In "Christmas With The Joker", we have the Joker's escape from Arkham on a Christmas tree rocket while singing Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, actually making his escape on the line "And the Joker got away." This was the Joker's first scene in the series. Incoming Hamill!
The series also had numerous moments of awesome from a technical perspective; episodes done by Spectrum and TMS had some of the most ambitious made-for-tv animation ever made. The DVD commentary for "Heart of Ice" mentioned that the episode was given such anal retentive attention to detail (I.e. Meticulously airbrushing the frost on Mr. Freeze's helmet and making sure it stayed consistent) that it nearly drove Spectrum into bankruptcy. "On Leather Wings" (also by Spectrum) has an entire flight scene animated in moving perspective. "Feat of Clay, Part 2" by TMS has downright stunning animation of Clayface, especially his climatic nervous breakdown.
In "Appointment In Crime Alley", Batman is on his way to save Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who, on the night of his parents' murder, gave him complete emotional support and acted like a surrogate mother to the Caped Crusader. At the intersection of the street near the building in which said psychiatrist is being held hostage, a trolley just so happens to be going out of control, its driver knocked out, and the emergency breaks dangling by a wire, rendered completely useless. So, what does the Dark Knight do in this dire situation? He puts the emergency thrusters into full blast, ramming the Batmobile in front of the trolley, slamming down on the gas with all his might, causing one of its tires to be worn completely off of its axle, until the trolley comes to a complete stop.
"Croc" suddenly speaking in Batman's voice, his face turning into Batman's silhouette out of the light, and finally every other person in the club being revealed as police as they turn their guns on the villains.
In "Two-Face, Pt. 1," Harvey is being blackmailed by Rupert Thorne, who's enjoying every second of watching the DA who's gunning for him squirm. A close-up of his face shows Harvey near a psychotic break, then... he calmly gets up, entering this exchange.
The Joker's eulogy to BatmanTopped immediately after by Harley Quinn playing Amazing Freaking Graceon the kazoo. Apparently, it had to be done all in one take because everyone was cracking up way too hard to try it again. The Joker then concludes the eulogy with a cheerful "Well, that was fun! Who's for Chinese?" If you look closely, while the Joker is sending off the coffin, he is crying. While mourning his foe and killing his foe's vanquisher at the same time. Ultimate Joker moment right there.
The He's Back moment, complete with Rupert Thorn's horrified "You!", awesome organ remix of the show theme, and Batarang straight into a gun barrel.
That's what he gets. You think he'd appreciate Jack's retrospective of him.
In the episode "Jokers Wild", the titular Joker-themed casino is opened, attracting the ire of the Clown Prince Of Crime himself, and Batman investigating incognito as Bruce Wayne. As the Joker commandeers a Blackjack table, Bruce decides to go and play a round, while at the same time taking several verbal jabs at the decor AND the Joker, while the Joker remains completely unaware that his own worst enemy is having a laugh at his expense. The kicker of the whole scene? He manages to out cheat the Joker.
Bruce Wayne: Too bad it has to be in such gruesome surroundings. (Joker fumbles with the pack, then recovers.) Joker: Don't care for the decor? Bruce: Not hardly. All those horrible faces grinning at me. That would do things to my mind after awhile. Joker:(grumbling) Who says you have one? Bruce:(looking at his cards) Yep, I'd be ready for the laughing academy if I had to stare at that ugly clown all day. Joker:(infuriated) Why, I oughtta... Bruce:(seemingly oblivious) Hit me.
"Joker's Favor." Everyman Charlie Collins is having a bad day, so he curses out a guy who cut him off in traffic. Unfortunately, that guy is the Joker. The Joker follows Charlie home, threatening the poor guy and his family, with Charlie pleading for mercy the entire time. The Joker agrees to leave him alone, in exchange for a favor to be cashed in at any time of his choosing. Cut to a few years later. Charlie's lived with the specter of the Joker over his head- and in spite of changing his name and relocating his family, the clown still finds him and calls in his favor, holding his family as collateral. Said favor turns out to be a suicide bombing in a police convention (he didn't even need to be there, Joker just felt like blowing him up, too). Here's where the awesome kicks in: Charlie first manages to construct a makeshift Bat-Signal out of items in a broom closet. Then, after the Bat arrives and chases the Joker out into the open, Charlie confronts him in the alley, holding the bomb intended for the police:
"This is how it ends, Joker. No big schemes. No grand fight to the finish with the Dark Knight. Tomorrow, all the papers will say that the great Joker was found, blown to bits in an alley, alongside a miserable little nobody. Kind of funny. Ironic, really. See, I can destroy a man's dreams, too. And that's really the only dream you've got, isn't it?"
The bomb had since been disarmed, but unassuming Charlie Collins managed, in two minutes, to repay the Joker in kind for years of psychological torture. Score one for the little guy.
And on top of that, Charlie managed to scare the Joker so badly with his bomb threat that the clown prince of crime himself was screaming for Batman, terrified of being offed by a nobody. And that was when Charlie punched him hard enough to knock him over.
This trick actually makes Batman laugh. It's just one more way Charlie managed to one-up the Joker; the Joker has never gotten a laugh out of Batman.
There's a secondary, smaller Moment of Awesome involved with this one: When Joker chases the guy, he goes completely under the speed limit and uses his turn signals all with a big Joker grin on his face.
In "Old Wounds" Dick finally gets sick of Bruce's obsessive and borderline abusive Jerkass behavior and quits being Robin. When Batman tries to stop him Dick flattens him with one punch.
That's more of a Tear Jerker to some. It wasn't Dick besting Bruce - it was Bruce being too decent a guy to open a can in response. It seemed especially odd against the backdrop of the animated series, which, unlike the comics, always portrayed Bats as compassionate and driven (though occasionally brusque) rather than cold and obsessed.
Go back and watch the entire series again - you can actually watch their relationship slowly fall apart as Bruce grows more and more obsessed. While it is awesome to see Dick stand up for his beliefs and begin to flesh out his own morals and sense of justice, it's still sad to see such a father/son relationship fall apart, especially since Batman Beyond reveals that they never truly reconciled. While old Bruce will occasionally reminisce about past adventures and exploits with Barbara and Tim, he never talks about Dick, and his reaction to seeing Terry in Dick's old formal wear is heartbreaking.
It's awesome because it's Dick finally standing up for himself and his own ideals rather than putting up with Bruce's crap like he used to. Even in the comics where their relationship isn't so broken, the first time Dick said "No" to him and stuck by it was his Moment Of Awesome.
The first part of "The Demon's Quest" features Ra's al Ghul and his Giant Mook Ubu, who's so loyal and devoted to his master that he keeps pushing Batman around for daring to walk ahead of Ra's. Batman spends the episode slowly counting the pushes he gets from Ubu: "I'll call that...strike one." "Okay, that's two." Finally, at the end of the episode (the first part, that is), Ubu throws a punch at Batman for trying to leave without his master's say so. He catches the fist with one hand and says, "And that's three!" Batman then squeezes Ubu's fist so hard he cries out and throws him over his shoulder, leaving Ubu a shivering mess on the ground. Moment Of Awesome, indeed.
This is directly adapted from the original O'Neill/Adams comic, and it was just as awesome there.
The part where Batman, shirtless except for his cape and cowl, and Ra's al Ghul, also shirtless, start SWORDFIGHTING in classic Errol Flynn style over a bomb set to halve the world's population - honestly, that two-part episode was one extended MOA.
Ra's gets one when he reveals his plan.
Batman: But that will cost countless lives. Ra's: Actually, detective, we have counted: 2 billion, 56 million, 9 hundred and 86 thousand. A most impressive plan, would you not agree?
"The Underdwellers" features a one-shot villain who runs a thieves guild consisting of young homeless runaways. Batman is horrified when he sees how the leader treats his "charges", but after chasing him into a subway tunnel, Batman still pulls him out of the way of an oncoming train, and when asked why, Batman tells him:
There is also the street child who thinks he has eluded the "Grup" Batman, only to learn the hard way how good he is at following him with a relentless skill when he appears out of nowhere.
Then there's this whole part with Batman ALLIGATOR WRESTLING!!
The villain gets one of his own. After fighting Batman, he fell into the gator-infested waters.
Batman: Give me your hand! Sewer King:NEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRR!! (Fell into the water. The gators quickly dive in, apparently eating him alive.) Batman: A gruesome fate for a gruesome man. Sewer King:(alive and well) Actually, I rather enjoyed it.
Henry the security guard from the beginning of "The Terrible Trio" gets not one but two. After the Trio beat him up and loot the safe he's guarding, their ringleader the Fox mockingly congratulates him on his attempt to stop them and gives him a stack of the money they just took as "compensation". Henry angrily throws the money back into the arrogant little douchebag's face. His second, smaller MOA comes when Batman and Robin arrive and the Trio flee; he urges them to forget about him and go get the thieves. Not too shabby for an extra.
While it can't be assigned to any specific character, you really feel like cheering at the Gilligan Cut from Warren bragging that his family's lawyers will get him out of this, to his being thrown into a dingy, roach-infested prison cell, with a very scary cellmate.
Dr. Harleen Quinzel gets one. Her response when she is the Joker's psychiatrist and he notes that her name could be shortened to Harley Quinn? Never Heard That One Before. To. The. Joker.
She arguably gets two more as well. The first comes in the episode "Harlequinade" after The Joker abandons her and tries to blow up a bomb with a plane. She shoots a Jester head and not only nails Joker but knocks him out, all after a "Laugh this off, puddin!". The second comes in using Joker's original plan in "Mad Love" in such a way that Batman goads Joker about it, saying she came closer to killing him than Joker ever did.
Harley gets another one at the very end of "Harlequinade." After the Joker's plane crashes, she holds him at gunpoint; when Batman rushes up to stop her, she warns him not to come any closer, and Batman backs down. The Joker is momentarily stunned, but quickly starts taunting Harley: "You wouldn't dare. You don't have the guts!" Harley starts to cry, her finger shaking on the trigger—but she pulls it...only to reveal that the gun is one of the Joker's fake weapons (three cards that say "Rat-Tat-Tat" pop out instead of bullets). The Jokey glares at Harley, only to suddenly smile and cry, "Baby, you're the greatest!", prompting the two to tightly embrace. A YouTube commenter has pointed out the Fridge Awesomeness: Harley, as obsessed with the Joker as she is, managed to stand up to him and quite genuinely tried to kill him, which in turn wins the Clown Prince of Crime's respect and admiration. That's saying something.
The episode "Read My Lips" was weird, but Bats still manages to score a Moment of Awesome. The main villain is the Ventriloquist, a little guy with a mousy demeanor who happens to have multiple personality disorder. His alternate personality is a cruel, angry and unstable mob boss ("Scarface") which he uses a puppet to express. Near the end of the episode, Bats has been bonked over the head one too many times and awakens tied up over a bizarre death trap. So how does he distract them long enough to escape? He convinces the "Scarface" personality that there's a traitor in the group, then throws his own voice to make it sound like the puppeteer is insulting him, causing an argument between the man's two personalities. Whoa.
And then that mousey little guy gets one of his own in season four, when he shoots his own puppet, banishing his second personality forever.
In Never Fear, Bats breathes in an anti-fear gas and throws himself into a pond full of crocodiles. Guess who comes out alive. And he's not even in costume at the time!
Also, that might have been a Moment of Awesome for Batman, but the entire episode is a Moment of Awesome for Tim Drake. The no-fear gas makes Batman lose all fear... including the primal fear for self-preservation, so it makes Batman suicidally reckless. Tim manages to TIE UP BATMAN for his own good and take on Scarecrow by himself. Awesome!
Even better when Batman tell him that he's got everything under control and praises Tim for what he's done stopping him and he'll listen to what he says if he unties him. Tim's response?
