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YMMV: Batman: The Animated Series
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In "Double Talk" Scarface makes more than a few mentions of his "coming out party".
    • And note the Foe Yay evident in this conversation from "Almost Got 'Im":
      [The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, and Killer Croc are playing cards.]
      Penguin: So, I hear You-Know-Who nailed the Mad Hatter last week.
      Joker: Yeah, he sure gets around for just one guy.
    • The Penguin was innocent. Joker, on the other hand...
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In the episode where the Scarecrow hits Batman with a drug that causes him to lose all fear, Robin has to step in to stop Batman from throwing a mook off a ledge saying that he's lost his fear of killing. This implies that Batman doesn't kill his criminal opponents not because he feels it is wrong or out of some sense of justice, but because he is afraid to.
    • That's not alternate, really. He is afraid to, in the sense that he's afraid of what he'll become if he gives in to that urge.
  • Awesome Music: In many, many ways. The show introduction is famous for the music as much as for its almost-a-storyboard art style. The second intro is less well-known, but also features some epic music. And most villains have their own (often awesome) leitmotifs. BTAS had a unique soundtrack for every episode, a feature that might never happen again.
    • The main Batman leifmotif of the series, which was turned into the actual theme song when the show was retitled The Adventures Of Batman And Robin. It has turned up in nearly every DCAU show in either original or remixed form. It remained awesome in every incarnation.
    • For many, Shirley Walker's Batman overture is even more iconic than Danny Elfman's theme (which is only heard in a few of the episode scores, like "Nothing To Fear" and "The Cat And The Claw, Part II"note ). It helps that the animated theme is very much a Suspiciously Similar Song to the film's version.
    • The intro to each episode not only provides great film noir imagery but great film noir music as well, setting the tone for the episode.
  • Base Breaker: Dick as Robin was somewhat controversial, especially when he was imposed on every episode by the network.
  • Cant Unhear It: Many fans consider Kevin Conroy's Batman voice to be the voice of the character, and hear just about any dialogue from Batman in Conroy's voice.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • "Girl's Night Out," the episode of the DCAU featuring Batgirl and Supergirl squaring off against Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Livewire is commonly thought to be a Superman: The Animated Series episode, but in reality is officially a Batman: The Animated Series episode. According to both the episode list on the official website and the fact that it was on the B: TAS Volume 4 DVD rather than Volume 3 of S: TAS (which included the last third of the series, including Supergirl's debut).
    • Some fans believed that Mary Kay Bergman's death is the reason why Tara Strong replaced her as Batgirl for The New Batman Adventures, except The New Batman Adventures started airing in 1997, two years before Bergman's death and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (intended for a release earlier that same year as a tie-in for Batman & Robin) came out in 1998, meaning the recast predated Bergman's death and had nothing to do with it.
  • Complete Monster:
    • The Joker is the only supervillain of Batman's rogues gallery who possesses no sympathetic or redeeming qualities whatsoever. Prior to becoming a supervillain, the Joker was a mobster and hit man who murdered Carl Beaumont, the father of Andrea, over money owed to his employers. He committed this murder even after the debt was repaid. This set in motion Andrea becoming the supervillain Phantasm and took away Batman’s one chance of a normal, happy life. Following his transformation into the Ax-Crazy Joker, he now commits crimes more often For the Evulz than he does for any profit. Samples of his crimes include repeatedly abusing his girlfriend Harley Quinn, trying to bomb a child’s birthday party, setting up Catwoman to go through a grinder, psychologically tormenting Charlie Collins for two years, murdering countless people with Joker venom, attempting to drive 70 million people insane by having Ace Mind Rape them, attempting to nuke Gotham City, and going on a rampage with a Kill Sat. His most widely recognized crossing of the Moral Event Horizon was from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker when he tortured Tim Drake into insanity and implanted a microchip in the child so the Joker could take over Tim's body and perform a Post Mortem Comeback.
