Endgame Peetimes – RunPee vs the World

captain america understands that reference
One more thing to check off his list.

The 3+ hour run-time of Avengers: Endgame inspired numerous sites to publish their own Peetimes for the  massively long and greatly-anticipated movie. In a three hour span, most people will feel their bladders calling, and it’s better to know when to go, than sit there squirming,  unable to enjoy a great film.

Here’s my experienced analysis of their work, based on the experience we’ve gained after doing Peetimes at RunPee for 10 years now.

(It’s hard to believe that we’ve been around that long. That’s like 79 in Internet years.)

Here at RunPee we had four highly-qualified MCU-loving Family members submit Peetimes for Endgame,  just to get it perfect for the fans. There was a spread of suggestions…however, everyone agreed on two of the three Peetimes that were eventually added to the RunPee database.

Obviously, a website (as opposed to an app) is far from the ideal format for sharing Peetimes, because the Peetimes are useless if there’s no provided synopsis of what you might miss, and that involves spoilers for the movie — sometimes huge spoilers. A website just isn’t dynamic enough to handle this properly. We found this out in our early years, before moving our Peetimes from a website-based platform to a cell phone app.

The highly useful RunPee app is able to work around this, because you only see the synopsis for a Peetime if you choose to. Beyond that, the websites we list below gave vague, or sometimes zero “Cues” when their Peetime started. This is kind of important when your attention is focused on the movie, and not reading a web page on your brightly-lit phone. (Our app silently vibrates to let you know when to look for your Peetime Cue.)

The Peetimes in the RunPee app are accurate to within 30 seconds, and we have a built-in Timer to remind you when a Peetime Cue is coming up.

One last warning — major Avengers spoilers ahead. Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen Endgame yet.

Here are the websites that tried to make Endgame Peetimes, with our grades on their choices:

BuzzFeed
8 minutes into the movie, when Iron Man and Nebula get some help.

Analysis: we don’t start looking for Peetimes until about 30 minutes into a movie. There’s absolutely no point in having a Peetime only 8 minutes in. Plus, the scene that you’ll miss is crucial to the relationship between Iron Man and Cap. This gets a Peetime fail on all fronts.
Peetime Grade: F

BuzzFeed, Vulture
20 minutes into the movie, after the first scene with Thanos.

Analysis: Still, much too early in the movie for a Peetime, but otherwise it would have been decent. The group therapy scene with Cap and the civilians is necessary to set up Cap’s emotional tone five years after the Snap, but as Peetimes go it’s not a bad choice. The Peetime spills over into the scene where Ant-Man comes out of the quantum realm, but that’s easy enough to summarize.
Peetime Grade: C+

Vulture
22 minutes into the movie, when you see San Francisco on-screen.

Analysis: again, a bit too early, but otherwise not a bad Peetime. It’s pretty easy to describe what’s going on. But, if you’re going to miss this scene, then it would be better to start a few minutes earlier, as in the Peetime above, so that you’ll be back for the emotional reunion of Scott and his daughter.
Peetime Grade: D

RunPee
34 minutes into the movie, when *Someone* says, “It’s fine actually. Mom never wears anything I buy her.”

Analysis: This is our Emergency Peetime in the RunPee app. It’s not a horrible Peetime, but it’s only 3 minutes long, and is mostly exposition.
Peetime Grade: C+

Vulture
37 minutes into the movie, when you see Hulk at lunch.

Analysis: Yeahhh, this isn’t a scene that is good to miss. At least not for the first minute or so, where Bruce/Hulk goes into talking about his “unification”. The photo shoot with the kids is completely missable; unfortunately that part of the scene is far too short — just over one minute — to work as a Peetime, because what follows is another classic Iron Man moment you should not miss.
Peetime Grade: D+

BuzzFeed
40 minutes into the movie, after Tony figures out how an “impossible” theory comes true.

