The Secret Origin of Harley Quinn’s Puddin’ Nickname for Joker, Revealed

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, learn whether Paul Dini and Bruce Timm provided an origin for Harley calling Joker “puddin'”

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and twentieth installment where we examine three comic book legends and determine whether they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends. Click here for the first part of this installment’s legends. Click here for the second part of this installment’s legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I’ll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

Harley Quinn calls the Joker “puddin'” because he gave her a pudding cup when they first met.

False (as far as it being part of her original origin)

One of the tricky things about misinformation about comic book characters is that the very nature of comic books means that something that was misinformation can be made into ACTUAL information with the stroke of a computer keyboard. For instance, let’s say that a rumor started that Jim Lee drew an entire issue of G.I. Joe and I did a legend saying that that was false, and then the next week, Jim Lee draws an entire issue of G.I. Joe. That doesn’t really refute the legend, since the legend was based on false facts at the time. Taking the concept even further, what if the rumor was that Jim Lee drew an entire issue of G.I. Joe with Larry Hama back when Marvel was doing the series and that was false, but Jim Lee did draw an issue of G.I. Joe when, say, Devil’s Due had the license. The legend is still false, as it is all about the parameters in which the story discusses.

Long story short, that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about whether the origin of Harley Quinn calling the Joker “Puddin'” came from him giving her a pudding cup when they first met. Someone might have that story happen next week, but obviously, we’re talking about it being an actual official part of Harley’s back story, as established in her original origins like the comic book Mad Love and then the cartoon adaptation of that comic.

RELATED: Did Joss Whedon Almost Write X-Men Instead of Grant Morrison?

And people DO think that this is the case. There was even one of those “facts” memes about it…

The trick with Harley Quinn, as I noted in a legend years ago, is that there was not a whole lot of early development of Harley Quinn since Paul Dini and Bruce Timm didn’t even have her originally in the episode of Batman: The Animated Series that ultimately became her debut. I wrote at the time, “As you might note, the episode was a lot darker than most animated fare of the era, and part of that was the desire by Bruce Timm and the writers of the series, like Paul Dini, to make the Joker on this cartoon a good deal darker than he was in other media. That, though, rans into a problem – there were no jokes!

Bruce Timm reflected on the problem in his Modern Masters book from TwoMorrows. They had made Joker scarier and scarier and so Paul Dini introduced the idea of Joker having a comedic henchwoman to lighten up the mood a bit. Timm agreed and when the episode was finished, the character that they had introduced, Harley Quinn, was so well-received that they kept using her more and more on the series.”

RELATED: The Bizarre Behind-The-Scenes Origin of Human Torch Meeting Spider-Man’s Clone

Eventually, her lack of a background led to Dini and Timm writing and drawing a one-shot comic book called Mad Love that told Harley’s origins (they later adapted the comic into an episode of the series).

And no, in none of Harley Quinn’s origins has she ever explained her nickname of “Puddin'” for the Joker as being because he gave her a pudding cup when they first met. It has not become a thing period in any OTHER comics SINCE then. Well…for now, of course. Who knows what the future will hold?

In the latest Movie Legends Revealed – See how Michael Caine’s tax status, of all things, led to him becoming Scrooge in The Muppets Christmas Carol.

OK, that’s it for this installment!

Thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don’t even actually anymore, but I used it for years and you still see it when you see my old columns, so it’s fair enough to still thank him, I think.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is And my Twitter feed is, so you can ask me legends there, as well! Also, if you have a correction or a comment, feel free to also e-mail me. CBR sometimes e-mails me with e-mails they get about CBLR and that’s fair enough, but the quickest way to get a correction through is to just e-mail me directly, honest. I don’t mind corrections. Always best to get things accurate!

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See you next time!

KEEP READING: How Spider-Man’s Foe, the Man-Wolf, Was Named Before He Was Officially Created

from Ultimate Comic Blog

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