Toilet Rat Is the Latest New York City Nightmare to Become Real

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Possibly one of the worst things a person who lives in a big dirty city can imagine is sitting on a toilet when a rat crawls up and out from below—possibly. And just in case you’re thinking, Nah, that’s the stuff of urban legend, we’re here to tell you that, unfortunately, this scenario is all too real.

And in Carroll Gardens this week, it almost happened again. Only, this ill-fated rat didn’t quite reach the heights of actual toilet bowl water; instead, he got stuck in the bowels of a sewer pipe, and died, according to Gothamist. The resident of the brownstone in Carroll Gardens who discovered this nightmare (and who wants to remain anonymous for reasons we cannot possibly imagine), first discovered something was awry when he whiffed something that smelled like mud and, uh, death in the basement. As he told Gothamist.

“I opened the door [to the basement] and there was two inches of puddled water that stunk to high heaven.”

So he called a plumber.

“An hour and a half later he calls out and says, ‘Look, I found the cause of the water leak!’ I go down there and he’s standing there with his helper, and displayed the end of his plumbing snake, and there’s a half-rotted dead rat at the end of that device. I looked at it carefully, and I was like, ‘Yes, it’s definitely a rat.'”

Then, a miraculous thing happened: The plumber was so unfazed by the site of a rotting clump composed of feces and dead rat, that he proceeded to casually advise the Carroll Gardens brownstone resident that he’d be smart to buy the building. Yes, real estate advice, in a time of crisis. Bless you, New York City.

“I was standing there, the three of us, with this rat dangling from the pipe, getting real estate advice from the plumber.”

But the plumber also had something to say about the concern more immediately at hand, er, dangling from his plumbing snake. The rat mostly likely fell from the roof, via a vent, and slid to his final resting place. He also guessed the rat had been there for ten days—long enough to cause the massive leak, and pooled water that smelled like death.

So, this is gross and kind of scary. And maybe this is a reason to run screaming out of New York and never look back. But let us take a moment to be grateful that, a) the rat didn’t make it all the way to the toilet and b) for plumbers, who not only can take care of these inevitable freak accidents we as city dwellers are likely to encounter, but who can chat with us amiably as they do it, reminding us that, even in the face of your worst nightmares, life in the dirty city goes on.


  1. Since when is a dead rat fucking up plumbing news? I used a hand-cranked snake — and put all 13′ of it down my kitchen sink–to unclog a leak that NOTHING, not even Pequa (pure sulfuric acid) could really help. I FINALLY get the snake all the way down and start turning it by hand–I had huge blisters despite using gloves–and then I finally feel it turn and the stench that came up was not to be believed. When I finally got the snake out, there were bits of hair and rotted flesh all over it. I gave the lines one more good flush with drain cleaner then bleached off my snake. Yes, the landlord was a lazy fuck who never did any work. Yes, I treated myself to the hottest shower that my building could manage at the time and a nice dinner out after that shit.


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