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Jiggle Show

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"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 Bing 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, only for the trope to be held in bad taste in the 2010s and beyond, save for a few premium cable shows.

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


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    Anime & Manga 
  • An in-universe example comes in Wacky TV Nanana's signature show Bananamesh Night. It was an old program that aired throughout the seventies, but it endured a lot of loyal viewers for its skimpy girls. it apparently was cancelled when some viewers complained about too much skin, and TV Nanana has been trying to chase a fraction of its popularity since.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garry Trudeau spent a couple of weeks in 1978 lampooning the jiggle show 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 
  • Black Mama, White Mama has plenty of breast movement. Even when Pam Grier was wearing a bra, it's loose enough to allow her breasts to jiggle independently of each other, in a way that's usually only seen in certain types of animated movies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Blake's 7 was notorious for this, to the point where radio comedy show The Burkiss Way parodied that show's take on Space Clothes with:
    "Attention earthlings! I must warn you all that unless you surrender to us immediately, we shall be forced to put on pairs of glittery tights!"
    "Not the tights! They wouldn't dare!"
    "Ooooh yes! We shall also slip into the shirts with strings up the front, get out the badly designed motorbike boots and ponce around with lots of women with no bras on!"
    "I may have my hands full here..."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • She Spies is an 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 all of the bounce that anyone can ask for.
  • The first season of Police Woman frequently entered Jiggle Show territory, with much attention to the braless breasts of the female characters, including those of the main character Sgt. Pepper Anderson (played by Angie Dickinson). This is perhaps not surprising as the show competed with Charlie's Angels. In later seasons, when the show was firmly established, the fanservice aspects was toned down.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.