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"YOU GUYS!! I HAVE TO PEE SO BAD!! I'M GONNA PEE RIGHT HERE!!!"note 
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A comedy routine which involves a character really having to go to the bathroom, and being prevented from doing so by various plot contrivances. This often climaxes in a frenetic scene where the character darts desperately from location to location, clutching their groin, searching for someplace, anyplace where they can empty their bladder. The search will usually prove unfruitful — and the visited places progressively more embarrassing — as the routine wears on.

For example: the routine may start with the character finding some very obvious way of filling up his bladder, such as by chugging a Klatchian Coffee or a Gigantic Gulp. He makes a mad dash to the men's restroom, only to see a sign on the door: Closed for Cleaning. He tries to sneak into the women's restroom instead, and we hear screams coming from inside followed by a couple of irate women chasing him out. The character then runs outside and darts behind a nearby tree to relieve himself, only to find it occupied by a child playing hide-and-seek. The character then runs off and ducks into a side street, only to find a young, cardigan sweater-wearing couple strolling down it. The character quickly high-tails it out of there and hides behind a nearby school bus. No sooner has he started unfurling his pants, than he looks up and notices that the bus is filled with a group of gawking nuns who are staring slack-jawed down at him. After a few more failed attempts at hiding and peeing, the character finally ducks into a building, runs down a dark corridor and into a room filled with rows of folding chairs, a podium, and a waste-paper basket. Sighing happily, the character unzips his trousers and starts relieving himself into the waste-paper basket — at which point, the lights go on and a large group of burly police officers start filing into the room. Only now does the character notice the huge sign hanging on the wall at the back of the room which reads: "International Order Of Burly Police Officers Training Seminar #27: How to Spot And Subdue A Sexual Predator." As the scene fades to black, we hear the sound of a hundred nightsticks hitting the cranium of our hapless potty-goer.

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Note that the above scenario takes a Potty Emergency to its logical severe extreme; most Potty Emergencies won't end like this, but instead, end with the character fainting or just giving up and going in some random place, damn the consequences. Or, even more humiliatingly, it will end when the character just can't hold it any longer, resulting in Potty Failure (Embarrassing Damp Sheets if asleep), or, if they were frightened, Bring My Brown Pants. Very rarely does it end with him/her finding a suitable bathroom in the nick of time, but when it does, it ends with the character often enjoying that delicious euphoria that comes when such stress is relieved.

A person trapped in a Potty Emergency can expect to be sadistically subjected to all sorts of "watery" imagery — flowing water, spraying water, splashing water, kids running through sprinklers, water fountains, and worst of all, lemonade. All of which will remind him of the one thing he so desperately wants to do, but can't. Relatedly, a character who has to go to the bathroom while asleep will have dreams of such watery imagery. If they are currently in a body of water with an emergency, they may resolve this by just relieving themselves on the spot.

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This trope can also happen on another end of the body, as the effect of food poisoning or a laxative or emetic prank.

Sometimes a variant has the character(s) looking for a place to perform some non-potty-related but similarly private activity such as changing clothes, making out, or whatever. If this trope happens to a character who had been woken up and/or freed after an incredibly long time, it's Rip Van Tinkle. A video game that can potentially force players into one of these by denying them a chance to stop for a breather in the middle of some very long task expects them to have a Bladder of Steel.

Commonly happens in a Toilet Training Plot. Sometimes this is punctuated with the character engaging in a little Calling Your Bathroom Breaks. Compare with Anti-Sneeze Finger, Inconvenient Itch, and Excrement Statement. See Jar Potty for one solution to this problem.

While we can all attest to this in our own lives, we do not need to do it here. (Fictional ones can be unpleasant enough.)


Examples Subpages:


Other Examples

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    Advertising 
  • Several ads for Clorox Bleach have gone in this vein, "for life's bleachable moments". One includes a young boy trying to get his dad's attention, only for his dad to brush him off until it's too late. And then there's the infamous "Mommy, Mommy, I made poopie!" commercial...
  • A drug commercial for the bladder-control medication Detrol has a Junior High teacher trying to teach while desperately holding it in and waiting for the bell....what she CAN'T hold in is the fact that she needs to go. To the great amusement of her students.
    • Many of the Detrol TV spots feature similar situations. In another one, a traffic cop struggles to hold her bladder during rush hour. When a nearby fire hydrant erupts, she can't stand it any longer and literally stops traffic while she runs to the restroom.
  • A series of print ads for Fresh Step cat litter depict felines undergoing these due to their inability to find the "odor-free" product.
  • The teaser for *NSYNC's Superbowl performance was that they were in the middle of going to the bathroom.
  • A 2011 commercial for Model Environment starring Helene Traasavic, called "Helene on Toilet Paper", has her frantically rushing through the forest until she luckily spots a lone toilet in a clearing.
  • A 2015 commercial for Xifaxan has this happen to a sentient pair of intestines during a sports game, causing the intestines to run for the bathroom, but unfortunately there was a long line in front of the restroom.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes episode 42, Big M. accidentally eats an orange he laced with diarrhea powder and desperately has to go to the bathroom. The only problem? There's a very long line of people waiting to use the bathroom as well.
  • Kuai Le Xin Xin (a.k.a. Happy Xin Xin):
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Meethi Masi", Samosa wakes up and wants to use the bathroom, his cousins (who were brought with his Aunt Sweetyhearty for a surprise stay at his house) keep getting into the bathroom before he can, making him afraid he'll wet himself. When his cousin Harinder emerges from the bathroom, he's not only used the toilet but also Samosa's toothbrush, much to his surprise. Whether Samosa does wet himself is never shown.

