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And now she'll have to clean it.

Sharon: Maybe I could do a college course?
Tracey: Go back to school? Yeah, you'd love that — bunking off and sticking new kids' heads down the toilet.

A type of abuse The Bully can inflict on others. The swirlie is portrayed half the time as a real shot of some poor kid getting his head stuck in the toilet, and the other half as a bully simply mentioning the word "swirly" to the cringing dismay of all the bully victims in earshot.

If the victim is lucky, no one used the toilet first...

A less-malevolent form of Water Torture. Compare Stuffed into a Trashcan. See also Camping a Crapper for other bathroom attacks, and The Can Kicked Him for more serious injuries.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • GTO: The Early Years has a more violent (and totally justified) example where Eikichi ambushes two sex traffickers in a public restroom after overhearing them talking about how they prostitute drugged high school girls and then blackmail the clients. When the traffickers' boss comes in to find them knocked out with their heads in the urinals, he gets the same treatment.
  • An even squickier example in Ichi the Killer: in a flashback, a bunch of bullies shove the title character's face in a toilet already full of poop, trying to force him to eat it.
  • Rare case in Kyo Kara Maoh!; the main character gets his head dumped in the toilet only to end up in the magical kingdom where he is ruler.
  • Aya, the woobie protagonist of Magical Girl Site has her head dunked in a toilet by a gang of bullies.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: In Episode 6, Panty and Scanty try to drown each other in the toilets in the boy's room as they're fighting.
  • Bullies in Vitamin force Sawako's head into a toilet after dumping her cellphone in it, and flushing it while she's in it.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Batman story arc "Heart of Hush", Batman interrogates Scarecrow with a toilet and the electrical wire from the lightbulb in his cell. Ouch.
  • In "The Reaching Hand", one of the stories featured in the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant special, Jimmy Olsen suffers a fatal swirlie. Not Played for Laughs in the slightest.
  • Fantastic Four:
    • In a flashback in the first issue of Ultimate Fantastic Four, a Gang of Bullies does this to Reed Richards. Ben Grimm ends up going Bully Hunter on them in retribution.
    • In another comic, Reed of all people threatens to do this to Johnny after Ben's used it.
  • In the Sin City story, "The Big Fat Kill," the Jerkass Jackie-Boy gets his head shoved into the toilet by Dwight McCarthy as payback and humiliation for abusing his ex, Shellie. This is part of what kicks off the main plot, as Jackie-Boy doesn't take humiliation well and seeks to take it out on someone, preferably a woman, and leads his boys into Old Town.
    Jackie-Boy: You're making a big mistake.
    Dwight: Yeah, well you already made a big mistake yourself. You didn't flush.
  • Used in TRON: Ghost in the Machine as part of the reality-warping tortures that Red Jet inflicts on his Blue counterpart

