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You Scratch My Back
Episode 5
You Scratch My Back
Air date November 15, 1997
Directed by Butch Lukic
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Music by Shirley Walker
Airdate Sequence
Never Fear
Double Talk
Production Sequence
Double Talk
Never Fear
"Why is it so hard for you people to accept that I've changed? Doesn't anybody believe in redemption anymore?"
- Catwoman

You Scratch My Back is an episode of The New Batman Adventures. It is notable for introducing Nightwing to the new series, as well as Catwoman featuring her new design, drastically different from Batman: The Animated Series. Although Dick Grayson already appeared in Sins of the Father, this episode is the official appearance of Nightwing in the show.

"You Scratch My Back" is the fifth aired and produced episode of "TNBA".


YSMB 04 - BatLove

Nightwing and Batgirl

Nightwing keeps a close eye on the activities of a criminal group at the Gotham Docks and he is soon joined by Batman and Batgirl, although Nightwing makes it clear that their presence is unwanted. Nigtwing explains he has been keeping tabs on a smuggling ring and this is the moment to foil a big operation. Nightwing glides towards the scene and attacks the criminals by surprise, taking down several of them. However, one of the criminals sneaks up on Nightwing from behind and Batgirl takes down the thug with a great flying kick. Nightwing protests about the assistance, but their argument is interrupted by the getaway attempt of one of the criminals.

The man attempts to escape from Nightwing, but runs into Batman, who decides to allow the criminal to keep running. Nightwing is shocked, but Batman refuses to interfere in Nightwing's case. The chase continues across the dark docks and unaware to everyone, Catwoman is watching everything as she goes into action. Nightwing loses sight of the criminal, but he suddenly notices the man bound and gagged in front of him. He starts protesting about the interference again, but he stops when he realizes the responsible is Catwoman, who tells him it's a gift from her as she leaves the scene, leaving a baffled Nightwing behind.

YSMB 16 - Closer

Catwoman gets Nightwing

The next night, Barbara and Dick discuss the encounter with Catwoman and Barbara demands to know why he didn't capture her. Dick explains Catwoman is not an enemy and that he is far more concerned about busting the drug operation in Gotham. Dick gets ready and leaves his apartment in the Nightcycle as Nightwing, but refuses to take Barbara with him. Moments later, Nightwing spies the place of Enrique "El Gancho" aka The Hook; the criminal behind the smuggling operations in Gotham. Nightwing is watching on a rooftop nearby and he is soon joined by Catwoman, who shows some interest in stopping the criminal and convinces Nightwing to let her assist him, using her most seductive tricks.

Nightwing and Catwoman sneak inside The Hook's place and use a computer to download information about his next operations, but as soon as they get the information, the criminals notice their presence. Nightwing and Catwoman have to fight their way out of the place and after taking down several henchmen, confronting The Hook himself, and avoiding near-death experiences, they reach safety, but each go on their own way. Unaware to them, Batman watched everything from the shadows.

YSMB 32 - Dominated

Nightwing and Selina

The next night, Selina is playing innocently with her cats when she gets an unexpected visit from Batman. The Dark Knight warns her to stay away from Nightwing, but she replies that she is interested in the former sidekick, as he is now a grown man. Nightwing shows up in the middle of the discussion and sides with Selina in the argument, forcing Batman to leave her apartment in defeat. However, as Batman leaves, Nightwing notices Batgirl leaving with him after watching the scene with Selina, making him feel a bit guilty. Once alone in her apartment, Selina tries to seduce Nightwing, but he has some information to share with him from the files they stole from The Hook. They finally know where his most biggest smuggling operation is taking place and all they need is to make arrangements to stop it, but before they do that, Nightwing shows Selina a tracking device left by Batman on her whip.

Moments later, Nightwing and Catwoman get rid of the tracking device by placing it on Isis. Without the heroes following them, Nightwing and Catwoman go to The Hook's ship, where they sneak inside and learn that indeed, it is the biggest smuggling shipment of the criminal. Strangely, Catwoman starts smashing some of the items and Nightwing is baffled at this reaction. Everything is clear when Catwoman finds the Cat's Eye Emerald, a South American gem that she stole and placed inside The Hook's smuggling artifacts so that it could reach Gotham safely. Catwoman kisses Nightwing, hoping to get him to join her and allow her to get away with her crime, but Nightwing refuses and Catwoman lashes out against him, trapping him under a net. Catwoman prepares to leave, but Batman and Batgirl show up at the place and release Nightwing, explaining that it was all part of a setup to capture Catwoman.

YSMB 47 - Together

Nightwing gets Catwoman

Catwoman is cornered, but The Hook and his men surround everyone inside the ship and attack them. Batgirl throws some smoke pellets and thanks to this distraction, the heroes take down most of The Hook's henchmen. Catwoman takes the opportunity to escape and Nightwing chooses to follow her, leaving Batman to deal with The Hook. Although The Hook is a challenging opponent, Batman eventually defeats him and ends his criminal activities. Meanwhile, Catwoman escapes on a motorboat and Nightwing follows her, gliding in the air. Catwoman tries to take out Nightwing, but he manages to catch up to her and after a brief struggle, he takes her out of the boat, which crashes against a massive propeller of an ocean liner. The boat explodes, leaving Nighting and an unconscious Catwoman floating adrift on top of a piece of flotsam. The Batboat soon shows up next to them and Batgirl asks Nightwing if he needs assistance. This time, Nightwing is actually grateful for her help.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Adrienne Barbeau Catwoman/Selina Kyle
Loren Lester Nightwing/Dick Grayson
Tara Charendoff Batgirl/Barbara Gordon
Sal Lopez Enrique El Gancho
Joe Lala Gun Runner #1
Steve McGowan Gun Runner #2
Michael David Donovan Gun Runner #3

Notes & Trivia[]

  • When Catwoman's motorboat crashes at the end of the episode, the resulting explosion is reused footage from the scene of the "Superman: The Animated Series" episode "World's Finest, Part III" in which two Wayne/Lex T-7 droids blow up after Batman electrocutes them.
  • This episode is also notable for showing blood twice. The first time when Enrique El Gancho cuts Batman's arm and later when the criminal has blood running from his nose.
  • This is one of the few episodes of TNBA that was not included as any cutscene in the videogame Batman: Gotham City Racer.
  • The episode has been released as part of the following Home video sets: