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A Breezier Way to Ride the Rocket

On Saturday, over three hundred Torontonians dropped their trousers on the TTC as part of the second annual No-Pants Subway Ride—an event organized by Improv in Toronto, the volunteer prank group behind Finish Line Marathon, Subway Dance Party, Dinosaur Protest, and Where’s Waldo in the Eaton Centre. The event began at Queen’s Park at 3 p.m., as hundreds of cold Torontonians huddled around awaiting instructions. The original plan was to board at Museum Station, but scouts reported that TTC constables were out in full force, so the event was diverted to Queen’s Park Station, and from there the group travelled south around to Eglinton Station, then back again. The objective was simple: remove your pants and act casual—you don’t know any of the other pants-less individuals, and they don’t know you. (Still confused? Then check out this YouTube clip of the trouser-less mayhem.)
Everyone had a different reason to take their pants off. “We want to bring a little excitement [to the TTC],” explained two young participants named Derrick and Johnny. “We want to shake people out of their routine.” “No, it’s all about liberating oneself,” explained another young woman. “We’re here to express ourselves. People are too self-conscious about their bodies.”
The event, part of a larger worldwide event organized by Improv Everywhere, was a resounding success, and commuters were annoyed, mystified, entertained, and brought to hysterics by the sight. “I think organized ridiculousness is just what this city needs on a cold day like today,” explained one commuter. “This is funny,” said another man to his friend. “Are they protesting the war or something?” But not everyone was happy. “This country doesn’t have any morals anymore,” fumed one woman at St. Patrick Station.
Despite a few unhappy commuters, and one elderly gentleman who hurt his pride when he when he tripped over his own feet while staring at group of young ladies in lacey undies, the event went smoothly. “We were worried about rioting and vandalism,” explained one TTC constable. “But everyone has been well behaved and the event has been fun.”
“I think it was definitely a success,” said organizer Cole Banning. “First off, we were able to fill the whole train and everyone understood the directions. But more importantly, we got a reaction! I saw tons of people chuckling to themselves, and I was questioned about not having pants three times.”
All photos by Stephen Michalowicz/Torontoist


  • http://null picard102

    Hah, I made it into the Torontoist!

  • http://null bigdaddyhame

    …and you only had to drop your pants to do it. Some people will do anything to get published!

  • http://null badbhoy

    Cute and original until I saw the banana hammocks…

  • http://undefined johnpee

    Thankfully nobody was hanging any brain.

  • http://null rek

    Is it really improv if it happens like clockwork once every month or two?

  • http://null DanL

    Good times!
    Does being in the YouTube vid count as making it onto Torontoist? haha.
    Yay Group 1!!! One of my favorite moments was definitely when two lady senior citizens asked if this was being done on behalf of Princess Margaret Hospital and us pantsless ones just looked at THEM in confusion and said we had no idea what they were talking about. LOL

  • Coledsbanning

    Similar to an improv show you might see downtown, we do plan the basis of our missions ahead of time. But that dosn’t change what we are doing.
    The improv happens during the missions, when we must make up things on the spot to explain, whatever weird circumstance is taking place (whether it be not having pants, or something else).

  • http://null atomeyes99

    #5 T-Rek:
    is it spontaneous when there were 1 or more camerapersons there to record the event?
    part of me says “hey, if they are having harmless fun, leave them alone.” but another part of me thinks they are a group of shameless attention-seeking geeks who think some lame group activity is their only way to do something “fun”

  • Coledsbanning

    Well it isn’t supposed to be spontaneous.
    Personally my real reason for these missions, is I find it great how we can brighten a persons day, with such a simple yet random act. And believe me, I saw many, many people laughing.
    But I mean everyone sees what we do differently. And I realise some might not take to it as well.

  • http://null Gloria

    That’d be the part of you that’s a crotchety old man.

  • http://null Svend

    Great idea, but I don’t see the need to avoid the police.

  • Coledsbanning

    At the time we were worried they were planning on shutting us down. And we didn’t want to send 300 people home empty handed.
    It turned out though, that they had no problem with our mission. And just wanted to make sure everything went smoothly.