Shower of Awkward
Sitcom and Anime trope in which one character accidentally sees another character of the opposite sex in the shower. Usually, Bob will turn on the water, then leave the room for a moment. Alice, oblivious to Bob's presence, steps into the water and closes the shower curtain. Bob then returns, finishes stripping down, and opens the curtain back up, so they each get a view of the other naked. Notably, Alice will never stop to think something along the lines of, "Wait a sec, I never turned on the shower..." Often, but not always, the two characters have a history of sexual tension. If so, the incident typically leads to awkwardness and mutual avoidance, until they decide to pretend That Didn't Happen. If not, it's at least a source of Fanservice. Any time someone contrives to invoke this trope, they're almost guaranteed to catch the wrong person and suffer for it somehow, often by exposure to Fan Disservice. A sub-trope of Shower Scene. Related to Accidental Pervert. Distinct from Naked First Impression in that it's limited to bathroom settings and characters who already know each other. Compare Landing in Someone's Bathtub.
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Anime & Manga
- In Fairy Tail, Gray is searching for Lucy in her house, decides that she might be taking a bath, and imagines a scenario in which he bursts into the bathroom, and Lucy, clad only in a towel, slaps him and accuses him of being a pervert. He then tells himself that it was bound to happen eventually and does it anyway, but not only Lucy isn't there, Natsu is in the bathtub.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Often happens to Negi with regards to his female students. Awkward for him anyway; the girls usually don't have much problem with it (some out of shamelessness, others simply because he's ten, and at that age mixed-gender bathing is not unusual in Japan).
- Negi also causes an awkward shower situation when he attempts to do Asuna a favor by enchanting her brushes. She isn't appreciative.
- Chisame once gets an eyeful of the very manly Rakan while he is showering under a waterfall, much to the likely horror of the fanboys.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion:
- Episode 5 of the anime has Shinji dropping off stuff at Rei's apartment, when a naked-except-for-a-towel Rei steps out of the shower. Shinji trips and falls on top of her, his hand landing on her naked breast. Her reaction? Calmly asking him to get off, one of the first clues that Rei isn't normal.
- Happens again with Kaworu in the manga, who sees no problem with walking into Shinji's shower stall and borrowing his soap. And wonders why Shinji gets all flustered when he does so. This is, again, a big clue that Kaworu is also not normal.
- Ryo in Penguin Revolution keeps accidentally catching Yukari bathing or changing clothes, and usually gets things thrown at his head when he does. Ayaori also tends to wander into the bathroom while Yukari is bathing, but since he's Blind Without 'Em, it takes him six manga volumes (and, finally, actually having his contacts in at the right time) to realize that Yukari's not a boy.
- Happened in Digimon Adventure. Tai and Izzy rush into a room to save Mimi who has just been carried off. Sora notices Mimi's dress on the floor and calls for them not to go in there. Naturally, they catch Mimi in the bath and get hit with various bath oil bottles.
- Occasionally in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, Lucia will happen to walk in on Kaito in the shower. Partial subversion in that he doesn't get angry about it.
- In Chrono Crusade, Rosette chases the Elder out of the girl's showers... completely forgetting that she's naked. Chrono happens to be standing outside of the room at the time, which leads to the following exchange:
- Ranma Ĺ: It's averted a lot in the manga. Ranma usually doesn't give a damn about who sees his girl side naked. For example, when Akane, or the rest of the Tendō family, runs into a naked female Ranma in the bath, as the latter couldn't care less. Played straight in other situations, however.
- After coming to the wrong conclusion that Yasuna bathed with Hazumu in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, Tomari drags Hazumu to her house, throws her in the bathtub and then enter the bathroom a few moments later, in only a towel, wishing to bathe with her. Obviously, after learning what happens, embarrassment ensues.
- In The Wallflower Sunako seeing Kyouhei in the shower (while she is naked in preparation for her own shower) is the event which inspires her to plan to kill him.
- Fushigi Yuugi, with the Official Couple. It was an accident, really!
- In Kekkaishi, Yoshimori gets an eyeful of Tokine taking a bath when he is skulking around her house looking for her because he has not seen her in three days. He feels really bad about it afterwards — so much so that he began to avoid her, making her think that he was mad at her. They patch it up fairly quickly, but it prompts her to "rely" on him more. In other words, this is when she starts to go after him. So, boys and girls, stalk and peek at girls you like — it will help apparently.
- A gender-flipped version occurs in Otomen when Ryo (girl) walks in on a very naked Asuka (guy) in the bathroom. He freaks out, she doesn't even seem to notice.