Robin: You almost fooled me. (Turns and walks away)
Ivy: Didn't mommy ever tell you that's not a nice way to get a lady's attention?
Man: What're you going to do? Spank us?
Harley: That's right, pigs! (pulls out bazooka) And here's the paddle!
"Blind As A Bat." Batman subdues the Penguin and his goons after a scuffle in a factory, the day after an accident at an air show caused him to temporarily lose his eyesight note and moments after his specially-constructed visor goes dead. That's right; not even blindness stops Batman.
"The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy": Batman is forced to give up his cape and cowl to live after the episode's villain puts him into what appears to be an inescapable death trap. How does he protect his identity? HE HAS ON ANOTHER MASK.
Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman, managed a Moment of Awesome in real life as well. After the 9/11 attacks, Conroy was volunteering at a soup kitchen, feeding rescue workers, victims, and such. (Which is pretty awesome in and of itself.) Eventually, someone recognized his voice, and word quickly spread. Then Conroy stood up in a chair and recited "I am Vengeance! I am the Night! I AM BATMAN!!" He got a standing ovation.
In the SubZero movie: Dick Grayson jumping his motorcycle, using a stack of wrecked police cars as a ramp. (On the last few frames before the jump, you can see him smiling.)
In the episode "The Forgotten" Bruce is struck with amnesia and imprisoned as slave labour at a gold mine. When locked in a hot box, the optimistic "inmate" next to him breaks down and cries when he finally realizes he'll never see his family again. This causes Bruce to remember his family he'll never see again, and as such his identity. Now speaking with his gruffer, determined Batman voice, he tells the guy they'll get out, proceeds to kick the metal box apart, scales a cliff to escape the guards, then comes back to open a bat-can of whoop-ass.
Meanwhile, Alfred has tracked him down by first finding the tracking device on the car Bruce was driving, transferring it to the villains' truck (including hiding underneath it as they get in and drive off), and finally flying the freaking Batplane to the mine.
Alfred gets a sneaky one in "The Lion and the Unicorn". Alfred knows half of a plot-important password, and has been captured by Red Claw because of it. She shoots him up with truth serum; knowing it's only a matter of time, he states, "You'll get nothing but gibberish out of me!" and immediately begins spouting nursery-rhyme nonsense without pause. So when he falls under the effects of the serum and starts answering "The Lion and the Unicorn are Fighting for the Crown" to her question, she doesn't realize for several critical minutes that he is, in fact, telling her the password.
Alfred himself throughout the series is a stealth Moment of Awesome or a Funny Moment.
"Riddler's Reform" grants the Riddler an interesting one. It isn't a Not-So-Harmless Villain moment, as we've already seen Nygma come close to taking Bats out in his two previous episodes. Rather, it's a tiny glimpse of what The Riddler could accomplish if he was ever able to put the gimmicks aside and really concentrate on a goal. When he wants to finally kill Batman, what does he do? Lures him into a huge building, seals the doors and windows, and starts counting down from ten. No mercy, no hidden exits (that he knew about, anyway), no last chances, just a locked door and a great big bomb. It came as close or closer to working as anything the Joker ever came up with.
Batman, not to be outdone, then gets two of his own when he first proves Nygma's guilt using the same trick Nygma had earlier used to make Batman seem paranoid and out to get him, then refuses to tell Nygma how he escaped the warehouse. The end result is the Riddler locked in his cell and screaming for someone to tell him how Batman escaped.
Which results in an accidental Moment Of Awesome for Eddie, as his screaming is so annoying that the Joker can't stand it.
From "The Laughing Fish": Batman fights a shark. Underwater. Handcuffed. And still has the energy to go beat up the Joker.
In "Christmas with the Joker", the Joker threatens hundreds of lives, takes prominent social figures hostage, blows up a railroad bridge as a trainful of passengers is about to cross, all so he can pie Batman in the face as a Christmas present.
