The Animated Series Could Never Show

Every once in a while, an image goes viral on social media, supposedly showing real notes given to the “Batman: The Animated Series” crew by the studio detailing the things they were not allowed to show — it was even shared by the voice of Joker, Mark Hamill. There are supposedly nine big taboos, including guns, drugs, breaking glass, alcohol, smoking, nudity, child endangerment, religion, and strangulation.

Turns out, the image is part of a crew T-shirt designed by Henry Gilroy — who wrote the episode “Nothing to Fear” with the iconic “I am the night, I am vengeance, I am Batman!” line — satirizing the ridiculous notes the studio gave, with Bruce Timm drawing the illustration with the nine big things the cartoon wasn’t allowed to show.

During a recent interview with /Film, Henry Gilroy told us the origin of the image, and how he “started making this list of all the things we weren’t allowed to do, and Bruce heard I was doing it, he did the drawing.”

But wait, you might say, the show had plenty of guns, and Batman crashed through windows all the time! Why, yes. Yes, he did, but only after lots and lots of arguments. For instance, the crew could not show Batman crashing through plate glass windows in case children tried to replicate that, but the studio allowed a compromise of having Batman crash through other things — like brick walls. “Batman will hit a guy with such force, his face will go through a brick wall,” Gilroy told us. “They’ll go, ‘That’s fine, that’s okay.’ You can’t really replicate that. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s brain damage because he put his face through a brick wall.'”

Even guns were prominent on the show, they just weren’t realistic-looking guns, but Tommy guns, joke guns, and otherwise fantastical weapons.

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