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Toilet Training Plot

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Tommy: Everybody who's anybody is potty-trained.
Chuckie: Yup, and I'm an anybody now.
Rugrats, the last two lines of the episode "Chuckie vs the Potty"

This is basically a plot which revolves around a child character being toilet trained. There are two reasons the writers might want to play this trope: one is if they want to teach or encourage child viewers/readers/whatever to use the toilet, and the other is just to throw in some Toilet Humour.

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The child being toilet trained will either be stubborn and want to stay in diapers forever or will be eager to learn to use the toilet and be a "big kid". They might start off not knowing what the toilet or potty chair is for and do silly things like wear their potty chair as a hat or flush a lot of stuff down the toilet. Expect a Potty Emergency to happen a lot in these types of episodes.

If it's made to encourage children to use the toilet, expect the toilet training process to be amped up as really cool and amazing, with parties for going to the toilet or characters getting all excited and the child being treated as very grown up. Also expect the line "Everyone goes potty, even X" with X being a certain group of people (adults, superheroes, firefighters etc) and An Aesop about how Potty Failure is acceptable. In addition, the kid may get a Moniker As Enticement.

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They will also often put emphasis, especially when it's supposed to be educational, on going to the bathroom immediately when you feel you have to, even when you are having fun, a common phrase for this process being "listening to one's body". This is probably due to the fact that real toddlers often put off going to the toilet if they don't want to but end up wetting their pants because they overestimate how long they can wait and have small bladders so they can't hold their pee as much as older people. However, they will often having a hard time describing what having to pee feels like (after all, it is pretty hard to describe), so they will often talk about "a feeling in your tummy" which sounds more like they're describing apprehension or nausea or even just a "funny feeling" which is too general.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Early on in the original Chi's Sweet Home, both Youhei and Chi are learning not to miss their respective bathrooms, and both have at least one accident before finally getting it.
  • Hello Kitty, like Shimajiro, had two toilet training episodes. The first, "Going To The Toilet Alone"note , involved Hello Kitty being afraid of a toilet monster and refusing to use the bathroom unless Mama is with her. In the second one, "Going To The Bathroom,"note  Hello Kitty learns to listen to her body and go when she needs to.
  • The Ojamajo Doremi Naisho episode "Someone Who Knows The Sorrow ~Pop and Hana's Secret~" is about how Pop thinks she can potty-train Hana-chan by having them switch bodies. After a series of troublesome events, Pop learns that it's best for people to take their time to learn how to go.
  • Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō has quite a few episodes on this topic:
    • The first was "If You Can Use The Toilet, You're A Pantsman", about Shimajiro learning how to use the toilet. This particular segment became a Memetic Mutation. It also got a remake in 2009.
    • In "Any Toilet Can Be A Piece of Cake!", Shimajiro learns how to use a squat toilet while at the mall. There was a remake of this in 2015, but it was different from the original, which also featured a segment similar to the third example.
    • A "Do it by yourself!" segment introduces a character called the Pee Bucket, who teaches Shimajiro to go to the bathroom before his bladder is full on a car trip.
    • A much later episode involving this taught viewers how to make using the toilet after having dinner fun by imagining that you're someplace else.
  • One of the segments in the Direct-to-Video Cinnamoroll anime DVD Cinnamoroll's At-Home Challenge note , "Can You Use The Toilet?" note  by Sanrio, involves the characters teaching a baby rabbit how to use the bathroom with a song that goes through all the steps. The live-action segment following this, "Come And Meet Toilet-Kun" note  involves a group of kids, their mom and Cinnamoroll playing Rock–Paper–Scissors and being interrupted by the titular character after they notice Cinnamoroll is having a Potty Emergency. His song goes through the steps of using the toilet.
  • The Panpaka Pants character began life as an anime short that had a downplayed version of this trope. The pigs in the short are learning how to wear underwear after being trained, but seem to not know how to wear them properly at first. There are also two Toilet Time shorts featuring the main character, Panpaka, learning how to pee and poop in the toilet.
  • Crayon Shin-chan episode 1355, "It's Time For Toilet-Training", is about the Noharas trying to toilet-train Himawari by using a potty. However, she mistakes it for a toy instead of using it for its' intended purpose.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1991 film, It's Potty Time focuses on learning to use the toilet during Bobby's fourth birthday. Bobby's younger sister, Katy, tries to use the toilet near the beginning, Bobby's friend Lizzie uses the toilet before she goes to Bobby's birthday party, and Bobby and several of his friends have a Potty Emergency during the party, with a clown escorting them to the bathroom.
  • Look Who's Talking Too had a subplot where Mikey got toilet trained, during which, at one point, a talking toilet shows up.
  • One segment of The ABCs of Death, "T IS FOR TOILET," concerns a young boy trying to move on to a proper toilet. Given the title of the film it's part of, things don't end well.

