No Pants 2011 New York Reports

No Pants Subway Ride 2011
Photo by Katie Sokoler

The 10th Annual No Pants Subway Ride went off without a hitch today in New York. We are estimating 3,500 participants. Riders met at meeting points spread out all over the city and converged on Union Square. The high was 32 degrees and wind gusts were up to 47 MPH. There were also No Pants rides in 50 other cities around the world in 24 countries!

Photos:

Agent Katie Sokoler’s photos [Downtown – 6 train]
Agent Ari Scott’s photos [Astoria]
Agent Brian Fountain’s photos [Brooklyn]
Agent David Bledsoe’s photos [Downtown – 1 train]
Agent Ilya Chigirev’s photo [Flushing]
Agent Susan Sermoneta’s photos [Central Park]
Agent Gabriel Chai [Bushwick]
Metromix’s photos [Brooklyn]
Agent Lenny Rosmarin’s photos [Downtown – N train]
Jim Kiernan’s photos [Downtown – E train]

The official video should be ready in a week. For now, enjoy videos from year’s past!

No Pants 2010

No Pants 2009

No Pants 2008

Complete history of The No Pants! Subway Ride with videos of past years

Thanks to everyone who came out to participate! If this was your first event, make sure you are on the NY Agents mailing list so you’ll find out about upcoming missions. You can also join our Facebook Page, follow us on twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


No Pants 2011 Subway Ride Generals
(L-R) Back: Agents Todd, Shafer, Shafeek, Lindquist, Fiedler, Linder
Front: Agents Lathan, Reeves, Good, Scordelis

photo by Brian Fountain

Comments

comments

105 thoughts on “No Pants 2011 New York Reports

  1. most incredible thing one can ever imagine. can’t wait till next year.

  2. This was my first year and it was awesome. I was going from Williamsburg [group # 4] and while we were a bit overcrowded – 20 pantless people to 5 pantfull people – it was still an oodle of fun. I was worried about cops but they were totally friendly and kept straight faces throughout like we were supposed to.

    I can’t wait for the next one :)

  3. A big thank you to the woman who gave me toe warmers!!!! They helped so much! Thank you group 0 for capturing the spirit of No Pants!! Also, thank you for understand the plan better than I did ;-). It was a pleasure being your team captain!

    Happy 10th No Pants!

  4. Great time. Astoria – Group 6 – Stop Qnzboro Plaza.

    Guy: “Why do you all of you have your pants off?” .

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about anyone else not wearing pants.”

    Guy: “I want to take my pants off too! What is this for?”

    Me: “I don’t know, I just took off my pants today and got on the subway, I don’t know why they have their pants off too”.

    1. I was on the L and a guy goes “I know what this is! I know what this is!” and he’s just asking me if it’s all in one car and I keep saying that I have no idea why the others have no pants on and he goes “I’ll do it next year!” as I’m getting off and I just said “Good for you, see you next year”

  5. Man, I think you need to explain it more next time, and emphasize just what we’re doing, like you used to. On every train car I was on today, there were groups of participants standing around talking loudly about the event. Shit was annoying.

  6. SO MUCH FUN!!! A very liberating experience…and we started a No Pants Conga Line in Union Square! Great job everyone :)

  7. This was my third Improv Everywhere event I attended. Second No Pants Subway Ride!! It was just as fun as last year!! Especially because I got to do it with my friend since last year all my friends punked out. I was the first person in my group (1 train, last cell phone #9) to de-pants. As I was doing so, I didn’t have enough time to put my shoes on again so I had to step off the train with socks onto the platform and put on my shoes again. That was great!! I was also greeted with stares and giggles from non participants when I got back on the 1 train. One guy was determined to figure out why there were people on the train without pants so I kept changing the topic to the Knicks. He eventually gave up and started laughing. Then transferring to the N train on Times Squares was EPIC!! The subway performers gave us a shout out and more non participants took pictures and videos with their cell phones. Again, with smiles on their face, which is what this event is all about. =D Looking foward to my 3rd No Pants Subway Ride next year!

    1. A guy in the band in the Times Square station pulled his pants to his knees in solidarity.

      I wandered by and noticed a bunch of no pantsers watching the band. Normally I don’t even stop, but I wondered what “we” were looking at!

