open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Oruha from Outo Country in Tsubasa Chronicle.
- Burma in Terry and the Pirates (it was her original career).
Films — Animation
- Gina in Porco Rosso is a very clean and straight-laced example, but she does have the glamour (with lingering shots of her large earrings slowly turning as she sings), the loneliness, and the romantic melancholy.
Films — Live-Action
- In Brick, Laura sings/recites a song while accompanying herself on the piano, much to the melancholic curiosity of Brendan.
- In This Gun for Hire, Veronica Lake mixes it up by being a sexy chanteuse who sings sultry songs in tight dresses — and does magic tricks.
- Tallulah in Bugsy Malone.
- Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit is introduced this way, working as a singer in the Ink & Paint Club. The entire (male) crowd is gobsmacked by her beauty and sensuality, and Eddie Valiant openly asks Betty Boop how that woman wound up married to a comedian like Roger.
Betty Boop: Yeah... what a lucky "goyul".
- Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe's characters in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
- Emma in Dark City, which is later revealed to be an implanted identity.
- Tina in The Mask. Although she's not a Femme Fatale, but a Distressed Damsel.
- Lil Sheridan (Marilu Henner) in Johnny Dangerously.
- Uschi, the heroine of Der Schuh des Manitu, is introduced that way. The film doesn't have anything to do with the Film Noir, though; it's just Troperiffic.
- Cast a Deadly Spell. When we first see Connie Stone (Julianne Moore), she's singing a song in Harry Bordon's nightclub. You can watch her performance here.
- Michelle Pfeiffer from The Fabulous Baker Boys. The movie's Sitting Sexy on a Piano scene is parodied in Hot Shots!
- The singer at the Blue Note in Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear played by singer Colleen Fitzpatrick a.k.a. Vitamin C.
- Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World fits the criteria, despite not being Film Noir.
- Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot, played by Marilyn Monroe. Again, this is a comedy, not film noir per se.
- The 1990 Dick Tracy movie had Breathless Mahoney, classic nightclub Femme Fatale played by no less than Madonna. Her performance of "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)" actually won an Academy Award.
- Eraserhead's Lady in the Radiator could be seen as a mutated example of this.
- Rebekah del Rio, as herself, in Mulholland Dr., with the twist that it's actually Looping Lines - "It is all a recording" — and del Rio collapses toward the end of the song, which keeps playing. It's safe to say that David Lynch loves this trope. And see below under Live Action TV for another example from his body of work.
- Ellen Aim in Streets of Fire.
- The title character of Gilda.
- Joan in The Purchase Price.
- Ida Lupino in Road House.
- Dorothy Vallens from Blue Velvet.
- Tornado Lou from Lemonade Joe, a gorgeous Soiled Dove who dreams of becoming a better woman. She has two melancholy songs, one of which moves all gunmen in the Whisky Saloon to tears, and one extremely cheerful number which is accompanied by a dance routine from a posse of Ms. Fanservice girls in skimpy outfits.
- A dark example: Lucia in The Night Porter.
- Francesca in Ghost Ship is the typical sultry lounge singer, but on a luxury Italian cruiseship. She participates in the massacre on the ship and uses her wiles to seduce men to their deaths, and as a ghost is serving the primary villain to lure more men to their deaths.
- In Last Vegas, Diana moonlights as this at a Vegas casino, her primary job being working as a tax attorney for the owner.
- Star Trek: First Contact: When Picard creates the Dixon Hill night club, which is a direct reference to Film Noir, on the holodeck it naturally includes on of these on stage.
- Destry Rides Again: Frenchy is the singer in the saloon; Marlene Dietrich sings a couple of songs. Beyond her sultriness, Frenchy helps Kent the bar owner cheat people at cards.
- Sherman's March: "Joyous"—that's her name—bass guitarist and singer, first introduced singing with a band in a parking lot, and later shown singing in a nightclub. She hangs out with Ross for a little while before heading to New York to advance her music career.
- Ciaphas Cain: Inquisitor Amberley Vail's first in-person appearance (she's also the books' editor In-Universe) is when she is undercover as one at a reception at the planetary governor's mansion on Gravalax.
