A type of abuse The Bully can inflict on others. The swirlie is portrayed half the time as a real shot of some poor kid getting his head stuck in the toilet, and the other half as a bully simply mentioning the word "swirly" to the cringing dismay of all the bully victims in earshot. If the victim is lucky, no one used the toilet first... See also The Can Kicked Him for more serious injuries.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Rare case in Kyo Kara Maoh!; the main character get his head dumped in the toilet only to end up in the magical kingdom where he is ruler.
- An even squickier example in Ichi the Killer: in a flashback, a bunch of bullies shove the title character's face in a toilet already full of poop, trying to force him to eat it.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Panty and Scanty give one to each other as they're fighting.
- Bullies in Vitamin force Sawako's head into a toilet after dumping her cellphone in it, and flushing it while she's in it.
- In the Sin City story, "The Big Fat Kill," the Jerkass Jackie-Boy gets his head shoved into the toilet by Dwight McCarthy as payback and humiliation for abusing his ex, Shellie. This is part of what kicks off the main plot, as Jackie-Boy doesn't take humiliation well and seeks to take it out on someone, preferably a woman, and leads his boys into Old Town.
Jackie-Boy: You're making a big mistake.
Dwight: Yeah, well you already made a big mistake yourself. You didn't flush.
- In a flashback in the first issue of Ultimate Fantastic Four, a Gang of Bullies does this to Reed Richards. Ben Grimm ends up going Bully Hunter on them in retribution.
- In the Batman story arc "Heart of Hush", Batman interrogates Scarecrow with a toilet and the electrical wire from the lightbulb in his cell. Ouch.
- In "The Reaching Hand", one of the stories featured in the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant special, Jimmy Olsen suffers a fatal swirlie. Not Played for Laughs in the slightest.
- When this was used in Cathy, it caused some controversy because it appeared off panel, and the way it was described was as the following: "She's in the ladies room giving a swirley to the copier repairman."
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "Why Am I Crying?" showed that, before they became bullies, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were tortured by a group of older colts at a summer camp. One of the things they did to them was dunking their heads in the toilets and making them lick the rims.
Films — Live-Action
- The movie Charlie Bartlett depicts two bathroom bullies dunking him into a dirty toilet about ten minutes in, until a teacher walks in and reprimands them.
- A Korean film called Ekskul is about the constant abuse heaped onto an elementary school child by both students and a deadbeat father to the point where he holds former acquaintances of the school hostage at gunpoint. One of the school scenes has five of the jocks dunk his face deep into what looks like an already-used toilet.
- The Dude in The Big Lebowski is subjected to this by a couple of misdirected thugs, leading to this classic exchange:
Thug: Where's the money, Lebowski! Where's the money, Lebowski! WHERE'S THE FUCKING MONEY, SHITHEAD?
Dude: It's, uh, it's down there somewhere. Let me take another look...
- Kill Bill: Elle Driver is subjected to one during her brawl with The Bride and actually has to flush the toilet to save herself from being drowned.
- Sean Penn's character gets this in The Falcon And The Snowman. It's not pretty.
- A film called The Pranksters shows a male student who verbally stands up to the school bullies being dunked into a bathroom toilet by the bullies' leader and a group of jocks. A apathetic teacher later tells the student afterwards not to provoke them.
- Slaughter High depicts an example in which a lovestruck bookworm is cruelly pranked by an Alpha Bitch and her jock cronies in a spectacle that culminates with the jocks dunking a butt-naked main character head-first into the toilet. Little did they know that this would cause him to go batshit crazy and become the Big Bad later on.
- Harry Tasker subdues a terrorist with one of these in True Lies.
Harry: Cool off.
- Inspector Gadget is likely the only character to have given himself a swirlie. This happens in the second live-action movie.
Gadget: Be careful in there! That toilet's got quite a flush.
- In the first Austin Powers movie, Austin kills mook Paddy O'Brian by swirlie.
- The family comedy Rainbow Tribe begins with a boy dunking his younger brother in the toilet while pinning his arm. Their mother witnesses it happening and punctually intervenes.
