It’s not something people like to talk about – at least in most circles – but everybody poops. And sometimes, it can be funny. Moviemakers are, of course, well aware of this fact, and from time to time they’ll work a restroom scene into their films to capitalize on viewers’ cravings for toilet humor. More serious directors also use the private, personal space of the bathroom as the setting for some of the most powerful scenes in their projects. The fact of the matter is that unlike many of the locations depicted in Hollywood flicks, the bathroom is one spot that every single person knows well. Here’s a look at 13 unforgettable restroom scenes in movies.
13. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Directed by brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, 1994 comedy tour de force Dumb and Dumber is bursting with memorable scenes and classic one-liners, but this explosive toilet scene possibly tops them all. When Lloyd Christmas (played by Jim Carrey) finds out that his best friend Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) is stepping out with his dream girl, Christmas slips Dunne an extra-large dose of laxatives in order to derail the date. Clearly feeling the effects of the medicine, Dunne unleashes a torrent of poop at his date’s house, only to discover that the toilet is broken and won’t flush. Audiences looking forward to the 2014 sequel should brace themselves. “There are some things that we’re going to do in Dumb and Dumber To that make the toilet scene [in the original] seem lame,” Daniels said in an interview with E!. “I can’t divulge what, but just that they’ve topped it.”
12. True Lies (1994)
James Cameron’s 1994 blockbuster True Lies proves that Arnold Schwarzenegger knows how to make full use of a toilet. In this classic restroom scene, secret agent Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) takes it to a couple of punks in a public bathroom while his partner Albert Gibson, played by Tom Arnold, waits outside in the car. Tasker efficiently makes a mess of his two attackers (and the restroom itself) whilst a terrified elderly man sitting in one of the stalls becomes an unwitting witness to the action. The scene climaxes with Tasker beating the crap (sorry) out of the last-standing assailant with a hand-dryer before shoving his head into a urinal. That’ll leave a mark.
11. Pineapple Express (2008)
In this bathroom-pulverizing scene from David Gordon Green’s 2008 pot-fueled black comedy Pineapple Express, stoner pals Dale Denton (played by Seth Rogen) and Saul Silver (portrayed by James Franco) duke it out with drug dealer, backstabber and eventual ally Red (Danny McBride). Red is the supplier who sold Denton’s dealer-turned-buddy Silver the rare weed strain of the movie’s title. It is so exceptional that big-time dealer Ted Jones (played by Gary Cole) is able to trace it back to Red – who promptly decides to sell out Denton and Silver. After Red locks himself in his bathroom and tries to call Jones, Denton and Silver break down the door, smashing the sink off the wall and trapping Red underneath them. While Denton keeps Red pinned down, Silver attempts to destroy his phone by leaping up and down on it in the bathtub. Who said smoking pot and thinking clearly don’t go hand in hand?
10. Jurassic Park (1993)
When Steven Spielberg-directed blockbuster Jurassic Park hit cinemas in 1993, it was lauded for its innovative special effects. The film’s screenplay was co-written by author Michael Crichton, who also penned the 1990 novel of the same name, and the plot revolves around a bunch of cloned dinosaurs that overrun the dino theme park designed for them by eccentric billionaire John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough). However, it’s Martin Ferrero’s “blood-sucking lawyer” character Donald Gennaro who meets an unsavory end as he gets eaten by one of the revived beasts – a T. Rex, no less – while he’s sitting on the throne. It’s not a scene Ferrero has been allowed to forget, either. “When people recognize me on the street, they pause and then say, ‘You were the guy who got eaten on the toilet in Jurassic Park,’” Ferrero told USA Today. “So yes, I’m the guy who died on the toilet.”
9. American Pie (1999)
Although 1999 teen comedy American Pie is probably best remembered for Jason Biggs’ character Jim Levenstein filling a freshly-baked creation with his own personal stuffing, it also includes a pretty gross, but highly memorable, restroom scene. When the obnoxious Stifler (played by Seann William Scott) sneakily gives Paul “Shit Break” Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) – who refuses to use the school restrooms – a laxative, Finch is forced to find a bathroom in which to relieve himself, and pronto. Unfortunately for the young Finch, Stifler tricks him into going into the girls’ restroom, and his explosive diarrhea is heard (and presumably smelled) by a group of high school girls who happen to be discussing his dating potential at the time. D’oh! That’s one way to burst the bubble.
8. Trainspotting (1996)
Danny Boyle’s darkly hilarious 1996 film Trainspotting – based on the novel of the same name by Scottish author Irvine Welsh – includes one of the most memorable, and most wrong, toilet scenes in movie history. After getting an extreme close-up of Mark “Rent Boy” Renton (played by Ewan McGregor) as he takes a crap in “the worst toilet in Scotland,” viewers are treated to a surreal “through-the-toilet-bowl” sequence as the young drug addict attempts to reacquire the opium suppositories he forgot he’d shoved up his butt. Luckily for McGregor, the disgusting restroom was actually filled with chocolate. Interestingly, the part where Renton dives into the toilet and swims around is apparently a nod to the 1973 book Gravity’s Rainbow, by American author Thomas Pynchon.
7. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
In a list of outrageous moments, this scene from over-the-top 1998 gross-out romantic comedy There’s Something About Mary is one of the most bizarre. During a flashback scene, Ted Stroehmann (played by Ben Stiller) gets distracted zipping up his pants when he catches a glimpse of his prom date Mary Jensen (portrayed by Cameron Diaz) changing into her dress for the dance. Somehow Ted manages to get the “beans above the frank” – and male viewers still wince even thinking about it. As the police and firemen arrive on the scene (“We got a bleeder!”), the whole town, it seems, soon becomes aware of Stroehmann’s embarrassing and painful situation. Suffice to say, he doesn’t make it to the big dance. The movie also contains another memorable bathroom scene in which Stroehmann “knocks one out” before a big date with Mary, producing some pretty infamous semen styling gel.
6. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Memorable for its excessive use of the word “baby,” 1997 Mike Myers-scripted comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery also contains a pretty groovy restroom scene, which again features Tom Arnold (insert joke about his career being in the crapper here). In this scene, Myers’ time-traveling British secret agent Austin Powers fights off Irish assassin Paddy O’Brien in a bathroom stall while Arnold, playing an unnamed cowboy dressed in full western regalia, cheers on what he believes is Powers’ attempt to win a battle with “number two.” The pun here is that “Number 2” is also the name of arch-villain Dr. Evil’s right-hand man, whom Powers is intent on gathering more info on from his assailant. “Sounds pretty nasty. How about a courtesy flush?” pleads the cowboy, as the noisy exchange reaches a climax.
5. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The effects of the mental and physical abuse Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) suffers during basic training are acutely displayed in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Academy Award-nominated masterpiece Full Metal Jacket. After Matthew Modine’s character James T. “Joker” Davis discovers a visibly disturbed Pyle in the latrine, Pyle starts executing drill commands and reciting the Rifleman’s Creed with a loaded gun in his hands, ultimately waking the rest of the platoon. The main source of Pyle’s agitation, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (portrayed by R. Lee Ermey), arrives on the scene and demands that the shaken recruit hand over his gun. Pyle promptly kills Hartman, sits down on the toilet, puts his rifle into his own mouth and pulls the trigger, spraying his brains all over the wall and creating one of the most chilling bathroom moments in movie history.
4. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
1988 comedy The Naked Gun sees bumbling lieutenant Frank Drebin (played by Leslie Nielsen) out to prevent the assassination of Queen Elizabeth II. At one point, Drebin attends a press conference and wears a wireless microphone to address the crowd. As he’s not exactly the most observant officer, though, Drebin forgets that he’s miked up and heads to the restroom to make use of the facilities. Hilariously, and to the rest of the press conference’s disgust, Drebin’s bodily functions are broadcast in all their explicit glory to the roomful of unwitting eavesdroppers. Police work: it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
3. American History X (1998)
American History X is a powerful 1998 drama about brothers Derek and Danny Vinyard, played by Edward Norton and Edward Furlong respectively. When an African-American drug dealer kills the boys’ father, Derek turns to neo-Nazism, which has a huge influence on Danny. Director Tony Kaye masterfully tells the story of Derek’s prison-induced transformation from racist bigot to enlightened individual, but ultimately it’s a transformation that comes too late. After an emotional conversation, the brothers take down the white power posters from their walls, and Danny goes to school the next day seemingly changed. Unfortunately, though, Danny is confronted in the restroom by a black student with whom he had a prior altercation who shoots him in the chest. Derek arrives at the school soon afterwards but is only able to hug his lifeless, blood-soaked brother, at the end of this chilling scene.
2. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Nothing screams ‘80s action quite like 1989’s Lethal Weapon 2, which was directed by Richard Donner and stars Mel Gibson as Sergeant Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as his partner, Sergeant Roger Murtaugh. Living in a house full of women, Murtaugh finally gets the bathroom to himself for “the first time in 20 years” and sits down in peace with a magazine. A spanner is promptly thrown into the works, though, when he notices that there’s a bomb underneath the toilet. Luckily, Riggs pops by for a visit and lends a hand. “I’m gonna die on the toilet,” says Murtaugh. “Guys like you don’t die on toilets,” replies Riggs. The duo decides that the best course of action is to leap together into the bathtub – and the plan is a success, leading the ever-macho Riggs to quip to his semi-naked partner, “Get off me, man! I don’t want anybody to see us like this!”
1. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Through a series of bizarre circumstances, certain parties come to believe that “The Dude,” a.k.a. Jeff Bridges’ character Jeff Lebowski, has some money that doesn’t belong to him. This incorrect assumption leads to The Dude having his head repeatedly thrust into his toilet bowl by a couple of misinformed henchmen, during an early scene in 1998 Coen brothers classic The Big Lebowski. No one else would handle this scenario as serenely as The Dude. “It’s uh… it’s down there somewhere. Lemme take another look,” he says. And the sequence where he then recovers his shades from the toilet and puts them back on is among the cooler things ever committed to celluloid. For all the violence of his assailants, though, the Dude’s injuries are primarily emotional – as he mourns the henchmen urinating on his little rug, which really “tied the room together.”