The No Pants Subway Ride is set to return for its 13th anniversary on Sunday, which sees passengers board their local public transport vehicle wearing nothing on their bottom half.
This tradition isn’t just reserved to the United States, even though residents in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles have embraced the bizarre event in their droves over the last decade. Cities across the world have also now started to organise their own No Pants Subway Ride gatherings too.
The first ever No Pants Subway Ride was held in New York in 2001, and over the last 12 years those responsible have repeated the scantily clad event every January and watched its popularity rise exponentially.
2013’s event saw more than 4,000 riders take off their pants and hop onto the subway, and it went on to take place in 60 cities in over 25 countries, including Bangalore and Buenos Aires.
Originally orchestrated by Improv Everywhere, a long form improvisation troupe who revel in creating and executing pre-planned “mission” in unusual situations, the No Pants Subway Ride is described as followed:
“The No Pants Subway Ride is annual event staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City. 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.”
But, what is the plan behind the No Pants Subway Ride? I’ll let Improv Everywhere continue with their explanation:
“The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.”
Improv Everywhere’s other rather ridiculous events included its annual Black Tie Beach event, as well as a synchronized swimming event that takes place inside a public fountain, and a “Black Friday” shopping bonanza that is held inside a dollar store.
New York’s No Pants Subway Ride began at 3pm on Sunday, and came to an end at 4pm near Union Square. Those taking part did have to adhere to two rules though. Improv Everywhere stated that they must have been “willing to take [their] pants off on subway,” and that they also had to be “able to keep a straight face about it” too.
Several tweets have started to emerge documenting 2014’s No Pants Subway Ride:
— BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) January 12, 2014
No Pants Subway Ride 2014. @ Foley Square http://t.co/oSwGKWIvcr
— wanderlustmae (@MaeChristabel) January 12, 2014