- "My love for my Joker was stronger than their madhouse walls."
- ―Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn is a character first featured in the show Batman: The Animated Series. She first appears in the episode "Joker's Favor" and has frequently appeared ever since. She is The Joker's henchwoman, girlfriend, and previously his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum.
After graduating from college, Harleen Quinzel acquires a job as a psychologist at Arkham Asylum in the hopes of writing a "tell all book" about the super criminals incarcerated there. The Joker immediately piques her interest, and upon approaching him, he quips that her name can be rearranged into "Harley Quinn."
Harleen replies that she's heard this before and walks away. She later finds a rose on her desk with an attached note reading "Come down and see me sometime. -J" She returns to Joker's cell and questions how he managed to get the rose in her office. "If you were gonna tell someone, you already would have," Joker retorts. After this encounter, she works for months to set up a therapy session with him.
Once finally in the session, Joker recounts a fabricated story of his abusive father beating him as a child. He recalls he only saw his father happy one time and goads her into viewing Batman as the "bad guy" unto the point where Harleen despises Batman for constantly hurting Joker. The relationship between Harleen and The Joker becomes more personal over time — until Harley is the one on the couch, talking about her own problems to Joker. She confesses her love to him and he says it's perfectly understandable that she'd want a man who can make her laugh.
After an escape from Joker, he is returned by Batman, beaten and bloodied. An infuriated Harleen storms out of Arkham to rob a party favor store, stealing multiple gag items and a costume. She returns to Arkham, in costume, and uses the stolen gag items to incapacitate multiple security guards. Once at Joker's cell, she uses an explosive to open the cell. As the smoke clears, we see Harleen in costume, smiling down at The Joker. She proudly exclaims "Say hello to your new and improved Harley Quinn." Harley escapes with Joker, who maniacally laughs as they speed away from the Asylum in a car.
Harley Quinn starts in her first appearance on TV in Joker's Favor, as being both girlfriend and sidekick of the Joker. She had the part of tricking the cops and freezing them with stand-still gas. She gives Charles Collins a gas mask, but Collins is betrayed by the Joker, who left him for dead. She is quickly apprehended by Batman, where she thinks about beauty school. She comes back later in "The Laughing Fish," where she helps the Joker get a quick money scheme of selling his own type of 'happy' fish. She is noted that she hates fish and everything about them. She almost kills the first person who didn't help them make a production, while Joker killed the 2nd one. Harvey Bullock investigates on his own, but is captured by Harley, with the intent of dropping him in a vat filled with a sharks, but Joker stops her, saying that Batman would come any second. Batman comes, saves Bullock, and breaks the vat with the shark. Batman puts Joker into awkward stage, but he jumps over with a float-able, leaving the shark free in the ocean.
He was presumed dead with Bullock saying the real and awful truth, and Harley misses him because of that. She appears in the episode, Almost Got 'Im, where she helps the Joker electrocute Batman by using laughter as their source from the crowd. It was gong to work, but Catwoman intervenes and saves Batman. Yet, she wanted Joker to herself, but Harley knocks her out with the boxing glove gun. Harley ties her up and put her in the kitty food grinder. Harley teases her about having a kitty and how it died since the myth of always landing on their feet is false. Harley turns it on, and Batman is taunted by her, when Harley says, "What are you going to do? Kick me around or save your kitten. You only got time for one." The switch was right behind him, he shuts it off, and gives Harley to the police. The next episode, The Man Who Killed Batman, where she impersonates a lawyer using her real name, Harleen Quinzel. She makes a joke to Bullock, saying that she served him a subpoena once. She changes her appearance and her boss, the Joker, plans to rob a jewelry shop to get the Batman's attention to show he is alive. When she takes all of the jewels, the Joker wants them to be put away. She thinks he is joking, but he pushes her and she is frightened and puts them back. She, the Joker, and his henchmen tie up the Squid and she plays the funeral song. On Harley and Ivy, she is fired by the Joker for messing up his one shot to kill Batman, even though they got away by her quick reflex. She misses working for him after 5 seconds of saying she could make it on her own. She tries to steal the jewel: The Harlequin Diamond worth $3 million, to impress Joker. She gets it perfectly until Poison Ivy trips the alarm stealing a plant from the lab at the museum. Harley blames Ivy for tripping the alarm, but they soon become acquainted with each other, after Harley helped her escape. They rode away in style, and began their friendship. They're known as the Queens of Crime, and Joker grew angry after seeing how Harley wasn't there with him cleaning up the place, and how she proved him wrong. Joker comes at their hideout where Ivy tries to convince Harley that Joker is wrong for her, and she needs to become independent. Joker tries to take their money, but Joker and the henchmen are vulnerable to toxins of their hideout. Ivy and Harley escape, saying that no man can take them alive. Renee Montaya blew their tire and caught them.
