Why did people throw toilet paper and later marshmellows

Submitted by SalvatoreQuattro on July 16th, 2015 at 6:54 PM

onto the field in the 80's and 90's? Could some UM grads of that era give us some insight into why? I've always wondered why people did that.



July 16th, 2015 at 6:58 PM ^

80's checking in, TP was more of a late 70's early 80's thing.  Marshmallows didn't happen until after I graduated.

I think people threw the TP because it looked cool, like a bunch of party streamers.  Pretty harmless if you ask me, although did make a bit of pulpy paper mess.


July 16th, 2015 at 7:42 PM ^

the toilet paper throwing around 87-88. Used to throw it after the first Michigan score of the game. Took to long to clean up all that toilet paper off the field before the game could resume. On game week, the dorms used to stop handing out rolls of TP on Wednesdays to try and combat this. So we used to load up for the games on Tuesdays. Duh........

Hail Harbo

July 16th, 2015 at 8:24 PM ^

to state when it started, but I can say that it was all the rage during the late '60s.  Although, as I recall most of it never made it to the field.  The blowing of confetti into the bowl as the band and then the team came onto the field was also something to experience.


July 16th, 2015 at 9:03 PM ^

Went to my first game as a kid in the '60's and TP throwing definitely was popular then through to when I was there in the late '70's and early '80's. The goal was to throw it so the paper would stream out in long banners and get caught in the nets raised behind the goalposts for FGs and PATs. Rather pretty.

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the real hail_yes

July 16th, 2015 at 9:10 PM ^

Oh man, I went to my first game in the early nineties, I was probably 10 or 11, and got my hands on a marshmallow that I hurled at the field... made it into a tube from the Michigan band. I felt bad about that, but later in the game I got beamed in the head by a pizza box-frisbee, so I guess it all evens out.

Great fun though!


July 16th, 2015 at 7:08 PM ^

kids were generally drunk, happy watching a team that won most of the time, were in college & because. So, I guess it's just because. I don't think there is a legit story behind the reasoning but I could be wrong.

Mabel Pines

July 16th, 2015 at 7:32 PM ^

into the stadium fairly easily.    Marshmallows stopped being fun when people froze them the night before.  Also, no phones or wifi.  You kind of just stood there and talked to each other.  No selfies.  Imagine that!  Good times. 


July 16th, 2015 at 7:52 PM ^

I'm just old enough to remember being a kid and seeing students do all of that and (I'm not kidding) sneaking in a pony keg. I was maybe 9 but I vividly remember seeing that and others with booze bottles in and around the student section. I remember the mallows but not frozen ones lol. I remember tp and it being tossed everywhere and people with huge UM flags! I remember flags so big and tall that it took about 5+ to keep it up and wave it. The stadium just feels so sterile compared to when I was a kid. I couldn't imagine having been a student in those times.


July 16th, 2015 at 10:12 PM ^

was really a problem. I got hit with an ice cube once when some drunk fool ran out of pizza boxes. Fortunately, most students weren't interested in hurting others and many times would turn on the thrower chanting *sshole and pointing until the ushers escorted said individual out. This was the remedy for the aforementioned drunk fool.

On the other hand, a properly toasted marshmallow from a Bic lighter would do wonders to opposing team's mascots and cheerleaders. A big sticky gooey hard-to-clean mess. Yes, it was a really dumb thing to do and was rightfully banned.


July 16th, 2015 at 7:12 PM ^

TP = poor man's streamers used for celebrating TD's.

Marshmellows: no idea how that started but for my part I really hated it.

Students throwing single marshmellows at each other...whatever. However it eventually escalated to whole bags mashed into gloppy messes and flung from the upper to the lower reaches of the student section. A friend of mine was sitting next to me around row 20 when one of these bombs landed on his back. He was a very calm, even-keeled person and he was ready to kill someone.

Given that you refer to that tradition in the past tense I assume it no longer happens (haven't been to a game in 20+ years). If so, rest assured you are definitely not missing out on a thing. 



