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Shower of Angst

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Spencer: She takes really long showers when she gets depressed.
Sam: Well, when do you think she's going to come out?
Spencer: I don't know. She took a chair in there.

A character (often female) has had a rough day. She's suffered some sort of physical or emotional trauma that makes her want to run home and curl up into a ball.

Naturally, the first thing the woman wants to do is go home and take a nice, long, hot shower. This is not surprising; many people find the best way to relax after a hard day is to take that shower, put on fluffy pajamas, and just let it all go. Water is also an archetypal purifier in general, capable of symbolically washing away sins or past events — though that doesn't mean it'll work.

Of course, when it comes to fanservice, these showers of angst are solid gold. You can't argue with the titillation provided by seeing a hot-bodied person nude, soaking wet, and in desperate need of support (though in most cases of Shower of Angst, the person showering will be so distraught or depressed that he or she will shower with clothes on, resulting in a Sexy Soaked Shirt scene). However, in some cases, this can border on creepy, such as when a woman takes a shower of angst after being physically or sexually abused (or is suicidal and trying to kill herself by slashing her wrists and letting the running water bleed her dry). That particular version of the trope is common in soap operas, most serious movies, and cable dramas.

The post-rape shower also has ramifications in a Crime and Punishment Series scenario — if the victim takes a shower before a SAE kit has been collected, then vital forensic evidence is lost. Unfortunately, it's Truth in Television.

Men are not in the least exempt from this trope, since every shower scene is also a Shirtless Scene. The male variant often features a hunky male leaning towards the wall, typically resting on a forearm against it so the water can run over his elbow, down his neck or fall on his back.

Contrast Redemption in the Rain — a joyful, liberating shower in the rain. Can also be an instance of Scrubbing Off the Trauma if the showering is because a character is trying to wash away an awful experience. Sister Trope of Bathroom Stall of Angst.

Sub-pages and Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • After a story in which Green Arrow was tortured, his girlfriend Black Canary found him huddled in the bathtub, half-dressed, with the shower on full blast.
  • In Doomsday Clock, Batman allows Rorschach II to spend the night at Wayne Manor, and he becomes so troubled by flashbacks of his Dark and Troubled Past in the shower that he scrubs his scalp to the point of bleeding.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Liberty Meadows strip, Dean the Pig takes one, after he hit on Ralph by mistake (he even sings "the crying game"). Ralph was in drag at the time, to catch an unruly beaver that was causing trouble at the sanctuary. Said beaver ends up with his own shower scene afterwards.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: After getting kissed by Shinji Asuka feels confused, frightened, and needed, so she decides to have a shower in order to try to clear her mind.
  • Advice and Trust: Shinji and Asuka in chapter 7. After spending two days locked and insolated, without being allowed washing the LCL off their bodies or changing clothes, and being dragged out of their cells only to get fired, they return to their home feeling confused, hurt, miserable and dirty. So that they decide to have a shower together to clean their bodies and lift their spirits. During the shower they mostly held each other while they washed, looking for reassurance and affection.
  • Code Wings 3.0: After a strong nightmare, Cassidy goes into a shower to try and calm herself.
  • Evangelion 303 has many, the first of them happening in the second chapter. Usually Asuka takes one when she gets distraught, upset, or angry (and she often feels like that in this story).
  • In Once More with Feeling Asuka takes a shower every day to try to forget her nightly, worsening nightmares.
    All in all, this entire process had become less of a morning shower to her than a morning ritual. Not in the least because she had increasingly needed the hot, soothing water to wash away the dark shades that haunted her sleep… even if she would never admit it to anyone. Least of all herself.
  • In a now-deleted Death Note fanfic titled "Broken" by SekushiAi, Light starts taking these to an obsessive extent after being raped.
  • In AKK's Galaxy Rangers fanfic "The Lie," the fact that Zachary spent longer than usual in the shower after being rescued from the Queen was one of the factors that tipped off Goose to the fact that, contrary to the official report, the Queen didn't toss Zach in the Psychocrypt right away.
  • Also from iCarly in the fanfiction "iFind and Keep You", a wedded Carly and Freddie steps into this (along with Shower of Love) after Carly goes into an emotional meltdown in reliving her childhood memories with their late best friend.
  • In the Glee fanfic Hunting the Unicorn, Blaine takes a lot of cold showers to deal with his Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality.
  • This chapter of an Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic has Toph crying in the shower after she ran away from her parents home after a brutal fight.
  • In Ponyfall: The Dawning of Twilight, Twilight Sparkle angst-showers after a traumatic experience in the ER where her brony friend Matt works, where she had to help him save someone from bleeding to death.
  • Done twice with Gamzee in Hivefled, first in Reprise after the first time he is raped by the Grand Highblood and has to clean himself up alone while wishing his friends were there, and later in Hivefled proper when the trolls are on the ship.
  • In rthstewart's The Chronicles of Narnia fanfiction The Queen Susan in Tashbaan, Susan takes one after Bardon/Guy's death, completely calm and not hysterical at all... except for thinking she's back in Narnia.
  • Played for laughs in Stealing the Deed. Early in the story, Rarity is doing this, though for a practical reason, being a Neat Freak in the aftermath of battle with a slime creature and freaking out. Later in the story, however, Twilight ends up wondering if Rarity needs any help screaming in the shower after having Trixie's obsessiveness shoved in her face.
  • Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series where Tristan is washing himself up in a lake, he's muttering "Must... wash... away... the sin..."
  • Mutant Storm: After Harry kills for the first time (Lucius and Bellatrix), including one person with his bare hands, he spends about an hour sitting in a shower making washing motions with his hands.
  • Tales of the Otherverse: In the aftermath of the battle between the Triad team and the Hunter-Killer, Supergirl takes a shower to wash her worries and frustration away.
    Kara sighed as the hot water cascaded over her body. For a long moment she just stood there, allowing the shower to ease the tension away.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • Played with for Chloe. After Chloe pushes Lexi out of the way so he doesn't get his papers soaked from a hot tea kettle, she ends up with a serious burn on her left shoulder and is taken to a washbasin where water is constantly pouring down on her to cool her skin. It's described as her going through a rough time although the next chapter clarifies that the burn wasn't that serious. However, it acts as the impetus to get Lexi to snap out of wanting to hurt his father since he was completely unaware of how Lexi was Buried Alive in their car for the past eight years.
    • Goh starts the beginning of Chapter 11 suffering through one after having a nightmare of being unable to find Chloe and realizing that he can't recall a happy memory with her since he isolated himself from her to focus on Mew.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Paradise Calling: Malon breaks down crying in the bath after returning to Lon Lon Ranch, having narrowly escaped being raped and murdered the day before.
  • Invoked in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: In the fourteenth chapter, Asuka takes a shower after getting physical with Shinji while musing over their relationship's new stage and her own conflicted feelings regarding romance and relationships.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The fanfic ends with Helen going back to the Brandenham Hotel to take a shower in an attempt to relieve her anxiety over Bitsy's death.
  • Futures Freak Me Out: Shinji walks Asuka to the shower after she has suffered a serious breakdown. While feeling the "blessed water" pouring down on her face, Asuka reflects on how her life has been gradually falling apart since the end of the War against the Angels, and she would have hit rock bottom long ago without Shinji.
  • In Total Drama Comeback Series, Tyler wakes up from a Flashback Nightmare and immediately takes a shower, both because he's covered in sweat and to try and calm himself down.
  • In Crossed Paths and Karaoke Harry scrubs himself raw every time he's reminded of the war against Voldemort.
  • In Tones of Gray McGonagall scrubs herself raw after finding every single house elf in Hogwarts, including her personal elf, brutally and messily killed.
  • In The Great Escape Daphne starts screaming and crying in the shower after being sexually assaulted.