She appears in Trial, as one of the jurors such as Riddler, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and the Mad Hatter, with Two-Face as the prosecutor, the Ventriloquist as the bailiff, and the Joker as the judge. She tries to capture Batman again, but is stopped by the police. In Harlequinade, she appears first to help Batman find out where the Joker is and what's he planning, but on the way, she reveals the kicks and the stuff she gets out of being Joker's girlfriend. She betrays Batman, after Batman leaves her in his car. Yet she finds out, he wouldn't been coming back for anybody even her or the hyenas. She betrays Joker, and stops the atomic bomb plan from happening. Her rage causes her to knock Joker, who is quickly found under the hands of Harley. Joker taunts her, saying that she doesn't have the guts to kill him, but she grabs the gun and pulls the trigger. Out comes a flag, showing "Rat, tat, tat," and he gives her a look, only to laugh happily seeing that she has the guts to be strong and even take out her love. In Harley's Holiday, she gets out of Arkham, proving to be sane after rehabilitation therapy. Everything goes well, until she attempts to buy a dress. She hands money to the cashier and walks away with the security tag on the dress still and the price tag unscanned. The Mall security attempts to stop Harley as she leaves with the dress thinking she legally bought it. This causes her to snap, get back in her costume and assault Bruce Wayne, then kidnap Veronica Vreeland while stealing Bruce's car to get away from the store. She flees to Boxy Bennett, who helps her until they betray each other, after which Veronica's father has managed to track Harley and Veronica down in a tank. She releases Veronica who doesn't press charges, because she bonded with Harley and apparently understands the misunderstanding of the dress. Harley then fights Batman, only to knock herself out. She is transferred back to Arkham, and kisses Batman twice. She appears in Lock-up as one of the patients abused by Lock-up, and when he is arrested, she taunts, saying he is one of us.
The New Batman Adventures
In Holiday Knights she appears with Ivy and controls Bruce Wayne to spend his money on a holiday-shopping spree. After he falls over an elevator shaft, he changes into Batman. Although he is knocked out by both villains, he regains conscience, and traps them under a Christmas tree. In "Joker's Millions she is left behind by the Joker after a heist. She is lightened after he is rich, but soon angered after he seeks new girlfriend. She escapes and impersonates a cop. When he is apprehended, she beats him with a club. In Over the Edge she sues Bruce Wayne in Scarecow's nightmare in Batgirl's mind. In "Girls' Night Out," Ivy and Quinn team up with Livewire to get quick cash, but soon versus both Batgirl and Supergirl. The hero duo found out the hideout, but the villains knew. Harley uses the knockout glove, but it backfires and knocks her out. Ivy and Livewire is soon apprehended. In "Mad Love," she goes back when she was an intern, and sees and soon fell in love with the Joker. So in love, she kidnaps Batman to show Joker that they could be happy forever. Batman soon convinces her to call Joker, but he pushes her out of the window in an angered manor, and she is critically injured. Batman and Joker fought, until he fell and remained unknown if he lived. Harley soon disgusted him, until a flower stating, "Get Well, - Mr. J.," calling him an angel. In Beware the Creeper she helps turn Jack Ryder, into the Creeper. Creeper falls in love with her, but she disgusted and annoyed by him. Joker and Ryder having a rivalry, until Creeper won. Yet, Batman doses Creeper with a calm syringe, and he gets sleepy with Harley as his pillow. She and the Joker appear in a cross-over in STAS, in World's Finest, where they first propose a deal to eliminate each other enemies, but is goes wrong when both heroes join together. Mercy Graves and Harley start to begin a rivalry, and both critically injured each other. At the end, Harley almost kills her, but Mercy gets the last laugh. In Static Shock episode, "Hard as Nails," both her and Ivy trick a meta-human girl to help them achieve gold bars from a ship in return for the antidote of the meta-human disease. She is tricked and left to drown, until Batman saves her. Harley is soon knocked out by Static, while Nails knocks out Ivy. Furious, Nails wants to hurt them, but Static convinces her to change her mind and get treatment. Ivy and Harley are arrested. Her appearance in "Wild Cards," as camera girl of the Justice League vs. Royal Flush Gang with Joker. Her helicopter falls down and Batman tries to convince to tell her where is the Joker. She refuses, but Batman tells her that she is out here fighting when another girl named Ace is inside, safe. Frustrated, she knocks out Batman. While Joker begins his mind-control plan, Quinn comes in all mad at Joker, but he convinces her that she always comes back. She agrees, Joker is upset when she lets Batman right to his headquarters, so he knocks her out.
In the sequel series movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker during a flashback Harley disguises herself to fool Robin into saving her from two Joker thugs. When he saves her she whacks him in the head with a mallet and her and Joker take him to the ruined Arkham Asylum. There the two twist his mind into becoming a mini joker. When Batman and Batgirl find out they attack Harley and Joker. To take down both villains they split up and Batgirl takes on Harley. The two fight into some ruins and Harley hides. While telling her she would be a good mother to mini joker Harley prepares to take Batgirl out with a rock when Robin shows up with her bazooka throwing it to her. Harley and Batgirl fight some more ending with them both being blown off the side of a cliff. While Batgirl grabs a ledge and Harley's hand to save her, Harley's costume rips sending her screaming to the bottom of the cavern. It is later seen at the end of the movie that Harley survived her fall, presumably gave up her life of crime once and for all and became the grandmother and custodial parent of Jokerz gang members Dee Dee.
- Joker's Favor
- The Laughing Fish
- Almost Got 'Im
- The Man Who Killed Batman
- Harley and Ivy
- Trial [cameo]
- Harley's Holiday
- Lock-Up [cameo]
- Holiday Knights
- Joker's Millions
- Girls' Night Out
- Mad Love
- Beware the Creeper
- In Harlequinade, Harley claims that she's not a natural blonde--it's never revealed what her natural hair color is.
- It's revealed in The Laughing Fish that Harley is disgusted, to the point of vomiting, by the taste of fish.
- Bud and Lou, her pet hyenas, first appeared in "The Man who Killed Batman". A possible reference to American comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.