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Calling Your Bathroom Breaks

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"I need to urinate."
Leonard's Mom, The Big Bang Theory

Everybody does it, but due to courtesy most people exercise discretion, merely saying something like, "Please excuse me for a moment." Not this character. When they have to go, they announce it loud and clear for everyone to hear: "I have to pee!"

Obviously, if a young child does this they might just not know any better; this kind of behavior is often associated with children during (or just over) toilet training who may need help with the process and are generally praised for doing so. Likewise, a student may need to state for the record why he or she is leaving the classroom in order to satisfy attendance laws. If a grown character still acts this way, it can indicate childishness.

In a non-childish character, it can still be used to indicate boorishness. Like some other forms of impropriety, this can also be used to show that characters are comfortable dispensing with formalities between themselves. It could even show a twisted form of respect for someone else's time as a way to imply how long the break will likely be, as brown takes longer than yellow. Or it could just be they've been holding it in so long that they don't have the mental energy to spare on being polite.


May or may not involve an Excrement Statement. Sometimes a character who engages in this is faking in order to attempt a Bathroom Break-Out or Bathroom Search Excuse, or just to get away from an awkward conversation (see I Need to Go Iron My Dog).

Lastly, this can be played for a very mild form of Toilet Humor, sometimes as a Bottom of the Barrel Joke.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tamayo Kizaki on Angelic Layer does this earlier in the series in order to indicate that she is still childish. She stops after a particularly heart-wrenching moment of Character Development later in the series when she and Kotaro decide that they need to grow up. It doesn't help that this moment involves the two of them being trapped on an elevator for several hours, and all that implies...
  • Several times to get away with "disappearing" and to "prove" who killed an Asshole Victim (!) in one episode by Conan in Detective Conan. Never for actual emergencies, though.
    • Also once by Jodie, out of all people. It was also a decoy though. She was taken hostage and wanted an opportunity to knock out one of the bad guys, and pretending to be an innocent foreigner certainly helped.
  • Haikyuu!! Hinata has a tendency to sing on his way to the bathroom. The lyrics are either vollyball related or just about what he's going to do in the bathroom (peeing).
  • Tomoko Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! once attempted to start a conversation with two guys at a bus stop by telling them she needs to take a massive dump. She bolts off saying she just needs to pee after the guys are squicked out.
  • In Poison Berry in My Brain, Hatoko (the "Present" part of Ichiko, in the page image) does this repeatedly in Chapter 8, until Ichiko herself finally asks to use Saotome's restroom.
  • Gou Kurumada in Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kidou Kyuukyuu Keisatsu does this regularly during class, in order to have an excuse to leave and do rescue work. Other students do start wondering about this.
  • School Zone: Kei tries to use the facilities in her high school while her friends Yokoe and Yatsude talk about ghosts. Kei, who is deathly afraid of spooky things, storms out, her business unfinished, and loudly announces she's using the upstairs bathroom instead. When they don't get the hint, she repeats herself. They finally realize she's too proud to ask them to accompany her.

  • Discussed by George Carlin, who says in one of his routines how embarrassing it would be for your fiancee to do this at a dinner party:
    "I'll be right back! I gotta take a dump!" There seems to be no really genteel way...of announcing publicly...a dump. And frankly I'm not impressed with people who tell you what they're doing. "I'll be right back, I gotta take a shit!" Never Mind! Do what you have to do and leave me out of it! And don't describe it to me when you get back! "Boy, you shoulda seen—" NEVER MIND! "It set off the smoke alarm—" NEVER MIND!!!
    • In another of George's routines:
    "Why do people say 'take a shit' and 'take a piss?' You don't take 'em, you leave 'em! 'I left a shit, Bill.' 'Where'd you leave it this time? Last year, the kids couldn't find it till Easter!' 'I'm gonna take a shit.' 'Don't take one of mine! I only have three left and the weekend's coming up!'"

