The Playboy Bunny... a sexy costume popularized by the Playboy Club, composed of a corset-styled leotard (color varying, though often black), fake bunny ears, a collar with a Bow Ties Are Cool, cuffs, a fluffy tail (usually made of cotton, fur, or feathers), some hose or stockings (usually fishnets) and high heels.
For whatever reason, any female character (or even a male as a joke) could end up in this costume. Most often the pretext is quite flimsy, as it is hard to pretend that this is anything but Fan Service. Mainly seen in Anime and Manga; not absent from Western works but rarer, precisely because Playboy has a trademark on this particular outfit, and American trademark laws are a little stricter than in Japan.
This is one of the most common forms of fetish wear, along with its Sister Tropes, the French Maid Outfit and the Naughty Nurse Outfit. If done willingly by the woman, she's certainly trying to seduce some love interest. More often, for comedic value, she's not exactly happy about the dolling up, but can't escape it. Might have involved Instant Cosplay Surprise.
It should be noted that the original Playboy Bunny outfit simply used stiffened ribbons tied to resemble rabbit ears. Many of the more modern depictions have Nekomimi-style ears. The original costumes were actually custom-made for each waitress by a seamstress who worked for each club; the design is copyrighted and trademarked, which is why you'll never find this outfit worn in Real Life in any establishment not owned by the magazine.
Anime and Manga
- In Ranma ½, this edges close to a Running Gag:
- The first instance of Female!Ranma wearing such an outfit was in her first battle against Mousse: trapped in female form, and already committed to a man-to-man duel, she dressed up in huge, baggy clothing to fool everyone into thinking she was male, and proceeded to entertain the crowd with simple magic tricks to humiliate the Hidden Weapons master. The coup de grâce was blowing up said clothing and coming out as a Playboy Bunny (just minus the ears) to infuriate Mousse even further, claiming that even "disguised" as a girl "he" would defeat him. It backfired spectacularly when Mousse systematically destroyed her clothing and left her naked as a jaybird.
- The next instance is the use of the costume as a disguise (with a wig) during the okonomiyaki-selling competition against Tsubasa Kurenai. Justified in the manga, since the whole school knows about Ranma's curse, and thus she has to hide her identity to attract the boys (though she didn't need something so blatantly sexy, as Akane pointed out). Reconnected in the anime, where the curse is still a secret, to Ranma's deciding that she needs to play up her sex-appeal to match the kawaiiness of Tsubasa. An oversized suit of travel-worn boy's clothes doesn't really look good at the best of time, much less when it has to compete against a charmingly girly skirt.
- An anime-only storyline has Akane actually forcing female Ranma into one of these and start flirting with random guys on the street, in order to try and drum up some students for the dojo. Akane promptly gets disgusted at Ranma's flirtations.
- Female!Ranma gets dressed this way again in a Hong Kong bar (and almost sold into slavery by Nabiki to pay her debts) in the Kinnosuke story arc of the manga.
- Averted during a Single-Stroke Battle against Happōsai, who was trying to force Ranma in a Playboy Bunny outfit... but he settles instead on a Sailor Fuku (on the male Ranma!).
- During the battle against the "un-sexy" kunōichi in the manga story arc introducing Konatsu, both Akane and Ukyō are kidnapped and forced into Playboy Bunny costumes.
- Rumiko Takahashi is also fond of drawing Ranma and Akane in Playboy Bunny outfits for standalone artwork and chapter breaks.
- In early Dragon Ball, Bulma is given a Playboy Bunny outfit by Oolong, as it's the only outfit he owns that will fit her (and he was up all night guarding their car with a shotgun instead of doing her laundry). She even lampshades this in the Funimation dub when these clothes make her look like the Easter Bunny ("What is this, Easter?!"). It becomes a plot point when she is subsequently thought to be part of a group of bandits which are identified by the fake bunny ears they wear (the bandit leader being an anthropomorphic rabbit).
