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The French Maid Outfit is a form of Fetish Fuel, a type of Fan Service or both, made (or perhaps maid?) to call to mind the French Maid character type (or, if in Japanese media such as Anime and Manga, the Meido character type). They are a favorite Halloween costume and often appear in sexual roleplaying.
The Meido variant, while still very much a form of fanservice, tends to be more conservatively cut than the Western costume it was based on. The fantasy comes from the subservience and Moe-ness of the wearer rather than more blatant sexuality.
- One Bud Light commercial had a woman phone her husband at work, "Guess who's going to be wearing a French maid outfit after work?" Cut to outside their apartment, where they both have the outfit on.
"Oh, you meant...yeah"
- Another commercial for Dannon La Creme brand yogurt has a man and a French maid; then their kids come in and we discover they were role-playing. The kids were Squicked.
- A Verizon commercial for its NHL streaming services has a wife dressed up as a French maid preparing for a fantastic night with her husband. When her husband comes bursting into the bedroom in hockey gear, his excuse is, "You said 'fantasy'!"
Anime and Manga
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- The French maid is just one of the examples of phrases used by the author in one strip to explain how the Anglo-Francais rivalry is expressed in their language (as in, in French, adding that 'anglais' means the item is dull, vulgar and tasteless, and in English, 'French' as a prefix means something is racy). The reason the example is down here rather than above is because the only real maid drawn is the English chambermaid - the 'French maid' is France in a French maid costume.
- During the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, Hong Kong was forced to wear one of these.
- One April Fools' 2011 sketch shows Japan wearing one of these too. And managing to look completely badass while doing so.
- Mine in Fruits Basket wears one (made by Ayame presumably) as her uniform for working in the shop...but she wears it when she's not working too
- In the Martial Arts Dining storyarc of Ranma ½, Akane and Soun dress as French maids to infiltrate the Mansion Ranma is staying at.
- The Negima!? second anime has Chachamaru often appearing in a maid outfit most of the time she is on screen, except during school hours.
- Himeko wears a maid outfit during the school festival in Sket Dance, since her class is doing, unsurprisingly, a Maid Cafe. The costume makes a reappearance in a later chapter, in which Himeko agrees to do anything Bossun says as an apology for breaking his hand. This includes dressing up as a maid, calling him 'master' and hand feeding him. Of course, Hilarity Ensues.
- Maid costumes are one of the many strange "punishment games" Mion inflicts on the other club members in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Dr. Irie gets a little too excited about seeing Satoko in one.
- In K-On! on a few occasions.
- Especially their infamous first live performance. Azusa hates the part of herself that's started to think of it as normal.
- Ritsu thought they should do a Maid Cafe for their first year festival, as Mio is really suited to the look. "The adorable power of cute compels you!"
- The "Tanks for the Memories!" episode of Pokémon sees the gang helping out at a Maid Cafe because the joint was temporarily understaffed (Brock was training one of the maids working there). This results in Dawn, Ash (again!) and even some of their mons dressing up in these outfits.
- Two characters in Shuffle end up in maid costumes: Nerine and Primula, the latter including Catgirl accessories, when they're helping Rin out cleaning his new appartment.
- In an old X-Men comic, Hellfire Club waitresses wore French Maid outfits.
- According to at least one Silver Age Superman story, the Daily Planet requires its top female reporters to dress like this and act as waitresses at staff parties.
- During the Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries, the Torch and She Hulk meet at his apartment to go to a costume party. Johnny dresses up as Spidey, while Jennifer shows up in a trenchcoat concealing one of these outfits. "Johnny-sense tingling..."
- Mentioned as a gag during a Spider-Man arc. Peter's looking for the kids from Sins Past in France. His thought process is basically, "This table is spotless" → "I've got to get one of those French maids...or maybe just Mary Jane in a French maid outfit. Why is that outfit so popular with guys? Must be the feather duster."
- There is a picture by J. Scott Campbell featuring Caitlin Fairchild of Gen 13 in a French maid uniform, feather duster and all.
- Magenta wears one of these in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- The Man Who Knew Too Little: Lori, the femme fatale, dresses up like this when she's expecting a visit from her lover.
- Groundhog Day: Phil's date when he goes to the cinema is dressed up as one of these.
- In Air Doll, the title character, upon acquiring sentience, looks around in her owner's flat for clothes to put on. All the female outfits she finds are fetish-oriented, and she settles on a maid uniform as the most wearable one for going out.
- Luckily, we're only told that Hettie of NCIS: Los Angeles has a French maid outfit.
- In the season eight premiere of Smallville, Lois uses one as a disguise.
- In the episode "Gold Fever" of The Dukes of Hazzard, Boss Hogg has Daisy dress up as a French maid (even though she's a waitress) in order to impress a rich Texan.
- Definite Dad Service in the British Saturday morning kids' show Ministry Of Mayhem, with Holly Willoughby, a maid's outfit, and cream cakes being splattered about.
- Lindsay Funke of Arrested Development.
- When we first meet her in the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour", Amy Pond is dressed as a Fair Cop. When the Doctor questions her disguise, Amy tells him it was "this or a French maid".
- On Boy Meets World, Topanga in a French maid outfit is used for a brief sight gag.
- In Japanese drama Shokojo Sera, Seira is forced to wear one of these. It serves the purpose to increase her moeness.
