Social media unhinged over doors vs. wheels


First there was the ambiguously-colored dress. Then, the famous laurel/yanny soundbite. And now, in perhaps an even more frivolous instance of bizarre internet debates: are there more doors in the world, or wheels?

The question, first posed on Saturday by Twitter user @NewYorkNixon (who, according to his profile, actually lives in New Zealand), has since taken social media by storm. In his poll, team wheels holds a slight majority (53.3 percent) of the nearly quarter million responses. 

But the query has arguably gained the most traction on TikTok, where videos with the hashtag “#doorsvswheels” have collectively garnered over 7.5 million views. Users on both sides of the issue have adopted adamant stances, sometimes even writing out full paragraphs in attempts to sway those undecided. The clown emoji, often used to criticize what someone perceives to be an ignorant take, is out in full force. 

With a dispute on so large of a scale, hundreds of variables are being examined. When door supporters cite massive hotels and apartment buildings as evidence, opponents claim that inside each of those lie hundreds of multi-wheeled office chairs. Proponents of the wheel say that the number of suitcases in the world settles the conversation, those of the door argue that houses full of cabinets even the score. Toy cars have four wheels but no doors, and there are millions of them—but thousands of schools contain hundreds of wheel-less lockers.

For many, the true debate lies not in the sheer number of each, but in how firm the boundaries are as to what constitutes a door or a wheel. Among the objects not conclusively defined: windows, gears, toilet seats, doorknobs, advent calendar flaps, and rolling deodorant sticks. Cars have four wheels and four doors, so they should cancel each other out, right?—unless the glove compartment, trunk, and hood each qualify as an additional door. A few potential guidelines have floated around—doors must swing on hinges and wheels must rotate on axles, for example—but there’s certainly no consensus.

And a lot of people don’t care one way or another: they’re just here for the laughs. One TikTok user joked “There might be more wheels than doors but I find it funny how angry team wheels gets so I’m sticking with doors.” Another side-stepped the question entirely, writing “forget doors and wheels, I’m team screws / You literally can’t have a wheel or a door without them.”

Well it’s unlikely there will ever be a definitive answer, the discussion brings a note of levity to a moment when the world is watching a global superpower launch a full-scale invasion of its neighbor. Even in the midst of such a horrific event, much of humanity has decided to briefly entertain its innate, if sometimes pointless, curiosity. Now, we ask you: are there more doors in the world, or wheels?