Batman: The Animated Series – The 8 Darkest Moments Of The Series

Batman: The Animated Series is one of the most iconic interpretations of the Batman myth. He dominated the animated television scene in the 90s and continues to be loved by fans around the world. While this show was marketed as a children’s show, it certainly didn’t act like that at times.

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Batman: TAS showed Batman and his villains in one of the most authentic ways. The show didn’t fire any punches and did everything to tell adult stories in the context of a children’s show. That’s part of the reason the series stands the test of time.


8 Barbara Gordon’s “death”

One absolutely devastating moment in the show is when Batgirl is pushed off a roof and falls directly into Commissioner Gordon’s car. That’s when her father discovers his daughter is Batgirl, when she dies in his arms.

Overwhelmed by rage and grief, Gordon launches an all-out offensive against Batman. Seeing Barbara die and Jim turn on her longtime ally with such vengeance is almost too much for fans to take. Ultimately, however, it’s only Batgirl’s nightmares that are fueled by Scarecrow’s fear toxin.

7 Batman questions his purpose

batman-greiving-i-am-the-night

One of the hardest things for fans to see is their favorite hero wondering about themselves and their life as heroes. In the scenario “I am the night”, that’s exactly what Batman does. After a series of failures, the one that ends with Gordon shooting, Bruce Wayne wonders if he did any good in Gotham; Whether he was Batman changed something or only made it worse.

In a fit of emotion, he even trashes the Batcave and screams into the void. It’s a dark moment for the show, Batman has given up and Gotham is in a worse situation. It takes a passionate speech from Robin for him to finally see beyond his failures the good he has done.

6 Harley Quinn’s devotion causes her immense pain

The story of Harley Quinn is heartbreaking. She falls in love and it ends up being the worst thing that can happen to her. His devotion to Joker is what causes him the most pain. She is first introduced in the myth of Batman in Batman: TAS and that’s a dark piece of history for the program.

In the scenario “Mad Love”, she tries to kill Batman for Mister J and he pays her back by throwing her out the window. Yet in the end, she still wants to come back to him and sees everything he does as an act of love.

5 The tragic life of Tim Drake as Joker Jr.

Even if Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker did not take place in the Batman: TAS show, it still follows the same timeline, so it’s worth mentioning. In one of the most twisted acts of the Batman: TAS canon, the Joker destroys the life of Tim Drake. He kidnaps him then transforms him into Joker Jr.

Even after Tim returns to his normal state, this event haunts him for the rest of his life. The most horrifying moment is when Tim, as Joker Jr., breaks down crying. Since he’s also the Joker, this is a haunting laugh / cry mashup.

4 Bruce’s Fantasy: Life Without Batman – Bruce attempts suicide by jumping from a building

Fans and writers love to wonder what Bruce Wayne would be like without Batman. “Follow your dreams,” deals only with this question. Bruce remembers being Batman, but everything in his life is ideal and contradicts everything he remembers.

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He realizes that this is a false reality and to escape, he tries to kill himself by jumping from a building. Bruce is devastated to know that despite the perfect world he’s trapped in, he has to return to the waking nightmare that is his reality.

3 Robin’s Reckoning – Dick Grayson Deals With His Painful Past

batman-tas-robins-calculus

Robin, aka Dick Grayson, is not always seen as a tragic character. It’s hidden behind jokes and bright colors, but behind it all lies a dark story. “Robin’s judgment” takes viewers on a walking tour that explores Robin’s story.

It starts with the murder of his family in front of him and ends with him tracking down the man who committed it. He is faced with the heavy choice of revenge or justice. As much as Robin wants to kill the man who ruined his family, so much he decides it’s a line he can’t cross.

2 Mr. Freeze In Heart Of Ice – Mister Freeze Did Everything To Save His Wife

Batman: TAS revitalized the character of Mister Freeze, making it less cheesy, much more in-depth and intense. “Heart Of Ice” explores many elements of Mister Freeze’s life, but more specifically his relationship with his wife Nora. The show was the first place Nora was introduced and she changed the character to the villain.

Mister Freeze did all he could to save his wife, he destroyed her body and entered a life of crime for her. She was a sympathetic motive for his crimes and helped transform a cold, emotionless villain into a fully fleshed out, multi-dimensional character.

1 Annie’s life and death – there’s nothing Robin can do about it

Robin Annie in the Growing Pains Batman animated series

Tim Drake goes through another tragedy as Robin. This time it’s about a little girl named Annie. She came to Robin for help, begging him to save her from her abusive father. It turns out that she is a sensitive part of Clayface and that he is his “father”.

Clayface reabsorbs Annie, effectively murdering this helpless little child and there is nothing Robin can do about it. It’s a truly nightmare time for the show which goes beyond most other children’s shows.

NEXT: Batman TAS: 5 Ways Dick Grayson Was The Best Robin (& Why It’s Tim Drake)

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