    • Besides Joker, we have one-shot villain Arkady Duvall from "Showdown". The lieutenant and son of Ra’s Al Ghul in 1883, he had a reputation for starting duels and hurting women, earning himself a $200 bounty back east on account of what he did to one girl, and a barmaid at the beginning of the story informs Hex that Duvall hurt one of her girls “real bad.” When we first see Duvall in person, he's whipping one of his workmen for slacking, when all the man had done was stopped to pick up something he'd dropped. When Jonah Hex is caught spying on them, Duvall orders the workers to lower him head first into a vat of molten lead, only stopping because Ra's intervened. While Ra’s tried to bomb the Transcontinental Railroad and take over the United States to help restore ecological balance to the world, Duvall only seemed interested in gaining an empire for himself. Being repulsed by Duvall’s cruelty and instability, and having recognized him to be an unworthy heir, Ra’s abandons him to his Fate Worse than Death.
  • Contested Sequel: The New Batman Adventures Re Tool is this among DCAU fans, with many arguments about its character design choices and writing quality. The only agreements seem to be that The Joker's redesign was too much, and the Scarecrow's design was absolutely terrifying.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dick was already pretty popular as Robin. Once he became Nightwing, however, the fans couldn't get enough of him.
    • Harley Quinn, who was originally known as the Joker's "Hench Wench", and had such a huge fanbase that she evolved into her own character and got her own comic book story.
    • "Thriftie", a clothing store worker who only appeared in the episode, "Beware the Creeper", where she watches completely stone-faced as The Creeper ransacks the store looking for a new superhero outfit, snarking at his comments the whole time.
    • The Clock King gained such a ridiculously outspoken fanbase on 4chan's comics and cartoons board that it's most likely what led to the introduction of a new version of the character in the comics, and possibly contributing to his other appearances before that. /co/'s power to uplift characters with dumb concepts that somehow make them powerful is truly frightening.
    • Before this series, Mr. Freeze was just a generic ice-themed villain. The writers reimagined him as an Anti-Villain with a highly sympathetic backstory, lifting him among the most popular of Batman's villains. Even the much-reviled Batman & Robin took inspiration from it! He had two episodes in the original series, but was still popular enough for his own featured direct to video movie. In the entire DCAU continuity, he appears in a grand total of just five installments.
    • The Creeper's one episode, "Beware The Creeper", did a lot to boost his popularity even outside the series.
    • Baby Doll is arguably the most popular of the BTAS exclusive villains.
    • And then there's Clayface's "daughter" Annie from "Growing Pains". She even made a cameo in the Little Gotham comics!
  • Fanon Discontinuity: The fans really hate the episode "Critters," seeing it as overly campy and full of lame puns. However, the producers themselves have a soft spot for it and did a commentary on the DVD to defend it (though Bruce Timm notes up front that he completely understands why it's not everyone's cup of tea).
  • Freud Was Right: The giant venus fly trap. An Animato magazine interview states that they didn't notice the similarity between it and women's genitals until long after the episode's release.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Harlequinade", Harley Quinn tries to kill the Joker with a machine gun, but it turns out to be a toy gun, with a flag saying "RAT-TAT-TAT" popping out when she pulls the trigger. They reconcile afterwards. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker dies by getting shot with a not-so-fake flag gun by the brainwashed Tim Drake.
  • Gateway Series: It served as such for a lot of people for Batman.
    • It also served as one for the production team as this series served as the first building block and cornerstone of the DCAU.
  • Genre Turning Point: For both superhero shows and family-friendly animation as a whole. It brought superhero shows out of their own Animation Age Ghetto and also showed that it was possible to have dark, mature and intelligent storylines and complex characters while still being appropriate for children, something that was followed up on by the other series in the DCAU, as well as numerous other shows.
  • Growing the Beard: While it started off very high quality, early episodes were more action-adventure oriented than the plot oriented nature the series became famous for. "Heart of Ice" was the first dynamite episode and you can see how popular it is on this very page. "Two-Face" parts I and II, before "Heart of Ice" in production order, also has a profoundly grown beard.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The interactions of Joker and Penguin inside Penguin's night club, The Iceberg Lounge, in "Joker's Millions" become this in one of the "Arkham Stories" during Batman: Arkham City.
    • In "Make 'Em Laugh" the Joker uses microchips to alter the minds of innocents to make them criminals. Then comes Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.
    • Another episode worsened by Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is "I Am the Night", where Batman angsts over the possibility of his friends and allies being hurt...including Robin (at the time of the episode, Robin is Dick and not Tim, but still).
    • Yet another one episode worsened by Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker is "Joker's Favor". Charlie Collin's Heroic Heelization Speech is horribly right, because Batman will not be the one who brings out Joker's demise.:
    Charlie Collins: ... I found this blown out of the van. (reveals a Joker bomb) This is how it ends, Joker. No big schemes. No grand fight to the finish with the Dark Knight.
    • "Kinda funny. Ironic, really." Looks like Tim destroyed a man's dream.
    • Batman's origin story in this continuity (as well as others), as of July 20, 2012. In this continuity, Batman's parents were murdered by a thug (implied to be Joe Chill, but he was never named) shortly after seeing a film. The film he saw? Gray Ghost, which was the in-universe inspiration for that continuity's Batman. Flash forward to July 20, 2012, several people were killed by a madman in a shooting at an AMC theater in Aurora, Colorado. The movie that was being shown on that date? A midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
    • In "Paging The Crime Doctor", Rupert Thorne needs heart surgery. His actor, John Vernon, died in 2005 of complications from heart surgery.
    • In "The Laughing Fish", The Joker tries to have his Joker Fish copyrighted, and the patent guy tells him he can't copyright food. Twenty years later, Monsanto wants to do just that.
    • Meta example from "I Am The Night" - Batman laments the fact he's merchandised to death, on t-shirts and action figures, despite his intent. Not only was the cartoon used to sell a toy line, but not long after Warner began a massive ad campaign to push Batman toys, shirts, and other merchandise onto children.
    • In "Two-Face, Part 1", Bruce joked that he'll steal Grace if Harvey doesn't marry her soon, and Harvey joked that he'll have Bruce persecuted if he does. Then after Harvey learns that Thorne bailed his men due to a technicality, he reverts to Big Bad Harv and tried to punch Bruce and called him a "rich twit" when he tried to calm him down (likely Big Bad Harv took Bruce's joke seriously). In an issue of The Batman Adventures, Harvey was on the verge of being cured when the Joker convinced him that Grace is cheating on him with Bruce. His evil personality takes hold once again and kidnaps Grace. Batman and Robin foil his plan and send him back to Arkham. Grace, meanwhile, realizes that Dent will never be cured, and leaves him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In "Beware the Creeper," the Joker accuses the Creeper (Jeff Bennett) of ripping off his act. Bennett would later voice Joker on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
    • In "Almost Got 'Im", Joker mocks Poison Ivy's use of "exploding pumpkins." A few years, Mark Hamill would be voicing the Hobgoblin, whose signature weapon is the pumpkin bomb.
    • Alfred's "Are we developing an interest in rock and roll, sir?" from "On Leather Wings", after Atop the Fourth Wall started the Running Gag of Batman hating rock and roll.
    • In the flashbacks from "Robin's Reckoning," the young Dick Grayson is credited as "Robin - Age 10." Though off by a few years, it's hard not to think of Linkara's "Dick Grayson - Age 12" Running Gag that spawned from All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder.
    • In the episode "Eternal Youth", Alfred and a friend of his go to a spa secretly run by Poison Ivy, where the people eat green food, and then Ivy turns them into trees, which becomes funny if you imagine that the spa is called [[Troll2 Nilbog.]]
    • While "Over The Edge" is by no means hilarious at all as a standalone episode, it is a bit funny when you put it in context of the DCAU as a whole and notice its marked similarity to the plot of the Batman Beyond episode "Eyewitness", which is especially ironic since in the latter, Barbara Gordon herself fulfills the role that she feared her father would play in the former.
  • Ink Stain Adaptation: Both the Penguin and Catwoman were originally based on the characters as they appeared in Batman Returns instead of the original comics, resulting in a physically-deformed Penguin and a blonde Catwoman. When the show became The New Batman Adventures and all the characters were redesigned, the Penguin and Catwoman's alter-ego, Selina Kyle, became more in-line with their traditional comics selves: Penguin became normal-looking and Catwoman has black hair (in a comic based off the series, it was revealed that she had before dyed it blonde, but stopped using the dye because of the company's animal testing policies). Catwoman's costume in TNBA went the other direction, though, becoming all-black like the Returns version.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Many, many of the villains—their Day in the Limelight really shows just how much their lives suck.
    • Lloyd Ventris from "See No Evil", who is a criminal, a scumbag, a thief, and a liar, but whose entire motivation was to see his daughter.
    • Jervis Tetch, AKA The Mad Hatter. It's hard not to feel for him when he's being so damn Adorkable around Alice. Especially after he manages to ask her out.
