The Joker is the main antagonist of Harley Quinn's first season and a major character of the second season. He is the scourge of Gotham City's underworld and the archenemy of Batman. He's also in Harley's crosshairs as she's done being a sidekick and determined to prove that she can be a supervillain on her own and a prominent villain in the Legion of Doom.
The Joker is very pale, with sheet-white skin, and dark, shiny green hair slicked back over the top of his head, with the rest fading into a lighter green on his temple and the back of his head. He has bright red lips that resemble lipstick, yellow teeth, black eyebrows, and deep purple fingernails. The Joker is often seen wearing a purple suit, with a collared green shirt and purple tie. Lastly, he constantly wears a small yellow flower with a red dot in the center which can spray out incredibly lethal acid, which he used against Scarecrow and to try to kill Harley Quinn both in "The Final Joke".
In "Devil's Snare" and the very beginning of "The Final Joke", he is seen wearing a parody of his own outfit which has elements of a military general added in, such as a matching purple hat, sunglasses, and medals of various sorts. At the end of "The Final Joke", he is "normalized" by the acid he intended to have Harley jump into, his skin turning to that of a regular Caucasian man and his fingernails reverting to the same color.
According to Joker, he was born from a wealthy but loveless family as his parents neglected him emotionally. He was loner throughout his life with only a ferret as a friend. Unfortunately, one day he accidentally stumped upon his dad cheated on his wife with a maid. To punish Joker, his dad killed the ferret and beat the crap out of him. The death of the ferret and physical abuse eventually drove Joker toward the road of villainy. However, it turned out Joker made up his childhood story by plagiarizing from Ivy's horrible childhood.
As an adult, The Joker is Gotham City's top evil supervillain, committing crimes only to get Batman's attention, becoming the Dark Knight's greatest enemy in the process. While doing a stint in the Arkham Asylum, he was assigned Harleen Quinzel as his psychiatrist, who soon fell in love with him. He had her jump into a vat of chemicals to transform her into Harley Quinn, giving her the name, and she became his side-kick in crime. However, he repeatedly mistreated her and used her as a pawn against Batman, or to save his own skin, such as when he gave her a live grenade and fled so that Batman would be forced to toss the grenade aside rather than chase after him.
"Til Death Do Us Part"
The Joker paraded as a ship captain on a yacht full of wealthy, armed businessmen, offering a toast to a pile of money they got by "fucking the poor". Harley Quinn then arrived to steal it for herself and for the Joker, but the businessmen were contemptuous and unafraid of her. She smashed a man's leg to be taken seriously, but the businessmen simply pulled out weapons and mocked her for coming alone, at which point the Joker ripped off the fleshy face of the captain he had killed and used it as a puppet, revealing himself and horrifying the businessmen.
Harley became indignant about handling it herself, so the Joker seemingly allowed her to continue, but tossed an acid bomb at the businessmen before she could finish threatening them, killing a large swathe of them. Harley once again complained that she wanted to be the "muscle", but was interrupted when the businessmen finally rallied and began firing on them, forcing them to take refuge behind the pyramid of money. The Joker simultaneously fought them off with a flamethrower and Molotov while smoothly carrying on a conversation, complimenting her, and then saying "you do your thing, I do my thing. You're the appetizer, I'm the entrée." They then dodged when a businessman launched a rocket at the pyramid, and Harley told the Joker that she wanted people to fear her name and "piss 'emselves", that she wanted "a taste of that", so he jokingly asked if she wanted "a taste of piss?"
You know, I'd love to take you, puddin’, but I'd never deny you the pleasure of buying me time to escape.— The Joker before he abandoned Harley Quinn
The Joker continued fighting off the businessmen in high spirits, but when Harley asked to join the Legion of Doom he finally became annoyed, saying the Legion of Doom doesn't give memberships to "sidekicks". At Harley's suggestion that they become partners instead, the Joker became fully aggravated and tried to dodge the question as he stabbed the last businessman to death. Luckily for him, at that moment Batman arrived, so he remotely activated a submarine and abandoned Harley to distract Batman long enough to escape, despite her desire to escape with him. She quickly became overpowered by Batman and worried that she would be sent to Arkham, so the Joker swore to break her out "before breakfast", at which point he entered his submarine and submerged.
