A battle between two or more female combatants that differs from the Designated Girl Fight only in that it's invoked for Perverse Sexual Lust purposes more than anything else. Though the label may be attached to any girl-fight, a true Catfight generally lacks finesse/combat skill, and is more likely than not intended to titillate. Expect the combatants to seize and tear each other's clothing and/or hair. A staple of the Jiggle Show. More humorous depictions may be punctuated with a cat screech to drive the point home.
The more brutal or dramatic the fight, the less likely it is to be considered a catfight. A good rule of thumb is that if weapons are involved, it ain't this trope. A battle to the death between two women is never a catfight.
In a combat situation involving both male and female participants, the females will automatically square off with each other. If only one male is involved, he will simply stand by and watch the two women beat each other senseless. If it's a more comedic series, several male characters may stop to watch the fight and Pass the Popcorn.
If two Cat Girls get into a fight, this Trope may apply, in which the name becomes very literal.
The less human the opponent is, of course, the less this trope applies. The Cute Monster Girl still does, though.
See also Wouldn't Hit a Girl, Girl on Girl Is Hot, Designated Girl Fight, Foe Yay. Just Add Mud to get Mud Wrestling. Compare: Panty Fighter, where Catfights are the bread and butter, but they rarely degrade into "Rolling Around" pseudo-fights. Not related to the Cock Fight or the cartoon Big Ball of Violence.
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Great taste, or less filling? Irrelevant, as the audience for a beer commercial is Distracted by the Sexy: two women wrestling in a fountain. Should be little taste, more outfit filling...
Ditto for the Ginger-vs-Mary-Ann catfight commercial for "The Real Gilligan's Island" that even adds in the same gag as above, but with pies.
During the first cat fight, Angewomon angrily rebukes AtlurKabuterimon for trying to help her or catching her when she got thrown around (for which he apologises), and Angewomon's partner Hikari was actively encouraging Angewomon to hit LadyDevimon harder.
Digimon Savers averts the trope, having the female antagonist Nanami instead face off against genius / lancer Touma in a battle of wits, while the female protagonist Yoshino (and her partner Lalamon) face off against Ivan, who has something of a crush on her. Both fights still had plenty of fanservice, this being the Digimon series where they decided to kick the fanservice up a notch.
Putting aside the fact that one has a literal cat form, the battle between Soi Fon and Yoruichi. Both their special attacks just happened to need to blow away clothing and being the only two characters with no ranged attacks. However, it's also subverted, in that while it has its shade of fanservice, it's actually a very brutal fight.
The only fight where Mai Shiranui actually did well in Fatal Fury was against a female, Panni. Slight subversion in that, while it was a one-on-one girl duel and had quite the fanservice, Mai not only wins, but BRUTALLY curb-stomps Panni and kills her.
For the record, Kalifa fights by fondling her opponent—she has soap-based powers, so she makes the opponent lose friction by applying her soap all over their body. This, of course, leads to scenes where Kalifa feels all over Nami, including up her skirt.
Tashigi most often fights men (except for when she faces Robin), and Vivi tends to fight both men and women (even though she typically can't do anything without the Straw Hats backing her up, and her opponents typically don't hit her- for example, Crocodile merely threatens to dry her up if she resists).
In the Soul Eater manga and anime, the busty catgirl Blair fights with a similarly chesty witch. Despite both knowing powerful magic, onlookers are thrilled to no end to see that they simply wind up catfighting anyway.
Parodied slightly in a chapter called "Women's battle at the open-air onsen!" Ranma and Herb, both of whom are trapped in female form, do battle at the hot springs, while Ryouga and Mousse watch. Since neither combatant can really land a hit on the other, Mousse deadpans that it's a very boring duel (Ryouga, on the other hand, is more appreciative).
Probably because Mousse, as well as being Blind Without 'Em, can't even see that well WITH 'em.
Averted in Black Lagoon. When Revy and Roberta throw down at the end of Roberta's first arc (after the two had traded bullets), it is vicious, brutal and utterly devoid of fanservice. Dutch and Benny are very much unwilling to get involved as "three of the scariest women on earth" (the third of which was Balalaika) were involved, and when Rock tries to get them to talk things through, he is met with a vicious "STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THIS!" from both of them.
School Rumble's Eri and Yakumo fought over Harima at the school play.
In Fairy Tail, villain Vithaldas deliberately creates one of these between Lucy and Juvia, by using his magic to seize control of Lluvia's mind and force her to attack Lucy (despite the fact that he could control them both if he'd wanted). As you might imagine, he makes it as titillating as possible, although it's actually not bad from the reader's perspective.
