Toilet Paper: Over or Under? Let’s put an end to the debate.


Toilet paper.  How should it roll?  From the top or from the bottom?  People have argued to death about this for years (literally – in the USA alone last year, this debate has been attributed to at least 14 deaths.  Or maybe that statistic is made up…).  Regardless, we’ve previously discussed this important topic on the site and came to this conclusion:

Toilet paper - over or under?

In my most humble of opinions, the toilet paper should roll from the top.

Suffice it to say, it irks me if I am at someone else’s house and I notice the toilet paper rolls have been placed the wrong way.  I might – might – go so far as to turn the roll over for them.  You know, as a nice gesture to correct their mistake.

But instead of thanking me, once people discover the correction, they are often annoyed or offended.  How unappreciative and rude of them.

Therefore, to avoid the risk of future confrontation I have devised the following simple rules for proper toilet paper replacement. It should satisfy those who choose to roll from the outside in, and the inside out:


If the distance to the toilet paper dispenser is greater than your arm’s length (either in front or beside you), then the roll should roll from the top to bottom on the outside of the roll. This saves the user precious inches when reaching for the tissue (see figure above, left side).  This is otherwise know as the “over” placement of toilet paper.


If the distance to the toilet paper dispenser is less than your arm’s length (either in front or beside you), then the roll should roll from the bottom to top on the inside of the roll (see figure above, right side). This gives the user several inches of extra space to work with.  This is otherwise known as the “under” placement of toilet paper.


Over/Under:  Advantages and Disadvantages

Further to these rules, and to offer the full toilet paper landscape of advantages and disadvantages, we’ll present this handy infographic, created by an anonymous Internet user who is probably a shill for Big Toilet Paper.

Toilet Paper: Over Under Advantages


The Debate is Over

Now, finally, let’s put this 124 year old debate to an end and stop the bloodshed.

Here’s the actual patent from 1891.  Here’s how it was designed to be used by the wonderfully brilliant S. Wheeler, where he describes – with great clarity and conviction – how the wrapping of toilet paper shall work.  It’s arguably the 11th Commandment.

toilet paper patent600

Need to see it a bit closer and slightly different version?

Toilet Paper Patent Over Under Debate Solved


Now you can be that guy/girl at the party who stops a fight before it breaks out.  You can be the smartest person in the room.  Armed with this information, you can put an end to this debate, once and for all.  You can be… a true hero.  Like this creepy guy in the stock photo below…

Yes, this exists. A creepy superhero with toilet paper stock photo.