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Bridge Bunnies
aka: Bridge Bunny

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The Bridge Bunnies in their natural habitat.
"Do I LOOK like I believe in equality for women?" roared Zarkendorf, gesturing at his scantily-clad console operators.

Someone other than The Captain needs to actually run the Cool Starship, which is where the Bridge Bunnies come in. They're a few young, attractive twentysomething women (see Office Lady) who practically live on The Bridge, and deal with opening hailing frequencies, giving orders to the pilots of the Humongous Mecha squadrons, reporting that the Readings Are Off the Scale, activating the Applied Phlebotinum, repeating whatever the computer is saying, warning of Negative Space Wedgies, and the like. A staple of Japanese anime shows that feature large capital ships—technically, said shows will usually include male personnel on the bridge, but the bunnies are much more likely to get names (and fans), unless said others are genuine characters and not scenery (as mentioned below).

Off duty, they're frequently romantically paired with minor characters or can be the Girl of the Week. They're invariably female, although a token male junior bridge officer may be sufficiently intimidated by them to serve as Comic Relief. Token males in this position will also likely be swinging their bat the other way unless someone else on the crew fills that role. Depending on the protagonist's role on the ship, Those Two Guys may also work on the bridge with the Bunnies.

Less common in Western shows these days, where bridge personnel are more likely to be competent professional officers of both sexes. Women on the bridge aren't necessarily Bridge Bunnies per se, nor are junior officers doing menial jobs... but a bridge full of young, pretty female junior officers, and on which all of the senior officers with real authority are male, is a textbook example of the trope (compare Office Lady). Go back far enough, and most western shows will completely lack any sort of female bridge personnel (their inclusion was considered very radical in the original Star Trek) with the understanding of naval warships being an inherently manly profession (look at any major warship on either side of the classic Star Wars films).

A specialized version of Mission Control, with all the twists therein possibly applicable. They occasionally serve as Those Two Girls, commenting on the action and what's going to happen next.

Example subpages:

Other examples

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    Comic Books 
  • Jayne's fantasy sequence in the Serenity comic Better Days involves him commanding a ship crewed entirely by Bridge Bunnies.
  • The Marvel Mangaverse version of the Fantastic Four has Alicia Harkness and Agatha Harkness serving as Bridge Bunnies to Reed Richards.
  • The post-Crisis, corporate tycoon version of Lex Luthor surrounded himself with attractive young female staffers whose corporate uniforms were low-cut blouses and blazers, very short mini-skirts and high heels.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): All of the bridge crew on the spaceship Hippolyta are young women with figures that are conventionally attractive, however every single member of the crew in the fleet is a female—though many are not attractive by human standards—and the only time men are ever on the Hippolyta is as prisoners or freed slaves being helped somewhere out of the empire's reach.

