You know that children's book, Everyone Poops? Well, they lied. Not everyone does.
Sure, real people and animals in everyday life might, but you're not likely to see a fictional character going to the bathroom.note This would detract from the plotline, and besides, nobody really wants to see that sort of thing. If something's not crucial to the story, why include it?
Sometimes, of course, it is crucial to the story, and this trope is averted. Maybe there's a Potty Emergency; maybe someone uses a bathroom break to escape custody; maybe someone suffers an Undignified Death by being killed on the toilet — or worse, killed with a toilet; or maybe there's just some good old-fashioned Toilet Humour. Maybe it isn't crucial to the story but is included anyway.
This trope is sometimes averted without showing anything by simply having a character excusing themselves for a moment. Creatures with A Head at Each End beg the question of whether this trope literally applies.
Even the dead aren't immune to this trope, as evidenced in the subtrope No Dead Body Poops.
Compare No Periods, Period.
- This advertisment for Bowlene.
- In Naruto, it is explicitly stated that White Zetsu, being part-plant clone things, do not poop. They're actually rather curious about it, to the point of one asking somebody who until recently did have to poop what it felt like.
- In Super Dreadnought Girl 4946, the titular giant girl is asked about how she goes to the toilet. She responds that she doesn't leading to a discussion on the topic since no one believes her. Later we learn that since her size is supernatural in origin, she doesn't require food to live and thus doesn't poop either.
- Luffy's first question to anything unusual in One Piece is "Do you poop?" The only time anything's answered that is when Brook admitted he does.
- Sgt. Frog: Averted normally, and taken Up to Eleven in one Kero Zero chapter. Basically, the mothership taking our heroes to Earth starts rationing all food and water when its onboard farms fail to produce any crop - our heroes wind up holding it all in for a week when they can't even use the toilet, then desperation forces them to dump it all all over the onboard farms, inadvertently fertilising the soil and allowing it to function again. They don't actually touch the food produced for some time, though.
- City Hunter: Lampshaded in the second Union Teope arc: after finding out that Ryo had not left her behind to go into battle but was in the toilet, Kaori screamed at him that nobody had ever heard of an hero that goes to poop before the battle, only for Ryo to reply that it's the smart thing to do (and calling her constipated).
- A Wizard special focusing on Batman had one questioning if the Batcave has any bathrooms or if Bruce has to run back up to Wayne Manor for a bathroom break.
- Watchmen: While waiting for Rorschach to finish up in the men's roomnote , Nite Owl II mentions an incident where a drug dealer got away while he was using the bathroom. He subsequently redesigned his costume to speed up that part of the process.
- Justified and Invoked in Friendship is Optimal, as when people emigrate to Equestria, Celest-A.I. eliminates the need to do so, along with removing other tedious biological functions. Ones that people enjoy such as eating are still kept however, unless a person also wants them removed.
- In the Project Dark Jade fanfic Queen of Shadows, Shadowkhan apparently don't need to use the restroom.
- Snape lampshades this in A Little Light Reading as he notes that "the book hasn't mentioned so much as a bathroom break."
- In The Two Sides Of Daring Do, Daring Do is brought to life from her book. Since she has no knowledge of anything not mentioned in the books, AK Yearling has to patiently teach her how to go to the bathroom.
- In Azumanga Und Panzer, during the match with Anzio, Anteater Team suffers a Potty Emergency mid-battle, and in stroke of luck, ends up in an optimal position to attack the enemy flag tank and win the match.
- Averted in This Bites!. Even aside from Cross's biscuit problem, when he gets the Primal Cholera on Little Garden that is the crew's reason for going to Drum this time, he has some severe symptoms that involve a bed with a hole, a bedpan, and him not wearing pants.
- In this Lord of the Rings fanfic, Legolas is unconscious for days. Gimli later lampshades this trope by pointing out that it would have all been a lot more embarrassing if Legolas had had to go to the bathroom. Justified in that Legolas is an elf.
- Averted in Where Talent Goes To Die. Miura has to go to the bathroom shortly before Night Time on the third day, and encounters Edogawa in the girls' bathroom. Meanwhile, next door, Kurogane is murdered while using the urinal.
