Top 10 Batman The Animated Series Episodes

Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

He is vengeance, he is the night, and these are his greatest adventures! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting our picks for the top 10 episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series.”

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best episodes from the ‘90s animated cartoon featuring the Dark Knight. We’re also be including episodes from “The New Batman Adventures,” as it’s still a part of the series as a whole. However, we won’t be including the movies like “Mask of the Phantasm,” because while it is part of the continuity of the series, it’s not an episode. As you’d expect, this list is filled with spoilers, so a Spoiler Alert is now in effect.

Special thanks to our users Nafeo Nihal and Robert Payes for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Batman+The+Animated+Series+Episodes

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He is vengeance, he is the night, and these are his greatest adventures! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting our picks for the top 10 episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series.”

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best episodes from the ‘90s animated cartoon featuring the Dark Knight. We’re also be including episodes from “The New Batman Adventures,” as it’s still a part of the series as a whole. However, we won’t be including the movies like “Mask of the Phantasm,” because while it is part of the continuity of the series, it’s not an episode. As you’d expect, this list is filled with spoilers, so a Spoiler Alert is now in effect.

#10: “The Laughing Fish”

We were all aware that the Joker was big on mayhem and madness, but who knew he was also an entrepreneur? After creating a new breed of fish, which bare his signature smile, Joker seems to be trying to start a business selling these little monstrosities, even going so far as to make his own commercial! But, of course, there’s a much more sinister plan afoot. Luckily, Batman’s knowledge of undersea life ensures that Gotham doesn’t meet a fishy end. The episode also sees Batman channeling his 1960s’ counterpart as he battles a shark - minus the repellent this time.

#9: “Perchance to Dream”

What if Bruce Wayne’s life had never been struck by tragedy? The answer to that question isn’t as simple as you’d think. In this mind-trip of an episode, Bruce awakens to discover that everything in his life is perfect. His parents are alive, he’s engaged to Selina Kyle, and someone else is keeping Gotham safe as Batman. But all is not as it seems. Bruce struggles to accept this personal paradise, resisting this reality and questioning whether it’s all an illusion or if he’s actually going insane. It’s not often you see Alice trying to climb her way out of the rabbit hole.

#8: “Beware the Gray Ghost”

Turns out that Batman is just like us - he too had a childhood hero who dressed in tights. It just so happens that this hero, The Gray Ghost, is voiced by Adam West! Simon Trent, much like West, is an actor who played a superhero on a popular television show. He’s sought out by Batman to help solve a string of crimes that resemble episodes of the Gray Ghost television series. Providing some insight into what may have inspired Bruce to turn to a life of crime fighting and vigilante justice, this episode teachers us that even our heroes need heroes of their own.

#7: “Joker’s Favor”

We imagine owing anything to the Joker is pretty much the worst kind of debt you can get into. An average Joe by the name of Charlie Collins inadvertently finds himself on the wrong side of the Clown Prince of Crime, but is spared when he promises to do anything the villain asks of him. Two years down the line, the Joker comes a-calling. Forced to assist in an attempt to assassinate Commissioner Gordon, Charlie is driven to his wits’ end, leading to a confrontation with his tormentor. We won’t ruin the brilliant ending, but all you need to know is that Batman finds it so funny that he let out a few laughs. You don’t see that every day.

#6: “Robin’s Reckoning”

When does a quest for justice turn into a quest for vengeance, and is the line between the two ideas all that clear? Robin struggles to remain on the side of good when confronted with the man who arranged his parents’ murder. What follows is a moral crisis, not only for Robin, but also for Batman himself; the story of what happened to Robin’s parents parallels what happened to Bruce Wayne’s folks, leading him to try to shelter his sidekick and help him avoid the road to revenge. This episode not only presents us with the origins of the Boy Wonder, but also brilliantly explores the relationship these two crime fighters share. While they both still bear the scars of their pasts, their losses have only made them strive to become better heroes. No wonder this episode won an Emmy.

#5: “Mad Love”

Oh Harley, why do you stick by this creep? You could do so much better! While showing us the origins of how Harleen Quinzel goes from renowned psychiatrist to the Joker’s devout partner in crime, this episode also goes to some pretty dark places as it explores the depths of their abusive relationship. We see how the Joker masterfully manipulates her into a becoming a submissive punching bag, and one that he’s all too happy to toss out a window. It’s all the more upsetting to know that she’ll keep coming back to him again and again. Harley may be awesome and fun, but she’s living proof of the depths of Joker’s cruelty and warped sense of humor.

#4: “Two-Face”

One of “The Animated Series”’ greatest accomplishments is its portrayal of Harvey Dent, whose downfall would lead to the rise of the infamous Two Face. Harvey’s presence as Gotham’s hotshot lawyer and a friend to Bruce had been established several episodes before this. Unfortunately, it’s clear that he’s dealing with some demons of his own, suffering from a violent split personality dubbed “Big Bad Harv”. After clashing with a criminal overlord, Harvey is left horribly scarred, allowing his ruthless persona to take over. Now broken and vengeful, Two Face’s new lease on life ultimately leads him into conflict with the Dark Knight. Losing a friend and gaining an enemy, Batman is haunted by Harvey’s fate for the rest of the series and beyond.

#3: “Almost Got ‘Im”

The premise of this episode is so simple; it’s genius. The Joker, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, The Penguin and Killer Croc reminisce about the time they almost killed the caped crusader…while playing a game of poker. Not only are each of the stories action-packed and filled with brilliant moments, but the comedy is spot-on as well. As is to be expected, the banter is also superb, each of the villains are on point, and the final twist couldn’t be more fitting. We even get a sweet little moment with Catwoman. It seems that not even the Princess of Plunder can snag the World’s Greatest Detective.

#2: “Heart of Ice”

Continuing with the theme of sympathetic villains - enter Mr. Freeze. Only able to survive in sub-zero temperatures, Freeze’s burning drive for revenge makes him one of Batman’s deadliest and in some cases most relatable enemies. This Freeze-centric episode emphasizes the sometimes-hollow nature of Batman’s crusade for justice. Freeze remains a victim in his own icy hell, trying desperately to cure his cryogenically frozen wife of her fatal affliction, while we’re left questioning what it means to be truly good or evil. Mr. Freeze was nothing more than a second-rate villain in the comics, but “The Animated Series” provided a new origin story and motivation that made him a staple of Batman’s rogues’ gallery. No surprise this one was another Emmy winner.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Harley and Ivy”
- “Legends of the Dark Knight”
- “The Man Who Killed Batman”

#1: “Over the Edge”

This is among the most heartbreaking stories in Batman’s long history. During a scuffle with the Scarecrow, Batgirl is killed, but not before Commissioner Gordon discovers her secret identity – Barbra Gordon. Overcome with grief due to the death of his daughter, Gordon declares war on Batman. From that point onwards, everything goes haywire. The Batcave is overrun, Alfred, Robin and Nightwing are arrested, and Gordon turns to Bane to help take down the Dark Knight. It all culminates in a rooftop battle between Bane and The Bat, with the rug once again pulled out from under our feet. With its brilliant pacing, “Over the Edge” is one of the most unique and ambitious episodes in the “Batman: The Animated Series”’ historic run.
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