    Fan Works 
  • Harriet Potter:
    Harri: Go on, dinner should be soon and I'm hungry. Plus, I think I need to find a bathroom. I'm so full of tea I'm gonna pee like a racehorse.
  • Heirs of the Founders:
    Ron: ...Anyways, I'm gonna go find the loo; I haft'ta take a whizz.
  • In a fanfiction of Star Trek: Enterprise T'Pol says "Ensign Sato, I must", then tries to say "urinate" but can't find the English word for it.
  • In Struggle, Joker runs into Wrex, Garrus and Liara in the elevator. When asked why he's not flying the Normandy, he explains that even he has to pee.
  • In Where Talent Goes To Die, at the start of Chapter V, Miura casually tells Edogawa that she has to go "pee." It turns out that since Miura had previously been shy about talking about her bathroom breaks, even in her narration, she was actually asking Edogawa to meet with her in the girls' bathroom.
  • Inverted (to the extreme), and Conversed in this White Collar fanfiction, which features Neal doing everything he can not to invoke this trope. Peter ends up calling his breaks for him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Being There, the (fictitious) President of the United States himself says he's going to "take a shit." Only to his staff, of course.
  • Freddy Benson does this in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels does this at the dinner table as part of his Obfuscating Disability.
    Benson: Excuse me, may I go to the bathroom first?
    Jamieson: Of course you may.
    Benson: (beat and look of profound relief) Thank you.
  • In the film adaptation of Doom - "I gotta take a dump."
  • In a deleted scene from The Enforcer, Harry is drinking beer with Kate, which ends with her drunkenly declaring that she has to pee.
  • In Forrest Gump, both the book and the movie, this is used to indicate Forrest's lack of intelligence and social understanding. Most famously, he does this when he meets the President of the United States. Though he did just drink fifteen Dr Peppers.
    President Kennedy: How does it feel to be All-American?
    Forrest: I gotta pee.
  • In Frankenweenie, Bob says "I have to pee" when subject to a dangerous experiment.
  • The Merovingian in The Matrix Reloaded, in perhaps the greatest example of his Sophisticated as Hell characterization.
    Persephone: Where are you going?
    Merovingian: Please, ma cherie, I have told you. We are all victims of causality. I drank too much wine, I must take a piss.
  • In Murder by Death Sam Diamond does this twice, establishing his rudeness.
    Diamond: I'm going down the hall to find the can. I talk so much sometimes, I forget to go.
    Diamond: Shut up, all of youse! Nobody move! Stay where you are! [snip] I have to go to the can again. I don't want to miss nothing.
  • A crude classmate in National Lampoon's Class Reunion announces that he needs to excuse himself by declaring that he hasn't taken a dump in two days.
  • In Paper Moon, Addie says, "I have to go to the shithouse," no doubt intending to embarrass her apparent father.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Vincent always crudely announces his need to go, which helps to differentiate him from his more professional counterpart, Jules. It also creates some incongruity with his character, being a professional hitman in a suit and tie.
  • In the film of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott does this a few times to show how socially inept he is. A fantastic example occurs when he is caught in an awkward situation, asked about a girl he'd rather not talk about by his current girlfriend: a cut-away shows a wheel of excuses on the inside of his head which spins around and gets caught between "Who, her?" and "I have to pee." Scott's muddled response? "I have to pee on her."
  • Zefram Cochrane says he needs to take a leak in Star Trek: First Contact.
    GEORDIE: Leak? I'm not detecting any leak.
    COCHRANE: Don't you people from the 24th Century ever pee?
    GEORDIE: Oh. Leak. That's funny!
  • In 21 Jump Street Officer Jenko (undercover as a high-school student) abruptly interrupts class by announcing "I've gotta take a dump".

