Thousands of commuters strip off for No Pants Subway Ride

Thousands of commuters strip off for No Pants Subway Ride

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“Pants are just a fancy word for leg jail,” say passengers who took a half-naked underground ride in freezing weather

New York, Prague, Berlin or Jerusalem. The 17th anniversary of a silly event gathered hundreds of enthusiastic passengers on Sunday. Despite the wintry conditions in most of the cities people decided to join a common mission to travel without their trousers.

Thousands of commuters strip off for No Pants Subway RidePassengers not wearing pants wait for a subway train during an annual flash mob event called the No Pants Subway Ride in Prague, Czech Republic — Reuters / David W Cerny

The event was launched in New York in 2002 by a group called Improv Everywhere who intended to create a bit of fun to spice up day-to-day life.  

“The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year,” the group said on their website.

After becoming popular the event quickly spread around the globe.

This years’ edition of the worldwide pantless train ride saw events organized in European cities including Prague, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Zurich, Berlin, and London. Other commuters gathered in Boston, Montreal, Jerusalem, and Brisbane.

To attend the crazy stunt keen participants have to follow particular instructions before the ride starts every year.

“Sit in the car as you normally would. Read a magazine or whatever you would normally do. Your team leader will have already divided you into smaller groups, assigning your group a specific stop where you will depants,” the instructions say.

“As soon as the doors shut at the stop before yours, stand up and take your pants off, and put them in your backpack.”

Organizers in each city claim that the event has no broad purpose except for the aim to cause laughter.

Participants stand on the trains pantless saying: “Pants are just a fancy word for leg jail,” and: “We’ve got 99 problems but our pants ain’t one.”

Thousands of commuters strip off for No Pants Subway RidePantless people wait for the subway in Berlin, Germany — Reuters / Hannibal Hanschke

“The idea is to really just step outside my comfort zone, not being afraid of meeting new people, trying new things,” said Charlotte Davis who participated in Montreal. “It’s really not harming or offending anyone — it’s just a way to build a sense of community.”

“I don’t like pants anyway,” said Deli Meehan who was rocking classic briefs in the New York City subway. “I’m wearing two pairs of socks, and two pairs of underwear.”

The Improv Everywhere group announces the date of the No Pants Subway Ride every year in early December.

Readers who cannot resist the temptation to travel pants-free in freezing weather are able to sign up for the mailing list to get informed about the exact date for 2019.

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