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Flushing-Edge Interactivity

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We live in an age of Video Games where the cutscenes are acted out by actual actors in ping pong ball covered jumpsuits, incredibly complex scripts are written to give the player meaningful relationships with NPCs, and advanced physics engines are implemented allowing the player to fiddle around with their surroundings in a nuanced and sophisticated manner.
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Imagine the public outcry if a developer decided to feature restrooms in their video game in which the toilets could not be flushed.

If you imagined burning skylines, plundering and wanton murder, congratulations: you are a video game developer.

Yes, this trope describes interactive toilets of all sorts, that, other than being able to be flushed, serve no purpose whatsoever. This has the potential to feel utterly out of place in a game that takes itself even remotely seriously.

The trope name is an allusion to gaming (particularly on the PC) in the early-to-mid-1990s, back when being able to interact with anything that wasn't gameplay-critical was regarded as "cutting-edge".


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action 
  • Proudly subverted by the No More Heroes series, in which every save point is some kind of toilet, and your file data is on toilet paper.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: possibly lampshaded as flushing every toilet in a certain area gives the player an easter egg.
  • Most of the video game adaptations of the 2009 Disney film G-Force feature flushable toilets in some of the FBI HQ levels.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty features urinals that flush whenever the player leaves them.
  • There are toilets in Shades of Doom that, when flushed, spawn a gelatinous blob.

    Adventure 
  • Crypt Worlds has a pissing mechanic and a meter in the interface showing you how much piss you're carrying around. While being useful in other parts of the game, pissing in toilets serves no purpose.
  • Yume Nikki. This is Justified here, however, because it's a dream.
  • Leisure Suit Larry:
  • The Suffering features a restroom very close to your first cell and is the location of the Cutscene where you pick up Torque's first Morality Pet. Needless to say, the toilets needlessly work (though if your graphics card isn't up to snuff you can expect the most geometrically unsound flush imaginable).
  • In Bully, the toilets and urinals can actually be used by Jimmy (though only to urinate), with a flush sound being heard should you choose to do so. You can also place firecrackers in the toilets. And if so inclined, you can drag another student over and give them a swirlie. All of this is purely optional, however.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has a flushable toilet in Skyloft, though Link only sits on it.
  • Several games made by Quantic Dream offer the option of using the facilities. Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain typically allow it every time you control a character who is currently in a building with a restroom, while Beyond: Two Souls used it much more sparingly.
  • In the Megazeux module Cans, you can interact with the toilet in Chuck's apartment. You can flush it (which just plays a flushing toilet sound effect), flush a cherry bomb down the toilet (which gets Chuck beat up by his downstairs neighbor), or try to hold a conversation with it (which leaves Chuck thoroughly weirded out when the toilet talks back).

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Duke Nukem 3D has interactive toilets, but then again, a lot of stuff is more or less interactive in that game. Toilets and urinals can be used (the way they're typically used...) every few minutes to restore 10 health points, and they can also be destroyed to yield a stream of water that can heal the player to maximum, though very slowly.
    • In Duke Nukem Forever, the toilets can be used. Unfortunately, one of the toilets has already been used...and that person didn't flush. You can get an achievement for poking the matter in the unflushed toilet.
  • Shadow Warrior (1997) has some flushable toilets.
  • Half-Life 2 allows the player to flush the toilets in Point Insertion apartment bathrooms. Later on, however, this option is mostly absent.
  • In System Shock 2, the toilets and sinks on the UNN Von Braun make audible sounds when interacted with, including showers.
  • The BioShock games. The sinks and bathtub fixtures work as well, and are equally pointless. The ones in Infinite don't shut themselves off, so you can roleplay as a Wet Bandit if you like.
  • In Running With Scissors's Postal 2, the player is actually able to wee the whole place upside down, and in fact even urinate on burning victims—the toilets, however, still serve no function.
  • You can flush toilets in Wolfenstein: The New Order. Doing it at base will cause BJ to muse to himself about what he's doing.
    (First toilet) "Everything seems to be in order."
    (Second) "This is becoming a compulsion."
  • In TekWar, toilets were one of the very few objects you could interact with in a non-gameplay-critical way. Pressing the use key while facing a toilet and being near it would simply play a flushing sound.
  • DUSK has toilets that allow you to flush everything that is placed on them, no matter how big the prop is. Soap bars, toilet paper rolls, bones, wooden boxes and even corpses - everything goes. You can even flush yourself Harry Potter style in one instance to access a secret level. They can also be used to extinguish burning objects.
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    Platform 
  • Valve's Portal lets you flush the toilet in the relaxation vault at the beginning of the game.
    Toilet: Your business is appreciated.
  • One house in Jables's Adventure has a toilet which you can shoot with your gun to flush it.

