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Film / Hot Water

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Don't you hate it when that happens?
Experience Awful Wedded Life with Harold Lloyd in 1924's Hot Water. Actually, the problem isn't so much his wife as it is the Obnoxious In-Laws that she's brought into his life. They consist of an overbearing mother-in-law, a lazy-ass older brother-in-law, and a bratty younger brother-in-law.

The film is essentially episodic, containing three distinct episodes. In the first episode, Harold is out grocery shopping when he happens to win a live turkey in a raffle, and hijinks ensue when he tries to bring it home on the trolley. The second episode features Harold taking the family out for a spin in his new automobile. Needless to say, it ends with the car being totalled. In the third episode, a series of coincidences lead Harold to believe that he has accidentally killed his mother-in-law. He frantically attempts to escape from the police, whom he thinks are trying to arrest him for murder, and later from his sleepwalking mother-in-law, whom he believes to be a ghost haunting him.


  • Accidental Pervert: Harold's live turkey gets loose on the trolley and goes to hide under a woman's skirt. You can probably guess what happens next.
  • Awful Wedded Life: As the opening title card informs us, "Married life is like dandruff - it falls heavily upon your shoulders - you get a lot of free advice about it - but up to date nothing has been found to cure it."
  • Backseat Driver: Mother-in-law is one, of course. Harold blames her interference for the car getting wrecked, although it must be admitted that his own driving decisions were not exactly unreckless.
  • Brand X: Harold's new car is a Butterfly Six, a fictional model. In reality, the car used in the film is a Chevrolet Superior.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Little Bobby has "a skin you love to touch - with a strap."
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Harold meets his future wife, right after he declares that there's no way he's getting married.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Harold's wife makes the standard reaction to a mouse on the floor. Her wail further convinces him, in the other room, that his mother-in-law has just died.
  • Evil Matriarch: Mother-in-law has "the nerve of a book agent, the disposition of a dyspeptic landlord, and the heart of a traffic cop."
  • Lazy Bum: Brother-in-law Charley is "so lazy he gets up at four o'clock every morning so he'll have a longer day to loaf."
  • Long List: Harold's wife asks him to get "a few things" at the grocery store. Cue long list that, since this is a silent film, fills up the intertitle screen.
  • Liquid Courage: Flouting Prohibition, Harold drinks a whole flask of liquor so that he'll have the courage to confront his meddling mother-in-law. Oops, turns out she's an ardent Dry Crusader.
  • Meddlesome Patrolman: Harold and family run into a few of these during their driving adventure. One of them gets deposited in a lake.
  • Mistaken for Undead: When Harold's mother-in-law, whom he believes to be dead, starts sleepwalking, he believes that he's being haunted by her ghost.
  • Nameless Narrative: Subverted. The opening cast list only identifies the characters by their relationships to each other, but the intertitles later give some of them names. The wife is never given a name, however.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Three of 'em — a overbearing mother-in-law and two repulsive brothers-in-law.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Harold becomes convinced that his mother-in-law has died largely from overhearing a series of No Longer with Us statements out of context. For example, Little Bobby asks if they can go to the movies, and Harold starts eavesdropping just in time to hear Charley reply, "It's too late."
  • Sleepwalking: As previously mentioned, Harold's mother-in-law does this after he believes that he's accidentally killed her, and he mistakes her for a ghost. The fact that she sleepwalks is established earlier on.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: While on the trolley, Harold gets a spider in his pants, causing him to dance around. In the process, he accidentally kicks another passenger, who kicks him back. Harold gets his revenge by letting the spider crawl up the other passenger's pant leg, causing him to dance around instead.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Did you really think Harold's brand-new car ("Fifty-nine more payments and it's ours!") was going to survive its maiden drive?