Tommy: Maybe a bad word is a word that people don't want to hear.
Phil: Well then, I know a really bad word: bath.For some characters, one of the scariest or things in the world is a bath. This is most commonly seen in young characters (especially boys), who often have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the bath tub. For adult characters it is usually a man whose wife forces him to take a bath. Other species, such as cats and dogs, are often commonly depicted as disliking baths. However, this trope could apply to any age, gender or species. This trope is related to The Pig Pen, however a character who Hates Baths need not necessarily be unusually filthy or smelly. This trope was a bit harsher in Real Life before roughly 1950s-60s when the modern bath detergents were invented. Before bubble bath, they involved gray soap and rigorous scrubbing. Compare with Cats Hate Water for feline oriented examples. Often used with Baths Are Fun.
— Rugrats, "The Word of the Day"
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- This was a recurrent theme in some commercials for Mr. Bubble, as it purportedly makes baths fun. One had a mom looking for her son Marshall when it was time for his bath. After calling him multiple times and searching for him everywhere, she eventually locates him in the last place she'd think of looking — behind the curtain of a basement shower stall.
Anime & Manga
- Like his father, Negi Springfield in Mahou Sensei Negima! avoids baths as much as he can. Asuna frequently has to bathe him, and isn't always gentle about it.
- Miata in Claymore, who runs out the second she gets a chance with her modesty only being preserved by her Rapunzel Hair. It's part of her general Wild Child demeanor.
- Baikinman from Anpanman, though somewhat justified for him as he's an alien bacterium and actually allergic to soap and cleanliness. Being washed actually shrinks him down to the size of the fly and his Kabirunrun minions, being living mold spores, have the same hatred. However, Dokinchan and Baikinsennin, two other members of his species don't have this aversion and actually enjoy them (Baikinsennin even having a personal hot springs outside his house!).
- Eleven year-old Shiro in No Game No Life hates bathing. Before coming to Disboard, she managed to avoid it by simply not doing it and taking advantage of her brother's Chivalrous Pervert nature to keep him from forcibly bathing her himself. After coming to Disboard, there are adult females in the cast who can make her whether she wants to or not.
- Played with in a mini-manga associated with Death Note. L doesn't like taking baths...but it's not because he doesn't like to be clean. (Actually, quite the opposite is true.) It's that he regards washing as being too much effort. So his caretaker, Watari, rigged up a "human washing machine" for him to use instead.
- Dennis in Dennis the Menace (UK).
- Most characters in The Beano.
- Smudge from Monica's Gang is such an egregious example, it seems like he has an atomic allergy to any water that may touch him outside of his mouth. He gets around it in the sequel series, but he still dislikes bathing.
- In the Lanfeust series and its spin-off Troll de Troy, every member of the troll species hates water with a passion. It goes into Weaksauce Weakness level, as any human with a magic power over water disposes of a great weapon against trolls. This is explained by the fact that trolls take great pride in the number of flies their smell attract, and being submerged in water could make them clean, which would make their flies go away. Though they also seem to dislike drinking water with equal passion...
- In Archie Comics, Jughead's pet Hot Dog. And in some older, short jokes, his master Jughead isn't too pleased with baths either. In one story, Jug's mom asked him to give Hot Dog a bath, not because Hot Dog needed one, but Jughead did! And Jug usually ended up with more soap and water on himself anyway.
- Tails in Bath Time. It seems like Sonic would have been a more logical choice due to his dislike bordering on irrational terror of water being almost a defining element of his character.
- Spock, according to Insontis II does not like water, and one whole segment is devoted to Kirk convincing child!Spock to take a bath, since he can't use the sonic showers.
- Guilmon in Transcendence: Digital Curse apparently hates baths to the point that he sounds like he's being attacked while taking one.
- Tama in The Lion King Adventures only bathes once a year, spending the rest of the time walking around covered in dirt and sweat.
- Simba, as always. See below.
- Shocker is an interesting case. He doesn't actively dislike baths like Simba or Tama, but he's too distracted by revenge to bother taking one. The result (according to Word of God) is that he smells like "a mix between stale sweat and burning rubber."