    • Mr. Freeze went from Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds to this in "Cold Comfort", because of his wife leaving him and his body having deteriorated entirely except for his head.
    • Clayface: obscenely egotistical, completely devoid of empathy and with a nasty temper to boot yet his horrible physical mutations are so painful to watch that you can't help feeling sorry for him.
  • Les Yay: Word of God confirmed Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's relationship was sexual, even if they could only obliquely hint it during the series.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Joker and Ra's al Ghul at their best come at least close as well as the Clock King in his first episode. The most persistent example though, has to be, surprisingly, Scarface.
  • Memetic Molester: Poison Ivy during The New Batman Adventures episode, "Chemistry." While to fans we know it was an intent to kill Robin with her trade mark kiss. Bare in mind that the current Robin is Tim Drake, who is ten. Her tone, wording and aggressive motions such as grabbing him by the shirt doesn't help either.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Though an excellent version, fans who claim that this series is the "definitive" or "true" version of Batman are misaimed as the original Word of God himself, Bob Kane, once stated that a key to Batman's success is that there is no definitive version and that he can be adapted and reinterpreted over time.
    • Also, those who credit Bruce Timm and Paul Dini as the "heads" of the series. It was actually Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski as co-producers starting out, but Radomski was more involved with the art direction than the story writing. Alan Burnett was in charge of the plotting team, and while later credited as a producer, Paul Dini was mainly a writer at the time. Although subsequent DCAU series were just Timm, Dini and Burnett, so fans can be forgiven mostly for believing that Timm and Dini were the heads of the series.
    • There are feminist fans on Tumblr praising Poison Ivy for her "fighting the patriarchy" by dismantling a men's club in "Harley and Ivy", ignoring that Poison Ivy is a dangerous extremist that kills and "punishes" men and women indiscriminately, controls Harley nearly as much as Joker does, and that in that very episode they were essentially just using their status as women to commit whatever crimes they wanted. Highlighted when Renee Montoya takes them down.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Narm:
    • While Heart of Ice, the Mr. Freeze debut episode, is a very sad and touching episode overall, the sight of Batman defeating Freeze by cracking his glass helmet open with a canteen of chicken soup is unintentionally funny and out of place in an otherwise tragic episode.
    • Catwoman and Batman's first kiss in The Cat and the Claw is a bit odd. Catwoman initiates it, and Batman just sort of keeps looking ahead with his mouth closed. He apparently doesn't even notice the kiss for about 10 seconds, which is when his eyes suddenly widen in surprise.
    • And when Mavis tells Batman that Catwoman is in love with him, his reaction is supposed to look shocked and/or regretful-but he just ends up looking mildly peeved, as if he's tired of being hit on by criminals.
    • Kevin Conroy's attempt at doing a Big "NO!" in "Two-Face Part 1", which isn't helped by how the animation is much more expressive than the voice acting.
    • Batman cruising around in full costume in "House & Garden" in broad daylight, and not picking very good hiding places either.
    • "Avatar" has a hilarious moment when Batman is in an ancient Egyptian pyramid and has to destroy a demonic, soul-sucking mummy-queen that Ra's al Ghul has summoned. He orders Talia to flee with a line that's even funnier than it sounds:
    Batman: Go! I'll do what I can to stop that...thing!
    • When Bruce's guilt fueled dream in "Two Face: Part II" isn't being tragic, it's this.
    Harvey: You were supposed to help me. But ya didn't!
    • "Be a Clown" has a few moments where Batman uncharacteristically attempts to make wisecracks. They do come off as funny, but mainly due to how bizarre and out of place they are rather than being genuinely humorous. You should probably leave the pun-making to your sidekicks, Bruce.
    Batman: "Get ready for a little Bat-Magic!"
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The Super Nintendo version is noted as being one of the best licensed titles from that era with graphics that look like it's straight out of the cartoon, music true to the show, and a lot of fun variations to the gameplay. The Genesis title, while vastly different, is overall considered a pretty decent 2-player run-and-gun/Shoot 'em Up, though it's also considered extremely difficult.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Mr. Freeze was just another villain with a lame gimmick before BTAS came along. Just a few years before, he was shown in Comic Book Limbo in Animal Man, remarking that nobody remembers him. His reinterpretation in this series gave him such popularity that he is now considered iconic.
