The Hatter as depicted by Sir John Tenniel, reciting his nonsensical poem, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat".

The Hatter
(called Hatta in Through the Looking-Glass) is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the story's sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter, though this term was never used by Carroll. The phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, with both first appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled "A Mad Tea-Party".



The Mad Hatter (a.k.a.: Jervis Tetch) is a supervillain and enemy of the Batman in DC comic books, making his first appearance in October 1948 (Batman #49). The Hatter has gone through many changes in physical appearance over the years, but his basic look remains the same—short with large teeth, almost invariably wearing a large hat. While the Mad Hatter has no inherent superpowers, he is portrayed as a brilliant neurotechnician with considerable knowledge in how to dominate and control the human mind, either through hypnosis or direct technological means. In addition to comic books, the Mad Hatter has appeared in the Batman television series, animated series and various video games.



In the 1951 Disney animated feature Alice in Wonderland, the Hatter appears as a short, hyperactive man with grey hair, a large nose and a comical voice. He was voiced by Ed Wynn in 1951, and by Corey Burton in his later appearances (Bonkers, House of Mouse). Alice stumbles upon the Hatter and the March Hare having an "un-birthday" party for themselves. She sits at the table and they both run toward her, telling her "it's very very rude to sit down without being invited", although they immediately forgive her after she compliments their singing. Alice asks what an "un-birthday" is and they explain that "there are 364 days of the year that aren't your birthday; those are un-birthdays." They throw Alice a small un-birthday party. They ask Alice where she came from but they never give Alice a chance to answer. The Hatter and the Hare offer Alice tea several times, but each time she is unable to even take a sip before being ushered to another seat at the table so that the members of the party may each have a "clean cup" to use. The Hatter asks her the infamous riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" but when she tries to answer, the Hatter denies asking her the riddle. The White Rabbit then bursts in exclaiming that he is late. The Hatter and the Hare (unwittingly) vandalize his watch by putting numerous food items into it (claiming the watch is two days slow). The Hatter and the March Hare then kick the rabbit out and Alice follows him, as the Hatter and the Hare begin singing the un-birthday song yet again. Later in the film, the Queen of Hearts calls the March Hare, the Hatter, and the Dormouse to Alice's trial. She asks them what they know of the disaster during the croquet game. Instead of answering, they throw the Queen an un-birthday party that cheers her up.

Throughout the course of the film, the Hatter pulls numerous items out of his hat, such as cake and smaller hats. He and the Hare also break the laws of physics more than once; they pour tea cups and plates out of tea kettles, and the Hatter is seen eating plates and other inedible items at the tea party, also the March Hare asks the Hatter for half a cup of tea, and the Hatter cuts his tea cup in half and pours him the tea. His personality is that of a child: he is angry one second but happy the next. He also takes an immediate liking to Alice after she tells him she's a fan of his singing.


The Hatter appears in Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland portrayed by Johnny Depp and given the name Tarrant Hightopp.In the film, the Hatter takes Alice toward the White Queen's castle and relates the terror of the Red Queen's reign while commenting that Alice is not the same as she once was. The Hatter subsequently helps Alice avoid capture by the Red Queen's guards by allowing himself to be seized instead. He is later saved from execution by the Cheshire Cat and calls for rebellion against the Red Queen. Near the end of the film, the Hatter unsuccessfully suggests to Alice that she could stay in Wonderland and consummate his feelings for her.


Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter.

Mia Wasikowska, who plays Alice in the film, said that the Hatter and Alice "both feel like outsiders and feel alone in their separate worlds, and have a special bond and friendship." Burton explained that Depp "tried to find a grounding to the character ... as opposed to just being mad. In a lot of versions it's a very one-note kind of character and you know [Depp's] goal was to try and bring out a human side to the strangeness of the character."The Hatter's orange hair is an allusion to the mercury poisoning suffered by milliners who used mercury to cure felt; Depp believes that the character "was poisoned ... and it was coming out through his hair, through his fingernails and eyes".Depp and Burton decided that the Hatter's clothes, skin, hair, personality and accent would change throughout the film to reflect his emotions.In an interview with Depp, the character was paralleled to "a mood ring, [as] his emotions are very close to the surface".The Hatter is "made up of different people and their extreme sides", with a gentle voice much like the character's creator Lewis Carroll reflecting the lighter personality and with a Scottish Glaswegian accent (which Depp modeled after Gregor Fisher's Rab C. Nesbitt character) reflecting a darker, more dangerous personality. Illusionary dancer David "Elsewhere" Bernal doubled for Depp during the "Futterwacken" sequence near the end of the film.