- Double Subverted in Toradora!: Ryuuji walks in on Ami in the shower while she's behind the curtain. When he tries to run away, she stops him and tells him to stay. As he gets flustered, she pulls the curtain aside... only to reveal that she's fully clothed and did it to mess with his head. Ryuuji flees the scene unable to speak due to embarrassment. Eventually, he gets Taiga to fight this battle for him, only Ami actually is showering by the time Taiga confronts her.
Taiga: (barges in) Hey stupid chihua—
(Taiga returns to Ryuuji)
Taiga: (with a large slap print on her face) She actually was showering...
- Subverted in Durarara!!, when Shinra tries to invoke this on his girlfriend and instead gets the perfect view of his father's naked ass. He is not pleased.
Shinra: I have seen the face of hell.
Celty: What's wrong?
Shinra: I don't want to talk about it!
- This is how Ichika finds out Charlotte's true gender in Infinite Stratos.
- In Code Geass, it happens twice to Kallen (who is surprised?). First, with a Lelouch nice enough to try to look away. Second, a Waterfall Shower spotted by Suzaku. Oh, Kallen, it will be quicker finding the shower tropes you didn't fulfill.
- Czeslaw, being something of a troll, gets the idea to engineer one of these incidents between his two innocently cohabiting and Twice Shy roommates in Baccano! 1935A - Deep Marble
Czes: Weeellll, for the next one, Iím thinking about hiding Firo's clothes the next time he takes a shower. Then, while he's looking all over for them, I'll have Ennis take them to him!
- In A Certain Magical Index, Touma accidentally walks in on Orsola Aquinas while she's in the shower and gets quite the view.
- Green Lantern: This happened twice to Kyle Rayner. The first time he thought it was his girlfriend Donna, but it was Jade, who had (technically) broken into his apartment and was tired and needed to shower. The second time, Jade is his girlfriend and he's come back from an extended time in space and thinks it's her again, but now it's the guy she started seeing while he was away for so long.
- Dennis the Menace: Dennis Mitchell has walked in on his mother in the bath several times. While this is awkward for his mother, Dennis is solely concerned with whatever matter he barged into the bathroom to discuss and this is more to do with him having no sense of privacy.
- This is how Heathcliffe and Aki first met in One Piece: Parallel Works, when Heathcliffe goes and takes a shower, but, catches Aki in the middle of her own shower. Thankfully, they get a proper introduction later.
- A Rare Male Example of it occurs in The Artist And The Faker, when Saber walks in on Shirou in the bath. Done as a callback to the original Visual Novel.
Films — Live-Action
- In the 2008 comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Reggie tries to sneak in on his cousin RJ's girlfriend in the shower but finds his cousin Betty there instead. The actors improvised their angry exchange.
- The film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this with Arthur and Trillian, as part of their newly introduced love story.
- Bean: David turns on the shower and then sits on his bed for a while to contemplate his worries. When he enters the shower, he finds that Mr. Bean decided to take one in the meantime. They both freak out, but David is forced to answer the phone while all this is happening.
- In Dave, the title character (while impersonating the President) is taking a shower when the First Lady storms in and demands to speak to him face to face.
- In Captain Ron, Martin and Katherine are fooling around in the shower when the door jams and the shower begins to flood. Captain Ron ends up coming to their rescue, much to their embarrassment, and afterward tells their son that his parents were "playing 'hide-the-salami' in the shower".
- Happens in So I Married an Axe Murderer where Mike Meyers' believes that he is walking in on his girlfriend, but it's actually her roommate.
- In The Proposal, Margaret is at Andrew's parents' house (before their Citizenship Marriage) and leaves the towel outside the bathroom when she showers. She tries to get it, but their dog stands outside the door and starts barking loudly. She manages to trap the dog in the bathroom, only to bump into a naked Andrew who was also about to take a shower.
- Inverted in Demolition Man when John Spartan receives a wrong number Fiber Op call from a woman who had just stepped out of the shower.
- In the Disgaea Novels Laharl accidentally walks in on Flonne while she is in a hot spring. He blushes and quickly walks out.
- In an early Whos The Boss episode, Tony catches Angela coming out of the shower. This helps set up the series' Will They or Won't They? tension. Allegedly, the director had Judith Light flash Tony Danza for real during the taping in order to produce a suitably shocked reaction, making this an example of Enforced Method Acting.
- Similarly with David and his housekeeper Mickey in the short-lived, very Fanservice-y eighties Sitcom We Got It Made.