- In one episode of Kimagure Orange Road, Kyōsuke dreams of a submissive Madoka greeting him in the morning while wearing a Playboy Bunny outfit. Yeah, Freud Was Right.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: Mikuru Asahina, of course. And Haruhi a few times, most notably in the iconic episode "Live Alive". There's also a picture with all the girls wearing Bunny outfits! Even Kyon's little sister (either Squick or adorable as hell).
- There are even figurines of the girls in bunny outfits.
- The picture of the females of Suzumiya Haruhi as bunny girls ended up as a poster on Konata's wall in Lucky Star ... which lead to it eventually being spoofed featuring the girls of Lucky Star. (Here's a side-by-side comparison of the original and the homage.)
- On Maison Ikkoku, Godai has to work at a nightclub for a while where the waitresses are dressed as Bunny Girls. Akemi even works there for a bit, but that's hardly a surprise. After all, she considers sheer nightgowns without bras to be suitable "hanging around the house" attire.
- Haruko from FLCL puts one on for no immediately discernible reason in episode 5. Though "for no discernible reason" covers almost everything Haruko does. The outfit serves as a Mythology Gag to Studio Gainax's famous Daicon IV opening animation, which features a Bunny-suited Action Girl Sky Surfing on a flying sword. Hence why she shouts "Daicon V!"
- Dominion Tank Police: Shorttank Leona Ozaki surprisingly wears a Playboy Bunny outfit in the second OVA. For a Perp Sweating of all things. A Game Show-style Perp Sweating involving throwing knives and a hand grenade, mind you...
- Mahou Sensei Negima has a few of these:
- When Negi discovers Chisame Hasegawa cosplaying as "Chiu", she's in a Bunny Girl outfit. And he drags her outside in front of the class, to her great embarrassment. Of course, it gets worse when the costume doesn't survive a Sneeze of Doom.
- Another time, Akira was made to wear a more classic-style costume when the girls were considering a Cosplay Cafe for the school festival.
- During the festival itself, Setsuna wears an outfit that kind of resembles a cross between this and a mascot-style fursuit.
- Another scene has the cheerleaders trying to play matchmakers with Ako to non-existent Brit Nagi, cousin of their teacher (actually said teacher magically aged-up), by sending him pictures of her. One of them involves a Bunny outfit. ("Wasn't that invented in England?") Negi does a perfect Spit Take upon receiving the picture.
- Urusei Yatsura
- In the manga, this is actually the official uniform of the Destiny Management Bureau—at least for women. Men get stupid Easter Bunny outfits. This causes problems: one cannot bend her waist when wearing a Bunny Girl outfit, and the Easter Bunny outfits are about as hot and sweaty as you would imagine. Without uniforms, however, the (mostly female) cast would not have been able to pursue the Designated Hero into the Bureau's high security areas, where the dork could possibly do serious damage to the universe itself. The Chase Scene which follows is patently ridiculous.
- Lum also wears one in an episode of the anime. Amazingly, this is actually much more conservative than her normal outfit.
- At the start of Code Geass R2, Action Girl Kallen is forced to work in a casino whilst wearing a Playboy Bunny outfit in a Dirty Harriet situation. She's none too happy about it, and a few episodes later questions why Mysterious Waif C.C. couldn't have done it; though there are valid reasons, the impression we're given is that C.C. just felt like messing with Kallen.
- The Hot Springs Episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Bunny Girls that look like several other Studio Gainax characters, such as Rei Ayanami & Asuka Langley Soryû from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Jung Freud from Gunbuster, giving Kamina and friends a warm welcome. By the end of the episode it turns out that they're really actually rabbit people, or rather female rabbit Beastmen.
- Soukou no Strain: Lavinia's ill-fated plans to seduce Sara at one point included wearing such an outfit. It did not work.
- At one point of Peach Girl, Sai wears one of these to spy on Momo being escorted to a party by her boyfriend's brother.