    2. We were in the same group (Team 9, 1 Train) you were first, then the guy with the red beard/Devils hat and his friend, then another guy and then my best friend and I and 2 other people de-panted on the train. The walk throughout Times Square terminal was hilarious! This was so much fun!! =D.

      1. Lol awesome! I wish the train was a bit more empty so that the non participants could have seen me as I started to depants. I was hidden by this tall guy, so I don’t think many people got to see that. Oh well, like I said the second time I got on the train was great. The reactions never get old, even if most people are in on the entire thing.

  8. The kid doing the “pantsless” (eg homeless) gag in the union square station was soooo fucking funny. Anyone else see him?

    1. yes I saw him! that’s when they wouldn’t let us get back on the train without pant!

      1. I would have liked to re-enter the subway without pants.

        Last year, I did. Rode the train up to GCT by myself, without pants. Nobody said a thing to me, or looked at me!

        One person not wearing pants = just another New York day.
        Hundreds of people not wearing pants = something to notice!

        1. actually after breaking away from union square i headed up to 116th st on the 6 train, and i got on and rode ALLLL the way up sans pants, yeah i know it was going rougue, but i was still in the moment!

  9. i had so much fun! it was really nice to see many people of different skin colors, shapes and sizes getting so comfortable with their body. would definitely do it again next year!

  10. The best part was the conductor making an announcement on 1 train saying happy no pants day.

      1. I was the guitar player on 1 train. Lady bug boxers. If anyone has pics or video, please please please post to my facebook music page [http://facebook.com/giosafari]. Or e-mail me at giosafari@gmail.com.
        Thanks everyone for a great time =)

  11. This was my third IE event and my first No Pants Subway Ride. I’m so glad I did it! I had an amazing time and made new friends!

    A big hello to Flushing Meadows group zero!

    Best responses from pants-wearing people:
    On the subway as people are depantsing at different stops: “I know what this is! This is it! This is the day!”
    As we were all getting off the 7 train to transfer at Grand Central: “Is there some sort of parade today?”
    As I watched the horde of pants-less people in Union Square Wallgreens from out on the street a woman asked me: “What is this all about?” Me (still pants-less): “I don’t know.” Woman: “They’re all a bunch of weirdos.” (She seemed not to notice that I was one of them.)
    Another woman on the street: “Is there some kind of protest?” Me: “No.” Woman: “Oh. I thought maybe you were all protesting pants.”

    1. if you have any pics from the flushing group or email addys or contact info for anyone there id appreciate it. i was car cappy number 9. alot of my pictures didnt come out.

      1. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos. I know there was more then one agent there taking some though so hopefully more will be uploaded. I’d love to see some more too.

  12. My only complaint is that some people need to understand that we want to make people smile, not cringe. There was a girl with a skyblue thong and while I may have smiled about it, others – mostly non-participants – might not have. I personally didn’t want to be associated with her because we all had normal underwear on, not thongs and lace and stuff. I think that might’ve been a too vulgar from the point of view of non-participants.

    1. I agree . This was the first year i saw alot of vulgar behavior. Some people were out of hand.

        1. With 3,500 people participating, everyone is not going to perfectly follow our instructions. We do what we can, but we’re never going get everyone to get it 100% right.

          1. Well yeah, regardless, it was a fun event. Just saw the pictures from the Williamsburg meeting point, I actually made it into some pictures :)

    2. People who usually do that are first timers. They don’t know the rules (even though it’s posted here first) so they put on their vulgar underwear at home and show up to the event with them on. It’s a shame that a few people don’t get the point that this event isn’t meant to make people uncomfortable. Some guy was given a summons by the police in the Union Square station because he refused to put his pants back on, after the police asked him to. Thankfully, the thousands who actually follow the rules out weigh those who don’t.

      1. Let’s not hang it on the first timers. It was my first time, some folks just like to act out. You get enough people together and there will be those.

        Still it was peaceful and fun

        1. I was a first timer too, and personally I was a little shy. I think next year I’ll be a little bit more confident but not as confident as her xD

  13. Awesome awesome time.. LOVED the people in Union Square passing out the “Are pants right for me?” pamphlets. And the random people who we convinced to take their pants off in the park. Shout out to Astoria group 9!

