Back to the 80s: Top Scenes from 80s Movies featuring a Bathtub or Shower – Kickin’ it Old School

Top 10 lists used to be a regular feature here on Kickin’ it Old School. Interviews have dominated my content lately and hopefully you have been enjoying those as much as I have. I still have many Top 10 lists just waiting to be published and my recent interview with Scott Schwartz reminded me of one of them in particular, so I thought I would share that one with you.Bathtub

Whether you have realized it or not, throughout the history of cinema, there are many scenes that take place with a shower and/or bathtub as an essential part. Probably the most unforgettable and the first one that comes to mind would be the shower scene with Janet Leigh from the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. Now that certainly was not an 80s film (though its first two sequels were in 1983 and 1986), but the 80s did have its share of memorable movie scenes in the tub or shower. Here is OLD SCHOOL’S TOP 10 SCENES FROM 80s MOVIES FEATURING THE BATHTUB and/or SHOWER (+ Bonus 10):

Honorable Mention. Pretty Woman just missed being an 80s movie since it was released in March of 1990. It does have one of the best bathtub movie scenes and I am not talking about the one when Richard Gere joins her in the tub. I am talking about the one when Julia Roberts is wearing headphones and singing along to Prince’s “Kiss” (an 80s song!) while relaxing in a bubblebath. Since she is singing a great 80s song while listening to a Walkman and the film just missed the 80s by 86 days, I wanted to at least give Pretty Woman an honorable mention.

Pretty Woman

20. Young Guns (1988) – “Billy the Kid” (played by Emilio Estevez) takes an old-fashioned bath in this western which takes place in the 1870s. There is no doubt his six-shooter is not far from reach.

Young Guns

19. Scarface (1983) – In one example of over-indulgence, “Tony Montana” (played by Al Pacino) sits in his gold-plated extravagant tub.


18. Wildcats (1986) – “Molly McGrath” (played by Goldie Hawn) is unexpectedly interrupted while trying to take a relaxing bath.


17. Ghostbusters II (1989) – In the sequel, “Dana Barrett” (played by Sigourney Weaver) has a scary moment when supernatural slime tries to invade her apartment via her bathtub.

16. Say Anything… (1989) – In an emotional display, “Jim Court” (played by John Mahoney) seeks refuge in his bathtub as he tries to deal with his impending IRS investigation and possibly losing his beloved daughter in the process.

Say Anything

15. Tootsie (1982) – As Dustin Hoffman is making his transformation from “Michael Dorsey” to “Dorothy Michaels”, he shaves his legs while in the tub.


14. Rain Man (1988) – Tom Cruise’s “Charlie Babbitt” discovers why he called his autistic brother “Raymond” (played by Dustin Hoffman) “Rain Man” as well as why they had to move him to live in a mental institution. “Hot water burn baby!”

13. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) & European Vacation (1985) – The original film has a simply gratuitous shower scene with “Ellen Griswold” (played by Beverly D’Angelo). Then the sequel finds “Ellen” innocently videotaped in the shower by her husband “Clark”, but after the camera is later stolen her image ends up on a billboard to her embarrassment.


European Vacation

12. Splash (1984) – We get to see “Madison” (played by Daryl Hannah) turn into a mermaid including her full tail fin on display in the bathtub of Tom Hanks’ apartment.


11. Money Pit (1986) – “Walter” and “Anna” (played by Tom Hanks and Shelley Long) buy a distressed mansion and it begins to fall apart from the moment they walk in. After they have experienced constant catastrophes, “Walter” can’t help but laugh after the bathtub falls through the floor and crashes to the level below.

10. The Toy (1982) – This is the scene that reminded me about this list after my interview with Scott Schwartz who plays spoiled rich kid “Master Eric Bates”. In a bonding moment, at one point both he and his hired friend “Jack Brown” (played by Richard Pryor) end up in a bubble bath together with their clothes on.

The Toy

9. Short Circuit (1986) – While taking a bath, “Stephanie” (played by Ally Sheedy) hears an intruder which turns out to be Number 5. “Nice software!”

8. Arthur (1981) – As one of his many symbols of wealth, “Arthur” (played by Dudley Moore) sits in his gigantic bathtub usually accompanied by a drink. Even the movie’s poster shows this image with the question, “Don’t you wish you were Arthur?”


