[[quoteright:300:[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jjgbb_2638.jpg]]]]

->'''Marshall:''' Spending ten months undercover in a women's prison? I can think of worse.
->'''Mary:''' You do know it's not all lingerie and pillow fights?
->'''Marshall:''' But it is sometimes, right?
-->-- ''Series/InPlainSight''

Women's prison is a setting that stands out for how scarce its depictions are... outside of porn that is. At most, only expect a vague allusion but the instances where the lives of female inmates are featured are vanishingly rare in comparison to that of male inmates. And the only thing that most people recall about women's prison is its FetishFuel potential.

In short, women's prisons are [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything hotbeds]] of... uh... intrigue. For instance, if there's a female detective character, she pretty much has to be [[GetIntoJailFree sent to prison undercover]], as is the law in most countries.

Still, an unfortunate effect of MostWritersAreMale is that most of them have never been to a women's prison, nor do they know how life is inside of it. It can be because men are not allowed inside, much like women in men's prisons. It may be because [[DoubleStandard female offenders aren't considered as]] {{badass}} [[DoubleStandard as male offenders]] and thus less worthy of scrutiny. It may even be because in most places, there are a lot more male prisoners than female. Or it may be because they just didn't bother with research.

But, let's face it, it's mostly because most of them assume women's prisons are a [[GirlOnGirlIsHot lesbian porn heaven]]. No matter what, in sharp contrast to men's prisons, women's prisons are always believed to be a FetishFuel station where women learn to be bisexuals thanks to this oh-so beautiful and chaste thing called lesbianism (which [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnFemale doesn't involve rape at all]], oh no), so they can serve [[AllMenArePerverts men's]] [[AThreesomeIsHot fantasies]] better once they get out. And of course, female guardians partake joyfully in it as well as the lucky male staff who live in this palace of pleasure! It also goes without saying that the women are [[LipstickLesbian beautifully feminine]] except perhaps for a few [[ButchLesbian tough dominant ones]] who [[AlphaBitch run the prison]] and [[SituationalSexuality initiate newcomers]]. Depending on how dirty-minded the audience is, and the [[{{Watershed}} time slot]], this may result in a sort of ChekhovsGun scenario as the audience expects... ''action''. In a movie or late-night cable TV show, there will be at least one ShowerScene or strip-search.

Needless to say, the above description is purely fantasy and '''NOT''' TruthInTelevision, except maybe for the shower scenes and the nudes searches, as can be seen in men's prisons. But the preponderance of the porn-friendly description is so deeply ingrained in pop-culture that realistic depictions of women's prison ''as a main setting'' that don't include these elements are exceptional.

In RealLife, women's prisons are populated with the same ilk as men's prisons: criminals and lawbreakers. And no, just because they're vagina-havers doesn't mean they are more peaceful and gentle than penis-havers. The daily fight for dominance also applies there, [[CatFight catfights]] tend to involve the use of [[SinisterShiv shivs]] and the {{Alpha Bitch}}es are just as ruthless and ''physically'' violent as Alpha Dogs in men's prisons, [[TruthInTelevision especially to newcomers who happen to be prettier than them]]. Remember: in an all-female setting, good looks are a hindrance, not an asset. And just like in men's prisons, [[PrisonRape sexual violence is a very real threat]], not only at the hands of fellow prisoners, but also from the guards.

A case of SituationalSexuality taken UpToEleven to [[PanderingToTheBase pander to the audience]]. May contain offensive tropes like DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnFemale.

Compare PrisonRape and WondrousLadiesRoom (another trope whose misconstrued depictions is due to MostWritersAreMale).

