- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Harley simply another victim of Joker's abuse, who has been led down a path of wrongdoing and deserved to become an Anti-Hero who is more-or-less on friendly ground with a good chunk of the DC universe, or is she really just another psychopath, who was all too eager to go crazy in the first place? While writers in general seem to prefer the former, several readers have pointed out in recent years that someone who fell in love with and actively emulates the Joker obviously shouldn't be seen solely as a sympathetic character. A great deal of this is Depending on the Writer; it's hard to believe that she's the same character sometimes between volumes (e.g. her murdering hundreds of children with bombs disguised as game consoles in one issue, and then being jovially embraced by the superhero community in the next).
- Author's Saving Throw: A Saving Throw based on something that happened before the series even started. Prior to the New 52 series beginning, DC announced an art contest based around drawing a page for the #0 issue that ended with a panel described in the script as a naked Harley about to commit an Electrified Bathtub Bath Suicide. This sparked Internet Backdraft over an apparent misogynistic eroticisation of a woman's suicide, made worse by the fact that the script didn't include any of the dialogue, or indicate that it was meant to be contextualised as a fantasy sequence. When the issue was published, the final panel of the page showed a fully-clothed (well, as much as she ever is in the New 52) Harley Riding the Bomb instead.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
- Harley's odd dream when she's knocked out in Skate Club.
- There have been a few times when Harley and Ivy had gone on major Acid Trips from some drug or another.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In Harley's Little Black Book Issue 1, Harley reveals that she has always been a fanatical Wonder Woman fan. If you've read that comic before playing Injustice 2, then it makes what happens between Harley and Wonder Woman in the game even worse for Harley herself(not that she shows it).
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Some fans loved to ship Harley and Deadpool. So, New 52 Harley meets a Captain Ersatz version of him (named Red Tool) and they have a brief relationship.
- Hype Backlash: If not Hype Aversion. The sheer number of spin-off media in which Harley has appeared has led to accusations of her being an overexposed and shallow comic relief character who much like the Caped Crusader himself is only featured to bump sales.
- Just Here for Godzilla: The issues (in Volume 3) with the backstory written by Paul Dini with the classic Harley and Joker versions from Batman: The Animated Series. Lampshaded by the cover of the issue 19◊.
- Les Yay:
- A lot, especially in the New 52 series where hardly a scene goes by with Harley and Ivy that doesn't hammer home that the two are Friends with Benefits. There is even a scene where Harley kisses Ivy on the mouth.
- The New 52 road trip special has been accused by many fans as implying that Harley, Ivy, and Catwoman spent the entirety of it having sex with each other.
- In Harley's Little Black Book Issue 1, Harley reveals that she has always been a fanatical Wonder Woman fan, so what does she do when she first meets her? Knock her out and take off her clothes, of course. Later we get some more Harley style bonding.Harley: How cool is it that we're wearing each others clothes?! It's like we're Girlfriends.
Wonder Woman: My suit is... moist.
- and later
Harley: Sorry, I got excited.
- Issue 3 has Zatanna, and Harley spends at least half of their conversations making not so overt come-ons. She also tries to grab a ghost girl's breasts.
- And don't forget that Harley really likes Power Girl. At one point, Harley mentions that she tried to summon her while Harley was in the shower. Power Girl refused to come, specifically citing that she knew Harley was in the shower.
- Misaimed Fandom: Many fans tend to portray Harley more as a Ms. Fanservice than an actual character, ironic for a character that was created to be a commentary on the abusive objectification of women. Some (predominantly female) fans of the Suicide Squad film, who perhaps didn't notice the abusive nature of her relationship with the Joker, took to sites like Twitter and Tumblr and started citing Harley/Joker as "#Relationshipgoals". No. No they are not.
- Misaimed Marketing: Much of DC's marketing, particularly Suicide Squad (2016), mostly appeals to the Misaimed Fandom mentioned above, often portraying Harley in very revealing clothing that bears no resemblance to her original harlequin costume (her costume in Suicide Squad consists of short shorts, leggings and a tight T-shirt). Not helped by the fact that Margot Robbie is playing Harley in the DC Extended Universe. One of the most popular pieces of merchandise from Suicide Squad was a shirt saying "Daddy's Lil' Monster!", and the character's costume became very popular around Halloween of 2016.
- Seasonal Rot: The New 52 series has been strongly criticized and is considered one of the weakest DC series by most readers for several reasons:
- Harley Quinn's characterization. She is not only a completely different character from her original version, but also her personality is different from Suicide Squad. In an example of Adaptational Heroism, she has become (in this series) an Expy of Deadpool.
- The fact that the series has few nods toward the rest of the DC universe. Plus, there is a big problem of continuity with Suicide Squad, where she is one of the main characters. When are the events of the comic supposed to have happened?
- The general tone of the comic: nonsense plots and a mix of fanservice, humor and violence in an attempt to emulate the Deadpool comic's style. Adding also a Captain Ersatz of Deadpool to the story just to ship him with Harley doesn't help.
- On the other hand, the New 52/Rebirth series has continuously sold pretty well, and a fair proportion of its readers like the humour and lack of heavy ties to other DC comics, in contrast to most of the rest of the New 52.
YMMV / Harley Quinn