Everything About the Orange Peel Theory, a Relationship Test That’s Trending in TikTok


Unveiling the Citrus Secrets: TikTok’s Viral #OrangePeelTheory as the Juicy Litmus Test for Relationship Trust!

Remember the Perilla Leaf Debate that stirred up discourse worldwide in early 2023? Well, couples, here’s another yummy online relationship test for you to sink your teeth (or nails?) into!

For the chronically online individuals (like myself), we would have seen the hashtag #OrangePeelTheory trend making rounds on TikTok.

But for those who are not familiar with this trend, here is the gist of it.

A New and Juicy Way to Understand Your Partner

TikTok user @neanotmia explains it best in a viral video that racked up 203K likes.

@neanotmiaFeelings♬ We’ll Never Have Sex – Leith Ross

 She describes the Orange Peel Theory as a test to discern your partner’s trustworthiness by observing their response when you request a simple task, such as peeling an orange.

“You may enjoy eating an orange, but some people may find peeling an orange to be an unpleasant task,” she said.

Some partners may willingly help you, some may already have the orange peeled and ready for you, while others might express hesitation or outright refusal in doing something that takes seemingly little effort.

User @neanotmia continued, “It might not literally be about peeling the orange. More so, they are asking you for a small favour to see your reaction; to see if later they can ask you for bigger favours, and how are you going to make them feel when they ask you to do that for them.”

On TikTok, videos with the hashtag #OrangePeelTheory features users sharing the ways their partners have ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ this test.

Interestingly, the Orange Peel Theory can also take the form of other simple tasks such as deshelling crabs, cutting up steaks and brushing their partner’s hair.

Basically, if your love language is giving acts of service, you’re pretty much set for an A+.


The hashtag has accumulated a massive total of 24.6 million views today.

Where Did this Theory Sprout From?

Though the exact origin of the Orange Peel Theory is not specific, netizens speculate that it first came about after a TikTok was posted on 4 November 2023 by user @things.i.cant.sen.

The TikTok is a slideshow of a bittersweet text exchange between two ex-lovers, Charlotte and Em, that presumably occurred long after the couple went their separate ways.

Image: TikTok (@things.i.cant.sen)

After briefly reminiscing about their time spent as a couple, Charlotte confesses that they miss the way Em would “peel (their) oranges in the morning” and that they still have yet to learn how to do it for themselves.

To which, Em responded, “You’ll figure it out someday.”

The slideshow concludes on a hopeful note, with Charlotte sending her ex another message an indefinite period following their last exchange: “I peeled my own orange today.”

The TikTok seemingly resonated with many users all over the world, as it has garnered 15 million views and 2.5 million likes.

Is This Theory Fruitful? Relationship Experts Weigh In.

To test the true validity of the Orange Peel Theory, experts were called in to offer their advice.

Max Alley, an online dating coach who runs Match Up Online Dating Coaching in New York City, told Business Insider that he believes the Theory is useful in measuring how strong a relationship is.

He also discloses that partners perform these acts of kindness as it “promotes gross domestic happiness in the relationship.”


Author of Great Myths of Intimate Relationships: Dating, Sex, and Marriage and professor of psychology at Binghamton University, State University of New York Matthew D. Johnson also told Newswise that this Theory is known to relationship scientists as “invisible support.”

He elaborates that it is essential for couples to provide one another with support that is needed or wanted, even when it is done without their partner knowing.

In conclusion, the #OrangePeelTheory serves not only as a playful and relatable trend on TikTok but also as a subtle measure of the trust and dynamics within a relationship.

While the theory may not be a foolproof guide to relationship success, it offers a delightful way for partners to reflect on their dynamics and the unspoken gestures that define their connection. 

(In the meantime, let me just cry in the corner because I don’t have to peel my oranges in the first place…)