He ended up forgetting about Harley for an entire year while she languished in Arkham waiting for him. When she saw the news coverage about her escape, he only cared that the Riddler was referred to as "Gotham's funniest villain". He demanded that one of his goons name a funnier supervillain than himself, and when he guessed "Harley", the Joker shot him to death because "women aren't funny". At that moment Harley cleared her throat to get the Joker's attention and berated him for breaking his promise, lying to her, and leaving her in Arkham for a year.
She then declared she was breaking up with him, and although the Joker angrily said she didn't "call the shots", she made to leave anyway. Forced to change tactics, the Joker proclaimed it was what he always wanted anyway, that he prayed she would leave him. He claimed that he would have insisted on breaking up, as it was the only way "to keep you safe". He shoved Poison Ivy away and lied to Harley about an increased pressure from law enforcement and from Batman, how they were "hell-bent on destroying everyone I care about". He deceptively confirmed Harley's suspicion that he left her in Arkham for her own safety, and insisted on them staying separated - unless their love was so powerful "even the threat of death can't keep us apart". He claimed he would die for her any day, at which point Harley finally turned around and came back to him with open arms, stunning Ivy.
Afterward, the Joker became fixated on the Riddler's new riddle that supposedly make's people's brains explode. Although Harley made chocolate chip bread pudding for him (which he shot as he mistook them for raisins, and apologized), he still couldn't get his mind off of the Riddler, so Harley offered to kill him for the Joker if he'd watch a movie with her afterward. He was shortly called by the Riddler, who had captured both Harley and Batman, and forced the Joker to choose which of the two to live and which to die. The Joker then began to laugh and claimed he couldn't let "this punctuation prick" get credit for killing Batman, so he chose Batman to live and Harley to die, at which point he ran away with Batman in hot pursuit.
Once he reached safety, he sent a goon to Harley to apologize, literally exploding to make the point. Still feeling betrayed however, Harley redid her outfit (which the Joker initially appreciated) and returned to the Joker once again to break up with him, claiming that he mistreated her and never loved her. He claimed that was "nonsense" as his motives were never clear as "an agent of chaos". When she was unmoved, he frustratedly insisted that no one ever breaks up with him, the top villain in Gotham, but Harley declared that she would be replacing him in that role.
Challenged, the Joker called his goons to kill her, saying that she couldn't even leave the room alive unless he allowed it. Although she initially did well with her mallet, the Joker blew it up with a bomb, and she was soon overwhelmed. He offered to relent if she submitted, but she defiantly retorted "til death do us part", so he nonchalantly ordered her death. This time however, she managed to fight everyone off and to raid his cache of grenades, which she used to destroy his lair and bring it crumbling down around him. He survived by taking refuge under a pool table, and although he was left at Harley's mercy, she spared him so she could "see the look on your face when I'm runnin' this town".
"A High Bar"
At the Legion of Doom, the Joker encountered Scarecrow and Bane, and learned that everyone knew of Harley breaking up with him. Angered, the Joker played it off but soon tried to change the optics. He went onto Howie Mandel's TV show, having strapped a bomb to Howie, and forced him to recount his joke about Harley and the Joker breaking up. The Joker then took this opportunity to broadcast to the world that he actually dumped her, and that he would "respect her wishes to drift into the darkness of total anonymity". He then activated Howie's bomb, which shortly killed him.
Later, while rebuilding his lair, Bane called the Joker and let him know that Harley was at the Penguin's nephew's bar mitzvah, trying to get along with the Legion of Doom. He rushed to the party and found her bantering with Legion members, and quickly drove her off. While camping the table he ended up stealing Bane's dinner, and laughed hysterically when he saw that Harley had beaten up the fake guards for Joshua Cobblepot's bar mitzvah. Joker continued heckling and insulting Bane while Harley was captured and prepared for execution.