See also: ChainedHeat, ForcedPrizeFight.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In one chapter of the ''Manga/ExcelSaga'' manga, Excel and Elgala are on a boat headed for an island women's prison. A guard mentions that "they will be subjected to tortures both savage and sensual!"
* The sixth story arc of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' begins with protagonist Jolyne Kujo being framed for murder and sent to prison.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' alludes to this when Revy threatens Janet to "show her her stuff" if she ever tried to have sex with Rock, tellingly hinting at how she would make every other inmate her bitch back in prison.
* ''Anime/SengokuCollection'' has an episode that is an homage to the famous Japanese women's prison film ''Film/JoshuuSasori'' (Female Prisoner Scorpion).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Happens to MsTree in the "Prisoner in Cell Block Hell" storyline.
* ''ComicBook/GoldDigger'' #82 has Gina Diggers doing time in a women's prison. The comic includes a shower scene and a fight with the head bitch, who happens to be a ShoutOut of a certain female ''StarWars'' character.
* ''AdventureComics'' #394 features a [[TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] story with {{Supergirl}} in an alien women's prison. The story isn't really that good; however, and the comic is best remembered for [[http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljhz6xBUsP1qbujox.jpg its cover]] with the laughter inducing tagline "Heartbreak Prison! Where Every Girl's A Lifer!"
* ''{{Comicbook/Catwoman}}'' #80 features said character being thrown into a women's prison. It includes catfights and a shower scene.
* O'Brien spends time in a women's prison during ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX'' arc where Frank is going after Nicky Cavella and his men for pissing on his family's remains. Being a MAX ''Punisher'' story, O'Brien's arc is played for drama rather than titillation as she fights viciously to keep other convicts from raping her.
* Homaged in the ''HackSlash'' story "Interdimensional Women's Prison Breakout", with [[http://hackslashinc.com/1/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/hack_slash_11_a_web_72.jpg obligatory]] SexyPackaging.
* The "Lockdown" arc (#76-81) of ''ComicBook/GrimmFairyTales'' features Sela in a women's prison. Plenty of the standard tropes apply, including a ShowerScene, a fight with the ButchLesbian, etc.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fics ]]

* ''[[http://www.devianthearts.com/viewstory.php?sid=1268&chapter=1 Voyager Chicks Behind Forcefields]]'' is this trope RecycledINSPACE using the intrepid crew of ''StarTrekVoyager''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* The zombie movie ''[[Film/{{Grindhouse}} Planet Terror]]'' has the two heroines behind bars for a scene in the third act.
** Also, [[/folder]]