    Comic Books 
  • Brittany Diggers undergoes one of these while in a submarine in the first issue of the full color version of Gold Digger. She spots her sister's favorite thermos, and stares at it as her sister and Ryan unknowingly make more and more innuendos involving needing to pee. The joke is shortly dropped in rather anticlimactic fashion, though since it's heavily implied that, yes, exactly what you would expect did happen, maybe it's best that they didn't show the obvious "hilarity ensuing" of that.
  • A Meanwhile strip in an issue of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac had a guy on a date with Devi desperately trying to hold back an attack of diarrhea. His final line, "Somebody put s*** in my pants!", has since become synonymous with the series. In the Squee!! spinoff series, the titular character had been holding it in for two days. He manages to find a bathroom, but the violent, spasmodic diarrhea from the next stall cut him short.
  • MAD Issue #510: In a "A MAD Look At Celebrity Life" strip, a blonde celebrity has one while riding in her limo, and asks the driver to make a pit stop at a restaurant. As soon as she comes out of her stall, she's swarmed by paparazzi, much to her embarrassment.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón:
    • This is the running gag for poor Superintendente Vicente in the book El Bacilón. The eponymous monster is disintegrated at the end by a single slap from El Súper because it stood in between him and the toilet.
    • Filemón has one of his own in a chapter in "¡...Y van 50 tacos!".
  • A one-off strip in Viz entitled Doctor Poo (sic) featured the Fourth Doctor in a pan-galactic quest for somewhere to defecate.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • One comic showed Calvin in one of his fantasy spots drinking one glass of water too many and turning into a puddle. The shift back to the real world shows Calvin in a car telling his mom "I don't think I'm gonna make it."
    • Another one depicted Calvin having a dream involving lots and lots of water. It ends with Calvin waking up and running to the bathroom.
    • And another one depicted Calvin putting on his winter clothes and getting ready to go outside. As soon as he walks outside, he realizes he forgot to use the bathroom. After taking his clothes off, he gets to go.
    • Yet another one has him needing to go but trapped on his bed by the monster waiting underneath - the next morning his parents are looking at the plants under his window, wondering why they're not doing well.
    • In the story arc where Calvin is in the school play, he ends up getting stuck in his onion costume when he tries to take it off. In addition, he was also supposed to be onstage soon. Hilarity Ensues.
  • FoxTrot:
    • In an early strip, Roger drank a whole pot of coffee before work, saying his boss was holding one of his notoriously boring meetings and that there was "nothing more embarrassing than falling asleep during Pembrose's endless sermons". In the last panel, he's at the meeting, excusing himself for his third bathroom break in the past hour, and clearly looks very embarrassed.
    • In another strip, Peter drank an entire pot of coffee, claiming he had a killer math test, and thought a whole pot would get his brain functioning like a "super-fast calculation machine". In the last panel, he's in class, sweating heavily, thinking to himself, "If the boy's bathroom is a thousand feet away and I run at a rate of a hundred feet per second..."
  • Hägar the Horrible: In one strip, Hagar's house is nearly buried in snow (as it often is in winter), and Hagar is shoveling very, very fast towards a tree for his very frantic dog Snert behind him.
  • One In The Bleachers comic featured a race car driver who forgot something on his mental checklist.
  • Non Sequitur: In one arc, Danae and Kate are snowed inside this house. This then becomes an emergency when their pets Lucy and Petey have to answer the call of nature.
  • Zits:
    • In this strip, Jeremy gets an idea similar to the example with Peter above, drinking three energy drinks before a big test. Not the wisest idea...
    • In an earlier strip, Jeremy holds it all day and rushes home because "nobody in their right mind ever uses the school bathrooms".

