In 2002 10 members of Improv Everywhere initiated the No Pants Subway Ride in New York City, stripping themselves of their pants on the 6 train as passengers watched, unsure. A couple of men resented what another passenger defended as performance art. "Well, then, bring it to the theatre," they replied. "This is not the opera house. This is the subway!"
To which another woman retorted, "You're forgetting what happened on September 11th! Lighten up!"
Five years later, the 2002 video was posted on YouTube, which was spotted by Kate (the girl seen reading "The Rape of Nanking"). "Do I get a free shirt or something?" she wrote. No, but she did get to appear in a 2013 documentary about the group's many stunts, "We Cause Scenes."
Key to the stunt is that participants must act as if nothing unusual is going on.
Today, No Pants Subway Ride has spread around the world, with legs bared in trains across the U.S., as well as in Berlin (pictured, in 2014), London, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Warsaw, Prague, Stockholm and Tokyo.
Credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images
There are only two requirements for participation:
1) Be willing to take your pants off on the subway; and 2) Be able to keep a straight face about it.
Pictured: Participants in Prague, Czech Republic, January 10, 2016.