Deadly Bath YKTTW Discussion

Deadly Bath
Somebody dies in the bath, usually violently.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-10-29 07:42:20 sponsor: Escher edited by: Oreochan (last reply: 2012-12-18 22:23:05)

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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.



  • 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: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: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: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: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.
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