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Paid Harem

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"You know, I always loved how in the '60s Batman TV series, supervillainy was like the new rock and roll. Every supervillain had at least one hottie in their lair, as well as generic goons with their nicknames tagged on their sweaters. Where do supervillains go to get groupie chicks? Is there a bar somewhere?"

Every sufficiently decadent Casanova, criminal and villain will have at least one scantily clad floozy to serve as eye candy, fetch drinks, and slink around seductively. If the villain is sufficiently well-funded, they may have an entire harem. This applies to female villains too, with bare chested male mooks at her beck and call.

The "sultan" in this harem also has a habit of dressing the floozies in a thematically appropriate manner that coincides with their job or even criminal theme. Not surprisingly, their employer doesn't have any real affection or attachment to the harem, and will disrespect or mistreat them; sometimes dumping them on the ground when hearing bad news, ordering the floozy out when he talks shop, or outright using them as human shields/distractions in a firefight.

And of course, the paid for harem will have only nominal loyalty to their "sultan", being either extremely frisky with the hero or disappearing at the drop of a hat. It's a rare floozy that "stands by her man." The exception is if their employer specifically hires opposite gender bodyguards or domestic servants who just happen to be gorgeous and has them pose as eye candy.

Might be found in the Den of Iniquity during off-duty hours. Compare Ignored Enamored Underling and Paid-for Family. Also compare Royal Harem, where the relationship is more institutional than paid. See also I Have You Now, My Pretty and Go-Go Enslavement, where the villain tries to press a heroic lady into the harem. A Gold Digger on the other hand may see this as a viable lifestyle choice, making the villain a Sugar Daddy.

Truth in Television, this is probably a Real Life trope that has been stylized in TV.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman
    • The Riddler had Query and Echo, two Gun Bunnies he was somehow able to talk into working for him as muscle and arm candy. He recruited them when they tried robbing him after he robbed a convenience store.
    • The Penguin often surrounds himself with a bevy of beautiful babes.
  • Spider-Man's enemy the Chameleon has a group of likely-paid mistresses during his short campaign to replace the Kingpin as New York's crimelord. They are clearly afraid of him, and with good reason; he is abusive to one in one scene, hitting her simply for not peeling his grapes before bringing them to him.

    Films — Animation 
  • With a female villain, Kronk is a borderline example of this to Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove. She seems to keep him around for his strength much more than his looks, but Kuzco still seems to get the idea:
    Kuzco: So... Kronk seems, uh, nice.
    Yzma: Oh, he, um, he is.
    Kuzco: ...He's, what, in his... late twenties...?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 300, King Xerxes has one, and uses the promise of women and gold to successfully tempt Ephialtes — rejected by the Spartan army due to his deformity — into selling out his countrymen.
  • Biff's buxom blondes from the alternate 1985, in Back to the Future Part II.
  • Batman:
    • Two-Face in Batman Forever had Sugar and Spice, a pair of attractive women who represented either fluffy goodnessnote  or harsh evilnote  in very sexy ways. Although technically, they were both evil.
    • Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin has Ms. B. Haven.note  Given Freeze's obsession with his comatose wife, it's pretty clear she's only there because arm candy is the expected thing.
    • Bruce Wayne in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight does this with glee to keep up his playboy image.
  • In Clegg, Francis Wildman has a mansion filled with identically dressed models who spend all of their time lasciviously licking identical lollipops.
  • Colombiana. The protagonist is sent to kill an embezzler — an overweight, middle-aged man who nevertheless has a harem of four gorgeous lingerie-clad women to share his bed.
  • DC Extended Universe: In Justice League, following his arrest in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Lex Luthor has escaped from Arkham Asylum and is residing on a luxury yacht with the expected bevy of beautiful women. However there's no Male Gaze on the bikini girl in the swimming pool; instead there are several women dressed in Stripperiffic suits, with automatic weapons and serious expressions, guarding Luthor.
  • In the campy 1975 film adaptation of Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, Captain Seas is accompanied by two paramours, Adriana and Karen. This turns into a Brick Joke when he undergoes Brainwashing for the Greater Good and is seen at the end of The Movie working as a Salvation Army bandleader, with the two girls looking rather bored while holding collection plates and singing along.
  • Several James Bond villains have them.
  • In Jesus Christ Superstar (1973 version) Pilate always seems to have a few beautiful women in nice dresses hanging around him, not doing much of anything. King Herod is also surrounded by scantily dressed women... and men.
  • Played for Laughs in Machete Kills, though involving a Sleazy Politician instead of a Big Bad. The President of the United States gets a late night phone call from our hero. The phone is picked up by a sleepy yet hot female White House intern, who hands it to another female intern in the bed beside her, who hands it to another female intern, who hands the phone to the President.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: The stewardesses in Tony Stark's private jet double as pole dancers/strippers in Iron Man.
  • Sao Feng's Den of Iniquity in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End has bored-looking prostitutes decorating the entrance, various female drudges acting as bath attendants, and a set of twins called Lian and Park as his personal masseuses and bodyguards. When they're both killed by Mercer, he replaces them with two more women.
  • Subverted in the opening of Polar. A retired hitman is shown snorting coke and Eating the Eye Candy of the bathing beauty whose name he hasn't bothered to remember. Turns out she's a Honey Trap working with a professional hit team who kills him while he's Distracted by the Sexy.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera Rotti Largo has two floozies who double as bodyguards.
    • Amber Sweet also has two male bodyguards in bondage gear.
    • GeneCo seems to be staffed mostly by "genterns," female nurses in sexy outfits.
  • Dr. Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show has Magenta and Columbia play this, at first impression seemingly willingly. Later on it's revealed that Frank mainly has eyes for his creation Rocky, and while Columbia apparently was Frank's lover for some time, by the time of the movie she's just a groupie more interested in another of Frank's ex-flames, Eddie, and Magenta was more interested in Riff Raff.
  • Honey Swanson is a gangster moll on the lam in A Song Is Born.
  • Spaceballs: President Skroob has Marlene and Charlene, who he doesn't even bother trying to tell apart.
  • The Octopus has Silken Floss in The Spirit. Despite the implications, she's more of a Punch-Clock Villain who only works for him to pay for her PhD tuition.
  • Star Wars:
    • Jabba The Hutt has a harem of humanoid extraterrestrials around his side. Try not to think about it too hard. As explained in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars novelization:
      It explained the Hutts' need to flaunt Twi'lek dancers and other glamorous humanoids, so radically, physically different that no Hutt could possibly have found them attractive. They collected them because humanoids coveted them, and so it sent the message clearly: "I possess everything you lust after, so I have power over you."
    • Alternately, the Expanded Universe mentions that the other Hutts consider this to be very weird, perverted, sexually deviant behavior, but don't say anything to him about it because he's politically powerful on Nal Hutta. It points out specifically that Jabba knows beauty in most races, and seeks it out.
  • Lex Luthor in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. As well as in Superman itself. Miss Teschmacher clearly didn't stay with him out of love.
  • Swashbuckler: In his first scene, the Antagonistic Governor Lord Durant is taking a bath surrounded by a bevy of beautiful, scantily clad women that he shows no interest in. They do not reappear and seemingly serve no function. Presumably Durant has them because he believes it is the sort of thing an Evil Overlord is supposed to have.
  • Dr. Loveless in Wild Wild West; despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he can't have sex, having lost his genitals and the rest of his lower body in an accident, he has quite a few scantily-clad female henchmen. (All of them are skilled and cold-blooded assassins, however.) He also points out to the heroes that a Gadgeteer Genius like himself isn't necessarily all that hampered by lacking his original equipment.

  • Subverted in the first Deathlands novel "Pilgrimage to Hell". The Baron of Mocsin, Jordan Teague, has two girls by his side who don't change their bored expressions even when he uses them; not that Teague can do much as he's too fat and doped out to care.
  • Deconstructed in the Myth Adventures series with Bunny, a character initially foisted off on Skeeve as a moll by the Mob. Turns out she's hiding a phenomenal financial genius behind her Obfuscating Stupidity, and had thought quite a bit about the costs and benefits of embracing this trope beforehand.
  • One of the characters in The Supervillainy Saga, Cindy Wakowski a.k.a Red Riding Hood, is one of these and gets derisively referred to as a "henchwench." She joins the main protagonist, Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy TM, because he offers marginally more respectful treatment. They end up hooking up anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Adam West Batman show, if the villain of the week is male, he invariably has an attractive female henchman serving alongside the mooks. On rare occasions, they actually serve some purpose other than scenery.
  • Season one of Homeland features a woman who is in charge of an Arab prince's harem. Women are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a one-year term. Judging by the number of interviews the woman has to oversee, there are plenty of willing volunteers.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In the episode "Seth" (Season 3, Episode 2), the heroes go undercover in a brainwashed cult to an Earth-bound Goa'uld. Major Samantha Carter becomes part of Seth's harem.
    • Major Goa'uld have favored slaves (Lo'taur) tending to their every need, so naturally they'd include one or more sex slaves. Baal's favorite concubine fell in love with the Tok'ra Kanan while he was bonded to O'Neill, leading to Baal's ceaseless torture-resurrection-torture of the latter in "Abyss".
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series had minor character Harry Mudd, who technically does this in two appearances:
      • When he first appears in "Mudd's Women", he's accompanied by a harem of three incredibly beautiful women. However, they're not actually his women, he intends to make a fortune by selling their hands in marriage to wealthy miners.
      • In "I, Mudd", some of his androids have been fashioned in this manner. Becomes a Cool and Unusual Punishment when they get replaced by 500 copies of his nagging shrew of an ex-wife.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Used in the traditional fashion in the Mirror Universe episodes, and Quark's Dabo girls probably count too.
      • Played more seriously in "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night", when Gul Dukat is seen using Bajoran "comfort girls" for this purpose, including Kira's mother whom he manipulates into thinking he's one of the more nicer Cardassian occupiers. The most chilling thing about Gul Dukat is he actually is one of the nicer Cardassian occupiers. That's not to say he is actually nice, he just isn't into random acts of meaningless brutality. He is into calculated acts of meaningful brutality (aimed directly at anyone who displeased him rather than any random bystander). Sisko even confirms this at one point... after he's beaten the somewhat unhinged Dukat unconscious. (Dukat goes on to become Sisko's opposite as the Pa'Wraith's Emissary and has his own harem of Bajoran cultists as well.)
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Mentioned though not seen in the holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton!, where Mad Scientist Dr. Chaotica has a harem of slave girls which the players are meant to liberate.


  • In Starlight Express, the electric locomotive Electra enjoys an equal-opportunity entourage. Although they never explicitly refer to themselves as his harem, their actions tend to imply it.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, the extremely rich but quite irritating Gegeruju has his "dancing girls", a group of attractive women whose job consists of standing around in bikinis, fetching drinks, fanning him, and dancing for him and other guests at his beach resort. If you talk to them, they're quite open about only doing this because he pays. (He doesn't require sex, though. He's more of a Chivalrous Pervert than that.)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Chairman Bana keeps a couple of scantily clad dancers around his office in Argentum, which is strange because Bana is a nopon and his dancers are both human.

    Visual Novels 
  • Averted with Dennis in Double Homework. Not even his family money can get him any success with girls.

    Web Comics 
  • Parodied in the early MS Paint Adventures series Bard Quest, in which the king keeps a pair of attractive scantily-clad servants by his throne… But the king is gay, so they're two shirtless muscular men.
  • In Strange Candy the Evil Overlord has a harem which goes on strike because the metallic bikinis he requires them to wear are really uncomfortable. All of his subsequent actions are attempts to get a replacement harem.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman:
    • Batman: The Animated Series, particularly the New Adventures, does this a few times as well, including a villainess with Chippendale-esque henchmen and Mr. Freeze with women in stripperiffic parkas. When the Penguin became The Don (much like he currently is in the comic), he employed cocktail waitresses at his nightclub who were also his enforcers.
    • The Penguin in The Batman has two women dressed as kabuki-styled geishas following him around in his debut episode... who also happen to be ninjas with razor-sharp claws. They may also be robots. It's not exactly clear. Judging by their bizarre neck movements, being The Voiceless, never seeing an inch of exposed flesh, along with the Penguin being an expert bird-trainer, they may well be giant trained birds. Perhaps even mutant or genetically-engineered giant birds. Really, it's one of the series' most amusing Epileptic Trees.
  • Thugnificent in The Boondocks employs several beautiful women to lounge about his mansion, including one whose only job is to announce the presence of visitors by sultrily crooning, "ding... dong." He dubs her a "whorebell".
  • Dr. Octopus from The Spectacular Spider-Man had a pair in one episode, which is almost funny when one remembers how dorky he was before his Face–Heel Turn.

    Real Life 
  • Prince Jefri of Brunei had one harem girl write a book titled Some Girls: My Life in a Harem about the experience.
  • Colonel Gaddafi of Libya had an all-female entourage called the Amazonian Guard. He believed that his would-be assassins would be hesitant to shoot a woman. Critics of the regime found his claim to be suspect, as his female bodyguards were required to take a vow of chastity. He was friends with Italy's Silvio Berlusconi for a reason: Berlusconi shipped Italian escort girls to Africa to bribe officials into appointing Gaddafi head of the African Union. When Gaddafi fell during the Arab Spring, it was revealed that the Amazonian Guard were less bodyguards and more a private harem mainly full of women who weren't there of their own free will — which might explain why none of them stayed around to protect him when things went south.

Alternative Title(s): The Paid For Harem, Moll