It can be hard for some people to remember what the internet was like in its pre-TikToK era. But thanks to the speed at which trends can be conveyed and adopted on the app, some old nuggets of internet wisdom have been unearthed and given new life there. Case in point: the shower orange.
Eating an orange in the shower is a practice that gained its initial buzz (and support) over on Reddit nearly a decade ago; HuffPost reports that the unusual snack has now found its way to TikTok, where people are raving about the alleged benefits. For anyone who finds these videos on their FYP, keep in mind that this aromatic shower ritual did not come from the self-appointed experts in the TikTok wellness community. It came from ordinary folks who probably spend too much time online.
Where did the Shower Orange trend come from?
Back in 2021, The Takeout stumbled upon a thriving community on Reddit, r/ShowerOrange, which currently stands at 80,000 members. The forum was created in 2015, inspired by a popular comment on an Ask Reddit thread about “unconventional activities” that are underrated.
Within the subreddit, an urban legend also emerged regarding the legality of enjoying an orange in the shower. A Google search with the phrase “illegal shower orange” yields a number of results in which people on the internet quite genuinely ask whether there are laws against eating an orange in the shower. The so-weird-it-might-be-true nature of this query seems to have arisen from an internet black hole, adding to the legend of the shower orange.
Most of the Google results reference a law allegedly passed in 1920s California. The likely fictitious law went into effect because, as likely fictitious sources claim, lawmakers believed the citric acid in the orange would mix with natural bath oils to create a highly explosive concoction in the bathtub pipes. However, none of the Google results are able to link to or cite the actual law itself, so internet pranksters are probably just having some harmless fun.
Why people like eating oranges in the shower
Urban legends aside, there are reasons why 80,000 Reddit users, and now countless more TikTok users, are so eager to enjoy citrus while bathing.
The main appeal (pun always intended) of a shower orange is aromatic: While peeling the fruit in a steamy shower, the citrus scent becomes more pronounced, creating a wonderful sensory experience. Another benefit is that the cleanup is less messy, since all the sticky juice and pulp gets washed away immediately. There’s also a nutritional benefit, given that oranges are filled with vitamin C, though that is true no matter where you decide to eat it.
All of these factors have contributed to TikTok creators’ adoption of shower oranges as a spa-level self-care trend. The ritual of peeling an orange while showering can be a pick-me up in the morning, or just a soothing part of your nightly bathing ritual, they explain, and we all know that people will try anything they see on TikTok.
It’s pretty funny to know that in 2023, so many people have newly embraced a trend popularized by 2015 Reddit, which is pretty much the polar opposite of TikTok’s glamorous “health and wellness” community. But by all means, enjoy a citrus moment the next time you hop in the shower—because no matter where it comes from, it’s a weird little ritual that makes people happy. Just like shower beer.