I love to make waves, and watch the faucet run
I love the way that I feel when I'm done
There's nothing much better for good clean fun
Than rub-a-dub-dub, everybody in the tub
Rub-a-dub-dub, everybody in the tub!
A work promotes the idea that taking a bath can be fun. This is usually in shows, books, or other works for very young children, though there's no law that says that it has to be. It may be because one of the characters on the show Hates Baths, or is simply a reluctant bather; in other cases, it may just be that they're trying to get in their daily Aesop. It can help if you can have a bit of singing.
This is a relatively new idea; there was a time when bathing was actually considered unsanitary or potentially dangerous for certain religious reasons. In all fairness, there was some truth to this. It only really came about when it was more universally recognized as healthy and parents needed ways to encourage reluctant kids to take their daily or nightly bath.
If you were thinking something dirty about the meaning of this trope, forget it. This is about characters having fun getting clean. It doesn't have anything to do with anything dirty, other than any mud or grit that might be removed.
- The late '50s/early '60s gave us Soaky, a bubble bath that had the tagline "More fun than getting dirty." The selling point was that the containers were in the off-model shape of notable cartoon characters (when the container is empty, it becomes a toy, according to the jingle), and the pairing of some of the commercials were quite bizarre: Muskie Muskrat and Dick Tracy, Alvin and Mighty Mouse, and Superman and Tennessee Tuxedo. An even earlier spot had the product's mascot, the Soaky Kid, making phone calls to Porky Pig and Donald Duck.
- Mr. Bubble was a product that came later but did not feature cartoon stars as their pitchers.
- From time-to-time in Dragon Ball Z:
- At the start of the film The Tree of Might", Goku and Gohan are seen taking a bath together.
- In one episode of the Buu Saga, After Kid Buu is killed by Goku, and Majin Buu is reformed, Goku is seen rough-housing with Goten and Trunks (and eventually Gotenks) as the three of them take a bath together.
- In a very rare, special OVA that retells the story of the Cell Games and the Otherworld Tournament, Gohan and Goten are seen taking a Bath. Goku (who is still dead) appears via Instant Transmission and joins them as well.
- In One Piece, the Straw Hat Pirates' ship, the Thousand Sunny, has a huge bath. Word of God is that the male crew members sometimes get in together for a rowdy "bath party". Chopper is often invited to bathe with the female members, but he prefers to bathe with the guys because they just have much more fun. Much earlier, Luffy and Usopp also have lots of fun in the Alabasta royal bath by running around, splashing water on each other, pretending to train and joining in on the other guys when they try to peep at the girls' bath.
- In Rebuild World, Akira becomes addicted to soaking in a hot bath after checking into a hotel with a bathtub for the first time. He always wants to live in a room with a bath no matter what and grumbles when Alpha tells him to sleep in a room without one to save money.
- On Suzy's Zoo: Daisuki! Witzy, in "Bath Time Fun," Witzy and Boof have fun playing in the bathroom, though they never do actually get in the tub. Their "bath" ends up consisting of a patch of soap bubbles created when Boof spills soap on the floor.
- Zatch from Zatch Bell! loves taking baths. One episode even has him innocently asking Tia if she wanted to join him for one. Tia, Tsundere as she is, outright refuses.
- In the Toy Story Pixar Short Partysaurus Rex, Bonnie of the third film takes Rex with her into the bathroom for her bath and they have a good time with her bath toys. After that, he gets left behind and ends up helping the other toys to have a party. An officially licensed clip can be found here.
- Not a full-blown bath, but in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs learn to enjoy washing their hands and faces in the song "Buddle-Uddle-Um." Averted with Grumpy, though, who refuses to join in and hates the bath the others finally give him by force.
- John Lennon is playing with submarines while taking a bubble bath in A Hard Day's Night.
- Heart of Dragon: Danny is shown playing with his rubber ducky in the tub and dunking his head underwater, and clearly enjoying every moment of it. The character in question is an autistic man in his 30s, by the way.
- In Dragon Bones Ward is very happy to be able to take a hot bath. His sore muscles after a training fight against his aunt may have something to do with it, but he also expresses gratitude for his servants' carrying and heating the water.