Harley. You're not a solo act. You're a sidekick, an afterthought.— The Joker to Harley Quinn
Harley eventually undermined Joshua's confidence and escaped, at which point the Joker demanded that she admit that she was "nothing" without him, or else he would have her killed. She refused, so he ordered the Penguin, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and Bane to attack her. The Joker then sat recording her increasingly beleaguered fight, and when he noticed Bane attacking Kite Man he ordered him to refocus on Harley and Poison Ivy, calling him a "dumb, freakish monster". Harley used this to turn the Legion against the Joker, with Bane complaining about the insults, about the Joker stealing his dinner, and about the Joker considering the bar mitzvah to be "stupid", shocking everyone.
Fed up, the Joker decided to kill Harley himself, at which point Ivy blocked him. He politely asked her to move, but instead she enshrouded him in vines and the standoff increased in tension. Luckily for the Joker, his contractor called him at that moment, so he took the moment to complain about it and de-escalate the situation. He asked to "put a pin in this" and then departed to deal with it, leaving Harley and Ivy unmolested.
"So You Need a Crew?"
The Joker later sabotaged one of Harley's heists to steal a nuclear bomb from KGBeast. She wasn't able to use all three keys alone to unlock the vault to steal it, but the Joker's goons were, so the Joker took it for himself. Harley claimed he only got it because of his blindly faithful followers, and although he denied this, they obediently tossed her out of the train when he commanded them to. Later on, Harley created her own crew and made it on the news, with the reporter claiming that Harley might soon become the Joker's "biggest competitor". This angered him so much that he crushed his drink and shot his own TV.
"Finding Mr. Right"
The Joker eventually attempted to rob a Credit Union, only to be stopped by Batman. This prompted Harley to attempt to get a nemesis of her own, which backfired when Robin ended up as her nemesis. Bemused, the Joker mocked her by sending pregnancy decorations to Poison Ivy's apartment along with a recording note card. The recording mockingly congratulated her for "Robin the cradle" before exploding. Later, the Joker successfully robbed the Arkham City Bank, but Batman wasn't there to oppose him, as he was busy defending Robin from King Shark and Harley Quinn.
If you want to see the Boy Wonder alive again, you better start showing up to my cool crimes.— The Joker to Batman
Angered, the Joker rushed down the Tawny Young's studio and exploded his way inside. He insisted that Batman was his nemesis and shoved Tawny aside, engaging in a three-way fight between himself, Batman, and Harley and Ivy fighting together. Batman blasted Ivy aside with explosives and fought Harley again, so the Joker took the opportunity to bomb hanging studio equipment to fall onto Batman. This allowed Ivy and Harley to gang up on Batman while the Joker kidnapped Robin, goading Batman into following after him again, abandoning Harley and Ivy.
"Being Harley Quinn"
The Joker, while not physically present, was still seen throughout Harley Quinn's subconscious when Harley's crew entered her mind. Dozens of clones of the Joker littered the circus landscape, welcoming people or running carnival games. One Joker even pointed out that Harley was still clearly obsessed with him, and offered her a chance to "Win Daddy's Love" in a game of skill. Before they could be interacted with further, several Harley Gremlins arrived and forced them to leave the area, and the Jokers, behind.
The Joker was also seen in Harley's memory of her backstory, where he convinced a younger Harleen Quinzel to jump into a vat of chemicals. Harley promptly reshaped the memory to be the moment when she broke up with the Joker, and although the Joker insisted that Harley couldn't change the past, she nonetheless continued to alter the memory until she successfully deluded herself into believing an empowering, false memory of her defeating the Joker instead of willingly jumping into the chemicals, as actually happened.
Once again in the real world, the Joker appeared before Harley after she successfully joined the Legion of Doom, laughing maniacally.
"A Seat At The Table"
The Joker decided he would take his revenge on the Legion of Doom for allowing Harley Quinn inside, and set a plan in motion to create PlanetWide Pavers, an anti-environment trap to entice Poison Ivy to attack it so that she could be captured by Scarecrow and used in a scheme to destroy the Legion of Doom and all of Gotham City. He also simultaneously decided to try to deceive Harley into believing she had regained his respect in order to betray her at an opportune moment. He began this process by praising Harley in a speech to the entire Legion of Doom, and nodding encouragingly at her when he caught her eye briefly, which affected Harley strongly. At a Legion meeting, the Joker requested $600-$800 million for a tower he wanted to build with his face on it, and although the Legion swiftly went to approve, Harley didn't agree. She thought it excessive, and since the Joker couldn't justify the cost for such a gratuitous project, Lex Luthor rejected it, much to the Joker's anger.
