Skip over navigation

What to Do When You Walk in On Someone in the Bathroom

What to Do When You Walk in On Someone in the Bathroom

By Melissa Albert

So you walked in on somebody in the bathroom—but it's not your fault! Probably they didn't lock the door, or didn't scream loudly enough as you rattled your way in. Nevertheless, this situation calls for quick thinking and even quicker action. Once you're in, you have but milliseconds to decide your course. Start working on it now:

1. Create a distraction. Make like Michigan J. Frog, or start telling an amazing story about the time you ate more pancakes than your dad and brother combined. Then throw down a container of talcum powder and yell "AN ILLUSION!" Run away before the powder has settled.

2. Proceed as planned. What were you going into the bathroom to do? Just do it. Start taking a shower or brushing your teeth. Do a face mask. Cut your nails. Ignore the person in the bathroom's increasingly angry distress signals. Unless, of course, you were planning on going to the bathroom. Then we want you to try a different approach.

3. Stand very still, in the hopes that they won't see you. Then melt slowly away.

4. Change the subject.

Sister: Agh, get out of the bathroom!
You: I feel like you're trying to talk to me right now, but all your hostility just puts me on edge.
Sister: Get. OUT.
You: What about your childhood has made you want to push people away?
Sister: This IS my childhood! Maybe it's you refusing to leave the bathroom!
You: Your bathroom obsession is very Freudian. I'd like to discuss that more.
Sister: *chucks soap*

5. Go on the offensive. First ask them, "What are YOU doing in the bathroom!" Then roll your eyes and stamp out, yelling "MO-OM!"We're not sure if this is more or less effective  if the person in the bathroom is actually your mom.

6.  Act like this was a planned meeting. Channel your inner business guy, even if you're wearing cutoffs and a sleep shirt. Shuffle some stuff around, like a...business guy. Say, "Ready for our ten o'clock, Wilkins?" Then look at your watch-wrist in shock, and stride away like your name is Max Power.

7. Respond with insane horror. Scream like you've just walked in on a Katherine Heigl cloning operation. Point and back away, while mumbling something about the end of days. The person will be too busy wondering what's wrong with them to wonder what's wrong with you.

8. Apologize quickly and leave, closing the door behind you. *yawn*

Have you ever walking in on someone in the bathroom? Was it MORTIFYING? What did you do?

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, awkward situations, embarrassing things, bathrooms, how to, awkward moments, tips, bathroom etiquette

Write your own comment!


Write your own comment!


About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

From Our Partners