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Recap / The Adventures of Batman & Robin E7 "Harlequinade"

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The Joker steals an atom bomb, so Batman and Robin must team up with Harley to find him and stop him.


Tropes in this episode include:

  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: Fans of the series are usually surprised to hear the song Harley Quinn sings, "Say That We're Sweethearts Again," is an actual song from a 1944 movie called Meet The People, and Harley is singing the actual lyrics. It's really a comedic tune about a man trying to murder his girlfriend, who is ignorant of his disdain and just wants a happy romance.
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  • Auction of Evil: A group of gangsters auction off a bomb only for it to be stolen by the Joker.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Harley, finally pushed over the edge by the constant abuse she has been subjected to at the hands of the Joker, points a gun at him. The Joker responds by taunting her, telling her that she doesn't have the guts to actually shoot him, but then Harley, in a moment of determination, actually pulls the trigger... only to reveal the gun was merely a "Bang!" Flag Gun. The Joker then scowls at Harley, and her newfound defiance quickly evaporates as she smiles nervously back at him, but his scowl then turns into a sincere smile as he tells her: "Baby, you're the greatest!" And the two of them then embrace.
  • "Bang!" Flag Gun: Joker goads Harley Quinn into trying to shoot him, but it turns out the gun is of the stick-with-a-"bang"-flag variety. The Joker is still impressed that she pulled the trigger—though the Joker didn't know the gun was a fake, either.
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  • Berserk Button: Harley doesn't appreciate seeing her Mr J. attacked, but even he gets no immunity when it comes to her "babies" (their two pet hyenas).
  • Brain Bleach: The lyrics of Harley's song or just her singing, or both combined, make Batman bash his head against a table.
  • Convenient Misfire: The episode originally ended with one of these, where Harley Quinn has a machine gun pointed at the Joker (because she was pissed that he was willing to let their pets die in his latest scheme). Joker makes it clear that he doubts she has the guts to shoot him, but she does... only for a flag reading "RAT TAT TAT" to pop out, to her surprise. According to the commentary, originally there was simply going to be a click, but the flag was added to soften the blow.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Batman may be working with Harley, but in truth it's the second episode, after "Harley and Ivy," in which she stars and takes most of the screentime.
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  • Description Cut: Batman says he needs someone who thinks like the Joker. We then cut to Harley in her cell.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: After Harley Quinn wants to listen to the Batmobile's radio and presses a button that instead expels the Batmobile's parachute.
    Batman: Listen, and listen good. You don't touch anything, say anything, or do anything unless I tell you! Got it?
    Harley: [small voice] Yes, sir.
  • Empty Quiver: The Joker gets his hands on a nuclear bomb from a Gotham Mob Auction of Evil, who in turn had stolen it from a government transport.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: In Harley Quinn's eyes at least, because one of the things that leads to her defying the Joker is the realization that all her "friends" will be killed by the bomb.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: An in-universe case where the characters expect a subversion. Everyone present fully believes Harley's gun is loaded and lethal, making her intent to shoot the Joker significant. Of course, since this is a kid's show that works under parental guidelines, the audience knows this couldn't have been shown if it were actually the case.
  • Foreshadowing: Early on, when the mayor is on the phone, one can see that his sleeve is purple...
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: "And you thought I was just another blonde bimbo! Well, the joke's on you, I'm not even a real blonde!"note 
  • Ignored Epiphany: The amount of abuse Harley puts up with comes to a ridiculous point when she realizes the Joker is planning to nuke Gotham, without rescuing their friends at Arkham or their pet hyenas, and goes ballistic. She comes to the realization that Mister J "might not be the guy for me" (that's a huge epiphany for Harley to have) and fires her grappling hook at him, knocking him senseless. This causes a plane crash that has absolutely no excuse for not being fatal. When he emerges unscathed, she holds him at gunpoint; he proceeds to verbally beat her down until she cries, snaps, and pulls the trigger. That's right, Harley Quinn tries to whack the Joker. Of course, it turns out she picked up a gag gun by mistake, and nothing happens. And what happens within seconds of Harley's huge emotional breakdown? Joker comes out with a fluffy romantic line and they're back to being lovey-dovey. Even Batman sulks after seeing that!
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The Joker, being the Joker, leads him to find the fact that Harley would actually attempt to kill him when pushed far enough to be extremely endearing.
  • Iris Out: A heart-shaped one.
  • Noodle Incident: Harley and Boxy Bennett apparently had history together.
  • Off-Model: There are some model inconsistencies that were not ignored by the commentary. Examples include Batman's incredibly pointy fingers, and a legless piano player. Animato specifically calls the animation "below average" considering the studio used (Dong Yang) had previously done better, pointing to an Egregious off model moment in the Batmobile scene, "where Harley's smile covers her nose and Batman's chin is about twelve inches tall."
  • Pet the Dog:
    • A near-literal instance. Harley betrays Joker when Batman mentions that her pet hyenas will be caught in the explosion. Earlier in the episode she is also seen cuddling with and feeding the hyenas (which were mauling Batman).
    • She also refuses to go with Joker because she considers her fellow Arkham inmates genuine friends, which is rather sweet, all things considered.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Harley does her impromptu musical number she instructs the orchestra that she will be singing in the key of A flat, as Lina does for her impromptu musical number at the end of Singin' in the Rain (and in very nearly the same nasal voice). However, unlike in Singin' in the Rain, the song actually is in the key of A-flat, proving there were some musicians on the writing staff.
    • Joker's line, "Baby, you're the greatest!" was Jackie Gleason's catchphrase on The Honeymooners.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Harley Quinn takes Batman back to the Joker's last hideout to look for clues. Once there, she recites the trope as she says, "Have a look around while I slip into something more comfortable," and changes out of her Arkham jumpsuit and into her regular costume.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: Technically, the torch song Harley Quinn sings is one, but because of the nature of her relationship with the Joker, it's also a twisted love song.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: The Joker says this to Harley when she has him cornered at gunpoint. At first it seems to work; Harley hesitates, clearly not wanting to do it, but pulls the trigger anyway. However, it turns out that the gun is merely a "Bang!" Flag Gun, though neither Harley nor Joker knew that.
    The Joker: You wouldn't dare. You don't have the guts, not in a million years would you—
    [Harley points the gun at the Joker's face and pulls the trigger]
The punchline is that the Joker is actually pleased to see that she had it in her to shoot him.

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