I’m not sure anyone out there likes using a public restroom. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy not having to hold it until I get home and appreciate that they’re available. But if I have the choice, I’d much rather use my own restroom, or at least one I know to be reasonably clean.
However, these 15 people’s experiences go way beyond the average bad public restroom experience. You’ve been warned!
#15. Skipped off into the distance
“When I was about 9 (making my sister about 5) we went to the museum with just my dad, and when me and her needed the toilet I insisted I was fine taking her in with me. So we went in the same cubicle, peed, tried to leave, and I couldn’t unlock the door. It was this old-fashioned latch thing which was both stiff as fuck and sharp as a bastard.
After cutting my hands to ribbons trying to fight it open, my sister’s now sobbing hysterically because she thinks we’re going to spend the rest of our lives in the toilet. My dad was low-key panicking. Then I hear this woman talking to him, and she just sort of chuckles and says, “No problem, I’ll sort it out.”
I’m expecting her to go find someone to help, because there’s no way this door can be opened from the outside. She tells us to stand as near the door as possible, then comes hurtling over the top of the cubicle wall. She managed to get a better grip on the lock, with her giant adult hands. She even waited with us while we washed our hands, then just skipped off into the distance as soon as we got back to our dad.”
#14. Come with me
“Preface: Public bathrooms have always been an incredible source of anxiety for me. I’ve done a lot to get over it, but it still lingers, so I’ve always done anything and EVERYTHING I can to avoid playing an away game.
My brother and I used to have Flyers season tickets, so on nights we went together, we’d usually take the subway from his place out to the stadiums. One night, we hadn’t made it too far into the first period when my stomach let out a groan like a dying Orca simultaneously being dragged to the bottom of the sea. There was no way around it: I was probably not gonna survive this one. I turned to my brother and said “we gotta go.”
My brother and I walked back to the train, all the while, I felt like I was being repeatedly stabbed in the gut. Pinching, sweating, lamaze breathing. We got to the train, but because they tend to be lightly populated at that station when the game is going on, the trains only run every 20 minutes or so. I was fighting back tears just trying to hold this monster tsunami on the empty, unmoving train when everything made a fast move for the exit. I turned to my brother, said “I’m sorry” and booked it off the train right before the doors closed.
I ran back up the stairs where two Philly cops were manning the turnstiles. “Officer, you gotta help me!” They were immediately thrown off-guard and took some defensive body positioning because of the speed at which I ran to them. We locked eyes…”I gotta shit so bad and I’m not gonna make it.” There was this pregnant pause between the two of us, and in that moment he saw the absolute desperation in my eyes. “Come with me.”
He led me to some secret, employee-only bathroom he had to unlock from his seemingly endless set of janitor keys. He opened the door to this dungeon-esque, drippy toilet room that had seen ages of SEPTA employees wrecking house on it, but I didn’t care. I spent the next 30 minutes unleashing hell in this bathroom while the cop stood outside and listened to the miserable cacophony from within. When I finished, I came outside to see my brother and the cop almost in tears from laughing so hard at my misfortune, but that officer was an absolute bro in that moment. I’m forever grateful.”
#13. It made a little kid cry
“One night, some friends and I decided to go do some truly heroic drinking. We got absolutely destroyed. Easily one of my top 5 drunkest nights.
Next day rolls around. Im apocalyptically hungover, and that includes the beer shits. A friend of mine wants to go get lunch at McDonalds and stop at Wal Mart. Ok, no problem. I can survive that. Some food might even help. We go to Wal Mart first (mercifully), then to McDonalds. I didn’t eat much, only a little. That little amount though about destroyed me. We get in the car and go not even a quarter mile when I hear it: the sound your guy makes that tells you you have about 30 seconds to find a toilet or else you’re going to unleash butt mud all over your pants.
Right down the street from McDonalds is also a Burger King. It’s on the way back to our dorm rooms. I tell my friend to pull into Burger King. He does. I waddle in and shoot straight down the hall to the bathroom. Fortunately the one toilet is not occupied and clean even! I get in there and unleash on that toilet. It was so bad, I felt I should apologize to the toilet.
