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Bottomless Bladder

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"Peeing is for sims of lesser wills."

So, the Hero has fulfilled every task he set out to accomplish. The Big Bad is no more, those who were trapped under his power have been liberated, his minions are defeated, the fair maiden is rescued, the hard-won Plot Coupons have served their purposes, and the world has been saved. And the Hero is still just as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as he was at the moment he set out on his great adventure. Nope, navigating all of those treacherous, deathtrap laden dungeons, hacking through hordes of enemies like thorn bushes, slaying all of those hideous monsters, and traversing all sorts of terrain on foot through every kind of weather didn't wear him out one bit. And he never stopped to take a rest even once!

Except for storyline purposes, video game characters are seldom forced to complete such mundane tasks as eating, sleeping, bathing, changing clothes, or going to the bathroom. Often the only "need" they have to be concerned about is their health meters, but even that can almost always be taken care of in a jiffy with a swig of a potion or a dip in a Healing Spring.

Of course, this can be justified during short spurts of action, because the excretory system shuts down during periods of stress. However, in some games, you control the same character for days or months on end, experiencing every moment of their lives, and they'll never need as much to go to the bathroom or change clothes. This is particularly noticeable in games that take place in "real time."

It's unrealistic, but largely practical. Game designers have historically been very bad at modeling the frequency of bodily functions with any degree of realism. The player character is either a camel on crystal meth, or a diabetic with narcolepsy, and rarely anything in between.

This often goes as far as the complete lack of bathrooms anywhere in the game.

An Acceptable Break from Reality, because if video game characters had the same needs and limitations that humans in Real Life have, then that would just plain suck.

On the other hand, some games - like management sims - make the satisfaction of base needs a primary game goal.

See also Nobody Poops and No Such Thing as Dehydration. Contrast Flushing-Edge Interactivity, Potty Emergency and Potty Failure, when the Bladders weren't Bottomless. Pretty common in works with an Extremely Short Timespan.

In certain rare cases, the actual player is expected to have one too.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach, everything from when Ichigo and his friends enter Hueco Mundo to the defeat of Aizen is presumably less than 24 hours. That's about 283 chapters or (not counting the excessive amount of fillers) over 100 episodes. And despite it basically being one fight after another, not one of the characters ever needs to take a break.
  • Averted in Wolf's Rain: Hubb gives the alcoholic Quent a sobriety pill before they set off in a car, so that Quent can do some of the driving. Later on Quent experiences the pill's side-effect - when he has to urinate he finds himself peeing "a freakin' river here".
  • Averted in Neon Genesis Evangelion: When Misato gets trapped in a lift during a power cut, she starts to need the bathroom. She's just short of wetting herself when the power comes back online.
    • Played Straight during the fight with Leliel, when Shinji is trapped inside the Angel for about 16 hours.
  • Averted in Case Closed: In one of the early cases in the anime ("Billionaire Birthday Blues"), Conan has to make for the bathroom, remarking with annoyance: "Little body, little bladder."
  • Highschool of the Dead averts this several times, usually for the sake of comedy:
    • The first instance being, when Takashi rescued Alice from being eaten by zombies. As he was carrying her on his back on the top of the wall, she said needed to pee; leaving him no choice but to let her pee down his back, while a horde of corpses were trying to grab him and pull him off.
    • Also seen when he and Saeko had taken shelter at an abandoned Shinto shrine. Just as they were getting settled in so they could talk, he pulled out a container and told her it was a portable toilet, which made her laugh.
    • And Zeke turned what was meant to be a dramatic moment, into a comical one, by peeing on Takashi's leg. Alice chides him for it while the others share a laugh.
  • Averted and Played for Laughs in Naruto, where Naruto DOES need to pee. But only when it's least convenient for everyone. Including in one filler episode, where he has to pee, and his hand is glued to Sasuke's using a ball of their enemy's "spoiled" chakra, which is impossible to remove.
  • Dragon Ball: It's surprising how often bathroom breaks don't come up in Dragon Ball Z since it has been established that they do in fact, need to do so, but it isn't even brought up. Goku never has to pee EVER even though he did have to in Dragon Ball, same with Krillin, Vegeta and the other humans. Gohan only had one or two instance(s) of him peeing, when he was just a 4 year old. There have been instances of Goten relieving himself, as well as Trunks, but besides that, no one needs to take a bathroom break. Ever. It can be excused with Piccolo, since he's a Namekian, but seriously, how was Vegeta able to hold it in for 3 days straight? Does he have an ACTUAL bottomless bladder? This is averted in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming, because Trunks pees himself. However, besides that movie, which might not be canon, the bladders do not have a bottom.

