Birds Of Prey: Harley Quinn’s Hyenas Explained

A split-screen image with Harley Quinn from Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995) holding out a bone for two hyenas on the left and a very colorful promotional shot for Birds of Prey (2019) featuring Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) sitting on a couch next to a growling hyena on the right

Originally written by Thomas Bacon for Screen Rant

Harley Quinn's hyenas are set to make their big-screen debut in Birds of Prey. Introduced in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn swiftly made her way to the comics. There, she's become the so-called "Fourth Pillar" of DC Comics, standing alongside Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman as one of the publisher's top sellers.

Although she was originally envisioned as the Joker's abused love-interest, over the years Harley Quinn has blazed her own trail. She's sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, and always absolutely wacky. Harley Quinn comics are frequently compared to Deadpool's; they break the fourth wall, they're full of hilarious and whimsical humor, and they star a character who's insanely unpredictable, a lot of which we can expect from Birds of Prey.

Harley Quinn is frequently found in the company of a pair of hyenas, which she absolutely dotes on. Harley views these two hyenas her "babies," and will do absolutely anything for them - even when they've gone rabid. As they look set to make the leap to the movies with Birds of Prey, just what is the deal with these hyenas? 


Harley Quinn-hyenas

Named Bud and Lou, Harley Quinn's hyenas made their debut in the classic Batman: The Animated Series. Writers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini reimagined the Joker's criminal gang as a sort of twisted, insane family. Harley Quinn was the roller-skating "wife," albeit a long-suffering and abused one whose love was as insane as the Joker's sense of humor. And Bud and Lou, named after Abbot and Costello, were the household pets. They're vicious killers, and yet they're tame in Harley's presence; in truth, she's their owner, and the Joker neglected to feed them when Harley quit his gang for a while. 

When Harley Quinn made her transition into the comics, Bud and Lou came with her. The comics gave Harley Quinn's hyenas a backstory, revealing that she and the Joker had liberated them when they raided the Gotham Zoo. When the Joker and Harley Quinn parted ways, the Clown Price of Crime let them go back to the zoo. Harley swiftly organized a jail break, much to the bemusement of the gang she'd gathered around her, who mistakenly believed she was getting the Joker himself out of prison. Since then, Harley has gone to pretty crazy lengths to keep her pets safe.

Tragically, when the Joker returned to Gotham he wanted to claim Harley Quinn as his own once again. He set about torturing her, and as part of that captured Bud and Louie, infecting them with rabies and turning them against Harley. She apparently killed them in self-defense; years later, the comics revealed that Bud and Lou had survived, and that Harley had sent them to a zoo to help them recover. They'd settled down with some female hyenas and had pups, much to Harley's delight when she broke in for a visit.


Birds of Prey-Robbie and hyena

It looks as though Bud and Lou are set to make their big-screen debut in Birds of Prey. One Birds of Prey poster shows Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn settled down on a couch with one of her pet hyenas, which she's given a distinctive pink collar. It will be interesting to see whether the hyenas' DCEU history is the same as the comics; if so, Harley Quinn's hyenas could well get caught in the firing line further down the line, if the Joker ever comes to call. For now, though, there's something tremendously entertaining about seeing Harley Quinn with one of her hyenas, relaxed in the presence of a creature so savage.