[[folder: [[Exactly What It Says On The Tin :WOMEN IN CAGES! ]]
]]
* The whole point of the 80's flick ''Reform School Girls.''
* ''Chained Heat'' is the classic series of movies in the late-night genre.
* Likewise, ''Caged Heat'' was another example of the genre from [[TheSeventies the 70's]].
* ''Film/TankGirl''. Tank Girl and Jet Girl in Water and Power's prison.
* The 1980s InNameOnly remake of ''Film/AndGodCreatedWoman'' features this as its setting.
* Creator/RogerCorman's ''Film/SwampDiamonds'' (as seen on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''). Undercover cop, check; struggle for dominance, check; Beverly Garland as a PsychoForHire, bonus!
* ''Film/BlackMamaWhiteMama''
* ''The Big Doll House''
* ''Caged,'' a 50's film that is considered a classic example of women in prison.
* ''Bare Behind Bars'' is an especially brutal example of the genre.
* ''Girls in Prison,'' a 1994 film that is an example of the innocent woman in prison plotline.
* ''Under Lock and Key,'' a B-Movie with the classic undercover female cop plot.
* ''Werewolf in a Women's Prison.'' Nuff said.
* ''Film/JoshuuSasori'' (FemalePrisonerScorpion), a Japanese women's prison movie that sparked a series of sequels and copycats. Thing is, the prison in question is full of feuding, scheming inmates and the whole film is a deconstruction of the genre, shot through with sadistic torment and unexpected surrealism. The only person who behaves like the stereotypical sexpot prisoner is an undercover warden with zero in-story credibility.
* ''Film/{{Gothika}}'' is a notable aversion, despite being an asylum for the criminally insane, featuring an all female prison with NO porn-like scene. The ShowerScene, for instance, features a bunch of inmates in which some are unattractive or old, like a RealLife women's prison would feature. Scenes in recreation rooms consist of those women often sobbing, staring blankly, or gabbling to themselves.
* Played with in ''Film/{{Freeway}}''. On one side, you have the typical lesbian inmate Rhonda (Creator/BrittanyMurphy) who hits on Vanessa (Creator/ReeseWitherspoon) and on the other hand, the dominant Mesquita (Alanna Ubach) who immediately provokes Vanessa to a physical fight over who's the baddest bitch, thus the one in command.
* ''Film/{{Bound}}'' invokes this trope by depicting ButchLesbian Corky (Creator/GinaGershon) as a former inmate.
* Parodied in the ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'' film. The opening Shower Scene features women who, well... look like the women you'd actually see in a women's prison.
* The filmography of Andreas Bethmann consists almost entirely of incredibly extreme entries in this genre.
* Averted in ''Film/JackieBrown'', with a realistic view of women's prison.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/CharliesAngels'' sent three of them at once. [[ChainedHeat Chained together]] in the aptly named episode "Angels in Chains."
** This series liked the women's prison plot enough to use it a second time, albeit with only one Angel actually imprisoned in "Caged Angel."
** The 2011 remake also had an episode where the Angels went to prison, titled "Angels in Chains" in homage of the original series episode. There are some notable differences; however, such as the prison being located in Cuba and the absence of a ShowerScene.
* Occurs in an episode of ''Series/LaFemmeNikita''.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' had [[spoiler:Piper]] in prison briefly.
* {{Subverted|Trope}} on the ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' episode "The Little Jerry," where George goes on a tour of a women's prison, as he is in a relationship with one of the convicts, and is disappointed to discover it's a peaceful, minimum-security institution without a shower fight to be seen.
* ''Series/TheBill'' has done this several times.
* ''MutantX'', "The Taking Of Crows"
* ''Series/BadGirls'' has made a series of this, but without the detective.
* The ''Series/PrisonBreak'' MadeForTVMovie revolved around breaking Sarah out of a women's prison. However, while it's probably not as tough as most RealLife women's prisons, it still contains no small amount of gangs and violence.
* An otherwise best forgotten episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'' had Carter lampshade this trope.
---> '''Carter:''' Why do I feel like I'm in a women behind bars movie?
* ''Series/PacificBlue'' had an episode that guest starred Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s Wrestling/{{Sable}}, with one of the (female) main characters going undercover into the prison and Sable playing the head bitch. Yes, there was a shower scene, and a couple different catfight scenes.
* German TV series ''Hinter Gittern - der Frauenknast'' (English: "Behind bars - The Women's Prison")
* One episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' has her sent to a women's prison island for murdering a woman who turns out to be the [[spoiler:very-much-alive commandant of the prison]]. It is, however, played entirely for drama rather than sex appeal.
* On ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', Olivia goes undercover at a women's prison in one episode. However, it is definitely not played for prurient amusement; in fact she's sexually assaulted by a guard and several later episodes show her dealing with the trauma.
* ''{{Lexx}}'' had an episode where Xev went to prison, complete with a shower scene.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'' has a two-part episode where Lois Lane is framed for murder and sent to a women's prison.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' series VIII was set in the eponymous spaceship's brig. In the episode "Krytie TV", Kryten is classified as a woman because of his lack of identifying male genitalia. Although his programming does not allow him to exploit that, Killcrazy and other prisoners kidnap him, reprogram him and make him secretly film and broadcast the women prisoners showering for the viewing of the male prisoners.
