"They went home... and sat in a hot bath... opened up their veins... and bled to death. And sometimes they had a little party before they did it."
The act of killing oneself by sitting in a tub and slitting one's blood vessels. The warm water is conducive to an easy flow of blood, so this is a comparatively painless method of suicide and tends to leave a relatively unblemished (and thus more dignified) corpse. And the billowing clouds of blood look really cool, too.
Perhaps because of its having been used
by the Roman
Stoic philosopher Seneca, who killed himself
at the command of his former pupil, the emperor Nero
(as depicted in the page illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle
), this act has often been associated with characters who are permitted "honorable deaths" or who take this way out as an alternative to submitting to tyranny
It should be noted that this is damn hard
to pull off in Real Life
, due to the body's pain response and the fact that the arteries are buried quite deep in the arm, and thus is mostly relegated to the realms of Hollywood. Nevertheless, if you are thinking about it, please talk to someone...
A Death Trope
, so be prepared for Spoilers
. Sometimes a result of being Driven to Suicide
, and a subtrope of Deadly Bath
. Not to be confused with another popular way to lose your life in a bathtub
Compare Leave Behind a Pistol
for alternative methods of ritualised suicide.
The mixture of blood and water in the tub
in the aftermath of this event is not to be confused for a Blood Bath
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Kei Kishimoto from Gantz does this before the series took place. When she comes back to life you can see a flash back of it in episode 6.
- Kakeru Satsuki's sister from Eleven Eyes does this before the beginning of the series. It is flashbacked to in episode 1.
- A flashback in King of Thorn reveals that Kasumi attempted this, but was interrupted before she could finish.
- Implied to have been attempted in Neon Genesis Evangelion by Asuka, post Mind Rape.
- Sakura Gari
- Souma's stepmother committed suicide this way when Souma was a child. Or so you'd think. The truth is way more horrible.
- When Souma himself is suicidal after Masataka brutally calls him out on his horrible treatment of him, he's so broken that he cuts his wrists open and places his bleeding arms in the same bath tub where his stepmom died. He lives, though.
- Used in a roundabout way by Youya aka Sakurako. After s/he definitely crosses the Despair Event Horizon upon believing s/he has murdered Souma, s/he cuts their own wrists with a katana and then drowns themself in a local pond.
- In Myself ; Yourself, Nanaka tried to commit suicide this way after remembering who the true culprit of the burning of her house and the murder of her parents was - her father, after learning that Nanaka was really the child of her mother and her piano teacher. Sana rescues her, before revealing that he had also tried to commit suicide this way in his old middle school after being bullied.
- Several people die this way in Detective Conan, though sometimes it's murder disguised as a suicide. Specially in the murder of Mina Aoshima, where her killer (her older sister Masayo) drugged her, cut her wrists, and then put her hands inside the tub.
- In the Shiki manga, Seishin is shown to have attempted this in college. It didn't work.
- Ryouta Sakamoto's mother in Btooom! attempted to kill herself by slitting her wrist in the bathtub when the full horror of the fact she basically sold off her son to die in a Deadly Game hit her.
- My Immortal has Ebony jumping into the bathtub after slitting her wrists and getting the blood all over her clothes. She takes a steak and contemplates sticking it into her heart to kill herself.
- In Gensokyo 20XXIV, is a subversion in that there is no bathtub to speak of, rather Ran tries to invoke this after her Near-Rape Experience by slitting her wrists and lying in snow, hoping to bleed out. Of course, she failed at this, seeing as she didn't cut her arms correctly and the fact that she did this in snow, the cold of which caused the veins to retract. However, this is also played with, later on when Chen does attempt suicide with a bathtub, except, instead of cutting, she tried drowning herself.
- Also, in 20XXIV and chapter 62 of 20XXV, this was alluded to as Yukari contemplated committing suicide, possibly this way.
Films — Live-Action
- Arvid does this in Swing Kids.
- In The Godfather Part II, Tom Hagen visits Pentangeli in prison and talks about this practice in the Roman Empire, hinting that if Pentangeli does this, his family will be spared. He does, and they are. The shot showing the outcome references the painting The Death of Marat◊ (a french revolutionary who did not commit suicide but was killed in a bath)
- It's strongly implied that Dr. Weir's wife Claire killed herself this way in Event Horizon.
- Happens in the opening scene of Sofia Coppola's 1999 hit film The Virgin Suicides.
- Attempted suicide in The Last Emperor. Done with a sink rather than a bathtub but the idea is still there.
- The protagonist's sister kills herself in a bath in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
- Stan Uris of It is driven into this method, and paints the word "It" in his own blood on the shower wall.
- Lady Macbeth goes out this way in the Australian film of Macbeth.
- In the movie Thir13en Ghosts , the past of the Angry Princess has her being a beautiful woman who attempted to fix an "imperfection" and bled herself dry because she became blind in one eye.
- Double Subverted in the Finnish movie Prinsessa. Christina, a mentally ill woman, cuts her wrists in a bathtub, with only the intention of draining away her "bad blood". She ends up unintentionally bleeding to death.
- Mitya does this at the end of Burnt by the Sun, which Book Ends his unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide by Russian Roulette at the start of the film.
- In Slum Dog Millionaire, the main character's brother goes out this way combined with the trope Suicide by Cop: sitting in the bathtub, on top of a pile of stolen rupees, with his pistol aimed at the bathroom door, and taking out as many gangsters as he can. In the end he dies, but not before bleeding all over his former boss' cash. This means that not only is the mafia boss now missing a few cronies, but he also has to do some literal laundering of his dirty, bloody money.
- Rules Of Attraction has Sean's secret admirer, who, upon being so badly heartbroken when Sean leaves with Lauren's roommate, promptly commits suicide this way.
- Subverted in Seven Pounds. Tim seems to be doing this, but in reality he had himself stung by a box jellyfish.
- John Lennon lampoons this in A Hard Day's Night while playing with submarines in the bathtub. His British submarine gets "hit," and he sinks into the water, pretending to die.
George: Torpedoed again.
- Hanna's stepdaughter (played by a young Natalie Portman) in Heat tries to do this, after she got seriously distraught that her biodad wouldn't give her the time of day. When he gets home from work Hanna finds her lying in his bathtub with her wrists cut. He immediately ties her arms and legs to stop the bleeding, and rushes her to the nearest ER.
- In The Last of Sheila a woman tearfully confesses to being a hit and run killer and is later found in the bathtub with her wrists slit. However, while her now widowed husband is trying to strangle someone who knows too much, you see that it was he who put her in the tub and cut her.
- In Phantom of the Paradise, it's shown that Swan was about to do this when he was offered his Deal with the Devil.
- In World War Z, in Japan, a beautiful young woman slit her wrists in her bath when the dead rose. It isn't pretty a few hours later, when the otaku, while fleeing the zombies, stumbles upon her.
- In Stephen King's It, this is how the adult Stanley Uris kills himself when he learns that the title Eldritch Abomination has returned.
- In White Night of The Dresden Files, a despair-inducing vampire tries, and nearly succeeds, to make Elaine do this. Fortunately, Harry gets through to her in time, after which she wraps herself in a towel and blasts the vampire with lightning.
- One character midway through On a Pale Horse kills himself this way, when Zane is still getting used to his role as The Grim Reaper.
- Used as a suicide attempt in Christopher Pike's Road To Nowhere.
- In The Girl Who Would Be King, Lola attempts suicide in a bath, but fails because of her Healing Factor.
- In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, the two women on the run from Jackson's Whole mercenaries discuss this as a method of avoiding capture.
- In The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes, Matt attempts this, but his neighbors manage to realize what was happening and rush him to the hospital just in time.
- Afterlife had one character who slit her wrists in the bath after psychic Allison Mundy claimed to see her dead mother behind her.
- Dexter subverts this twice, in different ways: first, with a serial killer who kills every first victim of his cycle by making it look like this sort of suicide. His final kill was Rita, in the bathtub of Dexter's house. Later, Dexter helps an extremely troubled girl escape after she just committed her first murder, and tells her to meet him at that same house. When he can't find her in the house, the audience is led to believe she may have committed suicide. He then finds her in the same bathtub the previous murder occurred in. She's just taking a bath.
- In One Tree Hill, Alex attempts suicide this way, but Julian gets there in time.
- Monsignor/Cardinal Howard commits suicide once the horrors of Briarcliff is revealed to the public in American Horror Story: Asylum.
- Arthur attempts suicide this way at the of Livre V (season 5).
- In the prequel season 6, the Roman Imperatore is pushed to suicide the same way by Méléagant.
- In the Masters Of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Kirby's late girlfriend Annie killed herself by slicing her own wrists in the bathtub when they both lived together as heroine junkies. Kirby has to relive the event during one of his visions.
- In The Borgias, Cardinal Verscucci kills himself this way when on the run from the Borgias after setting fire to their finances in vengeance for being ousted from the College of Cardinals.
- "Red Water" by Rehab.
- Implied in the video to Everytime by Britney Spears, before the All Just a Dream ending (which was apparently the result of Executive Meddling).
- The War on Drugs by Barenaked Ladies is about suicide in general, but also focuses on one particular character in the first half of the song:
In the dream I refuse to have
She falls asleep in a lukewarm bath
We're left to deal with the aftermath again
- P!nk's video to her song "Fucking Perfect" had the girl it focused around doing this near the end of it, carving "Perfect" into her arm with a razor. Fortunately it's All Just a Dream, and she wakes up from falling asleep in the bathtub and starts painting, eventually cleaning up her life, becoming a famous artist, finding a husband, and having a little girl.
- Implied in the X Japan PV for Week End as for being how Yoshiki's character eventually accomplished his suicide, with the water and the bleeding wrists...
- In RENT, Roger's girlfriend April killed herself this way before the start of the play, leaving a suicide note reading, "We've got AIDS."
- Crescendo: Yuka Otowa attempted this.
- Doom: Do It Again, a custom level, is about doing this to yourself.
- Eternal Darkness: If Alex examines a bathtub inside her family home, the camera rapidly zooms in on the suddenly-full tub in which a corpse of Alex lies in a pool of her own blood, prompting a Jump Scare.
- Fallout: In the 3D games, you will sometimes run across skeletons in bathtubs, often with caked blood on the floor, and med-x syringes or razors strewn about. Presumably it was preferable to an imminent nuclear holocaust. One of these bathtubs has a toaster in it as well.
- Heavy Rain: The mother of one of the Origami Killer's victims attempts this, but is rescued by Shelby.
- Home: This is one of the possible endings of the game.