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"Basic Instinct" Legs-Crossing Parody

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"Now that we've seen grandma's charade of Basic Instinct, shall we turn the TV back on?"
Andy Parsons, Mock the Week, Bad Things to Hear at Christmas

A signature moment from the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct is the scene where Femme Fatale Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is being interrogated by a group of male detectives from the San Francisco Police Department for her possible role in a violent murder, before un-crossing and re-crossing her legs (while wearing a dress) in a sexually provocative manner to expose the fact that she isn't wearing any underwear.

This scene has since become a Stock Parody, with many other works paying homage to or spoofing it, either by playing the Fanservice aspects straight again, exaggerating it, or possibly by twisting it for Fan Disservice. When Shown Their Work, the background will be considerably dark in color (not necessarily with a gradient), the short sleeveless dress and pumps will be white or off-white, and the model's hair will be in a slicked-back but not supertight ponytail. Bonus points if she has a cigarette in her right hand. Sometimes accompanied by a longcoat of a similar color.

Not to Be Confused with crossing one's legs as a "basic instinct".


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    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Basic Instinct 2 even teases a similar scene in the theatrical poster, showing Catherine sitting opposite Dr. Glass with her legs crossed, but the film itself actually settles for Edgy Backwards Chair-Sitting.
  • Deadpool 2: Deadpool has a "Basic Instinct" moment in front of Cable with partially regenerated legs. It's meant to be funny for all the wrong reasons.
    Cable: Because of you I now know what a grown man with baby balls looks like!
    DP: I'm a grower, not a shower.
  • The erotic thriller parody Fatal Instinct lampoons the scene in its theatrical poster, showing a woman sitting with her legs crossed and the tagline "Opening Soon". This scene does not happen in the film itself.
  • The early 1990s action spoof Loaded Weapon 1 parodies the scene with Destiny (Kathy Ireland) in place of Catherine Tramell. There's a howling audience sitting behind the cops, and the "gratuitous beaver shot" is an actual beaver.
  • In The Happytime Murders, Phil's client Sandra, a puppet, is interrogated by the human Agent Campbell, while Phil and Det. Edwards watch behind a panel of one-way glass, and Sandra pulls this on Campbell, but it's done so that Phil and Edwards can see, and they notice her red hair doesn't match her purple pubic hair. This ends up becoming a plot point: When they later find Sandra's Room Full of Crazy, they find a picture of a puppet father with his young daughter, whose hair is the same shade of purple. Edwards recognizes the father as the puppet Phil accidentally killed as a cop, and figures out that Sandra's the grown-up daughter, giving her a motive for framing Phil.
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux: When Michelle meets Topper at a gala, she spoofs this scene. However, rather than showing it from Topper's perspective, it's shot from behind the chair, and when she recrosses her legs she raises them all the way over her head. Also, judging by their rather loud creaking noises, her legs may need some lubricant or WD-40.
  • The 1994 movie La Cité de la peur by the French comic troupe Les Nuls includes a police interrogation sequence spoofing the scene, featuring a sensual sauerkraut eating.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The Late Late Show With James Cordon, Michael Douglas reprised his role as Detective Nick Curran in a Basic Instinct spoof, with James himself replacing Sharon Stone. After repeated leg crossing moments, Douglas eventually has to throw up.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend homages the scene as part of its season 3 promo campaign, along with several other shows.
  • Conan: When Sharon Stone herself discussed the scene during an interview with Conan, it immediately became Self-Parody when she started the conversation by crossing her legs.
  • Saturday Night Live:
  • The Nanny: "The Nanny Napper" closes with Fran getting interrogated in homage to this scene.
  • Money Heist: The Professor takes the inspector handling the Spanish Mint case, Raquel, out to dinner. From her point of view, "Salva" is a charming stranger that she has a crush on, and she doesn't know he is actually the mastermind behind the heist. However, her colleague Angel has voiced his suspicions about Salva. At dinner, Raquel invites Salva to look under the table, and he teasingly asks if this is a Basic Instinct thing (ie. she's not wearing underwear). She's pointing a gun at him under the table and intends to confirm Angel's hunch.

    Print Media 
  • Hungarian model Barbara Palvin did a homage of the scene when she was featured in Love Magazine.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A commercial for WrestleMania 21 (the theme of the commercials were "WrestleMania Goes Hollywood") had Stacy Keibler as Catherine being interrogated by Chris Jericho, with Christian and Chris Benoit as other cops in the scene. After they let her go, the elderly Mae Young takes her place and opens her legs, causing the three men to scream in horror.

    Real Life 
  • A minor British political controversy in 2023 centred on allegations from unnamed Conservative sources that Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner invoked this trope to distract Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Prime Minister's Questions. When this nonsense was published in the papers, all parties were less than impressed.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Destiny plays 20 Questions

Kathy Ireland as Miss Destiny Demeanor is interrogated by the cops

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Main / BasicInstinctLegsCrossingParody

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