An Over the Top Argument About Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper – Should It Go Over or Under the Roll?

~ by Adrien Sala

I don’t know about you, but this has bothered me to the point that I’m actually guilty of changing the roll when using other peoples’ bathrooms. It usually goes something like this: I enter without any intention of doing anything weird, then I spot a roll that is falling backward toward the wall. I hesitate for a few seconds before moving swiftly to it. I then squeeze the holder and pop it free so I can flip it around so that the paper falls over the top. I replace it quickly so no catches me in the act.

I do this even if I’m not using the toilet paper.

Toilet Roll PatentTruth be told, it’s typically a silent affair, because what kind of a weirdo is going to emerge from the toilet and go on a rant about proper paper placement? I just make the change and move on as though the insanity of backward falling paper isn’t making me question my friendships.

Unfortunately, when I have had the opportunity to make my case for the “right” way, I’m always at a bit of a loss of how to explain it.

“It’s just the way it’s supposed to be,” isn’t really a valid argument (even though IT IS the way it’s supposed to be). 

“Think about hotels and the little triangles things they make in the paper to show you the room is fresh,” I say. “You can’t make a triangle without going over the top.”

Mostly I’m met with eye rolls or shoulder shrugs, but every now and again someone will look me dead in the eye and say, “I know exactly what you mean.” Those people usually become my closer friends.

But now, I can unequivocally back up my arguments because I have found actual hardline evidence for my toilet roll neurosis from our friends at Stanley Print House

I’d like to submit article A, or rather “Patent #465,588 – The Toilet Paper Roll,” which was issued by the US Patent office on (this is true) my birthday in 1891.

Notice the roll: Does it go backward or behind? Or, does it fall, as it should, over the top?

The answer is apparent. 

Looking at it now, I can see that the benefits of over the top paper placement are myriad, but I think the most important is the fact that it means you don’t have to reach under to get at it and accidentally brush your hands against a who-knows-how-dirty bathroom wall. It’s closer within reach, if only inches. Plus, it just looks better. 

Toilet Roll PatentWant your very own argument-winning print of this to hang in your home? You can get a framed print delivered to your door or have it sent as just the print. Hang it proudly and stay over the top.

Glacier National Park Beach TowelLooking for a way to add a splash of colour to your bathroom neurosis? This Glacier National Park beach towel looks great hanging on a rack or outside at the beach. 


  • Kristen says:

    Ha ha I love this! I’ve definitely been guilty of switching toilet paper rolls around in other people’s homes when they’ve put the rolls on backwards. Thought I was the only one crazy enough to do that. :)

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