In the Batman light episode "Showdown", Jonah Hex manages to destroy Ra's al Ghul's airship, defeat his army of mercenaries, and defeat Arkady Duvall (Ra's's son) in a sword fight, all by himself. And all of it to capture Duvall and bring him to justice for his assault on a woman back east, instead of being a railroad spy as they assume. What makes it even more awesome is that Hex is in his sixties, and does all this with his bare fists, a knife, and whatever explosives he finds, including the airship's own cannons.
In "Joker's Millions", a rival gangster, Edward 'King' Barlow, dies and leaves the Joker a vast fortune (250 million!) in cash, jewels and gold. After splurging it on buying his freedom, a giant mansion and a new Harley, Joker learns he has to pay inheritance tax. But while going through the vault, he finds bills with Barlow's face...and this video will:
Barlow, on his deathbed: Hiya, Joker. If you're playin' this tape, you've probably figured out you've been had. Yeah, I left you some cash, but only ten million - which, knowing you, you've already blown. All the other stuff, the money, jewels, and gold, it's all fake. See, I always hated your guts, and this was the perfect payback. By now, you're probably out of real money, the I.R.S. is after you, and you can't admit I fooled you, or you'll be the laughingstock of the underworld. The joke's on you, sucker! I got the last laugh after all!
[he laughs, then starts coughing and gasping and grabs for his oxygen tank, but he is still grinning into the camera, then the TV has been shot and blown by a VERY pissed-off Joker]
Harley has an awesome in the same episode when she whacks Joker with a nightstick as revenge for leaving her locked up in Arkham and replacing her with a fake Harley:
Even better is later in the episode where Doctor Strange tries to sell Batman's secret identity to the Joker, Two-Face, and the Penguin. After they pay up, he rolls the tape...which Batman overrides with one he had made showing Strange boasting about how he was planning to cheat the villains. Cue a massive Oh Crap from the good doctor.
In "Perchance to Dream", there's that great moment where Bruce figures out how to escape the dream world, which prompts the following classic exchange between him and the dream Mad Hatter:
Mad Hatter: N-now wait just a minute! Don't do anything foolish! This isn't an ordinary dream! What if you're wrong?
Since the episode was a dream, the altered line probably worked better to that theme.
The show's effect on Mr. Freeze, permanently turning him from an utterly generic and forgettable character into a very sympathetic Anti-Villain whose popularity even rivals the Joker.
The flashback in "Robin's Reckoning" to Dick beating up a pimp using his acrobatic skills, before he even becomes Robin.
"Beware The Gray Ghost". It's supremely awesome to see Batman work side-by-side, with his childhood hero, the titular Gray Ghost. And who voiced his hero? None other than another famous Batman, Adam West.
In fact, if they couldn't have gotten West to voice The Gray Ghost, the episode would have been scrapped. That should tell you something.
Because a big part of the episode's effectiveness is the reverence shown for Simon Trent/Adam West. West's career was seen as something as a lark after the campy 60's series, and the parallel between Trent's and West's career is certainly intentional. However, the respect and admiration Batman has for Trent seems to echo the team's and legions of fans who also hold Adam West in high regard. It works as a salute to the influence and impact West had on aspiring Batman fans and the TAS crew, just as Simon Trent had the same effect on a young Bruce Wayne.
With "Over The Edge", the Cold Open showcases just how effective Gordon and the GCPD could be if he ever put resources into finding and arresting Batman's Secret Identity.
In "Day of the Samurai" Bruce's old nemesis Kyodai learns a forbidden art that can kill with just a touch. Batman proceeds to find the spot on Kyodai's practice dummy that's been hit the most and puts extra armor there, and when he appears to miraculously survive the fatal touch, they have a very dramatic battle on the side of an erupting volcano. Finally, Batman proves himself to be honorable enough to be a samurai rather than a ninja when he offers to help Kyodai escape(apparently) certain death.
Another moment for Kevin Conroy: Batman/Bruce Wayne has a few Japanese lines in this episode, and Kevin inflects them absolutely flawlessly, which can take one by surprise if they're used to gaijin using their native accent to pronounce Japanese words.
The Penguin fighting off three street thugs in "Birds of a Feather."
