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Batgirl, eat your heart out. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Harley Quinn Moments."
For this list, we’re taking a look at Harley’s most memorable moments spread across comics, movies, television, and video games.
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#10: New Improved Harley Quinn “The New Batman Adventures” (1997-99)
After years of being a scene-stealing supporting player, Harley Quinn’s origin story was fleshed out in the one-shot, Eisner Award-winning comic, Mad Love, which was later adapted into an episode of the animated series. Throughout this twisted tale, we see levelheaded psychologist Harleen Quinzel evolve into the demented Harley Quinn as she falls for the Joker’s sob story. And since this is the Joker, we never learn if he’s telling the truth or lying through his grin. As over-the-top as Harley’s backstory is, the abusive relationship she develops with the Joker is surprisingly believable. Just like that, Harley goes from being comedic relief to a tragic figure who dedicates her life to the wrong man.
#9: Fake Harley “The New Batman Adventures” (1997-99)
In one of the funniest episodes of The New Batman Adventures, Harley finds herself behind bars as the Joker hits the jackpot. Since Joker apparently has enough cash to hire Johnnie Cochran, he could easily afford to buy Harley’s freedom too. Instead, he figures it would be cheaper just to hire a new Harley who sounds an awful lot like Janice from Friends. As you can imagine, Harley isn’t at all pleased and upon escaping from Arkham, she lets Mr. J have it in Looney Tunes fashion. Considering the hell Joker puts Harley through on a regular basis, it’s refreshing to see her beat him into a pile of puddin’ for a change.
#8: Taking Over Arkham “Batman: Arkham Asylum” (2009)
Reuniting several key players from Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Asylum felt familiar while also being fresh. Pretty much all of Batman’s primary enemies got a gritty makeover and Harley’s was easily a highlight, donning a skimpy nurse’s outfit that would become a favorite for cosplayers. Hearing Arleen Sorkin reprise her role as Harley is indeed an added bonus. Perhaps Harley’s best moment through this game series occurs early on as she takes warden Quincy Sharp hostage. Speaking to Batman through a security camera, she welcomes him to the madhouse and gives him the basics of Mr. J’s master plan. From that point on, Harley acts as a constant thorn in Batman’s funny bone.
#7: Teaming Up with Batman “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)
In what’s arguably the first Harley-centric episode of the animated series, Joker hatches a plan that could leave Gotham as a giant crater. Unable to find him, Batman is forced to turn to Harley for help. Being polar opposites, Batman and Harley’s dynamic makes leeway for numerous hilarious moments, including a near-car accident and an encounter with her pet hyenas. It’s like the superhero equivalent to 48 Hrs. There’s even time for a musical number that perfectly sums up Harley’s relationship with the Joker. Speaking of which, this episode actually sees Harley hold her own against the Clown Prince of Crime, although they ultimately kiss and make up.
#6: Locking Lips “Harley Quinn #25” (2016)
Harley might’ve started out as the Joker’s henchwoman/girlfriend, but she’d eventually branch out as a member of the Suicide Squad and with her own solo comic series. In this empowering issue, Harley breaks herself into Arkham in order to break Mason Macabre out. Before she can free her new beau, though, Harley must confront her old lover first. Here, in this especially violent confrontation, it briefly looks like Harley may submit to Joker yet again as they lock lips. Instead, she bites off part of his lip and even puts herself in Batman’s shoes for a second as she contemplates killing him. While she spares Joker’s life, Harley makes it clear that she’s no longer his.
#5: Harley’s Debut “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)
Harley has become such a beloved and significant part of the Batman lore that it’s hard to believe she’s been around for less than three decades. Creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm introduced the character in this episode and while she’s not the focus of the story, Harley still leaves quite the impression as she assists the Joker in his latest scheme. Immediately winning the audience over with her fun-loving sense of mischief, Harley was clearly destined to go down as a mainstay of the Batman universe. Although Harley would become a much more complex character in the years to come, she quickly asserted herself as the most lovable foe in Batman’s rogue gallery.
#4: Harley’s Holiday “Batman: The Animated Series” (1992-95)
Released from Arkham on good behavior, Harley wants to start fresh, but a mix-up causes her to fall back on old habits. What starts off as an innocent misunderstanding snowballs into complete chaos as Harley commits grand theft auto, kidnapping, vandalism, and various other crimes. Soon enough, Batman, the police, a vengeful mobster, and a friggin’ tank are hot on her trail. While the episode contains some of the animated series’ biggest laughs, it also makes us sympathize with Harley as she tries to get her life on track, but just digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. Even Batman empathizes with her, which earns him a smooch from the Joker’s girl.
#3: Shopping Spree “The New Batman Adventures” (1997-99)
Harley’s best known for raising hell with Joker, but she also frequently teams up with her best pal Poison Ivy. These two are an ideal Odd Couple with Ivy being the down-to-earth cynic and Harley being the naive wild card. Both share an equal lust for mayhem, however, and they secure their place on the naughty list one holiday night. Taking control of Bruce Wayne, they have a shopping spree on his dime. It’s nothing short of hysterical seeing Batman’s alter ego forced to comply as these two put on their own fashion show. Upon giving them the slip, though, Batman brings their girls' night to an end. At least Harley gets her Christmas tree.
#2: Lucy “Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two” (2014-15)
Harley’s relationship with the Joker can sometimes feel so real that it’s eerie. Their relationship was given another level of realism in this comic where Harley reveals to Black Canary that she became pregnant with the Joker’s daughter. Wanting to shield her child from her abusive father, Harley has the baby in secrecy and asks her sister to raise little Lucy. When Harley returns to the Joker, he acts as if she never left. We’ve seen many different sides to Harley over time, but her parental instincts caught us off guard, making her an even more fleshed-out person. While Lucy may never learn the truth, Harley remains part of her life as a crazy aunt.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- You’re Really Sick, You Know That, Boss? Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95)
- Harley Meets the Creeper, The New Batman Adventures (1997-99)
#1: Folks Who Just Don't Get the Joke “The New Batman Adventures” (1997-99)
Despite often living in the Joker’s shadow, Harley is more than capable of killing Batman on her own. Taking a page from her Puddin’, Harley manipulates Batman into trusting her and takes him hostage. Harley actually comes close to feeding Bats to some hungry fish. Knowing her greatest weakness, however, Batman convinces Harley to call the Joker, who isn’t at all thrilled that she almost stole the honor of offing his archenemy. While this moment finds Harley at her craftiest, it also demonstrates why she’s such a tragic character. Even after the Joker pushes her out a window, it doesn’t take much more than a get-well card for her to come crawling back to him.