Batman: The Animated Series: 10 Worst Episodes 

The least-loved episodes of an otherwise universally loved '90s cartoon.

Batman the animated series batman in my basement

Read any list of the greatest cartoon series of all time, and it's generally a sure-fire bet that Batman: The Animated Series will be somewhere in the top 5. Coming up on 30 (!) years since its release in the fall of 1992, the show set the stage for a massive shift in how mainstream cartoon series would be approved, created, and constructed.

Based in great part on the dark, brooding setting that sprang from the live-action Tim Burton movies in 1989 and 1992, the show would make it acceptable for simple 'cartoons' to have intricate plotlines, complex character arcs, gallery-quality artwork, and endings that didn't always end with our heroes riding into the sunset. It was a series that didn't insult adult viewers and ultimately created what would come to be known as the DC Animated Universe.


Not every episode was a winner. For every 'Almost Got 'Im' there is a 'I've Got Batman In My Basement); for every 'Heart of Ice', a 'Critters.' These episodes that aren't as well-regarded generally seem to involve a one-off character or more generic villain, so the lack of love for them is understandable. Batman has the greatest rogue's gallery of any comic book hero, ever, so why do we want to watch him face off with an angry farmer who created overgrown chickens?

Let's run through the hall of shame by looking at episodes that not even the World's Greatest Detective could salvage.

10. Cult Of The Cat - 1998

Batman the animated series batman in my basement
Warner Bros

Selina Kyle / Catwoman was a mainstay on B: TAS. Adrienne Barbeau lent her very distinctive purr to Selina, giving her a voice like a velvet glove on an armoured fist - take off the softness and you were in trouble.

Which is why it is so disappointing that Catwoman's last appearance on the show was so...well, blah. There was nothing really defining in this episode about Selina - she steals from a cat-based cult, gets in over her head, and needs Batman to help her out.

Considering Selina's whole gimmick is based on dressing like a cat, surrounding herself with cats, and being a thief, how is it she has never heard of a whole cult who literally worshipped felines and the concept of stealing?

A few other pieces of this episode make you scratch your head. Wouldn't Bruce have built security measures into the Batmobile that could defeat even the best thief (he returns to the car at one point to find Selina waiting for him inside.) Why did an Egyptian cat cult dress and arm themselves like Japanese ninjas? When Bruce makes Selina promise she would give back everything she ever stole, it would leave her with nothing. Why was he shocked that she quickly went back to thieving?

About the only positive thing in the episode is that Selina gets a happy ending, lying on a bed in Paris surrounded by jewels.


Child of the Canadian '80s. Fan of Star Wars, Marvel (films), DC (animated films), WWE, classic cartoons. Enjoys debating with his two teenage sons about whether hand-drawn or computer animation is better but will watch it all anyways. Making ongoing efforts to catalogue and understand all WhatCulture football references.