Suicide Squad wasn’t the critical marvel DC was hoping it would turn out to be. The film was touted as something of a Guardians of the Galaxy for the DC Extended Universe but failed miserably to convey edgy anti-heroes whom we could care about. What the film did achieve, remarkably well too, was gaining popularity for Harley Quinn.
Harley was promoted more than any other character in the lead-up to the film, with the studio hoping she would be the major draw for viewers. It worked out, and Suicide Squad is now mainly known as a Harley Quinn special. Although Margot Robbie popularized Harley Quinn for the mainstream audience, it’s incorrect for one to think that Robbie is responsible for shaping up Harley’s character.
Batman: The Animated Series brought with it numerous inspirations for DC comics and films to incorporate. The Joker-Harley Quinn dynamic was birthed and dabbled with in the DC Animated Universe continuity and it has worked wonders for the comic book giant. Harley is a deeply over-the-top character whose main charm has been to exploit her lively personality to cloud over the fact that her relationship with Joker is completely toxic.
This itself makes her a pretty ridiculous character as her total inability to see Joker for the evil cad he is makes her a fool. But we can’t claim to want her to open her eyes anytime soon as this relationship has brought us many happy memories.
Here are 25 Ridiculous Things About Harley Quinn’s Anatomy.
30 She Survived Falling In Acid
In order to fulfill her promise of total devotion to the Joker in Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn took a jump in a vat of acid. The Joker, whose original intention was to leave her to either drown or be consumed by the acid, also decided to leap into the vat and emerge with Harley in tow.
This was supposed to be romantic.
It was also ridiculous as the only harm the acid did to Harley was bleaching her skin. She suffered no ill-effects in her skin and lungs and still looked pretty as ever.
29 Fighting An All-Powerful Witch
A big factor in the critical failure of Suicide Squad was the total moronic plan of Amanda Waller. Her group of mercenaries were hardly qualified to combat undead armies and the main antagonist. How’s a petite looking girl in her twenties supposed to threaten a centuries-old witch with superpowers?
Harley’s only weapon was her bat which was hardly conceivable as a fit tool to battle a witch who could end people with the blink of an eye. It’s not like Harley had any super strength either that would’ve made the choice of a bat understandable.
28 Surviving Impossible Bumps And Injuries
We could fill this list to the brim with incidents involving Harley Quinn tumbling storeys to what should have been her demise, or occasions where she is hit by beings whose single poke should have blasted her into smithereens, but for this you can only watch Suicide Squad and understand our point.
The film was littered with moments that should have spelled doom for Harley Quinn. Her fall from the chopper, when Joker was rescuing her, should’ve been enough to have her go splat on the pavement.
27 Scared Of Water
A cheap way of influencing the audience to take Harley more seriously was used in Suicide Squad when Amanda Waller narrated Harley’s psyche to be “crazier” than the Joker and insinuated that she was “more fearless” than the Clown Prince of Crime as well.
This was refuted moments later.
Joker displayed no fear for driving head on into a river using a speeding car, while Harley nervously showed her reluctance, citing a fear for water owing to her inability to swim. So much for being crazier and more fearless.
26 She Was To Be Played By Madonna
Opting for a crazy chick to play a crazy chick on film isn’t the craziest idea out there. WB felt the same way back in the late ‘90s when they were fielding options for actresses to play Harley Quinn. Courtney Love was the frontrunner for the role but the studio also had an eye out for Madonna.
Madonna does have Harley Quinn similarities and this would’ve been fun to see come alive onscreen. But, as we know, there was no follow-up to Batman & Robin until Batman Begins rebooted everything.
25 Returning To The Joker
Those fangirls who are gaga over Jared Leto’s Joker and have pictured Harley Quinn’s relationship with him as “#relationshipgoals” have no clue what their real relationship is like.
The Joker has no real love for her.
In the animated series, this destructive relationship is on display several times as “Mr. J” continually plays with Harley’s feelings, even smacking her around, only for Quinn to return to him each and every time. It only took Joker’s demise for Harley Quinn to be free of his control.
24 Scene In Batman Animated Series
How the animators got away with this scene is a wonder. In the ‘90s, there weren’t as many censorship rules, or people flipping out about the most menial things, as there are now. In one scene from Batman: The Animated Series, Harley isn’t in much of a mood for work. She tries a whole lot of ways to get Joker’s mind off of plotting against Batman; one of these involving her jumping on the table and asking him if he wants to vroom.
23 Surviving The Fall
Harley Quinn’s involvement with crime ended shortly after the end of Justice League Unlimited and was detailed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Here, the Joker crossed every line by brainwashing Tim Drake into believing himself to be the Joker’s son.
Batman and Batgirl gave chase to Joker and Harley respectively, which ended with Harley falling into a deep chasm. In the future, it was shown that Harley did survive this encounter and was now an old woman. But how did she survive such a fall?
