The Bridge Bunnies in their natural habitat.
Someone other than The Captain
needs to actually run
the Cool Starship
, which is where the Bridge Bunnies come in. They're a pair (or trio) of young, attractive twentysomething women (see Office Lady
) who practically live on The Bridge
, and deal with opening hailing frequencies
, giving orders to the pilots of the Humongous Mecha
squadrons, reporting that the Readings Are Off the Scale
, activating the Applied Phlebotinum
, repeating whatever the computer is saying
, warning of Negative Space Wedgies
, and the like. A staple of Japanese anime
shows that feature large capital ships.
Off duty, they're frequently romantically paired with minor characters
, or can be the Girl of the Week
. They're invariably female, although a token male junior bridge officer may be sufficiently intimidated by them to serve as Comic Relief
. Token males in this position will also likely be swinging their bat the other way
, unless someone else on the crew fills that role.
Less common in Western shows these days, where bridge personnel are more likely to be competent professional officers of both
sexes. Women on the bridge aren't necessarily Bridge Bunnies per se
, nor are junior officers doing menial jobs... but a bridge full of young, pretty female junior officers, and on which all of the senior officers with real authority are male
, is a textbook example of the trope (compare Office Lady
A specialized version of Mission Control
, with all the twists therein possibly applicable. They occasionally serve as Those Two Girls
, commenting on the action
and what's going to happen next.
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Anime and Manga
- Jayne's fantasy sequence in the Serenity comic Better Days involves him commanding a ship crewed entirely by Bridge Bunnies.
- The Marvel Mangaverse version of the Fantastic Four has Alicia Harkness and Agatha Harkness serving as Bridge Bunnies to Reed Richards.
- Evangelion 303: The commanding center in the Distler Base is managed by a bunch of technicians. Maya Ibuki is the most prominent of them, and Makoto and Shigeru seldom show up, but most of them are not given names, distinctive faces or personalities.
- A Running Gag in Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space involves people thinking the Space Rangers must be gay due to their campy hero costumes. When Captain Proton cites the large number of glamorous babes working in every alien-fighting organisation, reporter Buster Kincaid says that only proves the men are gay, as otherwise they'd be too Distracted by the Sexy to work.
- Galaxy Quest plays this trope snarkily straight. Gwen DeMarco's official capacity is inherited from her character in the Show Within a Show, Tawny Madison. Her job is to repeat everything the computer says, word-for-word. Lampshaded into a pile of smoking ash about three-quarters of the way through the movie: "Listen - I have one job to do on this ship, and it's stupid, but I'm gonna do it!"
- Also by the fact that the computer literally will not listen to anyone but her.
- It's no wonder the Thermians had trouble running the ship they built, when their own computer won't listen to them.
- Likewise in the Star Trek parody Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, where the primary job of the helmswoman is to look darn good and make fun of the Captain/Emperor. The extras at the back of the bridge are also all female (and all in high heels).
- Star Trek: Despite having been a clear Bridge Bunny in the original TV series (and subsequent movies), Uhura in the 2009 reboot of Star Trek is portrayed as smart, competent, and an aversion to this trope.
- In Arena, the control room of Logan's illegal gladiator combat broadcast is operated by Kawaii and Kaneko, a pair of attractive young women who spend half their time responding to barked orders by hitting buttons on consoles and the other half of the time being eye candy.
- Marlene and Charlene from Spaceballs. "Chew your gum!"
- Lampshaded in Carry On Spying. The captured heroes are taken to the villain's Elaborate Underground Base, which is full of catsuited females bustling about.
Live Action TV
- Lt. Gay Ellis, the Moon Base commander in UFO (1970), becomes more like an office assistant when any male cast members visit the base. Partly justified because these men outrank her, but you'd think they could let her continue doing her job...
- When no superior officers are present, the Moon Base personnel subvert this trope: the Mission Control is staffed exclusively by women, who (despite their skin-tight outfits and purple wigs) are portrayed as being very competent at their jobs and give orders to the male pilots.
- Played straight at the subterranean SHADO headquarters on Earth, which has a largish number of young female staff in skintight uniforms. Their main function seems to be acting as a backdrop for the male cast.
