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Recap / The Adventures of Batman & Robin E16 "Harley's Holiday"

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Harley Quinn is pronounced sufficiently cured to be released from Arkham Asylum. Batman solemnly congratulates her, and she assures him that she intends to put crime behind her.

Out on the streets, she alarms people by walking her hyenas, but stays out of trouble. Deciding that she needs to update her wardrobe, she stops in a clothing store (bumping into Bruce Wayne in the process) and picks out a dress. Unfortunately, she hurries off with it right after purchasing it, not waiting for the clerk to remove the anti-shoplifting tag. A guard tries to get her attention, but this scares her and she starts running. When the store alarm goes off, she decides that people are still chasing her as a criminal, so she flees in a stolen car—which happens to belong to Bruce, and is carrying both a Batman-issue tracking device and Bruce's shopping companion, Veronica Vreeland.

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Batman and Robin try to catch up to Harley while there's still hope of straightening out the mess. Harley leads them on a chase as she heads for Boxey Bennett's place to seek help getting out of town. Bennett turns against Harley when she rejects their plan to hold Veronica for ransom, and a fight breaks out between the gang, Harley, and the heroes. Meanwhile, Harvey Bullock gets drawn into the chase, and Veronica's father General Vreeland shows up in a tank.

The chaos ends with a car-truck-tank pileup, and Harley is captured and returned to Arkham. However, Veronica Vreeland declines to press charges, since the kidnapping was accidental and Harley meant no harm, so she has a good chance of getting out again. Batman shows up with Harley's dress (she did pay for it, after all) and wishes her luck in turning her life around. She gives him a peck on the lips, then a big long kiss as Robin and Poison Ivy look on bemusedly.

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Tropes in this episode include:

  • Absentee Actor: This is notably the only BTAS episode (before the retool as The New Batman Adventures) where Harley appears without the Joker.
  • Accidental Theft: More precisely, accidental appearance of theft when Harley walks out of the shop with the dress she just bought without waiting for the anti-shoplifting tag to be removed. The alarm goes off, a guard tries to get her attention, she panics, and things go downhill from there.
  • Animation Bump: Of all the episodes Dong Yang animated. Rumor has it that TMS did some uncredited work on the episode.
  • Any Last Words?: When Boxey is holding Harley at gunpoint:
    Boxey: Any last words?
    Harley: Just one... BABIES! [Harley's hyenas crash through the wall and attack Boxey]
  • Bait-and-Switch: Harley recognises that chin... Oh! It's Bruce Wayne!
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  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Harley's hyenas burst through a wall to attack Boxey after Harley calls for them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While Harley going back to Arkham is sad, the actual ending scene is pretty funny/heartwarming. Not only did Veronica drop the charges (as Harley didn't mean to kidnap her), Batman gives her the dress from the start as she did pay for it. Out of gratitude for this and him saving her life she gives him The Big Damn Kiss in front of everyone, while Poison Ivy watches from her cell and looks kind of jealous,
  • Brake Angrily: What Harley does after noticing the truck Boxey's driving coming right towards her. Unfortunately, the car stops right in front of General Vreeland's tank.
  • The Bus Came Back: Boxey Bennett, the crooked owner of a Gotham City nightclub, made a previous appearance in "Harlequinade." There's even a Continuity Nod to "Harlequinade," with Boxey grumpily reminding Harley that his place got trashed the last time she visited him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Harvey Bullock, along with his car.
  • The Cameo: Poison Ivy, just to give a speechless reaction.
  • Can't Stay Normal: To her credit Harley tries, but she has a Freak Out when a security guard comes to remove the anti-shoplifting tag. She sadly says, "Home again, home again, jiggedy-jig," as Batman returns her to Arkham.
  • Chew Toy: Harley and Veronica, with no reprieve for the entirety of the plot. See From Bad to Worse. And Harley calls Boxey Bennett a literal one when she sics her hyenas on him. Each time Harley showed up was catastrophe for Boxey.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: It's a miracle that Bullock's car can even drive by the end of the episode, after sideswiping a building, ramming a fire hydrant, and getting its roof shorn off by a tractor trailer.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Veronica Vreeland first appeared in "Birds of a Feather", she and her friend Pierce were reminiscing about the time the Joker previously crashed the party of a friend of theirs for a hold-up. Upon meeting Veronica here, Harley brings up that same party and adds that she pointed a gun at Veronica's head.
    • Boxey points out that the last time Harley Quinn showed up at his door she not only destroyed his club, but brought Batman down on him as well. This occurred in "Harlequinade," where Harley was helping Batman find the Joker.
  • Dating Catwoman: Played for laughs; at the episode's end, Harley gives Batman a quick peck on the cheek for his kindness during the day's mishaps. Then she stops, thinks it over, and gives him a passionate kiss on the lips, shyly asking him to call her after she breaks the kiss.
    Batman: Don't press your luck.
  • Death Glare: Administered by Gordon to a furious General Vreeland after the general knocks over the commissioner's coffee mid-rant. The general backs down.
  • Dog Walks You: Well, Hyenas Walk You When You're Wearing Rollerskates, anyway.
  • Doomed New Clothes: Veronica Vreeland. There she is, buying a new dress for her date with Bruce Wayne and along comes a spooked Harley Quinn.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • While Harley isn't really acting evil in this story, she's at a loss to understand why Batman would go out of his way to help someone who'd never given him anything but trouble.
      Batman: I had a bad day too, once.
    • Additionally, the whole mess starts in the first place because in Harley's experience, the only reason a security guard would be chasing after her demanding merchandise back is because they think she stole it. It never once occurs to her that they just want it back long enough to remove the anti-theft tag and send her on her way, and she's in such a panicked state that she doesn't listen to them trying to tell her what the problem is.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Inversion. Harley's pet hyenas snarl and bark viciously when they encounter Bruce Wayne, but she doesn't realize that there's probably a reason for it.
  • For Want of a Nail: Kidnapping, property damage, a freaking tank rolling through Gotham, blasting craters into the street... Who knew one little dress going on sale could end up causing so much trouble?
  • Friendly Enemy: During the Arkham scenes, everyone's on unusually good speaking terms with each other. They've gotten so used to battling each other...
  • From Bad to Worse: Harley's ordeal just keeps getting more and more insane, and while she could stop at any time before long it's almost understandable why she assumes it's impossible. First a simple understanding leads to an unintentional kidnapping. Then when driving off, she accidentally runs a motorist off the road - who turns out to be Det. Bullock, who in a fury then spends what's implied to be hours chasing her all over the city. Then, when Batman shows up they accidentally run another driver off the road, except this one turns out to be an oil truck which explodes, escalating the conflict. After criminals she goes to for help turn out to be more interested in ransoms and taking advantage of her than her welfare, her accidental hostage's father shows up with a tank and starts blowing up chunks of the city trying to get at her. By the end of it, she's throwing around bombs herself simply because she assumes stopping it all is impossible.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When the chase goes through Gotham Square, the theater marquees are flashing show titles that are clearly implied to be Burlesque shows.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Poor, poor, Harley. And because Status Quo Is God, she never truly reaches this point again. (Or does she?)
  • Hey, Wait!: Harley Quinn meets Bruce Wayne and covers the top half of his face, saying she recognizes that chin. Bruce thinks he's been found out, but it turns out it was actually Bruce Wayne she was recognizing by his chin.
  • Idiot Ball: General Vreeland really doesn't seem to consider the issues that might be associated with ordering a tank to open fire on a car that his daughter is in, in the middle of a civilian population. Furthermore, a tank from one's own country rolling into a big city without a parade is usually either a harbinger of war or of a coup d'etat...
  • Insane No More: Harley is officially declared sane and released from Arkham. Though she winds up back there at the end, her psychiatrist states that she is making real progress.