22 Her Granddaughters
Batman Beyond featured a gang known as the Jokerz. These were ruffians who sought to emulate the legend of Joker and were a constant foil to the new Batman. Among this gang were twins known collectively as Dee Dee.
These two were clearly supposed to be Harley Quinn successors. By the end of the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the likeness was attributed to the two hooligans being related by blood to Harley Quinn herself: they were Harley’s grandchildren.
21 She Was A Psychiatrist
Those who have seen Suicide Squad-which popularized Harley Quinn greatly-will be aware of her former profession as a psychiatrist. This was based on the animated series’ depiction of the character fulfilling the same role.
She pretty much stunk at her job.
Being extremely young in her profession (it doesn’t make sense how she could’ve risen through the ranks so soon) meant she mustn’t have had a lot of experience with patients; then she fell in love with the most insane patient at Arkham Asylum.
20 She’s Supposed To Be A Genius
You don’t become a psychiatrist and plot Batman’s downfall on a regular basis if you’re not nifty in some way. And our lovely Harley Quinn is a pretty smart person herself. Quinn might be insane, but she sure knows what she’s doing.
The plots Joker and Harley Quinn take to taking down Batman across all media always require a measured method of thinking. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Harley and Mr. J made effective use of shock therapy to brainwash Tim Drake completely.
19 Won Over By A Single Letter
An episode of Batman: The Animated Series had Harley take the main role for the events happening. This one featured Quinn attempting to cheer up Joker by planning to take down Batman. In the end, Joker wasn’t so crazy about Harley going around his back to finish the act and threw her off a building (that’s right, fangirls).
Harley survived the fall and was admitted in the hospital, vowing never to be influenced by Joker again. All it took to win her back, though, was a single letter from Mr. J and Harley began picturing him as an angel once more.
18 She Has A Gymnastics Scholarship
It was pretty apparent in Suicide Squad that Harley was gifted athletically in this regard but did you know she got into college because of her talent? Quinn’s entry into University was possible due to her skills as a gymnast and it brought her a scholarship.
Not much is usually known about Harley Quinn’s past other than her spiral into insanity at the hands of the Joker. But she did live a life before meeting Mr. J and her qualities as a gymnast helped out in her villainess career.
17 Her First Appearance Was In The Animated Series
That’s right. Harley Quinn’s creation was not the work of the comics but of animators. The character was birthed for the sole purpose of Batman: The Animated Series as she offered a nice spin on the Joker character.
Those who hold the comics’ stories as doctrine have no way around this.
She was only integrated into the comics because of her wild popularity. In this instance, non-comic book fans have the advantage over comic book loyalists; they got her first, after all.
16 Changes In Appearance
The canon design of Harley Quinn is the one you can find in the DC Animated Universe. This look makes her appear more like a jester to the Clown Prince of Crime and was appropriate for the animated series.
Her appearance shifts to accommodate just how dark the material is.
In lighter interpretations such as The Lego Batman Movie or Justice League (DCAU), she doesn’t seem as intimidating. In the Arkham series of video games, you can find Harley looking much more menacing than you’re used to seeing her.
15 Her Real Name
Harley Quinn didn’t need to search far to decide on her criminal name as her real handle is Harleen Quinzel. This was shortened to make way for the name we know her best for. The origin of the Harley Quinn name comes from a centuries-old Italian form of theater known as commedia dell’arte where one of the servant characters was known as “Harlequin.”
It’s appropriate for her to be named after such a character seeing that she’s nothing more than a glorified servant to the Joker.
14 She Follows A Code
You’d think an anarchist such as Harley would have no room in her mind for religious practices but you would be wrong to think that. In Batman: The Animated Series, Quinn was revealed to be a practicing Jew; religion and spirituality are part of her daily routine.
This remarkably adds to this character as it shows she’s capable of normal practices others partake in as well. Then again, she does nothing the faith teaches her so she’s probably a Jew only by name.
13 Relationship With Nightwing
Okay, it wasn’t as much a relationship as it was a fling. Harley has a weird sense of faithfulness when it comes to the Joker; she’s fiercely devoted to him but has had exchanges with many other characters as well.
Let’s add Nightwing to this list.
In this instance, Nightwing needed to get Harley to comply while she was more interested in having her way with him. In the end, a compromise was reached that satisfied both parties.
12 She'll Be Around For A While
Margot Robbie was perhaps the lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing affair that was Suicide Squad. The actress captured Quinn perfectly and brought a superb live-action rendition for us to enjoy.
She’ll be next appearing in 2020.
Birds of Prey will be headed by Robbie as she leads another band of no-gooders; this comprised fully of females. She won’t stop there as Suicide Squad 2 will be next and the Joker and Harley Quinn film to follow. Fans are still clamoring for a Joker-Batman film to feature Quinn as well, though.
