Man-Made House Flood

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Sometimes a member of the family, a housesitter hired to watch the house, or even both, end up doing something so stupid that it results in the house (usually ground floor) being flooded to the knees of an adult. It's commonly a source of comedy. Bonus points if they don't show how they did it, and it starts with a phone call focusing on the face of the caller before panning back to reveal the flood.


Examples:

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    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin calls his dad at work, apparently to make small talk. The final panel reveals the real reason he's calling: He somehow managed to flood the house, and the waterline is high enough to reach the top of the stool that Calvin is currently on. The next strip references this event, where Calvin's father retorts angrily after Calvin gives him the poll results of his "reign" as dad, revealing that the reason he took away dessert from Calvin is that Calvin flooded the house.
    • In another, Calvin turns the stairs into a waterfall.
    • Yet another, Calvin causes one in the bathroom after breaking the handle off the sink faucet.
  • In FoxTrot, during the time where Roger has to housesit for Andy while she's out of town, Roger is calling her reporting what's going on at the house, and wonders when she's going to be back. The final panel reveals that he is waist-deep in a flooded kitchen; Jason remarks that even he knew how to properly operate the dishwasher (implying that Roger messed up so badly on the dishwasher that it resulted in the flood). They eventually got rid of the flood before Andy gets back, although not without having to contend with a swamp.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Home Alone, the Wet Bandits (or rather, Marv) deliberately invoke the trope when robbing houses as a Calling Card. Said action ends up biting them in the butt in the climax where they are arrested for every single house they robbed.
  • A variation happens in Jumanji, when playing the game somehow causes a rainforest monsoon right inside the house.

    Literature 
  • In The Last Camel Died at Noon, Amelia Peabody gets home from a trip to London to learn that her son Ramses had been about to take a bath when he'd been distracted by his cat catching a mouse, and had neglected to turn off the water, causing both a flood in the bathroom, and a cascade of water coming down from the ceiling into his father's study. Amelia promptly decides that she doesn't want to know any more details, and tells her maid to just give Amelia her whiskey and go away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens in an episode of The Drew Carey Show. Drew has a crush on a (female) plumber, and punctures a pipe so he can call her and get her to come round to his house.
  • A version happens in The Brady Bunch. Bobby tries to cover up making his suit dirty by dumping it into the washing machine with a whole box of detergent, when he returns to the laundry room, he fids it filled about 4½ feet deep in soap suds.
  • An early sketch on Donny & Marie has Nipsey Russell making a Newhart Phone Call to the plumber from his flooded kitchen.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In an early Sesame Street Muppet sketch, Ernie has just come out of the bath, but he has forgotten something. As Bert tries to guess what Ernie forgot, Ernie realizes that he forgot to turn off the bathtub faucet. At the end of the sketch, the apartment has filled with water.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode where Lisa has to contend with being the authority figure of the house when Marge ended up injured from a clock falling on her, Lisa is calling Marge. It's revealed after she briefly talks to Marge that Lisa is currently on a stool in a flooded house, with Homer and Bart playing Marco Polo. It's strongly implied that Bart and Homer caused the flood.
    • Homer did a variation in the beginning of one episode, where the entire house was covered in waterfalls before running out of the house to go to Moe's, although in this case, we actually see how he did it: After the kids were unable to take a bath due to the water heater being broken, Homer attempts to fix it with a crowbar, thus causing the water heater to explode in a geyser.
  • Popeye:
    • In the cartoon "Happy Birthdaze", he brings new friend Shorty to Olive's house. Shorty uses the bathroom to wash up, and when Popeye opens the door, a flood of water washes him down the sewer in the road. Twice.
    • In another Popeye short, "Floor Flusher", Popeye and Bluto flood Olive Oyl's house as they try to fix a broken pipe under her kitchen sink.
  • On the Toy Story short "Partysaurus Rex", Rex turns on the bathtub tap so the bath toys can party. Unfortunately, he can't turn it back off, and he ends up flooding the house.

    Real Life 
  • A clogged toilet is very likely to invoke this trope on a small scale, and it's why having a plunger next to the toilet is often a very good idea — as well as knowing how to quickly shut off water to the toilet.
  • Preventing this trope is why, if the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C), you should have all faucets both indoors and outdoors turned on just enough to drip — which leaves water and air circulating through the system enough to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • Failing water heaters are notorious for this - which is why a water heater generally should be placed outside of the house proper or in a garage with nothing next to it. Examining it for damage (especially rust, bulges, or sediment accumulation on the outside of the tank) on a regular basis is also a very good idea.

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