    Fan Works 
  • Evangelion 303: The commanding center in the Distler Base is managed by a bunch of technicians. Maya Ibuki is the most prominent of them, and Makoto and Shigeru seldom show up, but most of them are not given names, distinctive faces or personalities.
  • HERZ: After the battle of 2015, NERV's Bridge Bunnies were promoted and replaced with new operators. They are introduced in chapter 1:
    "That big bald fellow with the beard is Col Peter Strasser. Used to be from the Third Branch in Germany. He's our deputy commander and concurrently chief of Section 3, that is, Operations. Those three are our bridge operators. From the right - 2nd Lt Mochida, 1st Lt Igarashi, and 2nd Lt Ito. I used to sit where Ito is working now. The lady in the lab coat is Dr Ibuki Maya. She's our Chief Scientific Officer."
  • A Running Gag in Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space involves the Space Rangers being Mistaken for Gay due to their campy hero costumes. When Captain Proton cites the large number of glamorous babes working in every alien-fighting organisation, reporter Buster Kincaid says that only proves the men are gay, as otherwise they'd be too Distracted by the Sexy to work.
  • In Nepeta Quest 2011, Scoria is placed in a simulation of an Alternian admiral, and notes with glee that she now has these, even calling them "bridge bunnies".
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide adds Haruna Ieil to the usual rooster of Maya, Hyūga, and Aoba. She is mainly there to function as New Meat, as she reacts with panic and/or horror to situations surrounding Evangelion and Angel combat that the more experienced main trio has gotten rather desensitized to.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Galaxy Quest plays this trope snarkily straight. Gwen DeMarco's official capacity is inherited from her character in the Show Within a Show, Tawny Madison. Her job is to repeat everything the ship's computer says, word-for-word and order it to do everything. And they need her to do it, as the computer only obeys her. Lampshaded into a pile of smoking ash about three-quarters of the way through the movie:
    Gwen: Listen - I have one job to do on this ship, and it's stupid, but I'm gonna do it!
  • Likewise in the Star Trek parody Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, where the primary job of the helmswoman is to look darn good and make fun of the Captain/Emperor. The extras at the back of the bridge are also all female (and all in high heels).
  • Despite having been a clear Bridge Bunny in the original TV series (and subsequent movies), Uhura in Star Trek (2009) is portrayed as smart, competent, and an aversion to this trope.
  • In Arena, the control room of Logan's illegal gladiator combat broadcast is operated by Kawaii and Kaneko, a pair of attractive young women who spend half their time responding to barked orders by hitting buttons on consoles and the other half of the time being eye candy.
  • Marlene and Charlene from Spaceballs. "Chew your gum!"
  • Lampshaded in Carry On Spying. The captured heroes are taken to the villain's Elaborate Underground Base, which is full of women in Spy Catsuits bustling about.
    Villain: This is our headquarters.
    Charlie Bind: [eyeing a bridge bunny's posterior] Looks more like hindquarters to me!
  • Space Mutiny had Bridge Bunnies who were downright Playboy Bunnies. They were wearing singlets and everything. (Granted, some other bridge staff wore actual uniforms, but still...)

  • Starships in David Weber's Honor Harrington cycle tend to have a high number of females aboard, but the author usually avoids invoking it as this trope. One female character, however, is called out in-story on the disproportionally high number of bishonens in her bridge crews.
  • The Past Doctor Adventures novel The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham is a deconstruction of Gerry Anderson's work, including UFO (1970). The bridge bunnies of SILHOET (an expy of SHADO) are the daughters of the rich and powerful — women who'd normally be models, actresses or trophy wives, but as much of Earth is a dystopia, SILHOET gives them a secure position in an influential organisation to curry favour with their parents.
  • In The Dresden Files, Molly Carpenter's mindscape is presented as being the bridge of the old USS Enterprise, complete with these. And a Red Shirt Molly whose job is to die at the first sign of trouble, because old habits die hard.

  • In Sluggy Freelance Zoe and Gwynn take on this role during the "Stick Figures in Space" arcs.
  • Subnormality: "I did establish a 50-trillion dollar interstellar fleet of exploration for solely the purpose of viewing thousands of female cadets in jumpsuits of a tightly-fitting nature! And I did personally design those jumpsuits, and your Honor they did hug and cling as though a koala in a windstorm! And I did leer! How I did leer! Never have you seen such leerings!"
  • El Goonish Shive: Tedd decides not to play Star Trek Online since he can't have a crew of bridge squirrels.
  • Outsider: Justified on a species-wide level by the Loroi. Their males are much smaller than the females and only make up about 10% of their population, and are held in protective status on the Loroi worlds, which means the Loroi military is entirely female. Additionally, Loroi females by and large are very attractive by human beauty standards. Thus, every Loroi ship's bridge is going to be staffed by pretty ladies.
  • Gender-Inverted in Grrl Power with Cora's crew of extremely sexy maliens in skintight suits. In case you haven't guessed, she's friends with Dabbler.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Legion Of Superheroes animated series, Triplicate Girl serves as a three-person Bridge Bunny team.
  • L'Etranger from Max Steel has his submarine, the Akina, staffed solely by female SIRENS in full-body (yet form-fitting) armor and helmets.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, the Fireside Girls sometimes become this when they have to help pilot inventions.
  • In Wakfu, the bridge of Prince Adale's submarine is filled with almost identical bridge bunnies, also speaking in unison (except for when they're panicking).

    Real Life 
  • Lafayette Ron Hubbard managed to take this to levels reached in few fictional examples: While living as a self-styled Commodore on the "Royal Scotsman", the flag ship of his fleet, he had a Commodore's Messenger Organization (read: errand kids) tasked with duties like lighting his cigarettes, dressing him and repeating his orders to members of the crew. They were mostly young girls dressed in hot pants and halter tops.

Alternative Title(s): Bridge Bunny