We’ve been over DC’s latest film: Joker with a fine tooth comb and in the background of scenes we’ve noticed a lot of numbers that seem to have a hidden meaning to them.
This episode we’re gonna be going over the numbers and discussing what they could mean and why they’re so important.
There’s gonna be heavy spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen Joker yet and don’t want anything ruined about the movie then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s go over the hidden numbers in Joker.
Joker The Hidden Numbers
Joker is a film that throughout feels like it’s building towards something special. In the end this turns out to be the reveal of comic book’s biggest baddie and the introduction of the titular character.
Throughout the film there is a clear indication that there is a count down in place and throughout several of the movie’s major moments there appears a number in the background of the scene that signifies that the movie is ramping up.
The first instance of the numbers comes when Joker is sitting with his psychiatrist. During the scene, we can see a clock behind Arthur which clearly states 11 minutes past 11. This seems rather innocuous, however, when the Psychiatrist mentions the time that Joker spent at Arkham, we get a quick cut of him in a cell, smashing his head against the wall. In the top right of the screen, we can clearly see another clock which says 11:11. It’s unlikely that this wasn’t purposely put there, even though director Todd Phillips has stated that it’s a coincident and we do see numbers appear later in the film.
Now, I haven’t been able to catch the number 10 in the film but I’ll give my theory on where it could be later as we get further down the list. Let me know in the comments if you spotted it but I have an idea of where it could be.
Platform 9 Scene, Sophie’s Apartment 8B
Anyway right after Joker kills the three businessmen on Gotham’s Subway. During the scene when Joker runs away after committing the crime, we can clearly see a large 9 on a post, indicating the number of the platform. Joker also fires nine bullets into the attackers and to me at least, this has been put in place for a reason, especially as revolvers tend to carry a lot less ammo and we never see him reload. This is a massive moment for Arthur and sort of begins his birth as the character.
From here Arthur runs home, stops in a bathroom to do some Ballroom dancing and then goes to his neighbours apartment which just so happens to be 8B. Now, this is where I think ten comes into play as Arthur lives down the hall so potentially he could live in Apartment 10.
From here we jump forward quite a bit in the film to when Joker learns about his mother’s time at Arkham Asylum. After stealing a psych file from a clerk played by Brian Tyree Henry, Joker runs away to read it on Stairwell Seven. This is another huge moment for the character and cements that everything he had believed in his life until now was a lie and that it was all his mother’s fault.
Later in the film, after Joker has just killed his co-worker and gets chased by policemen on his way to the Murray Franklin show, he boards the train on Platform 6.
Now, similar to ten I have been unable to fully confirm number five, however after doing some research, reddit user FuxxYoCouch said that the Joker himself may be the one displaying this number. When Joker exits the train he holds all his fingers and thumbs up on his hands and gleefully dances down the platform. This could be him displaying the number five and though this may be a reach it’s also the only time I can see the number appear in between the six appearances and the next entry.
This comes when Joker is sat backstage and Murray and his producer enter the room. Whilst Joker is talking to the character we can clearly see a giant number four in the background and the number of Joker’s dressing room is also 404.
From here Joker goes onto the Murray Franklin show where there are three guests and the character admits that he killed three people on the subway. The character is also filmed by camera three during his rant and we see this zoom in on him.
In the conversation, Murray mentions that two federal agents are in critical condition which is referring to the policemen that chased Joker earlier on the train and when killing the character, Joker shoots Murray a total of three times.
The final one, which pretty much comes at the birth of Joker can be see when Arthur is being taken away in the back of a police car. After he is rescued by an ambulance that crashes into the side of the car, we can see in the background that the movie theatre at the location is named Ace In The Hole.
Ace is of course usually associated with the number one in card games and another thing that comes with every pack of cards is a Joker. I believe that this is the final occurence of the pattern. From here Joker then stands on top of the police car as a symbol of Gotham’s destruction as well as the chaos that he has unleashed on the city.
Joker Numbers Hidden Meaning
We see the Wayne’s murdered and the birth of Batman begins roughly at the same time that the joker is created. Though Arthur is arrested and locked up in Arkham Asylum it’s clear to me at least that this countdown in the background of scenes was slowly ticking away until the destruction of Gotham and it’s biggest saviour and worst enemy.
This ace in the hole could either symbolise the end of the countdown or it could also showcase that Gotham’s ace in the hole to stop all this is Batman. The sign appears above a theatre which is of course what we see The Wayne’s exiting before they are killed right in front of Bruce. I guess it works either way and you can really interpret this as Joker being the ace in the hole that saves the citizens of Gotham from their rich rulers that no longer care about them or the birth of batman.
It’s awesome to me that this was seeded away in the film and though Todd Phillip’s has strongly denied putting any easter eggs or secret messages in the film, I think this is far more than a coincidence and definitely is purposely put there to count down to this massive moment.
We saw a similar aesthetic in How I Met Your Mother in which numbers counting down from 50 were placed into scenes and I think that this also was put in place for a similar reason.
Joker is a massively complex movie, with multiple layers and I definitely think that this adds a lot to it and makes the film going back to.
Obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on these numbers and if you noticed ten and five at any point in the film that I missed. Leave it in the comments section below!