Tommy: Maybe a bad word is a word that people don't want to hear.
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
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.
- Alice in Kami-sama no Memo-chou.
- Tetsuro in Galaxy Express 999.
- 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!).
- 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.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- 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.
- Werewolves are very dog-like, to the point of flinching whenever someone even mentions the word "bath."
- 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 Creator/Betty Mac Donald's Series/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.)
- 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.
- 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..
- 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.
- 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.
- Touko 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.