For skeptics who have long claimed “the end is nigh” for movies and TV shows based on superhero comics, the Harley Quinn animated series has swooped in and proven that tired prediction wrong again.
The colorfully drawn adventures for the erratic villainess have become the zenith for one who first debuted as a side character in another classic animated show, Batman: The Animated Series.
Not only does Harley Quinn now anchor the DCEU films via Margot Robbie’s acclaimed performance, but she has also taken the animated world by force with this acclaimed new series.
Be warned: Harley Quinn isn’t for children. As adults, we’re able to see Harley’s effect on comic book culture and lore as she gets to cut loose and be herself in a show that matches her entropic themes and tone.
For those who first met Harley during her maiden voyage in the comic books, it represents the long-held dream of finally seeing her in the spotlight. We’re celebrating the series by looking at the best scenes and moments from the Harley Quinn animated TV show.
7. Harley Leaves The Joker
As part of an elaborate plan by Ivy to make Harley see that Joker thinks nothing of her, she enlists The Riddler for help in devising a plan.
With Joker forced to choose between saving Harley or Batman, he chooses to save Batman, proving to Harley what Ivy has told her all along about her relationship with “Mista J.”
Seeing her real worth in his eyes for the first time, Harley undergoes a costume change and ruthlessly destroys the Joker’s henchmen and lair to prove her point: they’re through.
6. Batman’s Return
Being Batman has advantages, even when you’re a supporting role in another character’s TV series. During the second season, an entire episode is dedicated to the return of Batman, who’s presumed dead after being in Joker’s tower when it collapsed.
However, the episode finds him alive (though severely injured) and attempting to go back out on the dark streets of Gotham to ensure justice remains in the city.
Using a new mech suit, Bruce returns to crime-fighting, only to become embroiled in a fight with Bane that leaves him broken again. However, he’s rescued by Alfred and Batgirl—who Batman learns to accept and uses to protect Gotham while he fully heals.
5. Kite Man and Ivy’s First Public Date
Kite Man, the annoying but weirdly lovable “villain,” falls hopelessly in love with Ivy after meeting her at The Penguin’s nephew’s birthday party. He spends the entire time hitting on Ivy, who shows zero interest.
However, something in Ivy sends her back to Kite Man despite deep embarrassment to be seen in public with him. On their first date, he books them into a fancy Gotham restaurant—only to be told to wait for a table as other villains cut in ahead of him, causing Ivy further embarrassment.
When Kite Man realizes Ivy’s trepidation, he has a very loud breakdown in the restaurant and leaves, with Ivy now known to all the patrons inside.
4. Darkseid and Harley
To prove that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to become a full supervillain, Harley enlists the help of Darkseid. He bestows a Parademon army upon her so that she can conquer the planet in his name.
The fun of Harley’s up-and-down personality becomes tipped too far towards evil in the episode—and it takes Ivy to make Harley realize that the death is too much, leaving Harley to relinquish control of the army.
Of course, Harley’s mania in the episode is primarily driven by her love for Ivy, who she’s yet to tell about her feelings.
3. The Justice League Returns
During the events of season one, The Justice League (sans Batman) get trapped in the Queen of Fables’ fairy tale book, thus rendering the world without its team of mighty heroes.
In season two, after Psycho takes control of an army of Parademons to destroy and conquer, Zatanna releases the League (after Batman finds the book they’re trapped in) and they all defeat the Parademons.
However, Psycho uses pheromones to entice the members of the League, leaving Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to begin having sex on the roof—adding a Harley Quinn-style spin on the characters.
2. Harley Fights The Joker
When Joker reveals his plan and destroys The Legion of Doom—making way for his unilateral control over Gotham—he kills Ivy and captures Harley’s crew, leaving Harley heartbroken.
She surrenders herself to him (with Batman also captured by the clown) and nobody is left to challenge the strength of the Joker. However, she engages him in a fight when they come face-to-face, and both leave their marks on the other.
Harley is eventually overpowered by Joker, but Ivy’s resurrection stops him from dropping Harley in a vat of acid that would render her normal.
1. Ivy & Harley’s First Kiss
When Harley sacrifices herself to save Ivy from Bane’s burning pit (in one of the series’ note-perfect The Dark Knight Rises parodies), Ivy jumps back into the prison to grab Harley in the knick of time.
As they collapse on the ground above the pit, the pair are happy to be alive—and kiss for the first time. The kiss comes after Harley has spent a while wrestling with her feelings for Ivy, while Ivy’s kiss back gives Harley a sign that her feelings are reciprocated.
Of course, the awkwardness of the moment afterwards leads to the next episode, and both of them babbling on, trying to convince themselves about how little it meant. Until they reach Themyscira, that is.