What do you think of when you hear the word bathroom? Peace and quiet? Alone time? Relaxation, right? For most of us, sure. There's nothing I enjoy more than after a long day's work, getting home, lighting some candles, and just kicking back in the tub with a few beers, some popcorn, maybe throw on a little Ace of Base if I'm in the mood....what, just me? But there are some bathrooms you wouldn't touch with a barge pole. No strike that, two barge poles. Tied together, end to end. I'm talking the most heinous, disgusting, evil places on the planet, the kind of bathrooms where you wash your hands BEFORE you go in, the kind of places that you'd rather walk down 4 dark alleys just to avoid using, the kind of places that if you're lucky, you'll come out alive of. Hmm, sinister right? Have I done my job in hooking you into reading on? Good, let's do this.
Psycho - Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
Okay so now you see where I was coming from. I'm not suggesting that in every bathroom you go into you're risking your life, but if you happened to be named Marion Crane and you're staying in some dodgy motel, whatever you do, DON'T TAKE A SHOWER. You might be a little 'ripe' when you wake up tomorrow, but at least you'll get to wake up tomorrow. The Hitchcock movie is regarded as one of the greatest thrillers of all time, with this famous shower scene being the jewel in the crown. Don't worry, there not all as morbid as this one. Line of the Scene: *Eek! Eek! Eeek!*
The Big Lebowski - Joel and Ethan Cohen (1998)
A personal favourite this one, Mr-laid-back Jeff (The Dude) Lebowski getting harassed while trying to take a relaxing bath, by a group of nihilists (including bizarrely, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and a ferret. If that doesn't get you down Blockbuster tonight, nothing will. Line of the Scene: "H-Hey, this is a private residence..man."
Dumb & Dumber - Bobby and Peter Farrelly (1994)
The wonderful Jeff Daniels was the heart and soul of this movie, but he also showed he can do toilet humour (pun very much intended) with the best of them. The sound department really earned their money in post production. Line of the Scene: "I hope you're not using the toilet, it's broken."
The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola (1972)
I'll admit I'm bending the rules a little on this one, the scene at Louis' Restaurant where Michael Corleone murders Virgil Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey (is it too late to say 'spoiler alert'?) is iconic, but it's easy to forget that where it not for the bathroom, said murders would have never happened? From the moment that Pacino's character slopes off to the bathroom to retrieve a previously hidden gun, the tension mounts incredibly. Even now that I've seen the movie a million times, and I know exactly what's coming, it's still gets the heart beating. Line of the Scene: "All I want, is a truce."
The Shining - Stanley Kubrick (1980)
'Here's....Jack Nicholson, over acting.' I kid, I kid. I can only imagine that Stanley Kubrick quite enjoyed spending time in the bathroom, as there is not 1 but 3 notable bathroom related moments in The Shining. As memorable as the axe attack and creepy bath woman are, they don't have a march on the wonderful back and forth between Jack and Grady, set in the striking red bathroom. Line of the Scene: "I'm sorry to, differ with you sir, but you are the caretaker. You've always been the caretaker."
There's Something About Mary - Bobby and Peter Farrelly (1998)
Those Farrelly brothers, they sure can do bathroom scenes huh? I'm thinking here of the zipper flashback scene, and in case you need reminding there's another great one later in the film - just think hair gel. Stiller combines the two most important comedic actor qualities, he's funny but you also sympathise and care for him. Mind you, it was hard not to feel sympathy for his character after what he went through. Line of the Scene: "Is it the frank or the beans?"
The Warriors - Walter Hill (1979)
The best bathroom fight scene ever? Hands down. The John Carpenter-esque synth lines, the 70's hair, the ridiculous outfits and the roller-skates, parfait. This cult movie based on Sol Yurick's novel depicts gang violence over one night in New York City. In their attempt to get home to their native Brooklyn, 'The Warriors' are hunted by every other gang in the city. This scene where they fight of 'The Punks' in a subway bathroom is a classic, I just hope that Tony Scott's impending remake (based in California, ridiculously) does it justice. Line of the Scene: "Get him!"
