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[-[[caption-width-right:300:"Wait, why is there a [[BedsheetLadder bedsheet]] in the bathroom?!"]]-]
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->''"No one ever goes into a movie toilet to perform a natural function. Instead characters use the bathroom to take illegal drugs, commit suicide, have sex, smoke, get killed, exchange money, or sneak out through the bathroom window.''"
-->-- ''[[Creator/RogerEbert Ebert]]'s Bigger Little Movie Glossary''

The heat is on and Bob is inches away from getting captured by the BigBad. He has to find some way to escape, and fast, but he's trapped and there's a [[{{Mooks}} guard]] watching the entrance like a hawk, and the moment Bob shows his face, the guard will be on him like white on rice. So what does he do? He slips into the bathroom, naturally. Sometimes it takes a little haggling, especially if Bob's already been caught, but Bob eventually makes his way to the restroom where he has a moment of privacy.

Once alone, Bob makes his crafty, and usually narrowly executed, escape through the bathroom window, an {{air vent|Passageway}} or some other really unlikely exit.

Related to TheGuardsMustBeCrazy. Usually requires a character to engage in CallingYourBathroomBreaks. A character may also feign a ShyBladder to get away with this. See also BalconyEscape. Contrast LockedInTheBathroom, where the intent is to ''stay'' in the bathroom.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Nina uses this to temporarily escape her male bodyguards in an early chapter of ''Manga/MamotteLollipop''; it backfires when the people who at that point want to kill her are already in there. (She's saved because one of the baddies foolishly admits he's a boy in drag.)
* Double subverted in ''Manga/FairyTail''. Lucy is captured by Jose, and says she needs to go to the bathroom. He hands her a bucket. It looks like she's going to use it, but instead she [[GroinAttack kicks him in the groin from behind]] and escapes.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandaloneComplex''. The Major does this during a training exercise, despite the fact that the toilet window is [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome halfway up a skyscraper]].
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. Inverted in "Greenback Jane" where the title character waits till one of her guards goes to the toilet, then locks him inside by tying up the handle. She then breaks a computer over the head of the other guard.
* In ''Anime/{{Tekkonkinkreet}}'', Black and White escape one of Mr Snake's henchmen by climbing out of a bathroom window.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In an ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' story where a bad guy has taken over the school with a teacher robot, Jughead gets out and is able to save the real teachers by asking to use the bathroom.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Empowered}}'', Emp talks about how she thought about doing this but decided against it, because it might dissuade crooks from allowing captured heroines to use the bathroom in the future.
* In ''ComicBook/TheLosers'', Aisha escapes through the bathroom window of a hotel room during a gunfight.
* In the ending of the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' story "And the Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels", Stiletto ([[TalkingYourWayOut who has excellent persuasion abilities]]) escapes death row this way, by asking for a bathroom break some time before execution.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Bob from ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' does it to escape from Nitro's game when sitting for Weird Pete in "A Man Out Standing In His Field".

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/{{Zenith}}'': To escape from the guards keeping an eye on him, Spike pleads that he needs to do his business to a bathroom. The guards eventually realize that Spike's trying to escape and barge in, but by then he's left several misdirecting clues to make them think he's trying an AirVentEscape and rush out to stop him, while he's safely hiding inside an unassuming-looking throw pillow.
* ''FanFic/WithThisRing'': Among his escape attempts, J'onn J'aarkn tries to escape via the ''toilet'' but only to be caught the in the act by OL.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Probably as an homage to this trope (among other EscapeTropes), in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' Woody initially breaks out of the day care centre through a bathroom window.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheAdjustmentBureau'' a character makes his escape by running into a bathroom and then [[spoiler: using his magical hat to open a door into a different part of New York.]]
* In ''Film/TheMummyReturns'', Alex does this by kicking out the toilet, pulling the emergency break on the train he's on and making a run for it.
* The "hostages" at the LARP/ModelUnitedNations meeting do this to escape in the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie ''Film/WinningLondon''.
* In the ''Film/GetSmart'' film, after Max is arrested by the Air Marshall (they thought he was a terrorist) he asks to go to the bathroom, where his parachute is to leave the plane. But first he has to get out of the cuffs...
* In ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'', Tuco is captured by Union forces and transported by train, with a Union soldier handcuffed to him as a guard. Using his bathroom break as a pretense to get near the door, he jumps out of the moving train and takes the guard with him.