* ''{{Series/NCIS}}'' episode "Caged" plays this realistically. [=McGee=] is at a womens' prison interviewing a murder suspect when a riot breaks out over the murder of a guard-- and the female inmates prove very difficult to handle, one threatening to kill him repeatedly.
* Season 5 of ''Series/TheLWord'' sees Helena incarcerated in a women's prison. Scenes include a strip search and shower.
** Sex with her cellmate, who is very butch. Trope played absolutely [[JustForPun straight]].
* ''CoronationStreet'' has Fizz falsely in jail for murders committed by her husband John Stape.
* ''Series/PrisonerCellBlockH'' was set in a women's prison.
* In the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode "XX", the CSI team investigate a murder inside a women's prison.
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Joy frets about going to prison, because she is GenreSavvy enough to know that it's ''not'' lingerie and pillow fights. (Randy tries to convince her that it won't be so bad, because of this trope.)
* ''Series/BurnNotice'' does a fairly realistic depiction when [[spoiler: Fiona]] goes to prison for awhile. While there, she has to fight the most dominant member of the prison and has to adapt to the harsh conditions. [[ActionGirl Of course, she does pretty well under the circumstances....]]. It should be noted that Fi as always been portrayed as a full fledged action girl, quite self-reliant, self confident, independent, and succesfull in pretty much every aspect of her life, both before, and after michael showed up in Miami, yet when he visits her in prision she has an emotional breakdown, and michael later informs his mother when asked, that she is eating very little, and is ''quite'' scared. this is all shown withouth a trace of {{chickification}}.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' Shows [[spoiler: Faith]] in jail a few times. Mostly it's the visitor's room, complete with telephones and a window, but there is a prison fight between two inmates in the yard. There is no fetishizing of the prison, mostly it looks like depictions of male prisons but with the inmates having longer hair.
* ''The Late Show with DavidLetterman'': when Martha Stewart was in prison for insider trading Leterman made many jokes implying that Stewart was in this kind of prison.
* The entire premise of the {{dramedy}} series ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack.''
* The third season of ''Series/LostGirl'' sees Bo in prison for having gone on a crime spree following the defeat of the Garuda. It's... kinda porny, in keeping with the [[FanService tone of the show]].
* In one episode of ''Series/PoliceWoman'' from 1974, detective sgt. Pepper Anderson has to go undercover in a women's prison. Despite looking like a high-security facility from the outside, with guard towers and tall walls, the inside of the prison is rather "soft": the inmates don't have cells, but "rooms" (without doors), the furniture looks more comfortable than in most depictions of prisons, and the guards seem pretty nice for prison guards. If there is any FanService it is that all the inmates are young, good-looking (with makeup and nice hairdos), wear uniforms consisting of sleeveless minidresses, and spend a lot of time walking around in their short nighties.
* Alluded to in ''Series/PeepShow'', where Jeremy is put on jury service with a female defendant. He doesn't seem to grasp the reality of it, though, even thinking that women's prison was "probably like one long hen night".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/LadyGaga's music video for "Telephone". Crotch shots, chains, girl on girl action, and undies galore. Seems to be another one of her attempts at {{Fanservice}}.
* Creator/PamGrier's song "Long Time Woman" from ''The Big Doll House.''
* Played for laughs with the backup dancer in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPXnoLAEUSQ this old Bobby Fuller Four video.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* The [[http://www.wowe.com/ WOW (Women of Wrestling)]] TagTeam Caged Heat, named after the film, Loca and [[PunnyName Delta Lotta Pain]], who were the first, and, until last month, the only [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_of_Wrestling WOW World Tag Team Champions]]. They were billed from [[PartsUnknown the Nevada State Correctional Facility]], wore orange jumpsuits and their [[SignatureMove signature moves]] had such names as "Hard Time" (BearHug with top rope clothesline) and "Capital Punishment" (better known as Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys' "Dudley Death Drop"/"3D," a combined flapjack and a [[Wrestling/DiamondDallasPage "cutter"]]). Their entrance video showed them in prison rapping their [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic theme song]][[note]]Theirs was the only one with lyrics[[/note]]. The absence of logic in the fact that they were supposedly driven to the arena from ''prison'', and then sent back after the match, was not even [[{{Handwave}} Handwaved]] away, as this promotion adhered to an old-school, straight-faced {{Kayfabe}} mentality, which is what would be expected from a promotion started by David [=McLane=], who had previously created Wrestling/{{GLOW}} in TheEighties. In 2000-2001, this was a decided contrast to Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s Wrestling/AttitudeEra, which was taking place at the same time. Despite the implications of their gimmick, they were VERY popular.
* WOW's SpiritualSuccessor ''{{Wrestlicious}}'' featured a character called Felony (played by indie wrestler Rain) who was apparently allowed to wrestle on work release. She had to be led to the ring in handcuffs by her parole officer and a RunningGag would be her trying to escape from him whenever she got the chance.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theater ]]

