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Bathroom Break-Out

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"No one ever goes into a movie toilet to perform a natural function. Instead characters use the bathroom to take illegal drugs, commit suicide, have sex, smoke, get killed, exchange money, or sneak out through the bathroom window."
Ebert's Bigger Little Movie Glossary

The heat is on and Bob is inches away from getting captured by the Big Bad. He has to find some way to escape, and fast, but he's trapped and there's a guard watching the entrance like a hawk, and the moment Bob shows his face, the guard will be on him like white on rice. So what does he do? He slips into the bathroom, naturally. Sometimes it takes a little haggling, especially if Bob's already been caught, but Bob eventually makes his way to the restroom where he has a moment of privacy.

Once alone, Bob makes his crafty, and usually narrowly executed, escape through the bathroom window, an air vent or some other really unlikely exit.

Related to The Guards Must Be Crazy. Usually requires a character to engage in Calling Your Bathroom Breaks. A character may also feign a Shy Bladder to get away with this. See also Balcony Escape. Contrast Locked in the Bathroom, where the intent is to stay in the bathroom. Compare Bathroom Search Excuse, where a character uses looking for the bathroom as an excuse for snooping. A common method of escape for those attempting to Dine and Dash. If a person goes into the bathroom to escape via flushing themselves, that's Toilet Teleportation.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Lagoon: Inverted in "Greenback Jane" when the title character waits till one of her guards goes to the toilet, then locks him inside by tying up the door handle. She then breaks a computer over the head of the other guard.
  • Double subverted in Fairy Tail. Lucy is captured by Jose, and says she needs to go to the bathroom. He hands her a bucket. It looks like she's going to use it, but instead she kicks him in the groin from behind and escapes.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Major does this during a training exercise, despite the fact that the toilet window is halfway up a skyscraper.
  • Inverted in GTO: 14 Days in Shonan, when Onizuka sneaks into White Swan late at night through the bathroom window. And then gets stuck, just as Ayame is coming in to take a bath.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Mafia boss Mario Bossi escapes Triela this way, while the two are chained together as well. Triela, one of the more efficient and proud cyborgs, is highly embarrassed and has to run him down while still in agony from her period.
  • Nina uses this to temporarily escape her male bodyguards in an early chapter of Mamotte! Lollipop; it backfires when the people who at that point want to kill her are already in there. (She's saved because one of the baddies foolishly admits he's a boy in drag.)
  • In Tekkonkinkreet, Black and White escape one of Mr Snake's henchmen by climbing out of a bathroom window.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: In an story where a bad guy has taken over the school with a teacher robot, Jughead gets out and is able to save the real teachers by asking to use the bathroom.
  • Batman: In the ending of the story "And the Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels", Stiletto (who has excellent persuasion abilities) escapes death row this way, by asking for a bathroom break some time before execution.
  • Empowered: Emp talks about how she thought about doing this but decided against it, because it might dissuade crooks from allowing captured heroines to use the bathroom in the future.
  • The Losers: Aisha escapes through the bathroom window of a hotel room during a gunfight.
  • The Outsiders: One issue of Batman And The Outsiders 2007 opens with Metamorpho captured in France for hijacking an ESA shuttle and ramming it into the International Space Station. He asks to go to the bathroom, and the prosecutor and two police officers escort him inside the bathroom (giving him enough privacy to do his business, of course)... But Metamorpho being Metamorpho, he finds a creative way to escape.
    Metamorpho: Not a story I want to tell the grandkids. "How'd you escape from the Sûreté, poppy?" "Well, I just flushed myself down the pooper, kids."

    Comic Strips 
  • Bob from Knights of the Dinner Table does it to escape from Nitro's game when sitting for Weird Pete in "A Man Out Standing In His Field".

    Fan Works 
  • In Snakes Keep Their Secrets Harriet goes through the girls' room window to leave the school without being seen by Dudley or his friends.
  • Vow of Nudity: Spectra does this in the forest to slip behind a tree and escape the guards escorting her back to Stoneskeep.
  • With This Ring: Among his escape attempts, J'onn J'aarkn tries to escape via the toilet but only to be caught the in the act by OL.
  • Zenith: To escape from the guards, Spike asks to go to the bathroom. The guards eventually realize that Spike's trying to escape and barge in, but by then he's left misdirecting clues to make them think he's trying an Air Vent Escape. They rush out to stop him while he's actually hiding inside a throw pillow.