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Danny Phantom: Stranded: In the epilogue of "Sunk", Irving Burns threatens to ban Dash Baxter from Nasty Burger for life if Dash keeps "giving teens swirlies in the bathroom".
  • In the Facing the Future Series, it's revealed that Sidney Poindexter had been given this as many times as he had been shoved into his locker. He ends using this as another doorway into Casper High, while causing a tidal wave of toilet water in the process.
  • Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse): Chapter 4: One way that anti-Dracula people tried to kill Dracula / Soma, was "bless toilets and give him swirlies".
  • In the wrestling story, Hello Again, Molly Holly gives one to Natalya during their WrestleMania hardcore match in the finale.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "Why Am I Crying?" showed that, before they became bullies, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were tortured by a group of older colts at a summer camp. One of the things they did to them was dunking their heads in the toilets and making them lick the rims.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby, Tim and the Boss Baby give the babysitter, who is really more of a jailer, one before ditching him. It doesn't slow him down long.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aquaman (2018) plays with this as Man-O-War dunks his own head in the toilet after being deprived of breathable water as non-royal Atlanteans cannot breathe surface air.
  • The Assignment (1997): The protagonist is interrogated by a terrorist who shoves his head in a toilet bowl while whacking his kidneys with a pistol. Fortunately his handler saw him get taken in there and follows, leading to another trope.
  • In the first Austin Powers movie, Austin kills mook Paddy O'Brian by swirlie.
  • The Dude in The Big Lebowski is subjected to this by a couple of misdirected thugs, leading to this classic exchange:
    Thug: Where's the money, Lebowski! Where's the money, Lebowski! WHERE'S THE FUCKING MONEY, SHITHEAD?
    Dude: It's, uh, it's down there somewhere. Let me take another look...
  • In Camp Nowhere, Zack and Mud hide their friendship by having Zack pretend to bully Mud in order to maintain his bad-boy image. Part of this is having Zack "drag" Mud into the boys' room and Mud sticking his head under the faucet to make it look like Zack gave him a swirly.
  • The movie Charlie Bartlett depicts two bathroom bullies dunking him into a dirty toilet about ten minutes in, until a teacher walks in and reprimands them.
  • A Korean film called Ekskul is about the constant abuse heaped onto an elementary school child by both students and a deadbeat father to the point where he holds former acquaintances of the school hostage at gunpoint. One of the school scenes has five of the jocks dunk his face deep into what looks like an already-used toilet.
  • Sean Penn's character gets this in The Falcon and the Snowman. It's not pretty.
  • Forced Vengeance: Josh tries to bump off a Giant Mook this way, only to get the entire toilet thrown at him.
  • The 1967 movie Hell's Angels On Wheels sees Poet (played by Jack Nickolson) fighting in a barroom brawl. Poet punches one of the bikers so hard, he tripes and lands with his face in a ladies' room toilet bowl. Cue Poet grabbing the poor fool by his legs and swerving him around. Wet gurgling sounds follow.
  • Happens to one boy in If.
  • Inspector Gadget 2: Gadget is likely the only character to have given himself a swirlie.
    Gadget: Be careful in there! That toilet's got quite a flush.
  • Kill Bill: Elle Driver is subjected to one during her brawl with The Bride and actually has to flush the toilet to save herself from being drowned.
  • L.A. Confidential has Bud White dunking District Attorney Leow in the toilet as part of his Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
  • The main character in The Man from Hong Kong uses this as an interrogation measure to find the location of a local drug runner.. Not only does he find out what he needs to know, he more than degrades the victim.
  • In Max Keeble's Big Move, Max is caught by Troy McGinty and dunked in a toilet. Dobbs (the bully that charges students money to use the restroom and has a dislike of Max) lets Troy dunk Max for free. Cue Max showing up to class late and wet.
  • A film called The Pranksters shows a male student who verbally stands up to the school bullies being dunked into a bathroom toilet by the bullies' leader and a group of jocks. An apathetic teacher later tells the student afterwards not to provoke them.
  • The family comedy Rainbow Tribe begins with a boy dunking his younger brother in the toilet while pinning his arm. Their mother witnesses it happening and punctually intervenes.
  • In Runaway Train, Warden Ranken does this to Barstow after Barstow (rightfully) mouths off to him.
  • Saving Silverman has Jack Black getting one when he and a friend try to kidnap the evil female lead to fake her death. By her no less.
  • School For Scoundrels: The main character is given one by a mean-spirited co-worker during an argument over who is allowed to eat the last cherry danish in the vending machine.
  • In Sky High, Speed and Lash routinely do this to Ethan. They get their comeuppance towards the end of the film when Ethan does the same to Lash during the final fight.
  • Slaughter High depicts an example in which a lovestruck bookworm is cruelly pranked by an Alpha Bitch and her jock cronies in a spectacle that culminates with the jocks dunking a butt-naked main character head-first into the toilet. Little did they know that this would cause him to go batshit crazy and become the Big Bad later on.
  • In Starred Up, Eric pisses off a drug dealer in his wing and he sends round some thugs who attempt to shove Eric's head down his unflushed toilet.
  • Harry Tasker subdues a terrorist with one of these in True Lies.
    Harry: Cool off.