- In D.W.'s Guide to Perfect Manners (later retitled D.W. Says Please and Thank You for paperback), the title character is shown in the bath holding a toy mermaid in one hand, a rubber duck in the other, and splashing Mrs. Read and Pal. She states that at night, it's not nice to complain about taking a bath or brushing your teeth and you can play while you get clean, but sometimes she plays a little too hard.
- In The Lord of the Rings, the hobbits sing a bath song after arriving at Frodo's new house in Buckland and have a lot of fun splashing around in the tubs. "Sing hey! For the bath at close of day..."
- In the backstory of A Brother's Price, the protagonist's grandfather Alannon loved baths so much that he got his wives to build him a bathhouse, even though they, being simple soldiers, had no idea how to do that. Apparently they succeeded, as Jerin uses the bathhouse at the beginning of the narrative. It is implied that having an extra room for taking baths is a luxury, and the characters enjoy it accordingly. As with the LOTR example above, much of the enjoyment is derived from a bath being a luxury one cannot afford every day, or a large percentage of the population can only afford very rarely.
- Little Critter:
- Just Me in the Tub depicts the things Little Critter does to get ready for his bath and then him having fun in it, though only after he washes.
- The first book in the series, Just For Yu (You), also has a scene where Little Critter having so much fun in a bath he splashes water everywhere when pretending there's a storm at sea, to which his mother is not amused.
I wanted to not splash in my bath just for you... but there was a storm.
- In Just Go To Bed, Little Critter plays with a toy boat and pretends to be a sea monster, but Dad makes him get out, saying it's time for the seas monster to have a snack.
- In the Winnie-the-Pooh book, Why Does It Have to Rain? (part of the Winnie the Pooh's Thinking Spot series) shows Piglet outside in a bathtub during a rain shower, holding a scrub brush in one hand, a sponge in the other, and telling Pooh how much he loves taking a bath in the rain.
- Maisy Takes a Bath, from the Maisy books, and also made into a TV story, features the main character, Maisy Mouse, trying to take a bubble bath. She keeps getting interrupted by her friend Tallulah the chicken, who wants her to come over and play. Eventually Tallulah brings over some toys and hops into Maisy's bath and the two have fun playing together. Reader reaction to this seems to vary greatly based on what cultural taboos they were raised with. In some families, though, it's not unusual two bathe two siblings of similar age together even if they're boy and girl, and in some regions a kid coming over for a sleepover may be bathed with the home kid without anyone even batting an eye. In some cases, though, the reaction isn't based on this so much as that Tallulah's behavior is considered pushy.
- Huggly Takes a Bath is a picture book in which the main character, Huggly: The Monster Under the Bed, wanders into the bathroom and discovers the bathub. He pours in some bubble bath, which he believes to "magic slime" and has fun with all the bubbles and then covering himself with bubbles to make himself look like a "snow monster."
- In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (part of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series), the captain of the B Ark (a ship of the damned destined to crash into Earth and plant the seeds of the human race) spends most if not all of the voyage in a bathtub in the center of the ship's bridge and endorses the idea that "You're never alone with a rubber duck."
- In The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, the Pigeon is very dirty and smelly and needs a bath, but doesn't want to have one at first. Once he finally comes around, however, he finds that he loves it and stays in it for at least ten hours.
- The 2015 Disney Princess picture book Bath Time with Ariel shows scenes of Ariel from The Little Mermaid having fun in the water, each followed by a scene of a kid having fun in the bath.
- The children's graphic novel Patrick Eats His Peas and Other Stories by Geoffrey Hayes, a Toon Book features a story titled Patrick Takes a Bath. In the story, Patrick doesn't want to take a bath at first— "You'd think I was dirty or something!" Once he gets in, however, he has a lot of fun with toys and bubble bath but is upset that his mother keeps interrupting him and when he gets out, he complains about having "wasted all that time taking that dumb bath," even though he clearly had a good time.
- This here gives a good list of some picture books about this topic, though not all of them specifically promote the aesop.
- Holes: The inmates of Camp Green Lake consider bathing the best time of the day because they finally get to cool off from the heat... for only four minutes. In the companion guide book, one of the inmates tried to extend the bath time by suggesting the shower shut off for one minute to apply soap (making it five minutes long with four minutes of water), but instead the Warden used the shutoff to turn it into a four-minute shower with only three minutes of water. Needless to say, the rest of camp hated him after that.
