Mizumachi: Eh? What do you mean? When you're in a public bath, you either swim or peep, right?
Everyone: YOU DO NEITHER!
When people are seen going to and bathing in a public bath. Public baths have appeared in many cultures, from the ancient Romans to the Russians and Japanese. Usually gender segregated, everyone spends their time washing off and relaxing with their fellow sex.
Public baths frequently appear in media from countries such as Japan, Russia, Finland and Turkey, where they are still commonplace. They are usually used by lower class citizens who don't have a bathtub in their home (just a shower), or when the household's bathtub is not working. When going to and from one, expect everyone to be wearing a really plain towel, to be carrying a bath pan to carry shampoo and conditioner (which can be used as an improvised self-defense weapon if needed), and to drink some nice, cold milk from after they get out.
Different cultures have particular customs associated with the bathhouse, as well as localized names: in Turkey they are called hamam, in Korea jjimjilbang, and in Russia banya. A Japanese bath house (referred to as a sento) will always have a large wall painting of Mt Fuji in the background, as bathing in the shadow of Mt Fuji is good luck. In modern Finland, the use of steam bathhouses called saunas is not only a popular communal activity, but an integral part of family life.
Scenes come in two types: washing up (with extremely high chance of Fanservice) and then relaxing in the bath talking. Depending on the media, chances of "skinship" or Ho Yay subtext are very high; guaranteed, in fact, if a female Lovable Sex Maniac is around. If a male Lovable Sex Maniac is present on the male side, expect him to try to sneak a peek at the girls' side, if the baths aren't already co-ed. On the other end of the spectrum, the bathhouse can be the ideal place to carry out a murder: potential victims will likely be unarmed and vulnerable, and in the event of a struggle, the abundance of hard surfaces alone are a magnet for lethal head trauma injuries. An attempt at this may then lead to a Bathhouse Blitz.
Censor Steam is usually on, as well as conveniently placed soap bubblesnote . You may also see characters carrying a Modesty Towel into the actual bath, although in Real Life, towels are almost never allowed in.
This type of scene is so common in anime there is even a wiki that catalogues them.
- A cause for hilarity in Altair: A Record of Battles when Mahmut, Ahmet and Kurt are relaxing in the hamam, then suddenly a butt-naked Zeki Pasha appears and immediately starts scolding them.
- A Bride's Story has an arc about two women who meet and become friends in their local bathhouse, including many lovingly drawn scenes of dozens of naked or nearly naked ladies. The men's bath is also shown, including a vigorous massage that looks like it popped all of Mr. Smith's limbs out of their sockets.
- Buso Renkin
- The male characters go to a bathhouse, and, since they're bored, decide to compare the sizes of their "XXXXX". The protagonist's is about average, while the nearby captain of the kendo team is so beautiful that it appears as a cloud of sparkles and reduces them all to tears. Humourously, Papillion is there, and his is implied to be the biggest.
- While in the manga the girls go to a teahouse at this point, this is switched in the anime so that they go to a bathhouse too — with all the usual Fanservice, Skinship and Les Yay that usually goes with it.
- A public bath is the source of, or setting for, humourous antics (as well as Fanservice) in several espisodes of Chobits.
- In Code Geass, one of the Picture Dramas features a group of Ashford girls (Milly, Shirley, Kallen and Nina) taking a bath together in the Ashford Academy's bath house.
- Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! has this as a common occurrence since Yumoto's older brother runs a hot spring bathhouse and said bathhouse is close to Binan High.
- Dog Days: The Hero goes to the one in the castle and of course walks in on the princess.
- Happens semi-regularly in Elegant Yokai Apartment Life. The cast (especially Yushi) is often seen relaxing there after their latest shenanigans. Later on, Hase joins them.
- As quoted above, Eyeshield 21 has Monta, Sena, Mamori, and Suzuna meet their old enemies, the Poseidons, at a bath house. While Monta and Sena try to get intel on their next opponent, the Bando Spiders, the No Social Skills Mizumachi tries to peek on a not-quite-Skinship Grope between Mamori and Suzuna.
- Food Wars!: The first half of Episode 10 is this — Erina is getting out of the bathroom before she runs into Soma, Soma first meets Gin Doujima while he is stretching his muscles, then the new anime-scene has the Polar Star girls in the pool talking about Ryoko's boobs.
- During the class trip in Girl Friends (2006). A self-conscious Akko tries to see Mari without letting Mari see her. Unfortunately, Akko passes out in the bathwater, prompting Mari to carry her out of the bathhouse, dry her off, put on her underwear and pajamas, and tuck her into bed.
Akko: Just kill me now.
- Rushuna and Yajiro both visited a public bath in the 4th episode of Grenadier even though both sides were empty and they were the only ones on both sides.