* In the French film ''Film/{{Nikita}}'' (and its American remake, ''Point Of No Return''), Nikita's "graduation test" after being trained as an assassin is to kill a foreign diplomat, his escort, and his bodyguard in a fancy restaurant, then escape through a window in the restaurant's lady's room. Turns out the escape route she was told to use is blocked, and coming up with her own escape plan is all part of the graduation test.
* General Koskov ditches his KGB bodyguard/minder via the restroom stall window near the start of ''Film/TheLivingDaylights''.
* In ''Film/{{Villain}}'', Mitsuyo makes her escape through a bathroom window when the police find her and bring her to the station to question her about her murderer boyfriend, whom she's been helping to escape.
* In ''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'', Dreyfuss orchestrates the escape of a prisoner being transported by train. He goes to the bathroom, then climbs out through the ventilator on to the roof of the train and into a waiting helicopter.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Firefox}}''. Creator/ClintEastwood's character hides from a KGB check in a public restroom, but a plainclothes KGB officer follows him in there and Clint is forced to kill him.
* In ''Film/{{Push}}'', this is where the female mind controller orders one of the sniffers to kill himself with his own gun.
* In ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'' it happens before the start of the movie - a police detective reports that ex-con robber Smiler Grogan gave them the slip that way earlier in the morning while they were tailing him.
* Done in ''Film/MalcolmX'' when the titular character has to get away from the gangsters on his tail.
* In ''Bollywood/{{Lajja}}'' [[PinballProtagonist Vaidehi]] escapes through a window in the airport's restroom when she finds out that her {{Jerkass}} husband intends to kill her after their baby is born.
* In ''Film/AlanPartridgeAlphaPapa'', Alan attempts to escape from the mobile home while its moving by going to the bathroom and climbing into the septic tank. This does not work so well.
* In ''Film/SisterAct'', Dolores slips away from her police escort this way -- only to find herself against the mafiosi who are chasing her.
* Inverted in ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'', which includes a scene in which Bilbo and the dwarves sneak ''into'' a house in Laketown [[{{Squick}} via the toilet]] (which is built directly over the water of the lake).
* In ''Film/BloodSimple'', Abby flees from Visser through her bathroom window into the next room.
* Averted in ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn''. Seth Gecko lets Kate Fuller go to the bathroom to get changed, then adds that if she's not back in three minutes, "I'm going to shoot your father in the face."
* In ''Film/TheKillers'', Kitty escapes trouble through a pub's bathroom window.
* Inverted in ''Film/T2Trainspotting''. A hospitalized Begbie escapes by talking his guard out of handcuffing him to his stretcher while the ''guard'' uses the bathroom.
* In ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'', after Hanratty captured Frank and they were on a plane back to the US. Hanratty let him use the bathroom after breaking the news that his father was dead, and Frank escaped by removing the screws holding the commode down.
* ''Film/TheDarkTower2017''. Jake Chambers notices there's [[UncannyValley something odd about the people]] who've come to take him to a special clinic. He goes to pack his bag and then goes to the toilet, making sure to leave his bag outside so it doesn't look like he's trying this trope. Of course that makes it easier to climb out the window onto the roof. The villains however quickly realise what he's up to and go after him.
* Averted in ''Film/MaxManus''. Max enters his apartment and finds the Gestapo waiting for him. He insists on going to the toilet, but two Gestapo agents enter the toilet with him and stand directly behind Max with guns drawn. Max then tries [[SuperWindowJump jumping out the window]] [[RealityEnsues only to end up in hospital]], from which he's finally able to escape with the help of LaResistance.
* ''Film/NineteenFortyOne''. Hollis Wood manages to do this ''from a submarine''. He's eaten a toy compass the Japanese submariners need to find out their location, so they feed him prune juice to make it come out again. Hollis protests that he can't do a crap with them all watching, so they leave him alone on the toilet. Hollis then drops a boot into the toilet bowl and flees when they rush in to see the result. Fortunately the submarine is surfaced, so he's able to climb out the hatch and swim for it.
* ''Film/RuthlessPeople''. Judge Reinhold's character has kidnapped a woman. Some cops come in to question him, and he excuses himself saying he has a touch of stomach flu. They hear moans and groans and assume he's having serious diarrhea, but he's really trying to squeeze out the window. Meanwhile, the cops have received a call implicating the husband, so they just leave.

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' the villains are smart enough to only let [[spoiler: Jerin]] use a chamber pot. [[spoiler: He still manages to make use of the short moment of privacy this gives him.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', Bella knows that the bathroom in the Phoenix airport has two doors in and out and her watcher, Alice, does not. Bella tells Alice she's going to the bathroom and then quickly escapes through the bathroom's other door before Alice can realize what she intends to do.