Afterward the Joker came to the break room with Bane and Harley, and ripped out one of Bane's tubes to send him sprawling out of the room. Now along with Harley, he continued his facade by thanking Harley for standing up to him, agreeing with her that his plan needed work and that he needed to put the time in to fully flesh it out. He invited her to have a "work drink" with him so that they could work on the plan together, and in exchange he offered to help Harley learn how to "game the system" in the Legion of Doom. He insisted that they were now colleagues and wouldn't be having sex, given that he never had sex with Scarecrow or Bane. When she continued to not respond, he backed out of the room and asked her to think about it.
Harley soon agreed to the Joker's offer, intending to use him to get her crew off the hook from working for Bane, and so they went to Wild N' Wacky Wings for a drink together. Harley asked him for help getting her crew free of Bane, and he assured her that he would have Lex Luthor take care of it, saying that Lex Luthor wants to keep Harley as an "asset". At her incredulity, the Joker assured her that everyone thought of her as an asset, "You're a big deal. You're Harley Quinn!" They then got to talking about their old memories together, and although Harley tried to leave to help Poison Ivy, a waitress who "ships" them arrived with free drinks for them, and the Joker managed to convince her to stay a bit longer.
If this is the Harley Quinn solo act, I just have one thing to say… I wish it had happened sooner. Bravo!— The Joker lying to Harley Quinn
They eventually ended up on a commandeered yacht much like the one in "Til Death Do Us Part", drinking wine in a romantic setting with the previous owners tied up beside them. When one of the owners commented on how they were eating, the Joker and Harley threw them overboard onto a life raft, laughing together. Harley also gave him a suggestion that he have his tower shoot up from underground to scare people "like a jack-in-the-box", which the Joker was unusually receptive to. Harley was surprised and pleased by this, which the Joker brushed off as her becoming "another master", although he couldn't quite agree that she was "the master", and insisted that the phrase was "the student becomes a master equal to the original master, but not with more mastery than that master". Even so, Harley took this to mean that the Joker was now ok with her leaving him, and he claimed that he wished she had become independent sooner.
Batman then arrived to interrupt their dinner, at which point the Joker remotely activated a helicopter to escape in and blasted Batman away with a grenade. Then, in deliberate mirroring of the day he abandoned Harley on a yacht in "Til Death Do Us Part", he made as if to escape alone, but instead allowed her to escape with him, much to Harley's delight. She squealed in pleasure and acceptance as he took her in his arms, and together they were lifted into the air by his helicopter out of Batman's reach. Still overjoyed, Harley confessed that she used to dream about finally escaping together with him, so the Joker charmingly said he couldn't leave her because he needed her, at which point they began to kiss heatedly. Then, just as Batman's Batplane flew up beside the helicopter, and while Harley was in the bliss of passion, he shoved her out of the helicopter to her death, laughing maniacally as Batman was forced to break her fall and allow him to escape.
Despite not making an appearance, the Joker remained active behind the scenes, furthering his plans to take his revenge on the Legion of Doom. Already, Scarecrow had succeeded in capturing Poison Ivy, and intended to use her pheromones to mutate Gotham City Park trees into ravenous plant monsters.
"Harley Quinn Highway"
Scarecrow succeeded in his task even as the Joker finalized the last portions of his plan, still behind the scenes. At this point he had already sought out Queen of Fables, entering into an alliance with her so that she could wipe out the Justice League when they arrived to deal with the plant monsters. All the Joker had to do now was to finish his tower, which would spring up from the ground (as Harley suggested) and destroy the Legion of Doom headquarters in the process, leaving him in complete control of Gotham City.
