"YOU GUYS!! I HAVE TO PEE SO BAD!! I'M GONNA PEE RIGHT HERE!!!note
A comedy routine which involves a character really
having to go to the bathroom, and being prevented from doing so by various plot contrivances. This often climaxes in a frenetic scene where the character darts desperately from location to location, clutching his/her groin
, searching for someplace, anyplace
where he/she can empty his/her bladder. The search will usually prove unfruitful — and the visited places progressively more embarrassing — as the routine wears on.
For example: the routine may start with the character partaking in a drinking contest of sorts. (Possibly involving Klatchian Coffee
or a Gigantic Gulp
.) Shortly afterwards, all the fluid he drank swarms his bladder, and he rushes to the mens restroom, only to see a sign on the door: Closed for Cleaning. He tries to sneak into the womens restroom instead, and we hear screams coming from inside followed by a couple irate women chasing him out. The character then runs outside and darts behind a nearby tree to relieve himself, only to find it occupied by a child playing hide-and-seek. The character then runs off and ducks into an side street, only to find a young, cardigan sweater-wearing couple
strolling down it. The character quickly high-tails it out of there and hides behind a nearby school bus. No sooner has he started unfurling his pants, than he looks up and notices that the bus is filled with a group of gawking nuns
who are staring slack-jawed down at him. After a few more failed attempts at hiding and peeing, the character finally ducks into a building, runs down a dark corridor and into a room filled with rows of folding chairs, a podium, and a waste-paper basket. Sighing happily, the character unzips his trousers and starts relieving himself into the waste-paper basket — at which point, the lights go on and a large group of burly police officers start filing into the room. Only now does the character notice the huge sign hanging on the wall at the back of the room which reads: "International Order Of Burly Police Officers Training Seminar #27: How to Spot And Subdue A Sexual Predator." As the scene fades to black, we hear the sound of a hundred nightsticks hitting the cranium of our hapless potty-goer.
Sometimes a Potty Emergency won't end like this, but instead, end with the character fainting or just giving up and going in some random place, damn the consequences. Or, even more humiliatingly, it will end when the character just can't hold it any longer, resulting in Potty Failure
. Very rarely does it end with him/her finding a suitable bathroom in the nick of time, but when it does, it ends with the character often enjoying that delicious euphoria that comes when such stress is relieved.
A person trapped in a Potty Emergency can expect to be sadistically subjected to all sorts of "watery" imagery
— flowing water, spraying water, splashing water, kids running through sprinklers, water fountains, and worst of all, lemonade
. All of which will remind him of the one thing
he so desperately wants to do, but can't. Relatedly, a character who has to go to the bathroom while asleep will have dreams of such watery imagery.
This trope can also happen on another end of the body, as the effect of food poisoning
or a laxative or emetic prank
Sometimes a variant has the character(s) looking for a place to perform some non-potty-related but similarly private activity such as changing clothes, making out, or whatever
Sometimes this is punctuated with the character engaging in a little Calling Your Bathroom Breaks
Compare with Anti-Sneeze Finger
, Inconvenient Itch
, and Excrement Statement
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Anime & Manga
- A Meanwhile strip in an issue of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac had a guy on a date with Devi desperately trying to hold back an attack of diarrhea. His final line, "Somebody put s*** in my pants!", has since become synonymous with the series.
- In the Squee! spinoff series, the titular character had been holding it in for two days. He manages to find a bathroom, but the violent, spasmodic diarrhea from the next stall cut him short.
- Brittany Diggers undergoes one of these while in a submarine in the first issue of the full color version of Gold Digger. She spots her sister's favorite thermos, and stares at it as her sister and Ryan unknowingly make more and more innuendos involving needing to pee. The joke is shortly dropped in rather anticlimactic fashion, though since it's heavily implied that, yes, exactly what you would expect did happen, maybe it's best that they didn't show the obvious "hilarity ensuing" of that.
- Poor Mace in Dreamkeepers has a mild case when running waters reminds him that he needs to go. When he seeks seclusion, he is prevented from relieving himself by the Nightmare that was following the group. He even had his pants down, flashing the Nightmare and Wisp.
- This is the running gag for poor Superintendente Vicente in the Mortadelo y Filemón book El Bacilón. The eponymous monster is disintegrated at the end by a single slap from El Súper because it stood in between him and the toilet.
- A one-off strip in Viz entitled Doctor Poo (sic) featured the Fourth Doctor in a pan-galactic quest for somewhere to defecate.
- A drug commercial for the bladder-control medication Detrol has a Junior High teacher trying to teach while desperately holding it in and waiting for the bell....what she CAN'T hold in is the fact that she needs to go. To the great amusement of her students.
- Many of the Detrol TV spots feature similar situations. In another one, a traffic cop struggles to hold her bladder during rush hour. When a nearby fire hydrant erupts, she can't stand it any longer and literally stops traffic while she runs to the rest room.
- A series of print ads for Fresh Step cat litter depicts felines undergoing◊ these◊ due to their inability to find the "odor-free" product.
- The teaser for *NSYNC's Superbowl performance was that they were in the middle of going to the bathroom.
- In the (uncompleted) Superbad fanfic Memories of the Past, Seth and Evan went to a carnival in the 8th grade, and Evan drank too much punch. When they got on the Octopus, Evan just couldn't hold it anymore, resulting in a big yellow puddle forming at his feet. His pee then splashes the both of them when the ride tilts sideways.
- This Sega All-Stars Racing fanfic, in which Beat gets diarrhea from eating at Taco Bell.
- Greenland in a series of Axis Powers Hetalia fanfictions often suffers from these, either because she's trying on the guys' old traditional clothes and she can't take them off, or because the other countries are ignorant/oblivious to her need.
- In Sonic Zombie Doom Ship the Movie, Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Rouge, and Amy all get diarrhea from eating Vector's Sweedish meatballs. Sonic and Shadow in particular realize this after their own guts wake them up in the middle of the night, and send them rushing to the (apparantly only) bathroom. Amy's occupying it at the time.
- Chapter three of the Magic Adventures Of Mumfie fanfiction Scarecrowella And The Healing Idols has Scarecrowella go through this as soon as they get to the concert hall. The Secretary of Light, whom is watching them, decides to use dark magic to create a bathroom line, which causes Scarecrowella to freak out and shout "Hurry, hurry, hurry up!", transforming the duo into janitors to cut the line. Scarecrowella later claims that the reason he suffered one was that because he's a scarecrow who's just trying to adjust to the human world, he isn't quite toilet trained yet, which explains why he wets his pants when nervous in other chapters.
- In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg goes into his brother Rodrick's room; when Rodrick finds Greg, he chases him to his bedroom. While locked in his room Greg says "Rodrick, time out—I really gotta go!" to which Rodrick replies "No time outs—only death." We then see Greg waiting forever until finally, he tries to try to run through Rodrick. He opens the door, only to find that Rodrick has left his shoes there to fool him. Greg rushes to the bathroom and tells Manny to get off the toilet, and he starts relieving himself, but... Rodrick jumps out of the shower and Greg turns to face him—at which point his parents come in. This all adds up to a hilarious scene.
- One scene in Are We There Yet features Ice Cube's attempts to find a bathroom for one of the children he's babysitting. They find a bathroom, but the toilets are so filthy that the child resorts to peeing in the sink. That's when a woman shrieks in horror and Ice Cube, who's holding the boy, turns around to face her...
- The 1968 comedy The Party has a long sequence involving this. The hero (Peter Sellers) cannot find a single unoccupied bathroom on the ground floor of the mansion where the titular soiree is being held. Then the young starlet he has a crush on is to perform a song for the other guests, and out of politeness and interest, he puts his search on hold for several minutes as she sings - literally painful though it is for him to do so. Once she's done he sneaks upstairs and uses the fancy bathroom there, and with that taken care of, soon he's facing a whole different set of problems...
- Buffalo '66 begins with Billy getting out of prison and asking the guards to let him back in so he can use the bathroom. They refuse. The next twenty minutes or so revolve around his attempts to find somewhere to pee, during which time he also kidnaps Layla and persuades her to pose as his wife in front of his parents.
- American Pie uses it in a cruel prank where Finch, who has indicated that he never uses public bathrooms for fear of germs, gets his drink spiked with laxatives at school. Cue the boy's bathroom being down for repairs, no toilet seat covers, etc.
- In Two Weeks Notice, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant leave a tennis game (in white uniforms, natch) and find themselves stuck in a traffic jam — just as the chili dogs Sandra has eaten start "barking." Fortunately, they manage to locate an RV in the line of traffic.
- In Bean, Mr. Bean sneaks into an art museum to swap paintings of "Whistler's Mother". To keep the security guard busy, he pours laxative onto the man's coffee and swaps the bathroom keys. The guard makes a desperate attempt to use the bathroom.
- In Trainspotting, shortly after Renton decided to quit using heroin after "one last hit", he has a sudden case of the runs after his drug-induced constipation goes away, and ends up having to use "The Worst Toilet In Scotland". His relief at finding a toilet in time turns into a (quite literal) Oh, Crap moment when he realizes that the opiate suppositories he'd recently taken had yet to melt, and he now has to fish them out of the toilet.
- In Young Guns 2, an elderly reporter has to go but is stuck on a horse. In case the viewer had any doubts, said character loudly and desperately announces that "I have to have a movement" repeatedly. He manages to dismount, onto a cycad. It is not known whether or not he made it in time.
- Played straight in Magnolia when Stanley has to pee during the taping of the game show.
- The 1970s Disney movie The Apple Dumpling Gang has a Running Gag of the girl announcing that she has "to go."
- At one point in the Korean film She's on Duty, a scientist on the run from criminals meets with his high-school student daughter in the girl's bathroom. While they're in there, the door's locked, and a line of increasingly aggravated girls gather in front of it. Eventually, the door slams open into them, causing Potty Failure... though by that point their response is more along the lines of "Oh, heaven..."
- Happens to Forrest Gump, simply saying "I gotta pee!" as he meets President Kennedy. Drinking a dozen Dr. Peppers will do that to you.
- In the Matthew Broderick movie Biloxi Blues; a soldier in ranks has to pee, and the Drill Sergeant Nasty views his discomfort and makes him do two hundred pushups before letting him go to the bathroom.
- In Rat Race, Jon Lovitz is speeding through the desert with family in tow in a race to a fortune. His young daughter begs him to make a rest stop, telling him "I'm prairie dogging!" - when he realizes what that means, he's horrified and disgusted (as we all are).
- Throwaway line in Help! - as the Mad Scientist makes his way to the Beatles in a motorized rubber raft he tells his lackey "You should've thought of that before we left!"
- Happens to Teddy in Save Your Legs when he comes down with a bad case of Delhi Belly after eating Indian food.
- Another non-potty version comes in the feature-film version of the '60s Batman: "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
- One urban legend involved a potty emergency. A woman really needed to go, but the only place within walking distance that had a functioning restroom was a funeral home. She pretended to be a mourner so she could use the facilities. Afterwards she decided to pay her respects anyway and discovered she was the only person at the funeral. Later she is told that the deceased's will stated that his entire fortune should be divided among the people who attended his funeral. Since she was the only one there she inherited all of his money.
- A joke: Two guys are going to the theater (that sort with the stage, not with the flicks). Shortly before the play begins, one of the guys feels he has to pee, so he starts looking for the bathroom, but can't find it and gets more and more desperate. Finally, behind a door he finds an empty, badly-lit room, pees into a vase and goes back to his seat. Being arrived there, he asks his friend: "Did I miss something?" The friend answers...
1. "Seems to be one of these modern art pieces - some guy enters, pees into a vase, and exits."
2. "Hey, you should know. You were at the stage after all."
- A joke book title: 1000 Yards To The Outhouse, by Willie Makeit. The actual distance may vary, but isn't really the point of the joke. (It may also be edited or illustrated by Betty Dont, with an introduction by Doris Locked.)
- This eventually spawned a tractor puller to name his tractor after the joke.
Live Action TV
- When Beakman's World talked about toilets, Lester really needed to go to the bathroom...but is holds it in until he finds out whether toilets can explode like in the olden days. Then, when he finds out they're safe...someone else is in the can already!
