"Harley's Holiday" is the sixth episode of the third season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on October 15, 1994.
At Arkham Asylum, Harley Quinn is jubilant to receive a clean bill of mental health from her doctor, and be granted parole. Batman and Robin, in the process of returning Scarecrow to Arkham yet again, offer their congratulations, but warn her to stay out of trouble. She declares that, starting the next day, she'll show the world just how sane she is.
The next day, she is ambling down the street on roller skates, looking for all the world like a car-hop on her day off – except she's taking her two rabid pet hyenas for a walk, and passersby are scrambling to get out of her way. Confused as to why people are acting so weird around her, and she thinks that her outfit is the problem instead of her hyenas. Noticing a clothing sale going on in a nearby department store, Harley decides to do some shopping, bringing her hyenas into the store with her.
Inside, Bruce Wayne is reluctantly trying on clothes, with the help of Veronica Vreeland. Harley catches sight of them and cheerfully remembers when they last met – during a hold-up by the Joker. Harley catches sight of Bruce's chin and notices a familiarity, until she identifies him as Bruce Wayne (and not Batman, to Bruce's relief), although her hyenas begin barking viciously at Bruce, obviously recognizing him as Batman. Picking out a new dress for herself, Harley buys it at the register, but rushes out before the clerk can remove the security tag. The clerk calls to the guard at the door, and he asks her to stop.
Harley panics, thinking she's being arrested again, and knocks over the security guard. She rushes into the dressing room, and comes out again in her clown costume. Running outside with her hyenas, she jumps behind the wheel of Bruce's car, with Veronica in the backseat, and roars away. As she does so, Harvey Bullock swerves his car to avoid her and crashes into a hydrant, then prepares to pursue Harley. Bruce is left standing outside the store.
Hearing his daughter has been kidnapped, General Vreeland angrily confronts Commissioner Gordon, who reassures him that Harley is just confused and scared, and doesn't intend to hurt Veronica. General Vreeland refuses to accept this, but when Commissioner Gordon protests that police action could set Harley over the edge and the best course is to let her come to her senses, Vreeland calms down. Gordon departs his office, happy that Vreeland has seen his point of view, but General Vreeland then uses Gordon's phone to call for support from the army base.
Batman deduces that Harley will go to someone who can hide her and then sneak her out of town. Sure enough, she has gone running back to Boxy Bennett, who hasn't forgotten their last meeting. However, Boxy's crush on Harley overrides his past anger, and he agrees to take the heat off her. Bennett is also eager to hold Veronica for ransom, but Harley says she is meant to go free, having been an "innocent bystander" being caught up in this mess. Boxy begins to argue, and just then Batman and Robin arrive and tackle Boxy's thugs. Harley grabs Veronica again, and jumps back into the car. Boxy narrowly escapes a mauling by Harley's hyenas, and takes off after her in a truck.
As they speed along the highway, Veronica asks if Harley was sincere about letting her go. Harley says yes, she's finished with crime, only she has to get out of town since no one will believe that she didn't mean to kidnap her. Touched, Veronica promises that, if she lives out the day, she'll drop all charges against Harley, and even put in a good word with the police. Harley is overjoyed, thinking her day is finally turning around – then a cannon blast narrowly misses the car, and the two women look to see General Vreeland riding a U.S. Army tank down the road at them.
Harley speeds away again, then halts in the middle of an intersection in the theater district, with Bullock, Boxy, and Vreeland bearing down on her from three directions.
There is a humongous crash, and the Batmobile arrives a second later. As the drivers get out to look at the wreckage, Harley calls from a rope above, drops Veronica into Robin's arms, then takes off. As Batman takes off after her, General Vreeland hugs his daughter. Bullock forgets about his earlier rant against Harley when he catches a bigger prize: Boxy Bennett, who is wanted by the GCPD.
Up on the roof, Batman urges Harley not to throw away her hard work and her freedom. Harley attacks, ranting about the string of troubles she's had. As Batman avoids her kicks, her wild moves take her to the edge of the building, and she ends up hanging for dear life on a collapsing billboard. As it gives way, she falls, but Batman saves her. He sets her down, all the fight (and, it seems, the contents of her stomach) gone out of her.
Batman and Robin return her to Arkham, but Dr. Leland assures her it won't be for long: Veronica, true to her word, dropped the kidnapping charges and it should only take a little more work before Harley's ready to interact with "normal" people again.
Harley asks Batman why he has been looking after her when she's been nothing but trouble to him. He says he can only sympathize with her honest desire to lead a normal life: "I had a bad day too, once". As a parting gift, he gives her the dress she bought. Ecstatic, she kisses him before returning to her cell.
- Boxy last appeared in, and refers to the events of, "Harlequinade".
Home video releases
- Harley's sense of déjà vu when she sees Bruce Wayne is not unique; Joker likewise thought he recognized Bruce in "Joker's Wild".
- This is the first episode in which Harley appears (in a non-cameo role) without the Joker.
- Harley thinks she recognizes Bruce's chin. In the book Batman Animated, the producers wrote that Bruce Wayne/Batman's look was heavily inspired by Dick Tracy, the famous square-jawed detective of '30s comics.
- While screaming and being returned to his cell, the Scarecrow screams all should feel anguish towards him as the "God of Fear". In the comics, "God of Fear" was actually a title that Scarecrow took when he sent all of Gotham in a panic shortly after Bane broke Batman's back (and Jean Paul Valley took the mantle of Batman).
- Harley's tirade and Batman's commiseration with her echoes dialogue from Alan Moore's celebrated Batman story The Killing Joke, in which the Joker says that all it takes to turn a sane man into a lunatic is "one really bad day" and then shrewdly asks Batman whether something like that happened to him as well.
- Harley's line "Call me Harley. Everyone does." is used in a tape recording of Harley's start at Arkham in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
- This is one of two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series that begins with Batman and Robin escorting the apprehended Scarecrow back to Arkham Asylum. The other one is "Lock-Up".
Scarecrow: I am the master of fear! The lord of despair! Cower before me and witness terror!
Harley: Hey, don't I know you?
Harley: Back off, rich boy, I'm armed! (whacks Bruce with the arm of a mannequin)
Robin: Sounds like Harley didn't waste any time getting into trouble.
Boxy: The last time I seen you, you not only ruined my club, but brought the freakin' Batman down on my head as well! Gimme one good reason I can not dust you right now!
Boxy: Any last words?
General Vreeland: You in the car! Release your hostage immediately!
(Harley turns about and speeds away from General Vreeland)
General Vreeland: Got you now...
General Vreeland: My little girl... I was so worried!
Robin: Leaving so soon, Boxy?
Harley: I'm having a BAD DAY! I'm sick of people trying to shoot me, run me over, and blow me up!
Harley: Talk about grasping at straws! Oh well, at least I'm going out on a joke.
Harley: (weakly) I think I made a mess on your cape.
Harley: There's one thing I gotta know. Why did you stay with me all day, risking your butt for somebody who's never given you anything but trouble?