Created By: Escher on October 29, 2012 Last Edited By: Oreochan on December 18, 2012
Troped

Deadly Bath

Somebody dies in the bath, usually violently.

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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 over here.

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.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • 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]]

[[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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • The Scene of the Crime has a man who was murdered in a bathtub, with the player tasked with investigating the crime.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • 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.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • October 29, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    Greek Mythology: After returing from the siege of Troy, Agamemnon dies this way, chopped up with axes by his wife and her lover.
  • October 29, 2012
    KTera
    • The Trinity killer from Dexter murders women in their bathtubs. Eventually, he takes revenge on Dexter by killing Rita this way.
  • October 29, 2012
    JonnyB
    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.
  • October 29, 2012
    reub2000
    In Sherlock Holmes, Sir Thomas is murdered while taking a bath.
  • October 31, 2012
    AgProv
    history: 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.

    Also, the bath was the reccomended place for Romans to commit suicide, if this had been ordered by the Emperor: the reason being that after cutting ones wrists, hot water eased the convulsions of passing, and it was also considerate - it made less mess for the slaves to tidy away.
  • October 31, 2012
    dotchan
    Suicides in the bath is already a trope, Bath Suicide.
  • October 31, 2012
    dotchan
    Suicides in the bath is already a trope, Bathtub Suicide.
  • November 1, 2012
    NimmerStill
    A spoiler-heavy trope, I guess, but, and this is a heavy spoiler mind you:
    • 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.
  • November 1, 2012
    TBTabby
    The Scene of the Crime has a man who was murdered in a bathtub, with the player tasked with investigating the crime.
  • November 1, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    • In The Sopranos, Brendan Filone is inside his bathtub when Mickey Palmice visits him to deliver a Moe Green Especial on Junior's orders.
    • Roman Emperor Commodus was strangled in his bathtub by the wrestler Narcissus. [[note]] Some sources have him being killed his bed[[/note]]
  • November 1, 2012
    Tallens
    • 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.
  • November 3, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Real Life

    Jim Morrison (of The Doors) died in the bathtub, albeit peacefully.
  • November 6, 2012
    Tallens
    • An episode of Psych had a killer picking off members of a sorority, one of them by throwing a toaster into her bath.
  • November 6, 2012
    KTera
    I think there's a sidequest in Knights Of The Old Republic where you can kill someone by poisoning their bathwater, but I can't remember the details since I haven't played it in forever.
  • November 6, 2012
    Tallens
    ^You might be thinking of where you can poison the giant shark.
  • November 9, 2012
    LancelotG
  • November 10, 2012
    CharacterInWhite
    • In the final season of Damages, the whistleblower's murder is staged as a suicide in a full bath tub.
  • November 15, 2012
    Afrael
    Olga of Kiev once killed ambassadors who came to her with a marriage proposal from another ruler by luring them into a bathhose and burning them alive.
  • November 15, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • Averted in 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.
  • November 16, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    Be sure to put this in Bathing Tropes.
  • November 16, 2012
    m8e
    Related to Cant Bathe Without A Weapon. Some of them might count as subversion of this. Like when Tuco(The ugly) takes a bath and shoots the bountyhunter that's after him.
  • November 16, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    Also, I think Bathtub Murder can be a redirect.
  • December 13, 2012
    Lascoot
    Since this is a Death trope, shouldn't it have a Death Trope so Spoilers! Header thingy?

    Live-Action Television example:
    • Averted 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.
  • December 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • December 16, 2012
    TrollBrutal
    Death Trope indeed. Edited the Supernatural example up there, since that is a subversion.
  • December 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • December 17, 2012
    DoctorGriff
    In the pre-credit scene of Goldfinger, Bond kills a mook by throwing a lamp into the tub of water he's in. He, of course, follows this with a one-liner.
  • December 17, 2012
    Lascoot
    I wouldn't mind launching this one (it looks pretty ok to my eyes), but I'm new to all this (hence the subversion/aversion confusion, sorry for that) so a little unsure about it. If I launch it, do I add the Death Trope warning and remove all the spoiler tags? If it is launched, does that also mean that the original Candlelit Bath gets cleaned up and all examples there that end up in murder and mayhem are moved to this one? Because if that's the case, I'd say we're ready to go.
  • December 18, 2012
    SKJAM
    Radio:

    • On The Whistler episode, "Broken Chain", Albert cracks his wife Evelyn's head against the tub during her bath. He figures that no one will suspect, as his Aunt Leona died similarly in an actual accident. But then how is it that his wife is calling the office to say she's playing bridge with Mrs. Bronson? That was actually Mrs. Bronson calling in pretending to be Evelyn, to cover for her friend's prearranged day to commit adultery.
  • December 18, 2012
    ArcadesSabboth
    ^^It's certainly a Death Trope and shouldn't have spoiler tags.
  • December 18, 2012
    chicagomel
    CSI has done this several times. The Paul Millander arc involved a series of murders in bathtubs staged as suicides. another involved a murder with a hair dryer dropped into the tub. Then there was a hotel tub death... CSINY did it once or twice too. The franchise likes this trope.

    Real Life:The Drew Peterson "did his first wife hit her head in the tub or was it murder?" case.

  • December 18, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the original I Spit On Your Grave Jennifer kills the leader of the men who raped her by seducing him into taking a hot bath with her, then slicing his nuts off causing him to bleed out.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=pq0tjcj65k3ri2592kspz7ih