Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Perhaps the most well-known of them all:

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Robin laid an egg
Batmobile broke it’s wheel
and the Joker got away

(there are plenty of minor variations – one that my little sister used to sing was “the Joker took ballet.”)

As is so often the case, no one knows where the heck this came from, or when it started, though we can safely assume that it doesn’t pre-date Spring, 1940, when Robin first swung into action (Joker was introduced around the same time). Some say it’s been around since Christmas of 1940; the earliest versions I can find i print are from the 1960s (interestingly, the second line in most of the early printed versions is “Robin flew away.” Since then, it’s been all over, from The Simpsons to Hobie Hanson, You’re Weird, a 1988 book by Jamie Gilson (who always had a way with working this sort of thing into her books). It’s even in the title of a Junie B. Jones book.

How far back does it go? Anyone have a source on this from before the 1960s?

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15 Comments

  1. Paul Harrison

    The version I learned in the early 80s, which is no doubt specific to Australia, and to the time when Trans-Australian Airlines still existed was:

    "Jingle bells, batman smells, robin flew away. Wonder-woman lost her bosom flying TAA."

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Jingle Bells
    Batman Smells
    Robin laid an egg
    Batmobile lost its wheel
    and the Joker got away

    Batman's in the kitchen
    Robin's in the hall
    Joker's in the bathroom,
    peeing on the wall.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    We used to sing
    "Jingle Bells
    Batman smells
    Robin ran away
    Wonder Woman lost her bosoms
    Flying TAA
    HEY!"
    (TAA being an Australian domestic airline from the 40s-70s or thereabouts).

    Australia – 1970s.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Another variant:

    Jingle Bells
    Batman Smells
    Robing laid an egg
    He blows his nose
    In Cheerios
    And eats it anyway.

    1990 Bel Air, Maryland

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    on an episode of justice league they had been framed (by lex luthor) and were supposed to turn themselves in they all did except batman.when asked "where's batman" the flash replied "he had some car trouble the bat mobile lost it's wheels and joker got away…what I heard anyway" lol

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    I heard this same version in Australia in the 70's.

    Reply
  7. Karen Connelly

    Two versions I've heard and cracked up about

    Pokemon version:
    Jingle bells, Muk smells
    Chansey laid an egg
    Pidgeotto broke its wing
    And Hitmonchan took ballet

    SpongeBob version:
    Jingle bells, Mermaid Man smells
    Barnacle Boy laid an egg
    The Invisible Boatmobile lost a wheel
    And the Dirty Bubble got away

    Reply
  8. Gerald

    Joker sang this one in a Christmas themed episode of Batman:the Animated Series as he was escaping from Arkham.

    Reply
  9. Gerald

    I remember hearing a variation of that one as the second chorus… the first chorus ended with the familiar "Batmobile broke a wheel, and the Joker got away", but the second time around, it ended with "(name here) picks his nose in Cheerios and eats it every day"

    Reply
  10. socorro

    My ex-wife, the philistine, insisted it was:

    Jingle bells, Batman smells
    Robin laid an egg
    Batmobile lost a wheel
    and the Commissioner broke his leg

    She insisted that this was the true and correct version because it rhymed. I pointed out that the meter was all wrong, not to mention that the Commissioner was a secondary character whose health does not in any way reflect on Batman.

    Reply
  11. David Myers

    Around 1966, 1967, Kincheloe AFB Michigan, about the time of the Batman television show, we were singing in the elementary school playground:

    Jingle Bells, Batman smells
    Robin laid an egg
    The Batmobile lost a wheel
    The Commissioner lost a leg

    So a variant of the Commissioner version of the song.

    David.

    Reply
  12. Julie Barr

    There are several variants to this one sung in 1970's Huddersfield UK.

    Jingle bells Batman smells
    Robin flew away
    Superman lost his underpants on the M1 motorway!

    Jingle bells Batman smells
    Robin flew away
    The batmobile lost a wheel on the M1 motorway!

    Jingle bells Batman smells
    Robin laid an egg
    Batmobile lost a wheel
    And the joker got away!

    Reply
  13. Tate Ellison

    heard it in the early 80's

    Reply
  14. Parker

    The version grew up singing:

    Jingle bells, Batman smells
    Robin laid an egg
    The Batmobile got lost in time
    And the Joker took ballet!

    Minnesota, late 90s

    Reply
  15. Sarah barton

    Jingle bells batman smells
    Robin flew away
    Lost his pants in the middle of France
    Then found them in Bombay

    Reply

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