Later, after Erza and her Edolas counterpart exhaust all their magic, they end up in little more than underwear. Even so, they resort to hand-to-hand combat in a battle of wills and ideas, with Erza ultimately convincing her counterpart that magic isn't everything.
A very early episode of the Pokémon anime involved Misty and Giselle at each other's throats. Ash wanted to step in and calm them down, but Brock told him no, and that getting in the middle of a cat fight was not a good idea.
In Best Wishes the new female lead Iris often gets into a fight with her rival Georgia especially after her first appearance. So far, they have spent the entire time at Don's tournament taunting each other and being each other's throat.
Played with and subverted in Air Master. There are a few fancervicey fights, but in general male characters have no compunctions whatsoever about fighting Maki with all their strength (one or maybe two even succeed at knocking her out), and female-against-female battles end up very, very brutal and definitely not "sexy" more often than not.
Averted in an episode of the 2007 Gegege No Kitaro series; Neko Musume and a female kappa are paired off in a sumo match, but before the match even starts, the perverted actions of the judge cause both of them to hit him, disqualifying both of them at the same time. Also averted in the fact that Neko Musume had been designated to fight a male kappa opponent before the female owing to Medama-Oyaji losing his match, though she scared the kappa off before the fight got anywhere. Neko Musume is a Cat Girl.
There's a major catfight in Toradora. It's not meant as Fanservice. It's still awesome because the two opponents do their very best to beat each other into a bloody mess. The two fighters are Taiga and class rep Sumire. Watch episode 16 for the fight.
As all the combatants in Freezing are female...that said, despite there being plenty of Clothing Damage and Panty Shots, it's rather disturbing seeing how downright brutal the fights are. Bodies tend to be shredded just as much as the clothes.
Similarly, when women fight each other in Ikki Tousen, not only their clothes and panties end up either exposed or destroyed, but the girls beat the everloving shit out of each other, sometimes to almost lethal degrees. (i.e.: Ryoumou and Hakufu's fight - specially when Hakufu's Dragon kicks in -, when Ryuubi gets possessed by her Dragon and said Superpowered Evil Sideskewers Ryuubi's own friends Kan'u and Chouhi. and Ryoumou almost being slain by Ten'i and her arrows.)
Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite episode 2. After Ryuuka and Mariel end up tied in their competition, they break the tie with a "swimsuit cavalry battle" in the mansion's indoor pool. Each of them rides three other people, and the one who has their head band taken away loses.
Ayeka and Ryoko get into at least one Cat Fight in every piece of Tenchi Muyo! media. They start off with the superpowers but usually end with childish cheek pulling.
The fight between Ryoko and Ayeka in episode 4 of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki actually starts with Ayeka slapping Ryoko after she dared her to show off her body to Tenchi. Ryoko then slaps Ayeka twice. One a normal slap and the other a backhand. Then they fight with their powers.
Any female superheroine will have female supervillains. Thus, this trope is likely to be invoked or lampshaded eventually.
He even hangs a lampshade on it. As the fight goes on, he quickly grows less concerned with actually doing something or moral quandaries to simply stare for a moment or two. Stepping in gets him kicked off a building.
The Catwoman comic book was made of this, especially when Jim Balent was doing the art.
Wonder Girl and Arrowette's mothers beating each other up in Young Justice #7. Max Mercury (of all people) decides to just stick around and watch.
Max: Dubbilex, when you've been around as long as I have, you know that the only worthwhile things you can bring to a catfight are popcorn and a drink.
Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic book once had Bunnie Rabbot and Rouge the Bat get into a fight for no reason. Even the cover showed the two beating the snot out of each other.
Played with in New Avengers The Reunion; Mockingbird replies to the female Scientist Supreme of AIM's offer of We Can Rule Together with a headbutt to the nose (which was at least partially motivated as Mockingbird believed at he time that the Scientist Supreme just caused the death of her ex husband (who she still has feelings for) Ronin/Hawkeye/Clint). This leads to the following dialog and lampshade.
Mockingbird: This isn't a catfight, this is me kicking your ass.
(proceeds with ass kicking)
The entirety of the "Alien versus Time Traveler" arc of You Got HaruhiRolled! is one big cat fight between Yuki and Mikuru.
In the Manga/Naruto fanfic The Somewhat Cracked Mind of Uchiha Itachi in chapter 36 there is a (implied) Cat Fight between Anko and the nameless Hokage Sectretary. Ebisu is supposed to be involved, but he's torn between running and watching. The rest just watch and comment.
Racket Girls. Well, it's a film devoted to female wrestling, but they take it to a whole new level when two women dressed as cats wrestle!
