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Jiggle Show

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We're sure most people watch it for the story...right?

"See this is the brilliance of the show. I say always keep them running. All the time running. Run Yasmine! Run like the wind!"
Chandler about Baywatch, Friends

In 1975, über-producer Aaron Spelling came up with an outrageous idea — a TV show about three female detectives who run around without bras. Back then, women rarely had leading roles in hour-long series, and even though many women did run around without bras, they certainly did not do so on TV. Charlie's Angels changed all that, introducing a spellbound nation to the Jiggle Show, a genre that featured shows with a whole lot of women running in slow-motion. Or at least running without bras. Some of them even had plots and stuff.note  Sorta.

The "jiggle concept" didn't have to involve slow motion or even actual jiggling, but just lots and lots of scoop necks and bending way over. Top executive Fred Silverman (hired away from CBS for this purpose) came up with dozens of jiggle sitcoms, notably Three's Company and The Love Boat. The genre reached its zenith between 1978 and 1981, when producers tried to insert gratuitous skin into increasingly inappropriate shows, most notably the first season of The Facts of Life, a show set in a children's boarding school.


While in the 1980s, audiences soured on the concept and bras came back into fashion, the use of sexy women to sell a show never truly went out of style, as demonstrated by Married... with Children. In the 1990s, Baywatch, which combined women and Slow Motion, launched a wave of syndicated "jiggle" action shows, while the Fox network became known for its raunchiness during the 2000s.

While in the 2010s, such egregious showcases were now held in bad taste, cable shows such as Game of Thrones and Lost Girl owe their popularity in no small part to its use of seductive imagery. Of course, by observation, the focus on jiggling has shifted to the buttocks through the popularization of "twerking".

See also Girls Behind Bars, Gainaxing and the Video Game tropes Jiggle Physics and Panty Fighter.