    Comic Books 
  • Averted in Transmetropolitan; Spider Jerusalem is occasionally shown going through his morning routine, i.e., taking a piss and smoking something. Also, in one scene, Channon announces she's going to take a dump the size of a birthday cake. Good to see class and taste being used to address bodily needs. And let's not forget the numerous times Spider shows his distaste for the city by pissing over the side of his balcony...
    • Toilet humor is rampant in Transmet - Spider corners The Beast in the men's room, "Drink My Urine Day", bowel disruptors, Spider crapping in a church, and then there's the Filth Of The City page where he's calculating the trajectory to kill his neighbor by pissing on him from his balcony. DC even sold a statue of Spider on the toilet. Truth be told, he was not pooping, since he on this statue (and in the panel the statuette is depicting) keeps his shorts on. He couldn't be pooping through his shorts, could he? Then again, Spider's shorts are probably full of holes at the bottom, since he practically never takes them off, let alone washes them...
  • Also subverted in Watchmen in the scene where Rorschach pursues the Big Figure into the men's room. Assuming that Rorschach insisted on stopping there for the usual reason, Nite Owl recalls an occasion where he lost a target because he had to take a bathroom break.
  • Averted at one point in Secret Six when on a country wide road trip Scandal tells them to pull over for apparently yet another time. This prompts Deadshot to snark about her having a "bladder like a bullet."
  • One Deadpool scene lampshades this trope. After complaining about having to pee for about three days comic-book time, he finally has time to take a bathroom break and spends the next page and a half inside the toilet while Mister Sinister waits outside. (And when he does finally come out, Mister Sinister tells him to go back in and wash his hands.)
  • The Smurfs comic book story "Bathing Smurfs" has Handy build an outhouse near his house by the lake, in case anyone was wondering about a Smurf's personal physical habits.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lampshaded in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery after Austin is thawed from cryogenic freezing. He literally has a Bottomless Bladder during the evacuation scene, much to the dismay of the female computer voice.
  • In Back to the Future Part II, Marty apparently spent most of a day in 1955 locked in Biff Tannen's garage, from morning until nightfall. Once he's out, he immediately goes through several set-pieces which lead continuously into Back to the Future Part III. You have to wonder... Of course, since he hadn't had anything to eat or drink in the whole movie (not even the Pepsi he ordered), he never needed to go! Another possible explanation is that it was his garage so he could do what he needed to in the corner.
  • John McClane in most Die Hard movies. The most flagrant are in installments three (where John's hungover) and four (both John and the hacker he's escorting go through 36 hours without bathroom breaks and barely a snooze).
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Mothra and Behemoth — neither Titan's feeding habits are observed nor are they revealed by their respective Kaiju profiles in supplementary material. This is particularly notable in Mothra's case, since she goes from an egg to a larva to her much-larger adult form over the course of the movie. Mothra's raptorial forelimbs and stinger indicate that she was a predator when she originally evolved, but Word of God said these traits were actually evolved as a form of defense against other creatures in such a time.
  • Subverted in one scene in A League of Their Own, wherein not only does Tom Hanks' character take a leak, his all-female baseball team (whom he doesn't notice or doesn't care are there) actually time how long he pees.note  Come to think of it, Tom Hanks does this a lot.
  • In The Naked Gun, Drebin takes a noisy leak, unaware that a press conference can hear his radio microphone. It goes on .. and on.. and on..
  • Played with in Pleasantville. When the main characters are sucked into an idyllic 1950s, black and white TV world, they quickly find the bathrooms have no stalls or urinals.
  • Ogre takes a really long pee in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.
  • Lampshaded in Star Trek: First Contact.
    Cochran: I gotta go take a leak.
    LaForge: Leak? I'm not detecting any leak.
  • Star Wars:
    • A classic question that is asked is how Darth Vader goes to the bathroom if he can't take off his suit. This actually is answered in-universe by means of built-in collection pouches, when Vader does have to go to the bathroom it is collected and recycled and the mechanisms in his suit which regulate his health decide when he can go to the bathroom. Plus Vader eats via nutrient tubes, and only has the luxury of eating an actual satisfying meal when he is in mediation chambers that provide purified oxygen for him to breathe without his mask, which means that Vader wouldn't have much waste flowing through his intestinal tracks for him to poop out so he doesn't even go to the bathroom that often.
    • How do Rebel pilots relieve themselves on those missions that involve long journeys through hyperspace? Luke going to Dagobah had to have taken at least a couple days.... The obvious answer would be suits similar to astronaut suits, but the speed of hyperdrive is such that an X-Wing would take much less than a day to reach Dagobah.
  • In The Usual Suspects, the consistency of a character's urine becomes a major plot point.