    Literature 
  • Diapers are Not Forever is part of a series of preschool books, all titled a variation on "X is/are Not For Y", and it explains about how children don't wear diapers forever.
  • There's a children's book called Duck Goes Potty, which focuses on a duck learning to use the toilet.
  • Goldilocks and the Three Potties is about Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears as a toddler during her potty training.
  • How to Pee actually has two versions: one for boys and one for girls, and is meant to teach the reader various ways to pee, including "freestyle" (Nature Tinkling) and "mommy style" (boys peeing sitting down while impersonating their moms).
  • How to Potty Train Your Monster offers numerous funny reversals on this part (i.e. a regular sized toilet being too small for the monster).
  • KoKo Bear's New Potty is about an anthropomorphic polar bear named KoKo learning to use a potty chair and eventually the toilet.
  • Little Princess: "I Want My Potty" focuses on the Princess learning to use her potty chair.
  • A variation in the kids' book No More Diapers for Ducky: the book focuses on two Funny Animal children Ducky and Piggy. Ducky visits Piggy and finds him sitting on the potty and thinks it looks cool so she just potty-trains herself by deciding "No more diapers for ducky", taking off her diaper and using the potty chair.
  • The 1975 book Once Upon A Potty by Alona Frankel focuses on Joshua (for boys) and Prudence (for girls) learning to use their potties. An animated Direct-to-Video adaptation of the book was released in 1990.
  • In a kids' book named Potty, a little boy is learning to use his potty chair but he doesn't want to. Eventually, he does.
  • In the Hope Vestergaard book Potty Animals: What to Know When You've Got to Go, some preschooler-aged Funny Animal children named Wilbur the hedgehog, Wilma the pig, Arnold the crocodile, Freddie the rabbit, Helga the duck, Benji the lemur, Roxanne the hippo, Stanley the tiger, Sukey the raccoon, Georgie the bear, Farley the anteater, Agnes the mouse, and Ziggy learn Aesops like "go to the bathroom before bed" and "do up your zipper after going to the bathroom". It's sort of a Downplayed Trope because the kids are already out of diapers, but still need to learn things about the bathroom that adults wouldn't know.
  • There are two books called The Potty Book for Girls and The Potty Book for Boys, which focus on two children named Henry (the boy) and Hannah (the girl) learning to use their potty chairs.
  • The children's book Potty, Poo-Poo, Wee-Wee focuses on a young dinosaur named Littlesaurus who is being potty trained but won't use his potty chair for its intended purpose (he uses it in other ways instead) and won't stop singing Toilet Humour songs in public. He does use his potty at the end though.
  • In the Mo Willems book Time to Pee, the instructions on how to appropriately pee are written on signs carried by mice.
  • Sesame Street books:
    • "Too Big for Diapers" focuses on Ernie as a child when he was being potty trained.
    • In "No More Diapers!", Betty Lou tells her doll the story of what happened when she started using the potty and wearing underpants.
    • In "Potty Time with Elmo", Elmo teaches his doll, Baby David, how to use the potty.
    • "Potty Time With Abby" focuses on Abby Cadabby learning to use the potty. Since Abby's a young fairy, the book includes Abby's trademark mistake of turning things into pumpkins (in this case, the toilet) in addition to the usual mistake of not always making it to the potty in time.
  • You Can Go to the Potty is a kids' book which teaches how to use the bathroom in steps.
  • Potty Palooza: a Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Potty.
  • Potty Train Your Dragon by Steve Herman.
  • Muppet Babies books:
    • "Bye-Bye Diapers" focuses on Baby Piggy's desire to be potty-trained when she finds wearing diapers to be too uncomfortable for her to handle.
    • "I Can Go Potty" focuses on Baby Kermit being potty-trained.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Full House had an episode called "Jingle Hell", in which the B-plot involved Danny trying to potty-train Michelle after believing she was interested in the toilet after saying, "poo-poo".
  • In the Good Luck Charlie episode "Let's Potty", Amy attempts to potty-train Charlie to get her into a good preschool and the only way to get Charlie to use the bathroom is if she watches a Show Within a Show called "The Glurgles". Charlie then flushes her bath toys down the toilet, causing it to clog and Bob to cause a blackout in attempt to fix it.
  • The first half of one 1998 episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood had Mister Rogers read a book to the audience that he wrote about using the potty, and then shows them the difference between a potty and a toilet. While he is in the bathroom, he remembers a game he used to play with coins while waiting on the toilet, and concludes the segment by singing "You Can Never Go Down The Drain".
  • Supernanny:
    • In "The Van Acker Family", Jo helps Jessica and Kevin potty-train 3-year-old Dylan, who does everything in his power to avoid using the potty and wearing big-boy underwear.
    • In "The Evans Family", Jo helps Gary potty-train 3-year-old Dylan. It is revealed in that episode that Gary's wife, Jennifer, had potty-trained Michael and Sean before she died, and because Gary was not a part of their potty-training, he isn't sure how to potty-train Dylan.
  • In the Yes, Dear episode "Who's On First?", Jimmy and Christine potty-train their son Logan through Nature Tinkling, which inspires Greg and Kim to start potty-training Sammy in a more civilised way. After several unsuccessful attempts while Logan is potty-trained in three days, Greg decides to potty-train Sammy with Jimmy and Christine's method behind Kim's back.
  • Inai Inai Baa! often has songs that focus on this, often sung by U-Tan and her toilet and potty seat friends.

