Total internal reflection (TIR) is the phenomenon that involves the reflection of all the incident light off the boundary. TIR only takes place when both of the following two conditions are met:the light is in the more dense medium and approaching the less dense medium.the angle of incidence is greater than the so-called critical angle.
Total internal reflection will not take place unless the incident light is traveling within the more optically dense medium towards the less optically dense medium. TIR will happen for light traveling from water towards air, but it will not happen for light traveling from air towards water. TIR would happen for light traveling from water towards air, but it will not happen for light traveling from water (n=1.333) towards crown glass (n=1.52). TIR occurs because the angle of refraction reaches a 90-degree angle before the angle of incidence reaches a 90-degree angle. The only way for the angle of refraction to be greater than the angle of incidence is for light to bend away from the normal. Since light only bends away from the normal when passing from a more dense medium into a less dense medium, then this would be a necessary condition for total internal reflection.