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?

9 comments:

  1. 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."

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

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. Another variant:

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

    1990 Bel Air, Maryland

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    Replies
    1. 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"

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  5. 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

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  6. 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

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

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PLEASE tell us where and when you heard your version (ie, "Chicago, early 1950s). And please be aware that the information may end up in a book sooner or later.