Interrupted Bath

It seems to be really difficult for people in entertainment media to actually finish a bath or shower. The phone or doorbell rings, somebody bursts in on them, or they die.

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 the Fanservice.

This trope is usually played for laughs when it's not a Deadly Bath; a bath is supposed to be relaxing and being naked is embarassing, which makes the addition of stress and/or visitors all the more annoying for the character (and therefore funnier for the audience).

This trope often coexists with the Candlelit Bath, since the extensive setup increases the comedy or drama value of ruining the whole thing.

Subtrope of the Bathtub Scene or Shower Scene. The "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody is an extremely common subtrope of the Interrupted Bath.

Examples of fatal bathtime interruptions can go on Deadly Bath. The rest go here.


Anime & Manga

Comic Books
  • In Andy Capp, a neighbor of Andy's receives a phone call while he's in the bath that turns out to be a wrong number intended for Andy. He rushes over to Andy's house, wearing just a towel, to complain about it. "Tell him to call later," answers Andy, "I'm in my bath."
  • Asterix at the Olympic Games: Chief Vitalstatistix is in his bath when a Roman centurion comes to call. Unwilling to get out when he just got in, he has his bearers put the tub on the shield and carry him before the centurion. The centurion thinks this a Gallic custom, so when Vitalstatistix comes to the camp, he finds the centurion ready to parley in his own tub.
  • Averted in one Judge Dredd story: two criminals break into an apartment, only to realize it's Dredd's, who's in the bath. He proceeds to neutralize them without getting out of the tub, because it's been far too long since he had one (as opposed to a shower).
  • In Tintin, Captain Haddock once had to answer a phone call while in his bath. Hearing the ringing, he first put the shower on his ear like a receiver.

Film - Animated
  • Aladdin: "Never fails. You get in the bath, there's a rub at the lamp."

  • In The Savannah Reid Mysteries, Savannah's Candlelit Baths are supposed to be relaxing, a time when nothing disturbs her. Unfortunately, they frequently get interrupted by phone calls.
  • In Foundation, one story opens with the protagonist being interrupted in his shower by a fellow Trader bringing an urgent assignment.

Live-Action TV
  • The 'Allo 'Allo! episode "The Nicked Knockwurst" opens with a scene with the main character taking a bath that is interrupted over and over again, much to his growing annoyance.
  • Zoey 101: In "Webcam", the girls get back at Logan for secretly taping them by staging a scene where they knock out Kazu. When Logan watches the scene on his computer, he retrieves Dean Rivers from his shower and takes him to the girls' dorm, only to see that everything's fine and that he just exposed his scheme. An infuriated Rivers then takes him to his office for interrupting his shower for nothing.
  • Friends : A whole episode is based on this in 'The One Where Chandler Takes A Bath", where Chandler's baths are continuously interrupted to increasing comedic effect, resulting in a borderline Stateroom Sketch
  • Taboo : Zilpha's bath is interrupted by her abusive husband

Newspaper Comics
  • Blondie
    • One of the strip's running gags involves Dagwood being interrupted while he's in the tub, usually by phone calls, repairmen, or neighbor kid Elmo.
    • Not even Blondie herself is immune. After launching her catering business, an arrogant bridezilla charges into the Bumstead home to make changes to the reception menu while Blondie is naked and aghast in the tub.

Video Games
  • In Dishonored, one of the women from the loyalist conspiracy takes a bath at one point. The door isn't locked, so if you so choose, you can just barge right in and endure her "What the Hell, Hero?" reaction.

Western Animation
  • House of Mouse
    • The short "Daisy's Big Sale" opens with Minnie coming out of her shower to answer a phone call from Daisy.
    • In the short "Hydrosquirter", Ludwig Von Drake modifies his shower and accidentally turns it into a teleportation machine, resulting in an awkward situation when he hears a truck outside the tub and walks out to find himself in the middle of a busy street intersection.
    Von Drake: I heard of home delivery, but I didn't know they drove right into your home.
  • Looney Tunes: Porky Pig has such a moment in Porky's Pooch.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In "Mo Job", Mojo Jojo has to get up from his bath to answer the door for Princess when she comes to his lair.
  • The Simpsons: In "Bart Gets Famous", Bart wanders off from a field trip, and Principal Skinner calls Marge at home, causing her to run to the phone dripping wet in a towel. When she doesn't answer on time, he calls Homer at work, where, for some reason, he also runs for the phone after a shower.
    Homer: You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Have You Seen This Snail?", SpongeBob and Patrick walk in on Squidward taking a bath while searching for Gary, leading to the memetic scene of Squid screaming for ten seconds.