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Music / Pussycat Dolls

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"Pedicure, manicure, kitty cat claws
The way she climbs up and down them poles
Lookin' like one of them Puddy-Cat Dolls
Tryin' to hold my woodie back through my drawers"
Eminem, "Smack That"

The Pussycat Dolls are a Pop / R&B Girl Group who originally began as a burlesque dance troupe back in The '90s. At the Turn of the Millennium, the troupe began foraying into glamour magazines and making a name for themselves in the eyes of the public. After shuffling their members and recruiting Nicole Scherzinger (formerly of the Popstars-created group "Eden's Crush"), pop music was next on the agenda, and after launching themselves with the mega-successful single "Don't Cha", their debut album PCD was released in 2005. Another album, Doll Domination, followed in 2008 in spite of the group losing Fiery Redhead Carmit Bachar.

With the release of their music came much controversy, as terrified parents and Media Watchdogs caused a scene over their explicit outfits, dance moves and song lyrics. What really set them off, though, was the fact that in some instances the Dolls were marketed to girls as young as six. The group were even about to release a line of dolls targeting that age group when various parental organisations caused an outcry, causing them to be shelved. Though other popstars such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera had donned Hotter and Sexier images which pushed the boundaries of taste before, the Pussycat Dolls were pretty much the Trope Codifier in making overtly sexual pop with an image to match.

The group also became involved with some internal politics which spawned numerous, ahem, catfights. After Carmit left the group in 2008 to work on her own projects, there was a television series devoted to finding the next "Doll", however the winner opted to embark on a solo career just weeks after her victory. There was also much squabbling over Nicole being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, and in response to this, each Doll got her own solo track on the deluxe edition of Doll Domination.

It was all too much though, and by early 2010, the group imploded. Jessica was the first to leave following her sustaining a back injury while on tour, and she was very shortly followed by Kimberly, Ashley and Melody - while each of them thanked fans for their support, they all cited the favoritism Nicole received as a deciding factor in their departures. In later years the majority of the girls have remained close, with Melody giving Carmit a "Special Thanks" mention in her first solo work, Melody, Ashley and Jessica being bridesmaids at Kimberly's wedding and Carmit attending Jessica's wedding.

It was originally reported that the Pussycat Dolls would return in 2013, but with an all-new lineup (which included former members of Paradiso Girls and Girlicious), but Robin Antin announced that the new group would not be using the Pussycat Dolls name, but instead be named "G.R.L", however in 2019, it was confirmed that the Dolls would be reuniting.

Unfortunately, that reunion was short-lived as well. In September of 2021, Robin Antin filed a lawsuit against Nicole accusing her of extortion - claiming Nicole had suddenly refused to take part in the tour unless she was given full creative control, "final decision-making authority" and a larger share of the group's business venture (75% vs the 49% she already had). Nicole denied this and filed her own lawsuit against Antin for breach of conduct and mismanagement, claiming (among other things) that Antin had mismanaged the tour so badly that Nicole had had to use her own private funds to try to make things work.

In early 2022, Nicole posted to Instagram confirming that the reunion tour had been cancelled, surprising her group mates who had no idea this was going on. Around the same time, Antin posted to Instagram saying "All of us have made personal & financial sacrifices, but that's what it takes to be a team player in a 'BAND.' Let's not forget there are 5 other members of this group who I care for deeply, who deserve to be heard. [...] There are truths to this situation, I just hope one day they see the light".

In 2023, Nicole released a new song that seemingly shaded the group and implied she would not be returning, especially with the lyrics "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm not that little Doll you knew. She paid her dues, now she owns herself. I’ve got a new attitude down inside of me, I've got a new pair of shoes, step aside, please. I’m through working for you, was killing me to compromise. Bitch, I just woke up redefined.”