  • In the Animorphs series, Tobias mentions that he became friends with Jake because the latter once saved him from a couple of bullies that were about to give him a swirlie.
  • In The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, a prequel book to the The Mysterious Benedict Society books focused on, well, Nicholas Benedict, upon his arrival at his latest Orphanage of Fear, Benedict is warned by a kindly boy named John Cole that there's a Gang of Bullies called "The Spiders" who have already heard of his arrival and are planning to subject him to an "initiation," to be held in one of the orphanage's bathrooms. He figures out pretty quickly that this initiation is this trope or something like it, and being a Child Prodigy several orders of magnitude smarter than any gang of bullies, comes up with a plan on the fly to avoid it. When the bullies encounter him alone in an upstairs hallway, he manages to convince them that the orphanage director is on his way back, but he's already heard about the initiation and he's very excited about it. He tells them he'll be waiting for them at the bathroom the next day, with cookies. Of course, he makes enemies of them, since he most certainly does not arrive with cookies the next day, but as he explains to John, he felt it was worth it because he'd already been the butt of bullying at several past orphanages and wanted to take a stand.
  • In the first Harry Potter book:
    Dudley: They flush people's heads down the toilet first day at Stonewall. Want to practice?
    Harry: No thanks. The poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head in it — it might be sick.
    Narration: At which point Harry ran away before Dudley could figure out what Harry had said.
  • In Skippy Dies, Ruprecht becomes the victim of an aggressive bullying campaign after he starts acting out in school. After it's revealed that his parents are actually plumbers, this bullying frequently involves having his head shoved in toilets.
  • In the Star Wars Legends Legacy of the Force novel Sacrifice, it's revealed that young Boba Fett once had a run-in with a group of Null-class advanced recon commando clones led by Jaing Skirata who shoved his head down a toilet in order to teach him some manners.
  • When David Drucker from What to Say Next was in middle school, Justin Cho lured him into a bathroom stall, saying he had something he wanted to show him. Instead he gave him a swirlie and then stuffed in a locker. People called him "shithead" for months afterward, and the incident prompted his sister to make a Do Not Trust list of people David must not engage with under any circumstances.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 7th Heaven episode "Brave New World" has Mary Camden dish one of these out on Michael Towler, who had been sexually harassing her the entire episode, with his and her teammates watching. Comes directly after he gives her a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • The Amanda Show had the recurring segment "The Girls' Room" where Sheila, one of the girls hosting, would give one of the guest characters a swirlie, either at the request of the other girls or because she simply disliked them.
  • The Brittas Empire: When Philippa (Horatio‘s obnoxious new girlfriend) calls Helen a bad mother in "The Christening", Helen gets so annoyed by this that one of the punishments she inflicts on her is to dunk her head into the toilet, leading to one of Philippa’s earrings getting stuck down there.
  • Cobra Kai: Season 5 episode "Bad Eggs" starts with Anthony getting his head shoved into a used toilet by the Cobra Kai students. We get to see the filthy toilet as he's being dragged in, though the act itself is obscured by the incoming title card.
  • In an episode of the MTV show The Dudesons, the consequences the two losers had to face for failing one of the challenges was getting their heads (Faces submerged as well) in toilets filled with.....well, you don't wanna know what was in there.
  • In an episode of Frasier, Niles and Frasier talk about how this happened to both of them in prep school - apparently to a chant of, "There goes Crane, down the drain." When the boys that bullied them come to Frasier's apartment to repair his toilet, Niles makes amends with the brother who bullied him, and Frasier gets his own back by sticking the other bully's head in the toilet. At the end of the episode, Martin fixes the toilet himself, and quips to Eddie, "Don't drink that! Some guy just had his head in there!"
  • The FOX show Glee has two notable instances of this trope.
    • The first came from a promotional video for the show in which Puck repeatedly attempts to dunk the flamboyant Kurt's head into the toilet. However, after pretending to negotiate to be dunked in an environmentally-friendly toilet, Kurt fools Puck into thinking a sexy girl is in the men's room before running away, gloating that he'll never let it happen.
    • An instance from the actual show lies in an episode in which Quinn briefly joins some female bullies in swirling an innocent girl in the Women's bathroom. After her friends call her out repeatedly on her newfound evil ways, she gets better.
  • There is one episode of Law & Order where this is used as an interrogation technique in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped girl.
  • A Season 8 episode of the late MADtv (1995) had a sketch called "Swirlie Time," in which two bullies gave swirlies to boys coming into and out of the bathroom VIA a hijacked school security camera.
  • Jimmy from The Mick is given one by an overprotective father in "The Sleepover" when he's found with what he's told is the man's daughter's phone. Turns out Jimmy was just trying to return her phone to her and wasn't doing anything shady.
  • An episode of Monk revolves around the notion of Monk doing a job for who used to be his bully in elementary school. Monk has a flashback to a time when said bully gave him a swirlie in the bathroom, complete with shot of it happening.
  • One episode of My Name Is Earl begins with Earl allowing Randy to give him a swirly in the Crabshack bathroom to make up for having done the same to Randy when he was five. When Earl thanks Darnell for cleaning the toilet first, Darnell explains that the last person who was given a swirly in one of those toilets ended up with a strange bat-disease.
  • One Life to Live's Blair does this to her husband's mistress Skye, fed up with her interference in their marriage.
  • The prison drama Oz has a brief one on the first episode. While Dino Ortolani is finishing beating up Manipulative Bastard Ryan O'Reilly, we see him shove his head in the toilet just to add insult to injury.
  • The opening scene of the infamous "Guns R' Us" episode of Picket Fences has Matthew on the receiving end of this by some older bullies at school. Later in the episode, he and Zack decide to get revenge on the main bully, which goes horrifically wrong and things rapidly go downhill from there.
  • In the third season of the television series Queer as Folk (US), one of the main characters gives a swirly to his little nephew, who not only tried to take cash from his wallet, but was also spouting homophobic slurs taught to him (Or so the main character infers) by their grandmother.
  • In Season 2 of Rome Lucius Vorenus sends his underlings to punish Carbo, a member of a rival gang, for castrating a respected citizen (and pedophile) against Vorenus' express orders. They ambush Carbo in a public toilet and dunk his head down the crapper before sodomizing him.
  • The show Shameless has Episode 7 beginning with a pair of thugs, (implied to be loan sharks) dunking the main character's head in an already-used toilet. The leader says they would've flushed first if he hadn't tried to run away.
  • A fourth season episode of Supernatural has a girl give a cheerleader who'd been rude to her a swirly until she died.
    • There was also the episode "Jus in Bello" where the brothers poured holy water into a prison toilet to save a demon-possessed man VIA dunked the man's head in there. The actor that played the victim talked about the experience.
  • The opening credits of truTV's Those Who Can't ends with two bullies holding Butt-Monkey coach Fairbell over a bathroom toilet.
  • The episode "Heist School" of Workaholics involves Blake getting shoved into a school toilet by some jocks due to a misunderstanding with a female student...After a disguised Adam convinces them it's a better option than just beating him to a pulp.

