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Nighttime Bathroom Phobia

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When nature calls at night, either one of two things happen: the person wakes up to go use the toilet, or they relieve themselves in their sleep. For those who are lucky enough to make it, they are sometimes faced with a dilemma: they want to go to the bathroom, but they cannot because of one fear: they have to walk down a dark hallway to get to where they need to be!

This may stem from a fear of the dark, especially if a kid has seen a horror movie. This character might be a Lovable Coward and/or a Nervous Wreck. If the character in question has a Potty Emergency, it'll be an especially big problem and they may even have to face their fears so that they can relieve themselves. If the character opts to hold it until morning, it can result in a Potty Failure (Embarrassing Damp Sheets if they have an "accident" in their bed). A kid might also be too nervous to get out of bed because they think there's a monster under their bed. They might also be afraid of a Mirror Scare even if they manage to reach the bathroom.

This is a common fear for children or childish characters. Kiddie Kids may also suffer from this phobia. Sometimes this is played for Toilet Humor and/or to show how pathetic this character is, and other times, it's more of a sympathetic trait. Sometimes the character might have an accident out of sheer nervousness about the dark.

This is Truth in Television for several people, particularly young children. Parents can attest to their kids asking them to walk them to the bathroom late at night. Because of this, the page is No Real Life Examples, Please!.

Compare Shy Bladder, when a person has trouble using the bathroom in the presence of others.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bunny Drop: The first few days that Rin is living in Daikichi's home, she's hesitant to stumble around an unfamiliar house in darkness to empty her bladder, electing instead to try to hold it until morning. This leaves moist patches in the bedding that Daikichi notices. "It's sweat!" Rin insists while hurriedly gathering the bedding to be laundered. As the unfamiliarity wears off, Rin learns to navigate to the bathroom by herself.
  • Crayon Shin-chan has a chapter where Shin Chan becomes terrified of going to the loo after watching a horror movie late at night, despite his mother Misae telling him not to. In the dead of night, Shin Chan, waking up to use the loo, ends up being scared by Misae in a cucumber mask - Bring My Brown Pants ensues.
  • Digimon Adventure: In episode 8, Agumon has Tai walk with him to the bathroom shortly after they're supposed to go to bed, and Tai is rather annoyed by this. The English dub changes the dialogue between them, however, and Agumon joins Tai just in case something dangerous happens, but Tai accuses him of being the one who's afraid to use the bathroom in the dark after he enters a stall.
  • A flashback in Digimon Frontier Episode 29 has Tomoki wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom but being scared by the dark hallway. The scene ends there so there's no telling how it ended.
  • Haganai: In episode 10, Sena comes to Kodaka's room to ask him to walk with her to the bathroom. She insists that she's not scared and keeps asking Kodaka if he's still there. After that, Kobata and Maria have him take them there. When Kodaka goes to use the bathroom himself, he finds Yozora and she says she'll go with him. He asks if she's also nervous, and though she denies it at first, she admits that she scared herself with her own spooky story she had told earlier.
  • Inazuma Eleven: In episode 24, the members of the Raimon soccer club stay overnight at school as part of a training camp. Kabeyama is afraid to go to the bathroom alone out of fear he might see a ghost. Handa criticizes him for acting childish.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: In "Escargoon Squad", Dedede thinks his castle is haunted, so when he has to use the bathroom at night, he forces Escargoon to walk there with him in case a ghost comes for him.
  • Discussed in My Neighbor Totoro. Mei insists that she's not afraid of dust bunnies in her family's new house. Satsuki then declares that this means that Mei can use the bathroom by herself at night.
  • Played with in Nichijou. In episode 13, Professor has a Potty Emergency late at night, but she appears to be more spooked by the thunder than by the darkness. She has Nano walk to the bathroom with her, but then a sudden bolt of lightning startles her badly enough to make her piss herself.
  • No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!: In chapter 13, Tomoko reads too many spooky stories at night, so she bugs Tomoki into accompanying her to the bathroom when she's too nervous to walk there in the dark.
  • Omujo Omutsu Joshi: In chapter 20, Shouko has stayed up late watching a spooky show and Shouta refuses to accompany her to the bathroom, so she settles for just holding it for the rest of the night. She doesn't make it by the next morning.
  • Osomatsu-san: In one episode, Todomatsu (the youngest brother) has Choromatsu walk him to the bathroom late at night, much to the latter's annoyance.
  • The Pikapika Ongakukan segment "Hitori de Oshikko" is about a bear who is scared of going to the bathroom by himself, but eventually coaxes himself to do so.
  • The Tamagotchi episode "Fearful Kikitchi's Big Training!" is about Kikitchi trying to face his fear of going to the bathroom at night.
  • In episode 38 of Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, Yuriko mentions that Asuka was scared of going to the bathroom at night on a camping trip their class took.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King 1 ½: During the "parenthood" montage, Simba keeps waking up Timon to take him to the other side of the log bridge to pee, much to Timon's annoyance.
  • In Upin & Ipin film Geng: The Adventure Begins, the city-dweller Lim accompanies Badrol on his visit to his home village. On Lim's first night, he wants to go to the toilet, only to find out that the toilet is located not in the main house but in a separate room across the dark backyard. Lim decides to not face his fear and hold his pee until morning.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The prologue of Darkness Falls is A Minor Kidroduction of Kyle (The Hero), who is afraid of going to the bathroom at night (and darkness in general). When his mother tries to reassure him that everything is safe, that's when Matilda Dixon (a psychotic ghost) attacks and kills Kyle's mother. For further irony, Kyle saves himself by running into the bathroom because Dixon is Weakened by the Light.

