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Camping a Crapper

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Jeff: You planning to win the whole game camped on a crapper?
Britta: Worked on you, didn't it?

When you gotta go, you gotta go, and everybody's gotta go sometime, so what better time to make someone take their final exit than waiting for them to evacuate?

What's that? Needlessly cryptic? Fine. Let us spell it out: If you want to kill somebody, wait until they go to the bathroom.

This is a pun upon a phrase used when something terminates suddenly, it "comes a cropper," but since the person was camped out in a crapper...

While this seems like a comedy trope, it's used in horror films, too... presumably because of the inherent vulnerability of a person using the toilet.

If the toilet is used for the kill, then The Can Kicked Him; either way, it's an Undignified Death. If the attacker is a Serial Killer, inhuman monster, or other spectre of horror, it's also Toilet Horror. If the "attack" is a relatively harmless prank, see Swirlie. Related to Searching the Stalls. See also Bathroom Brawl for fights in general that take place in a bathroom, which usually aren't planned out in advance. See also Bathhouse Blitz where someone infiltrates a bathing space with the intention of attacking, kidnapping, or killing someone in a public bathhouse or sauna.

As this can be a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Inverted in Attack on Titan; Flegel Reeves avoids dying alongside his father because he had stepped away to pee when Kenny Ackerman showed up.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
  • Dragon Ball: Some Red Ribbon Army mooks riddle a bathroom door with gunfire after Goku steps in to use it. Fortunately, even young Goku was Immune to Bullets and the bullets only stunned him.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • The first episode revolves around solving the mystery of what happened in the men's room of a restaurant that led to all the geisha robots to take a group of politicians hostage and almost kill one of the politician's assistants. The last thing the security records show is the assistant trying to flee from the men's room right before she suffered a severe head trauma.
    • In one episode Batou breaks into a building through a bathroom window, but not before pulling the man inside out through the very same window and knocking him out cold. Batou being Batou of course turns this into a comedic example.
      Batou: [With a Cheshire Cat Grin] Heeeyyy.
  • In addition to the previously mentioned Hanako, Ghost Stories has Akagami-Aogami, who asks people using the toilet if they want red paper or blue paper. Saying red will result in a bloody death, while blue will result in death by suffocation (turning the victim blue). Don't even think about asking for a third color.
  • There are two Hanako ghosts in Hell Teacher Nube — one who died during a school fire and had tried to hide in the toilets, and another, more gruesome one that provided a hilarious ending after the former was sent to heaven. Then there was also a water-borne demon who kept trying to drown Noriko... and magically sealed the toilet stall and filled it with water.
  • The "Hanako" ghost from various manga and anime series is a girl who died in the toilet area. In Haunted Junction the fact that every single Japanese high school seems to have this legend is explained by the "fact" that every single high school in Japan has had this happen. One of the main characters is obsessed with collecting this particular kind of ghost.
    • Possibly because the Haunted Junction version is a sexy, naughty schoolgirl.
    • The Hanakos aren't the only high-school bathroom ghosts. There's also the handsome "Akamanto Kamen" (red mantle), the sexy "Aoi Hanten" (Akamanto Kamen's sister), the Yamikos (one of them being The Rival to Hanako)...
  • In Mezzo Forte, the 'danger service agents' attempt to abduct a mob boss as he visits a toilet stall, and end up killing him.
  • In the epilogue of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Nobliss Gordon steps away from his guards to use a public toilet. Ride Mass then steps into the room, explains from outside the stall that he's avenging Orga Itsuka, and repeatedly shoots his target through the door.
  • In the Kyoto arc of Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Konoka is kidnapped trying to use the toilet.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt:
  • In the Super Dimension Fortress Macross episode where the heroes board a Zentraedi ship, Max Jenius is separated from his squadmates and hides in a toilet stall. He steals the clothes off the first Zentraedi to enter and somehow dresses his Valkyrie to infiltrate the ship and rescue everyone.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: In Detective Comics #475, The Joker ambushes Rupert Thorne in the bathroom and tells him to stop trying to kill Batman.
  • One issue of Planetary has Elijah subdue the guard of a facility run by The Four when he goes to the bathroom. Elijah has the power to freeze things on a molecular level. Guess what he does to make sure the guard can't move.
  • In The Punisher MAX # 42, Rawlins is cornered by a pissed-off Frank Castle in a Kabul International Airport restroom...with a machete.
  • In Sin City: The Big Fat Kill, Dwight ambushes Jackie Boy in the bathroom to get him to leave Shellie alone. ("Yeah, well you already made a big mistake yourself. You didn't flush.")
  • Mentioned by Spider Jerusalem in Transmetropolitan when he's attacked by two assassins. To paraphrase: "You can't even come up with a good murder plan. I consume drugs in every form 24/7 and spend four hours a day on the crapper! Murder me then!" and one of the assassins agrees with him, saying: "Bob, this really was a crappy plan."

    Comic Strips 
  • There's a Far Side cartoon depicting a hunter near a toilet with a picture of a deer on it, with the caption, "He only had to wait. The deer would come. The deer would come."