- Rushuna visits another public bath in the 10th episode.
- In Chapter 32 of GTO: The Early Years, all the boys (who up until the end of the last chapter had been trying to kill each other) are at the public baths and end up comparing penis sizes. Eikichi is pretty small, and hilariously, the largest one belongs to Makoto.
- An extended scene in Hell Teacher Nube, when all of Doumori was haunted by a bath-based Obake and no one could take baths or even shower for days. Fed up, Nube's entire class decided to go to a public bathhouse together, as did Nube, Ritsuko (who is a long-time client) and Yukime... and the Obake. This is because the sento owner was about to close the baths down, so said Obake invaded the nearby homes to help her gather money. With some help of Nube, they punish some bad guys who were blackmailing the old lady, and the bath house recovered its popularity even after the house baths were back to normal.
- Hidamari Sketch: season one and season 2 each have a trip there, Yuno being shy wraps a towel around her breasts.
- In Volume 8 of Honey and Clover, Ayu and Miwako go to a health resort, which includes this before they get massages.
- Chapter 8 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Doujin Edition has the student council go to a bathhouse after they get caught in a flash rainstorm. Notably, none of the girls are ever shown during the actual bathing segments. It's also pointed out that only Shirogane had ever been to one before (the other four are all rich enough that they'd never had a need to go to one).
Shirogane: Also, it's common sense, but don't take your towel into the bath, alright?
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- The first Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's had the main protagonists and their Muggle friends visiting the newly opened public house at the same time as Hayate and the Wolkenritter, with a chance meeting being avoided due to Nanoha and Fate spending their time there washing each other's backs instead of wandering around.
- The first Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS had the cast going to the same bath house when they visited earth for a mission, with Erio and Caro having some Bathtub Bonding when the latter went over to the male side of the bath house after she learned that children could go wherever they want.
- A common occurrence in Osomatsu-san, where the brothers and other male characters go to a bathhouse (pictured above).
- Patlabor The New Files has the officers of SV2 visit a public bath after their improvised bathtub blows up. There, they wind up having to search for a bomber who has three moles in the right armpit. Naturally, the search turns into an enormous naked brawl. The bomber turns out to be a woman, so the men had no chance to find her.
- Ranma ½:
- Several times, either because the Tendō home's bath breaks, or the scene involves Ryōga, who tends to visit public bathhouses during his travels. More often than not, a fight breaks out. Usually on the male side.
- The major example is when Ranma fight Happōsai (that naturally want peep the girls, Akane included) in a sort of Escalating War with the two uses items from around the bathhouse, like towels and pails, as weapons. At the end, with all the cute girls gone (and it revealed that Akane and Nabiki wear swimsuits as precaution), Happōsai is tricked by Ranma's female form.
- Run with the Wind has the main cast going to the public bathhouse to bond or strategise semi-frequently while their their dorm bath is out of commission thanks to their dorm's boiler mysteriously malfunctioning (or so the one at fault Haiji proclaims). One episode has Haiji and Kakeru competing to see who can last the longest in the super hot bath—both end up passing ouy before a winner can be decided.
- Chapter 22 of Shuukan Shounen Hachi is dedicated to this, when Inohara invites Hachi and Handa to a public bath-house (soon followed by the boys of the class). It turns out Ran is very Genre Savvy and deliberately talks aloud to trick the boys into thinking there's a gender-mixed bath outside (there's none.) The author further nails the contrast between the boys and the girls by having two panels side by side of one character asking another to pass the soap. One one side, Inohara playfully goes for more groping, while on the other Hachi meekly passes the soap with a gloomy expression, with the girls' voices in the background.
- Snow White with the Red Hair:
- The research group in Lyrias goes to a public bath to relax and celebrate after they succeed with their experiments. Suzu invites along Obi and Kirito as well since Shidan and Lata don't go.
- When Zen's group comes to Lyrias to visit he and Obi go to the bathhouse themselves, and Obi gets annoyed at Mitsuhide for not coming with. On another visit almost a year later Obi does get to go with Mitsuhide.
- Tenchi Muyo! had two episodes set in a hotel with a public bathhouse. The first episode (episode 4) had Ryoko and Ayeka having their first major fight, leading to Mihoshi being stranded on Earth when she attempts to find the criminal Kagato and wrecking the place. The second episode (episode 9) had the gang invited back... to fix this mess, leading to the gang learning the secret connection between Sasami and Tsunami.
- In the two-part story of To Love Ru "War At The Public Bathhouse", Yami, along with Lala, Haruna and Mikan, is attacked in a public bath by two bounty hunters who use Rito (controlled by a device) because they know that Yami will never kill him. Thanks to Lala, who hack the device, their plan fail and are defeat.
