1 Days Left to Support a Troper-Created Project : Personal Space (discuss)



"It probably goes without saying, but just in case, I should point out that these are not plot-forwarding butts. Vin Diesel never says, "Hey, Ludacris, Other Guy, get outta that car and come over here; we need to drive fast cars or those butts are going to explode!" The Rock never pulls over to the side of the road saying, "Damn, they're getting away with all of the car money. I'd be able to catch them, but I'm out of gas, and my car runs on butts." They serve no story function. Just butts for butts' sake."
Cracked.com on Fast Five trailer, in the article about Poe's Law and trailers.

Characters in skimpy or skin-tight clothing, or none at all, to attract or "reward" viewers. This is traditionally associated with female characters and most common there, but fanservice of male characters isn't unheard of.

While the specific term "fanservice" arose from the Anime community, the concept is far, far older. When nudity or sexual content is an expected part of a work, it's not fanservice. For example, nudity in a pornographic movie would not qualify, while Sharon Stone's infamous "beaver shot" in Paul Verhoeven's Basic Instinct would. Though most fanservice is seldom that explicit or graphic — that is the territory of pornography. Instead it is primarily hints at sex to tease and titillating the audience.

Some shows may have designated fanservice characters; characters who, even if they are main characters and have a role beyond fanservice, are likely to end up in a fanservicy situation. Some shows have characters for both male and female fanservice.

While some fanservice can increase the appeal of a show, too much fanservice can become very distracting and in some cases, put viewers off completely, especially if the fanservice is directed towards the opposite sex. However, fanservice can lure in viewers easily. At the other end of the spectrum, Crossing the Line Twice hard it may be, can also occur at some point thus using the fanservice for the advancement of the plot itself. Negima! is a mild example of this, while something like Strike Witches goes further and Seikon No Qwaser may be the definite example of the phenomenon.

Fanservice of female characters is often called "cheesecake"; fanservice of male characters is often called "beefcake". Ho Yay fanservice directed at the LGBT Fanbase or Yaoi Fangirl also exists in quite a lot of media (within the Visual Kei subgenre of music, for example, "fanservice" and Ho Yay are almost synonymous due to bands being almost Always Male, and an above usual population of bisexuals early on followed up by the recognition of the Yaoi Fangirl as one of the primary audiences)

"Fanservice" is also sometimes used in a more general way, referring simply to any crowd-pleaser thrown in just because. When this is something non-sexual, like needlessly flashy attacks in a Humongous Mecha show, long guitar/bass/drum solos in a concert, or throwing in lots of obscure continuity references in a long-running work, it's Pandering to the Base. Sexy fanservice is considered the default form, because it is everywhere, and it's easy to add to any kind of show.

Sex Is Interesting is what happens when a writer tries to rationalize this in terms of narrative craft. Attempts to increase the overall amount of sexual content in a series fall under Hotter and Sexier.

Not to be confused with Fan Flattering.

A Sub-Trope of Sex Sells. See also Fanservice Costumes, Nudity Tropes, Partial Nudity Tropes, and Rule of Sexy.

A Super Trope to

Alternative Title(s): Playing To The Fetishes, Fanservice Tropes