    Music 
  • The song Potty Song Blues focuses on a child who's being potty trained and wonders why Nature Tinkling is not allowed.
  • The Auntie Poo CD "Potty Animals" is about potty training and covers topics like worrying about using the toilet to poop and pee and even what can and can't be flushed down the toilet.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Bear in the Big Blue House: The episode "When You've Got to Go" focuses on Tutter, Treelo and Ojo learning about the toilet. They're already out of diapers but still have questions about the bathroom.
  • Dinosaurs: In "Nature Calls", Earl Sinclair tries unsuccessfully to potty-train Baby to get out of having to change diapers.
  • Sesame Street: The Direct-to-Video special "Elmo's Potty Time" focuses on Curly Bear being potty trained, and Elmo and Prairie Dawn are shown potty-training in Flashbacks.

    Theatre 

    Toys 
  • A doll by Playmates, Amazing Amanda, had potty training as one of the things you could do with the doll.
  • Two incarnations of Baby Alive, Talking Baby Alive and Baby Alive Learns To Potty, focused on potty-traning.
  • Playmates' Potty Dotty doll was a toy that taught kids to use the bathroom that came with cat-shaped accessories.
  • 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.
  • Potty Elmo, a doll depicting a baby Elmo from Sesame Street, is a toy that gets re-made every 5 years and has magnet sensors that detect his sippy cup and potty, which trigger drinking noises and success and accident songs, respectively.
  • Potty Monkey is a potty-training aid that's a hybrid of a plush doll and a timer for toilet-training. He's also the mascot for the company who made him, PottyMD, who turned the toy into a series of three online shorts in 2018 on YouTube. One of them, "Monkey Learns To Potty", got nearly two million views in the span of a year.

