The List: 10 best movie bathroom scenes

From the November 15, 2012 edition

This week’s issue of Alive is dedicating its cover story to bathrooms, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to list the best bathroom scenes in movies. No, these aren’t a bunch of nude scenes, you pervert. They’re just some of the most memorable moments in the setting where we do our best thinking.

10. “The Warriors

This underground classic features the best bathroom fight scene— although runners-up “Eastern Promises” and “True Lies” are great too — in any movie, ever. Two gangs go at it with knives, bats and even hair spray, but, like always, the Warriors come out victorious. You can dig it.

9. “Lethal Weapon II

Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) made it through some tough spots, but the time Murtaugh is stuck on the john when he finds a bomb ready to blow if he gets up is pretty dicey. It’s also a nice bit of irony given Murtaugh’s catchphrase, “I’m getting too old for this s---.”

8. “Scarface

Brian De Palma’s gangster classic featured brutal violence throughout, but the scene where Al Pacino’s Tony Montana is forced to watch his partner’s gruesome death via chainsaw is haunting beyond belief.

7. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Sure, every guy remembers this scene for Phoebe Cates, but it should be remembered for the lesson it taught us to always, always lock the bathroom door.

6. “Bridesmaids”

There have been many explosive dumps on film — “Dumb and Dumber,” “American Pie,” “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” come to mind — but none of them extended out to the street.

5. “The Royal Tenenbaums

Set to Elliot Smith’s “Needle in the Hay,” Wes Anderson sets up a scene that’s as beautiful as it is tragic. Never has a Wilson brother looked so sad.

4. “The Big Lebowski

Why do bad guys always attack the Dude (Jeff Bridges) in his bathroom? Whether it’s moronic, rug-peeing thugs who’ve got the wrong Lebowski — and obviously are not golfers — or nihilists who interrupt his tranquil bath with a marmot, the Dude just can’t catch a break.

3. “Pulp Fiction

Vincent Vega (John Travolta) really loves that book —“Modesty Blaise” for those interested. He spends the most important points in the movie reading it on the john. Hope it was good, because it cost him his life. On a side note, Quentin Tarantino has a thing about bathrooms — almost every one of his films features a remarkable scene that takes place there.

2. “Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s most acclaimed thriller did the unthinkable and murdered its heroine before the second act of the film in horrific, slashing fashion. It’s one of the most memorable scenes in all of cinema.

1. “Trainspotting

The reason this scene gets a slight edge over “Psycho” is two-fold: The black comedy of how far Renton (Ewan McGregor) would go to retrieve his heroin suppositories from “the worst toilet in Scotland,” and the whole sequence of swimming into the toilet is brilliantly surreal.