When it exploded onto the scene in 1992, audiences knew that Batman: The Animated Series was going to be different. The series combined a mish-mash of different visual and literary inspirations to create the most definitive version of the Dark Knight ever seen, and that more often than not meant it had to get dark.
Like, really, really dark.
But whereas BTAS' famed commitment to scaring the pants off of its viewers sort of goes without saying these days, it's worth pointing out that it wasn't the only DC cartoon to venture into darker territory.
Following BTAS, the minds behind Warner Bros. Animation (Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Andrea Romano and countless others), set about creating a new DC Comics continuity, eventually dubbed the DC Animated Universe. Shows based on Superman and Justice League eventually followed, while an equally successful Batman spin-off called Batman Beyond also released shortly after BTAS concluded.
All of these cartoons were smart, stylish and equally ambitious, but they also had another thing in common - they could drop some absolutely spine-chilling endings on occasion, and sometimes completely out of the blue.
It's a part of what makes them so special of course, but they're enough to give even the most seasoned of viewers pause for thought.