DC Animated Universe

"Harlequinade" is the tenth and final episode of the second season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on May 23, 1994.


Batman makes a deal with Harley

Batman offers Harley a full pardon in return for helping them.

The Joker steals an enormous bomb from a mob auction, plotting to "make Gotham one big dent". Mayor Hill refuses Commissioner Gordon's request to evacuate the city, saying that they don't have enough proof that the bomb is still in Gotham to risk mass panic.

Not knowing who else to turn to, Batman and Gordon plan to offer Harley Quinn, who is currently incarcerated in Arkham Asylum, a full pardon in return for helping them.

Harley cheerfully (and suspiciously) accepts the offer. She first leads Batman to Joker's most recent hideout. Joker is not there, but Batman is appalled to find that Joker has the entire city under video surveillance. While he is looking at the screens, Harley changes into her usual, harlequin outfit—seemingly oblivious when Joker's hyenas attack Batman.

Batman holds them off with difficulty, and Harley calls her "babies" to her. Finding the hideout a dead end, Harley and Batman then crash a mob gambling party, run by Boxy Bennett, where Batman is captured. As Robin sneaks in to aid Batman, Harley sings a darkly humorous number, "Say that We're Sweethearts Again" to distract the gun-toting partygoers.

After they escape, Batman begins to lose his patience, and Harley laughs and mocks him for not having figured it out already: Joker is holding Mayor Hill prisoner at his mansion, using Hill to distract the cops.

After handcuffing Harley in the Batmobile, over her protests, Batman & Robin sneak onto the mansion's grounds, finding the bomb on the lawn and Joker frolicking in Hill's swimming pool. Hill asks for Joker to just make his ransom demand and the city will gladly pay it. Joker says he's not planning to ransom the city—instead, he's just going to activate the bomb and take care of the cops and Batman in one fell swoop. He and his goons already have an old-fashioned biplane set up on the grounds to escape the explosion.

Bomb's timer for 10 minutes

The Joker starts the bomb's timer.

Batman & Robin appear and fighting ensues. Harley, escaping her cuffs, appears and ties up both of them. She claims that Batman's attempts to hurt Joker blow off the deal entirely. Joker is somewhat surprised to see Harley there but cheerfully invites her to board the plane with him. He starts the bomb's timer for ten minutes.

Robin points out that the countdown wouldn't have left Joker enough time to swing by Arkham and save Harley. Joker laughs this off, but Harley also realizes that there isn't enough time to save their fellow inmates. Since the clock is ticking, Joker tries to override her objections, but she panics when Batman mentions their hyenas. "I'll buy you a goldfish!" Joker yells, exasperated, "let's go!" Harley resists, and he flies off without her.

Harley frees Batman & Robin just as Joker circles around, strafing the ground with the plane's machine gun and dropping bombs. Batman manages to evade them, and Robin successfully defuses the bomb. Now totally crazy, Joker sends his plane on a suicide dive toward the bomb, firing the machine gun at it, saying it's going off, one way or another. But Harley fires a pinpoint shot with a spring-loaded Joker's head, hitting Joker and knocking him into a daze. He loses control of the gun and shoots his own fuselage, and the plane crashes into the mayor's mansion.

Joker and Harley hug

The Joker and Harley Quinn embrace.

As Joker stumbles out of the wreckage, Harley levels the machine gun at him. Batman yells for her to stop, but they are too far away to prevent her. Joker scoffs, saying she doesn't have the guts to shoot him. She pulls the trigger, Joker flinches—and a flag that reads "RAT TAT TAT" pops out of the barrel. Batman & Robin sigh in relief. For a moment, Harley looks afraid of Joker's reaction, then he laughs and says, "Baby, you're the greatest!" They embrace each other and their supposed romance is rekindled.