  • In Scott Adams's The Dilbert Principle, one way bad managers control the outcome of meetings is that they have evolved larger bladders, so that when everyone else is desperate for the meeting to end, the manager can just calmly insist on his way until everyone else gives in.
    • As an aside to the previous comment, one Dilbert strip features management misuse of the toilet. The Boss informs Wally that he wishes to get rid of him without having to pay him severance, and is going to degrade his working environment until he resigns. Wally replies, "Ha! You don’t stand a chance! My standards are lower than you can possibly imagine!" The last frame shows a toilet stall with a phone cable running to it. Wally’s voice: "Hi, Mom! Guess who just got a cubicle with a door?"
    • Truth in Television: The bomber group that delivered the first atomic bombs over Japan had a long-standing tradition that the first crewman, whether officer or enlisted man, to use the bomber's latrine while airborne had to clean the thing out afterward. Paul Tibbets, pilot and commander of the B-29 that dropped the first Big One, had perfected the art of "holding it" so that he never got stuck with this duty. Admittedly that mission wasn't exactly a "meeting," but still.
  • Subverted in Diane Carey's Star Trek novel, Battlestations!. The main character Lt. Piper is helping Spock fight the Enterprise singlehandedly due to an incapacitation-gas attack on the crew, and are in the midst of a major melee when suddenly... ("And when I got back, the Romulans had arrived.")
  • Played with in Michael Ende's book The Neverending Story: the protagonist needs a bathroom break, while which he muses why things like that never happen in books. He also remembers a scene from his religious education when he asked the teacher whether Jesus ever needed bathroom breaks.
  • In Ramona The Pest, Ramona gets sent out of class for persistently interrupting Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel to ask why he never had to stop for a bathroom break.
  • Lampshaded in Michael Stackpole's X-Wing: The Bacta War Star Wars Legends novel, in which a character notices a stormtrooper coming out of the bathroom and wonders how they can possibly... It's worth nothing that the incredibly detailed diagrams of the Millennium Falcon have no bathroom. Although, one could potentially handwave it away by having Firefly-style toilets.
  • This is especially obvious in Dan Brown novels like The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons which take place in a really short period of time, practically minute-by-minute, without the main character needing to eat, sleep, or use the restroom over more than a 24 hour period.
  • Averted in some of the Dragonriders of Pern books. Some vandals urinate on medical supplies in Renegades of Pern, and Jaxom overhears a plot to kill him while helping a very drunk Masterfisher Idarolan relieve himself in All the Weyrs of Pern. Dragon poop is also used as a fertiliser and a deterrent to keep the big cats of the Southern Continent away from human dwellings.
  • Averted in A Brother's Price - when Jerin is in a situation where he can't easily access a bathroom, he explicitly announces his need to use the bathroom. He also talks at length about his family having been so clever as to build in an indoor privy into their house.
  • Subverted in Paper Towns. Every character urinates at least once on the 24-hour road trip, (Q even says Ben's role on the trip is to be the one perpetually needing to pee), but nobody mentions ever having to poop.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Downplayed. Time Lord biology invokes a mild form of this trope. Lampshaded in "Smile":
      Twelfth Doctor: Who needs loos? There's probably an app for that.
    • Also subverted a few times; see Potty Emergency.
    • Reconstructed in "Twice upon a Time". Apparently this causes some problems:
      Twelfth Doctor: I died a few hours ago, then I refused to regenerate. It catches up with you, you know, it's like a big lunch..
  • Jack Bauer from 24. Naturally, the cast have been asked about this. The stock answer is "during the commercials."
    • "How come Jack Bauer never goes to the bathroom? Because nothing escapes Jack Bauer."
    • During Season 4, after torturing a non-suspect for non-answers he used the suspect's hotel room bathroom, coming out of a commercial, he's seen exiting the bathroom having washed his hands!
    • Mind you, the number of times Jack can be seen eating or drinking anything can be counted on one hand. But that doesn't account for him (presumably) eating before the season started (especially if it starts late in the evening) so...
    • It should be noted that if you're going into a bathroom in CTU, the audience will assume you're going in to commit treason.
      Jack: "24 isn't very realistic. I mean it's already two o'clock and no one's gone to the bathroom yet."
  • Star Trek gives rise to a famous debate as to why there aren't bathrooms in space, the first highly publicized form of this question poking fun at how such inevitabilities are overlooked on TV.
    • The producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation made sure they avoided this trope by including a door on the bridge which is specifically labelled "head". Once or twice in its seven seasons we even seen characters enter the bridge from this door (it's at the back, on the left and around the corner from the door to the briefing room). The subsequent spin-offs, on the other hand, all seemed to forget this little detail.
      • It's mentioned several times, but apparently the 24th-century polite term is "waste extraction".
    • In an early Enterprise episode, Trip has to answer an Earth child's letter asking how starship bathrooms work. The fact that we don't actually get to hear his explanation is possibly a lampshading of this trope.
    • At least in the 24th century, everyone seems to have a sink and a shower in their quarters, so a toilet isn't out of the question. Presumably, the makers of the show deduced that most viewers didn't want to see the crew using them.
  • Averted on Babylon 5. We even get to see the inside of one. The blue one is for methane breathers.
  • Memorably and triumphantly averted on Picket Fences, when the collective efforts of the entire family (cheering, urging, turning on sinks full blast) finally succeed in spurring the older son's bladder to empty itself. All this effort is completely justified, as he'd suffered a paralyzing spinal injury earlier that season, so his urinating proved that his nerves were recovering.
  • CSI, Grave Danger. Nick was in that box for almost a day, yet all he's got are ant bites and dirt all over, no sign of wetting his pants.
  • Averted in the NCIS episode "Boxed In." After being trapped in a shipping container for most of a day, one of the first things Ziva does upon getting out is march away stiffly, stating she is going to find a ladies room.