- Bunny-san of Miyuki-chan in Wonderland isn't an anthropomorphic rabbit, unlike in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but a lady wearing this costume.
- Even when otherwise irrelevant for the series (that is, no Bunny outfit ever appears in the run of the show), it isn't uncommon for some official art to put the female characters in such costumes, just for the heck of it. Here is an example with the girls from Tenchi Muyo
- Mihoshi does dress as a Playboy Bunny in the No Need for Tenchi! manga, as part of a ploy to distract a corrupt planetary regent.
- One version of Galaxy Police uniforms has a Do-Anything Gizmo that the poor officer has to hang from their back pocket. Plus a Nice Hat. Just to make Mihoshi look like a Bunny Girl.
- Subverted in the Girls Bravo manga, although otherwise rife with Fan Service. Fukuyama tricks the girls into a perverted game, having them put on some fetishistic costumes. And the final loser would have to walk around the block in said embarrassing clothes. But in the end, he's the one to lose, and ends up outside wearing a Bunny outfit. He's enough of a weirdo to enjoy this, though.
- Misty May from Otaku no Video. Her Bunny costume may be non-standard, with Opera Gloves and an exposed midriff, but still fits the trope.
- Kanokon anime, episode 4: Chizuru puts on a Bunny Girl outfit to try to attract Kouta, but soon finds that the costume does not come off, and is also a demon capable of controlling clothing. Said demon soon proceeds to use Chizuru's body to fly through the school changing the clothes of every girl along the way, gaining control of their outfits as well. (Some costumes include Shrine Maiden, Policewoman, Nun, and China Girl.) Later on, the demon uses this as a counter to the attack from a wind user by destroying the clothing of every girl but Chizuru, since the demon is Chizuru's outfit.
- Parodied in the School Rumble anime. Yakumo's bunny outfit is actually an oversized rabbit costume.
- Ouran High School Host Club: Haruhi subverts this in a bonus chapter (which inspired the first part of the 12th episode of the anime) by being stuffed into an Easter Bunny outfit by the rest of the hosts in an attempt to fool Hunny before he wakes up to discover his Bun-Bun got smudged accidentally. It should be noted that, before she was placed in a bunny suit that looks like an actual bunny, Tamaki imagines Haruhi in a far more... form-fitting version.
- Hayate the Combat Butler has two main examples.
- Hayate is put into a bunny suit several times by his master and her maid. And, when visiting Las Vegas, Sakuya is put into one... even more for the sex appeal, as it's made out of a material that tears as Wataru/Saki lose while playing poker.
- There's also a chapter in the manga where Hayate briefly reads Alice in Wonderland... sort of... to Nagi, and Hinagiku as Alice gets information from Those Three Girls dressed as Playboy Bunnies. She commiserates:
Alice (Hinagiku): It must be rough having to cover the cheesecake angle for our anniversary story.
- The Moon Empress in Yaiba.
- Kamichama Karin: Karin mistakenly thinks Kazune is going to use his "feminine wiles" to convince Micchi to join their side (don't even ask) and pulls a bunch of costumes out of hyperspace for him to use, including a Playboy Bunny outfit.
- In the Tokyo Mew Mew manga, the girls dress up as "extras" to get into a TV studio. Guess what the costumes look like. Also, some people say that Berry Shirayuki's costume resembles a Playboy Bunny. Here, look.
- One chapter of Ai Yori Aoshi involves Tina and Taeko wanting to photograph Aoi in various costumes. They start with a Sailor Fuku, then a nurse's uniform, Qipao, Meido uniform, exercise clothes... "And to finish it off, of course -- a Bunny Girl!!" Aoi panics at that point and hides behind Kaoru; somehow they've managed to get her into the costume before she realized it.