    Films — Animation 

  • Toni Braxton does this in the video for "Unbreak My Heart," as she mourns her boyfriend who had been killed in a motorcycle accident.
    • Overlaps with Shower of Love as she also recalls how they used to frolic in the same shower stall.
  • As does Amy Lee in the video "Everybody's Fool". Complete with a shot of her underwater in the tub with her eyes wide open.
  • P!nk in her music video Nobody Knows.
  • The lead singer of Pop Evil is briefly seen taking one in the music video for Torn to Pieces.
  • Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds seems to have a Deliberately Monochrome one in the "Roots" music video, submerging himself in a bathtub while singing about how he needs to reconnect with his past, and reflecting on childhood memories and his explorations of remote New Zealand locations. The memories (including some taken from home movies) play in full color, as does Dan's rise out of the tub at the end of the video.
  • In the "Weird Al" Yankovic song, "Couch Potato", Al notes how he needed a long shower after watching Fear Factor.
  • Mentioned in David Heatley's song "Suburban White Girls."
    "Go home, go to sleep
    Start again tomorrow
    Cry in the shower
    Cry in your pillow."

  • A Streetcar Named Desire: Blanche frequently takes a hot bath to "calm her nerves." Later on, after her rape at the hands of Stanley she takes a really long one. Only at this point she's too permanently traumatized for the bath to be much help.
    • Earlier, Stanley's friends shove him under a shower spray fully clothed in an attempt to sober him up after he got drunk, subsequently lost his self-control, and hit Stella.