- In Friends, Chandler accidentally sees Rachel topless as she exits the shower. Rachel then tries to walk in on Chandler as payback, but gets Joey instead. Joey then tries to get even by walking in on Rachel, but gets Monica. Monica then tries to catch Joey, but instead sees Joey's dad, bringing the Zany Scheme Chicken to a screeching halt. Notably, Joey's father is completely unfazed.
- In Hercules The Legendary Journeys, Iolaus stumbles across Nebula taking a shower on board her ship.
- In Home Improvement, Tim thinks it's his wife in the shower so he enters the bathroom and takes off his clothes, but once he pulls open the curtains, he instead sees his sister-in-law. Noticing his subsequent awkwardness, his wife teases him with "You liked what you saw, didn't you?"
- In Diff'rent Strokes, Kimberly mischieviously takes a picture of Arnold's bare bottom in the shower. The photo is accidentally published in the newspaper, complicating his run for class president.
- In Hope And Faith the title characters, trying to disinfect Hope's daughter Sydney's pierced tongue, head into the shower with her, dressed, so as not to spill hydrogen peroxide on the rug. Just then Hope's husband Charlie comes in asking for her. Hope, who doesn't want him to know about the unauthorized piercing, claims to be showering, so Charlie drops his bathrobe to join her and pulls the curtain, inadvertently exposing himself to his daughter and sister-in-law.
- In Ugly Betty, Daniel walks in on the villainous Wilhelmina thinking it's his love interest. Turns out that they're sisters.
- In Family Matters, Urkel is about to step into the shower when he goes to get a loofah from his room. In the meantime, Laura steps into the shower herself, even though the water's already running, and sure enough....
- In Kyle XY, Kyle walks in on Jessie shortly after she moves in with the Tragers. Jessie responds with exactly the level of embarrassment you'd expect — that is, absolutely none. Kyle, on the other hand...
- On an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry's girlfriend walks in on George after he's been swimming, which horrifies George because he had just climbed out of a cold pool. ("Shrinkage!") George spends the rest of the episode contriving excuses to walk in on her naked to even the score.
- Lost has a scene shortly after the hatch is discovered where Jack comes upon Kate in the shower. Although he doesn't see anything, it's still an extremely awkward moment between them.
- Grey's Anatomy:
- Played with in an episode. Sloan and Lexie are dating, but Callie, Sloan's bisexual ex-girlfriend, deliberately walks in on Sloan in the shower to ask him a question. Neither of them are weirded out, but for Lexie, it's very uncomfortable.
- Due to living arrangements with Meredith, almost everybody had it happen to them at one moment or another. Usually while the people in the shower are having sex and it has to remain a secret.
- The X-Files:
- Subverted when Marita is talking to Krycek in the shower. The characters have history, but they appear to be quite comfortable.
- But played straight with Mulder and Scully themselves. There's a brief but spectacularly awkward scene when they have to shower to remove possible contagion. Though there seems to be separate showers for each of them, the dividing wall is not particularly useful, privacy wise, and they both look very uncomfortable with the situation (and try extremely hard not to check each other out).
- Given that it's definitely not the first time in the series they'd seen each other naked, the awkwardness probably comes more from the fact that they're both naked at the same time and neither of them were unconscious.
- Has happened repeatedly on Home and Away, at least three or four times in Irene's house.
- Prue walks in on her brother-in-law Leo in the shower. Sister/wife Piper walks in at the same time and is not impressed.
- In another episode Phoebe walks in on Piper and Leo in the shower together. A flashback episode where Phoebe and Paige get sent back in time has the same scene reused only with present Phoebe walking in this time.
- An episode of Reba has Reba, in her eagerness to relax, too immersed in her easy-listening music to notice that her ex-husband was using her shower equipment at the time as she prepares for her own shower. The result only stressed her out more, as she told him: "I'm under strict order to keep my stress to the minimum, AND YOU'RE NOT HELPING ONE BIT!"
- Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place gives us Johnny's various attempts to walk in on Sharon in the shower. Unfortunately he gets Ashley the first and Pete's grandpa the second time. This was certainly not inspired by the ''Friends'' example from above.
- In an episode from The George Lopez Show, George hears a shower running in the bathroom. Expecting to see his wife inside, he goes inside unannounced in the hope of surprising her... only to see his mother instead!
- The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter: The opening scene of "There's No Place Like Omsk" has Beans catching Soviet defector Svetlana (played by Miss Universe Shawn Weatherly) in the shower.
- Passions: Sheridan gets an eyeful of a naked Luis when he comes out of the shower wearing only a smille and a few beads of water.