- Book 30 of the Futari Ecchi manga features most of Makoto's female coworkers dressed as Playboy Bunnies for serving drinks during a reception. They aren't too pleased about it, except resident lesbian Alissa, who reveals she was the one to suggest it from the start. Naturally, this inspires Makoto who brings home one of the costumes for his wife Yura to cosplay with. The story even ends with a picture of the evolution of the Bunny Girl outfit from the '50s to the '70s (modeled by female characters otherwise not appearing in the chapter).
- In the Axis Powers Hetalia movie Paint it White!, America is seen dancing with some girls in these outfits in the ending credits.
- To LOVE-Ru
- When Rito first suggested Lala should dress to fit in with Earthpeople, she had Peke transform—and kept picking inappropriate garb to copy: a businessman's clothing, a policewoman's uniform, a Bunny.... That one led Rito to wonder in shock where she'd seen it.
- At the start of the "Trouble Quest" arc, the Guild assigning "adventurers" their Character Class had a staff of Bunnies — well, actually, multiple copies of one Bunny (there was also a Bunny on the sign outside the door). Then, when Yami shows up, she's been dressed as a Bunny as part of her character class. Yami, who hates anything Ecchi...
- In One Piece, this is the most common means of dress for revolutionary second-in-command Emporio Ivankov's people, whether male or female. Emporio also comes from an island populated entirely by men dressed up as Playboy Bunnies. Carrot is a literal Bunny Girl, being a Petting Zoo People rabbit with a Fanservice-ish look.)
- In Great Teacher Onizuka, the naive but kind-hearted Tomoko Nomura is talked by Onizuka into putting on such an outfit. He then leaves her in a crowded street without telling her what he has in mind. When she gets picked up by dodgy-looking guys, she thinks Onizuka wants her to become a porn actress. She's specifically cosplaying the character Cutey Honey (complete with hairstyle), whose outfit may have been influenced by this trope.
- All of the girls from Neko-de Gomen! dress up in the outfit for a student cafe in chapter 9.
- In A Certain Magical Index, this is Shiage Hamazura's fetish.
- In Maicching Machiko-sensei, the title character is shown in a bunny suit during the closing credits among other Fan Service outfits. It says something when this series is so chalk-full of fanservice that they had to cram a playboy bunny suit in during the credits for little reason.
- Hinata Hyuga from Naruto in a recent Omake.
- Two of these appear in the background during the Russian Roulette scene with Boma and Clair in Heat Guy J.
- In Fairy Tail, Erza Scarlet is asked by a reporter what's her favorite "armor" (among the hundred she can "Ex-quip" at will). Her answer? The Bunny suit. And then Lucy, starving for attention from the same reporter, dresses in turn as a Playboy Bunny.
- Yu-Gi-Oh GX: Asuka's opponent Mitsuo used female monsters that wore this costume called Gamble Angel Bunnies. (I'm deadly serious.) The dub edited out the fishnet stockings, but really, showing their bare legs wasn't much less risque. They even made a return appearance, two of them acting as game show models for Kanda's quiz-based deck in season two.
- Episode 7 of the original Dirty Pair TV series starts at a fancy establishment that has its servers dressed in Playboy Bunny outfits. In a subtle clue to the episode's major twist, the servers are male.
- Adam Warren put Kei and Yuri into this outfit in his second Dirty Pair comic book miniseries. Unfortunately, since it was originally published in the U.S., Playboy frowned on the copyright infringement, and the bunny ears and tails were removed from the art in the trade paperback reprinting.
- An Alternate Universe DC Comics book has a 1960s' Wonder Woman going to a Playboy Club to lecture the customers on respect for women. Ms. Gloria Steinem (see Real Life below) has a cameo.
- The White Rabbit, a minor villain in Batman's Rogues Gallery. A thief and escape artist whom even Batman has never been able to catch, she's also a friend and ally of much more well-known villains, including Clayface, Scarecrow, and Bane. She is not to be taken lightly.