    Films — Animation 
  • A variation in DC Showcase – Constantine: The House of Mystery. John Constantine tries to use a pool of water for a Pensieve Flashback, but is killed and brought back to life before seeing anything. So the next time he pretends to be going to take a leak, locks himself in the toilet, uses some lipstick left by Zatanna to draw a magic symbol and sticks his head in the toilet bowl. He's not very happy about this but It's the Only Way he can find out how he got in this mess.
  • Probably as an homage to this trope (among other Escape Tropes), in Toy Story 3 Woody initially breaks out of the day care centre through a bathroom window.
  • In Turning Red, Mei attempts this in her giant red panda form twice. The first time is in her own house's bathroom and fails with her getting no more than her face out the window but the second time succeeds since she escapes out a school bathroom window that's just big enough to fit through.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In About Scout, Scout escapes from the social workers who want to put her in foster care by climbing through Gram's bathroom window.
  • In The Adjustment Bureau a character makes his escape by running into a bathroom and then using his magical hat to open a door into a different part of New York.
  • In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Alan attempts to escape from the mobile home while its moving by going to the bathroom and climbing into the septic tank. This does not work so well.
  • Attempted in Black Cat when Catherine, in the ladies' room, gets stalked by an assassin. She somehow managed to squeeze her way out from under the cubicles, before braining her captor using a toilet cover.
  • In Blood Simple, Abby flees from Visser through her bathroom window into the next room.
  • In Catch Me If You Can, after Hanratty captured Frank and they were on a plane back to the US. Hanratty let him use the bathroom after breaking the news that his father was dead, and Frank escaped by removing the screws holding the commode down.
  • Citizen Ruth is at a clinic to monitor her pregnancy. Problem is, Ruth has already miscarried, and will be discovered during the exam. Fortunately, Ruth's pro-life sponsors are clashing with pro-choice picketers outside the clinic, so Ruth quietly leaves via a bathroom window.
  • Dad's Army (1971): When the three Nazis hold everyone at the meeting in the church hall hostage, Warden Hodges escapes through the bathroom window, much to the bemusement of the Verger.
  • The Dark Tower (2017). Jake Chambers notices there's something odd about the people who've come to take him to a special clinic. He goes to pack his bag and then goes to the toilet, making sure to leave his bag outside so it doesn't look like he's trying this trope. Of course that makes it easier to climb out the window onto the roof. The villains however quickly realise what he's up to and go after him.
  • In Death Sentence, Nick escapes from the watchful eye of Detective Wallis by going to visit his son in his hospital room, then climbing out the bathroom window.
  • Doctor in Love: While in Dawn and Leonora's hut, Drs. Hare and Burke see Professor MacRitchie and Dr. Flower approaching. Knowing that they can't be caught breaking their isolation, they tell the girls they'll wait in the bathroom to sterilise the teacups and plan to hide there until the coast is clear. Once Dr. Hare blows their cover with an Ill-Timed Sneeze, the pair flee through the window.
  • Averted in Firefox. Clint Eastwood's character hides from a KGB check in a public restroom, but a plainclothes KGB officer follows him in there and Clint is forced to kill him.
  • Averted in From Dusk Till Dawn. Seth Gecko lets Kate Fuller go to the bathroom to get changed, then adds that if she's not back in three minutes, "I'm going to shoot your father in the face."
  • In the Get Smart film, after Max is arrested by the Air Marshall (they thought he was a terrorist) he asks to go to the bathroom, where his parachute is to leave the plane. But first he has to get out of the cuffs...
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Tuco is captured by Union forces and transported by train, with a Union soldier handcuffed to him as a guard. Using his bathroom break as a pretense to get near the door, he jumps out of the moving train and takes the guard with him.
  • Inverted in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which includes a scene in which Bilbo and the dwarves sneak into a house in Laketown via the toilet (which is built directly over the water of the lake).
  • In Hounds of Love, Vicki attempts to escape her captors via a bathroom window when they're distracted, but she's foiled by their dog underneath the window, forcing her to take another route. At the end of the film, she does leave this way.
  • In It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World it happens before the start of the movie - a police detective reports that ex-con robber Smiler Grogan gave them the slip that way earlier in the morning while they were tailing him.
  • In The Killers, Kitty escapes trouble through a pub's bathroom window.
  • In Lajja Vaidehi escapes through a window in the airport's restroom when she finds out that her Jerkass husband intends to kill her after their baby is born.
