Claudia: Because I wanted to twirl my dress!
It's that dainty twirl that female characters do when they wear a full skirt or dress.
In general, it's done to emphasize either how lovely the item is and/or how much the wearer loves it. It also denotes the youthful, cheerful girlishness of the character herself, or otherwise give off that impression. It's sometimes done with wedding and/or prom dresses.
A Tomboy with a Girly Streak will likely do this when she has a pretty dress she wouldn't normally wear.
Often used as a Modeling Pose (even with a miniskirt as long as it flowed).
- Trans girl Marika does this the first time she wears a Sailor Fuku in Bokura no Hentai.
- In GJ-bu, Mori-san will frequently do this in her uniform to entertain Kyoro's Meido fixation.
- In Hetalia: Axis Powers, Chibitalia twirls around after Hungary gives him (yes, him) one of her dresses to wear. Holy Roman Empire is enamoured.
- Pokémon has its girls do this from time to time.
- Sister Princess. When the sisters play 'bridal dress up' for pretend weddings with the protagonist, some of them do this. All fun and games.
- In Slayers, when Lina has a 'princess fantasy' early in the first season, it involves a pimped out dress and this trope. The girliness is likely to contrast what she's usually like.
- Wandering Son:
- Trans girl Mako does a twirl when she wears a skirt in one chapter.
- In the first episode, Nitori, who is a closeted trans girl, does a twirl when she tries on her sister's new dress.
- Disney's Cinderella gets a magic dress. Twirl occurs almost instantly, during the line "have you ever seen such a beautiful dress?".
- The girl octopus in Finding Nemo does this with her tentacles.
- Played for Laughs in Shrek Forever After when Shrek crashes a wedding early on in the Alternate Universe part of the film. No points for guessing who he's dressed as in this scene.
- In American Dreamer, "Rebecca" has a Shopping Montage, and twirls around when she buys a full-length fur coat.
- The Hasty Heart: Another rare male example. The gang asks Lachlan the Scot to demonstrate how a Scotsman makes a turn on the march, while he's wearing the kilt. They're trying to induce a Girly Skirt Twirl to find out if he's Going Commando.
- Seen in the "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" scene in Hello, Dolly!, as the girl with Dolly shows off her nice dress.
- In a male example, T.E. Lawrence does this in Lawrence of Arabia after he is given Arab-style robes to replace his British Army khakis.
- Little Shop of Horrors: In the "Somewhere That's Green" song, Audrey spins around her dream house after dusting it (since a life of a housewife is still much better than the life she's currently living).
- Thistlewit does this in Maleficent upon changing into her peasant woman form.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Disney's Mary Poppins. During the dance scene on the roof, the title character twirls so hard she goes flying for a few seconds (although the flying bit isn't focused on the skirt because it's part of the choreography).
- Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks does one in her fantasy sequence in the series' cinematic series finale. She's dreaming about her life married to Mr. Boynton.
- In Pain and Gain, Sorina spins her new designer mini dress around when she's taken on a shopping spree.
- In The Hunger Games, Katniss does the dress twirl as in the book, only instead of showing off how sparkly the dress is, the twirling makes the hem catch fire.
- Claudia Walken from the Baccano! Light Novel greets Firo this way, just because she wanted to twirl her dress.
- When the District 12 team of The Hunger Games watches the replay of the interviews in the sitting room, Katniss thinks that she seems frilly and shallow, twirling and giggling in her sparkling dress, although the others assure her that she is charming.
- The title character of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does this after somehow changing into a dress during a love song from her Hopeless Suitor.
Rebecca: So twirly!
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Web of Fear", Victoria shows off her new dress by twirling in front of Jamie, but he's more interested in his plate of sandwiches.
- Sarah Jane finds that dress in "Pyramids of Mars" and does a twirl for no. 4. Disinterestedly, he recognizes it as Victoria's.
- In The John Larroquette Show, the normally tough cop is a bridesmaid for a Cinderella themed wedding, and twirls around the room in her dress, accidentally tripping over a chair.
- In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations," Jadzia Dax does this while showing off the 23rd-century miniskirt.
Bashir: I think I'm going to like history.
- Diana Prince does this in the pilot episode and, of course, turns into Wonder Woman. She continues to do so for every Transformation Sequence.
- In BioShock Infinite, Elizabeth does this when dancing on the beach. That entire sequence's purpose is to demonstrate her innocence and childlike attitude after spending most of her life locked in a tower.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, Peach and Daisy both do this, befitting their Princess Classic style. They also weaponize it: in their up and down smash attacks, the skirt's twirl extends the hurtbox of their Super Cute Superpowers, letting them get opponents at a distance that can catch close-in fighters by surprise.