So, the Hero has fulfilled every task he set out to accomplish. The Big Bad is no more, those who were trapped under his power have been liberated, his minions are defeated, the fair maiden is rescued, the hard-won Plot Coupons have served their purposes, and the world has been saved. And the Hero is still just as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as he was at the moment he set out on his great adventure. Nope, navigating all of those treacherous, deathtrap laden dungeons, hacking through hordes of enemies like thorn bushes, slaying all of those hideous monsters, and traversing all sorts of terrain on foot through every kind of weather didn't wear him out one bit. And he never stopped to take a rest even once!
Except for storyline purposes, video game characters are seldom forced to complete such mundane tasks as eating, sleeping, bathing, changing clothes, or going to the bathroom. Often the only "need" they have to be concerned about is their health meters, but even that can almost always be taken care of in a jiffy with a swig of a potion or a dip in a Healing Spring.
Of course, this can be justified during short spurts of action, because the excretory system shuts down during periods of stress. However, in some games, you control the same character for days or months on end, experiencing every moment of their lives, and they'll never need as much to go to the bathroom or change clothes. This is particularly noticeable in games that take place in "real time."
It's unrealistic, but largely practical. Game designers have historically been very bad at modeling the frequency of bodily functions with any degree of realism. The player character is either a camel on crystal meth, or a diabetic with narcolepsy, and rarely anything in between.
This often goes as far as the complete lack of bathrooms anywhere in the game.
An Acceptable Break from Reality, because if video game characters had the same needs and limitations that humans in Real Life have, then that would Just Plain Suck.
On the other hand, some games - like management sims - make the satisfaction of base needs a primary game goal.
See Nobody Poops. Contrast Flushing Edge Interactivity and Potty Failure, when the Bladders weren't Bottomless.
In certain rare cases, the actual player is expected to have one too.
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Anime and Manga
In Bleach, everything from when Ichigo and his friends enter Hueco Mundo to the defeat of Aizen is presumably less than 24 hours. That's about 283 chapters or (not counting the excessive amount of fillers) over 100 episodes. And despite it basically being one fight after another, not one of the characters ever needs to take a break.
Averted in Wolfs Rain: Hubb gives the alcoholic Quent a sobriety pill before they set off in a car, so that Quent can do some of the driving. Later on Quent experiences the pill's side-effect - when he has to urinate he finds himself peeing "a freakin' river here".
Averted in Neon Genesis Evangelion: When Misato gets trapped in a lift during a power cut, she starts to need the bathroom. She's just short of wetting herself when the power comes back online.
Averted in Detective Conan: In one of the early cases in the anime ("Billionaire Birthday Blues"), Conan has to make for the bathroom, remarking with annoyance: "Little body, little bladder."
Comically and realistically averted in Highschool of the Dead when Komuro rescues Alice from being eaten by zombies. As he's carrying her on his back on the top of the wall she complains about needing to pee. With no other options she's forced to pee down Komuro's back while 50 corpses are trying to grab him and pull him off.
Averted and Playedfor Laughs in Naruto, where Naruto DOES need to pee. But only when it's least convenient for everyone. Including in one filler episode, where he has to pee, and his hand is glued to Sasuke's using a ball of their enemy's "spoiled" chakra, which is impossible to remove.
Averted in Transmetropolitan; Spider Jerusalem is occasionally shown going through his morning routine, i.e., taking a piss and smoking something. Also, in one scene, Channon announces she's going to take a dump the size of a birthday cake. Good to see class and taste being used to address bodily needs. And let's not forget the numerous times Spider shows his distaste for the city by pissing over the side of his balcony...
Toilet humor is rampant in Transmet - Spider corners The Beast in the men's room, "Drink My Urine Day", bowel disruptors, Spider crapping in a church, and then there's the Filth Of The City page where he's calculating the trajectory to kill his neighbor by pissing on him from his balcony. DC even sold a statue of Spider on the toilet. Truth be told, he was not pooping, since he on this statue (and in the panel the statuette is depicting) keeps his shorts on. He couldn't be pooping through his shorts, could he? Then again, Spider's shorts are probably full of holes at the bottom, since he practically never takes them off, let alone washes them...
Also subverted in Watchmen in the scene where Rorschach pursues the Big Figure into the men's room. Assuming that Rorschach insisted on stopping there for the usual reason, Nite Owl recalls an occasion where he lost a target because he had to take a bathroom break.
Averted at one point in Secret Six when on a country wide road trip Scandal tells them to pull over for apparently yet another time. This prompts Deadshot to snark about her having a "bladder like a bullet."
The Smurfs comic book story "Bathing Smurfs" has Handy build an outhouse near his house by the lake, in case anyone was wondering about a Smurf's personal physical habits.
Subverted in one scene in A League of Their Own, wherein not only does Tom Hanks' character take a leak, his all-female baseball team (whom he doesn't notice or doesn't care are there) actually time how long he pees. Come to think of it, Tom Hanks does this a lot.
In Back to the Future Part II, Marty apparently spent most of a day in 1955 locked in Biff Tannen's garage, from morning until nightfall. Once he's out, he immediately goes through several set-pieces which lead continuously into Part III. You have to wonder... Of course, since he hadn't had anything to eat or drink in the whole movie (not even the Pepsi he ordered), he never needed to go! Another possible explanation is that it was his garage so he could do what he needed to in the corner.
