Finding a truly universal joke can prove to be a tricky task. With all the cultural differences in the world, many types of jokes simply do not translate from country to country. People miss out on the subtleties and nuances of verbal gags; misunderstand situations that are unique to a particular area, and essentially fail to identify with the cultural norms that jokes are constructed from. So, in order to find humor that anyone can enjoy, you must look toward the most basic functions in life; things that everyone deals with.
Bathroom humor falls under that limited category. Let’s face it, everyone goes to the bathroom, it’s a part of life – and it makes for some of the best laughs.
Now, I know that some people may look down at this type of humor, thinking that it’s simply crass, juvenile, or just plain gross. To those people I would say, “Get off your high horse!” I think everyone has laughed at some form of bathroom humor in their lives. If it isn’t your style, then that’s fine, but just remember, when it comes down to it, bathroom humor is one of the few things that connects us all. As a wise man once said, “Everyone poops.”
To cut to the point, one of the best places to find some good bathroom humor is in the movies. I’ve compiled my own personal top 10 list of these jokes – not an easy task as there are many films to choose from. So, here it is, in no particular order, the best of best, the cream of the crap!
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Every entry in the Austin Powers series contains its share of bathroom humor, but I think the gag that tops them all comes from the first film. When an assassin attempts to strangle Austin while seated in a men’s room stall, hilarity ensues. This joke is so well set up and paid off (“What did you eat?”) that no matter how many times I see it, it makes me laugh.
Dumb and Dumber
Turbo Lax: “one spoonful for fast, effective relief.” Harry (Jeff Daniels) gets his share of laxative and then some when his buddy Lloyd attempts to sabotage his date. His scramble into the bathroom and the resulting effects of the Turbo Lax are a highlight of the film. As he learns that the toilet is broken, the look of horror on Jeff Daniels’ face adds the perfect closer to the scene.
Do people remember this one? Well, they should. I’ve always been a big Harland Williams fan and this film was his attempt at a starring vehicle. While the film didn’t fare so well financially, it left a lasting impression on me as a kid. Williams’ specific style of humor shines throughout the film, but there was one particular scene which I immediately thought of when compiling this list. If you’ve seen the film, then you know what I’m talking about. But for those who haven’t, I’ll give you two words: space farts. Yeah, you’re sold now, aren’t you?
This film is, perhaps, the pioneer for fart jokes in cinema, so I must include it. We watch as a bunch of grizzled cowboys consume plates full of beans while sitting around a camp fire – all accompanied by a multitude of fart sound-effects that build in frequency. This scene is brilliant in its simplicity and Slim Pickens delivery of the line “I think you’ve had enough” never fails elicit a smile. Thank you, Mel Brooks.
Lethal Weapon 2
We all dread this situation: dying on the toilet. And that’s exactly what Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) comes dangerously close to experiencing in this film. Someone wants our hero dead, so they plant a bomb on his toilet. The second he stands up, the bomb will go off. Fortunately, Roger’s got Riggs (Mel Gibson) to help him out. This scene plays out with both humor and intensity; not an easy combination to achieve. If nothing else, it will make you think twice the next time you go to the can.
Me and You and Everyone We Know
I won’t give away the context for this scene, simply because I couldn’t do it justice. Instead, I’ll just quote the signature line of dialog: “Back and forth, forever and ever.” While one of the oddest scenes I’ve ever witnessed, it’s one of the most memorable as well. ))<>((
You know it, you love it, it’s the Swimming Pool Scene. This Jaws parody delivers every time as a Baby Ruth candy bar becomes mistaken for feces floating in the country club swimming pool. The mad dash out of the pool, followed by its clean-up, remains one of the highlights from this comedy classic.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Many of Kevin Smith’s films could qualify for a place on this list as he deals heavily with “low-brow” comedy, but I’ve chosen his most recent work as it goes a bit further than the rest. This is definitely the most visually graphic scene on this list, but funny nonetheless. I won’t describe the details, but suffice it to say that a cameraman is put in a most compromising position while filming a low-angle shot of a constipated porn actress. Things get messy…very, very, messy.
Sasha Baron Cohen would have us believe that when those from Kazakhstan excuse themselves to go to the restroom at a dinner party, they typically return with their waste wrapped up in a bag. While I doubt this is a custom in any country, it does make for one of the most awkward dinner conversations I’ve ever seen. Like most of the material in the film, the real joy in this scene generates from the reactions of the unsuspecting dinner guests – those poor, unfortunate people.
In a gleefully juvenile scene, Billy and his two friends light a bag of crap on fire in front of an old man’s house and watch as he angrily stomps it out. Their laughter throughout is infectious and the fact that the old man is pants-less while stomping out the bag adds a slightly bizarre element to the situation. Truly, this is a sublime moment.