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  • Scientists (and programmers) from New Zealand's "Shock Absorber Sport" have created a "Bounce-O-Meter simulator" to illustrate how well their firm's sports-bra works. The web page gets lots of hits, not necessarily from women looking to buy the product.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Colorful: Pretty much the entire basis of the series, which was a more-or-less plot-free ecchi about men being obsessed with panties.
  • The anime adaptation of High School Dx D shamelessly flaunts the amount of Gainaxing going on, having on-screen breasts not only bounce everywhere but make sound effects, and even adding whole new Filler material that wasn't on the novels for the sake of more Fanservice (most notably having the girls lose their clothes mid-battle just to show their boobs even more). The main character even learns an ability that lets him hear what breasts are "saying". An English voice-actress also said that the breasts making noises was the hardest part of the show to get used to.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garry Trudeau spent a couple of weeks in 1978 lampooning the concept in Doonesbury, showing network execs trying to think like nine-year-olds while examining the "cleavage situation" on Spa, their proposed brainless sitcom.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Trope Maker: Charlie's Angels. The show made a point of having the heroines run and jump without bras. Unlike many of its successors, it was also quite plot-heavy and would have been a decent detective show without the fan service.
  • Trope Codifier: Baywatch has frequent slow-motion shots of running women in bikinis.
  • In Charmed (1998), the Halliwell sisters have a noticeable preference for wearing very low-cut and/or form-fitting tops. The actresses have been known to complain about the wardrobe choices in later interviews.
  • V.I.P. (Vallery Irons Protection), an Affectionate Parody of Charlie's Angels starring Pamela Anderson.
  • She Spies, another Affectionate Parody of Charlie's Angels, which could be seen as Charlie's Angels, but with everyone in on the joke. In fact, when they dropped a lot of the self-referential humor and turned into a straight action-adventure series in the second season, it didn't work.
  • Battle Of The Network Stars, in addition to three competitions in swimwear, had running relays and an obstacle course in the pre-jog bra era. Catching a football was also an excuse for slow-motion replays.
  • Despite having a plot more akin to Knight Rider, Thunder in Paradise has so many pool scenes and enough action girls of the week it probably fits here.
  • The Facts of Life began this way. With high-school-aged girls dressed skimpily, the show is a little disturbing to watch now. Season two was retooled and toned down.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The main hook of the show was seeing Billie Piper playing a prostitute dressed in an assortment of lingerie and skimpy outfits, and the advertising plays this up every chance it gets. Piper even had to warn her young fans from Doctor Who not to watch the show.
  • Prison drama OZ has the Show Within a Show "Miss Sally's Schoolyard", supposedly an educational show aimed at young children. It, and its successor exercise program "Sally-cize", are pretty blatantly this.
  • The Client List is the rough American equivalent of Secret Diary, complete with similar sexy advertising, only with Jennifer Love Hewitt instead of Billie Piper. It can come as a shock to see this airing on Lifetime, given what that network is most famous for.
  • Ground Force is a serious gardening show, and certainly wasn't intended as a jiggle show, but the main female presenter Charlie Dimmock's tendency to jiggle and very obvious aversion to bras attracted quite some attention. At least in some circles, this made the show Best Known for the Fanservice.
  • Friends:
    • The girls on the show, and especially Rachel, are still well-known for their nipples often showing through their clothes. Fans tend to assume that this is because of a lack of undergarments, though Jennifer Aniston has said in interviews that she usually wore a bra and it was "just the way her breasts are".
    • In-universe, also the only reason the guys watch Baywatch.
  • Lost Girl is an example from The New '10s, where all the women wear bras (and thus don't jiggle) but so much attention is spent on the protagonist's cleavage that fans have invented a special term, "Boobs O'Clock", for it. The fact that she's a supernatural creature who has to have sex often or else she'll die doesn't exactly lower the amount of Fanservice.
  • The original The Dukes of Hazzard was often called a jiggle show, even though the main female character Daisy Duke usually wore a bra and didn't even show much cleavage. The show did have rather a lot of Fanservice (including Daisy's eponymous shorts), though, especially for a family-friendly show.
  • Deconstructed in Dollhouse: the series is partly about hot women going undercover in situations designed to give fanservice opportunities, but they're explicitly in-universe being abused and sexually-exploited, using an inherently scary and immoral technology that will potentially end up destroying human civilisation.
  • Wonder Woman: Lynda Carter taught Baywatch how it is done. "Amazon Hot Wax" features this scene complete with slow motion, framing, and the all of the bounce that anyone can ask for.
  • Early 1979 saw three knock-offs from Animal House that took the trope to the extreme: CBS' Co-Ed Fever, NBC's Brothers and Sisters (not to be confused with the much later Brothers & Sisters), and ABC's Delta House. All of them faced severe censorship troubles before airing and three of them were canned after a few weeks (Co-Ed was cancelled after one episode).

    Western Animation 
  • Much like the Dukes of Hazzard example, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was considered by critics to be a Saturday morning jiggle show. Being a take off on Charlie's Angels, the namesake "Teen Angels" wore similar outfits which wouldn't be deemed appropriate for a kid-oriented show at the time (and considering we're speaking of girls who appear to be in their early teens...).
  • In-Universe: In the Family Guy episode "Peter TV", The Side-Boob Hour was a show on Peter's network dedicated to showing the side parts of boobs peeking out from women's clothing and costumes. Unlike most examples, it didn't have any jiggling, but none of the women featured (or Peter) wore bras.
  • Many of the many pokes aimed at the Fox network by The Simpsons have to do with its association with the genre. A particularly scathing burn came in "You Kent Always Say What You Want", where Kent Brockman and Lisa switch back and forth between a Fox reality show about stewardesses in bikinis and a Fox News show describing how liberals are outraging America in their opinion. Homer switches between excitement and outrage depending on the show.
  • In the animated adaptation of of the Swiss comic Titeuf, the titular schoolboys are entranced by their school nurse, the one nicknamed Double-Airbags, and the way she moves. For a children's animation, this is perhaps something to be considered as Fanservice for any watching fathers.