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Bath Suicide

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"They went home... and sat in a hot bath... opened up their veins... and bled to death. And sometimes they had a little party before they did it."
Frank Pentangeli on Ancient Rome, The Godfather Part II

The act of killing oneself by sitting in a tub and slitting one's blood vessels. The warm water is supposed to encourage the easy flow of blood, so in fiction, it's often depicted as a comparatively painless method of suicide that leaves a relatively unblemished (and thus more dignified) corpse. And the billowing clouds of blood look really cool, too.

Perhaps because of its having been used by the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca, who killed himself at the command of his former pupil, the emperor Nero (as depicted in the page illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle), this act has often been associated with characters who are permitted "honorable deaths" or who take this way out as an alternative to submitting to tyranny. On a related note, this is also why "Roman Bath" is a common euphemism for this kind of suicide.

It should be noted that it is damn hard to kill oneself this way in Real Life, due to the body's pain response and the fact that the arteries are buried quite deep in the arm. Therefore, the romanticized "easy" bath suicide is mostly confined to the realm of fiction.

Sometimes a result of being Driven to Suicide, and a subtrope of Deadly Bath. Not to be confused with another popular way to lose your life in a bathtub.

Compare Leave Behind a Pistol and Seppuku for alternative methods of ritualised suicide.

The mixture of blood and water in the tub in the aftermath of this event is not to be confused for a Blood Bath.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kakeru Satsuki's sister from 11eyes does this before the beginning of the series. It is flashbacked to in episode 1.
  • Ryouta Sakamoto's mother in Btooom! attempted to kill herself by slitting her wrist in the bathtub when the full horror of the fact she basically sold off her son to die in a Deadly Game hit her.
  • Several people die this way in Case Closed, though sometimes it's murder disguised as a suicide. Especially in the murder of Mina Aoshima, where her killer (her older sister Masayo) drugged her, cut her wrists, bled her out and then put her hands inside the tub.
  • Kei Kishimoto from Gantz does this before the series took place. When she comes back to life, you can see a flashback of it in episode 6.
  • In Part 8 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, a flashback shows Yasuho Hirose attempted this in the past after a malevolent Rock Animal started to make her see illusions of her (already messed up) family life getting even worse. Thankfully, the attempt fails.
  • A flashback in King of Thorn reveals that Kasumi attempted this, but was interrupted before she could finish.
  • In Myself ; Yourself, Nanaka tried to commit suicide this way after remembering who the true culprit of the burning of her house and the murder of her parents was - her father, after learning that Nanaka was really the child of her mother and her piano teacher. Sana rescues her, before revealing that he had also tried to commit suicide this way in his old middle school after being bullied.
  • Implied to have been attempted in Neon Genesis Evangelion by Asuka, post Mind Rape. The scene is somewhat ambiguous as to whether this is what actually happened, but the fact that the character is found naked in a bathtub with water that appears stained red, neatly folded her clothes and took her shoes off and is too weak to resist being taken into custody by agents certainly suggests it.
  • This is how Misaki Touno died in Private Actress, after having been driven to a mental meltdown by a young and more talented rival named Satoka Ryoudou.
  • Sakura Gari features this thrice:
    • Souma's stepmother committed suicide this way when Souma was a child. Or so you'd think. The truth is way more horrible.
    • When Souma himself is suicidal after Masataka brutally calls him out on his horrible treatment of him, he's so broken that he cuts his wrists open and places his bleeding arms in the same bathtub where his stepmom died. He lives, though.
    • Used in a roundabout way by Youya aka Sakurako. After s/he definitely crosses the Despair Event Horizon upon believing s/he has murdered Souma and Masataka and breaks down in front of Lord Saiki, s/he cuts their own wrists with a katana and then drowns themself in a local pond.
  • In the Shiki manga, Seishin is shown to have attempted this in college. It didn't work.