    • Some would say that for Dick when he became Nightwing.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Mr. Freeze. More than a few fans wanted him to save his wife, even when his plans to do so involved killing other people. It doesn't hurt that each appearance made him more sympathetic, with his canonically final appearance in Batman Beyond being one of the biggest Tear Jerkers in the entire DCAU.
    • Harley Quinn is the poster-girl for Mad Love and an in-universe proponent of Draco in Leather Pants, who honestly believes that "Mr. J" is a sweet guy and the innocent victim of that mean old bat, and frequently helps in his schemes of murder and mayhem. Many fans claim that if given the opportunity, they would do the exact same thing in her position.
    • The DCAU depicted Batsy's Rogues Gallery in general as a big, fun-loving dysfunctional family, making it easy for fans to root for them against the endlessly grim Dark Knight despite their evil deeds.
  • The Scrappy: Red Claw is this at worst, flat-out ignored at best. There's a reason why she stayed a Canon Foreigner.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • When threatening to share Harvey Dent's psychiatric file with the press, Thorne sarcastically quips that the people have a right to know who they're electing for office. Not that Thorne really cares, but this is actually a pretty valid concern: Would you vote for someone if you found out they've been desperately trying to sweep their violent disassociative identity under the rug?
    • However, Thorne also aggravated Harvey and made him more unstable, so in a way, it's also his fault that Harvey became Two-face. If he hadn't harassed him, Harvey would still be sane. Harvey only snapped because people kept ticking him off and he couldn't defend himself. So in a way, he's even more of a hypocrite.
    • Ferris Boyle is correct when he explains that Victor's attempt to keep his wife alive was done without proper authorization, and it isn't until Victor pulled a gun on him that he resorted to violence.
    • There are multiple episodes where Batman's effectiveness are called into question. The motives vary depending on the episode, but by the end it's explained just why Batman bends the rules instead of taking things into his own hands.
  • So Cool Its Awesome: It's considered one of the greatest (if not the greatest) cartoons of the 90's.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Shirley Walker's main theme is one to Danny Elfman's theme for the Tim Burton film, despite the Elfman theme being used for the opening sequence. The rest of the score also consciously attempts to ape Elfman's Signature Style.
  • Tough Act to Follow: While there have been several Batman cartoons since this one, they all end up being compared to BTAS, and found wanting in one way or another.
  • Villain Decay: Though Joker is clearly menacing and insane as ever to start out, in the TNBA season he's reduced to far less psychotic, laughs much less, and is scared out of his wits after a few minutes with the Creeper. Fortunately, this is undone in his later appearances.
    • The Riddler as well. Pre-TNBA, he was the main villain of three appearances and could only be bested by Batman and Robin after many taxing challenges and ingenuity on their part. In every TNBA appearance he is a cameo at best, and easily defeated with a few well-placed punches, hardly receiving any lines.
  • Wangst: "I am the Night" has this bad. It starts with Batman sitting in the Batcave wondering if he makes a difference, before going to put roses on the place where his parents were killed, which get messed up and freak Batman out. Then, when Gordon gets shot in a bad sting operation, Batman blames himself, points out that Gordon is the same age as his father when he was shot, mopes around the cave for three days, and goes into 10-Minute Retirement. It takes pep talks from Robin, Alfred, and Gordon to snap him out of it.
  • The Woobie:
    • Who else but the Dark Knight himself?
    • Poor, poor Harley Quinn. She's not even evil enough to be a Jerkass Woobie. The worst thing you could say about her is that she's crazy, and she wasn't always this way. Anyone who's ever been in an abusive relationship or knows someone who has probably cries a bit for Harley at the end of "Mad Love". In "Harley and Ivy", Ivy outright tells Harley that her relationship with The Joker is unhealthy, but she insists he does really love her and she still wants to work things out with him.
    • Arnold Wesker. The poor man tried so hard to get a new life in "Double Talk" only to be mentally tortured by Rhino and co. until he breaks and Scarface comes back. It makes it so satisfying when Wesker takes a gun and shoots up the Scarface doll.
    • Tim Drake had a hard life. His dad was a deadbeat working for Two-Face who abandoned Tim and was eventually killed. Batman adopts Tim, but he's cold and emotionally distant. He gets to watch his first girlfriend get reabsorbed into Clayface, and as Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker shows, Tim eventually gets kidnapped, tortured, and brainwashed by the Joker.


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