  • In Battlestations!, Piper realizes she really needs to use the head during a very tense situation.
    Piper: Mr. Spock, permission to step updeck?
    Spock: [after a second to think through the meaning] Certainly.
  • In the Circle of Magic series, in the second book, when the four children are discussing what to do about the pirate attack, Tris announces loudly that she has to use the privy and leaves. Turns out she really was just trying to get away from the others so she could deal with it on her own.
  • Robert Munsch's book I Have To Go has a boy Andrew who has a Potty Emergency several times. Every time he does he shouts "I HAVE TO GO PEE!!"
  • In The Leonard Regime, Brandon does this regularly during any form of car ride, nearly to the point of absurdity.
  • Nightside: Returning from a time-traveling jaunt, John Taylor plays this trope straight, because how often does one get the chance to declare that you need to take a leak because you've been holding it for centuries?
  • The Reynard Cycle: In The Baron of Maleperduys, Reynard and company find themselves trying to stay ahead of an advancing army, when a rainstorm begins to slow them. Sheltering briefly in a thicket, Reynard urges everyone to take food and drink, stating that they will press on as soon as he returns. When asked where he is going, Reynard replies: "To take a piss."
  • In Skeleton Crew's "Here There be Tygers," third-grader Charles attempts to be discreet, telling his teacher Miss Bird he has to go to the "basement" (the students' nickname for the bathroom). However, Miss Bird embarrasses him by demanding he say "bathroom" before she'll let him go. Then she calls his bathroom break, saying "You may go to the bathroom and urinate. Is that what you need to do? Urinate?" Charles can only hang his head in shame before he goes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A rather famous clip on America's Funniest Home Videos features a kid singing a Christmas song when nature calls interrupting him. He winces before shouting "I need to go poo-poo!" loudly on camera.
  • Barney Miller: In the toilet humor category, Fish has to go to the bathroom frequently. It's part of his aging process. Sometimes he announces it and sometimes he just implies it; it's a Running Gag.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Played with by Sheldon. Sheldon insists on a bathroom schedule and regulates the time at which meals are eaten in order to control when he and Leonard go to the bathroom, and several episodes concern him discussing this schedule with others. This illustrates both his rigorous need for structure and his totally inept social skills. Played straight by Leonard's mother who will stand and say "I need to urinate" before going to the bathroom.
    • Howard's mother Mrs. Wolowitz is very open about when she needs to go,'s she doing in there. No one really likes being around Mrs. Wolowitz.
  • The Brady Bunch: The most famous case was in the three-part "Grand Canyon" episodes to open the third season. Prior to the family leaving in the first part, Bobby and Cindy have to use the bathroom, and then so does Alice, delaying the start of the trip. In Part 2, shortly before arriving at the campsite, a Filler scene is shown with the station wagon parked on the side of the road and an irritated Mike waiting for three of his passengers – again, Bobby and Cindy ... and then Alice – to scurry back from the woods (implying a need to relieve themselves).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Restless" features this exchange in Xander's dream as the gang watches a video of "Apocalypse Now":
    Giles: I'm beginning to understand - it's all about the journey, isn't it?
    Xander: Well, thanks for making me have to pee! [heads for bathroom]
    Buffy: You don't need any help with that, do ya?
    Xander: Got a system.
    • In "The Body", while waiting in the hospital after their mother's death, Dawn says she has to go pee (actually because she wants to see her mother in the morgue). Buffy offers to go with her, and she replies coldly, "No, I still remember how to pee."
  • In the Friends episode "The One After The Superbowl Part 2", when Chandler's date invites him to the bathroom for sex, he excitedly states "I'm going to the bathroom now!"
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Game On. Mandy jokingly asks if the flatmates should keep each other informed of their bowel movements. Matt then walks by, saying "Just going for a dump, I'll be right back."
  • Happens once on Happy Days when Fonzie is released from being tied up he says he "gotta go", which Howard misinterprets as having to leave, and says "You can't just go off and leave your bike in the living room!", to which the Fonz replies "After six hours tied up, I gotta GO!"
  • Invoked in one episode of Hatfields And Mccoys when Cap Hatfield is discreetly told by Jim Vance to head outside as if he needs to take a leak, as there's a bounty hunter in the room with them who needs to be dealt with. Cap announces aloud his need to "find a tree to water" in order to lure the hunter outside where Jim can sneak up on him.
  • On How I Met Your Mother Lily does this a few times over the course of the series, usually to indicate how working with kindergarteners for years has blunted her social sensibilities.
  • On the L.A. Law episode "Guess Who's Coming to Murder," guest star Kevin Spacey plays "eccentric" businessman Giles Keenan, who, when he's told a big business deal is coming through, leaps to his feet and cries "Oh! Excitement! I need a bowel movement! I go alone!"
  • A Monty Python sketch has a woman (Terry Jones) visited by several clandestine lovers as she's in bed next to her dozing husband (Michael Palin). As he's awoken and lulled back to sleep several times by his wife, he finally declares "I'm off for a tinkle!" and walks out, stopping the production of the sketch. (He's actually gone off to his own clandestine affair.)
  • In NCIS, after a moment in the bullpen Genki Girl Abby Sciuto stands in the middle of the emptied floor and then announces to herself, "Abby needs to pee" and runs off.
  • In The Office (US), Oscar once mentions that Kevin does this frequently (to the point of once stopping his car on the spot and charging out of it to do so). To Keven's credit, the only time he actually does this at a relevant point in the show was to escape a situation where he was in danger of revealing that Oscar was having an affair with Angela's husband.
  • Leslie in Parks and Recreation sometimes announces her trips to the "Wizz Palace".
  • Sesame Street:
    • In the episode centred on all things bathroom, entitled "Elmo's Potty Time", when kids list a Long List of synonyms for pee and poop, they shout "I REALLY NEED TO URINATE!!" at one point. Later, when Curly Bear has to "go woo-woo" (her word for poop) she says, "Curly gotta woo-woo".
    • Maria says "I have to go to the bathroom", during one episode, to which Big Bird says, "I've got nobody to play with, everybody's going somewhere: to work, to the library, to the bathroom!"
  • One of Rich Fulcher's Catch Phrases on Snuff Box is "I gotta piss."
  • Taxi: In the first episode Latka tries to get Alex to help him with his English lessons, while Alex is on the phone.
    Alex:Why don't you look at the phrases I wrote in the back [of Latka's English phrasebook]? "Get off my back." "Give me a minute while I go to the can." Study those.
    • Later when everyone is heading out to ride with Alex to visit his daughter in Florida before she gets on an airplane for France, Latka uses the "can" line on Louie.
  • In the first regular episode of Twin Peaks (after the pilot episode), Agent Cooper enjoys "a damn fine cup of coffee" at breakfast. A few scenes later, he bursts into the sheriff's office, gives a rapid-fire outline of the day's agenda, ending with "Harry, I really need to urinate!"... all in the time it takes for Harry, the sheriff, to chew and swallow a single bite of a donut.

  • Downplayed in the first season of White Collar, in the episode "Hard Sell". If you had any doubt as to how criminal Caffrey is, his vernacular breaks the silence thusly:

    -[Peter glares disapprovingly]

    Neal: I'm kidding. I need to go to the bathroom. (leaves, Peter reminding him to leave the seat down for Elizabeth)

    • He also takes the time to scrutinize Peter's family photos, recognizing the ring, belonging to the man in the picture with Kate.


  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Ciro announces that Nadine is sick and asks if he can take her to the bathroom, in a bid to try and stop her from attacking their teacher (who is secretly a government agent). Before they can leave, and before Nadine can beat him up for ruining her plan, the fire alarm goes off.

  • In vaudeville, it was not uncommon for a singer to come out during intermission and sing "Intermission, intermission/Go to pishen, go to pishen."
  • American Idiot advises the audience before the show begins to go now, and not during the ballad.
  • "Run Away," which ends act one of Spamalot, announces the intermission like this.
    King Arthur: Have a drink and a pee/We'll be back for act three!
    Patsy: Two, sir.
    King Arthur: Two!

    Video Games 
  • Nekomaru Nidai of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair will almost never pass up the chance to yell about his need to take a dump. He spends a good portion of the first chapter being shut out of the bathroom needing to shit, and the resultant Potty Emergency is something he sees the need to SHOOOOOOOOUT ABOOOOOOOOOOUT!
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao and Emi visit the latter's house late in her route. At one point, Emi excuses herself to go to "the little girls' room," although she doesn't actually go there. Hisao can stay behind to talk with her mother, which enables him to get the good ending.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Deadpool's exiting quote after performing an assist is "Bathroom break!" This being Deadpool, there's no way to know whether he's serious or not.
  • Yosuke of Persona 4 is infamous for supposedly doing this frequently, often at inappropriate moments, but in actuality, that only happened once. It's become (both in- and out of universe) a thing for him. Parodied here.
    • Midway through the Moon Social Link, if you joined the basketball teamnote . Ai will tell you to ask Kou what kind of girl he likes. You catch Kou on his way to the bathroom, and he says that he needs to "piss like a racehorse." After reluctantly telling you that he has an unrequited crush on Chie, he insists that he has to go.note 
  • In a short game based on Sesame Street that focuses on potty training, Elmo, Zoe, and Baby Bear all do this.
  • Used by Papyrus in Undertale to abandon the player at Undyne's place to try to make them get along, followed by a Super Window Jump. The catch is that it's Blatant LiesWord of God is that monsters don't have that function, and beyond that, Papyrus is a skeleton and lacks the requisite organs.
  • In The Walking Dead Clementine calls out to Lee that she has to pee while he's arguing with Larry over what to do with Duck, Kenny's son in the drug store.
  • One of the /silly jokes for Human Males in World of Warcraft.
    "Cover for me! I gotta whiz behind a tree."

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Trouble In Lumpy Space", Princess Bubblegum suddenly gets a worried look on her face as her intestines grumble, declares that she shouldn't have drunk so much tea earlier, and rushes off.
  • Wakko does this throughout the Animaniacs episode "Potty Emergency": "I have to potty! Potty, potty, potty!"
  • On an episode of Arthur a kid shouts that he needs to go to the bathroom right in the middle of a fire drill.
    • DW also does this in "Arthur's Family Vacation".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In the first episode, Sokka is attempting to "train" very young children to defend their hometown, since all of the men are away at war. This leads to this exchange:
      Boy: I gotta pee!
      Sokka: Listen, until your father returns from the war, they're counting on you to be the men of this tribe! And that means NO POTTY BREAKS!
      Boy: But I really gotta go!
      Sokka: [frustratedly sighs] Fine. Who else has to go?
      [all the boys raise their hands]
    • Played for Laughs in the penultimate episode of Book 2, after Toph has successfully metalbended her way out of an iron box and jammed her captors inside, who can't get out. This is a Call-Back to earlier in the episode, when Toph does the same thing as an obvious attempt at a Bathroom Breakout that her captors don't fall for.
      Xin Fu: [dolefully] I'm going to be stuck in here forever with you, aren't I?
      Yu: ...I have to go to the bathroom.
      Xin Fu: *CLANG* [groans and smashes his head against a wall in frustration]
  • Inverted in Daria. On a road trip stuck in a traffic jam, Daria remarks "I shouldn't have had all that tea!" to which the guys (one of whom she has a crush on) have a loud, indiscreet conversation about it, much to her mortification. "If you need to pee, there's some trees over there! See those trees? You can pee behind there!"
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Keeper of the Reaper" Fred Fredburger a green idiotic elephant demon twice calls out "Judge I need to poo-poo!".
    Fred Fredburger: "Judge I have to go pee pee. I have to go pee pee real bad!"
    Judge: "Can't it wait!?"
    [sound of water]
    Juror next to Fred Fredburger: "Apparently not!"
  • In the episode "Going to the Bathroom" in Hello Kitty, several characters do this. First it's Mimi, Fifi, and Kitty in that order while playing house, then it's Kitty in the car on the way to a restaurant.
    • It also happens in the earlier episode "I Can Use The Toilet By Myself", to which Hello Kitty yells at Mama "I have to pee! It's coming out!" so that she can take her to the bathroom.
  • In the Hoops And Yoyo Halloween special hoops&Yoyo's Haunted Halloween, Hoops, Yoyo, and Piddles get locked in a mall on Halloween night and are chased by creepy, mysterious pursuers. Hoops exclaims they need to find a hiding place, Piddles says they need to find an exit, and Yoyo yells that they need to find a bathroom. That last one is followed by an immediate cut to Hoops and Piddles waiting as Yoyo uses the restroom.
  • In one episode of Kaeloo, Kaeloo informs the audience that she needs to pee before leaving for a short while.
  • The Lola Bunny featured in The Looney Tunes Show does this all the time to illustrate how socially inept she is. The first episode she appears in makes great use of the trope to illustrate just how awkward her date with Bugs is.
  • The Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Space Walkies" ends with Mickey Mouse and Pluto returning to Earth from their space mission, which was delayed by Pluto having to go during the countdown. At the very end, a reporter comments to Mickey that after such a long space journey, he must be relieved. Mickey answers with "Not yet, but I will be" and then runs to an outhouse.
  • Nina in every episode of Nina Needs to Go!.
  • In the episode "Back to Bortron 7" from Ready Jet Go!, after Sydney asks him what he wants to do, Sean says he has to go to the bathroom. He never does actually go to the bathroom, though.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Principal Skinner's mother drags him into Moe's and, true to her character, calls his bathroom break for him.
  • Octus regularly uses this excuse on Sym-Bionic Titan to get out of class/leave a party/etc. in order to fight evil and save the world.
  • VeggieTales: At the very end of the movie "Lyle the Kindly Viking," Sven, the consummate manchild, sings "I have to go to the baaathroooom," much to Otar's chagrin.
    • Larry-Boy does this in "Larry-Boy! And The Fib From Outer Space" when talking to Alfred in a car.
  • Tish on The Weekenders, who is not in the habit of doing this, does it when she's actually planning to sneak out through the bathroom window, to make it extra clear that she's not doing anything unusual. Carver's response: "Surprisingly, the law no longer requires that you announce it to everyone."
  • What's with Andy?:
    • In "What's With Jean-Thomas?", while at a movie theatre, Andy, who's pretending to be his French-accented, long lost brother from Montreal named Jean-Thomas, pretends that he (Jean-Thomas) has to leave and announces "I must go soon." Lori misinterprets him as invoking this trope and says, "So do I. It's those big drinks they serve".
    • In "The Show Must Go On", Andy gets punished by being put into kindergarten. Then, he, Danny, and the kindergarteners, pretend to hate school in an impromptu school production and when Andy tells the kids to say the alphabet while as a Sadist Teacher, the kids sing an alphabet song with words about hating school in it (e.g. "Q, R, and S, we're in distress"). One boy has two lines: "N, O, and P. I have to pee" and "T, U, and V. I still have to pee".
    • Andy calls his bathroom breaks in several ways during his Potty Emergency in the episode "Busting".
    "Coming through, full bladder!"
    "Bathroom, bathroom, please."


Video Example(s):


Mahou Sensei Negima

Fuka bluntly does this on Fumika's behalf, much to the latter's embarrassment.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / CallingYourBathroomBreaks

Media sources:

Main / CallingYourBathroomBreaks