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->''"You are a whore, darlin. We all are. We take the cash, we cash the check, we show ‘em what they wanna see."''
-->-- '''Cristal Connors'''

''Showgirls'' is a 1995 sexploitation film written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Creator/PaulVerhoeven. It is also the only movie to receive a wide release under the NC-17 rating. This tale of the lives of UsefulNotes/LasVegas strippers set to the plot of ''Film/FortySecondStreet'' may have been partially responsible for the rating's decline, as it was basically an X-rated movie that went through the ratings process (which actually isn't required for an X rating; anyone wanting to make an X-rated movie will gladly release it as such on their own). That said: when compared to the explicitness of today's cable television series, even the unrated version of this movie would barely qualify for an R-rating today.

The film tells the tale of [[PunnyName Nomi Malone]] (Elizabeth Berkley), a country girl who hitchhikes to UsefulNotes/LasVegas in hopes of becoming "a dancer" and eventually (after a lot of nudity, a lot of sleaze, a little violence, and a lot of choreographed dance numbers) making her way to the top.

''Showgirls'' was--and still is--a rather controversial film. It flopped at the box office, which killed the chances of future NC-17 movies getting wide releases. But it attracted a cult following on home video, chiefly as a "guilty pleasure" film infamous for its excessive sex, even more excessive nudity, and hilariously inane story and dialogue.

[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showgirls_2:_Penny%27s_from_Heaven A direct-to-video sequel was produced in 2011]].


! ''Showgirls'' contains the following tropes:

* AllMenArePerverts: Virtually none of the straight men in this film have any kind of morals or act in a way that won't ultimately lead to getting in some woman's pants or seeing her breasts. Even the CampGay guys talk in almost nothing but sexual overtones.
* AtLeastIAdmitIt: Cristal considers herself a type of whore and calls Nomi out for denying it when she's trying to get the same job.
* BabyTrap: James ends up getting engaged to Hope/Penny because he has gotten her pregnant.
* BerserkButton: Nomi really hates being called a whore and being asked to be one.
* BlackBestFriend: Molly to the white protagonist, Nomi.
* BookDumb: Nomi's repeated mispronounciation of "Versace."
* BookEnds: The film ends with [[spoiler: Nomi catching [[ContrivedCoincidence the same car with the same guy]] who drove her to Vegas in the beginning. It is implied that she will go back to attacking people and being a hooker, like she did before the events of the movie]].
* BreakTheCutie: Molly goes through this when she is [[spoiler:brutally raped by Andrew Carver and his guards and no charges are filed because he's a celebrity.]]
* BrokenPedestal: Andrew Carver, and ''how'', as seen in BreakTheCutie above.
* CampGay: Several of the male dancers, who mock the single ''straight'' dancer in the troupe.
* ChekhovsGun: The stairs at the Goddess, which are the main (and apparently only) entrance to the stage and which [[spoiler: Nomi pushes Cristal down, critically injuring her.]]
** Lampshaded several times, to the point it's implied Nomi stepped in [[ToiletHumor monkey shit from a previous act and slips on stage.]]
%%* ChorusGirls
* ClusterFBomb: Nomi's primary method of expressing frustration, anger or any other emotion. Given the [[DarkerAndEdgier tone of the film]], she winds up doing this ''a lot.''
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: Nomi. [[spoiler:We find out at the end of the film that her father killed her mother and then himself.]]
* CrapsackWorld: Las Vegas.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Zach eventually discovers that Nomi [[spoiler: saw her parents die in a MurderSuicide and spent years hooking in various states (in addition to assaulting someone with a deadly weapon)]] before she arrived in Vegas.
%%* DepravedBisexual: Cristal.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Nomi kicks James in the nuts just because he said she couldn't dance. Also, after he falls backwards onto a couple, the guy gets so angry over an accident, that he punches him in the face.
* DogFoodDiet: Nomi is sheepish about having to eat it once. Cristal, on the other hand, is perfectly open about developing a taste for Doggie Chow.
* DrugsAreBad: Nomi repeatedly refuses offers of drugs until after she sleeps with Zach, finally taking cocaine in a manner similar to Cristal.
* EasilyForgiven: At the end of the movie, [[spoiler: Cristal isn't mad at Nomi for having stolen her boyfriend and pushed her down the stairs. She implied that she herself did something similar to her predecessor though.]]
* EveryoneHasStandards: Nomi is perfectly willing to do what came down to live, on-stage lesbian sex, screwing her boss to get a higher position, and pushing the lead dancer down the stairs to get her job, but she won't use ice cubes to make her nipples perky. You have to draw the line somewhere.
** Two other dancers are in an ongoing rivalry, and one puts up with all kinds of abuse... right up until the other [[BerserkButton starts swearing at her kids.]]
* {{Fanservice}}: The movie's sole ''raison d'être'' and the purpose of the women's job.
* FeeFiFauxPas: Nomi humiliates herself in an interview by mispronouncing "Versace".
* FemaleGaze: Zack's butt in the pool scene. Enough said.
* FollowTheLeader: Joe Eszterhas' version of ''Film/AllAboutEve''.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: Inverted. One showgirl brings her kids into the dressing room, and while [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight neither of them notice or care about being surrounded by topless women]], they go ballistic when another woman swears at them.
* FullFrontalAssault: Nomi's beatdown of Andrew qualifies.
* HairTriggerTemper: Nomi tends to fly off the handle at other people for any reason-- or no reason at all.
* HellBentForLeather: The biker stage show.
* HostileHitchhiker: Nomi thumbs a ride to Las Vegas from a man in a pick-up truck. En route, the man suggests sex-for-mileage; Nomi and her switchblade vehemently disagree. BookEnds with the closing scene, where Nomi thumbs a ride to Los Angeles with the exact same man and pick-up truck. She shrieks, "You stole my luggage!" and resumes slashing at him while he's driving.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Nomi. See AtLeastIAdmitIt above.
* IdealizedSex: The legendary pool sex scene. Nomi is far too wiggly on Zach for it to be legitimately seen as intercourse.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Nomi says this verbatim to Zach, after [[spoiler: he confronts her with her criminal record and about her ''long'' stretch of prostitution arrests, saying she did what she had to survive on the streets after her parents died in a MurderSuicide.]]
* InformedAbility:
** Nomi is supposed to be a brilliant dancer, but if you actually watch her dance she's not all that good. James even flat-out tells her in the club that she can't dance, not at all helped by her just flailing her arms around and shimmying her breasts when we see her dance.
*** Worse, in audition scenes several other dancers are visibly [[{{Jobber}} jobbing]] and trying to be worse than she is.
** She's also supposed to be streetwise, but she really seems naive at times and falls for things someone genuinely streetwise never would have.
* InformedAttractiveness: There is a lot of fuss made about Nomi's hotness, particularly her breasts, which actually aren't that special.
* InterchangeableAsianCultures / MistakenNationality: In universe: A businessman named Okita (a Japanese surname) is said to be from Bangkok.