- Pretty Little Liars used this trope in season 1 in order to build up sexual tension between Caleb and Hanna. He is secretly crashing at her place after his foster parents gave him the boot. While he is taking a shower she walks into the room in order to fix her make up. She is then forced to step into the shower, while naked Caleb is there, when her mother walks into the room. Romance Ensues by the end of the episode, soon to b followed by more.
- In The Nanny, Fran accidentally catches Mr. Sheffield in the shower. Later in the series this comes back a a Brick Joke (and from the other characters' perspective as a Noodle Incident* ), by Fran mentioning that she has seen her boss naked once.
Myths & Religion
- In Greek mythology, Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, and one of her attributes was her chasteness. A mortal hunter named Actaeon happened to see her while she was bathing the woods. Artemis was so furious that she turned him into a stag, and he was run down and torn to pieces by his own dogs.
- One version of Tiresias's myth states that he walked on Artemis's half-sister Athena, also a virgin goddess, when she was bathing. Instead of turning him into an animal, Athena blinds Tiresias; once she calms down and realizes not only what she has done but how she can't undo it, she gives him massive seers powers as an apology.
- Brighton Beach Memoirs: Eugene tries to do this with his hot cousin Nora after being coached on the technique by his older brother, but it backfires on him when she accidentally walks in on him using the toilet.
- Happens differently to normal in Max Payne 2, as you might expect when the two people are a cop and an assassin.
- Solatorobo does it twice. Modesty Towels prevented those moments from being even more awkward.
- Though Red's "What have we here?" line, screen fade to black, and the subsequent red mark on his face suggest perhaps he stole Elh's towel the first time...
- And the second time, it was actually a mental "reward" cooked up by his subconscious for beating the warmup level of the Virtual Training Simulation, suggesting perhaps it wasn't quite as awkward on his end...then he gets a Megaton Punch or two and wakes up with a headache, implying some sense of guilt or that he Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest.
- Happens in the first Deponia game, with Rufus walking in on his ex-girlfriend Toni. She seems more annoyed than genuinely upset with the whole thing (a somewhat odd reaction given that Wenzel was looking on the whole time).
- Subverted in Fate/stay night when Shirou walks in on Saber in the bath. He feels really embarrassed for a bit but she tells him to get over it, she doesn't consider herself a girl anyway. Played straight later when Shirou does it again, and Saber uses the moment to start wondering if Shirou thinks she looks too muscular and unfeminine for mutual awkwardness.
- Happens in Misfile when Vashiel stumbles into Ash's bathroom while already looking for tissue.
- A variant appears in Sticky Dilly Buns here, when Dillon and Amber, who are used to sharing showers, blunder in on new roommate Ruby, who thought she would have the shower to herself. The fact that she merely gets angry rather than cripplingly embarrassed is a sign of her Character Development.
- A World of Fizz storyline has Carlos accidentally walking in on Kelli as she is stepping out of the shower.
- Referenced in Family Guy when Peter and his neighbours win a trophy for a parade float commemorating the Who's the Boss? scene.
- Parodied in The Simpsons when Marge comes upon a decidedly un-sexy Burns in the shower.
- Done straight on Sixteen with Jonesy seeing Jen completely naked and freaking out over it because they're stepsiblings.
- Seen in Spongebob Squarepants. In "New Digs", Mr.Krabs enters his office to see that SpongeBob has hung floral print curtains in his office. Upset, he yanks them down to reveal SpongeBob's Mother taking a shower only for her husband to walk in and get upset with him and as usual with the cartoon, all hell breaks loose.
- On King of the Hill, Bobby walks in on his cousin Luanne. A jealous Joseph then keeps trying to do the same.
- Happens in Code Lyoko episode "Uncharted Territory", where Aelita is tricked by Sissi into entering the boys' shower room. We don't know what she saw, since it stays an outside shot with just some surprised yells heard. Ulrich and Odd, wet and wearing Modesty Towels, are prompt to get her out.
- In the Home Movies episode "Shore Leave", Brendon is staying the weekend at Fenton's house and walks in on Fenton's mom in the shower. As he has his camera with him and shooting a movie, he catches the moment on video. Coach McGuirk ends the show trying to put the footage online.
- In the Adventure Time episode "Marceline's Closet", Finn and Jake end up stuck hiding in Marceline's bedroom closet when Jake ignores her warning to stay out of her house when she's out, and she comes back at the wrong time. At one point Finn tries to sneak out and see what she's doing... which turns out to be taking a shower. He manages to avoid being detected, but it's heavily implied he accidentally saw Marceline naked.