25 years ago, Nomi Malone (played by Saved by the Bell's Elizabeth Berkley) declared in the first few minutes of Showgirls, "I'm gonna dance." And dance she does.
The NC-17 film flopped when it was released in 1995, but with all of its campiness and, yes, nudity, it has risen from the ashes and become a cult classic.
There is, to put it lightly, so much going on in this movie. Within the first ten minutes, we watch our protagonist hitchhike to Las Vegas, get robbed, lose a bunch of money gambling and move in with a total (benevolent) stranger. And it only gets more bonkers from there.
Perhaps the best part of the film, though, is its dialogue. Somehow ridiculously quotable for a movie about stripping, sex and cocaine, here are some of the most iconic lines from Showgirls.
Just a warning, some of these clips are NSFW.
The dialogue between Nomi and Molly while Nomi struggles to get ketchup out of a bottle and throws fries around.
I told you the first ten minutes of this movie are a wild ride. In her first scene with inevitable BFF Molly (Gina Ravera), who just saved her from oncoming traffic and bought her food, Molly wants to make small talk. Nomi, however, is more interested in showing Molly how mad she is. The dialogue goes like this:
Molly: Where are you from?
Nomi: Back East.
Molly: From where back East?
Nomi: Different places!
The ketchup and fries are casualties in this conversation.
“If it’s at The Cheetah, it’s not dancin’.”
When Molly introduces Nomi to her soon-to-be rival, Cristal (Gina Gershon), Nomi proudly says she dances at the Cheetah, a gentleman's club. That's when Cristal, fresh off headlining a Vegas show, tells Nomi in her signature twang, "I don't know how good you are, darlin', and I don't know what it is you're good at, but if it's at The Cheetah, it's not dancing."
“I hate you.”
I don't know about you, but usually when someone gets you an audition for the show you've been pining to be a part of, you don't tell them you hate them. But hey, at least Cristal does Nomi a solid and tells her to wipe her nose.
This iconic pronunciation of Versace.
The secondhand embarrassment we all felt when Nomi said, "Thanks! I bought it at Versayce" knows no bounds. And yet I still refuse to pronounce Versace correctly to this day because of it.
Just this entire dinner scene between Nomi and Cristal.
In my opinion, brown rice and vegetables do taste worse than dog food, so we can't blame Nomi for saying so, but it's the fact that these women are bonding — not over how badass and cutthroat they are — but over how they "used to love Doggy Chow" that really makes this "serious" scene so funny. The whole scene has some of the campiest dialogue of the movie.
“You shouldn’t get pissed off: It makes you look older.”
After Nomi's tryst with Zack (Kyle MacLachlan) leads to her becoming Cristal's understudy, Cristal is not pleased. She tells Nomi, "You don't want to piss me off darlin', now that we're friends," to which Nomi replies with a sick burn: "No, you shouldn't get pissed off. It makes you look older."
“THRUST IT! THRUST IT!”
Personal trainers everywhere take note!
This biting insult about nails.
Cristal is Queen of the Backhanded Compliment and Princess of the Bait and Switch. Just when Nomi thinks they are bonding (over Nomi's ability to do nails), Cristal insults her. After Nomi offers to do her nails, Cristal acts like she's considering it and then says, "On second thought, I'm not sure I want you to do mine. Getting a little old for that whore-y look."
“I’m not a whore!”
Nomi spitting in Jeff's face only makes this over-the-top dialogue even better.
“There’s always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.”
The fact that Nomi literally pushes Cristal down the stairs and Cristal just wants to make out with her is proof that this movie is full-on banana-nut-crunch bonkers, but she does drop a word of wisdom (and allude to the whole stair incident) along the way.
“I want my f—— suitcase, a——!”
When Nomi leaves Vegas and ends up hitchhiking (again), she runs into the man who stole her suitcase, pulls a knife and demands it be returned to her. It's what we'd call a full-circle moment.
Happy 25th Anniversary, Showgirls. May your quotes continue to live on forever.
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