11 Margot Robbie Did Almost All Stunts Herself
Robbie also showed sincere dedication in getting her portrayal of Harley Quinn just right with the actress undergoing a majority of the stunts seen in Suicide Squad herself. It would be too much to expect an actor or actress to do all their stunts themselves (not everyone can be Jackie Chan), but it’s mightily impressive to think about Margot Robbie’s commitment to the role for her to opt into doing a majority of stunt work when a perfectly capable stuntwoman was waiting to do the job.
10 She Teamed Up With Batman
This is a fairly new example but with Harley Quinn’s popularity reaching new heights after Margot Robbie’s portrayal, there were other franchise media that made use of her fame. The DC Animated Universe was resurrected specifically to bring back Harley Quinn for a movie.
Batman and Harley Quinn featured the Caped Crusader teaming up with Harley along with Nightwing. The film was much lighter than anything we’ve seen in the DC Animated Universe but made full use of Harley Quinn’s raw power.
9 She Captured Batman On Her Own
Partly why Batman and Harley Quinn doesn’t make much sense is because it retcons quite a lot of the DCAU’s happenings established two decades before. In Batman: The Animated Series, Harley was able to successfully capture Batman and was inches away from ending him gruesomely.
Piranha could have feasted on our hero.
But Harley waited for Joker to arrive in order to fulfill his wishes. Unfortunately, Joker didn’t take well being upstaged, and bettered by his lowly girlfriend, and the plan went unappreciated with Batman getting away and bringing the Joker down.
8 She’s Immune To Most Poisons
Harley doesn’t have any intrinsic powers to her which is why commissioning the lunatic with a bat to go fight a superpowered witch in Suicide Squad was an idiot’s idea, but she does possess abilities that can be considered superhuman.
Poison Ivy injected her with a substance that made her immune to most poisons. This was during her association with Poison Ivy, a relationship that was interesting, to say the least. Harley came out with an additional power in her kitty and perhaps that’s all that matters in the end.
7 She Was Married To Poison Ivy
Comic books tend to have wild and out-there storylines that we certainly won’t be seeing in animation. The Harley Quinn-Poision Ivy subtext began in Batman: The Animated Series when the two had teamed up and Harley considered Poison Ivy to be her closest friend.
This didn’t remain subtext.
In Harley Quinn #25, it was confirmed that the two had been in a romantic relationship. What’s more is that the Injustice series had them take a step further and be married in that continuity.
6 She Was Already On TV
Contrary to popular belief, Harley Quinn didn’t debut in live-action in Suicide Squad. In fact, the character was introduced way before in 2002. Mia Sara played Harley in the TV series titled Birds of Prey back when the character wasn’t all the rage.
This version of Harley served as the main antagonist of the short-lived series but was an interesting take on the character. This also means 2020’s Birds of Prey is far from the first iteration of the team.
5 Joker Was Going To Be Her Dad
Just like two Jokers are never alike, don’t consider two Harleys to be the same either. Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman was a far older version who had roots further back in Bruce Wayne’s history.
The cancelled Batman Unchained would’ve seen a return for Joker of sorts possibly as an hallucination or flashback with Harley Quinn playing his daughter! Unlike the romantic association we’ve known these two to have, this time Harley would’ve emulated the insanity of the Joker in a familial sense.
4 She Used Green Lantern’s Ring
Let’s not elaborate much on this because this represents the crazier lengths DC takes to make use of Harley Quinn’s popularity. What you should know about this is that Harley managed to get her hands on the Green Lantern ring and was able to turn into a Green Lantern herself. As said before, the comic book storylines tend to get wacky and crazy on many occasions and this is a clear cut example of when things get too ridiculous for DC’s own good.
3 Her Father Was A Con-Artist
You can bet on a dysfunctional childhood to turn someone mad in the future when it comes to comic books. Harley’s parentage was never addressed in the DC Animated Universe, but it was elaborated in differing ways in other media.
In Gotham City Sirens, her father was revealed to have been a swindler stuck in jail for a number of years. Telltale’s Batman: Enemy Within showed her father to have taken his own life while trapped in confinement.
2 She Was Meant To Be A Background Character
Remember when we mentioned Harley was introduced to compliment the Joker character in a different light? Well, you’ll be intrigued to know that Harley was never meant to stick around as long as she did.
She was much more together in her first appearance.
This was because her insanity and bubbly personality wasn’t meant to be shown when she debuted. After reception as extremely positive for her introduction, the character was made a mainstay in the animated series.
1 The Joker's Child
The Joker was taken out in Batman: Arkham City after he ingested poison and was unable to take the antidote. After his demise, Harley Quinn was shown mourning him and had littered an area visited by Batman earlier on with pregnancy tests – one of which was positive.
Nothing came out of this story.
In the chronologically next Batman: Arkham Knight, Harley was now in-charge of Joker's gang with no mention of any baby having been born in the timespan that had passed between the two games.