Step to the left, then step to the right.
Put your knees together, and squeeze real tight
Keep your arms moving, side to side.
Try to hold it in 'til it's time to ride.
Knock, Knock, let me in.
Knock, Knock, let me in, I gotta go, uh!gotta go! The situation grows tense as she slowly becomes more and more restless, but at last her speech is finished and she can dash from the classroom in search of some badly needed relief. It's a dance of the ages, that sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant collection of movements intended to resist the body's natural urges and avoid a messy disaster. Most commonly observed with children or those experiencing a lengthy Potty Emergency that might just ultimately result in a Potty Failure. Like those two tropes, it is frequently Played for Laughs.
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- Pull Ups had a commercial where kids do the Potty Dance (albeit not a dance meaning you need to go, but a dance about the potty). It has steps! You can visit their website to download the song.
- In the commercial for cat litter, it showed cats doing the potty dance, a method of leaning forward on their hind legs with their paws on their crotches, occasionally hopping.◊
Anime & Manga
- In the first chapter of Tail Chaser, the main Cat Girl does this.
- In Episode 6 of Miami Guns, Yao does this.
- In Detective Conan: Conan fakes a Potty Emergency during a case this way (in order to Pull the Thread on the suspect).
- Strawberry Marshmallow: Chapter 14/Episode 6: Miu does it while lying on the bed because holding it in is temporarily preferable to entering the bathroom without a Varia Suit.
- Maruko in one of the Chibi Maruko-chan manga issues/Episode 297, where she starts doing "the duck walk".
- Izzy in the second part of Digimon: The Movie (though his reason why depends on whether you're watching the dub or original — either Tai's mom's cooking kicked in or Koushiro simply drank too much).
- In Elfen Lied, Lucy (as Nyuu) does this, before finally just going on the floor.
- Ojamajo Doremi has episode 7, where Pop has to take a whizz extra bad due to having a bit too much ice cream.
- In volume 2 of Tokyopop's Warcraft: Legends manga, a little girl does this in the story "Family Values."
- Mikan often end up doing this in Go! Go! Itsutsugo Land. She never makes it...
- Saiyuki: Goku does one in the movie while the group is staying in the mansion of Houlan's master.
- Yo-kai Watch: The Youkai Fidgephant causes people (and other Youkai) to do this by giving them Potty Emergencies.
- Sena does this in Episode 10 of The Comic Artist and His Assistants.
- Eris does in Chapter 7 of the manga of Mushoku Tensei.
- The main Ojousama, Shizuka, does this in Chapter 2 of Ojousama wa Nigedashita! while waiting for Tooru to get out of the bathroom.
- Usagi does the wriggly sitting-down variant in Act 31.5 and the corresponding manga chapter of Sailor Moon Crystal, much to Chibiusa's embarrassment.
- Lala does a squirming sitting-down variant in OVA 6 of To Love-Ru.
- Honoka does the legs-together sitting-down variant in Episode 18 of The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye.
- Sae does a Seiza Squirm variant of this in Episode 3 of Magic User's Club.
- Eri does a Seiza Squirm version of this at the start of Episode 2 of Strange Dawn.
- In Episode 1 of Petopeto-san, the titular character does the Seiza Squirm variant of this.
- Referenced in one episode of Crayon Shin-chan, where Mitzi was panicking when she noticed she had a spider crawling on her hand. Her son Shin walks outside and thinks she's doing the "Pee-pee dance".
- In Episode 5 of Maken-ki! Two, Aki does a one-handed version of this.
- In Episode 10 of Future Diary, Minene does a one-handed version of this.
- In Episode 8 of Shimoneta, Anna does this.
- In Episode 23 of Osomatsu-san, Osomatsu does this.
- In Season 3's Episode 10 of Yuru-Yuri, Akari does a hands-free version of this.
- In Episode 2 of Yosuga no Sora, Akira does a hands-free version of this.
- Ikkitousen: Bachou does a hands-free variant of this in Episode 5 of Xtreme Xecutor while held captive.