- Saving Silverman has Jack Black getting one when him and a friend try to kidnap the evil female lead to fake her death. By her no less.
- School For Scoundrels: The main character is given one by a mean-spirited co-worker during an argument over who is allowed to eat the last cherry danish in the vending machine.
- The main character in The Man from Hong Kong uses this as an interrogation measure to find the location of a local drug runner.. Not only does he find out what he needs to know, he more than degrades the victim.
- Happens to one boy in If....
- In the first Harry Potter book:
Dudley: They flush people's heads down the toilet first day at Stonewall. Want to practice?
Harry: No thanks. The poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head in it — it might be sick.
Narration: At which point Harry ran away before Dudley could figure out what Harry had said.
- In the Animorphs series, Tobias mentions that he became friends with Jake because the latter once saved him from a couple of bullies that were about to give him a swirlie.
- In The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, a prequel book to the The Mysterious Benedict Society books focused on, well, Nicholas Benedict, upon his arrival at his latest Orphanage of Fear, Benedict is warned by a kindly boy named John Cole that there's a Gang of Bullies called "The Spiders" who have already heard of his arrival and are planning to subject him an "initiation," to be held in one of the orphanage's bathrooms. He figures out pretty quickly that this initiation is this trope or something like it, and being a Child Prodigy several orders of magnitude smarter than any gang of bullies, comes up with a plan on the fly to avoid it. When the bullies encounter him alone in an upstairs hallway, he manages to convince them that the orphanage director is on his way back, but he's already heard about the initiation and he's very excited about it. He tells them he'll be waiting for them at the bathroom the next day, with cookies. Of course, he makes enemies of them, since he most certainly does not arrive with cookies the next day, but as he explains to John, he felt it was worth it because he'd already been the butt of bullying at several past orphanages and wanted to take a stand.
- The 7th Heaven episode "Saturday" has Mary Anne Riviera dish one of these out on Michael Towner, who had been sexually harassing her the entire episode, with his and her teammates watching. Comes directly after he gives her a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
- The FOX show Glee has two notable instances of this trope. The first came from a promotional video for the show in which Puck repeatedly attempts to dunk the flamboyant Kurt's head into the toilet. However, after pretending to negotiate to be dunked in an environmentally-friendly toilet, Kurt fools Puck into thinking a sexy girl is in the men's room before running away, gloating that he'll never let it happen.
- An instance from the actual show lies in an episode in which Quinn briefly joins some female bullies in swirling an innocent girl in the Women's bathroom. After her friends call her out repeatedly on her newfound evil ways, she gets better.
- In an episode of Frasier, Niles and Frasier talk about how this happened to both of them in prep school - apparently to a chant of, "There goes Crane, down the drain." When the boys that bullied them come to Frasier's apartment to repair his toilet, Niles makes amends with the brother who bullied him, and Frasier gets his own back by sticking the other bully's head in the toilet. At the end of the episode, Martin fixes the toilet himself, and quips to Eddie, "Don't drink that! Some guy just had his head in there!"
- A Season 8 episode of the late MADtv had a sketch called "Swirlie Time," in which two bullies gave swirlies to boys coming into and out of the bathroom VIA a hijacked school security camera.
- There was one episode of Law & Order where this was used as an interrogation technique in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped girl.
- One episode of My Name Is Earl begins with Earl allowing Randy to give him a swirly in the Crabshack bathroom to make up for having done the same to Randy when he was five. When Earl thanks Darnell for cleaning the toilet first, Darnell explains that the last person who was given a swirly in one of those toilets ended up with a strange bat-disease.
- An episode of Monk revolves around the notion of Monk doing a job for who used to be his bully in elementary school. Monk has a flashback to a time when said bully gave him a swirlie in the bathroom, complete with shot of it happening.
- A fourth season episode of Supernatural has a girl give a cheerleader who'd been rude to her a swirly until she died.
