Judge John Hodgman Episode 20: An Appeel-ate Decision Case


Friends (and Canadian barristers) Nick and Phil bring this fruit-based case: which gentleman's technique for peeling a banana is correct?

You may view the evidence for this case behind the jump, and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or through this RSS feed.

Nick's Evidence

Exhibit A: A video showing him "opening a banana the correct way and demonstrating the ridiculousness of my friend's method."

Exhibit B: "A screenshot of my friend's Facebook status from 2008 which gave rise to this long standing debate."

Additionally, Nick has submitted and the Judge refers to the video "How to Peel a Banana Like a Monkey."

Phil's Evidence

Exhibits A-D: Phil opens a banana by his own method.


as a Canadian I must say…

there's LOTS of great banana related things to do that don't have to involve peeling them, and maybe we should move on.

e.g. here's another rad, "banana spinning" trick that I'm fairly sure I invented - video link (the trick is to never let it leave your finger, you have to sort of "be" the banana!)

also you can put googly eyes on them and snap pics, like my friend Billy here who's extra special because he's 5x the size of a regular banana:
1) Billy having some of his Canadian pals over to watch the hockey game, eh?

2) Billy keeping in shape

3)Billy: An Interesting Read

niño/mini bananas

"best peeled from the bottom of the banana" http://twitpic.com/5iqwt1

or as they say on the little rascals: "them's ain't babies, them's fidgets!!!"

philistine monkey men

the evolved way to peel a banana is with a shot-gun using your second amendments rights.

Pretty sure this guy used his feet


Which I propose to be the most efficient way to open the banana--the use of all one's appendages!


Clearly the way nature intended bananas to be peeled was from the nub, using the easy pinch method. Think about it this way, if you didn’t have opposable thumbs to hold a banana by its stem you, could pinch a banana open!



I can take a banana out of the bunch and automatically peel it, using only one hand, and it opens from the STEM. That's the way nature intended bananas to be peeled, because you don't even mind doing it, it just does for itself.

The true way to peel

Monkeys or no monkeys I believe the true way to peel a banana is to actually break it in half first and then proceed to peel. It is a) much more fun; and b) allows you to share or save the other half of the banana.


I am so glad that someone brought this up - that's what I was thinking the whole time I was listening. It's so satisfying breaking the banana in half.


one factor that was not taken into consideration was the ripeness of the banana. I prefer my bananas more on the riper side, and it is usually very easy to peel from the stem end. However i know that it is sometimes crazy hard to peel that way and i see the validity of the bud end peeling technique. ripeness matters--and i will forever peel my nonripe bananas from the bud end from now on, but never my ripe bananas, because that is what monkeys do.

Wait Wait Wait!

Motion to A-peal!

Banana Peeling Versatility

As a mother of 2 small children 3 & under I open at least 3 bananas every day. When opening those bananas I use both the stem and nub method. I have bananas mangled when using both methods. I do have more mangled bananas when using the stem end than the nub end of the banans. However, I feel it is important to use both methods interchangeably so that you can open the banana from the opposite side when you inevitably have a banana start to mangle. Either method can mangle a banana - the trick is to use the right method for the banana.

I peel my bananas like a sea monkey

I dispute two of the claims made in this podcast:

  • That this is the first international edition of Judge John Hodgman. The edition which took place in the international waters of the Caribbean (according to the Cartagena Convention) was also international, even if the complainants and defendants were from the USA.
  • That the boat in the Titanic movie is the most realistic computer boat you've ever seen. Would you not consider the ms Eurodam during JoCo Cruise Crazy to be a computer boat? It was at least an internet boat. Also, it felt solid to the touch, which passes the Thomas the Apostle test for reality.

— Angelastic

Ripeness Factor Seconded!

I must respectfully disagree with the findings of his Honor. While the science of the lever is well understood to be of a higher science than pinching and pulling, a lever requires a fulcrum, and this is crucial. The fruit of a banana of sufficient greenness is capable of providing a fulcrum for the stem-lever, this is true. However as the banana sweetens and ripens, this fulcrum erodes more quickly than the peel. So for a banana of sufficient ripeness wherein the peel has not become so brown as to slough off of its own accord, but is still yellow with no trace of green, the risk of bruising the fruit by treating it as a fulcrum increases dramatically. These two banana opening techniques are not at odds with each other, but rather complimentary. The benefit of knowing both and knowing when to apply them will allow one to open a banana whether it be green and going on cereal, or brown and going in the freezer for smoothies.

I thank the court for its time.
Colin Sheaff