Parodied in Undercover Brother: Once a catfight breaks out between Sistah Girl and White She Devil, Undercover Brother and two (male) mooks are seen watching it... while (after a few cutaways) sitting in an armchair with popcorn and a drink, enjoying themselves immensely.
In the James Bond film From Russia With Love, Bond is taken to visit some Gypsies, who proceed to stage a formal catfight between two half-naked young ladies over a man for his benefit. Later, he apparently sleeps with both of them. This has absolutely no relevance to the plot, by the way.
It is signaled by the immortal line "It must be settled ... the Gypsy Way."
Averted in the original book, where this was a brutal, unarmed fight to the death between two women who are both vying for the affections of one man, with no titillation involved.
That also involved both girls ripping each other's clothes off.
Subverted in The Hunger Games with the fight between Katniss and Clove. Two teenage girls in tight-fitting clothing might be sexy if the setting wasn't one where they're out to kill each other. It's wince-worthy to watch them do everything short of knock each other's teeth out trying to gain the upper hand.
Near the end of Judge Dredd there's a brief Cat Fight between Judge Hershey and the villainous henchwoman Ilsa. Hershey is wearing her tight-fitting Judge's uniform and Ilsa is wearing black leggings.
Completely subverted in Kill Bill. Despite the fact that the Bride mostly battles other women, none of her fights includes hair-pulling or scratching but rather full-on punches, kicks, head-butts, swords, knives and other serious implements of pain. In short, the fights are too convincing and too brutal to be seen as Cat Fights.
In the original Total Recall (1990) the heroine Melina fights it out with the villainous henchwoman Lori. Both acquit themselves quite well, although the male protagonist eventually has to come to Melina's rescue.
Evie's flashback thing in the middle of The Mummy Returns, where she duels Anuk-sa-Namun. The point seems to have been that the winner would guard the pharaoh, and the loser would guard the bracelet.
Director Steve Sommers is a big fan of cat fights. The one in Van Helsing between Anna Valerious and Aleera isn't quite as fanservicey as the Mummy Returns fight, if only due to the participants wearing slightly more than gold bikinis.
There's a truly masterful one in the 1934 So Bad, It's Good sexploitation/horror film Maniac involving baseball bats and hypodermic needles.
Francesca and the Monster's Mate have one in Mad Monster Party sounds of actual cats fighting play during it.
Subverted in the The Three Stooges movie "The Outlaws Is Coming", where Annie Oakley and Belle Starr get into a parodical old-west style knock-down-drag-out fistfight in the middle of the muddy street, rather than a stereotypical catfight. The extreme, stereotypical masculinity of their fight is what made it funny, since they were both dressed in long gowns with petticoats.
In a 1935 French adult film, Trois Goutte de la Rosee, the two women get in a cat fight, in which most clothing is torn off.
Miriam Aarons and Sylvia Fowler have one in The Women when Sylvia learns that Miriam is the woman her husband has been seeing and going to marry after their divorce. Miriam walks away with a bite on her leg and her shorts pulled off, but Sylvia suffers a slight nervous breakdown and starts smashing anything she can get her hands on while screaming "I HATE EVERYONE!"
Delightfully subverted in Dredd, where the female villain appears to have been brought along for this express purpose, but the heroine just headshots her without blinking.
J.T. Edson, an English author of westerns, seemed to have a positive fetish for this trope and shoehorned it into a surprising number of his novels (and once included a collector who had paintings of catfights that had occurred in previous novels).
Most female characters in The Wheel of Time have at one time or another had to repeatedly tell themselves that they are too mature to engage in such behavior. Most notably Elayne's reaction to Min's prophecy about having to share Rand with two other women and finding out that her friend Min is the second, her other friend Aviendha is the third. And that Aviendha has already slept with him.
Parodied/lampshaded in Thud!, when Angua's nerves get the better of her and she attacks female vampire Sally in an underground tunnel. Sally points out that they are both female, naked, and covered in mud, so if they are going to fight, they should find some men and charge admission.
Averted in The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, wherein most characters won't hesitate to hurt a woman if she's perceived to be dangerous and said women often give as good as they get. Played straight, however, in perhaps the only scene where the heroine is able to physically overpower her opponent. Both parties lacking functional weapons, the fight involves "wrestling and punching and hair pulling" before the protagonist is able to pin the other girl down. A male character who arrives on the scene initially declines to offer help in favour of watching the show.
Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: The Vigilantes end up having this among themselves in the book Hide And Seek. They were bitter and angry over everything. This was just what they needed to let it all out. Sure, they were sporting bruises afterward, but at least they were willing to work together again.
