Created By: VincentGaribaldi on January 1, 2012 Last Edited By: UltramarineAlizarin on March 13, 2016
Troped

Toilet Teleportation

A character flushes himself down a toilet as a means of transportation (formerly Toilet Escape)

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Possible Alt titles: Flushed To Freedom, Toilet Transportation, U-Bend Express

There are plenty of ways to get from point A to point B. But what do you do when the doors are all locked or guarded, the windows are barred, and you need a quick and easy way in or out? Just use the toilet, the john, the commode, the can, the head, or even the crapper. Toilet Teleportation is when a character needs to escape or sneak in and flushes himself down a toilet, to reappear in another part of the plumbing network. It's (almost) always Played for Laughs. If it doesn't work expect someone to ask why anyone would think it would.

See also Bathroom Break-Out


Examples:

Comics

Film — Animated
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Roger Rabbit (accidentally) uses this trick.
  • Finding Nemo: The titular fish plays dead in the hope that he gets flushed back into freedom.
    • One of Gill's many escape plans involves being flushed down the toilet by playing dead. When Nemo tries this it doesn't work (the dentist was going to throw him in the trash), but he does get flushed down the drain of a different appliance in the dentist's office. In this case, it was a carefully developed plan and not Played for Laughs.
  • Flushed Away: An inadvertent one is how the plot starts.

Film — Live-Action
  • The Tooth Fairy: Derek Thompson uses shrinking paste to shrink himself down and then flushed himself down the toilet in order to escape mockery from his teammates while in the locker room.
  • [[Ghoulies Ghoulies II]]: A Ghoulie sneaks into a bathroom this way.
  • Men in Black: Parodied in the second movie, when Jay and Kay have to be "flushed" from headquarters. They're not flushed out through an actual toilet... just something that looks like one.
  • Critters: Subverted when one of the Crites attempts to escape from the bounty hunters via the toilet bowl. It's a bit too fat to fit, and can't squeeze down the hole before one of the hunters blows it (and the toilet itself) away.

Literature
  • Harry Potter: The Ministry of Magic is accessed by flushing oneself down a disgusting public pay toilet.

Live-Action TV
  • Chapelle's Show: Tyrone Biggums uses this to escape from a drug intervention.
  • TV Funhouse: Hojo, the turtle member of the "Anipals" segments on "TV Funhouse" would regularly opt to travel by being flushed down the pipes rather than walking with the rest of the gang. Sometimes this was to escape something, but usually just a means of transportation.
  • BBC's Robin Hood series has Robin and his gang escaping from Nottingham Castle via latrine pipes frequently.
  • The Carol Burnett Show: Inverted in a spoof of Jaws. The shark is in a toilet. The Quint character fishes for it through the toilet hole, and gets pulled in to his death.

Real Life
  • There's a slide in a Las Vegas water park called the Royal Flush. Guess what it does. (You slide down a steep, pitch black tube and then swirl around in a large, enclosed "bowl" before you fall out a hole in the center into a pool.)

Video Games
  • Paper Mario: Mario can use toilets as a means of warping around. This is necessary at one point in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door where Mario is chased into a restroom and needs to send himself down the toilet.
  • The extremely gross superhero Boogerman from the Sega Genesis/SNES game of the same name travels extensively by toilet, including in the opening cutscene. In-game, toilets provide access to secret levels.
  • In the Flash-game Abobo's Big Adventure, Abobo eventually gets trapped in a cell without doors, and wind up escaping through the toilet. Which, predictably, leads him into the water-level based mostly on Super Mario...
  • The classic LucasArts game Day of the Tentacle has three characters (Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne) who end up in different time periods, and send items back and forth via a set of porta-potties to solve problems and save the world from a giant tentacle. Uh, I just read that sentence again... yeah, it's that kind of game.

Web Comics
  • Magellan: Vostok does this. It backfires when, due to the pounding the island is taking, the sewage treatment center is basically pulverized and he almost dies.
  • Achewood: At one point, this is how the characters get out of hell.
  • Schlock Mercenary: The titular Schlock travels by sewer on several occasion - mostly against his will, but on at least one occasion, he deliberately dives down a toilet in order to reach his destination stealthily. Justified in his case since he's basically a Blob Monster, and thus quite capable of fitting himself through the pipes.

