Jefimus' Top 10 Favorite Batman TAS Episodes Picture

Honorable Mentions
Harley & Ivy
House and Garden
Second Chance”,
“It’s Never Too Late”,
“P.O.V”, “
Growing Pains

20. Beware the Gray Ghost – What makes this episode of Batman so special is that it reveals a big inspiration for the Bruce Wayne character donning the famed cape. Featuring Adam West as the Gray Ghost a famous television character: now a hasbeen actor stuck in the shadow of the role, who is asked by Batman for help. It’s an interesting dynamic because eventually the actor becomes the actual Gray Ghost to help Batman and even remarkably gains access into the Batcave. It was a nice touch to give Bruce Wayne a vigilante hero to idolize and an even nicer touch to have Wayne subtly reveal his identity to the actor. Mix that in with an increasingly relevant warning to extreme collectors of pop culture and you’ve got a good episode to start this list off.

19. Legends of the Dark Knight: f you're a Batman comic book aficionado, this episode is your wet dream. A group of kids imagine what Batman is like in person and the two vastly different versions presented are taken wholesale from the printed page. One kid's vision of Batman & Robin looks just like colorful Dick Sprang artwork from the 1950s and includes Golden Age craziness such as the Dynamic Duo battling the Joker with giant musical instruments. The second tale is a retelling of the Batman vs. Mutant Leader storyline from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight, imagined by a kid who looks just like the female Robin in that story

18. Joker's Favor: A regular Joe with a family to protect gets a little road rage and ends up at the mercy of the driver he insults: The Joker. (Why Joker drives a station wagon is never explained) but this poor man is forced to aide Joker and Harley in an evil scheme to kill almost all of Gotham PD including Commissioner Gordon. This is an episode where less Batman is a good thing. This man is vulnerable, he’s just a normal guy, he can’t take on the Joker. He’s trapped, and the Joker knows this. It works so well building tension because without Batman this guy is screwed, but then the episode takes a wonderful shift and it becomes the Joker who is at the mercy of the old Joe Schmo. It’s hilarious, tension filled and ultimately shows why Batman is so great and why the Joker is such a menacing foe, nobody is safe when he’s around.

17. The Strange Secert of Bruce Wayne : When a Gotham judge stats acting insecure Batman does some investigating and discovers that a resort scientist named Hugo Steangehas the ability to extract a person’s deepest, darkest secret, Bruce Wayne takes a vacation to investigate, only to have Dr. Strange not only learn his identity, but get the proof on tape. The episode takes a slick turn however, when instead of blackmailing Bruce outright or running to the media, the money-hungry doctor flies none other than Two-Face, Joker, and Penguin out to bid on the information. So rather than a super-serious, drawn-out episode which we know won’t end with Bruce exposed, we get a fun supervillain team-up?!

16. Old Wounds: In the Comics Dick Grayson grows up and becomes Nightwing but what caused Dick Grayson to split from the Batcave? This story is told mostly through flashback with Grayson (Now Nightwing) explaining to Tim Drake why he and Batman stopped working together. To see Robin and Batman dispute is something to behold and to see the tension ratchet up through the episode is worth noting. It’s no masterpiece like some of the episodes already listed but to me it’s such a novel episode because you see a much more feisty Robin. Plus, Robin punches Batman. You don’t witness that everyday.

15. The Man who Killed Batman: Rounding off the top 5 is one of the smartest episodes of Batman. A wormy thug apparently offs Batman and then Everyone including the audience thinks Batman is dead, and the thug who took him out is just as shocked as everyone. He didn’t really expect to kill Batman, he barely thought he could slow him down. The reaction from the villains is what makes this episode gold, they aren’t overjoyed they are kind of depressed. Relief, maybe for some…but most seem pretty worked up about it. In fact some want to kill Sid as they feel killing him is the equivalent of killing Batman.After all why couldn’t they kill Batman? What did they do wrong? And as Joker suggests what’s really the point without Batman around, without him nobody could really stop them, the fun is kind of gone from the equation. Joker even goes so far as to have a funeral for Batman and delivers the eulogy.

14. Bane: Forget that dumb brute Bane was portrayed as in the awful movie Batman & Robin. The Animated Series stayed closer to the comic books by making Bane a cunning, intelligent ex-con who was one of the strongest foes Batman ever faced, thanks to the steroids - Venom, I mean - that he shoots into his veins. The battle at the end of this episode was excellent. Robin goaded Candace, the conniving minx who was Bane's accomplice, to tussle and she was happy to oblige, almost handing the Boy Wonder an embarrassing defeat. And Bane replicated the scene from the comic books where he lifted Batman up and prepared to swing him down, breaking his back; but in this version, Batman at the last second stabs the Venom control switch with a Batarang, causing Bane to get so gruesomely pumped up that he almost explodes.