    Fan Works 
  • Greenland in a series of Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfictions often suffers from these, either because she's trying on the guys' old traditional clothes and she can't take them off, or because the other countries are ignorant/oblivious to her need. Sometimes she makes it, and sometimes, she doesn't.
  • In a Discworld fic by A.A. Pessimal, a group of Lady Assassins whose assignment means having to learn circus skills also learn a hard lesson - the reason why women who wear spangly tights and leotards to work drink sparingly, until the performance is over. During an energetic training session, one woman drinks a lot of water to keep herself hydrated. The urgent prompts from her bladder remind her that the way she's dressed is not exactly ideal if you need to go to the privy in a hurry.
  • Doctor Who:
    • To the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Loo, which consists of a series of drabbles, with Donna. The last chapter has the Doctor peeing in an elevator right before meeting the Brigadier.
    • The Doctor needs to pee features various Doctors experiencing this.
    • Captivity features the Ninth and Tenth Doctor experiencing this while being held captive. The first two chapters have him asking his captor for assistance.
  • A My Little Pony fanfiction called Princesses Don't Potty, which is toying on whether or not Nobody Poops applies to Celestia and Luna, Celestia has one.
    Princess Celestia had to pee. She didn't have to potty, tinkle, whiz, or wee, the pressure in her hindquarters was serious and called for serious vocabulary. On the other hoof, there was nothing particularly high-brow or intellectual about her situation, so she didn't have to urinate or micturate either. She had to pee.
  • In Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training, which is a fanfic set after the events of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Cake twins, due to being in the middle of being potty trained, have several of these.
    • Both of them while being foalsat by Twilight, who had turned into a kangaroo.
    • Pumpkin at the store while buying Pull-Ups (first time she successfully uses the adult toilet).
    • Pound has one in "Missed".
    • And another one in "Pound's New Diaper", where he tries to make a diaper out of plushies.
    • Mrs Cake herself actually has one in "Everypony Poops", although it manifests itself in a weirder way than when the kids have theirs.
    • Pumpkin Cake has one in the chapter called "Pumpkin and the Potty", which was resolved by her using her diaper while on the potty.
    • In the chapter called "That's Not a Potty", Pumpkin has one in the garden, leading her to poop in a pot plant. Then, Pound has one in the mall, leading him to pee in a teapot.
    • The first official potty emergency in this fanfic was experienced by Pound Cake in the chapter "Pound's Pain".
    • Happens to Pumpkin when Fluttershy's animals steal her potty in "Fluttershy and the Missing Potty".
    • Pound when he's visiting Cloudsdale. His solution? Peeing on the clouds!
    • Pumpkin has one in the last chapter.
    • Scootaloo has one in the chapter "The Exploding Diaper."note 
  • Equestria Girls fanfic Pinkie's Potty Problem is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; after drinking too much soda, Pinkie Pie has to relieve herself but is unable to find a bathroom. In addition to seeing temptation at every turn, she's unable to use her friend's bathrooms because Rarity has the plumber in, Applejack's is too filthy, and Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are having a Shower of Love in Rainbow's. When Sunset Shimmer lets her use hers, she ends up going into her closet by mistake...and somehow uses it like an actual bathroom.
    Sci-Twi: I wonder how she washed her hands.
  • DC Super Hero Girls 2019 fanfic Gotta GO GO GO has Barbara Gordon running all around Metropolis to find a bathroom after winning a Dr Pepper drinking contest against Selina Kyle. In addition to seeing an oppurtunity at every turn,she's unable to use her friend's bathrooms because Karen Beecher has a repairman unclogging her toilet,Zee Zatara casts a spell on her toilet to repel intruders, Barbara's own toilet is too filthy, Diane Prince & Tatsu Yamashiro are having a Shower of Love, the same can be said for Jessica Cruz's two mothers & Kara Danvers refuses to let her use her toilet. In the end, Selina Kyle lets Barbara use her bathroom.
    Selina Kyle: UGGGGHHHH! I feel the need for a shower because Babs forgot to wash her hands! What an idiot!
  • In the final chapter of Not All Good Things Last by Heroine of the Valley, Boomer & Bubbles have this emergency when they are cuffed together as a result of drinking Powerade. Eventually Buttercup zaps the cuffs in half & when everybody gets home, Bubbles & Boomer fight at the bathroom door & Bubbles goes in first. After she finishes, Boomer goes in to relieve himself as well. Take a look!
  • This Sailor Moon fanart pokes fun at Ami Mizuno's Japanese name by having her wake up in the middle of the night after having a dream about... take a guess.
  • In Sonic Zombie Doom Ship the Movie, Sonic, Tails, Shadow, Rouge, and Amy all get diarrhoea from eating Vector's Swedish meatballs. Sonic, and Shadow in particular, realise this after their own guts wake them up in the middle of the night, and send them rushing to the (apparently only) bathroom. Amy's occupying it at the time.
    Shadow: I'VE. GOT. TO. SHHH[bleep]TTT.note 
    Sonic: Oh man I've gotta go poop!
  • In the (uncompleted) Superbad fanfic Memories of the Past, Seth and Evan went to a carnival in the 8th grade, and Evan drank too much punch. When they got on the Octopus, Evan just couldn't hold it anymore, resulting in a big yellow puddle forming at his feet. His pee then splashes the both of them when the ride tilts sideways.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Iron Giant, Hogarth doses Jerkass government agent Kent Mansley with chocolate laxatives to induce one of these so he can finally get away from him. Mansley ends up having several over the next few hours.
  • At one minor point in Kiki's Delivery Service, this serves as Kiki's alarm clock. Fortunately, the outhouse is nearby right outside her bedroom.
  • During the chase scene in The LEGO Batman Movie Robin asks Batman if they're near Wayne Manor. Batman asks why. Robin's response, "Your #2 needs to go #1." It ends with Bring My Brown Pants when the Batwing gets hit several times.
  • In The Stinger of The Simpsons Movie, Bart has one, and he tells Homer that he's been holding it since the EPA put the giant dome over Springfield. Homer makes him stay, telling him, "A lot of people worked hard on this film, and all they ask for in return is for you to memorize their names!".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 11:14, Eddie is desperate to take a leak and decides to piss out the window of Mark's van. This distracts Mark and causes the accident that kills Cheri and severs Eddie's penis.
  • In Adventures in Babysitting, Sara suffers a potty emergency that causes Chris and the kids to crash a frat house party in order to use the bathroom.
  • American Pie uses it in a cruel prank where Finch, who has indicated that he never uses public bathrooms for fear of germs, gets his drink spiked with laxatives at school. Cue the boy's bathroom being down for repairs, no toilet seat covers, etc.
  • The 1970s Disney movie The Apple Dumpling Gang has a Running Gag of the girl announcing that she has "to go."