A Deeper Blue includes one between Britney, Greznya, and an undercover Katya including a lot of Clothing Damage. It was fake, used to help Greznya break contact with Katya after an information drop, to not reveal the mission.
Live Action TV
Usually subverted on Smallville, in which even girl fights often turn out to be quite brutal, like the one with Lana vs. Chloe in Delete. Tess and Lois get a straight one in Doomsday, though.
The spy comedy Chuck is notable for pitting the blonde, scantily clad Sarah against the female antagonist of the week. Sarah has fought in a variety of Fanservice costumes like a pseudo-Bavarian miniskirt with plunging neckline, a short satin robe with flesh colored underwear, revealing evening gowns, and a black catsuit.
One two-part episode of Mission: Impossible required this trope for the mission to succeed. A guard had to be distracted at a critical moment during a prison escape so Cinnamon Carter and a guest-star agent spent the better part of two episodes setting up their "rivalry." When they finally did start the catfight the guard was primed to enjoy it and not notice what else was going on.
Famously, one of the main draws of Dynasty, including a famous one where Alexis and Krystle fighting in the mansion pond.
In one episode of Cheers, two women vie for Woody's attention and start fighting. The others start chanting "Cat fight! Cat fight!", until the actual fighting turns out to be disappointing, at which point the chanting changes to "Kitten fight! Kitten fight!"
They got to see one in a later episode "One Hugs, The Other Doesn't" between Frasier's ex-wife Nanette and his current one, Lilith.
At the end of Primeval series 2, between Abby and Caroline, though both have genuine issues (Caroline was the Femme Fatale sent by Leek to use Adorkable and at that stage, naive, Connor to get into the ARC/ get info on the team and Abby was the protective best friend love interest. Connor tries to break this up and be the better man, while Leek is watching and enjoying and gets whacked in the face, much to Leek's amusement. Eventually Connor succeeds in breaking it up, and he retorts he didn't do it for Caroline (who had been pretending to be his girlfriend). This confirmed Abby and Connor's mutual attraction which was a long lasting plot point, making this possibly the worlds only plot crucial and fanservice cat fight.
The lack of skills part was averted - both Abby and Caroline had been shown to be proficient martial artists before, and their skills were on full display.
In the EUReKA episode "Purple Haze," Alison and Beverly (both under the influence of an inhibition-lowering drug) get into it. The fight isn't over a man — it's because Beverly blabbed professional confidences about Alison over the town's PA system.
Parodied in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Initiative", with possibly the only catfight in the series, between VampireHarmony and Xander — at the time the only male member of the group (other than Giles). The fight, in classic catfight fashion, begins with a bitchslap and continues into shin kicking, name calling, and hair pulling. It finally ends in a stalemate and an agreement never to mention it to anyone.
Xander: Harmony, it's been great catching up. Really, I'm just gonna pick up the tattered shreds of my dignity and go home.
The Harmony-Xander fight is made even more awesome by the comedic use of slow motion and epic fight music.
Lampshaded in "What's My Line, Pt. 1" when Buffy and Kendra fight:
Struggling for control of an axe.
Buffy: Don't make me do the chick fight thing.
Kendra: "Chick fight"?
Buffy: You know...
(Buffy digs her fingernails into Kendra's hand. Kendra yelps, and Buffy grabs Kendra's hair, and pulls her off balance.)
The reason that Harmony vs. Xander is the only catfight in the series is because girl-on-girl throwdowns in the series in general (and there are quite a few of them) are deadly serious affairs that feature little in the way of typical catfight tactics.
In "School Hard" Angel and Xander take on Spike's vampire mooks. Angel slugs it out with the men while Xander takes on the only female vampire in the group. Even then Angel has to intervene to save him.
The two fiancees of a now dead Marine on NCIS. Tony points and shouts "Chick fight!" and McGee records the whole thing. McGee shows the video to Abby who says, "I can't belive I missed it!"
In another episode, Ziva fights an evil stewardess played by Victoria Pratt.
And in another, Abby and Ziva get into a brief slapfight over Ziva's seeming lack of concern for Gibbs' wellbeing, which thoroughly freaks out McGee.
In Friends, Monica fights with Rachel, and later Rachel fights with her sister, Amy. Joey suggests throwing Jell-O on them. Chandler finally stops them and says, "By the way, that fight was totally arousing."
One episode of Stargate SG-1 ends with a doofus-scientist character daydreaming about Carter and another woman fighting over him. Fantasy-Jack joins him in cheerfully watching. They make popcorn.