13. Dreams in Darkness: Batman in Arkham. Scarecrow on the loose. What more could possibly go wrong? After being exposed to Scarecrow's fear gas Batman is locked away in Arkham after an automobile accident. Scarecrow on the other hand plans to dump fear gas into Gotham's water supply. What makes this episode great is it's surreal almost psychadellic climax. Truly gripping, an engrossing story with animation to back it up. This is the best episode of the series, and it always will be.

12. If Your so Smart Why aren't you Rich?: At 12 is the introduction us to Edward Nygma (get it?) Who would later become the Riddler. Nygma is fired by his boss so he can steal his work and is left out to dry. Enraged he becomes The Riddler and kidnaps his old boss and places him inside a lethal maze mirrior the game he created "Riddle of the Minotaur". Batman and Robin must solve riddles in order to rescue the Riddler’s former employer. It’s an iconic episode in my opinion and one that has some fairly inventive set pieces. Plus it has a great ending: after Nygma’s old boss is rescued The Riddler escapes and now the man who made the monster that is The Riddler lives in constant fear he’ll come back for him. “How much is a good night’s sleep worth? Now that’s a riddle for you.” smirks the Batman. I think we all had a collective smirk on our face the 1st time we watched this episode. It’s a perfectly told tale of what happens when too much recognition comes to the wrong person, at the wrong time.

11. I am The Night: I never saw this episode but it is a favorite among fans Batman is distraught and overwhelmed. The site where his parents were murdered is slightly desecrated during a scuffle with some hoodlums, Comm. Gordon is shot and injured and Batman just doesn’t feel he has it in him anymore. He thinks one day someone will kill him, and that will be that and what will he have really accomplished? This is a deep and well thought out premise, that ends with Batman admitting to a passed out Gordon that he saw him as a father figure. There are a lot of episodes of Batman where he gets himself in a sticky situation but I believe this is one of the few where Batman is truly afraid that he will not be able to succeed. Of course he does, but the journey to victory reveals that underneath everything he’s built Batman is still just a scared boy trying to battle his demons.

10. Trail: ew things in superhero fiction are greater than watching members of the extensive rogues gallery team up, and we get that tenfold when all of Batman’s recurring enemies flip the script and lock him in Arkham Asylum, where they make him stand trial for his “crimes.” Beyond the thrill of supervillainy, “Trial” engages a pertinent question in the Batman mythology: is he the reason most of his foes exist, perpetuating the crazy that plagues Gotham? An anti-Batman D.A. who believes the answer is yes gets a shock to her system when she’s kidnapped in the asylum along with him.

9. Over The Edge: This series had a lot of crazy scenarios that were just dreams or hallucinations. Thankfully, most of them were done really well. "Over the Edge" was so, erm, edgy that it's hard to believe it even aired. It starts out with Batman and Robin getting chased from the Batcave and shot at by Commissioner Gordon and an army of police. Alfred and Nightwing get arrested. If all that wasn't mind-blowing enough, it turns out that Gordon is pissed off because Scarecrow pushed Batgirl off a ledge and she died broken and bloodied in her father's arms, all depicted horrifically on screen. Gordon, who uncovers Batman's identity on Batgirl's computer, then frees Bane from prison and tasks him with eliminating Batman. Bane and Batman battle to the death, with Bane seemingly fried to death by the Batsignal. Gordon and Batman then plummet off Police HQ to their deaths.

8. Feat of Clay: Meet Matt Hagen, an actor who after a fatal car accident relies on a special new cream to keep himself looking good. After something goes wrong he becomes Clayface, a shape shifting clay monster! In addition to blockbuster storytelling, B:TAS also features truly beautiful animation, the full scope of which is on display in this episode which tells the origin of shape-shifting villain Clayface. Every visual detail of his fluid, formless mass is impressive, but the end sequence, where Batman uses a neat trick to make him shift out of control, is stunning, especially by 1992 standards.

7. Mad Love: The story delves into the back story of Harley Quinn. Harley was a character created by Bruce Timm for the television show, DC execs and fans alike loved her so much she was made part of the mainstream DC Universe. If anyone knows how upset comic book fans get when one thing is changed for a new medium of a comic book character you should know accepting and even advocating for her inclusion in the comics is a big freakin’ deal. But we’ve never actually known her history. They’ve hinted at it before and dropped clues here and there, but they’ve never given us the straight-up details about how she ended up with the Joker. Well, this is the episode that sets it all straight. It turns out; Harley was an intern at Arkham Asylum and was looking to cash in on worst of thw worst to write a tell-all book about it. But when she started interviewing the Joker, he played to her weaknesses and his mind game slowly started to sink in. And just like “The Dark Knight”, we have no idea if his past story is the real one or a false one. Because of that, we see in more detail just how nasty the relationship is between the two of them. All Harley wants to be with The Joker but The Joker doesn't even have a heart and to him she's just a puppet and abuses her to no end evening pushing her out a window to show how much he hates her. Lifetime can try but they’ll never paint a more disturbing and gut wrenching display of domestic abuse than what I saw here. Plus it’s also an episode where Joker in one on one combat finally holds his own against Batman. It is one of the true masterpiece works of Batman and one I will never, ever forget.

