Skip To Content

    People Are Sharing How They Respond When Someone Knocks On The Public Restroom Door They're Using, And I Can't Stop Laughing

    "I am in the 'occupied' camp but now I’m truly shook. I’m considering switching to yodeling." —@DSMandell

    Famously, Jane Austen opened her novel Poop and Prejudice with the line: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person using the toilet in a public restroom, must panic when someone knocks on the door."

    Getting caught with our pants down as someone knocks on the restroom door can panic the best of us — John Mulaney even talked about it in his Netflix special New in Town.

    John Mulaney saying if someone surprises him by knocking on the door of a bathroom he's using, he jumps into a high-pitched British accent

    Which is why, when author/editor/bathroom user Kristen Mulrooney tweeted about a possible solution to this phenomenon, it totally resonated with people.

    What’s your standard response when you’re using a public restroom and someone knocks on the door? Because I just knocked on one and the person inside simply KNOCKED BACK. This feels like a game changer.

    Twitter: @missmulrooney

    Kristen elaborated that her instinctual go-to responses — "I'm in here" and "someone's in here" — are both flawed, which is why the knock back is such a game changer.

    I always want to say “I’m in here” but that seems so egotistical, like they should know who I am? I could say “someone’s in here” but that’s so mysterious and they might think they’re supposed to guess.

    Twitter: @missmulrooney

    The responses to Kristen's tweet were filled with people sharing their own methods for declaring a public restroom "ocupado." These are some of the best replies:


    @missmulrooney Why knock when you can just look?

    Warner Bros. Pictures / Via Twitter: @_WeiLo


    @missmulrooney I just say nothing because they are the sociopath for knocking on a locked bathroom door and can continue to wonder if there’s a person in there or if it’s just locked because the Chamber of Secrets is inside for all I care.

    Twitter: @clhubes


    @callme_gen @missmulrooney I stopped doing this after someone assumed the door was locked on accident and went and got the key. But I’m with you in spirit.

    Twitter: @RedMomJeans


    @missmulrooney I say "occupied". Well, I did. Now, if I'm in a public restroom, they probably hear me consoling my toddler who starts crying as soon as she sees a hand dryer (they scare her) and encouraging her to pull up her undies.

    Twitter: @OneSquirreliest


    @missmulrooney I am in the “occupied” camp but now I’m truly shook. I’m considering switching to yodeling.

    Twitter: @DSMandell


    @missmulrooney “I can do this all by myself, thanks!”

    Twitter: @ArtefaktLand


    @missmulrooney Asking "who is it?" usually does the trick

    Twitter: @threedudesdad


    @missmulrooney “Just a minute, I’m in my nightie.”

    Twitter: @tatr


    @missmulrooney "just a minute!" which is entirely disingenuous, because there is zero chance I'm leaving with someone hovering just outside the door

    Twitter: @hollytrina


    @missmulrooney I always think of Mitch Hedberg and want to say; "Go Around" but I'm just not brave enough. I usually say 'just a minute' and then feel badly for using the bathroom that someone else wants to use.

    Twitter: @msusuallyright


    @missmulrooney @EllenYChang I like to yell “Back off. You don’t want any part of this!”

    Twitter: @SeanMastersons


    @missmulrooney “Sorry, already in here.” Not sure why I apologise. I just feel so awkward all of a sudden that the sorry pops out.

    Twitter: @AllieHarrie


    @missmulrooney At home, I sometimes declare, "I am hiding in here!" and it occurs to me just now how funny that would be in public.

    Twitter: @MiaDesanzo


    @missmulrooney Cheerily respond with "bonjour"

    Twitter: @leavemycowalone


    @missmulrooney I say "yoo-hoo" for some fuckin reason 😂

    Twitter: @BeedlejuicedKat


    @missmulrooney Don't remember where I first saw someone post about this, but I love the idea of someone replying "come back with a warrant"

    Twitter: @martynwendell


    @missmulrooney "Password please". Then whatever they say, just respond "access denied".

    Twitter: @pjie2


    Twitter: @MrBlondesPsycho


    @hassaan97 @missmulrooney I make Tarzan noises

    Twitter: @JellyCraven


    @missmulrooney @adri_writes "This seat's taken!"

    Twitter: @codeofthedamned


    Twitter: @mrmcplad


    @missmulrooney “Sir, this is a Wendy’s!” usually gets a chuckle or dead silence. A win/win.

    Twitter: @MelissaWrites22


    @missmulrooney My husband says, "We don't want any." I don't get it, but he laughs

    Twitter: @Yagwit


    @missmulrooney I say someone’s in here but one time I blurted out “no” because I was anxious and I wish I could just say that

    Twitter: @amandajsco


    @missmulrooney Well, if I'm using a public restroom, the situation is already dire. Maybe I'd scream. Idk. I guess we have to find out together.

    Twitter: @MaldivesBlues

    Now, go follow everyone from this list on Twitter, or I'll knock on every bathroom door you use for the rest of time!

    H/T @missmulrooney

    How do you respond when someone knocks on your bathroom door? Drop it in the comments below! 💩👇