Last-Known Lineup

  • Carmit Bacharnote 
  • Ashley Roberts
  • Nicole Scherzinger
  • Jessica Sutta
  • Kimberly Wyatt

Former Members

  • Kaya Jonesnote 
  • Melody Thorntonnote 
  • Asia Nitollanonote 
  • Lauren Bennettnote 
  • Natasha Slaytonnote 
  • Amanda Branchenote 
  • Simone Battlenote 
  • Emmalyn Estradanote 
  • Paula Van Oppennote 
  • Vanessa Currynote 
  • Chrystina Sayersnote 
  • Erica Kiehl Jenkinsnote 
  • Natalie Meijanote 


  • PCD (2005)
  • Sessions@AOL (2006)
  • Doll Domination (2008)
  • Doll Domination 2.0 (2009)note 
  • Doll Domination 3.0 (2009)note 
  • Doll Domination: The Mini Collection (2009)
  • Reunion (2020)note 

Pussycat Dolls provide examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Doll Domination.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Sang word-for-word in "When I Grow Up", discussing the desires for fame.
  • Better Partner Assertion: "Don't Cha" is about the singer saying how she would make a better girlfriend than the one the listener currently has; being, among other things, "hotter" and more "fun" compared to her.
  • Break-Up Song: "I Hate This Part", "Hush Hush", "Happily Never After" and others. The first two are widely considered to be surprisingly gentle songs for them, along with "Stickwitu".
  • Call-and-Response Song: Nicole and Timbaland in "Wait a Minute", Nicole and in "Beep".
  • Canada, Eh?: Emmalyn Estrada is from Surrey, British Columbia.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Paula.
  • Cover Version: They perform covers a lot, and said covers actually take up half of PCD's tracklisting. Even their debut single and biggest hit, "Don't Cha", is a cover of a Tori Alamaze song released in 2004. Some of their other covers include "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps", "Tainted Love"/"Where Did Our Love Go", "Right Now", "Sway", "Feelin' Good" and "We Went as Far as We Felt Like Going". Their "cover" of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" is practically In Name Only as it interpolates the chorus with new lyrics.
  • Dancing on a Bus: "Wait a Minute" begins with the Dolls dancing on a subway train and "When I Grow Up" features the group dancing on the roofs of cars.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each Doll gets her own solo on Doll Domination:
    • Jessica Sutta - "If I Was a Man"
    • Melody Thornton - "Space"
    • Kimberly Wyatt - "Don't Want to Fall In Love"
    • Nicole Scherzinger - "Until U Love U"
    • Ashley Roberts - "Played"
  • Dramatic Wind: In the "I Hate This Part" video.
  • Determinator: Paula Van Oppen. She dropped out of high school to focus on dance, and when people thought she wasn't good enough, she worked her ass off, appeared on So You Think You Can Dance (and then bowed out to appear in Burlesque), and then went on to appear in commercials, music videos, and on stage with Usher, Katy Perry, Keri Hilson, and Lady Gaga.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: As mentioned above, the group started as a burlesque troupe. Even as they started performing as more of a traditional girl group, half of the troupe members stuck around for live shows in 2005 before the album dropped, including Carmen and Robin.
  • Genre Roulette: Played with pop, dance, R&B, world music and even jazz.
  • Gold Digger: PCD make it rather explicit what they really want from Timbaland in "Wait a Minute".
  • Heroic BSoD: Nicole Scherzinger had one early in her tenure, due to her insecurities when posing in skimpy clothing.
    • Simone would later have one due to her fears that the group would never be famous, and unfortunately unlike Nicole, she didn't recover and tragically took her own life.
  • I Am the Band: Nicole was recruited to sing the group's songs while the other members engaged in their Three Minutes of Writhing. She would usually get the bulk of the verses while Carmit and Melody would join in to sing the chorus and Melody provided the vocal runs (Ashley, Kimberly and Jessica were given whatever (if anything) was left, such as in "Buttons" where they sing the "uh-huh" and "uh" bits in the choruses).
    • However, there are some songs where the other girls were given more spotlight, such as Carmit and Melody each getting a short verse on "Beep" and being featured in the song's music video, and it also wasn't uncommon to have Carmit and Melody singing more on the group's b-sidesnote . Some sources have Carmit and Melody (as well as Kaya Jones before her departure) listed as "main" singers alongside Nicole, but Nicole herself has said she sang 95% of the group's songs.