- In Poison, the anti-drug spinoff of the above series, druggie lion cub Moto is a prime example, and lioness Sarafina starts out this way, though she gradually gets better.
- Mittens in the Bolt fanfic A Little Bit of Everything. Given she's a cat, as well as her dirty, scruffy appearance in the film, it's not much of a stretch.
Films — Animation
- In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Dr. Sweet is able to drive Mole away from Milo after Milo accidentally sat in Mole's precious dirtpiles by threatening him with soap.
Sweet: I've got soap, and I'm not afraid to use it!
Sweet: *towel whip* Back foul creature! Back to the pit from whence you came!
- In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, none of the dwarfs were inclined to washing up until she insisted on it...Grumpy was still un-inclined.
- The Lion King: "Mom! Mom, you're messing up my mane!" This trope was also the focus of the tie-in comic "Dirty Cub", where Simba makes an effort to stay clean just so he won't have to take a bath again.
- In contrast to Simba, Nala is shown to enjoy her mother's tongue baths, but in the comic "The Disguised Zebra", both cubs like playing in the mud, and equally dread "showering" (in reality an elephant pouring water onto them from his trunk).
- In Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, Scamp hates taking baths. Guess how the movie ends...
- Lucifer in Cinderella is horrified when Lady Tremaine orders Cinderella to give him a bath. In the sequel, the mice give him a bath as part of their effort to help him win Pom-Pom's affections, and he clearly hates every second of it.
Films — Live-Action
- In the live-action version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mr. Beaver refers to bath day as the worst day of the year.
- In the live-action version of Peter Pan, Nana the dog has to hoist Michael onto her back and throw him in every day.
- Life Is Beautiful. Little Giosue hides when his mom tells him it's time for his shower. Giosue's dislike of showers saves him later after he and his father are deported to a concentration camp.
- From a Deleted Scene in Lolita (1997)
Charlotte: And wash your hair, young lady!Dolores: I did wash it!Charlotte: When.Dolores: Couple of months ago.
- In Wet Hot American Summer, Arty "The Beekeeper" delays taking a very necessary bath, despite the insistence of McKinley. An ambush with the participation of several children and staff members in the camp's canteen was required to take Arty to the showers, whose success has earned it an unanimous ovation.
- A Brother's Price Jerin's younger sisters are very unhappy when he announces it's bath day. Could be partly due to the fact that they have no running water and have to carry it to the tub in buckets.
- Werewolves are very dog-like, to the point of flinching whenever someone even mentions the word "bath." They are able to take cold showers if they pretend that it's rain.
- The Nac Mac Feegle also have an aversion to washing, to the point where some believe it's their skin that comes off upon contact with soap and water, not grime.
- Witches don't necessarily hate baths, but seldom find time out of their busy schedules to take them. Granny Weatherwax dislikes them because she can't be havin' with nudity, and settles for washing "all the bits", as and when they become available.
- Shogun. Blackthorne was afraid of baths at the begining of the story. Notably, Blackthorne is an adult, but comes from 17th-century England where a bath a month was considered overdoing things.
- Running Gag with the Dibbuns (baby animals) and vermin (Always Chaotic Evil species) in Redwall. The vermin actually have a comic song about how dangerous bathing is, about a young ferret who washed himself entirely out of existence.
- Mr. Messy of the Mr. Men hates baths, as befits his name. He is forced into taking one at the end of the book bearing his name, and when he is newly cleaned, he jokes that he'll need to change his name now.
- Johanna Mason in The Hunger Games is afraid of baths, because the capital tortured her by soaking her and shocking her electrically while they were holding her prisoner.
- Piglet in Winnie-the-Pooh. When he gets washed by Kanga, the first thing he does is look for a puddle to roll around in.
- A Song of Ice and Fire. Tomboy Princess Arya Stark while travelling incognito in the Riverlands complains when she stops at a holdfast and the women force her to take a bath (and wear a dress) because she had one a couple of weeks ago.
- In Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, the Radish Cure involves a little girl who refuses to take a bath.
- Farmer Bean in The Fantastic Mr Fox never took a bath. ("He never even washed," says the narration.) As a result, he's hard of hearing due to his ears being clogged with dirt and other residue. (The other two villains are probably unhygienic too; Mr. Fox says in one scene that the reason they can never get the jump on him is because they stink.)
