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One of the most famous movie scenes of all time and perhaps the most frequently spoofed, parodied, imitated, plagiarized, referenced one. Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho (1960) has become infamous for the scene where a woman is murdered while taking a shower. Back in 1960 audiences were literally shocked when they saw this scene for the following reasons:

1. Audiences weren't permitted to walk in during the screening of the film in theaters. They had to be present from the start or they wouldn't be allowed inside.

2. Janet Leigh's character had been the film's protagonist for the first half of the story. Audiences identified with her actions when suddenly she was killed off. Up to that point mainstream films had never let their central character die halfway the film. Especially not that sudden.

Of course, nowadays, the shower scene is a case of Seinfeld Is Unfunny. People have seen this scene parodied so much that there's a sense of overkill and thus the shock value of the original lost its impact. In fact, the Psycho Shower Scene Parodies themselves (always complete with Psycho Strings) have transformed into uninspired stock parodies that leave an audience sighing: "It's Been Done."

Examples of "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody include:


Anime and Manga

  • The entire shower scene is parodied in Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, strings and all. It only serves to make Fuura Kafuka even creepier, too—while the stabber changes between every shot (Bruce Lee, Freddy Krueger, and the Drunken Master to name a few), it's Kafuka we see dashing around the corner out of the bathroom.
  • Played nearly shot-by-shot in an episode of Kirby of the Stars complete with the strings. (skip to the 2-minute mark)


Comics

  • In De Kiekeboes album "Het Plan Sstoeffer" Fanny takes a shower and thinks: "If I'm quick, I'll be able to catch "Psycho" by Hitchcock on TV". While she is showering she is attacked by a spy, but she notices him just in time and knocks him out.

In The Ren and stimpy show comic: Weiner Barons Ren in taking a shower and out of nowhere gets interviewd (in which he screams in response)

Films — Live-Action

  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles when Neal discovers what Del did to the bathroom, and that he had been washing his face in the water Del was using to soak his socks.
  • Also spoofed in Silence Of The Hams.
  • In Mel Brooks Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety, the Psycho shower scene parody uses the shrill cries of an angry bellhop in place of the strings: "Here! Here's your paper! Here's your lousy, stinking paper! Happy now?"
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  Thorndyke: That boy gets no tip...

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  • Done in Looney Tunes: Back in Action when Kate finds Bugs Bunny in the shower. Bugs pours some chocolate syrup down the drain for the blood (which is what was actually used for the original scene).


Live-Action TV

  • Done in a Hitchcock parody episode "Too Old To Trick Or Treat, To Young To Die" of That 70s Show where Michael accidentally takes a shower when Kitty was already taking one.
  • In Spitting Image Margaret Thatcher discovers former Prime Minister Edward Heath in her shower. He decides he'll return as Prime Minister, but Maggie simply slashes him with a knife.


Western Animation

  • Ren and Stimpy: In the episode "Haunted House" when Stimpy's taking a shower.
  • Kim Possible does it twice, once with Bonnie taking a shower as a homage to Psycho's famous scene, and again when music from the film plays after Ron falls off his bike and water comes from his head.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Itchy, Scratchy & Marge" The Simpsons did an original parody of the shower scene. Instead of taking place in a shower Homer is attacked by Maggie with a hammer in the garage. The Psycho Strings music is present, as are the same shots, and a can of red paint provides the same effect of blood flowing away in the drain.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Elmyra tried to bathe Dizzy in the episode "Wheel Of Time".
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, "The Big Cheese" when Cheese surprises Eduardo in the shower.
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