  14. 1 train from Brooklyn Bridge, train #7, I had the black leather jacket on!

    See ya’ll next year!!!

  15. I was the car captain of the 6th car on the C line. Here were some of my favorite moments:

    1. When Jessica, the first person in our car to depants, started taking her pants off, a guy standing nearby shouted “OH MY GOD.” I later found out that Jessica hadn’t heard this because she had headphones on.

    2. As more people depantsed in our car, more and more of the observers started giggling and talking about it. By about the 5th stop, they were even more entertained by seeing all the pantsless people on the platform as we left the station. A few of them tried to take photos of the people on the platform, ignoring the people undressing right next to and behind them.

    3. When I got into the 2nd C train, there was a young tourist couple sitting there (with the subway map open on their laps), completely surrounded by pantsless people. They looked baffled, but amused. Though, the guy had his arm around her kind of protectively.

    4. Walking through the tunnel from the C to the N, I was behind 2 pantless guys and a trio of amused young Japanese tourists. One of the pantless guys tapped the tourist guy on the arm, pointed at the guy’s pants and shook his head in disapproval. The tourist and his friends seemed thrilled to be included.

    5. On the platform, waiting for the N/R, there was a female cop. Some non-participants were commenting to her about what was going on and she just said something like “Yeah, this is a unique place.” A few minutes later a woman started playing an accordion and the cop came over and said “You can’t play that here.” I wondered if people were surprised that you can’t play a musical instrument, but you can walk around without pants!

    6. After the Union Square crowd dispersed, there were still a lot of people walking around the East Village – solo or in groups. I went into Trader Joe’s and while I waited on line to pay, I heard these two women at the tasting counter discussing “those crazy people walking around in the cold without any pants.” One of them asked the guy behind the counter “How about that, can they get arrested for that? Not wearing pants?” The guy behind the counter said, “No, it’s National No Pants on the Subway day.” (Awesome, a national day!) Then the woman complained, “Well, but when you ask them what’s going on, they just say that they forgot their pants. I hope that’s not really true!”

  16. My favorite response when asked why we weren’t wearing pants today: :It is the newest fad diet, I heard cold helps you burn calories”

    1. Hey!!! I’m the guitarist with the deer-in-the-headlights look! If you know of anyone else who might have pics/video of me playing, please direct them to my music page on facebook. They can post links there, I would love to see it =)
      Thanks!!!
      Gio Andollo
      http://facebook.com/giosafari

  17. I was the leader for Car 3 on the C train. My second year as a car leader, and fifth year overall. As usual, a fun time.

    1) The begging was pretty hectic. Due to the improper placement of Group 4, they ended up in front of Car 3 on the C train, and most of my team couldn’t get on to their proper car. This worked out well in the end because we just stayed back on the platform, spread out and caught the next C train. This meant there were much fewer of us on the train, and we got more reactions from the unsuspecting passengers due to a relatively smaller amount of participants.

    Perhaps next year we should split up even more and do 2 staggered runs on the lines, as my group ended up doing in an improv fashion this year.

    2) I was coincidentally standing in front of a poster ad for the TV show SKINS the whole time on the C Train.

    3) People were giving us weird looks and laughing and asking what it was about. I once said that I felt hot, and another time that I forgot my pants.

    4) Union Sq as usual was a blast. But I feel that we have to be a little more respectful inside the stores. As crowds started to go through Best Buy, Walgreens and Whole Foods, there were some displays and items that got knocked over, etc. We have to show more respect and restraint.

    Also, what’s up with Starbucks not serving pants-less people? Props to “Au bon pain” for serving us!

  18. I was the leader for Car 3 on the C train. My second year as a car leader, and fifth year overall. As usual, a fun time.

    1) The begging was pretty hectic. Due to the improper placement of Group 4, they ended up in front of Car 3 on the C train, and most of my team couldn’t get on to their proper car. This worked out well in the end because we just stayed back on the platform, spread out and caught the next C train. This meant there were much fewer of us on the train, and we got more reactions from the unsuspecting passengers due to a relatively smaller amount of participants.

    Perhaps next year we should split up even more and do 2 staggered runs on the lines, as my group ended up doing in an improv fashion this year.