    Puzzle 
  • A great many fan-made ZZT games. Keys hidden in the toilet's water tank are also a favorite.
  • In Safe Cracker, the restrooms in the Crabb House all have toilets and sinks the player can click on, resulting in an appropriate sound effect for each. A toilet roll and soap bar can also be examined in your HUD.
  • All the bathrooms in the Submachine series have old fashioned pull-chain toilets. Clicking the chain pulls it, but there's no sound effect beyond a creak from the chain (given the state of most locations in Submachine, it's possible the water's been shut off).

    RPG 
  • Surprisingly averted in Mother 3. Chapter 8 has a whole toilet dungeon, but none of the toilets there can be flushed.
  • Subverted in the Fallout series as the player can actually drink from the toilet — though the water, like all non-purified water in the game, is irradiated. In fact, toilet water tends to be a bit more irradiated than other water sources.
  • Deus Ex:
    • Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes it further with working sinks and hand dryers as well, so you can role-play going to the bathroom...if you really want to.
  • Final Fantasy VI actually let you do this to absolutely no benefit to the player.
  • In Mass Effect 2 and its sequel, you can flush the toilet in Shepard's quarters on the Normandy. Similarly, EDI chides you for using the wrong gender restroom in 2.
  • West of Loathing periodically features historically-appropriate flush toilets throughout the game. Flushing all of them grants you an achievement.
  • The toilet in Deltarune can be flushed multiple times; a fanfare plays when it is flushed. Do this enough times, and Toriel will ask Kris if they flushed a bath bomb again. Keep doing this, and she'll declare that they'll be footing the plumbing bill if the toilet breaks.
  • The school restroom can be entered in the Persona games, such as Persona 4 and Persona 5. Upon entering, the protagonist will ponder about their activities and goals that the player can choose to accomplish, such as completing a social link. Sometimes, they will even find an item that can be used in battle.

    Simulation 
  • Animal Crossing has the "toilet" and "super toilet" chairs that make a flushing sound when the player leaves them, as well as the "men's toilet", a urinal that flushes when the player presses the use key. Other than that, the toilets are virtually functionless; Animal Crossing: New Horizons eventually gives the seated toilets a function, allowing the player to empty their stomach after eating without having to uproot trees or break rocks.
  • Terraria allows the player to craft toilets out of various building materials, and they can be wired to explosively spew out feces all over the floor.

    Survival Horror 
  • Silent Hill: Downpour allows the player to flush every toilet in the game if they wish.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine has these at the beginning of Chapter 3.
  • Penumbra:
    • Averted in the first game, Overture. Although Philip can examine bathroom fixtures, they can't be used.
    • Played with in the sequel, Black Plague, where though sinks, toilets and showers can be clicked on, they only make clogged noises. Most likely the plumbing in the Shelter isn't in good shape.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Pretty much anything in your apartment in Mafia II serves no functional purpose, including the toilet. Even the snacks and food; they would be useful, if it weren't for the fact that your health bar is either full or about to be restored to full whenever you are anywhere near your apartment, as the game has no built-in free roam mode.
  • The Max Payne games have such toilets and many other objects than can be activated just for the sake of it.

    Other Media 
  • Inverted in an episode of The Simpsons where Homer was wearing a Motion Capture suit during a demonstration of the technology and went to the restroom. Everybody saw his avatar going through the motions of using a urinal, but it was a generic park background.

 
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Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards!

Larry can flush the toilet in the bathroom of Lefty's Bar, though that results in it him drowning from the flood.

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