- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).”
- Margot Robbie returns as an excellent Harley Quinn in the latest DC film.
- While you’re focused on the performances of Ewan McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Black Mask and Huntress, respectively, you may have missed some of the finer nods to the larger DC Comics universe.
- From a corrupt detective in the comics to multiple nods to Harley’s animated roots, Insider rounds up some of the details you may have overlooked while lost in the rose-colored lens of Quinn’s colorful Gotham.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When Harley is in her onesie, you can see she has a stuffed beaver.
That’s a nod to Harley’s taxidermied beaver Bernie from the comics who she believed could speak with her.
Harley is seen at a roller derby briefly in the film.
In the movie, Harley roller skates and takes out some people in the rink for fun.
If you’re familiar with the comics, you’ll recognize this as a nod to a job she gets in 2013’s Harley Quinn No. 1 in the rather violent renegade roller derby. Harley is given the team name Killer Kwinn, which she’s not thrilled about.
The number on Harley’s derby outfit has a small nod to the character’s origins.
Harley wears the number 92 on her sleeve and back at the roller derby. The character’s first appearance was on the first season of “Batman: The Animated Series” in 1992.
Her first appearance with the Joker can be seen above on episode 22, “Joker’s Favor.”
A clip of “Days of Our Lives” featuring the original voice of Harley Quinn plays on a TV in Renee Montoya’s apartment.
When Montoya is getting ready to head to Amusement Mile, pay attention to the TV shown on the right side of the screen. It momentarily shows a woman in a sparkly pink and blue jester’s outfit.
That’s Arleen Sorkin, the original voice of Harley in ’90s animated series “Batman: The Animated Series.” That scene from “Days of Our Lives” served as inspiration for the character.
This one’s easy to miss the first time around, especially if you’re not familiar with the clip. Insider confirmed it during a second viewing of the film.
“Birds of Prey” costume designer Erin Benach told Insider the clip heavily inspired Harley’s evoltion and look in this film so it’s nice to see the homage here.
Black Mask’s father’s business, Janus Corporation, is mentioned a lot.
The corporation run by Black Mask’s father is mentioned quite a bit in the film. When Dinah Lance goes home to her apartment complex, you might have noticed a sign for the corporation outside the building. Signs inside the apartment complex appeared to have the name on it as well as though Janus was taking over the complex.
The company was also seen in the “Justice League” movie briefly. In the comics, Janus is a cosmetics company.
Harley tells patrons in Roman’s club that she’s not a dummy. She has a PhD.
She’s not lying. Before Dr. Harleen Quinzel became Harley Quinn she was a psychologist at Arkham Asylum who was treating the Joker.
Harley decides to blow up Ace Chemicals after she and the Joker break up.
Ace Chemical isn’t just the place where the Joker was transformed into the iconic Batman villain, it’s the same place where he pushed Harleen into a vat of chemicals to bleach her skin as well and transform her into Harley Quinn.
Harley blew the place up to get rid of the physical reminder of her origin story and connection to the Joker.
Harley Quinn channels an iconic Marilyn Monroe outfit.
During the film, Harley is seen dressed as Marilyn Monroe’s character from 1953’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The big change here is that Quinn has an updated version of the gown with pants instead.
Costume designer Erin Benach told Insider they almost did a completely different outfit for Quinn here.
“It wasn’t even really on the page or decided amongst us that it would be the same Marilyn outfit,” said Benach “There were talks of it being something totally different and new, like way more Harley.”
The idea to transform the iconic look and update it came to Benach while in a research library.
“I remember the moment where I just went, ‘Oh my God, the best idea is just to take the exact Marilyn outfit and put her in pants. Turn it into pants,'” said Benach. “It was just a light bulb moment. It hit and I told [director] Cathy [Yan] and Cathy was like, ‘Brilliant. Done. Do it.'”
Harley gets a pet hyena after her break up, a nod to her animated roots.
Harley and the Joker share two pet hyenas, Bud and Lou, in “Batman: The Animated Series.” Their names were a nod to comedy duo Abbott and Costello.
The two also appeared in DC’s Harley Quinn comics as Budsie and Louie. 2019’s animated film “Batman: Hush” changed things up by adding a third hyena and naming them after The Three Stooges.
Margot Robbie told Comicbook.com Harley only has one hyena in “Birds of Prey” because of the film’s budget. In the film, Harley gives her pet a completely different name.
Harley’s hyena is named after Bruce Wayne.
Harley tells Cassandra Cain she named the hyena after “that hunky Wayne guy,” aka Bruce Wayne.
Little does Harley know she named her hyena after Batman.
Harley also wears a dog tag featuring Bruce on her new necklace.
Benach also designed a jewelry line based on Harley and the “Birds of Prey” looks with Billie Valentine. The above necklace features charms, including the Bruce dog tag and a fishhook.
Hot Topic is currently selling a version of the necklace, seen above, which retails for $16.90.
Derek Wilson plays detective Tim Munroe in the film who has appeared in a very specific comic.
Munroe is not a random name. In the comics, he’s a corrupt cop who killed an orphan Poison Ivy was looking after. As a result, Poison Ivy kills him and his partner.
Maybe that’s a way to bring Poison Ivy into the fold in the future. Munroe appears in 2005’s issue No. 32 of Gotham Central. In “Birds of Prey,” Harley orders number 32 off the Chinese menu from her landlord, Doc.
A small reference is made to Dinah Lance’s mother, who is also named Dinah.
Her name isn’t mentioned, but if the film is referring to Dinah Drake-Lance then she’s the first version of the Black Canary. Both of them possess the power of the canary cry, which is the high-pitched sonic scream Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s character used in the film.
In “Birds of Prey,” Renee Montoya confims Lance’s mother had the same power she inherited. Montoya said her mother used to help the GCPD and work alongside them. Unfortunately, Dinah says it led to her mother dying in the streets.
Dinah seems reluctant to use her power because of how her mother died despite trying to use her power for good. Dinah Drake Lance died in the 1990 comic seen above.
Harley is a Bernie fan.
When Harley is going through the grievances Black Mask has against her, look carefully. One of them that flies by says she “voted for Bernie.”
When Harley raids the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) searching for Cassandra Cain, she passes by a poster of Captain Boomerang.
Harley points it out before leaving the room, saying she knows the guy in the poster.
It may have been tough to make out, but it was Jai Courtney’s character from 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” in which Harley Quinn appeared. Courtney is supposed to reprise his role in next year’s “The Suicide Squad.”
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey head to Amusement Mile.
That’s Joker and Harley Quinn’s headquarters in various video games and animated series and films. It’s usually in a Coney Island-like area. Joker looks like he has abandoned the place in the film.
The funhouse location reminds us of previous versions of the area we’ve seen in Telltale’s Batman game and “Arkham City.”
A few Joker laughs can be seen written inside the Amusement Mile hangout.
If you look at the windows in the Amusement Mile setup, you can see the words “Haha” written a few times over in a familiar scrawl.
They look similar to the ones tattooed on Jared Leto’s Joker.
Not tough to miss, a drawing of the Joker hangs in Harley’s apartment that she uses for target practice.
More importantly, the Joker is referred to as the “Jester of Genocide,” one of his less commonly used nicknames in addition to Clown Prince of Crime.
The Birds of Prey costumes are a nod to their comic looks.
Dinah Lance and Huntress are seen in royal blue outfits as they take on the name of the Birds of Prey as vigilantes.
Though a little different in color, they remind us of the matching looks worn by the “Birds of Prey.” Above, Black Canary and Huntress are seen with Batgirl on the comic cover of issue No. 17 of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.