Essential Life Lesson #1: Over is Right, Under is Wrong

As part of our ongoing effort here at Current Configuration to make your life not only better, but also 10% more crunchy, we’re offering you this first installment of what will be an ongoing series of Essential Life Lessons. Kicking off this series will be a critical but even-handed examination of a common misunderstanding that occurs in a realm of many misunderstandings: the bathroom.

Put simply, there is a right way to hang the toilet paper, and a wrong way. Read on to determine the status of your own roll.

Toilet paper has a natural curve, a way of being that lends itself to certain orientations on the toilet paper spool.* If handled with skill and knowledge, it can provide an abundance of both sanitation and comfort, quilted together in each square of pillowy ply. If handled with clumsy ignorance, or worse, carelessness, it will beset the user with pain, filth, and frustration. Don’t let it end this way, with you curled on the tile floor of the stall, weeping in frustration, covered in wasted papier de toilette. To convince you, we’ve created some diagrams, harnessing the power of SCIENCE, to demonstrate the natural benefits of the over hanging method. First, we examine the optimal viewing benefits of the over hanging method.

Below are examples of the helpful and fruitful over-hung method on the left and the annoying and detrimental under-hung method on the right.

Right vs. Wrong

Free Sheetage Viewing diagram

Notice the dramatic difference in the amount of visible toilet paper. Ironically, it is the over-hung toilet paper that has both the most visible free sheetage and the least amount of sheetage free from the roll to do it. Now, this may not seem like a big deal on its own, but in these extra sheets lies your undoing. Observe.

Paper Positioning diagram

We here at Current Configuration, for the purposes of ease and expediency, do the one-handed tear (okay, really, it’s just me, but bear with me, er, us). The one-handed tear is a quick maneuver that takes advantage of the perforated squares, allowing your bundle of toilet paper to be liberated with one quick swipe of the arm. This is the foundation of bathroom ease, the cottony bedrock on which enjoyment rests in the restrooms of many nations.

Mechanics of the One-Handed Tear diagram

The one-handed tear relies on a quick and forceful motion directed either away from or towards the tear-er. The forces applied in this motion are great and, like the atom, are not to be trifled with. The natural curve of the over-hung method allows the roll to stand fast after a one-handed tear, but the under-hung method creates a calamitous tendency in the roll. This tendency can only lead to this:

End Result diagram

Wasted paper, frustration, the destruction of our forests. While we realize that it is possible to execute a one-handed tear on an under-hung roll, this is a game of sanitary Russian roulette. You are bound to lose eventually, and there is no re-rolling an unwound toilet paper roll. The results will only cause you grief. Don’t let this happen to you. Restroom attendants, janitors, maids, facilities crews, and responsible toiletowners take note: Don’t use the under-hung method for your toilet paper rolls. It leads to the destruction of our precious resources and the pillars of civilization as we know it!

*Does that thing have a proper name?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Because you demanded it, we bring you the Overhanging Public Service Hanger Brochure.

Join the Conversation


  1. Try it, the under method is much easier to tear than using with one hand than over the top method. You just hold the roll with the back of your hand, while grasping the unrolled sheet pull and the sheets separate. You can’t do that with over the top method.

  2. No to mention, for those who have cats… The under method is the only way to avoid coming home to find the TP scattered all over the house.

  3. Obviously, you are chauvinistic toward right-handed users. Your entire diagram breaks down for the lefties.

    Also, the under-roll method is the perfect solution to preventing young toddlers from turning the bathroom into a confetti zone.

  4. If you place your elbow on top of the tissue paper and then pull with the same can successfully single handedly get the tp with no problem.

  5. I really don’t understand why we shouldn’t just do away with toilet paper all together. Wiping is very over-rated. Everyone does it. I, for one, say NO to this and will no longer wipe. Furthermore, I will destroy any toilet paper spool that I come in to contact with, public or private, in order to push my cause forward and open as many eyes as I can.

