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Recap / The New Batman Adventures E7 "Joker's Millions"

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The episode begins with Batman chasing The Joker in an electronics fair. During the chase, Joker and Harley Quinn have difficulties like running out of bullets and their car not having any gas. As soon as Batman and Batgirl catches up to them, Joker makes an escape with the only parachute. This outrages Harley as she gets sent to Arkham.

Arriving at his apartment, Joker is shown to have money problems, including being late with the rent. He gets the news that he inherited millions from recently deceased mob boss King Barlowe, an old rival, much to his excitement. He begins living large, tossing money left and right, even hiring a replacement Harley (with the real Harley getting even more enraged when she hears about it stuck in Arkham).

Eventually, the Joker's accountant shows up with bad news: the Internal Revenue people want Joker for a massive amount of back taxes owed. Not wanting to go to war against the IRS ("I'm crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? No thank you!"), the Joker starts checking the stash of money he has left... only to find out that while the first ten million was legitimate, the rest of Barlowe's money is counterfeit. Barlowe's will and fake inheritance was all one huge last gag at the Joker's expense, as explained by a final recording Barlowe left to be discovered among his fake millions:


Barlowe: (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, 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 IRS 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! (laughs, chokes, uses his oxygen mask, still cracks a smile)

Suddenly stuck back at poverty level, only now with the IRS breathing down his neck, the Joker decides on doing what he does best: commit the biggest heist he can and save his hide.

This episode is an adaptation of a 1952 comic.



  • Accidental Misnaming: Fake Harley calls Joker "Mr. G".
  • Adapted Out: Several minor beneficiaries of Barlowe's Silly Will in the comic don't appear in the episode.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the comics, the characters who are upset over not inheriting any money from Barlowe do nothing about it but verbally express contempt over the late one's enemy getting everything. In the cartoon, one of these characters tries to kill the Joker.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the original comics, Joker manages to pull off a few heists (and single-handedly at that), and only gets thwarted due to a combination of bad luck and Batman's manipulations. Here, he gets nabbed in his first heist.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Barlowe's first name is changed from William to Edward.
  • The Alibi: Joker tries to set one up for his robbery of the armored cars by having his henchman Ernie disguise himself as Joker and go to the Iceberg Lounge. Unfortunately, Ernie isn't very good at lying under pressure and his makeup comes off when he starts sweating.
  • Amusing Injuries: The final scene as Harley confronts a captured Joker in the police van. While we only hear the ensuing smack down, Harley getting her comeuppance (and Joker's pathetic pleas for mercy and shrieks of pain) are played for Black Comedy.
  • Annoying Laugh: Fake Harley. After a while, the Joker has to be restrained from shooting her.
  • Artistic License – Law: In real life, the entire fortune must be verified for authenticity before being offered to the owner and the taxes and debts must be deducted from the amount immediately after the owner agrees to take the fortune; Joker would have been informed of the counterfeit before he even saw the money, and would likely have received whatever sum was left after the IRS deducted the appropriate amount (for the real portion of the money) from taxes. In other words, if law was played realistic, the entire episode wouldn't have happened at all.
  • Aside Glance: Joker has at least three in this episode:
    • First, when he finds Fake Harley, he turns to the audience as he names her as his new henchgirl.
    • Again, when Perry from the IRS shows up, saying that the henchgirl position has been filled "quite nicely".
    • When Ernie stops him from shooting Fake Harley when she annoys him one time too many, asking, "Who'd ever think I'd miss the real one?"
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Batgirl suggests that the Joker might give up crime now that he's rich. When Batman angrily crushes a device he's working on, Batgirl grabs Nightwing and rushes off to keep an eye on the Joker.
  • Backing Away Slowly: New Harley and the other henchmen back away from Joker as he plays Barlowe's tape, knowing full well how he'd react.
  • Batman Gambit: Barlowe wills millions of dollars to the Joker, knowing that a) he'll spend all the real money before finding out the rest is fake, and b) when the taxes come due for the full amount, Joker can't just present the forgeries to get the bill adjusted for fear of admitting that he got played.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: At one point, Joker wanted to use his new millions to hire himself a new hench girl to replace the real Harley. He indeed gets a new one who is pretty and voluptuous, but she comes with a nasally voice and obnoxious laugh. What's more, when Joker learns his newfound wealth is fake, he tries to figure out how to go about fixing his problem and looks to fake Harley for any sound suggestions. Her response is an air-headed "Anything you say, Mr. G." Joker finds himself realizing his wish for a new Harley isn't all it's cracked to be.
  • Berserk Button: Joker goes nuts when he's pranked by someone else. In a posthumous Spiteful Will, King Barlowe got the last laugh when he revealed that the Unexpected Inheritance was fake and knew that Joker would binge-spend before the IRS came for the taxes. Realizing he was duped, the Joker shoots the television playing the Video Will in rage.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: Joker plays out this trope looking for a replacement for Harley Quinn. He takes a long pause on a large, fat man before dismissing him. Then after he makes his choice, he promptly wonders if he should have gone with the fat guy. Even funnier when you realize the guy was an animated caricature of Harley Quinn creator Paul Dini.
  • Blunt "Yes": The Joker and Harley Quinn ran out of gas during a escape. When he berated her for not refueling the car, she reminded him they were broke and asked what he wanted her to do: "fill the tank, shoot the guy and drive off?" The Joker silently nodded and she complained he didn't tell her before.
  • Brainless Beauty: Fake Harley is cute but it's pretty obvious that she's not the sharpest tool in company.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Subverted — "Joker" not remembering something that happened only a month ago is Bruce's first hint that he's a body double.
  • Buxom Is Better: Implied with the replacement Harley with the Joker even commenting that she "filled up the position nicely" while winking at the audience.
  • Call-Back: Ernie, Joker's lawyer, mentions the laughing fish.