- Marvel Comics also has a villain called the White Rabbit, whose entire shtick is dressing up like a Playboy Bunny variant of the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. She's an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who becomes the Arch Enemy of the Frog-Man (son of Leapfrog, another lame super-villain who had enough sense to retire from such work) since they are equally pathetic.
- Some of the Touhou fanart and fancomics often have Reisen and Tewi, who are already Rabbit Youkai to begin with, being dressed as Playboy Bunnies by their mistresses Kaguya and Eirin.
- In order to celebrate 2011 being the Year of the Hare in the Eastern Zodiac, lots of Japanese artists were doing... pictures of Anime girls dressed as Playboy Bunnies. Not that we mind.
- In the Naruto fanfic Reload, Naruto makes all of the women of an entire ANBU assassin squad into these. No, really.
- It's mentioned under "Anime and Manga" that a particular image of the Haruhi Suzumiya girls was parodied with the Lucky Star girls. Artist "lucky-star-girl446" has done the same homage with the Naruto girls; see it on DeviantArt.
Films -- Live-Action
- Many movie examples on this page.
- The House Bunny
- In the Bridget Jones's Diary movie, Bridget shows up at a party in a Playboy Bunny outfit.
- The same for Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, because she was also told it is a costume party.
- This is inverted in Mean Girls, where all the girls at the Halloween party are dressed as Playboy Bunnies (or something similar), but Cady shows up as a zombie bride (or rather an "ex-wife").
- In the illegal casino in Outrage, the servers are dressed as Bunnies.
- Many television examples on this page.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway had Hugh Hefner and two Playboy Bunnies as special guests. Naturally, the two bunnies took part in a game of "living scenery".
- An episode of Laverne and Shirley named "The Playboy Show" centers around Laverne trying to get a job at a Playboy Club.
- Subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Anya, who has a fear of bunnies, dresses up for Halloween in a large bunny costume. Not quite what we were hoping....
- Subverted in Mad Men: Lane Pryce dates a black Playboy Bunny named Toni... and it's a totally legitimate, loving relationship. Lane does not seem to be merely infatuated, Toni does not seem to be merely interested in Lane's money, and neither of them seems to be interested in the shock value.
- NBC's short-lived series The Playboy Club, canceled after only three episodes.
- SCTV—resident lothario Johnny LaRue (John Candy) owns an ersatz Playboy Club, with similarly-attired "gerbils".
- In the stage musical adaptation of Legally Blonde (see above), when called a skank by her romantic rival for her Playboy Bunny costume, Elle Woods recovers by taking someone's glasses and insisting she is dressed as an undercover Gloria Steinem (see below). She then asks her, loudly, if she is calling Gloria Steinem a skank, and a horde of feminists descends upon the rival.
- One special species of Pixie from the Monster Rancher series has an outfit like this. Its description notes that it's very popular among male breeders...
- Many Dragon Quest character models, including one of Jessica's outfits in Dragon Quest VIII. All of the female Jesters in Dragon Quest III wear these.
- Secret of the Stars has a Bunny Suit, which makes anybody who wears it look like a Playboy Bunny. Even the guys. And this is used in a plot point, as you have to put all your male characters into Bunny suits and sneak into a Lady Land.
- Elena/Eririn from Variable Geo.
- Olivia from God Hand gets one as an unlockable outfit.
- Parodius has a couple as player characters in a game or two. Not to mention several giant ones that act as mid-stage bosses taking up most of the screen.
- Super Robot Wars
- In the Original Generation games, Excellen Browning often promises to wear one for various (male) characters. In the second game, the promise is actually used to make sure she's freed from enemy brainwashing. In the final episode of the anime adaptation Divine Wars, she actually comes through on it, even roping the female captain into doing it as well.
- In a scenario of Super Robot Wars Z: Saisei-Hen, Kallen was serving as a waitress at Coconna's shop, and it seems that only the bunny suit was available for her. To make things worse, Dimension Beasts appears near their shop and their commander doesn't give Kallen the permission to change back to her normal outfit.
