DC Animated Universe

"Harley and Ivy" is the forty-seventh episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and it aired on January 18, 1993. As the title suggests, it depicts the first acquaintance of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, who team up and embark on a crime spree.


It's another night in Gotham City, and once again the Joker is fleeing the Batmobile in his own car, with Harley Quinn in the driver's seat. When Joker orders her to turn, she protests, but he orders again, and she does so – causing the car to careen down a construction hill. Irritably, he snaps at her to hand him his gun, which she does after rummaging through his bag. He takes gleeful aim at the Batmobile's tires, but the gun turns out to be a "bang flag" joke item. Batman gets close enough to snag Joker's rear bumper with a tow cable. As he reverses, Harley presses a button and jettisons the boot, leaving the Batmobile behind as the clowns escape.

Joker fed up with Harley

Joker is fed up with Harley Quinn's attitude and incompetence.

Back at the hideout, Joker rants about Harley's screw-up with the gun. When Harley timidly mentions that she did get them away from Batman, Joker sarcastically asks if she thinks she's a better crook than him. She dares to say, "maybe", so Joker literally throws her out of the hideout in a rage.

Defiantly, Harley decides to pull the original heist she planned herself and heads off to the Gotham Museum of Natural History to steal the Harlequin Diamond. Harley evades the security system with ease, but then the alarms are tripped by Poison Ivy, carelessly stealing specimens from the museum's lab. Annoyed, Harley smashes the display glass and grabs her diamond. The two meet for the first time and exchange words as they are cornered by the police. Harley grabs one of Ivy's specimen bottles, attaches it to her gun, and shoots it as a projectile, creating a cloud of gas that disables the police and lets them get away. As they speed away in Ivy's car, Ivy says, "This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship".

Ivy takes Harley to her latest hideout, a house in an abandoned housing development built on a toxic waste dump. As they bond, Ivy is disgusted at Harley's passive acceptance of Joker's abusiveness and insists that Harley needs to buck up her self-esteem. Ivy also injects Harley with a chemical that simulates Ivy's own toxic immunity, which will allow Harley to survive the toxic environment.

Harley and Ivy together

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy start their deadly alliance.

For their first official caper, they invade the men's-only Peregrinators Club, tie them up with dropped vine creepers, and then loot the trophy room. Before long, the duo is committing a spree of crimes all over town, enough to draw Batman's attention. They also become best friends, though Ivy remains exasperated at Harley's undying affection for "that psychotic creep".

Elsewhere, Joker is missing Harley in his own fashion: Without her, the hideout has become a mess, no one has fed the hyenas, and Joker can't even find his laundry. When Joker demands why she hasn't come back yet, one of his henchmen nervously shows him the latest headline: "New Queens of Crime". Joker is enraged that Harley is not only thriving without him; she's stealing his thunder as Gotham's most feared crook.

However, Joker gets his chance when Harley secretly phones him from Ivy's hideout, saying she misses him. Joker plays it cool, simply saying he is glad she is fine but is clandestinely tracing the call, allowing him to track her down in person. At the same time, Batman analyzes a soil trace from one of their tire tracks and realizes where they are hiding out. Batman gets there first but is subdued by one of Ivy's creeper plants. The girls chain him to an old table and dump him into a chemical waste pit.

As the ladies re-enter the house, they find Joker and his goons eagerly scooping up their stolen gains. When Ivy protests, Joker gasses her with his boutonnière, but it doesn't work on her due to her toxic immunity. Ivy knocks Joker and his goons to the ground, then drags a confused Harley along with her to make their getaway.

As Joker's goons give chase, they are subdued by Batman, who had managed to escape the trap. Joker picks up a Tommy Gun and opens fire, despite Batman's warnings about the cocktail of flammable and explosive chemicals they're sitting on. Sure enough, a stray shot ignites a chemical drum, and soon the whole waste dump goes up in flames. The goons flee, while Batman knocks Joker out and then saves them both in the Batmobile.

Harley and Ivy are caught

Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy are caught by no man.

Speeding away in their car, Ivy vows, "No man can take us prisoner!" Then their car is disabled by a well-aimed shot from Renee Montoya. They are arrested and sent to Arkham Asylum along with Joker.

In Arkham, Joker rants and raves that this is the last time he allows women to join a gang he puts together. Harley is hopeful that she and her "puddin'" can still work things out, much to the chagrin of Ivy, who throws mud at her face.


Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Paul Dini has retold the story of pitching this episode as such, "I stuck my head in Alan Burnett's office one day and said I wanted to do Thelma & Louise with Harley and Ivy. He said, 'I like it!' I thought the two of them would make an interesting pair. You have Harley who is an 'enabler' who lets the Joker do awful things to the world as well as to her. And you have Ivy who takes no crap whatsoever, least of all from a man."[1]
  • The scene of the frat boys wasn't in the original script, but a later addition by director Boyd Kirkland. "The girls are tooling around town and they pull up at the intersection next to the car with the guys who are hooting and hollering at them and such. Harley pulls out her bazooka and blows up their car. My wife laughed her head off at that sequence. It's what every woman would love to do."[1]
  • According to Paul Dini, this was meant to be the first prime time episode. "Fox was going to run it. Then a Fox executive saw it and said 'What the hell is this? Batman's not in this episode. He's only in it at the end? The whole episode is two girls running around in their underwear. There's no boy appeal here.' I said, 'Well maybe not any boys you know.' They refused to run it in prime time. Their idea of a perfect [episode] is 'I Am the Night.' That meets their criteria. It's dark and grim, with more of an adult feel and Robin was in it."[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • Robert Costanzo voices Joker's thug, Rocco, but is credited for playing Harvey Bullock, who does not appear in this episode.
  • The name of the diamond that Harley steals is misspelled on its casing. It reads "HARLEOUIN" instead of the more likely "HARLEQUIN".
  • When Harley lands on the museum floor, she licks her finger and holds it up to test the wind. However, she is still wearing her glove, and so this wouldn't work.
  • When Harley drags Ivy out of the museum, Ivy and Harley's faces are missing in several frames.
  • While Ivy is talking to the men of the "Peregrinators Club", the wine glass on the table disappears for a moment.
  • In the commentary, it's pointed out that in one scene with the Bat-computer, Batman is typing on a surface that has no keyboard.
  • In the scene where Batman is fighting the Joker's thugs at Poison Ivy's hideout, the girls' car pulls out of the driveway. In the next frame, Harley & Ivy are gone, but their car is still there.


  • Boyd Kirkland has expressed surprise that Bs&P didn't kill this episode. "I don't know how we got away with the episode," the director said, "because the whole underlying subtext of this show is this abusive relationship between the Joker and Harley. She just keeps coming back for more."[1]
  • The friendship between Harley and Ivy proved to be such a popular addition to the animated continuity, it was also adapted into the comics continuity.
  • The scene where Ivy reveals her car is a tribute to a similar scene from Tim Burton's Batman (1989). In addition to that, Joker's long-barrel gun that Harley gives him during the car chase at the beginning of the episode seems pretty similar to the one Joker used in the same movie to take down the Batwing.
  • The frat boys in the car are modeled on Bruce Timm, Ted Blackman, and Eric Radomski.
  • The tune that Harley hums while laying the table is the theme of Mammy Two-Shoes from the classic Tom and Jerry cartoons.
  • Classic movie references include:
  • When the girls throw Batman into the toxic pool, he is shown to open his mouth underwater. Considering the circumstances, this is an extremely unwise thing to do and would mean panic and a loss of control quite uncharacteristic of Batman.
  • This is one of Arleen Sorkin's favorite episodes of Batman: The Animated Series.[2]
  • Harley's hatred of shots is a reference to her creator Paul Dini, who himself has a lifelong phobia of needles and injections.
  • Boyd Kirkland has mentioned this is one of his favorite episodes he worked on, citing "it's light-hearted fun, and it's great animation."[3]


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Robert Costanzo Rocco
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Mark Hamill The Joker
Ingrid Oliu Renee Montoya
Diane Pershing Poison Ivy
Neil Ross Chairman
Henshaw (uncredited)
Arleen Sorkin Harley Quinn

Uncredited appearances[]


Joker: Ah, the wind in my hair and the Batman at my heels! It's the kind of night that makes you glad to be alive! Right, Harley girl?
Harley: S-s-sure thing, Mr. J.!

Batman: Next time, clown.

Joker: No, we didn't get the diamond! The Dork Knight showed up before we even got to the museum! I had a great shot at him, too. Except...my dear little Harley Quinn handed me the wrong gun!

Harley: Ooh, Mr. J. will just plotz when I give him...! No. I'm keeping it for myself...maybe.

Harley: Hey, aren't you that plant lady? Poison Oaky?
Poison Ivy: Ivy! Poison Ivy!

Harley: I am not a doormat...am I?
Poison Ivy: If you had a middle name, it'd be "Welcome".

Poison Ivy: Get in the car!
Harley: What car? (Ivy tears a shrubbery off her car) Oh, that car.

Poison Ivy: This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Harley: Gee, Red, you got style.

Montoya: (After losing Harley & Ivy) Que mala suerte!! (Spanish for "What bad luck!!")

Poison Ivy: Excuse me, boys, didn't your mommies tell you that's not the nice way to get a lady's attention?
Frat Boy 1: Oh, and what are you gonna do? Spank us?
Harley Quinn: That's right, pigs! (raises a grenade launcher) And here's the paddle!

Poison Ivy: Admit it, darling. You didn't think two women were capable of bringing you down.
Batman: Man or woman, a sick mind is capable of anything.
Poison Ivy: A very enlightened statement, Batman. We'll carve it on your headstone.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)
  3. Boyd Kirkland Interview (Apr. 1, 1998)