* BileFascination: It's an NC-17 movie that bombed in theaters. Some people definitely want to know why.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: From the very beginning of the film, it's very clear that there are very few people to root for. With the exception of Molly, every character is either incredibly sleazy, villainous or both. Nomi finds herself being used and taken advantage of by virtually every male character in the film in some way, shape or form, all while the majority of the female characters lie to her face or act catty towards her. The GratuitousRape of Nomi's friend is 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]]).
** It's clear that Robert Davi is [[LargeHam chewing the scenery]] as much as he can as Al, but he's the only character who gets a halfway-honest emotional scene in the film, even if ends with a hilariously-inappropriate line to Nomi.
* 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.
* MemeticMutation:
** 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.
** For Andrew Carver, it's absolutely when he rapes Molly, which he had no reason to do since she intended to have sex with him anyway.
* 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: ''Series/SiskelAndEbert'' 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.
* WhatAnIdiot: Andrew Carver is too cruel for his own good when it came to Molly, who was a big fan and was excited to have sex with him.
** '''You'd Expect''': If Carver had some sort of rape fetish, he'd inform Molly, and make sure the whole thing was SafeSaneAndConsensual before going to town.
** '''Instead''': He calls his guards, punches her in the nose, and gang-rapes her like a monster. Needless to say, he got his comeuppance for this part, but this was arguably a WhatAnIdiot moment for Joe Eszterhas, who wrote this scene, since the film helped [[CreatorKiller destroy his career.]][[note]] On a side note, when WebVideo/CinemaSins did this film, they gave '''69 million sins''' for this scene since it was unnecessary, brutal and managed to hit the website's BerserkButton. [[/note]]
* TheWoobie:
** Molly: to most audience members, she's the only character that's not a total dunce despite having it just as rough as Nomi.
** Attempted with Nomi, as she's already a pretty abrasive, scheming person before corrupted by the glitz and glamour of Vegas. At best she's a JerkassWoobie, at worst just a plain {{Jerkass}}.
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