  6. I don’t know we even allow a web page posted by over hangers. I mean, they’re basically not even really human.

  7. I don’t know why we allow postings from over hangers, see’in as how they ain’t really even human!

  8. WRONG! Under is the best way. It looks better, and when you load UNDER it helps to avoid the paper from over-rolling out of control…. then you have to “re-wind” the paper and it looks like crap! Just because the paper is closer to the user, it doesn’t make it right. Under is the proper and more classy way to load paper products. End of story. The recent Cottonelle Poll got it wrong, btw.

  9. I don’t get it….are people seriously having THIS mush trouble getting their butts wiped without a catastrophy? Elbows? One handed manuevers? Cats, KIDS….??? What are you people doing? I go, and I wipe!! And don’t even need a plan or formula….i think it is being way over thought here!! ;)

  10. heres my opinion. dont shit on your hands so you can use both your hands. just wondering how did you get shit on your hand if you didnt even wipe yet?
    grab from top with right/left if left handed and use other to stop it so you can rip it off
    btw too runny of poop = you drink too much liquid too dry = too little liquid being drank fiber helps your body clean out your body(fiber is in bread and some other things)
    if ur poor and dont wanna buy lots of tp, TRY… folding 3 squares into 1 and wipe fold in half, fold in half, fold in half unless you have messy poop where it gets EVERYWHERE on the tp, then i guess you just suck

  11. Finally someone puts the world’s white trash in their place. Over is proper and the way that toilet paper was meant to roll. BUT there are, of course, exemptions to this rule for those who wish to child-proof their bathroom. I don’t agree with the cat comments. I had three cats in my first apartment and they were much more likely to engage in paper-play if the roll was hung the wrong way (my roomie insisted, so whoever hung it, got to enjoy the way we thought ‘proper’. Needless to say we no longer live together).

    All this and I’m right-handed. I rarely rip with one hand.. I have no need to do so. Where’s your other hand people? What are you doing with it? I shudder at the thought.

  12. I thought the toilet paper article was interesting but I thought the comments were crude and disgusting.

  13. I mean no offense, but Marissa’s a filthy idiot. We tear with one hand so we don’t spread germs on the unused paper. I shudder at the thought of morons like Marissa fondling the roll between wipes.

  14. My gf and I have had this argument for years. Under is the proper way, she begs to differ. So I went to the local store and bought a vertical paper towel holder. I used a hair dryer to loosen the glue, pulled the dowel out, cut it down at the base and reglued it to the base…then I used a small piece of double sided tape and stuck that sucker on the back of the bowl and we havent had the argument since, it also keeps the kids and cats away from the paper. I sell these locally at flea markets now and they’ve helped a few people solve this problem. UNDER? OVER? NO NO NO….VERTICAL!

  15. This is BS! I dont understand what the Big difference is. Yesm there may be two different ways to tear of tp, butin the end it does what its suppose to do! GROW UP!

  16. This article make me laugh but it is really helpful. I never thought that their is really right and wrong how to handle and tear tp. But I think i’ll consider doing it good to save more.

  17. This rocks! I’m printing it off and hanging it in our bathroom at work! Over hangers rule!! :)

  18. I think this was a great and FUN article. Good grief people lighten up. I’m still gonna print this off and hang it in our bathroom at work. I’m definitely out numbered by those underhangers!

  19. My bathroom doesn’t have a TP holder….I just set it on the counter. Wonder which way I should pick it up to start a section? Oh dear! When I did have a holder it always went over in MY house, & when it didn’t, it got changed!

  20. Over rollers rule! It’s the only civilized way to roll. All you underrollers must be trailer park trash!

  21. I always do and did under. My mom’s cat would unravel an entire roll of toilet paper if you did over. Soooo, I stopped and just stuck with it. Though honestly I don’t care that much. I definitely wouldn’t change how another person hangs their toilet paper behind their back. That’s just kind of weird.

  22. Under is vastly superior for one-handed tear method, aesthetic appearance and child-proofing. End. Of. Story. The fact that one ill-informed blogger with way too much time on his hands prefers over should tell you everything you need to know.