7. Fatal Attraction (1987) – Anne Archer’s character “Beth” is attacked by “Alex Forrest” (played by Glenn Close) as she is about to take a bath. Her husband “Dan” (played by Michael Douglas) comes to her rescue wrestling “Alex” into the tub and seemingly drowning her. She then suddenly emerges from the water swinging her knife wildly when she is shot in the chest by “Beth” and finally killed.

Fatal Attraction

6. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) – After Pee-wee’s bike goes missing, he goes to confront the prime suspect “Francis” (played by Mark Holton) while he happens to be taking a bath. The bathtub is more of a swimming pool and a battle ensues as Pee-wee attempts to find out the location of his precious bicycle.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Link to video

5. The Lost Boys (1987) – Unsuspecting “Sam Emerson” (played by Corey Haim) is singing in the bath while his older brother (played by Jason Patric) is turning into a vampire.

Lost Boys

Link to video

4. Coming to America (1988) – Wealthy African “Prince Akeem” (played by Eddie Murphy) is enjoying his royal bath when a Nubian bathing attendant (played by Victoria Dillard) declares after emerging from under the water, “The royal penis is clean, your Highness.”

Coming to America

3. Weird Science (1985) – “Gary” and “Wyatt” (played by Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) always dreamed of showering with girls. Then they had “Lisa” (played by Kelly LeBrock) a beautiful woman all to themselves, but they are too intimidated and uptight to take advantage of the situation. This is best demonstrated by the fact they kept their pants on while in the shower.

Weird Science

Weird Science

Link to video

2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – As he is getting ready for his day off, “Ferris” (played by Matthew Broderick) is taking a shower. He has his hair standing straight up molded into a fin with shampoo and he’s carrying on dialogue with the audience. He says, “I do have a test today, that wasn’t bulls**t. It’s on European socialism. I mean, really, what’s the point? I’m not European. I don’t plan on being European. So who gives a crap if they’re socialists? They could be fascist anarchists, it still doesn’t change the fact that I don’t own a car.” Then he sings a couple bars of Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen” into the shower head. “I recall Central Park in Fall, how you tore your dress, what a mess, I confess…”

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

1. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) – This is a freaky scene! “Nancy” (played by Heather Langenkamp) is taking a bath and seems to be sleepy. Freddy’s glove pops out of the water between her legs almost like a shark’s fin, but disappears quickly when her Mom calls in to remind her not to fall asleep in the tub. “Nancy” dozes off anyways and her bath takes a scary turn for the worse.

There’s my list. Are there any bathtub or shower scenes from the 80s that you feel I have overlooked? If so or if you’d rank any differently, please leave them in the comments section below. I left off the many spying on the girls locker room shower scenes that were prevalent and tried to keep it to traditional bathroom shower or bathtub scenes. It is interesting to think of how many movie scenes take place in a bathroom. As they say, cleanliness is next to godliness. But I like another quote I have heard even better: “Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.”

That will do it for this issue of Kickin’ it Old School. Thanks so much for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin’ it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the Fan Page where I ask you to then click on the “Like” button. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says “Follow”. I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.

Check this out: Cereal commercials are a fond memory from the 80s for me, especially during Saturday morning cartoons. Check out my special issue on 80s Cereal Commercials. Many had fun cartoon characters or mascots to help sell the cereal. Here were a couple amusing hypothetical candidates if boring cereals had mascots (courtesy of Caldwell Tanner on CollegeHumor.com). Certainly no Trix Rabbit, Lucky Charms Leprechaun or anything of the sort…


Grape Nuts

Fiber One

Quote of the day: “You cannot believe in honor until you have achieved it, better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world” -George Bernard Shaw

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  1. I STILL have the hots for Beverly D’Angelo. I’ve stopped short of stalking her, but it IS tempting.

  2. You totally missed the film Captain Ron where the lead couple get trapped in the boats shower and it fills up…. Great scene.

  3. Reply to: Sinjin
    Thanks for the response, but Captain Ron was released in 1992. This list was only movies from the 80s.
    Appreciate you reading and hope to hear from you more.

  4. The Fatal Attraction scene is memorable, and of course copied a million times. Good grief, but you are a whiz with all these old movies. Keep it up!

  5. What about Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in the tub near the end of “Bull Durham?”

  6. Reply to: Tim
    That’s a good one. Should’ve made the list. Thanks for the suggestion and thanks for reading!

  7. John Cusack in his socks in the shower, beginning of Better Off Dead.

  8. Reply to: Christina
    Another excellent suggestion! Thanks for the contribution and for reading. Hope to hear from you more in the future.

  9. St. Elmo’s Fire – Ally Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy breaking the shower door during a sexual marathon.

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