- Urusei Yatsura:
- A Chapter/episode has Ataru finds the perfect part-time job — a washing attendant at a bathhouse — which he excitedly anticipates as being an opportunity to ogle and grope naked women. However, it doesn't turn out the way he expected.
- in a Anime-original episode has Ataru and friends try to peep the girls in an old bathhouse. Turn out at the end that all the girls wear swimsuits.
- In the Haikyuu!! manga Karasuno visits a bathhouse in a few chapters. One time, Hinata was so exhausted after a volleyball game that he almost drowned. Yamaguchi still remembers it in a different chapter where Hinata is a bit too energetic this time and ends up annoying Tsukishima with his hyperactive behaviour (like jumping out of the water).
- Yume no Shizuku, Kin no Torikago has many scenes taking place in the Hamam of the old palace, where the women in the harem go to bathe and socialize.
- Subverted with the Kidneys in Cells at Work! CODE BLACK. They're depicted as a factory-like public shower staffed by overworked slave girls who aren't even allowed to talk so they can do their jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible, due to the kidney's status as a "silent organ" (ie, an organ that won't send out any pain until it's in really bad trouble).
- Roman bathhouses are subject of more than one of Lawrence Alma-Tadema's paintings; A Favourite Custom is probably the most famous, but The Baths of Carcalla, Strigils and Sponges, and An Antique Custom also feature baths.
- In Drowntown, Gina and Izzy meet Solly, who has a job for them, at a public mud spa. They're not all that pleased about getting into a mud bath with him, although as he points out, he's not even the right species to have any inappropriate ulterior motive for wanting to meet there.
- Asterix: In Asterix the Gladiator, Asterix and Obelix visit the public baths in Rome. It is here they meet Caius Fatuous, who wants the two to become gladiators for him.
- George and Lynne: Lynne and 'Mantha enjoyed being in hot tubs or jacuzzis, usually without tops on.
- In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, the lawyer Estermann and the judge Mullan and Lyra Heartstrings share a (modern, western, pseudo-Roman) one at one point. It's decidedly awkward, though not necessarily for all the expected reasons.
- A Thing of Vikings: In Chapter 54, Astrid, Wulfhild, Heather, and Cami take advantage of it being late at night to have the newly-built Berk Baths all to themselves. The girls spend their time in the bath talking about relationships, religion, and sexuality, and Astrid and Wulfhild realize they're pregnant.
- A lengthy scene in Up Pompeii, inevitably used for both Fanservice and Fan Disservice. Lurcio goes to the steam baths to kill Prosperus Maximus (as ordered by Nero) and Nero (due to Prosperus Maximus' Blackmail). Lurcio gets lost in all the steam and has to dart through the baths being pursued by Prosperus Maximus, Captain Bilius, Odius, and Villanus who are all trying to kill him. Hiding in amongst large-breasted women and old, sweaty, fat men, Lurcio manages to avoid them long enough to make it out unharmed.
- Spa Night, a 2016 film directed by Andrew Ahn, is one big Public Bath Scene, as most of the film takes place in a Korean-style sauna/public bath in Los Angeles.
- The Blacksheep Affair had a sauna scene where the Big Bad gets confronted by several mobsters who try to kill him. He retaliates by kicking one of them in the crotch (all of them are in the nude, by the way, just to make it extra painful) before beating down all the mobsters expertly.
- The Accidental Spy: One scene takes place in a Turkish bath where Jackie Chan gets attacked by mobsters looking for him. It culminates into a Chase Scene where Chan runs through Istanbul's Grand Bazaar in the nude.
- Forty Guns: The first thing the Bonnell brothers do when they arrive in Tombstone is to visit Barney's Bathhouse to get cleaned up. A later scene shows them, along with the bride's father, bathing as they prepare for Wes's wedding.
- The Hour of the Pig: Courtois has a conversation with the priest while they're in the town bathhouse at one point. As a result, the priest is briefly distracted by the sight of a nude nun going past them.
- One of the Zatoichi movies had Zatoichi and a group of Yakuza confronting each other in a bathhouse. The Yakuza tries getting the drop on Ichi, but Ichi as usual packed his cane-sword and kills off a whole bunch of naked enemies whilst being naked himself!
- Hooded Angels: Following their massacre of the Posse that was chasing them, the Angels stop in the next town they come and visit a Chinese bathhouse to clean up and relax. Several of them sexually harass the male bathhouse attendant.
- Sweden: Heaven and Hell: A bunch of curvy blonde women strip down and enjoy a sauna together on a winter afternoon, in the scene in which "Máh-Ná-Mah-Ná" makes it debut.
- Chapter 11 of Dodger has a scene in which Solomon takes Dodger to the Turkish baths in Commercial Road.
- Happy Birthday to You!: The Mustard-Off Pools.