Analysis: I knew going in Iron Man died at the end, so I knew that every scene he was in would be precious — at least in retrospect, after you see the movie. The scenes during this Peetime are nothing but Tony and his family, and these scenes can’t be missed if you’ve been following the MCU for 11 years. Plus, this is when we hear, “I love you 3000.” These are the sort of building blocks in a story we consider essential to see, and not just read in a synopsis.
Peetime Grade: F

IGN.com, Vulture
54 minutes into the movie, when the setting changes to Japan.

Analysis: This is a great 2 minute Peetime, but it’s followed by an important scene between Hawkeye and Black Widow. And, due to what happens later with Nat, this is kind of important to see. If only Hawkeye’s fight had gone on for another 45 seconds, we’d have a pretty decent Peetime here.
Peetime Grade: C+

RunPee
1 hour and 1 minute into the movie when a young girl comes downstairs and says, “Dad?”

Analysis: This is our Recommended Peetime. It’s an hour into the movie, so hopefully our fans could use this as a “preemptive” Peetime, and then coast to the end. All the scenes in this Peetime have characters talking about the Infinity Stones, essentially summing up previous movies. Very easy to summarize if you’ve seen the previous films. There’s a tiny bit of humor, but nothing emotional.
Peetime Grade: A

IGN.com
1 hour and 3 minutes into the movie at Avengers HQ, when the team is talking about Infinity Stones.

Analysis: For my money, this is the very best Peetime in the movie, and the one we recommend to our users over the other two we offer. The only issue I have with it: they should have started it a few minutes earlier. Our Peetime starts at 1 hour and 1 minute, when a young girl comes downstairs and says, “Dad?”
Peetime Grade: B

IGN.com
1 hour and 10 minutes into the movie, when the setting switches to Asgard.

Analysis: Yes, good choice, except that it’s too short, and comes just a few minutes after a much better Peetime that IGN themselves chose. There’s no point in having Peetimes this close together. Too many options confuses people. It’s much better to just go with the best choice. Also, saying “Asgard” is kind of a spoiler.
Peetime Grade: C-

BuzzFeed
After it’s discovered there’s a glitch with Nebula’s cybernetic parts, in particular her memory projector.

Analysis: The following scene on Asgard is crucial to Thor’s character arc in the movie. It’s easy to sum up, but you just can’t get the depth of meaning necessary to see how the God of Thunder gets his act together. That said, we did consider using this Peetime, but we have a much better option coming up in about 17 minutes. So we went with that. We felt that giving users only a few really good options for Peetimes would be better than peppering the movie with a bunch of Peetimes that weren’t as good.
Peetime Grade: D

IGN.com
1 hour and 40 minutes into the movie, when the setting changes to New Jersey.

Analysis: This Peetime has potential. I even wrote it up to include in the RunPee database, but upon review decided against adding it, because there’s a better option coming up in 14 minutes. Also, this scene involves Tony Stark meeting his father, and again, we don’t want to miss any of these emotional moments with Iron Man.
Peetime Grade: B-

BuzzFeed
Somewhere around 1:45 into the movie, after Nebula does her little switcheroo.

Analysis: Seriously? Are you kidding me? This builds up to one of the big 6 Avengers — who has been around since Iron Man II — sacrificing herself. This is a good Peetime? Have you seen an MCU movie before?
Peetime Grade: D

Vulture
About an hour and a half into the movie, when War Machine and Nebula arrive on Morag.

Analysis: Please, this call back to the first Guardians movie is awesome sauce.
Peetime Grade: D

Vulture
When Hawkeye and Black Widow get to Vormir.

Analysis: Personally, if there were no other good options for much better Peetimes coming fairly soon, I would have used this one in the app. Sure, it’s crucial to what happens soon after with Black Widow, but they do spend a good long while figuring it out, so if you hustle, you’d be okay.
Peetime Grade: C+

RunPee
About 1 hour and 54 minutes into the movie when *Someone* wakes up alone in a pool of water.

