Any animated version of Harley Quinn

Batman is a comic book character, but amidst a world of superhero adaptations, he’s also one of the medium’s most prolific mainstays off the page. The Caped Crusader is popular on the big screen, but one of the most iconic versions of the character remains the one that graced every kid’s TV screen in the ’90s.

Harley Quinn has quickly become one of the most popular characters in the Batman mythos, but she hasn’t been around as long as others. Harley was created for the classic cartoon, but that’s far from the only cartoon to feature the character.

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The Original (1992 – 2019)

Harley’s first appearance was in September 1992 in the 22nd episode of Batman: The Animated Series entitled “Joker’s Favor”. Those who haven’t checked in with the series in a while might be shocked to remember that she only appears in nine episodes in the entire series. Her introduction is primed, she becomes an occasional antagonist for the Caped Crusader, and her toxic relationship with the Joker is established. She is a psychotherapist who is attracted to the clown prince of crime, but he treats her like trash and gradually loses her support. Harley’s last episode in this series was “Lock-Up”, sixty episodes after her debut. Although the show only ran for three years, this iteration of Harley survived it.


The DC Animated Universe has continued well beyond its original origins in the ’90s. Harley continued to perform Static Shockthe 2001 justice league series that Batman beyond Feature film and two other animated films. All this work takes place in a reasonably stable continuity. Harley repeatedly abandons the Joker before returning to him through a host of crazy schemes. In 2017 batman and harley quinn, She begins a brief affair with Nightwing, which leads her to briefly help the heroes stop Poison Ivy. Canonically, the ultimate fate of the original Harley comes in the sci-fi future Batman Beyond: The Joker Returns. After a fight with Batgirl, Harley was presumed dead, but her near-death experience took her away from her life of crime. Her illicit legacy is continued by her twin grandsons, the Dee Dee twins, who affectionately call her “Nana Harley”. This iteration of the character was portrayed by Arleen Sorkin until her retirement in 2012, at which point she retired The big Bang Theory Star Melissa Rauch took over.


The New Clown in Town (2004 – 2019)

After her big debut and throughout the enduring life of this character, every major Batman cartoon gave Harley a brief appearance. In the year 2004 The Batman, she’s a TV pop psychiatrist on the level of Dr. Phil before being taken by The Joker. In the year 2008 Batman: The Brave and the Bold, she has a different appearance but fulfills the same role. She also makes a brief appearance in 2016 Action of the Justice League Series. Like seemingly every Batman character, she has a few cameos Teen Titans go. She also plays a small role in the many Lego iterations of the Batman world. None of these works gave Harley anywhere near a “leading role,” and most limited their screen time to an episode or two. Harley plays a pretty central role in DC Superheroineswhere she takes on a more anti-hero personality as a friend and fan of the other heroes.


Harley in cinemas (2008 – 2021)

Although the TV series introduced and popularized the character, Harley has appeared in several animated films. Like her television career, many of these appearances take the form of brief guest appearances. She shows up Justice League: The New Frontier, DC Super Heroes vs. Eagle Talon, Batman vs. Two-Face, Batman Ninja, and more. She is a member of the central villain team in the straight-to-video film Batman: Assault on Arkham. She reprises her traditional comic book role in the 2021 adaptation injustice. In the bizarre crossover 2019 Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesshe finds herself mutated into a hyena monster to fight with both groups of heroes.


Harley is also present in the ongoing DC Animated Movie Universe. A version of her appears in the flash point Adjustment. She is a key member of the titular team in Suicide Squad: Paying Hell, largely styled after her New 52 look. She shows up Batman: Quiet and finally in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. This version of Harley takes over the Suicide Squad after the death of Amanda Waller. Movies in this franchise could continue to come out, so Harley’s destiny could still unfold.

Harley Quinn (2019 – present)

It’s taken 27 years, but Harley finally got her starring role in the medium that made her an icon. HBO is geared towards adults Harley Quinn Animated series feels like the character’s brain projected into 3 seasons of television. The series follows Harley as she once again leaves The Joker and assembles a team of fellow villains to become the town’s new crime boss. Interestingly, this Harley is played by another big bang theory Stern, Kaley Cuoco. Fans of the character look no further, the perfect iteration of Harley Quinn is the one with her name on the poster, but it took every other unique version to reach this pinnacle.


MORE: Harley Quinn is the main character of the DCEU

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