    Video Games 
  • Norman Jayden from Heavy Rain technically does have a shower scene, but considering that he's hallucinating and suffering from painful withdrawal symptoms at the time, it's not really meant to be Fanservice.
  • The Room: The Game: Each morning you get to watch Johnny take a shower as he gets ready for work. However, if you use the shower when Johnny is in his Unstoppable Rage mode after finding out Lisa's cheating he'll instead curl up in fetal position and cry under it, fully clothed.
  • Implied to be a part of Angela's backstory in Silent Hill 2, from how you find the tablet resembling her in the prison's shower room. Considering her father raped her, it's not so surprising.
  • Kiryu has one at Tachibana's apartment in Yakuza 0 after being framed for murder, leaving the Dojima Family, and finding out his adoptive father Kazama is going to suffer blowback for his actions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Happiness: Yuuma after he almost kills Sumomo.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has a few of these too. Keiichi finds a depressed Satoko passed out in the bathtub. She was hallucinating that her abusive uncle had told her to stand under the boiling hot water and count to 10,000, since moving into his house meant she stopped getting treatment for her Hinamizawa Syndrome. She went along with all of the horrible things he did to her because of a combination of guilt (blaming herself for Satoshi's disappearance), blackmail (he constantly threatened to burn down Satoshi's room), and plain old fear. Yeah, Satoko has it rough.
  • Kaede Fuyou in SHUFFLE! goes Yandere on her friend Asa when the boy they both love, Rin, shows interest in her. She has one of these before climbing into Rin's bed naked to cuddle with him.

  • This is used in A Girl and Her Fed to show that the titular girl is not nearly as confident in the outcome of a situation as she appears.
  • Living with Insanity has one at the start of its Vendetta arc.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Ellen has one while suffering from Cloning Blues.
  • Happens in a PvP strip concluding a storyline about Brent becoming a gamer after wearing Skulls "Fez Of Power". After escaping the influence of the Fez, Brent finds out that during his brief delusional state, he (a hardcore Mac fanboy) ordered a Windows-based gaming PC. Cue Brent crying hysterically in the shower.
  • Clarissa has the grade-schooler treat her baths like this, and for good reason.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Parodied in The Guild when a fully-clothed Vork takes one of these in someone else's shower after learning that Clara had betrayed his trust (i.e. corpse-camped him in World of Warcraft.)
  • That Guy with the Glasses:
    • The Nostalgia Critic suffered an absolutely epic psychotic meltdown when he reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. He tells us all to sit back and enjoy it. Five minutes later, he's having a Shower of Angst, as pictured above, spews Angrish and yells a long stream of psychotic screams and grunts.
    • Sean Fausz of Epic Fail has crying in shower to Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" as a Running Gag.
    • And in reference, Paw Dugan did the same thing in his review of Total Distortion with it being a music game that is devoid of good music.
    • Also from Channel Awesome is The Cinema Snob's meltdown halfway through his synopsis of Sadomania when he discovers the attractive warden is played by a transgender woman. Cue shower scene and frantic phone call to his girlfriend:
      Snob: Honey we need to have sex. Right. Now. I'm very, very confused...
    • The FanFiction Critic will occasionally announce after reading a filthy or horrible fanfiction that she needs to take a shower, bordering on Scrubbing Off the Trauma when she does this several times per review.
    • Phelous does this during his review of A Serbian Film ... after a particularly horrifying scene.
    • MikeJ also does this after waking up from a dream sequence that ends with him kissing Film Brain.
    • Todd in the Shadows has had a couple as well, in the reviews of Chris Brown's "Deuces" and Flo Rida's "Whistle" after each of those songs had particularly blatant Double Entendres.
      Todd: CAN'T...GET...CLEAN!!!
  • Used in The Orange Insanity's review of The Cat in the Hat, as a reaction to the scene where The Cat yells "Son of a bitch" in front of the children, together with loud sobbing and screaming an utterly broken version of Unfaithful by Rihanna.
  • Parodied hilariously in Kyle Riabko and Trevor Jackson Are... .
  • Parodied, like nearly every other breakup trope in Manwhores, with Kevin having a shower with his clothes still on during his post-breakup montage.
  • yourchonny:
    • He comically acts out one of these in his "Getting out of the shower" video. While sobbing, goes to wipe his tears...with underwear his dad hung on the shower door. Cue horrified scream.
    • Parodied again in the "Things I do when I'm home alone" video, where this is his response to a hater (a chair with clothes and a wig thrown on it).
  • PeanutButterGamer ended up in one at the end of his To Kill An Avatar: Pikmin video, when he realizes that he just killed innocent Pikmin.
    PBG: "They're dead! The pikmin are dead!"
  • Two "Regretting the Past" episodes on Rocked had the albums in question driving Luke to do this.
    • In the episode for Nickelback's Silver Side Up, Luke feels he's not getting into the proper mood to listen to Nickelback. So he goes into the shower and cries to the music. It didn't work as expected.
    • The lyrics to Buckcherry's songs on their album 15 (specifically, "Next 2 You", "Crazy Bitch", and "Brooklyn") cause him to do this three times due to how dirty they made him feel. By the third time, he's washing himself (and his mouth) with bleach. He tries to take a fourth one at the end of the review, only to find the Denny's Stalker waiting for him in the bathroom.
  • In this Sims 2 machinima set to My Chemical Romance's "Helena", the protagonist is a woman in an abusive relationship. One scene has her crying while sitting in the shower.
  • Cynical Reviews has one in the intro to his The Kissing Booth 3 video after tossing & turning in his bed as various voices of the people who requested him to review since he already reviewed the other 2.


Video Example(s):


Zane's Fall From Grace

Zane angsts in the shower over the terrible turn his career has taken ever since losing to Aster Phoenix.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShowerOfAngst

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