Analysis: Boy, this was a hard choice. It’s a powerfully emotional scene, which usually exempts a scene from being used as a Peetime. However, we felt the emotional content was pretty obvious. You would normally want to see this scene, but if you miss it, then the synopsis will catch you up without any confusion when you return.
Peetime Grade: B-

Getting good pee breaks isn’t for amateurs!

I extend kudos to the people who attempted to get Peetimes for Endgame when they’ve never done it before. There’s no doubt this was one of the hardest movies we’ve ever had to do Peetimes for.

Here at RunPee we’ve done Peetimes for 10 years, and for literally over 1,500 movies. We have frequent conference calls to critique each other and offer feedback. When we sit down to watch a movie at home that another one of us did the Peetimes for (in the theaters), we make note of their choices and then give feedback, both positive and negative.

I always tell the RunPee Family, “We’re only as good as our last Peetime.” One of the things that pleases me most is the lack of negative comments we get on our choice of Peetimes. We’ve yet to get a complaint on our Peetimes for any movie this year, including Endgame. And believe me, when we make a mistake, we hear about it. Don’t bring up Frozen to RunPee Mom. 🙂

Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame

A Open Response to Kevin Feige (re: Using the Bathroom During Endgame)

Avengers Cameo – That random kid in Endgame is someone we’ve seen before

Avengers: Endgame – What was that hammer sound in the credits?

Warning – Avengers Endgame is not going to be Peetime friendly

Avengers: Endagem-Hold The Spoilers
Did we say no spoilers?

You might be surprised to learn that finding Peetimes in a movie isn’t the hardest part of the RunPee job. Ofttimes we find great Peetimes but get stuck on picking out the best Peetime Cue: a brief line of dialog — or description of some action — that stands out to signify the beginning of a Peetime.

A good Cue might be: When Jack says, “Can I have the extra-spicy onions on my burger?”

It’s short, distinctive, and non-spoilery.

An example of a bad Cue would be: When Jack chokes to death on spicy onions. 

I don’t think I have to explain why we could never, ever, use a Cue like that.

HULK NO LIKE SPOILERS

There’s a lot of middle ground we struggle with, and try to find ways to describe the important, almighty Cue, without giving something away.

How we avoid spoilers in our Peetime Cues

Like in Avengers: Infinity War, one of the Cues is: Thanos says to *someone*, “I like you,” then vanishes. That *someone* was Star Lord, but if we used his name, you would have seen the Cue and thought to yourself, “Well great; I guess I know that Star Lord and Thanos meet at some point. Thanks for spoiling that.”

Later in the movie there was a great Cue: Black Panther says, “And get this man a shield.”

That line was delivered time and time again in the movie trailer, so you knew it was coming. It’s a great character payoff, with a multi-film buildup.

Now, that brings us to Avengers: Endgame. Right off the bat we know none of the Cues can start with: Spiderman says…

Spiderman got Snapped. Everyone presumes he’s going to be un-Snapped, somehow. But we don’t know for sure, and we don’t know when. So we can take his name, and everyone else who got Snapped, off the Cue list.

For that matter, we don’t know if Thor, Iron Man, Banner/Hulk, Captain, et al., will survive. Using their names in a Peetime Cue — at least after the midpoint of the movie– is problematic. We hear time and again from fans, begging them not to spoil anything. As big fans ourselves, we get it.

Whose Name can be used in a Peetime Cue?

At least we can assume Captain Marvel has a big part to play in the upcoming MCU movies, so I think her name is fair game. Beyond that, expect a lot of Cues that read something like: *Someone* says, “Hurry — throw me the sonic screwdriver.” And *Someone else* replies, “I got it, but the battery’s dead.” 🙂

If that wasn’t a big enough challenge, I admit it — finding good Peetimes in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War was no picnic. It was undoubtedly the hardest MCU movie to do Peetimes for so far, mostly because there were so many simultaneous story-lines to juggle.

Music montages are a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow for Peetimes, but I think we can safely assume there will be no music montages in Endgame, unless Star Lord hatches a plan to distract Thanos via dance-off at some point…Oh wait, Star Lord got snapped. Well, there goes that.