Western Animation
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Gumball and Darwin use this to get out of the bathroom when Gumball locks them in.
  • Futurama: After Bender gets rid of Nibbler by flushing him down the Toilet he tries to get him back by flushing himself piece by piece.
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: This is generally how the characters make their escapes.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: When the penguins need to break Julien out of the vet office, and Julien suggets his personal escape route, pointing at the toilet. The penguins reluctantly get in the bowl, and that's when Julien shows them the real secret exit, a hidden door over the tank. "But, who am I to keep a penguin from water?", and flushes down the penguins before they get a chance to object.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The episode "Operation: F.L.U.S.H." features the toilenator both arriving through the toilet, and being disposed of by the heroes in this fashion during the credits.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: Subverted when Spongebob and Patrick pretend to be ghosts and haunt Mr. Krabs. They clogged all the toilets so he couldn't try to escape that way.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: In "A Pain in my Sidekick" Tuck does this to escape the opera house blowing up.
I flushed myself down the toilet, like anyone would.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus used a secret toilet entrance to get to mission control HQ.
    • Subverted in the closing credits gag on Phineas and Ferb: "The Lake Nose Monster (parts 1 and 2)" has Doofenshmirtz trying to escape the same way Perry the Platypus did. He vanishes behind a door. The viewer hears a toilet flush sound and sees water coming from under the door. Doof moans "Oh, oh, oh, that didn't work at all. Now I really need to do the laundry."
  • Bonkers: One of the final shots of the opening sequence shows Bonkers D. Bobcat getting flushed down a toilet, essentially "exiting" the intro.
  • Kid Versus Kat: Kat flushes himself down the toilet in search of his latest invention in "Down The Drains".
Community Feedback Replies: 77
  • January 2, 2012
    ArtyMorty
    • Futurama: After Bender god rid of Nibbler by flushing him down the Toilet he tries to get him back by flushing himself piece by piece.
    • Finding Nemo: The titular fish plays dead so he gets flushed back into freedom.
  • January 2, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    Done in Gorsky And Butch as part of The Matrix parody - Gorsky has to stay behind to flush the group and gets captured by agents.
  • January 2, 2012
    Psychobabble6
    ^^ Note that the plan was to get flushed down the toilet, but the dentist was going to trash him instead. He ended up escaping by a different drain.
  • January 2, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    @Psychobabble6 I have never read the comic, so please tell me what exactly needs to be corrected about the example.
  • January 2, 2012
    Psychobabble6
    Well it's a movie...

    Finding Nemo: One of Gill's many escape plans involves being flushed down the toilet by playing dead. When Nemo tries this it doesn't work (the dentist was going to throw him in the trash), but he does get flushed down the drain of a different appliance in the dentist's office. In this case, it was a carefully developed plan and not Played For Laughs.
  • January 2, 2012
    TonyG
    • This is generally how the characters in Aaahh Real Monsters make their escapes.
    • On The Penguins Of Madagascar, the penguins need to break Julien out of the vet office, and Julien suggets his personal escape route, pointing at the toilet. The penguins reluctantly get in the bowl, and that's when Julien shows them the real secret exit, a hidden door over the tank. "But, who am I to keep a penguin from water?", and flushes down the penguins before they get a chance to object.
  • January 2, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    @Psychobabble6 Oh, sorry I thought you were replying to the poster above you. I'll add that in.
  • January 3, 2012
    JeepEep
    Heading Out is good name.
  • January 3, 2012
    deltanine
    Try mentioning Codename: Kids Next Door's Toilonator in there. There's no way he wouldn't fit that trope.
  • January 4, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    I looked for some info on toilenator and he does seem to have used a toilet as an entrance. If you know of an instance where he used it as an exit that would be great. Maybe we should broaden the trope a little?
  • January 4, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    The ending credits show the Kids Next Door defeating Toilenator and flushing him down the toilet. Well this sort of fits too.
  • January 4, 2012
    jbrecken
    Hojo, the turtle member of the "Anipals" segments on "TV Funhouse" would regularly opt to travel by being flushed down the pipes rather than walking with the rest of the gang. Sometimes this was to escape something, but usually just a means of transportation.
  • January 4, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    Also, how about Poo Network?
  • January 5, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    In the film, The Tooth Fairy, Derek Thompson uses shrinking paste to shrink himself down and then flushed himself down the toilet in order to escape mockery from his teammates while in the locker room.
  • January 5, 2012
    robybang
    Spongebob Squarepants: Subverted when Spongebob and Patrick pretend to be ghosts and haunt Mr. Krabs. They clogged all the toilets so he couldn't try to escape that way.
  • January 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • January 10, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    bump
  • January 10, 2012
    Snoninja12
    I'd vote for Stratadrake's Flushed To Freedom. Also:

    • Subverted AGAIN in Spongebob Squarepants when Spongebob is hiding in a toilet from his new bully at boating school. The bully arrives, threatens him, and promptly leaves. Spongebob flushes the toilet and, although you'd expect him to swirl away into oblivion, water shoots from his pores.
  • January 17, 2012
    GliderGuy
    In {Magellan}, Vostok does this. It backfires when, due to the pounding the island is taking, the sewage treatment center is basically pulverized and he almost dies.
  • January 23, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    Bump
  • January 24, 2012
    marjojo
    Live action TV: BBC's Robin Hood series has Robin and his gang escaping from Nottingham Castle via latrine pipes frequently.
  • January 25, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    @marjojo Is that this series Robin Hood?
  • January 26, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Not an actual flush toilet but in the movie Lady Hawk the young protagonist, a skinny boy of maybe 12 or 13 years, manages to escape a prison by squeezing through a latrine hole maybe eight inches square.
  • January 26, 2012
    elwoz
    At one point, this is how the characters get out of hell in Achewood.

    Additional bullet point for Finding Nemo: when the movie came out, the Los Angeles Times movie critic (if memory serves) ran a column warning parents not to let their children imitate the movie. Apparently one of the first things Real Life sewage treatment plants do to the sewage is run it through a grinder.
  • January 27, 2012
    Rognik
    Flushed Away: An inadvertent one is how the plot starts.
  • January 27, 2012
    shaduf
    I flushed myself down the toilet, like anyone would.

  • January 27, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Perry the Platypus used a secret toilet entrance to get to mission control HQ.

    There are at least three Stephen King stories where a character escapes a confined place by crawling through a toilet or sewer pipe.

    This only covers exiting a place, right? I can also think of a couple of instances of entering a place via a toilet--one, of course, is my favorite scene from GHOULIES II.
  • January 27, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    Video Games: In the Paper Mario games, Mario can use toilets as a means of warping around. This is necessary at one point in Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door where Mario is chased into a restroom and needs to send himself down the toilet.
  • January 28, 2012
    GuyIncog
    Parodied in the second Men In Black movie, when Jay and Kay have to be "flushed" from headquarters. They're not flushed out through an actual toilet... just something that looks like one.
  • January 28, 2012
    callmeal
    Not sure what section this would belong in, but there's a slide in a Las Vegas water park called the Royal Flush. Guess what it does. (You slide down a steep, pitch black tube and then swirl around in a large, enclosed "bowl" before you fall out a hole in the center into a pool.)
  • January 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Do these count?
    • In the Harry Potter verse the Ministry of Magic is accessed through a disgusting public pay toilet.
    • Players of Gor: Tarl is tricked into escaping from prison through the prison's sewer system. He gets recaptured immediately upon emerging from the filth. They were just messing with him.
  • January 29, 2012
    snowy86
    Not sure if this counts as flushed exactly, but in The X Files episode The Host the flukeman monster hides in a porta potty at one point and gets sucked into the truck that comes to empty them and taken to a waste processing plant.
  • January 30, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^^Probably under the Real Life examples. You're not being flushed down an actual toilet, but it certainly simulates one.

    ^^The Potter one probably doesn't unless you actually have to get into the toilet, and not just the stall. The Gor example... how does he enter the sewer system, exactly? If it's through a manhole, it doesn't count.
  • January 30, 2012
    randomsurfer
    "After Voldemort took over the Ministry, employees and officials were forced to enter the Ministry by flushing themselves through underground toilets in Whitehall. Two stairways are labelled GENTLEMEN or LADIES. They lead into an underground public bathroom. A golden Ministry of Magic coin is used to open the stall doors.
    "The act of flushing oneself down the Ministry toilet causes the person to emerge into a fireplace on the left side of the Atrium, which faces the Magic is Might monument, a replacement of the Fountain of Magical Brethren.
    "To depart the Ministry, one must stand in one of the fireplaces on the right side of the Atrium, causing them to come out of another toilet in the underground bathroom. At this point one may Apparate to a separate location." [1]
    tl;dr: Yes, you flush yourself to get into the Ministry.

