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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/confusingdoors_8263.jpg]]

When a character, due to bad signs, gender ambiguity, a transgender status, disguising as a member of the opposite sex or some other issue, has no idea what bathroom, changing room or other gender-specific room is suitable for them. Potentially an extremely embarrassing or awkward situation.

This is, unfortunately, TruthInTelevision: Many trans, intersex, and gender-ambiguous people face this problem as well.

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!!Examples

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''OtomeWaBokuNiKoishiteru'', this is what gives Mizuho the most trouble about his 'transformation' into a girl. On his/her first day in school, he/she can't work up the courage to visit the ladies' room - and since it's an all-girl school, with only female teachers, there isn't even a men's room. He/she ends up holding it in 'till he/she gets back to the dorms, where he/she... bah! Where he can make a run for the 'private' bathroom... only for Takako, his instructor in all things feminine, to swiftly lambast him for leaving the seat up... (How he managed to pee standing up while wearing an ankle-length dress is [[FridgeLogic best left to imagination]].)
* A running gag with Hideyoshi in ''[[LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu Baka Test]]''.
-->''signs read "Boy's Changing Room", "Girl's Changing Room", and "Hideyoshi's Changing Room"''\\
'''Akishisa''': So is Hideyoshi a new gender?
* Homura from ''{{Sekirei}}'' faces this problem twice in the OVA in the second season. Both times something happens that destroys the rooms, so the problem resolves itself.
* In ''LightNovel/KokoroConnect'', when the group is going through the "random body swap" phenomenon. Taichi is shown accidentally heading into the boys' room in Yui's body, startling a couple of guys who were in there. A few days into the phenomenon, Inaba asks who else has made that particular mistake, and ''every single one of the group'' raises their hands.

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[[folder: Card Games ]]

* One of the half-breed cards in ''{{Munchkin}}'' depicts this dilemma with restrooms separated by species.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''It's Bigger On The Inside'', a collection of spoof ''DoctorWho'' cartoons by Tim Quinn and Dicky Howlett (creators of "Doctor Who?" for ''DoctorWhoMagazine'') included one strip where a Cyberman walked past a door with the symbol for men and one with the symbol for women, before finding one with the same Cybermen symbol as the tombs in "Tomb of the Cybermen". [[spoiler: It turned out to be a trap by the Doctor]].

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[[folder: Film ]]

* The poster for ''{{Transamerica}}''.
* In a scene from the Marx Brothers' ''Film/MonkeyBusiness'', Harpo stands in front of a bathroom sign that apparently reads "men". A guy enters then gets thrown out. Then Harpo leaves and we see that he was obscuring the "Wo" in "Women".
* In the film ''Film/{{Ladybugs}}'', the main character Matthew is forced by his mom's boyfriend to join his soccer team for girls because he's good at sports. After the first game, Chester decides Matthew needs lessons in etiquette, so he drags Matthew into town in a dress and (convincing) wig. After a while, Matthew ends up desperate for the bathroom.
* Happens to Mater in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}'' when he has to go to the bathroom in Japan.
* In ''Film/SevenChances'', Creator/BusterKeaton's character accidentally crashes the "Ladies day" at the Turkish bath because someone covered the sign at the entrance. HilarityEnsues.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Barry Williams' book ''Growing Up [[Series/TheBradyBunch Brady]]'', he relates the following anecdote from a time he guest-starred on ''Series/MissionImpossible'' as a teenage king who was fleeing from assassins by dressing up as a girl.
-->It was uncomfortable - and only got tougher when, a couple of hours later, I desperately had to use the bathroom.
-->First, I had to decide which facility to use. At first I thought it might be wise to use the ladies's room, but when push came to shove I just couldn't go in. Finally, when my bladder threw up a white flag, I was forced to hike up my skirt, throw out my pride, and in my most macho posture, march into the men's room.
-->Naturally, MurphysLaw was running rampant, and the men's room was packed, loaded with big, burly crew members. They looked at me first in surprise, then in disgust. Homophobic anger was rising in their eyes. I nervously muttered something at them like "How 'bout them [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball Rams]]?"
-->With that, I flicked my long hair back and locked myself in a stall.
* In Andy Griffith's book ''Just Tricking'', one of the short stories (''Copy-Cat from Ballarat'') is about Andy disguised as a girl at a school dance as part of some scheme to annoy his sister Jen. At one point he needs to use the restroom, and automatically goes to the men's room, but a teacher stops him and tells him to use the ladies' instead.
* A real life example is described in Barry Farber's book ''How to Learn Any Language'', in which the author encounters two doors labelled "Nok" and "Ferfiak". Since he never studied Hungarian, it took some linguistic detective work to figure out which door to go through. Fortunately, he was able to use his knowledge of Chinese to figure it out.
* A book for little children about a talking moose attending school has the moose wondering which restroom to use.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''LittleBritain'', "Emily" (Eddie) Howard, the friendly neighbourhood cross dresser, goes to a swimming pool. "She" stands outside the ladies changing room for about a direction, motioning that she is about to go in, however the clerk does not give in and eventually she reluctantly gives in and storms into the male changing rooms.
* In an episode of ''{{Rentaghost}}'', one of the characters had reason to be loitering around the change rooms at a swiming pool. One of the attendants started looking at him stragely. He looked at the two signs and, being unsure of what to do and having been told to act like an 'innocent bystander', used his magical powers to create a third sign reading 'Innocent Bystanders' and headed off in that direction.
* Shows up in a parody {{P|ublicServiceAnnouncement}}SA, with Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone portraying a pair of hermaphrodites, who are confused about which restroom to use, and find a sign labeled "Hermaphrodites" pointing to a nasty bucket.
* In a Pat sketch from ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'', the man who has a crush on the gender-ambiguous Pat follows him/her/it around waiting for Pat to use a bathroom so he can find out what gender Pat is.
* This happens on ''TheKingOfQueens''; Doug uses the restroom in an unfamiliar restaurant, and the doors both have South-Pacific-type carvings of indeterminate sex, whose only difference is in their arm positions. Naturally his first guess is incorrect.
* One episode of ''Series/TheBennyHillShow'' had Hill going into the wrong restroom after hitting his head and reading the sign as "Laddies".
** Another sketch had a woman wearing slacks go into the "pants" restroom, and a ManInAKilt go into the "skirt" restroom.
* In the 2nd episode of the 1990's version of ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople'', Kevin disguises himself as Megabyte's little sister so he can use her passport to get into the United States. When he needs to go to the restroom at the airport, he first starts to go in to the men's restroom, but a man comes out just as he is about to go in. He turns and starts to go into the women's room, but the man's girlfriend/wife steps out. Once they've left, Kevin takes one last look around and quickly ducks into the women's restroom.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mggt6UcjhVoin Briefly shown in]] one ''Series/TheRickMercerReport'''s Heritage Moments. A man with a kilt tries to decipher the universal Men's Room and Women's Room bathroom signs. [[spoiler: He guesses right]].
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[[folder: Music ]]

* The point of the mock Christmas Carol "The Restroom Door Said Gentlemen" by The BobRivers Crew. A prankster switches the signs, and the hapless narrator ends up walking into the restroom to find two nuns, three old ladies, and a nurse, who mistake him for a pervert and beat him soundly for an honest mistake.

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[[folder: Music Videos ]]

* The music video for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SifT9QA7JnQ Etienne de Crecy's "Am I Wrong"]] features a particularly bizarre version of this. The doors feature an unidentifiable object (a safety pin?) and a cow. The protagonist enters the cow room... and proceeds to MeetTheMeat.

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* One ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' strip had two outhouses with jellyfish symbols, and the caption saying, "Only they know the difference."
* One ''PrivateEye'' cartoon, just after the Anglican Church started accepting female bishops, was a female bishop standing outside a set of toilet doors in confusion. Both of the signs were woman icons. Because bishops wear robes. And on the sign they'd look like dresses. Visual gag.
* An ''InsanityStreak'' strip had a human standing in alien bar and being completely baffled by the bizarre symbols on the restroom doors.
** Another example is a Scottish Man who was not sure whether the door sign represents gents or ladies, due to the skirt also being represented as a [[ManInAKilt kilt]].
* A ''TheMuppets'' newspaper strip had the Great Gonzo pass doors saying "Men" and "Women" before finding one that said "Whatever".


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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* One ''Webcomic/VGCats'' strip where the cats are (for once) cooperating, trying to figure out the gender of Slippy from ''VideoGame/StarFox'' - by plying it with copious amounts of soft-drinks, and then watching the bathrooms to see which of them it enters. They are thwarted, however, when it ignores both and goes to pee in the break room.
* A running gag on ''Webcomic/AndShineHeavenNow'' is that the new member of Iscariot wants to know what bathroom the gender-ambiguous Heinkel uses. [[spoiler: Finally answered in [[http://hellsing.comicgenesis.com/d/20100222.html this strip]]]].
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/GirlsWithSlingshots'' to prove that "Aaron" is actually Erin.
* Even restrooms labeled with initials can be confusing, as [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Wario]] discovers in [[http://gg-guys.com/?id=57 this comic]] from ''{{GG-Guys}}''. [[spoiler:Waldo and Winnie-the-Pooh suffered the same fate.]]
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' gives us [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?db=comics&id=1424 this amusing variant]].

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* A male character (now female, long story) from the WhateleyUniverse accidentally entered a women's locker room to flee from a bully that was targeting him because he looked girly, among other reasons. While there, he strips down and the girls there are quick to point out how they wish they could [[AttractiveBentGender look like him]].

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* When WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}} gets lost in the bizarre town of Rock Bottom, he can't read the signs over the bathroom doors, since they're written in a strange language. So he waits for someone to walk into one of them so he can tell by context. Cue gender confusion.
* A subversion: in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Lenny goes to a '50s theme bar and the toilets are "Cool Cats" and "Squares". He goes into one, women scream, he goes into the other, same thing. He is confused.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', Billy jumps into Mandy's body and takes over her life. In one scene, Billy goes into the men's room but is then promptly kicked out. He then went into the ladies' room but ran quickly out. He then just stood outside both bathrooms refusing to go into either one.
* In a report on WesternAnimation/SheZow´s [[SpiderSense SheSP]], this is used as a example of an embarrassing situation. Guy (as [=SheZow=]) goes into the women's bathroom...only to change back to Guy right after he walks inside. We see him walk out from the opposite gender's bathroom and into the men's room immediately afterwards.
-->'''Guy:''' "I hate it when that happens."

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Several Italian restaurants have their restroom signs, quite naturally, written in Italian. It's incredibly easy to misread the Italian word "uomini" as "women", but if you do that, [[MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels your hovercraft will quickly be full of eels]]. Similarly, there are at least some places in Ireland with restroom signs labeled in Irish: "fir" and "mna". The former means men; the latter means women. Another example is Spanish-speaking countries, where restrooms may be labelled "M" and... "H". "M" stands for ''mujeres'', meaning "women". "H" stands for ''hombres'', or "men".
* As mentioned above, this is a real problem for transgender people. A woman who was born male, and still looks male, will want to go to the women's bathroom even though they "belong" in the men's; on the other hand, if they look like a woman, but haven't gotten gender reassignment surgery and go into the women's bathroom, things can get awkward if anyone spots them with their pants down. Things get even worse if people who only know them as one gender see them going into what they consider the wrong bathroom.
** In some states it's illegal for someone of the opposite biological sex to go into the other bathroom
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