Some Of The Strangest Commuters Out There Caught On Camera

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Mar 02, 2023

Public transit is as “public” as you can get. You’ll see a diverse range of people here while passing through, each with their own means and ways of life. But life is strange, and as such, the kind of life you’ll encounter on public transportation might make you double-take (as in, you’ll want to hop off and get onto another train). 

Check out these amusing photographs for a crash course on the dos and don’ts of public transportation. You’ll see some commuters treating their carriage like a home away from home, while others look like they’re trying to make a late-night connection to the 11th dimension. Still, it’s more entertaining than sitting in deadlock traffic, right?

1. Peek-a-boo!

Traveling with a companion can sometimes make travel feel less like a burden. But “companion” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “human.” Spice up your commute by bringing a feline friend along on the ride—simply stuff him into your coat and cozy up. 



Just make sure to give your little buddy a peephole to breathe through for when he needs to get some fresh air. What you’re seeing in this photo is exactly the correct procedure for subway cat transportation. As you can tell by her expression, she’s carrying some sensitive cargo. 

2. Ready for Dinner

This lady must have been short for time since she’s preparing dinner before even arriving home. Who hasn’t sliced their fair share of onions on the metro? We wonder what she does when she goes shopping at the supermarket.


The commuters around her seem to disapprove of what she’s doing. However, they appear to know better than to bother a woman with a knife, particularly one hyper-focused on chopping vegetables on a moving train.

3. No More Traffic Jams

The true mystery here is how this smart car got down the stairwell, through the ticket gates, and onto the platform. Perhaps this guy is attempting to dodge New York City traffic, but maybe he should have just left his car behind.


Perhaps he just wanted a little private space to occupy on the way home from work. At the very least, he hasn’t completely blocked the way, which is what the majority of people do. Either way, respect for other people’s rights of way is still not an everyday occurrence.

4. Lettuce See Her Hat

There’s a lot of talk about shifting from fast fashion to more sustainable products, but this one lady took it a step further. Forget felt or cotton; this woman has a head of lettuce. She’s sporting a large leaf as cover for her coiffure. Maybe she’ll be able to absorb more nutrients this way, but we’ll have to check the science on that one before we can confirm the theory.


The downside of choosing this material is that it can decay quickly, especially in hot weather. Luckily, instead of having to wash this hat, she can just peel another layer off her lettuce. And as an upside, if she ever loses a bet, the idiom about eating her hat won’t be so bad.

5. I Love Unicorns

Unicorns do exist! At least, some kind of unicorn/human hybrid. The outfit makes the moment, and this moment is made with rainbows, joy, and friendship. See? Magic is real. It just makes you wonder what else is out there.


Upon closer examination, this unicorn is on the verge of becoming Pegasus if the myth about Red Bull giving you wings holds true. However, unicorns have a reputation for being reclusive animals for a reason, as they require alone time. Those headphones indicate that this unicorn does not wish to be bothered.


6. A Clingy Chick

There’s nothing wrong with a little public affection. A little kiss here, a hug there, and a little hand-holding never hurt anyone. But this looks like it went beyond a little harmless PG-13 fun. When someone tells you to “get a room,” they aren’t talking about getting a bus and doing it there.

Who knows what prompted this act of love. It’s sweet, in a way, but would it have been too much to ask to do it behind the bus stop or bus station instead? Some people just can’t wait. We hope they didn’t miss their stop.


7. Plunger to the Rescue

Have you ever returned from a sporting event on the subway? You’ve probably been in a crowded train car before. You can make it unscathed most days, but when there’s a rush, there’s nothing you can do to avoid being knocked around. A handrail isn’t always there to catch you.

Solution? Bring your own handrail. This lady came prepared and brought a plunger with her as her own steady handle. Hey, we give her credit for her inventiveness. It’s also convenient for traveling, in case she needs to change trains on a long journey, as she can use it to poke anyone off if they get too close.


8. Crossover Event Of The Century

Universes clash! Darth Vader and Batman meet in the subway rather than on a rooftop or in the central air shaft of a floating cloud city. If we had to put money down, we’d bet on Darth Vader, who wields the Force, over Batman, who wields novelty batarangs and a utility belt.

We’re guessing it’s not Halloween yet because not many other people are dressed up.  Maybe these heroes are on their way to a cosplay event. Or maybe they really are who they say they claim to be. We hope they arrived at their destination safely either way.


9. Hidden In Plain Sight

It’s evident that this rider prefers to be left alone. As in, alone in a field, far away from civilization. This individual clearly expresses a strong desire to blend in. But not socially, unless you consider bushes, trees, and shrubs to be some kind of subculture.


Some people find accessories such as sunglasses or hats, which obscure the face or eyes, to be off-putting. This outfit takes that to the next level. What if there isn’t even a human being under all that grass? This might be the only evidence we have of a real swamp monster.


