Created By: UnobligatoryStunfisk on September 22, 2011 Last Edited By: CaveCat on April 30, 2013
Troped

Washy Watchy

When a character watches a washing machine in progress, as if it is television.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Seen It a Million Times in Western Animation. Has Rolling Updates, but is otherwise Up for Grabs.

It's time to do laundry again. T-shirts, pants, socks, small children, underwear... Yup, Bob tosses the usual hamper all in to clean. And while the rinse cycle goes on, it's time to... Sit down and watch it. Why? Maybe Bob is a Cloudcuckoolander or even The Ditz. Maybe he sees something shiny or important swirling around inside. Maybe he's just bored. Regardless, Bob decides it's worth his time to watch the washing machine do its job.

This is a fairly Discredited Trope but can still occasionally be seen at laundromats in Real Life. On the other hand, it's a bit of a Coconut Effect in the way that clear-front washing machines are not very common in laundromats as they are usually much newer (and why would a laundromat owner upgrade when their '80s/'90s machines work fine?).

Almost always Played for Laughs.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Occurs in Yotsuba&!, when she's helping the Ayases clean their house. She becomes intruged by a washer with a door on it's side (her Dad's was a top loader). A little latter, Yotsuba is standing and staring at the washer, thinking it fun.

Comics
  • In a Garfield strip while Jon and Garfield were visiting Jon's family on the farm, Jon and Doc Boy were apparently watching some kind of program, which turns out to be the laundry getting washed in the washing machine with Doc Boy saying "There's goes the red sock again!"
  • I'm sure that Alvin did this in one Little Lulu comic.
  • This Mother Goose and Grimm strip showed Ralph watching what he thought was a program on the weather channel, when it was actually the Maytag that he was watching.

Literature
  • The Mangler has a scene where two characters talk about The Mangler... While watching a washing machine spin their clothes around.

Live-Action TV
  • In the first episode of the television show version of The Odd Couple, Gwendolyn and Felix watch a washing machine this way during their double date.
  • A sketch on The Benny Hill Show had a person watching his laundry at the laundromat, and actually switching channels somehow.

Western Animation
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Mid-Life Crustacean", watching laundry at the laundromat is one of Spongebob and Patrick's ideas of a good time--much to the disappointment of tagalong Mr. Krabs, who was hoping for an exciting evening of debauchery to make him feel young again.
  • In one Mr. Magoo cartoon, Magoo thinks the washing machine is a TV and that the long johns sloshing inside is some guy swimming the English Channel.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy starts a two-part wishing episode off with Billy watching the washing machine, wishing he could be "in the show too". Mandy later throws him inside during the rinse cycle at the end of the show.
  • Happens in Family Guy and Peter even points out that Chris' shirt is having an affair with Meg's socks (or something similar).
  • The Rugrats episode "Wash/Dry Story" had the babies taken to the laundromat. Not only did they think the washing machines were TVs, they thought it was the best programme ever.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • September 22, 2011
    CaveCat
    • In a Garfield strip while Jon and Garfield were visiting Jon's family on the farm, Jon and Doc Boy were apparently watching some kind of program, which turns out to be the laundry getting washed in the washing machine with Doc Boy saying "There's goes the red sock again!"
    • I'm sure that Alvin did this in one Little Lulu comic.
  • September 22, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    • In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Mid-Life Crustacean", watching laundry at the laundromat is one of Spongebob and Patrick's ideas of a good time--much to the disappointment of tagalong Mr. Krabs, who was hoping for an exciting evening of debauchery to make him feel young again.
  • September 22, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    • In the first episode of the television show version of The Odd Couple, Gwendolyn and Felix watch a washing machine this way during their double date.
  • September 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    A sketch on either Dave Allen At Large or The Benny Hill Show (I forget which) had a person watching his laundry at the laundromat, and actually switching channels somehow.
  • September 23, 2011
    TonyG
    In one Mister Magoo cartoon, Magoo thinks the washing machine is a TV and that the long johns sloshing inside is some guy swimming the English Channel.
  • September 24, 2011
    Gatomon41
    Anime and Manga:
    • Occurs in Yotsuba&!, when she's helping the Ayases clean their house. She becomes intruged by a washer with a door on it's side (her Dad's was a top loader). A little latter, Yotsuba is standing and staring at the washer, thinking it fun.
  • September 25, 2011
    KamenZero
    Happens in Family Guy and Peter even points out that Chris' shirt is having an affair with Meg's socks (or something similar).
  • October 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    New meaning to the phrase "watching soaps". Too bad it's not easy to make a pun off of that....
  • October 3, 2011
    MorganWick
  • October 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    "Yeah, you'd better run." :) Me too.
  • November 5, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bump.
  • November 5, 2011
    foxley
    A joke book I read as a kid had a cartoon of a character doing this in it.
  • November 5, 2011
    DaibhidC
    The Rugrats episode "Wash/Dry Story" had the babies taken to the laundromat. Not only did they think the washing machines were TVs, they thought it was the best programme ever.
  • November 5, 2011
    Maxaxle
    This is a fairly Discredited Trope but can still occasionally be seen at laundromats in Real Life. On the other hand, it's a bit of a Coconut Effect in the way that clear-front washing machines are not very common in laundromats as they are usually much newer (and why would a laundromat owner upgrade when their '80s/'90s machines work fine?).
  • June 26, 2012
    Noah1
  • June 27, 2012
    AgProv
    Live TV/Music:- Neil Innes in Rutland Weekend Television and its successor series The Innes Book of Records performed a song called "Front Loader, a parody of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", featuring a single, lonely, and rather nerdy university undergrad doing his laundry in a public laundromat. In the later version, Innes' nerdy Cannot Talk To Women student has an erotic fantasy about a girl also in the laundry. He ignores the fact she is being smiling and friendly in real life, and imagines her stripping for him: he sees this in the washer door as if it were a TV. Unfortunately, the bits he's never seen in real life end up being blacked out as her bra and pants come off....
  • June 27, 2012
    Andygal
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