There is seemingly no end to Batman’s surprises within comic book pages or on the screen. The Dark Knight has used shark repellant, swiped a Bat Credit Card and went on a coffee bender to save his friends from Dr. Destiny. However, the moment that perhaps truly tops the chart of Batman’s hidden strategies is the time when he performed an emotional rendition of the classic jazz standard “Am I Blue?” to rescue Wonder Woman from a magical curse.
The Justice League Unlimited episode “This Little Piggy” is one of the series’ most humorous and light-hearted in tone, but also captures a tender side of Batman not often seen in the hero’s cold, brooding demeanor. The Caped Crusader’s dry diction is a source of comedic relief, contrasting with his tender musical performance at the episode’s climax. The story also gives the famously stoic detective a chance to express his inner feelings about his close friend and even hints at a potential romance between the two.
“This Little Piggy” follows Batman and magician Zatanna as they track down the villainous sorcerous Circe to reverse the transformation spell she put on Wonder Woman. However, the episode is anchored by a conversation Batman and Wonder Woman have regarding romance, in which Bruce Wayne tells Princess Diana about his limited dating options. He reminds her that while she’s a “princess from a society of immortal warriors,” he’s a “rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.” It’s a moment of striking self-honesty for Batman, who is defined by his guardedness and secrecy. His candor may come across as icy, but in reality, it’s indicative of the deep friendship he shares with Wonder Woman.
Bruce also reminds Diana that if someone wanted to hurt him, they would strike at the person he loves first, erecting another emotional barrier for himself. However, when Circe turns Wonder Woman into a pig complete with her signature armbands, Batman becomes hell-bent on curing her. When an enemy has already targeted someone he admires and holds close to him, Batman will do whatever it takes to protect that person from further harm. Even if it means performing a smooth and heartfelt musical number.
Batman, with the help of Zatanna, figures out that magic usually has a price. Circe tells him the only way to bring back Wonder Woman is to reveal something he can never take back once he has spoken the truth. When Batman performs “Am I Blue?,” it’s not just his singing skills that he’s confessing, it’s his tenderness and feelings he has for his friend. The cut from Circe menacingly explaining to Batman he needs to give up a “soul-shattering” secret to the opening notes of the lounge tune is pure comedy, but the performance is a significant moment for the character.
The scene gives voice actor Kevin Conroy a chance to show off his surprising singing skills, and the lyrics tie back to Batman’s conversation in the episode’s opening minutes. “Not that she’s gone so far away / I wonder whether I’d have anyone,” the Dark Knight croons. “Because, dear, you were the only one,” he muses, bringing both Circe and Zatanna to tears. It’s both hilarious and touching to see Batman, known for being a quiet and serious creature of the night, express his emotions in such a personal manner. If Batman is the Ron Swanson of the Justice League, then “This Little Piggy” marks his Duke Silver moment.
The memorable performance makes it clear that Batman truly cares about his friend and will do anything to save them, despite his stiff demeanor. It clarifies why the hero, usually a loner, is still a member of the Justice League. The Caped Crusader’s rendition of “Am I Blue?” may be played for laughs, but it also marks a significant and sentimental step in the relationship between him and Wonder Woman. As she hums the song in the League Watchtower despite claiming that she doesn’t remember much from her porcine state, Batman and the audience can’t help but smile.
Batman's most heartwarming and hilarious moment on television is when Wonder Woman transformed into a pig.