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Why and how is that bathtub there?

This trope happens when a character is shown bathing in a bathtub that is in an environment where a bathtub shouldn't be—usually in a non-private place. This can range from a bathtub just being in a living room or kitchen to one being placed on the top of a cliff. Most of the people who bathe in awkwardly placed bathtubs are pretty comfortable about bathing naked in front of other people; in fact most of the time that is the situation.

Examples of Awkwardly-Placed Bathtub include:


  • Those Cialis commercials that have people sitting outside in bathtubs. Partially justified in that some resorts actually do have outdoor bathtubs to take advantage of pleasant views. Nevertheless, these are usually more like jacuzzis than your traditional tub-with-little-wrought-iron-feet thing. Presumably the commercials can't show a couple sitting naked in a jacuzzi together, given the context of what they're advertising...
    • The webcomic Kevin and Kell parodied this commercial by having Rudy coming across a saltwater lobster and a freshwater fish in separate tubs. The fish even said, "No, this isn't a commercial."

Anime & Manga

  • Colonel Felme of Zoids Genesis (pictured above) has been in this situation where she is taking a bubble bath in a bathtub that is on a table in the middle of a throne room while talking to someone.
  • One Piece
    • In the second movie, the Honey Queen is bathing in a bathtub that is on the top of her pirate ship that she looks down from.
    • Kalifa's room also has a bathtub as the center piece. She has the powers to make bubbles, so this would make sense had she not just gotten those bubble powers earlier in the same day.
  • In the third episode of Idol Project Corvette Hiyards is taking a bubble bath in a tub that is floating over a lake.
  • The Second episode of Basquash has Sela D. Miranda bathing in a bathtub on the roof of a building while talking on a phone.
  • Inaho Hitomebore takes a milk bath in a tub that's on the top of a moving boat in the 11th episode of Master Of Mosquiton 99.
  • In the 34th chapter of the manga 666 Satan, Cross criticizes Ponzu because she is bathing in a bathtub that is in the command room.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Asuka find one in what appears to be a wrecked building. The tub is actually outside when we find her.
  • In the second season of Digimon, the female member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad Duo takes a bath in one of these, of the "On A Cliff" variety. Though as this is a kid's show, she's just soaking fully clothed. But she's a Digimon disguised as a woman, so that oddly makes some sense. The bathing clothed part.
  • In Banana no Nana, Mizukami Haruko goes around in a bathtub with wheels, pushed by servants. Justified in that she must spend twenty hours a day soaking in water to keep her powers.

Comics — Books

  • Chief Vitalstatix of Asterix often happens to take a bath when an important visitor (up to and including Julius Caesar himself) shows up. He always meets them either inside or even in front of his hut while still bathing. In the latter case, his carriers carry the tub with the Chief inside out through the door like they would usually carry him standing on his shield. At most, it's slightly inconvenient for him.
    • A Roman centurion wanting to impress the Gauls by "following their customs" subsequently receives envoys from the village in a bathtub (but still wearing his helmet, as Vitalstatix was doing).

Films — Live-Action

  • Diva: Philosopher-crook Gorodish relaxes with a cigar in the tub, out in the middle of his dark, cavernous loft, as girlfriend Alba rollerskates through the place.
  • El Dorado: J.P. Harrah is taking a much-needed bath. However, he can't leave the jailhouse for various reasons, and ends up having to bathe in the middle of his office. To make things worse, most of the cast finds some reason to walk in and out of the office through the course of the scene, each one offering him another bar of soap.


  • The captain of the Golgafrincham B Ark in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe has his bathtub in the middle of the bridge, and hasn't left it in several years.
  • Discworld does it in Night Watch by accident. Ridicully was bathing in a tub up in his room when a storm blows it out of the window into the courtyard where he continues to bathe for a bit while half of the city watch are running about the campus.
  • An inversion in the children's book "King Bidgood's in the Bathtub and He Won't Get Out!", in which the bathtub is in a perfectly reasonable place, but the activities taking place in the bathtub (such as a military exercise, a fox hunt, a banquet, and a masquerade ball) are entirely unreasonable. (The rest of the court is trying to come up with good reasons why King Bidgood needs to stop bathing, and he always responds by dragging the protestor into the tub with him.)
  • The god of knowledge in the Bas-Lag Verse is worshiped equally by humans and the aquatic vodyanoi, so is traditionally depicted as a fat man or skinny vodyanoi lying in a bathtub regardless of circumstances.

Live-Action TV

  • Umeko the Pink Ranger of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger pulls this off in the last episode where she finds a way to distract the villain. A garage opens and the only thing in it is her naked in a bathtub washing herself and singing. The villain is puzzled why and how she was able to pull it off.
  • In the Andrew Davies adaptation of Northanger Abbey, one of Cathy Morland's fantasies involves her bathtub being out of doors in the middle of a fertile grove. With added Henry Tilney.
  • When Amanda in Ugly Betty moves in with Betty, one of the first things she does is move the bathtub in the middle of the kitchen. It doesn't stay there for long, though.
  • An episode of My Name Is Earl featured a bona-fide Cloudcuckoolander that Earl and Randy once crashed with, who (among other things) allowed a bougainvillea plant to creep into the house, and placed his bathtub in his living room, just because he could. "The news isn't so depressing when you're surrounded by bubbles!"
  • As mentioned above in the Literature section, the Captain of the Golgafrincham B Ark in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy never leaves his bathtub, which is on the bridge of the space ship. In the TV series, he remains in his bath even after the crash, from which he chairs (rocks) planning meetings.
  • Colt Seavers of The Fall Guy has a bathtub in front of his house. Then again, his house is well outside Hollywood so he doesn't have any neighbors, it's warm enough in Southern California to take a bath outside, and he obviously can't afford a pool or a jacuzzi if he needs two jobs to pay his truck, so a standard bathtub has to make do.
  • In one episode of My Wife and Kids, Junior moves into a studio apartment where the bathtub doubles as a bed and couch.
  • Happens to Lily Aldrin of How I Met Your Mother when she breaks up with Marshall and moves out of the appartment she shared with Marshall and Ted into a tiny, filthy appartment.
  • Father Ted has a semi-aversion. The bath in the Craggy Island parochial house is, logically enough, in the bathroom - except that it's right next to the toilet, which proves inconvenient for Ted when the visiting Father Stone needs to take a dump while Ted is in the bath.

Tabletop Games

  • One of the sourcebooks for the time-travelling role-playing game Continuum gives players tips about visiting a prosperous Meso-American town in 5000 B.C. — the bathing area is in the common room, so that guests can wash before they enter the bedchambers. It's perfectly OK for the bather to use a curtain for privacy, but they are still considered "in the room" and are expected to contribute to the conversation.

Video Games

  • For no readily-apparent reason, there's a bathtub inside a workshop in Surface, a hidden object adventure game.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • The infamous kitchen-tub of NYC urban legend. A lot of New Yorkers claim that a friend of a friend once went to a party in a tiny apartment where the bathtub was in the kitchen. Fairly plausible—most Manhattan apartments are small and many are strangely laid out, though it seems unlikely that there are hundreds of apartments with kitchentubs and they're all rented by people who like to throw house parties.
  • There are still places where people's homes don't have bathtubs or shower stalls, in which people bathe in portable tubs filled via hose or bucket. Unless it's a warm day, this is done indoors in whatever room has sufficient space.
  • In Prague, there is a a 1/6 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Under Communism, nobody wanted to go up there, and one of the maintenance employees hauled a bathtub onto one of the lookout floors and (allegedly) took baths at night looking down onto the city.