July 16th, 2015 at 7:25 PM ^

The toilet paper looked kind of cool, which was basically for celebrating touchdowns. 

It's surprising how many years the students were allowed to do that considering every time it got on the field, the PAT's were delayed several minutes so it could be cleaned up.


July 16th, 2015 at 7:26 PM ^

The marshmallows were awesome, but some people went too far (ie. coins in the marshmallows), and they would eventually glomm together into a disgusting mush, but they were soft and when there are hundreds of marshmallows flying around the student section, it looks pretty amazing. It's hard to not get fired up at a Michigan game, but the marshmallows made it even crazier. Plus, I think this might have been popular beyond Michigan.


July 16th, 2015 at 8:40 PM ^

I missed Sparty's head by inches when I threw it back.

I was there during the TP era and liked it.  My memory is foggy about marshmallow; I remember throwing them but think it must have been post grad.  It was fun because they were soft and everyone was pelting each other.  Never got hit with a frozen one!

We used to get a jug of apple cider and fifth of rum on the way to the game.  The guy at the gate throught we were brining in local cider... good times!

Toasted Yosties

July 16th, 2015 at 7:26 PM ^

But I vaguely remember attending a game when I was a kid (late 80s/early 90s) and watching the students construct a dummy piece-by-piece, donning it with the visiting teams jersey. They then passed it up the stands and tossed it over the top of the stadium to massive cheers. Can anyone validate this memory, or am I just crazy?


July 16th, 2015 at 9:09 PM ^

Passing girls up overhead in the stands was most definitely a tradition. When they reached the top, sometimes the students would pretend to toss them over the top and toss over a blow up doll instead. Some girls wanted to get passed up. Many hated it -- impossible to get put down after it started and many jerks took the opportunity for major groping. Ann Arbor eventually passed a law making it a sexual assault charge.

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Jack Hammer

July 16th, 2015 at 7:28 PM ^

Early 90's:  In addition to marshmallows, we also threw pizza boxes like giant corrugated Chinese stars.  I did it beause I liked throwing harmless things randomly into crowds to see how far I could throw it, see if it hits someone, and watch their reaction.  I wasn't very smart.

Probably less harmless were the snowball fights between West Quad and South Quad.  I chucked an ice ball at South Quad and recall seeing some poor unsuspecting kid walk out the front door and take it in the forehead.  He went down like Willem Dafoe in Platoon.

And don't get me started on the piss filled balloons our friends at Sigma Chi used to chuck at random passer-bys.

Just seemed like in the early 90's students liked throwing things at each other. 


July 16th, 2015 at 9:54 PM ^

The one year I had season tickets, it snowed just before tosu came to town. My friend and I found fluffy piles of ammunition waiting for us when we got to our seats. I waited until before the game when the Buckeye band passed by the student section, then fired a high hard one right at the friggin' I-dotting tuba player. And I had him ... until some damned flute player saw it coming and knocked it harmlessly to the ground.


Roy G. Biv

July 16th, 2015 at 7:31 PM ^

Throwing marshmallows was fun.  TV cameramen must have hated being in the NW corner of the stadium--they took a constant barrage.  My best marshmallow moment was hitting Gary Lewis square on the forehead.  Sat in the first row behind the band.  He never saw it coming and was none too pleased.  Experienced sousaphone players from other schools learned to walk with the bell of their horns facing down.  I heard the marshmallow thing went south when some people started soaking and sticking them together, allowing them to harden into bricks, and throw them in the stadium.

Similarly, tearing the top off of the pizza boxes and throwing them like frisbees was fun too.  You could get great distance from one of those.

Eat Your Wheatlies

July 16th, 2015 at 7:49 PM ^

And not at a UM game, but my freshman year at the University of Toledo I caught a ball at the end of halftime when the opposing kicker was warming up. Initially, I wanted to keep it, but a ball boy started running up the stairs toward me and I panicked. I chucked the ball toward the field from about 40 rows up and smoked Rocky, Toledo's mascot, square in the junk. He keeled over into a ball, as he never saw it coming. It was quite hilarious.