In The Big Bang Theory, Penny and new neighbor Alicia's rivalry over her leading Raj, Leonard, and Howard on culminates in a "What're you gonna do about it, bitch?"
Somewhat Lampshaded by Wolowitz:
Howard: Oh, my God ...GIRLFIGHT! [pins Leonard's arms behind his back]
Leonard: What're you doing?
Howard: I know you, you're stupid enough to break it up!
There's also a MALE version where Ronon and Teal'c are beating the shit out of each other with a massive crowd cheering at them. And yes, it IS played for fanservice; fanservice for girls but still, the two most muscular guys of the franchise in tight workout clothing and positively dripping with sweat? Draws a lot of Female Gaze.
Barney:Ted, no! You never break up a girl fight! NEVER!* punches hole in the wall*
BRO CODE ARTICLE 26: "A bro will, in a timely manner, alert his bro to the existence of a girl fight."
Subverted when one of Marshal's coworkers tells Lily that she kissed him, and Lily proceeds to administer a terrifying beatdown on the woman "trying to move in on her man." Marshal swears at that moment never to try and make his wife jealous again.
A really weird one happens in The Middleman, when Wendy fights the villain of the week, who's stolen the body of the Middleman himself. Leading to a rare boy-girl catfight.
Averted with great force in The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the truly brutal, and emotionally wrenching, fight to the death between Jesse and Riley.
And the one between Cameron and that other terminator who she twisted up like a pretzel.
The Avengers episode "The Living Dead", between Mrs. Peel and a female guard.
Topping this, The New Avengers episode "Angels Of Death" has Joanna Lumley's Purdey taking on not one but two gorgeous female opponents (played by Caroline Munro and Pamela Stephenson), after Gambit's basic decency prevents him hitting women and they beat the bejasus out of him.
In the That '70s Show episode "Cat Fight Club" Jackie gets fed up with Laurie's insults and starts a fight with her. Fez suggests they should pour water on them.
In an earlier episode, Eric's female partner for a class project, Stacy, has an obvious crush on him, but Eric thinks Donna doesn't really pay attention to this. Kelso suggests early in the episode that Stacy and Donna should mud wrestle for Eric. At first Eric responds, "Kelso, that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Then he thinks about it (a Dream Sequence occurs) and then says, "Kelso, that's the smartest thing I've ever heard."
In the episode "Mother's Little Helper", Eric and Hyde say that girls can't play fight, because it always turns into a real one. Jackie and Donna try to prove them wrong, and end up proving them right.
Gossip Girl has Serena vs. Blair in season 2. Some clothes ripping included.
Also the one in Season 1. Straddling and hockey outfits included.
Mad TV did it on a parody of NBC's remake of the Bionic Woman called "The Les-Bionic Woman" between Jane [Crista Flanagan] (as a butch les-bionic woman) and Sarah [Nicole Parker] (as a lipstick les-bionic woman). Subverted when during the fight (which shows the two in many suggestive positions), Sarah tells Jane that the doctor who made her bionic was their enemy, and Jane grunts, "So why are we fighting each other?" and Sarah replies, "Fighting? I'm not fighting."
Oz. Prison guards Diane Wittlesey and Claire Howell get into a fight that puts both women in the hospital ward, after Howell placed a false sexual harassment charge against Unit Manager Tim McManus (who'd had affairs with both women). When Warden Glynn asks what they were fighting about, Tim just replies, "Me" earning him a "You've got to be kidding me" look from Glynn.
In the second season opener of Legend of the Seeker Cara and Triana have one. That Cara is naked and wet from her bath and Triana is in skin tight red leather and played by Charisma Carpenter pushes the Fanservice factor Up to Eleven.
Actually, the fight between Cara and Triana was nothing compared to the cat fight between Kahlan and Cara in Season 2, Episode 16 "Desecrated". There is bitch slapping, shoving, hair pulling and in the end, they're both breathing hard...with Kahlan lying on the floor. Needless to say, there was also a lot of eyesex involved.
Waterloo Road is starting having roll-around-on-the-floor fights between two girls in school uniform about once every two episodes.
Relic Hunter. Sydney Fox (Tia Carrere) and the enemy agent (played by Roberta Angelica) have a cat fight. With mud. The two guys stop, watch, and comment. Lampshaded when Sydney looks over and asks, "You boys enjoying the show?"
In Robin Hood the rivalry between Isabella and Kate eventually culminates in what is possibly one of the worst catfights ever to be taken seriously. Despite the fact that both women are armed with swords and daggers, they resort to slapping and hair-pulling, all whilst exchanging barbs on whom Robin loves the most.