    Fan Works 
  • Finding The Way: Particularly vile-even-for-Worm supervillain Heartbreaker dies when superhero Pathfinder teleports a fragmentation grenade into his lap while he's sat on the toilet, probably at least partly because it's the most Undignified Death he can arrange.
  • In the WWE story, The Return-Remixed, Natalya is attacked by three members of DEAR in the bathroom - inside the Divas dressing room.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, Kurogane is murdered while using the urinal in the boys' bathroom.
  • In With This Ring, Red Torpedo separates OL away from his ring and nearly kills him by flooding the bathroom when Paul took it off to go to use the toliet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A nonfatal example happens in 3 Ninjas. One of the boys tricks one of the kidnappers into drinking a milkshake filled with laxatives. When the guy rushes to go use the bathroom, the kid pops back in and beats him with a toilet plunger.
  • In American Mary, Mary stalks and and attacks the woman she caught giving Billy head in the club's restroom. She catches her and has her bent over the sink, about to cut her throat when she thinks better of it and lets her go.
  • Angela's Ashes features the death of an ill girl on a toilet.
  • The Big Bad in Ant-Man uses a Shrink Ray to murder a troublesome S.H.I.E.L.D. official in the restroom and (to add insult to injury) scoops up his remains in a paper towel and flushes it down a toilet.
  • The Assignment (1997). The protagonist is a Doppelgänger for terrorist Carlos the Jackal. While passing through Heathrow Airport, he accidentally encounters a mook working for the real Carlos, who leads him at gunpoint into a toilet to be interrogated. Fortunately the Mossad chief running the operation sees this and follows him in, leading to a fatal shootout between the two men.
  • Austin Powers:
    • In International Man of Mystery, the Irish assassin Patty O'Brien waits until Austin is in a public restroom stall to try to kill him. The resulting battle between the two sounds like Austin is struggling with constipation: "Do... you... work... for... Number Two?!? Do... you... work... for... Number Two?!" ("Who does Number Two work for?!? Who... does Number Two... ''work for''?!" in later DVD pressings).
    • In The Spy Who Shagged Me, Scott suggests that instead of going back in time to steal Austin's mojo, they should just go back and shoot him while he's sitting on the crapper.
  • In Bad Boys (1995), one of the protagonists is fighting desperately with a mook in the male toilets while his partner is blissfully enjoying the go-go dancers outside.
  • Bank Shot: During his breakout, Ballentine lurks behind the privy; waiting for suitable construction worker to come along who can be Mugged for Disguise.
  • Don Price, the romantic rival of the protagonist Edward Bloom in Big Fish, dies of a heart attack while on a toilet.
  • Black Angel Vol. 1: When Ikko is being held prisoner the Abandoned Hospital, Mayo waits till one of her guards goes to take a leak and garrotes him with a length of electrical cable.
  • In Bloody Homecoming, the killer hides in the girls bathroom and ambushes Jaclyn when she runs in there to throw up.
  • One of the mob guys the main characters try to kill happens to be in the bathroom when they raid the card game at his house in The Boondock Saints. Subverted in that he calmly finishes his business, then emerges amid the shooting and, despite being shot, angrily throws himself on his attackers before finally being killed.
  • Brannigan. A hitman has been sent to kill the title character, so he rigs up a Sawn-Off Shotgun behind his hotel door. In case this fails he also plants a bomb in the toilet, knowing that a near-death experience would lead to a Bring My Brown Pants. Fortunately Brannigan is smart enough to anticipate both traps.
  • In The Cable Guy, Jim Carrey's character disguised as the bathroom attendant attacks Owen Wilson's character while entering the stall.
  • In Critters one of the Vorpal Bunny aliens is chased into a bathroom and tries to flee down the toilet. The pursuing bounty hunter blows both Crite and toilet to smithereens.
  • The first of the hapless vacationers to be killed in scandinavian Nazi zombie flick Dead Snow is in the cabin's outhouse when it happens. Though she'd gone there for a quick fuck instead of the usual business.
  • In Doom, the Jerkass member of the team gets eaten by an Imp while hiding inside a toilet stall. In the actual game, you can often find corpses who were apparently killed while in or even on the loo.
  • Dreamcatcher. Perhaps the most ignoble death in film history - the character is trying to keep a sentient alien intestinal parasite from bursting out of a toilet by sitting on the lid, but has a habit of chewing toothpicks when he's nervous - and the first time he went for his package of toothpicks, the critter banged the lid and made him drop them out of his reach. That's right. The poor, neurotic schmuck died because he tried to pick up a toothpick.
    • Stephen King acknowledged in interviews that he did this on purpose. He's said that for a lot of people, the first sign of their body turning on them is seeing blood in the toilet bowl, and he wanted to capture that moment of terror.
  • In Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd gets assaulted in the bathroom stall by the truck driver met earlier in the film. Lloyd happens to be in the stall in the exact time and day of the "manly love" request written there.
  • In Evil Breed: The Legend of Samhain, the Shape ambushes Gary while he is throwing up into the toilet.
  • Extraction. Nik shoots Amir in the head while he is at a urinal.
  • In Fight Club, Tyler Durden and his mob corner a guy in a toilet cubicle and blackmail him by threatening to cut his testicles off.
  • Firefox: Clint Eastwood's character starts having Vietnam flashbacks due to stress and takes refuge in a public toilet; unfortunately a KGB agent hears him and starts banging on the door, insisting on seeing his papers. Clint panics when the KGB man (falsely, as it turns out) claims there's something wrong with his papers, and kills him.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Pvt. Leonard Lawrence (aka "Gomer Pyle," due to his ineptitude) turns the gun on himself while sitting on a toilet. This happens after Lawrence mentally snaps and kills Sgt. Hartman, following months of psychological torture.
  • In Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, one of the assassinations pulled off by the titular Ghost Dog is, in reference to a famous Japanese historical assassination, pulled off by hiding in the cellar directly beneath his target's toilet, drilling a hole in the ceiling, and shooting the target when he sits down to use said toilet.
  • Ghoulies promised this in its marketing, allegedly scaring lots of little kids. However this didn't actually happen until the second film.
  • Exploding toilets in the country club during one scene in The Goonies.
  • In Guns, Girls and Gambling, The Blonde ambushes Gay Elvis while he is sitting on the toilet in the restroom of the train station.
  • In the Slasher Movie Gutterballs, one character is killed in the ladies' room, then when another goes to check on her, she's dragged under the stall door and killed too.
