Christmas With the Joker

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"Christmas With the Joker"
Batman: The Animated Series episode
Christmas With the Joker.jpg
Title card for the episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 38
Directed by Kent Butterworth
Written by Eddie Gorodetsky
Original air date November 13, 1992
Episode chronology
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"Terror in the Sky"
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"Heart of Steel, Part I"
List of Batman: The Animated Series episodes

Christmas With the Joker is the thirty-eighth episode of the first season of the American animated television series Batman: The Animated Series, first aired on November 13, 1992, written by Eddie Gorodetsky, and directed by Kent Butterworth.[1] It is the only episode of the series to be directed by Kent Butterworth.

Plot summary[edit]

On Christmas Eve, the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum using a rocket hidden within a large Christmas tree. Elsewhere, Robin attempts to convince Batman to take the night off from patrolling the city, yet Batman learns of the Joker's escape. As they enter the Batmobile, Robin makes a deal with Batman that if they search the city and find no sign of crime, then they will watch It's a Wonderful Life. The night seems quiet and without crime, which is further proved when Batman swoops down to rescue a woman who appears like she is going to be robbed, but it turns out that the man was trying to catch her because he'd picked up a package that she'd dropped. Batman and Robin return to Wayne Manor and turn on the television to watch It's a Wonderful Life, only to discover that the Joker has hijacked all television stations and is broadcasting a live Christmas special called Christmas With the Joker. Batman and Robin use the power surges caused by the broadcast to find the Joker's location and head out into the night as the Joker's program continues.

The Joker reveals three kidnapped people that he has named the fictitious "Awful Lawful Family": Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and Summer Gleeson. The Joker states that they will be released if Batman can find them by midnight, and then introduces "Laughy the Christmas Elf", which is simply the Joker's hand. "Laughy" explains that a rail bridge carrying the 11:30 pm train will explode; Gleeson's mother is on the train. Robin disconnects the passenger cars as Batman saves the engineer in the front of the train. Afterwards, they follow the broadcasting signal to the Mount Gotham observatory, only to find that the Joker left a transmitter there and replaced the observatory's telescope with a cannon. As colossal statues begin to fire at Robin, the cannon begins to fire randomly at Gotham City. As Batman draws the fire, Robin disables the cannon with an explosive. Meanwhile, on television, the Joker hands Gleeson a present, a doll made by the Laffco Toy Factory, a business closed for fourteen years, which is a clue that the closed-down factory is the Joker's location.

When Batman and Robin arrive, the Joker starts up a record of Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and sends multiple, over-sized, toy soldiers, which are soon defeated. Following their destruction, toy planes and machine gun snipers begin shooting at Batman and Robin; these threats are also defeated. The Joker then reveals himself and his hostages, who are now hanging over a vat of molten liquid plastic, and threatens to kill them unless Batman receives his Christmas present. Batman complies and is hit in the face with a pie on a spring, to which the Joker laughs and cuts the rope supporting the hostages. Batman saves them as the Joker runs away, trips on a skate, and falls over the vat, also being saved by Batman. With his entire plan ruined, the Joker mutters, "Bah humbug." Later, Bruce and Dick are seen finishing their viewing of It's a Wonderful Life, with Bruce admitting that "it has its moments." At the same time, alone in his cell at Arkham Asylum, the Joker, bound in a straitjacket, is in good spirits, laughing and singing to himself.


The episode was given a rating of 3/5 on the website The Batman Universe, and currently has a rating of 7.5/10 on IMDb. [2]


  1. ^ ""Batman: The Animated Series - Christmas With the Joker" at IMDB". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "BTAS Review: Christmas with the Joker". The Batman Universe. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]