  • One scene in Are We There Yet? features Ice Cube's attempts to find a bathroom for one of the children he's babysitting. They find a bathroom, but the toilets are so filthy that the child resorts to peeing in the sink. That's when a woman shrieks in horror and Ice Cube, who's holding the boy, turns around to face her...
  • Another non-potty version comes in the feature-film version of Batman (1966): "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
  • In Bean, Mr. Bean sneaks into an art museum to swap paintings of "Whistler's Mother". To keep the security guard busy, he pours laxative onto the man's coffee and swaps the bathroom keys. The guard makes a desperate attempt to use the bathroom.
  • In the Matthew Broderick movie Biloxi Blues; a soldier in ranks has to pee, and the Drill Sergeant Nasty views his discomfort and makes him do two hundred pushups before letting him go to the bathroom.
  • The Black Balloon (2007): When Charlie has to pee, he enters a stranger's unlocked house while Thomas tries to stop him. This leads to a Meet Cute with Jackie, who is taking a shower in the same bathroom Charlie uses and screams when she sees the boys.
  • Buffalo '66 begins with Billy getting out of prison and asking the guards to let him back in so he can use the bathroom. They refuse. The next twenty minutes or so revolve around his attempts to find somewhere to pee, during which time he also kidnaps Layla and persuades her to pose as his wife in front of his parents.
  • Right as the alien ships' light-and-music display is building up in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a lone worker can be seen racing to one of the port-a-potties lined up near the edge of the site. It's unclear if he's been holding it in so he won't miss anything, and can't avoid dashing for the can any longer, or if he's simply so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation that it's a Bring Me My Brown Pants situation.
  • Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus: While the group is driving through the desert, Crystal insists on stopping to pee.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg goes into his brother Rodrick's room; when Rodrick finds Greg, he chases him to his bedroom. While locked in his room Greg says "Rodrick, time out—I have to pee!" to which Rodrick replies "No time outs—only death." We then see Greg waiting until finally, he tries to try to run through Rodrick. He opens the door, only to find that Rodrick has left his shoes there to fool him. Greg rushes to the bathroom and tells Manny to get off the toilet, and he starts relieving himself, but... Rodrick jumps out of the shower and Greg turns to face him—at which point his parents come in. This all adds up to a hilarious scene.
  • Dobermann: After Joe stops him from snorting cocaine, Manu has a sudden urgent need to take a shit, Joe tells him the bathroom is occupied and sends him outside to to a crap in the river.
  • In the original Dr. Dolittle film, Charisse has to go the bathroom, but Dr. Dolittle doesn't want her to go in because there's ducks and a goat in there. He tells her she's drinking too many liquids; she insists she really has to go, and he manages to hide the ducks and get the goat out.
  • Happens to Forrest Gump, simply saying "I gotta pee!" as he meets President Kennedy. Drinking a dozen Dr. Peppers will do that to you.
  • Throwaway line in Help! - as the Mad Scientist makes his way to the Beatles in a motorized rubber raft he tells his lackey "You should've thought of that before we left!"
  • In King of Thieves, Billy the Fish suffers from incontinence and is constantly having to dash off to find a toilet. Even after he is arrested, the police have to stop the van and let him out to pee, with one of the policemen holding his penis because his hands are cuffed behind his back.
  • Benny in Kopps has to take a dump while he and Jacob, tied together, have to flee from a SWAT-team through the forest.
  • Another clothes-changing example: the silent Laurel and Hardy short Liberty has escaped convicts Stan and Ollie putting on each other's pants by mistake, and spending much of the film trying to find a suitable place to exchange them. They're repeatedly exposed just as they're dropping their pants together, leading to the onlooker(s) getting the wrong idea.
  • Played straight in Magnolia when Stanley has to pee during the taping of the game show.
  • In Midnight Movie, Sully has a bad reaction to some chocolate coated raisins, and first develops uncontrollable flatulence, and then has to dash off to the cinema bathroom. Where the killer ambushes him.
  • In The Odd Way Home, a customer tells Duncan, "I gotta pee like a racehorse." This inspires Duncan to dream about a peeing racehorse, which he later draws.
  • The 1968 comedy The Party has a long sequence involving this. The hero (Peter Sellers) cannot find a single unoccupied bathroom on the ground floor of the mansion where the titular soiree is being held. Then the young starlet he has a crush on is to perform a song for the other guests, and out of politeness and interest, he puts his search on hold for several minutes as she sings - literally painful though it is for him to do so. Once she's done he sneaks upstairs and uses the fancy bathroom there, and with that taken care of, soon he's facing a whole different set of problems...
  • In this 2004 German Made-for-TV Movie Prinzessin Macht Blau/Royal News, Princess Sophia has one when she arrives at an airport in her private jet at the start of the film.
  • In Rat Race, Jon Lovitz's character, Randy Pear, is speeding through the desert with family in tow in a race to a fortune. His young daughter begs him to make a rest stop, telling him "I'm prairie dogging!" - when he realizes what that means, he's horrified and disgusted (as we all are). In the end, he forces her to go out of the window of the still-moving car.
  • Happens to Teddy in Save Your Legs! when he comes down with a bad case of Delhi Belly after eating Indian food.
  • At one point in the Korean film She's on Duty, a scientist on the run from criminals meets with his high-school student daughter in the girl's bathroom. While they're in there, the door's locked, and a line of increasingly aggravated girls gather in front of it. Eventually, the door slams open into them, causing Potty Failure... though by that point their response is more along the lines of "Oh, heaven..."
  • In Trainspotting, shortly after Renton decided to quit using heroin after "one last hit", he has a sudden case of the runs after his drug-induced constipation goes away, and ends up having to use "The Worst Toilet In Scotland". His relief at finding a toilet in time turns into a (quite literal) Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes that the opiate suppositories he'd recently taken had yet to melt, and he now has to fish them out of the toilet.
  • In Two Weeks Notice, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant leave a tennis game (in white uniforms, natch) and find themselves stuck in a traffic jam — just as the chili dogs Sandra has eaten start "barking." Fortunately, they manage to locate an RV in the line of traffic.
  • In What's the Worst That Could Happen?, Berger finds himself desperately needing to pee while trapped motionless in the Laser Hallway.
  • In White Chicks, one of the main characters has to go to the bathroom after eating some quiche due to his lactose intolerance.
  • In Young Guns II, an elderly reporter has to go but is stuck on a horse. In case the viewer had any doubts, said character loudly and desperately announces that "I have to have a movement" repeatedly. He manages to dismount, onto a cycad. It is not known whether or not he made it in time.

    Folklore 
  • One urban legend involved a potty emergency. A person really needed to go, but the only place within walking distance that had a functioning restroom was a funeral home. They pretended to be a mourner so they could use the facilities. Afterwards they decided to pay their respects anyway (or alternately, the officiant assumed they were there to pay respects) and discovered they were the only person at the funeral. Later they are told that the deceased's will stated that their entire fortune should be divided among the people who attended their funeral. Since they were the only one there they inherited all of the money.

    Jokes 
  • A joke: Two guys are going to the theater (that sort with the stage, not with the flicks). Shortly before the play begins, one of the guys feels he has to pee, so he starts looking for the bathroom, but can't find it and gets more and more desperate. Finally, behind a door he finds an empty, badly-lit room, pees into a vase and goes back to his seat. Being arrived there, he asks his friend: "Did I miss something?" The friend answers...
    1. "Seems to be one of these modern art pieces - some guy enters, pees into a vase, and exits."
    2. "Hey, you should know. You were at the stage after all."
  • A joke book title: 1000 Yards To The Outhouse, by Willie Makeit. The actual distance may vary, but isn't really the point of the joke. (It may also be edited or illustrated by Betty Dont, published by Andy Dint, with an introduction by Doris Locked.) This eventually spawned a tractor puller to name his tractor after the joke.
    • Another book title: Waiting In Line For the Bathroom by Ivana Tinkle.
  • A joke found on the website of Nicholls State University concerning how crawfish use the bathroom:
    Little Johnny Crawfish raised a claw in class. "May I go to the bathroom?" he asked. Crawprofessor replied, "Gee wiz, crawkid! Your classroom is a mud tunnel. It's all a bathroom!" "That explains everything," Johnny replied.

    Music 
  • Benny Hill used the joke version (see Jokes above) in his song "Anna Marie".
  • The band NOFX has a song entitled "I Gotta Pee", in which the lyrics are just the title repeated a lot. Except the last lyric is "I gotta poo."
  • Psychostick's "No Pun Intended":
    I've got bad diarrhea
    It might be a good idea if I found the bathroom quick before I-
    Oh, shit.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic touched upon this trope in his song "Traffic Jam":
    Trapped inside my automobile
    Cobwebs growin' on the steerin' wheel
    Now, I'm no genius but one thing I know
    I shouldn't have had that bag of bran muffins
    An hour and a half ago
  • One YouTube user made a parody of Call Me Maybe about how the urinary system works from the point of view of someone who needs to pee. A similar YouTube parody was based on ''Is it Too Late Now to Say Sorry?" called "Is It Too Late Now to Go Potty?". It was also about how the urinary system works from the point of view of someone who has to pee.
  • A little ditty to the tune of "How Dry I Am":
    How dry I am,
    How wet I'll be
    If I don't find
    The bathroom key.

    I've found the key,
    Now where's the door?
    Oops, I'm too late-
    It's on the floor.

    Music Videos 
  • A particularly vicious example in the video for "Smile" by Lily Allen — as part of a scheme to get revenge on a cheating ex, Lily takes him out for coffee, then spikes his coffee with laxatives. Meanwhile, some friends of hers are trashing his apartment, and he comes home with impending diarrhea to find not only is his entire place wrecked, but most of his clothes have been stuffed in the toilet.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Eddie Guerrero once gave Big Show a tainted burrito as revenge for Big Show spitting in Eddie's. Later that night in the middle of a match, Big Show had to flee the ring clutching his butt to find a bathroom backstage, losing the match by a count-out. Making matters worse, while doing "number two", Show finds out Eddie stole all the toilet paper.
  • Chris Sabin and Jay Lethal gave Petey Williams a laxative before one of his matches when TNA was doing a (reviled) Jackass angle.
  • Seth Rollins once had to roll under the ring and pee into a water bottle in the middle of a match.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Bear in the Big Blue House:
    • Happens twice in the episode, "When You've Got to Go!", which should come as no surprise, since the episode deals with using the bathroom. The first time, it happens to Tutter during a game of checkers with Bear, and the second time, it happens to Ojo during a game of hide and seek with Treelo. The former makes it to the bathroom okay, but the latter... not so much.
    • This also happens in the episode "Morning Glory" to Pip and Pop after they wake up, which causes Bear to remind the audience of the importance of using the bathroom after you get out of bed.
  • Happens twice in the Dinosaurs episode, "Nature Calls", when Earl unsuccessfully attempts to potty train Baby. The first time, it happens to Earl, who is trying to induce it on Baby by following advice from a toilet-training book about imagining running water. Upon thinking about it himself, Earl practically shoves Baby off the toilet so he can use it himself. The second time occurs later in the episode, and it happens to Charlene. When Earl is still in the bathroom, having thought Baby flushed himself down the toilet (long story), Charlene breaks the door open, and the rest of the family is shocked to find the state of the bathroom when Earl attempts to rescue Baby.
  • In "Accidents Can Happen" from The Pajanimals, after Cowbella and Sweetpea Sue go to see the Pajanimals' mom after Cowbella has her Potty Failure, Squacky talks about how hard it can be get to the bathroom in time sometimes. He then darts off in a manner that suggests that he really needs to go the bathroom himself.
  • Sooty has one in the Sooty and Co. episode, "Fun Park" as the result of drinking four colas at a restaurant. Unfortunately for Matthew, the coach's toilet is in use, so Matthew has to ask the driver to stop the coach so Sooty can pee outside. Matthew then asks the viewers to give Sooty some privacy.