  • Averted in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. A woman and her daughter go to a public bathroom and Michael Myers follows them in. After a tense scene in which the audience assumes he is going to kill them, he ends up stealing the woman's car keys instead.
  • The Highwaymen. There's a Running Gag of Maney Gault having to stop and urinate during the long manhunt for Bonnie and Clyde, because he's not as young as he used to be. However he ends up weaponizing this when some hoodlum friends of the Barrow gang try ambushing him in a public toilet. As their leader brandishes a Sinister Switchblade, Gault turns to face him while still urinating—startled, the hoodlum looks down enabling Gault to clobber him and shove his head in the toilet, while drawing his pistol on the other two.
  • Hostel. Paxton corners in a toilet stall the guy who tortured and killed his friend, cuts his fingers off, dunks his head in the toilet, brings him up so he can see he who his attacker is, and then slashes his throat.
  • James Bond:
    • In GoldenEye, Bond sucker-punches a guard who was using the toilet ("Beg your pardon. Forgot to knock").
    • In Casino Royale (2006), it was revealed that 007 has a knack for killing people in bathrooms - his first kills occurred in the bathroom of a cricket club. The picture above shows him brutally bashing the guy.
  • Due to a rampant T-Rex, lawyer Donald Gennaro abandons the two Hammond children in a vehicle to take shelter in a washroom in Jurassic Park (1993). However, the bathroom is eventually destroyed around him, leaving a toilet-straddling Gennaro to become the first person eaten by CGI.
  • How The Bride captured O-Ren's secretary in Kill Bill.
  • A funny moment in Liar Liar when Fletcher beats himself up in the restroom.
    Fletcher: I'm kicking my ass! Do you mind?!
  • Frank in Maniac! (1980) follows one of his victims into a subway bathroom and kills her there.
  • El Mariachi had a bathroom murder scene.
  • Julian's favorite theory of assassination in The Matador. Referred to by the lead as the 'Gotta Pee Theory'.
  • In Midnight Movie, the killer ambushes Sully as he emerges from a stall in the cinema bathroom.
  • In Our Man Flint, Derek Flint goes into the bathroom for some reason, and a Galaxy agent comes in to kill him. A fight ensues, which eventually goes into a stall, where the real dirty work happens just off-camera. Galaxy agent dies on the toilet, with his own knife in his chest.
  • Happens in The Outlaw Josey Wales, as Josey is shooting up the Union Army camp, catching one soldier in the latrine.
  • In The Pink Panther Strikes Again, two assassins get into bathroom stalls on either side of Clouseau's stall. He drops the toilet paper, reaches down to get it, and the assassins shoot each other.
  • Subverted in The Professional. Little Miss Badass Mathilda tries to ambush Dirty Cop Stansfield in the DEA restroom. Unfortunately Stansfield is hiding behind the door, not sitting in one of the booths.
  • In Problem Child 2, Junior throws dynamite down a toilet, causing all the toilets to explode, including one his teacher is using. The teacher wears a diaper for the rest of the film.
  • Psycho showed a toilet on film for the first time...followed shortly by the infamous shower scene.
  • Pulp Fiction: While lying in wait at Butch's apartment, Vincent goes to the bathroom, leaving his gun on the counter. Butch comes home while Vincent is on the toilet, finds the gun, and shoots Vincent as he's exiting the bathroom.
  • In Revenge (2017), Jen is stalking Demi around the lake, and when he stops to take a piss, she sneaks up and steals the rifle he puts down. However, Demi is actually smarter than he looks and this is actually a trap he has set for Jen, and the rifle is unloaded.
  • Omar Epps gets stabbed in the head through a bathroom stall early on in Scream 2.
  • In Serial Mom, Beverly stabs Kurt in the back with a poker while he is standing at the urinal in the men's room with his hands occupied.
  • In Seven (1979), T.K. takes out Mr. Chen by waiting till he enters the changing shack on his private golf course, then dropping a bomb on it from a hang glider.
  • Shoot 'Em Up. Mr Smith is pursued into a public restroom and accidentally drops his pistol into a toilet. He has to field-strip and dry the weapon using the hand dryer before it will fire again.
  • In Snakes on a Plane, three different people get attacked in the airplane's lavatory by the eponymous snakes: a man on the toilet who receives a Groin Attack, and a young couple in the Mile-High Club who suffer Out with a Bang.
  • Soldier of Orange: Alex goes to fight on the eastern front with the Waffen-SS. He's killed when he's busy taking a dump in an outhouse and a Russian boy throws a grenade through the window.
  • A Spaghetti Western had a killer move the outhouse back a few feet, so that when the target went out for a late night constitutional, he fell in the pit and was shot while standing waist deep.
  • In Species, Sil kills the woman in the club by busting through the back wall of the toilet stall and ripping out her spine.
  • Street Kings: In the opening detective Ludlow executes a group of sex slavers during arrest, including shooting one criminal who's seated on the toilet. His colleagues later tease him about it, saying that shooting a man like that is like shooting a man in church.
  • In Ten Dead Men, Ryan ambushes Carter by planting himself in the bathroom of Hart's club and waiting for Carter to answer nature's call.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: The T-X and the T-850 destroy a row of toilet cubicles in the midst of one of their fights.
  • In Threads one man is shown sitting on the john with his pants around his ankles when he hears the sirens go off signaling that World War III has just broken out. A literal Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Invoked in True Lies. Harry baits Islamic terrorist Salim Abu Aziz and two of his mooks into following him into a mall restroom to kill him, whereupon he rapidly turns the tables on the mooks and then pursues Aziz.
  • In Unforgiven, Quick Mike, one of the two cowboys the protagonists are after, is being guarded inside a house. They wait until he leaves to use the outhouse to kill him.
  • In the opening of Wild Geese II, a Palestinian terrorist tries to stab Scott Glenn's character with a switchblade as he uses a public urinal.
  • In Witness, McFee and Fergie kill their victim in the train station men's room while he's washing his hands at the sink. Said witness is an Amish boy using one of the stalls.
  • In X2: X-Men United, one of Magneto's guards is seduced, drugged, and injected with iron in a toilet stall. This leads to his death when Magneto extracts the metal from his veins. Ouch.
  • Averted in The Yakuza (1974). Several Yakuza thugs follow Ken into the men's room of a nightclub. He's waiting for them behind the door, but they only want to talk business.
  • Inverted in Young Guns, where a bounty hunter uses an outhouse as cover and shoots Charlie Sheen's character dead from there. He's ventilated shortly thereafter.
  • In Zombieland, one of Columbus's rules was "Avoid Bathrooms". Because if anyone ever got zombified in a bathroom, they'd pretty much just be standing there till someone came in and dropped their pants, making an easy target.

