The 12 Terrible People You’ll Meet On The Subway


An ode to the ruiners of mornings, noons, and nights.


1. The Statues

These people refuse to move an inch in any direction in order to make room for others on the subway bench. They do not budge because they are better than you and they deserve more room than you do. Most of the time these folks keep their heads hung low in order to avoid eye contact with fellow passengers who would like to rest their weary legs, and surely could, if the stone dickhead would simply scoot over.

2. The Music Blasters

The first type of music blaster is the one who cranks the volume up so loudly that you can hear it pouring out of their headphones over the music that you are trying to listen to through your own headphones. This entirely defeats the purpose of said headphones, and leaves other music listeners doomed to hear blaring techno throughout their eight am commute.

The second type of music blaster is the one who either doesn’t own headphones, forgot them at home, or is just a fucking asshole, and decides to play music directly from their phone so that the whole train can jam out together. Usually this train DJ is also the next music sensation and you get to hear him rap along.

3. The Loud Talkers

Now, I understand if you’re riding the train with a friend and catching up on life and what not, but if you are sitting next to one another I see no reason for you to broadcast your conversation to the train. Your life is not more interesting than the book I am reading (I’ve had to reread the same page five times now), and I’m tired, and you’re giving me a headache. More times than not, these loud talkers are discussing their entire sexual history, which makes things even juicier for everyone. Also, loud talking in a foreign language is definitely preferable.

4. The Beggars

Ah, it just wouldn’t be New York without the homeless. My favorite genre of homeless are those that like to train hop in order to scrounge together some kind of living. I have seen the same people time after time give the same spiel with the same intonation. They remind me of myself when I waitress. I’ve begun to doubt their dedication to their own cause. Then there are the people who stumble through the train high or drunk and you aren’t exactly sure what they’re saying, but you’re pretty sure they’re asking for money. Some homeless people like to sell food and toys in order to collect some cash. I bought a Rubik’s cube the other day and it still hasn’t made me the life of the party, so thanks for that.

5. The Sickos

The person on the train who is obviously seriously ill and won’t stop coughing and snotting all over the place. Bless your heart, it isn’t your fault, but get the hell away from me.

6. The Perverts

This the guy that stares at you for the entire train ride. You try not to look, but when you do, you get a cute little smirk or a wink, and maybe even an obscene hand gesture. If you’re lucky, this dude will even try to strike up a conversation with you. These are the kind of train riders who make you wish you were invisible, or wearing a very large hat.

7. The Stinkers

There just ain’t nothin’ better than a smelly person on a train. This is the fellow that fills up the entire subway car with his or her rank odor so everyone gets to inhale it and keep it as a little treasure in their lungs. Thank you, sir or madam, I think some of it stuck to me! Forget the Chanel I sprayed myself with this morning, this shit smell is so much better! A heavy breather with bad breath is always a plus.

8. The Performers

“IT’S SHOWTIME!” Dear God, not again. I remember the first time I saw these subway dancers, I thought it was pretty cool and kind of funny. The novelty wore off either the third time I saw them, or the time I got kicked in the face. I’m not entirely sure. It truly is just an obnoxious interruption. By the time you finally find a place to stand, these punks come in and make you move to a side of the train so that they can catch their hats in their mouths and clap on their knees. Whatever, I’m not impressed. Then, it gets worse. After their half-assed display they ask for money, and if you don’t give them money, they get all pissy and make rude comments. I didn’t ask for you to hang from the ceiling and high-five your friend upside down, buddy.

9. The Children

Screaming children suck. Sugar shocked children suck. Children on the subway simply suck. Whether they’re screaming their head off, spinning around the hand pole, kicking me in the shin, or running up and down the length of the car, I do not like them. And what is worse than misbehaving children? Their psychotic parents who yell even louder than they do and scream things like: “Don’t make me scream at you in front of all these people!” Oh, no? Sometimes, these parents make me feel bad for initially despising their child. Nothing like public punishment to make everyone in the subway car feel awkward.

10. The Thespians

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends who are actors, singers, dancers, and the like. In fact, I took part in a few high school musical productions myself; however, thespians need to keep their thespian-ness to themselves on the subway. I don’t want to hear you practice your monologue. I do not want to hear the three of you harmonize a song from Rent. I don’t want to hear you practice your breathing exercises. You have great projection, perfect for the theater, terrible for everyone on your subway car.

11. The Eaters

Food on the train makes me queasy. Watching someone chow down on greasy fried chicken is enough to get one’s stomach churning. I especially like it when they throw their trash on the floor after they are finished. Once, I saw a woman pull out a jar of Nutella and eat it with her finger. I watched in awe as she kept dipping her finger in and then sucking the Nutella off. When she was satisfied, she ran that spit and hazelnut covered finger through her hair. De-lish.

12. The Birthing Mothers

Self- explanatory. It happened. It was horrific. I am scarred for life and may not have children in the future. Holy hell.