Earl Cooper, the creator of the Batmobile, finds a way to covertly warn Batman when the Penguin forces him to sabotage it, then takes down one of his goons by squirting oil in his face and trapping him in a tire stack.
Mary Dahl beating up a drunk asshole who keeps harassing her about her time as Baby Doll, capped off with "I didn't mean to."
In "The Ultimate Thrill" Batman wins a game of chicken against a supposedly fearless stuntwoman, then still manages to take her down completely on his terms.
The takeoff on Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in "Legends of the Dark Knight," widely considered one of the all-time best adaptations of a Frank Miller story. They even kept the gruesome implications of the "operating table" line!
What sells this is the three kids tell different stories. The ones about Batman being a vampire bat, based on the 60's show and the fabulous muscles and car are scoffed at. So the girl recounts Batman as a grizzled, Sam Fisher voiced old man who tears apart mutant leaders in mud pits. The other kids buy it.
The Silver Age throwback segment that pays tribute to Dick Sprang and Bill Finger is awesome as well. Nothing like seeing Batman & Robin fighting the Joker and his goons amongst humongous instruments.
"You may live forever, Grant Walker, but your mad dream dies now!"
Badass NormalSpicy Latina cop Renee Montoya is suspended after a case she was working involving Batman ends with a building being blown up and none of the officers can get a straight story about what happened. So she investigates what happened off her own back, discovers Batman captured and rescues him. Renee Montoya. Saves. The Batman.
New DA Janet Van Dorne convinces the Joker Jury of the Kangaroo Court of Arkham inmates that Batman is not responsible for their messed up lives. "The truth is, you created him."
Perhaps a minor one, but there's Batman's fight with Lloyd Ventrix, who's made himself invisible with a special suit. He has the upper hand in a fight with Batman, until Batman gets the idea to break open the water tower they're fighting underneath. This causes the water to fall out in a fine rain-like spray, which reveals Ventrix's invisible form as it falls and splashes on him.
And after Batman righteously kicks his ass, he hits him with this line, which, if said by Adam West, would've been corny, but when said by Kevin Conroy, sounds awesome:
Batman: Get ready for your biggest disappearing act, Ventrix; the one where no one sees you for 10 to 20!
In "You Scratch My Back" Batman and Nightwing team up to con Catwoman, even banking on her playing their bad blood and animosity towards one another against each other in order to keep her right where they want her. Even Barbara didn't see it coming.
In Chemistry, Poison Ivy gloats to a group of rich people that she created their so-called perfect husbands and wives in order to kill them off and gain their fortunes, including Bruce's new wife, Susan. When Ivy realizes Susan Wayne is missing, she has her other creations look for her. At which point, one of the rich people who fell for Ivy's plant men asks "are we just gonna stand here while she does this to us?" and they decide to try and stop Ivy.
In Be A Clown the mayor's son Jordan ran away with the clown Jecko, who just tricked Batman into a water trap. Jordan grabs an axe and tries to free him. Jecko stops the kid and then reveals himself to be The Joker. This is the point where most kids piss their pants and cry for mommy. Nope. Jordan sprays him in the face with seltzer and starts running, giving Batman the time to break free and the Joker quite a chase through a creepy abandoned amusement park. For a kid implied to be a preteen, that is freaking Bad Ass.
The finale of Be A Clown is pretty great, too. It's arguably one of the lesser Joker episodes, but the finale has Batman and the Joker duking it out on a moving rollercoaster. With the Joker hurling bombs made out of baby-dolls at Batman.
Scarecrow gets a good one in "Dreams in Darkness." How many other of Batman's rogues got Batman put in Arkham, and almost had him contained there long enough for the scheme to work?
Of course, not without Batman getting his, as usual. He managed to fight off the guards while bound in a straight jacket, stole a fire ax to cut himself out, made a guard take him to the basement and cuffed him so he couldn't warn anyone else, went after the Scarecrow, and ended the scheme with literally one second left before Gotham's water supply was tainted. And during all this, he was fighting MASSIVE fear serum solutions, some of which nearly got him killed.