In a deleted scene from the The Thick of It specials, Robyn and Terri have a squabble... while Jamie chants "fight, fight, fight" and starts pushing their jackets off their shoulders.
In an episode of Blake's 7 Cally and Jenna stage a catfight in a crowded bar to cause a distraction. The result is hilarious.
When Glee's Santana gets sufficiently angry with another girl, one of these is sure to ensue.
Her first fight was with Mercedes in the first season, but was broken up before things got out of hand. But in the second season, she slaps the piss out of Quinn for exposing her breast surgery and the two go at it.
The team for the reality show Impossible Heist staged a full-on shirt-ripping, hair-pulling catfight in a casino, in order to distract a blackjack dealer. It allowed them to switch the cards for a rigged deck and cheat the house.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: Veronica gets drugged into mindless order following in one episode which nearly leads to her killing one of her friends. Marguerite appears in the right moment and gets into a fight with her. It ends in Mud Wrestling as they land in the only mud pit around. Veronica wins the fight.
Claire vs. Elle in Heroes. Since the latter gives off electric blasts while the former is immortal, the perpetual eternal stalemate is broken by Sandra giving Elle a soaking.
Fresno parodied the Soap Opera cat fight by making it like a barroom brawl instead.
"My uncle Centillus had it written into his will that he wanted a fight to the death between two beautiful women... His funeral's in ten minutes."
"That's disgus... can I come?"
Las Vegas features a verbal variation between Sam Marquez and Monica Mancuso when they first meet in the third season. Any ambiguity as to whether it's intended as one is dropped out the window when two cats screeching are heard over the soundtrack. The guys later remark that they really regret that they missed it, so it's also in-universe fanservice.
The Dance Hall Crashers have a song called "Catfight" — a subversion, in that it's about how stupid it is that men are entertained by female drama.
"We bout to throw them blows/We bout to swang them thangs/It's about to be a what? Girlfight"
Though the song itself isn't about a Catfight, Or is it?. New Zealand band Kids of 88 has this video and it's not just an awesome catfight but it's an awesome cat fight in SLOW MO. But they still had to throw in a little Ho Yay while at it.
Halfway through the first act of Kristina från Duvemåla, Kristina and Ulrika have a catfight song - complete with tearing each others' clothes apart - called "Löss" ("Lice") about which one of them brought lice onto the ship to America. The song fell flat in the English-translated concert version: although the lyrics were almost identical, the fanservice was removed. So yeah.
In The Women, when word gets out that Miriam is about to marry Sylvia's ex-husband, the two women get into a vicious scuffle, culminating with Miriam kicking Sylvia in the shin and Sylvia biting Miriam on the arm. (Paulette Goddard, who played Miriam in the 1939 film version, was left a permanent scar from doing this scene.) Many productions have Crystal and Sylvia about to start another one at the very end of the show.
There's one in Wicked after Fiyero leaves Glinda for Elphaba. Nessarose was just killed, and, far as Elphaba knows, Glinda was either somehow involved or too absent-minded to stop it.
In 13 Kendra and Lucy get into a fight after Lucy steals Kendra's boyfriend, Brett. Although Brett breaks it up.
"Fight Over Me" from No No Nanette, a number sadly omitted from revivals.
In the various Street Fighter media (especially the UDON comics) Chun-Li and Cammy have a surprisingly large amount of fights, and in the Capcom vs. SNK games Chun-Li usually winds up fighting Mai Shiranui quite frequently as well.
Subverted in the animated movie, where right after her famous shower scene Chun-Li fights Vega - and wins, though she's so severely injured that she almost dies later.
Khelgar has quite an entertaining reaction to the threat of the two female wizard bullies trying to beat up their classmate, a sorceress (who, by definition, has an insanely high Charisma score and is thus really, really hot), with spells outside your character's uncle's inn in Neverwinter Nights 2.
In Final Fantasy VII, after Tifa escapes from a Death Trap, Scarlett was waiting for her on top of a cannon. Did she pull a gun out? no. Did she click a remote and bring in a giant bot to squish her? No. She proceeds to slap Tifa, and you get into a bitch-slapping mini-game in which the goal is for Tifa to slap her more often.
In a deleted scene of Knights of the Old Republic II, there are two female characters who are attracted to a male player, and the one he has a lower Influence score with will attack the other on Malachor.
Mira also rebuffs any advances a male player makes by telling him she doesn't want to have to beat up Visas and the Handmaiden.
Gender-inverted, but the effect is the same, when it comes to Atton trying to kill Mical over a female Exile.
