Are People Really Putting Toilet Paper Rolls Under Toilet Seats? A Fact Check

Let's fact-check this strange suggestion.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

May 8 2024, Published 2:56 p.m. ET

Toilet paper roll under seat
Source: tuckerpete/X

An ad suggesting that people put an empty roll of toilet paper under the toilet seat before they go to bed at night has been gaining attention on the internet, thanks to an amusing headline that seems to indicate that it could provide some sort of benefit for those midnight bathroom runs. Curious folks who have clicked the link may be left with more questions than answers since there doesn't seem to be a clear explanation as to why people should do this.

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While many people are taking to social media to call out this clickbait suggestion, at least one person thinks they know why you may want to do this in certain situations. Take a look at what fact-checkers have said about this ad and when you should put a toilet paper roll under your toilet seat.

Toilet paper roll under toilet seat
Source: tuckerpete/X
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Why put a toilet paper roll under seat? We're fact-checking this "hack."

According to the fact-checking website Snopes, this so-called hack has been floating around since 2021, when it popped up online in multiple places, including on the New York Post's website. The photo accompanying the ad showed an empty cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper, and the headline announced that tucking one under your toilet seat each night was an absolute must.

Multiple websites ran variations of the ad, which was sponsored by and Maternity Week websites. When people clicked the link, which Snopes says opened into a massive slideshow, the reasoning behind the suggestion was never revealed. Instead, a different toilet paper roll hack was added, and it involved a vacuum, not a toilet.

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The clickbait title seemed designed to draw people in and get them to click on the ads, which often contained other similarly unusual household suggestions. As near as anyone can tell, there is no legitimate reason to put an empty roll of toilet paper under your toilet seat each night. The only thing that came close to the suggestion was one from a reader who wrote to Snopes after they investigated the ad.

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The reader claimed that it might be a good idea to put an empty roll of toilet paper under the seat in a public bathroom if you wanted to signal to the person behind you that the stall was out of toilet paper.

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Why put a red cup under the toilet seat at night? Another similar suggestion also gets debunked.

You may have seen a variation of this suggestion, which substitutes a red solo cup for the empty roll, but that appears to be another bit of advice that doesn't show any real benefit when put to the test.

I decided to do a quick fact-check about the red cup, and I scoured the internet for possible answers. Much like the original suggestion, I discovered a bunch of responses from people on Reddit saying that this version of the toilet paper is just more unfounded clickbait.

While it may be disappointing to learn that this "hack" is actually a bust, it's good to finally have an answer about that peculiar ad that has been circulating the internet for so long.

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