The pranksters at Merseyrail have admitted to playing an elaborate practical joke on passengers, inspired by the cult US comedy ‘The Big Bang Theory‘.

The joke, which has been noticed by a handful of passengers, centres around a toilet which has been ‘Out of Service‘ since before anyone can remember.

In the comedy TV series, the elevator in the apartment building where the central characters reside has been ‘Out of Order‘ since the very first episode, which aired in 2007. Everyone accepts the elevator is ‘out of order’, and simply takes the stairs, with nobody ever questioning when, or if, it will ever be fixed.

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The comedians at Merseyrail decided to play a similar jape on passengers, using a toilet at Sandhills Station, in Liverpool. Some considerable time ago, nobody quite knows when, the Merseyrail jokers posted an ‘Out of Service’ sign on the toilet door to see how long it took people to realise it was never being fixed.

Twitter user Jamie first noticed the joke in December last year, tweeting:

It was also spotted by Ian in January, tweeting:

Twitter user MisterDaz also spotted the prank, but was wise to the fact it was based on the TV series The Big Bang Theory. He tweeted:

The Chester Bugle finally caught up with a spokesperson for Merseyrail, Mr D Layed. He confirmed the elaborate high jinks.

Of course it’s a gag. You don’t think it actually takes us this long to unblock a bog do you?

Mr D Layed, Merseyrail

Now the hoax has been uncovered, passengers can expect Merseyrail to remove the ‘Out of Service’ sign from the door of the toilet at Sandhills Station as soon as physically possible.

Really soon… we’re certain.

Probably.