What Exactly Does An Upside Down Pineapple Mean?

What does an upside down pineapple mean?
What does an upside down pineapple mean?

You might be shocked to learn that pineapples aren’t just a sweet tropical fruit.

The upside-down pineapple symbol is sometimes used as a secret code by swingers searching for a swinger party on their cruise ship (and it may be more obvious than you think – ever seen an upside down pineapple pin?)

Read on and let’s find out how this all came about and the hidden secrets of this juicy fruit and exactly what does an upside down pineapple mean?


We’ve researched the history, origin, and uses of the upside-down pineapple and other symbols associated with the swinging community.

Our information comes from swinger’s forums, research articles, and personal accounts of encounters with swingers.

Swinging, also called partner swapping or wife swapping involves couples in a committed relationship seeking out a third party to engage in certain ‘bedroom’ activities. The third-party can be in the form of another couple or a single person. 

The association between upside-down pineapples and swingers has become an open secret online, with several sources warning unsuspecting parties about the symbol’s meaning.

The humble pineapple fruit
The humble pineapple fruit

There’s even upside-down pineapple swinger merch on Amazon. 

While there are cruises specifically for people who are swingers, it’s not uncommon for them to seek out partners on regular cruises. The symbolism will go over most couples’ heads, but they wear their pineapple upside down in hopes of finding couples who know the meaning of the upside-down pineapple meaning.

This article teaches you everything you need to know about the upside-down pineapple meaning. We will tell you the upside-down pineapple symbol’s meanings, origins, and implications.

Also read: How Fast Do Cruise Ships Go?

What Does It Mean To See a Pineapple Upside down on a Cruise? 

There are several meanings associated with upside-down pineapples. Here are some of the things that the upside pineapple means.

For some pineapple-swinging couples, it’s a way of broadcasting that they’re interested in swinging. They may place a pineapple decor piece upside down on the door of their room to indicate a swinging party occurring inside their room, or couples may wear pineapple clothing to indicate that they’re looking for a third.

Pineapples on cruise ship cabin doors
Pineapples on cruise ship cabin doors

Apart from this adult pineapple meaning, The things an upside-down pineapple means are also associated with several other things. An upside-down pineapple often gets used as a symbol of good fortune.

Pineapples were also once a symbol of wealth because the elite could only buy real pineapples. People tied the upside-down pineapple to royalty in the past because they were the only persons allowed upside-down fruit. 

Now, upside-down pineapple decor means that someone welcomes you to their home. 

Can You Tell Me the Origin of Upside Down Pineapple?

We can’t tell you the exact origin of the upside-down pineapple becoming a secret symbol for swingers. Still, we can give you a history lesson on its usage, both as an identifier for discrete swinger parties and in pop culture. 

There’s some debate about if people first used the upside-down pineapples in Europe or Hawaii. Still, it’s agreed that it initially got used as a symbol of hospitality in both cases. 

Pineapples are the national fruit of Hawaii. The recipe for pineapple upside-down cake originated there, so the pineapple fruit, upside down or upright, will always be associated with Hawaiian hospitality.

Pineapple upside down cake
Pineapple upside down cake

The pineapple meaning that ties the upside-down pineapple to hospitality is one of the reasons the upside-down pineapple was selected as the secret symbol for persons interested in wife swapping. Swingers need to be friendly and accommodating enough to let other people in their relationship.

Another reason swingers chose pineapples is that they tend to be associated with a tropical environment connected to freedom.

Originally, swingers placed an upside-down pineapple in their grocery trolleys to search for other swingers. This story caused pineapples to become associated with swinging in the mainstream.

The next, more legitimate step in connecting the pineapple fruit and swinging is that swingers began placing an upside-down pineapple on their mailboxes to show that a swinger’s party was occurring in that house.

The idea that a pineapple upside-down meant eventually swinging reached cruise ships—couples who wanted to engage in partner swapping put upside down pineapple signs on their doors or hung them from handles.

The symbol was an indication to other swingers who knew the upside-down pineapple meant that the couple in that room was also a swinger, and they were looking for some fun. Just knock!

The first use of the upside-down pineapple online was in 2006 on Urban Dictionary, and the first time it was defined as being a symbol for a swinger was in 2017. We can reasonably assume that the upside-down pineapple started being associated with cruise ships in 2008 because the first swinger’s cruise occurred.

Many people currently speak about how swingers use upside-down pineapple symbols on sites such as TikTok, so it’s likely that the pineapple will evolve from a discrete symbol to common knowledge.

Is the Upside Down Pineapple Symbol a Common Sight on a Cruise Ship?

You may notice pineapple-inspired decor while you’re on your cruise, especially on a typical cruise. In most cases, these pineapples are placed based on the other meanings of the pineapple.

Upside down pineapples used as a code amongst swingers becomes even rarer as cruises and events specifically for swingers continue. So if you’re on a regular cruise, you’re more likely to encounter pineapple upside-down cake than couples seeking a good time.

Two pineapples enjoying some beach time
Two pineapples enjoying some beach time

There are swinger dating sites available, so several swingers opt to search for other pineapple couples on those sites instead of wearing an upside-down pineapple too.

There’s no reason to be wary of everyone wearing pineapple print regardless because Hawaiian prints are a vacation staple that often features the fruit.

How Will I Spot a Swinger on a Cruise Ship?

Whilst they won’t be obvious and start telling everyone in the open that they are a cruise ship swinger, they may have hidden little signs which you should look out for!

These may include:

  • Wearing pineapple clothing
  • A pineapple tattoo
  • Upside down pineapple badge
  • Upside down pineapple pin
  • Upside down pineapple on a cabin door
  • A thumb ring
  • or… a toe ring!

Whilst it is unlikely you’ll find a swinger wearing multiple versions of the above, you may just spot a thumb ring or toe ring when in a hot tub – but don’t be alarmed, it doesn’t always mean they are a swinger! However, if they have a huge pineapple tattoo as well, you may be right in thinking they like to participate in cruise ship swinging!

Also read: 68 Memorable Sea Quotes For Ocean Lovers (2022)

Does Clothing With Pineapple on It Automatically Identify Someone as a Swinger?

The answer to this question is a strong no. Our research revealed that while some swingers use the upside-down pineapple symbol to indicate that they’re seeking a swinger party, that’s not always the case.

While we were in the swingers’ forums, we learned that while there are people who wear upside down pineapple clothing to send a message, others don’t, and some don’t even identify with the upside down pineapple meaning.

Another thing to consider is that most couples in the United States aren’t interested in swinging. 

Two girls, with one sporting a pineapple outfit
Two girls, with one sporting a pineapple outfit

There isn’t much research. From what we found, statistically, the number of couples in the United States who have participated in swinging falls between 4%- 10%.

That is a relatively small amount, and fruit print clothing is an annual summer trend that should be considered too.

It’s statistically unlikely that everyone you see wearing pineapple print clothing will be a swinger.

If you’re on a cruise ship specifically for swingers to search for like-minded people, it’s fair, but seeing pineapples upside down will most likely mean nothing if you stick to a typical cruise ship.

Assuming that persons are interested in swinging because they’re wearing clothing with an upside-down pineapple can place you in some very awkward situations. 

Should I Avoid Wearing Clothes With Pineapple Printed on Them?

We understand why you would feel uncomfortable if you weren’t interested in the swinging lifestyle. The idea that you might seem like someone seeking out a swinger’s party while trying to enjoy your cruise can be daunting. 

A user on TikTok called Linjeanw shared her story where she and her husband were mistaken as swingers after wearing matching pineapple bathing suits. Several persons chimed in to share their own stories in the comment section. 

Similarly, there are stories from Redditors who knew the upside-down pineapple meaning who said that couples were extremely friendly to them when they wore a pineapple shirt on their cruise ship.

What Exactly Does An Upside Down Pineapple Mean?
What Exactly Does An Upside Down Pineapple Mean?

These encounters have the potential to be awkward, but there’s no reason for you to avoid wearing your favorite pineapple shirt. The upside-down pineapple is used as a secret code, but that’s not its only purpose.

Swingers won’t automatically assume that everyone wearing the fruit is a swinger looking for adult fun. Subtly is a cornerstone of the swinger lifestyle, so in most cases, they will leave you alone when they realize you don’t want to be a part of a swinger’s party,

They are also well-versed in noticing when people know what the upside-down pineapple means.

Pineapples are only associated with swinging when they’re upside down, so if the symbols on your pineapple shirt are upright, you have nothing to fear. They are also a trendy pattern, so there’s no reason to feel uncomfortable, even if your pineapples are upside down.

Is There Any Other Symbol Used To Identify Swingers?

The upside-down pineapple symbol isn’t the only way swingers identify each other.

Some of the several other symbols and items are signs that someone is a part of the swinging lifestyle.

Here are some other symbols used by couples who swing to identify each other, on and off the cruise ship. 

A Black Ring 

When someone is wearing a black ring on any finger on their right hand, minus the middle finger, it could symbolize a swinger seeking to find a partner among their fellow cruisers. Still, it generally means that the wearer is a swinger looking to have a conversation. 


The term unicorn refers to a single woman, generally, one who identifies as bisexual, who both persons in a relationship find attractive, and who’s also interested in having some adult fun with said couple. 

The name comes from finding this woman is as rare as finding a unicorn. Unicorns may identify themselves with unicorn clothing and accessories. 

You’re unlikely to interact with any unicorns on your cruise ship.

Garden Gnomes

Garden gnomes are considered quirky pieces of lawn décor, but in some cases, it could mean that your neighbors are sending a signal that they would like to swap partners. 

We can say that upside down pineapples mean that the couple you’re interacting with could be swingers based on research. The same can’t be said for garden gnomes, as they are extremely common.

However, you won’t find many of those on a cruise ship!

Pampas Grass

Pampas Grass is currently Instagram’s aesthetic obsession, but it’s more than a pretty plant. Pampas grass’s connection with swinging goes back to the 1970s. Swingers used to grow them on their porch to indicate that they were a part of the community. 

Much like what’s happening with the upside down pineapple now, news about this symbol became common knowledge.

People who weren’t swingers stopped purchasing the plant, and persons who were swingers stopped using it because the code was no longer discrete.  

The Swing

The swing is a logo commonly used by swingers to broadcast that they are a member of the community. The symbol has two parts, a swing, for obvious reasons, and a circle representing the larger swinging community.

The symbol has a red background and black outline. The black symbolizes the mystery associated with swimming, and the red symbolizes passion. 

While the swing symbol is undeniably tied to the swing community, it is not used by everyone who identifies as a swinger. A lot of the stigma around swinging has died down, but people still prefer keeping their relationships private.


Both genders commonly wear anklets, but they are associated with swinging. In the swinging community, anklets are worn by married women to indicate that their partner is ok with them having relationships with other men.  In some cases, the women wore ankles with symbols like the letter Q or the ace of spades.

According to our research, these women are called hot wives, and they’re rare. 


Before online sites and apps were abundant, swingers gained the ability to meet other community members easily; swingers used to wear wristbands to find each other. They frequently combined wearing their wristbands with black rings to ensure they got the message across.

These wristbands would have symbols representing the swinging community, like the swing symbol or the one you see in the picture below.

Final Words

We hope this article gives you a better understanding of the upside down pineapple meaning on your cruise ships.

A solitary pineapple
A solitary pineapple

If you’ve already got some pineapple-patterned clothing, don’t worry about it – the statistics of you meeting swingers on a cruise ship are quite low and if the pineapples are all pointing up – then you won’t be attracting any unwanted attention.

That said, many cruisers are aware of the entire pineapple discussion and might see it and smile at you with some small amusement. Enjoy your cruise!

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