No Pants 2k9

Team Captains: Agents Good, Linder, Lovejoy, Scordelis
Digital Video: Agents Adams, EMartin, Gross, Schackman, Shafer
Digital Photography: Agents Chigirev, Fountain, Plunkett, Rosmarin, Scott, Sokoler, Zodak

On Saturday, January 10th, 2009 nearly 2,500 people took off their pants on subways in 22 cities around the world. In New York’s 8th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride we had over 1,200 participants, spread out over four subway lines. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.

If you’re unfamiliar with No Pants, you might want to first read our history of The No Pants Subway Ride.

Foley Square from above.

In the 8 years we’ve been staging our No Pants! Subway Rides in New York, it has never snowed. This year’s storm made the event all the more fun and all the more hilarious.

My cousin, Agent Fairey, recently moved into an apartment building right next to Foley Square, so we were able to get some great shots of the crowd from her roof.

Agents documenting 22 stories up

“Everyone wave to the cameras!”

The past two years we’ve had police escorts waiting for us at the meeting point. It was sort of comforting to see them there, as it meant we wouldn’t have to worry about cops showing up later on and ruining the fun. This year, the NYPD chose not to attend. Maybe they realized it wasn’t necessary? We were peaceful, as always, and didn’t run into any trouble.

A clever addition to the parks department sign at the meeting point

This year we expanded to 4 subway lines: the 1, E, R, and the traditional 6 train. We put around 300 people on each train, with individual cars growing stop by stop from 1 to 30 pantless riders. Spreading it out like this helps keep the spirit of the mission alive, at least for the first few stops. Participants had to be organized into train lines, then into cars, and finally into stops. It’s quite a bit of work, but we had four veteran IE agents serve as line captains, each equipped with their own megaphone.

Captain Good ran the 6 line

Captain Scordelis organizes the R line

Captain Lovejoy speaks to the 1 line group

Captain Linder handled the E line

This mission works by using two separate trains for each line. For the first train the effect is that at every stop new people are standing up, removing their pants, and leaving the train. People on the second train then see pantless subway riders waiting on the platform and entering their car at each stop.

One of the first to depants, a man waits alone for the next E train

Agent Reeves waits for the 6

I played the role of tired commuter

One guy worked on this laptop

Two women laugh as another participant enters their car

R train riders casually listen to their iPods

By the final stop, some cars had more pantless people than normal people

One woman played a harp, pantsless

Another guy had cross country ski gear on, appropriate for the snow storm

One subway musician decided to pull his pants down and enjoy the fun

Laughing at the pantsless

One woman brought her pug along for the ride!

After a dozen stops or so, participants exited their car and headed to a downtown train. Some lines even had to make a transfer through a station or up escalators.

A man checks out a participant

Laughing woman

Guys snap camera phone pictures as they pass our riders on the escalator

Transferring at Times Square

Tourists laughing at the Times Square station

Checking out the pantsless at 125th Street

In 2007, we ran into a drummer at the 125th Street stop. A huge mob of pantless folks danced to his beat in what turned out to be a highlight for many participants. This year we ran into the same drummer again! I said hello to him, and he responded, “I missed you guys last year!” We turned around at 96th last year rather than 125th. He put on another great show to the delight of many pantless dancers. Jody Avirgan from WNYC radio did a fantastic interview with him after his performance; listen to it here.

All of the train lines converged on Union Square at the end of the mission, which means that within a short stretch of time 1,200 pantless people passed through the station’s exit turnstiles.

A participant at the Union Square station

It was about 30 degrees out and still snowing when we made it to Union Square, but everyone was having too much fun to put their pants back on. Many participants hung out in the cold for over an hour, laughing with friends new and old.

One guy didn’t even wear a shirt! Someone get him an Abercrombie gift card.

A non-participant takes his pants off to join the fun

Several people made snow angels with their bare legs

Shoppers at our favorite building look out at the pantless snow party

A spontaneous human pyramid was erected

A group of participants sing “New York, New York” and form a kick line, and this is before the drinking started.

One participant brought her two ferrets with her. Definitely a first.