A classic question that is asked is how Darth Vader goes to the bathroom if he can't take off his suit. This actually is answered in-universe by means of built-in collection pouches, when Vader does have to go to the bathroom it is collected and recycled and the mechanisms in his suit which regulate his health decide when he can go to the bathroom. Plus Vader eats via nutrient tubes, and only has the luxury of eating an actual satisfying meal when he is in mediation chambers that provide purified oxygen for him to breathe without his mask, which means that Vader wouldn't have much waste flowing through his intestinal tracks for him to poop out so he doesn't even go to the bathroom that often.
How do Rebel pilots relieve themselves on those missions that involve long journeys through hyperspace? Luke going to Dagobah had to have taken at least a couple days.... The obvious answer would be suits similar to astronaut suits, but the speed of hyperdrive is such that an X-Wing would take much less than a day to reach Dagobah.
Ogre takes a really long pee in Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.
In Scott Adams's The Dilbert Principle, one way bad managers control the outcome of meetings is that they have evolved larger bladders, so that when everyone else is desperate for the meeting to end, the manager can just calmly insist on his way until everyone else gives in.
As an aside to the previous comment, one Dilbert strip features management misuse of the toilet. The Boss informs Wally that he wishes to get rid of him without having to pay him severance, and is going to degrade his working environment until he resigns. Wally replies, "Ha! You don’t stand a chance! My standards are lower than you can possibly imagine!" The last frame shows a toilet stall with a phone cable running to it. Wally’s voice: "Hi, Mom! Guess who just got a cubicle with a door?"
Truth in Television: The bomber group that delivered the first atomic bombs over Japan had a long-standing tradition that the first crewman, whether officer or enlisted man, to use the bomber's latrine while airborne had to clean the thing out afterward. Paul Tibbets, pilot and commander of the B-29 that dropped the first Big One, had perfected the art of "holding it" so that he never got stuck with this duty. Admittedly that mission wasn't exactly a "meeting," but still.
Subverted in Diane Carey's Star Trek novel, Battlestations!. The main character / semi-Mary Sue, Lt. Piper, is helping Spock fight the Enterprise singlehandedly due to an incapacitation-gas attack on the crew, and are in the midst of a major melee when suddenly... ("And when I got back, the Romulans had arrived.")
Played with in Michael Ende's book The Neverending Story: the protagonist needs a bathroom break, while which he muses why things like that never happen in books. He also remembers a scene from his religious education when he asked the teacher whether Jesus ever needed bathroom breaks.
In Ramona The Pest, Ramona gets sent out of class for persistently interrupting Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel to ask why he never had to stop for a bathroom break.
Lampshaded in Michael Stackpole's X-Wing: The Bacta WarStar Wars Extended Universe novel, in which a character notices a stormtrooper coming out of the bathroom and wonders how they can possibly... It's worth nothing that the incredibly detailed diagrams of the Millennium Falcon have no bathroom. Although, one could potentially handwave it away by having Firefly-style toilets.
This is especially obvious in Dan Brown novels like The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons which take place in a really short period of time, practically minute-by-minute, without the main character needing to eat, sleep, or use the restroom over more than a 24 hour period.
Averted in some of the Dragonriders of Pern books. Some vandals urinate on medical supplies in Renegades of Pern, and Jaxom overhears a plot to kill him while helping a very drunk Masterfisher Idarolan relieve himself in All the Weyrs of Pern. Dragon poop is also used as a fertiliser and a deterrent to keep the big cats of the Southern Continent away from human dwellings.
Live Action TV
Jack Bauer from 24. Naturally, the cast have been asked about this. The stock answer is "during the commercials."
"How come Jack Bauer never goes to the bathroom? Because nothing escapes Jack Bauer."
During Season 4, after torturing a non-suspect for non-answers he used the suspect's hotel room bathroom, coming out of a commercial, he's seen exiting the bathroom having washed his hands!
It should be noted that if you're going into a bathroom in CTU, the audience will assume you're going in to commit treason.
Jack: "24 isn't very realistic. I mean it's already two o'clock and no one's gone to the bathroom yet."
Star Trek gives rise to a famous debate as to why there aren't bathrooms in space, the first highly publicized form of this question poking fun at how such inevitabilities are overlooked on TV.
The producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation made sure they avoided this trope by including a door on the bridge which is specifically labelled "head". Once or twice in its seven seasons we even seen characters enter the bridge from this door (it's at the back, on the left and around the corner from the door to the briefing room). Thesubsequentspin-offs, on the other hand, all seemed to forget this little detail.
It's mentioned several times, but apparently the 24th-century polite term is "waste extraction".
In an early Enterprise episode, Trip has to answer an Earth child's letter asking how starship bathrooms work. The fact that we don't actually get to hear his explanation is possibly a lampshading of this trope.
At least in the 24th century, everyone seems to have a sink and a shower in their quarters, so a toilet isn't out of the question. Presumably, the makers of the show deduced that most viewers didn't want to see the crew using them.
Averted on Babylon 5. We even get to see the inside of one. The blue one is for methane breathers.
