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Western Animation / Nina Needs to Go!

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Nina and Nana.

Nina Needs to Go! is a Disney Junior short series in which each episode has Nina have a Potty Emergency and must be taken to the bathroom by her ninja grandmother.

Common gags include surprised onlookers, over-the-top ways of taking a child to the bathroom (like riding elephants, riding on a wrecking ball and more) and Nana's many sci-fi gadgets including her umbrella, which whenever it does something, Nana states it as the reason why she always carries it.

Episodes generally start with Nina and her family on an outing and one of Nina's family (her mother, father or older brother Frank) asking Nina if she has to go to the bathroom, to which Nina responds "No, I'm fine." However, she will soon start to develop a need to pee, usually triggered by hearing, seeing or even imagining running water.


The rest of the family will try unsuccessfully to bring Nina to a bathroom and then Nana will pop out, usually saying, "Hello, darlings", to which Nina and possibly Frank will say her name. Cue the wacky hijinks!

At the end of each episode, Nina successfully goes to the bathroom and states "That'll never happen again, because now I know, don't wait to go", which is a rather perplexing catchphrase due to the fact that a) it always happens again and b) she never was "waiting" to go. She just genuinely thought she didn't need to.

After two seasons off all that, the third season finally changed things up, with similar insane adventures lead Nina to learn lessons about how to act appropriately in certain places instead. However, "Museum" follows the old format since it was a leftover episode from the second season of the show.


