* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: ''Everyone'' is unpleasant in this movie, except perhaps Molly. A lot of crap happens to the jerkass heroin and the GratuousRape might be the final straw.
* DesignatedHero: Nomi. We're supposed to root for her as an underdog, but she comes off as a bitch for most of the movie.
* FoeYay: Nomi and Cristal mostly although by the end of the film it's barely subtext.
* FetishRetardant: For most people.
* HamAndCheese: Gina Gershon has claimed this of her performance, once she realized [[SoBadItsGood just what kind of film she was making]].
** TookTheBadFilmSeriously: However, reviewers (while they ''do'' generally acknowledge her performance as the best in the film) are usually left with the impression that she was fully committing to the material in a way that none of her co-stars could (or in some cases, [[TheyJustDidntCare simply didn't want to]]).
* HarsherInHindsight: When the guy that drove Nomi to Vegas asks her "what has no one ever been nice to you" it becomes a little sad when you learn her past.
** Thanks to WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick, " Man, everybody got AIDS and shit" and others are getting there. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUQXNldTp-Y Now a stupid statement mix!]]
** "It must be weird, not having anybody cum on you."
** "I used to love doggy chow."
** The bizarre sex scene in the swimming pool has also achieved some degree of infamy, given it looks like Nomi is having some kind of fit.
* MoralEventHorizon: Arguably when Nomi pushes Cristal down the stairs.
* NightmareFuel: The rape scene is absolutely brutal and difficult to watch without trying to cover your eyes. Also afterwards when a badly injured Molly staggers back into the room.
* SoBadItsGood: The 2004 DVD release came with shot glasses and a list of possible Drinking Games for the movie.
** Just having a drink every time Crystal says "darlin'" is enough for most people.
* TearJerker: Nomi saying goodbye to Molly right before she runs away again.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: Siskel and Ebert tore into the film for completely wasting a chance to show the NC-17 rating wasn't just a way to slip porn into regular theaters.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: ''Showgirls'' was originally supposed to be a pro-feminist commentary about women who work as strippers. Some suspect the movie's [[DarkerAndEdgier dark tone]] is a result of the writers and producers invoking this trope.
** Attempted with Nomi, as she's corrupted by the glitz and glamour of Vegas.
*** Nomi comes off more as a JerkassWoobie.