"Birds of a Feather" is the fifty-third episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
Penguin's up to his old tricks again, this time robbing a museum of its paintings, with him taking a particular interest in a picture of ducks on a lake. As usual, Penguin tries to keep a high class image with his victims calling himself "a man of impeccable taste." Also like usual, Batman arrives to stop him, making mention that Penguin's been out of jail for only two days. Penguin tries to escape but Batman manages to catch him and Penguin is jailed again.
Veronica sees the news of Penguin's release. After some time, Penguin is released from jail and insists that he's learned his lesson and he's ready to rejoin elite society. However, he finds that no one is waiting for him outside of the prison and he ends up having to take a bus filled with less than savvy people and a rude driver into Gotham.
Elsewhere, Veronica Vreeland mopes over her falling social status. Her manservant Pierce, suggests that she throw a party. Veronica agrees but thinks that she needs something special to spruce up the party. Pierce reminds her of the Joker crashing a friends party and then shows her a news article of the Penguin's release. Thinking that this will bring her back into the eyes of her peers, Veronica makes plans to invite him.
Penguin returns home expecting to find his own peers (Joker, Two-Face, Killer Croc) waiting for him. However, he finds that only Batman is there waiting to warn him to stay out of trouble. After Batman leaves Penguin receives a call from Veronica and she asks him out on a dinner date. Penguin is more than happy to accept.
Out at the restaurant, Penguin makes bad jokes and eats small fish whole (similar to his Batman Returns incarnation) upsetting all the restaurant patrons. Furthermore, his presence causes people to walk out in fear that he'll rob them. Penguin doesn't notice this but he does suspect that Veronica has ulterior motives for inviting him. Veronica assures him that she's just interested in him and his unique traits such as "that fine roman nose." Penguin is enchanted and suggests that the two leave. He asks for the check and is told that the meal is free if he'll just leave. Penguin takes this as a gesture of respect for his status and leaves even happier than ever.
Penguin and Veronica share a moment together.As Penguin and Veronica leave, a trio of thugs notice them and decide to mug them. Unaware of this, Veronica takes the opportunity to invite Penguin to her party which he readily accepts. Just then, the thugs make their attack and Penguin starts to fight them off with his umbrella. However, one of the thugs manages to get hold of Veronica's necklace which Penguin takes back. At this moment, Batman arrives and takes down the thugs. However, he mistakes Penguin for their leader and attacks him as well. Veronica clears things up with Batman much to his surprise.
Later, Pierce talks to Veronica about the failed mugging and jokes about Penguin's lack of style. Veronica, however, thinks that it was touching as she's not used to having someone rush to her rescue as the Penguin had. During the conversation, Bruce arrives and asks about who they're talking about and leans that Veronica is only dating the Penguin to amuse her guests and herself. Bruce warns them not to joke around with Penguin as he's dangerous but Pierce dismisses this saying that he's "not their kind."
The next night Veronica and Penguin head out to watch the opera I Pagliacci. Penguin mimics the tune in his horrible singing voice much to Veronica's dismay. Still, she puts on a happy face and allows him to kiss her hand in spite of her disgust. Pierce thinks that this is funny but Bruce grows concerned.
Veronica's party gets underway and Penguin wastes no time socializing with the guests. Though he thinks that he's being witty and refined, the guests are appalled. Pierce finds this greatly amusing but Veronica is starting to get bad feelings about what she'd doing to Penguin. Meanwhile, Bruce watches as Penguin steps out to admire a piece of jewelry that he thinks is stolen. However, Penguin shows Bruce that it's actually a gold penguin which he wants to give to Veronica. Bruce is starting to believe that Penguin really has reformed and Penguin agrees that "anything's possible when love's involved." Unfortunately, when Penguin goes in to see Veronica he overhears she and Pierce talking about their joke, with Pierce insulting Penguin's weight problem, clothes, waddling, and flipper hands. Outraged, Penguin hits them both with knockout gas and kidnaps Veronica.
A very angry Penguin is hurt by the joke. Pierce goes to the police and a ransom note is sent to them. The ransom is one million dollars and Pierce has to deliver it himself. The police escort him to the drop off point, but he Penguin expected this and calls him on a pay phone instructing him to a new location. While Pierce follows these instructions, he falls into the sewers where a duck boat is waiting for him. The boat takes Pierce to the opera house where he's chained to a platform and Veronica is tied to a chandelier. Penguin takes the money and Veronica offers him more if he'll let her go. Penguin refuses, saying that all he really wanted was her friendship. Finding a bat-tracer in the money, Penguin prepares to cut the rope holding the chandelier Veronica is chained to which will kill both she and Pierce. Veronica insists that she really was growing fond of Penguin and she's still willing to try to be his friend but Penguin doesn't believe it. Fortunately, Batman arrives and stops him from killing Veronica. A fight ensues and Penguin jumps onto a fire-breathing dragon prop and sets the opera house ablaze. The rope holding the chandelier catches fire and it falls but Batman manages to save her and Pierce. Penguin tries to continue the fight, but Batman stops him as well.
Later, the Police arrive and take Penguin into custody. Veronica once again repeats to the penguin that she really was getting fond of him but Penguin is disgusted. Watching this, Batman grimly walks away.
- Kevin Conroy as Batman/Bruce Wayne
- Bob Hastings as Commissioner Gordon
- Marilu Henner as Veronica
- Sam McMurray as Pierce
- Neil Ross as Jake
- Danny Wells as Guard
- Paul Williams as Penguin
- Story by Chuck Menville
- Teleplay by Brynne Stephens
- Directed by Frank Paur
- Music composed by Shirley Walker
- Animation by Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.
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