    2) I was coincidentally standing in front of a poster ad for the TV show SKINS the whole time on the C Train.

    3) People were giving us weird looks and laughing and asking what it was about. I once said that I felt hot, and another time that I forgot my pants.

    4) There was one guy who was ruining the fun. He said derisively as we got on the train “Oh it’s no pants day, I forgot to forget my pants”. Dude, don’t spoil the fun for those of us who are enjoying it if you don’t want to participate.

    5) Union Sq as usual was a blast. But I feel that we have to be a little more respectful inside the stores. As crowds started to go through Best Buy, Walgreens and Whole Foods, there were some displays and items that got knocked over, etc. We have to show more respect and restraint.

    Also, what’s up with Starbucks not serving pants-less people? Props to “Au bon pain” for serving us!

    1. yea i totally lost you, on the c train, but i still depantsed first. there were a ton of people i actually took the 2nd train to 34th street and came back up to get a genuine response and boy did i ever

  19. so much fun. 6 train #9! when i depantsed with the gal with the nice coat someone said “is this really happening right now? ahahaha

  20. i was on the 6 train, and the car was packed! from my side of the train, I was only able to see 1 participant pantsless. everyone around him moved about 10 feet away,lol.

    when it was my stop, i stood up and promptly dropped my jeans. the girl sitting next to me was screaming, “OMG! WHY IS EVERYONE TAKING OFF THEIR PANTS? I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON A NAKED TRAIN! HELP!”

    relax, it’s just pants!

    1. I was surprised to find that not many people want to share a rail or post with a big hairy guy with no pants on.

  21. While on the 6 train heading to Union Square an older lady tapped me on the arm and asked me why me and so many other people were wearing “shorts.” I looked around curiously and acted astonished and replied, “I don’t know. I kinda had an accident today so that why I’m not wearing pants. I don’t know about these other people.”

    She replied, “Oh I thought you knew everyone else.”

    “Nope. I have no clue what’s going. It’s really weird though, isn’t it?”

    What an epic story to tell my friends! I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun with a bunch of strangers (and pant-less ones at that). I can’t wait to do this again next year!

    1. Yay, I found myself several times and you took an awful lot of pictures of my friend – the bald guy xD

    2. P.s.: I couldn’t help but giggle when you accidentally bumped your camera into the train’s ceiling after trying to take a picture above us. :)

  22. The best part was when we got into a crowded 6 train on the way to union square.

    Pantsless participants were squished in with others, and suddenly we hear the normal train recordings…

    “a crowded train is no excuse for inappropriate touching. please report any sexual harassment….”

    ahahahah tooo goood!

  23. Had a blast.. didn’t even feel the cold. if u guys have pics of me i was the guy with the Ipad signs. also if yall went to the bar on 13th and third it was CRAZY FUN

  24. OMG! First time I’m seeing this. Didn’t know this was going on since 2008. Where have I been? LOL!

  25. There was another guy from Williamsburg taking pictures; he had a ponytail and an Obama cap – and he also took his pants off. I thought he might’ve been an Agent…if he was, will he be posting the pictures too?

  26. I feel like I should have written down names.

    I flew in from Detroit just for this. I needed a brief (no pun intended) vacation and since I couldn’t get things going in Detroit I figured what the heck.

    Had a great time on the 4th car of the N train.

    Only one person commented to me directly and he asked “How do you do it?”. I ask what he meant and he said “Wear shorts in this weather”. So I looked down, back up and said “Oh man, I forgot my pants”. I should add that I this was the first stop out of Astoria so it was outside.

    The second person (here is where names would help) to depant on the 4 car later told me that some women who she was sitting next to watched me take of my pants and said that was the strangest thing they had seen… So then she gets up right then and does the same.

    Good times, good times.

  27. Had such a great time, my first IE mission, I hope to do more in the future!! C train, car 7! We also had a bit of a mix up with not catching the first train that half the group was on, but I think it helped spread out the pants-less-ness to even more people!

    One lady who sat next to me just before Union Square, “I have to ask you something, I have seen a lot of people in shorts and with no pants, is there something going on?” “Hmm? Oh, I just forgot my pants today, I was in such a rush this morning” “So you don’t know about the rest of these people?” “No, I don’t know anyone else”

    The best was that she got off at Union Square with all of us, I wish I had seen her face when she was greeted with the enormous crowd of pantsless people.

