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The Definintive Ranking Of Truly Awful Subway Behavior

Some people should not be allowed.

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16. Sleeping/sleeping on people.

Maybe you find the rattle of metro noise soothing. Maybe your mom used to drive you around the block a few times to get you to go to sleep. Whatever the reason, it's not really your fault if you fall asleep on the subway. If you drift onto someone's shoulder it can be weird, but also a little bit cute. Free pass.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5 Rat Kings

15. Making prolonged eye contact with strangers.

It's fine to make eye contact with someone on the street, in a store, or in your house. Such eye contact is fleeting and usually accidental. When you make eye contact on the subway, neither of you can escape and you're stuck thinking about the eye contact you just made with someone who is STILL RIGHT THERE OH GOD.

Rating: 1 out of 5 Rat Kings


14. Not giving up your seat.

If a person looks like they might need help — be they elderly, handicapped, pregnant, burdened with bags, or any other reason — AND you are currently able to stand, it's nice to give up your seat. It's not mandatory, but it's nice. If someone outright asks for your seat, it's rude not to give it up because people hate asking strangers for things and wouldn't be asking if it weren't important.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Rat Kings

13. Putting your stuff on the seat.

This is another "common sense" behavior that a lot of people don't understand. If there is a single person standing on the train who could conceivably sit were your bag not in the way, get your bag off the seat. It doesn't matter if they don't sit down, you look like a jerk if your bag is on the seat. That said, if the train is empty enough that everyone who wants to can sit, go ahead. Take up all the space you want. But just so you know, you can be fined (in New York).

Rating: 2 out of 5 Rat Kings


12. Doing yoga.

Yoga is cool. It keeps you in shape. It's perfectly normal to do yoga at your house, in public parks, and even maybe in a yoga studio. Do not do it on the subway. It's weird.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Rat Kings

11. Having a wide stance.

The subway is a fun place to play a game called "Am I Inconveniencing Anyone With My Legs?" The rules are easy. All you have to do is look both ways when you are sitting down. If your legs are spread so wide that the people next to you look squished and/or have to cross their legs and make themselves smaller to accommodate you, you lose. You lose everything. You monster.

Rating: between 2.5 and 5 Rat Kings, depending on width of stance and number of people whose lives you are ruining


10. Carrying furniture or other oversize items.

Everyone knows someone who has a "crazy story" about how they moved a Craigslist armchair halfway across the city on the subway. That person is a little bit of a jerk. Blocking crowded subways with big items is an abuse of space, space that is meant for people. There are worse offenses, but think of the riders you are displacing next time you think about skimping on a taxi.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Rat Kings

9. Grooming yourself.

There's a sliding scale of acceptable grooming on the train. Put on some lip gloss or maybe even some mascara (if the train is still), but everything else is pretty much no go. Don't brush your hair. Don't pick your teeth. Don't, for the love of public transport, cut your filthy nails. And — it's hard to believe it's necessary to say this but — don't shave or floss either.

Rating: Between 3 and 5 Rat Kings, depending on the grooming routine undertaken


8. Sitting on the stairs.

One of the more innocuously annoying train platform offenses is when people sit on the stairs and make everyone coming up or down walk around them. Who do you think you are? Why are you exposing your butt to the filth that is subway stairs? Do you realize you're a menace? A waist-height, butt-gazing menace? For shame!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Rat Kings

7. Putting your feet on stuff.

People put their feet on stuff all the time. They put their feet on the ground where someone may have recently peed. They put their feet on shoes that they have never washed. Then they put their feet on stuff that other people have to touch. These people are wrong.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Rat Kings


6. Playing loud sounds. Any sounds.

Whether it's playing Candy Crush so everyone can her every single chimey swipe or straight-up blasting music through your tinny phone speakers, there is almost no excuse for playing loud sounds on the train. NONE. Nobody wants to hear what you hear. That's what headphones are for.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Rat Kings

5. Unwanted performance art.

Oh, you wanted to make a point about consumerism so you filled a subway car with dirt and played the "Money Money Money" song on full blast for the entire line? Wow, you must be really deep. Seriously, keep your projects where they're not going to ruin someone's day.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Rat Kings


4. Pole leaning.

On a jerky subway ride, the pole is the only thing standing between being upright and falling on your face. If you obstruct this pole so other people can't hold it, you are making an active choice to keep this resource to yourself to everyone else's detriment.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rat Kings

3. Getting on the train before people can exit.

Ah, the default action of someone who is completely convinced that their commute is more important than anyone else's commute. Theirs is the No. 1 commute of all time. They must get on the train. There are people in the way? That is their problem. Their need to get off of a train is a weak need compared to the needs of the No. 1 commuter in the land.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rat Kings


2. Eating smelly or messy foods.

If you only eat unobtrusive, easily cleaned food on the subway: This isn't about you. This one's for the people who eat crumbly pastries and flick the crumbs onto the floor. It's the people who eat cheese puffs and lick the orange dust off their fingers. It's the people who bring a tuna sandwich on the train to Coney Island in a car with broken air-conditioning. Act like you got some sense.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Rat Kings

1. Taking your shoes off (?!??!!)

Before you ask, yes. It happens. It has happened more and once and it will happen again. We're not talking about accidentally slipping out of your flip-flops or pulling an oopsie and losing a ballet flat when you cross your legs. We're talking full-grown folk untying their shoes and exposing a tube full of people who can't hide to their funkatrocious feet.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Rat Kings (and a WTF badge)