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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, realizing 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. Adolescent kids are often going through puberty and enduring the Appearance Angst that comes with it, so being naked in front of their peers understandably cranks those insecurities to extremes. It also inflicts Trans Tribulations on anybody with dysphoria.

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 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Since Matsuri was male most of his life and keeps this a secret, he's averse to undressing or bathing with girls even while living as one. He changes clothes as fast as possible for gym class and refused to join Yayo and Lu in a hot spring until they started pulling his clothes off themselves. They think "she" is just shy, though ironically Matsuri has very little personal modesty — he just thinks it's wrong for him to look at girls in his position, even if they don't know. When his grandpa suggests Suzu (who does know he was male) could wash Matsuri in the bath, he's alarmed to the point it becomes the subject of an illusion he's put into later that day.
  • In the Hot Springs Episode of Detective School Q, Ryu Amakusa arrives at the male side of the springs with a towel. Kintarou thinks this isn't manly enough and tries to force it off him. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In Digimon Adventure episode 8, the Digidestined visit a hotel and take a bath, but Jyou is too shy to join the other boys. In the uncensored original, Yamato and Taichi try to force him to come in. Gabumon also doesn't join the others in the bath since he's ashamed to take his pelt off.
  • Juvia Lockser of Fairy Tail is shown to be very uncomfortable bathing with the other girls at the Fairy Hills baths. They trick her into joining them by pretending Gray is there, and when she finds out, she's not at all happy.
  • Gender-Inverted in Hidamari Sketch, Yuno wears a Modesty Towel wrapped around her breasts during a visit to a Public Bathhouse Scene due to her shyness.
  • During the drama club trip in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, there's a panel of the Shrinking Violet Mikoshiba looking very uncomfortable by the thought of taking his towel off in the men's baths. All the boys keep ragging on him to take the towel off and stop playing cool.
  • My Hi ME: Natsuki Kuga is the standout Action Girl of the series, fighting monsters and various other threats with a cool, determined demeanor. But on two separate occasions, she becomes very flustered and shy when walked in on in the bath, once in episode 25 when she chides Mai for not knocking, and in the Director's Cut of episode 26, when Shizuru decides to join her in the bath.
  • In UQ Holder!, Kuromaru is very uncomfortable about entering in a public bath with Touta, claiming people don't bathe together where he comes from. Kuromaru also has No Biological Sex and was concealing that from Touta.

    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.

  • Adrian Mole: In Growing Pains, Adrian is delighted when the water workers go on strike, and showers are banned at school, saving Adrian from having to display his inferior muscle development.
  • 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.
  • Sense8: Played for drama in a story Nomi tells about being forced to join a swim club as a child. As she hadn't yet come out as transgender she was uncomfortable during the mandatory showers due to dysphoria about her appearance. Her attempt to cover up with a t-shirt just led to the other boys bullying her with homophobic slurs.

  • 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.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: The hot springs scene reveals that Nia doesn’t want others to see her chest, so when she’s in the spring, she always keeps it submerged. Mythra (and by extension, Pyra) finds out why, but promises to keep it a secret from everyone. The reason why is because she’s a Flesh Eater, thus, she has a unique Core Crystal on her chest. Due to previous bad experiences regarding her identity, Nia was worried about what would happen if her friends found out the truth. Thankfully, when they do find out, they accept her with open arms.

    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.