Then the stench hit. It was horrible. Made my eyes water. Just then I hear someone walk in to pee. While I can hear them peeing in the urinal, I hear them start to cry. Then I heard a little kid start saying through the tears “it smells! It smells so bad!” He runs out as soon as he’s done. I embarrassedly sneak out into the parking lot, never to be seen again.
TL;DR: took a hungover shit in a Burger King bathroom that smelled so bad it made a little kid cry.”
#12. For the rest of my life
“9 years old at the McDonalds right before the Sagamore bridge leading to Cape Cod Massachusetts.
I went in the smaller stall, someone was in the handicap one. I was dropping a poop and the guy next to me must’ve exploded. The sound of shit exiting his asshole will stick with me for the rest of my life. I could hear the toilet bowl rattling. The guy was grunting in agony and it lasted for like 30 seconds straight. The smell, will stick with me forever too. I was 9 years old with my pants down in a small bathroom stall puking. I managed to only get some on my shoes and a little on my pants but I was so disoriented and dizzy. I managed to wipe up and walk outside. My parents were waiting in line and we ordered.
I got some chicken nuggets and fries and after a couple of bites my stomach turned again. My dad took me to the bathroom and then I had to see the aftermath of what had happened earlier. I saw it for only a few seconds but I could draw the scene pretty accurately even after all these years.
The toilet bowl was completely filled, with an overflowing pile and soft serve log leaning off the front left side of the bowl. There was spatter all over the ground, lever and wall behind the toilet. There was shit covered toilet paper wads all over the ground. We both turned around immediately and puked on our way out of the bathroom.
There were probably 20 other people inside, I was so embarrassed. The guy had left but I was worried people were going to think it was me. I remember being so stressed and just crying.
I wonder what happened to that guy. I hope he got everything checked out.”
#11. A poop story
“I’m pretty sure I’m gonna regret writing this, but whatever.
About two years ago I started a new job in a big corporate building on a wealthy part of the city, I lived about 1.5 hours away via subway, on my second week there a girl from other area gets transfered to my department, she’s cute and friendly (I’m ugly but friendly) I somehow convince her to go to lunch together, she takes me to this super expensive burger joint, i order a thing that had blue cheese and seemed like a good idea, burger is just o.k., I find out that cute girl is dating some one else, still I’m having a good time and I don’t mind having attractive friends so it’s cool, but like most guys around girls they find cute I try to look not horrible around her, anyway we’re walking back to work when something feels… Off, in my stomach, I ignore it and my body being a bro doesn’t make a big fuss about it, that is, until we go our separate ways at the end of the day, literally the second she disappeared out of sight my stomach dropped, cold sweat began to appear on my forehead, the world starts spinning around me, I decide I can muscle it until it’s my stop, subway is running at a limp snail’s pace, I start to feel like blacking out, my feet can’t carry me any longer, I can’t lose conscience, I say to my self, I can’t be the guy who blacks out and then craps himself on the subway, that is not my story, that is not my destiny, I will rise up, I will see another day, one without public diarrhea.
Then the subway flat out stops for ten minutes just one station before my stop. A voice inside me says, we will not make it to the next station, we need to take action and we need it now, my feet start moving before I realize, slow and sluggish steps but still somehow weightless, I can’t really feel my feet, is this what septic shock feels like?, But wait, I know this station, there is a gas station just outside, I can make it, I will not die before seeing the promised toilet, the sun will shine again, I start to run, only to realize what a bad idea that is: I can’t outrun my fate, but I can power walk away from it.
Sweat starts to drip down my back, suddenly I’m hyper aware of the fact that I probably look like a crack head on a bad trip (is there ever a good crack-trip?, This is no time for such cuestions), the three flights of stairs are my personal Everest
I’ve broken bones, I’ve love and lost, I’ve seen death and I have felt defeat: this is worse.
