"I've Got Batman in My Basement" is the twentieth episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on September 30, 1992 and was the first episode in the series to feature The Penguin. A teenaged amateur detective, Sherman Grant and his best friend Roberta witness The Penguin receiving the stolen Vonalster Fabergé Egg from his thugs. When Batman appears, Penguin hits him with a gas pellet that severely weakens him. Now it's up to a few kids to protect him.
It's night in Gotham City and, typically, a crime is being committed. Two thugs swipe a Fabergé egg and attempt to make their escape. Before they can get far, Batman confronts them. However, before Batman can attack the thugs, a giant South American Vulture attacks him. While Batman manages to fight it off, the thugs get away. The only clue left behind is a bunch of birdseed.
Elsewhere, in Gotham's suburbs two children, Sherman and Roberta, look through a Jr. Detective kit filled with novelty spy items. As they look through it, two older boys, Frank and Nick, show up and start hassling the couple by taking the stuff. Frank takes the binoculars and sees Penguin's vulture, which he believes to be a hawk. Sherman sees it and decides that its presence is a mystery and he and Roberta follow after it.
The vulture flies into an abandoned birdseed factory and spy on the thugs from the heist before. Soon the Penguin shows up and demands the egg. Sherman immediately recognizes it as the Vonalster Fabergé Egg and decides that they have to alert the authorities. However, Penguin’s vulture, Scrap, notices them and tries to attack but Batman catches it in a net and buries Penguin and his men in birdseed. The two kids try to escape but accidentally activate a conveyor belt leading to a grinder. Batman manages to save the kids and advances on the Penguin but is hit with a gas pellet that causes him to weaken. Staggering into the Batmobile, he collapses. Sherman and Roberta who are nearby shove him in and get into the vehicle themselves. Desperate to close the car, Sherman starts erratically pushing buttons and eventually manages to get the car shut. However, Penguin and his men climb onto the car and try to break in. Frightened, the kids start the car and take the criminals on a wild, hazardous ride. Eventually, the criminals are thrown from the car and the kids escape.Back in Sherman's basement Batman is laid upon a couch and manages to force out the word "cap...sule." The kids don't understand his meaning and Batman tries to further explain but only manages to say, "Visor." This doesn't help anything either. Roberta decides that it's time to call the police but Sherman refuses claiming they must protect the identity of their client.
Later, Frank and Grant show up and discover the Batmobile. While playing around in it, they discover a package of capsules under the car's visor. Sherman suddenly realizes what Batman meant and takes the capsules but Scrap arrives. Sherman manages to run inside and is followed by the older boys. Upon discovering Batman they try to unmask him but Sherman stops them. Just then, the Penguin and his men arrive and disable the phones thereby preventing the kids from calling the police. The trio breaks in and begins to search the place. Disgusted, Penguin calls the furniture "bourgeois" and smashes it. He and his thugs run into traps set by the kids using equipment from Batman's utility belt. Unfortunately, the traps only prove to be minor delays.After being ineffectually assaulted by the kids Penguin and his men chase them into the basement where Penguin finds the egg and tries to kill Batman. However, Batman snaps out of his stupor and attacks. He easily manages to beat Penguin's thugs and after a brief sword fight with the Penguin (in which Batman uses a screwdriver) he manages to capture the criminal mastermind. Just then, Mrs. Grant arrives and is furious to find her house in such a state. However, she forgets about being angry when she sees Batman.
Later, Sherman hangs two newspaper articles about the Penguin's capture and Scrap being taken to the Gotham Zoo. Sherman now has the respect of Nick and Frank who are now working with him on his own Jr. Detective agency.
- Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Matthew Brooks as Sherman Grant
- Adam Carl as Nick
- Lindsey Crouse as Mrs. Grant
- Richard Gilliand as Frank
- Denise Marco as Roberta
- Rob Paulsen as Jay
- Paul Williams as The Penguin
- Written by Sam Graham & Chris Hubbell
- Directed by Frank Paur
- Music by Shirley Walker
- Animation Services by Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.
- The first half of the third level of The Adventures of Batman & Robin: The Video Game is based on this episode. Penguin's pet vulture helps him to steal a priceless artifact from a museum, much like in this episode.
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