- The first appearance of the Discworld character Ruby (later known as Sergeant Detritus's wife) is in Moving Pictures as a chanteuse at a troll nightclub. Her trollish growling is translated in footnotes as "Falling in Love Again", complete with Marlene Dietrich's accent.
- Autobiography of Red has a tuxedo-clad Bifauxnen version singing tango music in a bar in Argentina.
- Star Trek:
- Jan Levinson makes a cameo appearance as one of these in The Office (US) episode "Threat Level Midnight" movie-within-a-movie possibly a nod to Melora Hardin's cameo as one in The Rocketeer (or maybe simply because she can sing).
- The Smallville Noir episode has Lois in this role and Lana as the Femme Fatale. While Chloe ironically is mimicking the 40s and 50s Lois Lane.
- The season six opener of NCIS had Ziva David playing this part very well, with the actress Cote de Pablo actually doing her own singing. Then someone rudely left a bomb behind. (What, this is NCIS, you know!)
- In several episodes of Twin Peaks, Julee Cruise can be seen singing in The Roadhouse, a bar in the town.
- Daughter Maitland in Boardwalk Empire.
- Paige pulls this off in season 5 of Charmed , singing "Fever" to her boyfriends Nate in vintage garb and hair (Of course she does. She's Rose McGowan).
- The unnamed singer played by Foxes in the Doctor Who episode "Mummy on the Orient Express", who sings a 20s jazz version of "Don't Stop Me Now".
- Paula in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend imagines herself as one of these as she sings "His Status is Preferred."
- Marty in Grease Live! imagines singing "Freddy My Love" in a USO show.
- Mamamoo's Solar in their "Piano Man" video is a more clean and optimistic example, donning a glamorous evening gown while seductively singing on stage at a jazz bar.
- Sade, most famously with the very noir-esque classic single "Smooth Operator."
- Dutch singer Caro Emerald has this as her musical persona, often singing seductive and/or mysterious-sounding jazz songs that would not be out of place in a Film Noir or a James Bond movie.
- The unnamed background version of this trope appears in the game Alice Is Dead. She sings a song that is a mixture of Wonderland surrealism and an attempt to seduce the listener.
- Carol MacLaine in Deadly Premonition.
- Venus in EarthBound.
- Julia Heartilly from the flashback sequences of Final Fantasy VIII
- Olivia Ofrenda in Grim Fandango
- In Contrast, Kat is a professional singer and a rising star. She gives a performance early in the game.
- Red, the protagonist of Transistor. She doesn't get much of a chance to show off her voice, though, as it's stolen right at the start of the game.
- Sapphire in Discworld Noir is basically an Expy of Ruby in Moving Pictures, with a song that includes the lines "The minute you walked through the wall,/I could see you were a troll of destruction".
- Trixie Trotter from Back to the Future: The Game.
- Elsa Lichtmann in L.A. Noire.
- Magnolia in Fallout 4.
- The unnamed singer who performs "Betcha Neva" in the Iceberg Lounge in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, who is actually an Ink-Suit Actor of French pop star Cyndi Almouzni.
- Red from Red Hot Riding Hood and other Tex Avery shorts.
- Miss Kitty Mouse from The Great Mouse Detective.
- Sasha from All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, though she was just doing it for a prize in order to feed a young boy named David.
- The "Queen Hornet" episode of Dynomutt Dog Wonder features one, who sings the theme song from Jabberjaw.
- Miss Kitty from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is this by profession, but is never actually shown singing. She makes Tanya her protege and Tanya is shown singing at a cat bar.
- In the episode "Love, American Dad Style" Hayley Smith on American Dad! becomes this when Roger hears her singing in the shower and asks her to sing at his bar. Hayley is voiced by Seth MacFarlane's sister Rachel, and like her brother has a great voice that's well suited to old jazz standards. In the episode she sings "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Makin' Whoopie!" and "Potato Bread".
- In Samurai Jack, one is singing during a fight scene between Jack and some gangsters.
- The Martian Queen becomes this in the Talent Contest episode of Duck Dodgers.