I make it outside the station, the bright green sign of the gas station is just crossing the street, just out of reach, I can see the toilet sign, i can see the bright yellow out of order sign. A man can only endure so much before dropping to his knees and accepting defeat, there is a tipping point to everyone and this is it. But not today, today we will rise, today will be a victory, while there’s still air in my lungs my pants will remain un-shitted, but I need a way out, I need salvation, I can stand but not for long, the ghost of unconsciousness stills circles me , I can still feel it’s cold breath on my neck, but with it the cool breeze of hope (maybe my neck’s just sweaty), I still turn around and see: A smiling mustache and a bowtie, a gorgeous KFC.
I am awaited, I’ve been called, I must answer.
I cross the street without looking both ways, I am with the force and the force is with me, cars honking around me,but I am in a trance, this is above survival, this is older than survival itself. I get to the gates, I see a sign, just one more flight of stairs and I will make it, there it is! I did it! And in the process I’m pretty sure I’ve broken the speed record for pants removal. Sweet glorious release, never has a man been happier about exploding from the inside out, tears of joy are being shed, sailors are kissing nurses, there are fireworks, wake up Timmy daddy’s back from the war and he brought a puppy, it’s the liberation of France! But the tallest flights have the loudest crashes, deep suffering follows where high relief once was, the celebration is replaced by a plea for death, surely one body can’t have that much water in it. I did not dare see what I had done in that bathroom stall, but to this day my mind still wonders, I had to leave and quickly, I had changed inside that fast food restaurant and I needed to process, but wait, a sound, a shuffle of feet, a wary antelope accidentally stepping on a branch. you see, I was not alone in that bathroom, a cleaning lady was caught in the cross fire, I knew she knew, she looked at me in the eye and that stare still haunts me to this day, one day I will atone for that stare and for what I did, I will deserve it, whatever it is. I’m sorry cleaning lady, I will always be.
Welp, gotta catch a flight, thank you for reading people who I surely disappointed.
Edit: I’ve been gilded, for that I am grateful, I’ve never new what to do with so much power but I promise to be a fair ruler, my kingdom will quick with praise and swift with justice, but full disclosure you just gilded a severely dehydrated and sleep deprived man.”
#10. Still haunting me
“I walked into a Costco bathroom and a dad was holding his baby over the sink while it was pooping straight into it. The colour and smell is still haunting me. Someone must have told a security guard because as I was peeing someone came in and started yelling at the dad.”
#9. In real world shape
“Not insane but very true: I was on my way back from a big party in another state with a friend. Stopped at a gas station with a subway attached and ate; immediately my guts go south. Men’s room is taken, ladies is empty. Nobody else in the place. So I decide to drop dark science in the ladies room no problem. I take one of the worst dumps of my life. It’s no exaggeration, I DESTROYED that room. Then spent a while in there just getting myself back in real world shape. When I open the door, there are 6 women waiting to use it. In a panic my teenage brain doffed an imaginary hat, said “ladies” and then hightailed it back to my table while whispering “we gotta go.” We jumped in the car and sped away. I feel bad for all those women who had to endure my shame.”
#8. Spent ages cleaning up
“I was on a plane. As we were boarding I realised I needed the toilet, but felt I could hold it until we’d taken off because the isles were busy and I didn’t want to have to get in peoples way to go to the toilet (anxiety is fun) anyway, takeoff took longer than expected and by that time I was really clenching and the. We took off and…turns out it’s really hard to hold in a shit taking off in a fucking plane and I shit myself. Made it to the toilet as quickly as I could and god help me it ended up everywhere, spent ages cleaning up and then had to dispose of my underwear and spend the rest of the flight going commando.”
#7. Naw, I’m good
“Eating breakfast at a truck stop with 2 co-workers. Went to the bathroom to drop a deuce. 5 minutes goes by and someone walks in, knocks on my door and asks, “you want some company in there?” It sounded like one of my co-workers so I laughed it off. Finished my business, opened the door and this 6.5′ tall 300lb man in camo was standing there. I am also a 6.5ish tall 240lb man. I mumbled out a, “uhhhhh… naw I’m good…” and walked out. He returned to the restaurant a few minutes after me and my co-workers said he keeps staring at me.”
