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Poison Ivy

"Pretty Poison" is the ninth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 14, 1992, and introduces Poison Ivy


On a strip of bare land, Mayor Hill announces the beginning of construction for a new, modern prison, Stonegate Penitentiary, which will go a long way toward making Gotham safe for its citizens. Hill commends District Attorney Harvey Dent as the driving force behind the prison's construction. Harvey digs the first shovelful of dirt.

Before the first bulldozer starts excavating the land, a pair of hands belonging to an unseen person carefully uproot a tall wild rose growing in the ground, and pot it.

The story fades to five years later. An inmate of the completed Stonegate prison escapes with the help of a helicopter-flying accomplice. Both are stunned when a tow cable is wrapped around the chopper's tail, causing it to crash, and both of them are apprehended by Batman

At the same time, Harvey Dent is seated in a restaurant with his very beautiful girlfriend, Pamela Isley, waiting for the arrival of Bruce Wayne. Dent talks up his friend, saying "there's nothing we don't know about each other." Dent's description of Bruce coincidentally paralleled Batman's apprehending of the escaped inmate.

Batman delivers the escapees to the police, then calls Alfred to say he's running late for his dinner date. Alfred calmly reports that he's already warned Dent and Isley. Batman rushes home, hurriedly changes, and drives to meet his friend.

Later, as all three of them share a laugh over after-dinner coffee, Isley notices the time and says she has to run. Before leaving, she grabs Dent and plants a deep kiss on him. As she walks out, every man's eyes follow her, and Bruce asks, "does she have a sister?" Dent, a little flushed, announces that he's asked Isley to marry him. Surprised, Bruce reminds him that they only met a week ago. Dent assures Bruce that he's in love; he knows Isley's the one - then he passes out and goes face-first into the dessert. Bruce laughs initially, then realizes something is wrong.

Dent is rushed to the hospital in a coma. The doctors report that he has been poisoned, and they cannot stop the process without the antidote. The police grill the staff at the restaurant, but are unable to guess how Dent was poisoned.

Bruce lifts a sample of Dent's blood from the hospital and returns to the Batcave. An analysis reveals that the poison was extracted from a rare plant, the Wild Thorny Rose. Batman says they can use the same extract to create an antidote, but Alfred reports that the rose is extinct.

As Bruce watches over Dent in the hospital, Isley comes running to him. He offers some words of comfort, and she gives him a grateful kiss. Suddenly suspicious, he avoids the kiss and turns it into a hug. As he drives home, he asks Alfred to check Pam's background. Alfred reports that Pamela Isley holds a PhD in botany and is employed by a cosmetics company as a chemist working on perfumes. She also offers a weekly lecture series at the university on rare and extinct plant species. Both he and Bruce reach the obvious conclusion.

Batman goes to confront Isley at a greenhouse where she has a laboratory. When he enters, he is seized and held prisoner by a gigantic Venus Fly-trap, large enough to engulf him. Isley appears in a green costume and calling herself "Poison Ivy." She explains that Dent had to pay for his crime as a "murderer" - plowing up those wild plants to build his prison, which would have included the Thorny Rose, had she not saved it. While the flytrap's branches hold Batman's head steady, Poison Ivy applies a coating of the poison to her lips, then gives him a kiss. He spits immediately, but is already feeling its effects while Ivy mockingly holds up a bottle of the antidote she developed.

Batman cuts himself free of the plant and attacks, while Ivy shoots at him with a crossbow attached to her wrist. In the struggle, an overhead lamp is broken and falls to the floor, beginning a fire.

Ivy opens a trapdoor, dumping Batman down into a pit of spiked plants; he hangs onto the edge dizzy from the poison. Ivy aims her crossbow at him, but he reveals the rose in his other hand. She gasps and rages but has no choice. She surrenders the antidote and, as soon as she has hold of the plant, forgets about everything else. Batman breaks them both out of the greenhouse before the fire destroys the rest of the foliage.

Dent awakes in the hospital to see Commissioner Gordon and Bruce standing over him. Bruce confesses that he doesn't think Isley is the one for him...

In her cell in Stonegate, Ivy huddles the rose protectively, vowing that "they can bury us deep, but we always grow back..."



  • Story by Paul Dini & Michael Reaves
  • Teleplay by Tom Ruegger
  • Directed by Boyd Kirkland
  • Music by Shirley Walker
  • Animation Services by Sunrise


  • Ivy's plant monster makes an appearance in the SNES and Gameboy versions of The Adventures of Batman & Robin: The Video Game. On the SNES version it is the second boss, also set in Ivy's greenhouse laboratory, while on the Gameboy version it's the fifth boss.
  • When Bruce is at the Rose Café with Harvey and Pamela, he tells the end of a story by saying "You should have seen Harvey's face". This is possibly foreboding that Harvey's face will be scarred later on and Harvey will become Two-Face.

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