  • In Real Life games of both Assassin and occasionally Humans vs. Zombies (essentially glorified games of tag with Nerf guns), this is also a very useful tactic. Although most sets of rules designate the bathroom itself as a safe zone, it's easy to ambush someone entering or exiting. It had to be modified to make the bathroom a safe zone after people abused the rules making nudity itself the safe zone. By running around naked. Most games of HvZ have avoided this potential craziness by simply banning all indoors play altogether (especially since they'd otherwise get in deep trouble with their school's administration).
  • According to Harpo Marx's autobiography, he was in a game of Murder — where the assassin tells the victim "you are dead" and they must fall down dead at that spot — and he wrote "you are dead" on a sheet of toilet paper, so the person was trapped there until somebody else had to use that particular bathroom. But once the body was found it was easy to find the killer because Harpo (who had less than a full 2nd grade education) had written "you are ded."
  • Many Russian / post-Soviet LARP rules expressly forbid this move, among many other dirty tactics. Players that go to the loo are considered "not playing", and attacking them is penalized the same way as dirty moves in combat: death of the offender's character.
    • Many LARP rules don't explicitly forbid it, but it is considered bad style to attack people on the way to or out of the bathroom, respectively. Especially in fantasy LARP, where the bathroom is not considered part of the game, as it is usually much more modern than fits the setting, and people in elaborate costumes cannot even think of taking their weapons with them into a tiny bathroom stall.

  • Able Team try eating the food in Sri Lanka and all three end up straining on the toilet. That night a hit team tries to kill them in their beds, only to find all three men awake and pissed-off on the john.
  • In Angela's Ashes, Patricia Madigan dies in the bathroom when her illness got the better of her. The narrator comments what a pity that someone so lovely had to die in such an undignified setting.
  • Corran Horn in The Bacta War mentions that the refresher would be an...inglorious place to die. However, it's the best way to get upstairs (after some light-saber-induced ceiling modifications) so he can ambush a group of stormtroopers.
  • Subverted in Battle Royale, when Sho Tsukioka attempts to ambush Kazuo Kiriyama coming out of the toilet where he can be heard taking a leak. The clever Kiriyama, however, has rigged up a water bottle to simulate the sound of urination, and Tsukioka meets his end as the zone becomes a forbidden area, and his collar detonates.
  • Book of Judges - one of the judges assassinated a king while he was on the can. The assassin slipped out because the guards assumed the king was taking a really long dump and didn't want to intrude.
    • Averted later. King Saul chases David, enters a cave - alone, where David happens to be hiding. However, while Saul is... distracted, David only uses the opportunity to cut off a piece of his clothes. Divine Right of Kings is too serious a business to raise a hand on Saul, but nothing stops David from walking around and boasting about If I Wanted You Dead....
  • The President of the United States in The Buck Passes Flynn.
  • Not a toilet, but during Caves of Ice one of the ork scouts is caught in the middle of relieving himself by Corporal Magot, who isn't about to pass up an easy kill like that.
  • Assassins try to get to the drop on Waxahachie Smith this way in Cure the Texas Fever by J.T. Edson. Wax turns the tables on them by leaving behind his boots and pants, which is all of him they can see, and sneaking up behind them.
  • The whole murder plan of Dead Famous by Ben Elton hinged around this. Geraldine the producer realised that at least one girl would leave the cabin to go to the bathroom, allowing her to be murdered.
    • Though unfortunately for Geraldine, she'd left far too much booze out and Kelly had actually gone there to be sick. The fact that the state of the bathroom doesn't quite correspond to how it should have been according to the tapes is a big clue that not all is how it seems.
  • Discworld
    • In Feet of Clay, Vimes is in the bathroom shaving when an Assassin tries to shoot him. It doesn't work; Vimes can see the shot coming in his shaving mirror (which is implied to be peculiarly convex for precisely this reason) and ducks.
    • In Lords and Ladies, the garderobe, a shaft down the length of the castle with a seat at the top and a dungheap at the bottom, is notorious for this.
      Several unpopular kings had met their end, as it were, in the garderobe, at the hands of an assassin with good climbing ability, a spear, and a fundamental approach to politics.
  • In the The Dresden Files novel Proven Guilty, the first victim of the phages dies was attacked in a bathroom, probably in explicit recognition of this trope. Subverted in that he managed to physically and mentally survive.
  • In Ender's Game, Ender Wiggin is cornered in the bathroom by Bonzo Madrid and a gang of bullies. Ender is in the shower, naked and dripping, without any help or escape route. He uses this to make himself seem pathetic, and imply that Bonzo is scared to take on some naked little kid alone. Bonzo is goaded into making it a one-on-one battle, which doesn't end well for him.
  • The attempted murder method in the short story "The Guy with the Cough".
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Hermione is attacked by a troll in the bathroom (she went there to cry after hearing Ron insult her), and Harry and Ron battle the troll in the bathroom in the first fight of the book. The troll weaponizes the setting by ripping out the sinks and throwing them at the boys.
    • Moaning Myrtle in died in a girls' bathroom and now lives in the toilets. While she primarily lives in the bathroom where she died, she can move throughout the plumbing at Hogwarts and sometimes spies on good-looking students when they bathe.
    • Accidentally invoked by Harry himself in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when a confrontation with Draco Malfoy in Myrtle's bathroom leads to Harry using a then-unknown (to him) spell in self-defense, which turns out to have the effect of a slashing sword. Moaning Myrtle causes a commotion in the halls that brings Professor Snape to the scene, who is able to stabilize Draco Malfoy on the cusp of bleeding out and dying on the bathroom floor.
  • The story "Heroic Proportions" has a dictator assassinated while sitting on the toilet. He actually died in his sleep, but a janitor placed his corpse on the toilet and shot it so that, even if he was a Karma Houdini in life, he'd be a mockery in death.
  • One of the Horrible Histories books about Britain during World War II pointed out that people could be killed literally anywhere during the Blitz, illustrated with a cartoon of a memorial plaque in a toilet where someone died during a bombing.
  • Hitman John Rain does this twice to the same target in Redemption Games. The first time things go wrong, so the second time the target is Properly Paranoid and has his bodyguard check out the stalls first and then wait outside the door, complicating matters.
  • A rather drawn-out assassination scene happens in an airport bathroom in William Goldman's Marathon Man.
  • Inverted in Robert A. Heinlein's Methuselah's Children, where the Howard Families have to negotiate a peace treaty with earth's government. Lazarus Long volunteers, but the colony leader tells him they need someone who can be diplomatic. Lazarus claims he can be when he needs to. The colony leader says, "Perhaps, but I think we'll find someone who doesn't feel the need go armed just to go to the bathroom."
  • In Robert Aspirin's Myth Adventures series, Skeeve's various bodyguards have made it a point to state that people have often been killed going to the can or on the can. Thus they always precede him into and out of the can, and only leave him alone there if they're very confident.
  • From the Quiller series by Adam Hall.
    • In Quiller's Run, the title character is being stalked by an assassin who always uses the garrote. Quiller tries to lure him into attacking by hanging out on a darkened lawn, but the assassin sees the trap and instead waits in the nearest toilet, knowing Quiller will eventually become thirsty in the warm night air and head for the nearest tap. Quiller just misses getting his head taken off by piano wire, and after a tense struggle kills the assassin with broken glass from the toilet mirror.
    • While in communist Poland, Quiller hides from a search in a train station restroom. After the search has been completed he gets out of his place of concealment, only to run into a secret policeman returning to the restroom for its intended purpose, leading to a brutal hand-to-hand combat scene.
  • The Saga of the Faroe Islanders: On his voyage to Norway to talk with King Olaf about the vanishing of the king's messengers in the previous year (implied to be the doing of Thrand and his nephews), Thoralf Sigmundsson makes camp on a small island. The nephews of Thrand, "coincidentally" on a trading trip to Norway, camp on the same island. At nightfall, Thoralf goes up on the island with the intent to ease himself, and later is found dead "cleft down to his shoulders".
  • In the Stephen King short story "Sneakers", the men's room is haunted by a drug dealer who was murdered in one of the stalls.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Tyrion Lannister murders Tywin while he is on the privy, giving us the immortal line: "Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold".