All of the Joker's plans came to fruition, with Queen of Fables trapping the Justice League inside her storybook and sending Harley and her crew into the clouds to be killed by the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. With only the Legion of Doom left to take his revenge on, he activated his now-finished tower, exploding the Legion headquarters and launching the tower into the air where it stood. He then broadcast himself to the city, mocking the old Legion of Doom for admitting "any second-rate clown with a cheap dye job" into their ranks. Afterward, he celebrated with Queen of Fables, until he realized that Harley Quinn and her crew survived, so he demanded she finish them off.
His plans initially seemed to be unraveling when Poison Ivy (currently a giantess) drew away and killed the plant monsters defending his tower, and Harley Quinn personally assassinated Queen of Fables, leaving him with fewer assets. However, he kept a close eye on the situation and trained a harpoon on Ivy after she killed the last of the plant monsters. While she stood still and talked to Harley, the Joker launched the harpoon - actually just a flag pole with his banner on it - which ran clean through Ivy's chest, mortally wounding her. As the situation dawned on everyone, the Joker burst out into hysterical laughter which rolled across the countryside from his tower's speakers. He stopped just long enough to admire everyone's heartbreak at Ivy's death, saying "oops", before continuing to laugh in response to Harley's scream of rage and denial.
"The Final Joke"
On the Joker's birthday, Harley Quinn suddenly arrived at the base of his tower claiming to have a gift for him. He mockingly mentioned how he murdered Poison Ivy on purpose, but Harley insisted that she was practical, that she wanted to be on the "winning side", which the Joker said was quite mature of her. In response she brought out Clayface, disguised as Batman, to present to the Joker as her gift. This overjoyed the Joker, who insisted that Harley sing "Happy Birthday" to him, but this caused Clayface to burst out into song as well, revealing to the Joker that this wasn't the real Batman.
Panicking, Harley shot a rocket at the Joker's tower, forcing him to dodge. However, the blast disrupted the real Batman, who was trying to ambush the Joker while he was distracted, just long enough for the Joker to notice him and respond. The Joker fled to the center of the tower and erected a protective dome around himself, at which point knock-out gas began to flood the room, knocking out Batman and allowing him to be captured. The Joker then resumed command of the tower's defense systems, extending hooks to capture all of Harley's crew except her, who nimbly dodged and fled the bullets the tower shot after her.
With Batman, the Legion of Doom, and the Justice League gone, and with Gotham City still in chaos after the plant monster attack, the Joker easily took over the local government and turned it into an authoritarian city-state. Under his rule he created a small army (who would kill anyone who didn't laugh at the Joker's jokes) and set a bounty on Harley Quinn for capture. Personally, he set about torturing Harley's crew by ripping out King Shark's teeth to make a necklace, forcing Doctor Psycho to watch feminist rallies nonstop, tossing Sy Borgman down a spiral staircase, and shaping Clayface into a sculpture of himself. He also turned Batman into a cuckoo clock, and would electrocute him for fun.
Unfortunately for the Joker, his victories soon paled for him, and he became bored with what he had. He reminisced about the times he would spend with Harley Quinn, getting even more disruptive whenever they finished causing some evil or another. He wondered what was wrong with himself, and became angered when Batman suggested that it was because he was a "sociopathic narcissist". He asked "who do you think you are, a psychiatrist?" at which point Scarecrow decided to find out, and ripped the mask off of Batman while he was bound, shocking them both as they realized he was actually Bruce Wayne. The Joker soon became even angrier after Scarecrow revealed his identity, as the Joker liked the mystery, and when Scarecrow continued to talk about Harley he became enraged. He shot acid from the flower on his shirt onto Scarecrow's head, causing his skull to explode, but even that didn't cheer up the Joker. He simply complained to Batman about not getting his electric car from WayneTech.
Obsessed with Harley, the Joker put out several flyers saying he would execute her crew, attempting to bait her in. This succeeded, but she arrived in a suicide vest prepared to kill herself if he didn't release her friends. Wanting her alive, he allowed her inside the tower, and asked her to put on her old Harley Quinn outfit. She refused, saying she'd rather die and take him with her, but he had her crew members nearby - doing so would kill them, too. Using them as leverage, he was finally able to coerce her into putting it on in exchange for their release, which he honored as "a man of my word". He spoke to Harley then and claimed that she was the missing piece to his happiness, which she pretended to believe, and as they both came in for a kiss they stabbed each other.
If I were to kill you, you'd live on forever, an emotional martyr in my soul. So I'm going to erase you from existence.— The Joker in response to Harley Quinn's request that he kill her
Neither of them being particularly surprised, they both dug the knives in deeper and the Joker head-butted her away. They then began to fight, and although Harley scored him thrice more with a knife, he managed to distract her with the acid from his flower and then sucker punch her, winning the fight. He then claimed that he was being entirely truthful earlier, that she was his final weakness that he needed to remove. Harley then begged for death, but the Joker had other idea. He refused, and instead had her taken away by a couple of his goons.
At last, the Joker brought Harley once again before a vat of chemicals, these chemicals intended to wipe away her memory and leave her as a "nobody. A blank canvas. A stranger on the streets. Normal". He held her to blame for "making me fall in love with you", and assured her that she wouldn't remember a thing. However, Harley suddenly requested that she jump on her own, which the Joker found amusing and easily allowed, to his regret. He walked away after she jumped, but neither he nor his bodyguards heard any splash, at which point Harley and Poison Ivy rose above the catwalk. He immediately regretted not harpooning Ivy in the head, and tried to flee after Ivy dispatched his bodyguards, but Ivy's vines were too fast and he was captured. Although he tried to talk his way out, Ivy forced him to endure Harley's gloating and then dropped him into the chemicals.
Not to be outdone however, he emerged from the chemicals and tried to escape the vat, but finding that impossible, he remotely detonated his tower just before he went under for the final time. This caused his tower and most of Gotham City to self destruct, however, the Joker did not die as a result. After his tower fell into ruin he reached his arm out from the rubble, laughing maniacally, but his laugh turned into a normal one and his skin turned from pure white to a normal Caucasian tone, as the chemicals finally took effect and made him normal again.
"All the Best Inmates Have Daddy Issues"
Months later Harley and Ivy find him working at Noonan's Bar with no memory of his past as the clown prince of crime. They have Doctor Psycho read is mind to see if he had truly forgotten, when it was confirmed they left; however when he saw a funny picture of his new girlfriend's kids on his phone, he starts to laugh maniacally hinting that he is relapsing.
Do you take me for a basic bitch?— The Joker
As with other iterations of the Joker, the Joker in Harley Quinn talks about the horrible things he does with a blase demeanor, treats violence as a joke, manipulates Harley, is incredibly prideful, treats his own minions like they're disposable (if he doesn't outright kill them himself for petty reasons), is unpredictably violent, bullies his own colleagues, and shows no remorse for anything he does. In "The Final Joke", both Batman and Harley describe him as a "sociopathic narcissist" with a chemical imbalance in his parasympathetic nervous system. His pride frequently leads him to try to sabotage Harley Quinn, unable to accept her agency or independence, and leads him to ruthlessly betray her after deceiving her into thinking that she had regained his affections.
Look, lots of dads are serial killers. I'm not gonna change who I am, I just got a better reason to kill; I am in love!— The JokerDespite all this, Joker admitted that he actually did love Harley but due to his belief that love was a weakness, he wanted to get rid of her. Realizing that killing her would make her a painful memory that would hurt him for the rest of his life, he settled for trying to make Harley forget who she was instead. After having his own memory erased, Joker's view on love changed dramatically when he fell in love with Bethany. Spending six months as a "loser stepdad" softened him and even once he regained his memory, he decided that his relationship with Bethany could be a great thing. However, he also told Harley that he still intended to be a serial killer, except now his motivation to continue killing was that he was in love.
- He claimed himself to be an "agent of chaos," this is a reference to Heath Ledger's Joker from the 2008 movie, The Dark Knight.
- According to Harley, Joker always stole her makeup, mainly her lipstick, which gave him his red lips.
- Joker's previous look is similar to that of Heath Ledger's Joker.