Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Toilets meet The Terminator in deranged local business commercial

Our culture is long overdue to recognize local business commercials for the important art that they are. Who else would give us the kind of visionary advertisements where a GIF of Thanos dances around restaurant menu items? Who else would spend a chunk of its annual profits on a surreal Star Wars riff meant to sell legal services? Only local businesses have the vision necessary to create this kind of stuff. Free of pesky in-house advertising experts and filled with ambition, they are the geniuses who give us essential works like the one below: A commercial for plumbing and air conditioning services featuring a homicidal Terminator toilet with human teeth.

The Toiletnator’s messaging, which revolves around the concept of an impending “toilet uprising” that can only be stopped by brave technicians doing bad Schwarzenegger impressions, is a little confusing on a first viewing. We see an evil chrome toilet rampaging across an apocalyptic world, its eyes glowing red and its giant, frighteningly human teeth clenched. “We must... destroy... The Mother Toilet,” a plumber in a leather jacket and wraparound sunglasses says in his best Ah-nold.


He’s joined by a few others, all wearing the same outfit and trying out the same voice. These resistance fighters are shown in a sci-lab and on the blasted-out streets of the toilet front lines—and are presumably drawn from the employees of Radiant Plumbing & Air Condition. They grab makeshift props rigged to look like high-tech devices, battle an army of toilets in front of a green screen, and read lines of dialogue mostly consisting of poop jokes. The point of their war against toilets is unclear (are they suggesting that they’ll fix bad toilets by destroying them outright or cautioning us against smart toilet technology?) but that doesn’t matter. Not a single Terminator reference is passed over, logic be damned.

Obviously, Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning is working on a level that transcends linear storytelling or easily-discernible themes. They’re giving us provocative material that calls into question things we used to take for granted, making us look at beloved films and our toilets with fresh eyes.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.