- In the Star Trek: Enterprise Parody Fic "Farce Contact", time agent Daniels teleports Captain Archer off the toilet in order to speak to him, as Starfleet toilets are in a state of temporal non-existence thanks to this trope.
- In The Brady Bunch Movie, one of the neighbors points out that you never see a toilet in their bathroom.
- Pleasantville makes a point of this — Jennifer enters the bathroom to discover that there are no toilets, because they aren't necessary.
- There was some Lampshade Hanging in a deleted scene from Galaxy Quest, where one of the Thermians mentions to Alan Rickman's character that Earth's "historical documents" (television programs) did not contain any information regarding waste facilities on the ship and "we extrapolated based on your anatomy" — revealing what looked to be the most horrendously painful toilet ever created.
- Lampshaded in Star Trek: First Contact where Zephram Cochrane asks Geordi if anyone pees in the 24th Century.
- Much like the Leave It to Beaver scene below, the film Psycho was the first American movie to show a toilet, implying people have to use it. This was Serious Business at the time, no pun intended.
- RoboCop (2014) shows RoboCop undergoing dialysis at the end of each day to compensate for the loss of bodily functions, and that's thankfully as close as it gets.
- In Tremors, when the Gummers return from searching for signs of the creatures that have been killing people and livestock, Burt Lampshades the lack of any "spoor". Justified because the Graboids live and travel underground, so presumably do their business there, not at the surface. Averted with humans in the very first shot, of Val seen from behind as he takes a leak over the edge of a cliff.
- Lampshaded in the song "Silver Screen" from Teen Beach 2. "Every line's a perfect take/Never need a bathroom break"
- Lampshaded in The Well Of Lost Plots, in which Thursday remarks that living in fiction has its ups and downs: people rarely eat breakfast but, apart from in Chaucer, there's not much farting either.
- Actress Tamzin Merchant wrote a hilarious poem discussing this, called "Ode to a Toilet".
- Lampshaded in Second Foundation, where a girl sneaks aboard a ship and hides there, like she read and saw a lot in popular culture. Then she realizes that the books failed to mention some things, and she cannot remain in her hiding place for long....
- Lampshaded in Donaya Haymond's Legends of Laconia series. In Waking Echoes, the prison cell Ty spends three days in has a toilet, and in Bite Me Matthew asks Dianne if her father goes to the bathroom, saying he's always wondered about those in his condition.
- One of the later 1632 books — 1635: The Eastern Front — includes a scene where a radio transmission was delayed because one of General Stearns's staff colonels was "taking care of urgent business."
Long: If it's urgent business, he may be occupied for a while yet.
Stearns: He should be finishing up any second now. It's the sort of pressing business that never makes its way into fiction.
- Lampshaded in the Kevin Brooks novel Lucas - while waiting for the antagonists to walk past, so she can stalk them, Cait realises that she really needs to pee, and she decides to go in some nearby tall grass...only for the antagonists to find her when she's still got her pants down. She muses in her narration that you never see anyone got to the toilet in films, and if you do, it's only because something dramatic is going to happen when they're in the toilet - being attacked by an enemy, for example.
- Lampshaded in The Never Ending Story. Bastian has to deliver a fax, and wonders why the characters in the books never seem to have that need. He got detention for pointing that out in class. (Specifically, he had asked his teacher if Jesus ever had to poop.) When he eventually enters into the world of a book, bodily functions are not mentioned again.
- In the Discworld novel Snuff, it's conversed when a little boy whose favourite book so far has been The World Of Poo "was beginning, with encouragement, to read books in which nobody had a bowel movement at all. Which, when you came to think about it, was a mystery all by itself."
- The Stephen King short story "Umney's Last Case" features a distraught author trying to muscle out his most famous creation so that he can enter the world of fiction and live without pain. He succeeds, and while the character is getting used to the real world, he wets himself because he's never actually had to use the bathroom before.
- Dave Barry once mused that Batman never goes to the bathroom. "Maybe that's why he's always grimacing."
- In Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive), Shallan derails Adolin's account of bravely leaping into battle while hugely outnumbered by asking how he goes to the bathroom while wearing Shardplate. After continuing for a line or two, he comments that he's told that story a number of times and no one had ever asked anything like that before. He acknowledges that there are often breaks in battle where they have someone to help, but yes, on three occasions he's done it straight in his armor. He doesn't try to regale her with tales of daring-do again.