    Music Videos 
  • "Neverender" by The Fold stars a nerdy protagonist (played by the vocalist) who gets one of these by some bullies mid-way through the song.
  • The video for Måneskin's song "Mammamia" has frontman Damiano David getting killed by his bandmates in Disproportionate Retribution and suddenly coming back to life each time. His first death is from drummer Ethan Torchio giving him a swirlie after he tries to correct Ethan's aim.
  • "Nothing In This World" by Paris Hilton starts with a group of jocks dispensing one to the unfortunate protagonist.

    Video Games 
  • It's possible to subject nearly anybody to one of these in Bully, by means of an Action Command, as seen here.
  • This is one way of eliminating targets in the Hitman games.
  • In Sleeping Dogs (2012), there are a couple of opportune instances to drown a triad gangster in his own piss as one of the many, many creative options available in the game's environmental kills.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order, of all things, has one of these take a more violent twist. One of the unique takedowns in the Eisenwald Prison level involves sneaking up on a guard while he's in the bathroom, where BJ will begin trying to drown the guard in the toilet. When it doesn't take after a few seconds, BJ resorts to stabbing him through the back of the skull.
  • Yakuza 0: When Kiryu takes down Yoneda for the final time at the start of the game, he shoves his face into a urinal for a few seconds, hard enough to draw blood. Then he does it a second time, smashing the urinal to pieces in the process.

    Web Animation 
  • Princess Natasha: One of the flashback scenes that explain why Oleg didn't stay in Spy Academy long enough for Lubek to be able to recognize him shows some bullies subjecting him to a toilet.

    Web Videos 
  • The Runaway Guys' Colosseum 2021: Day 3 of the event had a donation goal where Jack (ToxicXEternity) would give one to FamilyJules if the total reached high enough during Jules's segment. The goal was met and the act was done. Both are on good terms and have agreed to do it, making this a rare nonmalicious example.