  • The Stand: Larry tries to make a stop only to find a dead flu victim already inside. He thinks of it as "the dark sweet treat".
  • In The Sword of Truth, a general tells he once crushed a rebellion with vastly inferior forces — using the fact that most of the rebels were literally with their pants down. More than one army has been killed by an opposing force due to a typhoid or cholera epidemic.
  • Within the first 10 pages of Tom Clancy's The Teeth of the Tiger, a Mossad courier is killed while at the urinal.
  • In the Track novel The Hard Way by Jerry Ahern, Track's brother is on the john when a hit team attacks. Seeing a dead hitman afterwards outside the toilet door, Track quips, "Let me guess — gas attack, right?"
  • In The Road to Hell..., King Chorn Torgash mentions various prominent figures in orc history who were ignominiously killed while urinating or defecating. Later, in chapter 7, Harvon kills Ornok by slashing his throat while he's busy peeing.
  • The Things They Carried: One soldier is "zapped while zipping", i.e. killed by a Vietcong guerrilla while taking a leak.
  • Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch: Faced with the dilemma of taking Bragg into custody while he’s isolated on a ranch with a couple dozen gunmen, Cole and Hitch sneak in at night and waylay him during a trip to the outhouse. They make it a point to grab him after he’s emptied his bladder so they don’t get pissed on while transporting him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first season of 24 had someone garroted while using the urinal.
  • Played for Laughs in the The Benny Hill Show skit of The A-Team. Murdock chooses to make use of an outdoor latrine just when B.A fires an M72 LAW at the villains; B.A. is holding the rocket launcher the wrong way round and blows up the latrine instead. Murdock staggers out thinking it was something he ate.
  • The Big Bang Theory: A plan suggested but not executed by the guys during a paintball game.
  • On Boardwalk Empire Owen Sleater waits till his target goes to the bathroom before following the man into the bathroom and killing him with a garrote.
  • Broadsky, the serial sniper on Bones. Booth’s team stakes the bathroom out to try and catch him before it can happen, but they fail to realize that the bathrooms in the building involved are decorated identically. They believed he was targeting someone in the ladies’ room, based on the information about the layout that they had, but his target was actually male.
  • Burn Notice
    • In the pilot, Michael explains that he likes fighting in bathrooms because there are so many hard surfaces.
    • Pointed out in season 4 when they kidnapped a mobster while he was about to use the can.
  • The classic satirical Israeli sketch show The Chamber Quintet had a sketch in which a man described the Yom Kippur War as a ‘shitey war’, and mentioned he’d been shot to death in a very non-glamorous way: shot between the eyes while he was sitting on the toilet.
  • Trope Namer is Jeff's analysis of the girls' paintball strategy in the Community episode "Modern Warfare".
    • And in season two's paintball episode, Pierce becomes something of a Cattle Baron when he hides in a bathroom, and discovers people are willing to exchange their ammunition to use the facilities.
  • CSI: NY: A Victim of the Week in the opening of "Playing with Matches" gets trapped in a sabotaged high-tech public toilet and drowns when it's self-cleaning feature kicks in.
  • Doctor Who: "Spyfall" crosses this with Death in the Clouds when an MI6 agent using an airplane bathroom as a private spot to read a secret message she was just passed is attacked by an alien entity emerging from the wall and, as we later learn, rendered brain-dead.
  • This trope was actually invoked on the first season of the classic kids game show Family Double Dare for their new version of the William Tell physical challenge. They would make one member of the family sit on a prop toilet with an apple on her head while the rest of her family shot arrows at her (really plungers at a plexiglas shield). After three bullseyes she would pull on a card causing her to be Covered in Gunge. In case you are wondering why they put her on a toilet in the first place the answer is probably Rule of Funny.
  • In one of ER's most frightening scenes, Dr. Mark Greene is viciously beaten up in the bathroom by an unknown assailant.
  • Fargo: In "The Heap", Lorne Malvo kills the cop guarding Wrench's hospital room by hiding in the bathroom till the cop has to go, them ambushing him and strangling him.
  • In Game of Thrones, much like in the book it's based on, Tywin Lannister is murdered by his son in the privy.
  • In The Goodies episode "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express", the Shafts are killed when the lavatory on the train blows up while they using it.
  • King Edmund II's Stupid Death in Horrible Histories - killed by a sword up the rear from a Viking hiding inside his toilet itself.
    • They also point it out as one of the many horrors that a WWI trench-dwelling soldier would encounter: any attempt to use a latrine in the open would quickly make it a far too tempting target for enemy artillery. This compounded, of course, with the likelihood of getting the runs from poorly prepared food and water.
  • In an episode of The Job, Mike McNeil gets held hostage in the bathroom.
  • An episode of Law & Order involved Cutter exposing an unscrupulous lawyer who'd committed several murders to protect his pay-off from a huge class action suit. After Cutter brings a ruling against him that prevents him profiting from the case, the guy is so enraged that he follows Cutter into the bathroom and tries to shoot him (but is disarmed and arrested by Lupo and Bernard.) McCoy later jokes that the crime scene photos wouldn't have been very dignified.
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, Darnell hides in the plumbing while Chubby Jr. goes to use the toilet, in order to obtain a pubic hair from him for DNA testing.
  • Actually comes up twice in The Pacific. In Part 2 Runner has a bad case of diarrhea on Guadalcanal and is out squatting over a log. Cue bombardment by a pair of Japanese battleships and a mad scramble back to his shelter. Later in Part 7, D'Leau goes into a cave to relieve himself and is nearly killed by Japanese soldiers hiding inside.
  • The very first death in Penny Dreadful is a woman who'd got up in the night to use the tenement commode.
  • The X-Files
    • In one episode it looks like killer cockroaches swarm a man using the bathroom and he dies on the bathroom floor. It turns out that the man died of an aneurysm from pushing too hard.
    • The Flukeman ("The Host" 2x02) hides in a portajohn.
    • The sea monster from "Agua Mala" attacks a couple of people from the toilet.
    • Subverted rather hilariously in "Tooms" when the putative victim shuts the toilet lid, then goes, "Oh, nearly forgot," and returns to flip the safety locks.
  • The Punisher (2017): During the first episode, an Irish mobster sits down on a toilet at an airport moments before Frank bursts in and strangles him to death. Two other men overhear this and assume the men are having sex.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE: The Big Show was "pwnd" by Eddie Guerrero after Show stole Eddy's bag full of burritos. The burritos were spiked with Ex-Lax. To make it worse, Eddie also stole all the toilet paper from the bathroom.
  • Chris Masters tried to jump Triple H in a stall, but failed.
    Shawn Michaels: Holy cow, you crapped a Masterpiece!
  • During one particular match between Raven and Taz, Taz was given a yellow swirlie.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In one of the Grimtooth's Traps books was a crossbow rigged beneath the seat of a privy to fire upward, called the Cranequin Goose.

