Poison Ivy

Since the early days of Batman: The Animated Series, we’ve seen a strong bond between “gal pals” Harley Quinn và Poison Ivy. It’s a friendship that expanded into other properties—including DC’s prime universe & animated films. In Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s Harley Quinn #25, Harley và Ivy’s relationship became much more than a friendship as the two shared their first on-panel kiss, confirming their once subtextual queer relationship decades in the making.

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Following this first kiss, there have been a few Elseworlds storylines, including Injustice: Gods Among Us and DC’s Bombshells, featuring their romance, but few in-continuity stories took a deep dive into their newly formed relationship. Of course, while the comics may not fully tap into the potential of Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy’s coupling, the Harley Quinn animated series fully fleshes out their romance.

A Friendship That Became More

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Harley Quinn finds success taking its time building the relationship between Harley and Ivy, with the pilot establishing that Ivy và Harley are best friends. After years of warning signs, Ivy is finally able lớn convince Harley khổng lồ break off her toxic relationship with the Joker. The writers delicately make sure Ivy isn’t a rebound for Harley. The first season doesn’t focus on Ivy & Harley’s lãng mạn relationship, but instead on their friendship.

It’s not until the second season that sparks begin lớn fly between the two best friends. In “There"s No Place to lớn Go But Down,” Ivy & Harley are sent to “The Pit," an inescapable prison run by Bane. Though not even a pit of despair is going khổng lồ stop Harley và Ivy from coming up with a plan khổng lồ escape—one that happens to involve George Lopez.

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In a high-adrenaline exit, Ivy proves her loyalty khổng lồ Harley by risking her own life to lớn save her best friend. In the heat of the moment, Harley và Ivy mô tả an intense kiss. Their lãng mạn feelings for each other sneak up on them—exploring the messy emotions that come along with falling in love.

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Harley quickly accepts that she has feelings for her best friend—Ivy does not. She’s getting married khổng lồ Kite Man. Even if it’s not true love, it’s a low-maintenance relationship with a good guy, which is hard lớn come by within the villain community of Gotham. But most importantly, Ivy doesn’t want to ruin the friendship she has with Harley because she fears that, if they become something more, Harley’s rash personality will only over up breaking her heart—ruining the most sacred relationship she has in her life.

The Queer Relationship is the Main Plot

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These turbulent feelings between Harley và Ivy become the driving narrative for the animated show’s second season. Contrary lớn Harley’s beliefs, this isn’t a story about Harley Quinn becoming the DC Universe’s greatest villain. The anarchy in Gotham, the villains’ new size of leadership, và Batman’s absence all play second fiddle to Harley & Ivy’s bond.

When a show"s leads are super-villains, it"s expected that the writers are going to break a few rules. Most superhero shows building up lớn their final act will focus on action instead of character. Harley Quinn does the exact opposite. The action pieces in season 2"s final episodes aren’t the main focus, but are instead used to intensify the character beats in Harley & Ivy’s turbulent relationship as they figure out their feelings for each other.

There’s No Coming Out Story

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Harley Quinn season 2 is super queer, và *gasp* there’s no coming out story. I personally love these narratives and I don’t feel like every type of coming out story has been told on TV or in other media. But I bởi vì believe there’s a nguồn in not needing a coming out story. Many queer narratives are defined by this trope—as if it’s the only type of story that can be told with a queer character, which is obviously not true.

There’s never a moment that Harley or Ivy have to “come out," but that doesn’t mean their queerness is ignored. There’s even a moment when Harley tries lớn lighten the mood & tells Ivy, “You’re here, you’re queer. Get used to it.” Harley Quinn is a testament not only to lớn how the comics và future Bat shows should handle Harley and Ivy’s romance, but also a perfect example of how other TV shows should tell their queer storylines. 

Harley Quinn"s first two seasons are now on HBO Max and DC Universe. Visit our official Harley Quinn page for more news, videos & features on the animated Gotham thành phố troublemaker.

A version of this article originally ran on DC Universe. Be sure to subscribe to lớn DC Universe for additional DC news & announcements, plus original and classic DCTV shows, movies, comics & more!

Kat Calamia writes about TV, animation and comics for DCUniverse.com. Kiểm tra her out on YouTube và follow her on Twitter at