Eastern Promises - David Cronenberg (2007)
Don't you just hate it when you're trying to take a relaxing steam in a Turkish bath house, and two huge Turkish gangsters rock up and try and shank you to death? Yeah, me too. A close second to 'The Warriors' in best bathroom fight, Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn, son of Arathorn) bravely goes completely starkers in this memorable scene. Line of the Scene: *punch* *hair pull* *stab* "(inaudible Turkish)" *punch*
Liar Liar - Tom Shadyac (1997)
Another personal favourite this one, unscrupulous lawyer (wait, aren't they all?) Fletcher Reede, played as well as ever by Jim Carrey, comes to the decision that the only way he can gain a court delay is to beat himself up in the bathroom. You can see his logic, no? But, he can't lie, for 24 hours...because his son wished he would stop breaking promises...no really, that's what happened...I know but its movie. Line of the Scene: Q- "What the hell are you doing?" A- "I'm kicking my ass! Do ya mind?!"
The Royal Tenenbaums - Wes Anderson (2001)
Richie Tenenbaum, played by the underrated Luke Wilson (the best of Wilson brother actors), fancies going for the clean cut look so proceeds to shear off his long hair and beard, followed by calmly slitting his wrists. The scene is made great by the soundtrack; it's backed with the music from the wonderfully talented Elliott Smith. In an eerie sense of premonition, a full 2 years after the film was released, Elliott passed away after committing suicide. Line of the Scene: "I'm going to kill myself tomorrow."
Pulp Fiction - Quentin Tarantino (1994)
You've seen Pulp Fiction right? If you haven't then you should. I don't subscribe to the view that it's the greatest film ever made or anything (in fact Reservoir Dogs is my favourite QT film) but even if it's not your thing it's certainly a unique motion picture. This is a great bathroom scene and one of the great on screen deaths. Vince goes to Butch's apartment to kill him, but while waiting he needs to make use of the facilities (understandable). Unfortunately for Vince he leaves his gun on the kitchen countertop - sloppy, bad assassination form. Butch comes home to toast up some Pop Tarts, and the rest is cinematic history. Line of the Scene: *bang* - not many words to quote!
Trainspotting - Danny Boyle (1996)
This scene illustrates perfectly why I could never be a drug addict. On top of all the obvious negatives you associate with being heroin dependant, the idea that I might have to use the toilet to 'retrieve' my drug stash, and then have to use my hands to find said stash...yep, too much info. That being said the clever and unexpected twist that Boyle gives us makes this a unique addition to our list. Line of the Scene: "Yes! I ----ing got it!"
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery - Jay Roach (1997)
Classic comedic scene this one, Austin is using a bathroom stall when one of Dr. Evil's henchman pops out of a hatch behind him and tries to strangle him to death. What's funny about that? Besides Powers' asking a clearly blind man if he noticed any suspicious activity, it's the reaction of a friendly chap in the adjoining bathroom stall that is just golden. The folksy cowboy urges Austin to 'show that turd who's boss', while Powers is really straining and struggling to fight off his would be killer. Line of the Scene: "Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how 'bout a courtesy flush over there."
Full Metal Jacket - Stanley Kubrick (1987)
Full Metal Jacket is a pretty intense and full on movie, you wouldn't expect anything less from the Kubrick though would you? After taking just about as much torment as possible from Sgt. Hartman, it all ends badly for him and for the psychotic Private Pyle. That said, just a brilliant scene. Line of the Scene: Q - "If Hartman comes in here and catches us, we'll both be in a world of shit." A- "I am, in a world of shit."
Jackass 3D - Jeff Tremaine (2010)
No-one said that these bathrooms couldn't be portable. Jackass' lead mascot for stupidity Steve-O gets into a porta-loo (that's a 'porta-potty' for our American cousins) which is for a lack of a better phrase, full, and is then launched via bungee a long way into the air. You can imagine what happens on the way down, all in the 3D too. Line of the Scene: "Oh shit!"
This post was written by Wayne Hanley on behalf of Liberty Bathrooms. Liberty Bathrooms stock a vast range of bathroom suites, shower enclosures and bathroom furniture. You can follow them on Twitter @LibertyBathroom or visit their website at libertybathrooms.com.Suggest a correction