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Man-Made House Flood

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When the water bills are the least of your concerns.

Sometimes a member of the family, a housesitter hired to watch the house, or even both, end up doing something so stupid that it results in the house (usually ground floor) being flooded to the knees of an adult. It's commonly a source of comedy. Bonus points if they don't show how they did it, and it starts with a phone call focusing on the face of the caller before panning back to reveal the flood.

In some cases the flood wil be temporarily confined to a single room, despite the fact that the doors & floor of a regular house aren't built to be watertight. This is likely to result in Opening the Flood Gates when some poor sap tries to figure out what's going on.

The bathtub and sink versions of this trope are gradually becoming discredited: modern tubs and sinks now come with an overflow pipe built into them that connects to the drainpipe in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening. It isn't standard however, so for now it remains delightfully feasible.


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  • In a commercial for Hershey's Syrup, a kid known only as "Messy" Marvin causes his family's bathroom to be filled up with water while he mixes up a glass of chocolate milk, but after he enjoys the glass, we see the bathroom door fall down as a lot of water comes pouring out of the bathroom while Marvin shrugs.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Season 3 episode 17 of Happy Heroes, Sweet S. is distracted by romantic thoughts about the mysterious person who rescue her from a monster earlier and forgets she has the sink running, and the water overflows and floods Doctor H.'s house. Happy S. can be seen hanging to a wall to avoid the water.
  • Oye Golu: In "Dhyaan Kahaan Hai", Adi accidentally leaves the sink running when he is distracted by Cheepie the bird and floods the house.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin calls his dad at work, apparently to make small talk. The final panel reveals the real reason he's calling: He somehow managed to flood the house, and the waterline is high enough to reach the top of the ladder that Calvin is currently on (near the ceiling). The next strip references this event, where Calvin's father retorts angrily after Calvin gives him the poll results of his "reign" as dad, revealing that the reason he took away dessert from Calvin is that Calvin flooded the house.
    • In another, Calvin turns the stairs into a waterfall. (Though that was because he and Hobbes were taking turns doing cannonball dives into a full bathtub.)
    • Yet another, Calvin causes one in the bathroom after breaking the handle off the sink faucet.
  • In FoxTrot, during the time where Roger has to housesit for Andy while she's out of town, Roger is calling her reporting what's going on at the house, and wonders when she's going to be back. The final panel reveals that he is waist-deep in a flooded kitchen; Jason remarks that even he knew how to properly operate the dishwasher (implying that Roger messed up so badly on the dishwasher that it resulted in the flood). They eventually get rid of the flood before Andy gets back, although not without having to contend with a swamp.

    Fan Works 
  • Family Guy Fanon: "Chick Cancer"'s new B-Plot has Peter and Francis flood the entire bottom floor of the house while making a trying to set up a Mother's Day (or a Wife Day) dinner for their wives Lois and Thelma. It took hours until Lois and Thelma catch on when "their wife senses [tingle]" and the two are greeted by a whole rush of water.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In chapter 24, Night Blade meets psychiatrist Sound Mind, who mentions an incident where she noticed her wife was acting normal, but she could tell something was "off", and soon found out her wife had caused a minor flood in her study and was trying to replace all the damaged books without her noticing.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Home Alone, the Wet Bandits (or rather, Marv) deliberately invoke the trope when robbing houses as a Calling Card. Said action ends up biting them in the butt in the climax where they are arrested for every single house they robbed.
  • A variation happens in Jumanji, when playing the game somehow causes a rainforest monsoon right inside the house.
  • In Paddington (2014), the title character doesn't really understand how plumbing works, accidentally flooding the Browns' house. The tub rolling down the stairs like a raft, Paddington in it, became one of the movie's iconic images, appearing on a lot of posters.
  • Played for surreal romance in The Shape of Water, where the heroine deliberately floods the bathroom the creature is living in from floor to ceiling. Water is shown pouring into the room below but it doesn't seem to cause any lasting damage. After Paddington (see above), this marked the second time this happened to a character played by Sally Hawkins.