  • Done in Malcolm X when the titular character has to get away from the gangsters on his tail.
  • Averted in Max Manus. Max enters his apartment and finds the Gestapo waiting for him. He insists on going to the toilet, but two Gestapo agents enter the toilet with him and stand directly behind Max with guns drawn. Max then tries jumping out the window only to end up in hospital, from which he's finally able to escape with the help of La Résistance.
  • General Koskov ditches his KGB bodyguard/minder via the restroom stall window near the start of The Living Daylights.
  • The "hostages" at the Model United Nations meeting do this to escape in the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Winning London.
  • In The Mummy Returns, Alex does this by kicking out the toilet, pulling the emergency break on the train he's on and making a run for it.
  • In Nikita (and its American remake Point Of No Return), Nikita's "graduation test" after being trained as an assassin is to kill a foreign diplomat, his escort, and his bodyguard in a fancy restaurant, then escape through a window in the restaurant's lady's room. Turns out the escape route she was told to use is blocked, and coming up with her own escape plan is all part of the graduation test.
  • 1941 (1979): Hollis Wood manages to do this from a submarine. He's eaten a toy compass the Japanese submariners need to find out their location, so they feed him prune juice to make it come out again. Hollis protests that he can't do a crap with them all watching, so they leave him alone on the toilet. Hollis then drops a boot into the toilet bowl and flees when they rush in to see the result. Fortunately the submarine is surfaced, so he's able to climb out the hatch and swim for it.
  • Ocean's Twelve opens with a flashback to Rusty coming home to Isabel and asking her about the case she's working on. She tells him they've found a boot print and a hair sample from their current suspect, which Rusty knows belong to him. He tells her he's going to take a shower, and then jumps out the bathroom window to go on the lam.
  • In The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Dreyfuss orchestrates the escape of a prisoner being transported by train. He goes to the bathroom, then climbs out through the ventilator on to the roof of the train and into a waiting helicopter.
  • In Please Stand By, Wendy breaks out of a hospital by locking herself into the bathroom, opening the window, and then hiding under the sink so the nurse will think she jumped. Once the bathroom is unguarded, she makes a break for it through the door.
  • In Push, this is where the female mind controller orders one of the sniffers to kill himself with his own gun.
  • In Revolver (1973), Milo Ruiz goes to the bathroom in the prison infirmary, then escapes by prising boards off the window when the guard escorting him is called away to the warden's office.
  • Ruthless People. Judge Reinhold's character has kidnapped a woman. Detectives come in to question him, and he excuses himself saying he has a touch of stomach flu. They hear moans and groans and assume he's having serious diarrhea, but he's really trying to squeeze out the window. Meanwhile, the detectives receive a call implicating someone else, so they just leave (while failing to notice him stuck halfway out the window).
  • In Satan's Cheerleaders, Chris, Debbie and Sharon escape from the sheriff's house by going upstairs to go to the bathroom, and then climbing out the window and dropping off the porch. However, Ms. Johnson gets caught when she tries it.
  • In Silent Night (2012), Maria attempts to escape from Santa by climbing the motel bathroom window. She falls out of the third storey window and lands on a pile of trash bags on the wasteland behind the motel.
  • In Sister Act, Dolores slips away from her police escort this way — only to find herself against the mafiosi who are chasing her.
  • Inverted in T2 Trainspotting. A hospitalized Begbie escapes by talking his guard out of handcuffing him to his stretcher while the guard uses the bathroom.
  • In Villain, Mitsuyo makes her escape through a bathroom window when the police find her and bring her to the station to question her about her murderer boyfriend, whom she's been helping to escape.
  • Inverted in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger attempts to save Eddie and Jessica from Judge Doom by sneaking into the Acme factory through a bathroom window. His heroic attempt is ruined when the Rule of Funny takes over and he falls head-first through the window and splashes into the Disgusting Public Toilet bellow. The toilet flushes swirling Roger around the bowl in circles before sucking him down the drain turning his failed Big Damn Hero moment into Nausea Fuel (the Squick being flushed down a real public toilet instead of a clean prop toilet on a cartoon set).
  • They Call Me Bruce. Bruce is bragging to a girl in a bar about his (non-existent) martial arts prowess, when some of the locals take offense and challenge him to a fight. Bruce pretends he has to take a leak, but in his panic he enters the ladies room and gets beaten with a handbag by an outraged occupant, then while trying to climb through the window he breaks the toilet cistern so when the hoodlums barge in to stop him they get a face-full of toilet water.