Memorably and triumphantly averted on Picket Fences, when the collective efforts of the entire family (cheering, urging, turning on sinks full blast) finally succeed in spurring the older son's bladder to empty itself. All this effort is completely justified, as he'd suffered a paralyzing spinal injury earlier that season, so his urinating proved that his nerves were recovering.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grave Danger. Nick was in that box for almost a day, yet all he's got are ant bites and dirt all over, no sign of wetting his pants.
Averted in the NCIS episode "Boxed In." After being trapped in a shipping container for most of a day, one of the first things Ziva does upon getting out is march away stiffly, stating she is going to find a ladies room.
Most DMs assume that basic bodily functions are automatically taken care of off-camera. The more sadistic or anal-retentive will have player characters starve to death if the players don't specifically specify that they have eaten in a certain period of time. The absolute worst will have PCs soil themselves because they didn't specifically specify that they'd used the restroom.
In Exalted, the Infernal Exalted have access to charms that permanently remove human weaknesses. The charm Transcendent Desert Creature means you never need to use the bathroom again.
Averted in the starship blueprints provided in FASA's Star Trek RPG. The Enterprise is absolutely infested with bathrooms (every cabin has one), and each one has what appears to be a modern-day toilet.
Note: Nearly every video game ever made poses an example of this with its characters, so it's simply easier to list exceptions such as subversions, lampshade hangings, and parodies:
In the Rogue-like adventure game Alpha Man, the main character must eat periodically, or he will die. Conversively, if he eats too much at once, he'll die of overeating. He also must fall asleep at night unless he hasn't had coffee. He still never needs to poop or pee, and when he finds a Porta Potty, a useless item he just says "Whoever used this before was sick!".
In Alundra 2, a child asks you to travel the world and document all of the world's toilets. All 3 of them!
Yahtzee Croshaw's review of Animal Crossing heavily lampshades the way the inhabitants of "Assfuckville" seem to be living in a grim parody of human life based on a fundamental lack of understanding of how and why things happen and work, rather than anything resembling a person-including the lack of facilities, mentioning that while one character does have a toilet, it's in the middle of his living room. The toilet is, in fact, an item you can acquire and it can be sat on. It even makes a flushing noise when you get off. An aversion, if you're willing to cope with the notion that you just crapped through your pants.
The Baldur's Gate series will start dealing your characters exhaustion penalties if they don't take time to sleep every so often. The NPCs will start complaining vocally when this happens. Food is not required, which Baldur's Gate 2 notes humorously in one of the game tips: "While your character does not have to eat, remember that YOU do. We don't want to lose any dedicated players."
You do however have the option of getting drunk, which lowers your fighting ability but also allows you to hear (utterly useless) rumours that you've probably heard several times in the streets.
Actually, there is a "food" item category (used behind the scenes by the game engine, not seen in-game) which has exactly one item: goodberries (which are another example of food as healing, although they're beyond worthless once you've gained a few levels: each berry heals 1 HP; not so helpful when you have 150HP).
In the adventure/action game BAT 2 : The Koshan Conspiracy, your character needed to eat regularly. You also had to worry about painfully small details, such as the exact way you were carrying your equipment. Wasting time with this makes you long for less realistic games.
There seems to be toilet bowls EVERYWHERE in Borderlands, indoors and out throughout the entire game. All of them are openable and they all contain ammo refills. The only logical conclusion is that the mooks of Planet Pandora crap out live ammunition and never flush afterwards.
Lampshaded in Tartarus Station in the new Claptrap's Robot Revolution DLC. There is a row of stalls with (ammo-containing) toilets in them. One stall, however, is occupied by a non-hostile NPC sitting on the lid. When you talk to him, he says, "Hey, you know when the water's gonna come back on?"
Further lampshaded by one of Claptrap's announcements over the PA system in Claptrap's Robot Revolution: "C'mon! Give in! You'll have fun being a robot! You'll never have to pee again, and I'll even let you pick your paint job!" Gearbox must've paid attention to the fan response to this trope.
In Brave Fencer Musashi, you have a tiredness percentage that will increase the longer you go without rest. As your tiredness increases, your movements and attacks will slow, and eventually, if you hit 100%, you will fall asleep where you stand, even if in the middle of combat! You can restore your tiredness fully by sleeping at the inn or in your room, but if you're out in the wilderness you can find a safe spot to lie down and sleep to gradually restore your tiredness, up to 50%. Tiredness can also be reduced by certain consumable items, and sleeping outside is a good way to get to events that only happen at a certain time of day, as game time advances rapidly while you're asleep.
Breath of Fire II had toilets in most homes, though the characters never seemed to need to use them, aside from diving into them during two game events (with an honorable mention going to a lift that performs double duty as a toilet). They could also barge into occupied bathrooms, which would invariably piss off the occupant.
Averted to an extent in Bully. Protagonist Jimmy Hopkins must sleep every night, and if he isn't in bed by 2 AM, he'll collapse from exhaustion. Bully also has both toilets and urinals, and while Jimmy doesn't actually need to use them, the game does keep track of how many times you've used each.
The protagonist of Cave Story doesn't have a need for any biological functions on account of being a robot, but he can still sleep in various beds throughout the game to refill health. In fact, at one point late in the game, you need to rest in order to trigger one Event Flag.
In Chaos Rings, the lack of toilets is lampshaded when the characters discuss it the shopkeeper Piu-Piu. Apparently, their sense of time is being fooled and they haven't been in the Ark for long enough to need a toilet break.
