The quirky annual tradition is returning to London this weekend - but a few things have changed this year.
Those amongst you who aren’t afraid to bare all – rejoice! The annual No Trousers On The Tube Day is returning this weekend. But this year’s event will be a bit different than previous years…
The trouserless tradition started when the New York-based group Improv Everywhere held the inaugural ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ in 2002. You can imagine the shock of commuters as fellow public transport riders suddenly started stripping off! But as the event has gained notoriety, the sight of a trouserless tube rider has become almost (dare we say it?) normalised.
Subsequent London editions have taken place almost every year since 2009 – bar a break in the action due to COVID. Fast forward to 2024 and, on Sunday, January 7, Londoners will strip off (partially!) to take part in this year’s jeans-less jaunt.
What’s different for 2024
It should be noted that while the spirit of the ride remains the same, this is not the same No Trousers Tube Ride that has been dropping trous since 2009. The original organisers, The Stiff Upper Lip Society, have chosen to cease all future No Trousers Tube Rides. They decided to stop because the American iteration (and other events worldwide) have also stopped taking place.
Last year, two separate No Trousers Tube Ride events took place simultaneously. One was organised by the Stiff Upper Lip Society, while the other was organised by a prior member of the group, Dave Selkirk. This year’s No Trousers Tube Ride is the second event from Selkirk, with no event this year from prior organisers.
Said organiser Dave Selkirk:
It’s been a popular event for so many years because it’s an event just for the sake of fun. It’s a very welcoming crowd and pictures over the years show what a great time everyone has. With all the sadness or seriousness out there in the world today, it’s a privilege to live in London and have an event such as this where we can just let go and have fun.
I’ve been involved for 6 years as a group leader and organiser, and when Stuff Upper Lip said they weren’t doing it this year I decided I’d like it to still go ahead.
Stiff Upper Lip felt it had run it’s course, I feel there’s still a huge demand for it, and that there is still a huge benefit to holding it.
Oh, and by the way – there are also Tube strike to contend with this year! With Tube services expected to end earlier than usual on Saturday, customers have been advised by TfL to complete their tube journeys by 5:30pm. Nonetheless, the event is going ahead – clearly not past 5:30pm though…
The No Trousers Tube Ride deets
The event starts at 3:00pm in Chinatown opposite the Canton Restaurant (use postcode WC2H 7JR to find it). Participants are asked to arrive at 2:45pm before the horde splits off into smaller groups to catch the tube. Participants are told to arrive in ordinary clothes—it is pretty nippy out there, after all—and they’ll be given the signal to discard their britches once they’ve boarded the train.
And no you can’t cheat by wearing a long skirt or a dress. That defies the whole point! It’s about the silliness inherent in someone wearing no trousers and acting nonchalant about it all! Previous years have seen participants wearing OTT undies (including Tube-themed examples) but this year’s organiser has a different idea. This year’s No Trousers riders are asked to “keep the (under)pants as normal or low-key as possible, so it looks like you’ve just forgotten your trousers.”
Following the trouserless journey, the event description promises a (presumably also trouserless?) after-party as everyone meets up for a drink to discuss the event.
NB: In America, it may be called the no PANTS ride, but please remember to keep your pants (UK) firmly around your tooshie. And yes, one of the requirements is pants with sufficient coverage. Let’s keep it relatively PG here, eh folks?
Dare to bare? Join the Facebook event here.