While the French Maid costume has some basis in the black and white uniforms once worn by actual maids in the 19th century, the original costumes were almost never as fan servicy as those found in modern times. The attitude is also part of the package, inasmuch as she is essentially the soubrette of the old French comedy: she will be extremely flirty, often with a feather duster. She also acts snippy, pert and cheeky to everyone who isn't her employer (and sometimes him) and superior to any of the other servants except the butler and maybe the cook. The French Maid will speak with an over-exaggerated French accent and use Gratuitous French.
Contrast to Meido, which is a Japanese concept developed from this one. The key difference being that a Meido is intended to be Moe and subservient, while a French Maid is sexy and saucy. Contrast even further to the Scullery Maid, who is decidedly less sexy, but has much more power in the plot.
For the costume rather than the character, see French Maid Outfit.
- Booktrack, an online bookseller, created this ad featuring Petra Nemcova as a French maid. Bonus points for referencing the classic Maxell ad.
- The Catwoman Elseworlds comic Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham was set in an alternate reality were Catwoman filled Batman's role as protector of Gotham. Where Batman has Alfred, a loyal Battle Butler who acts as Mission Control and patches his wounds, Catwoman had Brooks, a maid whose main purpose seems to be sexing up the story by wearing a skimpy French Maid Outfit, vaguely dusting the mansion while in suggestive poses, and encouraging Selina to get laid.
- Archie Comics: The Lodge family have some of these in their mansion. Once Archie was too attentive to Veronica's new French maid.
- Lucy dressed in a G-rated version in one Peanuts strip where Snoopy wanted a "pretty serving girl" to bring his dinner.
- "Yvette, The French Maid" (pictured above) in the movie Clue. She also wore a relatively modest version of the sexy French Maid's outfit. Although she apparently wasn't REALLY French, or a maid...
- Given that you could use her... assets as a place to set your drink down, provided you didn't mind a little spillage from the bounce and jiggle, the fact that her French maid uniform is considered "modest" should tell you something about this trope.
- Louise from 8 Women fits here as well, though she's not as blatantly sexual (usually).
- The Maids, who take the whole Perverse Sexual Lust thing too far.
- The 1943 movie Heaven Can Wait (1943), directed by Ernst Lubitsch, features a prime example of this trope, with the character of "Madame". She lacks the classic black and white maid uniform, but acts very flirtatiously with the main character, and has one of the most over the top (fake) french accents you're ever likely to hear.
- You'd expect this trope a lot in porn, and there is, although it's more common in softcore erotica. The mainstream, tame soft-core Young Lady Chatterley from the 1980s includes two examples of this type, slightly averted since the maids are Cockney, not French. But the trope is definitely played up for its erotic appeal, as the maids flirt, flounce, and repeatedly lose their uniforms.
- In Ninotchka we get to see three, sexy French maids.
- Babbette in Scavenger Hunt (1979), who dresses in the requisite French Maid Outfit, and combines this trope with Brainless Beauty.
- In a long ago Tonight Show with Johnny Carson skit, Juliet Prowse portrayed a spy pretending to be a French Maid.
- In 'Allo 'Allo! Yvette and Mimi might technically have been waitresses, but they were the incarnation of this trope in everything except name.
- In an episode of Scrubs, Turk fantasizes about being married to Elliot. Carla (Turk's wife) is portrayed in the same fantasy as being the maid, complete with uniform, with whom Turk is having an affair.
- The French TV show Palace averts this. Since it is set in a five-star hotel, there are of course a whole bunch of French maids around, but every time (Once per Episode) characters comment that the shows need a Ms. Fanservice or the viewers will stop watching, the girl they bring in is not wearing a maid outfit. Actually, she only wears a thong most of the time.
- An episode of CSI: NY involved an expensive New York maid service that supplied maids who met the requirements of this trope.
- In American Horror Story: Murder House, the maid seems to be this trope. She is indeed Ms. Fanservice, to all of the males in the house. The women see her as a much older, more matronly maid. There turns out to be a very good reason for this later in the season. She also is depicted as a (relatively) normal person and is quick to point out her independence despite her job and unique predicament.
- Jeanette the maid in the murder mystery episode of Saved by the Bell. Turns out she's also a Clingy Jealous Girl and is a brief suspect in the game.
- Used for the obligatory Double Entendre in The Goodies.
- "This car has parts from all over the world. British made, German made..." (Bill removes girl in a French Maid Outfit from the car) "French maid."
- Butler enters with two hot maids bearing tea trays. "While you are waiting sir, I thought you'd like tea and crumpets."
- Invoked in the Decoy episode "Night Light" by a maid who speaks with a heavy French accent despite not actually knowing the language so her employer will think she's classy.
- Parodied in Cold Case "The Pledge", where a frat pledge is dressed as french maid as form of hazing.
Vera: He's cute. French maids do it for me too.
- Give me a Rap Music Video and when discussing the man's influence, he may or may not have playboy french maids cleaning his house or servicing the guests.
- The music video for Joe Jackson's "Stepping Out" features a French maid acting out a Cinderella fantasy.
- Deborah Harry's "French Kissing in the USA" depicts a number of French maids as extras.
- Magda in Tanz Der Vampire doesn't wear the traditional frilly maid uniform, but she's put into an equally objectifying tavern-wench costume that suits her role as the inn's girl of all trades.
- Jacob, the Camp Gay, crossdressing housekeeper in La Cage aux folles is an amusing, rare, (technically) male example and possible Affectionate Parody of this.
- Some productions of Così Fan Tutte make Despina one of these.
- In Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest, there is a stereotypical French maid named Fifi who exemplifies all of these traits.
- BeTrapped! has Juliette, a maid very similar to Yvette.
- All female maids in The Sims are dressed like this. (The male maids are dressed in a Fanservice way as well, with an unbuttoned shirt, exposing the chest.)
- In PvP, Robbie hires a French maid called Suitecannes (pronounced Sweet Can) to staff his mansion. It turns out she was a call girl who dressed as a maid because she thought it was his fetish.
- In Held Within Strip #27 Susie accidentally wishes that her genie girlfriend Jenny summon a teacher that has been giving Susie a hard time, and turn her into a French Maid. Jenny, of course, does so. When the teacher admits to blackmailing students into having sex with her for passing grades Susie also makes her speak only (bad) French.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Invasion of the Ferb Snatchers", Major Monogram hired two French Maids to clean the secret lair.
- Parodied in The Flintstones, where Wilma had Betty pretend to be a French maid to impress Stony Curtis.
- The Jetsons: When Jane goes shopping for a robot, in the first episode ("Rosey the Robot"), one of the models is a French maid robot in a metallic French maid outfit.