This is based on a discussion in the TRS
, to make Candlelit Bath
into Exactly What It Says on the Tin
and create a new trope for when a bath turns fatal (candlelit or not).
I added the Interrupted Bath YKTTW
Taking a bath is risky business, at least in entertainment media. Nine times out of ten, either something happens to interrupt the bath
, or you die. This is the latter.
In part, this is due to the Law of Conservation of Detail
. The only reason to show somebody doing something as mundane as bathing is because something narratively important
is going to happen during that bath -- unless it's just for Fanservice
And it isn't hard to see why the bathtub or shower would be such a common place for murderers to show up. Bathing is when you're at your most vulnerable; relaxed, alone, naked, possibly with water in your eyes, in a small room that usually has one door and no windows.
Or, alternatively, it's a Bath Suicide
; a time that should be relaxing and pleasant becomes suddenly awful.
Whether murder or suicide, there may be an Electrified Bathtub
involved. The "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody
is a particularly common example of this trope -- or a subversion, depending on the humor content. A Deadly Bath will very commonly lead directly to Blood Is Squicker in Water
, and may turn into a Blood Bath
A Candlelit Bath
can easily turn into one of these when it isn't turning to romance.
Subtrope of the Bathtub Scene
or Shower Scene
, and the Interrupted Bath
As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
- Defied in Addams Family Values: Debbie tries to kill Fester by tossing a radio into the tub, but it only gives Fester his ability to light lightbulbs with his mouth.
- In Mirrors (American remake of a Korean film Into the Mirror) the main character's sister draws herself a bath.... guess who dies in one of the most painful and gruesome scenes of the film? A bath is used again but this time all the taps in the house have been turned on and the mother goes to turn the tap off...
- Subverted in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Nancy falls asleep in the tub and Freddy's bladed glove pops out of the water, but she wakes up in time for nothing to happen.
- In Sherlock Holmes, Sir Thomas is murdered while taking a bath.
- In Boardwalk Empire, Gillian kills Roger, who looks a lot like her dead son Jimmy, in a bathtub in a perverse effort to gain closure for the latter's death.
- In an episode of Bones the Victim of the Week was found in her shower. She had been there for days with hot water pouring over her.
- In the final season of Damages, the whistleblower's murder is staged as a suicide in a full bath tub.
- The Trinity killer from Dexter murders women in their bathtubs. Eventually, he takes revenge on Dexter by killing Rita this way.
- One episode of Diagnosis: Murder showed a guy giving a girl a shoulder massage as she lay in the tub, then suddenly pushing her under the water and drowning her.
- An episode of Psych had a killer picking off members of a sorority, one of them by throwing a toaster into her bath.
- In The Sopranos, Brendan Filone is inside his bathtub when Mickey Palmice visits him to deliver a Moe Green Especial on Junior's orders.
- Subverted in the Supernatural episode "Dead in the Water" a vengeful spirit drowns people by pulling them into the water. After a case at the lake, a case involving a kitchen-sink and another one at the lake, a woman is being drowned in her bathtub, but the Big Damn Heroes arrive in the nick of time to pull her out.
[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
- Older Than Feudalism: After returning home from the siege of Troy, King Agamemnon died this way, chopped up with axes in his bathtub by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aigisthos.
- King Minos of Crete was murdered by boiling him to death in an overheated bath. He was a guest of Cocalos at the time, and Cocalos' daughters were the ones who killed him.
- The Scene of the Crime has a man who was murdered in a bathtub, with the player tasked with investigating the crime.
- Roman Emperor Commodus was strangled in his bathtub by the wrestler Narcissus. [[note]]Some sources say he was murdered in his bed instead.[[/note]]
- French Revolutionary Marat, an architect of the Terror and the guillotine, was stabbed to death in his bath by a disgruntled female assassin. This inspired a famous painting.
- Olga of Kiev once killed some ambassadors who came to her with a marriage proposal from another ruler by luring them into a bathhouse and burning them alive.
- Jim Morrison (of The Doors) died in the bathtub, albeit peacefully.
- Professional wrestler Bruiser Brody was killed in the shower room after a card. His killer successfully pled self-defense but there are many who doubt it.