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Film / Victor/Victoria

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King Marchand: I don't care if you are a man.
[kisses Victoria]
Victoria: I— I'm not a man.
King Marchand: I still don't care.

This 1982 musical comedy film, directed by Blake Edwards and starring his wife Julie Andrews as well as Robert Preston and James Garner, is the tale of a down-on-her-luck actress/singer who disguises herself as a man to take a job as a drag queen in 1930s Paris. Hilarity Ensues.

The film, which is actually a Foreign Remake of the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria, received a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation in 1995 which also starred Andrews and was directed by Edwards; a performance of this version was shot on videotape for a Japanese television broadcast and subsequently issued on DVD.

This film and its stage adaptation provide examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • After the waiter delivers his "it is a moron who listens to a horse's ass" retort, Toddy and Victoria look at each other and start laughing.
    • Squash coming out to King makes Victoria chuckle. King remains gobsmacked.
  • Accidental Pervert: While checking to see if the coast is clear, King can't resist peeping on "Victor"/Victoria as she is taking a bath.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Norma, who whines about wanting to make love with King when they were together, and when she mistakenly believes that "Victor" is about to sexually harass her (in reality, it was Victoria undressing to show her true gender), her first thought is to have "him" lock the door.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Toddy's ex Richard. After he and Richard break up he's seen with a female companion, who may or may not be The Beard.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When three of the male dancers watch "Victor" perform, one says that he's a phony as Toddy eavesdrops, amused.
    Dancer 1: If he's a Polish count, then I'm Greta Garbo.
    Dancer 2: Well, Greta, whatever he is... I think he's divine.
    [Toddy walks away looking pleased.]
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: When Norma gets trapped in a room with "Victor" who begins undressing to her, Norma's reaction to this is "Wait... Lock the door!".
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: While performing dressed as a woman, "Victor" is considered very attractive.
    Toddy: (to Victoria in male dress wear) You look better in Richard's clothes than he does. Of course, he looks better out of them.
  • Author Appeal: An inspector and slapstick right out of The Pink Panther. See Butt Monkey below.
  • "Awkward Silence" Entrance: When King, dressed in a tuxedo, walks into a working-class bar for the express purpose of picking a fight.
  • Bar Brawl:
    • "Victor" accidentally starts a brawl by accidentally pulling off a woman's wig after intentionally tripping one of her companions. In the ensuing chaos, she even accidentally punches King.
    • In the film version, Toddy gets fired early in the film after indirectly causing a bar fight in Chez Lui,
    • King later starts a bar brawl intentionally in order to feel more masculine: he orders milk, and when one of the tough guys sarcastically asks him if he's ordering cow's milk or mother's milk, King replies, "How about your sister's?".
  • Battle Theme Music: The band in Chez Lui starts belting out "La Marseillaise" when the fight breaks out.
  • The Beard: Maybe Richard's female companion. He's possibly just bisexual.
  • Beta Couple: Prominently in the stage version, Toddy and Squash are this to Victoria and King.
  • Betty and Veronica: "Victor"/Victoria (the Betty) to Norma Cassidy (the Veronica) over King Marchand (the Archie).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: King Marchand and "Victor"/Victoria bicker with one another while falling in love.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: King and "Victor"/Victoria share one after escaping a bar fight together.
  • Big Eater: Victoria is so hungry that she devours a large meal. The waiter is amazed by her appetite and checks under the table she is sitting at to see if she hadn't fed the meal to a pet dog. Justified since she hasn't eaten in 4 days.
  • Bisexual Love Triangle: Zigzagged. One between Norma/King/"Victor". King is dating Norma but questions himself when he's becoming attracted to "Victor" whom he believed is actually a woman (and King insists he could never find a man attractive). Eventually, King dumps Norma and pursues "Victor" while no longer caring about gender.
  • Big "YES!": Norma, who has been stewing over King's obvious infatuation with "Victor"/Victoria, screams "yes!" when Victoria takes off the wig. And keeps screaming "Yay!" over and over while the camera focuses on King's utter dismay.
  • Bi-Wildered: Norma (and everyone she tells) thinks King is "gay now" because of his crush on female impersonator drag queen "Victor", despite King's willingness to sleep with Norma and his attraction to women in general.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Toddy has Victoria's costumes tailored by a man who would very much not like his wife and six children to know his sexual proclivities, and will therefore keep mum about what attributes Victor may or may not have.
  • Brainless Beauty: Norma Cassidy is King Marchand's ditzy arm-candy.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During King' first night at the hotel Norma states she's worried that Squash, the bodyguard, will break in while they're making love. "Oh he'd only do that if he heard something unusual; like if I got excited!". Squash does just that when an orgasmic moan escapes from King's room as he's making love to Victoria.
    • Toddy's love for theatre and crossdressing. It helps save Victoria and King from the mafia and authorities at the end when they arrive looking for "Victor" suspecting "him" of fraud and Toddy fills in for the role of "Victor".
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Squash. As he explains it, if you didn't want to be gay bashed, you made yourself into a tough guy. (His actor, Alex Karras, was a Real Life example.)
  • Bullying a Dragon: King gets into a tiff with a well-dressed man at the gym and suggests that he deliver his "apology" in the boxing ring. The man agrees, and walks away to get ready.
    King: "He'll be deLIGHTed to oblige," who does he think he is?
    Squash: Guy Levois, the French middleweight boxing champion. [King turns around with an Oh, Crap! look.] But don't worry. He's gay.
  • Butt-Monkey: The private investigator hired by the club owner Monsieur Labisse to unmask Victoria. Every scene where he appears (all four of them) has him on the receiving end of a slapstick gag, starting with this gem:
    Labisse: Be careful.
    Private eye: Monsieur, I am always careful.
    Labisse: That chair is broken.
    Private eye: It is? (chair collapses)
    • Then you have Toddy's young gigolo, who manages to keep getting punched in the same broken nose by Victoria. Then again, he deserves it.
  • Camp Gay: Toddy in the stage version is camp; in the film, he's just unapologetic. However, in the film Victor's dancers may as well be wearing feather boas. While disguised as "Victor", Victoria is advised by Toddy to act more campy when getting ready for their first performance.
    Toddy: Make it broader, with tons of shoulder. Remember, you're a drag queen!
  • Captain Ersatz: Leclou is Clouseau. They even have similar names.
  • Carrying a Cake: When the waiter sees Toddy as the Shady Dame in the final performance, he's so distracted that he falls over the railing with a giant birthday cake.
  • Character Exaggeration: In the film version, Norma Cassidy has a few moments that show she's not the sharpest tool in the shed. In the stage adaptation, this becomes her defining character trait. The result is Played for Laughs, to the point that in the filmed version of the stage musical, Norma gets the biggest laughs.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Victoria's ability to hit a glass-shattering note. When the owner of Chez Lui watches her "Shady Dame" number later, it confirms his suspicions that "Victor" is the woman who auditioned for his club.
    Waiter: ("Eureka!" Moment) Cockroach!
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: King lights up a cigar after learning his crush Victoria is a gay male drag queen. Much to his confliction.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Norma is this when King becomes infatuated with "Victor"/Victoria.
  • Closet Gay: Shortly after King and Victoria sleep together for the first time, Squash catches them in flagrante delicto, still thinking Victoria is Victor. Before King can fully explain the confusion to him, Squash gives him a bear hug and comes out to him as gay. A couple scenes later, they're working out in the gym and King asks him about it.
    Squash: When did I know I was gay? God, I can't remember when I wasn't.
    King: I've known you for years!
    Squash: Well, you know a lot of guys, boss. You'd be surprised.
    King: You were an All-American! I never saw a meaner, rougher, tougher, son-of-a-bitch football player in all my life.
    Squash: Listen, if you didn't want the guys to call you "queer", you became a rough, tough, son-of-a-bitching football player.
  • Closet Key: "Victor" for King.
  • Close Up On Head: When "Victor"/Victoria and King are dancing, the shot is close up on their faces. As the shot pans out, it's shown that the couple are dancing together in a gay bar surrounded by other various male couples. Much to King's discomfort.