  • Kit Kittredge manages this in one of the American Girl books, Kit Saves the Day. She is only ten years old, so it makes a little more sense that she can fit through the bathroom window.
  • Subverted in the book Buddy, when the kidnapped kid says he needs to go to the bathroom and his captor answers that there are no windows in the bathroom.
  • In The Annihilist, Doc Savage escapes from the police by going into the bathroom and climbing up the sheer air shaft to the roof.
  • In Alistair MacLean's Fear Is The Key the protagonist has taken a woman hostage. They hide out in a hotel where he offers her a chance to clean herself up. At first she indignantly refuses, then suddenly changes her mind. Realising what she's thinking, he goes and waits outside the bathroom window for her to crawl through it, then marches her back inside.
  • In Restless in the Grave, Kate Shugak escapes from the pilot she had tricked into bringing her to Adak by going to the bathroom in the bar, and then getting the waitress to direct her to the back way out.
  • In A Brother's Price the villains are smart enough to only let Jerin use a chamber pot. He still manages to make use of the short moment of privacy this gives him.
  • Circleverse: In Tris's Book, Tris tells the others that she needs to use the privy now as an excuse to get away from them and go to try and fight off the pirates on her own.
  • An elaborate example is seen in The Da Vinci Code. During the bathroom break, the escaping characters fake an escape through the bathroom window, managing to mislead pursuers.
  • From "Target: Domino Lady" in Domino Lady: Sex as a Weapon, Ellen fakes emotional distress as an excuse to go to the bathroom where she changes to her alter ego and sneaks out the bathroom window.
  • In the horror novel Jago, people's personal demons come to life and start attacking them. The repellant Mike Toad encounters his in a pub, and flees into the restroom with the intention of escaping out of the window. The window turns out to have a security mesh on it that he can't break through, and he dies a humiliating death on the unclean restroom floor.
  • In one of the various incarnations of the Fairy Tale Little Red Riding Hood, Red escapes the Big Bad Wolf (or tries to, anyway) by using this excuse.
  • Dorothy L. Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey:
    • In Unnatural Death, Bunter shadows the (female) suspect all the way to a major London railway station, where he sees her enter the ladies' room. He waits at the door... and waits... and waits. The suspect, thinking she might be trailed, had earlier that day checked a suitcase containing a black cloth coat and a black felt hat; she put these on, re-packing the case with her fur coat and red straw hat. (Remember, women's hats in those days frequently concealed most of the face.) Hence, Bunter was looking for an empty-handed woman in a fur coat and a red straw hat; he never noticed the woman in the black cloth coat and hat carrying a suitcase.
    • In "Strong Poison", the murderer tries to escape from Lord Peter's flat by climbing out of the bathroom window. It doesn't work, not least because it's a three-storey drop to the ground.
  • In Myth Adventures, Skeeve tried to escape from the bar on Perv through the backdoor in the bathroom. Unfortunately Pervish thugs turned out to be smart enough to wait him outside.
  • In The Speed of Sound, Eddie and Skylar get separated in New York City, and Skylar looks for him in a bird shop, since he loves birds. While she's in the bathroom, Homeland Security Agent Raines enters the store and is told by an employee that she's in the bathroom. When Raines kicks down the bathroom door, though, he finds that Skylar has escaped through the window by bending one of the rusted security bars enough to squeeze through. Raines is much bigger than Skylar and doesn't have a chance of fitting.
  • Somewhat more brute-force version in one of the Stephanie Plum books. Steph is being held captive in a bathroom and managed to talk her captors into leaving the building for items they're going to need for planned nastiness inflicted on her. When she discovers a soggy piece of wallboard, she kicks her way through the wall, then leaves via a window in the next room.
  • In the book Things Not Seen, the main character, who has turned invisible, uses a bathroom to change from winter clothing that lets no invisibility show through to being naked.
  • In Twilight, Bella knows that the bathroom in the Phoenix airport has two doors in and out and her watcher, Alice, does not. Bella tells Alice she's going to the bathroom and then quickly escapes through the bathroom's other door before Alice can realize what she intends to do.
  • The Two Headed Eagle by John Biggins. Otto Prohaska crashlands behind enemy lines and tries to pose as an Italian flier when he encounters Alpini troops. They take him to the mountain hut they're using as a base, but he realises from their Spot the Imposter questions that they suspect he's actually Austrian. He goes to the latrine which is a tin shed perched on the side of the mountain, peels off a section of the back wall and uses it for a Shield Surf down the mountainside.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Darkstripe is being watched by Brackenfur since he's suspected of being a traitor. He tells Brackenfur he needs to make dirt, so he goes behind a bush for privacy... and sneaks off.