- There was also the episode "Jus in Bello" where the brothers poured holy water into a prison toilet to save a demon-possessed man VIA dunked the man's head in there. The actor that played the victim talked about the experience.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrVwwXkioEo)
- In the third season of the television series Queer as Folk, one of the main characters gives a swirly to his little nephew, who not only tried to take cash from his wallet, but was also spouting homophobic slurs taught to him (Or so the main character infers) by their grandmother.
- The show Shameless has Episode 7 beginning with a pair of thugs, (implied to be loan sharks) dunking the main character's head in an already-used toilet. The leader says they would've flushed first if he hadn't tried to run away.
- In an episode of the MTV show The Dudesons, the consequences the two losers had to face for failing one of the challenges was getting their heads (Faces submerged as well) in toilets filled with.....well, you don't wanna know what was in there.
- The Amanda Show had the recurring segment "The Girls' Room" where Sheila, one of the girls hosting, would give one of the guest characters a swirlie, either at the request of the other girls, or because she simply disliked them.
- The prison drama Oz has a brief one on the first episode. While Dino Ortolani is finishing beating up Manipulative Bastard Ryan O'Reilly, we see him shove his head in the toilet just to add insult to injury.
- The episode "Heist School" of Workaholics involves Blake getting shoved into a school toilet by some jocks due to a misunderstanding with a female student....After a disguised Adam convinces them it's a better option than just beating him to a pulp.
- The Simpsons: One time, when it was the last day of school, a Montage showed various people/places in the school counting down the last 10 seconds; one of these was Milhouse, as he got one of these courtesy the school bullies. In another episode, we see Jimbo Jones doing this to Bart.
- In an episode of Recess where Spinelli is accused of throwing a rock at Randall, her punishment if found guilty is a swirlie.
- The part Spinelli and co. are most worried about is the ostracism and social stigma against having received one, not the swirlie itself. Ironically, when it's found out that Randall lied at some point during the trial, he is the one who ends up getting the swirlie. Since no one apart from Ms. Finster really likes him anyway, the public shaming aspect of the swirlie is a moot point.
- An episode of King of the Hill revolves around a team of bullies that continuously impede Bobby's attempts to ask Khannie out to the school dance throughout the episode. They attempt to give him a swirly in one of the bathroom toilets, with constant protest from Bobby. The act itself isn't shown, but Bobby walking home with wet hair tells the tale.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Millions", Batman tortures the newly wealthy Joker's accountant into divulging the clown's whereabouts by sticking the guy's head in an Iceberg Lounge toilet and flushing. Repeatedly.
- Used a couple of times in The Fairly OddParents. One notable time is when Francis threatened Timmy, only that Timmy didn't even feel threatened, and Francis ends up getting swirlied out of fear.
- Horrifically enough, Vicky did this to her sister Tootie — on her birthday!
- In the episode "This is my Jam" of Regular Show Rigby does this to himself on purpose to see if the water could get the song Summertime Lovin' out of his head.
- In the "Crank Call" episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, the pair constantly call a man by the name of "Harry Sachz" and flush their toilet. Several weeks of this drive him to near insanity, and he ends up thinking the calls are coming from Stuart's house, and that his dad was the culprit. He starts out by shoving his head in the toilet and flushing, asking him if he likes the way it sounds. Take note that he's so pissed that he doesn't just push his head in, he grabs him by the ankles and jams him straight down.
- In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N.", the Delightful Children tried to get information from a student named Leona; she wouldn't talk initially, so since they happened to be in the school girls' room, they told their henchman Lunk to "introduce her to Mr. Swirlie". After he did, they threatened to show her "Mr. Swirlie's downtown office" (which meant a rather filthy toilet) at which point she talked. (This leads to a Brick Joke much later in the episode, where the heroes find Leona and the villains at the Fountain of Youth; after a fight sequence, the Delightful Children are dumped in it, reducing them to infancy, and Leona calls it "Mr. Swirlie's corporate office".)
- In the The Loud House episode "one of the boys", Luke (Luna's male counterpart from a Gender Bender dimension) does this to Lincoln.
- Far from being a harmless school prank, the swirlie is a dangerous practice that, according to Wikipedia, can result in drowning, and has been successfully prosecuted several times in court.