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- This has been done at least once in Ranma ½ when Akane found Shampoo sleeping with an oblivious Ranma. (She'd crawled into his futon sometime during the night.) Akane woke him up with a bucket of cold water which, thanks to his curse, also turned him into a girl. Added hilarity came from the fact that Shampoo didn't know about the curse and was trying to kill "Girl-Type Ranma".
- Samurai Champloo: In the first episode, Mugen passes out while fighting Jin in a burning building. He wakes up to a bucket of water, and learns he's going to be tortured and executed for killing the Governor's son.
- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: Kenichi Shirahama is often woken up in this manner if he passes out during training.
- In Gate:
- Princess Piña Co Lada takes a nap and tells the head maid to wake her up if anything important happens. The maid promises to wake her up even if she has to dump a bucket of water on her. Later, she does dump a bucket of water on her.
- When Itami gets knocked out by a door, Tuka pours her canteen in his face.
- In Pokémon Sun & Moon, when Mimikyu hexes Meowth, Jessie and James dump water on him to revive him. He swallows a good bit of it, and briefly thinks he's drowning. But then he tightly hugs both because of the Near-Death Experience Mimikyu's hex put him through.
- In Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness, a curious fairy maid at the SDM decides that some water would be the right thing to help wake up a sleeping Yukari. A pitcher of water. A minute later, the fairy flees screaming from the room after being subjected to the "scary eyeball gap lady's" wrath.
- In Kage, after Jade has been captured and knocked unconscious in the beginning of the story by the good guys of the W.I.T.C.H. universe who believe her to be a minion of Prince Phobos, she's awoken by Aldarn throwing water in her face, much to her anger.
Films — Animated
- Timon and Pumbaa wake Simba up this way in The Lion King.
- Subverted in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when Esmeralda lies unconscious from smoke inhalation. Quasimodo tries to revive her by spooning water onto her face, but it doesn't work, and Quasimodo assumes she's dead. Fortunately, she revives a few moments later as Quasi is confronting Frollo.
Films — Live-Action
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The comedic version shows up in the first movie, as Captain Jack Sparrow and Will wake Gibbs this way. Then Will dumps a second bucket of water on Gibbs, and says "That was for the smell." To clarify, Gibbs was sleeping in a pigpen. After hearing Will's reason, he just looks surprised and nods.
- Again in the third movie, when Jack finds Gibbs asleep on the end of the pier-a pier notably short a ship. Gibbs is also found clutching a stuffed animal, and takes a second to comprehend the followup question regarding the absence of the Pearl.
- In Blazing Saddles, Bart and Jim do this to wake up the now-securely bound-with-chains Mongo. Mongo casually breaks loose while yawning. (Fortunately, Mongo's in a good mood, considering.)
- In The Princess Bride, Fezzick revives Inigo from a drunken stupor by shoving his head into buckets of cold and hot water.
- In Quigley Down Under, Marston forces his mooks to stay awake when it looks like Quigley is planning something all night long. One of those methods is throwing a bucket of water in one’s face.
- In Talladega Nights, Ricky Bobby's father throws a bucket on him to wake him up... then throws another on him because he filled up two.
- In Camp Rock, Shane Grey gets the comedic version from his uncle after refusing to wake up twice.
- Inception: This is how characters wake up from a layered dream into the previous one.
- In My Man Godfrey, the female lead fakes a Fainting attack to draw the hero close. He finds out, carries her under a shower and turns the water on.
- In Chaplin's The Circus, Merna faints when seeing the Tramp stuck in a cage with a lion. He is able to revive her by pouring the lion's drinking water on her face.
- In To Have And Have Not, Harry wakes up sleeping Eddie with a bucket full of water.
- In The Alamo, Crockett does this to Bowie.
- The hilarious moment in The Bad and the Beautiful where Jonathan carries drunken Georgia out of her apartment and drops her unexpectedly into a swimming pool to help her sober up.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service: Eggsy is woken this way by his team mates once as part of their bullying campaign.
- Happens to Nathaniel in book 2 of The Bartimaeus Trilogy, after he knocks himself out trying to control a powerful staff.
Bartimaeus: Well, it's a delicate process, ridding yourself of a charge like that. I wanted to wake you straightaway, but I knew I had to wait several hours to ensure you were safely recovered.
Nathaniel: What? How long has it been?
Bartimaeus: Five minutes. I got bored.
- And again in the book version of Neverwhere. Hunter, Door's bodyguard, wakes Richard up with a bucket of water, and then wakes Door much more gently, after both have passed out drunk.
- In Stephen King's The Stand, Randall Flagg uses this method to get the attention of a contact who has needed information, but is dying of the super-flu.
- In Iain Banks's Whit, after offers of coffee and threats of excommunication fail, Isis successfully wakes up her hungover half brother Zebediah by the graduated series of containers method. First the sleeper is drenched with a thimbleful of water, which is followed by the contents of an egg cup, a tea cup, a pint glass and finally a bucket.
- Young Army Boys in Septimus Heap who slept past wake-up time are usually awakened this way and forced to sleep in the wet bed afterwards.
- Kiron has to do this to Aket-ten in Alta. She is affected by the Magi's sleep spell, he isn't, and they both need to get into the air as soon as possible.
- In The Story Of The Youth Who Went Forth To Learn What Fear Was, after the Youth sleeps in on his wedding day, his bride-to-be throws a bucket of cold water on him to wake him up.