Like last year, there was a counter-contingent. The “Pro Pants” group was back once again this year to try to convert us to their pants-based religion. They had two tables set up and offered a “Free Pants Test,” a pitch-perfect parody of the Scientology tables you see around the city. Participants engaged them in serious conversation, with both sides staying hilariously in character.

Agent Eppink runs the Pro Pants table

You can read all about the Pro Pants movement here.

Pro Pants Propaganda

The mission continued as participants visited nearby establishments sans pants. We heard reports of people getting kicked out of Virgin Megastore, Whole Foods, and McDonald’s. Wendy’s, however, was happy to serve the pantsless.

Agents in the Virgin Megastore, another favorite place of ours

A Starbucks barista laughs at a pantsless customer. You think it happened again five minutes later?

A nearby bar hosted an official No Pants afterparty and offered a free drink to anyone who arrived pantsless. The bar got so crowded it had to quickly stop letting people in. Participants ended up in a half dozen different bars in the Union Square area and kept the party going.

An entire pantless band, including the aforementioned harpist, performing

While we were having our fun in New York, No Pants Subway (or Light Rail or Bus) Rides were also happening in 21 other cities in 8 different countries. Via the The Urban Prankster Network we’ve set up a community of like-minded groups across the globe. Here’s a highlight photo of each regional ride along with the number of participants and the temperature in Fahrenheit.

Adelaide, Australia / 10 participants / 78 degrees (the warmest)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands / 25 participants / 26 degrees

Atlanta, GA / 26 participants / 62 degrees

Boston, MA / 100 participants / 26 degrees (yes, that’s a real fireman)

Calgary, Canada / 16 participants / 39 degrees

Chicago, IL / 130 participants / 28 degrees (and snowing)

Denver, CO / 10 participants / 43 degrees

Lisbon, Portugal / 40 participants / 46 degrees

Los Angeles, CA / 200 participants / 75 degrees

Minneapolis, Minnesota / 6 participants / 17 degrees (the coldest)

Phoenix, AZ / 100 participants / 66 degrees (on a weeks old light rail)

Portland, OR / 35 participants / 41 degrees

Salt Lake City, UT / 12 participants / 35 degrees

San Francisco, CA / 50 participants / 62 degrees (the most scantily clad)

Seattle, WA / 6 participants / 43 degrees

Toronto, Canada / 300 participants / 21 degrees (most participants outside of NY)

Vienna, Austria / 20 participants / 24 degrees

Warsaw, Poland / 7 participants / 32 degrees

Washington DC / 100 participants / 40 degrees

No information yet for Sydney, Australia or Hamburg, Germany.

Mission Accomplished


For links to more photos, videos, and news articles for all of the No Pants Subway Rides check out the posts below. The comments sections are filled with first-hand agent reports and links to more media.

Ari Scott’s photos of No Pants Subway Ride 2009

NYC Agent Reports

Regional Agent Reports

Also check out our complete history of The No Pants Subway Ride.


  1. Awesome time once again! Thanks to the IE agents for putting this together, but especially all the participants who came out to make this the great time it was!

    -Agent Pete
    -Captain of the 1 train, Red car 9 (once again!)

  2. Great job everyone! Lovely to see that everyone around the globe had a great time. Shoqs will definately be joining in on the No Pants Subway Ride 2010, Amsterdam is a great audience… ;)

    See you next year!

    Shoqs – The Netherlands

  3. Hi all! Thanks to those who stopped by to take a Free Pants Test! I hope that everyone who accepted one of our free pairs of pants is finding them to be comfortable and rewarding.

    Pro Pants representatives issued 200 questionnaires, distributed over 400 pamphlets, and gave away more than 20 pairs of pants! And we’re happy to report that within 24 hours, roughly 100% of pantsless riders had accepted pants into their lives. An extraordinary conversion rate!

  4. Awesome event! This was my first “No Pants” experience, and it was fantastic. I was a team leader in Boston and lead my team to pantsless victory! I’ll see everyone there again next year!

