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In honour of World Toilet Day: Top 5 SF movies with toilet scenes

November 19, 2008

We found it difficult to believe too, but yes, it appears there is a World Toilet Day. Like a trainwreck, we couldn’t turn away from the awful possibility of working this scatalogical subject into Not A Planet Anymore, especially since the astronomical body this blog was inspired by is at the ass-end of the solar system, and, correspondingly, some have suggested this blog is at the ass-end of the ‘net. But we’ve never claimed to be totally highbrow here – at least, not all the time. So we sat and thought, ’cause toilets are good for that, and we’ve plunged the depths of our memories to flush out a list that is somehow relevant. And so, we give to you (you may have to jiggle the handle a bit):

The Top 5 SF Movies with Toilet Scenes

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Of all the speculation that goes on in the Potter books and films about the afterlife, the haunting of one of the girls’ washrooms at Hogwarts by Moaning Myrtle has to be one of the more unpleasant, if not actually horrific, possibilities. Imagine dying, only to find yourself lurking in the plumbing, spending the hours looking at soap rings around the bathtubs and becoming an expert on the cleanliness of the cans? Having the scene up on screen with Myrtle splashing in and out of the toilets was just plain uncomfortable to watch and downright depressing.

4. Sin City
And speaking of splashing around in the toilets, this graphic novel and film took the torture of waterboarding to disgusting new lows when Marv decides to find out who’s behind the murder of his lovely ladyfriend. But one sequence of bobbing for something decidely other than apples isn’t enough for this flick. Nope. It needed the follow-up by Dwight showing Jackie Boy just what should happen to someone who beats up their squeeze.

3. Dogma
And from  splashing to downright erupting, the appearance (or is that excrescence?) of the Golgothan in the john at a stripjoint has to be the worst cinematic abuse of a toilet. Lucky for the Last Zion though, Silent Bob comes prepared to deal with any situation, or, for that matter, any chief assassin of hell.

2. 2001 – A Space Odyssey
Please: no jokes here about Number Two.
Credit here to harrysaxon for steering the list towards something a little more meaningful and a lot less revolting. “[It’s] always stuck with me when Floyd is headed to the bathroom on the shuttle to the Moon, and is confronted with a list of instructions akin to building a nuclear bomb from Japanese instructions.” Not only did Kubrick and Clarke present a realistic scene of going to take a leak in zero-g, but they did so at a time when that sort of thing just wasn’t discussed, let alone shown, in polite society (years later the sitcom “All in the Family” made history with a flush during primetime, though not in space).

1. Jurassic Park
Again, no jokes about Number One, please.
Bad enough that a guy’s sent to ensure an amusement park investment isn’t a total washout, but the weather sucks, the car breaks down, and instead of being the hero he’s trying to be, he’s chased by a T-Rex. And, to add insult to injury, when he’s on the can – the place where a man should be safest – the roof is torn off and said prehistoric predator eats him. It had to be the lawyer too. That alone catapults this flim to the top of a list that’s truly at the bottom.

Honourable Mentions:

Ghoulies – How many people saw that flick purely on the strength of the little monster thing popping up out of the john in the TV ad campaign?

The Tick (live action series) – Okay, this one’s from TV, rather than the movies, but you’ve gotta give credit to a series where the hero, The Tick, is so utterly stupid that he spends most of an episode closeted in the, er, watercloset, trying to argue with the toilet – and by argue, we don’t mean vomit, either – no, The Tick is actually trying to browbeat and reason with the plumbing. But to no effect. The toilet was cold to The Tick’s rhetoric. Warburton was a genius in that series.

Having completed this list, we’ll now attempt to rise out of the sewer to a higher level of discourse – the gutter, where we belong.

Remember to flush.

6 comments

  1. If by “SF movies” you mean “science fiction”, then I’d have to pick some nits here and say that Harry Potter, Sin City and Dogma aren’t SF…

    In the television world, there were at least one or more bathroom scenes in Babylon 5, the revised Battlestar Galactica and maybe Firefly. B5 is especially noteworthy as you have two main characters using the urinals as well as at least one alien.


  2. For “SF” we tend to go for the broader definition “speculative fiction” – easy shorthand to encompass all the geeky goodness of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics, magic realism, yadda yadda yadda – gives us more options to throw a list together too!

    Good additions on the TV front, Fred! The Baltar/Gaeta scene in the new BSG was a riot. Don’t know why I didn’t remember it.

    Yeah, I seem to recall Garibaldi and Sheridan conspiring over urinal pucks back on B5, as well as them sending some Earth official scouring through the alien methane toilets to find a fugitive doctor or something.

    Firefly sounds about right to me too, but I can’t remember anything off the top of my head. In a similar vein, Red Dwarf probably had a scene or two in the loo over its 8 series, but if so, they don’t come immediately to mind.


  3. We generally take the broad view of speculative fiction here, and as many do, tend to throw around the term “SF”, but point taken; many of the movies we mention aren’t necessarily hard science fiction.

    Never watched B5, but I can’t remember any bathroom scenes of note in BSG or Firefly; other than Mal using his sink/urinal in the pilot, which isn’t exactly memorable for anything other than peeing. The scenes we mentioned were largely quite memorable for using the toilet (or its contents) as a source of humour or drama within the sequences.


  4. Ahem, this was a late submission before I saw bloginhood’s. My apologies for the overlaps.


  5. The B5 bathroom scene is more notable for the hazardous wast warning placards in the stalls for Drazi.


  6. I don’t know what would be more hazardous: the contents of the Drazi stalls, or the Drazi themselves during the purple vs green time.



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