  28. This was my first time and I am very self concious so it took a lot of guts for me to do so. I was shocked of how liberating it felt i didnt want to put my pants back on..when i depant some lady asked me what was going on and i told her i had restless legs syndrome, the pants were impeding proper circulation. She just looked at me with a disgusted face. I wanted to crack up so bad. Another guy passing by was like nice legs and then someone else asked me if it was a protest and i was like no, i was just hot when he pointed to the other i was like wow, what a conceidence! I have no idea why they dont have any pants.

    Also we got kicked out of filenes basement bc too many people were in there and then starbucks wouldnt serve us so au bon pain made a lot of money…so much they ran out of all sorts of stuff.
    Shoutout to pantless group#4 on the 1 train.

  29. This was my second year. I began my trip in the third car on the number 1 train. Some of my memories:

    1. Upon reaching the station, when the first train arrived and we began to board, people shouted “ABORT, ABORT!” and “Get off the train!” Apparently, we had forgotten to assign a group to ride the third car! Anybody watching closely might have been able to figure out that we are some kind of organized group. Although, I think a few people suspected that the hundreds of pantsless people might, just maybe, not be a total coincidence. After we rode down to 14th street together, some people moved to the uptown platform, but I think most of the group transferred to the L train. At first I was concerned that I was separated from my group, but in the end, I think I enjoyed that more. There was always at least one other person without pants wherever I went, and I knew I could find my way to Union Square on my own.

    2. Since it is the tenth year, some people have heard about this before. When the de-pantsing began, some subway passengers commented to each other: “Oh, this must be that no pants thing.” “I thought that was yesterday.”

    3. Although much of this event is pre-planned, there is still opportunity for improvising. (It is Improv Everywhere, not Scripted Subway Theatre.) Upon boarding the next train, I found myself sitting next to another pantsless rider. I began playing a game on my phone, in order to keep up appearances that nothing unusual is happening. A curious woman asked my seat neighbor:

    “Excuse me, why is everybody not wearing pants?”

    He gave a dismissive reply, something like, “I don’t understand the question.”

    Responses like this seemed to frustrate the curious riders. Later on, in the Times Square station, a woman approached me:

    “Um, can you tell me what is going on?”

    I wanted to respond in a way that acknowledges that her question is reasonable, without actually spoiling the magic of the scene. But before I could respond, a woman runs up to us, saying to my new acquaintance:

    “None of them will tell you! If you ask, they say it’s laundry day, or they forgot to wear pants. It’s so weird!”

    Well, I don’t want to prove her wrong…

    “I forgot to wear pants.”

    “Ugh, you won’t tell us either!”

    Sorry lady, a magician can never reveal how the trick works.

    Back on board the train, another curious rider asks me: “So, what’s the reason for this?”

    “I don’t know. Everything happens for a reason, but only God knows.”

    “Uh huh.”

    I don’t think she believed me.

    Me: “It’s the most amazing coincidence, though, isn’t it?”

    “Oh yeah, sure.”

    4. One rider seemed to know the vague outlines of the event, but did not actually mention Improv Everywhere. So, I decided to have some fun with that.

    Seated Rider: “Hey, is this is that flashmob thing?”

    Me: “Oh, no. It’s a weird coincedence. I don’t know these people.”

    “Yeah, I heard about people using the Internet to do public performances.”

    “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that too! Last year, I did one where everybody listened to the same MP3.

    “When Michael Jackson died, people did flashmobs where they did the Thriller dance in public places.”

    “Wow, that sounds really cool!”

    5. There is one spot in the Times Square station that always has someone performing there. Normally, I think it is a bit annoying, because they block the walkway with their crowd. As I approach the crowd, I notice a few pantsless people have stopped to watch the band, which made me curious. The band’s singer has pulled his jeans down to his knees! Some pantsless folk were dancing to the music. Smiling faces all over.

    6. Some people are not observant. While trying to navigate the subway, I stopped to view a map on a platform. A woman who had been reading the map turned around and asked me,

    “Does it matter if we take the N, Q, or R to get to 14th street?”

    “No, all of them will take you there. It only matters if you ride it past Canal Street, here.”