We will have Movie Pee Breaks before the opening night of Endgame

Rest assured, we’re going to make our best effort to find good times for you to make a pee break. Shanee Edwards, our Hollywood film critic, will provide us with Peetimes days prior to the public opening. She doesn’t do Peetimes for many movies, and she’ll be working alone, but she knows her stuff and will give everyone going to see the movie opening night something to work with.

Then we have four People, myself (Dan), Jill, RunPee Mom, and Vera, all seeing the movie opening night so we can collaborate on choosing the very best Peetimes. Friday morning we’re going back see the movie again so we can come home and polish the Peetimes until they shine like an Infinity Stone. Plus we’ll get Peetime feedback from Dana and Shani over the weekend.

I tell everyone who does Peetimes for RunPee: we’re only as good as our last Peetimes. That’s never been more true than when the fate of the universe is at stake.

#WhatEverItTakes

Did YOU Survive The Snap? You may as well get this over with…

A Open Response to Kevin Feige (re: Using the Bathroom During Endgame)

Avengers Infinity War – Whose Fault is the Snap?

YouTube: Avengers: Infinity War — Peetimes Explained

Here’s a short video where I describe the thought process of choosing Peetimes for Avengers: Infinity War.

RunPee Guest Post Guidelines – Write for RunPee.com (and be as opinionated as you like)

RunPee Family
The RunPee Family

The RunPee Family is happy to publish posts from movie geeks with interesting entertainment opinions on RunPee.com. Or even non-geeks with thoughtful reviews of any movie category are welcome – we have a lot of film coverage blind spots. Here are our submission guidelines:

What you get from RunPee

  • Your own linked Byline to the RunPee blog, social media promotion on our sites, and links to your projects/emails choice in your bio. We’ll help promote your personal interests for free, as well. Any really timely articles will get Featured Content status on the RunPee app itself!
  • You get Author privileges on RunPee: an author photo of your choice, a bio blurb, a full biography page with any links you want to promote — which also automatically lists all the articles you post on RunPee.com.
  • A entry volunteer association in a fun, world-wide acknowledged app boasting millions of downloads. Plus professional article editing, experienced writer mentoring, and the possibility of learning to make Peetimes to see free movies, along with the rest of the RunPee Family.

What RunPee Wants from You

  • Just pitch us your topic ideas and potential titles, and we can see if we’d like to publish your piece. Send ideas to Jill@RunPee.com (Editor in Chief) and post Guest Article in the subject heading.
  • Articles should be no shorter than 300 words, but can be as long as you like. No need to be brief if you’ve got a lot to say.
  • Your personally taken photos are welcome and will include your Byline, if we use them.
  • Tell us your favorite movie genres and mention a few possible titles you’d suggest as an idea on how your mind works.
  • Really, nothing about movies, actors, directors, or entertainment might be too out there to write about. This is your chance to be creative and show off.
  • We even accept reviews of movie theaters themselves, and  would love to blanket the world with details about the different cinemas near people. (Ask us for our Movie Theater review template.)

Interested? Re-read what I wrote above to be sure, and send your ideas to Jill@RunPee.com, or address your interest to Jill at Support@RunPee.com.

Origin of RunPee

RunPee FAQs (about)

Writing an app review in the Apple App Store

 

 

 

How RunPee Makes Memorable Cues For Peetimes & Movie Breaks

Peter parker into the spiderverse
Our Spidey Senses tell us the best Peetime Cues

What do we mean by a Peetime Cue when we add them to the RunPee app? There takes a certain type of finesse and a small learning curve to using Peetimes properly. Over the years we’ve distilled it to a science. (Some would say it’s an art…)

Contrary to what some might think, when the built-tin Timer vibrates, this isn’t the time to get up for the loo.

