TV SERIES Reviews – Batman: The Animated Series Harley Quinn Episodes

Batman: The Animated Series (1992 – 1995) the first animated series to feature Harley Quinn

Harley’s appearances in Batman: The Animated Series — reported as 9 episodes for voice actress Arleen Sorkin, but I’ve only confirmed the following 8 episodes as of this writing:

  1. S1E22 – Joker’s Favor
  2. S1E34 – The Laughing Fish
  3. S1E46 – Almost Got ‘Im
  4. S1E51 – The Man Who Killed Batman
  5. S1E56 – Harley and Ivy (Notable for first time harley meets ivy in series)
  6. S2E3 – Trial
  7. S2E7 – Harlequinade
  8. S2E16 – Harley’s Holiday

Season 1 – REVIEWS

S1:E22 – “Joker’s Favor”
Air date: September 11, 1992
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Boyd Kirkland

Harley Quinn’s debut in “Joker’s Favor” S1E22 of Batman: The Animated Series

Charles Collins has road rage against another driver. To his shock and dismay it turns out to be the Joker. For forgiveness Joker tells Charles he will need a “favor” at some point in the future.

“It is to laugh, huh Mr. J?” – Harley Quinn’s very first line in the series.

Harley starts out more like a member of his gang than Joker’s girlfriend. She even refers to him as “boss” at one point. This is a good episode. I kept wondering when Joker would call in his favor and what it would involve. It delivers.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

S1:E34 – The Laughing Fish
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Joker wants to copyright a fish with his likeness and the copyright office, Mr. Francis says no, causing Joker to go into a nasty fit of revenge. We learn that Harley doesn’t like fish. Commissioner Gordon gets Batman on the case to try and foil the Joker’s insane scheme.

“Get this man to the hospital. RIGHT NOW!” — Batman

An entertaining episode, but not much Harley. She is more or less a henchwoman. Although she does lament the Joker toward the end, calling him her “pudding.”

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

S1:E46 – Almost Got ‘Im
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Eric Radomski

The Gotham villains including Penguin, Harvey Dent AKA Two-Face and Joker are playing cards when Poison Ivy stops by and joins in swapping short stories of how they almost got Batman.

Harley introduces Joker and is his assistant in the laugh electric chair that Batman is strapped into. At the sound of laughter, it pumps electricity into the chair. Meanwhile, laughing gas is pumped into the studio audience. Catwoman joins just in time to save him.

Harley tangles a bit with Batman and Catwoman — nice! There is a good twist ending which I didn’t see coming.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

S1:E51 – The Man Who Killed Batman
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Sid is known as the man who killed Batman, but Sid says that’s not right. This is his story.

“You know what’s good about you, Pudding? You really put the fun in funeral.” – Harley to the Joker.

After watching this several times, I’m still not a fan of this episode. It’s got Harley in it, that’s about the draw. The whole story about the guy who supposedly killed Batman isn’t very interesting or entertaining. A rare episode I wouldn’t recommend watching in the series.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️½

S1:E56 – Harley and Ivy
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Joker fires Harley from the criminal gang after she hands him the wrong gun by mistake. She then turns to running a heist and is joined by Poison Ivy. The Gotham media notes them as “Queen Duo” which makes Joker jealous. He schemes to get her back.

Harley meets Poison Ivy for the first time in “Harley & Ivy” S1E56 of Batman: The Animated Series

This episode has the most Harley of any to date and features the first meeting between Poison Ivy and Harley who become good friends. It also shows the source inspiration for what the Harley Quinn adult animated series riffs off. This is my favorite episode so far featuring Harley. Highly recommended for Harley Quinn fans!

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Season 2 REVIEWS

S2:E3 – Trial
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Batman is put on trial with the rogues gallery deciding his fate and Joker as the judge. Some nice cameos of other villains as the “jury.” Harley is there, too, of course. Pretty good episode, but not much Harley.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

S2:E7 – Harlequinade
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Joker steals a bomb and Batman offers Harley a deal to get out of Arkham if she helps to catch him. Funny side twist seeing Harley team up with Batman, as he is constantly worried of Harley tricking him. Special appearance by Harley’s hyenas.

Harley has a singing number here, showing her musical and vocal talents.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

S2:E16 – Harley’s Holiday
Written by: Paul Dini
Directed by: Bruce W. Timm

Harley is released from Arkham, as they believe she’s finally healed and sane. She takes her hyenas out with her shopping. Batman gives shakes her hand and said he hopes she stays straight.

“All I’m looking for is a fair chance to start over.”

And then the store forgets to remove the security tag and Harley misunderstands that she has done something wrong when she paid for the dress. She quickly goes off, dresses back in her Harley clown gear and goes crazy all over again.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Batman: The Animated Series – The Harley Episodes Summary

Overall, this is a good place to start getting a feel for Harley Quinn’s character. It is much more family-friendly than her new series. The animation and storytelling is very strong. This gives adults and young adults a nice introduction to Harley. As for Batman fans? This is a must-see animated series. I’m going to watch all the other episodes. Great stuff!

The voice acting is fantastic, too. Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn is excellent. I can see why she played Harley for so many years. I prefer Lake Bell’s voice as Poison Ivy in the Harley Quinn Series. It’s less sultry and seductive than the voice here by Marcia Cross, but the voice here might be more true to the comic book character because the pictures of Ivy all seem to present her more of a sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe.

Poison Ivy in Harley Quinn (2020) series has a green, plantlike flesh tone.

Another interesting thing about Ivy is her skin is normal flesh tone here, while in the new series she’s plant colored. Interesting, subtle change. Her figure is drawn more provocatively in this 1992-1995 series.

Harley’s face has more feature and is more emotional in the new series, which accents her character’s actions better.

Of course there is the language. You won’t find any profanity here. This is children-friendly, while the new show is very adult from a language standpoint. Then again, teenagers are probably hearing a lot worse from their friends, so parents will want to decide if the new Harley Quinn show is age appropriate for them.

I’m curious how the upcoming Birds of Prey [FIRST LOOK] will deal with the profanity. In the first trailer, Harley says, “I’m Harley Fricking Quinn!” She would use the f-bomb in the 2020 series without reservation. Here, of course, she has that zeal, but articulates herself more like Dr. Harleen Quinn, the professional psychologist.

In closing, for those fortunate readers who have never seen Batman: The Animated Series, this is much watch animation. Highly rated from critics and deservedly so. The entire season is available for DC Universe subscribers. Dig in and treat yourself!

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