  • Karma Houdini: General Vreeland for driving a tank through the Gotham streets to save his daughter. He probably caused more damage in a few minutes than Harley did during the whole day.
  • Lemming Cops: At the end there's a large pileup of cars from characters seen in this episode.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Bruce actually goes suit shopping with Veronica Vreeland, who points out that Bruce needs a better sense of style.
    • Harley realizes the same thing, comically mistaking the bystanders' horrified reactions to her hyenas as their disgust in her outdated roller skate girl outfit.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the opening scene, Batman and Robin bring the Scarecrow back to Arkham:
    Scarecrow: [ranting] I am the master of fear! The lord of despair! Cower before me and witness terror!
    Harley: [cheerful] Hi, Professor Crane!
    Scarecrow: [calm] Good evening, child. [back to ranting] Worship me, fools! Worship me! Scream hosannas of anguish to Scarecrow, the all-terrible god of fear!
    Robin: [deadpan] I think he's getting better.
  • Mythology Gag: During her final confrontation with Batman, Harley uses a line once famously professed by her puddin':
    Harley: I'm having a bad day!
  • The Nose Knows: Harley's hyenas snarl and bark when they see Bruce Wayne, because they probably realize he smells the same as Batman. Harley doesn't pick up on it.
  • Not So Different:
    • Harley Quinn freaks out and takes a hostage over a dress. General Vreeland freaks out and drives a tank through a big city, a move that's insanely dangerous and sends horrible signals (the most serious of them being a coup d'etat) over his daughter. Bullock causes his share of property damage, to include a truck exploding, over his coffee...
    • Batman tells Harley he was trying to save her because like her, he also had a bad day. She looks touched by this, especially when he returns her dress.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When General Vreeland shows up in a tank.
      Veronica Vreeland: Daddy!
      Harley Quinn: Daddy?!
    • Blink-and-You-Miss-It, the hyenas have one when Harley's driving nearly gets into a "playing chicken" with the tanker tank.
  • Papa Wolf: General Vreeland gets so upset over his daughter's kidnapping that he starts calling in military forces to try and rescue Veronica, culminating in his commandeering a tank and driving it down the streets of Gotham after Harley, taking potshots at her and his daughter in her car.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • After all the criminals and heroes crash, Harley drops Veronica into Robin's arms and flees. She lampshades it as her "good deed for the day."
    • Batman gives the dress to Harley after returning her to Arkham, since she did pay for it.
    • When Harley learns that Batman once had a bad day, she sincerely says "Nice guys like you shouldn't have bad days." She also gives Batman The Big Damn Kiss out of gratitude for saving her life and looking out for her. While a bit inappropriate, Batman doesn't seem to mind, and it's a very touching scene in general.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A variant; Harley pays for her new dress, and then immediately leaves as the cashier is putting the money in the register, not giving her time to remove the security tag, nor listening when the cashier tries to call Harley back. When she, naturally, sets off the security alarm, Harley panics too hard to listen when the security guard tries to explain she's set it off with a security tag; instead, she presumes he's trying to take her dress back, and she believes she's being unfairly punished for her criminal past. This leads to her running off to the women's room, donning her harlequin outfit, and making a break for it, grabbing Veronica Vreeland for a hostage in the bargain. If she'd just stopped and listened to what people were saying, she could have avoided the whole mess that ensued.
  • Redemption Failure: Harley Quinn is pronounced sane and released from Arkham, and plans to live as a law-abiding citizen. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding while purchasing clothes make her think she's being arrested even when she's doing nothing wrong, and she goes on an actual crime spree to avoid getting caught.
  • Save the Villain: Batman spends the whole episode trying to calm down Harley, seeing that she's not well and having a Freak Out. In the climax, when she's able to fall to her death, he saves her and gives her a Cooldown Hug as she faints. Harley even lampshades this, asking why he kept looking out for her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Harley Quinn, upon returning to Arkham, says the line, "Home again, home again, jiggity jig." It's a reference to the scene where one of the toys says the same line when J.F. Sebastian comes home with a woman in Blade Runner.
      • The line itself is originally from the Nursery Rhyme "To Market", which goes "To market, to market, to buy a fat pig / Home again, home again, jiggity jig / To market, to market, to buy a fat hog / Home again, home again, jiggity jog."
  • Society Is to Blame: Harley uses exactly this phrase when she thinks she's being framed.
    Harley: I tried to play by the rules, but noo, they wouldn't let me go straight! Society is to blame!
  • Tank Goodness: Harley Quinn ended up being chased by one driven by General Vreeland after accidentally kidnapping his daughter Veronica.
    [while driving away]
    Veronica: Wait—what are you doing? That's my father.
    Harley Quinn: No, that's your father, IN A TANK!
  • Tempting Fate: A semi-rehabilitated Harley Quinn ends up being chased by the police, as well as Batman and Robin, after a simple misunderstanding. After taking Veronica Vreeland hostage, she then ends up being chased by gangsters who wish to ransom off the debutante. After Veronica realizes Harley really means her no harm, she agrees to drop all charges, if she gets out of this in one piece. A delighted Harley states: "For the first time today, things are finally looking up!" Enter Veronica's hysterical Army general father, bearing down on them in a tank, Patton-style.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Harley spends most of the episode clinging to the belief that if she can just get out of town she can find someplace to hide where she can continue her dream of getting out of crime and having a normal life, but at the very end - right before Batman saves her - she gives up and arms a grenade, deciding that resisting was pointless. She gets better, at least in the confines of this episode.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Harley's hyenas actually seem to react that way when she tells them they're going shopping.
  • Visual Pun: When having her freak out and going back into costume, Harley declares that she's armed before smacking Bruce Wayne with a mannequin's arm.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Near the end after Batman saves Harley from falling to her death, she mutters, "I think I made a mess on your cape."
  • White-and-Grey Morality: While Batman and Robin are definitely good, It's made very clear that Harley is not evil, just scared and confused. The same goes for General Vreeland, who is just Trying to get his daughter back. While there are a few mobsters in the episode who are straight up evil, most are One-Scene Wonder s and fairly unimportant to the story.

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