  • In The Witches Of Chiswick by Robert Rankin, one character, while being questioned, asks to go to the bathroom. His interrogator points out that the window in the bathroom is too small to climb out of.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: In Red Leech, Matty's kidnappers let him off the train to use the toilet while one of them watches the door. Holmes breaks through the rotted back wall of the wooden outhouse to help him escape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All in the Family: In "Edith's 50th Birthday", Edith tries using a bathroom break to escape her attacker, a rapist. Unfortunately, the rapist is too smart for this trick. Edith draws a few chuckles when she says, "I'll go later" in a very non-comedic moment.
  • The Andy Griffith Show: This is how convict Eddie Brooke escapes the custody of two state troopers in "Barney Gets His Man".
  • In Arrested Development, Buster goes to the bathroom then climbs out of the window to get away from Lucille II.
  • The first few episodes of Arrow have a Running Gag of Oliver Queen Ditching The Bodyguards assigned by his mother so he can carry out his secret vigilante activities.
    Diggle: So how was your evening, sir?
    Oliver: You mean after I said I had to go to the bathroom at dinner and never came back?
    • In "An Innocent Man", Oliver is talking to Diggle while being guarded by the bodyguard that replaced him. Oliver then begs off to go to the restroom. His bodyguard waits in awkward silence until Diggle casually informs him, "Oh, that boy's long gone, man."
  • Black Books: In "Manny Come Home", Manny is ordered to cut his hair by his new boss at Goliath Books. Locking himself in the bathroom, he leaves the clippers running so it sounds like he is still in there and climbs out the bathroom window using the continuous hand towel like a Bedsheet Ladder.
  • Subverted in Boardwalk Empire. Agent Sebso is delivering a witness to another prison in order to protect him. He pulls over the car saying he needs to relieve himself. Sebso then kills the witness and hits himself on the head with a rock to Make It Look Like a Struggle. When asked later, Sebso says that the witness said he wanted to use the bathroom and then tried to make his escape after Sebso removed his cuffs.
  • In a skit on Chappelle's Show, Tyrone Biggums is confronted by a group of people he had wronged and they try to force him to go into drug rehab. At this point, Tyrone goes to the bathroom to attempt an escape, but then realizes the restroom has no windows, so he flushes himself down the toilet.
  • Charmed (1998): Paige, Henry, and Billie are being held hostage in a bank by one of Henry's parolees. Paige tells the parolee that she needs to use the bathroom and he checks with the manager to make sure that there are no windows for her to escape through (not knowing that she is a whitelighter). Once in the bathroom, Paige orbs back to the manor.
  • The Closer:
    • Happens to Provenza and Flynn in episode "Layover", when they allow two stewardesses they are arresting to use the bathroom before taking them down to the station. To add insult to injury, the stewardesses then steal Provenza's car.
    • Also happens in "Next of Kin", with the suspect breaking out of the bathroom of the RV they're transporting him across the country in.
  • In the CSI episode "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?", the suspect asks for a bathroom break. After taking longer than he should, they bust down the stall door, thinking he escaped, but find instead that he committed suicide by suffocating himself with a plastic bag.
  • In CSI: NY's "She's Not There," the team search a building where a sex trafficking ring held their victims and find a young woman hiding under a cot. She asks to use the restroom. Initially thinking her to be a victim, they let her. While she's taking her time, they deduce that she's in on it, break the door down, and discover that she has escaped through the window.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry attempts this when he's accidentally Mistaken for Pedophile after putting a water bottle in his pants.
  • Doctor Who. In "Rosa", Team Tardis are staying in a Whites Only hotel in 1950's Alabama, so Ryan and Yaz have to hide in the bathroom when a suspicious policeman turns up to investigate. He insists on checking the bathroom as well, but fortunately they've already left via the window.
  • The Equalizer is not impressed when a little old lady does a Ditch the Bodyguards stunt on one of his associates this way. She was a fan of murder mysteries and espionage thrillers, so probably learned of the technique from them.
  • Father Brown: In "The Celestial Choir", the saboteur goes to the toilet and then climbs out the window and goes to sabotage the choir's bus.
  • Forever Knight. A Ditch the Bodyguards version occurs in "For I Have Sinned". A female witness who's been put up in a hotel room asks her male police bodyguard to step outside while she takes a shower, then ducks out the window.
  • In Foyle's War, a spy manages this on a train. The small-town cop she gets away from says it was like The Lady Vanishes.
  • Friends: Emily locks herself in the bathroom after Ross says the wrong name at their wedding. Rachel mentions that when she did this at her own wedding (to Barry), she was trying to pop the window out of the frame so she could escape. Ross then forces the bathroom door open; the curtains are blowing in the breeze and Emily's gone.
    Rachel: (seeing the open window) Oh, look at that, same thing.
  • Grimm: In "Eyes of the Beholder", when the teenage boy Hank is guarding learns his girlfriend has been kidnapped (by stealing Hank's phone), he gives Hank the slip by climbing out the bathroom window.
  • Happy Days: The 1980 episode "Hot Stuff", where Fonzie, Potsie and Ralph use the bathroom window to escape from a burning Arnold's. (The fire — the Big Bad in this case — had nearly engulfed the restaurant, but even so, the three have to rely on some outside help to escape.)
