DC Animated Universe

"Sins of the Father" tells the story of how Tim Drake came to be Robin. Steven, Tim's father, was once a member of Two-Face's gang, and now he is suspected to have stolen something, although no one knows what. Two-Face's pursuit of Tim leads him on a direct collision course with Batman. Having always been an admirer of Gotham's own Dark Knight, Tim leaps at the chance to impress his idol.


In the middle of the night in Gotham City, a young boy is being hotly pursued by an elderly police officer who demands the lad return his donuts. With a keen mind and a display of acrobatics, the boy vaults himself onto a fire escape; however, the window to the apartment is firmly sealed, to the officer's glee. Yet, the little one has one more trick up his sleeve: a Batarang. He wields it with a marksmanship that displays it isn't the first time he's thrown one of them before and manages to get the cop all wrapped up in somebody's clothesline, allowing him to make his getaway.

Tim hurls donuts

Tim uses ingenuity and donuts to escape.

Somewhere across town, thugs Manny and Mo are banging on an apartment door demanding 'Drake' to come out and go talk to their boss. When no one answers, they pull out their guns and kick down the door. The place is an absolute mess, and to their surprise – and disbelief – there is a small collection of Batman stories and pictures affixed to the wall in a sort of collage. Just then, the window opens, and in creeps the same boy who was being chased by the police. One of the thugs grabs him by the scruff of his neck and inquires where his father is. The resourceful and feisty boy makes his escape using the donuts and some ingenuity with a banister and a floor mat. The guys open fire, unloading no fewer than ten rounds, but all without so much as nicking the boy. Just when it appears that he'll be home free yet again, he runs right into Two-Face.

They take the boy to the docks to interrogate him.

Two-Face interrogates Tim

Two-Face interrogates Tim.

After a few moments, it becomes clear that they won't get any direct answers, so Two-Face orders a search of his possessions. One of the thugs finds a letter to 'Timmy' saying that he has to leave town. Enclosed with the letter is a key. Recognizing it, Two-Face puts it in his jacket pocket and walks away. As he's departing, one of his men asks what they should do with Tim, to which – naturally – he flips his coin and orders them to kill him. Before that can happen, a pair of Batarangs whiz through the air knocking the guns from their hands. Enter Batman. A fight ensues! The quick-thinking Tim manages to free himself from his bondage, but not in time to help Batman, who gets bashed with a crane's massive hook, sent his way by Two-Face. He ends up crashing into a stack of barrels filled with ominous red liquid; it's at that moment the two men recover their guns and open fire, resulting in a fire first, and then a series of explosions. Batman, obviously hurting with one arm cradling his abdomen, uses his other arm to scoop up Tim and lunge into the water below, just before an even bigger explosion.

Tim helps Batman

Tim helps Batman get home safely.

Down below in the water, Tim assists the caped crusader, who seems to teeter on the edge of consciousness. Two-Face and his men hover above with flashlights in one hand and guns in the other, trying to put an end to the pair once and for all. Thankfully for their sake, Batman is conscious enough to remove a remote control from his utility belt and summon the Batboat. Tim wastes no time helping the wounded hero into the craft, but finds it impossible to understand the controls, resorting to desperately pushing everything he can get his hands on. Compounding his anxiety are the three men above shooting endlessly at the conspicuous boat below them. With the last bit of strength, he can muster, Batman voice-activates the autopilot, set to 'home'.

After a short, high-speed journey home, Alfred welcomes the two but is shocked to see a boy in the driver's seat. He immediately sees Bruce's injuries, and all the while Tim is having a look around the Batcave. Unable to concentrate on two things at once, Alfred loses track of the lad who has made his way up the stairs, through the clock, and into Bruce's study. The secret is out: Bruce Wayne is Batman! Just then, Batgirl appears from the shadows to take him back downstairs. Despite having just attempted to pilfer some cash and a watch, Tim insists he's trustworthy. Batman, however, doesn't seem to care one way or the other, and is merely interested in why Two-Face is after Drake. He divulges that his father used to work for him, but that he's now skipped town, provoking sympathy from Batgirl. With great adolescent spirit, Tim declares that he can take care of himself, and proves it by pulling out his Batarang and using it to slice off a few stalactites. They're impressed.

Batman thwarts thugs

Batman takes out Two-Face's crew.

They get back on track discussing the connection between Two-Face and his manhunt for Tim's father, and Tim can only show them the letter that was with the key. From being wrapped up together for quite some time, the paper has developed an imprint of the key, which Batman immediately recognizes – as Two-Face had – as being from Gotham Airport. It's there that Batman and Batgirl ambush Two-Face and his cronies, yet Two-Face manages a getaway with the satchel Drake had hidden in the airport locker. There's only one thing for Batman to do: give chase. In the end, the mobster gets away.

It's back to square one and time to turn to some basic detective work. "Shifty" Drake's file is brought up on the Batcave's computer and – unfortunately for Tim – his father matches a John Doe found floating in the Metropolis River. Unbeknownst to the two bats, Tim was behind them listening to every word. He guesses his father is dead and will never come back for him, and while Batgirl begins to offer him hope and comfort him, Batman coldly confirms that he is never going to return. At that moment, Alfred interrupts, saying there is something that should be seen on television. Indeed, it's Two-Face with his own brand of a public service announcement: if he doesn't get 22 million dollars by two in the morning, he's going to release a deadly gas in Gotham.

As Batman openly despairs that they have to find him before he wreaks havoc, Tim says that he thinks he may know where Two-Face is hiding out: the old Janus Theater. Batman and Batgirl hop in the Batmobile, with Batman refusing to let Tim in on the bust. After they leave, he vents his frustration and Alfred, seeing this, tells him that this is the way things are and always have been.