Somewhat subverted in Conkers Bad Fur Day. One boss sends fire imps after you, the only way to beat them is to drink a whole bunch of beer and pee on them. When you run out of pee you have to sober yourself up before you can drink again. Several NPCs also use the washroom during the game, although not in the washroom. Not to mention a boss that is a Big Mighty Poo. One multiplayer level has a set of washrooms in it, the only weapon you can use when you enter it? Your urine.
Terry in the RPG Contact is able to cook and eat a variety of meals and snacks, doing so raises your HP as well as temporarily raising certain stats. It also fills your stomach, effectively stopping you from stuffing yourself full of food during important battles. Interestingly, while the character's stomach content and digestion system has been implemented so effectively, he never needs a bathroom break; though taking a bath does serve as the game's Trauma Inn.
The classic Scott Adams (no, not that Scott Adams) text adventure, The Count has a bathroom in the vampire's castle, which, one presumes, is leftover from before it was a vampire's castle. In the tradition of the simplistic commands of the time ("go north", "go bed"), you were capable of saying, "go toilet". The response was, "Ah, that feels better." There was, however, no obligation to do so.
Subverted in the Crusader games by Origin Systems, a 2D-isometric shooter based on the Ultima VIII engine. While the titular Silencer was not depicted as actually using the toilet, and received no bonus for accessing it, you could in fact flush them. (This was much more exciting when the game came out in 1995.)
Custom Robo for the Gamecube in the US. Near the end of the game, one of your characters sees a bathroom and "really has to go." It's a rather eerie setting, so he's scared and asks you to come with him. You can go with him, which will lead to a series of battles, or you can repeatedly refuse, which skips it altogether... though after you beat the game and get to the "pointless obligatory tournament" part, one of them takes place in said bathroom.
Subverted to humourous effect in LucasArts’ Dark Forces Saga. One of the Imperial bases that you have to penetrate has a large toilet facility, and a number of Imperial stormtroopers can be found standing in the stalls with their backs to you. Once the stormtroopers are dead, you can examine the urinals and discover that they have... staining...
Dark Seed forced you to sleep at the end of every day, at the risk of falling unconscious and losing all your inventory.
In Dead Rising, beating the game unlocks infinity mode, where your health degrades from starvation and you must eat in order to survive. During the normal game, the only way to save is by curling up to sleep on a safe couch or using the restroom. It is hilarious when a blood-stained, half-dead Frank fights through a wall of zombies in order to relieve himself.
In Deus Ex, while you don't have to use the bathrooms, the game hides useful things in them so regularly you'd think the developers were trying to head off this trope. For added weirdness, it's often the women's bathroom, and the protagonist lacks the necessary criteria to belong in there. A few NPCs are willing to point that out when you intrude upon them.
As part of the general crude and over-the-top humor of the game, Duke Nukem 3D allowed the player to urinate into any toilets or urinals found in the game (of which there were several in some scenes). If the character uses a toilet or urinal, it flushes, then we hear him say, "Much Better!" and if his health is less than 100%, it is raised by 10% or until his health reaches 100%, whichever is less. He only gets to do every five minutes, subsequent flushes do not give him additional health. If the player destroys a toilet or urinal, the player can gradually recover his health by drinking the fresh water billowing from the broken pipelines. It is possible to take a huge leak, destroy the toilet then regain health from drinking the water. Stay classy, Duke. Stay classy.
Duke Nukem Forever has Duke occasionally gain an ego (health) boost from using the urinal. It should be noted that once you've started, you can keep going indefinitely, so this is a Bottomless Bladder of a different kind...
Dwarf Fortress's inhabitants eat, drink and sleep (less often in the fortress mode so you can actually do things between sleeping periods), but do not use the bathroom, despite having intestinal tracts that can be quite realistically ripped off their virtual bodies. The developer, Toady One, has stated that he doesn't plan on modeling that aspect of dwarven life. The game is easy to mod, though...
In some RPGs, such as EarthBound and Tales of Symphonia, food can be used as healing items. Chrono Trigger played off this, with an automatic healing machine that restored HP and MP, but reminded you that you were still hungry. EarthBound also has five bathrooms (two mens', two womens', one unisex), but they are always occupied, and thus, the player can never use them. Curiously, none of these bathrooms are located in a person's house. Tales of Destiny is also noteworthy for having toilets. They work!
Although nobody uses them, the final area of Mother 3 includes, of all things, a bathroom maze, where you have to choose the right stall to proceed. The other stalls may contain items, enemies, and the Ultimate Chimera.
EverQuest and EverQuest II both require your character to eat. You can't starve to death, but without food, you'll lose the ability to regenerate. "Better" food items allow for faster regeneration and stat bonuses.
Spiderweb Software's Exile series uses a generic food stock for the whole party. Within a town, city, village, etc., the party can walk around forever without needing to eat, but once outside, they consume food at regular intervals based on movement, and lacking food leads to significant damage from starvation. In the first Exile game, for example, the first NPC — if you bother to talk to him — will tell you where to pick up free supplies (including free food); if you just leave town and try to explore the area, you keel over after a couple dozen steps or less. You also can't sleep to recover health or spell points if you don't have any food. In the Avernum series, the 2 1/2-D remake of the Exile games, the only thing you need food for is in order to "rest" and regain health and MP — if you wanted, you could always use potions or stay at an inn to restore yourself, and never need to get any food (though it would be considerably harder).
You also regain HP/MP just by wandering outdoors in the first three Avernums.
The above also applies to Exile, hence the "long wait" command that allows you to avoid doing the walking yourself. However, you also consume food inside towns or dungeons. You can actually starve to death if you don't happen to talk to Tor the supplier soon enough (there's still a lot of time to do it, though, starvation deals damage when you're supped to eat but can't so it's a slow death).
While not strictly necessary, in Fahrenheit (also known as Indigo Prophecy in the States), you can have the characters get a drink or a bite to eat, shower, change clothes, or go to the bathroom (with appropriate discretion shot) if you've got the free time. Doing so will usually increase their mental stability by a few points, the first time you do it in a scene, and is a worthwhile activity: big morale gains are few and far between, while big losses are frequent, so the little things help out a lot. Bottoming out in mental stability leads to suicide or other bad endings.
In Fallout 3 you can eat (but it's never mandated) and you can sleep (but it's never mandated), and you can "use" a toilet...but you probably don't want to. From the sound effect and the game mechanics, the Vault Dweller seems to drink from irradiated toilets instead of using them in the conventional sense.
Notable in that when you sleep in a bed you own, you gain a temporary boost to all experience points you get, because of being "well rested," since, as it's in your house, you don't have to worry about Random Encounters.
Occasionally in Megaton, a character might decide to walk into the appropriate bathroom within town. This is not seen anywhere else in the game, so perhaps Bethesda tried it, didn't like it, then forgot to remove it.
Final Fantasy VI allowed you to use any of the toilets you came across. It wasn't required, though - more a comic interlude. Amusingly, the only toilets in the world are in Vector, in the Big Bad's fortress (hey, the emperor of the world isn't going to put up with substandard facilities).
And while you never needed to go to the bathroom in Final Fantasy VII you are required to help someone else to so to complete the Cross-dressing quest and you need to enter the Shinra building's restroom to find an air duct opening in order to have a way to spy on a board meeting.
Similarly, in Shadow Hearts, there are a couple plot events and side quests that revolve around a bathroom in a tavern in Prague. None of the main characters ever need to use the facilities, but NPCs do.
In Final Fantasy VIII, there is a toilet visible in the dorm upgrade Squall moves into after he attains SeeD status.
In Gothic, the player character only uses food and sleep to recover health points, but the NPCs live fairly normal lives - they sleep at night, and at least one of the less sympathetic male characters will, if watched for long enough, wander off to take a piss against a tree.
In Grandia II you often had to sleep to advance the story line, and you would choose to eat at the Inns where you would be treated to a conversation between all the main characters while they chomped away at the same leg of orc throughout the conversation. As with most Role Playing Games, no toilets were to be found.
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the main character has to eat occasionally. Sleeping is implied to occur when game time is skipped (when saving, periods in jail or hospital), but otherwise the player character becomes hungry after a somewhat realistic amount of time, first losing fat reserves, then muscle mass, then the health bar. If not countered by eating, you end up in the hospital.
Near the end of Grim Fandango, in Hector Le Mans' casino, Manny can use the men's room. He comes out exclaiming: "¡Qué alivía!" ("What a relief!"). Notable in that Manny is a resident of the Land of the Dead, and lack of normal bodily functions would therefore be justified.
In the same vein of space suits that seem to possess extraordinary bladder-emptying technology, the Master Chief in Halo never seems to need the bathroom, or food.
In Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, a particular house upgrade includes a bathroom and a room to wash your hands in. Nothing's ever seen though (thank goodness), and you can abuse the system by making your farmer go to the toilet over and over and over..... It's actually a tub room and a shower room. Nami's child will sometimes ask you to take a bath with them, and the two of you enter one of the rooms. It doesn't help that the tub room sounds a lot like pooping.
Played with in the Hitman series, where some of the NPCs visit the facilities so frequently that they should probably see a doctor about it. Typically, they are either the mission's target or someone else the player could benefit from knocking out/killing. However, they are generally the only characters in a given level who use the restrooms.
In the Commodore 64 game Impossible Mission, Dr. Elvin Atombender’s spacious underground lair featured, alongside the usual computers and tape drives vital to any world domination exercise, many items of domestic furniture including toilets. Of course, the player didn’t get to make use of these, only search them for codes.
In the early days, many Interactive Fiction games attempted to add "realism" by requiring the player to eat. This often added to the difficulty by requiring the players to find (rare) food items, pretty much constantly, as authors never really got how long a human in a crisis could go without eating. In one egregious example, the protagonist of Infocom's Stationfall had to eat almost hourly lest he fall into a coma and die (within the parody-Space Opera setting, this was explained by the comically low nutritional value of futuristic food).
So many players complained about this "feature" in Infocom's Enchanter, that at the beginning of the sequel, Sorcerer, you find a magical potion that lets you go without food for the rest of the game automatically.
In the browser-based MMORPGKingdom of Loathing, food and booze are how a player acquires more turns, or 'adventures'. This is limited - a player can only eat so much before they become too full to eat any more, and can only drink so much alcohol before they become too drunk to adventure. These limits are reset once per day. Also, "Pastamancers" are more adept at creating food than the other character classes, and likewise "Disco Bandits" are masters of the art of cocktailcrafting. The bladder variant is also lampshaded, in a small, random adventure:
After travelling for a while, you discover a need to go to the bathroom (which rarely happens in these games, but hey, you've gotta go sometime, right?)
In the Bad Moon only adventure "You Look Flushed", you start to use the toilet, but the woman who haunts the toilet pops out of it. (Before you start, thankfully) You receive a buff, and in the buff's description, it says "To put it delicately, you're in serious need of a trip to the powder room". Your stats are lowered, presumably because you're doing a potty dance everywhere. The player character probably won't just return to use that toilet because it is the only one in the kingdom.
The Commodore 64/Amiga game, Little Computer People (basically the great-grand-daddy of The Sims, circa 1985) featured a toilet, which your Little Computer Person would use at reasonable intervals. Also, if you didn’t top up his water tank and fill his cupboards when they were empty, he would sicken and eventually expire.
In the classic game Maniac Mansion, you do encounter a restroom at one point, but your characters never feel the urge to use it. In fact, if you tell them to use it, they'll respond, "I'd like a little more privacy for that!" They do think it's fun to flush it, though.
Mass Effect 2 averts this in a similar vein, as your starship Normandy has gender-separated bathrooms that can be entered. Since you can select your gender in that game, and your ship is equipped with an Artifical Intelligence that can see you no matter where you go; you can even get a helpful reminder by said AI that you seem to have entered the wrong door. The bathrooms remain in the sequel, but now the computer locks the door for the bathroom opposite your gender.
In Metal Gear Solid, there are a few areas with toilets (Most notably the area before the Mind Screw Psycho Mantis Boss Battle) in which the guards can be found relieving themselves (A funnier example of this is in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty), which leaves one to wonder: was it the nanotechnology in Snake's body that renders it unnecessary for Snake to take a break? Either that, or the suit's just very, very self-contained. Y'know. Like an astronaut's. Considering the game takes place over the course of a few hours, tops, it's probable that he just holds it in. Adrenaline can do that, ya know. Also, the notable time period where he is required to waste a lot of time (assumed to be three or four hours, maybe more), he's being tortured, which tends to have the unfortunate side effect of loss of bladder control...
However, even though Snake never has to use the bathroom, there is an easter egg in Metal Gear Solid 2 where Raiden uses the urinal (it can be accessed by looking at a urinal in first-person view, and then talking to the Colonel).
A huge portion of the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is finding and eating various things, though he still never has to relieve himself...Well, then again, Naked Snake does wet himself upon being electrocuted in the torture scene... It's implied that he does that whenever you save, along with sleeping.
Samus Aran of the Metroid series also has no problem with this, though that might be what Save Points are all about. Not to mention you can return her to her albeit tiny ship regularly throughout the games and there may be a potty on it. Unlikely though. It's also possible that her Powered Armor has some sort of recycling system built into it.
Jack Thompson's "A Modest Video Game Proposal" laid out a spec for a game in which the player character gets revenge for the murder of his son. As part of the revenge, the player murders the CEO of the company that made the game that his son's killer played, as well as the CEO's family, and then urinates on their brainstems, "like in Postal 2." Though it was intended as parody, a few independent game designers created games based around Thompson's proposal. In one such game, "I'm O.K: A Murder Simulator," not only was the urinating on brains part included (as a bonus stage in which the brains bounce across the stage), but in later levels urinating can be used to put out fires.
In the Hordes of the Underdark Expansion, the Protagonist's kobold companion Deekin will narrate your progress through certain areas. Often these are lampshades of this Trope, mentioning how sore his feet are and how he wishes that 'the Boss' would let him stop for a bathroom break.
Future Games' Next Life, aka Reprobates, allows your character to regain a little health if he eats, drinks, and/or uses one of the urinals in the huts. Just the urinals, mind: he never has to defecate, although another character is seen seated on the toilet, moaning about his bowels.
Subverted in No More Heroes and Chulip by having the heroes go to the bathroom in order to save the game.
Both used and inverted in the Overlord games. Your main character never needs to eat or use the toilet. However, you can order your goblin minions to plunder alcoholic beverages which they will immediately guzzle down. About 5 seconds later they will urinate it all back out again.
Although Aya never eats anything in Parasite Eve 2, she can drink soda to restore HP and MP, but never has the urge to go to the bathroom. You do get to find a few toilets in Dryfield, but Aya comments about the disgusting sanitary conditions they are in and won't go in the stalls.
In Persona 3, using the restroom is not required, but is one of two ways to obtain the ever-useful "Great" health status (the other way is to skip studying in favor of going to bed early). It is, in fact, more likely that you can heal your own "Tired" or "Sick" status by using the restroom than by seeing theschool nurse.
Persona 3 and Persona 4 are also notable for not directly modeling having to eat constantly, but in a very realistic way; the way the game breaks up into "morning/noon/afternoon/evening" allows for the idea that things like eating and restroom usage are done "off-camera"; it's also quite possible to spend time on a "significant" meal or the like (which will raise a social stat, usually) and a lot of the "Social Links", especially in 4, occur at mealtime. The end effect is a very realistic feeling that characters are in fact living day-to-day lives.
The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series sits on the fence with this one. The game's "Belly" mechanic forces you to take along/find Apples to eat in the dungeons or you'll starve and start losing health with every step you take. But you'll never hear Pikachu complain about the lack of facilities in a 99-floor dungeon...
Postal 2, a PC game in which you play the role of an amoral sociopath, allows you to urinate completely at will. Your "bladder" has a bottom, but refills rather quickly. Urinating is done mainly to annoy people - try urinating on the cops and see what happens!
Try getting a cop outfit so you're not arrested, then throwing a doughnut on the ground, pissing all over it, pick it up, then find a cop and give them a tasty treat. Also, your piss can be turned into a stream of napalm in enhanced mode, immediately setting people, cats, your dog etc. on fire.
Somewhat subverted within the game; early on in the last day, the player character says something along the lines of "I really gotta take a whiz". Doing so reveals his urine is now green and brown and thick: he's contracted gonorrhea, and he makes a note to get cured. Of course, you can go on urinating on people all the same, causing them to vomit.
Quest for Glory series require the character to both eat and sleep regularly, dying from exhaustion/hunger is very possible. Luckily, the inns provide both of these services in all games, and travel rations are always available at modest prices.
Rogue and its descendant NetHack both require the player character to eat, but at relatively realistic intervals. While Rogue merely provided generic "food", NetHack includes a wide variety of comestibles, ranging from fruit and iron rations to the corpses of the monsters you slay (which may give you powers or weird afflictions) and on occasion even tins of preserved food (which the player can also make himself from monster corpses if he has acquired a tinning kit...). NetHack also tracks the freshness of various foods; it is possible to get sick and die from eating spoiled or tainted meals. On top of this, eating too much (usually to acquire stat boosts from monster corpses) can cause you to choke and die from a burst stomach. Food can also be used to tame enemies and to train pets to steal from stores.
NetHack's descendant, Slash'EM, contains toilets. While the character still does not need to use them, doing so will increase hunger, lowering the risk of dying from overeating.
In many western RPGs you can explicitly sleep if you want, but you don't have to. You can stay awake for months (of the game time) without ever having to sleep. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fable are prominent examples of this. It should be noted however, that in Oblivion while it isn't technically required, the player needs to sleep when they level up.
In Episode 1 of Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Season 1, clicking on the bathroom door in Bosco's Inconvenience Store will cause Max to use it, and will make Whizzer have to pee upon hearing the toilet flush. (you will need to make good use of this gag later on, when you have to catch Whizzer) You can click on the door many times, and Max will keep using the toilet, leaving one to wonder if Max has a bladder problem just like Whizzer...
Parodied in Scarface: The World is Yours, where it is possible if not mandatory to "Take a Piss" at dumpsters and restore some health in the process, implying that the relief from emptying Tony's bladder is quite great. Pseudo-realistically, players can't "abuse" the system by going again immediately. Amusingly enough, Tony is shown grasping at air slightly forward of his groin and no liquid is seen. Apparently some things are no-go even in a mature title.
In Shenmue, the main character Ryo Hazuki did not need to eat, but did need to return home every day for sleep, except for plot purposes when he was woken up in the middle of the night.
The online game The Ship Murder Party uses food, drink, and various other needs as a way of stopping people from simply waiting for the round to end in a dark corner instead of actually looking for your target/avoiding your killer. However, the game designers failed to notice the fact that players could simply wait in areas that everyone needed to go to, then attack them there. That's kind of another reason they put those in: a great time to kill your quarry was to wait until they needed the toilet and ambush them there.
The Silent Hill series subverts this by having toilets galore, often very creepy ones.
Life-simulation games such as The Sims explicitly have a need for the characters to use the toilet.
Annoyingly often. And if their needs are completely filled, thus removing the game-mechanic-type-reasons to autonomously do basically anything else? They'll go to the bathroom out of sheer boredom. (At least, if there aren't any other Sims handy to interact with.)
In the third installment of The Sims franchise, you have the ability to purchase a lifetime reward called Steel Bladder. Once purchased, your Sim never has to pee again.
In The Sims Medieval Sims still need to eat and sleep, but not to pee. They can use chamberpots for a small mood buff, but they're never required to.
Lampshaded late in Space Quest V: The Next Mutation, when, as Roger Wilco approaches the enemy spaceship, he belatedly realizes that he hasn't gone to the bathroom for the entire game, and his bladder emits a small whimper (or something to that effect).
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow Of Chernobyl, there are bathrooms, though your character never uses them. What's odd is that you can come across people sleeping, or at least lying down, but your character doesn't sleep a wink in the game (over the course of several days). If you search, you can find a rumour that says that some of the emissions are causing sleep deprivation and horrible nightmares, and that one of the items that is supposed to cure it is a bucket.
The player still needs to eat though, and energy drinks can be consumed to replenish endurance.
In Startopia, the facilities known as "Lavotrons", "Dine-o-Mats", and the various berths and hotels exist to satisfy the organic needs of the odd aliens on the station. There's even the "Love Nest", staffed by the angelic Siren species, that alleviates the need for "companionship", in a relatively G-rated way.
A perfect example of this trope (not a subversion of it) is Super Mario 64. The player can visit every single room in Princess Toadstool's castle, and not one is a bathroom. Nor do bathrooms show up in any other incarnation of her castle seen in the past twenty plus years. Of course, this is the same princess who is routinely kept in small dungeons and cages for entire games without the problem of sanitation ever coming up, so perhaps this is justified. It should be noted that the castle doesn't have a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, or a dining room either. It has a rec room in the DS version, but that's about it. When the castle is revisited (with the same design!) in Paper Mario there is a kitchen and a bedroom, but no bath.
One could start to wonder what she needs a plumber for in the first place.
Averted in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood where there is a bathroom in Club 41 and Guybrush does use it.
Subverted in the Team Fortress 2 video "Meet the Sniper," with an increasing number of jars filled with yellow liquid.
If Ark from Terranigma eats a healing bulb that would have healed him beyond his full health, he'll get a little sick.
Thief II: The Metal Age has very well designed levels which feel like the NPCs actually could live in them, which generally include toilets. The exception is Life of the Party where a huge tower full of people manages to get on fine without any toilets at all...
In the first Ty the Tasmanian Tiger game, the checkpoints in levels are outhouses. If Ty ends up using one, he comes out accompanied by an 'Ahhh...' sound.
In Tycoon games, like RollerCoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, etc. bathrooms and snack facilities are vital parts of the environments you manage. Truly sadistic players will charge for the use of the bathroom in question. Naturally, if it's a zoo-sim game, the animals also require food and water, and deposit plenty of poop in their enclosures.
Early Ultima games tracked ration stockpiles, and assessed a penalty with each move for "starvation".
Unreal World, a survival roguelike set in iron age Finland, has a fairly detailed system for warmth, hunger, and thirst. While this is all part of the charm of the game, it becomes extremely tempting to go Hannibal Lecter on your opponents, and find a new source of provisions.
The Witcher: Geralt doesn't need to sleep, or eat (but he can for minor health boosts that happen quicker naturally then going through the menu to do it) etc. Being a Witcher is an implied explanation for sleeping (he meditates instead) and a possible mutation is being able to eat non-food.
And then they turned "Jarate" into an unlockable weapon with an ammo count of one jar. You get another after fifteen seconds. The In-Universe explanation for this is that the Sniper takes pills to triple the size of his kidneys for this impressive feat.
Many servers boast "24/7" maps, where it's always one location being fought over (usually 2Fort). Prepare to get booted for inactivity if you have to go away from the keyboard for a food and/or bathroom break.
Subverted in The World Ends with You; the main characters can eat foods purchased from various restaurants around Shibuya (which seemingly never spoil), and will even remark on their preferences in cuisine. The foods confer stat bonuses upon eating and "digestion" through battles, but (until the Bonus Chapter, anyway) can only eat a certain amount of food per real-world day.
The strange part is that despite having to "Digest" the food, Nobody Poops. Either Neku is taking advantage of the fact that no one but other Players and Reapers can see him, or... Ewww....
In World of Warcraft, players aren't required to eat and drink, but, aside from accelerated health and mana recovery, it can give the player a temporary power-up called "Well Fed". Oddly enough, this also applies to such an exotic playable race as undead.
On top of that, players will often eat even when at full health only to gain (and maintain) the "Well Fed" buff. Well Fed only comes from self-made food, though.
The undead, by the way, have the ability to cannibalize nearby corpses, which restores health.
Before version 3.0, the Hunter class had to feed its pets to keep their happiness high, or they'd abandon the hunter. Now, happiness only affects the pet's damage and, with a certain augment, they don't even need food to keep them happy.
The human male will /joke about taking a whiz behind a tree.
While the playable characters never need to go to the bathroom, there is the occasional outhouse scattered here and there around the world. There is even a quest which involves discovering an occupied outhouse and then providing the occupant, who refuses to come out, with a few sheets of soft fabric.
Burning Crusade locates an outhouse (the only one for miles, it seems) in Honor Hold, the main Alliance town in Hellfire Peninsula. There is a long line of NPCs waiting to use it, issuing dire threats to whoever is inside. They've been doing this for years.
Wrath of the Lich King gets some Toilet Humor out of a questline in Grizzly Hills that starts when the player eats some seeds that he shouldn't have, and subsequently has to find the means with which to ... expel them. This is the first and only time in the game that your player "officially" poops.
Cataclysm features a questline in Mount Hyjal where the player, impersonating some badguys, gets his orders from an NPC hiding in an outhouse. One of the quests involves impersonating an Ogre by hiding in their outhouse to don a costume. No Toilet Humor this time, though.
Made fun of in thisGoblins: Life Through Their Eyes strip.
At the end of the first run of Darths & Droids (The Phantom Menace), Qui Gon's player emphatically argues against using a special reroll power that might have NOT gotten him cut in half, because that specific ability can only be used once a day and they never stopped to sleep during their entire adventure, so it MUST have been just one day (how do you measure a day in space anyway?). It's not until the exasperated DM concedes the point and declares his character DEAD that the player realizes what his nitpicking just accomplished.
Cracked Photoplasty advertises undergarments and supplements that make this possible in "Ads for Products That Must Exist in Video Games": #20 and #4.
In Noob, Arthéon got kidnapped by Master Zen in real life and was presumably tied to a chair for a whole week. At best, not getting tied back well enough after a bathroom break could explain how he managed to escape on his own.