  • The InBESTigators: In "The Case of Vanishing Koalas", the thief slips out of the bathroom window while Pixie stands outside the stall continuing to talk to her without realizing she has left.
  • Justified: In "The Life Inside", Jamie Berglund attempts to escape from her captors by climbing out the bathroom window. Being eight months pregnant, she doesn't get far.
  • An episode of Law & Order: SVU used this as part of its Deus Angst Machina: Stabler discovers that he sent the wrong man to jail and promises him that he'll get him out once they arrest the actual criminal. Once said perp is arrested, he asks to use the restroom and dies in the attempt, though it's left ambiguous whether this was a suicide or the guest-starring Rabid Cop killed him. This somehow makes it impossible to clear the other man's name: despite knowing he's innocent, they have to leave him to serve out the rest of his sentence. This gets a Continuity Nod in a later episode, where the prisoner is shown again and gives Stabler a Death Glare. (It does not, however, prevent Stabler and his coworkers from constantly pushing to arrest and lock up suspects with as little evidence as possible.)
    • An earlier episode had Benson and Stabler inadvertently catching a suspect who had been on the run for thirty years after pulling one of these; she told then-junior prosecutor Elizabeth Donnelly that she wanted a meeting, and when Donnelly let her use the bathroom, she climbed out the window. And you better believe Donnelly remembers it like it was yesterday, because her coworkers never let her live it down, leading her to take a leave from the judiciary to prosecute the woman. She ultimately changes her tune when the suspect reveals the true sequence of events; she came to Donnelly to ask for her help in getting an abortion, as she was carrying the child of the abusive husband she'd just killed, but she was too intimidated by Donnelly to ask and so decided on the spur of the moment to run away instead.
  • Kate in Lost escapes her police escort at the airport this way.
  • In the first episode of The Mandalorian, the Mythrol bounty tries this trope (they are on a spaceship, as he points out, so he can't just jump out the window). As he ignores the toilet and searches for another means of escape, he discovers that the Mandalorian keeps his carbonite-freezing machine right next to the toilet, and ends up frozen.
  • In the Modern Family episode “Halloween”, Mitchell shows up to work on Halloween in a Spider-Man costume, only to discover only two other people are dressed up. He puts a suit on over the costume while in his car, and plans to go into the bathroom later to take the suit off, take the costume underneath off and put the suit back on. This, however, fails when he drops a piece of clothing in the toilet on accident while attempting to change, leaving him with only the costume to wear. Cue Mitchell climbing out the window and scaling down the wall like Spider-Man to get to his car- then promptly setting off multiple car alarms and attracting the attention of the entire office.
  • Done by Earl and his ex-wife Joy on My Name Is Earl, while escaping from Jessie, Earl's Psycho Ex-Girlfriend turned Bounty Hunter to get revenge on Joy.
  • In the adaptation of The Secret Adversary on Partners In Crime, Jane Finn escapes from Brown by locking herself in the train bathroom, smashing a window and climbing out.
  • The Partridge Family: In "Road Song," a teenage runaway who hitchhiked with the family pretends to take a shower, then escapes through the bathroom window so she won't be returned to her grandparents. Later, Danny uses the same trick when Shirley makes him stay behind in the hotel room during the search for the girl. He manages to climb back in just as Shirley returns.
  • The Punisher (2017). In "Roadhouse Blues", Amy tries to slip out of the roadhouse this way when the bad guys turn up, but they just follow her into the toilet and haul her back through the window. All it does is ensure Amy has gone somewhere out of sight so they can interrogate her.
  • In one episode of Red Dwarf, Rimmer mentions a date he once had, who apparently got a little confused and tried to climb out the bathroom window. Seeing as he spent the whole evening making fun of her nose (in a very misguided attempt to break the ice), it never occurred to him that she was trying to get away.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: A witness in protective custody escapes this way in "Face Value".
  • In an episode of Seven Days the perp of the week/damsel in distress tries to make Parker think she's done this by leaving the window open while hiding in the shower with the curtain closed; but Parker just turns on the cold water in the shower, making her yelp.
  • Not intentional in Step Dave: Cara was getting away from her date in the pilot (who was weeping about his ex, so, yeah) by hiding in the bathroom for a bit, but then the doorknob malfunctioned, trapping her in the loo and forcing this trope... and the ensuing Meet Cute with the titular slacker barman Dave.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Carrie apparently escaped from a date once by going to the bathroom and escaping out the window.
  • Supernatural: In "Sharp Teeth", when Sam and Dean finally track down Garth - actually a friend of theirs - in a hospital, he asks to go to the bathroom and wriggles out of the window.
  • Titans (2018). In "Origins", the Nuclear Family stop at a service station where Rachael Roth tries get away from them but the toilet window is locked. Then Kory Anders turns up to blast a hole in the entire toilet block.
  • Van Helsing does it in the Young Dracula episode "Halloscream"; leaving behind a tape of himself whistling to convince Jono that he is still in there.

