Created By: foxley on August 22, 2012 Last Edited By: foxley on August 30, 2012
Troped

Rip Van Tinkle

Upon waking from a prolonged period of inactivity, a character's first act is to find a place to relieve themselves

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One of the first actions most people undertake upon awakening is to relieve themselves. If your bladder is full after a night's sleep, just think how much worse it would be after a sleep of hundreds or thousands of years. Writers will sometimes milk this for comic potential by having a character be awoken from, say, a magical sleep lasting a hundred years, or even being dead, be in desperate need of a bathroom.

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Examples:

Abridged Series
  • Related but squickier example in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. After been stuck on a space ship with a screaming toilet and Bulma in her underwear Krillin hides in a cave and uses the opportunity to let off steam. After he and Gohan fly after the villains Bulma enters the cave to set up camp. Cue the screaming.

Comic Books
  • Ironwood begins with Dave being rescued after spending three days hanging upside down in a snare with a boulder tied around his neck. His first act on being rescued is to dart into the bushes to empty his bladder.
  • Deadpool is cacooned in Duct Tape by other Marvel Heroes to keep him out of the picture, he quickly comments that he needs to pee. Upon being freed he goes to the bathroom for a whole page.

Film

Literature
  • In Good Omens, Crowley says that he slept through the entire nineteenth century and only woke up to use the bathroom.

Western Animation
  • Tutenstein: Tut's first act after being brought back from the dead is to run to the bathrrom.
  • In the Futurama episode where Fry goes to work at the cryogenics building, there is a scene where he tells a man where the bathroom is first thing after waking him up. The man rushes off. Fry also mentions it was the first thing he needed after he was woken up.
  • Happens in Avatar: The Last Airbender in the second half of the season one two-parter "Winter Solstice", after Aang rescues Sokka from the Spirit World.
    Katara: You were trapped in the Spirit World for twenty-four hours! ... How do you feel?
    Sokka: Like I seriously have to use the bathroom! *runs off*
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The episode "The Demon Behind" ends with Finn rushing to a restroom now that he's free. He wasn't unconscious, but he did have a sentient Japanese mask fused to his rear end that was controlling his body the whole episode.

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Community Feedback Replies: 56
  • August 22, 2012
    triassicranger
    Western Animation

    • In the Futurama episode where Fry goes to work at the cryogenics building, there is a scene where he tells a man where the bathroom is first thing after waking him up. The man rushes off. Fry also mentions it was the first thing he needed after he was woken up.
  • August 22, 2012
    Lavalyte
    Austen Power's epic urination after being awakened from cryo-sleep.

  • August 22, 2012
    abk0100
    ^make sure to pothole Overly Long Gag
  • August 22, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Tropes with "I" in them are discouraged by No New Stock Phrases. Needs A Better Name.
  • August 22, 2012
    triassicranger
    (I retract my suggestion of a new name, please ignore this post).
  • August 22, 2012
    Avurai
    Happens in Avatar: The Last Airbender in the second half of the season one two-parter Winter Solstice, after Aang rescues Sokka from the Spirit World. Katara: You were trapped in the Spirit World for twenty-four hours! ... How do you feel? Sokka: Like I seriously have to use the bathroom! *runs off*
  • August 24, 2012
    foxley
    Bump.
  • August 24, 2012
    Euan2000
    • Related but squickier example in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. After been stuck on a space ship with a screaming toilet and Bulma in her underwear Krillin hides in a cave and uses the opportunity to let off steam. After he and Gohan fly after the villains Bulma enters the cave to set up camp. Cue the screaming.
    • Deadpool is cacooned in Duct Tape by other Marvel Heroes to keep him out of the picture, he quickly comments that he needs to pee. Upon being freed he goes to the bathroom for a whole page.
  • August 24, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    Does this count?

  • August 24, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Too bad we can't call it Rip Van Tinkle....
  • August 24, 2012
    Amberine
    ^ We can't? Because I like that title quite a bit...
  • August 25, 2012
    KarjamP
  • August 25, 2012
    foxley
    Rip Van Tinkle is pretty good.

    Other thoughts or suggestions?
  • August 25, 2012
    Euan2000
    Long Awaited Bathroom Break?

    Or simply remove the "I" from the current title.
  • August 25, 2012
    SharleeD
    Another vote for Rip Van Tinkle, here! Partly because it's way funny, but also because it solidly distinguishes this from routine potty-breaks after long car rides or whatever.
  • August 25, 2012
    Stratadrake
    "Too bad we can't call it [insert Incredibly Lame Pun here]" is an occasional Running Gag of mine when I'm lurking the YKTTW. (It means I'm proposing a title mainly for pun's sake, whether or not it is any good is another matter.)
  • August 25, 2012
    foxley
    Title changed to Rip Van Tinkle.
  • August 25, 2012
    surgoshan
    Just popped in to say that I love Rip Van Tinkle.

    • In Me Myself And Irene, Charlie wakes up and goes to the bathroom. After making a mess, he calls out to Irene "Why am I peeing like I was up all night having sex?", which cues them both in to the fact that she was tricked by his villainous alter ego, Hank.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    How is Rip Van Tinkle a good name for the trope?
  • August 26, 2012
    morenohijazo
    Rip Van Tinkle is horrible, completely unindicative, I prefer the original name. If we can't put that name back, then Long Awaited Bathroom Break.
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    Why was this change to Rip Van Tinkle? It has nothing to do with the trope, and it's replaced a title that made the trope clear... And I don't think the Me, Myself, and Irene one counts. Just waking up and needing the bathroom isn't this trope.
  • August 26, 2012
    JonnyB
    I like Rip Van Tinkle. Keep it.
  • August 26, 2012
    foxley
    People objected to First I Need A Bathroom because it sounds like dialogue. Rip Van Tinkle is a pun on Rip Van Winkle and combines the ideas of a long sleep and urination.

