So over the weekend I was listening to my local NPR station to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and they were playing a true or false game about characters in the TV series, The Brady Bunch.

Anyways, one question about Alice in relation to toilets never being allowed to be seen on network TV prompted to me wonder,

What was the first TV Series to show a toilet?

  • 1
    Why the downvote? There is a similar Q here: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/31321/… Aug 11, 2020 at 13:55
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    I'd rather ask how this is any different from that question. If you're really just after the first TV-show to show a toilet on screen without even a person being involved, then it seems a much more sensible question if that rumour is even true to begin with. Because if it isn't, this question loses its very point.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 11, 2020 at 14:29
  • According to the people on Wait Wait... the networks were NOT allowed to show a toilet during the era of TBB (and I trust they did research) given the general nature of their "facts quiz show". The original question on the show was, if this was something in the actress who played Alice's contract, which it wasn't, but actually had to do with network policy at the time. There was Q on here about the first movie or a movie with someone sitting on the toiliet, I was just curious when/what was the first TV series showed on in ANY capacity, which makes it specifically different from either Q's. Aug 11, 2020 at 16:44
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    Unrelated (or somewhat related) and not an answer; The Mama's And The Papa's album showed the group sitting in a bathtub, with a urinal next to the tub. After the first pressing, they were forced to cover the urinal, so they put a box over it and the text, "Featuring 'California Dreaming'". I don't know why toilets were so taboo, but they were. Aug 12, 2020 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


Often cited as the first is the Leave It to Beaver episode "Captain Jack" which aired on October 11th, 1957. However some may not feel that this counts since only a toilet tank is shown, not a toilet bowl. In the episode Wally and Beaver purchase a baby alligator, and attempting to hide it from their parents they decide to keep it in the toilet tank.

The episode was intended to be the debut episode of the series. However problems regarding showing a toilet on television caused it to be postponed while the issue was worked out with the censors. The producers considered other places in the house that could be used instead, but concluded that the toilet tank solution was the only one that worked within the script. They eventually reached an agreement with the censors that as long as only the toilet tank was seen and not the bowl it would be allowed. With this change in place Captain Jack aired as the second episode in the series. While it seems tame by today's standards, it was somewhat daring for 1957.

Still, showing toilet cistern

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