    Comic Books 
  • In Persepolis Marjane recounts how she attempted suicide using this method (based on a movie she watched) but couldn't manage to cut herself deep enough to bleed much. This was largely cut from the movie.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: In "A Throne of Bayonets" Asuka tried to commit suicide by sitting on her apartment's bathtub and slitting her wrists after learning about her mother's execution. When several of her friends discussed that episode, they were afraid that she'd attempt to bath suicide again unless they were capable of helping her.
  • Gensokyo 20XX:
    • Subversion in that there is no bathtub to speak of, rather Ran tries to invoke this after her Near-Rape Experience by slitting her wrists and lying in the snow, hoping to bleed out. Of course, she failed at this, seeing as she didn't cut her arms correctly and the fact that she did this in snow, the cold of which caused the veins to retract. However, this is also played with later on when Chen does attempt suicide with a bathtub, except instead of cutting, she tried drowning herself.
    • Also, in 20XXIV and chapter 62 of 20XXV, this was alluded to as Yukari contemplated committing suicide, possibly this way.
  • In chapter ten of HERZ, itís revealed that Shinji attempted this in the past because he believed Asuka hated him.
  • My Immortal has Ebony jumping into the bathtub after slitting her wrists and getting the blood all over her clothes. She takes a steak and contemplates sticking it into her heart to kill herself.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: At the beginning of the story, Asuka is in a coma after attempting this.
    Asuka had once felt like dying too, several times in fact, but there was always something that kept her going.
    No, not always. She had wandered the streets for days. She had starved herself. She had stripped naked and climbed into that bathtub. And she had waited, her life meaningless, her pride destroyed, her whole being slowly slipping from reality.
  • The One I Love Is...: Asuka did this right before the final chapter when she thought that she had lost all that she had and wanted: her Evangelion and Shinji.
  • The Second Try: Mentioned. When Asuka was about to have a bath, she spent a while staring at the tube because it reminded her that she sat in a bathtub and slit her wrists during a breakdown once upon a time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sam from About Scout attempts suicide by cutting his wrist in the bathtub while his mother pounds on the bathroom door.
  • In The Andromeda Strain, while investigating the town of Piedmont, Stone discovers a man who, quite calmly, leaned over a bathtub and held his own head underwater. Stone looks at this, and says, incredulously, "I wouldn't believe someone could commit suicide like that."
  • Mitya does this at the end of Burnt by the Sun, which Book Ends his unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide by Russian Roulette at the start of the film. He likely got the idea when it was a Discussed Trope earlier in the movie—a woman who tried to slit her wrists was saved because the blood clotted because she didn't try it this way.
  • Curfew: This is combined with Interrupted Suicide. Richie has gotten in the tub and sliced a wrist, and there's already a fair amount of blood turning the water pink when his sister calls, needing an emergency babysitter on short notice. He manages to bind up his wound and leave.
  • It's strongly implied that Dr. Weir's wife Claire killed herself this way in Event Horizon. The ship forces him to watch her do it.
  • In The Godfather Part II, Tom Hagen visits Frank Pentangeli in prison and talks about this practice in the Roman Empire, hinting that if Pentangeli does this, his family will be spared. He does, and they are. The shot showing the outcome references the painting The Death of Marat (a French revolutionary who did not kill himself but rather was stabbed to death in his bath).
  • Hanna's stepdaughter (played by a young Natalie Portman) in Heat tries to do this, after she got seriously distraught that her biodad wouldn't give her the time of day. When he gets home from work Hanna finds her lying in his bathtub with her wrists cut. He immediately ties her arms and legs to stop the bleeding and rushes her to the nearest ER.
  • In the Fade: Distraught over the deaths of her husband and son, Katja attempts this.
  • Stan Uris of the '90 Made-for-TV Movie It is driven into this method, and paints the word "It" in his own blood on the shower wall.
  • In John Wick: Chapter 2, Gianna D'Antonio opts for this when John comes to kill her, saying that she lived on her own terms and will die on her own terms as well. Zig-zagged when she falls unconscious and John shoots her in the head, since dying by her own hand would have been a mortal sin in her religion.
  • In The Last of Sheila a woman tearfully confesses to being a hit-and-run killer and is later found in the bathtub with her wrists slit. However, while her now-widowed husband is trying to strangle someone who knows too much, you see that it was he who put her in the tub and cut her.
  • Leviathan (1989). When Bowman starts growing scales and losing her hair, she goes to find Sixpack who shared the vodka with her (not knowing it had been spiked by Soviet scientists). When she sees what Sixpack has turned into, she slits her wrists in the shower.
  • In Lonely Hearts (2006), the suicide of a woman is staged and the police find her in a bathtub full of her blood.
  • Lady Macbeth goes out this way in the Australian film of Macbeth.
  • In Phantom of the Paradise, it's shown that Swan was about to do this when he was offered his Deal with the Devil.
  • Double Subverted in the Finnish movie Prinsessa. Christina, a mentally ill woman, cuts her wrists in a bathtub, with only the intention of draining away her "bad blood". She ends up unintentionally bleeding to death.
  • Alluded to in Rock N Rolla. According to Lenny Cole, his wife went mad and got sent to a Bedlam House, where "all they had to offer her was a hot bath and a cold razor." Lenny blames his stepson Johnny Quid for this. Just goes to show, Lenny's not a Nice Guy.
  • The Rules of Attraction has Sean's secret admirer, who, upon being so badly heartbroken when Sean leaves with Lauren's roommate, promptly commits suicide this way.
  • Lester tries this in SAVE ME. Mark and the others find him unconscious and rush him to the hospital.
  • Subverted in Seven Pounds. Tim seems to be doing this, but in reality he had himself stung by a box jellyfish.
  • The Skeleton Twins: Milo attempts this at the start of the movie.
  • In Slum Dog Millionaire, the main character's brother goes out this way combined with the trope Suicide by Cop: sitting in the bathtub, on top of a pile of stolen rupees, with his pistol aimed at the bathroom door, and taking out as many gangsters as he can. In the end, he dies, but not before bleeding all over his former boss' cash. This means that not only is the mafia boss now missing a few cronies, but he also has to do some literal laundering of his dirty, bloody money.
  • Arvid does this in Swing Kids.
  • The protagonist's sister kills herself in a bath in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
  • In the movie Thir13en Ghosts, the past of the Angry Princess has her being a beautiful woman who attempted to fix an "imperfection" and bled herself dry because she became blind in one eye.
  • In Jess Franco's Venus In Furs, Olga dies by slitting her wrists in the bath.
  • Happens in the opening scene of Sofia Coppola's 1999 hit film The Virgin Suicides.
  • The Wall has a scene of the hero bleeding out in his swimming pool.
  • Where the Truth Lies: Vince kills himself through taking pills with champagne in the bath.