  • In Fangirls, Edna is able to abduct Harry by ambushing him while he is on the toilet and chloroforming him.

    Video Games 
  • Inverted in BioShock: One of the first restrooms you enter has a splicer locked in one of the stalls, waiting for you to go to the far end of the room for an item pickup and ambush you on the way back out.
  • In BioShock Infinite you can get into a shootout with a couple mooks in a bathroom at Soldier's Field.
  • In Borderlands 2, Roland, one of the Vault Hunters from the first game, is taken captive by the Bloodshot gang. Once you rescue him, he explains they ambushed him while he was taking a piss.
  • In Breath of Fire II, one of the recruitable characters for your town is "Hanako," who is found in a toilet. This seems to be a variant of the Hanako ghost legend mentioned above under anime and manga.
  • The TV studio mission in Champions Online at one point has you cornering several of Foxbat's mooks in the studio bathroom.
  • A lot of multi-player FPS games, especially the ones based in smaller locations like Counter-Strike and such, you can often surprise someone doing this.
    • The Global Offensive version of de_vertigo has numerous port-a-johns that you can hide in to come out of and attack enemies from. Not very effective because you can't see them either and going by sound could easily result in popping out right into their gunsight, but funny as hell when it works.
  • Averted in Dead Rising. The bathrooms double as Save Rooms so zombies will almost never spawn inside, making them some of the safest parts of the mall.
  • Die Hard: Vendetta have the shootout in the Chinese theatre, where you enter the men's room and sees two mooks conversing with each other, one near a urinal and neither noticing you. You can even shoot the peeing mook before he's finished.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The player character may Invoke this in an Assassination Sidequest, slipping the target a tainted pie so he'll run from the crowded tavern to the unguarded outhouse in urgent intestinal distress.
  • Doom³ has some particularly dangerous bathrooms, complete with spooky mirrors and impatient zombies.
  • Troopers in Duke Nukem 3D can sometimes be encountered in bathroom stalls. They're even considerate enough to flush before attacking.
  • The murder in Fahrenheit occurs in the bathroom of a Greasy Spoon diner (three tropes for the price of one!).
  • The start of the Facility stage from GoldenEye (1997) has you taking out a guard with your silenced PPK as he's using the bathroom in a Shout-Out to the scene from the movie. In addition, there's one in another stall, another by a urinal, and if you wait long enough, a fourth guard will eventually show up there.
  • GoldenEye (2010): The Wii remake has a scene, kept true to the original movie with a quick-time event to knock the guard's lights out.
  • In the Hitman series, if there's an available bathroom, it is almost always the best place to hide a body, and within the bathroom, toilet stalls are the best place to put them. Oddly, random people tend to look into large body-sized containers with regularity, but will not consistently open an unlocked toilet stall door blocked by a corpse. This is enhanced even further because pretty much everybody has to go sooner or later and a person standing in a room by themselves with their face against the wall just screams "Easy kill!" Even if your primary target doesn't take bathroom breaks, odds are his personal bodyguards will so you can easily get their clothes and go anywhere you like.
  • Agent G makes a discovery in The House of the Dead: OVERKILL that mutants use the toilet like normal people and mentions it'll go in his report as a "potential weakness". Washington is less impressed and just shoots him.
  • Inverted in Left 4 Dead, due to some Early-Installment Weirdness, zombie hordes can occasionally spawn out of a bathroom stall in the original game.
  • In Mass Effect 3, during the Cerberus assault on the Citadel, Shepard comes across several officers executed in a bathroom. Shepard's squadmates react with disgust that the attackers were willing to use such tactics.
  • At one point early on in Max Payne, you can do someone like Vincent, blowing him away with his own MAC-10 as he comes out of the bathroom.
  • Metal Gear Solid: "One C4 disposed of. The ceiling of the women's bathroom was set to blow!" The toilets can be used to store dead bodies, etc. Probably the nastiest thing the series has ever done in a toilet is presenting a soldier, busily using a urinal with his back to you. If you have no soul, you can sneak up behind him and snap his neck as he relieves himself.
  • No More Heroes: The standard ending ends with a new assassin attacking Travis while he's unarmed on the toilet. In the secret ending, Henry saves him. Presumably this is why in the sequel, he keeps his various beam katanas at the ready on his belt.
  • No More Heroes III: After Henry's boss fight, Travis uses the toilet as per usual, but Travis can't get up from the toilet and starts yelling at the developers the game's bugged. Then the real Henry and his fakes show up and kill Travis.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Combined with Nature Tinkling: During "Paying a Social Call", you notice that one of the O'Driscolls decides to take whiz on a tree. You can sneak up behind him and stealthily kill him using a throwing knife.
  • In Resident Evil 4, an optional enemy can be found in the bathroom on the lower level of the village chief's house.
  • Sharpshooter 3D begins an early stage where you escape a prison by beating an overweight mook to death in a toilet, using the ceramic toilet cover as a weapon. You spend much of that level smashing heads with that same cover until you escape.
  • This is one of the ways you can ambush other players in the Source Game Mod The Ship: Murder Party.
  • The developers of Splinter Cell want you to do this, as it feels like every game has some poor sap calling on nature near you.
  • An example in Tomb Raider: When Lara approaches a group of mooks by stealth and waits long enough, one might go off into the bushes or a private corner to relieve himself, allowing her to kill him while he's taking a leak. There's even a urine stream.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines:
    • The last mission of the first area has you sneak into a warehouse through the Absurdly Spacious Sewer, which exits directly across from a bathroom where one of the guards is taking a leak. If you're stealthy enough, you can sneak up on him and kill him silently.
    • The ex-contract killer Lu Fang spends his retirement drowning his sorrows at an upscale bar. If you agree to assassinate him, you can ambush him on one of his many bathroom breaks, which are the only times he's not around witnesses.
  • One of the many ways to kill a romantic rival or an incriminating witness in Yandere Simulator. In 1980's mode this serves as the tutorial as Ryoba kills the girl who would become The Phantom Girl in the third floor bathroom.