This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Nana is good at practically anything.
  • Action Girl: Nana, being a ninja.
  • Action Mom: Nana, in addition to being a ninja, is Nina and Frank's maternal grandmother, making her their mother's mom.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of every episode Nina says "That'll never happen again because now I know don't wait to go" however it always does happen again. Furthermore she does not "wait" so that part is useless.
  • Aesop Enforcer: Nina's mother is often the one who tells her to let her know if she needs to go to the bathroom.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In one scene Frank is supposed to take Nina to the bathroom but gets distracted by a drink in a pineapple. In another scene Nina's mom gets distracted by the volleyballs. Nina's dad is quite prone to this.
  • Beach Bury: In "Beach", Frank buries his dad in sand.
  • Beach Episode: Called "Beach". Also a Pool Episode: "Water Park".
  • Big Damn Heroes: Zigzagged with Nana. Although she does act like a comic book hero and she does swoop in at the right moment, needing the bathroom is hardly a dire situation.
  • Big "NO!": Said by Nina in "Water Park" and Nana in "Mall".
  • Bumbling Dad: Nina's dad has moments of this due to being a bit easily distracted, however, he is not unintelligent.
  • Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Multiple times, in every episode, since it's a show all about teaching toddlers not to be shy about this. Heck, they do this in the title of the show.
  • Camping Episode: Called "Camping".
  • Car Ride Games: In "Traffic," Nina and her family play "I Spy" in the car to pass the time.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Nina: "That'll never happen again because now I know don't wait to go". Also "I need to go right NOW", "Nope, I'm fine" and "I can't hold it much longer".
    • Nana: "Hello, darlings", "Hop in", "Don't worry, dear" and "That's why I always carry an umbrella."
  • Catchphrase Interruptus: In "Play", Nina has this. She finishes her catchphrase onstage.
    Nina: "That'll never happen again—"
    Director: "One minute to curtain!"
  • Cheerful Child: Nina is never seen sad and is quite happy when she doesn't need to go, however, she can seem a bit worried.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Happens twice. In "Water Park", Nina is reminded of her need to "go" due to all the water. In "D.I.Y.", she is reminded due to having to walk through the display of toilets.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: In "Parade", Nana unravels Frank's mummy costume that's made of toilet paper and he posers in his singlet and boxers.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "D.I.Y.", Nina asks her dad if they have a bathroom while at a D.I.Y. shop and he shows her a display bathroom.
    Nina: "Thanks, Dad. But I'll need a bathroom that I can use."
  • Cool Bike: Nana owns a fast moped.
  • Cool Old Lady: Nana, she gets everything done and is elderly. She's also popular.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Nana. She keeps turbo-powered rollerskates, several vehicles and a very multipurpose umbrella.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Downplayed for Frank. While he never makes snide remarks, he does roll his eyes sometimes.
  • Determinator: Nana doesn't give up easily.
  • Episode Tagline: The episode "Mall" has Nina say, "Can't wait!" so much that some viewers have mistaken it as her catchphrase.
  • First Day of School Episode: "To Preschool" focuses on Nina's first day of preschool.
  • Genki Girl: Nina, Nana, and Nina's mother are all peppy.
  • Good Parents: Even if they're not as talented as Nana, Nina and Frank's parents appear to be pretty good parents to them.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: In "Tower", Nina sets off an alarm and two guards are watching. In addition to being crazy, they seem to be somehow aware of Nina's Potty Emergency.
    Guard 1: "Do you think we should stop them?"
    Guard 2: "Nah, when you gotta go, you gotta go!"
  • Hilarity in Zoos: The episode "Zoo". It had butterflies that made shapes and monkeys throwing bananas.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: We never learn where Nana got her gadgets from or how she learned to talk to animals.
  • Kid Hero: Nina. She's the protagonist and she's four.
  • Large Ham: Nina and Nana can both be a bit dramatic.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Downplayed. Nina has several outfits but wears one outfit most of the time. Nina's parents and Frank wear several outfits and Nana has two outfits: civvies and her jumpsuit.
  • Mr. Imagination: Nina can sometimes be Miss Imagination.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Nana makes going to the bathroom look awesome.
  • Nature Tinkling: In "Camping", Nina's family think she must pee in the forest but she feels it's too public and disgusting.
  • Nearly Normal Animal: The animals mostly seem normal, but occasionally there's a deer with binoculars or a lizard with sunglasses.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Nana. She's a ninja and also a literal grandma.
  • No Theme Tune: This show doesn't have a theme tune.
  • Not Where They Thought: In "Beach", Nina and her mother accidentally go into the shower room, thinking it to be the toilets.
  • Once an Episode: These things happen once an episode, with, perhaps the exception of the five Something Completely Different episodes.
    • Nina, well, needing to go.
    • Nana getting a Say My Name moment from the kids.
    • Nina saying her catchphrase about not waiting to go.
  • Potty Emergency: The Series.
  • Potty Failure: Averted, but Nina occasionally says, "I can't hold it much longer", hinting this trope is possible.
  • The Protagonist: Nina.
  • Pun: Several of Nana's one-liners are puns. For example, before jumping onto a wrecking ball, she states "We're going to have a ball"
  • Pungeon Master: Nana is prone to making puns.
  • The Reliable One: Nana can always be relied upon.
  • Say My Name:
    • Nana gets her name said by the kids once per episode.
    • Frank gets a moment like this in "Water Park".
      Mom: "Frank, take your sister with you."
      Frank: "Do I have to?"
      Mom: "(sternly) Frank..."
      Frank: "(annoyed) Fine."
  • Scenery Censor: We never see Nina on the toilet, just her feet.
  • Serious Business: In every adventure, there is a sense of urgency, and Nana makes missing the end of a story seem tragic.
  • Shy Bladder: Nina has one, which is a major plot point in "Camping".
  • Sibling Rivalry: Downplayed for Nina and Frank. Sometimes they roll their eyes at each other or get annoyed, but they generally get along fine.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Nana can communicate with animals.
  • Special Edition Title: The episodes of the third season have the title of the episode written and said after the title of the show.
  • Strictly Formula: The episodes always follow the same format except for the third season, which is enforced as it is the title of the show.
  • Throw It In: In-Universe, in "Play", when Nina forgets her line, she just finishes her catchphrase that was interrupted earlier.
    Frank: (whispering) "Psst. Your line."
    Nina: "Because now I know, don't wait to go!"
  • Title Drop: In several episodes.
    In Water Park Frank: Coming through! Nina needs to go!
    In Snow: Kate (to Nat): Nina needs to go.
    In Train: Kate: Nina needs to go.
  • Title-Only Opening: Each episode begins with the title being shown and read out.
  • Toilet Humour: Kind of to be expected, since the main protagonist has a Potty Emergency in every episode.
  • Vacation Episode: "Beach", "Tower", "Train", "Camping", and "Traffic".
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Due to (with the exception of the five Something Completely Different episodes) the show's being mostly Strictly Formula and with a very short storyline, some details are left unsaid.
    • In "D.I.Y.", we never find out what Frank and Nina's dad wanted the aqua paint for.
    • In "Library", we never find out the entirety of the story that was being read.
    • In "Play", we never find out what Nina's real line is or what the play's about.
    • In "Train", we never find out where the family's destination is.
  • Wedding Episode: The episode "Wedding" focuses on Nina's auntie Gladys marrying a guy named Walter and Nina trying to find the bathroom during the wedding.
  • Youthful Freckles: Nina. She's a child and has freckles on her face.
  • Yo-Yo Plot Point: Enforced. With a title like that, you can't do much deviation.


Video Example(s):


Nina Needs to Go

We never find out what the fictional knight really cried out, but what Nina says completes the sentence well.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption

Media sources:

Main / AstonishinglyAppropriateInterruption