    Not sure about Gor, it's been a while since I've read it.
  • January 30, 2012
    SharleeD
    • Subverted in Critters, when one of the Crites attempts to escape from the bounty hunters via the toilet bowl. It's a bit too fat to fit, and can't squeeze down the hole before one of the hunters blows it (and the toilet itself) away.
  • January 31, 2012
    ZombieAladdin
    One of the final shots of the opening sequence for Bonkers shows Bonkers D. Bobcat getting flushed down a toilet, essentially "exiting" the intro.
  • January 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Inversion: In a spoof of Jaws on The Carol Burnett Show the shark is in a toilet. The Quint character fishes for it through the toilet hole, and gets pulled in to his death.
  • February 1, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^I think Bonkers got sucked down a bathtub drain hole, although the effect's the same.

    • Kid Versus Kat: Kat flushes himself down the toilet in search of his latest invention in "Down The Drains"
  • February 3, 2012
    AgProv
    Real life: the death of mediaeval Japanese samurai warlord Uesugi Kenshin. He was caught in a most unfair and underhand way, with whatever mediaeval Japanese wore instead of trousers well down and around his ankles. Sitting down for a good meditate, as we all do in these circumstances, he was fatally surprised by a very short ninja with a very long spear who was waiting inside the outflow pipe underneath his lavatory seat for just that moment. The ninja, some say he was a real dwarf, escaped via the toilet outflow before Kenshin's guards worked out they had a problem.
  • February 5, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • The closing credits gag on Phineas And Ferb: "The Lake Nose Monster (parts 1 and 2)" has Doofenshmirtz trying to escape the same way Perry the Platypus did. He vanishes behind a door. The viewer hears a toilet flush sound and sees water coming from under the door. Doof moans "Oh, oh, oh, that didn't work at all. Now I really need to do the laundry."
  • February 5, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    We need to revise the description and breadth of this trope a bit.

    Rather than functioning as only a means of escape I think we should broaden this trope to be using a toilet as a means of transportation, i.e. if you flush yourself from point A to point B it is this trope. However, I don't think merely crawling through a toilet and the sewer system counts, you need an actual flush for this trope, and the toilet needs to do the work not you.

    Thoughts?
  • February 8, 2012
    thewriter
    Suggested Title: Toilet Transportation, for alliteration's sake. Or: U-Bend Express.
  • February 29, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    bump
  • March 3, 2012
    TBeholder
    Teleportation?
  • March 4, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
  • March 4, 2012
    Bario
  • March 5, 2012
    Cider
    What was wrong with Toilet escape. Toilet Travel is better than teleportation.
  • March 7, 2012
    BlackDragon
    @ Ag Prov: I have no idea what your sources are, but I can assure you, the historical Japanese warlord Uesugi Kenshin was NOT killed by a very short ninja hiding in his toilet with a spear. He died from illness after a long period of poor health on April 13th, 1578. Far from being an unexpected stroke from an assassin, he spent 4 days bedridden after suffering a seizure, giving him enough time to contemplate his impending death and write a poem about it.

    ...anyway, on ACTUAL examples of this...

    The extremely gross superhero Boogerman from the Sega Genesis game of the same name travels extensively by toilet, including in the opening cutscene. In-game, toilets provide access to secret levels.

    In the Flash-game Abobo's Big Adventure, Abobo eventually gets trapped in a cell without doors, and wind up escaping through the toilet. Which, predictably, leads him into the water-level based mostly on Super Mario...

    In Schlock Mercenary, the titular Schlock travels by sewer on several occasion - mostly against his will, but on at least one occasion, he deliberately dives down a toilet in order to reach his destination stealthily. Justified in his case since he's basically a Blob Monster, and thus quite capable of fitting himself through the pipes.
  • March 7, 2012
    TooBah
    The classic Lucas Arts game Day Of The Tentacle has three characters (Bernard, Hoagie and Laverne) who end up in different time periods, and send items back and forth via a set of porta-potties to solve problems and save the world from a giant tentacle. Uh, I just read that sentence again... yeah, it's that kind of game. One of the items is a hamster, who fits this trope to a T.
  • March 20, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    MAD Magazine had a horror movie spoof about a "Yecch" monster, created by pollution. The creature lived in the sewers, and the police were puzzled how people were attacked behind locked doors with no sign of forced entry. Turned out he entered/left his victim's homes via the john.
  • March 20, 2012
    shimaspawn
    Anime:

    • In Kyou Kara Maou, Yuuri first enters the Demon Realm by being flushed down a toilet.
  • March 20, 2012
    SquirrelGuy
    An early draft of the screenplay for the first Superman movie had Otis getting into Lex Luthor's underground lair this way. Well, sort of. He went into a public men's room and entered a stall marked "Out of Order". He then sat down and flushed, whereupon the stall interior descended like an elevator to Luthor's hideout.
  • March 20, 2012
    X2X
  • March 20, 2012
    Mauri
    Video Game example: Deathspank if I don't recall wrong uses the toilets (err outhouses) as a resurrection spot and warper.
  • March 21, 2012
    abk0100
    I think I prefer Toilet Transportation - "teleportation" doesn't apply to a lot of the examples.