- Prison School:
- In Episode 12 of Masou Gakuen HXH, Aine does this.
- In Episode 2 of Interviews with Monster Girls, Machi's body does this.
- The Green Apple Quicksteps card from Shadowrun, which removes an enemy runner from play for a turn.
- In Rainbow Dash vs the Toilet, which is a fanfiction of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic featuring the Mane Six and Luna as foals, Fluttershy does one of these at the end, while remarking that she "has to go potty really bad".
- Another My Little Pony fanfiction set a year or two after Season Six when the Cake twins are about two called Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures and Misadventures in Potty Training, Pumpkin does this in the chapter "Fluttershy and the Missing Potty" and later they both do this in the chapter "Two Foals, One Outhouse". Pound does this on a cloud in "The Great Cloud Flush".
- There is a meme of Captain Kirk from Stat Trek The Original Series in a position which looks like this out of context. Spock is saying "Captain, if you need to go, go. Doing the pee-pee dance is not logical."
Films — Animated
- Monsters, Inc..
Sulley: That's a cute little dance you got there, it's almost like you gotta...Boo: (squeals desperately)Sulley: Oh! (cut to Sulley standing outside a stall whistling)
- Toy Story 3: Probably as a Call Back to the above Pixar example, Bonnie does this during playtime with Woody at her house.
Bonnie: (to Woody) Want some coffee? ("drinks" from plastic cup) It's good for you, but don't drink too much or you'll hafta...hafta...◊ be right back! (runs to bathroom)
- Over the Hedge: Hammy the Squirrel does this after waking up from hibernation.
Films — Live-Action
- Blazing Saddles: When Taggart gets an idea he gets excited and jumps around. Hedley Lamarr thinks he's doing one of these.
- Bronson Pinchot does this in a film called Second Sight, except it's an extremely elaborate dance they call the peepee dance. He plays a psychic who is channeling someone else who has to pee.
- Mentioned in The Great Muppet Caper; Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo are developing pictures to catch a jewel thief, but they do it in the Happiness Hotel's only restroom. As Pops says, "Catch him in another room! We got people dancin' up an' down on one leg out here!"
- An outtake exists from an Abbott and Costello film of Costello stopping a take by doing the dance because he had to pee.
- In this 2004 German Made-for-TV Movie Prinzessin Macht Blau, the titular character does the jiggling-up-and-down variation of this trope.
- According to Robert Parrish's autobiography (he was one of the Little Rascals), they called this a European, or You're a'-Peein'.
- Fregly in Diary of a Wimpy Kid reportedly does this while screaming "JUICE!! JUUUUIIIICE!!!!" as part of his bizarre use of slang.
- When Rowley is having a Potty Emergency while trick-or-treating, Greg draws him doing this.
- When Greg has a potty emergency in The Long Haul, he interprets his pig's circling motions as him also needing to go.
- A scene in Darth Vader and Son, a non-canon Star Wars picture book, depicts little Luke Skywalker doing a dance that is possibly this.
Vader: Luke, do you need to go potty?Luke: No.Vader: Well, you're kind of doing a little dance.Luke: I don't have to go.
- In Men at Arms, the corrupt and bullying Captain Quirke kicks Gaspode The Wonder Dog. Gaspode, a dog capable of human-level speech, gets revenge by planting the suggestion in Quirke's mind that he really, desperately, needs to go to the privy. Right now. note Quirke's speech of gloating triumph to the seemingly defeated heroes is deflated by his doing the Potty Dance while he tries to gloat. Eventually, he gives up and runs for it.
- A young prince does this in the children's book Prince Farfenugen and the Potty Dance.
- In Horatio Hornblower novel The Commodore, Hornblower desperately needs to escape a reception line at an imperial dinner because he's realized the Finnish translator provided to him plans to assassinate the Czar (using pistols stolen from Hornblower) and provides "the only excuse he could think of" to the master of ceremonies to get away. Though that excuse is not explicitly named, that Hornblower hopping from one foot to the other in his haste adds to the effect makes it pretty clear.