* "When You're Good to Mama" from most versions of ''Theatre/{{Chicago}}''.
* Mo'Nique in her routine ''I Coulda Been You Cellmate'', that is set in a women's institution, playfully toys with this trope about its implausibility.
* Subverted in ''A Gulag Mouse'', where the plays is set in a women's prison camp that is starkly realistic and brutal.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* One of the storylines in the Japanese RPG ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier'' opens with the main character, Emelia, having to escape from a women's prison.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* Mentioned briefly in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner''. In the Strong Bad Email [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail193.html rated]], Strong Bad makes reference to the "triple-R rated" ''Women's Penitentiary Bakesale Nightmare''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Subverted in ''Webcomic/TheJapaneseBeetle'' when Kremlina goes to jail. The "top dog" tries to make her her bitch, only to get downed in one punch - which makes Kremlina the new top dog, complete with another inmate asking very politely to be her bitch.
* Averted in ''LastRes0rt'' -- There are plenty of female contestants, and yes, the show is in a prison, so while there ARE Girls Behind Bars, it's a relatively calm co-ed prison environment and the closest we get to a ShowerScene is one panel of Daisy from the shoulders up.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter reveals that he accidentally recorded over his and Lois' wedding video with "softcore cable porn"; the brief clips we're shown are of a Girls Behind Bars film.
** And referenced in another episode, where Quagmire frets that what Peter is doing could land him in jail- "And not the good kind of jail, like on Cinemax! The man jail!"
** The episode "Breaking Out Is Hard to Do" sees Lois sent to prison. When visiting with her family she remarks-"I'm just gonna have to lay back and let the penal system teach me a lesson."
** In the episode "Dial Meg for Murder," Meg goes to prison and becomes a hardened criminal.
* Averted entirely on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' where Marge goes to prison for a month, as the situation is PlayedForDrama and this particular trope is not even mentioned.
* The ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' movie "Into the Wild Green Yonder" has Leela, Amy and a bunch of other female characters from the show all get sent to a women's prison. While it's far from the nicest place, all these good friends are put in cells together and start painting toenails and the like.
* ''TrippingTheRift'' has a women's prison themed episode. It contains skimpy prison dresses, a shower scene, and a catfight during said shower scene.
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' had an episode where Johnny was falsely convicted of bank robbery and sent to a women's prison because of a typo on his birth certificate spelling his name "Joanie".
* In ''Ben10,'' the porno version is naturally not an option, so when Gwen gets thrown in jail after Charmcaster forced a body-switch with her, a jail for girls looks a lot like... jail! Or rather, [[CardboardPrison jail in a superhero show]]. She busts out rather easily, but it helps when you're in a mundane jail and have the body of a magic-wielding supervillain.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* [[http://www.linternaute.com/sortir/spectacle/un-spectacle-nomme-desirs-au-crazy-horse/image/crazy-horse-dynasty-830769.jpg This number]] from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crazy_Horse_(cabaret) Crazy Horse Saloon]].

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