  • Comeback Tomorrow: After Toddy says that the wine looks like horse urine—and on the waiter's protest, that it wasn't a real horse but two waiters in costume—the waiter calmly says "I shall think of a sharp retort while I fetch your roast chicken." However, Toddy's reply gives him an opportunity to make one right away:
    Toddy: It's a wise man who knows when he is beaten.
    Waiter: And it is a moron who gives advice to a horse's ass.
    (Toddy gives him a Touché glance.)
  • Coming-Out Story: Squash eventually "hoists [their] true colors" in response to mistakenly thinking another character has done the same. Though things are a little awkward at first, all of their friends are supportive—the only people who end up hostile already had a reason to feel that way.
  • Crossdressing Voices: When in the disguise of polish count and drag queen Victor, Victoria's voice is lower. When as Victoria, her voice is higher.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Norma is a very attractive woman but she has an annoying hitch-pitched shrilling nasally voice and one short fuse of a temper.
  • Cure Your Gays: Norma attempts this on Toddy when she flirts with him. Being gay, he doesn't buy it.
    Norma: You know what I think? I think the right woman could reform you.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The last scene of King in the barfight is him leading the tough guys in a drunken rendition of "Sweet Adelaide," and wearing one of their hats.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Toddy has quite a few zingers in both the movie and stage production.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • When "Victor"/Victoria performs "Le Jazz Hot", King is smitten. Much to Norma's chagrin.
    • When Norma angrily opens her coat and flashes her underwear as a means of what King will be missing, a male passerby falls over onto the train tracks from looking at her.
  • Didn't See That Coming: When King, Squash, and Norma see Victoria's first performance, King is smitten by the beautiful female singer and Norma isn't pleased with this. Then at the end, Victoria removes the wig and appears to be "Victor." King is shocked and Norma just laughs and starts cheering loudly.
    Squash: It's a guy.
  • Distant Duet: In the stage version, Victoria and King sing "Almost a Love Song" in adjacent rooms.
  • The Ditz: Norma Cassidy tends to fail while attempting to seem intelligent, particularly in the stage musical.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Norma attempts to kill King and even the bodyguard Squash for intervening just because King shoved a bar of soap into her mouth for insulting him.
  • Downer Beginning: The film opens with Victoria, starving and weak, failing to win over a critic in her audition and being evicted for owing rent at the motel she resided at.
  • Drag Queen: "Victor", as well as several of the minor characters. Toddy dresses in drag to play the role of "Victor" when the police come to investigate the claims of fraud about the performance.
  • Dumb Blonde: Norma Cassidy has bleached blond hair, while Victoria Grant is a redhead. One is The Ditz, and it isn't the main character.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • After suffering penniless and starving, Victoria finds fame and eventually love.
    • When Labisse tries to expose him/her as a fraud, Toddy, thrilled to be back in drag, replaces Victoria in a blink, to thwart Labisse and leave the way clear for a happy ending for our two loving couples — King and Victoria, and Toddy and Squash.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Victoria sends Richard packing while wearing his clothes (It Makes Sense in Context), her voice still husky from having a cold, Toddy has his brilliant idea for how she can work as a singer again.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: While Victoria performs as "Victor", three of the male performers agree that "he" is divine. Even King falls for "him", despite being conflicted about his attraction.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Everything is resolved with Toddy taking over the role of "Victoria" and everyone is seen laughing, happy together.
  • Faked Food Contaminant: Double Subverted. Victoria, who hasn't gotten a decent meal in a week, attempts this out of desperation after finding an enormous cockroach in her flophouse room. The waiter is wise to the con and starts implying that he's going to have her arrested unless she fesses up... until the cockroach turns up at another table nearby, inadvertently setting off a Bar Brawl and letting her and Toddy abscond with full stomachs amid the confusion.
  • Fake Orgasm: After King fails to perform in bed with Norma due to him thinking about "Victor", Norma suggests they can "fake it" if they have too. King is not amused.