- Happened on three different occasions to Hannah Spearritt, in Miami7 (During the episode "The Blue Chevy"), La7 (During the episode "Into the Unknown") and Viva S Club (During the episode "24 Minutes Till Doomsday") . Surprisingly, it remained funny.
- An episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has a Potty Emergency with no resolution. Sabrina is shrunk to the size of a Barbie and trapped in a dollhouse. The dollhouse has no bathroom, and she makes a big deal about having to use one (doing a Potty Dance and the whole bit). Only a couple scenes later she stops mentioning this or acting like she has this desperate need, and once she's restored to normal size she doesn't seem in any hurry to get to a bathroom.
- A rare non-potty version of this trope occurs in a sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which a beachgoer, played by Terry Jones, is desperately trying to find a private place to change into his bathing suit. He ends up finding such a place... behind a soon-to-be-raised curtain at a burlesque theater...
- A similar premise was used for a challenge on Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, in which contestants had to quickly find a concealed place to change into their super-costumes in the middle of a busy city plaza. (Ironically, one competitor changed behind a port-a-potty.)
- Another clothes-changing example: the silent Laurel and Hardy short Liberty has escaped convicts Stan and Ollie putting on each other's pants by mistake, and spending much of the film trying to find a suitable place to exchange them. They're repeatedly exposed just as they're dropping their pants together, leading to the onlooker(s) getting the wrong idea.
- And the first episode of Being Human sees George dashing through the woods desperately seeking a place to transform into a werewolf and encountering civilian after civilian. He ends up going back home instead.
- That '70s Show: Happens to Hyde, Kelso, Fez, and Jackie from after Donna and Eric put laxatives into a batch of brownies they fixed for them. After Kelso comes out of the bathroom and marvels at Donna and Eric's "wicked burn," he eats another brownie.
- When Joey gets an audition with a famous Broadway actor/director in Friends, he goes along having just had a drink and needing to pee. This, evidently, makes him a better actor (since he plays a nervous man with lines like "I could go right now!") He has an even worse potty emergency when he goes for the call back, due to trying to need to pee for the audition. This unfortunate circumstance leads to him having Potty Failure whilst said famous director is hugging him...
- Happens to Major Winchester in the M*A*S*H finale. The latrine is literally destroyed by a tank. When he resorts to going out to the woods he ends up 'capturing' a group of Chinese soldier-musicians when they won't stop following him around.
- In an episode of The Love Boat, flooding necessitates the male crew sharing a cabin, causing Isaac much anguish (and jumping around) when person after person manages to get into the bathroom just ahead of him. When he finally gets the facilities to himself, there is a few moments of silence behind the closed door before a glum Isaac comes back out, saying "Now I don't have to anymore."
- In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer cannot find a place to go number 2, and ends up constipated.
- In an even more famous example, Jerry, and later (and to a somewhat lesser extent, though with the same result) George both experience this trope while trying to find their car in a labyrinth parking garage. Kramer's advice to both is to urinate behind on a wall behind a parked car. Despite Jerry's early protests that he's actually proud to hold it in because it "builds character," he eventually loses his will to resist and takes Kramer's advice. Later, George is less difficult to convince. Both are quickly caught by the same security guard who keeps them in his office until they agree to pay a fine. This takes a while, as both are intent on finding an excuse that he'll accept. Jerry claims he suffers from "ural mysotisos poisoning", an imaginary, deadly disease which he further claims earned him a government pass which allows him to urinate anywhere penalty-free due to the fatal nature of his condition. He later claims he is urgently trying to reach his parents for their anniversary, made all the more special because his father supposedly was just released from decades in a Red Chinese prison. George later tells the guard the same story with slight variations before realizing Jerry is being held in the office too. The guard later appears as a witness in the trial in the finale episode, using this incident as testimony against their moral character.
- Another Seinfeld scene (in The Barber) has Newman pretending to have to use Jerry's facilities as a ruse to steal a lock of Jerry's hair.
- A Running Gag in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide involves Ned accidentally going into the girls' bathroom.
- Also in one episode, Moze is desperate and waiting in a long line to the girls room and makes numerous attempts to relieve herself, first she tries going to the other girl's room, only to find it just as crowded, then she tries to disguise herself as a boy to get into the boy's room, which almost works until Cookie blows her cover, then finally her and the girls get fed up with waiting and charge into the boys room to finally relieve themselves.
- At one point in an NCIS episode "Family" , Abby hastily excuses herself to the bathroom. This likely shut up a lot of the fans who wondered how she can manage to drink so many large cups during the day without need to go to the restroom.
- In another episode, Tony and Ziva get locked in a dockyard shipping container for most of a day. When they're set free, Ziva's first action is to head directly for the ladies' room, an intention she explains in tones that promise mayhem for anyone who gets in her way.
- In a sketch on Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle plays a laborer who desegregated a factory's "Whites Only" bathroom, because he dashed in there with explosive diarrhea.
- A self-inflicted Potty Emergency is implied on Britcom The Good Life, when the couple decide that they've gotten too hung up on money. The husband demonstrates his renewed commitment to anti-materialism by symbolically discarding their last penny ... only to be asked for said penny by his wife, who needs to use the streetside pay toilet.
- Roz on Frasier has a case of this in the beginning of the episode "Room Service" she holds up a sign asking Frasier to go to the bathroom but tells her to wait a moment, but she simply can't considering how Frasier's guest is talking about water.
- In the 11th Season episode "Crock Tales", Frasier and a blind date become stuck to one another with superglue, and the date is on a liquid diet which catches up with her at that moment.
- Jennifer Ellison has a case of this on Hotel Babylon (Episode 13).
- C.C. has a brief case of this in The Nanny during the episode "Schlepped Away" in which she desperately holds it in. She finally relives herself when she gets to Fran's parents house.
- In another episode, where Fran and Val are kidnapped, Fran manages to trick their captors by offering them her mother's chocolate-coated laxatives, telling them it's candy, resulting in both of them having to make a mad dash for a bathroom. (After Maxwell finds and unties them, he still rejects her advances, causing her to sigh, and then offer one of them to him too. The episode ends at that scene.)