  • In The Brightest Star In The Sky by Marian Keyes, Matt attempts this, but his neighbors manage to realize what was happening and rush him to the hospital just in time.
  • Brotherhood Of The Rose, by David Morrell. A retirement village for ex-spies has a high suicide rate, to the distress of the man who runs the place. He notes that some of the victims appear to have been comparing notes on how to do so, as there's been a lot of bath suicides recently. Several of the victims drink heavily to dull the pain but end up passing out and drowning before they bleed to death.
  • In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, the two women on the run from Jackson's Whole mercenaries discuss this as a method of avoiding capture.
  • Cloud Atlas' "Letters from Zedelghem" ends this way, combined with Ate His Gun. Frobisher's final letter, written in the moments before he carries out the act, says that he chose the location to spare the hostel owner a lot of messy cleanup.
  • In Piers Anthony's Ghost, the world passes anti-miscegenation laws to help curb overpopulation (people were no longer allowed to marry people of the same race). The book's protagonist had already fallen in love with a woman, but the new laws put a crimp in their plans. She found "a painless solution".
  • In The Girl Who Would Be King, Lola attempts suicide in a bath but fails because of her Healing Factor.
  • In YA book Hold Still, Ingrid kills herself this way. The book even discusses the relative difficulty of such a suicide method.
  • In Stephen King's It, this is how the adult Stanley Uris kills himself when he learns that the title Eldritch Abomination has returned.
  • In The Kite Runner, Sohrab tries to kill himself this way after getting scared he'll be sent to another orphanage, triggering his trauma as an orphan in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Amir reignites his faith in Allah to pray for his survival, which does happen, albeit barely.
  • In Little Dorrit, disgraced financier Mr Merdle unexpectedly pays a 'social call' on his stepson and daughter-in-law and asks to borrow a penknife. It later transpires that this was why he needed it...
  • Kathleen from The Mermaid's Daughter comes from a long line of women who committed suicide in their early twenties because of a Hereditary Curse. Most of them committed suicide in the ocean, with the exception of Kathleen's grandmother Deirdre, who sliced her arms open in the bathtub.
  • One character midway through On a Pale Horse kills himself this way, when Zane is still getting used to his role as The Grim Reaper.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Borall slits his wrists in the bath rather than be punished for inadvertently giving state secrets to the rebels.
  • YA book The Space Between has Truman survive this, although not without an NDE in which he meets the main character.
  • In White Night of The Dresden Files, a despair-inducing vampire tries, and nearly succeeds, to make Elaine do this. Fortunately, Harry gets through to her in time, after which she wraps herself in a towel and blasts the vampire with lightning.
  • In World War Z, in Japan, a beautiful young woman slit her wrists in her bath when the dead rose. It isn't pretty a few days later when the otaku while fleeing the zombies, stumbles upon her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the TV series adaptation of 13 Reasons Why, Deuteragonist Hannah Baker is shown taking her life this way in the final episode of Season 1. In the original novel, it was an overdose of pills. Notably, the series goes out of its way to avert the common Hollywood depiction of this kind of suicide as a quick and painless ordeal. Hannah's death is anything but, being a clearly painful and drawn-out affair.
  • Afterlife (2005) had one character who slit her wrists in the bath after psychic Allison Mundy claimed to see her dead mother behind her.
  • Monsignor/Cardinal Howard commits suicide this way once the horrors of Briarcliff are revealed to the public in American Horror Story: Asylum.
  • In The Borgias, Cardinal Verscucci kills himself this way when on the run from the Borgias after setting fire to their finances in vengeance for being ousted from the College of Cardinals.
  • CSI: Exploited by the "Bathtub Killer" of Season 1, who kills his victims in bathtubs and stages them to look like suicides.
  • Dark Desire: Brenda is found with her wrist slit in the bath. It's theorized that she was really murdered, with it made to appear like a suicide. However, then it's revealed she really did kill herself.
  • Dead of Summer: Joel's brother killed himself by cutting his wrists in the bath due to Holyoke haunting him, which is where Joel found him.
  • Desperate Housewives: In the climax of season 3, Gloria Hodge tries to kill Bree by slashing her wrists in a hot bath so it will look like a suicide, and she's prevented from doing it by her son Orson Just in Time.
  • Dexter subverts this twice, in different ways: first, with a serial killer who kills every first victim of his cycle by making it look like this sort of suicide. His final kill was Rita, in the bathtub of Dexter's house. Later, Dexter helps an extremely troubled girl escape after she just committed her first murder, and tells her to meet him at that same house. When he can't find her in the house, the audience is led to believe she may have committed suicide. He then finds her in the same bathtub the previous murder occurred in. She's just taking a bath.
  • In Downton Abbey, Thomas Barrow attempts suicide this way. He is found in time, however, and survives.
  • Forever Knight
    • The episode "Last Act", has what appears to be a "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody with the woman taking a shower approached by an unknown menace, but when the curtain's pulled back she just laughs as if she knows them. Then her arm is grabbed and her wrist slashed with a scalpel to make it look like she killed herself.
    • Played straight in the final episode when a friend of Natalie slits her wrists in the bathtub, causing her to reevaluate her own life and her relationship with her Romantic Vampire Boy.
  • Kaamelott
    • Arthur attempts suicide this way at the of Livre V (season 5).
    • In the prequel season 6, the Roman Emperor is Driven to Suicide the same way by Méléagant.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Kirby's late girlfriend Annie killed herself by slicing her own wrists in the bathtub when they both lived together as heroin junkies. Kirby has to relive the event during one of his visions.
  • In One Tree Hill, Alex attempts suicide this way, but Julian gets there in time.
  • Supernatural: A pregnant Kelly Kline attempts suicide this way, owing to the fact that her child was fathered by Lucifer. When the child saves her, she decides he's a force of good and deserves to live. Others aren't so sure the child was just trying to save himself.
  • In Westworld, when Juliet, the Man in Black's wife, views the record of his atrocities committed while he was playing a "black hat" in the park, she commits suicide by filling her mansion bathtub and slitting her wrists. The water leaking over the sides of the tub alerts the MiB to go into the bathroom.

