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Shower of Angst

Spencer: She takes really long showers when she gets depressed.
Sam: Well, when do you think she's going to come out?
Spencer: I don't know. She took a chair in there.
iCarly

A character (often female) has had a rough day. She's suffered some sort of physical or emotional trauma that makes her want to run home and curl up into a ball.

Naturally, the first thing the woman wants to do is go home and take a nice, long, hot shower. This is not surprising; many people find the best way to relax after a hard day is to take that shower, put on fluffy pajamas and just let it all go. Water is also an archetypal purifier in general, capable of symbolically washing away sins or past events — though that doesn't mean it'll work.

Of course, when it comes to fanservice, these showers of angst are solid gold (and no, not that kind of shower). You can't argue with the titillation provided by seeing a hot-bodied person nude, soaking wet, and in desperate need of support (though in most cases of Shower of Angst, the person showering will be so distraught or depressed that he or she will shower with clothes on, resulting in a Sexy Soaked Shirt scene). However, in some cases, this can border on creepy, such as when a woman takes a shower of angst after being physically or sexually abused (or is suicidal and trying to kill herself by slashing her wrists and letting the running water bleed her dry). That particular version of the trope is common in soap operas, most serious movies, and cable dramas.

The post-rape shower also has ramifications in a Crime and Punishment Series scenario — if the victim takes a shower before a SAE kit has been collected, then vital forensic evidence is lost. Unfortunately, it's Truth in Television.

Men are not in the least exempt from this trope, since every shower scene is also a Shirtless Scene. The male variant often features a hunky male leaning towards the wall, with the running water falling on his back.

Contrast Redemption in the Rain — a joyful, liberating shower in the rain. Can also be an instance of Out, Damned Spot! if the showering is because a character is trying to wash away guilt.

Sub-pages and Examples:

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    Advertising 

    Comics 
  • After a story in which Green Arrow was tortured, his girlfriend Black Canary found him huddled in the bathtub, half-dressed, with the shower on full blast.
  • In one Liberty Meadows strip, Dean the Pig takes one, after he hit on Ralph by mistake (he even sings "the crying game"). Ralph was in drag at the time, to catch an unruly beaver that was causing trouble at the sanctuary. Said beaver ends up with his own shower scene afterwards.

    Fanfic 
  • In the Death Note fanfic titled "Broken" by SekushiAi Light starts taking these to an obsessive extent after being raped.
  • In AKK's Galaxy Rangers fanfic "The Lie," the fact that Zachary spent longer than usual in the shower after being rescued from the Queen was one of the factors that tipped off Goose to the fact that, contrary to the official report, the Queen didn't toss Zach in the Psychocrypt right away.
  • Also from iCarly in the fanfiction "iFind and Keep You", a wedded Carly and Freddie steps into this (along with Shower Of Love) after Carly goes into an emotional meltdown in reliving her childhood memories with their late best friend.
  • In the Glee fanfic Hunting The Unicorn, Blaine takes a lot of cold showers to deal with his Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality.
  • This chapter of an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic has Toph crying in the shower after she ran away from her parents home after a brutal fight.
  • In Ponyfall: The Dawning of Twilight, Twilight Sparkle does this after a traumatic experience in the ER where her brony friend Matt works, where she had to help him save someone from bleeding to death. Overlaps with Out, Damned Spot!
  • Done twice with Gamzee in Hivefled, first in Reprise after the first time he is raped by the Grand Highblood, and has to clean himself up alone while wishing his friends were there, and later in Hivefled proper when the trolls are on the ship.
  • Played for laughs in Stealing the Deed. Early in the story, Rarity is doing this, though for a practical reason, being a Neat Freak in the aftermath of battle with a slime creature and freaking out. Later in the story, however, Twilight ends up wondering if Rarity needs any help screaming in the shower after having Trixie's obsessiveness shoved in her face.