* ItsNotPornItsArt: This movie is/was intended to be a social commentary on the sex industry (and maybe capitalism in general) and a satire of Hollywood 'rising star' narratives. That's not the reason [[ADateWithRosiePalms most]] [[SoBadItsGood people]] watch the movie, however.
* JizzedInMyPants: Zack gets the full treatment when Nomi gives him a lap dance.
* KarmaHoudini: While Nomi beats the crap out of Andrew Carver, the other two rapists are not seen again.
** They're his security guards, briefly seen when Nomi returns. Mind, Nomi had no idea they were involved.
* KarmicRape: Andrew Carver's fate at Nomi's hands.
* KlingonPromotion: Nomi gets the lead in ''Goddess'' after shoving Cristal down the stairs. Cristal apparently did the same thing to get ''her'' first lead. It's implied that this is pretty much how the showgirl hierarchy works.
* LameComeback: "''You're'' gonna jump to ''your'' conclusion!"
* MamaBear: Julie is sort of this. Although she had already had a lot of tension between her and Angie it seems to have taken Angie upsetting Julie's children that caused her to [[spoiler: sabotage Angie and thus break her leg.]]/me
* ManipulativeBastard: Almost every man in the film, but Zach and Andrew Carver are the most manipulative, fooling Nomi and Molly in their own selfish ways. Their closeness also counts as a VillainousFriendship.
* ManipulativeBitch: Cristal, who has no problem jerking Nomi (as well as others) around just for a sense of [[ItAmusedMe amusement or boredom.]] Nomi is also pretty manipulative in her own right, and is arguably even worse than Cristal.
* MeaningfulName:
** Nomi Malone. Because she's trying to hide her past (No Me) and she feels all alone in the world (Malone).
** Otherwise, No, I'm Alone.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted. James doesn't believe Nomi has her period, so she challenges him to check... and he does. ''With his fingers''. She wasn't lying.
* NotSoDifferent: Cristal is proud of Nomi for having lied, cheated, and backstabbed her way to the top because she did the exact same thing to the lead showgirl before.
* OnlySaneWoman: Molly, who also serves as a MoralityPet to Nomi. [[spoiler: Too bad she ends up brutally gang-raped towards the end of the film and from then on is seen lying helpless in a hospital bed.]]
** Henrietta, while also an employee at The Cheetah and a pseudo FemaleMisogynist, is a lot more grounded than her co-workers. It may help that she's much older than the rest of them, too.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Nomi kicks the ever-loving shit out of rapist Andrew Carver.
%%* PingPongNaivete: Nomi, and how.
* ProtagonistCentredMorality: Nomi is the main character and is always portrayed as in the right.
* RapeAsDrama: The rape scene is infamous, not only because it [[ShockingSwerve comes out of nowhere midway through the final act]], but also because it's handled realistically and to the most sympathetic character in the movie.
* RealMenHateAffection: Al's parting line to Nomi ("Must be weird...not to have anyone...come on you.") is intended as a heartfelt farewell.
* RecycledInSPACE: This movie is basically any number of backstage movies (particularly ''Film/AllAboutEve'' and ''42nd Street'') set in the world of X-rated Vegas revues.
* ScrewTheRulesImFamous[=/=]ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Andrew isn't charged for raping Molly because he's a celebrity and Nomi's boss helps cover it up. [[spoiler:Subverted as Nomi tracks him down and [[PayEvilUntoEvil makes him suffer for it]].]]
* SexForServices: Most women, apparently, use this to get ahead in life. A few standout examples include Nomi and her boss, James and Penny and heavily implied with Cristal.
* SleepingTheirWayToTheTop: This is a DiscussedTrope when Nomi gets told that none of the stage girls try to sleep with the bosses to get ahead. She does it anyway by seducing Zach, who she had given a lapdance earlier on in her previous job as a stripper and becomes an outcast because of it.
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Nomi eventually sleeps with her new stage boss [[SleepingTheirWayToTheTop to get ahead]] (she had already given him a lapdance when she was still a stripper and not employed by him). The other girls call her out on this because they have an unwritten rule against it, though it's implied at least some of them have also broken this rule.
* SpitefulSpit: Nomi delivers one to [[spoiler: Zach]] at the end of the film, after learning the true depths of their betrayal of her and unscrupulousness.
* StaircaseTumble: The one in this film is infamous. [[spoiler:Cristal is shoved down the stairs by Nomi in a fit of pique.]]
* StrawMisogynist: Most men, apparently, only see women as sex objects.
** And then there is Henrietta "Mama" Bazoom who seems to be an in-universe example seeing as what she does at the Cheetah is basically tell misogynistic jokes even though off-stage certain dialogue suggest it's all an act.
* TwoPersonPoolParty: Zach and Nomi have this after the latter is invited to the former's house and gives way to the very infamous [[IdealizedSex pool scene.]]
* UngratefulBastard: Nomi. After puking on Molly's car then being saved by Molly, Nomi still cusses her out and acts petulant when Molly offers her a place to live.
** She's also thoroughly pissed at James after James bails her out of jail. He is later revealed to be as big a jerk as Nomi calls him, but he'd done nothing so far.
* WhereDaWhiteWomenAt: James two onscreen love interests are Nomi and Penny who are both white.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Just as Cristal has almost successfully seduced Nomi, she tells her "Y'see, darlin'? You are a whore." causing her to snap out of it and storm off.


-->''"[[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick Man, everybody got]] [[MemeticMutation [=AIDS=] and shit.]]"''