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Shower Shy

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"Bobby, no one wants to take a shower after gym. It's not fun, it's not pleasant, and usually not very sanitary, but you do it anyway. Why? Because a big part of being a man is doing things you don't want to do. But there's a way to get through it: You just lower your eyes to the floor and count the tiles."
Hank Hill, King of the Hill ("The Incredible Hank")

A character, usually male, has to get into a group shower for the first time, but finds the idea of getting naked in front of others uncomfortable. He will often try to avoid having to take a shower using various excuses, before finally summoning up the courage to go through with it, and then realizes he has no reason to be ashamed.

This trope is mostly found in series set in a school, where the character is a student who has to shower with his classmates after PE. Although group showers are the most common example, it can also apply to other places where people are usually naked, like during a Public Bathhouse Scene.

Truth in Television for many people, of course.



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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • There have been multiple Zits strips about Jeremy's discomfort about having to shower with the seniors after gym (although in one case it's less about nudity and more about his not having body hair yet compared to them). One strip had him proposing personal pixelation as a solution.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It's not a plot point, but it's mentioned in the first American Pie movie that Finch showers with his bathing suit on.
  • In the 1978 movie El Cantor, the two daughters of the protagonist refuse to participate in a group shower, mostly because it's both mixed gender and mixed age.
  • In The Way He Looks, Leonardo refuses to group shower. Gabriel eventually makes him, when it's just the two of them, but he insisted on keeping his trunks on , initially. After he changes his mind, his non-blind friend gets funny feelings.
  • Despite having created the woman of their dreams, the two male protagonists of Weird Science are still so nervous around her that they shower with their underwear on.

  • In Ava XOX, a children's chapter book written the form of a girl's diary, Ava has a "Not Wearing Pants" Dream because her teacher told the class that girls in her grade will be allowed to use the showers at school next year and she doesn't want to.
  • Cassandra Cartwright suffers from this well into her adulthood due to being bullied over having vitiligo and having a not-sufficiently feminine body.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg and most of his male classmates refuse to shower after PE.
  • In the Discworld series, we are told that a surprising number of girls bluffed their way through the then all-male Assassins' Guild School by severely strapping down certain inconvenient things, and by carefully changing under a towel after PE lessons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 8 Simple Rules, s3e1 "First Day of School," Rory is uncomfortable with showering after gym class when he compares himself to the seniors present there.
  • In Freaks and Geeks episode 6, "I'm With the Band," the school introduces the rule that students should shower after PE, but Sam is too shy to do so. Things only get worse for him when he finally tries to overcome his fear but is pushed out of the locker room and into the hallway without clothes or a towel, leading to a major Humiliation Conga. Although his crush ends up being impressed by it in the end.
  • JD from Scrubs is shown to be one when he's discovered to wear "shower shorts" which he explains as being for "the man who has nothing to hide... but still wants to."
  • An episode of Monk sees Adrian forced to go to a gym to retrieve a duffel bag full of money as part of an attempt to rescue a hostage. Via phone, the kidnappers tell him he has to get undressed and don a robe from the locker with the bag, then take the bag to the roof. He balks, they tell him it's to make sure he's not wearing a wire. He walls himself in with towels and the doors of the adjoining lockers for privacy...and still keeps his pants on but rolls the legs up past the hem of the robe.
  • Abbi from Broad City changes in the locker room with a towel wrapped around herself, even while everyone around her casually gets naked.

  • In How I Learned to Drive, Little Bit and two classmates are nervous about first-time locker room nudity. Little Bit dares first and immediately regrets it, as her peers laugh at the confirmation of her...overendowment.

    Video Games 
  • In The Sims 3, sims with the Never Nude trait will shower in their bathing suit.

    Web Comics 
  • Joyce of Dumbing of Age is shy about the shared dorm showers, to the point of wearing winter clothes the first time. She mentions that at home she was the only girl and thus got her own bathroom.

    Web Videos 
  • A CollegeHumor sketch featured a POV of a "typical" dorm bathroom, wherein The Protagonist takes note of another student stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel over his swim trunks. After asking, "How self-conscious can you be?" another student steps out of the shower fully-clothed and wraps himself in a towel.
    "Well, that would... answer that question..."

    Western Animation 
  • The All Grown Up! episode "What’s Love Got to Do With It" has Chuckie trying to avoid having to shower until one of his attempts to do so gets him stranded outside the locker room with no clothes or towel. At the end of the episode, he finally overcomes his fear.
  • As Told by Ginger
    • In "Gym Class Confidential", the gym teacher at Carl and Hoodsey's elementary school makes a rule that everyone must shower after gym class. Hoodsey is not too fond of doing so, but Carl manages to convince him otherwise at the end of the episode.
    • Another episode reveals that no girl in Ginger's class ever showers after gym class because the stalls are so gross, until Courtney does it to be safe during a lice epidemic.
  • An episode of Beavis and Butt-Head has Coach Buzzcut trying to force the boys to take a shower after gym, which they've never done before. They stall, and get ready to get in when everyone else has left. Suddenly, the fire alarm rings and Buzzcut forces the two to leave immediately without letting them get dressed. The two get stuck outside in their underwear, with the whole school laughing at them. It's then shown that Principal McVicker and Buzzcut intentionally set off the fire alarm to get back at them.
  • The Danny Phantom episode "Eye For An Eye" mentions that Danny only showers after everybody else has already left the locker room.
  • In the Daria episode "Gifted," an Insufferable Genius mentions having a grudge against the quarterback at his old school because he told everyone that he wears a Modesty Towel in the locker room shower.
  • I.N.K. Invisible Network of Kids: In "Voodoo Shampoo", Zero refuses to shower with the other girls because she has a pink pony-shaped birthmark on her shoulder and doesn't want anyone to see it. She overcomes this by the end of the episode.
  • King of the Hill: In "The Incredible Hank," Bobby is afraid to shower after gym class, which causes him to start failing the class. His father gives him some words of encouragement, but he still can't go through with it until the end of the episode.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: At the beginning of "The Frog Principal," Adam doesn't want to shower in front of his classmates after gym class, but Jake tells him that he won't pass the "Sniff Test," which is given by Coach Gills' assistant to ensure that the students shower after class. Adam covers himself and Jake (who is actually okay with showering after P.E.) in a cologne called "Man Fume" so that he can avoid bathing. This works, but the cologne contains "100% animal pheromones", which causes all of the females in the school to become attracted to the duo and start chasing after them.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? has Robot Jones avoiding showers in gym class, but not because he's shy of being around the other naked boys, but because he's a robot, he's afraid the water will make him rust. It turns out it doesn't make him rust, to his relief, but it electrocutes the other bathers.


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