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The Way You Hang Your Toilet Paper Says a Lot About Your Personality

Oprah Magazine logo Oprah Magazine 3/20/2019 Brie Schwartz
a close up of a logo: When you hang your toilet paper, are you team under or team over? There's actually a correct way, according to Oprah, and science. Plus, here's what it says about your personality. © Temilolu Oyelola When you hang your toilet paper, are you team under or team over? There's actually a correct way, according to Oprah, and science. Plus, here's what it says about your personality.

Although I tend to be more concerned about my husband remembering to replace the toilet paper than how he puts it on the holder, I'm apparently in the minority. It seems the correct direction to hang toilet paper-over or under-has been hotly contested in American households for decades. And as it turns out, there is a right and wrong way. Just ask Oprah.

An old clip of the former grand dame of daytime recently surfaced, unearthing-yet again-the great toilet paper debate once more. Back in the 80s, the O of O polled her (very) vocal audience, asking whether they preferred when the toilet tissue unwinds over or under the spool. After much clamoring, Oprah declared: "Let me say that I, Oprah Winfrey, am an over girl myself," which was met with wild applause. The talk show host explained, "I prefer it over, because it tears so readily." Champions of team under (which was only 32 percent of the audience) were met with a chorus of boos.

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Of course, what Oprah says goes. But it should be additional comfort for fellow members of team over that the roll was indeed designed to be pulled from above, as clearly stipulated in this patent from 1981.

But also, it's actually even more sanitary to hang the paper over, according to a study conducted by the University of Colorado which identified the 19 strains of bacteria lingering in restrooms. One of the most popular groups? E. coli from, your umm, bottom. And you're most likely to have it on your fingers the moment before you reach for the toilet paper. So if that tissue is hanging under, it's more difficult to get a good clean tear without having to contaminate the rest of the roll while you're fishing for your square. But if it's over, you'll only be touching the part that's about to get flushed. You see? Science!

And now for something a little less, err, scientific. According to relationship expert Gilda Carle, PhD-author of Don't Lie on Your Back for a Guy Who Doesn't Have Yours-your preferred hanging technique also speaks volumes about who you are as a person.

In 2016, Carle conducted a survey of more than 2,000 men and women, aptly called The Toilet Paper Personality Test, which asked folks whether they self-identified as "dominant" or "submissive," and also-you guessed it-how they hang their TP. Everyone who claimed they were dominant also happened to hang their toilet paper over, while people in the submissive camp were unders, Carle told us.

Carle warns that if you have two overs in one household, it can lead to conflict-while with two "submissives," nothing will ever get done. The simplest way to avoid this potential problem? Yup: She suggests asking prospective mates on your first date about their toilet paper predilections.

While I don't see that prompt taking off on Tinder anytime soon, Carle might be onto something. After all, this theory would mean that Oprah's personality is "dominant," which...obviously.

For the record, I polled the OprahMag.com team, and 100% of us were in the over camp. As for my husband? He had no idea what I was talking about. Which is probably a good thing, because there's not enough room in our studio apartment for two dominants--but my baffling question did remind him to stock up on the way home.

RELATED VIDEO: Americans use too much toilet paper and it’s hurting the planet, report says [Provided by Global News]

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