Local taxi drivers offer tourists a ride to see a donkey show in the red light district. The shows are difficult to verify and may be urban legends, but anecdotal accounts are frequent. Author Jim Dawson writes: "No doubt there are clandestine clubs that have put these sordid floorshows on display, but if every man who claims he actually saw one is telling the truth, there must be a lot of bowlegged women hobbling around Tijuana." Gustavo Arellano, in his ¡Ask a Mexican! column, argues that donkey shows are not real.
The "donkey show" in Tijuana myth is deeply embedded in American film, including Losin' It (1983), Bachelor Party (1984), The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005), Clerks II (2006), The Heartbreak Kid (2007), and Cake (2014).
In the 2005 book The Godfather Returns written by Mark Winegardner, Fredo Corleone's wife Deanna Dunn insists on attending one: "on a whim, they'd headed to Mexico. When they'd gotten there, Deanna Dunn, insisted on going to see a donkey show. ... who thought that watching a donkey fuck a teenage Indian girl was a hoot."
It is occasionally given as a reason to visit Tijuana. From time to time one may come across naive tourists going up and down La Coahuila street, unsuccessfully trying to find the show.
More recently the term has been used to describe a situation that has become a "complete mess".
- "Foreign Affairs". Los Angeles Magazine. 45 (6). June 1, 2000. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
'the donkey show,' which highlighted a Catherine the Great-style coupling
- Jim Dawson (1999). Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of the Fart. ISBN 1-58008-011-1.
There was a time when guys would boast of having seen a girl-and-donkey show in Tijuana, Mexico.
- New West. 1981.
One of the drivers offered to drive me to a donkey show. In Tijuana's past the donkey show was always rumored to exist
- "Ethnic, sexual slurs pervade bar". Denver Post. June 8, 2005. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
Although donkey shows in Tijuana and other border towns are impossible to verify, the Internet is rife with anecdotal accounts of brothel bestiality.
- "On the Borders". Chicago Tribune. March 17, 2002. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
I did ask Ricardo Lizarraga about Tijuana donkey shows. He laughed. I havent heard the donkey show rumor in years he said. It's like an urban legend
- Arellano, Gustavo (2014-10-16). "¡Ask a Mexican: Are Donkey Shows Really a Thing in Mexico?". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
- Mark Winegardner (2005). The Godfather Returns. p. 252.
- Alejandro L. Madrid, Alejandro Luis Madrid-González (2008). "Where's the Donkey Show, Mr. Mariachi? Reterritorialing TJ". Nor-tec rifa!: electronic dance music from Tijuana to the world. Currents in Iberian and Latin American Music (illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press US. pp. 16, 115, 145, 217 (footnote 2), 220 (footnote 41). ISBN 9780195342628.
- Jonathon Green (2005). Cassell's dictionary of slang. Sterling Publishing Company. Retrieved 2010-05-21.