We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
aka: The Paid For Harem
Supervillains get all the girls...
You know, I always loved how in the '60s Batman TV series, supervillainy was like the new rock and roll. Every supervillain had at least one hottie in their lair, as well as generic goons with their nicknames tagged on their sweaters. Where do supervillains go to get groupie chicks? Is there a bar somewhere?
Every sufficiently decadent Casanova
, criminal and villain will have at least one scantily clad floozy to serve as eye candy, fetch drinks, and slink around seductively. If the villain is sufficiently well-funded, they may have an entire harem. This applies to female villains too, with bare chested male mooks
at her beck and call.
As the picture illustrates, the "sultan" in this harem also has a habit of dressing the floozies in a thematically appropriate manner that coincides with their job or even criminal theme
. Not surprisingly, their employer doesn't have any real affection or attachment
to the harem, and will disrespect or mistreat them;
sometimes dumping them on the ground when hearing bad news
, ordering the floozy out when he talks shop, or outright using them as human shields
/distractions in a firefight.
And of course, the paid for harem will have only nominal loyalty to their "sultan"
, being either extremely frisky with the hero or disappearing
at the drop of a hat. It's a rare floozy that "stands by her man." The exception is if their employer specifically hires opposite gender bodyguards
or domestic servants
who just happen to be gorgeous and has them pose as eye candy.
Might be found in the Den of Iniquity
during off-duty hours. Compare Ignored Enamored Underling
. Also compare Royal Harem
, where the relationship is more institutional than paid. See also I Have You Now, My Pretty
and Go-Go Enslavement
, where the villain tries to press a heroic lady into the harem.
Truth in Television
, this is probably a Real Life
trope that has been stylized in TV.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Riddler had Query and Echo; two Gun Bunnies he was somehow able to talk into working for him as muscle and arm candy, after they tried robbing him after he robbed a convenience store.
- The Penguin often surrounds himself with a bevy of beautiful babes.
- Biff's buxom blondes from the alternate 1985, in Back to the Future Part 2.
- Two-Face in Batman Forever had Sugar and Spice, a pair of attractive women who represented either fluffy goodnessnote or harsh evilnote in very sexy ways. Although technically, they were both evil.
- Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin has Ms. B. Haven note . Given Freeze's obsession with his wife, it's pretty clear she's only there because arm candy is the expected thing.
- With a female villain, Kronk is a borderline example of this to Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove. She seems to keep him around for his strength much more than his looks, but Kuzco still seems to get the idea:
Kuzco: So... Kronk seems, uh, nice.
Yzma: Oh, he, um, he is.
Kuzco: ...He's, what, in his... late twenties...?
- Several James Bond villains have them. Valentin Zukovsky from Goldeneye had a Bikini Bar with several floozies. One of whom was hilariously tone-deaf Minnie Driver.
- In Repo! The Genetic Opera Rotti Largo has two floozies who double as bodyguards.
- Amber Sweet also has two male bodyguards in bondage gear.
- GeneCo seems to be staffed mostly by "genterns," female nurses in sexy outfits.
- Dr. Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show has Magenta and Columbia play this at first impression seemingly willingly. Later on its revealed that Frank mainly has eyes for his creation Rocky, and while Columbia apparently was Frank's lover for some time by the time of the movie she's just a groupie more interested in another of Frank's ex-flames, Eddie, and Magenta was more interested in Riff Raff.
- Jabba The Hutt in Star Wars has a harem of humanoid extraterrestrials around his side. Try not to think about it too hard.
It explained the Hutts' need to flaunt Twi'lek dancers and other glamorous humanoids, so radically, physically different that no Hutt could possibly have found them attractive. They collected them because humanoids coveted them, and so it sent the message clearly: I possess everything you lust after, so I have power over you.
- Alternately, the Expanded Universe mentions that the other Hutts consider this to be very weird, perverted, sexually deviant behavior, but don't say anything to him about it because he's politically powerful on Nal Hutta.
- Lex Luthor in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. As well as in Superman itself. Miss Teschmacher clearly didn't stay with him out of love.
- The stewardesses in Tony Stark's private jet double as pole dancers/strippers in Iron Man.
- Bruce Wayne in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight does this with glee to keep up his playboy image.
- Dr. Loveless in Wild Wild West; despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he can't have sex, having lost his genitals and the rest of his lower body in an accident, he has quite a few scantily-clad female henchmen. (All of them are skilled and cold-blooded assassins, however.) He also makes points out to the heroes that a Gadgeteer Genius like himself isn't necessarily all that hampered my missing his original equipment.
- In Jesus Christ Superstar (1973 version) Pilate always seems to have a few beautiful women in nice dresses hanging around him, not doing much of anything. King Herod is also surrounded by scantily dressed women... and men.
- The Octopus has Silken Floss in The Spirit. Despite the implications, she's more of a Punch Clock Villain who only works for him to pay for her PhD tuition.