- The Black Gryphon: At one point, an exhausted Winterhart pretends to be asleep so she doesn't have to have sex with Conn Levas. She thinks that if he pulls this, she won't be able to keep pretending because she knows perfectly well she would have woken. (He doesn't, because he doesn't want to use a soaked bedroll.)
- In Charlotte's Web, farmhand Lurvey revives Wilbur with a bucket of water when the latter faints after overhearing the humans talk about butchering him. Later, when Wilbur faints from Stage Fright at the county fair, Lurvey runs off to get water again, but instead Templeton revives Wilbur by biting his tail. Lurvey reappears with the water moments later, impulsively throws it before noticing that Wilbur has already revived, and accidentally drenches Mr. Zuckerman and Avery.
- Evoked but averted in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There: when the White King faints from fear after the much-bigger Alice picks him up in her hand, Alice goes to look for water to throw on him. But she finds only a bottle of ink, and when she comes back with it she finds him already revived on his own.
- Band of Brothers: Captain Winters uses this to wake up his alcoholic friend Captain Nixon. Unfortunately it turns out that Nixon had used the "water" jug for toilet purposes during the night (yes, that did happen in Real Life as well).
- This happened to Fraser on Due South in the Season 2 episode "Red, White or Blue".
- In El Chavo del ocho, each time the title character gets scared he immediately paralyzes — after adopting an awkward pose nicknamed "la garrotera". The only way to snap off from this is by splashing water on him. Normally a small splash in his face works, but meaner-spirited characters often empty whole buckets on the poor kid.
- In the final episode, chapter 3, Ando gives himself the ability to amplify other abilities after injecting himself with the serum. This causes him to black out, and he is subsequently awoken by Matt, who pours a glass of water on his face.
- Early on in Season 2, The half-naked, bloodied, tied-to-a-chair Peter is awoken with a bucket of the wet stuff to the face by the Irish gangsters who are holding him captive.
- A flashback in the Torchwood episode "Fragments". With Captain Jack and a "couple" of Victorian-era Torchwood members.
- The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Two". After the man knocks out the woman, he wakes her up by dumping water on her.
- Tony is sleeping at his desk when Kate pours water on his head to wake him up.
- Ziva dumps a bottle of water on Tony's head in the episode "Under Covers". He reacts by jumping up on the bed and standing in a karate stance.
- In season seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scoobies capture Andrew — who barely qualifies as a villain and is regarded as more of a pest, and so the capture-and-interrogation routine is entirely Played for Laughs. While he's unconscious and tied to a chair, Dawn tries to wake him up, first by slapping him and later by throwing cold water in his face. Neither method works, but he comes to on his own before she can try throwing hot water on him. Since Buffy doesn't approve of this, Dawn and Anya try to pretend the water came from Andrew drooling all over himself.
- At Over the Limit 2010, John Cena and Batista faced each other in an I-Quit match, where you only win if your opponent says, "I Quit". When Batista got knocked out at one point, Cena woke him up by pouring a water bottle on his head.
- At Payback 2015, John Cena and Rusev faced each other in an I-Quit match. When Cena got knocked out at one point, Rusev woke him up by pouring a water bottle on his head.
- A real-life example took place on the Opie And Anthony in 2005. Tippy Tom, a homeless man and one of the show's frequent guests at the time, dozed off and stopped breathing, which led to the hosts fearing that he died in the studio. Fortunately, staff member Master Po had a solution: pour water in his ear. It successfully revived and woke him.
- Volgin does this to Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, both to rouse him from unconsciousness and to get Snake all nice and conductive for the Electric Torture Volgin has in store.
- In Persona 5, this is how the protagonist is woken up at the start of the game by the police interrogators. They proceed to beat a confession out of him.
- Beeman is awakened this way in his background story in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
- In GastroPhobia, Gastro wakes up his mother Phobia this way... because he can't sleep and want her to tell him a story. She's understandably ticked off, and gives him first a good spanking.
- The Order of the Stick has O-Chul being woken up by a bucket of water for his daily torture.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Samy tries this on Heloise, but it only succeeds in causing her to dream about being a mermaid.
- Done in Beavis And Butthead: Do America, when Muddy threw water at the two boys who passed out in the desert after the Disney Acid Sequence.
- In The Perils of Penelope Pitstop episode "The Boardwalk Booby Trap", Pockets throws water on Snoozy when the latter is driving Chugga-Boom erratically.
- Patrick does this for Medieval Sandy in SpongeBob SquarePants. But instead of using a bucket of water...he uses his own spit instead, gargling it like water! Gross!
- In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Monster Arm", Ferguson and Alfonzo wake up Star by splashing a soda in her face.
- Ed of Ed, Edd n Eddy is still screaming from a Catapult Nightmare when a huge splash of water snaps him out of it, courtesy of a bucket held by Eddy:
Eddy: I told ya that'd shut him up!
- Family Guy: In "Road to Rhode Island", Stewie tries to wake up Brian while they're staying at a motel. After failing to wake him through other means, Stewie drags him into the shower and turns it on.
- It should go without saying this works in real life. As non-aquatic animals, humans have a sensation when suddenly submerged or doused that makes them prepare to swim for their life to avoid drowning. This is why a cold shower (or a shower in general) works so well at waking people up.
- This Prank. (WARNING: The video is NSFW due to language.)