C.C.: So how do you feel riding Guren, Kallen?
- The title protagonist and a few of the enemies in Bunny Must Die have this as their species.
- Lufia 2 features bunny equipment (a sword, a bunnysuit, a shield, ears for a helm and a ring) for use by Selan... and Artea, a male elf (except in Germany).
- Many of Tina's available swimsuits in the first Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball game.
- Final Fantasy
- It's not as immediately obvious due to the far less developed polygon rendering of the time, but a fair number of these (all of whom are also Rei Ayanami clones) appear in the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII.
- Fran from Final Fantasy XII has an outfit that combines Playboy Bunny with Chainmail Bikini; she is a viera, a race of seemingly all-female and scantily-clad rabbity creatures.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (where the Viera first debuted) and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 have the Viera in much more modest clothing, except for the Fencer and Elementalist classes.
- MMORPG Mabinogi has the staff of the Bean Rua nightclub dressed as bunnygirls.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: The Pokémon Lopunny has been based on this. Seriously, that's not surprising. Too bad that 50% of the time, Lopunny's a GUY. Some people were actually joking that PUSA would call it Playbunny in English-language localizations even before the Japanese release.
- Raine can wear a bunny suit in the PlayStation 2 of Tales of Symphonia.
- In Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen, a red-coloured version of it, without bunny ears, is available as one of the numerous costumes of the game.
- Bloody Good Time has this as one of the player characters.
- The protagonist of Keio Flying Squadron is Rami Nana-Hikari, a teenager dressed in the outfit who rides a giant, green, flying bird and fights spaceships, tanks, battleships, all that side-scrolling shooter stuff.
- Jane the Alchemist in Maple Story dresses like this. (Why? given the type of place Maple World is, she may not need a reason.) Also, this is one of countless Cash Shop outfits you can buy to equip to your own character.
- More Hentai games than we're willing to admit having seen. One of the most infamous ones is actually called Do You Like Horny Bunnies No prizes for guessing what it's about...
- El Goonish Shive
- Mye's Bunny transformation in Charby the Vampirate.
- These two Real Life Comics strips.
- Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne pulls it off in prudish steampunk victorian style. This a joke about Foglio's past work with actual cartoon sex. Rather than a Playboy Bunny, though, it is more a full-body bunny suit and it's not revealing at all... at least until a few panels later where Zeetha has a slightly less prude version.
- RPG World has Diane don the bunny costume as part of a plan to rescue Hero from some pirates.
- Megatokyo's Erika wears a very gothic steampunkish style of this before entering the "cave of evil".
- Blade Bunny wears a miniskirted version of the outfit, while working as an assassin.
- Bud and Brandi of Wapsi Square once wore this sort of outfit during their perpetually drunk phase.
- In Eerie Cuties, Gender Bender Kade Whiteclaw gets put in such a costume during Chloe's party. Not entirely on her own free will, although "she" doesn't complain that much.
- March Hare, White Rabbit, and Silver Marten from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe all wear this sort of costume.
- In SOTF-TV, one of the games on the Survival of the Fittest mini site, the kids each get alternate outfits that are potentially Fan Service-y and/or humorous. As a result, Sidney Rice gets one of these. At first she hates it, but she wastes no time in putting it on out of curiosity and almost immediately warms up to it.
- In 1963, feminist author Gloria Steinem went undercover as a Bunny in the New York Playboy Club. Her article, featuring a photo of her in Bunny uniform, exposed how women were treated at the clubs (in short, rotten with ridiculous rules, poor pay and sexual harassment) and was a sensation.
- Before she became a successful voice actress, B.J. Ward was a Playboy Bunny. (Sadly, Princess Alura never wears one.)
- Rie Tanaka, another voice actress, also wore a Playboy Bunny costume one time.
- More future celebrities who worked as Bunnies: Deborah Harry, '70s supermodel Lauren Hutton, actress Sherilyn Fenn... and Magenta.