- Honey Swanson is a gangster moll on the lam in A Song Is Born.
- In the campy 1975 film adaptation of Doc Savage, Captain Seas is accompanied by two paramours, Adriana and Karen. This turns into a Brick Joke when he undergoes Brainwashing for the Greater Good and is seen at the end of The Movie working as a Salvation Army bandleader, with the two girls looking rather bored while holding collection plates and singing along.
- Colombiana. The protagonist is sent to kill an embezzler — an overweight, middle-aged man who nevertheless has a harem of four gorgeous lingerie-clad women to share his bed.
- Deconstructed in the Myth Adventures series with Bunny, a character initially foisted off on Skeeve as a moll by the Mob. Turns out she's hiding a phenomenal financial genius behind her Obfuscating Stupidity, and had thought quite a bit about the costs and benefits of embracing this trope beforehand.
- Subverted in the first Deathlands novel "Pilgrimage to Hell". The Baron of Mocsin, Jordan Teague, has two girls by his side who don't change their bored expressions even when he uses them; not that Teague can do much as he's too fat and doped out to care.
Live Action TV
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Seth" (Season 3, Episode 2), the heroes go undercover in a brainwashed cult to a Earth-bound Goa'uld. Major Samantha Carter becomes part of Seth's harem.
- Star Trek: The Original Series had minor character Harry Mudd, who technically did this in two appearances:
- When he first appears in "Mudd's Women", he's accompanied by a harem of three incredibly beautiful women. However, they're not actually his women, he intends to make a fortune by selling their hands in marriage to wealthy miners.
- In "I, Mudd", some of his androids have been fashioned in this manner. Becomes a Cool and Unusual Punishment when they get replaced by 500 copies of his nagging shrew of an ex-wife.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Used in the traditional fashion in the Mirror Universe episodes, and Quark's Dabo girls probably count too. Played more seriously in "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", when Gul Dukat is seen using Bajoran "comfort girls" for this purpose, including Kira's mother whom he manipulates into thinking he's one of the more nicer Cardassian occupiers.
- The most chilling thing about Gul Dukat is he actually was one of the nicer Cardassian occupiers. That's not to say he was actually nice, he just wasn't into random acts of meaningless brutality. He was into calculated acts of meaningful brutality (aimed directly at anyone who displeased him rather than any random bystander). Sisko even confirms this at one point...after he's beaten the somewhat unhinged Dukat unconscious. (Dukat goes on to become Sisko's opposite as the Pa'Wraith's Emissary and has his own harem of Bajoran cultists as well).
- Star Trek: Voyager. Mentioned though not seen in the holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton!, where Mad Scientist Dr Chaotica has a harem of slave girls which the players are meant to liberate.
- In the Adam West Batman show, if the villain of the week was male, he would invariably have an attractive female henchman serving alongside the mooks. On rare occasions, they actually served some purpose other than scenery.
- Season one of Homeland features a woman who is in charge of an Arab prince's harem. Women are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a one-year term. Judging by the number of interviews the woman has to oversee, there are plenty of willing volunteers.
- This is basically the everyday mansion life of every rapper as portrayed in their songs, with throngs of gorgeous women in bikinis doing little more than strutting sexily in slow motion, dancing, swimming, or making out.
- In Starlight Express, the electric locomotive Electra enjoys an equal-opportunity entourage. Although they never explicitly refer to themselves as his harem, their actions tend to imply it.
- In Strange Candy the Evil Overlord has a harem which goes on strike because the metallic bikinis he requires them to wear are really uncomfortable. All of his subsequent actions are attempts to get a replacement harem.
- Parodied in the early MS Paint Adventures series Bard Quest, in which the king keeps a pair of attractive scantily-clad servants by his throne… But the king is gay, so they're two shirtless muscular men.
- The Penguin in The Batman has two women dressed as kabuki styled geishas following him around in his debut episode... who also happen to be ninjas with razor sharp claws.
- They may also be robots. It's not exactly clear.
- Judging by their bizarre neck movements, being The Voiceless, never seeing an inch of exposed flesh, along with the Penguin being an expert bird-trainer, they may well be giant trained birds. Perhaps even mutant or genetically-engineered giant birds. Really, it's one of the series' most amusing Epileptic Trees.
- Batman: The Animated Series, particularly the New Adventures, did this a few times as well, including a villainess with Chippendale-esque henchmen and Mr. Freeze with women in stripperiffic parkas. When the Penguin became The Don (much like he currently is in the comic), he employed cocktail waitresses at his nightclub who were also his enforcers.
- Dr. Octopus from The Spectacular Spider Man had a pair in one episode, which is almost funny when one remembers how dorky he was before his Face-Heel Turn.
- Thugnificent in The Boondocks employs several beautiful women to lounge about his mansion, including one whose only job is to announce the presence of visitors by sultrily crooning, "ding... dong." He dubs her a "whorebell".