    — Agent StalePhish

  5. We heard reports of people getting kicked out of Virgin Megastore, Whole Foods, and McDonald’s. Wendy’s, however, was happy to serve the pantsless.

    Are you making Wendy’s out to be the good guys??! No no no!

  6. The drummer at 125th Street on the 4/5/6 line is “Mr. Prince” and he is there almost every day playing his drums, he’s really great!

  7. Woohoo!?!? Had a blast doing my first No Pants Ride. My friends and I will do it again next definitely. But I’m wearing boxer briefs with an extra sock next time, because it’s cold and I’m Asian…

    BTW, What train was Agent Reeves on? ;-)

  8. The next time I feel blue and don’t want to get out of bed I will look at this and remind myself of the wonderful wackiness in the world. And then I’ll get out of bed and take my pants off!

  9. Really? Only 50? Who counted in San Francisco?

    Sure it was down to around 50 by the end of the Castro, but that was after a third or half the people already left.

  10. I love this, and I cannot believe it has infiltrated so many countries! People are so great. I am totally down for next year.

  11. And this is one of the many reasons I LOVE NY! But one question: what happened to the people going through the subway selling pants to those who were pantsless? I thought that was a hilarious touch in the early missions.

  12. @Agent Seth,

    Don’t remember where I got that number from. If you have an official count for San Francisco, comment back and let me know.


    We dropped the pants sellers after dozens of people lost their pants in 2006. It was an awesome punchline, but it’s too complicated to do with 1,200 people. :)

  13. This year’s participants deserve extra kudos for risking frostbite. By the way, Minnesotans believe that a fresh sighting of Charlie Todd’s orange polka dot shorts in early January foretells two more months of winter.

  14. This is awesome. I think I am going to plan a trip to NYC next year with some friends just so I can come along. This would be so much fun. I know the people in this town would never do something like this. WOW. You guys are awesome. Two thumbs up.

  15. Pro Pants was thrilled so many pantless folks took our Free Pants Test. We expect that many of you discovered pants as soon as the very next morning!

    Check out Agent Eppink’s webpage to enjoy our pant literature, if you didn’t happen by our table during the mission!

  16. IE Junkie has it right… Minnesota is in for two more months of winter now…

    We had a blast up here. We actually had 7 people drop their pants. Not a bad turnout for an above ground railway in COLD weather.

    Glad it did not happen this week though. -19 outside, before wind chill.

  17. I happened to see you guys on youtube by accident. You made my otherwise boring day cheerful. Hats off to you guys!

  18. I’ve heard of these before is this part of the freeze as well where everyone freezes for a moment how do i get involved i’d luv to participate!

    I’m gonna watch the video again here at work and take my pants off to do so LOL

  19. Jeez you guys are genius. If I lived in a city with a subway system I would definetly have joined in. I may have to go to somewhere that does and participate next time.

  20. uummm… this is cool
    but how do you guys not get in trouble about this?
    how does it work?
    I want to be in it!
    When is the event?

  21. Hah. This is genius.
    I live in New York, but I couldn’t make it. Next year I will participate and in any event I can.

    BTW: My best friend’s sister saw you pantless people. 2k9.

  22. Hey! Awesome job, yet again I.E.! Also, excellent write up for the event! I loved the many links to other relevant I.E. events and the photos/info for other locations who de-pantsed as well.

    :D :D :D

  23. I’m totally going to collect some people here in Norway and do that! And then I’m going to come over to visit and join you in 2010! :D

  24. Hah This is awesome!
    I never heard of it before!
    I’m from Brazil, i’m so jealous right now! lol
    Well.. who knows.. maybe next year i’ll join you!

  25. Any sign of the agent that took the photos for the 6 train, car number 9? Would like to see our “work” published, thanks!

    To Charlie and the rest of the ImprovEverywhere crew that made this possible – thank you so much for organizing this great event. I was able to bring out a friend this year, and next year we’re bringing even more!

  26. I’m surprised that no Scandinavian city joined in, people are not afraid to drop their pants here! :D Although personally I’d never do something like that, I’m sure you’d easily find some agents. Good luck for the next improvs!