  • Shown at the end of the music video for the Alpha Wolf song "Restricted (R18+)" where the woman the video focused on is shown lifeless inside a bath filled with her own blood after killing her father.
  • "The War on Drugs" by Barenaked Ladies is about suicide in general, but also focuses on one particular character in the first half of the song:
    In the dream I refuse to have
    She falls asleep in a lukewarm bath
    We're left to deal with the aftermath again
  • RZA's verse in "1-800-Suicide" by the Gravediggaz:
    The only one who escaped was number six
    He went home, sat in the tub and slit his wrists
  • "Bathtub Mermaid" by Mili is almost entirely about this, although never directly stated.
  • P!nk's video to her song "Fucking Perfect" had the girl it focused around doing this near the end of it, carving "Perfect" into her arm with a razor. Fortunately, it's All Just a Dream, and she wakes up from falling asleep in the bathtub and starts painting, eventually cleaning up her life, becoming a famous artist, finding a husband, and having a little girl.
  • "Red Water" by Rehab.
  • Implied in the video to "Everytime" by Britney Spears, before the All Just a Dream ending (which was apparently the result of Executive Meddling).
  • Sufjan Stevens's "The Only Thing" mentions this.
    The only thing that keeps me from cutting my arm
    Cross hatch, warm bath, Holiday Inn after dark
  • Implied in the X Japan PV for Week End as for being how Yoshiki's character eventually accomplished his suicide, with the water and the bleeding wrists...

