These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Designated Hero: Nomi. We're supposed to root for her as an underdog, but she comes off as a bitch for most of the movie.
Foe Yay: Nomi and Cristal mostly although by the end of the film it's barely subtext.
Took the Bad Film Seriously: However, reviewers (while they do generally acknowledge her performance as the best in the film) are usually left with the impression that she was fully committing to the material in a way that none of her co-stars could (or in some cases, simply didn't want to).
Harsher in Hindsight: When the guy that drove Nomi to Vegas asks her "what has no one ever been nice to you" it becomes a little sad when you learn her past.
Nightmare Fuel: The rape scene is absolutely brutal and difficult to watch without trying to cover your eyes. Also afterwards when a badly injured Molly staggers back into the room.
So Bad, It's Good: The 2004 DVD release came with shot glasses and a list of possible Drinking Games for the movie.
Just having a drink every time Crystal says "darlin'" is enough for most people.
Tear Jerker: Nomi saying goodbye to Molly right before she runs away again.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Siskel and Ebert tore into the film for completely wasting a chance to show the NC-17 rating wasn't just a way to slip porn into regular theaters.
True Art Is Angsty: Showgirls was originally supposed to be a pro-feminist commentary about women who work as strippers. Some suspect the movie's dark tone is a result of the writers and producers invoking this trope.