In 2002, seven guys decided to pull off a small prank by riding the New York City subway without pants. What started out as a little joke has grown in to an annual event that draws approximately 4,000 participants in New York City, and celebrated around the world in approximately 60 cities in over 25 countries. This year marked the event’s 12th anniversary.
Pranksters met at six prearranged locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Once on the subway trains, the accomplices casually removed their pants to the amusement of fellow passengers.
When asked by curious passersby about the lack of pants, the pantless pranksters simply shrugged or explained that their pants felt uncomfortable.
Although the event is well known and grows each year, there was no shortage of shocked onlookers who shook their heads in confusion.
The group’s final destination was Union Square Park where the event took on a party atmosphere with conga-lines and dancing. In what has become an annual mission, the no-pantsers took over the windows of DSW and Burlington directly across from Union Square Park, to the cheers of the crowd below.
The event is staged by Improv Everywhere, who pride themselves on causing scenes.
©2013 Domenick Pilla
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Domenick Pilla is also the National Cultural Issues Examiner