YMMV / Showgirls

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Rife with it.
    • Cristal seems to blow off Nomi from the getgo, but quickly seeks her out again. The movie treats this as villainous behavior, but Nomi's overreactions are more striking in each scene, making Cristal look like an incredibly patient would-be love interest until she crosses her Moral Event Horizon.
    • Nomi and Molly live together, call each other girlfriends, share everything, change clothes in front of each other, and Nomi frequently says she loves Molly... but if they're romantically linked, it's the only such relationship in the movie that's understated. The chemistry between the two actors helps sell this.
    • While Al's portrayed as a manipulative sleaze who fucks all his clients, his speech to Hope at the beginning comes off as genuinely concerned for her wellbeing until he gets to the suggestion that getting big tips means she should do whatever the client says... which itself may be suggesting something that prevents her from being beaten or killed.
    • Tony Moss is crass and capricious in his opening scene, but is arguably engaging in Tough Love to weed out candidates from a demanding job. This is reinforced when every subsequent scene shows he bears Nomi no ill will, even covering up an embarrassing gaffe for her. While he doesn't think she's a good understudy to Cristal, he correctly calls out Zach for backing Nomi purely because Zach had sex with her.
  • Awesome Music: There's a couple of great Prince songs on the soundtrack; "Ripopgodezippa" when James and Nomi dance together at his place, and "319" during Nomi's first stripping scene.
    • When James and Nomi first meet, they dance to David Bowie's "I'm Afraid Of Americans," of all songs.
  • Bile Fascination: It's an NC-17 movie that bombed in theaters. Some people definitely want to know why.
  • Cult Classic: Not quite at The Room level, but it has a devoted following who consider it high Camp entertainment, and there are still screenings of the film in major cities today. Elizabeth Berkley herself attended a Los Angeles screening in 2015.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: From the very beginning of the film, it's very clear that there are very few people to root for. With the exception of Molly, every character is either incredibly sleazy, villainous or both. Nomi finds herself being used and taken advantage of by virtually every male character in the film in some way, shape or form, all while the majority of the female characters lie to her face or act catty towards her. The Gratuitous Rape of Nomi's friend is the final straw.
  • 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.
    • Pick any other character with more than two lines in the movie. Odds are good they'd make a better, more interesting protagonist.
  • Foe Yay: Nomi and Cristal mostly, although by the end of the film it's not even subtext anymore.
  • Fetish Retardant: For most people, and arguably the Trope Codifier.
  • Fridge Logic: When discussing who to cast as the lead in "Goddess," a casino representative mentions LaToya Jackson but says they went with Cristal. After Cristal's sidelined, the producers discuss approaching Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul. Both these women were at the height of their fame during filming, suggesting that the "Goddess" act was lucrative enough and respectable enough to lure major pop stars from $80 million contracts that wouldn't have involved nudity. For comparison, the budget for Showgirls itself was $45 million.
  • Ham and Cheese:
    • Gina Gershon has claimed this of her performance, once she realized just what kind of film she was making.
    • 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).
    • It's clear that Robert Davi is chewing the scenery as much as he can as Al, but he's the only character who gets a halfway-honest emotional scene in the film, even if ends with a hilariously-inappropriate line to Nomi.
  • 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.
    • Molly's fangirling over Andrew Carver is pretty cringeworthy on subsequent views.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Thanks to The Nostalgia Chick, "Man, everybody got AIDS and shit" and others are getting there. Now a stupid statement mix!
    • "It must be weird, not having anybody cum on you."
    • "I used to love doggy chow."
    • The bizarre sex scene in the swimming pool has also achieved some degree of infamy, given it looks like Nomi is having some kind of seizure.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • When Nomi pushes Cristal down the stairs.
      • Or before that, when she sleeps with Zack behind Cristal's back.
    • For Andrew Carver, it's absolutely when he rapes Molly, which he had no reason to do since she intended to have sex with him anyway.
    • Cristal and Zack conspire to trick Nomi into prostitution at the boat show. Nomi quickly picks up on this with Cristal, but never quite figures out that Zack was involved, too.
  • Narm: There's a lot.
    • Nomi's tantrums in general. Especially near the beginning when she flips out at her french fries.
    • Also near the beginning: she meets Molly in a big slap-fight, and then vomits for no real reason.
    • There's a dramatic pause in a conversation about brown rice and vegetables. That's before they start talking about eating dog food.
    • Nomi tells Andrew to be quiet at knifepoint, and then screams like a crazy person while kicking the crap out of him(?).
    • See also the Memetic Mutation entries, which all qualify, especially Nomi's seizure-gasm.
  • 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.
  • Squick: Nomi! Don't lick the pole!
    • "My period." "Yeah, right." "Check."
  • Tear Jerker: Nomi saying goodbye to Molly right before she runs away again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Siskel & Ebert tore into the film for completely wasting a chance to show that the NC-17 rating wasn't just a way to slip porn into regular theaters. Especially since this was the first, and to date the only, NC-17 film to have a wide release in the US.
  • 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.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Nomi is supposed to be a sympathetic character but already comes across as being a pretty abrasive, scheming person before getting corrupted by the glitz and glamour of Vegas. At best she's a Jerkass Woobie, and just a plain Jerkass at worst.
  • What an Idiot: Andrew Carver is too cruel for his own good when it came to Molly, who was a big fan and was excited to have sex with him.
    • You'd Expect: If Carver had some sort of rape fetish, he'd inform Molly, and make sure the whole thing was Safe, Sane, and Consensual before going to town.
    • Instead: He calls his guards, punches her in the nose, and gang-rapes her like a monster. Needless to say, he got his comeuppance for this part, but this was arguably a What an Idiot moment for Joe Eszterhas, who wrote this scene, since the film helped destroy his career.note 
  • The Woobie: Molly. To most audience members, she's the only character that's not a total dunce despite having it just as rough as Nomi.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Showgirls