Exactly 10 years and 14 days ago today, the world lost one of its most beloved visionaries: Douglas Adams, best known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy. To commemorate this sad event and celebrate the great man’s imagination, fans designated May 25, which was exactly two weeks after his passing, “Towel Day”, after the item the author described as “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”.
Maybe this says more about the cleanliness of my mind than anything else, but when I hear the world towel, my mind automatically goes to the toilet (in the British sense, an American would call it the bathroom), the place where most towels are likely to be found, damp and slightly soiled, probably languishing on a floor, or if they’re lucky, draped over a radiator. And when I think about toilets, I laugh. Anything to do with bodily functions is a comedy goldmine – it has to be the funniest room of all. Or at least that’s the impression you’d get if you watched as much TV as I do.
In honour of the original galactic hitchhiker, here are a few of my favourite toilet humour moments on screen.
How I Met Your Mother
A lot of important moments happen in the HIMYMers toilet. Ted meets the girl who may or may not have helped make his first threesome happen. Robin satisfies Lily’s Sapphic curiosity. Marshall does his first poop at work. But the best is when Lily and Marshall are stuck in their toilet – Ted’s getting it on with a potential Mother, yup, for the first time – and she has to get over her fear of peeing in front of her decade-long lover.
The Big Bang Theory
There are lots of jokes about Leonard’s lactic flatulence, and Howard enjoys the odd fantasy soak with a sci-fi babe, but it’s Sheldon who’s flush with the funny. He has tape all over his bathroom to indicate where people should pee or floss their teeth! And he has to get over a lot of his reservations to help an injured Penny out of her bath and into clothes. Most hysterical – and unfortunately for our favourite TV geek – is when he accidentally walks in on Leonard having sexy-time in the shower, and has to relieve himself at Penny’s.
When an earthquake seals Claire in the family bathroom, her husband Phil takes the opportunity to cover some tracks, and deliberately keeps her trapped. Her daughters also attempt to use her incarceration to escape the house. Only Luke, her youngest, has any concern for her plight, and attempts to feed her flat food and milk on a saucer.
This speaks for itself… and was followed up with a sequel of sorts in the Season 2 finale, where Rachel and Sunshine kiss and make up in another ladies loo. These girls don’t seem capable of speaking to each other without a mirror. Divas!
It’s a tough call between Chandler’s first bath and The One with All The Boobies… but yes, it has to be Door No. 2, where everyone sees each other naked, after Chandler sees Rachel’s nipples. She attempts to get “tit for tat” and ends up surprising Joey’s father in the shower. He doesn’t seem too bothered.
FINE, this isn’t funny. It’s just hot. Sometimes that’s better than funny.
The Vampire Diaries
Who hides a fancy shmancy moonstone – the only thing standing between everyone he knows and vampire armaggeddon – in a soap dish. Damon, that’s who. Silly boy, of COURSE the dastardly Katherine is going to find it when she cleans up after some bloodsucking! Being a vampire’s a messy business, he’d done better to have hidden it in the breadbin. You know that girl doesn’t eat carbs.
Another video that speaks for itself. Mariah makes the craziest music videos – this is only second to the one where she dressed up as Eminem and stalked herself. Split personality, anyone?