On Sunday, January 8th, 2017 tens of thousands of people took off their pants on subways in over 60 cities in over 25 countries around the world.
The event began with just 7 pants-less riders in 2002 in New York City.
The No Pants Subway Ride (or No Trousers on the Tube Ride in the UK) is an annual event where people ride the subway while they are not wearing pants. The event is organized by Improv Everywhere.
Pants-less subway rides took place this year in dozens of cities around the world, from Beijing to Berlin and from Madrid to Sydney. Philadelphia’s version was sponsored by a laundry delivery service, which asked participants to show up with extra pants or other clothing to donate to charity.
Participants are told to get on trains and act as they normally would and are given an assigned point to take off their pants. They’re asked to keep a straight face and respond matter-of-factly to anyone who asks them if they’re cold.
Organizers urged commuters not to wear anything ‘overly close fitting’ so nobody is upset. They added: ‘Our aim is to make people laugh, not p**s them off.’
This year was the first time for the event in Moscow, Russia. The sight of pantsless subway riders was apparently too much for public safety officials to bare. Police are investigating whether their actions can be classified as a misdemeanor.
“The Moscow metro administration urges to treat the passengers with respect and follow the common rules of behavior,” Moscow Metro authorities said Monday, according to Tass news agency. “The police [are] deciding on the legitimacy of such flash mob and searching for the members of the event.”
“I can’t speak to the local laws of Moscow, but as often as Putin goes shirtless, you would think that showing your bare legs in public would be okay,” Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere, told WorldViews. “The event happens each year in over 50 cities around the world without incident.”
Let’s hope Putin gets the joke.
Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.