- At the beginning of the classic children's book Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, the titular canine, upon hearing the bathtub running, takes the scrub brush and buries it in the backyard to avoid taking a bath.
Live Action TV
- Leave It to Beaver. Both Beaver and Waly on sometimes display this attitude, at least until they get older. In the first episode, they fake taking a bath by rumpling towels and putting dirt in the bath tub.
- The Brady Bunch. The dog Tiger hates baths.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf has stated that he hates baths. Or anything to do with water. Then again, Klingons don't care about cleanliness as much as humans do.
- Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes. Though one time he had a good reason, as the water came to life and tried to drown him.
- Dennis in Dennis the Menace (US) .
- A comic book story featured his dog Ruff having a similar aversion to baths, but otherwise loving getting wet. According to Dennis, it was the soap that they both loathed.
- Hägar the Horrible takes his bath once a year.
- In one of the early strips of Peanuts, Charlie Brown tries to stall taking a bath using tactics that would later be imitated by Calvin. However, this aspect to his character never got the same level of attention as Calvin got, it being awkward when no adult can appear or speak to force the issue, and was eventually forgotten. Presumably he grew out of it.
- Wellington's dog Boot in The Perishers. His aversion to being bathed (in an old tin bath) turns bathtimes into epic battles.
- The water-hating Wiley from B.C..
- Jon typically has to trick Garfield to get him into the tub of soapy water, and even then Garfield has pulled fast ones on him.
- The Jim Henson program Mopatop's Shop had a character come into a store to get some dirt to roll in. His mother had asked him to get a bathtub, but he hated taking baths. Another character sang a song to convince him that Baths Are Fun. It worked and the character that hated baths joined in the song. "Forget the dirt, I'll take the bathtub after all.
- Cinko from Uglydolls is so terrified of water that he doesn't even bathe. One of the guidebooks points out that if it was a scratch and sniff book, you wouldn't have to ask about it at all.
- A PC Dark Sun game had, as one of its villains, an Evil Sorcerer who was fond of cruel irony. One of the first of his "experiments" the Player Party discovers is a bronze statue under an ever-running showerhead, body frozen in twisted agony. A sign nearby reveals that this used to be one of his assistants, who disliked baths.
- Ōkami. Amaterasu hates getting wet and tries to avoid water (as does Issun, who dubs her "No-Bath Ammy").
- In The Sims 2, dogs can end up becoming this if they're not praised for behaving in the bath, or if they are praised for jumping out.
- Pascal in Tales of Graces is prone to this (not for hating baths inherently, but because they get in the way of her research) often enough that one of the secret boss fights consists of Cheria basically beating Pascal up to force her to take a bath. It is disturbingly difficult.
- Toko Fukawa in Dangan Ronpa doesn't bathe in the entirety of her time at the school (a period of several weeks at least) and is generally implied to have bad hygiene. After the protagonist falls into a garbage disposal shaft, she makes fun of him for smelling worse than she does.
- Wade in Grand Theft Auto V insists on taking no baths, even after he's been covered head to toe in sewage.
- Lardee from My Milk Toof who hides and says "I don't wanna".
- The Cyantian Chronicles: King Laish's son Sar, to the point of throwing a screaming fit and calling for his mother, Queen Mirand.
- Faen Val'Sullisinrune of Drowtales after the 15 year timeskip, and with very good reason given what she witnessed earlier in the story.
- In Housepets!, Grape (a cat, naturally) routinely has to be tricked into taking baths. By her own declaration she's even gone so far as to eat mud to avoid getting bathed.
- Varden of Inverloch hates bathing and only does so after a prizefight-and-sewer-trek adventure. For good reason, however. Bathing washes the dye out of his blond hair.
- Samantha from Questionable Content has a rather irregular bathing schedule (and, apparently, a somewhat pungent stench as a result).
- Looney Tunes: Elmer Fudd's dog in the short An Itch in Time.
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Tigger tries to hide Roo from Kanga to keep from taking a bath. Tigger seems to hate baths even more than Roo does, as he keeps claiming they lead to "The End!"