  • In RENT, Roger's girlfriend April killed herself this way before the start of the play, leaving a suicide note reading, "We've got AIDS."

    Video Games 
  • Crescendo (JP): Yuka Otowa attempts this, but is saved. From then on she covers the scars with her pink wristbands.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Evelyn Parker, out of all people, commits suicide like this in Judy's apartment despite being rescued.
  • Doom: Do It Again, a custom level, is about doing this to yourself.
  • Eternal Darkness: If Alex examines a bathtub inside her family home, the camera rapidly zooms in on the suddenly-full tub in which a corpse of Alex lies in a pool of her own blood, prompting a Jump Scare.
  • Fallout: In the 3D games, you will sometimes run across skeletons in bathtubs, often with caked blood on the floor, and med-x syringes or razors strewn about. Presumably, it was preferable to an imminent nuclear holocaust. One of these bathtubs has a toaster in it as well.
  • Heavy Rain: The mother of one of the Origami Killer's victims attempts this, but is rescued by Shelby.
  • Home (Rivers): This is one of the possible endings of the game.
  • Lobotomy Corporation: After suffering from the guilt of sacrificing Enoch for a failed Cogito experiment in an attempt to avoid her own demise, Carmen fell into depression and attempted this days later. This does not actually kill her, but her colleague Ayin took the opportunity to remove her cerebral system to extract Cogito.
  • If you work every day until day 4 in One Chance, your wife will do this.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny pretends to drown in Elmer's bathtub in "Elmer's Pet Rabbit" (1940).
  • In a South Park episode where Paris Hilton thinks Butters is her new dog, he finds a photo album that shows one of her previous dogs killed itself this way. Along with the chihuahua that Ate His Gun at the beginning of the episode, and another dog who committed Seppuku.

    Real Life 
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca was probably the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker. He is referenced by name in The Godfather (See Films, above.)
  • Subversions can happen in Real Life, too. The painting The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David uses framing similar to the depiction of Seneca's death above (making for a possible artistic Shout-Out), but Marat was murdered, not Driven to Suicide. That Other Wiki has more here.
  • According to his diary, Lee Harvey Oswald tried to kill himself this way after learning he had been denied entry into Russia.