  • Ctrl+Alt+Del: During the Game Games Bowl short story, Ethan is wary about using the port-a-potty in case someone is trying this. His fears are unfounded. However, the toilet is booby trapped as part of the game.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Crystal mentions she assassinated someone while they were on the toilet, and got to keep their newspaper as a bonus. She later ends up getting ambushed and killed by Haley after coming out of the shower.
  • Schlock Mercenary: A non-violent version occurs when Dr. Bunnigus barges in to chew out Tagon, the last panel revealing Tagon is on the toilet.

  • The Onion: "Osama bin Laden killed while sitting on the toilet, Nation likes to imagine"
  • Several Roman Emperors were assassinated this way, the most certain being Elagabalus.
  • In Viking-era Iceland, where the common punishment for murder was paying a fine to the victim's family, killing someone on the can was considered to be an unpardonable crime which could only be punished by death.
  • Several Japanese generals were assassinated on the toilet during the feudal era. Traditional sword arts prescribe fully removing one's pants and keeping one's sword on hand when on the pot.
  • Some medieval sources make the controversial claim that Edmund Ironside was murdered by a viking in 1016 while visiting a cesspit. The chronicler Henry of Huntingdon wrote that "one night, this great and powerful king having occasion to retire to the house for receiving the calls of nature, the son of the ealdorman Eadric, by his father’s contrivance, concealed himself in the pit, and stabbed the king twice from beneath with a sharp dagger, and, leaving the weapon fixed in his bowels, made his escape".
  • Jaromir, Duke of Bohemia, once a reigning member of Přemyslid dynasty, had a difficult, awful life and unspeakably horrible death. His own brother had him castrated and he was also blinded, and later imprisoned. As if that wasn't enough, he was murdered while he was moving his bowels, and the account says it happened either from behind or from below.
  • The 15th century Slovenian nobleman-turned-robber Erasmus of Lueg was killed at Predjama Castle after a long siege. An oft-repeated, if unsubstantiated, legend has it that he was killed while going to the bathroom in the lavatory, the most vulnerable part of the castle, after one of the servants of the castle betrayed him by lighting a candle in a window to signal the besieging forces where and when to launch a rock from a trebuchet at him.
  • The venomous Redback Spider has a tendency to seek out cool, dark, damp places to nest; for example outhouses and public toilets in rural areas...


Killed in the toilet

That's a lousy way to go out.

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