    Long Awaited Bathroom Break is a possible title.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    It's an American short story about a man who falls asleep for 20 years. I had to look that up, as I'd never heard of it before. I don't want to come across as the Stop Having Fun Guy, but the trope namer isn't an example, and I don't think the story's as widespread as some people believe.
  • August 26, 2012
    Routerie
    I opened this up to comment on how great the name is, but I'm disappointed to see how many people don't get it.
  • August 26, 2012
    nitrokitty
    If you never read the tale of Rip Van Winkle, then I'm sorry, that's not Fan Myopia, that's you having no childhood.
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    Well maybe we can just give it an alternate title, and keep Rip Van Tinkle as the main? Would that be acceptable?
  • August 26, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Can't believe this many people have never heard of Rip Van Winkle. That's like not knowing about Humpty Dumpty, The Ugly Duckling, or The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^^, ^^ and ^:
    • "No childhood" is rather rude. Cut it away.
    • Not everyone here is from English-speaking countries and remembers a children tale. So it still falls under Fan Myopia.
  • August 26, 2012
    Routerie
    Not fan myopia. Cultural myopia maybe. I doubt any of us would call ourselves "fans" of Rip Van Winkle.
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    ^^As I said, it's not as widespread as you think. There are hundreds of folk tales and parables, and it's stupid to think everybody knows every one of them. But we're getting off topic, and the trope is being neglected, so can we move on?
  • August 26, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Did they do this in Sleeper? I forget.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Well, this is a bad name, that's why we are discussing it.
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    ^While I'm not fond of the name, it was kinda devolving into "I've heard of it!" "Well I haven't!" "Well I have!" Maybe just hold off and focus on examples till the OP catches up. Just my take on things.
  • August 26, 2012
    SharleeD
    FWIW, Rip Van Winkle is already an established trope, and seems to have garnered plenty of examples under that name.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^It falls under Everythings Worse With Snowclones, though. Especially with only 22 inbounds and no Google records worth recording.
  • August 26, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ Er... it has 95 inbounds.
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^That are wicks, not inbounds. Read the page properly.
  • August 26, 2012
    foxley
    My original title was First I Need A Bathroom, but people objected to that on the 'No dialogue' rule.

    Rip Van Tinkle was suggested and I thought it was clever as it combined the ideas of long sleep and urination. I changed First I Need A Bathroom to Rip Van Tinkle, hoping people would stop complaining about the title and focus on the trope, but it seems to have had the opposite effect.

    We could go with Long Awaited Bathroom Break, which was another suggestion, although that feels a little bland to me.
  • August 26, 2012
    HonestGent
    Can't we just use alternate titles? Are there rules on where they can be used? It would keep everyone happy. This issue has been dragging on now...
  • August 26, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Look, people won't stop complaining about the name until the issue's fixed. You don't just find a second-class name and move on.

    Longed Bathroom Break is a shorter form.
  • August 26, 2012
    foxley
    Longed Bathroom Break doesn't really cover it because, in most cases, the character hasn't been longing for it as they have been asleep, unconscious, comatose, dead, etc.
  • August 26, 2012
    foxley
  • August 27, 2012
    morenohijazo
    ^ +1
  • August 27, 2012
    AryaAdrianiel
    I actually like Rip Van Tinkle. It's not really Fan Myopia if pretty much everybody knows who Rip Van Winkle is or has a general idea.

    And I have an example. In Good Omens, Crowley says that he slept through the entire nineteenth century and only woke up to use the bathroom.
  • August 27, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^Well, I don't know, and usually most people (which don't participate here) won't know it. Key is, the story is never as well known ask you think.

    There is a page Trope Namer Syndrome for all this.
  • August 27, 2012
    SharleeD
    • A major reason why some mammals can hibernate and Real Life humans cannot is that true hibernators can avert this trope, recycling their urea and other nitrogenous wastes rather than having to excrete them. They awaken thirsty and hungry, but without an immediate need to pee.

    And if we have to ditch Rip Van Tinkle, something like Post-Coma Potty Break would be more descriptive than some of the other options listed above.
  • August 27, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^^Ok, but considering how well I think it is, even if it's somewhat less than that we're safe.
  • August 27, 2012
    foxley
    Rip Van Winkle is in most dictionaries as a term for someone who sleeps a lot.
  • August 27, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Wikipedia article for the interested.
  • August 29, 2012
    foxley
    Bump.
  • August 30, 2012
    morenohijazo
  • August 30, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Some readers may not be familiar with the existence of comas.
  • August 30, 2012
    HonestGent
    @Nimmer Still I'd be offended if I didn't find that hilarious. If I'm honest, I'm willing to suck it up and just stick with this name. Just wanted to point out it's potential flaws, that's all. Not everyone on the site visits YKTTW, so it's good to have more than one point of view. Just sayin'.
  • August 30, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    ^^Was that sarcasm?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=dikith0b95924lj3dbcziuyu&trope=RipVanTinkle