When Dexter goes to acquire his drugs for the tranquilizers he uses the name Patrick Bateman. Anyone aware of this name will know this person to be the protagonist in American Psycho.

Seeing that Dexter follows Harry's Code, and Dexter does not generally solicit sex, did Michael Cuesta (or James Manos, Jr. whoever introduced it) want to hint at anything about this? What would it have for him to use such a violent out of control character as Dexter's fake name?

  • But unfortunately despite 'enjoying' (as much as you can enjoy American Psycho) both it and Dexter, I have no idea why he used the name.
    – iandotkelly
    Dec 9, 2011 at 1:37
  • perhaps Dexter watched American Psycho and thought it would be cool to use his name given they were in the same line of "work" :)
    – John
    Feb 25, 2015 at 13:55
  • 2
    Still enjoying the fact that Bale plays both Batman and Bateman
    – sh5164
    Jun 21, 2017 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


I think this is just a simple thing thrown in from the director/writer to try to draw a comparison of Dexter to Bateman. Both are killers but when thought about, Bateman is more vain and reckless than Dexter, the chainsaw scene is my reference here. Whereas Dexter is quiet, methodical, and adheres to a strict code whenever he can.

In a relative sense, one can almost say Dexter is the kinder killer as he actually begins to care about the people around him and defend them where Bateman is truly just a psycho, and would probably end up on Dexter's table, had he ever gotten word of him.

  • Does not every psycho-killer thinks in it's own mind, that he is protecting something important to him?
    – Mnementh
    Dec 9, 2011 at 13:33
  • 3
    What goes on in their mind is up to them. I'm merely drawing a conclusion based on what the director shows us throughout the series, is that Dexter transforms from this emotionless being to something with feelings, the biggest moment of this is the first sign of affection he shows to Brian, his brother when he kidnaps Deb and says "I'm....fond...of....her", in reference to Deb.
    – Tablemaker
    Dec 9, 2011 at 13:38

This is obvious!

It's a joke. Dexter doesn't watch many movies and doesn't have any idea about American Psycho. His ignorance of modern-culture and in particular movie characters is stressed in a previous episode when he doesn't recognise his girlfriend's costume as being Lara Croft. He thought the alias would make him appear innocent (he even says this in the scene), but the joke is that if any of them saw that name whilst investigating the case, they would instantly put 2 and 2 together.

Absolutely loved how they approached this.


No, Bateman and Dexter both introduce an element of existentialism into the mind of the psychopath; The subtle insertion of what it means to cope with your existence while being in the world and trying to seem, "Normal".

Both characters exhibited existential angst with their decisions which we interpret as an emotionless process, however, the very process of investigating their actions ties them to the world as a sort of purpose in a purposeless world.

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