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Web Animation / Gotham Girls

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The gurls ready to fight crime or cause it!

A 2000-2002 three-season web animation series of 30 short episodes made by Noodle Soup Productions for Warner Bros. Animation. It stars the female characters of the Gotham setting: Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Batgirl, with occasional appearances by Zatanna and Renee Montoya. The series is notable for featuring the characters' television voice actresses and is generally considered canon with the DC Animated Universe.

The first twenty episodes (released monthly) were unrelated comedic interludes featuring tales of the daily life of the characters. The third season of ten episodes formed an interconnected arc concerning the disappearance of all men from Gotham City. Some installments featured an interactive element or a mini-game.

The fact that it was an online release allowed for much looser standard for content, albeit in a more "cartoonish" form. The Flash Animation (hailing as it did from the early days of the web) was not very fluid, but got better as time went on.

Until mid-2015, the episodes were still viewable on the Warner Bros. website (albeit hidden). You can now view the series on YouTube here. The entire series was also included as Bonus Content on the Birds of Prey (2002) DVD. A spinoff, five-issue comic book was released for the series, and Paul Dini's "Harley and Ivy" mini-series and later Gotham City Sirens clearly took some inspiration from the premise.

There's also a recap page.

Gotham Girls shows examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: All four main protagonists (Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman).
  • Anti-Villain: Invoked in-universe. Ivy calls herself an "eco-terrorist of global importance". Which means she makes a contribution. At least one episode has her going out of her way to get the mayor to prevent bulldozing of a park because he swore he wouldn't in his election campaign.
  • Art Evolution: The series' flash animation started out as very simple and choppy but gradually improved over time. By the final episodes, the animation was nearly on par with the DCAU TV shows.
  • Asteroids Monster: The little plant-based clones Harley accidentally creates from one of Ivy's plants in "Gardener's Apprentice" duplicate whenever Harley tries to destroy them. It isn't long until there are a whole myriad of plant clones.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Batgirl while disguised as a male police officer does this to Poison Ivy after gassing her in "Honor Among Thieves.
  • Beauty Contest: Batgirl stages one in order to catch the villains in "Miss Un-Congeniality". No beauty is actually judged, given the feminist vibe.
  • Between My Legs: Harley in "Cat Sitter", with Catwoman's new kitty between Harley's legs.
  • Breakout Character: The entire show was pretty much made to capitalize on fandom love for Harley Quinn.
  • Call-Back: The final episode vaguely references Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero, specifically that it ended with Nora’s life being saved.
    Dora Smithy: Victor Fries was a freak! If it wasn’t for him, my sister would be—!
    Commissioner Gordon: Your sister would be dead!
    Batgirl: It’s true, Dora. If Victor Fries had listened to you, Nora wouldn’t be alive today. He saved her life.
  • The Cameo: The wax statues that Baby Harley crawls by and can look at in "Baby Boom" include Zatanna, Superman, and Lobo as he appears in the Lobo (Webseries).
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The series evolved from lighthearted comedic shorts in the early seasons (involving antics like rescuing stray kittens and telling fairy tales) to a very deep, complicated multi-part storyline in Season 3.
  • Check, Please!: Used (incorrectly) by Harley in "Strategery" after she gets flattened by a wrecking ball in the ending.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Harley Quinn. Although intelligent, she's comically absent-minded at times, and often (unintentionally) gets in the way of Ivy or Catwoman's schemes.
  • Curse Cut Short: From "Lap Bat".
    Batgirl: Long life my aAAGH! [Said just as the ledge she was holding collapses.]
  • Derailed Fairy Tale: "The Three Babes" has Poison Ivy tell Harley Quinn a story while they and Catwoman are in a prison cell. As the title suggests, it is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with Harley, Ivy, and Catwoman in the roles of the three bears and Batgirl in the role of Goldilocks.
  • Dirty Cop: In "Gotham Noir", Harley wrote Batgirl as one in her detective story.
  • Expressive Hair: The points on Harley's jester hat can raise or droop with her emotion.
  • Face Palm: Poison Ivy is making tons of these as she constantly has to endure Harley's mishaps.
  • Forced Transformation: The Jade Gato turns Batgirl into a cat just before she falls to the ground. As a result she lands on her feet, just in time for Catwoman to find her and take her home.
  • Foreshadowing: Several of the early episodes of season three provide hints towards who the real villain is.
