Sunday was supposed to be No-Pants Subway Ride day all across the world, and because you are a sane person, you have just said, “WTF?”

I’ll tell you WTF.

It is what it sounds like — take off your pants and ride the subway. The annual stunt, organized by Improv Everywhere, a troupe whose motto is “We Cause Scenes,” has been a success in New York City for years. It is the stuff of YouTube dreams.

This year, the Improv Everywhere Web site linked to No Pants Subway Rides advertised on Facebook and Craigslist in more than 40 cities, from Buenos Aires to Buffalo, N.Y.

Pittsburgh’s No Pants Subway Ride was a giant FAIL because only three girls showed up and chickened out and even the person who organized it didn’t take her pants off, because she claimed she couldn’t find the others.


1.  I want to be all hip and happening and trendy and relevant and say this is so cool, and maybe write a poem about it that includes me standing on a smoky stage, snapping my fingers at various intervals all, “Pants. Pants. Subway. Window. No pants. Freedom. Peace. No pants. [snap].” but really, I’m thinking, “This is kinda dumb.” But you know I love me some flash mobs. And I love me some Chachi who invented “Pants Status” on twitter.

But this, I roll my eyes at.

2.  According to the Facebook page (read the second wall post for a good chuckle), the point of this stunt is “to make people laugh” and the way they planned to “make people laugh” was thus: get on the subway, remove your pants and place them in your bag or purse, do not talk to anyone else on the subway who is not wearing pants, act like taking off your pants on the subway is natural, keep a straight face, ride the subway sans pants, get off the subway.


Except not.

Hilarity however WOULD ensue if this improv group were to re-create the subway scene from Adventures in Babysitting.  My God, I’d LOVE that.

“Don’t f#*k with the Lords of Hell.”

“Don’t f#*k with the babysitter.”


3.  If you calmly remove your pants on the subway, I am going to assume you are either crazy or a terrorist.  True story.  I mean, if you’re frantically ripping your pants off, I can safely assume you have a creepy crawling bug of some sort in your pants and by all means, get that son of a bitch out of there even if you have to strip to your skivvies, but if you’re calm about the public removal of your pants, that’s bad news.

And if fifty people on the subway remove their pants, I’m going to assume all the crazy people have some subway-accessible place they gotta be, or that there are about to be 50 pants bombs exploding shortly. Either way, I’m outta there even if I have to use my spidey senses to escape through a skylight.

4. This is a huge success in San Francisco and New York and other cities in which hundreds of people proudly ride the subway without pants, and because it was a huge fail here in Pittsburgh, one of the would-be participants said, “I’m very disappointed, Pittsburgh.”

But I’m all, “Well done, Pittsburgh.” I’d rather be known for the Point Park kind of flash mob than this one:

Sweet Jesus, some of those people should NEVER take their pants off in public, I don’t care if there’s a tarantula in their pants slathering barbecue sauce on their inner thigh.  Keep your pants on, tough it out and hop off the subway stop closest to an ER.

5.  More:

In her e-mail message, Ms. Lucas said she was re-organizing the event.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right?” she wrote.

There are only a couple of ways I can see this succeeding in Pittsburgh and they both involve Tyler Grisham and iJustine (a person who loves cheeseburgers as much as she does should not be permitted to have a body that banging).

[insert stripper music here]

Pants. [snap].


  1. GoBobbo
    January 11, 2010 11:25 am

    Maybe it speaks to the very inconvenient T system we have. If I’m going from the Wood Street station to Library, I’m keeping my pants on.

  2. newetiquette
    January 11, 2010 11:33 am

    Not interested in participating, but some of the reactions recorded in this video of the Chicago event are priceless:

  3. Burgh Baby
    January 11, 2010 11:41 am

    The only way this could ever possibly work is if Chachi were to organize it.

  4. bucdaddy
    January 11, 2010 11:44 am

    The stuff the Improv Everywhere people do is often very clever, and wonderfully harmless. Bucdaughter drops me a link from time to time to some new stunt they’ve pulled and most of them really are good for a laugh.

    But really: Who among us who doesn’t already think this is a bad idea just on general principles doesn’t also think: spring, summer or fall, people, but not the middle of January.

    Though I guess that adds to the ridiculousness and the humor of it if it’s 8 degrees and people have no pants. My thought on this, however, is: I have one nut left and I ain’t taking the chance of losing it to frostbite for anyone’s idea of a joke. Hang Solo and I and the brass monkeys are staying inside and keeping our pants on, thank you.

    (Hang Solo and the Brass Monkeys … they’re at Mr. Small’s next week, I think.)

  5. GoBobbo
    January 11, 2010 11:48 am

    Totally agree w/ BurghBaby!!

  6. Sooska
    January 11, 2010 11:51 am

    Not the middle of THIS COLD ASS January, anyway. Any recent more moderate January might be OK, if this was funny, but it’s not even mildly amusing. It’s not unique or particulary creative or inventive. Bring on a good flash mob.

    This puts me in mind of the Seinfeld episode where all 4 main characters were riding the subway and Jerry was sitting across the aisle from a guy reading a newspaper and casually wearing nothing- not even pants. Hilarity did ensue there.

    Ginny, are you using Bongos?

  7. SpudMom
    January 11, 2010 11:55 am

    I’m suddenly reminded of “The Animaniacs” and their segment “Dot’s Poetry Corner.”

    We could have Ginny’s Poetry Corner complete with berets, bongos and snaps.

  8. DG
    January 11, 2010 11:58 am

    Yeah, really just too bloody cold to do that in the Burgh right now.

  9. ScareHouse Scott
    January 11, 2010 12:19 pm

    I would just like to say that “pants” is one of the funniest words in the english language, and yet I can’t articulate why.

  10. Clementine
    January 11, 2010 12:29 pm

    Who would want to sit on those seats without pants? And who would want to sit on those seats after someone sat on those seats without pants?


  11. Bojack
    January 11, 2010 12:40 pm

    No pants n’at.

  12. Kristie
    January 11, 2010 12:52 pm

    No wonder it was a FAIL – who the heck is riding the subway in Pittsburgh on a Sunday? Also, it was way to farking cold to not be wearing pants.

  13. Vivian formerly NYLuvsPitts
    January 11, 2010 12:54 pm

  14. Clementine
    January 11, 2010 12:59 pm

    Becks got the memo:

    And, yes, I’m surfing tmz on my lunch hour.

  15. Pensgirl
    January 11, 2010 12:59 pm

    I have friends who happened to be on the DC metro yesterday during the no-pants timeframe. They said they thought it was kind of amusing until one of the pantsless dudes got too close to them. EW.

    Of course, today riding it all I could think was “I hope none of them sat down.” I do not want to be the one who sits down after a pantsless person.

  16. red pen mama
    January 11, 2010 1:07 pm

    @bucdaddy, Hang solo. Still laughing.

    A coworker and I were actually talking about this at lunch today, only it was in the context of the fact that my 5yo got carsick on the way to the Children’s Museum (in my father’s car, natch) and had to spend about an hour wearing my mom’s blazer around the museum while her pants got dried. To her credit, she just rolled with it.

    I don’t like to think about using those seats after a no-pants stunt. Ew doesn’t sum it up.

  17. bluzdude
    January 11, 2010 1:11 pm

    Often times,it’s nice to find a warm seat on a cold train. This time, not so much.

  18. butcher's dog
    January 11, 2010 1:20 pm

    Ginny in a tight black turtleneck, mega-tight black jeans, and the college-girl-with-kitten hair standing center stage of a smoky club, riffing on the poetry, with me in back slightly stage-left so the spotlight on her only caught part of me, me banging away on the bongos as it moved whatever was left of my brain after the pre-performance margueritas were done. Just a little piece of 60s flashback heaven, given a chance to do it right. Deal me in.

    And bucdaddy…while being reduced to one can have no possible humor value, Hang Solo and the Brass Monkeys would be a group I’d stand in line to see.

    And in relevant sports news, it was great to see the Bungles get smoked, as they had no business beating the Steelers once, let alone twice, and we can only hope Peyton takes enough time away from filming commercials to prepare to cream the Ravens. Nice to see Hell’s Hoodies eliminated; now if Team Botox-Owner can get dumped this week we can all sit through the rest of the playoffs and wonder if Favre’s osteoporosis will strike before Pete Townsend’s does.

