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