    “Okay, thanks!”

    She never noticed that she had this conversation with a pantsless guy.

  30. I sadly couldn’t make it but I hope to make it to one of the ones in the future

  31. I had such a great time at my first event and will certainly be doing it again.

    Because my group was in the 10th car and it was such a long walk on the platform to get there, we didn’t (unfortunately) get too many ‘normal’ people to join in our cars, but that certainly didn’t take away from anything.

    The most memorable moment was a little unamused old man. I’d have to guess that he had wanted to get on an earlier car, saw what was going on, and kept walking to hopefully avoid it. He shuffled onto our car and, without looking around, loudly stated, “There are a bunch of weirdos on the trains today… Aww, Jesus Christ, you’re here too!”

    Overall, it was an incredible time to be had, but I do have one big gripe…

    After the event ended at Union Square, left without command or direction, it wasn’t long before mob mentality took over, and the spirit was lost. A couple thousand people singing and dancing in a park is one thing, but when a few hundred make begin disrupting traffic and bursting their way into stores, it gives the entire event a bad name.

    Unfortunately, I can’t put the blame completely on the ones involved in the mayhem. They were looking for an way to continue the celebration, didn’t have an outlet, and once mob mentality was in charge, they didn’t seem to know any better.

    I’d have preferred to see the celebration at Union last about 30 minutes, then have people with megaphones disperse the group… give them options of places to go (local bars offering specials and such), but tell everyone that they have to leave- so it can’t get out of hand.

  32. Thank you so much!! Seriously guys – I look forward to this all year! I’m way down here where mass transit is practically unheard of. One day, I’ll haul my southern tail up there for a No Pants Ride!
    Keep it up!

  33. Hey everybody this is LJ! I was the group leader for the E train group 2! Just wanted to say that everybody did an amazing job yesterday staying in character! Thanks for showing me another amazing year. So much fun!
    Always,
    LJ

  34. I’m looking for people who took pictures from Astoria… i checked the Astoria link posted at the top, but I was only in the pictures with the large group. If anyone uploaded pictures from there, lmk! :)

    1. I uploaded some and they are on my blog as a slideshow – if you find anything there let me know – my email is on the blog ;-)

  35. Kudos to the girl on the 6 who locked her feet on the rail and hung held upside down pantsless by a stranger!!! Can’t wait for next year!!

  36. Great job, folks. Does anyone know where one might be able to score the pink ruffled knickers the girl is wearing in the still from the 2008 video? I think they’re superhot and I want to buy a pair for my girlfriend! Thanks in advance!

    1. If you google ‘pink ruffled panties’, a ton of websites come up

  37. At the stop I was waiting at, a homeless man was going around calling *US* “kookoo”. it was so funny!

  38. Here is a shoot out to Group 5 from Astoria – I have not uploaded my Flickr set yet but did post a slideshow to my blog – just click on it to see the individual shots. If you see something you like and or want – my email is on the blog profile page.
    To the kids I met in UnSq – same deal just email me for any shots you want ;-)
    It was a fun time and I look forward to it again in 2012…

    1. Heh – if you can stand the 1+hour wait outside while everything is getting organised, the rest is easy. Next year I am getting some of the toe-warmers that hunters use and putting them in my shoes before the event starts. My feet were frozen before we got out of Foley Park!

      Plus, look at the pics from this years Australia event – it’s difficult to tell who has on shorts and who has on just their underpants. Warm weather lessens the comedy aspect as a whole.

  39. Some funny quotes I heard along the ride:

    “God Bless You!”

    “What’s the MATTER with you??”

    [performer guy in car] “Aren’t you cold? You know, us performers gotta look out for each other.”

    “Are you part of the Polar Bear club?”

    “Oh, is this the no pants on the subway day?” [us] “Um, no, it’s not?” [girl] “Oh, no? (confused look), Oh I thought I saw it in A.M New York.”

    “Man I can’t wait to go home and tell my wife about this.”

    “It’s no pants day…yayy!”

  40. Even thought I was shy and nervous, I did it and I enjoy it.
    I was on Astoria-bound (N) with 9 Car Group and I was next to 2 ladies who was holding number 9 as captain. Lady who was also holding #9 was also first time, and I follow their lead.

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