    • Later on, when Joker (actually Ernie disguised as him) invites Bruce Wayne to sit with him at his table in the Iceberg Lounge, Bruce says he's a bit apprehensive since the last time he and the Joker encountered each other, Joker threw him off a rooftop. This happened in the "World's Finest" crossover episode with Superman: The Animated Series.
      • The "World's Finest" crossover is also where it's established that the Joker is strapped for cash. We see how broke he is in this episode: running out of ammunition during a robbery, no more acid in his squirting flower, behind on rent in a sleazy, rundown apartment, and not even able to put gas in his getaway car.
    • Also, this isn't the first time that Harley's disguised herself as a police officer.
  • Calling Card: Joker comments this is how Batman will know it's him if he tries to commit a crime to rebuild his fortune.
    Ernie: Maybe you can raise the cash by pulling one of your classic routines, like the laughing fish.
    Joker: Good idea, Ernie. Let's let Batman know I did it, SO HE CAN KICK MY KEISTER RIGHT BACK INTO ARKHAM! [shoves Ernie away, where he crashes into something] Dolt!
  • Counterfeit Cash: Most of Joker's "inheritance" consists of fake money and valuables.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Fake Harley considered In-Universe even more beautiful than original Harley … until she opens her mouth. Then you realise she has a nasally voice and Annoying Laugh.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In Harley's Arkham cell, there's a picture of Batman full of darts.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The entire episode wouldn't have happened had Joker verified the Unexpected Inheritance he received from a dead rival.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the original comic, Barlowe dies in a botched prison escape. Here, he dies from an illness.
  • The Ditz: The replacement Harley is even ditzier than the original, referring to the Joker as "Mister G".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Once he becomes rich, the Joker dumps the woman who's loyally stayed with him for a brainless beauty.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Harley is abandoned early on, replaced, and left to rot in Arkham. In the end, she escapes and is disguised as the guard overseeing the newly arrested Joker. She proceeds to clobber him with a baton.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Harley beats up Joker off-screen while being shipped back to Arkham. That said, it does bear mention that he's, you know, The Joker, which makes it rather karmic.
  • Driven by Envy:
    Joker: I'm sure old Batboy is eating his heart out.
    Penguin: Living well is the best revenge.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    Batgirl: Don't be stupid! You can't save that money!
    Joker: I don't wanna save it! I wanna go with it!
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Fake Harley may be The Ditz, but she's also the one to notice that the counterfeit $100 bills don't have Ben Franklin's face on them.
  • Dying Declaration of Hate: This is combined with Thanatos Gambit and Posthumous Villain Victory. In his video will, Barlowe exploited Joker's greed via his fake Unexpected Inheritance scam, knowing the clown will binge-spend before realizing the taxman cometh. He even rubs it in Joker's face with a Morton's Fork: get jailed for tax evasion (something he won't do), or admit he's been conned by a dead man and become the punchline of Gotham (something he can't accept due to his tremendous ego).
  • Ejector Seat: When the getaway car runs out of gas and the Batmobile closes in, Joker uses one to escape. Unfortunately, since he could only afford one, Harley ends up getting caught.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Joker hits this when taking a closer look at the money Barlow willed him, and sees a different face on the bills.
    Joker: It's just a plain old pack of hundreds. See? There's Ben Franklin's chubby little- What? King Barlowe?! He's on this stack! And this one!
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: A chandelier falls on a mook.
  • Film the Hand: Barlowe's bodyguard angrily blocks the camera with a hand at the end of his interview.
  • Flaw Exploitation: The Joker could save himself all sorts of grief if he had just admitted that much of Barlowe's fortune is fake, but Barlowe correctly knew the clown wouldn't admit under any circumstances that someone got the better of him and end up becoming the Gotham underworld's Butt-Monkey. The Video Will even openly mocks him for it.
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: The Joker quickly burns through the real money he inherited, just as Barlowe expected.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: The Joker is so strapped for cash that he runs out of bullets, squirting-flower acid, and gas during the heist he attempts at the beginning of the episode.
  • Friendship Moment: The Penguin shares a drink with Joker, congratulating him on his newfound fortune.