- Everything about the description of bath in the Prefects' Bathroom in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sounds like it'd be amazing magical fun. It has taps that run water of all different colors, as well as taps that provide "pink and blue bubbles the size of footballs," ice-white foam that might support your weight, and heavily perfumed purple clouds. It is also massive but takes hardly any time to fill. Unfortunately, Harry is unable to properly enjoy it because A.) He's concerned about figuring out his Triwizard Tournament egg clue and B.) He ends up with Moaning Myrtle the ghost in there and gets a nasty shock from her watching him before she helps him to figure out the clue.
- The picture book Fozzie's Bubble Bath, a The Muppets book described as a Muppets Picture Reader depicts Fozzie arriving at Kermit's house covered in blue paint and being told that he needs a bath. He runs a bath with bubbles and after grabbing a rubber duck comments that "baths are fun."
- Togetherly Long: Used as the Aesop in one storyline when Oukii was reluctant to take a bath due to not liking the way his hair was washed. Things get settled when they decide upon a new method, and the story tells us that anyone can enjoy baths as long as we try harder to keep them fun.
- In the sixth season of the U.S. Shark Tank, two entrepreneurs presented SoapSox, a machine-washable toy to help make bathing fun for kids, which combined a plush toy with a washcloth. They came up with the idea while working in child care when they encountered a kid who refused to bathe because he wasn't allowed to bring his plush toy into the bathtub. The company had some fairly good sales and the Sharks seemed to like a lot of what they heard about the company, but disliked the stated valuation and heard certain other issues that they weren't comfortable with. Ultimately, they were made an offer by Daymond John, but he wanted 33% of their company when they were only offering 10%. They admitted they were hoping to get a deal with him and countered at 15%. Lori and Robert then made an offer of a million dollars to simply buy them out, but this idea didn't interest them. Ultimately, they decided to decline both offers, electing to keep their business entirely to themselves. Despite this, their official website still offered a Shark Tank promotion good till a week after the episode's original airdate.
- In the premiere episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Neelix was over-the-moon when he went to Voyager for the first time and was offered a bath by Tuvok. Water was scarce in that region of the Delta Quadrant, the idea of immersing himself in water to get clean was something completely foreign to Neelix. Captain Janeway was also known to have a bathtub in personal quarters on Voyager and when she and Chakotay were stuck on a planet they dubbed New Earth with an illness that only stayed dormant on that planet without the cure, Chakotay built her one.
- Barney & Friends: "Sometimes I splash too much, / I hope I won't get in trouble, / cause when I take a bath it's so much fun watching bubble after bubble after bubble..."
- The Sesame Street CD and cassette Splish, Splash, Bath-time Fun.
- Bathtime Sing-along by Fisher Price
- And any of a number of albums with music targeted at baby bathtime.
- Joanie Bartels's album "Bathtime Magic," seems to be targeted at kids around three to six and includes both takes on familiar classics like "Yellow Submarine" and new ones, such as "Bubble Bath."
- "Public Bath" by Shonen Knife.
- "In the Bath" by Flanders and Swann.
- "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin.
- A Playhouse Disney and Muppet show, Bear in the Big Blue House had a song called "Everybody in the Tub" in which all of the main characters sang about how great bathtime was. The writers seemed to enjoy this song / segment, because they had a tendency to whip it out whenever they needed to fill some time - it was used in at least seven different episodes of the show.
- The Pajanimals, another Muppet (Creature Shop) show, has a "Bathtime Boogie" song.
- One episode of Allegra's Window has Allegra teaching this to her best friend Lindi, who, being a dog, hates baths.
- Oobi: has the "Uma Bathroom" episode, where Uma has to take a bath after going in a mud puddle. After lots of procrastinating, Uma finally gets in the tub and loves it.
- Sesame Street:
- Sing with Ernie now!
- Sesame Street additionally had numerous segments and songs promoting baths, such as "Baby Bear's Bath Song", and "Do De Rubber Duck" which has Ernie joined by many friends in the bathtub as they sing and do a reggae dance.
- In "Elmo Comes Clean," Elmo doesn't want to take a bath because he doesn't want to stop playing. Finally, he encounters Ernie, who explains to him: "Elmo, you don't have to stop playing to take a bath. You play in the bathtub!"
