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Recap: Batman: The Animated Series E34 "The Laughing Fish"
aka: Batman The Animated Series The Laughing Fish
The Joker infects fish with laughing gas. After not being allowed to copyright his Joker Fish, he targets the innocent bureaucrats who told him that copyright doesn't work that way.


Tropes:

  • Body Double: Batman tries to protect one of the Joker's targets by disguising himself as him and putting the actual target in a Batsuit. It fails because the target's cat, bearing a load of Joker venom, still recognizes its human.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Joker introduces his "smile" toxin into the fish supply of Gotham Harbor, hoping to trademark the red-lipped, grinning ichthyoids and sell them in supermarkets. When told that he cannot trademark fish because they are a natural resource, he retaliates by carrying out an elaborate scheme to kill everyone in the Gotham City patent office until he gets his way.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Played with. The Joker fell into the ocean very close to a hungry shark. Commissioner Gordon asks Batman a bit later if he thinks the Joker's really dead. Batman says he wishes so, but that he has his doubts. The camera closes in on the Joker card that Harley has thrown into the ocean in mourning and then it's eaten by the same shark, managing to make the viewer certain both that the Joker survived and that he did so only by the skin of his teeth (so to speak) at the same time.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The Joker's elevator chair might have made a better escape method if he'd checked to see if the skylight was open before activating it.
  • Force Feeding: A comedic example. Joker is doing a commercial for his new brand of Joker Fish, and tries to get Harley to eat one to show how good they are. Harley sheepishly protests that she's got a problem with fish, but Mr. J just shoves it in her mouth. She manages to grunt out "Yummy-yum-yum" before running offscreen to hurl.
  • For the Evulz: Given that the Joker made preparations to spray G. Carl Francis with the first part of his binary toxin even before his demands were rejected, it's implied that he expected as much and is perfectly willing to settle for killing a load of people in clever ways if he can't get his money. Batman explains as much to Francis later, telling him that killing a harmless, powerless bureaucrat is just the villain's idea of a good joke.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Bullock: [The Joker] was a sick, demented, abusive creep!
    Harley: Yeah. *sob* I'm really gonna miss him.
  • Latex Perfection: Batman's disguise as the second Joker target.
  • Mermaid Problem: The Joker seems to be flirting with Harley Quinn by asking her to "be [his] little mermaid." He then puts a giant fake fish head over her head, to which Harley responds, "You're really sick, you know that, boss?" Funny this got past the censors.
  • Reality Ensues: As Bullock points out, it hardly takes a supercomputer or a Sherlock Scan to realize that an exotic fish probably came from an aquarium.
  • Shark Pool
  • Shout-Out: Joker pulls a wrench out of a box with the words "Binford Tools" written on it.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The episode loosely adapts a 2-part comic story of the same name. In it, Joker infects two random victims with a lethal dose of his joker venom. In the TAS version, since broadcasting standards wouldn't allow the writers to kill someone in a children's cartoon, instead Batman is successfully able to administer an antidote to the venom after both get infected. Doesn't stop the scene from being any less freaky, though.
  • Squee: Harley, when Joker says he's gonna make her his little mermaid.
  • Window Pain: It's not a rock, but one of the poisoned Joker Fish that comes through the window of a predicted victim's home.


Batman: The Animated Series E33 'Robin's Reckoning: Part 2"Recap/Batman: The Animated SeriesBatman: The Animated Series E35 'Night of the Ninja"

alternative title(s): Batman The Animated Series The Laughing Fish
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