      • "React" was a bit better about line division, with most of the song being comprised of shared lines, but even then Nicole was the only Doll to get solo lines and a bridge to herself.
    • Following some songs being credited to "The Pussycat Dolls feat. Nicole Scherzinger", Melody got angry during a concert and lashed out:
    Melody: Thank you for supporting me even though I'm not "featured"! That's right, Phoenix, let me hear you! What's up everybody? I'm Melody, and I'm a native of Phoenix, Arizona. Let me give a shout-out to my family. Thank you for supporting me, even if I'm not featured. You know what I'm saying? And I feel like it's my responsibility to say to all the little boys and girls in the house tonight that myself and Ashley Roberts are examples that you can do anything that you want to do. Don't give up on your dreams and don't let anyone stomp on them ever!
  • In Da Club: "Out of This Club" (funnily enough).
  • Intercourse with You: Oh boy. They don't even try hiding this trope in their music. "Buttons", "Beep", "Bottle Pop" (which is apparently meant to be a Double Entendre but comes off as more a single entendre), "Don't Cha"...
  • Ms. Fanservice: Let's face it - they're not really marketed to the crowd that actually listen to music.
  • Rearrange the Song: The original version of "Hush Hush" is a slow, mournful-sounding ballad. The single mix/radio version starts off in the same vein as the original, but soon kicks into an upbeat disco stomper.
  • Rock-Star Song: "When I Grow Up".
  • Sampling:
    • The radio version of "Hush Hush" contains a sample of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".
    • And "Beep" samples from Electric Light Orchestra's "Evil Woman".
    • "When I Grow Up" samples the guitar riff from "He's Always There" by The Yardbirds.
  • Seduction Lyric: "Don't Cha" is distinctly in the Bad Girl Song crossover zone, being a brazen attempt to seduce a guy away from his girlfriend - though later in the song the singer accepts it's a bad idea and advises the guy to stay with his girlfriend.
    "Fight the feeling, leave it alone, 'cause if it ain't love it just ain't enough to leave a happy home. Let's keep it friendly, you have to play fair - see, I don't care, but I know she ain't gon' wanna share." [...] "I know she loves you, I understand - I'd probably be just as crazy about you if you were my own man. Maybe next lifetime, possibly, but until then, old friend, your secret is safe with me."
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem: "I Don't Need a Man".
  • Signature Move: Kimberly's standing over-splits, which once even helped her out when her car broke down.
  • Silly Love Songs: PCD get uncharacteristically mushy in "Stickwitu".
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Used many times on "Beep".
  • Stripperific: The reigning queens of this trope. Rihanna ain't got nothing on them.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Wait a Minute" is essentially three minutes of "Oh no Timbaland, I'm not interested in your fancy cars, your jewellery, your property or your vast wealth at all."
  • Team Mom: Carmit, so much so that Melody gave her a "Special Thanks" mention in her first solo release.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing
  • Translated Cover Version: "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. Although "translated" is putting it very loosely...
    • There's also Nicole's repeated mispronunciation of "Jai" as "Jay", which is worse when you can hear A. R. Rahman in the background singing it with the pronunciation of "Jai" sounding closer to how an English speaker would say "J'eye".
  • Updated Re-release: Doll Domination got two. One as a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition and the other as an EP.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Busta Rhymes in "Don't Cha", in "Beep", Snoop Dogg in "Bottle Pop" (and the remix version of "Buttons"), and Missy Elliot in "Whatcha Think About That".
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Until U Love U", "Stickwitu", "Don't Cha", "Whatcha Think About That".

Alternative Title(s): The Pussycat Dolls