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I'm not great at having people who are actually good to me in my life.
~ Harley Quinn
Harleen Quinzel was raised in a dysfunctional family, her mother Sharon Quinzel is alcoholic, her father Nick Quinzel is a criminal and gambling addict. Harleen herself was normal, albeit mentally unstable. Her mental instabilities first manifested as an obsession with actor Frankie Muniz, who she wanted to kidnap and have a child with via lying about being on birth control. Eventually his family placed a restraining order on her, which she ignored, so she was sent to juvie.
Later, she was named Valedictorian at her high school, but angrily denounced her entire school administration for not helping her and for ogling her. She then pursued her dream to win the Olympic championship of gymnastics, while also hinting at a desire to use such a win to launch a political career. She nearly succeeded, but her father insisted that she "take a dive" so that he would win a long-shot bet to clear his gambling debts. Harleen eventually relented, and failed on purpose, but snapped when her father joked that there would never be a woman president anyway, causing Harleen viciously assaulted her father in front of everyone. The acrobatics skills she gained as a gymnast served her later in a life of crime.
Deciding to change her goals, she pursued a psychology degree in college. After graduating from university, she became a psychiatrist and started working at both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary. During her tenure at Arkham, she first met the Joker, seemingly having some success at both pacifying him - through both intimidation and therapy - eventually believing she was making progress towards curing him. At the same time, she met Poison Ivy, whose misanthropy had caused her to degenerate into a near-bestial state.
A turning point in her relations with both inmates came when the Joker attempted to escape Arkham, taking both Harley and Ivy with him to use as human shields. However, Harvey Dent (not yet the villainous Two-Face) ordered his men to open fire without regard for Harley, confident such an act would gain him votes in his reelection campaign. Seeing Harleen clearly more concerned with Ivy than her own life, Ivy decided to raise her hands and surrender. This would officially begin their friendship and later partnership. Harleen also used this event as an opportunity to call Dent out for his hypocrisy, calling him "two-faced", an ironic echo of the villainous identity he would eventually assume.
Harleen presumably continued as a therapist for the Joker. Years later she and everyone who knew her assumed he had brainwashed and manipulated her into believing that she had fallen in love with him while she tried to treat him, eventually becoming mentally unstable herself. This cumulated in another successful escape where he took her hostage and pushed her into an Ace Chemicals pool, bleaching her skin pale white, and took on the mantle of Harley Quinn to act as Joker's sidekick and girlfriend. In truth, however, this part of her past was a self-imposed mental block to hide what had actually occurred: she willingly helped him escape, and leapt into the vat via her own volition.
Harley's psychotic personality was ingrained from her childhood and deepened when she met the Joker, forming an unhealthy attachment to him. However, she gradually realizes his abusive behavior towards her, and with coaching and time, begins to understand that she has to be independent to be healthy, manifesting as a desire to join the Legion of Doom to become the Joker's "equal". This eventually causes her to distance herself from her allies until they all abandon her, prompting her to finally sever all emotional ties with the Joker and to rekindle her friendships. All throughout this progression, however, she remains psychotic, only limiting herself from killing random innocents.
Harley's current outfit is a reference to the movie Suicide Squad.
Harley's favorite book is Clive Cussler's Sahara.
Harley Quinn is of Jewish descent.
The Joker claimed that Harley has HPV.
The "phony" version of Harley's past where the Joker kidnapped her and pushed her into the vat of chemicals is her canon origin story from The New 52, which was changed in this adaptation. The stories about her childhood and parents are also unique to this version.
In this continuity, Harley is directly responsible for inspiring Barbara Gordon to become Batgirl.
Also in this continuity, Harley (if her word can be trusted) inspired Harvey Dent to use the name "Two-Face" as his villainous nom de plume.