This Timer is merely alerting you to some phrase or on-screen title card (like a date or place, such as Cairo, Egypt, 1923)…giving you a heads up of about a minute or two that you’re to look/listen for the actual Cue to leave your seat and hurry out. (Read about what a Peetime actually is, if you’re unsure.)

How We Choose a Good Peetime Cue

The first rule for us in creating Peetime Cues is: don’t use a cue that’s a spoiler.

This Cue example from a Peetime lets you know when to RunPee
A good Peetime Cue for RunPee.com

For instance, we’d never have a spoiler like, “When Jack dies.” Because, duhhh.

That much is obvious, but there are other spoilers that are easy to slip through. For example, in The Spiderverse movie I had a Cue that was dialog between Peter B Parker and Spiderman Noir. I couldn’t exactly put their names in the Cue, because some people may not be aware that there are multiple Spidermen in the movie.

Fortunately, the dialog was distinctive (and amusing ) enough that I could list the dialog without attributing it. Here’s our actual Cue: 

“It’s a long story.”
(2 second montage)
“Maybe not that long.”

My favorite Cues are those that have simple, but memorable lines. There was a great one in Bumblebee: “I once stole a Mallomar.” That’s unique. That’s going to stick with you.

Sometimes we have Cues that are visual events. Like in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, “When the SUV crashes into the river.” That’s distinctive, but a tiny bit of a spoiler, because if you read the Cues before the movie, you would know that the chase scene ends with the SUV taking a plunge. However, I was willing to overlook that, because that scene was also in the movie trailer. Sometimes we just make a judgement call like that, to give you a few extra moments to jump up and not miss the beginning of something important to come.

Here’s another current example: 

Dearest (RunPee Mom) and I were watching a movie last night — Split — which she did the Peetimes for. I try to make a habit of checking the Peetimes in the app, just to see what other family members chose. Her Cue for the 1st Peetime was:

When Barry says to Casey, “Your shirt is soiled; just take it off.”
It sounds like a good Cue and all, but the line is spoken very softly, and almost unnoticeable. I was listening for it and completely missed it.
In these instances, when we have a line of dialogue that doesn’t really pop out, we try adding a little context to it. Something like a visual cue, or extending the dialog a little. In this particular case, I would have added the previous line of dialog: “You have a crumb on your shirt. Take it off. Just take it off.” Or included a visual cue: “Barry sits on the bed with Casey and says, ‘You have a crumb…'”
I think a good example of this is from Aquaman. Here’s the Cue:
Aquaman unrolls the map and says, “This is our next stop.”

We’re always happiest when we have a Cue that is memorable and definitive. We don’t want our fans sitting in the theater wondering, “Was that the Cue?” When we’ve given you three or five minutes to go, we try to make this as easy as possible for you to know what to do. Makes sense? Let us know if we can improve!

…..

Now, as to determining a good Peetime, or supplying different choices of Peetime Meta (descriptions of the type of Peetime), those are entirely different stories. 🙂

Related Articles from RunPee, Behind the Scenes:

https://runpee.com/help/peetimes/

Are Peetimes just the boring bits of a movie?

Finding PeeTimes – EXACTLY how I find those movie breaks

Download the RunPee App free at Android or for iPhone

Alert Peetimes – How to Avoid Torture and Disturbing Scenes in Movies

One common request from users over the years is to help them avoid graphic scenes in movies that might disturb them. For years we tried to do the best we could to create Peetimes during scenes we found to be over the top, or really  disturbing (as compared to the rest of the movie). Now we have made it quasi-official by marking these scenes as Alert Peetimes.

This solution comes with a few caveats.  First, this is obviously very subjective. What may be disturbing to one person isn’t even noticed by another. However, I think there is a lot of common ground. We focus on scenes that have sexual violence, animal cruelty, or torture. (Hopefully there’s never a scene that involves all three!)

Also, this is contextual. If you’re watching a gangster movie with lots of torture scenes, then what’s the point of making Alert Peetimes for those?That’s what the movie is about. But, if there happened to be a scene involving animal cruelty in a gangster movie, then we’d try to alert you to that.