Live Action Television
- The Love Boat: Isaac does this when forced to share a cabin (and a bathroom) with the other male crew.
- In The Revenge Files Of Alistair Fury a boy does this whilst waiting outside the toilet while Alistair and his friends are holding a meeting inside it. (He doesn't make it).
- Spoofed in Malcolm in the Middle where Dewey's way of charming their babysitter is to bounce up and down singing "Poopy poopy poopy" over and over.
- In the "Unfabulous" episode "The Road Trip" Addie is going through her flashbacks of her dad talking about the car, sports show. The last one shows her dad singing from behind the bathroom door, and Addie is squirming while having a potty emergency. He continues to sing as she waits impatiently in agony desperately waiting for the restroom.
- The MythBusters tested whether this method was more or less effective at staving off the inevitable, with inconclusive results. It works for some people, but not for others, depending on invidual biologies.
- Inverted in Tour of Duty. One of the soldiers is suffering from the runs, and has to keep going off into the bushes while on patrol to drop his pants. While he does so, a huge toad jumps onto his dropped pants. At the same time, he happens to see some Vietcong slipping out of a tunnel to evade the American soldiers; the soldier quickly yanks up his pants and Hilarity Ensues.
- Bear in the Big Blue House: Tutter does in the book version of "When You've Got To Go." The book even describes him as "dancing from side to side."
- A children's songwriter named Judy Pancoast wrote a song called The Potty Dance, which is about a school child who is doing this while having trouble paying attention at school, after drinking a lot of milk and water. It is described in the intro as "swinging your hips from side to side, hopping up and down, knocking your knees together and looking really uncomfortable".
- A song on YouTube, entitled the Pee Pee Song, goes "I really have to go pee. I'm doing the pee-pee dance." as part of its lyrics.
- In the song My Willy Won't Go by a person known as Koit who does Toilet Humor songs, the protagonist is seen doing this at the end while queueing at the toilet stall.
- I Need to Pee, which is a song parodying The Little Mermaid's Under the Sea, has the line "I do this crazy dance or else I'm gonna wet my pants."
- The Sims: Sims do this and yell at the player to get their attention so the player can direct them to the restroom.
- In RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 & 2, park guests with a high enough bathroom score change their normal walking animation into a frenetic one of these, particularly if your park's bathrooms are poorly placed or if you're evil enough to charge to use the bathroom. In Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, the park guests do this when their Toilet meter is high.
- In the Tamagotchi PC Pack game, all the Tamagotchi except for Kuchipatchi and Ichigotchi do this when you say the command "Use the bathroom" through the microphone.
- Final Fantasy VII features in NPC at the Wall Market bar doing one of these while waiting for a sick bar patron to finish up.
- A special Bad Moon adventure in Kingdom of Loathing parodies Nobody Poops by having your character suddenly realize that you've never emptied your bladder, ever. The resulting effect increases item drops, because dancing always increases item drops in this game.
- An app designed to help toilet train children has the protagonists do this while saying "I really have to go".
- Chibi Jaune is stuck doing one as people get in the door ahead of him, but he doesn't want to admit to Pyrrha why he's acting like that.
- Pingu does this in "Pingu's Lavatory Story".
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012): Sunil does this in "Sweet (Truck) Ride", and Zoe does this in "The Very Littlest Pet Shop".
- Futurama: Bender does it briefly in Bender's Big Score after drinking a bunch of beers, lampshades comments on the lunacy of a robot having to go to the bathroom.
- Recess: Mikey, after T.J. makes him drink water from a hosepipe.
- An unnamed Water Tribe boy does this in the second episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Wakko during the Potty Emergency Trope Namer Animaniacs cartoon.
- The Simpsons:
- Homer Simpson does this after drinking way too much crab juice.
- Otto is mesmerized by Ralph's Potty Dance in "How The Test Was Won".
- Loopy did this in KaBlam! due to Larry being in the bathroom too long...he recently got muscular, and was admiring himself.
