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Pantless Subway Riders Celebrate The 15th Annual ‘No Pants Subway Ride’

by Roxy Garrity
Roxy is a reporter and writer for LittleThings. Born in North Carolina, she graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Florida, and now lives in Manhattan. She's drawn to uplifting stories that inspire her audience, and she has interviewed a range of compelling public figures, such as President Obama and Taylor Swift. She loves live music, yoga, art, traveling, all animals, and meeting new people. Send her your story ideas or just say hi!

It started in 2002 as a simple idea. “I was on the train one day and thought it would be funny if people got on different stops doing something strange and acted like they didn’t know each other,” said Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere and Creator of the “No Pants Subway Ride.”

Todd added, “It was winter at the time and extremely cold. I thought it would be funny if people were wearing winter hats, scarfs, gloves, boots, but no pants.”

It was a simple idea that has since exploded. The “No Pants Subway Ride” now exists in more than 60 cites in 25 countries. “In 2008, people started doing it at other cities as well,” said Todd. “People just e-mailed me and said, ‘Hey, can I do this in Chicago, LA, and all over the world.'”

With the biggest of the rides being held in New York City, where Todd started the event, LittleThings decided to check it out ourselves.

Here are some photos from this year’s ride in NYC.

“It really was just friends of mine at the beginning,” said Todd.

LittleThings / Roxy Haynes

At 85 years old, Bob Grant is the oldest “No Pants Subway Ride” participant. “I like the people, and I like to surprise people on the train when we take our pants off,” said Grant. (Look for him just after the 1:00 mark in the video below.)

LittleThings / Roxy Haynes

Participants are asked to act like they normally do when they ride the subway. If others ask why they’re not wearing pants, they are to respond by saying something like, “Oh, I must have forgotten.”

LittleThings / Roxy Haynes

“It’s an unauthorized event,” said Todd, that’s been met by some police resistance overseas in countries like Latvia, South Africa, and Japan.

At this year’s event in NYC, police were present, but it went off without a hitch.

Did you see any “No Pants” events happening in your city? Please let us know in the comments below, and SHARE with all of your friends and family!

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