- Simon Bloom: The Gravity Keeper in which the main characters find out their adventures are being recorded down by a Narrator using a machine that writes down everything that happens. One of them asks whether the machine records when they poop, to which the Narrator replies, "Of course not! That wouldn't be interesting."
- In the second Legend of Jig Dragonslayer book, a magically created monster dies because the person who created it didn't think to fully implement its digestive tract - the two-headed snake could eat, but not excrete. One of Jig's colleagues admits that this is a terrible way to go.
- Played with in the episode "USS Callister" of Black Mirror. In the Star Trek homage, programmer Robert Daly digitally clones his co-workers for his own private mod of the game he works on. He modifies their code which removes their genitals, preventing them from sexual pleasure, and... answering the call.
Shania Lowry: Can't even shit. Can't even have the basic fucking pleasure of pushing out a shit.
Elena Tulaska: [sigh] I miss taking shit.
- One scene in the pilot episode of Leave It to Beaver had to be reshot when standards and practices noticed a toilet tank in the corner of a shot.
- In Hannah Montana, when best friend Lilly Truscott is forced by Miley to go to the toilet, so that Miley can talk to a boy she likes. This is lampshaded when she gets back, after much drama has unfolded with Miley, when Lilly mentions how all the good stuff happens when people go to the toilet.
- Whedon was careful to show a toilet on Firefly. The first shot on the show inside a crewman's quarters was Mal buttoning up and kicking the toilet back into its resting place.
- Bridget Hennessey tries to invoke this trope around herself in 8 Simple Rules. She apparently sustains an illusion of never having to use the bathroom.
- One sketch in That Mitchell and Webb Look features an interview with a film director who wants to be realistic and complains that film industry "failed to reflect reality as people live it". In his World War II drama The Gathering People, an important cabinet meeting is interrupted when one of the members has to go to the bathroom.
Director: What makes me incredibly proud of that moment is that when it was first shown in the cinema, quite a lot of the audience actually went to the loo at the same point. Well, I assume they went to the loo. But they left anyway.
- Several people have said that bathrooms don't exist in the Star Trek universe, however there have been a few bathroom references (Neelix mentioning that they are down to four lavatories in Star Trek: Voyager, a girl asking where it goes when you flush the toilet on the Enterprise in Star Trek: Enterprise, diapers mentioned in several episodes, etc.)
- Up until the airing of the Dinosaur Train episode "Dinosaur Poop" in 2009, this trope was commonplace for shows airing on PBS Kids aimed at preschoolers. note There were three major exceptions, though. note The first was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which had part of episode 1723 discuss potty-training. The second was The Noddy Shop, where the episode "Skunked" has a scene where Whiny and Whimper mistake a smell for one of them "having an accident", and the third was Caillou, which had at least four episodes where the titular character suffers from potty emergencies.
- Comical songwriter Bryant Oden wrote a song about this entitled "No One Ever Needs to Pee in Movies".
- In Alice and Bob, this trope is lampshaded:
- Especially in earlier days and editions of Dungeons & Dragons, when the game's focus was more on world simulation and the detailed logistics of adventuring (counting arrows and torches, keeping track of food and water, deciding who should carry what loot...) were emphasized more, advice on dungeon design would almost inevitably manage to squeeze in a bit about not forgetting that any place inhabited by intelligent living creatures had better include toilets of some sort.
- Present to this day in all editions is the fact that several creatures are explicitly described as having incredibly efficient metabolisms that simply digest everything they consume with no waste. The tarrasque and the various species of dragon are the most famous for this.
- Warhammer 40,000: While latrine duty is still a part of the Imperial Guard and Space Marines have 24-Hour Armor, it's only referred to in passing, with other factions not mentioning this at all (fortunately so in the case of Nurglites). Zigzagged with the Orks: Ciaphas Cain mentions Orks answer the call of nature whenever it happens, and only building designated facilities to insult and deface whatever was there before, Deff Skwadron shows that they're part of the squig feeding process.
- Fandom to the rescue.