    • Zim can enter the secret base under his house by flushing himself down the toilet in his kitchen.
  • January 18, 2013
    elwoz
    Bump. I probably can't be bothered to launch this myself but it looks pretty done to me.
  • January 22, 2013
    Diask
    • In Purple, the portal to the second part of stage 3-3 is found in the only toilet in the building.
  • January 22, 2013
    foxley
    The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack: In "Liar, Liar, You For Hire?", Flapjack escapes from Captain Johnny's ship by flushing himself down the toilet.
  • January 23, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Newspaper Comics
    • From the 7 November 1999 Dilbert strip, Wally proposes this trope as a means of exit during a fire.

    Anime And Manga
  • January 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Video Games
  • September 9, 2013
    NESBoy
    In the Angry Birds Toons episode "Hamshank Redemption", the pig the episode focuses on flushes himself down a toilet in his cell in an attempt to escape the prison compound. He ends up in the cell of another prisoner. The first prisoner flushes himself back down, only to emerge in one of the guards' toilets. The guards throw him back into his cell, with his toilet removed. Towards the end of the episode, the second prisoner blasts out of the ground where the first prisoner's toilet was.
  • September 9, 2013
    DAN004
    Another Sponge Bob example
    • In the episode "Plankton's Army", Mr. Krabs puts Plankton - attempting to steal the Krabby Patty again - into the toilet and flushes it, leading Plankton to come out from the sewers. Later Plankton and his army tries to do the same to Mr. Krabs, but to no avail.
  • September 9, 2013
    mauri
    Well there is one example I recalled now:
    • Video Games
      • DeathSpank: Has this as a way to make sure the player doesn't have to run back and the only requirement is that the player has passed around said outhouse. Basically old holey toilets.
  • September 9, 2013
    JohnnyCache
    Just because I can't resist a pun: this could also be called Teleport-à-Potty....
  • September 9, 2013
    robbulldog
    In the sequence in Meet The Robinsons where Lewis is being introduced to everybody by Grandpa, they end up coming up out of the toilet in one part.
  • January 9, 2014
    Prfnoff
    YKTTW Bump. We need to decide on a name.
  • January 15, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Edited some namespaces in the Video Game section, including noting that Boogerman is both a Genesis and SNES game. Also removed the reference to the hamster in Day of the Tentacle because it's actually a puzzle that the Chron-O-Johns only transport inanimate objects, thus requiring another method of transporting the hamster.

    As for a name, I think Toilet Transport is catchy because of the symmetry in syllables and "T" sounds.
  • January 16, 2014
    Snicka
    Seconding Toilet Transport.
  • July 3, 2014
    SpiderRider3
    Google's 2007 April Fools joke was that they would begin providing free Internet service via a fiber optic cable flushed down the toilet.
  • July 4, 2014
    KZN02
    See also Swirlie
  • July 6, 2014
    Silveraith
    Inverted by Panty and Stocking when the titular characters temporarily escape the Daemon Sisters by emerging from the toilet.
  • July 8, 2014
    Statzkeen
    Transport / Transportion are certainly more accurate.
  • April 10, 2015
    Alkochochlik
    An unusual example: in one episode of Polish animted series Włatcy Móch Czesio enters one of the stalls and then mysteriously comes out from another one, claiming he did a teleport. Is was never explained how did it work and was never brought again in the entire show.
  • April 23, 2015
    AgProv
    @Black Dragon: The myth of U.K being slain foully whilst contemplating the Eternal persists though, and remains widely believed, even in Japan: http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1640821
  • March 12, 2016
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Video Games
    • True to the source material, the Aaahh Real Monsters Licensed Game has a few levels where Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina can travel from one toilet to another by pressing Down when standing on it.
  • March 12, 2016
    Koolkev
    Western Animation

  • March 13, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated
    • Protagonists Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps escape from a holding cell in Zootopia's timberwolf district where Mayor Lionheart is secretly housing dangerous psychopathic citizens by flushing themselves down a toilet meant for much larger animals. The sewer pipes are unusually clean, and they empty into an open pool outside the facility.
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