6. The Demon's Quest: This episode is probably one of the most epic of the entire series, mostly because of all the trails Batman is put through by Ra’s Al Ghul. It’s a really fun episode and it has some of the best music and voice acting. Every website that lists this episode as one of their favorites gives props to David Warner for his performance as Ra’s and I have to agree he did a magnificent job. This episode has always stuck with me because it felt like an old serial or maybe something straight out of an adventure book, no doubt this was the intention of the writers for the episode. There are many Ra’s episodes that are all worthy of high praise but this one is probably the best.

5. Robin's Reckoning: This two-part episode is a straightforward telling of Robin's origin and his pursuit - both as a child and as an adult - of the man who killed his parents. It was nothing fancy and there were no gimmicks; it was just an excellent tale of loss, revenge and moving on, and the characters felt very human and real. The sadness in Robin's story is palpable and the story is a perfect example of how this series had distilled and refined the best aspects of Batman. In fact, the story was more adult and touching than just about anything seen in the Batman films, and that includes the Christian Bale series. It's no wonder this episode won an Emmy.

4. Perchance to Dream: Bruce Wayne awakes to find himself in the life he would have lived if his parents never died. He's just a millionaire playboy; somebody else is Batman. Most importantly, Bruce got to live his whole life with his mother and father. Naturally, Bruce flips out, leads the police on a wild goose chase and decides to kill himself. Some people are just never happy. The episode has a twist ending that, while predictable, ends up involving a different Bat-villain that you might have expected. And Bruce's realization of why things aren't right is nicely done, too.

3. Heart of Ice: Mr. Freeze is one of my favorite Bat villains and Batman The Animated Series reinvented him as a menacing force but also a character audience members could sympathize with. Victor Fries is a scientist, who just wants to save his dying wife with technology he’s created. But corporate greed and callous actions from his boss prevent him from doing so and even nearly kill him. Now he is cursed to live in a special suit that keeps the temperature low. (He can only survive in sub zero temperatures.) He’s cold both physically and spiritually but he still has a heart (of ice) for his wife whom he wants to see saved no matter the cost. It’s a spellbinding episode and it tugs on the ol’ heart strings when the now captured Mr. Freeze sits in his prison cell admiring a snow globe of his wife whispering to it how he failed her. There would be many more excellent Mr. Freeze episodes but this one was far and above the rest. Did I mention it won an Emmy?

2. Two-Face: Two Face is and has always been my second favorite Bat villain and it's obvious that I rank this episode as no.2 and my favorite 2-parter in the series. He was to me one of the most interesting and complex characters of the series. Unlike many in Batman’s Rogue Gallery Two Face was in a constant struggle to regain his former self: Harvey Dent. In fact several episodes focus on Two Face trying to do right only to be sabotaged from within by his evil, twisted other half. His origin story is one of the most compelling and tragic there is. It was a smart move by the creative team to have Harvey Dent be a regular character for several episodes so that the viewers could see him as a normal upstanding citizen before his turn. Harvey Dent a friend of Bruce Wayne ends up a tortured soul bent on destroying everything. The most tragic and compelling moments come when a teary eyed Two Face can’t even see his wife, so removed from the life he once had. He doesn’t dare go see her or else risk being arrested. But the climax offers a moment that is emotionally grabbing, as Two Face cannot make a decision; when he can’t find his signature coin that Batman has scattered with a bunch of others. He struggles and has a fit unable to even function without it. Despite all these dark undertones the end of the episode offers a rare ray of hope for the villains of the Batman universe. It’s storytelling at it’s finest.

1. Almost Got ‘Im”. This is just a perfect episode. The set-up: what can I say? It’s incredible. The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and Croc, are all playing poker together. That image alone is fantastic. But it gets interesting when they start betting on who’s come the closest to killing off Batman. But there’s more to the story than good old-fashioned reminiscing, as revealed when it’s Joker’s turn for storytime, naturally. The interaction between the five villains, all sharing of circumstance but still not particularly fond of each other, is golden, and the twist is great fun. If the last moment doesn’t make you crack a smile, maybe something on PBS is more your spee
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