  • Yellowjackets: Misty tries to find information about Natalie's disappearance. She questions the clerk at the No-Tell Motel Nat had been staying. Despite an Implied Death Threat, the clerk still refuses to help Misty until she issues her final threat So Misty pulls out her final card, which makes him yield:
    Misty: Well, you should know I have two days off from work, an abnormally large bladder, and the latest Nora Roberts novel in my purse. So, huh... (sitting down) I'll just wait.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Most DMs assume that basic bodily functions are automatically taken care of off-camera. The more sadistic or anal-retentive will have player characters starve to death if the players don't specifically specify that they have eaten in a certain period of time. The absolute worst will have PCs soil themselves because they didn't specifically specify that they'd used the restroom.
  • In Exalted, the Infernal Exalted have access to charms that permanently remove human weaknesses. The charm Transcendent Desert Creature means you never need to use the bathroom again.
  • Averted in the starship blueprints provided in FASA's Star Trek RPG. The Enterprise is absolutely infested with bathrooms (every cabin has one), and each one has what appears to be a modern-day toilet.

  • Made fun of in this Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes strip.
  • Made fun of in this Order of the Stick strip. Apparently, Vaarsuvius actually has a near-bottomless bladder, due to being an elf.
  • At the end of the first run of Darths & Droids (The Phantom Menace), Qui Gon's player emphatically argues against using a special reroll power that might have NOT gotten him cut in half, because that specific ability can only be used once a day and they never stopped to sleep during their entire adventure, so it MUST have been just one day (how do you measure a day in space anyway?). It's not until the exasperated DM concedes the point and declares his character DEAD that the player realizes what his nitpicking just accomplished.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:

    Web Original 
  • Cracked Photoplasty advertises undergarments and supplements that make this possible in "Ads for Products That Must Exist in Video Games": #20 and #4.
  • In Noob, Arthéon got kidnapped by Master Zen in real life and was presumably tied to a chair for a whole week. At best, not getting tied back well enough after a bathroom break could explain how he managed to escape on his own.