- A scene in Married... with Children ("Field of Screams") where Al chains himself to his old high school football goal to prevent the stadium from being torn down, and is just about to give up since he has to pee (after realizing how dumb it was to drink a Big Gulp before chaining himself to the post), he tells Kelly to unlock him from the chains so he can take a leak but learns that the key doesn't fit and decides to take a leak while being chained up.
- During an episode of According to Jim ("The Thin Green Line") in which Cheryl arrives at a bar to use the bathroom after drinking a few cups of green tea but the bouncer tells her to to just take a leak in the alley, she eventually does but gets arrested for public urination. When Jim bails her out, he tells her it's one of the hottest things she's ever done.
- In another episode, Andy's girlfriend is desperate to pee and he insists on asking her to marry him before letting her go, she hurredly says yes to him so she can go and relieve herself.
- During an episode of Monk in which Julie is dying to go to the bathroom however she eventually uses the bathroom in the band Korn's bus.
- One test on MythBusters was to see if driving while severely having to pee is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Naturally, Adam had to fill his bladder to bursting, then get buzzed. The first test is funny, but the second combines Drives Like Crazy with Sir Swears-a-Lot, and driving drunk is shown to be more dangerous.
- In the Psych episode "Ferry Tale", Gus badly needs to use the restroom (to vomit) but when Shawn takes him to the bathroom, they are forced to wait while it's used by a large group of work release prisoners, and one little boy.
- In the show iCarly in the episode iCarly Web Awards:After Carly and Sam present a web award, Sam announces "And now since I drank five sodas before this thing started tonight, I must go pee" Carly then groans exasperatedly "Sam!" to which Sam retorts "You want my bladder to explode live on the internet?" Carly gets disgusted and says "Ew, no!"
- During the episode "Doll House" of Wizards of Waverly Place in which Alex shrinks herself to play in her dollhouse and gets a mild potty emergency.
- Kisha and Jen were eliminated from Season 14 of The Amazing Race when, after reaching the location of the pit stop, Jen insisted on taking an urgently needed bathroom break. Jaime and Cara passed them and reached the pit stop first while Jen was in the port-a-potty.
- In one Royal Canadian Air Farce sketch, Mike from Canmore (John Morgan) walks into a MENSA membership office while trying to find a bathroom. The interviewer (Roger Abbott) proceeds to give him a water-related quiz. And it's raining outside. And the roof leaks.
- In an episode of Hiccups, Millie rushes into Joyce's office, mentioning she has to "pee like a race truck." When she is held back, she starts doing a Potty Dance and the whole bit.
- Subverted in the opening of a CSI: New York episode, in which a woman is seen desperately rushing from one downtown store to another, doing the Potty Dance each time she finds one is closed or only permits customers to use its facilities. The scene's comic tone is derailed when she gratefully comes across an automatic pay toilet ... only to be washed off her feet when the door opens, as it's full of water and a drowned corpse.
- The Big Bang Theory: At the beginning of "The Agreement Dissection", Sheldon runs to the bathroom, but finds Leonard and Priya in the shower together, and so has to run across the hall to Penny's apartment.
- How I Met Your Mother: In one episode, Marshall and Lily hide in the bathroom because they don't want to "spoil the mood" of Ted's date in the other room, and Lily needs to pee, while at the same time being uncomfortable with the idea of peeing in front of Marshall.
- In the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Farscape, Rygel (in John's body) needs to pee right before they have to meet the bad guys (long story). Everyone demands he hold it but he can't figure out how to do that in John's body so John (in Aeryn's body) directs him through peeing in a corner.
- A Good Burger sketch from All That has Ed suffering through this after he wins a bet that he can drink an entire "Turbo Good Gulp" in under ten seconds. Unfortunately for him, the bathroom needed to be repaired.
- In an episode of The Slammer, The Governor, Mr Burgess, Gimbert and Peter get glued together. Gimbert then announces that he needs to go to the toilet. The others keep telling him to hold it.
- The Round the Twist episode "The Big Burp" opens with Pete experiencing a Potty Emergency. His eventual solution to this is what sets the main plot in motion.
- The Sarah Silverman Program has an episode where Sarah deals with one of these by relieving herself in a public mailbox.
- Thats Just Me has a lot of these, mostly due to the main character switching over to tampons and not being able to pee with one in. Too many ones to list. Most have to deal with peeing, but there's a few poop ones too.
- In 'Stomach Blues' Elizabeth goes to school with diarrhea, finding out too late she has it. She somehow manages to hold it and make it home. Her look of relief is priceless.
- 'Fourth of July on the Farm' has a quick desperation scene where Elizabeth is sitting outside in a pickup truck in chilly weather and thinks about her desperation to herself. She does hold it though and enjoys the fireworks.
- A more recent episode has Elizabeth complaining to her mom that Monica's parents feed her(Elizabeth)so much she pops, so she ends up having to poop more often than usual. One skit in this episode has her desperate because she hates pooping at other peoples' houses, but she does suck it up and goes after a while.
- In an episode of Are You Being Served?, Miss Brahms has to use the ladies' facilities but the toilet is frozen over.
- In the "German Week" episode, Mrs Slocombe relates how an old lady customer was so desperate to use the toilet that she rushed into the one marked "Herren" ("Gentlemen" in German) because it had the word "Her".
- In the A Country Practice episode "Heroes And Villains" Terrance and Rosemary are stuck in an elevator in a hotel for several hours, during which time Rosemary is desperate to relieve herself after having drunk too much champagne. After 4 hours of being stuck, Rosemary decides she can't wait any longer and prepares to relieve herself in the corner of the elevator(something which Terrence remarks she should have done four hours previously). Just as she prepares to do this, the elevator doors open and her and Terrence are confronted by hotel staff and a group of reporters with cameras. They subsequently film Rosemary's dash to the hotel washroom and her accidently entering the gents washroom by mistake.
- In episode 835 of Neighbours, Des and Harold are trapped in an elevator together en-route to a meeting and eventually Des gets the urge to 'see a man about a dog'. Harold tries to distract him by suggesting he thinks of somewhere dry(which Des dismisses as it will make him want a drink) and then by singing "Ten Green Bottles" When the elevator is finally fixed Des frantically barges out past the mechanics causing them to apologise to Harold for being stuck with "A nut like that"
- In another episode, the characters Toby and Lochy chain themselves to a roundabout in order to protest against the destruction of a playground. However they are left there after deliberately throwing the key too far out of reach and during this time Lochy becomes desperate to go to the bathroom. When they are eventually freed by their parents, Lochy immediately dashes off to some nearby bushes.
- In the Yes Dear episode, "Arm Prins", when Kim tries to sell her titular new invention, Greg is left to babysit Sammy by himself. Because he had not gone to the bathroom in six hours and drank four iced teas during that time, he has to go to the bathroom real bad. While he goes, he occupies Sammy with a Blue's Clues VHS tape, Which of course, starts Sammy's Blue's Clues addiction for the rest of the episode.
- Benny Hill used the joke version (see Jokes above) in his song "Anna Marie".
- "Weird Al" Yankovic touched upon this trope in his song "Traffic Jam":
Trapped inside my automobile
Cobwebs growin' on the steerin' wheel
Now, I'm no genius but one thing I know
An hour and a half ago
- The band NOFX has a song entitled "I Gotta Pee", in which the lyrics are just the title repeated a lot. Except the last lyric is "I gotta poo."
- Psychostick's "No Pun Intended":
I've got bad diarrhea
It might be a good idea if I found the bathroom quick before I-
- A particularly vicious example in the video for "Smile" by Lily Allen — as part of a scheme to get revenge on a cheating ex, Lily takes him out for coffee, then spikes his coffee with laxatives. Meanwhile, some friends of hers are trashing his apartment, and he comes home with impending diarrhea to find not only is his entire place wrecked, but most of his clothes have been stuffed in the toilet.
- This Not Always Right story, appropriately tagged "bizarre".
- Both of the eponymous characters of the Alice and Bob get this due to rancid food. And Bob still has the runs in the next chapter.
- Calvin and Hobbes showed Calvin in one of his fantasy spots drinking one glass of water too many and turning into a puddle. The shift back to the real world shows Calvin in a car telling his mom "I don't think I can make it."
- Another one depicted Calvin having a dream involving lots and lots of water. It ends with Calvin waking up and running to the bathroom.
- And another one depicted Calvin putting on his winter clothes and getting ready to go outside. As soon as he walks outside, he realizes he forgot to use the bathroom.
- Yet another one has him needing to go but trapped on his bed by the monster waiting underneath - the next morning his parents are looking at the plants under his window, wondering why they're not doing well.
- One In The Bleachers comic featured a race car driver who forgot something on his mental checklist.
- In an early strip, Roger drank a whole pot of coffee before work, saying his boss was holding one of his notoriously boring meetings and that there was "nothing more embarrassing than falling asleep during Pembrose's endless sermons". In the last panel, he's at the meeting, excusing himself for his third bathroom break in the past hour, and clearly looks very embarrassed.
- In another strip, Peter drank an entire pot of coffee, claiming he had a killer math test, and thought a whole pot would get his brain functioning like a "super-fast calculation machine". In the last panel, he's in class, sweating heavily, thinking to himself, "If the boy's bathroom is a thousand feet away and I run at a rate of a hundred feet per second..."
- In this Zits strip, Jeremy gets an idea similar to the example with Peter above, drinking three energy drinks before a big test. Not the wisest idea...
- Non Sequitur: In one arc, Danae and Kate are snowed inside this house. This then becomes an emergency when their pets Lucy and Petey have to answer the call of nature.
- Hägar the Horrible: In one strip, Hagar's house is nearly buried in snow (as it often is in winter), and Hagar is shoveling very, very fast towards a tree for his very frantic dog Snert behind him.
- Eddie Guerrero once gave The Big Show a tainted burrito as revenge for Big Show spitting in Eddie's. Later that night in the middle of a match, Big Show had to flee the ring clutching his butt to find a bathroom backstage, losing the match by a count-out.
- Making matters worse, while doing "number two", Show finds out Eddie stole all the toilet paper.
- The radio show Car Talk on NPR refers to this occasionally, usually as a driver in need of "an urgent haircut." They even refer to Urgent Haircut Productions.
- Kinda the whole basis of Urinetown, a musical about what happens when an entire town, due to drought, is taxed for every toilet flush, and thus caught in a perpetual Potty Emergency.
- Level 5 of Parappa The Rapper, a video game for PlayStation and PSP, has the hero encountering a queue to use the restroom. He engages the other characters in a rap contest so that they will let him jump the queue. Actual lyrics include "In the rain or in the snow, I got the funky flow, but now I really gotta go."
- Directly afterwards: "The toilet over there, will bring you luck, so give up, I've got no time to spare!" Who knew hobo frogs wanted to pee too. Plus, when you do 'BAD', it starts raining, when you do 'AWFUL', loud claps of thunder that could scare you, and when you fail, he soils himself. A real man like Pa Rappa values his functions over his crush's strange bowel torture fetish.
- Very early on in Persona 4, when you, Yosuke and Chie enter the TV for the first time, Yosuke gets a case of this.
- It was very much a Crowning Moment of Funny, and the game has many. Especially since Chie brings it up much later, thinking Yosuke actually peed his pants.
- In the hiimdaisy comic: YOU GUYS!! I HAVE TO PEE SO BAD!! I'M GONNA PEE RIGHT HERE!!!.........OKAY NEVER MIND. Chie and Souji were not amused.
- This happens to Squirps in chapter 4-2 of Super Paper Mario.
- If one is so inclined, you can inflict this on your Sims and watch as they try to signal for a need of a bathroom. If you don't let them make it in time they wet themselves.
- One of the sequences in the Bishi Bashi game series involves a man who needs to climb up a lot of ladders to reach a toilet at the top.
- This is the main plot of Don't Shit Your Pants, a game where the protagonist desperately needs to defecate and you have to guide him to the restroom.
- This trope occurs in The Walking Dead Video Game Part 1. When you get to the Pharmacy in Macon after the car ride from Hershel's Land. When they get into the Pharmacy and during the following article. Clementine announces to Lee that she has to pee. During the remaining argument Clementine's bladder issues were brought up now and then. Soon enough, Clementine gets the keys to the bathroom. We are then given that in the bathroom was a zombie as Clementine is attacked by the zombie but she is saved.