    Western Animation 
  • In a Cartoon Network ident, the two titular characters of 2 Stupid Dogs are given one when a man catches them drinking out of the toilet.
  • Archer: Sterling Archer was subjected to these in used toilets while at prep school. One particularly brutal incident left him with pneumonia due to the inhaled water and piss. When he runs into the bullies responsible as an adult he loses all his confidence and is reduced to a stammering mess.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Millions", Batman tortures the newly wealthy Joker's accountant into divulging the clown's whereabouts by sticking the guy's head in an Iceberg Lounge toilet and flushing. Repeatedly. Penguin actually happens upon the scene, originally intending to break into the bathroom to argue the point, but upon hearing the frantic gurgling sounds, followed by flushing, he bids a hasty and sheepish exit stage right without a word.
  • In the "Crank Call" episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, the pair constantly call a man by the name of "Harry Sachz" and flush their toilet. Several weeks of this drive him to near insanity, and he ends up thinking the calls are coming from Stuart's house, and that his dad was the culprit. He starts out by shoving his head in the toilet and flushing, asking him if he likes the way it sounds. Take note that he's so pissed that he doesn't just push his head in, he grabs him by the ankles and jams him straight down and that's before he shoves the phone into his ass.
  • In Black Dynamite, BD uses this as an interrogation tactic on one of Fiendish Dr. Wu's ninjas.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation: F.O.U.N.T.A.I.N.", the Delightful Children tried to get information from a student named Leona; she wouldn't talk initially, so since they happened to be in the school girls' room, they told their henchman Lunk to "introduce her to Mr. Swirlie". After he did, they threatened to show her "Mr. Swirlie's downtown office" (which meant a rather filthy toilet) at which point she talked. (This leads to a Brick Joke much later in the episode, where the heroes find Leona and the villains at the Fountain of Youth; after a fight sequence, the Delightful Children are dumped in it, reducing them to infancy, and Leona calls it "Mr. Swirlie's corporate office".)
  • Used a couple of times in The Fairly OddParents!.
    • One notable time is when Francis threatened Timmy, only that Timmy didn't even feel threatened, and Francis ends up getting swirlied out of fear.
    • Horrifically enough, Vicky did this to her sister Tootie in "Birthday Wish" — on her birthday!
  • One episode of Hey Arnold! has Sid ordered by Big Gino to give Arnold the swirlie, which Sid is hesitant to comply to as he deliberately ignores Big Gino's call until the latter finally loses his patience and orders his goons to take Arnold in the restroom and have Sid do the job under his orders. When Sid finally refuses, he ends up swirlied instead and receives a picture of it as punishment for disobeying Gino's order.
  • An episode of King of the Hill revolves around a team of bullies that continuously impede Bobby's attempts to ask Khannie out to the school dance throughout the episode. They attempt to give him a swirly in one of the bathroom toilets, with constant protest from Bobby. The act itself isn't shown, but Bobby walking home with wet hair tells the tale.
  • In the The Loud House episode "One of the Boys", Luke (Luna's male counterpart from a Gender Bender dimension) does this to Lincoln.
  • An episode of The Mask shows "flushing" was one of the things Stanley suffered from an old bully.
  • In an episode of Recess where Spinelli is accused of throwing a rock at Randall, her punishment if found guilty is a swirlie. The part Spinelli and co. are most worried about is the ostracism and social stigma against having received one, not the swirlie itself. Ironically, when it's found out that Randall lied at some point during the trial, he is the one who ends up getting the swirlie. Since no-one apart from Ms. Finster really likes him anyway, the public shaming aspect of the swirlie is a moot point.
  • In the episode "This is my Jam" of Regular Show Rigby does this to himself on purpose to see if the water could get the song Summertime Lovin' out of his head.
  • The Simpsons: One time, when it was the last day of school, a Montage showed various people/places in the school counting down the last 10 seconds; one of these was Milhouse, as he got one of these courtesy the school bullies. In another episode, we see Jimbo Jones doing this to Bart.

    Real Life 
  • Far from being a harmless school prank, the swirlie is a dangerous practice that, according to Wikipedia, can result in drowning as well as serious infection, and has been successfully prosecuted several times in court.
  • Actor Dirk Bogarde related in his autobiography that this was inflicted on him at Allan Glen School in Glasgow.


Video Example(s):


Mr. Stevenson

Mr. Stevenson fell victim to this when Harry Sachz attacked him under the impression that he was the one behind the repeated prank-calls that Harry Sachz had to deal with.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AssShove

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