomb threat. The corridor you see the nurse (later revealed to be the Joker) walk though is filled with people either panicking or frantically running around trying to evacuate themselves or others.

It's perfectly reasonably for those people to not notice Joker.

The same logic applies to the actual evacuation post-explosion. In that scenario, people are looking for anyone who isn't there who is supposed to be (i.e. people who didn't evacuate), they're not focusing on people who are there who aren't supposed to be.

Thirdly, there's the consideration of what would happen even if they noticed him. Are civilians really going to interfere with what amounts to a grotesque domestic terrorist, if he is currently not actually threatening them?

Similar to the first point I made, if civilians spotting the Joker makes no difference to the plot, then it's an unnecessary scene that can easily be omitted in an otherwise already eventful and long movie.


These are just scenes in a movie, they are impossible to answer. The scenes of joker getting into the building, and what happened on the bus weren't filmed or shown in the movie.

What we can speculate however, is that Joker is a psychopath who readily murders people without rhyme or reason beyond what he's privy to.

It can probably be easily assumed anyone who was in the way got murdered.

Joker however, is also a sneaky sneaky person, and could have just gone in through some backdoor.

You could equally ask how did they get all the explosives in the hospital without anyone noticing... It doesn't matter. Just watch and enjoy. Assume characters generally know what they're doing.

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