  27. i have always loved this sit, and this particular event, now that it’s becoming a tradition, espcially so. i have this image i can’t shake of someone who, for lack of imagination or whatever, has not heard of your fabulous bunch, but has managed to catch this event on their regular routine two or three times…..and starting to wonder ‘wasn’t it about the same time last year….?’

  28. Hi, im from Mexico, i live in Mexico City and i like all the things u do, i would like 2 participate, but do u do this things in Mexico, it would be great that u could organize something like that here.
    Hope u can ever come
    bye bye

  29. Amazing, Absolutely Amazing.
    Would i ever be for that, too bad winnipeg manitoba canada
    doesn’t have a subway system…

  30. WHOOO!! Hell yeah Minneapolis Minnesota for the win! It was cold, but by far the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I’m already trying to talk people into next year.

    And I’d like to accept the award for (coldest) on behalf of all of us, hehe.

  31. If one person doesn’t wear pants on the subway, he’s a freak. If two or more people don’t wear pants on the subway they are having fun.

  32. Awesome. I don’t know if I’d be willing to drop it and reveal my tighty-whities to the world, but I sure as heck give huge props to all you folks who are willing! If I ever find myself in NYC around that time, I think I’ll have to join in the fun somehow. Way to go, ImprovEverywhere!

  33. what times in china?
    Hi, im from china, i live in beijing City and i like all the things u do, i would like 2 participate, but do u do this things in china, it would be great that u could organize something like that here.
    Hope u can ever come~this time is chinese new year,happy new year to

  34. Awesome event… Next year I’m flying to NY to participate! A shame that Paris (which also has a huge subway network) isn’t participating, since that would only be 200 miles from where I live :)

  35. U guys Rock!

    if i had only known… we could also do something like that here in Brazil!!!

    Like a no pants shopping day… ‘cuz in my city we don’t have a subway system yet ^^


  36. Cheese! I live in Chicago and I would be frozen! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I would be shivering! WOW! you sure stand strong (and pantless)!

  37. wow. Need to do that here in NZ……

    Yeah, again, seriously not a good idea in Singapore. Zombies riding the MRT maybe, but not pantsless people. You’d get in so much trouble… (to my mates back in Singapore, fly elsewhere to do this!!)

  38. This is really cool and it looks like everyone involved had a lot of fun. Of course since I often wear a utilikilt, I’m already counted in the numbers of the pantless!

  39. I had never heard of Global No Pants Day before but looks like everyone has a fun time. I didn’t participate (since i didn’t know what it was) but saw a video of a friend that went to it.

    It was here in Washington DC, they were taking the train there and a couple police officers on the train told a whole large group to get off at the next metro stop (because a couple of people complained). One dude on the train was laughing uncontrollably. The people were questioned by the officers and the officers didn’t seem to believe their stories about it being for Global No Pants Day.

    Never knew if they made it to DC or if they were kicked off the trains for good. Does anyone know if they did make it? haha

    Guessing from the picture up there, maybe they did =D

  40. You are best people in my hearth. I cry, you are amazing, and your soul is strong.
    Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk

  41. Aaaaah you’re great =D
    It’s a pitty that something like that is not organised in my city or close-by =(
    Aaah I love you. you’re so funny.
    and something like this makes people very likable to me :)
    (sorry for my bad english :( -> I’m from germany :(…unfortunately)

  42. What? Where are all the negative comments!?

    Surely we can evoke racism and protest into this conversation too!?

    Man, what a let down. Half naked people are cool, redhead fake protests are not?

    Just goes to show you, the gingers have a long road ahead…maybe they should get naked…hmmm

    Thanks for more laughter, guys!

  43. yoo
    cant wait when you come to the netherlands again -.- i didnt know that improv everywhere did exist xD
    well i want to join the gang ;p nd have fun

  44. Here is my heart-felt but likely-futile plea that No Pants day is moved to a Sunday instead of a Saturday, so that we jews can join the fun!

    Stuff like this is why I love NYC. :)

  45. I was sooooo shocked when all the pantless people walked on the subway(bart) in san francisco today! Damn! Next year i wanna join!