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Mud Wrestling

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The debate devolved into mud-slinging. But we're not complaining!

"I mean, look at this, it's just two women fighting each other, covered in mud... heaving their large breasted bodies onto each other, touching one another, rolling around..."
The Nostalgia Critic starting to like this trope

There's something appealing about the idea of two attractive people fighting, which leads to the popularity of the Cat Fight, Wimp Fight and other related tropes. This trope takes that to the extreme by having the combatants grappling in mud. Despite its name, it doesn't have to be just mud; it can also be jello, pudding, oil, or some other substance. The result is fanservice, unambiguous pandering, and....and...sorry, what were we talking about, again?

In pre-watershed programs, wrestling in the mud can also be used as a technique to make a fight look more visceral, without the actual spilling of blood. The image on the side is a good example of that.

Can result in Pass the Popcorn. Subtrope of Covered in Mud and Fanservice Faux Fight.


    open/close all folders 

  • The notorious (and now banned) "Catfight" commercial for Budweiser ended with the two brawling, lingerie-clad models tumbling into a concrete tube, still fighting.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Incredible as it may seem for the G-rated comic, a 1970s Archie story had Betty suffer amnesia and end up being exploited as a sideshow mud wrestler.
  • Mentioned, but not played straight, in the Monica's Gang story "Summer Vacation": during a troubled camping trip, Monica gets stuck in the mud, and Marina winds up like this as well while trying to help her. Smudge then comments "Yippee! Girls fighting in the mud!" (ignoring the fact that Monica and Marina aren't even touching to begin with) and gets beaten up by the girls in response.
    Smudge: [after being beaten up] This camping trip is going to be way more fun than I thought!

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Parody Fic B'Elannarella the title character challenges beautiful astrometrix Anna Seven to "butt-naked bed wrestling in the ancient tradition of my people!" (even though no-one else has heard of this so-called tradition). Events get interrupted when the Tyrant's Royal Redshirts attack while everyone is Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Happens twice in Naruto Veangance Revelations. In Chapter 14, Sakura slaps Taliana, then the two fight while rolling around in a "muddy pussy juice pool". In Chapter 32, Sakura delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Taliana in some mud.
  • In Spoof of Honour, Rick Berman tells Brannon Braga that the moment the ratings on Star Trek: Enterprise start to fall, he's to have T'Pol go into her pon farr, "preferably while wrestling with an enormous jelly creature."
  • In the Troll Cops episode "Cat Fight", Nepeta and Maggie end up brawling in a tub filled with pudding. It Makes Sense in Context.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • ...All the Marbles has a mud wrestling scene involving the two female wrestler characters.
  • Bubble Boy has a handicap match where one of his opponents is former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler.
  • Another parody in The Daughters Of Joshua Cabe Return. When a quarrel between the three eponymous sisters deteriorates into an all-out mudfight, the witness showing up is an elderly lady who positions herself at their front foor and, as Cabe finally comes around the corner of the house, calmly comments, "Can't make out who's winning!" The entire scene was edited out for the reruns.
  • The first Django film had the hooker mud wrestling scene halfway through the film.
  • In Fear has a decidedly unsexy Rare Male Example occur as Tom and Max's tussle in the fresh mud very quickly turns into an attempted No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Another male/male example with Neo and Smith in The Matrix Revolutions. The mud fighting scenes come near the end of the final battle and includes all too briefly some muddy grappling and straddling.
  • Happens in the 1999 film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation has Mileena vs. Sonya (which inspired the page quote).
  • Old School features this as one of the fraternity events. One of the fraternity members, an old guy named Blue, winds up having a fatal heart attack when he's supposed to wrestle with a pair of topless coeds.
  • Stripes. While in a mud wrestling bar Private Dewey "Ox" Oxburger (John Candy) has a match against two female wrestlers, and ends up with both of their bikini tops.
  • There's a highly gratuitous male-on-male one in Thor, between Thor and a bulky security guard. Complete with slo-mo and floodlights.

  • Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.: Two unbaked, female-sculpted golems duke it out in a mud pit for the entertainment of a crowd, and wind up reducing one another to inanimate clay. Their managers then shovel the clay back into molds and re-cast spells which grant animation in readiness for the combatants' next performance.
  • In Thud!, Angua and Sally square up for a fight in a muddy underground tunnel. Sally eventually defuses the situation by pointing out that if they're going to fight, they should make some money by selling tickets.
  • Subverted in John Varley's Wizard, when Robin and Gaby settle a grievance by fighting a naked hand-to-hand duel in a muddy field. The incident is treated seriously, the descriptions focus on their combat tactics rather than Fanservice, and there are no witnesses around to gawk.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy is complaining about her work at the fast food restaurant Doublemeat Palace.
      Buffy: I could wrestle naked in grease for a living and still be cleaner than after a shift at the Doublemeat.
      Willow: Plus, I'd visit you at work every single day.
    • Jenny Calender tells Giles how she went to the Burning Man festival over the summer break which had, among other things, naked mud dances. The Stuffy Brit is noticeably distracted by this mental image.
    • In the final episode, Buffy gets annoyed over the mutual jealousy of her two vampire ex-boyfriends, and suggests putting them in a room together so they could fight out their frustrations. She then adds with a certain amount of relish, "There could be oil involved..."
  • Community has two examples. In a fantasy sequence, Annie and Britta end up fighting in a pool full of foam while dressed in cheerleader uniforms. In a non-fantasy sequence, Annie and Britta are trying to raise money to help clean up with Gulf Oil Spill and end up getting the contents of a drum of oil dumped on them and then end up fighting. Much to their mutual disgust, they raise far more money unintentionally while wrestling than they did while asking people to help the environment.
  • CSI: NY has a variation involving a club where male patrons can take on a bikini-clad opponent in a liquid-filled pit. Her act begins with a scene straight out of Flashdance...only with lube instead of water.
  • Drake & Josh has a twist on this in one episode with the two title characters wrestling not in mud but in a pool of chocolate milk.
  • Fort Boyard has one challenge featuring mud wrestling, with the female contestant trying to get past the wrestler to grab a key and exit the room. Later, two candidates would fight a couple of wrestler.
  • As does its Spanish counterpart El gran juego de la oca, where a contestant must complete a challenge in the mud while being hindered by a female wrestler.
  • GLOW (2017): Cherry and Carmen wrestle and a mud wrestling show to get money to pay back Cherry's gambling debt.
  • The 1997 BBC adaptation of The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling turns the fight in the churchyard between Molly Seagrim and Goody Brown into this, making it less violent than in the book (where there's more blood and toplessness).
  • In the Knight Rider episode "Custom K.I.T.T." a stray ricochet just happens to spring a leak in an oil barrel — in exactly the right place for the Designated Girl Fight seconds later.
  • The L Word: "She went lesbian Turkish oil wrestling?!"
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: while watching Boggy Creek 2: And the Legend Continues, Tom Servo gets quite excited when the two female cast members get their jeep stuck in the mud, in anticipation of this trope. When they do fall in the mud and start squabbling, Servo feels ashamed of himself and questions if this is what he really wants.
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "The Leaping of the Shrew," an argument between Sam and a girl soon degenerates into mud wrestling. Al, watching them, snarks, "You guys should wear bikinis and charge admission."
  • Relic Hunter: In the episode "Transformation", the final confrontation between the heroine Sydney and the female Monster of the Week Turley leads to them falling into a mud pit and finishing the fight there. To add to the fanservice potential, Turley's shirt has come open to her navel, exposing her bra. Sydney lampshades it all by asking the bystanders if they're enjoying the show. You can check it out here.
  • There's a male parody in the Robin of Sherwood episode "Alan a Dale", where Robin and Guy attempt to fight by a river but fall into the mud, and end up thrashing around for several minutes in a futile attempt to land blows on each other.
  • When it's Other Realm Election time in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hilda and Zelda disagree on an issue and end up mud wrestling.
  • Referenced in Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Alex and Kelly are having a (staged) fight about Screech...
    "Ladies, please settle this in a civilised way....mud wrestle for me!"
  • Happens in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World when Marguerite gets into a Cat Fight with the mind-controlled Veronica and they fall into the only nearby mud pool.
  • This is another of those indignities inflicted on Sergeant Dori Doreau in Sledge Hammer!, when she has to rescue Sledge from a beating from two women putting on a mud-wrestling show in a bar. She sighs, leaps in, and subdues the elusive perp.
  • Step by Step: One episode had Frank's disreputable brother come to visit. At one point, Frank and his brother come home extremely late because the brother claimed they needed to stop at a strip club so he could make a phone call, then threw Frank's car keys into the mud-wrestling pit.
  • Referenced on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody when Zack witness a Catfight and wishes they were fighting in pudding.
  • Survivor features variations of this many, many times
  • Lola and Zoey have one in Zoey 101. While wearing low-cut prom dresses.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • What most everyone can agree to is that mud matches always suck. Some people do disagree, Ivory even stating she believes the fans should get about one comedy match a year(in reference to her "Turkey Bowl Match" with Jacqueline), yet even she admitted to being frustrated with all the substance matches happening in the WWF and wasn't too thrilled to see herself booked in one.
    • The original Sheik vs Tiger Jeet Singh is incidentally one of the main reason for the negativity surrounding these. These two men were among the hardest of the hardcore wrestlers in history but were completely incapable of putting on a good mud match when they wrestled one in the 1970s. Watching them stumble around like crazy and accidentally fall on their asses after attempting haymakers made this one of the worst worked matches of all time.
    • The 1986 David Von Erich memorial card featured a mud wrestling match between Missy Hyatt and Sunshine.
    • Miss Hancock had a mud match prior to her Bubble Boy role with Major Gunns in WCW and she seemed to have suffered some kind of injury from it. Not bad enough to refuse more matches of the type though.
    • Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler (Miss Hancock again) had a gravy bowl match on Raw to celebrate Thanksgiving. They managed to have a spot (Trish being thrown in from the stage) and it quickly ended with a submission hold.
    • To celebrate Christmas Torrie and Stacy had an Eggnog match on Smackdown. There was a lot of slipping and sliding but attempts to do many wrestling moves anyway.
    • Before a comparatively normal match against manager José Chaparro in New Wrestling Stars, the baby face Black Rose had to first beat Sexy Juliette The Huntress in a mud pool.
    • Melina lost a "pudding match" to Candice Michelle at (the second) ECW One Night Stand. Candice almost made her drown in the stuff.
    • Kevin Nash forced Madison Rayne to referee a mud wrestling match between her Beautiful People stablemates Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky while he had control of TNA Impact. Well he tried to but ended up having to pay them.
    • Santino Marella's "pig pin" match with Vickie Guerrero, excuse us, Santina's match, basically degenerated into this.
    • A rare example from an all woman promotion came from LLF in October 2014 when Alicia and Lady Jaguar had an "Oil Fight". Unlike most examples the match was expected to take place in the ring, a kiddy pool near the edge containing the substance, which means it avoided most of the weaknesses associated with substance matches but was nonetheless transparent Fanservice padding in a feud that had previously seen them in a bull terrier match and would go on to see them in a coffin match, a casket match, a street fight and culminate in a bloody mask vs hair match.