  • In The Last Camel Died at Noon, Amelia Peabody gets home from a trip to London to learn that her son Ramses had been about to take a bath when he'd been distracted by his cat catching a mouse, and had neglected to turn off the water, causing both a flood in the bathroom, and a cascade of water coming down from the ceiling into his father's study. Amelia promptly decides that she doesn't want to know any more details, and tells her maid to just give Amelia her whiskey and go away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens in an episode of The Drew Carey Show. Drew has a crush on a (female) plumber, and punctures a pipe so he can call her and get her to come round to his house.
  • A version happens in The Brady Bunch. Bobby tries to cover up making his suit dirty by dumping it into the washing machine with a whole box of detergent. When he returns to the laundry room, he finds it filled about 4½ feet deep in soap suds.
  • An early sketch on Donny And Marie has Nipsey Russell making a Newhart Phonecall to the plumber from his flooded kitchen.
  • An episode in Season 1 of Full House has a subplot of DJ and Stephanie trying to get Danny's wedding ring out of the sink drain. This results in water spraying all over the bathroom as the girls desperately try to fix it. Hilarity Ensues.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In an early Sesame Street sketch, Ernie has just come out of the bath, but he has forgotten something. As Bert tries to help Ernie remember what it is, Ernie realizes that he forgot to turn off the bathtub faucet. At the end of the sketch, the apartment has filled with water.

    Video Games 
  • Spelling Jungle: An outside version of this is the cause of the flooding in both games.
    • In Spelling Jungle, there's a giant faucet at the top of the mountain that someone left on, so Wali has to turn it off.
    • In Spelling Blizzard, there's a giant heater melting the ice at the top of the mountain, and unplugging it allows the water to refreeze.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode where Lisa has to contend with being the authority figure of the house when Marge ended up injured from a clock falling on her, Lisa is calling Marge. It's revealed after she briefly talks to Marge that Lisa is currently on a stool in a flooded house, with Homer and Bart playing Marco Polo. It's strongly implied that Bart and Homer caused the flood.
    • Homer did a variation in the beginning of one episode, where the entire house was covered in waterfalls before running out of the house to go to Moe's, although in this case, we actually see how he did it: After the kids were unable to take a bath due to the water heater being broken, Homer attempts to fix it with a crowbar, thus causing the water heater to explode in a geyser.
  • Popeye:
    • In the cartoon "Happy Birthdaze", he brings new friend Shorty to Olive's house. Shorty uses the bathroom to wash up, and when Popeye opens the door, a flood of water washes him down the sewer in the road. Twice.
    • In another Popeye short, "Floor Flusher", Popeye and Bluto flood Olive Oyl's house as they try to fix a broken pipe under her kitchen sink.
    • "Popeye the Plumber", a short on The All-New Popeye Hour, is basically an updated remake of "Floor Flusher".
  • In the Toy Story Toons short "Partysaurus Rex", Rex turns on the bathtub tap so the bath toys can party. Unfortunately, he can't turn it back off, and he ends up flooding the house.
  • A variation in one episode of Tom and Jerry sees the room deliberately flooded and then flash-frozen using disconnected freezer pipes in order to create a skating rink and play with every ice trope in the book.

    Real Life 
  • A clogged toilet is very likely to invoke this trope on a small scale, and it's why having a plunger next to the toilet is often a very good idea — as well as knowing how to quickly shut off water to the toilet.
  • Preventing this trope is why, if the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C), you should have all faucets both indoors and outdoors turned on just enough to drip — which leaves water and air circulating through the system enough to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • Failing water heaters are notorious for this - which is why a water heater generally should be placed outside of the house proper or in a garage with nothing next to it. Examining it for damage (especially rust, bulges, or sediment accumulation on the outside of the tank) on a regular basis is also a very good idea.
  • When he was younger, former NHL player Wayne Cashman wanted to try out his brand-new pair of hockey skates, but there was nowhere he could go. Since his parents were away, he opened all the windows and doors in his house (it was the winter), flooded the kitchen with an inch of water, and waited for it to freeze. Cashman's parents came home earlier than he had expected...