Toilet Paper Debate Reveals a Great Underclass


Professor Toilet tries to avoid controversy, but this must be said. There are two Americas.

The 60 to 75 percent who say that toilet paper should be over.

And the 25 to 40 percent who believe, who truly believe, that toilet paper should be under, a.k.a. The Underclass.

Tearing at the very two-ply of our nation, the toilet paper under vs. over debate even has its own Wikipedia entry, “Toilet paper orientation,” which fills more than 23 typed pages with more than 9,000 words, 129 notes and 119 references.

Toilet Paper Under Over: An Historical Perspective

There was a time in our history when people weren’t torn asunder by over/under. Toilet paper didn’t exist. So that was easy.

The founding fathers’ original intent was clearly for us to be a toilet-paper-over nation.

The first mention of toilet paper on broadcast television is said to be about the toilet paper under over issue. It’s credited to All in the Family’s Archie Bunker yelling at Meathead for…can you guess? Under, of course.

Another member of the underclass was Ann Landers, who came out and declared her toilet paper orientation to be under. She later said it generated more letters than anything else in the 31 years of her column.

It’s polarizing.

American Standard put the squeeze to the issue twice: first in 1993, with an advertisement and survey conducted at that year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. “Over” won. Our 2008 Bathroom Habits survey reaffirmed the overwhelming preference for “over” with 75 percent of respondents clearly standing up to the Underclass.

Soothing a Nation’s Rift with Quilted Softness

But being America, the Professor is proud to say that for every polarizing issue, there’s always something we can find that unites us. In the case of toilet paper, we can all agree on incredible resentment for the jerks who leave an empty roll.




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