Amusingly averted in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: Sylvia tries to initiate a catfight with Fury over Levin's affections, but Fury doesn't seem very interested.
Mass Effect 2: A scripted fight between Miranda and Jack breaks out during the second half of the game, and Commander Shepard is tasked with resolving it, one way or another.
Joker: Commander, Jack and Miranda are in the middle of a...disagreement. Can you head it off before they tear out a bulkhead?
Shepard: I'll deal with it.
Joker: (as Shepard walks off) Take pictures!
"Catfight" probably isn't the right term. They're both powerful biotics, which means there was a very real chance they might blow a hole in the hull and kill half the crew.
If a male Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins is brave/unlucky enough to start a romance with both Leliana and Morrigan, he can expect them to spend most of their time together sniping at each other and coming just short of a fully on brawl.
In Dragon Age II, there's at least two almost physical fights between Aveline and Isabela—one if you bring Isabela along for the Long Road quest, the other later on in the front room of the Hawke estate. Hawke breaks up both of them just in time. (And is especially hilarious about it if he/she is a smartass.)
A later strip subverts the trope by having a side shot away from a fight between two women (Robin deSanto and Sarah Palin) showing clothes flying away from them - then showing that it is from a clothes rack that is standing between them, which Robin is stripping the clothes off of in order to get at Palin.
Played to hilarious effect in Planet Zebeth. When Kabs' programming error causes two Samii to appear with only one armor suit between them, they promptly enter into a missile-fueled catfight over who gets to keep it. Kraid, reptilian perv that he is, takes great delight in watching.
General Protection Fault featured two catfights. The first took place at the climax of the Surreptitious Machinations Arc, in which Ki and Trudy fight each other while trying to reach Nick first, Ki so that she can reveal Trudy's schemes to him, and Trudy so she can stop Ki from doing so. Later on, Ki and Sharon got into an argument over a minor detail of a project, and became enraged and wrestled each other before overhearing Dwayne say to Nick that the project was cancelled.
Spoofed in an Irregular Webcomic! poll, where the options for the question "who would win in a catfight?" were mostly anthropomorphic cats, like Top Cat, but also included all the Catwoman actresses.
Fletcher Apts takes the term "Catfight" to its most literal sense, as a battle rages between two crazy feline females, Becca and Zoe, as they fight tooth and claw to win the right to court the hulky rock-star heartthrob Bill (although Bill, being strapped down to his bed during the debacle, doesn't appear to have much say in the matter). The battle is referred to in the storyline as "The Epic Catfight of Epicness".
In DDG everyone is mostly too afraid of 'Netta to get into a catfight with her, but Zip does manage it in this strip
Played straight in this strip, however, where Torg imagines Zoe, Sasha, and Oasis as characters from a Fighting Game.
Sasha's method for infiltrating a meeting of baddies is to knock out and impersonate the only female baddie there. When her victim wakes up, this trope appears with a vengeance. And yes, the dudes do break out the popcorn.
Tiren spends most of the arcangsting over Walter being courted by Sakura. Tiren finally manages to give him Valentine’s Day chocolate only to get immediately one-upped by Sakura. Tiren lunges at her and… Gilligan Cut to Izor reprimanding everyone’s poor behavior.
In the Festival of Veils arc, Mary suspects Raque has kidnapped Elly. Raque and Elly are about to turn the corner and bump into Mary and Sue. Raque hears them and shoves Elly into a nearby doorway.
Later in the Festival Arc, Mary gets into one with the Queen. Sue wonders where Tiren is and then argues with Elly over who should stop them.
Sue: You need to control your wife before those two kill each other.
Elly: ME? You stop your sister! I'm not getting in the middle of that!
In Our Little Adventure, two female characters caught by a Confusion spell - which causes nonsensical behavior and sometimes forces victims to fight random targets - get into a Cat Fight. One victim likes cats, and the other hates cats, and that's the "basis" of the fight.
In the TGWTG Year One Brawl, when Spoony and The Nostalgia Chick face off against Bennett the Sage and The Chick With The Goggles, Spoony suddenly switch places with the Chick so that he and Bennett can take pictures while the girls have a catfight offscreen.
In the audio commentary, Doug Walker mentions that the girls wouldn't agree to the gag unless the fight happened offscreen.
In the Halo machinima Pre Game Lobby, one of the protagonists and recurring antagonists get in one of these. After the fight, one of the bystanders says "Did anyone else have an orgasm watching that?" causing an achievement popup to appear saying "Got a tissue?".
Played with in The Batman Superman Movie. Harley Quinn and Mercy have Hate At First Sight. Their fight (or at least what we can see of it) can be found here. While there is torn clothing (and the occasional cat yelp) it's indicated to be a brutal fight.