    Video Games 

  • The Handbook of Heroes: From "Flaky Fighter", it's what Fighter's watching on his Magic Mirror that's a fantasy television.
  • Shortpacked! has Ethan fighting the Author Avatar, and Robin pushes them into a tub of pudding.
  • Skin Horse: The female staff of Annex One, including lesbian ("seven on the Kinsey scale") Gerda and sapient canine Sweetheart, turn out to watch Tip and Konstantin mud wrestle. The two talk out their differences. The women, cranky at not getting to see any action, accidentally start a mud wrestling session, though when Tip chews them out they join forces to drag him in as well (and then, finally, Konstantin joins the fight). Gavotte, office supervisor and literal swarm of bees shows up, chases them all back to work, and then laments the fact that she wasn't invited.

    Web Videos 
  • The contest to choose The Nostalgia Chick came down to three finalists, so the The Nostalgia Critic declared they would settle it by mud wrestling. All three women flatly refused, so he just chose Lindsay Ellis and the other two anyway. Then asked them if they'd do the mud wrestling anyway. Nope.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Runaway", there's a brief scene where Toph (an Earthbender) and Katara (a Waterbender) have an angry sparring match, with mud as the inevitable result.
  • Beavis And Butthead once tried to get into a mud wrestling match, after practising between themselves.
  • In The Crumpets, Caprice and Cassandra fight in the mud after the latter is revealed to be the girlfriend of the boy that's adored by the former.
  • The first "Fandemonium" episode of Celebrity Deathmatch had this between Carmen Elektra and Jenny McCarthy, with Howard Stern as a guest referee. (And it was actually tame compared to other matches that were able to combine Fanservice and Fan Disservice in one.)
  • In Family Guy, there's a scene where Peter visits a megamart and accidentally breaks a big jar of oil on the floor. Two women in American Gladiators-style outfits wander by for no reason and get into a spontaneous oil wrestling match.
  • Kim Possible and Shego once have a fight in a spa that, at one point, has then wrestling in the mud bath.
  • The Simpsons; Presumably, this is what happens at Mud City, one of many places Homer looks for Princess Kashmir on "Homer's Night Out".
  • A non-Fanservice-y version takes place in The Smurfs (1981) episode "Mud Wrestling Smurfs", where the Wartmongers wrestle with each other in a mud-soaked pit, and when the Smurfs are captured investigating where the mud is coming from, one of the Smurfs has to go into the pit to wrestle a Wartmonger.
  • In Teen Titans Raven and Terra have a fight in a big pool of mud, and despite both having long range telekinetic powers, they do end up grappling hand to hand a couple times.