Londoners bare (nearly) all for eleventh No Trousers Tube Ride

By Jacob Phillips
January 29 2020, 11.25

Tube carriages, escalators and platforms were dominated by bare legs as hundreds of Londoners celebrated the annual ‘No Trousers Tube Ride’ last month.

Beginning in Chinatown, participants split into groups before spreading across the District, Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines.

Commuters were left startled as trouser-less travellers also appeared at major stations such as Paddington and Waterloo.

PANTS DOWN: The annual No Trousers Tube ride returned for the eleventh year

The London event is hosted by the Stiff Upper Lip Society, a London-based group who aim to give strangers experiences of ‘chaos and joy,’ all while maintaining stiff upper lips.

LEGS ELEVEN: Participants hid their trousers in rucksacks

A Stiff Upper Lip Society member said: “This is my ninth year doing this. It is just about having fun.

“It is a little unusual but it gets people talking. I first came here ten years ago and I have only missed one event since.”

DEAD PAN: Participants acted as normally for comedic effect

The event was free for anyone to take part – participants only had to pay for their tube fare – with the Facebook group listing two just requirements.

Participants had to be ‘willing to take trousers off on the Tube’ and were also asked ‘to keep a straight face’.

Those taking part waited until they were safely underground before whipping their trousers off.

All other items of clothing, including jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and shoes were kept on.

Where in the world does the event occur?

Roughly 300 people take part in the joke each year and several members of the public spontaneously join the organised efforts each year.

The No Trousers’ Tube event has now taken place in London for 11 years.

The event’s cousin, ‘The No Pants Subway Ride’, was the first of its kind to take place and has inspired similar events in sixty different cities such as Berlin and Tokyo.

BARE BOTTOMS: The ride takes place at every major station in the capital

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The No Trousers Tube Ride received a significant amount of attention from the national media but many attendees were disappointed it did not receive more coverage.

Disappointed event attendee Niv Ben-Yehuda said: “Completely wrong priorities for printed editions of Metro and ES today – many pages about Harry and Meghan and nothing about No Trousers Tube Ride.”

Fellow trouser-less traveller Helen Whiteley posted on the event’s Facebook page: “We’re all exhibitionist saddos apparently!”

BARKING MAD: A border terrier was one of the many participants

Organisers of the London event carefully warned people not to remove more clothes than were appropriate. The event has never had any trouble with the police.

The Stiff Upper Lip Society wrote: “You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, ‘I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.’

“Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people.

“Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off. Please don’t wear anything overly close-fitting (so no thongs, banana hammocks or mankinis) or kilts without anything underneath.

“We don’t want people to be disgusted, and the organisers do not want trouble so we are putting our trust in you.”

History of the No Trousers Tube Ride

The initial No Trousers Subway Ride started as a small prank with seven men in 2002.

The event was planned as a comedic experiment to see how the public would react if someone got on a train in every item of clothing except for their trousers.

The idea was developed when the initial organisers wondered what the public’s response would be if a second trouser-less traveller get on at the next stop.

It has since grown into an international celebration of silliness.

The event has never had any issues with the police in the UK however it has received a mixed reaction in the US since it began.

The fifth No Pants ride in New York in 2006 was abruptly halted by the police.

All passengers, including those not participating, were forced to exit the train as it was taken out of service.

Eight people were handcuffed in their underwear and taken into custody. A month later a judge dismissed all of the charges.

Around 150 people had taken part in the ride.

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