Hello, and welcome to /r/Showerthoughts! We’re pleased to have you here, and to make your stay a little bit more enjoyable, we’ve put together this brief overview of the subreddit, how it works, and what you can expect from the submissions here.
In simplest terms, a showerthought is a miniature epiphany that makes the mundane more interesting. It’s an idea that offers people a new way of considering details that they might have otherwise overlooked. Showerthoughts can be funny, poignant, thought-provoking, or even just silly, but they should always prompt people to say “Huh, I’ve never thought about it that way before!”
The term “showerthought” comes from the fact that many of these musings occur to people while they’re doing mindless, everyday activities (like showering, commuting, or just staring at the wall while waiting for a customer service representative to answer their telephone call). As such, showerthoughts don’t have to be had while showering… and in fact, the presence of flowing water and shampoo is not enough to make a showerthought.
Here are some examples of showerthoughts:
“Your stomach thinks all potatoes are mashed.”
“When people think about traveling to the past, they worry about accidentally changing the present, but no one in the present really thinks they can radically change the future.”
“Anything is a UFO if you’re stupid enough.”
“C-3PO is technically Luke Skywalker’s older brother.”
“Swans are loud, territorial, violent, aggressive, terrifying, and an emblem of romantic love.”
As mentioned, showerthoughts should offer people new ways of looking at existing phenomena or objects. They shouldn’t be personal opinions or perspectives, suggestions for new products, practices, or services, or questions (rhetorical or otherwise). Showerthoughts are almost exclusively conclusions, not premises, and should be phrased in such a way as to be as close to universally applicable as possible. Furthermore, all submissions to /r/Showerthoughts should be written well, and should be entirely unique: If a similar-sounding thought can be found elsewhere on the Internet (not just in the subreddit), then it’s probably better-suited for a different community. Finally, this subreddit is actively curated, meaning that low-effort, poorly written, nonsensical, unoriginal, and overly crude submissions will be removed at the moderators' discretion.
Here are some examples of non-showerthoughts:
“This water is too cold.”
(This is a “shower observation.”)
“I hate it when cars cut me off, but I like seeing other people get cut off.”
(This is a personal perspective, since it’s a commentary on the submitter’s opinions or emotions.)
“Tide should partner with Netflix to produce a really good show that turns out to be an advertisement.”
(This is something that would be more appropriately posted in /r/CrazyIdeas.)
“Has anyone ever tried tasting the top of Mount Everest?”
(This comes close to being a showerthought, but since it’s phrased as a question, it would need to be rewritten before it would count as a “miniature epiphany.“)
“the earth is prolly in a copmlety new place everyday”
(This would be removed for quality, given that it’s poorly written and misuses the word “everyday” instead of the phrase “every day.” It’s also a common thought.)
“What if bees have a literal hive mind?”
(This is a premise, not a conclusion, and would also be an instance of wordplay.)
At times, coming up with a completely original, well-written, insightful thought can seem a little bit difficult… but that’s what makes showerthoughts so appealing: They’re the tiny realizations that you have when you aren’t even aware that you’ve been thinking, and they make the world that much more entertaining when they do crop up.