- The simplest answer is most often the correct one: going to a toilet isn't important enough to be written down.
- It's mentioned that the Kroot don't have a dedicated excretory system, this is explained through Bizarre Alien Biology as the Kroot almost completely break down whatever creature they eat and what few bits they can't digest are simply vomited out.
- "The (More or Less) Complete Guide to Hygiene For Fantasy Role Playing Games", among other things, contains lengthy speculation on how would waste be dealt with in a fantasy world.
- This is true for pretty much any video game. While toilets may be present in the game world, your character can run, shoot, and kick ass for hours or days at a time, without eating, drinking, sleeping or taking a pee/poop. Many go even further by not including any bathrooms even in places where they logically should be present.
- Lampshaded in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations: Phoenix believes that his "Perfect Little Dollie" doesn't have such disgusting bodily functions.
- Zigzagged in Persona 4. On finding the TV World for the first time, Yosuke panics because he has to pee and he's trapped in a world shrouded in fog that may or may not have toilets. The gag persist through your time there, including a bit about how he tries to relieve himself there but can't do it with Yu and Chie in the room, but it's never resolved if he managed to find a bathroom or not. Averted later on, when you can spend time in the bathroom at school in "quiet reflection".
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, There are no toilets, or pretty much anything to keep clean with.
- Well, not exactly. While there are no toilets explicitly in the game, there are several areas where you have a small room with a low stool, and a bucket directly behind it. A couple also have conveniently provided reading material on a nearby shelf, or lying next to the stool. Interestingly, none of these quaint little arrangements appear anywhere in actual inhabited buildings; they're all found in various dungeons or bandit hideouts.
- Neopets: Zigzagged. You can put toilets into the Neo Homes, but pets are never seen using them. Petpets, it's been established, do use bathrooms as it's one of their needs in "Petpetsitter" in addition to litter boxes being available for them. Also, some baby Neopets wear diapers and some don't, and you never have to change their diapers. And to top it all off, for the longest time there was no toilet paper in Neopia.
- Moshi Monsters: Zigzagged. Your monster never needs the bathroom and you can't make bathrooms, and your Moshlings never use the bathroom either, but a toilet is seen in a pile of rubbish in the mission "Super Weapon Showdown", Simon Growl mentions your monster can sit in the seat of his airplane at the back, by the toilets, and in one of the magazines, poop is outright shown. Also, Humphrey is said to dislike the smell of manure in the morning and some babies wear diapers, while some don't.
- The Trail Of Anguish informs you, "You don't need to use the bathroom right now. It's an adventure game, after all."
- EarthBound lampshades the aversion to the trope. They have bathrooms in the game, but they all are occupied or otherwise unusable. In the first bathroom you come to, walking towards the door will result in a cutscene where one guy rushes in ahead of you. Attempting to enter will make him say: "Occupied!"
- In Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron, you can at one point make Jimmy go into a bathroom, which triggers a cutscene of him walking out and thanking the player for thinking of it, because he hadn't gone all day.
- In No More Heroes, Travis uses the toilet to save. One assassin at the end of the game is even clever enough to attack him as he's saving, so to speak.
- In Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun clicking on a toilet results in Poirot saying "Although I am sure the sight would amuse you Hastings, I will not indulge in that activity for the duration of this tale."
- RuneScape eventually made a Running Gag of the lack of bodily waste— Ali the Bartender mentions that there are no toilets in Runescape, Ava the scientist mentions that adventurers lack many bodily functions, one April Fool's update proposed outhouses for when the player's had enough tea, and even in the spooky haunted mansion of "Broken Home", you find bathrooms with elaborate tubs and sinks... and a conspicuous empty space anywhere a toilet would go.
- Black & White's treatment of this trope is too weird not to mention. The Creature starts out needing to poop like any animal, but if you slap it enough times when it does it, it somehow learns not to poop. The biological need just magically goes away permanently without any side effects. Now if only that worked on humans....
- Crawler's Delight states in the introduction that not very many of the adventure games the main character played mentioned the urgent need for a bathroom break after several hours of captivity, then awards you your very first point for taking a piss under similar circumstances.
- Averted in South Park: The Stick of Truth. Not only can the main character poop, but the act itself is something of a mini-game, and the product can be weaponized.
