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And by "toilets" I mean the actual thing you sit on, not just "restrooms".

Not trying to be weird, I just remember I first saw them in Fallout 3 (2008) and suddenly realized those fixtures had been under-represented in video games. Which is understandable in the U.S., where most folks were uncomfortable with restroom stuff. But the Japanese are OK with it (e.g. this) so I figure some of their old games must feature 'toe.ih.reh'.

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6 Answers 6

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(1983) Manic Miner

In Manic Miner, the toilets appear not as fixtures in an actual bathroom but as animated enemies on level 5: Eugene's Lair. Its sequel, Jet Set Willy (1984), is probably the first to feature an actual bathroom with a toilet, but toilets first appeared a year early.

Manic Miner screenshot

To those still upvoting: scroll down to the better answers below!

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  • 4
    Which of the sprites represent toilets? Nov 20, 2023 at 15:43
  • 14
    @JacobKrall the black and orange ones in the top left quadrant
    – Carmeister
    Nov 20, 2023 at 16:01
  • 1
    @JacobKrall: If you watch the linked video that still is from, it's perhaps more obvious that they are animated toilets flapping their lid (? or seat) as they move. Nov 20, 2023 at 17:14
  • 5
    The father of a childhood friend of mine was the one time math's teacher of the game developer, Matthew Smith. I was told that 'Eugene' was based on my friend's Dad. Apparently, a few of the bad guys were based upon Smith's former teachers. Nov 20, 2023 at 17:36
  • 2
    @GrandMasterFlush Dare I ask why the level based on this teacher featured dangerous toilets? (Also, marvellously apt username for this question!) Nov 20, 2023 at 17:52
52

(1980) Mystery House

Mystery House is the earliest so far, released by On-Line Systems; May 5th, 1980

playable archive.org link - IMDb

U, OPEN DOOR, GO DOOR, U, N, N, GO DOOR, E will get you there.

enter image description here

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    Fantastic find. Nov 21, 2023 at 21:55
  • 4
    SEARCH DEAD BODY Nov 21, 2023 at 22:48
  • 2
    Beats Leisure Suit Larry for showing a toilet in context, and Can of Worms for showing any sort of toilet.
    – Mark
    Nov 22, 2023 at 4:20
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(1984) Jet Set Willy

This is the first one I can think of. The first level in the game starts you in The Bathroom:

Jet Set Willy Bathroom

Image from World of Spectrum

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    According to this webpage it seems like that game is the first one to have a toilet. Quot: The first video game bathroom in Jet Set Willy (1984)... I'm surprised there's a database for a videogame bathroom, really.
    – Skye-AT
    Nov 20, 2023 at 1:00
  • 4
    @Skye-AT that is a very incomplete database.
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 20, 2023 at 13:31
  • @OrangeDog Indeed it seems to be incomplete, but what's the problem anyway? I never said it is complete database. I just said I am surprised to see that this database exists.
    – Skye-AT
    Nov 20, 2023 at 15:54
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    @Skye-AT it means its claims of "first" are suspect. It may be missing earlier ones, just as it is missing pretty notable later ones.
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 20, 2023 at 16:02
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    @OrangeDog Perhaps because the earlier one's toilet was enemy, so they didn't think that's suitable for their site? I mean, title of their site is Video game "bathroom" database, not video game toilet database.
    – Skye-AT
    Nov 21, 2023 at 0:19
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(1981) Can of Worms: Royal Flush

The Can of Worms games compendium for the ZX81 by Mel Croucher (of Pimania fame) was released in 1981. It contained the game "Royal Flush" ("Unblock the Palace Sewer skillfully or it's Brown Alert").

An advert for the game can be seen on page 62 of the November 1981 edition of the magazine Computer and Video Games

Judging by the screenshot in the advert, there is a depiction of an unknown Royal sitting on a toilet. Very low-res of course, but still meets the criteria of the question.

Can of Worms 1981 screenshot

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  • 3
    Here is an actual screenshot from the game
    – pinckerman
    Nov 21, 2023 at 12:25
  • 3
    It can even be played here: zx81stuff.org.uk/zx81/… (press R then enter) although I couldn't figure out how the game actually works (found instructions here: zx81stuff.org.uk/zx81/inlays/c/CanOfWorms.Inside.jpg ) Nov 21, 2023 at 15:16
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    For those like me having trouble parsing the low-res image: The king is sitting facing left, hunched over; the O is his head, the W is his crown, the large black region is his body and legs. The grey immediately below+behind him is the toilet + cistern, and the long grey line to the right is presumably the pipe/sewer.
    – PLL
    Nov 22, 2023 at 9:54
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(1987) Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Not the earliest of the 80s but pretty early on - Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards had a bathroom:

toilet in Leisure Suit Larry

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    Hi AGR. We already have earlier examples, so I'm not sure what this adds to those.
    – Joachim
    Nov 20, 2023 at 14:49
  • 2
    My apologies. I just wanted to mention the earliest one I recalled myself as opposed to something I googled. Nov 20, 2023 at 16:37
  • 25
    It does seem like the earliest example so far of a bathroom in a conventional real-world setting (as opposed to a 2D platformer where you have to dodge walking toilets). Nov 20, 2023 at 16:49
  • 7
    Welcome to Gaming.SE. Unfortunately, the question is not asking 'which is the earliest game you remember to have toilets'. It's asking which one is the earliest. If someone has already posted an answer from 1983, then any answer posted afterward from a later year is objectively wrong. Why post objectively wrong answers when it is trivial to determine that they are objectively wrong.
    – TylerH
    Nov 20, 2023 at 17:23
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    @TylerH: Questions like these permit contributions that the answerer reasonably believes provides an answer to the question (given that the earlier answers contain unconventional toilets, this answer is a reasonable counter to them). Just because someone else posts an even better answer does not invalidate this one, even if it ends up being not the best available answer (this applies to any and all questions, quite frankly). This whole "every answer that's not the #1 best is therefore bad" attitude is in my honest opinion a toxic one, and it disincentivizes people from answering.
    – Flater
    Nov 21, 2023 at 3:11
6

(1985) Little Computer People

Honorable mention might go to Little Computer People, where the little person would actually use the toilet on occasion (which admittedly wasn't 100% visible, but could clearly be seen within the bathroom door).

Screenshot of Little Computer People (1985)

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    Oh, wow! I loved this game as a kid. Blast from the past! Nov 22, 2023 at 20:35

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