  • All By Myself: Leon frequently wakes up one or both of his parents to take him to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and by the time morning arrives, they're exhausted. Leon's mother suggests that he try to use the bathroom on his own at night, and that night, Leon finally manages to do so.
  • Brave Little Monster: Albert has to use the bathroom, but he's worried that there are human kids under his bed who want to eat him. He pokes his head under the bed and blows a raspberry, and when he sees that nobody's there, he runs off to the bathroom.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: "The Last Straw" reveals that Greg has always been afraid of a certain picture of Shel Silverstein on the back of The Giving Tree since he was three. Back then, he had a bad habit of getting out of bed at night for no reason, so his father Frank told him that if he got up again, he'd run into Shel Silverstein in the hallway. To this day, Greg is too scared to get out of bed at night, even to go to the bathroom.
  • Doctor Sleep: At the beginning of the book, Danny is still terrified of what he experienced at the Overlook, and refuses to use the bathroom at night because he sees Mrs. Massey in the bathtub and is scared she will hurt him.
  • Dork Diaries: In the first book, due to Brianna's fear of fairies, she refuses to use the bathroom at night until Nikki makes sure there are no fairies in there.
  • How To Potty Train Your Monster: The narration notes that monsters are afraid that human kids live under their beds, so they hate getting out of bed at night, even to use the bathroom. A person is then shown telling a monster named Whimper that there are no humans under his bed.
  • Nightmares & Dreamscapes: In "The Moving Finger," the protagonist fears going to the bathroom at night and will even take a trip down to the alley outside his building to avoid it. He's got a good reason, though: whenever he goes in, a human finger pokes out of the sink drain and seems to be searching for him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Discussed in the Almost Human episode "Unbound". When John shows the kids footage of a criminal getting his arm blown off by his fellow gang members, they all leave in disgust. He calls them "bed wetters".

    Video Games 
  • Death Flush: The main protagonist, Ronnie, is an adult example, who is shown in the intro to be afraid of going into the bathroom at night, to the point where his girlfriend asks if he needs support, but Ronnie decides to steel himself into using the toilet alone. This is justified in-universe because he had personally encountered a Serial Killer who targeted people who were going into the bathroom and murdered them, including his own grandpa, right in front of his eyes. Understandably, the experience traumatized him badly enough to give him this kind of fear.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening: In Severa and Noire's C support, Noire the Lovable Coward asks Severa to walk with her to the bathroom late at night. Severa is irritated and tells her that she's too old to still be nervous about using the bathroom in the dark.
  • The central idea of Nekomew's Potty Trouble is about the titular four-year-old kitten who is afraid to go to the bathroom at night. Every level begins with him having a nightmare about his past experiences before waking up in bed. With the aid of his luminous cat-shaped doll, Nekomew must make it to the bathroom across the hallway late at night to relieve himself while avoiding various nightmare monsters that stall him along the way.
  • Yo-kai Watch: In the second game, Jibanyan wakes up having to use the bathroom pretty bad, so he wakes up Whisper and the player so that they can take him to the outhouse. When he orders them not to leave him alone, Whisper asks him if he's afraid to use the bathroom at night, and Jibanyan denies this, saying that Yo-kai fear nothing.

    Web Animation 
  • BabyBus: In one short, Rudolph wakes up in the middle of the night and has to use the bathroom, but he's worried about how dark it is and has his younger sister Nana walk with him. Rudolph keeps mistaking things for monsters and hiding behind Nana, only for the latter to point out what they really are. By the time they get to the bathroom, however, Rudolph's already peed his pants and he settles for taking a shower.
  • The Peak takes this to a Mundane Made Awesome level. Sarah has a Potty Emergency and is nervous because of how dark it is, so she grabs her plush toy (which has a built-in light switch). She has an Imagine Spot of wandering through an enchanted forest and running up a mountain while a flood is following her so that she can reach the toilet at the top. By the end, she makes it.

    Web Original 
  • SuperMarioLogan: In the music video "I Gotta Pee", Toad has a Potty Emergency at night and fears that a ghost might come for him. Ray Cheesy has to go too and accompanies him to the bathroom, but Toad takes a long time, much to Ray's dismay.

    Western Animation 
  • Bluey: In "Camping", Bingo wakes Chilli up in the middle of the night while they're going camping so that she can accompany her while she pees behind a bush.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Turkey in a Can", Gene says he refuses to use the bathroom at night because he thinks there's a ghost in there.
  • Kamp Koral: In "Game Night", SpongeBob interrupts Mr. Krabs, Mrs. Puff, and Plankton's game night to ask Mrs. Puff to walk him to the bathroom at night since he's too scared to go by himself. She reluctantly takes him. He then asks her to check for bugs, since he "can't go if there's bugs watching him". She goes inside and is suddenly grabbed by a large bug; SpongeBob then decides he'll wait until the morning.
  • The Non-Adventures of Safety Queen: In "Toilet Flush", a boy suffers from a Potty Emergency late at night, but he's too anxious to use the bathroom in the dark. Safety Queen says if he goes now, he might accidentally wake up his parents and they'll wake up the neighbors. After a ludicrous Imagine Spot of just that, the kid walks out of the bathroom and apparently nothing bad has happened.
  • In the Tiny Planets episode "Night Light Sleep Tight", Bing and Bong go camping on the Planet of Self, but Bong has to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and keeps waking up Bing to get him to the outhouse safely. They eventually get around this by having some luminescent Locals light up the way for Bong.
  • Total Drama: In the "Sucky Outdoor", the campers have to survive one night in the woods, which makes it even scarier to do their business in the dark. Bridgette and DJ are both afraid of the dark, so the latter prefers to use a jar.