Elmo: (astonished) No!Ernie: Yes!
- Our Miss Brooks: In "Stretch Has A Problem", Miss Brooks' "feet were ready to come off" after participating in a snake dance. The rally was held in honor of the Madison High School basketball team's departure to the state tournament. The sore and tired Miss Brooks spends the rest of the episode trying to take a bath. Alas, she's continually interrupted by somebody coming to the door before she can get into the tub:
Miss Brooks: [singing, while filling the bathtub with water] Singing in the bathtub, nothing can go wrong. Singing in the bathtub....[doorbell rings]Miss Brooks: [singing] Oh, I should live so long!
- In Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, in the Vile God timeline in Advent Dark Force, your party visits the Dasuhiro Plains, which has a hot springs. When Sherman makes note of this, Eryn eagerly suggests that they should stop by on their way back. Fang mocks her for "getting all excited at the idea of taking a bath" like a little kid, but Sherman says everyone needs to relax once in a while. Ethel comments that she likes baths, but Fang still wants nothing to do with it, until Bahus mentions that he found some eggs which he could make into hot spring eggs, at which point Fang is totally on-board.
Fang: Are you serious!? Woohoooo! Hot spring eggs are the best!Eryn: Now who's the little kid...?
- In The Sims 4, baths can help a stressed-out Sim to calm down. If they take a bubble bath, they'll end up in a playful mood for several hours.
- Niklas and Friends: The story "Summer Storm" ends with Keith and Martin taking a bath together, which, after an awkward start, results in both boys happily playing.
- Younger Days: several comics feature Max and Sam enjoying baths together.
- In Ozy and Millie Millie is shown playing and/or issuing subtle political commentary in the tub fairly often.
- Draconia Chronicles:
- Early on, we see a pack of tigresses thoroughly enjoying themselves bathing and playing together (behave yourselves) in a hotspring.
- In the original calendar series, Khess and her pack also relax in a hot spring. Khess herself notes that half the fun is getting dirty (again, behave yourselves) beforehand.
- The Playhouse Disney (later Disney Junior) series JoJo's Circus had a song called "Bathtime" (also released on one of the show's soundtrack albums) in which the star character and her pet lion Goliath sing about how much fun bathtime is.
- Another Playhouse Disney show, PB&J Otter, subverts this by having Peanut and Jelly in the bath singing about how fun it is. Then, however, their little sister Baby Butter doesn't want to take a bath, so they find a creative way to make it fun for her. This leads to some full-frontal nudity, although it doesn't mean much, considering the diaper she typically wears is more than what most of the rest of the cast wears.
- Disney Junior also has an interstitial segment in which a woman sings about how much taking a bath is and Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast is shown encouraging Chip to take a bath. "Let's take a bath. A bubbly bubbly bath. Just get in, the water's fine, we'll splash and wash and have a good time... Getting clean is so much fun..."
- In "The Old SwitcheRoo" on The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Roo didn't want to have a bath and Tigger convinced him that baths were "the end." In the end, Kanga got them in the bath ("scrubbly bubbly") and Tigger realized the truth about baths. "You get, you get... you get clean." Roo declares that it's fun and Tigger admits that he was wrong, though he was right about one thing... it is... the end. (And the episode ends.)
- Caillou had Caillou not liking baths in one episode, but then his Mom put some bubbles and bath toys in and made it fun. This was later memorialized in a song for one of the show's music albums.
- An episode of The Powerpuff Girls shows that Blossom and Bubbles both enjoy taking baths. Buttercup, however does not, and so she refuses to take a bath. It's only after she's run out of town by the angry citizens and a monster refuses to fight her both because she smells so bad that she reluctantly agrees to take a bath.
- The "In My Bath" song from Spot the Dog has Spot playing in his bath and imagining it to be a big sea on which he can sail his boat.
- When Ren and Stimpy switch places with a couple of babies of the suburban couple only seen below the knees, they see bath time is a high point (to Dad in particular) - that means everyone in the tub, including Grandpa.
- An episode of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast was dedicated to bathing the titular beast after he gets muddy. He didn't mind though; he loves baths.