- In the second season of the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! cartoon, the Killer Tomato Task Force had to fake one to get past the tomato guard and rescue Doctor Gangreen.
- Beavis And Butthead both do this in "Take A Number".
- In The Penguins of Madagascar, Mort does it in in "Friend In A Box" after drinking a lot of lemonade given to him by Kowalski and Julien. Julien remarks that he never learned "that dance." Being the king, he just goes wherever he is. Kowalski takes two steps away from Julien upon hearing that.
- Pinkie Pie does this in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Last Round-Up" after a long train ride.
- Ren and Stimpy as "Fire Dogs" are awarded the sacred Golden Fire Hydrant helmets - after doffing them they discover a long line of dogs behind them doing The Dance.
- Beast Boy in Teen Titans does a potty dance while waiting for Starfire to get out of the bathroom as she examines a large growth on her head. It gets amusingly annoying when his dance is interspersed with various cuts to water sounds.
- The episode "Serious Business" from the spin off Teen Titans Go! has a whole musical number about this, as quoted and linked to above. It's that kind of show.
- Rosie does a wriggly sitting-down version as Mommy carries her to see Santa Claus in Caillou's Holiday Movie.
Mommy: (trying to sit her in Santa's lap) What is it, sweetie?Rosie: Bafroom.
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood:
Teacher Harriet: I can see you're wiggling around a little bit. Do you have to go to the potty?
- Prince Wednesday in "Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty". Teacher Harriet lampshades this. Daniel gets one in that same episode too.
Daniel's Father: Is that a dance move?
- Daniel while at the music store in "Daniel Goes To The Potty". His father lampshades it as well.
- In Camp Lazlo Lazlo beat Edward in a lemonade drinking contest and when called over for a winner picture he started to do this dance in the episode "Hold It Lazlo".
- Nina does this in every episode of Nina Needs To Go.
- In Tutenstein, this is the first thing the titular character does after waking up from the dead.
- In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "The Secret Serum", the whole gang fakes a Potty Emergency and decides to make it more convincing by Potty Dancing. note
- In the episode of What's with Andy?, Andy has a Potty Emergency and lampshades his Potty Dancing by saying and daydreaming "Hold it in, do a dance, that's the way to keep dry pants".
- Caitlin does this in "Boo, Dude!", "Fish And Make Up", and "Cheapskates".
- Jonesy does this in the beginning of "Over Exposed".
- Stoked: Emma does this in Episode 8.
- Chuckie does this at the end of the Rugrats episode "A Dose of Dil", and again at the beginning of "Potty-Training Spike".
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "SpongeBob vs. The Patty Gadget'' Patrick is not celebrating SpongeBob's victory over the Patty Gadget because he has to go to the bathroom, and is visibly doing a potty dance.
- In the Fairly Oddparents episode "Crime Wave" Mom and Dad decide to have a prune juice drinking contest after they lock Timmy in the bathroom to force him to take a bath. Towards the end of the episode they are both doing a potty dance as they try to get back in.
- In the first episode of Freakazoid!, Duncan does this while Dex is holed in the bathroom after being surprised by his new Super-Powered Alter Ego; amusingly, despite being a Big Brother Bully, Duncan says "I have to make tinky!".
- The Loud House:
- Lincoln does this in "Bathroom Break!" and "In Tents Debate", both times at his house.
- Leni does this in "Kick The Bucket List" while at the park.
- In Legoland in Windsor near one of the toilets, there are two Lego men doing this.
- Truth in Television for just about every toddler on the planet.
- There's an old joke saying that tapdancing was invented by a man called Stepan Stepanovich who was inspired by the unusual dances his family performed every time he occupied the toilet for too long.
- Two toilet signs in a building in New Zealand depict this.
- A How-to YouTube channel maker has a video called "How to Do the Need to Pee Dance", which has two professional dancers called Adrianne and Zach relaying the scientific theories on why some humans do this and doing a version that would be the most effective to this theory. They then combined the theories to create the "Ultimate Need to Pee Dance". It really looked like a dance!