Second, we can’t have Alert Peetimes that might cover every conceivable thing someone out there might be sensitive to. For instance, if you were recently in a terrible car crash, it might be traumatic to watch a movie and then unexpectedly see a car crash. My suggestion for anyone with an issue like that would be to talk to someone who has already seen the movie, and ask them if one of their trigger scenes is in it.

Third, we make it very clear in the RunPee app that we won’t be held responsible for catching every scene that might trigger someone. We’ll do our best and invite our fans to provide feedback, good and bad, on how we are doing with the Alert Peetimes — but we’re not interested in hearing criticism that blames us for not protecting them from a trigger scene. Again, we’re doing our best with it, but this isn’t our core purpose when getting Peetimes for a movie.

How RunPee Makes Memorable Cues For Peetimes & Movie Breaks

https://runpee.com/help/peetimes/

Download the RunPee App free at Android or for iPhone

RunPee FAQ – How Get More Peecoins (your choice: for free or ad-free)

Find out how to get more Peecoins in-app, or via Paypal.

Once you verify your email address, you can purchase Peecoins, or watch ads to get Peecoins for free.

First, tap on your email address/Peecoins remaining message at the top of the Movie List Screen.

FAQ: Movie Info Screen-Peecoins remaining
FAQ: Movie Info Screen-Peecoins remaining

That will take you to a screen with all the options you need to get more Peecoins (below).

A Few Important Notes

If you want to purchase Peecoins, you can buy them either in-app or via Paypal in bundles of 10 for $1 — up to $4 worth at a time. Apple/Google keeps 30% of all in-app purchases, so we make 7 cents for each Peecoin you buy. On the other hand, you can visit https://runpee.com/peecoins/ to purchase Peecoins via Paypal. Paypal keeps a much smaller percentage, so we make a few more cents per Peecoin. (Every cent helps, and thank you!)

If you choose to view ads to earn Peecoins, please realize that each ad you view earns you ONE Peecoin — no more, no less. We realize this might be  confusing, as seen below:

FAQ: TapJoy currency
FAQ: TapJoy currency

TapJoy has their own currency. If I were to use their currency, RunPee fans would have to watch around 7 videos just to earn enough to have 1 Peecoin. I think that’s a bit much, so I just make it 1 ad for 1 Peecoin. Fair for everyone.

You might want to know that we earn, on average, less than 1 cent for each ad. In the future we may have to make it so you have to watch 2-3 ads to earn a Peecoin, so that we’ll have the income to keep RunPee up to date with new movies every week.

If you have questions you can comment below, or email us: support@RunPee.com.

Download the RunPee App free at Android or for iPhone

Watching movies, because we have to!

Don’t get me wrong, everyone in the RunPee family loves movies, but sometimes we really dread going to the theater because, you know, it’s a job.

One of the first things we learned about getting the best Peetimes for a movie was to make sure that we at least see movies within our favorite genres. For instance, in general I don’t like horror movies. And the ones I do like usually span across genres in some way. So if I’m forced to do Peetimes for a horror movie I have a hard time selecting the best Peetimes, because I don’t know what people like about horror movies in the first place. Thank goodness for my sister — Christene Johnson — who loves horror movies. Good or bad horror (mostly bad these days), we count on her to get the best Peetimes for horror films because she knows what fans of that genre like and don’t like.

Likewise, I see most of the science fiction and action movies, along with Jill. RunPee Mom sees most of the kids’ movies. I guess it’s a little ironic that the elder in the family sees the movies for kids, but she really loves them and has trained herself to see them like a child — even going so far to talk to families about a movie afterward — to get a feel for what sort of scenes stand out for kids,  so she can be sure to not use those scenes in a Peetime. Over the years she’s gotten pretty good at it. (Let’s forgive her for her Peetime in Frozen. How was she to know Let it Go was going to become such a hit?)