  • Boxy Bennett appears later in the episode "Harley's Holiday", with a grudge against Harley.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Paul Dini noted 48 Hours as an inspiration for this episode. "It's a character study of the idiot and the hardass trying to work together."[1]
  • According to Bruce Timm, BS&P wouldn't allow for any visible drinking glasses during the scene at Boxy's speak-easy.[2]
  • According to Kevin Altieri, Paul Dini's original script had the Joker in a helicopter. It was changed out for the Red Baron inspired gag during the storyboard process.[3]
  • The title card for the episode was a computer rendering by Eric Radomski based on a design by Ronnie Del Carmen.[4]


  • Mark Hamill saying "nothing, bupkis, nada, zip" as the Joker would be the second time he'd use the words in a character's dialogue, having previously said it as The Trickster in The Flash 1990 series.
  • "Say That We're Sweethearts Again" was written by Earl Brent and first appeared in the 1944 film Meet the People.
  • The piano player appears to resemble Fred Astaire.
  • Harley Quinn claims in this episode that she's not a natural blonde with the joke, "And here you thought I was just another bubble-headed blonde bimbo! Well, the joke's on you: I'm not even a real blonde". However, according to Paul Dini, this was an old joke she reused and she really is a natural blonde.[5]
  • When Harley starts blanking on the names of their fellow inmates at Arkham, she calls them "Lizard Man" (Killer Croc), "Hat Guy" (Mad Hatter), and "Puppet-head" (Ventriloquist).
  • There are several cartoonish gags in the episode, including Joker's parachute opening after the plane has crashed. This gag previously appeared in "The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne".
  • When Joker and Harley embrace in the end, Joker says to Harley "baby, you're the greatest". That is a possibly spoof of the ending of The Honeymooners when Ralph and his wife embrace in the end after their relationship gets back to normal.
  • Mayor Hill's home closely resembles the house the Joker purchased in the episode Joker's Millions. Both houses are similar to the headquarters of the Justice Guild.
  • Harley's line "How do you like our ha-hacienda?" is similar to a line Joker says in the 2009 video game Batman: Arkham Asylum with "It's always nice to return to my sweet little ha-ha-hacienda."


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Bruce Wayne/Batman
Loren Lester Dick Grayson/Robin
Bob Hastings Commissioner James Gordon
Lloyd Bochner Mayor Hamilton Hill
Mark Hamill Joker
Dick Miller Boxy Bennett
Neil Ross Dealer
Arleen Sorkin Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn

Uncredited appearances[]


Dealer: Gentlemen, please, don't insult me with nickel-and-dime bids. The man who walks out with this bomb walks out with Gotham in his pocket, yours to pick clean or blow sky-high. Your call. What am I bid?
Joker: How about nothing? Zero, zip, zilch, nada? (throws one of his razor-sharp playing cards) My personal check for bupkis, drawn on the First National Bank of squat-doo.
(the thugs all cock their guns)
Joker: Sorry, boys. This lot is sold. (takes off his hat to reveal a cannonball bomb with a lit fuse)

Batman: (to Harley) The Joker's stolen a bomb. If I can't get to him in time, this city and everyone in it is going up in a mushroom cloud.

Harley: (After nearly wrecking the Batmobile) Oops.
Batman: Listen, and listen good. You don't touch anything, say anything, or DO ANYTHING UNLESS I TELL YOU! GOT IT?!
Harley: (scared) Yes, sir.

Harley: (singing) Life used to be so placid/
Won't you please put down that acid?/
And say that we're sweethearts again?

Harley: Did you see the way I handled those creeps? Pow! Bam! Batgirl, eat your heart out!
Robin: What was she before she went bonkers?
Batman: A clinical psychiatrist.
Robin: Figures.

Harley: But what about all our friends? Ivy and Two-Face, and Hat Guy, and Lizard Man, and Puppet-Head, and...
Joker: What about them?
Batman: Don't forget about your little pets.
Harley: The babies! We can't leave the babies!
Joker: I'll buy you a goldfish! Let's go!

Joker: That bomb's going off, even if I go with it!

Joker: Baby, you're the greatest!


  1. "Things to Come Second Season" by Robert T. Garcia - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  2. "The Dark Knight Returns... Again!!!" by Joe Funk - Hero Illustrated Special #1 (October 1993)
  3. Batman: The Animated Podcast episode 13. Showdown- Kevin Altieri, Eric Martin, Natalie Palamides
  4. Batman Animated
  5. @Paul_Dini Paul_Dini on Twitter