- Undertale explains this by stating that monster food, being made of magic, is digested completely, leaving nothing to... come out the other end. A monster in Grillby's talks about human food being "gross" for passing all the way through the body, and expresses interest in trying some.
- Final Fantasy VII has several deleted scenes in the Mt. Corel region that in which Yuffie complains she's busting for the toilet the entire time, if you take her in the party ("I could go over there, but...").
- Dark Souls III clarifies that the Undead do not, in fact, have to poop (courtesy of the Excrement Smeared Ashes). Which makes sense, as the game also reveals that your Life Meter is the undeads' and unkindleds' will to live (and not a measure of their actual physical condition). As Estus is that will in liquid form, it makes sense that there'd be nothing, er, coming out the other end after drinking it. Flavor Text suggests that at least some undead who associate pooping with their former lives and wish for "that smell" again.
- A special Bad Moon adventure in Kingdom of Loathing parodies this: you're looking at a toilet in the Haunted Bathroom when you suddenly realize that you've never emptied your bladder, ever. You don't get a chance to "go" right there, though, as you're interrupted by a voyeuristic ghost girl who died on that very toilet. This gives you a Potty Dance effect that boosts item drops.
- Toilets are one of the things the developer is explicitly not adding in Dwarf Fortress; most of the playerbase is in agreement that having to design efficient sewer systems for your fortresses is just excessive.
- In Fairy Fencer F, discussion of use the restroom is actually fairly frequent. But the real humor here is there being something of a Running Gag in the game that Sherman actually doesn't poop, though this is only explained in the Vile God timeline in Advent Dark Force in which we learn that his robotic fairy partner, Ryushin, is somehow absorbing his bodily functions.
- Your avatar in ARK: Survival Evolved poops. As your food meter decreases, it will turn light blue to indicate that feces have formed in your bowels and you can take a dump with the Numpad + key; if you don't defecate at this moment, the game will eventually do it for you. When this happens, you can grab your poop and deposit it directly into a crop plot as plant fertilizer, mix it with thatch in a Compost Bin, let it sit for about one in-game day and turn it into a very high quality Fertilizer, or feed it to a tamed dung beetle that will turn it into one portion of fertilizer and one portion of oil. You can also kill yourself by eating enough of your own poop (useful if you're playing PVP to evade being captured and held prisoner), and in the Aberration expansion some mushroom spores will give you explosive diarrhea and empty your entire food meter, leaving you weak and starved. In addition, if you feel like grabbing your own poop is too gross, you can build a toilet in your house and flush it away safely and cleanly.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- In Majora's Mask and Oracle of Ages, there is a character identified only as "???" whose hand emerges from within a toilet requesting some paper. In the latter game, it will exchange a "Stink Bag" for some.
- In Skyward Sword, the Knight Academy has a public toilet that Link can sit on. It will even flush when he gets up.
- In Breath of the Wild, the Horned Statue notes that one of the common problems he has to deal with while trapped in stone form is being unable to clean off the frequent bird droppings.
- A running gag in the The Legend of Korra Abridged Series Project Voicebend is that there are no bathrooms in Republic City, and the citizens somehow don't need to use them.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Anzu comments in episode 3 while on the ship that she 'needs the bathroom, but the woman dubbing me won't say so'. This is a callback to the fact that 4Kids edited out Anzu saying she needed the bathroom on this line in the English language dub.
- Lampshade-hung in Goblins, where a guard tells a tale of how an adventurer was given roleplaying XP for... taking a crap, which also triggered a level-up.
- Pip in Sequential Art has an interesting biological theory of the My Little Pony world.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip 3402 is about a weird justification for the trope after it's been lampshaded:
Batman: "My urethra is catheterized. I am constantly emitting a fine mist of urine."
- xkcd: "Santa" has the characters wondering aloud how Santa goes to the bathroom when he's delivering presents.
- Whomp! plays with this. Ronnie is frequently seen on the toilet, while Agrias is surprised to discover that OTHER people poop, and won’t discuss how SHE deals with the subject...
- The Order of the Stick parodies this trope's prevalence in Dungeons & Dragons games with an early strip, where, after days or weeks exploring the Big Bad's Elaborate Underground Base, they finally find a rare and precious treasure: a public washroom.