    Radio 
  • The radio show Car Talk on NPR refers to this occasionally, usually as a driver in need of "an urgent haircut." They even refer to Urgent Haircut Productions.

    Theater 
  • Kinda the whole basis of Urinetown, a musical about what happens when an entire town, due to drought, is taxed for every toilet flush, and thus caught in a perpetual Potty Emergency.

    Toys 
  • This trope is quite common with talking toys themed around toilet-training. The toy will often ask to go to the potty after the child does a certain action, and will get more desperate if the child doesn't listen to them.
    • The first toy to have such a feature was Playmates' Potty Dotty doll.
    • Potty Elmo, a doll depicting a baby Elmo from Sesame Street that gets re-made every 5 years, will ask for the owner to take him to the potty after drinking his sippy cup. He sings songs about using the potty successfully and having accidents to encourage the child.
    • Another doll by Playmates, Amazing Amanda, asked for her potty at random times. The feature was notable for being one of the only ones available if the doll didn't recognize you as her "mommy". However, some of these dolls don't recognize their potty and only had accidents.
    • Baby Alive Learns To Potty, the hot Christmas toy of 2008, would ask you to take her to the bathroom after feeding her food or water. With each success, she would ask multiple times (for example, she would ask two times after her second success, three times after her third success, and so on). The toy was remade in 2018 as Potty Dance Baby, but with three differences: it only can drink water, it can only pee in its' potty and it can move its' legs to do a Potty Dance (it also does this when it says "Watch me dance!" after the owner holds its' hands).
    • Potty Monkey, a potty-training aid that's a hybrid of a plush doll and a timer for toilet-training, will ask for it's toy toilet when the timer goes off. The longer the person waits, the more desperate the monkey gets, and it will have an accident if you don't get it there on time.
    • Ready For Potty Baby Dora was basically a gender-flipped version of Potty Elmo, with the only difference being that she did not have accidents at all.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • In the original game, during the final battle with Gruntilda Winkybunion, Grunty will sometimes say things such as "Another hit, I'm getting weak, I really need to take a leak!" and "Soon you'll lose, and when you've gone, I have to go and use the john!"
    • In Banjo-Tooie, when you talk to Groggy in the Ice Side of Hailfire Peaks, he will tell you that he needs to use the bathroom, but he's too fat to walk there on his own.
  • One of the sequences in the Bishi Bashi game series involves a man who needs to climb up a lot of ladders to reach a toilet at the top.
  • The First-Person Shooter Cyberdillo actually makes a gameplay mechanic out of this: running into laxatives gives you a pressing need to use a toilet. How does this affect your Hyperactive Metabolism? It doesn't, actually.
  • This is the main plot of Don't Shit Your Pants, a game where the protagonist desperately needs to defecate and you have to guide him to the restroom. It has a sequel called Don't Wet Your Pants, which is the same except the character needs to urinate instead.
  • While there are no Potty Failures in Dragon Quest Builders 2, NPCs will complain about having to go to the bathroom if they're isn't a place to do so, or if the only place to do so is already occupied and they're waiting in line.
  • In Dubbelmoral!, a Swedish-language Mac game, as the schoolboy protagonist consumes beer, the "Nodighet"(urge to urinate) meter increases, requiring him to periodically relieve himself at the urinal on the "Nilen" screen. If the meter maxes out, he suffers Potty Failure and you get a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist: Freddy has one of these after the town's water supply is poisoned with a nasty substance. It's so bad he actually shares an outhouse with someone else. Truth in Television, some outhouses were three-holers... Except this one's barely large enough to fit one guy. And Freddy has to tell that guy to "scooch over a bit". Yuck.
  • In the museum level of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the team are at one point barricaded by a door covered in black slime. Before the player chooses to open the door using the slime blower, Winston Zeddemore will complain that he has to "go".
  • Trying to go through a restricted area in Jet Set Radio Future will result in Professor K saying to you "Hey, are you looking for a bathroom or something?"
  • At the very beginning of Infocom Interactive Fiction game Leather Goddesses of Phobos, you, the Featureless Protagonist, get the sudden urge to use the bathroom; if you take too long, you'll pass out from Potty Failure (which may count as a Press Start to Game Over). Fortunately, you start the game in front of two bathroom doors, leaving you to choose one of the appropriate gender in order to empty your bladder. Which is a pretty weird and ridiculous way of choosing whether you (and your future sidekick) are male or female.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, one of the struts Raiden has to cross has a guard on the roof. Said guard gets a cutscene where the urge hits him, and he decides to just piss over the roof of the strut. Crawl under the stream and you'll get a Codec call of Col. Campbell expressing his sympathies and Rose making Raiden promise to shower when he gets back. Crawl under with the box on and the guard spots you.
    Guard: Oh! I'm going to go in my pants... no one's looking, right?
  • One of the stages of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 is about a little boy who made the mistake of drinking too much before bed, considering he has a bedwetting problem. During the stage the Ouendan cheer him on as he fights against a bunch of water-related nightmares so he doesn't wet the bed.
  • Level 5 of PaRappa the Rapper has the hero getting one of these as a result from eating too much cake. Unfortunately, he winds up encountering a queue to use the restroom. He engages the other characters in a rap contest so that they will let him jump the queue. Actual lyrics include "In the rain or in the snow, I got the funky flow, but now I really gotta go."
