Neil Patrick Harris Has A Genius Tip For Pooping On A Plane Without Stinking It Up

Star of the iconic show "How I Met Your Mother," Neil Patrick Harris played the lothario Barney Stinson for nine seasons on TV, and in that time, he had some epic one liners, like "Everyone I know is getting married or pregnant. I'm just getting more awesome." It turns out that Harris' awesomeness translates into his real life, because the "Doogie Howser, M.D." legend has come up with some epic and awesomesauce hacks that he uses every time he travels by air.

Speaking with Thrillist, NPH revealed some eye-opening tricks that work for him, and some of them are definitely a departure from his Barney Stinson persona. No, he doesn't like to wear a three-piece suit while flying, even though he says he loves the aesthetic of the "good old days of Pan Am when going on a plane meant something." Another awesome hack is something Barney might never admit to: What does one do when they have to, uh, y'know ... use the airplane toilet to uh ... shall we say, drop the kids off at the pool? Yes, NPH revealed what he does when nature calls at 30,000 feet in the air to make sure he doesn't offend his fellow passengers, and honestly, we are kind of obsessed with his hack. 

Flush promptly and leave nothing behind

Okay, we cannot mince words: poop happens. And if you've had one too many coffees during your long-haul flight, you're going to have to use the lavatory. Those tiny toilet cubicles of torture can not only become a bit messy after 200 passengers have used them, but they can also stink up the place. That's where Hollywood actor Neil Patrick Harris comes in with his genius hack for pooping without making other passengers resent him.

He tells Thrillist that he actually flushes the toilet while he's doing his business, and then gives the toilet an extra courtesy flush when he's done. That way, the, erm, waste doesn't have time to linger.

You'll want to ensure nothing is left behind after using Harris' double-flush strategy. One tip: Drop some toilet paper into the bowl before you go number two to prevent skid marks (which, besides being unsightly, can leave a nasty odor). If residue still remains after flushing, fill one of the lavatory mouthwash cups with water and pour it into the toilet to wash away any mess. Flush again to ensure you leave no trace behind.

Do your best deodorizing tai chi moves

Neil Patrick Harris doesn't just stop at flushing a couple of times to remove the stink from a plane lavatory. He practices good hygiene, which surprisingly, can do double duty as a deodorizing method. He explains to Thrillist: "[U]se hand soap. Put it on your hands and all over your arms, and do, like, tai chi moves with your arms." Sure, it might look funny, but the technique works to waft the aroma of the soap around the air, helping to cover up any unpleasant odors. "Then wash your hands, and then the bathroom doesn't smell like your stuff. Every time I do it I'm impressed with myself," Harris shares.

To take the actor's tip one step further, consider bringing a travel-sized bottle of scented hand lotion into the lavatory with you. After you've thoroughly washed up, lather on a bit of lotion and wave your hands to spread the fragrance around the cubicle. The person entering the lavatory next will thank you.

In an emergency, ask an attendant for help

Sometimes, stinky smells can really spoil a flight — literally. In 2015, a British Airways plane had to turn back after bathroom excrement stunk up the cabin, and in 2018, a Transavia Airlines passenger was kicked off a flight because of excessive flatulence. While you'll hopefully never experience a poo emergency of that level, you might still find yourself in a situation where no amount of flushing or arm flailing will remove an embarrassing stench from the bathroom.

Flight attendants are familiar with unpleasant lavatory smells and, as a result, they often have a few tricks up their sleeves to clear the air in a pinch. One solution, as a Norwegian Airlines crew member shared with The Sun, is to pour hot, freshly brewed coffee down the toilet to nix any unwanted odors. Another similar practice among flight attendants is to place coffee beans or grounds in the lavatory to soak up the stench. The nitrogen in the coffee naturally neutralizes odors and leaves behind a pleasing scent.

Of course, you likely won't have your own pot of coffee or bag of beans — but the flight attendants do. While it might feel awkward to ask, they'll generally be happy to provide an extra cup of joe or a pack of grounds to keep the lavatory smelling fresh for the rest of the flight.