  • Attempted by Sonny in "The Road Goes On Forever" by The Highwaymen:
    The Cubans grabbed the goodies and Sonny grabbed the jack
    He broke a bathroom window and climbed on out the back
  • In Studio Killers Ode to the Bouncer, we get a Bathroom Break In, where Cherry uses the ladies room bathroom to get passed the bouncer.

  • Subverted in Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues. The Dark Dragon takes over Simon's body and then sneaks into the bathroom to change into his patented all-black ensemble. He then goes over to the bathroom window in order to make a dashing escape... except there isn't any windows in the bathroom. He has to make do with going out the regular way instead.

    Video Games 
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Bell does this to escape The Stasi in the third mission "Brick in the Wall".
  • Kara has to do this in Covert Front 3, since someone is watching just outside the front door.
  • In Day of the Tentacle, Laverne uses this excuse to get out of her cell and use the Chron-O-John.
  • You try this in Escape From St. Mary's. It doesn't work. It does for another student.
  • A viable tactic in Shadows of Doubt. Attempting to flee the police/the suspect/random witnesses to your break-in? Make a beeline for the nearest toilet and climb into the nearest Air-Vent Passageway where they can't follow you.
  • In the first part of Stupid Invaders, Bud escapes from Bolok the bounty hunter in this fashion.