  • Fan Disservice: Norma's squeaky voice and generally tactless behavior. Leslie Ann Warren can definitely play an attractive Femme Fatale, but here she's camping it up to make the character unsympathetic.
  • Fanservice: A few brief glimpses of Victoria undressing for a bath in the hotel.
  • Fainting: Victoria faints a lot due to malnourishment from not having eaten in four days.
  • Faux Yay: Victoria pretends to be Toddy's lover as Victor in order to provide a plausible reason for living together.
  • Fly in the Soup: At the beginning of the film, Victoria plots to use a cockroach she found in her room to scam a restaurant—she's flat broke and hasn't eaten in days (her other idea having been to sleep with her landlord for some spaghetti and meatballs). Toddy drops in and decides to help, but the manager and waiter have both seen this trick before and argue until the roach escapes and crawls up a different woman's leg. In the ensuing mass panic, the restaurant is wrecked, and Victoria and Toddy make their escape.
  • Food Porn: Although the overweight elderly male customer's eating is grotesque, the close-up of the creamy French eclair looks delicious.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Toddy has a picture of Marlene Dietrich in a tux on his nightstand.
  • Friendship Song: "You and Me" shows how close Victoria and Toddy have gotten in such a short time.
  • Gayngst: King suffers this when he discovers his crush "Victor"/Victoria is a professional gay male drag queen. And again, when he begins a secret relationship with "Victor", as King knows all too well they cannot be intimate in public for homosexuality was in a sin. Because he was a gangster and it was 1930s Paris.
    • King's bodyguard Squash confesses to suffering this all prior to his coming out and he did his best by excelling at sports to hide his homosexuality.
    King: But, you were all-American! I never saw a rougher, tougher, meaner, son-of-a-bitch football player in all my life.
    Squash: Boss, if you didn't want the guys to call you queer, you became a rough, tough, son-of-a-bitch football player.
  • Gaydar: Toddy correctly figures out Squash is gay, seen laughing with him at some private joke (which one can guess what the subject matter is about.)
  • Gayngster: One of Sal's bodyguards in the stage version
  • Gay Paree: In both senses. It even has a musical number so titled.
    Toddy: (singing) When people speak of Gay Paree / They think that when they say Paree is gay / They mean that Gay Paree is "Gay!" / It is not in the way Paree was gay in yesterday Paree / It means today that Gay Paree is gay.
    (The pianist plays the Fairy Waltz. Toddy slaps him with his handkerchief.)
    Toddy: Not that gay.
  • Gender-Concealing Voice: Victoria has to speak and sing in a lower register while in disguise as "Victor".
  • Genre Savvy: This exchange between Victoria and Toddy after her and King's first meeting:
    Victoria: King Marchand is an arrogant, opinionated, chauvinistic pain in the ass.
    Toddy: I think I could fall in love with him.
    Victoria: I think I could, too.
  • Genre Throwback: To Golden Age-era studio musicals.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting: The film is set in Paris 1934.
  • Get Out!: The owner of Chez Luis, holding a bloody bag of ice to his head after the movie's first Bar Brawl, screams at Toddy to get out.
  • Getting the Boot: Watching a guy get thrown out the door is what makes King stop at a particular bar when he wants to feel manlier.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The high note at the end of Victoria's stage show. Also Chekhov's Skill.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: King and "Victor"/Victoria make love not long after escaping the bar fight scuffle together.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Norma grows quite jealous when she sees King become infatuated with "Victor"/Victoria. Until Victoria removes her wig at the end of her performance, then she cheers.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: King, after discovering his crush Victoria is actually a professional drag queen named "Victor".
  • Hell Is That Noise: Norma's voice is quite squeaky over time.
  • Hello, Sailor!: Toddy's aware of the stereotype in the stage version:
    King: You must have been in the army.
    Toddy: I prefer the navy, myself.
  • Hen Pecked Husband. Henpecked boyfriend in this case. When King is dating Norma, she verbally abuses him, insults him, makes fun of him for having a crush on "Victor" and not being able to get sexually aroused for her and threatens to harm him physically by throwing random objects at him and then try to kill him with a spear prop for simply putting soap in her mouth.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The gangster King falls for the fire-y redhead "Victor"/Victoria.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: When Toddy's Jerkass ex, Richard, opens the wardrobe to take his clothes back, Victoria greets him with a fist to his already-bruised face—having donned his clothing in lieu of her ruined dress.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Invoked by King after escaping a bar fight with "Victor". King finds himself romantically attracted to Victoria and is conflicted about it after discovering Victoria is actually a professional drag queen named "Victor". Eventually, he decides he doesn't care about the gender, he just wants "Victor".
    King: I don't care if you are a man. (kisses Victoria)
    Victoria: I'm ... not a man.
    King: I still don't care! (kissing ensues)
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: In the stage version.
    Norma: Well, well, well, if it ain't big shot King Marchand, who these days maybe ought to change it to "Queen".
    Toddy: (opening the doors) Did somebody call?
  • Incompatible Orientation: Norma Cassidy flirts with the gay Toddy, with shades of Fag Hag - She's delighted by Toddy and "Victor"'s sexuality as long as it's not a threat to her relationship (She's even seen cheering Toddy at the finale).
  • Immodest Orgasm: King is quite loud when in bed together with "Victor"/Victoria. It's this that causes his bodyguard Squash to burst into the bedroom to inspect such noise.
  • Irony: Squash suggested King bring Norma with them to Paris, to help him relax. The exact opposite happens and King orders to have her sent home.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: King prefers to spends the remainder of the night smoking a cigar and drinking scotch/rum instead of sleeping with Norma, in order to deal with his conflicting thoughts over his crush on "Victor".
  • Interrupted Intimacy: King and "Victor"/Victoria are in the middle of making love when Squash bursts into the room upon hearing noises.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The mafia's homophobia. Toddy quips "kill him, but mustn't kiss him."
  • Irrelevant Act Opener: The second act of the stage adaptation opens with a song about Marie Antoinette. As it's a performance by "Victor", it's not entirely out of place, but it has nothing to do with the plot. It was eventually cut.
  • I Reject Your Reality: King insists that "Victor"/Victoria is a woman even after seeing "him" take his wig off. This is because he's conflicted over his feelings for "him".
  • Jerkass: The bisexual Richard robs Toddy and acts hostile towards him after spending the night with him.
  • Jerk Jock: King notes that Squash was one in their youth as he was the toughest, scariest kid on the block. Squash notes that he embraced this trope to hide the fact he was gay.
  • Karma Houdini: Norma suffers no repercussions for her actions after lying to the Mafia about her ex King supposedly being in a homosexual relationship with the polish male drag queen "Victor".
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Toddy deliberately gives "Victor" an obviously fake backstory as a disinherited Polish aristocrat named "Count Victor Grazinski" under the assumption that once people see through this lie, they won't look for another.
    "Victor": They'll know he's a phony!
    Toddy: Exactly.
    "Victor": What?
    Toddy: They'll know he's a phony.
  • Large Ham: Norma.
  • Last Het Romance: For Toddy, somebody named Nana Lanu.
    Victoria: Nana Lanu? Who's she?
    Toddy: The last woman I slept with.
    Victoria: When was that?
    Toddy: The night before the morning I decided to become a homosexual.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Despite the fact that their relationship isn't romantic at all, Victoria (as Victor) and Toddy banter and bicker throughout the "You and Me" number they do at Chez Lui.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: King is shocked to discover that the object of his affection "Victor" resides in the hotel room right across from his.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: King, distracted by thoughts of "Victor", suffers this when he tries sleeping with Norma.
    Norma: Before you know it, you are impudent.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Norma mocks King for being unable to perform in bed with her and this is embarrassing for King, as he is unable to prove his manhood (due to having thoughts of "Victor"). Norma's suggestion that they could "fake it" and her calling him "impudent" does very little to help.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Toddy is initially involved with Richard, who starts seeing bit-character Simone. King and Norma are together, but once they get to Paris, Norma goes after Toddy and King falls for "Victor", with Victoria reciprocating King's feelings. Toddy, for his part, seems taken with Squash. The stage version goes even further by making Toddy explicitly attracted to King and implying that he and Andre had been...close. The Love Dodecahedron does get resolved, but not to everyone's liking.
  • Love at First Punch: King is quite flattered after accidentally taking a punch from "Victor".
    "Victor": I am so sorry!
    King: (flattered) So am I!
  • Love at First Sight: King Merchand falls for Victoria at first sight before discovering she is "Victor".
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: "Loveable" is debatable, but Norma's reaction to "Victor" stripping for her (to prove she's a woman, when Norma still thinks she's a man) is "WAIT!!! (Beat) Lock the door!"
  • Loves My Alter Ego: King is attracted to Victor's female persona Victoria while he is dismayed that Victoria is actually a gay drag queen.
  • Manly Gay: King's bodyguard Squash is a big, strong guy who was an All-American football player (he's played by former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras). He's Closet Gay and comes out to King midway through the film.
  • Manly Tears: Of the Tears of Joy variety, with Squash coming out to King, thinking the latter is gay.
  • Match Cut: An audio one; when Toddy loudly blows his nose the scene cuts to the blare of a car horn.
  • Mistaken for Gay: King, when Squash finds him in bed with "Victor". It prompts Squash to come out of the closet himself.
  • Monochrome Casting: There is one black person in the whole film. He's one of the men in the bar that King starts a fight in.
  • Mugging the Monster: In the film, while at the gym trying to reinforce his masculinity, King gets bumped into by another guy. King refuses to accept the apology and challenges him to a boxing match. The man turns out to be the French middleweight boxing champion.
    Squash: But don't worry. He's gay.note 
  • The Musical: In the movie, the songs are only for the characters' stage performances, but it was adapted for Broadway in 1995 as an all-out musical.
  • The Musical Musical: The story is a musical about a stage performer who advances her career through Recursive Crossdressing.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: The film is entirely diegetic, with Victoria, Toddy, and Norma giving performances. The stage adaptation introduces songs that are either All In Their Head or an Adaptation of the events. Toddy's opening number even starts in his head and moves on to an actual performance at Chez Lui.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: An inversion. The dress that Victoria wears at the end has a Navel-Deep Neckline. Justified, in that she's trying to be as female as possible so she isn't mistaken for "Victor". So it's somewhat like a My Breasts Are Down Here.
  • Mysterious Past: Hinted at with Toddy.
    Toddy: Why is he sitting way over there?
    King: (terse) Strategic.
    Toddy: ("ah") Broader field of vision, clearer field of fire.
    King: You must have been in the army.
    Toddy: Once or twice.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: The dress Victoria wears at the climax to make her femininity quite obvious from the "slimmer" Victor.
  • No Bisexuals: When King becomes attracted to and conflicted over "Victor"/Victoria, Norma thinks that it means he is gay now despite King's attempt to sleep with her. With no mention of the B word.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Richard leaves after spending a night in a hotel with Toddy.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Victoria points out that King insisting he's not a gangster, just someone who does business with them, isn't that different than the act that she runs.
  • Oh, Crap!: Plenty.
    • King's reaction when he sees "Victor"/Victoria take his wig off, revealing "he" is a drag queen.
    • King, when he looks from his hotel window and sees that "Victor"/Victoria and Toddy are his apartment next door neighbors.
    • King and Squash, when Norma loses her temper and attempts to kill them with a sharp harpoon trophy.
    • King, when he's about to be punched by someone whose sister he made a manly joke about.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: King does to Norma, promptly carrying her over his shoulder to the bedroom in an attempt to assert his manhood and heterosexuality and make love to her. Unfortunately...
  • Pink Is Erotic: Norma does a seductive dance in a pink wardrobe and flashes the male audience in the club her pink panties while performing "Chicago, Illinois".
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Victoria and Toddy soon become inseparable friends, but she's never attracted to him and he, of course, is gay.
  • Pronoun Trouble: King stumbling over his gender pronouns towards "Victor"/Victoria clues Norma in on his attraction towards "him".
  • Queer Establishing Moment: In-Universe, when Victoria disguises herself as "Victor". After a performance of "Le Jazz Hot" and "The Shady Dame", Victoria removes her headdress revealing her short haircut and establishing to the crowd watching that she is actually a gay male polish drag queen named "Victor". Applause and hilarity ensue.
  • Recursive Crossdressing: A woman dressing as a man who does performance art dressing as a woman.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Norma attempts to lure King to the hotel bedroom for lovemaking. Unfortunately, King is preoccupied with his thoughts of "Victor".
  • Retargeted Lust: King Marchand attempts to rid himself of his thoughts of "Victor" by making love with Norma. Unfortunately, he is "impudent" (according to Norma) and unsuccessful.
  • Rescue Romance: King and "Victor"/Victoria's romance takes off after escaping from a bar fight.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: King is convinced "Victor" is actually a woman. Not because of any flaw in her masquerade, but because he refuses to believe he could be romantically attracted to a man.
  • Running Gag: Michael keeps getting hit in the nose.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: The 1982 film was adapted for Broadway in 1995.
  • Secret Relationship: King and "Victor"/Victoria maintain a romantic relationship in secret to avoid homophobic hate crimes given the time setting.
  • Servile Snarker:
    • The waiter at the restaurant Victoria tries to con a meal out of, who makes his opinion on her huge meal and dining companion (after Toddy joins her) quite plain.
    • Selma, Andre Cassel's secretary, engages in some snappy back-and-forth with the people who want to see her boss.
    • Squash's job is to keep King from getting hurt, not to do anything for his ego.
    King: [on phone to fake a call from another suite] Yes, this is...
    Squash: King Marchand.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: King leaves after seeing "Victor" once again take his wig off after the performance of "The Shady Dame From Seville". As King is infatuated with his persona Victoria but is uncomfortable with the reality that he's actually a gay male drag queen.
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: Norma does this to Squash from the back of the train after he sends her off. He doesn't even look, but a porter Distracted by the Sexy falls over.
    Norma: Oh, are you okay?
  • Sexual Karma: When King attempts to makes love with Norma, it is unsatisfying and unpleasant which she then proceeds to mock him for it. When King and "Victor"/Victoria make love, it is romantic and satisfactory.
  • Slapstick: Both men and women suffer some sort of physical abuse during this musical, with hilarity to boot.
  • Sinister Sweet Tooth: Norma is usually snacking on chocolate and other sweets whenever she's not verbally abusing her lover King, or being jealous and homophobic towards "Victor" and Toddy.
  • Soap Punishment: King washes Norma's mouth out with soap after she warns he might become "impudent"note  from thoughts of Victor, driving her into such a rage that she attacks with a halberd which, decorative or not, still breaks through a door.
  • Sobriquet Sex Switch: Victoria Grant disguises herself as Count "Victor" Grazinski, a gay Polish female impersonator.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: Toddy rebuff's Norma's advances by (accurately) claiming to be gay.
  • Straight Gay: Richard (though he may fall under bisexuality) and very much Squash, who deconstructs why.
    King: I've known you for fifteen years...
    Squash: You know a lot of guys, boss, you'd be surprised.
    King: But, you were All-American! I never saw a rougher, tougher, meaner, son-of-a-bitch football player in all my life!
    Squash: Boss, if you didn't want the guys to call you queer, you became a rough, tough, son-of-a-bitchin' football player.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: An uncomfortable pause while discussing "Victor"'s performance reveals to Norma that King is attracted to "Victor".
    Norma Cassidy: He thinks he's a phony.
    King Marchand: I think she's very talented.
    Norma Cassidy: He doesn't think you're a man.
    King Marchand: I'll tell her what I think.
    Norma Cassidy: "Her", see? (laughs)
  • Stylistic Suck: The reprise of "The Shady Dame From Seville." Robert Preston only rehearsed it once so he could learn the lyrics. Everything going wrong was real.
  • Suppressed Mammaries: Victoria does this In-Universe to pass as a man, and lampshades it hilariously.
    Victoria: (sobbing)
    Toddy: So far we've had two major obstacles to overcome.