* [[Literature/RickyRicottasMightyRobot Ricky Ricotta]] does this to stop a MadScientist.
* An elaborate example is seen in ''Literature/TheDaVinciCode''. During the bathroom break, the escaping characters fake an escape through the bathroom window, managing to mislead pursuers.
* Subverted in the book ''Buddy'', when the kidnapped kid says he needs to go to the bathroom and his captor answers that there are no windows in the bathroom.
* In ''The Witches of Chiswick'' by Creator/RobertRankin, one character, while being questioned, asks to go to the bathroom. His interrogator points out that the window in the bathroom is too small to climb out of.
* Kit Kittredge manages this in one of the American Girl books, ''Kit Saves the Day''. She is only ten years old, so it makes a little more sense that she can fit through the bathroom window.
* Somewhat more brute-force version in one of the Literature/StephaniePlum books. Steph is being held captive in a bathroom and managed to talk her captors into leaving the building for items they're going to need for planned nastiness inflicted on her. When she discovers a soggy piece of wallboard, she kicks her way through the wall, then leaves via a window in the next room.
* In one of the various incarnations of the FairyTale ''Literature/LittleRedRidingHood'', Red escapes the BigBad Wolf (or tries to, anyway) by using this excuse.
* In ''Literature/MythAdventures'', Skeeve tried to escape from the bar on Perv through the backdoor in the bathroom. Unfortunately Pervish thugs turned out to be smart enough to wait him outside.
* Dorothy L. Sayer's ''Literature/LordPeterWimsey'':
** In ''Unnatural Death'', Bunter shadows the (female) suspect all the way to a major London railway station, where he sees her enter the ladies' room. He waits at the door... and waits... and waits. The suspect, thinking she might be trailed, had earlier that day checked a suitcase containing a black cloth coat and a black felt hat; she put these on, re-packing the case with her fur coat and red straw hat. (Remember, women's hats in those days frequently concealed most of the face.) Hence, Bunter was looking for an empty-handed woman in a fur coat and a red straw hat; he never noticed the woman in the black cloth coat and hat carrying a suitcase.
** In "Strong Poison", the murderer tries to escape from Lord Peter's flat by climbing out of the bathroom window. It doesn't work, not least because it's a three-storey drop to the ground.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, Darkstripe is being watched by Brackenfur since he's suspected of being a traitor. He tells Brackenfur he needs to make dirt, so he goes behind a bush for privacy... and sneaks off.
* In ''[[Literature/CircleOfMagic Tris's Book/The Power in the Storm]]'', Tris tells the others that she needs to use the privy ''now'' as an excuse to get away from them and go to try and fight off the pirates on her own.
* In the book ''Literature/ThingsNotSeen,'' the main character, who has turned invisible, uses a bathroom to change from winter clothing that lets no invisibility show through, to being naked.
* In Alistair [=MacLean's=] ''Fear is the Key'' the protagonist has taken a woman hostage. They hide out in a hotel where he offers her a chance to clean herself up. At first she indignantly refuses, then suddenly changes her mind. Realising what she's thinking, he goes and waits outside the bathroom window for her to crawl through it, then marches her back inside.
* In ''Restless in the Grave'', Literature/KateShugak escapes from the pilot she had tricked into bringing her to Adak by going to the bathroom in the bar, and then getting the waitress to direct her to the back way out.
* From "Target: Domino Lady" in ''Literature/DominoLady: Sex as a Weapon'', Ellen fakes emotional distress as an excuse to go to the bathroom where she changes to her alter ego and sneaks out the bathroom window.
* In ''The Annihilist'', Franchise/DocSavage escapes from the police by going into the bathroom and climbing up the sheer air shaft to the roof.
* ''Literature/YoungSherlockHolmes'': In ''Red Leech'', Matty's kidnappers let him of the train to use the toilet while one of them watches the door. Holmes breaks through the rotted back wall of the wooden outhouse to help him escape.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In a skit on ''Series/ChappellesShow'', Tyrone Biggums is confronted by a group of people he had wronged and they try to force him to go into drug rehab. At this point, Tyrone goes to the bathroom to attempt an escape, but then realizes the restroom has no windows, so he flushes himself down the toilet.
* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': In "Edith's 50th Birthday," Edith tries using a bathroom break to escape her attacker, a rapist. Unfortunately, the rapist is too smart for this trick. Edith draws a few chuckles when she says, "I'll go later" in a very non-comedic moment.