Now, when we watch a movie, it isn’t like we can relax and enjoy it. We literally sit there with pen and paper and take notes, jotting down the time and possible cue for a Peetime, and hoping we can go at least three minutes without running into a scene that’s important. If that happens, and it usually happens about twelve times a movie, we cross it out and start looking for another possible Peetime.

It varies from movie to movie, but it’s not uncommon to have 10-15 potential Peetimes in a two hour movie, of which we’ll cross out most of them, and hopefully, be left with 2-4 that are worthy of becoming Peetimes.  On some occasions we have multiple people seeing the same movie so we can debate with each other which Peetimes would be best and why. Then we further weed out the selected Peetimes by seeing how they are grouped. If there are two Peetimes in a 10 minute span, we usually select the one we think is best and discard the other.

Possibly the hardest part of the job is reviewing our notes and writing the synopsis for each Peetime. We have to make judgement calls on just how much detail we put into each synopsis, because we realize that someone using the app only has around 20 seconds or so to read what happened while they were away. Plus, we have to be very clear with our pronouns and such. Too many he/shes and suddenly the reader is left wondering, “Wait, who? What?” That’s not good. We write our synopsis and proofread it, and then it gets edited by Jill (our Editor in Chief).

As subjective as all this sounds, you would think that we’d get lots of complaints about this scene or that one being in a Peetime when it shouldn’t have been. I certainly expected that sort of criticism would be commonplace, but it isn’t. I can honestly count on one hand how many critical comments we get each year about a chosen Peetime. And it’s not because people don’t want to take the time to email us. We get plenty of user emails and corrections for the slightest detail mistake — which we’re always thankful for. So it seems we’re doing something right. 🙂

As hard as this job is to keep up with every week, every year, we love it because we get so much positive feedback and thanks from the fans who use the app.

Download the RunPee App free at Android or for iPhone

Are Peetimes just the boring bits of a movie?

Many people assume that the Peetimes we pick for movies are just the boring bits. That’s certainly true for some Peetimes but not all. A more accurate description of Peetimes in general would be: the parts of a movie that are easiest to summarize without the viewer missing anything crucial to the story. Of course that’s a little more wordy than, “Peetimes are just the boring bits,” so I understand why people promulgate the former.

Desperately Seeking Peetimes
It helps to understand how we actually go about finding Peetimes in the first place. Picture me, my mother or sister, sitting in the back corner of the theater — positioned so we don’t disturb anyone — with a notepad in our laps, holding our phone with a timer running. We’re watching the movie, looking for something that might make a good Peetime cue because first and foremost the cue has to be noticeable. When we see a potential cue we peek at the timer and jot down how far into the movie we are and then start writing down what’s happening. This is the hardest part for us because we have to keep up with what’s happening visually as well as key bits of dialog. It’s something that takes a lot of practice and I think we’ve gotten better over time.

If while we’re writing our notes we feel like we can’t keep up with important details then obviously this scene won’t work as a Peetime. So we cross that out and flip the page and wait for another potential cue. Also, if something funny, or exciting, or dramatic happens then we’ll cross off those notes, flip the page, and start the process all over.

Since we’ve been doing this for such a long time we’ve started to notice patterns in movies that make for good Peetimes. For example: oftentimes near the end of an action film there is a short character bonding moment followed by the infiltration scene. That’s the scene where the good guys prepare for the final battle. For instance in the movie Zero Dark Thirty — the movie about the capture of Bin Laden — there is a very good Peetime that starts when the soldiers board the helicopters that transport them to Bin Laden’s house. Here’s the synopsis:

Very long scene of the soldiers loading up on the helicopters. Then another long scene of them flying low through the mountains. The scenes cut back and forth between headquarters where everyone is watching on satellite and back to the soldiers.

Along the way one of the helicopters bounces around a bit. One of the soldiers asks the others, “Who here has been in a helo crash before?” Everyone raises their hands. He smiles and says, “Okay, so we’re all good.”

They enter Pakistan airspace.

