How Do You Peel A Banana?

Laura’s Team Pick:

This week, bananas turned my world was turned upside. See, I’ve always peeled them from the stem bit down to the stump thing. Basing my logic on every picture I’ve ever seen of a banana and the orientation of Chiquita’s stickers, I was going from the top to the bottom.

Sometimes I move these guys around so I get the sticker I want on the banana I want.

Here’s the thing though: The stem is not actually the top of the banana! Bananas grow upside down! Bananas are just as confused as you about what it means to be a top or a bottom!

Holy smokes

But that’s not all. It turns out I’ve been peeling bananas wrong for over 22 years!

This guy polled all his friends and came up with a list of pros and cons for both banana peeling methods. The debate looks more or less like this:

People who peel bananas starting from the stump thing: Monkeys peel their bananas this way. Therefore it must be right.

People who peel bananas starting from the stem: Give me a break, monkeys peel their banans however they damn well please. Anyway, when you peel a banana from the stump part they’re usually bruised.

People who peel bananas starting from the stump thing: “Well, the reason they’re bruised at the bottom is that we’re a top-centric society. When we stock bananas at the market, or select them as consumers, we handle them from the top and plunk them down on their bottoms.

Bananas are so queer that society can’t even handle them.

the moon is not only beautiful, it is so far away

How do you peel your bananas?

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. i peel from the stem as well. it doesn’t always work out and the top gets mushed. definitely trying the other way! the monkey way looks cool

  2. I’m the banana form of ambidextrous. I just go whichever way I feel is more adventurous that day.

  3. I have always peeled bananas from the stump thing. When I show pepper how to do this it blows their minds. My mom is from Trinidad so I jokingly pretend this is some sort of secret magical Caribbean knowledge I have. :)

  4. I feel silly. Seriously.

    It’s just another one of those ‘I never realised untill I realised and now I feel stupid’-things. Like, how the petrol station Q8 stands for Kuwait, and the fact that the sign on the German motor ways that says ‘Ausfahrt’ does not refer to a city called Ausfahrt, but that it’s in fact the German word for ‘exit’.

    I can go on.

      • Or that “ellameno” was not one letter of the alphabet. I also used to think that when people exclaimed “Merciful hour!” that they were talking about some girl called Mercy Flower.

      • So I totally thought “donserly” was a word until I read this post.

        Autostraddle teaches me new things everyday (even if I should have learned them in elementary school).

    • Last year I discovered that the flap on toilet seat covers goes in the front (and not in the back like I had been doing my entire life). No wonder they never seemed to fit right . . . I can’t believe it took me 24 years to try something crazy like putting a toilet seat cover on the “wrong” way.

      • I changed my wife’s life when i told her u don’t have to pull set co ers apart before you use them- just sit on them and they open. She was amazed!

  5. As a barista who has to peel bananas all the time to make smoothies, I think this just revolutionized my life.

  6. I’ve always done it the way the guy in the video did it. I’ve also seen some wacky people break the banana in half (think karate chop) and squeeze from both ends. Very weird.

  7. I thought this was common knowledge ._. I always open them up from the stump, but I always make a cut with my nail instead of squeezing it.

  8. If you peel it from the stump, you can push your finger into the middle, and it will separate into 3 perfect segments. It’s pretty much magic :D

  9. …I have to get a knife and actually cut bananas open because I can never peel them properly…

  10. Best part about the monkey method is if the seed of the banana grosses you out, it’s super-easy to peel away the seed along with the peel. Yeah! Get outta here, seed!

  11. I peel from the bottom after being in Brazil, where everyone peels from the bottom. It’s often easier, and you can hold it better.

  12. One of my undergrads taught me this method this summer and it’s genius. I usually forget, but when I remember…IT’S AWESOME.

  13. Banana’s grow upside down. Or we view them upside down rather. Oh god. Why didn’t anyone tell me?


  14. thought #1: everything is gay
    thought #2: why am i imaging that the singing banana in the last pic is yodeling
    thought #3: that guy’s wardrobe stylist killed it

  15. I watched that video and started peeling from the stump a while ago, but now I realize that I don’t want to eat that weird little blackish bit at the end. Also, if you squeeze it to break the peel open, you squish banana and it might get on your fingers.

    Oh fuck it, what I am doing on the internet having a serious discussion about HOW TO PEEL BANANAS for fuck’s sake?! I’M A LESBIAN, THIS ISN’T EVEN AN EUPHEMISM ABOUT GAY SEX.

  16. I’m living in a country where bananas literally grow on trees, so we’re like, professional banana peelers, I guess? Most of the bananas I buy in the market really make this point completely moot, because when we snap them off of the bunch, the whole stem bit breaks away, so it’s already open and ready to peel.

    I guess what I’m saying is . . . first world problems?

    (JUST KIDDING, I have fresh, local avocados and mangoes and you (probably) don’t! I win the fruit game!)

    • my girlfriend did this for years. she is neither barbaric nor butch. granted, it was kind of an adolescent phase, but it was funny while it lasted.

      also, you can be barbaric and/or butch if you want to!

  17. I don’t like opening them like a monkey because there’s always that weird barb bit that’s hard to take out. It’s easier to take out if you peel it from the stem.

  18. I don’t know how i can go on living in a society that is so careless of bananas’ personal peeling orientation.

  19. My brother told me this a few months ago but since he’s a hipster I disregarded it and have continued to open it from the stem.

  20. I learned the monkey method from a teacher at my elementary school when I was very small (7 at the oldest). Some of us were having trouble with bananas, and she came over and made monkey noises and showed us the stump-pinching thing.

    Another teacher, or possibly the same one, soothed a kindergartener who was upset and missed/wanted her mom by pretending a banana was a phone and she could talk to her mom on it.

    I love my elementary school. And its teachers.

  21. I’ve been peeling my bananas like a monkey for the past three years ever since my friend Brennan told me thats how they do it at Starbucks, where he used to work.

  22. i squish them and pop out the mushy stuff from the middle and rip it apart and lick up the rest.


  23. Caribbean folks peel bananas from the “stump” end all the time, so this was no revelation to me. You peel the banana completely, and remove the whole fruit before taking a bite. But for Caribbean guys, a bit of homophobia comes into play: after peeling the banana, they break the fruit in half before taking a bite, ‘cuz it’d just be a little too, like, gay, to have a phallic-like object in their mouth.

  24. I’ve been doing it the monkey way for about a year now. But sometimes I forget and I peel it from the stem bit.

  25. I have battled with bananas so many times trying to open them from the stem…never again will the banana win.

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