    Western Animation 
  • Subverted in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Toph is captured by Xin Fu and Master Yu, (her old earthbending mentor) in a metal box, and tries to escape by saying that she needs to go to the bathroom. Yu almost falls for it when Xin Fu points out that this is probably a ploy and they ignore her request.
  • President Uno does this during the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation W.H.I.T.E.H.O.U.S.E.". Subverted later in the same episode, when he finds a quizzical Secret Service agent just outside the bathroom window and has to find another way out.
  • Fillmore!: In "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields", Checkmatey gets away from Ingrid by going to the bathroom, turning on the shower, and climbing out the window.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 53, Stumpy claims he has to go to the bathroom in order to escape the house and hide evidence of a crime. He quickly slips out the front door and is noticed by the very people he's trying to escape.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: In "Liar, Liar, You for Hire?", Flapjack escapes from Captain Johnny's ship by flushing himself down the toilet, which is inexplicably connected to Stormalong's sewer system.
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Homer is taking Bart to a behavior correction camp, Bart escapes by climbing out the window of the restroom at a highway diner. Homer tries to follow him, getting stuck in the process, while Bart tells the cook that he's trying to Dine and Dash.
    • Another time is when Krusty the Clown owed lots of gambling money to Fat Tony and instead of paying escaped through the bathroom. (You can actually hear a car take off, and then a plane. Then Legs tells Fat Tony, "When he's done in there, I gotta go.")
  • Steven Universe: Attempted in "Catch and Release" by Peridot who, after getting caught by the Crystal Gems and released by Steven, tries to escape by locking herself in Steven's bathroom. She finds no other way out, after failing to flush herself down the toilet, and it quickly becomes her new residence. This becomes even more hilarious when the eagle-eyed viewer spots the open window in the background, which, while small, is big enough for a short and skinny Gem like Peridot to fit through. Either she Failed a Spot Check, or she just really wanted to stay.
  • Transformers: Animated "Survival of the Fittest" Sari tricks the guard into letting her go to the bathroom, and then escaping by knocking him out when she claimed it wouldn't flush.

    Real Life 
  • Frank Abagnale Jr. really did the "escape from the plane through the bathroom toilet" shown in Catch Me If You Can.
  • This was how Mas Selamat, a captured terrorist leader, escaped from custody in Singapore.
  • When Winston Churchill was a prisoner of the Boers he got out of the POW camp by crawling through a latrine window that overlooked a deep gully. He hid in the gully until full dark, then traveled overland to neutral territory.
  • According to Pink Sari Revolution, this is how a girl, who was held captive at the house of a politician in India, escaped.
  • A Catholic bishop did this in Talca, Chile, to avoid being interviewed for coverage on sexual harassment allegations. He was found on the way to his car later and the first thing he said was "I greet you warmly, but I'm not a criminal", before hastily taking off.
  • Reversed during the 1204 siege of Chateau Gaillard, which fell in part due to a Bathroom Break-In. One of the French soldiers besieging the castle found a latrine chute that gave access to the chapel. A strike force climbed up the chute, ambushed several guards, and opened the castle gate.


Video Example(s):


Treasure Leaves the Field Trip

After stopping to use the bathroom during a class trip to France that they've gotten sick of, Treasure and Rosie get the idea to ditch the class by escaping through the window.

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Example of:

Main / BathroomBreakOut

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