Joker/Harley Quinn

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Pairing: Joker/Harley Quinn
Alternative name(s): sometimes called Jarley
Gender category: Het
Fandom: DC Comics, DC Comics Animated Universe, Batman, Suicide Squad
Canonical?: Yes, but broken up in comics
Prevalence: Popular
"Illustration of Harley sitting in Joker's lap with her arms around his neck and Joker has his arm around her"
Joker and Harley Quinn FanArt by xXAmLuvsXx (2018), this piece featuring their more classic look
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The Joker/Harley Quinn is a pairing of The Joker and Harleen Quinzel in the Batman: The Animated Series. They have also appeared in DC Comics, the DCU's Suicide Squad and various video games.



Joker x Harley is one of the most popular ships for both of these characters, but it is also controversial.

It is the most popular ship for Harley, based on works currently on Ao3, and it is the most popular het pairing for the Joker. In the overall Batman fandom, it is common but not overly popular.


Many early fans were originally drawn to this pairing through the animated series or the comics. Some enjoyed the opportunity to explore a non-conventional romance between two unstable villains. Fans of this pairing also point out that Harley Quinn is equally capable of abusing and trying to kill the Joker. They were drawn to this pairing because of the dysfunctional nature of their relationship, not despite it. Fanfiction often reflected their dynamic in canon.

Despite some comics fans not appreciating this pairing, there was no noticeable fandom wank.

Tensions arose when fans were drawn to the Batman fandom from other source materials, including The Dark Knight film.[1] Fans became more vocal in this dislike of this ship and critical of the original source material. Other fans used the opportunity the Nolanverse provided to write AUs pairing Nolanverse Joker with Harley Quinn. These works often featured first meetings, and focused on the Harley Quinn origin story. Some also changed the dynamics of their relationship to reflect concerns about the power imbalance and abuse.

In September 2010, fans on facebook organized the Reunite Joker and Harley Quinn Campaign. The letter writing campaign was viewed as successful by organizers when Harley Quinn and the Joker appeared together in issues of Gotham City Sirens in 2011.[2]

Common Tropes & Storylines

  • Fics set during Mad Love often expand on or alter canon. Also Mad Love is used as an inspiration for many works pairing these two in the Nolanverse and DCU.
  • Pregnancy and kid fics are rare but do appear. May be inspired by comics canon, where Harley gave their child up without telling Mister J. she was pregnant.
  • Escaping from Arkham Asylum is a common trope used in Joker x Harley fics.



  • JxHQ: Arkham Asylum: Tainted Love by princessebee, Dr. Harleen Quinzel: Beautiful, smart, ambitious. But she never counted on The Joker. An all new and different take on the seduction and manipulation which led to her going insane and becoming Harley Quinn. (Batman Comics)
  • Bad Jokes, Archived version[1] by hahaharley, Harley sees a case that could make her career. The Joker sees a naïve young therapist with a breakable mind. Swiftly, he lures her into a downward spiral, resulting in her defeat and rebirth as Harley Quinn, the only one capable of surviving at his side. (Nolanverse)



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