    Victoria: My bosom.
    Toddy: First to convince everyone that you're a man.
    Victoria: It's been damn uncomfortable.
    Toddy: What has?
    Victoria: Strapping down my bosom.
    Toddy: Now all you have to do is go out there and you'll be a star for the next twenty years.
    Victoria: If I have to strap down my bosom for the next twenty years, they're going look like two empty wallets!
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Victoria spends most of the story as "Victor".
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: King is so attracted to "Victor" that he's convinced that "Victor" is really a woman.
  • Sweet Tooth: Norma loves stuffing her face with chocolates.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Norma is prone to hurling objects at people when she's mad.
  • Technically a Smile: Norma says "Paris" through very clenched teeth while maintaining a smile when performing "Chicago, Illinois".
  • The '30s: The film adaptation and musical take place in 1934 Paris during the winter.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: King winds up held between two men in the tough-guy bar he starts a fight in and gives an exasperated "oh, shit" before he gets punched.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Victoria's voice is a tad lower due to suffering from a cold. And this gives Toddy an idea. Later, Victoria lowers her voice to keep up her appearances as Count Victor.
  • Topless From The Back: "Victor"/Victoria, when undressing for a bath.
  • Touché:
    Toddy: (on the food) The last time I saw a specimen like this, they had to shoot the horse!
    Waiter: (irritated) How lucky can you get? In one evening a Rockefeller (indicates Victoria) and a Groucho Marx.
    Toddy: Oh, they didn't shoot a real horse... just a costume with two waiters in it.
    Waiter: I shall think of a sharp retort while I am getting your roast chicken.
    Toddy: It's a wise man who knows when to throw in the towel.
    Waiter: And it is a moron who gives advice to a horse's ass.
    (Toddy nods "Touché!", then both Toddy and Victoria laugh when the waiter leaves.)
  • Traumatic Haircut: After Toddy develops a brilliant plan to disguise Victoria as "a gay polish female impersonator named Count Victor", Victoria first has to have her feminine hair chopped off shorter and styled into a gentleman's haircut.
  • Twelfth Night Adventure: Victoria pretends to be a gay drag queen to become rich and famous.
  • Unfocused During Intimacy: King is unable to enjoy lovemaking with Norma due to being preoccupied with his thoughts of "Victor".
  • Unable to Cry: Victoria's sobs into Toddy's chest over her awful few weeks, now capped by her clothing being ruined:
    Toddy: God, there'd been times I'd given my soul to cry like that.
    Victoria: I hate it!
    Toddy: (sighs) You wouldn't if you couldn't do it anymore.
  • Unsatisfiable Customer: Early in the film a broke Victoria attempts to cadge a free meal at a restaurant by planting a cockroach in her salad.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal:
    • Double dropped. Andrews' character is a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman, after all.
    • Invoked when "Victor" performs as Victoria then takes her wig off in front of a cheering audience. Leaving Norma cheering and King conflicted.
    • Norma is on the receiving end when Victoria reveals her true sex to her.
      Norma: (to King) YOU TWO-TIMING SON OF A BITCH! HE'S A WOMAN!!!
  • Vanity Project: Very much so, as Blake Edwards made the remake to show off his wife Julie Andrews' acting and singing skills, putting her front and center for the entire film. In this case, it worked.
  • Verbal Backspace: Victoria bursts out "here?!" in her normal voice when Cassell suggests opening in a very ritzy nightclub, and then corrects to a deeper "here," making Toddy spit back into his glass in laughter.
  • Visual Pun: Victoria dressed up in Richard's clothes and hiding inside of a closet before coming out of it and punching him.
  • When She Smiles: King Marchand notices how "Victor"/Victoria lights up when she smiles. The latter says it's an odd thing for a man to say to another man. ( At this point in the film, King's seen visual proof Victoria is female.)
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Norma loves whipping out teary Puppy-Dog Eyes to get what she wants.
    • The hotel manager accuses Victoria of doing this to avoid paying hotel rent; turns out it's not the case for she really was fainting from malnourishment.

Alternative Title(s): Victor Victoria