Playboy

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The most skin we can show here and still be safe for work.

Playboy, the magazine synonymous with beautiful, naked women, and 12-year-old boys getting caught reading them.

Founded in 1953 by Hugh Hefner, this has grown into an entire company (including its own premium cable channel), although the magazine is still the flagship product. Sort of, as the explosion of free porn on the internet in the 1990s has taken a huge chunk of the magazine's customer base.

The magazine is known for its nude photos (including celebrity photos) and articles, creating a content paradox, as far as articles (most notably during its 1950s-1980s heyday) being a draw towards readers equal to the naked pictures of women (or so men say, when caught by wives and girlfriends). Sadly, though, those days are long gone, as the magazine mostly serves as a porno version of Maxim, which is ironic given that Maxim is essentially a swimsuit version of pre-2016 Playboy. It can be a little jarring to realize that in its heyday this magazine was credible enough to interview people like Jimmy Carter (in which Carter made his infamous "lust in my heart" comment) and Martin Luther King Jr.

Playgirl (which is not/has never been tied to Playboy in any official manner) unashamedly treats men just as much like a meat parade. Hey, equality is equality. But it doesn't attempt to run any of the non-erotic content that made Playboy special.

Playboy is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes used in Playboy include:
  • A Date With Rosie Palms: About 99% of jokes about Playboy involve either the phrase "pages stuck together" or the word "laminated".
  • Eighties Hair: In that decade, models liked their hair as poofy as possible when they did shoots (see the cover pictured).
  • Follow the Leader: Penthouse and Hustler are two of the most successful copycat magazines to ride Playboy's coattails. Both pushed the envelope way harder than even Playboy did when it was the only game in town, causing the magazine to follow suit in order to keep up with its rivals. See The Other Wiki's article about (ahem) the Pubic Wars.
    • During the 1990s, both Penthouse and Hustler started showing explicit sexual activity in their pictorials, something that Playboy has never yet done, so this trope has been inverted in that regard.
  • Gender Flip: Playgirl, even though it's more popular among gay men than straight women. The magazine recently went under and is now solely a subscription website.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: The magazine is ridiculously mild by today's standards.
  • I Read It for the Articles: Some people really do. See also Periphery Demographic.
    • In 2015, Playboy went PG-13, moving away from naked women toward a greater focus on articles. CEO Scott Flanders recognized that because print can no longer compete with free Internet porn, Playboy ought to focus on the journalism that it can do better. And it appeared to have worked at first, attracting a somewhat more desirable demographic of younger men... but the move was undone in 2017.
    • In The Eighties, the U.S. government attempted to slash funding to have Playboy published in braille, effectively getting rid of the one segment of the population that really did read it for the articles.
  • Moral Guardians: As noted below, Playboy has long been a favorite target for both fundamentalists and feminists. The magazine has returned the favor by sniping at them in its articles and editorials over the decades. (In one early 1980s issue, Playboy ran a rather Anvilicious parody of itself as it might look under fundamentalist editorship.)
  • Mundane Utility: The centerfold photo for November 1972 was used by DARPA's Signal and Image Processing Institute as a "glossy" test image in 1973 for development work on the JPEG image format. Even in the 2010s, Lenna Sjööblom's photo is still a standard reference image in image-processing research.
  • Nudity Tropes: Basically most of them.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Pose: In many spreads and covers.
  • Playboy Bunny: The Trope Maker. And Trope Namer.
  • Porn Stash: A common part of one, especially in the days before video. Finding your dad's or older brother's old Playboys is a common coming of age trope in its own right.
  • Pretty in Mink: A few models and playmates wear a fur in their pictures.
    • Naked in Mink: Usually just the covers (like the one pictured), since within the magazine it's not to cover up.
  • The Rule of First Adopters: One of the pictures widely used for early image compression algorithms was the centerfold from the November 1972 issue, Lena Söderberg.
  • Sensual Slavs: The "Women of Russia" issue.
  • Strange Bedfellows: Fundamentalists and feminists hate the magazine, for entirely different reasons. Fundamentalists hate it because they think it's obscene and ungodly, while feminists hate it due to what they feel is the exploitation of women, and the way the clubs would treat the women working in them. This alliance of convenience also extends to pornography in general.
    • Funnily enough, back in the 1970s when feminists were hating on it most was also when it was most classy.