    • Dora always has a snowglobe on her desk, hinting at her connection to Mr. Freeze. More specifically, that she's Nora's sister.
    • The lingering shot of Mr. Freeze's locker while Harley and Ivy are looting the evidence room.
    • After it's discovered that the men have disappeared, it starts to snow.
  • Fountain of Youth: "Baby Boom" has Harley Quinn become a baby after accidentally inhaling some of Ivy's rejuvenation dust.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The episode "The Three Babes" is centered around Ivy's retelling of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears (instead starring herself, Harley, Catwoman, and Batgirl), which is told to Harley while the trio is in jail.
  • Gendercide: The main arc of the third season, although it revolved around the men disappearing instead of dying.
  • The Ghost: The Joker and — later in Season 3 — Mr Freeze are both talked about prominently with neither actually appearing, except for a wax statue and an inflatable dummy of Joker, and photos of Freeze.
  • Girl's Night Out Episode: The premise of the series is to focus on the female characters of Batman: The Animated Series. Commissioner Gordon is the only male character to directly appear in the series aside from a score of minor characters.
  • Hero Antagonist: Batgirl in episodes where Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and/or Catwoman are the starring characters, where she tries to capture them or at least thwart their crimes.
  • An Ice Person: Dora Smithy becomes an ice-powered being at the very end of the third season.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Harley Quinn bursts into noisy tears when she finds herself missing the Joker, much to the disgust of Poison Ivy and others.
  • Jerkass: Caroline Greenway. She's extremely prejudiced against Batgirl and her attitude about the men in Gotham disappearing has strongly misandrist implications.
  • Keep Away:
    • Some jerks do this with Zatanna's top hat, so she turns them all into frogs to get it back.
    • Harley and Ivy try this on Batgirl with a CD in "Strategery". Harley eventually falls for Batgirl shouting "I'm open!"
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • When Harley is babysitting Catwoman's lion cub, she doesn't allow it to leave the house, as she isn't suppose to keep it out of her sight. However, she reason that they could go out together.
    • As part of a deal with Batgirl, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn agree to turn themselves to the police. No sooner after, the trio are making their escape as they haven't promised they wouldn't escape.
  • Mama Bear: Ivy to Harley in "Baby Boom", when Harley is briefly turned into a baby. Ivy is visibly distraught when baby Harley disappears and spends the rest of the episode looking for her.
  • Merit Badges for Everything: In "Scout's Dishonor", Harley sets up an evil Girl Scout equivalent with this sort of logic. She is seen trying to teach her scouts how to earn merit badges for identity theft. In the end, Batgirl gives some ordinary girl scouts merit badges for truth and justice to reward them for helping her subdue Harley.
  • Mirror Morality Machine: In "I'm Badgirl", Ivy uses a new breed of flower with a pollen that flips the victim's moral compass, turning Batgirl into a 'criminal entrepreneur' for most of the episode. Harley also briefly gets a dose.
    Harley: What are we doing here...? (gasps) Oh my goodness! You're going to steal those paintings! Shame on you! Shame! Shame! That's immoral! That's- (Gets hit by the antidote) ...the strangest thing I've ever said!
  • Missing Child: When Harley is transformed into a baby and goes missing, Ivy visibly worries about her and spends the rest of the episode trying to find her.
  • Mythology Gag: The Robotic Reveal happens exactly the same way it did in The Animated Series episode "Heart of Steel, Part 2". As Barbara participated in that case, she's working from experience here.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Harley's plans really give Batgirl an advantage.
  • Noir Episode: The appropriately titled webisode "Gotham Noir". Harley narrate herself as a private detective looking for Catwoman's missing cat.
  • Noodle Incident: An ominously loud banging on the apartment door leads Ivy to ask Harley if she ordered explosives online again.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Commissioner Gordon says this regarding Dora Smithy and her ex-brother-in-law, Mr. Freeze. This becomes even more so after her Karmic Transformation.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In order to sneak Catwoman's lion cub Bongo out of the house in "Catsitter", Harley disguises the two of them as mother and baby. Despite the fact that the casual clothes are simply worn over her jester outfit and makeup, she isn't recognized by the public.
  • Pet the Dog: Catwoman numerous times, especially where cats are involved. For example, she once frees a little girl's pet cat from a safe in "Precious Birthstones" and also helps Zatanna rescue her pet white tiger in "Hold That Tiger".