Two-Face armed and dangerous

Two-Face keeping Batman at bay.

At the Janus Theater, it's two minutes to two and Two-Face orders the masks brought in, obviously alluding to setting off the deadly gas. Just then, outside the room, somebody's cry of pain can be heard, and Two-Face instantly knows what it is and declares, "He's here". Just after one of his goons asks where the Dark Knight leaps out from behind some crates and decks him! The three remaining cronies try to shoot him but vault those same crates their way and they have to scramble out of there. As one is trying to get away, Batgirl swings into action (literally), laying one out.

While the fighting continues inside, Tim is just arriving outside the Janus Theater (via the roof of a passing bus), but he looks quite different: he's wearing the Robin costume! Inside, Two-Face's thugs keep the Dark Knights at bay long enough to set off the three-minute countdown to destruction. Just then, he picks up a Tommy gun and fires it in their direction, ensuring they can't even get close to disturbing his scheme. All hope seems to be lost . . .

Enter, "Robin". He does his best to stop Two-Face, but is simply not experienced enough to watch his back, and ends up in the clutches of "Puke-Face" after all. Tim wastes no time pulling out his Batarang and uses it to cut the ropes holding a large grate above them, in a similar fashion he had earlier cut the stalactites. Two-Face is too quick to be caught (his henchman is not as lucky), but he has nowhere to run but into the path of one angry Bat. Saving the day is left up to Batgirl, who – at the two-second count, and out of options – rips out the wires from the side of the contraption. Now all she wants is to go home. Tim enthusiastically chimes in agreement, but only gets a stern glare from Batman in return.

Bruce teaches Tim

Bruce teaches Tim the ropes.

Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce is ostensibly training Tim as they batter each other with pugil sticks. He also tells the youngster how it's going to be: Tim always gives him 110%, and Bruce makes the rules. At that moment, from out of the shadow's steps Dick, who tells Tim to watch out for the last rule and that no one can be a Boy Wonder forever. Everyone is ecstatic to see his return.


  • This episode tells the story of Batman and Tim Drake's first meeting despite being aired after an episode in which the pair team-up as Batman and Robin.
  • Dick Grayson's line, "It's a killer" would later be said by an older Tim Drake in the uncut version of the feature film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker just before he transforms into the Joker.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Rich Fogel has stated that while writing this episode he had a hard time acclimating to working on a superhero show that allowed more action than Super Friends, and was continually told to push it further.[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • When Tim enters his house through the window, the donut that he was eating was brown. However, after Mo grabs him and squeezes the donut to stain his face with glace, the donut turns white.
  • At the speed the hook was thrown, Batman would not have been sent as far back as shown.
  • When Batgirl says "From you, heaven forbid", two nose-like lines appear next to her usual drawn nose.
  • When Batgirl unfolds the paper, we can clearly see that there is only one imprint of the key; however, having been folded up within the paper, it should be imprinted in two places, not one.
  • When Batgirl is trying to turn off the countdown, the machine shows that at 10 seconds left, and then again at 5 seconds, and it is indeed five seconds in between them, but she would have pulled out the wires at 0 seconds, not 2 as indicated on the machine.
  • The Robin costume featured in the glass case is noted as being Dick Grayson's old "retired" costume. However, the costume that is featured in the case is the updated version that Tim Drake is noted as wearing throughout The New Batman Adventures. As shown in "Old Wounds", Dick Grayson quits being Robin while still wearing the classic green sleeves, green tights costume, rather than the updated red color that is shown in the case. Dick's actual Robin costume is seen featured in a similar glass case in "Over the Edge", albeit in a dream.


  • First appearance of Dick Grayson in The New Batman Adventures.
  • This and "Chemistry" are the only episodes of The New Batman Adventures to feature all four members of the Bat-team (not including Alfred) in the same place at the same time, though Nightwing appears out of costume on both occasions.
  • This version of Tim Drake is a composite character of himself and Jason Todd, the second Robin in the comics.
  • Two-Face's appearance actually has a double meaning for the new Robin's debut, as the story with him and Tim's father is similar to Jason Todd's origin story from the comics.
  • The Robin suit display is a clear reference to Jason Todd's memorial in mainstream comics.
  • This episode's title comes from the phrase "Sins of the Fathers", which derives from Biblical concepts of the sins (or iniquities) of one generation passing to another. It was also used for the Static Shock episode "Sons of the Fathers".


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman/Bruce Wayne
Mathew Valencia Robin/Tim Drake
Tara Charendoff Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Richard Moll Two-Face
Peter Jason Manny
Loren Lester Dick Grayson
Mo (uncredited)

Uncredited appearances[]


Two-Face: He stole something from me.
Tim: Your charming good looks?

Batgirl: (grinning) I don't think so, boys.

Batman: Are you looking for sympathy?
Batgirl: From you? Heaven forbid.

Two-Face: Attention, people of Gotham City. I've got a simple equation for you. One plus one equals Armageddon. When these liquids are mixed together, they create a nasty gas. Unless I receive twenty-two million dollars by 2 a.m., there'll be two kinds of citizens in Gotham: The dying and the dead.

Two-Face: (about to release the gas) You're too late, Batman. Better find yourself another mask.

Bruce: If you're going to work with me, Tim, you have to follow the rules. Rule Number One: first, you give me everything you've got. Rule Number Two: then, you give me more. And Rule Number Three: I make the rules.
Dick: (entering unexpected) Watch out for that last one, kid. It's a killer.
Bruce: (surprised) Dick?
(All are thrilled to see him)
Dick: Hey, no one can be a Boy Wonder forever.