The juice box - a generational right of passage, guiding sippers from bottles to the big time. Whether the beverage of choice is fruit punch, apple juice, or a different option that doesn't belong in one of these vessels, almost everybody who was once a kid has consumed from a juice box in their life. But one mystery has eluded purveyors for decades - why the flaps on the top of the box? There has been one consistent theory passed down from parents to kids about the strategic benefit of lifting the hideous flaps before sipping from the straw.

That theory is wrong - there's a different reason for the life hack.

The legend of the juice box flap

Many people heard the same story from their parents when they first started drinking from Juice Boxes. We were told that the flaps had something to do with getting the most liquid out of the awkward-shaped rectangle. If we lifted up the flap, the liquid that always got caught in the corner would be released, free to travel directly through our lips. Something about the aerodynamics of the whole thing?

Frankly, kids will slurp on any tall tale their parents tell them. They don't really have a choice since adults are the gatekeepers of information for the formative years of someone's life. But the juice box theory seemed just plausible enough to be true. After all, there really did seem to be an extra sip of fruit punch every time the flaps went up, right before the whole thing was discarded.

The real reason behind the juice box flap

The flap on the juice box (or carton, depending on where you're from) has nothing to do with squeezing the living daylights out of the package. Children and adults alike should definitely flip it up anyways, though. The real utility is to make it easier to transport the beverage from Point A to Point B.

After the juice box is open, squeezing it while carrying it will result in liquid gushing out of the straw and the opening. Carrying it by the flaps prevents spill because they are separate from the actual package containing the juice.

Juice boxes always seemed like an ideal consumer choice because of the ease of consumption involved.

But for anyone who uses them properly, they're also virtually spill-proof. Honestly, more beverages geared towards adults should be put in these containers.

Until then, the stubborn folk among us will continue to rue their spilled drinks and ignore the life hack, unwilling to improve their lives by simply lifting the flap on the juice box they hold so precious.