- Phil and Lil hate taking baths.
- Tommy also temporarily hated baths in the episode, "Down the Drain", when one of his toy soldiers fell down the drain. Angelica telling him and Chuckie an obviously made-up story about a kid who got sucked down the drain certainly didn't help matters. He does everything in his power to avoid taking a bath, but nothing works. Fortunately, he overcomes his fear at the end of the episode.
- Dil also hates baths, as seen in the short, "Dil's Bathtime." In contrast, his older brother, Tommy, loves taking baths.
- The Powerpuff Girls: In one episode, "Down 'n' Dirty", Buttercup keeps getting dirty after a fight and refuses to bathe. This escalates as more dirt gets layered on her until she eventually run out of town for her smell. The final straw comes when a monster refuses to continue to fight her due to the stink, resulting in her giving in and taking a bath. (Or rather, she lets Blossom and Bubbles bathe her, a process which involves extremely rigorous scrubbing, and Buttercup's reaction during her bath is one of sheer rage.)
- KaBlam!: In one "Life With Loopy" segment, Loopy refuses to bathe because she'll "just get messy again."
- Muppet Babies: Rowlf's dislike of baths is the focus of one of the episodes.
- The Simpsons.
- One of the shorts on The Tracy Ullman Show concerned Bart being forced to take a bath. He doesn't want to initially (even hiding from Homer to avoid it) but once he's in and used to the cold water he has fun, eventually flooding the house.
- In "New Kid on the Block", Lisa reacts with surprise when Bart willingly takes a bath.
- Taz-Mania: A running theme is "TAZ HATE WATER!!!!" This applied to any thing that involved getting wet. Baths just made it ten times worse.
- Tommy Gilligan from Codename: Kids Next Door. The episode "Operation: DUCKY" is all about this trope.
- Gary, Spongebob Squarepants snail refuses to let Spongebob bathe him in one episode even resorting to TELEPORTATION to avoid getting in the bath. Strange, as they live underwater....
- Martha on Martha Speaks.
- Occasionally, Mickey Mouse's mention of baths would make Pluto scurry off in a hurry for someplace to hide.
- Krypto The Super Dog: Streaky the Supercat would often try to avoid a bath from his owner as much as possible. Although this could have more to do with the fact that his owner's a little kid who treats him a bit too roughly than him being a cat disliking baths in general.
- Caillou, until his mother made it fun by putting in some bubbles and bath toys. Later adapted as a song for one of the show's music albums.
- In The Fairly OddParents, Timmy Turner is shown as hating baths for one episode at least. However, when he is poofed out of the tub completely naked in a public place, he finds out there are things much worse than taking a bath.
- Toad from X-Men: Evolution.
Toad: EW! I touched soap!
- As has been mentioned in the comic section Dennis of Dennis the Menace (UK) hates bathing, but the 1996 animated adaptation took this to the extreme. In one episode "Bathnight Club" it is revealed the Ministry of Defense wants to keep him from bathing as his smelly socks are an effective biological weapon, however when the rest of the world declares world peace to avoid said weapon it becomes a military exercise to get him to bathe. Eventually the Queen sends him a large swimming pool waterslide bath which he is actually happy to embrace. In another episode it is revealed the dirty bath water he does leave behind on the occasions he does bathe is easily confused for crude oil!
- In the Sonic Underground episode, "Beginnings", Sonic hated taking baths as a kid. His foster father would have to bribe him with chili dogs to get him to take one.
- In Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Ed is terrified of things like soap, toothpaste, and deodorant.
- Guysborough the Garbage Barge from Theodore Tugboat hates being cleaned. When Foduck tried to clean him in the episode, "Foduck and the Shy Ship", Guysborough thought he was melting.
- Scruff from Thomas the Tank Engine is an engine who works at the Waste Dump and hates being cleaned. However, in the episode, "Scruff's Makeover", he became proud of his new coat of paint, and refused to work at the Waste Dump.
- The dog Astro on The Jetsons once whimpered "Ri ront rawnt a rath", as Jane announced it was time for his bath. His boy Elroy, chuckling at the situation, turned out to be not too keen on baths either.