- Other than this occasion, everyone in the story has Bladder of Steel
- In Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire, there is a fisherman just north of Dewford Town who wants to use the washroom, but is afraid of missing a big catch while he's out. When you defeat him in a battle, he claims to have lost because he has to go so badly.
- Trying to go through a restricted area in Jet Set Radio Future will result in Professor K saying to you "Hey, are you looking for a bathroom or something?"
- Yuka from Corpse Party, who spends a good length of time looking for a restroom while she's wandering around a haunted school.
- Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist: Freddy has one of these after the town's water supply is poisoned with a nasty substance. It's so bad he actually shares an outhouse with someone else. Truth in Television, some outhouses were three-holers... Except this one's barely large enough to fit one guy. And Freddy has to tell that guy to "scooch over a bit". Yuck.
- One of the stages of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan is about a little boy who made the mistake of drinking too much before bed, considering he has a bedwetting problem. During the stage the Ouendan cheer him on as he fights against a bunch of water-related nightmares so he doesn't wet the bed.
- The First-Person Shooter Cyberdillo actually makes a gameplay mechanic out of this: running into laxatives gives you a pressing need to use a toilet. How does this affect your Hyperactive Metabolism? It doesn't, actually.
- World of Fizz: While on a date with Tim, Kelli has to pee after drinking a whole pot of coffee. She relieves herself in the bushes after asking Tim to pull over. Seen here.
- The Order of the Stick has an example here. Notable in that the use of this trope itself is the punchline.
- One Something Positive strip had Funny Foreigner Pepito saying "I need to go to the bathroom" (in Spanish) as a Funny Background Event while two main characters talked in the foreground. The last panel was "I no longer need to go to the bathroom."
- The snarky Charisma from Magellan has one of these suddenly imposed on her by a security guard who's low-range psychic power is the ability to make people feel like they "really, REALLY need to pee".
- Early in the comic Sunstone, Lisa's very first request to Ally when they have their first face-to-face meeting is for directions to the bathroom, since she really needs to pee. She is shown embarrassed that how awkward that felt.
- Subverted in Allen The Alien. Allen comments that he needs to use the restroom, but he finds one really quickly.
- Annayya from Pawn, no thanks to spoiled rations.
- In the trope namer skit in Animaniacs, Wakko, who drank too much soda during a movie, was the hapless victim of this routine, which featured just about every twist and turn that you can expect to see in a skit like this. Wakko already had a toilet on him, thanks to his Bag of Holding — he just needed the privacy to make use of it. Fortunately, he actually did find a usable potty. In the movie that he was watching at the beginning of the skit.
- The Simpsons:
- Homer had been brought to Mr. Burns's mega-mansion to engage in union negotiations. The negotiations were quickly cut short by Homer's overindulgence in coffee and watermelon and his subsequent need to rush to the nearest bathroom. Unfortunately for Homer, the nearest bathroom was about 100 doors away and down a long hallway. (Homer does eventually relieve himself, although it is implied that he didn't quite make it to the bathroom.)
- One throwaway gag in an episode, Homer rushes into the restroom at work having to go badly, much to the dismay of Smithers, who had been told to clean it by Burns, and had just finished making it spotless.
- In "The City Of New York Vs. Homer Simpson", Homer, standing by his car at the World Trade Center Plaza in order to get it unbooted, overindulges in "crab juice". He rushes to the top of the (original 2 WTC) South Tower... and finds that the bathroom is out of order. To his utter dismay, he realizes he now needs to go to the top of the (original 1 WTC) North Tower. He does make it there in time. We're treated to a shot outside the tower and hear Homer groaning happily for half a minute. (And coincidentally, the cop he was waiting for shows up as he's relieving himself and tickets the car again, much to his horror.)
- One episode involves Bart drinking about a dozen glasses of water in order to wake himself up early for Christmas. It works...after he's subjected to a dream involving rivers, garden hoses, various other forms of water imagery, and gigantic letter "P"s.
- In "22 Short Films About Springfield" Milhouse needs to use the toilet and enters Comic Book Guy's store. However Comic Book Guy won't let the kid use the restroom unless he buys something. Milhouse eventually buys a cheap Hamburglar comic, but then Milhouse's father enters the store and says: "Hey, Milhouse. I thought you needed to go to the toilet and now I find you here, buying comics." Comic Book Guy cruelly tells Milhouse's father that their business is finished, whereupon Kirk drags Milhouse away.
- In "Homer Simpson in: 'Kidney Trouble'", this is the kickoff point for the entire episode, as the family is coming from a vacation destination (from which they invited Grandpa to tag along). Grandpa overdrank, and desperately needs to use the restroom on the drive home. His pleas are ignored by Homer as they drive by one rest stop after another. Eventually, Abe's kidneys burst from the strain of holding it in for so long and he has to get a transplant.
- Marge has a Potty Emergency at the beginning of "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D’Oh". She drinks too many samples of "Science Water", and she keeps trying to find a bathroom. She finds one in Springfield Elementary, which is what sets the main plot in motion.
- In "Helter Shelter", when the family are at Moe's, Lisa offhandedly mentions she is suffering a Potty Emergency.
- Jimmy Neutron has this as a tactic in his first encounter with Professor Calamitous. Realizing that Calamitous did not install a bathroom in his Humongous Mecha, Jimmy leads him through various water scenarios until he can hold it no longer and has to stop to use the bathroom. Then Jimmy has a cop man the boy's restroom, leading Calamitous to briefly consider the girl's bathroom, but a little girl beats him to it, so he takes off for home in defeat.
- Happens in an episode of Camp Lazlo. Lazlo having unwittingly annoyed Edward (again) by beating him in a lemonade drinking contest soon has to go (bad). Edward takes advantage of this and repeatedly thwarts all of Lazlo's attempts to go (he eventually uses Lazlo's predicament to trick him into wearing a diaper, but it backfires of course). The potty emergency comes to it's peak when in the middle of it, Lazlo relieves himself in the lake, only to be reprimanded by a fish, forcing Lazlo to suck it back into himself. Ouch.
- The kicker was that the fish actually turned out to be a puppet worn by Edward.
- One episode of Chowder featured the titular character rushing to the bathroom, only to forget why he came there. When trying to leave, he discovers that he's locked in. Only when Shnitzel and Mung Daal gets locked in does Chowder finally remember why he went to the bathroom in the first place.
- Beavis And Butthead:
- After drinking too much pop at a rock concert the duo soon have to go, they eventually find a port-a-potty but it has a very long line, they try to relieve themselves on a wall but a security guard catches them, eventually they are finally able to use it but as it turns out the concert is over.
- Inverted in another episode. Both Beavis and Butthead have plenty of access to restrooms throughout the entire episode, but yet they still can't relieve themselves. The reason being they forgot how to perform the biological function of urination.
- There was also an episode where they were abusing bathroom breaks at work and their manager needs to pee. He tries to use the dumpster behind Burger World when cops show up and bust him.
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Billy wants a cool knight costume that Grim gives him. During the course of events Billy drinks a lot of punch; he tries to relieve himself but he can't take the armor off as it turns out the only way to remove the armor is to win a challenge. He decides to challenge a bunch of people so he can finally pee but he loses every event. Finally, he beats Mandy in a break dance contest and removes the armor. Mandy asks him if he has to use the bathroom and he replies that he doesn't have to go anymore, Mandy sniffs the armor and says "eew!". Also, as Billy is breakdancing, you can hear splashing sounds.
- On a King of the Hill episode Hank and the guys rush home to use the bathroom after drinking tainted beer from Mexico and all just make it but Dale has to wait even longer because of the complicated security system he's setup for his bathroom. On another Bill has locked himself out of his house and has to go badly but the other guys won't let him use their bathrooms so he resorts to using the cooler they keep their beer in, it's his after all.
- In the Veggie Tales episode "Lyle The Kindly Viking", Sven has one of these, and to top it off, he even sang "I need to go to the bathrooooooooooooooooooooooom!" But it does not show him using the bathroom, despite the fact that this was the end of the episode.
- The Cow and Chicken episode "Chicken in the Bathroom" revolves entirely around this. Mom tells Chicken that he is not allowed out of the bath tub until he has taken a bath. This soon comes back to haunt her, as she later finds herself in need of the facilities, as do Cow and Dad. Chicken still refuses to take a bath and seems to enjoy making the rest of his family suffer extreme bladder agony (or in Cow's case, udder agony). Almost two-thirds of the episode consists of the three bursting characters pleading for Chicken to vacate the premises, while pointing out what they need to do in increasingly imaginative metaphors. Eventually, poor Cow just can't hold on any longer. The resulting eruption drowns everyone.
- Dexter's Laboratory briefly makes use of this, although not as a major part of the plot. One episode features the titular boy genius and his sister Dee Dee dueling with label-makers, completely surrendering themselves to the logic that whatever is labeled by each becomes that person's property. Dee Dee is quick to ensure that everything in the fridge is hers, but Dexter spots that she has missed a giant bottle of juice, which he promptly drinks. The juice quickly makes its way to his bladder, and he runs to the bathroom. To his horror, he discovers a toilet covered in Dee Dee labels. In the next scene, Dexter has fully relieved himself. Not until the denouement do we discover his desperate solution.
- Typically, The Fairly OddParents take this to a new extreme in American animation. The episode "Truth or Cosmoquences" sees Timmy - unusually relegated to a B-story - have to spend an extended amount of time in Fairy World, where he soon discovers that he cannot magically transport himself through the bathroom door (the only way to pass through one) and obtain the relief he needs. With Cosmo and Wanda distracted, Timmy must endure hour after hour of unrelenting Potty Emergency - while serving the drinks at a party that has a giant fountain for a centerpiece.
- Family Guy:
- In an early episode, Peter mentions that he "shouldn't have had that prune smoothie" and then drives past a sign for a town dump, a truck emblazoned with the warning "Wide Load", a car whose bumper sticker reads, "I love my Shih Tzu", a sign for a furniture store proclaiming that "All Stools Must Go", a billboard for "Bob's House of Feces", (which he says can't possibly be real) and finally a casino billboard emblazoned with "Craps, Craps, Craps".
- In the beginning of "Road To Germany", Mort Goldman takes laxatives and has trouble finding somewhere to use the bathroom. He eventually ends up using Stewie's time machine, thinking it is a port-o-potty.
- An episode of Arthur had an episode with the dream variety, when minor character Jenna is at a sleepover and is afraid that everyone will find out she is a bed-wetter. Upon waking, she turns on the TV as a distraction...and finds, among other things, men with Scottish accents talking about "wee lassies" and a children's show that's a hybrid of Sesame Street and Wimzie's House brought to you by the letter P.
- In the Two Stupid Dogs episode "Bathroom Humor" during the middle of the night Big Dog has to pee he searches for a tree but only finds one starting to bud Little Dog stops him before he can go he tells him that "this is [their] home", so they go around looking for a place for Big Dog to relieve himself, they end up in Hollywood's house inside his bathroom but they can't find a tree and Big Dog is getting frustrated and they have a fight, they get inspiration by a photo of a little boy using the toilet so they dress him up like one and Big Dog doesn't feel comfortable so they get inspiration from a little girl on a toilet and dress him in girl's clothes and he still doesn't feel comfortable, finally Little Dog suggests a glass of warm milk while picking up the glass his fingers slip into the milk and he finally relieves himself.
- The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "The Big Drip" centers around this, made worse by the fact that Lucius destroys every washroom in Miseryville after Jimmy tries to use his...including his own.
- Henry goes through one of these at the end of the KaBlam!! episode, "Timeless!"
- A Nightmare Sequence in Nightmare Ned had Ned being force fed water until he had a Balloon Belly, which invoked this trope.
- A Running Gag variety on Hey Arnold! - Grandpa generally has to interrupt whatever lesson he's teaching Arnold because he "shouldn't have had" * insert food/drink here* .
- In the Teen Titans episode "Transformation", Starfire was analyzing her body changes while Beast Boy needed the bathroom. He notices Robin watering the flowers, Cyborg getting a drink, and Raven moving boulders out of the way of a waterfall. He says the alphabet to himself ending with the usual letter and as a plant comes into view, the scene ends with water going down a drain implying he went all over the plant.