  • Frivolous Lawsuit: Parodied this with an unnamed Johnnie Cochran lookalike popping up to say a catchy line to support a lawsuit. In the commentary for one such episode, the creators note how dated the joke wound up being. Joker used high-powered lawyers to get acquitted of his various crimes (clearly referencing Cochran's most famous case): "If a man's filled with glee, that man must go free!" According to the commentary, they knew this joke would end up very dated, but they just couldn't resist it.
  • A Glass in the Hand: When Barbara suggests that the Joker might give up crime now that he's rich, Batman breaks a device he's working on.
  • Good-Times Montage: One shows Joker enjoying the perks of his wealth...while also terrorizing everyone else around him with his activities.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Played for Laughs, as it turns out even The Joker is terrified of the IRS.
    Joker: I’m crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS!? Noooooo thank you!
  • Hypocritical Humor: When one of Joker's henchmen asks if he's going to pay Harley's bail to get her out of Arkham, Joker replies that they can't be too extravagant with their money, despite being seen earlier throwing money away.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Barlowe's deathbed message ends with him coughing and breathing from an oxygen tank. It doesn't seem to have dampened his mood at putting one over on the Joker, though.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Even the Clown Prince of Crime is afraid of them. "I'm crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? No-o-o-o, thank you!" (Ironically, the agent who appeared actually seemed like a nice guy.)
  • Keep the Reward: The Joker tries to give Batgirl and Nightwing money after they save his life; the heroes disdainfully crumple up the cash and drop it at his feet.
  • Learned from the News: The Joker left Harley behind to be taken to Arkham, but she's confident he'll come back for her... until Poison Ivy shows her the newspaper she'd been reading with the front page headline "Joker Seeks New Henchgirl".
  • Lighter and Softer: Probably due to it adapting a '50s story (one that was as campy and lighthearted as any other Batman story from the Silver Age), this is the airiest episode of BTAS' (otherwise rather dark) fourth season. Given some of the stuff he's pulled before, Joker having his slate wiped clean already hinges on Rule of Funny, as is the idea that obtaining millions of dollars would make him semi-retire into an obnoxious but mostly harmless Upper-Class Twit instead of spending it on a nuke or something.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Barlowe's Bodyguard was not made aware of Barlowe's plan before his death. So he doesn't understand why his boss left all of his money to his most hated enemy. His attempt to go after Joker himself unwittingly nearly derails the posthumous vengeance Barlowe had planned.
  • The Mole: Ernie poses as The Joker, apparently to provide the real Joker with an alibi, and Batman leans on Penguin to help flush him out.
  • Money to Throw Away: Hopefully most of the money Mistah J was tossing was the counterfeit stuff King Barlowe had tricked him with.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Fake Harley sounds like Fran Drescher. The inspiration becomes more obvious when she's seen unmasked, showing her long dark hair.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Joker hires a replacement for Harley, claiming that it's cheaper than buying the real one out of jail. The one he gets isn't nearly as good as the real one, and she says twice that this "wasn't in the job description" (the second time when she's arrested; still, this was the Joker... she should have known better. Still, she can take comfort with the fact that the real Harley did get revenge on the Joker for the insult...)
  • Now You Tell Me:
    Joker: I thought I told you to get gas!
    Harley: WE'RE BROKE, remember? What was I supposed to do? Fill the tank, shoot the guy, and drive off?!
    Joker: Mmhmm.
    Harley: (pause) NOW ya tell me!
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Barbara uses this to persuade Penguin in letting her and Dick in the Iceberg Lounge.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: Inverted - in this episode, it seems the Joker can no longer access whatever method he uses to fund himself. He and Harley are broke.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Harley not only managed to escape Arkham, but also somehow disguise herself as a police officer well enough to fool the entire force so she could end up in the back of Joker's prison van to beat him up with a nightstick.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Joker gets one when he finds that the money he intended to use to pay off the IRS is fake and later finding out from the video will that he's been had.
    • His henchmen and new Harley after Barlowe reveals his scheme in said tape. Once they see Joker seething, they quickly make themselves scarce.
    • At the end when Joker is arrested. He expects a nice quiet ride back to Arkham... only to find out his guard is a very angry Harley in disguise. With a nightstick...
  • Paranoia Gambit: When asked by Penguin what his scheme is, Joker remarks that he has none; the knowledge that the Bat-family can't touch him and that it's upsetting Batman is good enough.