* ''Series/HappyDays'': The 1980 episode "Hot Stuff," where Fonzie, Potsie and Ralph use the bathroom window to escape from a burning Arnold's. (The fire -- the BigBad in this case -- had nearly engulfed the restaurant, but even so, the three have to rely on some outside help to escape.)
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', Paige, Henry, and Billie are being held hostage in a bank by one of Henry's parolees. Paige tells the parolee that she needs to use the bathroom and he checks with the manager to make sure that there are no windows for her to escape through (not knowing that she is a whitelighter). Once in the bathroom, Paige orbs back to the manor.
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Buster goes to the bathroom then climbs out of the window to get away from Lucille II.
* Subverted in ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire''. Agent Sebso is delivering a witness to another prison in order to protect him. He pulls over the car saying he needs to relieve himself. [[TheMole Sebso]] then kills the witness and hits himself on the head with a rock to MakeItLookLikeAStruggle. When asked later, Sebso says that the witness said he wanted to use the bathroom and then tried to make his escape after Sebso removed his cuffs.
* Kate in ''Series/{{Lost}}'' escapes her police escort at the airport this way.
* In the ''Series/{{CSI}}'' episode "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?", the suspect asks for a bathroom break. After taking longer than he should, they bust down the stall door, thinking he escaped, but find instead that he committed suicide by suffocating himself with a plastic bag.
* An episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'' used this as part of its DeusAngstMachina: Stabler discovers that he sent the wrong man to jail and promises him that he'll get him out once they arrest the actual criminal. Once said perp is arrested, he asks to use the restroom and dies in the attempt, though it's left ambiguous whether this was an accident or the guest-starring RabidCop killed him. This somehow makes it impossible to clear the other man's name: despite knowing he's innocent, they have to leave him to serve out the rest of his sentence. This gets a ContinuityNod in a later episode, where the prisoner is shown again and gives Stabler a DeathGlare. (It does ''not'', however, prevent Stabler and his coworkers from [[AesopAmnesia constantly pushing to arrest and lock up suspects with as little evidence as possible]].)
** An earlier episode had Benson and Stabler inadvertently catching a suspect who had been on the run for thirty years after pulling one of these; she told then-junior prosecutor Elizabeth Donnelly that she wanted a meeting, and when Donnelly let her use the bathroom, she climbed out the window. And you better believe Donnelly remembers it like it was yesterday, because her coworkers never let her live it down, leading her to take a leave from the judiciary to prosecute the woman. [[spoiler:She ultimately changes her tune when the suspect reveals the true sequence of events; she came to Donnelly to ask for her help in getting an abortion, as she was carrying the child of the abusive husband she'd just killed, but she was too intimidated by Donnelly to ask and so decided on the spur of the moment to run away instead.]]
* ''Series/TheCloser'':
** Happens to Provenza and Flynn in episode "Layover", when they allow two stewardesses they are arresting to use the bathroom before taking them down to the station. To add insult to injury, the stewardesses then steal Provenza's car.
** Also happens in "Next of Kin", with the suspect breaking out of the bathroom of the RV they're transporting him across the country in.
* In ''Series/FoylesWar'', a spy manages this on a train. The small-town cop she gets away from says it was like ''Film/TheLadyVanishes''.
* Van Helsing does it in the ''Series/YoungDracula'' episode "Halloscream"; leaving behind a tape of himself whistling to convince Jono that he is still in there.
* Subverted in one of the ''Series/ChappellesShow'' Tyrone Biggums sketches. Tyrone has promised to give up crack and asks the people in his intervention to let him use the bathroom. He walks into the restroom and says "aw man, how come they don't have any windows in here?"
* In ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'', Carrie apparently escaped from a date once by going to the bathroom and escaping out the window.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': In "An Innocent Man", Oliver ditches his bodyguard by going to the washroom and never coming back.
* In an episode of ''Series/SevenDays'' the perp of the week/damsel in distress tries to make Parker think she's done this by leaving the window open while hiding in the shower with the curtain closed; but Parker just turns on the cold water in the shower, making her yelp.
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', Rimmer mentions a date he once had, who apparently got a little confused and tried to climb out the bathroom window. Seeing as he spent the whole evening making fun of her nose (in a very misguided attempt to break the ice), it never occurred to him that she was trying to get away.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Emily locks herself in the bathroom after Ross says the wrong name at their wedding. Rachel mentions that when she did this at her own wedding (to Barry), she was trying to pop the window out of the frame so she could escape. Ross then forces the bathroom door open; the curtains are blowing in the breeze and Emily's gone.
* ''Series/TheEqualizer ''is not impressed when a little old lady does a DitchTheBodyguards stunt on one of his associates this way. She was a fan of murder mysteries and espionage thrillers, so probably learned of the technique from them.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'': In "The Life Inside", Jamie Berglund attempts to escape from her captors by climbing out the bathroom window. Being eight months pregnant, she doesn't get far.
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}'': In "Eyes of the Beholder", when the teenage boy Hank is guarding learns his girlfriend has been kidnapped (by stealing Hank's phone), he gives Hank the slip by climbing out the bathroom window.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In "Sharp Teeth", when Sam and Dean finally track down Garth - actually a friend of theirs - in a hospital, he asks to go to the bathroom and wriggles out of the window.
* In the adaptation of ''[[Literature/TommyAndTuppence The Secret Adversary]]'' on ''Series/PartnersInCrime'', Jane Finn escapes from Brown by locking herself in the train bathroom, smashing a window and climbing out.
* Done by Earl and his ex-wife Joy on ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', while escaping from Jessie, Earl's PsychoExGirlfriend turned BountyHunter to get revenge on Joy.
* ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'': A witness in protective custody escapes this way in "Face Value".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle,'' Laverne uses this excuse to get out of her cell and use the Chron-O-John.
* You try this in ''VideoGame/EscapeFromStMarys''. It doesn't work. It does for another student.
* In the first part of ''VideoGame/StupidInvaders'', Bud escapes from Bolok the bounty hunter in this fashion.
* Kara has to do this in ''VideoGame/CovertFront 3'', since someone is watching just outside the front door.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' Florence attempts this but is [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2500/fc02434.htm the bathroom lacks windows or vents large enough to climb through]]. She later uses the fact that it's a women's restroom to [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2500/fc02438.htm distract her male captor]] enough to destroy her remote and escape.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' Sven sneaks out through the [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=680 bathroom window]] to avoid having to deal with his ex who's looking for him. Faye guesses this and waits outside for him. Further subverted when the ex-girlfriend reveals that she knew all along that he was doing this and just wanted to make him squirm for revenge.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. Toph is captured by Xin Fu and Master Yu, (her old earthbending mentor) in a metal box, and tries to escape by saying that she needs to go to the bathroom. Yu almost falls for it when Xin Fu points out that this is probably a ploy and they ignore her request.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' "Survival of the Fittest" Sari tricks the guard into letting her go to the bathroom, and then escaping by knocking him out when she claimed it wouldn't flush.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** When Homer is taking Bart to a behavior correction camp, Bart escapes by climbing out the window of the restroom at a highway diner. Homer tries to follow him, getting stuck in the process, while Bart tells the cook that he's trying to dine and dash.
** Another time is when Krusty the Clown owed lots of gambling money to Fat Tony and instead of paying escaped through the bathroom. (You can actually hear a car take off, and then a ''plane''. Then Legs tells Fat Tony, [[ComicallyMissingThePoint "When he's done in there, I gotta go."]])
* President Uno does this during the ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode "Operation W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E.". Subverted later in the same episode, when he finds a quizzical Secret Service agent just outside the bathroom window and has to find another way out.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'': In "Liar, Liar, You for Hire?", Flapjack escapes from Captain Johnny's ship by flushing himself down the toilet, which is inexplicably connected to Stormalong's sewer system.
* Attempted in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' by [[spoiler:Peridot]] who, after getting caught by the Crystal Gems and released by Steven in the aptly titled episode "Catch and Release", tries to escape by locking herself in Steven's bathroom. She finds no other way out, and it quickly [[LockedInTheBathroom becomes her new residence]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Fillmore}}'': In "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields", Checkmatey gets away from Ingrid by going to the bathroom, turning on the shower, and climbing out the window.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': In Episode 53, Stumpy claims he has to go to the bathroom in order to escape the house and hide evidence of a crime. He quickly slips out the front door and is noticed by the very people he's trying to escape.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Frank Abagnale Jr. really did the "escape from the plane through the bathroom toilet" shown in Film/CatchMeIfYouCan.
* This was how Mas Selamat, a captured terrorist leader, escaped from custody in Singapore.
* When UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill was a prisoner of the Boers he got out of the POW camp by crawling through a latrine window that overlooked a deep gully. He hid in the gully until full dark, then traveled overland to neutral territory.
* According to ''Pink Sari Revolution'', this is how a girl, who was held captive at the house of a politician in India, escaped.