- Space: 1999: Moonbase Alpha has a large number of female crewmembers, but in the first season only two of them, Dr. Russell and Sandra Benes, were recurring characters with any real part in the story, and Sandra mostly acted as a subordinate assistant to the male officers. The second season also added the shape shifter Maya as a recurring character.
- Star Trek
- Yeoman Rand from the first season. She is not shown doing much. She is useful mainly for getting kidnapped and making coffee with phasers.
- Which is actually pretty badass, when you stop to think about it.
- Uhura started under this trope. Short skirt and the old-timey phone operator headset. In the animated version her character started to show signs of breaking out of this role, handing off her Bridge Bunny duties to M'ress, the Bridge Kitty; and once the movies roll around, she ditches this completely and takes multiple levels in badass.
- Also averted in the original series pilot. Number One (played by Majel Barrett) is tough and competent. Her character was cut due to Executive Meddling. According to Word of God, they could keep "the woman or the Martian," (Spock) but not both. Played straight with Yeoman Colt; ironically her presence makes Captain Pike uncomfortable, as he's not used to having a woman on the bridge.
- Quark: The Bettys, played by two of the Doublemint Gum twins. One of them was a clone (the pretty one) and they both lusted after The Captain Quark.
- Battlestar Galactica - Flight Corporal Rigel (played by Sarah Rush), though Athena tends to work in the bridge as well.
- Battlestar Galactica-2003
- The three main bridge operators are a woman and two men, Dualla, Gaeta, and Hoshi, respectively. The male bridge officers, Gaeta and Hoshi, are eventually revealed to be in a relationship . . . with each other. Fans of these three characters have enthusiastically claimed the "bridge bunny" moniker.
- Lt. Dualla is a classic Bridge Bunny being young pretty and subordinate.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- Major Kevin Marks, who always seem to be around the currently visited ship. He was present on every US-made ship so far — even being in two places at once. His role is a bit hazy; due to the Daedalus-class' bridge configuration it's unknown if he's pilot, weapons officer or something else. In addition to his multifarious roles, he also seems to be the ship's XO, that is, second in command. The only time he's shown doing anything else is when he's hacking his own console to regain control of the Daedalus before it crashes. He fails. Sort of. Sheppard dives in with a Traveler ship and jumps through the planet with both ships in hyperspace; Marks finishes hacking a few seconds after that.
- Walter Harriman. He has one job, consisting of repeating which Chevron is encoded and locked, and damn, does he do it well. He also opens and closes the stargate's iris. Lampshaded in the seventh season episode "Heroes".
- Space Mutiny had Bridge Bunnies who were downright Playboy Bunnies. They were wearing singlets and everything. (Granted, some other bridge staff wore actual uniforms, but still...)
- Doctor Who: In "The Day Of The Daleks", future-Earth is run by a male Controller. All the technicians who report to him appear to be blonde young women.
- Starships in David Weber's Honor Harrington cycle tend to have a high number of females aboard, but the author usually avoids invoking it as this trope. One female character, however, is called out in-story on the disproportionally high number of bishonens in her bridge crews.
- The Past Doctor Adventures novel The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham is a deconstruction of Gerry Anderson's work, including UFO. The bridge bunnies of SILHOET (an expy of SHADO) are the daughters of the rich and powerful — women who'd normally be models, actresses or trophy wives, but as much of Earth is a dystopia, SILHOET gives them a secure position in an influential organisation to curry favour with their parents.
- Averted for the most part in Warhammer 40K: many duties are taken over by servitors (lobotomized humans that can run preprogrammed operations), and Space Marine ships crews are Always Male. Rogue Traders and Inquisitors, however, have a broader diversity of staff.
- In Mega Man X: Command Mission, you don't start with a base, so one chapter is spent taking someone else's base. When you find that it doesn't come with a Bridge Bunny, the next chapter is spent doing the most logical thing - taking someone else's.
- Mega Man X8 brought in Layer and Palette as the new bridge bunnies to accompany Alia, who has been in the series since X5.
- The Resistance Base has a pair in Mega Man Zero; the Guardians' airship base has a full trio in Mega Man ZX.
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation:
- Rio Mei Long and Eita Nadaka for the Hagane and Eun Hyojin for the Hiryu Kai. Rio becomes a pilot early on, and Eita gets a de-facto promotion to second-in-command after Daitetsu's death in Original Generation 2. Poor Eun never gets any spotlight.