- In Life With Louie in the episode "The Kiss is the Thing" has this occur with Louie's Dad during the play. After drinking a lot of coffee at work, he rushes out to the play without using the restroom. Once getting there he really needs to go, but the mother doesn't let him. The father is forced in agony while sitting in his seat for the whole play really needing to pee, as a fountain is showed on stage torturing him even more. He puts his hands to his crotch and squirms in pain until the final kiss, when he rushes out feeling like he's going to blow. but, once getting to the bathroom he sees long lines and it's occupied. His legs cross down and tightens in torment.
- Wonder Pets: "There's a puppy and he has to pee-pee, but he can't... because he's stuck in the house!"
- In Dan Vs., Dan falls victim to this in "Traffic." Trying to get home so he can pee, he's blocked by traffic due to a sock and road work, a train crossing, a group of senior citizens, and even a flock of sheep. He doesn't make it, and swears revenge on traffic.
- One episode of The Mighty B! has Penny suffering one, and it could be foreshadowed as she was seen drink all of Bessie's water from her backpack.
- In the "Last Roundup" episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie gets off the train in Dodge Junction quite clearly in need of a toilet. She finds a public toilet and is about to use it until she realises that Applejack, whom they came to Dodge to find, just walked out of it. She runs back after she and the others have caught her.
- A Hub promo for the 2013 Summer Pool Party depicts Rarity (and Lucky from Pound Puppies (2010)) standing in a long line for a restroom by the pool. She and everyone behind her are unable to get in because MC Bat Commander accidentally locked the door from the inside.
- Used in this Cartoon Network City bumper where Ben from Ben 10 has to go while in his Wildmutt form.
- In the South Park episode "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining", Cartman experiences severe diarrhea as a result of the various fast food he ate before and the soda he drank during the tour.
- In "Death", Kenny suffers from stomach flu making multiple bathroom stops during class. Later on, many of the adults caught the stomach flu.
- In Secret Squirrel, Dr. O causes a blackout and blocks out the sun, causing The Chief much distress because he can't find the bathroom in the dark. At the end, when Secret defeats the villain and restores the light, The Chief rushes to the bathroom, but it's occupied.
- In What's with Andy?, Andy has a drinking contest with Lik and Leech to avoid having to buy food for them. He drinks too much and has to find a toilet.
- Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons:
- Happens to Wipeout in the Stoked episode "Groms on Strike". He eventually makes it to toilet, just a fraction too late.
- The 'urban legend' version described in the Folklore section above was used as the basis for an episode of Freaky Stories.
- In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Caged Tiger", Beast Boy really needs to pee while he, Robin, and Cyborg are trapped in an elevator. Eventually, Beast Boy says he can't take it anymore and wets himself, much to Robin and Cyborg's disgust.
- A series of shorts that air on Disney Junior called "Nina Needs To Go" revolves around the titular little girl needing to use the bathroom and being far away from the nearest one. She tries to get to the nearest bathroom, usually with the help of her Secret Agent-esque Nana. The fact that the path usually includes something with running water certainly doesn't help matters. Each short ends with Nina saying, "That'll never happen again, 'cause now I know, don't wait to go!". Despite this, it always happens again.
- This show was actually based on the creator's real life experiences with her daughter, who always did this, explaining the Aesop Amnesia.
- The first episode of Family Dog ends with the titular dog having one.
- Being around the normal potty-training age, Chuckie goes through this in Rugrats from time to time.
- In an episode of The Powerpuff Girls, the Gangrene Gang gorge themselves on candy at a convenience store; after the Girls chance them and zap them with their laser vision, the candy somehow becomes radioactive and gives the Gang superpowers. After a titanic fight that "turns Townsville topsy-turvy", the Gang is about to crush the Girls, when all five of them suddenly need a bathroom badly, breaking from the battle to use a set of Port-o-Lets. Unfortunately, this causes them to lose their superpowers, and the Girls are able to pummel them black and blue.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
- Bloo has one at the beginning of "Busted". However, he can't use the bathroom right away because Mr. Herriman makes him make his bed and brush his teeth first. Being a Well-Intentioned Extremist, Mr. Herriman makes Bloo do everything by the rules, much to the latter's chagrin.
- Bloo, Wilt, Coco, Mr. Herriman and Frankie each have two in "Foster's Goes to Europe". Within the same episode, Eduardo has three of his own, the first two with his aforementioned friends, and the third when it is revealed that somebody sabotaged the Foster's bus.
- Bloo has one in "Hiccy Burp" after drinking a huge amount of soda trying to get new hiccups in time for the talent portion of the annual Foster's talent show.
- Bloo has one in "Bus the Two of Us", and tries to use a bathroom at Mama Joan's Pizzeria, which is for employees only. When Mac asks him why he didn't go to the bathroom at the gas station, since they were there earlier to borrow plungers for him to use as stilts, Bloo tells Mac that gas station bathrooms are disgusting. Bloo says this as he is wearing the dirty plungers, which Mac points out. When Bloo is finished, Mac now has to use the bathroom.
- Bloo has one in "Ticket to Rod" when he drinks a lot of soda to pass the time waiting to hear a chime for a Radio Contest where the grand prize is two tickets to see a new movie starring Rod Tango. He gets Frankie to listen for the chime, and just as he leaves, the chime goes off and Frankie calls the station. This of course, sets the episode's main plot in motion.
- Bloo has one in "Race For Your Life Mac & Bloo" after drinking a 172-ounce soda at a mini-mart. The manager makes him wait in line behind the other customers, and when he does get to the front of the line, he makes him buy a bag of chains with his last quarter, as the bathroom is for paying customers only.
- In the new Mickey Mouse short "Space Walkies", Mickey's return from space is interrupted when Pluto has to go to the bathroom. Mickey himself also has one at the end of the short.
- In the The Looney Tunes Show episode, "Customer Service", Bugs drinks a lot of water while waiting for Cecil Turtle, his cable service provider, thus triggering one of these. The second he leaves to use the bathroom, Cecil emerges from behind a tree and hangs a "Sorry We Missed You" notice on Bugs' door.
Ahh! Finally found one!