  19. Monty
    January 11, 2010 1:21 pm

    It probably was funny the first time, but it has degenerated to a bunch of Hipster Doofi from Brooklyn looking for an excuse to show off their ironic underwear. Shark jump.

  20. Matt
    January 11, 2010 2:16 pm

    I’ve ridden subways all over the country. Most of the seats I wouldn’t sit on even wearing two layers of clothes. Pantless train riders in New York seem like a perfectly normal phenomenon any day of the week. They’re either sleepwalking on Ambien or involved in some NYU film class. Or just going to work.

  21. spoon
    January 11, 2010 2:37 pm

    Where’s is Chachi at with all this no-pants talk.

  22. bucdaddy
    January 11, 2010 2:54 pm

    Not sure why there’d be a problem sitting on a seat where a pantsless person say. It’s not an UNDERpantsless stunt, is it?

    Anyway, you presumably have more seat-to-skin contact on summer days when the girls are wearing short-short skirts and who knows what else (I’m thinking of last week’s cheerleader pix as I type this).

  23. Summer
    January 11, 2010 2:56 pm

    Who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to take your pants off during one of the coldest Januarys on record? I feel bad for the dudes, cuz, y’know … shrinkage.

  24. KGC
    January 11, 2010 3:32 pm

    Let me guess.. these Pittsburgh gals are NOT the type you’d want to see with their pants off. Just sayin’

  25. Johnaz6312
    January 11, 2010 3:55 pm

    Riding the Lite Rail out here in Phoenix I had a homeless guy accidently moon me well he was getting off the train. We’re talking a full moon here too. I thought I was going to go blind after that. What made the whole incident more interesting was that, once he got off 2 more passengers jumped into his seat so they didn’t have to stand.

    I’m not making this up.

  26. toni
    January 11, 2010 4:30 pm

    Pittsburghers have toomuch common sense to do this. I ride the T regularly…and right now not nly do I ride it wearing pants, I ride it wearing long johns and a big ole coat that hangs to my boot tops.

    Let’s talk about the seats the brain trusts at PAT put in T stations. Gateway has MARBLE benches. You wanna talk about a cold ass seat go ahead sit on marble in the dead of winter. Not to be undone, the wood street statin has METAL benches. Metal…go ahead put your bikini and BVD covered butt on that at 20 degrees. I can’t remember what Steel plaza seating is but I’m thinking it’s concrete.

    Comfort dictates my wardrobe…that and PAT bench conditions.

  27. PittCheMBA
    January 11, 2010 6:55 pm

    Thanks for the iJustine link, she is totally hawt!

  28. Still A, Fan
    January 11, 2010 7:54 pm

    i thought chickens say “Bock Bock”, not “Bawk Bawk”?

    Chicken experts?

  29. Brian H
    January 11, 2010 9:05 pm

    Agreed with Monty. I live in Brooklyn and I’m pretty open-minded to the stooopid things that hipsters do, but even I think this is really retarded.

  30. Jill
    January 12, 2010 5:19 am

    Why I love you, Ginny:
    Adventures in Babysitting reference.
    So much awesomeness!

  31. Aldo Vanucci
    January 12, 2010 12:02 pm

    I think it is funny that folks are talking about it and are somewhat put off by it or it merits a news story on tv or makes a blog entry here. In grown up cities people ignore this kind stuff and get on with their lives in picksburg in makes the front page.

  32. Bojack
    January 12, 2010 12:26 pm


    And which “grown up” cesspool do you hail from Aldo??

    I notice you didn’t feel secure or proud enough to identify
    your whereabouts, shithead!

  33. Virginia
    January 12, 2010 12:28 pm


    If you do a simple Google news search, you will see that there are currently over 500 news stories (not even looking at blog posts here) about the various no-pants subway ride. Those news stories have run in everything from USA Today to the Wall Street Journal to the San Francisco Chronicle to the Washington Post.

    So as to your little comment about “grown up” cities, well, you can bite me, sir.

    Yes, that’s childish of me to say, but I guess I don’t live in a grown up city like you do. Where do you live again?