- Bit of trivia, while most nameless human character (like Mook and Red Shirt) either have their eyes cover with a gear or shade. Nameless Bridge Bunnies are given proper portrait similar to named character. Super Robot Wars Original Generations given proper portrait to all characters, yet the Bridge Bunnies still get special treatment for there are portraits of two different Bridge Bunnies.
- The other Original battleship, Super Robot Wars W's Valstork, has Shihomi and Akane Ardygun, and the male Horris Horaian. The Captain in this case happens to be the girls' father. Shihomi later graduates to Captain after her dad gets tossed far far into the past.
- Star Trek Online gives your character a collection of Bridge Officers who crew the various stations on the ship. Naturally some players choose to make them Bridge Bunnies. Just like in this video Of course gender equality applies so it's equally possible for a female character to have a collection of male Bridge Bunnies.
- The Xenosaga Trilogy gives us Mary and Shelly Godwin, made even better since every third phrase out of their mouth is "Little Master". Or, in Mary's case in the first game, "Little Maz-da."
- The prologue of Xenogears features a cluster of Bridge Bunnies with exotic hair colors shouting about a vaguely-defined catastrophe.
- Orbulon in WarioWare: Twisted!. It plays the trope as to have literal Bridge bunnies, (Though they were space bunnies)
- Mass Effect 2: Shepard's yeoman Kelly Chambers is a Bridge Bunny. She is a Bisexual omnisexual greeneyed redhead. Her secondary duty is as the crew's psychological counselor, and as she puts it, a little passion makes people open up to you.
- It is confirmed in 3 that Cerberus put Chambers there specifically for Shepard to hit on (she's a possible love interest an can be romanced even if you're with someone else, but won't trigger the "Paramour" achievement), and to keep Shepard and the rest of the crew under control. In other words, to be the perfect Bridge Bunny. A ship the size of the Normandy wouldn't really have any clerical work that can't be done by computer, especially since the ship has an AI on board, and the Normandy Mark I had a conspicuous lack of yeomen/Shepard wranglers.
- Mass Effect 3 has Samantha Traynor taking over Kelly Chamber's role and a lot more. Unlike Kelly Chambers, who served as Yeoman, Samantha Traynor is the Normandy's Communications Specialist and also manages the War Room's data together with EDI, who specifically requested her presence on the Normandy. Her role as the secretary that notifies Shepard of any new messages or incoming vid calls is only logical given her job as the ship's Comm Specialist, but it's not her main job aboard the Normandy. She also refuses to feed the Commander's fish.
- In Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, there are three ladies in the ranger headquarters who sit before a huge computer monitor on the top floor. They have to keep track of the rangers, they confirm quest completions, and other stuff.
- Command & Conquer: In Tiberian Sun, Kodiak and Montauk were commanded by Mc Neil and Slavik (both male) respectively. But both had one male and one female as their supporting officers. The game split the difference: In Kodiak, Chandra had the speaking roles and in Montauk, it was Oxanna.
- Almo and Coco of the Galaxy Angel gameverse.
- In Sluggy Freelance Zoe and Gwynn take on this role during the "Stick Figures in Space" arcs.
- Subnormality - "I did establish a 50-trillion dollar interstellar fleet of exploration for solely the purpose of viewing thousands of female cadets in jumpsuits of a tightly-fitting nature! And I did personally design those jumpsuits, and your Honor they did hug and cling as as though a koala in a windstorm! And I did leer! How I did leer! Never have you seen such leerings!"
- El Goonish Shive - Tedd decides not to play Star Trek Online since he can't have a crew of bridge squirrels.
- Outsider - The bridges of Loroi warships are populated entirely by attractive female elvish-looking individuals, but that's largely because male Loroi are rather less common than female ones and to place them in danger would be a little wasteful. The whole of their military would seem to be female.
- In the Legion Of Superheroes animated series, Triplicate Girl serves as a three-person Bridge Bunny team.
- L'Etranger from Max Steel has his submarine, the Akina, staffed solely by female SIRENS in full-body (yet form-fitting) armor and helmets.
- In Phineas and Ferb, the Fireside Girls sometimes become this when they have to help pilot inventions.