One episode featured a lengthy, violent, conspicuously HitFlash-free fight between Supergirl and her evil clone Galatea. Horribly brutal, yes, but considering they're both very well-built women it still tickles the inner corners of the viewers minds.
However, this was later one-upped by the episode "Grudge Match," whose entire plot can be summed up as "We force gorgeous women to wrestle for half an hour." Featuring members like Black Canary (aka The Blonde Bombshell), Huntress, and Vixen, and culminating with a four-on-one match against Wonder Woman (who dominates), the fights were actually marketed as cat fights in-universe as a way to cash in through the "Glamor Slam". It even ends with Huntress and Black Canary (who had a physical and verbal altercation in a prior episode) about to fight again—just for the hell of it.
Teen Titans: "Date With Destiny" featured a classic cat fight between Starfire and Kitten on the prom's dessert table. Tip: Never date a guy with a girlfriend who can shoot lasers out of her eyes.
On Kim Possible, Kim fights all her own battles, against male and female bad guys, as she's really the only combatant on her team. However, the only human opponent who ever even comes close to really landing a blow is the villainess Shego. The guys do try, but she's simply too good for them. These fights are generally played straight, but considering that one episode included the two mud wrestling, it's safe to say that the powers that be are aware of the appeal. One of the movies had them in evening gowns— slit up the side for ease of movement.
Avatar The Last Airbender: A training session shortly turns into a mud-wrestling match between Katara (water) and Toph (earth — earth+water=mud). At this point, the creators have all but abandoned any subtlety with regards to Fanservice, having moved the characters to adopt local disguises that show a bit more skin (okay, more arm — it is a kids' show). "The Boiling Rock" also provides a classic Action Girl vs. Dark Action Girl (Suki vs. Ty Lee) Cat Fight.
For what it's worth, Toph and Katara remain fully clothed during their fight.
This trope is usually averted everywhere else in the show.
On The Simpsons, there is an arcade at the Kwik-E-Mart called "Catfight", with such moves as "hairpull".
Also mentioned on "Tennis the Menace" where Homer thinks that tennis is "the sport where chicks whale on each other" (which is foxy-boxing) and in "Lisa on Ice" (the episode where Lisa joins the hockey team after getting a notice stating that she's failing gym) where Homer tells Lisa that, according to the Bible, girls should stick to girl sports, such as hot-oil wrestling and foxy-boxing.
Marge and her old high school friend Chloe get into a catfight in the backyard when Lisa becomes impressed with Chloe's success. Homer rushes out and announces that they don't have to fight over him, and Marge replies they're not.
Lampshaded in the Gargoyles episode "High Noon" when Elisa has a catfight with Demona.
Coldstone: Well, this is diverting.
Macbeth: You don't know the half of it.
In The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron, Cindy Vortex and Green-Skinned Space Babe April the Gorlock get into a catfight after Cindy sees April locking lips with Jimmy (granted, the alien was simply performing the "Gorlock seal of trust", a non-sexual battle bonding ritual from her home planet. Cindy did not know this - hence the ensuing claw-fest). Lampshaded by the fact that Sheen screams out "Catfight! Catfight!"
In G.I. Joe it got fairly silly with Scarlet, Lady Jaye and the Baroness, women who have throughout the show displayed advanced martial arts skills, whenever they fought each other... straight for the hair.
Winx Club had the fight of Bloom vs Diasporo. Though it wasn't played for Fanservice, nor as a Designated Girl Fight (as most combatants in the show are female), it did get more physical than the usual magic duels common to the series, and men did stand motionless enjoying the fight.
The '60s stop-motion Monster MashMad Monster Party has a catfight between hot babe Francesca and The Monster's Mate Phyllis Diller— complete with dubbed-in meows.
In an episode of American Dad, Roger manipulates Hayley and Francine into one-upping each other until a cat-fight inevitably breaks out, all so he can film it and win a t-shirt from a website devoted to mother-daughter cat-fights.
Family Guy The episode, "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar" had Peter believing he's a woman after undergoing feminist sensitivity training. It's a cat fight between Lois and the feminist lawyer featured in the episode that finally snaps him out of it.
A literal example happens at the end of the Disney Directto Video animated film The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. During the climax of the film, if you look very closely, you can actually see Nala (Simba's wife and Kiara's mother) fighting Vitani (Kovu's adoptive sister and Zira's daughter).
The Japanese opening for Transformers Animated showed Arcee and Blackarachnia fighting each other at one point. Ironically, the two characters actually never saw each other in the actual show at all!