  34. Aldo Vanucci
    January 12, 2010 1:03 pm

    yikes touchy touchy show me one that made page 1 of the main paper for an event that did not even happen please. I happen to live in Schenley Farms Terrace across the street from the old Park Schenley and a couple of blocks from Sugar Top as a 4th generation native I have no problem taking the *iss out of this town any more than I do one of my siblings as they have the same familiarity to me. Now if I might humbly ask where you hail from? From your defensive nature I would bet you dollars to Packzi you grew up in the burbs if not a nearby farm community named after some berry.

  35. e$
    January 12, 2010 1:03 pm

    i’m with the 1st post… maybe if we had a decent ‘subway’ system that actually provided transportation and stopped at more than four places, i could be convinced to take off my pants….

  36. e$
    January 12, 2010 1:05 pm

    also- i feel comfortable that lots of people who ride PAT buses take off their pants or pee and poop in them daily judging by the pleasant smells that waft pass my nostrils during my daily commute. gross. i don’t think they need an invitation.

  37. Formerly from Pittsburgh
    January 12, 2010 2:27 pm

    As a born and bred Pittsburgher who has now participated in two No Pants Subway Rides in NYC, I feel obliged to defend this intelligent and joy-inducing prank. Sure there are some who tarnish the experience with their blatant attempts at garnering attention, but these individuals do not for the basis of the prank. A major tenet of comedy is the rule of “one unusual thing;” acting completely normal without acknowledging this makes it that much more ridiculous. That is why when participants de-pants, the group does so gradually: only one person first, then another one person, then two, then four, etc. It is exhilarating to see the look on someone’s face as you de-pants after having subtly connected with them over another passenger removing their pants. In New York, riders also remove their pants on one train, exit at the next stop, then re-board another train to shock an entirely new group of unsuspecting passengers. There is actually a lot of thought and planning that goes into the event to maximize the exposure and give onlookers “one unusual thing” in the monotony of their daily lives.

    Looks like in 2011 this “Brooklyn Hipster” will be traveling back home to Pittsburgh sans pants to bring some shine to the Steel City.

  38. Bojack
    January 12, 2010 4:33 pm


    You are either 17 yrs old and never lived anywhere else, or, just a liar, either way, blow me!!

  39. Aldo Vanucci
    January 12, 2010 5:09 pm

    Haha!Geeze Bojack relax! What don’t tell I just won a dozen Pazcki I think I going eat them while riding around on the “subway” aka trolley without any pants on in an hopes of being on the 6pm news as tonight’s top story. Ah Edi Tarbox we hardly knew thee

  40. Bojack
    January 12, 2010 6:35 pm


    I got your Pazcki hanging!!

  41. toni
    January 13, 2010 11:48 am

    So according to your maxium tenet of comedy by doing “an unusual thing” while acting normal could fall under oh look theres another drunk taking a whizz on a car tire on the South Side. Or maybe not since Skippy Reed has made that vogue.

    I guess the shine you’ll be bringing to the “Burgh” could be termed “moon” shine. The whole thing screams of attention seeking devices. Excuse me if the look on my face isn’t boredom but and exasperated eye roll of there goes another fool following the I’ll be an idiot mentality.

  42. Caryn W
    January 13, 2010 6:15 pm

    I don’t get the whole thing – most of them wore jackets or coats so you could hardly tell their pants were off, a lot of the men looked like they were just wearing shorts (odd in Jan but not shocking), and overall they looked like they were wearing bathing suits – so who cares. I liked the girls who made the effort to don the garters and hose – that made a more obvious statement. The description given by Formerly From Pgh does make it sound more goofy/improvish but that was not what the people in the video were doing – looked to me like they walked in pantless and were playing to the cameras….and BucDaddy, I loved comment #23 – you are ON the mark, as many girls wearing short skirts with thongs or much too short shorts are making way more skin-to-seat contact than a guy in boxers, lol. And despite your cheerleader fantasy BD, we ALL know a lot of those girls are not the sexy, skinny or even showered-recently types. Yikes. I’m with Ginny – give me a decent flash mob any day :)

  43. Mindi
    April 1, 2010 6:07 pm

    Hello there, Happy Fool’s Day!

    A man is driving down a country road, when he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of grass. He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.
    The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, “Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?”
    The farmer replies, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.”
    “How?” asks the man, puzzled.
    “Well, I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are out standing in their field.”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!