    Music 
  • Toni Braxton does this in the video for "Unbreak My Heart," as she mourns her boyfriend who had been killed in a motorcycle accident.
    • Overlaps with Shower Of Love as she also recalls how they used to frolic in the same shower stall.
  • As does Amy Lee in the video "Everybody's Fool". Complete with a shot of her underwater in the tub with her eyes wide open.
  • P!nk in her music video Nobody Knows.

    Theater 
  • A Streetcar Named Desire: Blanche frequently takes a hot bath to "calm her nerves." Later on, after her rape at the hands of Stanley she takes a really long one. Only at this point she's too permanently traumatized for the bath to be much help.
    • Earlier, Stanley's friends shove him under a shower spray fully clothed in an attempt to sober him up after he got drunk, subsequently lost his self control and hit Stella.

    Video Games 
  • Norman Jayden from Heavy Rain technically does have a shower scene, but considering that he's hallucinating and suffering from painful withdrawal symptoms at the time, it's not really meant to be Fanservice.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in The Guild when a fully-clothed Vork takes one of these in someone else's shower after learning that Clara had betrayed his trust (i.e. corpse-camped him in World of Warcraft.)
  • The Nostalgia Critic suffered an absolutely epic psychotic meltdown when he reviewed the third live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. He tells us all to sit back and enjoy it. Five minutes later, he's having a Shower of Angst, as pictured above, spews Angrish and yells a long stream of psychotic screams and grunts.
    • Sean Fausz, of Epic Fail, has crying in shower to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" as a Running Gag.
      • And in reference, Paw Dugan did the same thing in his review of Total Distortion with it being a music game that is devoid of good music.
      • The game over music would like to have a word with you.
    • Also from Channel Awesome is Brad 'The Cinema Snob' Jones' meltdown halfway through his synopsis of Sadomania when he discovers the attractive warden is played by a transsexual. Cue shower scene and frantic phone-call to his girlfriend:
    Snob: "Honey we need to have sex. Right. Now. I'm very, very confused..."
    • The FanFiction Critic will occasionally announce after reading a filthy or horrible fanfiction that she needs to take a shower, bordering on Out, Damned Spot! when she does this several times per review.
    Todd: "CAN'T...GET...CLEAN!!!"
  • Used in The Orange Insanity's review of The Cat in the Hat, as a reaction to the scene where The Cat yells "Son of a bitch" in front of the children, together with loud sobbing and screaming an utterly broken version of Unfaithful by Rihanna.
    The Orange Insanity: "I DON'T WANNA DO THIS ANYMORE!! I DON'T WANNA BE THE REASON WHY— OH MY GOD WHY-HY-HY-HYYY?!! (wails violently)"
  • In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, this is Meria's first reaction to having been cheated on by Seth the day after they first slept together. (Given the character, her breakdown picked up speed quickly, but...) The example is a little unusual in that we never actually see her in the shower — it's just mentioned by another character that she's been crying in there for hours.
  • Parodied hilariously in Kyle Riabko and Trevor Jackson Are... .
  • Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series where Tristan is washing him self up in a lake, he's muttering "Must.. wash.. away.. the sin"
  • Parodied, like nearly every other breakup trope in Manwhores, with Kevin having a shower with his clothes still on during his post-breakup montage.
  • yourchonny comically acts out one of these in his "Getting out of the shower" video. While sobbing, goes to wipe his tears...with underwear his dad hung on the shower door. Cue horrified scream.
    • Parodied again in the "Things I do when I'm home alone" video, where this is his response to a hater (a chair with clothes and a wig thrown on it).

Psycho Shower Murder ParodyBathing TropesShower of Awkward
Shot to the HeartDrama TropesSmoking Gun Control
Shoot The TelevisionFurniture TropesSleeping Single
Romance-Inducing SmudgeCleanliness TropesShower of Love
Short-Distance Phone CallNarrative DevicesShow Within a Show
FilmImageSource/Live-Action FilmsQuantum of Solace
Shoot the Shaggy DogSadness TropesSolemn Ending Theme
Shoulders-Up NudityFanserviceShower of Awkward

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