- Lampshaded and averted in The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles. Tebow reads a Bible story to his teammates, and they're surprised when taking a dump turns out to be a major plot point.
Tebow: A little later, the king's servants try to come back in and find that the door's locked. They're like, "He's probably in the bathroom."
Mitchell: So people took shits in the Bible?
Tebow: Sure. Everybody poops.
Someone told me that a while back, and rarely do you hear so much helpful perspective stuffed into two words. No matter how legendary or important, "everybody poops."
- Parodied and lampshaded in one episode of 6teen where Jonesey walks in on Nikki in the bathroom after she was finished and fell face first into the aftermath. It's explained to him that now he's aware that women are "just as gross" as men and will never be attracted to them the same way again.
- CatDog. Kind of self-explanatory.
- Except they do in fact poop. Now as for HOW...
- Lampshaded in The Cleveland Show by two viewers outside of the 4th wall.
- Similarly lampshaded in Family Guy when Peter is looking for a potty-training book, getting recommended the classic "Everybody Poops" and the less-popular "Nobody Poops But You".
- In the 2015 revival of Danger Mouse, Professor Squawkencluck is seen entering the women's privy just seconds before being assaulted... by octopus tentacles.
- Nobody poops in the world of Dr. Seuss. They "go to the euphemism".
- Never happens in the Looney Tunes universe. At least in the original cartoons. In Baby Looney Tunes, it was a little different.
- Zig-zagged in Magic Adventures of Mumfie: The characters don't need the toilet after eating or drinking, and Mumfie doesn't wear underwear (Word of God said that having him do so would result in People Sit on Chairs). However, it's averted twice-when Fluffy the cloud leaks on Scarecrow's chair, and whenever Scarecrow falls, he poops straw.
- Averted and played with in The Real Ghost Busters and Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters. In The Real Ghostbusters, while chasing after a ghost, Winston falls out of a doorway and toilet paper rolls falls out as well. Peter remarks, "Should have thought of that before we left the Firehouse." In an episode of Slimer!, Slimer goes into a restroom, slamming a stall door behind him. A flush is soon heard, and he then exits the stall by going right through the door, leaving slime on the door in his wake. Even though by all rights, ghosts shouldn't need to use the restroom.
- Averted exactly once in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, in which Pinkie Pie is definitely having a restroom crisis and makes a mad dash to an outhouse. In every other episode, played straight.
- The title characters of Ren and Stimpy are occasionally seen sitting on the toilet, and from time to time the mother of the boy whose house they were staying at would inform them that "Cartoon characters don't need to use the bathroom!"
- Star Wars Rebels: Played for Laughs in "Double Agent Droid" when AP-5 walks in on Wedge while he's trying to use the refresher in order to voice his concerns about Chopper. Later, Zeb mentions that AP-5's done it to him, too.
- This one is so ingrained in culture that when the crew of Steven Universe had to submit an episode description to the TV guides for a pivotal episode without revealing anything important, they settled on "We finally see inside Steven's bathroom." And so we do: it becomes the living space of recurring villain Peridot after she's finally caught and forced to work together with the Crystal Gems.
- It's sort of a running joke that circumstances keep forcing Steven to pee outside.
- It's also implied that the Gems would still need to use the bathroom if they were to eat or drink anything. Pearl is disgusted by the concept whereas Amethyst is amused by the sensation of "goop" passing through her.
- A cut scene involves Peridot trying out eating for the first time. When she asks what happens next, Amethyst whispers something to her, and she looks suitably horrified.
- Some newborn mammals such as small rodents cannot pee or poop unless stimulated by their mothers' bathing them. This may help ensure that their nest doesn't get smelly enough to attract predators in the mother's absence.
- There exists a rare developmental complication where a baby is born without the required openings to remove waste. If this isn't solved via operation, the baby will not survive long.
- The larval states of some insects, like antlions, don't produce any waste until they pupate. Antlions can remain in their larval state for several years.
- Jellyfish, anemones, and others of their phylum have a digestive system with only one orifice - a mouth - so they don't poop. Whatever they can't digest from their food, they vomit out instead.