    • Directly afterwards: "The toilet over there, will bring you luck, so give up, I've got no time to spare!" Who knew hobo frogs wanted to pee too. Plus, when you do 'BAD', it starts raining, when you do 'AWFUL', loud claps of thunder that could scare you, and when you fail, he soils himself.
  • Very early on in Persona 4, when you, Yosuke and Chie enter the TV for the first time, Yosuke gets a case of this.
    • It was very much a Funny Moment, and the game has many. Especially since Chie brings it up much later, thinking Yosuke actually peed his pants.
      • In the hiimdaisy comic: YOU GUYS!! I HAVE TO PEE SO BAD!! I'M GONNA PEE RIGHT HERE!!!.........OKAY NEVER MIND. Chie and Souji were not amused.
    • Nanako triggers the gas station pit stop event by having one of these. (In Episode 1 of the anime, she even tugs on Ryotaro's sleeve and says "Potty time, hurry!".)
  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, there is a fisherman (Fisherman Ned) on Route 106, just north of Dewford Town who wants to use the washroom, but is afraid of missing a big catch while he's out. When you defeat him in a battle, he claims to have lost because he has to go so badly.
  • The premise of the app game Potty Panic, where you have to guide people to porta-potties. The people blinking in red are those suffering from Potty Panic.
  • If one is so inclined, you can inflict this on your Sims and watch as they try to signal for a need of a bathroom. If you don't let them make it in time they wet themselves. If you give them the command to use a toilet or they do so through free will while they're in this state, they will run for the toilet.
  • The Japanese indie RPG Maker game Sokoumi features two:
    • After spending most of the early game drinking several potions that improve her ability to explore the underwater ruins, Umino spends the next part of the game searching those ruins in vain for a bathroom before she's finally forced to relieve herself in the same treasure chest that she earlier rescued her Fairy Companion from.
    • Later, being rescued from a Drowning Pit, Hideri repeatedly complains that she's suffering the same thing, and once untied she hurries into the next room, where a large and suspicious puddle can be found thereafter.
  • In SPY Fox in: Dry Cereal, Sal, the sailor on the S.S. Deadweight won't let you look at the map in the control room. During his conversation, he mentions that he needs to use the restroom as the result of drinking 17 bottles of prune pop, but he can't leave his post until his shift ends and his replacement arrives. You have to change the time on the time clock according to the time Bea Bear tells you, then show up in a sailor hat in order to get Sal to leave.
  • The premise of Chapter 4-2 in Super Paper Mario is as follows: Squirps desperately needs to use the bathroom, but whoever's inside won't come out. Mario and Co. have to find something that can be used as toilet paper, even if it's a treasure map.
  • Tamagotchi:
    • On My Tamagotchi Forever, your Tamagotchi will send you a warning saying "I have to go to the toilet. Quick!" when its toilet meter is low. If you ignore this message after two hours, the Tamagotchi will poop on the floor (though sometimes the accident will occur beforehand).
    • A similar Japanese game, Discovered on LINE! Tamagotchi also uses this feature, with your Tamagotchi sending you a message via line that it has to go to the bathroom with a unique phrase, ranging from phrases shared among characters like "I'm gonna have an accident!" (which just so happens to be the most common one) and "I want to use the bathroom now" to character-specific ones like Violetchi's "It's not gonna smell like flowers soon..." (Violetchi is characterized as being an Innocent Flower Girl).
  • In The Urinal Game, trying to leave on one of the levels gives you the message that you're too busting to not go.
  • This trope occurs in The Walking Dead Video Game Part 1. When you get to the pharmacy in Macon after the car ride from Hershel's house and a conversation occurs, Clementine announces to Lee that she has to pee. During the remaining argument Clementine's bladder issues were brought up now and then. Soon enough, Clementine gets the keys to the bathroom. We are then given that there's a zombie in the bathroom, as Clementine is attacked by the zombie but she is saved. Other than this occasion, everyone in the story has a Bladder of Steel.
  • The Framing Device for Wario-Man's stage in WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase is Wario-Man coming across a series of people trying to get into restrooms, only for the shoddy door handles to keep them from easily getting the door open. Your goal: complete a microgame to have Wario-Man successfully pull the door open for them.
    • WarioWare Gold has this as the plot's punchline — the vase Wario stole at the beginning of the game was that town's only toilet, and Lulu claimed everyone has been holding it in since. Her quest turns out to be completely unnecessary because they got a modern toilet in her absence.
  • At some point in Yo-Kai Watch 2, Jibanyan suffers from a case of this in the middle of the night while in the countryside.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yuka from Corpse Party, who spends a good length of time looking for a restroom while she's wandering around a haunted school. Guess how well THAT turns out...
  • Early on in ClockUp's Euphoria, Rika has one, but there's only a bucket available. It does NOT end well...
  • Highway Blossoms: After visiting the Grand Canyon, Marina suddenly has an urge to poop due to eating a gas station burrito beforehand. She begs Amber to stop at a nearby rest stop, and Amber eventually says yes after some persistent begging.note 
  • In Kuremono, Yui needs to go while on a date, but due to being unable to find a bathroom in time, she's forced to relieve herself in an alley.
  • In Lovely Day of Girlfriends & Me, Yuka has one while on a date with Shou at an amusement park. She ends up having an accident...
  • Yae has one early in Episode 3 of Malus Code, after getting stuck in the cold storage room with Will due to them not being able to open the door. It nearly escalates to a Potty Failure, but Suzukake saves the day by opening the door from the outside after noticing their absence.
  • Sucre Portable: Sayoko has this at one point in her route. She doesn't make it...