Frank Wildhorne composed the music to and co-wrote the music to Wonderland: Alice's New Musical Adventure. In this adaption the Hatter is portrayed as the villain of the story, and Alice's alter-ego. Unlike most other adaptations, which portray the character, traditionally, as a male, the character in the show is instead a mad woman who longs to be Queen.

SyFy's Alice

In the Syfy miniseries Alice, The Hatter, played by Andrew-Lee Potts, sells human emotions like drugs, with the Dormouse in his services. He helps Alice in her misadventure through Wonderland. All the time, she refuses to trust him at any length; she even refuses to tell him her plans, even though they are on the same side. After Hatter is tortured by Mad March (the March Hare re-imagined an assassin) and Dr.s Dee and Dum (Tweedledum and Tweedledee re-imagined as sadists who pry information from prisoners) after trying to rescue her, Alice realizes that he truly is worthy of her trust. The two grow very close after Hatter helps Alice with her fear of heights, and eventually fall in love. Alice even turns down Jack, the man she had been trying to find all through the first episode, to be with Hatter, and he eventually goes into the human world to be with her.

It is also to be noted that he has an exceptionally strong right handed punch. It is referred to as a sledgehammer, he misses a punch with it and breaks a stone column with it and seems capable of knocking people out with one punch when he uses his right. He also can do tricks with his hat like throwing it into the air and the hat achieving hang time before coming back down.

American McGee's Alice

Mad Hatter AMR

The Mad Hatter.

 In the videogame American McGee's Alice, The Mad Hatter is portrayed as psychotic, literally gone "mad" and obsessed with time and clockworks, and considers himself to be a genius. He invents mechanical devices, often evidently using the bodies of living organisms for the base of his inventions, as he plans to do to all of Wonderland's inhabitants. His victims include the March Hare, the Dormouse, and countless insane children. This interpretation of the Mad Hatter has green skin, wears a loosened straitjacket, and has a large gear protruding out of his back. He wields a cane, and his hat is covered in astrological symbols. He appears in "Alice: Madness Returns" in the same appearance, although this time, he requests Alice's help in retrieving his lost limbs from his former compatriots the March Hare and Dormouse.

In an interview, American McGee has stated that the Mad Hatter is the embodiment of Alice's emotional state, which explains why he is psychotic in the first game, yet more preserved in the sequel.

The Looking Glass Wars

A spin-off of the traditional Alice in Wonderland story, Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars features a character named Hatter Madigan. He has knives attached to his gloves that he uses for fighting and protection of Princess Alyss of Wonderland. He is based on and in many ways resembles the Hatter but with a twist, most notably that his well-known hat is able to flatten into three S-shaped boomerang blades. He acts as the bodyguard of the rightful Queen, Genevieve of Hearts (not to be confused with her sister, the evil usurper Queen Redd) and as guide/guardian to the protagonist, Alyss Heart.

Alice in the Country of Hearts

The Japanese manga Alice in the Country of Hearts has been translated into English, and has been recently sold in the United States. In this interpretation, the Hatter role is played by Blood Dupre, a crime boss and leader of a street gang called The Hatters, which controls one of the four territories of Wonderland.

Charisma Label

Sir John Tenniel's drawing of the Hatter, combined with a montage of other images from Alice in Wonderland, were used as a logo by Charisma Records from 1972 onwards.


The TV series Futurama has a robot named Mad Hatterbot who is based off the Hatter. Seen only in the HAL Institute (an asylum for criminally insane robots) the Mad Hatterbot only says one line: "Change places!", which all in the room comply with when spoken.

A minor character, he has been in the episodes "Insane in the Mainframe" and "Follow the Reader" as well as the film Futurama: Bender's Game.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland

Season 1

The character was featured in a Season One episode of Once Upon a Time, "Hat Trick." Portrayed by Sebastian Stan, the character is a dual role: a man named Jefferson in one world and an out of work Hatter in the other. In Storybrooke, he is aware of the Dark Curse used by the Evil Queen, and Emma's role in destroying it. In his debut episode he takes Emma and Mary Margaret hostage, forcing Emma to help him build another magical hat to replace his missing one so that he can escape to the enchanted forest where he and his daughter, Grace can be together. However, Jefferson is defeated when Emma fakes belief in the Dark Curse and cracks him over the head with a telescope after he lowers his guard. After a rather lengthy altercation that involves freeing Mary Margaret and the eventual defenestration of Jefferson, Mary Margaret and Emma discover that Jefferson has not been killed by his fall, but has vanished. His origin as the Mad Hatter is also revealed in the episode. Apparently, the Hatter once worked for the Evil Queen to help her enter Wonderland in exchange for giving Grace a life of ease. The Queen betrays him, revealing that her plan was to retrieve her father from the Queen of Hearts, escape with the magical hat, and due to the nature of the hat, trap the Hatter in Wonderland for the Queen of Hearts' forces to capture. The Hatter is then illustrated as spending many years in Wonderland, sewing hat after hat, attempting to create one that "works".

This is not the end of the Hatter in Once Upon a Time, however. Jefferson is shown, again in Storybrooke, assisting the Queen in her attempt to rid herself of Emma in "Land Without Magic". When Regina produces Jefferson's original hat and demands his help, Jefferson understandably refuses since he has been tricked by Regina on numerous occasions. However, when Regina suggests that she may be able to help Jefferson and Grace (or Paige as she is known in Storybrooke) return to the enchanted forest, an offer he can not refuse, he reluctantly agrees to help her figure out how to make the hat work. Ultimately, Regina is forced to sacrifice the only bit of magic that she has in this world, a ring that is embued with the magic of her true love for fiance, Daniel. The ring does indeed cause the hat to work, allowing Regina to retrieve the poison apple that caused Snow White's near death experience, and eventually leads to the enchantment of Henry and the breaking of the curse when Emma kisses the forehead of her son, whom she believes to be dead.

Season 2

He appears again in three episodes of the second season where he reunites with Grace after the curse is broken and it is also revealed that he used to work for Rumpelstiltskin in the Enchanted Forest.

Mad T Party

The Mad Hatter appears on stage at Disneyland's California Adventure park as the lead singer of the Mad T Party Band alongside Alice, Dormouse, March Hare, Cheshire cat, and the Caterpillar.

Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland

The popular Japanese anime series, Code Geass, has had a spin-off OVA (Original Video Animation) titled Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland in which the series' protagonist, Lelouch vi Britannia, tells the story of Alice in Wonderland to his younger sister, Nunnally who acts as Alice and all the other characters of the Code Geass anime begin acting as the various Alice in Wonderland characters. Near the end of the story, the characters realize Lelouch was responsible for their acting out the story and they get revenge by turning him into the Mad Hatter.

Main Characters Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice - White Rabbit - Mouse - Dodo - Duck - The Lory - Eaglet - Pat - Bill - Puppy - The Caterpillar - Duchess - Cheshire Cat - March Hare - The Hatter - Dormouse - Queen of Hearts - King of Queens - Knave of Hearts - Gryphon - Mock Turtle
Through the Looking-Glass Alice - Red Queen - White Queen - Red King - White King - White Knight - Tweedledum and Tweedledee - The Sheep - Humpty Dumpty - Haigha - Hatta - The Lion and the Unicorn - Bandersnatch - Jubjub bird
Minor Characters Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice's sister - Dinah - The Duchess' Cook - Executioner - Fish Footman - Frog Frootman - Pig Baby - The Playing Cards
Through the Looking-Glass Snowdrop - Kitty - Red Knight - Live Flowers - Aged Man - Rocking Horse Fly - Bread and Butterfly - Snap-Dragonfly - The White Horse