  • Precision F-Strike: In the second episode, Batgirl quips about the cat idol, "Some helluva good luck charm you turned out to be."
  • invoked Recycled Script: The whole plot in "I'm Badgirl" reuses the one from The Batman and Robin Adventures #8, just replacing Robin with Batgirl, Ivy using roses instead of kisses, and leaving out Harley's hyenas and Batman.
  • Red Herring: Caroline Greenway is this in season 3 when all the men disappear. She is shown to be very unpleasant to everyone and say that she's doing a better job than commissioner Gordon ever did. Batgirl comment that she actually like the disappearance of men as she would continue to be in charge. In truth, she isn't the true Big Bad and is only capitalizing the situation to her own advantage.
  • Reverse Polarity: How Harley Quinn un-disappears all of Gotham's men in season 3. The gun's settings are polarity and reverse polarity.
  • Secondary Adaptation: A 2000 web animation series based on the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon, which itself is based on the DC Comics character, Batman.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: This moment from the final episode, delivered by Commissioner Gordon, of all people.
    Dora Smithy: [Mr. Freeze] should have been destroyed. As every costumed menace should be destroyed!
    Batgirl: What gives you the right to decide their fates? Victor Fries—
    Dora Smithy: Victor Fries was a freak! If it wasn’t for him, my sister would be—
    Commissioner Gordon: Your sister would be dead!
  • Sixth Ranger: Renee Montoya enters the series and plays a main role in season 3. The spinoff comics even showcase her in one issue. And she is literally the sixth one who is presented as a Gotham Girls member.
  • Sleazy Politician: The mayor of Gotham City has a tendency to lie. "Pave Paradise" has Ivy put an end to it by using spores to make plants grow from his body whenever he lies.
  • Stable Time Loop: Happens in "Cat -n- Mouse". Catwoman finds out that another thief beats her to stealing a glass cat. After the mystery thief gets away and the glass cat shatters, Catwoman finds a time machine and gets the idea to use it to go back in time so she can steal the glass cat before the other thief does. Eventually, she realizes that she herself is the rival thief, so she destroys the time machine to end the loop, resulting in the glass cat no longer being shattered and put back to where it was before Catwoman stole it.
  • Straw Feminist: Caroline Greenway. She doesn't show much sign of being upset about the male population of Gotham disappearing and makes several vaguely misandrist remarks.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Dora, Dora, Dora. You’d think since she said she and Nora were “inseparable”, that she would’ve been thankful that her brother-in-law Victor Fries devoted all his time and energy in trying to find a cure for Nora when she got sick. But NOPE. As far as Dora’s concerned, Victor “wouldn’t let Nora die in peace”. And even after being told that it’s because of Victor that Nora is alive and well today, she refuses to listen, insisting that he’s twisted and evil and that “people like him have to be stopped”.
  • Villain Protagonist: Unless it's an episode focusing on Batgirl or Zatanna, this is always the case, since Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman are obviously criminals.
  • Weapons of Their Trade: In the episode "Scout's Dis-Honor": Batgirl and Harley advise two competing groups of girls, the Mandy Scouts and the Harley Scouts. When they fight, they use the skills from their merit badges as techniques, calling out the name of said merit badge as they do so:
    Knot-tying badge! (lassoing)
    Fire prevention badge! (spraying a fire extinguisher)
    Rappelling badge! (sliding down a rope and drop-kicking)
  • Wham Line: What kickstarts the Story Arc of Season 3.
    Caroline Greenway: (on the phone with Batgirl) Ah, Miss Gordon. Acting Commissioner Greenway here. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but... your father is gone.
    Batgirl: Gone?!
    Caroline Greenway: I’m afraid all of the men in Gotham… have disappeared.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: How did Dora obtain an android? And also a freezing plant to use as a lair?
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: When Harley is temporary transformed into a baby, one museum guard comment as to why someone would name their kid "Harley Quinn". This could be a nod to Kevin Smith who did in fact named his daughter Harley Quinn.
  • World of Action Girls: The main characters are all female and capable of defending themselves from danger.
  • Worth It: Mayor Hill's security guards in "Pave Paradise" weren't the slightest bit unhappy being knocked out, grinning contently in their sleep with lipstick marked cheeks to show for their encounter with Poison Ivy.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Being around Harley must've done wonders to Ivy's vocabulary as she occasionally uses some of Harley's mamaloshen. In episode 1, Ivy threatens to shove some cacti up her tukhes. And in episode 3, after Harley goes to get a Halloween present for her, Ivy says, "Oy vey."