Rip Van Tinkle

Fry: Hey, I was frozen! I know what people want to hear when they wake up.
[Walks up to a newly unfrozen Human Popsicle]
Fry: Bathroom's that way. [Guy gives a grateful look and runs off]

One of the first actions most people undertake upon awakening is to relieve themselves. If your bladder is full after a night's sleep, just think how much worse it would be after a sleep of hundreds or thousands of years. Writers will sometimes milk this for comic potential by having a character be awoken from, say, a magical sleep lasting a hundred years, or even being dead, be in desperate need of a bathroom. But don't worry; this trope rarely ever ends in a Potty Failure.

It doesn't have to be that; suppose you weren't asleep at all, but just incapacitated/trapped somehow. Conscious or semi-conscious, the results still feel the same to you.

A much more mundane version of this trope would be Potty Emergency.


Abridged Series

Anime and Manga
  • A slight variant in Miyazaki Maya's Minimum; when the mini data girl, an Artificial Human, was first brought into the real world, one of the first things that she did was empty her full bladder.

Comic Books
  • Ironwood begins with Dave being rescued after spending three days hanging upside down in a snare with a boulder tied around his neck. His first act on being rescued is to dart into the bushes to empty his bladder.
  • When Deadpool is cocooned in Duct Tape for a few days by other Marvel Heroes to keep him out of the picture, he quickly comments that he needs to pee. Upon being freed he goes to the bathroom for about 9 panels.

  • Austin Powers' epic urination after being awakened from cryo-sleep.
  • In Demolition Man, Spartan didn't have to use the bathroom immediately, but about an hour later, when he "fully thawed". This leads to the three seashells gag.
  • The 1997 Hallmark and Disney Channel Made-for-TV Movie, Under Wraps does this once the mummy wakes up.
    Gilbert: (hearing the Mummy urinating in the bathroom) Wow, he had to go!
  • Over the Hedge: After waking up from hibernation, the first thing Hammy the Squirrel does is go wee-wee.

  • In Good Omens, Crowley says that he slept through the entire nineteenth century and only woke up to use the bathroom.

Live-Action TV
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Lieutenant Abbie Mills asks if Ichabod ever needed to get up to pee during his ~250 year sleep. Apparently he did not.
  • In one segment of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Ryan Stiles has to play a defrosting Neanderthal. The first thing he does after regaining full control of his body is to turn away from the camera, widen his stance, and make relieved-sounding groans... we know what he's doing. (Well, what he's pantomiming.)
  • NCIS: In "Boxed In", 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.

Web Comics
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Upon awakening from a 300 year sleep, this is Lari the Ninja's first thought. When his siblings wonder if the strange modern world is the afterlife, he disagrees because "I don't think the dead pee."

Western Animation
  • Tutenstein: Tut's first act after being brought back from the dead is to run to the bathroom.
    Luxor: Well, 3,000 years certainly is a long time, Cleo.
  • Happens in Futurama, after Fry, Leela and Bender are fired from Planet Express and Fry goes to work at Applied Cryogenics (where he was frozen and where Leela worked in the pilot). See the quote at the top of the page.
  • Happens in Avatar: The Last Airbender in the second half of the season one two-parter "Winter Solstice", after Aang rescues Sokka from the Spirit World.
    Katara: You were trapped in the Spirit World for twenty-four hours! ... How do you feel?
    Sokka: Like I seriously have to use the bathroom! *runs off*
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The episode "The Demon Behind" ends with Finn rushing to a restroom now that he's free. He wasn't unconscious, but he did have a sentient Japanese mask fused to his rear end that was controlling his body the whole episode.
  • Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist: When the series Big Bad Syrrus awakens from a centuries long hibernation, he ponders what his first act should be. After a few seconds thought, he decides it should be to find a bathroom.
  • American Dad! had a variation: This trope isn't mentioned or implied when a "statue" of a Mr. Alt Disney turns out to be the actual man, frozen. But when he refreezes himself at the end, he realizes at the last second that he forgot to go to the bathroom. The new "statue" is holding its crotch in agony, implying that this trope will come into play if he is ever unfrozen again.
  • When Dave the Barbarian plays the gargle pipes loudly enough to wake the God of Evil Quozmir, Quozmir temporarily pauses in the middle of his declaration of destruction to say he needs to use the restroom because he's been holding it in for thousands of years ("Since 8,000 B.C!").
  • Numb Chucks: In "Fan Boy", Dr. Sinister is freed after being frozen in wax as part of Buddy's collection. He advances menacingly on Buddy, vowing that he is about to do what he has been dreaming of doing for the last three weeks: which turns out to be finding a washroom.

Real Life
  • Sometimes people experience this when they wake up after major surgery. If they're expected to be incapacitated for a while, they'll usually be hooked up to a catheter.