  23. I agree with the under users. The over is too aggressive, like the toilet paper is shoving itself right up in your face. “HEY!” it says. “Use me! NOW!” That’s rude.

  24. All under-roller should go south of the equator to match the water that swirls the other way… :-P lol.

  25. I know when I wake up in the middle of the night half asleep or when I’m drunk, I spend at least 5 minutes trying to find the end to the toilet paper roll when positioned under. I cry a little out of frustration and then I take the roll off and switch it over. Bada-bing! Done in .5 seconds. Over…all the way. All the under users can suck it.

  26. This is all a conspiracy by the T.P. industry to get us to use more toilet paper and thus buy more from them.
    With our new modern day TP it is thick and strong enough (unless you buy the cheap sh*t, haha) so that it doesn’t tear easily. Thus, you need some leverage. Option A gives you such a thing. Harnessing the power of “leverage” you can control your point of tearing quite easily.
    Option B will prove to roll out much more TP on average…test it out with some Cottonelle if you don’t believe me. That’s my favorite brand by the way, the kind with the lotion makes my bum oh so soft :)


  27. OVER! I guess none of you have went to a public bathroom and experienced the issue of trying to grab paper out of those dispensers. The paper is usually thin and sticks, which makes it hard to get off the roll at times. So if it is under then you only have your thumbnail to scrape at the fine line of paper, which is rather difficult to do vs. using your 4 fingernails to scrape the toilet paper loose from the roll. Also you usually have the dispenser blocking most of the area for grasp, so unless you really bend over and shove your hand in there then you won’t be able to get any paper out if it is under.

  28. Over, Under, and Vertical are all wrong. Wipe with your hands, wash them with soap and water, and use the T.P. to dry them – pulling diagonally from a ceiling mounted fan.

  29. We have a frequent guest at our house who changes our TP from over to under when we are not looking. I need to know if I can copy and post this scientific article in our bathroom for her to see or is ir protecected by copyright? At the risk of being serious I would like to point out that if the paper is decorated with printing or embossing it must go over to see the decoration.

  30. Nice explanation and correct. I hate it when others in the house put it the wrong way round on the spool! So I got one clean hand and one with shit on it so I have to wipe the shitty hand on the roll before breking some tissue off with the clean hand and I always end up with 2 poop covered hands! Sometimes the wall gets it too. Why can’t people just hang it right???

  31. There is no right or wrong way! People are different and they do things differently and this is one of those things….and if anyone thinks that this is really an important issue, well, maybe you should take a look around you to the world you live in…hopefully you will forget about the way you hang your tp.

  32. Over is the correct way, not to mention proper etiquette. I have 2 cats and believe it or not, they can be trained to leave it alone! I’ve never had a problem w/ my cats and the TP. Under makes no sense to me… you have to search for it, it sticks to the wall, it doesn’t roll as easily (because it was designed to rollover as all things that roll are designed for, hence the word rollover), and it just looks tacky. This article is spot on!!!

  33. I like to mix it up… one day over, the next day under…

    Oh, it’s such a hoot, and always a delight, as you’ll never know what you’re going to get.

    Somtimes I like to hide the toilet paper too.

    Gosh we have such fun sometimes.

  34. THANK YOU!! More people in the world need to be educated on this subject. The under roll is ALWAYS wrong. People need to realized there is only one way of the paper, and that is the over roll!! Why are you all trying to PUSH the toilet paper ROLL?! You need to ROLL it towards you, not PUSH it away!
    …also and how in the hell does the under roll prevent toddlers and cats from pulling out all the paper? If my toddler couldn’t pull a piece of toilet paper down, or push the roll forward…then I would be very very worried about my child’s intelligence.

  35. Truly, as embarrassing as it is to have to break this down (the rightness of over) for those who don’t have the natural-born ability to grasp the intricasies, thank god someone finally did it!

  36. As an “over” advocate, I hate it when I sit down and spin the roll towards me, only to see the end of an under-loaded roll flap past my hand several times.

  37. What is with all the parents whose toddlers have unfettered access to the toilet paper roll???

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *