"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 "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.
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 over 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.
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 are 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.
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.
- Ivy injects Harley with a toxin antidote to allow her to stay on the toxic waste dump. Later this is found to have also increased Harley's strength and stamina. Because of this, she survived greater falls suffered in The New Batman Adventures episode "Mad Love" and in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
- Though Ivy is put out with Harley at the end of this episode, their friendship endures, as shown in subsequent episodes, like in The New Batman Adventures episodes "Holiday Knights" and "Girl's Night Out", further in Gotham Girls and even in the Static Shock episode "Hard as Nails".
- Ivy's natural immunity to poisons, first referenced in "Almost Got 'Im", is shown to include Joker's gas.
Home video releases
- Batman: The Animated Series, Volume Two (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- DC Comics Super-Villains: The Joker's Last Laugh (DVD)
- Batman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Batman and Harley Quinn (Bluray only)
- 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 and Ivy are gone, but their car is still there.
- 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).
- 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:
- the plate of Ivy's car, "Rose Bud", a reference to Citizen Kane. Interestingly enough, that film was one of the inspirations that Alan Burnett had to write the story of the feature film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
- Ivy's tribute to the closing line of Casablanca.
- The woman jerking her dog's leash to avoid the Joker's car, a reference to a scene in National Lampoon's Vacation.
- 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.
- According to Arleen Sorkin, Harley Quinn's voice actress, this is her favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
|Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.||Alfred|
|Mark Hamill||The Joker|
|Ingrid Oliu||Renee Montoya|
|Diane Pershing||Poison Ivy|
|Neil Ross|| Chairman|
|Arleen Sorkin||Harley Quinn|
Joker: (to Poison Ivy) Since you like flowers so much...
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?
Harley: I am not a doormat... am I?
Poison Ivy: Get in the car!
Poison Ivy: This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Harley: Gee, Red, you got style.
Montoya: (After losing Harley and 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?
Poison Ivy: Admit it, darling. You didn't think two women were capable of bringing you down.