RunPee: The one app you should be using at the movies!

I don't see a lot of movies in theaters these days — I'm not made of money — but when I do I always have to spring for the biggest bag of popcorn and the large drink that's about the size of a bucket. I usually don't start regretting my decision until I'm part way through the movie and I suddenly have to pee. We've probably all been there at some point, and you know running out of the theater right in the middle of an important scene always sucks.

RunPee is an app that aims to help moviegoers like me avoid missing any of the good parts of the film we are watching when nature calls.

How it works

Members of the RunPee team see movies on opening day and watch for times in the movie where no important plot points, dialogue, or action is happening. They then mark that spot in the movie as a "Peetime," typically movies will have two or three Peetimes; however, it really depends on the movie, I have seen movies that only have one.

How to make sense of a Peetime

Let's taken this example (pictured above) from Blade Runner 2049. In the top right corner, you'll see one of two things, either recommend Peetime or emergency Peetime. A recommended Peetime means it's the best spot to run to the bathroom without missing much, and emergency Peetime means you won't miss anything crucial, but you may miss a particularly good scene in the film.

The giant number you see on the left is the number of minutes into the film's runtime that the Peetime occurs — in this case 58 minutes — and the small number in parenthesis is the amount of time the Peetime lasts.

The prompt gives you a better idea of when the Peetime officially starts, in this example the prompt reads:

"K (Ryan Gosling) says to Joi, his virtual girlfriend, 'Want to go for a ride?'"

That gives you the all clear that the next four minutes (in this case) isn't super important to the story, and you can run to the bathroom if need be.

Pee Timer

The Pee Timer helps you sync up your phone to the runtime of the movie allowing you to keep your phone in your pocket but still know when the Peetimes come up.

As pictured above, in Blade Runner 2049, you would start the time after the WB logo fades out, you can then put your phone in your pocket, and when it's Peetime, your phone will vibrate.

This means you don't have to have your phone out during the movie which can be a big distraction to some people.

On the bright side, the app has a dark theme by default, making the light coming from your screen less bright. It's about as movie theater friendly as you can get.

Peetime Synopsis

Now, even though the Peetimes are specifically designed that you don't miss anything important, you will obviously still miss a small portion of what's happening on the screen as you're taking care of business. Don't worry; the RunPee team has you covered.

Each Peetime comes with a detailed synopsis of what happens on screen for the duration of the Peetime. What I love about this feature is it stops you from having that awkward whispered conversation with your friend beside you about what happened while you were gone.

Other useful features

Although RunPee's main functionality is to keep you from missing anything important when you need to relieve yourself, it has a few other features worth mentioning.

The app will tell you if there are any scenes after the credits that you should stick around for and if there are, it will also give you a detailed synopsis of what those scenes are, so if you want to leave you can.

It also has links to go to Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB pages for the movies, meaning you can check reviews and the cast list all from one place.

Why I love RunPee

The greatest thing about RunPee is while it's a silly idea at its core, it solves a legitimate problem that exists.

I have been using RunPee for years, and I use it with every movie I see in a theater. I set the Pee Timer at the beginning, and when I feel the vibration, I can go to the bathroom if I need to or ignore it when I don't. I enjoy the comfort of knowing I won't miss anything important and a quick read of the Peetime synopsis before you go back into the theater is easy enough to accomplish and keep your phone in your pocket.

If you have ever struggled with having to go to the bathroom during a movie, I highly recommend using RunPee; it will make your experience a lot more comfortable.

What do you think?

Let me know what you think of RunPee by leaving a comment down below.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.