No Pants!

(Last Updated On: April 4, 2016)

An associate came across an interesting example of performance art called The No Pants Subway Ride. Essentially started as a prank in 2002, it has turned into an international annual event. On a lark, he decided to investigate if any children had participated; after all, it wouldn’t be appropriate to allow kids to participate in this kind of event, would it? Lo and behold, he did find some images of little girls taking part and shared them with me.

(Photographer Unknown) - No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (1)

(Photographer Unknown) – No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (1)

(Photographer Unknown) - No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (2)

Timothy A. Clary – No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown)

Timothy A. Clary - No Pants Subway Ride (2015)

Timothy A. Clary – No Pants Subway Ride (2015)

(Photographer Unknown) - No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (3)

(Photographer Unknown) – No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (2)

(Photographer Unknown) - No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (4)

(Photographer Unknown) – No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (3)

(Photographer Unknown) - No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (5)

(Photographer Unknown) – No Pants Subway Ride (Date Unknown) (4)

The No Pants Subway Ride is staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City. It started with only seven guys and has become an international celebration with dozens of cities around the world participating. The idea was that random passengers would board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants and behave as though they did not know each other. They would wear appropriate attire for the season such as winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, just no pants. There were no pictures taken of the first event, but some video footage was captured. Improv Everywhere produced a video, We Cause Scenes*, about the history of No Pants and there is a summary at the Improv Everywhere website. This year’s event was the 15th anniversary and included 30 cities such as Tokyo and Jerusalem with the Moscow event catching the attention of the police. Cities outside New York began participating in 2008.

Any readers who find dates for these images, that information would be much appreciated. -Ron

*Available through Netflix and other outlets.  Sorry, there is no complete video available online.

5 thoughts on “No Pants!

  1. I thought it was interesting that the one girl wore a mask. I think the intention there was obvious, but it also seems that there might have been some unconscious deeper symbolism going on as well.

    • I noticed the mask and felt it was to protect the girl from ridicule at school. Her close friends would know it was her because we could see her parents’ faces. On the other hand, these particular participants may have had a deeper symbolic meaning in mind.

  2. Thank you for featuring this event from my own hometown, but now
    one little protest:

    These images, though, seem so un-“Pigtails”.
    Using pictures in which the panties are blocked by little pocketbooks
    or other objects smacks of the silly censorship that “Pigtails” is so rightly against.

    • First of all, none of the Pigtails’ staff were the photographers, so there may have been some self-censorship on their part which we have no control over. Also, the winter attire is heavy and tends to hang over, so there is usually not much to see except for those young women who are deliberately trying to be sexy. I think it is enough that this event exists and it establishes that it is safe for children to participate in such silly things with the grownups. If you have some showier examples you would like to share, you are at liberty to do so. It is possible I may add some screen shots at a later date from the film We Cause Scenes. -Ron

      • By the way, I contacted Improv Everywhere with my suggestion that the movie “We Cause Scenes” should really be made available on a DVD.

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