#6. I laughed long and hard
“Same! In college I was in a stall and someone barged into the bathroom, ran to the last stall in the row, sat down and I swear… it sounded like someone was blasting a fire hose into the toilet. It must have been hot or something cause the dude was basically weeping… then unleashing… multiple times. I finished up with my sides hurting from stifling the laughter. When I left the bathroom I laughed long and hard. To this day, the memory still makes me laugh. Sorry for your burned sphincter, guy, but your shit was hilarious.”
#5. I got out as fast as I could
“I was in a public bathroom at a petrol station just after coming back from and expedition. So I’m in there doing my business when suddenly I hear a very loud and almost cartoonish old man in the stall next to me just say “ooooh nooo” and then proceed to repeat that over and over again “ooooh nooo, oooooooh nooooo”. This happens for a few seconds and soon I hear another comical voice from outside their stall, younger but still old and very nasally, anyway he says “Clarence are you ok?” And the man in the stall replies “it’s happening again”. The guy outside replies “oh god, open up I’m coming in” to which I just continue to hear the two of them saying “ooooh god” as an awful smell starts to spread across the bathroom. I then got out as fast as I could.
I hope the old guy was ok but I have to admit, the lack of context to their words and their weird almost cartoonish voices were hard not to chuckle at even a little.”
#4. I quit not long after that
“I was working at Walmart a few years ago in the retail part of the pharmacy department. It was time for my break so I made my way to the back of the store to clock out and get my stuff. Right before the double doors to the back there was a trail of liquid shit. I grab a walkie and try and find our maintenance guy. Nope maintenance guy has gone home for the day so guess who gets to clean it? Yep yours truly. So I grab the mop and bucket and come back out (with full PPE on cuz ew) I then start following the trail of shit. Someone literally was shitting themself through the aisles it was crazy. They finally made their way to the women’s restroom and shit all over the floor in the handicapped stall. Surprisingly enough the toilet was pristine. Just the floor was shitty. Finally after cleaning it and dumping the shitty water in the bucket and SCRUBBING my hands and arms I go to lunch.
I come back an hour later and get yelled at by my manager for not cleaning it. And she had to stoop low and clean it herself (heaven forbid) Um excuse you? I did. I had witnesses.
Nope the person came back.
Yeah I quit not long after that.
I still wonder about that poop bandit. What was your goal? Are you ok? Have you been to the doctor?”
#3. Embarrassing for both of us
“Was poopin in peace,then someone entered and went to next stall.Me being quiet meant they could unleash their explosive shit song without worry.Well after his shit show he left without washing hands and he even turn off the lights.So i had to shout at him to turn on the lights.Which was probably embarrssing for both of us.”
#2. I just let it all out
“This happened at Costco. As I walked up to a urinal, I remembered a funny story my friend shared with me and I start laughing. Hard. There I am, in the Costco restroom, taking a piss, and having a hearty laugh. Someone walks in and uses another urinal and I do my absolute best to hold in my laughter so I don’t look like a weirdo. I FAILED. I let out a huge guffaw probably about the same time the guy pulls out his dick to take a piss. I’m absolutely lost in laughter at this point and all I hear is “What the fuck is your problem?!” I hear him walk out, and I just let it all out (piss and laughter) until it was all gone.
When I walked out, I was confronted by 2 of the store managers. Apparently, the guy I “laughed at” complained that I was harassing him in the restroom and I was being asked to leave the store. I was so confused, but later realized that the guy probably thought I was laughing at him. Sorry guy. It didn’t turn into a big issue though. Went back the next day and bought the eggs and bacon I needed in bulk.”
#1. So awkward
“When I was still in high school. Was at the urinal when my maths teacher came in and stood beside me. “You know your homework is a week late” “You’ll have it Monday” “Thanks” walks out.”
I hope your next public restroom experience is satisfactory compared to all of that.