- Maria Nova from Orbital Lily has all the girls under her care take a shower together every morning while she watches. Then she inspects each of them before she watches them all dress in unison.
- In Rangers At Roadsend Chip and Katryn visit a public bath. Chip tries not to ogle Katryn, with limited success.
- The final scene of the third The Queen's Thief book, The King of Attolia. After the king defeats the whole of Attolia's private guard in sparring, thereby showing himself to be a true king worthy of the throne and not the weak and lazy interloper he'd been playing as the whole novel, guard captain Teleus invites him to the guards' private bathhouse.
- Ressha Sentai ToQger has an episode devoted to a bathhouse, including several scenes of ToQgers bathing.
- Tiberius and Drusus have a conversation in a bath in I, Claudius.
- Orange Is the New Black: Larry and his dad have a conversation about Piper. In a gay bathhouse, which slowly dawns on Larry. Includes a Funny Background Event of a couple of lovers, and of course, counts as a Fan Disservice-y Shirtless Scene.
- The Borgias had one where Micheletto tries to attack Cardinal Della Rovere in the baths. It doesn't work.
- In The Hollow Crown, Prince Hal and Ned have a long conversation in a public bathhouse.
- The Alienist features scenes in a public bathhouse, including a murder.
- Game of Thrones: In Season 1, Rob Stark, Jon Snow and Theo Greyjoy have a long, shirtless conversation in a bathhouse.
- Subverted in Queer as Folk (US) when Brian buys a defunct bathhouse and converts it into office space.
- Kamen Rider Revice has the Igarashi family run a bathhouse, so you occasionally see them and their friends make use of the facilities.
- On August 21, 1995, the hardcore wrestling promotion IWA Japan held a Bath House Death Match. The rules seemed to involve the baths being equivalent to the tag ropes, and, as time passes, logs are added to the fire. Leaving the pool draws a warning ("yellow card") and can lead to a wrestler being disqualified. The first match was the IWA Japan World Tag Team Champions the Head Hunters (A&B) vs. Shin-FMW (Tarzan Goto and Mr. Gannosuke)note . They actually wrestled around while naked women tried to stay out of the way. Shin-FMW won when Head Hunter B couldn't stand the heat and rolled out of the bath. The second match was Goto and Gannosuke vs. Shoji Nakamaki & Keisuke Yamada. Goto/Gannosuke won via Goto dunking Yamada's head under water for a 5 count.
- Palladium Fantasy has public bathhouses in several of its major towns and cities where the party can pay a small amount of gold to clean up and relax a bit. Some even offer additional special services, such as the option of getting washed off by servants, though that tends to cost a little extra.
- In Persona 5, a bath house allows Joker to increase his Charm stat if he goes there at night. There are some nights that are said to be particularly relaxing, which increase the boost he gets from the bath. A player only is required to visit the bath house once with Joker, Ryuji, and Yusuke, who proceed to have a conversation about the girls in their party... but Ryuij eventually can't stand the bath, since an old guy keeps adding hot water.
- Shantae (2002): Public bathhouses serve as the game's Trauma Inn.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, the "My Castle" feature allows the player to build a bath house in their own base. This includes scenes where: he and Silas take baths and get teased by Subaki, Ryoma shows up and offers to wash his (the Avatar)'s back, and finally the Avatar ends up as an Accidental Pervert and is hilariously chased around by a very angry Hana as a result.
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has a public bath underneath a gang-owned massage parlor in Chinatown, where the player has to extract a kidnapping victim. The person in the bath is the only non-hostile in the building — perhaps it's relaxing enough to make him ignore the armed vampire running through.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent has a single panel of the sauna variant.
- El Goonish Shive's anime parody Show Within a Show "The Lucky Bunny Bounty Show" had a scene here involving the eponymous character visiting a females only bathhouse which a clueless guy keeps mistaking for a unisex one.
- Unsounded: While Sette is at Litrya Shrine she uses their fancy communal bath where she chats with Siya and Sara and Ruffles unsuccessfully tries to grab Sette's clothes to wash only for Boo to fight her off.
- In Critical Role, The Mighty Nein visit a public bathhouse at Mollymauk's suggestion. Their antics quickly result in the other patrons getting creeped out and leaving.
- Big Mouth: "What Is It About Boobs?" has Missy's mom taking Jessi and Missy to a Korean spa.
Missy: Mom, do we have to be naked?Missy's mom: Well, that's the whole point, sweetie. This is a Korean spa where all women can feel comfortable in the nude.
- The Ancient Rome episode of Il était une fois... l'homme has a scene where Pierre and Jumbo accompany a wealthy man into the bathhouse, where they swim around in a pool, wrestle with other men, walk through a steam room, and give the wealthy man a nice massage.