What is the orange peel theory? TikTok trend which can test if your love or friendships are real

A new test – gone viral on TikTok – claims to know how to test your closest relationships

The orange peel theory has become the new TikTok trend for testing your relationships
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ready to peel back the surface and see if your relationship is built to last? Then peel back an orange.

Confused? Likely. But it’s part of yet another fascinating concept which has gone viral on TikTok, after they convinced us there was a way we could easily clean mirrors using a shopping bag or made lives easier with a clever TK Maxx sizing hack.

So, where exactly do oranges come into it? Sure, we love vitamin C in our skincare serums and tucking into an orange or two in winter might help fend off the colds, but what does the fruit have to do with healthy relationships?

Want to test your relationship? See if your partner will peel your orange.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Orange Peel Theory explained

The orange peel theory is a new twist on an old classic – looking at how thoughtful acts of service from your partner can indicate that the relationship is true love.

The theory – which has dominated the social media platform over the past few days with over 33M searches, and counting - says that if your partner peels your orange for you without having to be asked, it’s a sign that the partner truly loves and cares for you. 

And it doesn’t exclusively start and end at peeling oranges.



♬ We'll Never Have Sex - Leith Ross

A partner who does those extra little things to make your life easier or your day a little brighter - like preparing you a cup of tea without asking or spontaneously buying you a favourite treat - is exhibiting the kind of behaviour that the orange peel theory approves.

It’s all about doing something for the other just because they can, and want to, not because they feel obligated to do so.

The theory caught fire after TikTok user @NeaNotMia shared a video explaining the thought process behind it, alluding to someone doing the little things for you that they know would make your day better. 

For example, maybe you love eating oranges but hate getting the peel under your freshly manicured nails? If your partner knows this, they'll peel it for you. Simple!

Many comments and videos began to support the notion – and suggested that it doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. 

“Their response is indicative of much bigger things than just merely peeling an orange,” said TikTok user Anna Birmingham in a post about the trend. “Even a super tiny thing like that reveals so much about their attitude towards you and your relationship.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.