  • Passed-Over Inheritance: The gangster who'd worked for Barlowe for years was upset that the Joker inherited the money instead of him. It's not known how he reacted if and when he learned the truth.
  • People Fall Off Chairs: The Joker tips over in his chair upon learning how much money he owes the IRS, complete with a silly-sounding scream.
  • Posthumous Villain Victory: A case of a villain doing this to another, but there's Barlowe's prank from beyond the grave, getting one on Joker via his Spiteful Will willing the clown a bunch of counterfeit money with only ten million real dollars.
  • Pretty in Mink: Some of the socialites at The Penguin's club are wearing fur wraps.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Ernie (an accountant and human resources manager) and Fake Harley (an actress) start out working for Joker while he's reformed and not up to anything illegal. They continue serving him once he returns to crime, but Fake Harley is hinted to be Obliviously Evil and Ernie tries to keep his boss from killing Fake Harley in a fit of rage.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Barlowe had never been mentioned before now, even though he was supposedly one of the Joker's biggest and most hated rivals in the Gotham underworld.
  • Sadistic Choice: Turns out Barlowe was trying to force Joker into one of these: either admit he was fooled and become the laughingstock of Gotham's criminal underbelly or pretend he wasn't and go to prison for tax evasion.
  • Save the Villain: Batgirl and Nightwing do this when Joker is attacked by a rival gangster, much to their dismay.
    Nightwing: (to Joker) We were trying to save innocent lives. You're just an unpleasant bonus.
  • Schmuck Bait: When Harley escapes, the guards note that the laundry chute is the best possibility, but dismiss it, as it's laundry day. Cut to Harley stuck in the washing machine.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: As you might expect, Nightwing and Batgirl do not accept the cash the Joker gives them as an insincere "thank you".
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: It's heavily implied The Joker bribed a psychiatrist into declaring him sane. The doctor denies this when questioned by a reporter, while getting into his brand new car with a pretty girl about half his age.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Penguin loudly tries to demand that Batman leave "Joker" (the fake decoy) alone. But after listening to the interrogation for a moment outside the door, Penguin quietly and nervously tiptoes away.
  • Sequel Episode: A subtle example, as this episode follows up on the money problems the Joker briefly mentioned having in the Superman crossover episode "World's Finest." And it's indicated by Bruce that the events of this episode occur at least a month after the above crossover.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: The figure that Agent Perry of the IRS shows the Joker how much tax he owes, the Joker screams and slides back in his desk chair until it tips over.
  • Shoot the Television: The Joker shoots the Video Will in which his benefactor reveals most of the money is fake.
  • Signature Style: A plot point in the Third Act. After hearing Barlowe's posthumous message, Joker needs cash fast, but he can't fall back on usual 'fundraising' methods (ex. The Laughing Fish). Doing so will only bring Batman down on his head and land Joker right back in Arkham. When he and his men eventually rob the Gotham Mint shipment, Joker is very careful to ensure they use conventional knockout gas rather than Laughing Gas (and thus won't leave telltale evidence behind that could connect Joker to the robbery). It might've worked if Bruce hadn't interrogated Ernie at the Iceberg Lounge earlier and learned the plan.
  • Sore Loser: Joker's reaction to Barlowe's Spiteful Will is to Shoot the Television in anger, realizing he's been had by a dead man. Barlowe knew the clown would splurge on his "inheritance" money very quickly and got the last laugh posthumously.
  • So You Were Saying...?: When Batgirl comments that now that Joker's rich, maybe he'll give up crime. This really pisses Batman off.
    (Batman breaks the device he's working on in anger)
    Batgirl: Right, I'll call Dick.
  • Spanner in the Works: As stated under Locked Out of the Loop, Barlowe's Bodyguard wasn't briefed by Barlowe on the plan before his death. So his gunning for Joker at the Iceberg Lounge unwittingly nearly ends up derailing it (as Barlow's preference was unrecoverable humiliation and/or prison time for Joker instead of just outright killing him).
  • Spiteful Will: How Barlowe gets his posthumous revenge on the Joker. He gives the clown his millions, revealing in his tape that most of it is fake. Expecting the Joker to splurge on it, he won't have enough to pay off the IRS, and won't admit Barlowe tricked him, allowing Barlowe to get the "last laugh" after his death without the Joker coming after him.
  • Suspicious Spending: A psychiatrist denies that there was anything untoward in his certification of Joker's sanity, then drives off in a fancy sports car with a hot babe.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: "Fake Harley" is a deliberate example. The Joker hired her because it was cheaper than paying for the real Harley's release from Arkham, but he grows to regret it since she's no help at all, and a pissed-off Harley gets back at him for it in the end.
  • Swirlie: Batman tortures the newly wealthy Joker's accountant Ernie into divulging the clown's whereabouts by sticking the guy's head in an Iceberg Lounge toilet and flushing. Repeatedly.
  • Take a Third Option: Since Joker has two choices (either go to jail for tax evasion or admit that he's been fooled and become a laughing stock), he chooses to commit a crime to get his fortune back.
  • Taxman Takes the Winnings: Downplayed. While Joker owes a substantial amount of money to the IRS in back taxes, it's implied he'd still have plenty of money to spare... but then it's revealed that he's spent all the real money and the remainder is counterfeit.
  • Tempting Fate: Right after Harley expresses her belief the Joker will come back for her, Poison Ivy shows the headline about him looking for a new henchgirl.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: The Joker trying out new Harley Quinns after abandoning the original in prison (she gets her revenge at the end of the episode). A string of less-than-stellar ladies (and a cameo of Paul Dini in a Harley suit) meet his ad. He ends up hiring a busty but not-too-bright actress, who can't even spell Joker and calls him "Mistah G"; best summed up by the Joker's muttered line, "Maybe I should've hired the fat guy."
  • Thanatos Gambit: King Barlowe's will, designed to strike out at the Joker from beyond the grave.
  • Too Dumb to Live: While this Trope applies to anyone who volunteers to work for the Joker, Harley's replacement was even dumber. She didn't even know who he was.
  • Tranquil Fury: Joker's reaction to seeing Barlowe's Video Will where he's revealed to have been had, is to growl furiously, and then silently Shoot the Television.
  • Troll: You can't be a bigger troll than Barlowe, who upstaged the Joker with an Unexpected Inheritance full of Counterfeit Cash, knowing he'd binge-spend the real cash and not have enough to pay off the IRS. Barlowe even rubbed it in his face with a postmortem Video Will. Joker reacts by shooting the TV in rage.
  • Trouble Entendre: Harley invokes this trope before exacting revenge against Joker by beating him with her nightstick.
    Joker: It'll be nice to see the old gang again.
    Harley: One of them's dying to see you too, puddin'.
    Joker: Harley?
    Harley: The one and only.
    Joker: You, you don't know how happy I am to see you!
    Harley: Welcome to the club.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: The Joker certainly didn't expect to inherit his rival's wealth. The visit from the Intimidating Revenue Service and the rival's Video Will made him understand.
  • Video Will: Barlowe left a tape explaining why he gave his fortune to Joker. Joker didn't find it until it was too late, which Barlowe anticipated. Turns out most of it was fake, and Barlowe did it as a posthumous up-yours against his rival.
  • Villain Episode: This is the closest BTAS ever came to an episode with the Joker as the protagonist; the plot focuses far more on his personal life than any of the good guys', and each Commercial Break Cliffhanger hinges on him being in trouble.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: This episode introduces the "revamped" Penguin, no longer a bird-themed thief but a "legitimate businessman" running the Iceberg Lounge. That said, he doesn't actually do anything evil in this episode besides rubbing shoulders with the "reformed" Joker (who zigzags the trope; while his method of "reforming" is less than ethical, he does seem content to retire from supervillainy until he starts needing money again).
  • Vocal Dissonance: Poison Ivy's voice doesn't sound quite the same as in all the other episodes.
  • Wham Shot: Joker picks up a bundle of hundred-dollar bills... and sees they have King Barlowe's face on them instead of Benjamin Franklin's.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: The Arkham guards dismiss the idea of Harley going down the laundry chute.
    Guard: None of these yahoos are crazy enough to pull that old stunt.
    Ivy: (overhearing) Ha!
    (cut to Harley stuck in a washing machine yelling for help)
  • Woman Scorned: Harley didn't take it well when the Joker dumped her for a new hench-girl.
    Harley: (reads newspaper) "Joker seeks new hench-girl?" I'LL KILL HIM!!!!!
  • Xanatos Gambit: Barlowe traps Joker in what seems like a situation where he wins posthumously either way. Option 1: Joker admits he was tricked and makes himself look like an idiot. Option 2: Joker pretends he wasn't and gets locked up for not paying his taxes. To try and get out of this seemingly no-win situation, Joker decides he needs to get enough money to pay Uncle Sam his due... illegally, of course.


Video Example(s):


Harley in the laundry chute

Harley escapes Arkham by going through the laundry chute, something the guards dismiss as being too crazy even for the inmates. We soon see why.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhoWouldBeStupidEnough

Media sources: