Common sense really isn’t as common as you think. Or as common as it needs to be! The simple fact of the matter is that when we’re in public, we’re not alone and have to respect others. We know, we know, we can practically hear some of you Pandas laughing and saying, “That’s what the word ‘public’ means, doofus.” It’s an obvious thing. But just how obvious is it, really?
When you go on public transport—whether that’s the subway (aka the metro, aka the tube), your local triple-decker bus, or some sort of large communal skateboard—you expect people to Behave A Certain Way. At the end of the day, even though you expect to see a bit of weirdness on public transportation, all you want is some basic courtesy. The guy dressed as a literal clown by the window may be the politest person in town, but that sharply dressed fellow sitting right over yonder can be the rudest, most infuriating individual you’ve ever met.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Bored Panda has collected proof that some passengers have absolutely no clue how to behave on public transport, and should seriously reconsider their life values. Scroll down for the worst of the worst, upvote the pics that made you go ‘ew!’ and ‘yuck!’, and tell us all about all the horrible things you’ve seen on your commute, dear Pandas.
Bored Panda wanted to get to grips with public transportation etiquette and culture, so we reached out to Rick McGuire, the mastermind behind the ‘Subway Creatures’ social media project that documents unusual commuters on the New York subway. He was kind enough to answer our questions. You’ll find our full interview with him below, so be sure to read on.
Happy scrolling… just make sure you’re not eating anything at the moment. Got your hand sanitizer and Unsee Juice(™) with you? All right, let’s go.
#1 Is There A Podiatrist On The Plane?
Image credits: Zombie_John_Strachan
#2 What’s That Stank?
Image credits: Cory0527
#3 Someone Left These Used Cotton Swabs On This Train Window
Image credits: dinomine3000
Rick, the founder of ‘Subway Creatures,’ told Bored Panda what the passenger culture is like on the New York subway.
“One way to spot a true New Yorker on the subway is to find the person minding their own business and not distracted by anything going on around them,” he said.
“They don’t sit under the subway map because they know that’s inviting tourists to stand over them while they try to navigate the city. They don’t clap for the ‘Showtime’ performers and they know that if there’s an empty subway car, there’s a reason no one’s on it—time to move to the next!”
#4 Oblivious Woman Sitting In Front Of My Dad On A 5-Hour Flight
Image credits: Orygun-Not-Orygone
#5 This Is The One Thing I Am Most Worried About Before Getting On A Plane
Image credits: Addian4
#6 First Of All, Her Hair Is Right In My Face. Second Of All, Where Is My Plane Going
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Image credits: OnceJazz366
We also wanted to know whether the ‘culture’ found in one form of public transport differs from that in another, e.g. subways and buses. Here’s what Rick, from ‘Subway Creatures,’ told us: “A lot of the same people and same etiquette apply to all forms of transportation in NYC.”
He continued: “However, the subway is unique in that there are platforms, tunnels, and subway cars which present opportunities for many different ‘activities’ compared to the buses or ferry. You are much less likely to catch performers, musicians, and weird situations on a crosstown bus—but I’m not saying that doesn’t happen!”
#7 Getting Back To My Seat After A Bathroom Break
Image credits: Lamamalin
#8 Sitting Like This On A Plane
Image credits: Antman0528
#9 New Plane Etiquette
Image credits: notpreposterous
Meanwhile, Rick shared some of his insights about how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the subway in New York City.
“For a while during the pandemic, the NYC subway system was pretty desolate and people were very wary about traveling places around strangers. That has visibly changed in the last year or so and it’s very obvious that more people are now using it again,” he said.
“For some reason, crime has spiked in the subway since the pandemic and that’s another leading cause to why some people refuse to use it these days. It seems more and more people are either walking places or using other means of transportation such as bikes, electric scooters, etc. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues in the future.”
#10 Shaving On The Subway
Image credits: DrFetusRN
#11 This Man Taking Up 4 Seats On Public Transit
Image credits: drragan
#12 Dad Letting His Kid Climb The Luggage Rack On A Train
Image credits: ioncoddingtonagain
Look, let’s have a frank chat, Pandas: hygiene is important. Everyone gets sweaty and that’s completely natural, but there’s a limit to how ‘comfortable’ you get on public transport. We draw the line at people taking off their shoes and socks on the subway.
You shouldn’t be going barefoot in places like these! First of all, it’s dirty. Secondly—and more importantly—think of all the other passengers next to you. Some folks stick their stinky, smelly, icky feet into other people’s personal space, and it’s so gross that you don’t need a list like this one to tell you that it’s wrong.
Some passengers go as far as clipping their nails on the tube. Others clean their ears and leave the q-tips for someone else to clean up. Those are definitely worse behaviors than forgetting about your empty bag of crisps. Just… pick up after yourself. Please! Public transport isn’t a public toilet. It’s also not your home where you can do pretty much whatever you want to.
#13 On My Flight To Germany. She Was Squeezing His Pimples For About 1 Hour. He Even Took His Shirt Off So That She Could Squeeze The Pimples On His Back
Image credits: theMiezmiez
#14 It’s Going To Be A Long Flight
Image credits: jangro
#15 On My Morning Commute To Work
Image credits: Tottmeist3r
Then you have your ‘classics’ like pretty awful excuses for human beings taking up way too many seats when it’s crowded. This goes beyond not giving up your seat for those who might need it more and enters the territory of So Incredibly Selfish We Can’t Believe Their Parents Didn’t Teach Them Better.
Something that the Covid-19 pandemic should have taught everyone was the importance of personal hygiene, keeping your distance from others, and wearing face masks. Alas! It seems like far from everyone learned those lessons.
And we’re back to where we were before the pandemic: personal space being invaded by people’s feet (socks optional) and clutter friggin everywhere. Behavior like that is making us seriously consider how deep selfishness can actually go. Not everyone is able to respect common-sense boundaries. But to repeat ourselves, common sense ain’t that common.
#16 Im A Bus Driver. Someone Left Their Food On The Seat
Image credits: tetraquintans
#17 “We Sterilize Every Flight” But Apparently Do Not Remove Human Hair From A Cup Holder Do We Jetblue?
Image credits: SNUFFYCAKES
#18 This Guy On A Plane Ate And Then Threw The Rest Of The Meal He Didn’t Eat In The Hall
Image credits: Aldonza20
Researchers led by Christopher Mason, who had done a 2015 study on the microbes found in the New York subway system, discovered that each city had a different microbial makeup. In other words, researchers could predict with a whopping 88% accuracy which city a sample came from.
The researchers found 748 bacteria and 10,928 viruses that had not been identified at that point. Though the vast majority of these are (probably) of no concern, it suggests that public transport can be the perfect melting pot for the spread and mutation of new illnesses.
However much we might frown at public transport, it’s not all bad. You can use your commute to catch up on various things, browse some memes, or take a break from everything (…or at least that’s what we tell ourselves to hide the fact that we really REALLY hate long commutes and think they’re soul-crushingly evil in a completely mundane way).
#19 Vaping Inside A Plane
Image credits: OzTs
#20 A Little In Flight Lobster
Image credits: dragonslayar
#21 The People In Front Of Me On My Flight Home
Image credits: lAMAraindog
Rita Friedman, a career coach, previously told Bored Panda that commutes are literally transitional units of space and time, so a lot of commuters use it “as a break between the responsibilities of home and the responsibilities of work or school.”
“It’s the perfect moment to look at pictures of failed cakes or animals making funny faces. It’s just nice to have time where nobody is holding you accountable,” career coach Rita told Bored Panda that commutes can be relaxing if we choose to take the time to unwind.
#22 Dude Takes His Massive Mastiff On The Bus And Fails To Control The Dog. Dog Is Barking Every 10 Seconds. Bonus Points For The Dude’s Butt Hanging Out
Image credits: ends1995
#23 The Joys Of International Travel
Image credits: brownshout
#24 The Final Manspreading Boss
Image credits: hide4way
According to the career coach, “zoning out” can be very therapeutic during our journey to or from work or our studies. Different people deal with stress in different ways.
“That might be scrolling through social media or half-listening to a podcast. I’ll also say some of my best ideas have come to me when I’ve been staring out a window or at a wall. If work is really taxing, you might find that bringing something on your ride lets you focus away from the distractions of the office—it actually might be a lot easier to knock out a report without a chatty coworker hovering nearby.”
#25 Caught This Woman Sitting In Front Of Me On A Plane Sending Some Very Alarming Texts
Image credits: tristydotj
#26 Putting Gum In The Charging Slots On Public Transport
Image credits: adam_finn
#27 People Who Leave A Train Like This
Image credits: HMSBannard
Others choose to use their commutes to catch up on their personal communications, focus on managing their work calendars, and just plain get ready for the day or the week ahead. It’s time for prep that can help you instantly get stuck into work or your studies. On the flip side, relaxing during your commute also has its upsides.
“You might also find yourself more productive at work if you spend your commute doing something like reading or playing a strategy game that gets your brain warmed up. If you are actively walking / driving / biking, taking a different route can help shake things up and break up the monotony,” the coach said.
#28 Compilation Of “Nightmare On A Plane”
Image credits: girolski07
#29 A Friend Shared This Photo Of A Guy On His Bus Eating A Pack Of Raw Mince Meat And Pork Chops Straight Out Of The Packet
Image credits: lodge28
#30 Who Does This?
Image credits: mischiefbrewer
“Unless you have a very long commute, it’s probably pushing it to try to get into any kind of study or meaningful work that requires a state of flow, but it could be a good time to watch a 5-minute refresher tutorial on a new skill you’re working on or to skim through an article your colleagues will also have read.”
#31 This Guy On My 9-Hour Flight Just Plugged These Bad Boys In Once They Turned Off The Lights (11:30PM)
Image credits: deadraibead39
#32 As A Cabin Crew, To See This Mess After The Flight
Image credits: vincisda
#33 This Parent Brings Her Own Potty Seat On Board, And Sets It In The Aisle Midflight For Her Child To Use
When discovered by the crew, she was told she couldn’t do it and would have to use an unoccupied lavatory, and her reply: “I don’t care”.
Image credits: passengershaming
#34 This Guy On My Train Making Butt To Fabric Contact With His Seat
Image credits: AllMyNamesAreTooLong
#35 Parents Who Can’t Take Care Of Their Children On A Commute
Image credits: FarrelMFajar
#36 This Pistachio Eating Jerk
Image credits: MemeHermetic
#37 Lady In Front Of Me During 4-Hour Flight
Image credits: jaaaayftw
#38 Someone Took Off Their Mask To Block The AC Vent In A Public Bus
Image credits: NOCHNOY_
#39 Alone In The Bus Until Somebody Gets In And Decides To Sit There, Despite The Social Distancing Regulation
Image credits: Rheavens
#40 Lady Taking Up Three Seats On A Packed CTA Bus
Image credits: YaboiNoel
#41 Spotted This Kid Next To Me Jumping And Climbing On His Seat While The Plane Was Landing. Parents Please
Image credits: LeDeferon
#42 Watched Her Eat These And Then Just Toss Them On The Bus Floor
Image credits: wheresyourbubble
#43 You Arrive 10 Mins Early For Your Train, The Train Gets Cancelled, The Next Train Is 25 Mins Away, And It Arrives 15 Mins Late, And When The Doors Open You See This
Image credits: bluntman
#44 This Repugnant Toe Right Next To My Daughter On A Flight
Image credits: pretty_dirty
#45 Saw This Gross Woman On My Flight Today
Image credits: h-m-m_
#46 Elderly Lady Behind Me On A Flight. Even After Asking Nicely, She Wouldn’t Move Them And Told Me To Try Meditation To Calm Down
Image credits: th3m4st4
#47 Never Thought It’ll Happen To Me. 6-Hour Flight, Touched Me 3 Times
Image credits: mr_hargao
#48 Clipping Your Nails On The Train And Letting Them Fly Everywhere
Image credits: MagretFume
#49 Nastiest Passenger Award Goes To This Guy. His Child Also Proceeded To Run Up And Down The Isle Screaming
Image credits: londonsages
#50 Drunk Passenger Passed Out And Peed Himself
Image credits: BestUserName510
#51 This Is What I Came Back To After Leaving My Seat For The Toilet
I was on a 9-hour flight and my seat was broken so the flight attendant told me to sit next to this woman. 2 seats next to her were free. The woman told me that I couldn’t sit there because she had another layover and needed to sleep.
Image credits: lolleknolle
#52 Taking All Of The Seats During Rush Hour
Image credits: klok52jasdert
#53 The Girl On The Plane Next To Me Decided To Make Herself Really Comfortable On My Flight To LA Today
Image credits: Figgywithit
#54 This Guy On My Bus To Work Sat Like This In The Elderly/Disabled Priority Section And Was Playing His Crappy Music
Image credits: Helloimanonymoose
#55 Public Transportation Is Not Your Living Room
Image credits: thn_perish
#56 Some Guy Clipping His Toe Nails On City A Bus
Image credits: fzkhn
#57 When The Chicha Bar Is Closed, The Subway Isn’t A Replacement
Image credits: Moug-10
#58 NYC Subway
Image credits: BrettRedacted
#59 Riding The Bus Is Fun And He Was Snoring Loudly
Image credits: dtownjhox
#60 This Guy On The Night Bus In Paris
Image credits: jack635
#61 If You Do This On Flights Or Any Public Transport, Screw You
Image credits: Florik01
#62 Big Speaker Blasting Music On The Bus
Image credits: Osama_Bin_Ladder
#63 This Guy Who’s Playing His Music Out Loud On A Full Flight (At Max Volume)
Image credits: SouthpawAce14
#64 I Had To Change Seats Because These People Started Smoking Next To Me. Not Only That, But They Kicked Leftover Food Under Their Seats And Spilled Drinks All Over The Floor
Image credits: ChicagoChurro
#65 Aaah, Public Transport
Image credits: Algosaubi
#66 The Best Place To Sleep
Image credits: WoWords
#67 That Seat Was Occupied Too
Image credits: whatsasnozberry
#68 Someone Wedged Their Dirty Underwear Next To The Tissue Dispenser On My Plane
Image credits: reddit.com
#69 On My Flight To Chicago Last Tuesday
Image credits: ebeezy12
#70 People Who Sit Like This On Public Transit And Refuse To Move When Others Are Trying To Get Past Them
Image credits: skrezzed
#71 Waiting To Take Off On A 6-Hour Flight, This Is Going To Be Great. He’s Going To Find Out Soon How Not Ok This Is
Image credits: bewk
#72 This Guy’s Luggage And Coat Taking Up Three Seats On A Bus Where Other People Are Standing
Image credits: thefigg88
#73 The Guy Sitting Across From Me On The Bus
Image credits: bruhgreenbean
#74 People Who Block Window Seats On Public Transit
Image credits: Yaminichi
#75 Guy Shaving His Head On Public Transit
Image credits: BoyBoy01
#76 Elderly Woman Clipping Her Nails In Public Transport
Image credits: mrcapybara47
#77 Benefits Of Flying Economy Class
Image credits: Mortadelllla
#78 A 75-Year-Old Bifocal-Wearing Male Passenger Needs A Massive Font Size On His E-Reader To Read An Adult Book. Get Me Off This Plane
He was jotting down notes on “best organic lubes” in his notebook
Image credits: newfrancisco
#79 So This Just Happened On The Train
Image credits: b34tgirl
#80 The Seat Pocket In The Plane Was Clearly The Best Place To Spit Sunflower Seeds
Image credits: _-World-_
#81 If You Leave The Train Table Like This When You Get Off, I Hate You
Image credits: yoru
#82 I’m Going Back Home From A Notorious Hiking Town And This Is Where The Person Behind Me Decided To Put Her Feet. We’re On A 3-Hour Bus Ride
Image credits: An_Outer_World_Otter
#83 People Who Stick Gum In Charging Ports On Public Transport
Image credits: BebopRehab
#84 My View For Most Of My 3-Hour Flight
Image credits: dashb0y
#85 Trashy Dad And Daughter On My Flight Today. Flight Attendants Said Nothing
Image credits: 13aes
#86 Worse Than Smelly Feet? On My 9-Hour Flight This Morning
Image credits: blokkiesam
#87 Woman Drinks Beer On Public Bus, Then Crumples It And Tosses It Under The Seat
Image credits: Saturday_Repossesser
#88 This Woman Cutting Her Hair On The Bus
Image credits: offthewagons
#89 Here’s What An Entitled Duchebag On A Crowded Metro North Commuter Train To New York Looks Like
Image credits: protegehype
#90 This Is Going To Be A Long Flight. This Man In The Seat Across From Me Has Taken Off His Pants For The Flight. He Is Just In His Boxers. Flight Attendants Seemed Unconcerned
Image credits: Lizzie_Thompson
#91 This Douche On My Flight
Image credits: _scenario_7
#92 This Woman In A Darkened Cabin Of Our Plane At 5:45 In The Morning, Leaving Only Her Light On So She Can Watch A Video On Her iPad
Image credits: Rinteln
#93 Can You Bring Scissors On A Plane?
Image credits: spacedmountain
#94 This Man On My Flight
Image credits: bpoag
#95 People Doing This On Train
Image credits: always-alien
#96 Guy Decides It’s Fine To Air Out His Stinky Feet Across Three Seats On A Packed Train
Image credits: LieutenantChonkster
#97 This Jerk Taking Up 6 Seats On The Train At 7AM, While Others Don’t Have Anywhere To Sit
Image credits: ElectricalLongboard
#98 That No One Can Sit Next To You In A Full Bus
Image credits: uNICORN117013
#99 People Who Hang Their Hair Over Your Lap On Long Bus Rides
Image credits: Ejsuuu
#100 This Ryanair Passenger
Image credits: paulgrimes1
#101 First Class Seat, No Class Passenger
Image credits: DelgadoTheRaat
#102 This Guy Using His Phone’s Light To Play Crossword Puzzles During The Majority Of My 5-Hour Flight Home
Image credits: knightofsparta
#103 Always The Hair
Image credits: danteramos
#104 I Don’t Get Why People Won’t Wear Masks, They’re So Useful
Image credits: serendipitaet
#105 Romance Is Alive
Image credits: Ooory
#106 This Is The Only One Socket In This Train And She Doesn’t Even Charge The Phone
Image credits: xXur_motherXx
#107 This Woman Turned On Her Overhead Light To See Her iPad Better And Shined It Directly At Me For The Remainder Of The Flight
Image credits: sugarcoatedlie
#108 Bringing Your “Service Animal” Duck In The Train So You Can Sit On The Disabled Seating
Image credits: ThePortlandStrangler
#109 On My Flight Yesterday, A Woman Put Food On Her Computer’s Keyboard
Image credits: CE444
#110 My Seat-Mates For An 11-Hour Flight. We Are Still On The Runway
Image credits: UnderCoverSquid