- For a school event, the students in the Japanese version of Hana Kimi decide to have a Maid Cafe. With all the guys dressing up in maid costumes to gain more female customers.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Dead Things" Warren uses a Mind Control device on his ex-girlfriend, making her wait on them while wearing a sex-shop French maid outfit.
- David Wingrove's Chung Kuo has many of these; in every case a Chinese maid to one of the T'ang lords or the princes.
- In Sarah Caudwell's The Shortest Way to Hades, Selena and Julia are invited to a party by a grateful client, who has utterly misunderstood the nature of their relationship - as has his, uh, friend, who answers the door in "a black dress, black stockings and a little white pinafore."
"In brief, an old-fashioned parlour maid."
"Your 'in brief' is appropriate; your 'old-fashioned' less so. When I say that she wore stockings rather than tights, I do not speak from surmise."
- In WWE, Maryse's choice of costume for the 2008 Cyber Sunday's divas costume contest.
- The Sims:
- If your Sims hire a maid, she's dressed like this. Male maids wear funny pastel shirts open at the neck, possibly intended to be sexy. Or Camp Gay.
- Kaylynn Langerak is the French maid in The Sims 2. She's having an affair with Daniel Pleasant. This may or may not be due to her costume.
- In the original The Sims, there were third-party mods where you could create NPC's with French-maid costumes of varying degrees of risqueness.
- Every maid in the Neverwinter Nights module A Dance With Rogues. Then again, the entire world is perverted (including giant demonic dogs that want to have sex with human women, and completely ordinary dogs that want to have sex with human women), so it is sort of justified.
- Some Rabbids wear them, for comedic effect.
- A French maid costume is unlockable for female characters in Guitar Hero: World Tour.
- In Super Paper Mario, the first time the player sees Mimi (outside of the first scene in Castle Bleck, where she only appears in the forms of other characters), she is dressed in a french maid outfit and claiming to be working as a maid for Merlee. Once the Final Boss is defeated and most of Count Bleck's minions did Heel Face Turns, Mimi can be found in the mansion again, this time as a legitimate maid.
- Persona 3:
- The Main Character's ever-original classmates decide to do a Maid Cafe for their School Festival. Yukari dreads it from the depths of her spirit because it means wearing a maid uniform; Junpei and the rest of the male schoolmates look forward to this cherished event. Alas, a typhoon rips through Iwatodai and the School Festival is canceled, to the endless grief of said schoolmates (and the Main Character is also asked if he mourns the loss.) In the Persona 3 FES release, the surveillance camera skits show Yukari in her dorm room; she had indeed procured an authentic maid uniform, not a costume, and gripes loudly about how everyone wanted to see her in it. Eventually, she gives in to curiosity and wears it, and pantomimes serving a costumer. When Fuuka catches her, Yukari cheerfully ropes her into the game and dresses her in a spare uniform.
- There's also a series of "Maid Uniform" costumes for the female members of the party to wear during the Dark Hour, as rewards for Elizabeth's requests. Aigis will find it odd if you ask her to wear one, but Yukari and Mitsuru will chew you out considerably for it. And of course, you can get all three of them in the party at the same time, wearing those outfits. In the portable remake the female main character can wear one as well, so you can defeat the forces of evil with a party of maids. Additionally, if she wears the costume while dating Akihiko or Shinjiro, they have...interesting reactions.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Zoe wore one in her introduction arc to impress the guys. Unfortunately, it turned out Torg was wearing the same costume, prompting him to sulkingly change clothes.
- In Out There, Miriam decides the costume is ideal for cleaning Ari's condominium, and for seducing her.
- Eerie Cuties has Eleanor, the housekeeper for Layla and Nina's family. She's a subversion, though-- Eleanor wears the outfit, but as for sexy... she's anything but.
- In the Whateley Universe, when Phase is hosting a party for the campus rich kids, he gets some of the sexiest girls on campus to play maid, and he buys them tailored French maid costumes complete with short skirts and high heels. There's even Fan Art of it now.
- French Maid TV. A series of self-help videos by... women in French Maid costumes?
- CHAINSAWMAID, animated by Takena Nagao, is a Stop Motion short featuring an attractive maid saving her family from horrible zombies. One part Fetish Fuel, one part High Octane Nightmare Fuel, but 100% awesome.
- Gaia Online has a "Meido" set, consisting of headbands, two types of aprons, and poofy dresses, in several colours. The possibilities are endless. Interestingly, there's also an older set of "Maid" items, which are a bit more French Maid-style.
- SpongeBob SquarePants wore a maid outfit somewhere during the time when Squidward had to stay at his house. The fact that it was completely backless and that he was wearing nothing but briefs definitely counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar.
- Timmy Turner from The Fairly Odd Parents was subjected to wear a French maid costume in the "Homewrecker" episode. Wanda donned such a disguise in "Channel Chasers" to match Cosmo's Alfred-esque appearance.
- Boog of The Bully was forced to wear a maid outfit by Fanboy and Chum Chum in the episode "Chimp Chomp Chumps".
- Francine of American Dad wears one in "A Smith in the Hand". A blonde stripper wears a similar outfit to Francine's in "Stan Knows Best".
- Maid Cafes, similar to those found in Japan, have been tried a few times in North America, with varying degrees of success.