This is like an urban myth and a classic prank, but I never saw it in action.

Supposedly if someone is passed out or sleeping, the contact with water will make him pee. Is this true? If true, why does this happen?

  • 9
    Busted by the MythBusters.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented May 19, 2011 at 20:06
  • 6
    @Oliver_C, so a sample of two people is sufficient to bust a myth? Had they peeed before sleeping?
    – Benjol
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 4:56
  • 3
    @Benjol - It depends on how the myth is formulated. The claim something WILL happen is not the same as something CAN happen.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 14:26
  • 3
    @Oliver_C, @Martin, it worked for Greg House :)
    – Benjol
    Commented May 20, 2011 at 19:33
  • 2
    I would think this myth exists because there is no way not to wake a sober person when placing his hand in water. A drunk person, so drunk as to not notice, is much more likely to piss himself.
    – Andrey
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


OK, I'm gonna try a few links on you, not sure how "approved" they will be:

From The Straight Dope

The effectiveness of the stunt is a matter of debate. Some urologists scoff at the idea. But other medical types have been known to tell patients having a tough time urinating after rectal surgery to put their hands in warm water.

Wry extract from a pretty useless forum thread on The Naked Science Foundation:

Short answer no with a but..

long answer yes with an if...

Wikipedia says (but the cite is a dead link):

The mechanism is unclear. The phenomenon (...) of immersing the hand of a sleeping person in water to make this victim urinate in sleep, although the efficacy of the trick is disputed.

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