- In an episode of Handy Manny titled "Paint Job". The tools make a mess of things and end up getting covered in paint. In the next scene, they are in a tub of soap and water as Manny cleans them up. They are heard laughing and playing during their bath.
- The Aesop of "How to Bathe Your Dragon." Wally even says straight up to his dragon, Norville, that "baths are fun."
- In "The Bathmobile," Norville has apparently learned his lesson so well that he is in charge of the titular bathmobile along with Wally and helps to tempt others into the bath with bath toys and such.
- Little Bear had "Family Bath Time" in which Little Bear and his parents all enjoy a warm bubble bath together in a metal washtub in the living room. It was originally just Father Bear's bath, but then Little Bear jumped in. Later, they both pulled in Mama Bear, still in her clothes. (She being the only one of them to wear any.)
- On Babar and the Adventures of Badou, Jake the fox kit is said to hate baths. However, in "Soaped!, once he's in the soapy fountain water...
Jake: (splashing and scrubbing) Why didn't you tell me taking a bath was so much fun?
- "Timmy Needs a Bath" from Timmy Time focuses on Timmy trying to avoid one. Eventually, however, he permits his teddy bear to go into the bath, however. Then, once he gets in, he splashes and has fun.
- On the PBS animated version of Curious George, George generally tries to avoid baths when possible, however, it's shown that he can be lured into the bathtub with his bath toys, which help to make bathing fun for him. He also likes bubbles, but particularly likes his toy frog, Sproingy.
- On the Amazon Studios series Creative Galaxy, one installment revolves around the show's protagonist, Arty, making his own bath crayons so he won't be bored and have fun in the bath.
- On ToddWorld, Todd relaxes and unwinds by eating macaroni and cheese in the bathtub. When he goes to visit his Aunt Izzie to dig for dinosaur bones, he's sad because she has no bathtub, only a shower. So Sophie invents a mobile bathtub called the "bathomobile."
- In "Think or Swim" on Goldie & Bear, it's a really hot day in Fairytale Forest, and Goldie, Bear, and Humpty Dumpty all want to go swimming, but are shocked by the long line for the pool. They end up at the Giant's house, where they discover his large bathtub and decide to fill it up, against Humpty's advice. They end up creating a giant bubble bath and sing a song called "Fun in the Tub" as they're doing it.
- In "Bathtime for Boomer" from Kate & Mim-Mim, Kate doesn't want to stop playing to take a bath, so she escapes into Mimiloo, where Boomer is having the same issue. She and the others say they can make it fun for him with bubbles, but he runs away. They eventually catch him, and as for Kate, she decides that bathtime is fun, as long as you get a pirate ship and make it a bubble bath.
- In "Daniel's Blueberry Paws" from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Mom Tiger gives both Daniel and little sister Margaret a bubble bath together after they play on the beach outside their home and have sticky ice treats. This is apparently a special occasion for them because most of the time they have baths without bubbles. Daniel, however, nearly misses out on enjoying them much before they fizzle out due to being upset over not getting to play with a bath toy that he left at Grandpere's. Mom, however, reminds him of the episode's lesson to "Enjoy the wow that's happening now."
- In "Chip's First Sleepover" from Chip and Potato, Chip has a bath with her panda friend Nico before they go to bed. They have the bath in a panda pool and use the bubbles to make a soapy beard and bubble hair. Chip tells Nico that baths are fun at his house and that she wishes there was a panda pool at her house.
- This is the lesson of "If You Give a Dog a Bath" from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, in which both Henry and Dog don't want to come inside to have a bath because they think it means they have to stop playing and having fun. Then they learn that they can have fun in the bath.
- There is a thriving industry of bathtime-related products trying to convince you or your children of just this, and in many cases doing a very good job of it. In addition to the normal bubble bath, there are also things like Sesame Street bath fizzy colors, bath crayons, and a Sonic the Hedgehog bath game.
- This lists seven fun things that can be added to a child's bath.
- If you have to go without a shower or bath for a long time, or return home after a long day tired and probably quite dishevelled, you will appreciate your first bath after that very much indeed. Very cold or very hot weather can have this effect, too, with regard to a hot or cold bath, respectively.
- Pretty much Truth in Television for all cultures where the normal method of getting clean was or is to use a bucket of water and a sponge or piece of cloth.