    Video Games 
  • The app Learning With the Animals focuses on a boy and a girl learning to use the toilet and several animals learning to use their equivalent of toilets (the cat uses the litter box etc).
  • One app has the animated story Potty, Potty about a boy named Tommy getting over his fear of the toilet so he can potty train.
  • The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 feature the toddler life stage. Toddlers need to be toilet trained, not only for practical reasons, but because it's required if you want to control which traits your toddler gets when he or she ages up and becomes a child.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Flow Go has several animations of babies singing. In one of them, a demanding baby is being potty-trained (despite looking too young) and sings a parody of "It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To". In another, a baby has an accident and sings about it to the tune of "Mama Mia".
  • Parenting Dot Com (along with Aha Parenting and other parenting websites) has several articles relating to potty training.
  • The website Pull-Ups.com has advice on how to teach kids to use the bathroom and splits them into personality types named after animals: puppy (energetic, positive, and focused), squirrel (energetic and positive but easily distracted), owl (analytical), turtle (shy) and bear cub (positive but a bit apathetic).

    Web Videos 
  • In the video Superhero Basics: Potty Training, The Avengers teach kids how to use the toilet.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • In "Bowser Junior Gets Potty Trained!", Junior wets his bed and is unable to properly use the toilet so Bowser forces him to wear diapers. Joseph and Cody tease Junior for wearing diapers, but Toad actually thinks he's cool for wearing them and teaches him to use the toilet with a rap song.
    • In "Jeffy Gets Potty Trained!", Mario is sick of changing Jeffy's diapers (especially since he's way past the normal potty-training age) and so he and Rosaline try unsuccessfully to potty-train him. Jeffy doesn't poop in the toilet but does poop in the sink and the bathtub. Eventually, Mario and Rosaline train Jeffy to use the litter box.
  • In the last episode of Par 9, Rodney and Berry try to teach Noah how to properly use a urinal, though they give conflicting advice.

    Western Animation 
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Downplayed in "Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty" and "Daniel Goes to the Potty". Prince Wednesday and Daniel are already potty-trained but they still learn the show's Aesop, which is "don't wait until your need to go to the bathroom becomes a Potty Emergency, or it might progress to Potty Failure."
    • Six years later, another pair of episodes played about how even if you don't need to go to the bathroom, you should try to go anyway.
  • The Direct-to-Video cartoon adaptation of Alona Franken's famous potty training book: Once Upon A Potty.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Brian in Love", Peter tries to toilet train Stewie after he thought he'd peed on the rug when it was actually Brian. In the same episode, there's a gag where Charles Lindbergh tries to potty-train his six-month-old son but the baby gets flushed down the toilet, so Charles lies that the boy was kidnapped.
    • In "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey", there's a B-plot where Lois is sick of stepping in Brian's poop so she tries to teach him to use the toilet like the others. Stewie unsuccessfully tries to potty train him with a video and when he tries to poop in the yard, Lois forces him to wear diapers. At the end, it looks like Brian is fully potty-trained but instead he's been pooping in the mayor's yard.
  • The Magic Bowl, a children's animated movie, featured three toddlers named Jennifer, Cindy and Sammy Jo getting potty-trained. In this story, the toilets and diapers can talk.
  • A variation in the Peg + Cat episode "The Potty Problem", where they try to potty train an alien called Big Mouth, who needs to be potty trained because on his planet, they don't have toilets.
  • Rugrats:
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Henny Youngman Day" the segment "The Potty Years" has a Flash Back of a young Plucky Duck learning to use the toilet but he's more interested in flushing various items down it. Interestingly, this short was based off Tom Reuegger's experience toilet-training his son, where the exact same thing happened in a hotel room they stayed in on vacation.
  • Winston's Potty Chair is an animated short from 1990, focusing on an imaginative little boy named Winston and his friend Molly as they learn to use their potties.
  • Wonder Pets!: "Save The Puppy!" is a pet variant of this; a puppy, with a Potty Emergency, is described as ready to go outside, "like a big dog".
  • Wonkidos: "Going Potty".
  • Word Party has "Hey, Have You Heard? It's The Word Potty!", in which the babies potty-train Franny and teach her words related to the toilet-training process.

 
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Wonder Pets!

"Save The Puppy!" is a pet variant of this; a puppy is described as ready to go outside, "like a big dog".

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