    Web Animation 
  • Leek’s entire schtick in Animated Inanimate Battle. He has bladder issues and has to see the little leek's room often.
  • Bravest Warriors: This happens to Wallow at the start of "The Puppetyville Horror", making the team postpone their mission so they could stop at an seemingly empty planet covered in yellow snow, setting the main plot in motion.
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • "Happy Trails Part 1". After drinking a lot of juice boxes, Petunia ends up wetting herself when the bus is about to fall off the cliff.
    • Happens to Petunia again in "Wingin' It". While on a plane, much to her horror the bathroom's walls are covered in vomit, but this time she does make it after cleaning up the restroom.
    • Flaky gets this in "Royal Flush", after she eats a sandwich with Mr. Pickels (sic) inside it.
    • Lumpy in "A Hole Lotta Love" after he ate a lot of beans.
    • Lumpy's elephant in "Junk in the Trunk" while it was being taken out for a walk.
    • Nutty has to go in "Going Out With A Bang" after eating a lot of candy and explosives.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the long-lost cartoon "Jumping Jack Contest" (which can be viewed here), The Cheat tricks Homestar into drinking lots and lots of Melonade so that he will have to pee and thus forfeit the contest. But he simply relieves himself in a jar supplied by the Poopsmith.
    • At the end of the Strong Bad E-mail "Extra Plug", Strong Bad tells everyone not to move, and then Homestar and Strong Sad start singing about how badly they have to pee.
  • This commonly happens to Deandra The New Girl from The Most Popular Girls in School. It's even an important plot point, as revealed in Episode 29.
    • In Brittnay's final French Class notes (MPGIS app only), there's this moment where she excuses herself for a bathroom break; judging from the following stuff she wrote below, she must've really had to go.
      BRB bathroooooooom timeeee (pee droplets on paper)<—ugh I missed a little while I was peeing!
    • Everyone who unknowingly drank laxatives in Episode 82 end up with these. Some make it; others don't.
  • In one RWBY Chibi short, Jaune is in need of the bathroom, but Ren, Nora and Sun end up keep running in and wasting time. Even worse, Pyrrha has spotted him and, unknowing of his emergency, thinks his potty dance is battle moves. Sun smashing him into the wall with the door causes him to go and he must shamely slink away to change, Pyrrha confused as to what he's doing.
  • Smosh Babies:
    • In "Extreme Desert Dodgeball", Ian suffers one due to having drank a lot beforehand (he thought P.E. class was called "Pee Class"). He ends up soiling himself near the end.
    • In "Bathroom Confusion", Anthony, Singh, Ian, Hector, and Isla have one while protesting separate bathrooms for boys and girls. It doesn't end well.
  • Sonic Zombie: In Doom Ship, Sonic and Shadow develop bad bowel problems once Team Chaotix's Swedish meatballs kick in after dinner. They find Rouge waiting outside while Amy uses the restroom, and Tails "walks" in later needing to go too.
  • In the short video Banjo-Kazooie - Inkura has the Jiggy Piece, Ikura has to pee after she drinks some soda. Banjo and Kazooie offer her toilet paper if she gives them their Jiggy back.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • 7-Second Riddles: A woman driving home from the supermarket realizes she suddenly needs to use the bathroom. During a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Both of the eponymous characters of the Alice and Bob get this due to rancid food. And Bob still has the runs in the next chapter.
  • At the beginning of A Granary Adventure: The Underdog Story, there is a brief scene where BLU Scout has to pee, but Heavy won't let him into the bathroom.
  • Viz Comic did an animated spoof of Doctor Who, aptly titled "Doctor Poo." In this, the TARDIS clearly doesn't have a toilet, and the Doctor travels through space and time looking for somewhere to defecate.
  • This parody of "Let It Go" from Frozen involves the struggle of a college student who drinks a lot of water on a hot day and has to urinate badly, but faces a lot of challenges along the way.
  • The Mark Remark: His first few episodes had him not talking about the women's matches because he has to pee every time. He later drops the pretense and makes it clear he hates these matches being used as a promotion for Total Divas.
  • Neopets: In the game "Petpetsitter", there will Petpets who need to use the bathroom. Failing to take them to the designated area in time will lead to puddles on the floor.
  • This Not Always Right story, appropriately tagged "bizarre".
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In the episode, "Bowser Junior's Punishment!", Charleyyy has one in an episode of Charleyyy and Friends that Bowser is watching. Unfortunately, someone (presumably Shrek) is already in the bathroom. Charleyyy then improvises by using the litter box.
      Charleyyy: If cats can do it, I can, too!
    • Bowser Junior has one in the episode, "The Elevator!", which sets the episode's main plot in motion. He eventually relieves himself in a cup he found on the floor, much to the disgust of Joseph and Cody.
    • Bowser Junior in "Life Is Ruff" while inside of Chompy's body. He tries to get Chef Pee Pee to take him outside but Chef Pee Pee doesn't understand and wets himself after Chef Pee Pee yells at him.
    • Jeffy has one at the beginning of "Jeffy Gets Stung By A Bee!", and acts like a dog so he can get Chef Pee Pee to take him outside to poop, which sets the episode's plot in motion.
  • In the literal video version of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", the "Bonnie Tyler" character has to go to the bathroom during the bridge, and one of the gymnasts kicks the door open for her. Only it's not the bathroom; she ends up in a room with a bunch of "blind possessed choir boys".
    "Bonnie Tyler": Get outta my way, I gotta pee! Never mind, I just went on the floor! Now I need to find a mop!
  • In one of Thomas Sanders' Vines, he and a friend really need to go but can't because their toilet-trained cat is taking his time.


Ahh! Finally found one!
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Fungus Needs to Go

After having a bit too much to drink, Fungus desperately needs a pit stop to answer the call of nature. Unfortunately for him, cold turkeys are all over the place, as he passes by numerous instances of watery imagery at every turn!

How well does it match the trope?

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