Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now

A Superhero Movie Viewer's No. 1 Problem

By Charles Apple The Spokesman-Review

The good news: The latest installment in the popular Marvel Comics Cinematic Universe opens today: “Avengers: Endgame.” The bad news: It’s long—very long. Which could pose a problem to those of us who do not have superpowered bladders.

Is ‘Avengers: Endgame’ really that much longer than the other Marvel movies?

Yes: It’s more than a half-hour longer than the longest previous installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

How this compares to some of the lengthiest popular movies:

"Titanic" (1997): 3 hours, 14 minutes

"The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" (2003): 3 hours, 21 minutes

"Gone With the Wind" (1939): 3 hours, 46 minutes

"Laurence of Arabia" (1962): 3 hours, 47 minutes

What can I do to ease the pain?

Some solutions for ailments like overactive bladder syndrome involve learning to avoid certain types of food over long periods of time. There’s probably not much you can do to help you out for a movie showing later tonight or tomorrow. But if you’re inclined to try ...

Avoid diuretics — food and drinks that cause an increase in the body’s production of urine.

One of the more common diuretics is caffeine. This would include most soft drinks, energy drinks as well as green or black tea.

You might reduce — or eliminate, at least for today — your intake of coffee, as well. Which means if you’re reading this with your morning cup of coffee, it might already be too late.

Avoid irritants — things that may irritate your bladder and give you a sudden urge to go.

These might include:

  • Carbonated soft drinks, club soda and other “sparkling” beverages.
  • Citrus, meaning you might avoid fruit or fruit drinks today.
  • Alcohol.
  • Artificial sweeteners. Which puts Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi on this list for three different reasons.
  • While you’re at it, avoid fans of DC comic book movies and Star Wars movies. Because, y’know, they can be mighty powerful irritants, too.

Foods you might want to avoid today include:

  • Chocolate, believe it or not, which contains caffeine and acids that can irritate the bladder. If you must satisfy your sweet tooth, try white chocolate instead.
  • Tomato-based foods, such as spaghetti sauce, chili and ketchup.
  • Spicy foods like chili, salsa and wasabi. And soy sauce, too.
  • Raw onions.
  • We already mentioned citrus, so take it easy on fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits and pineapple. Also, stay away from cranberries.

Meanwhile, the actors in “Avengers: Endgame” have had suggestions of their own.

On a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” the Incredible Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, suggested fans wear diapers to the movie.

Ant-Man Paul Rudd offered an even more radical solution.


“I would say get one of those giant tubs of popcorn and then just, like, lower it under the seat...”

Thanks, but we'll pass.

Are there extra scenes in the credits?

Early reports are that unlike most Marvel Comics movies, “Avengers: Endgame” does not contain mid-credits or post-credits scenes. So once those credits begin rolling, you might dash out of the theater for quick relief.

It could be worse

At least there’s no Aquaman in the Marvel Universe. No waves. No running water. No drip, drip, drip inside a leaky submarine. No underwater scenes.

Are there good times to take a bathroom break?

According to early reports: Very few.

The RunPee app — which gives users detailed suggestions on when you might duck out of a movie for a rest room break — reported Wednesday three suggested break times:

  • 59 minutes into the movie, when Ant-Man says: “‘Back to the Future’ is a bunch of $&@#!?”
  • 1 hour, 14 minutes, when Hawkeye wakes up alone in a pool of water.
  • 2 hours, 34 minutes, when someone (no spoilers here) says: “Don’t worry. We’re OK.”

RunPee says that lots of things are happening in “Avengers: Endgame,” with multiple characters and overlapping fast-paced storylines.

Of those three, RunPee suggests you use the first one. The other two are highly emotional scenes that you might not want to miss.

Find RunPee here: