Embarrassing Damp Sheets

I guess I should've listened to what my mother said
"Now don't you drink all that fruit juice right before you go to bed!"
I had a little accident, no need to call the president
Can't we just get over it instead?
Generation O!, "Damp Sheets"

This trope is whenever a character has a Potty Failure in bed (most of the time urinary) or (if they are a woman) leak menstrual blood in bed, or experience Nocturnal Emission (particularly for men).

Most of the time if a character wets the bed (the most common form of the trope), it will be Played for Laughs, as bed-wetting is associated with children, so in many works there will be Funny Moments with the bed-wetter trying to hide the accident, and, if they are found out, the other characters teasing them about being childish. If the character had a reputation for being tough, cool, or in any other way enviable, the character may worry they have lost their reputation, and if it's a children's show, the character in question will often be a child who wants to be more grown-up and their family either sets up An Aesop about how wetting the bed "can happen to anyone" or helps the child overcome the bedwetting.

Leaking menstrual blood in bed is slightly less embarrassing, but can still be embarrassing due to its unclean stigma. Nocturnal Emission may be embarrassing or not, depending on how lusty or un-lusty the character is.

A subtrope of Potty Failure. Supertrope to Wet Dream.


Examples:

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    Anime And Manga 
  • In episode 8 of Ojamajo Doremi, Doremi's fairy Dodo wets the bed, but Doremi is blamed for it.
    • Pop also does this in Hana-chan's body in episode 5 of Naisho, which, along with her strange behavior at breakfast, alarms her parents and Doremi that she isn't acting normal.
  • In Sailor Moon, Chibiusa wets the bed at one point. Since she was sleeping in the same bed as Usagi that time, Usagi had to clean it up and Shingo teased her for it. This also triggers a flashback in which Chibiusa recalls how she once wet her bed at home in Crystal Tokyo and expected to be punished, but her mother Usagi's adult self aka Neo Queen Serenity comforted her instead. The bed-wetting was cut out from the English dub, though when Serena is airing out her mattress, you can still see a wet spot.
  • In the Doraemon episode "The Insect of Ignorance", Nobita finds Suneo's diary and learns that he is a bedwetter and has to wear diapers to bed. He uses this fact to scare his friend Gian, who winds up wetting himself upon hearing it.
  • Ranma ½:
    • During some unspecified time in his early childhood, the macho, self-assured protagonist wet the bed. And his father took a picture, too, which he later pulled out while Ranma underwent psychological training to maintain a "soul of ice" needed for a new ultimate technique. Needless to say, Ranma did not maintain an icy anything.
    • Not actual bedwetting, the fourth episode has Tendo Nabiki pour cool water on Ranma while he slept, changing him into a girl. Nabiki takes cheesecake photos of girl-Ranma to sell to the lovestruck Kuno Tatewake, then pours warm water on Ranma to restore him to a boy. Hilarity Ensues when Ranma, who surprisingly slept through all that, wakes up moments later, and wonders if he did wet the bed.
  • In Kamen no Maid Guy, Liz wets her bed after having a nightmare about Kogarashi and his crows. It's later implied that these nightmares are recurring, when she shows up at a shrine looking for a way to stop it from happening.
  • In an early episode of Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō, Shimajiro wets the bed, and leaves his pants out to dry on his window. Toriipi helps the pants to dry by putting magic crystals on them.
  • In one episode of Yume No Crayon Oukoku, it is revealed that Princess Silver is a bedwetter.
  • In one part of Axis Powers Hetalia, England irritates everyone by falling asleep during a meeting. America suggests they just let him sleep, in hopes that he'll talk in his sleep and say something embarrassing. England (who raised America) then mutters "America, did you wet the bed again?"
  • Wandering Son:
    • Up until she began high school Maho slept in a bunk bed with her younger sibling. In an aversion to No Periods, Period, Chapter 30 showed her waking up in the night with bloody pajamas and sheets.
    • A flashback that shows trans woman Yuki had her first Nocturnal Emission at a school field trip as a child. She was embarrassed and confused but her future boyfriend Shiina didn't mention it when he caught her washing her underwear in the bathroom.
  • In Bunny Drop six year old Rin starts wetting her futon due to the stress of her father dying, and having to living to live with her adult nephew. She's embarrassed and insists it's sweat however Daikichi takes it well.
  • In Dr. Slump Arale finds a young girl who is putting her sheets to dry after such an incident. Fascinated by the whole thing she attempts to wet her own bed by various methods, not realizing that she can't wet the bed on account of being a robot.
  • In episode 2 of Idol Time PriPara, Yui is annoyed that her older brother, Shougo, is bothering her. To scare him away, she shows him a picture that she took when he was younger of him crying with a wet bedsheet next to him and the caption "This is amazing, Shougo!". This, along with an approaching group of fangirls, makes him run away from her.
  • Domestic na Kanojo: In Chapter 79, there's an unusual case with Natsuo - one of his wet dreams results not in the usual Nocturnal Emission, but in a nosebleed so severe he has to wash his shirt and pillowcase in secret. Rui notices him sneaking into the bathroom and follows, first making a quip about him having a period, then wondering just what he was dreaming about to get a nosebleed that huge. It was her.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin's teacher Hiko Seijuro teases him about how Kenshin wet his bed until he was eight.
  • In Seven Mortal Sins, after a heartwarming moment where Lucifer allows Leviathan to share her bed, the next morning, Levi wet it, angering Lucifer.
  • In Binbō-gami ga!, the title character Ichiko was turned into a child by Momiji (in a failed attempt to actually make her elderly and thus easier to capture). Ichiko manages to stay with the Tsuwabuki family pretending to actually be a child with home issues. The following morning she gets up, she's angry to find she wet the sheets, having forgotten she now has the bladder of a child. She cries in embarrassment, which causes Mika to give her a hug.

     Asian Animation 
  • In the Pororo the Little Penguin episode "I Am Not A Bed Wetter", Crong forgets to use the bathroom before bed, so he wets the bed, but doesn't mind. The next night Pororo forgets to go to the bathroom before bed, so he too wets the bed, and he DOES mind, trying to hide it from his friends, he is ashamed because he snapped at Crong for wetting the bed. This leads to An Aesop: Don't forget to use the bathroom before bed.

     Film 
  • One of the characters in the film Trainspotting wishes he had only wet the bed. What he did was... worse.
  • In The Waterboy, Mama points out to Vicki the obviously stained sheets drying out on the clothesline. The title character mutters in humiliation "Excuse me, ladies, while I just go hang myself."
  • In Monsters University, one of the modes for the scaring simulator is "Bedwetter".
  • In the original Spy Kids, Junie reveals that Carmen is actually the bed wetter, although she takes great pains to appear more mature than him.
  • In the movie version of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, there's a very Squickish scene where one of the children suffers from the poop version, thanks to food poisoning.
  • In Annie (1982) Pepper accuses Molly of wetting the bed.
  • In Babe a puppy says to Babe sleeping in the same place as them, "But Mom, [Babe will] wet the bed!"
  • A Brick Joke character from Home Alone is notorious for intentionally doing this.
  • Clownhouse: a boy wets his bed at the beginning, and is referred to throughout the film by his family.
  • In Big Daddy, a boy wets the bed and the dad covers it up with newspapers.
  • In A Triumph, the main character's son wets the bed and his parents wake him up to take him to the bathroom.
  • In Goodnight Mister Tom, the boy who gets sent to live in the country during W.W.2 wets his bed several times.
  • A girl in 2012 has a bedwetting problem and uses diapers.

     Literature 
  • This happens to Andrew in the Robert Munch book I Have to Go, but is averted at the end when Andrew wakes up feeling the urge and asks Grandpa if he has to go, and they both pee in the toilet.
  • In Just Stupid, the story Busting, has a Potty Emergency that turns out to be All Just a Dream and Andy wets the bed.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid it happens to Greg in a flashback in Cabin Fever, when he recovers his bedwetting chart from when he was eight, and "defends himself" by saying that when he was that age, he'd drink lots of water before bed and then have crazy dreams about running water that made him wet. Also in Old School Greg says he does not want to sleep in a bunk below the nervy kid Julian Trimble in case the latter wets the bed. In The Last Straw, Rowley and three of his younger friends try to do the Hand In A Bowl Of Warm Water trick on Greg but he wakes up. One of Susan's books in her closet is called Bedwetting for Beginners.
  • In a Jane E Clark book Dippy's sleepover a dinosaur called Dippy is embarrassed about going to a sleepover at his friend Spike's house due to wetting the bed, but it turns out Spike wets, too.
  • In the Uncovered story Ringing Wet, a sassy girl called Misty wets the bed every night, in addition to wetting her pants, when she is excited or being tickled. Later she saves the day by wetting the bed and starting her alarm on purpose, leading to a pair of burglars being arrested.
  • Happens in a Bravery and Grace book Attack of the Wet Knights.
  • Jet Johnson and Tui Tapara try to hide their bed-wetting in the Jacqueline Brown book A Wee Secret.
  • It happens in the Max Archer Kid Detective book The Case of the Wet Bed.
  • A girl called Cecelia wets the bed in the Jeanne Willis book Do Little Mermaids Wet Their Beds? and stops wetting after a dream adventure with a mermaid, whose bed is always wet being under the sea.
  • A boy rabbit wets the bed in the Maribeth Boelts book Dry Days, Wet Nights. By the end of the book, however, he's overcome this.
  • In Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator after being turned into babies and then brought back, Georgina says George was cuter as a baby but she likes him better as an adult as now he does not wet the bed.
  • In Superfudge, the now-middle child Fudge begins wetting the bed (and his pants) because there is a new baby in the house and he wants to be a baby too.
  • There is a Hope Vestergaard book Potty Animals: What to Know When You've Gotta Go, in which some preschooler-aged Funny Animals named Wilbur the hedgehog, Wilma the pig, Arnold the crocodile, Freddie the rabbit, Helga the duck, Benji the lemur, Roxanne the hippo, Stanley the tiger, Sukey the raccoon, Georgie the bear, Farley the anteater, Agnes the mouse, and Ziggy the fox each have their own lesson they need to learn in bathroom etiquette. Sukey's lesson is "go potty before bed." When she didn't she probably wet the bed, but it is a bit cryptic in that they say she dreamt about water and when she woke up it was not a dream.
  • In the Caroline Levine book David's Secret Soccer Goal, the boy David has two main goals: win at soccer and stop wetting the bed in time for camp.
  • In a children's book The Princess and the Pee, a small princess wants to stop wetting the bed so she can sleep in the top bunk and see the fireflies.
  • In The Babysitters Club Super Special #11 The Babysitters Remember, Stacey's flashback chapter has her wetting the bed at a sleepover while sharing with her former best friend Laine. Her parents pack her off to a fancy shrink thinking something's wrong with her head, but it turns out to be a sign that she has diabetes. (Earlier in the chapter she'd been drinking a lot more than was normal.)
  • Lila Fowler in the Sweet Valley High series used to wet the bed as a child whenever she slept away from home. This was thoroughly explored in book 6 of the Sweet Valley Kids Spin-Off, where she was afraid to come to the twins' sleepover camp-out only for the twins to find out and promise to keep the secret.
  • Lada in And I Darken experiences this of the period variety when she's twelve—and this horrifies her, because she's being held hostage by the Ottoman Empire, and this gives them cause to marry her off. She burns her bedsheets and nearly kills a maid who finds them.

    Live Action TV 
  • On United States of Tara, Tara's dad thinks he is wetting the bed, but they find out that one of her alters, Gimme, (aka the poncho goblin) was sneaking in at night and peeing on him.
  • Kaamelott: During one episode centered around secrets, Karadoc asks Perceval if he'd ever told his secret to another person. Perceval says he's pretty sure he didn't, but he's not sure. We then get this exchange:
    Perceval: [yelling from across the crowded pub] Hey barkeep! Did I ever tell you how Karadoc wet the bed until he was 17?
    Barkeep: Can't say you have, no.
    The matter happily settled, Karadoc and Perceval get back to their drinks.
  • Carefully sneaked into The Brady Bunch, episode "Kelly's Kids", a show from an era when they couldn't even show a toilet in the kids' bathroom. It actually involved the neighbor's kids, in an episode where they adopted three boys of different ethnic backgrounds. Their first night at home, one of the two boys who share a bunk bed wants to get up for a glass of water.
    Steve: What if you have an accident in the middle of the night?
    Dwayne: Why should you care?
    Steve: You sleep right up there! (audience laughs)
  • In Frasier, Niles Crane had a childhood bed-wetting problem. He blamed this on an imaginary friend called Sheldon, who was the one who wet the bed and ran away.
  • The episode "The President's Fitness Test" of The Goldbergs has Barry translating a French song incorrectly, where the line "I pee-peed the bed!" appears multiple times.
  • An episode of Diff'rent Strokes has Arnold fake bedwetting in order to get attention.
  • The Spanish children's show Cachureos has a song titled "Haga Pipi" ("Make a Pee-Pee"), which tells listeners to use the toilet before bed, otherwise they will urinate in bed all the way down to their toes.
  • In The Go Show George wets the bed in one sequence.
  • Game of Thrones features Sansa's first period in season 2; she promptly tries to cut the bloodstains out of her bedsheets before anyone sees, so Joffrey doesn't try to take advantage of her ASAP.
  • Averted in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; a suspect explains why her blood was on the bed where a murder took place: she and the victim's husband were going to have sex there, but then her period came. (And she kept the sheets to prove it, since she was a Stalker With a Crush.)
  • In a CSI: Miami episode, a teenage girl disappears from her bedroom in the middle of the night and the only sign of a struggle is a small pool of blood on the sheets. It took the CSIs a disturbingly long time to figure out that the girl had started her period during the night.

    Music 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Inverted example in a The Far Side comic; a goldfish child complains to his mother that his brother dried the bed again.

    Video Games 
  • One stage in Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 has the cheer squad help a small boy avoid wetting the bed in his sleep, a task made difficult by the energy drink he downs before bed and the water-themed nightmares he gets as a result.
  • Aloe of Quiz Magic Academy has some issues with bedwetting.
  • The patient whose blood you need in the No Mercy level in PAYDAY: The Heist soils himself all over the bed after several vials of blood are drawn from him. Since he is infected with an unknown disease, it's presumed he has no control over his bodily functions because of it.
  • Dragon Quest V: Party Chat reveals that Parry still occasionally wets the bed (he's eight though, so it's slightly more excuseable).
  • In Catherine, Vincent finds himself wetting the bed several times over the course of the game. Given that he nearly dies each night, the wetting is justified. However, he is unable to remember the dreams and thus is embarrassed each time.

    Visual Novel 
  • In Dangan Ronpa, the sadistic mastermind tries to blackmail the entrapped students into murdering each other by threatening to reveal each of their individually most terrible secrets. The Player Character, Makoto Naegi, however, turns out to be such an innocent Nice Guy, that the worst secret about him the mastermind is able to find on him is that he was a bed-wetter until 5th grade, something which is certainly embarrassing, but doesn't get even close to be as incriminating or life-ruining as some of the secrets the other students harbor.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Super Mario Logan:
    • In the episode, "Bowser Junior Gets Potty Trained!", Junior awakens to find his bed wet, and immediately jumps to the conclusion that he's a mermaid. Chef Pee Pee isn't fooled, and he tells Junior that he wet the bed. The rest of the episode deals with Junior being forced to wear diapers by Bowser, since he is unable to use the toilet properly at first, until Toad teaches Junior how to use the toilet through a rap song.
    • Junior wets his bed again in "Chef Pee Pee's Birthday Surprise!", after he has a dream about the Statue of Liberty, due to the fact that it's surrounded by water.
    • In "Joseph Moves In!", Joseph pees all over Junior's pillow. When Junior tells Chef Pee Pee about it, Chef Pee Pee doesn't believe him and thinks he's blaming Joseph.

    Western Animation 
  • Rugrats:
    • At the end of the episode, "Chuckie Vs. The Potty", Angelica wets the bed. Justified, since she's at the normal potty-training age.
    • A later episode revolves around Chuckie having bedwetting accidents in Tommy's bed and the other babies trying to help Chuckie stay dry.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • In the episode "Pee Pee G's" had the girls freaked at the possibility that one of them is wetting the bed. This is subverted somewhat in that the answer is none of them: it was Mojo Jojo sneaking in during the night and pouring a bottle of water on the bed to screw with the girls' heads. However, when confronted, Mojo finds it so hilarious that he laughs until he "breaks his water bottle."
    • In "Powerprof", it's confirmed by Professor Utonium that Bubbles used to wet the bed. Cue the Brown Bag Mask.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "How I Wet Your Mother", Homer gets a chronic bedwetting problem, which he spends the whole episode trying to cure.
    • In one of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, Bart awakens from a nightmare. His first words after calming down and looking at his bed sheets are, "I hope this is sweat."
    • The episode, "Girly Edition" features Milhouse having a segment on a children's news program giving advice on how to cover this up (this later becomes a Brick Joke when soiled bedsheets are pointed out in a landfill site).
    • A subversion occurs in the episode, "Brother from Another Series" when a dam breaks and floods Springfield. Ralph floats by on his bed and says, "I think I wet the bed," though it is unclear whether or not he really wet his bed.
  • Generation O! had an episode called "Damp Sheets". The quote above pretty much summarizes the whole episode.
  • One quickie shown during an episode of Garfield and Friends had Jon mistake Odie's drool beside Garfield's bed for urine. Due to this, Jon puts Garfield in a diaper, and then Garfield diapers Odie's mouth.
  • In an episode of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Kevin Meaney said he once mistook chocolates in his hotel bed for poop once.
  • A rare aversion happens in Magic Adventures of Mumfie on two seperate occasions when Mumfie and Scarecrow went to bed immediately after eating (for Mumfie) and drinking (for Scarecrow). Instead of going to the bathroom in the bed as one would normally expect, they both get bad dreams.
  • In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy wets his sheets after having a nightmare about clowns, prompting his Mother to use a giant bottle of laundry detergent. Later, Billy's Father comes into the laundry room holding wet sheets of his own from a nightmare he had about Santa Claus.
  • Arthur: In "Jenna's Bedtime Blues", minor character Jenna is worried about going to a sleepover because she wets the bed.
  • One episode of Sanjay and Craig has Sanjay wetting the bed the night before going to Remmington Tufflips' sleepaway camp, and tries to keep himself from doing it at camp. When it eventually does happen, he tries to bury the mattress to keep people from finding out, only to discover that Tufflips has been doing the exact same thing.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show:
    • In "Stimpy's Fan Club", Ren reads a letter to Stimpy about a fan being embarrassed because he wets the bed. Ren is about to answer back with an angry letter about how he's going to tell on him when Stimpy stops him, saying that wetting the bed is nothing to be a shamed off; in fact, "You and I still do it." At which Ren suddenly covers Stimpy's mouth in the hope that no one heard.
    • In "The House of Next Tuesday", there is a bed that activates by adding water. Stimpy then pees in the bed, causing it to expand until it covers the whole house.
  • Lampshaded in the Little Princess episode "I Can Keep a Secret", Princess guesses wetting the bed as General's secret, then when he says "No", she continues "When I do that, I put a sheet over it" so he says "I-Did-NOT-Wet-The-BED!".
  • An episode of Hey Arnold! has Olga telling Helga's classmates an "inspirational" story about a little girl who wet the bed until she was seven-years-old and strived to overcome her problem, eventually succeeding with only one or two little accidents. The kids are quickly able to figure out that the girl in the story is actually Helga and tease her for it.
  • In an episode of Anton entitled "The Bed Wetter", Anton, a small boy, goes to a camp with some other boys but he wets the bed on the regular so he attempts to stay up all night to avoid the other boys laughing at him. However, he meets another boy who also wets the bed and they become friends.

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