That’s a great Peetime because it’s near the end of a long movie. You know that the action is building toward the climax and you certainly don’t want to miss any of that, but you also don’t want to try and hold your pee for another 30 minutes, which would diminish your enjoyment of the ending. At the same time this scene is an important part of the pacing of the movie. It would be horrible to quickly cut from the soldiers boarding the helicopters to immediately arriving at Bin Laden’s front door. The audience needs this quiet time to let the tension build. However, if you need to pee, this is a perfect time to release the tension in your bladder.

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What makes a good Peetime?

Many people have asked recently what makes a good Peetime. That isn’t a simple question to answer, because every movie is different. However, I can give you the guidelines that we use when watching a movie. And it’s very important to remember that a Peetime is by no means a part of the movie that you expect to miss without anything at all important happening. What is crucial for a Peetime is that the synopsis we give you be concise and accurate, so you have a good idea what did happen.

First and foremost, no one wants to miss the funniest scene in a comedy, or the most amazing action scene in an action movie, or the plot twisting moment in a thriller. So those scenes are totally off limits for Peetimes. Not to say that there won’t be some action or humor in a particular Peetime, but certainly not the iconic moments.

As an example, in the movie Taken with Liam Neeson, there’s a long chase scene in a gravel pit. That made a decent Peetime because it really wasn’t a spectacular chase scene. It would be nice if there had been a better choice, but the movie was full of really good action and important plot development throughout. Sometimes we have to make the best of a bad situation.

Another great example is the movie This is the End. It was hilarious. There was honestly no span of 4 minutes in that movie that didn’t have something making the entire audience laugh. I was doing Peetimes for the movie and getting a little anxious, because I was afraid I would have to include a funny scene in a Peetime. But then there were two scenes where they drew straws. Those scenes made the best Peetimes in the movie, because what followed was a long, slow, developing scene that didn’t have any humor. I could easily summarize the scene concisely so that the user could quickly read what they missed, and come back to the theater before the hilarity continued.

The process of finding Peetimes requires constant note-taking during a movie. It really is a chore to do. One of the most frustrating things is that we’ll have a really good Peetime going, and then 2 minutes later something funny, or actiony, or plot-laden, etc, happens that ruins the Peetime. We simply scratch it out and start over.

Another thing that we don’t want to include in a Peetime is the introduction of a new character, because it would be difficult to adequately describe that so users would know who they were when they saw them. So we try and stay away from those scenes.

You know what we love more than anything? Long music montages. Those scenes usually make great Peetimes, unless they are too quickly followed by something crucial.

Another type of scene that we love are those long introduction scenes before the action kicks in. You know, those scenes where the good guys are slowly walking through the building, looking for the bad guy, and that goes on for 3-4 minutes. Those are great because there’s almost no dialog to summarize.

Speaking of dialog: we have gotten very good at note-taking and can keep up with most dialog word-for-word, or at least very nearly. If the dialog contains important information, we’ll give it all to you. But, if it’s just some characters chatting, we might summarize what they talk about. We know that the user is going to be a little pressed for time when they read the synopsis – before reentering the theater – so we try to keep it succinct whenever possible.

It’s important to note that not all Peetimes are created equal. The Meta section on the Peetime screen – located above the the Peetimes – is our way of letting the user know which Peetimes work really well, and which ones don’t. This isn’t a problem for short movies that only have one Peetime. But for long movies with many Peetimes, we want to let you know which we would suggest you use if you have the ability to choose. The other Peetimes might be there for emergency use only.

For instance, in a movie that’s around 2 1/2 hours long, there might be a great Peetime right around the middle of the movie that we recommend, but we know that sometimes our bodily urges come on suddenly. You may have thought you could make it to the end when that Peetime came and went, but then 20 minutes later you realize that you have to go badly. We try to have Peetimes spaced throughout the movie, but for some of them, to be frank, you’re going to pay the price for not using the one we suggested. The good news is that at least you’ll know what you missed.

I hope that clarifies what’s going on behind the curtain when we’re looking for Peetimes. Feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments below.

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