10. Sphere of Influence

Do you get irritated when people step into your personal space? This gal is so passionate about staying in her bubble that she brought a helpful visualization of it along with her on the train. There will be no more misunderstandings now—you can see where the lines start and end.

Her personal space, like her colorful statement, is now completely unambiguous to others (which can be difficult to achieve during travel). When not in use, this bubble shrinks to make it easier to carry. 


11. You’re Supposed To Be Hiding, Bigfoot

Finally—indisputable evidence of the legendary figure. Think of it—all those thousands of keen photographers out in the wild, making painstaking plans and perching patiently in waiting for the perfect photograph. Yet, all they really had to do was hop on the subway.

Or maybe poor ol’ Mr. Bigfoot just had no other choice but to pack up and move on into the city, what with all the forest fires and deforestation happening all over the world. We can’t imagine why he’d choose NYC of all places. It’s a concrete jungle, not a—oh, never mind.


12. Sleeping Anywhere Is A Skill

This is either the end of a very good night or the end of a very bad one. All we know is that she’s going to be missing her pizza when she wakes up, as it slipped out of its box and onto the filthy subway floor. We don’t think the 5-second rule can apply here.

We are completely heartbroken because that’s a New York pizza. We wonder if she was bringing that pie home for others or if it was just a midnight snack for one. Either way, it looks like she was able to help herself to a couple of slices before the incident.


13. Paper Pals

Perhaps this is merely a prop from a performance art piece, but that seems unlikely for a New York City train line. He seems to be conversing with this paper person in a natural and friendly manner. We feel awful for this guy because there are so many other fish in the sea, many of whom are not made of paper.


In a city with millions of people, he had to create his own friend to ride along. Well, you have to admire a man who knows what he wants. Perhaps the newspaper simply has more interesting topics of conversation to bring up than real people do.


14. Uninterrupted Game Time

This guy doesn’t want to miss a moment away from his favorite video games. He’s gone and taken an Xbox and TV set with him on his journey through the real world, no matter where that will take him. In this case, his journey took him through the subway.

Perhaps it wasn’t the most portable console of choice, though. He could have brought along a Gameboy or a Nintendo Switch. Maybe he’s too strapped for cash to afford anything portable, or maybe he just really likes that one game he’s playing.


15. Time Conscious

The trains in New York are renowned for their punctuality, but the same is not true for their passengers. So, what happens if you leave the house without a watch or a charged-up cell phone? Well, hopefully, you’ll be riding with a lady with Flava Flave style, like this one.

She’s carrying some zesty bling, as well as being a walking timepiece. Someone will need to know what time it is at some point, we guess. But what exactly is it? Is it just a posh bag, or is it genuine jewelry? Either way, it definitely catches the eye.


16. Beauty Tools

It’s not uncommon to see someone doing makeup on public transportation in the morning. It’s something to do to pass the time or if you’re running late. This lady appears to have left her makeup kit at home and is applying her makeup with a butter knife.

We hope it worked out for her because we’ll never know what the end result was. The only thing we can take away from this picture is a heartfelt prayer that no one was harmed in the process. Train carriages can rock quite violently, you know?


17. Nosediving Into Slumber

We know what you’re going through, lady. We’ve been through it ourselves. You sit down on a train after a long day at work, and after so long, the steady rocking of the train car lulls you to sleep. 


There’s no need for a couch, bed, or even a comfy chair when you can rest your nostrils on a steel rail. We’re not sure we could sleep in that position, but it appears to be working for this lady, and no one appears to be bothering her. Sweet dreams!


18. Knitwear

Knitting a garment like this requires considerable expertise, and wearing it out in public requires a whole different kind of skill to pull off. This seriously stylish costume was crafted with a needle and yarn. This isn’t your Grandma’s Christmas jumper; no, sir.


At the very least, he looks toasty on his commute, but it might be a little too warm for us. We have to admire the skill and dedication that went into putting this together. This kind of talent speaks for itself, in loud, fuzzy yellow. It just goes to show that style is a matter of personal preference.


19. Red Ranger in the House

It’s a bird; it’s a plane, no, it’s a Red Power Ranger on the train. Because there’s no emergency, he doesn’t seem to be moving quickly. On the contrary, he’s taking the slow route to wherever he’s going by taking the train. 


We can only hope that the other rangers aren’t being stalled by their boss while the city is in danger. He probably won’t be arriving any time soon. Hopefully, he’s on his way home from a long day of trashing alien-demons from space.


20. Hard Luck

This guy has defied our expectations of leprechauns. From the look on his face, it appears that he’s run out of luck. Perhaps the pot of gold found at the end of the rainbow wasn’t all that full after all. We get it; inflation hurts everyone, whether you’re real or mythical.

Disappointment is the worst. Sometimes the only way to live your best life is to start it over again from scratch. It looks like he’s packed his belongings and is fleeing to the other side of the rainbow, or, we guess, the metro. We hope things go better for him wherever he goes. 


Selena, is that you?

We’ve seen a lot of strange commuters, but this is an example of a celebrity doppelganger. One Redditor thought this person was the pop star, Selena Gomez. Do you see it?

Source: Reddit

If we saw her from far away we might think that was the singer but up close we’re not so sure. We have to wonder if people went up to her asking for an autograph. That would make for a pretty strange commute!


21. Sleep Anytime, Anywhere

Last night, someone clearly didn’t get enough sleep. This does not appear to be the most comfortable way to catch up, but sometimes, you have to do what you have to do. We’re not sure how he got up there without exerting himself, but he sure looks like he’s having a nice rest.

He doesn’t appear to be concerned about his comfort, but at least he isn’t disturbing other passengers by lying or drooling on them. We’re not sure how long he managed to stay up there, but we can tell you that falling from that height won’t be any fun.


22. No Hugs On The Subway

We can’t imagine a worse fate. Still, this commuter doesn’t seem too startled about her predicament—unless, of course, she’s just already dead. No, don’t worry, it’s simply a knitted imitation of Alien‘s famed face-hugging creature.

It doesn’t appear to be quite as daunting as the one in the movies, though it would be unusual to see it on a morning commute. It’s a conversation starter, but depending on how anatomically correct the mask is, it might be a short conversation.


23. Pikachu, I Chew You!

Aw, how cute! A Pikachu—wait, what’s that coming out of its mouth? Okay, that’s more than a little bit disturbing. Did Pikachu eat a person, or did a person climb inside a Pikachu to start “wearing” it? Either way, cover your eyes, children…

We guess this is why everyone in the show carries their own pokémon around. It was for protection. We always knew there was just something off about that yellow electric mouse. Something in its eyes. Something that just screamed, “the horror, the horror.” 


24. Zebra Commuter

It’s not every day that you come across a centaur, never mind a zebra centaur, especially not on public transportation. Perhaps he’ll be competing in a costume contest. We sincerely hope so, and we have no doubt that he’d take the first-place prize.

This one must have been brave to stroll around the city dressed like that for any period of time. The turnstile can be difficult for anyone to manage. Either your card won’t scan or the doors jam. But for this guy? No contest. We have no idea how he’s going to deal with getting his hind legs through.


25. Distinct Fashion Statement

This computer doesn’t appear to give a damn what other people think of them. But let’s just get this out of the way: that leopard print blouse completely clashes with those polka dot shorts. It’s not a good match. We do love the earrings, though.

With their hair up, deeply engrossed in a book, they look like they’re off in their own little world. Perhaps one day, we shall be as wise, caring far more about what we put into our minds than what we put around our bodies.


26. Let The Belly Be Free

Is it the 1990s again? Because this lady is dressed to the nines with her belly on full display. Even if it’s a few decades late, we respect her choice of clothing, which expresses the kind of person she wants to be in a certain fashion.

But she’ll probably have to deal with giggles and glares, which she appears to be doing with savoir faire. She has to travel just like the rest of us, even if she doesn’t dress like the rest of us. Whatever’s comfortable for you, we say. 


27. A Quick Change

This doesn’t appear to be a “no-pants-on-the-subway” day, but that didn’t stop this commuter. It isn’t the most comfortable thing to witness—seeing someone undressing in front of you on public transportation. We can only hope that they didn’t go any further than this.

It must be nice to have that much confidence, though. Maybe offscreen, their clothes go ruined or experienced a spill and this change was necessary. You’ll probably never see these strangers again anyway, but strangers or not—they’ll be left with an unforgettable memory.


28. Best in Costume Award

Have you ever watched the film Saw? If not, it’s possible that you won’t find this as distressing as we do. We really aren’t sure what this man was thinking. Was he trying to scare people, or did he lose his ride home somehow?

This guy doesn’t seem to mind; he looks fairly well entertained. It’s hard to tell how the man behind the mask is looking. Either way, we wouldn’t be as daring as the photographer. You never know what kind of bind you might get yourself into for making fun of another on public transit.


29. I Am Tiger, Hear Me Roar

This commuter appears to be auditioning for a ‘Tony the Tiger’ role. Unfortunately, the character has historically been animated. After seeing this attempt, we’re sure that the marketing department would be put off from casting a live-action version of Tony, at least in the near future.

He looks pretty funny, but we’re not sure anyone would cast him as Tigger, either. It’s the kind of stuff you’d wear to keep youngsters entertained, maybe, but I doubt anyone would allow their kids near this person.


30. The Love Train

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, you can judge a man by his book. Take a closer look at this gentleman’s choice of reading material. Perhaps he should have read it on his kindle or e-reader instead of the paper copy.

He’s currently reading this book in the most appropriate place. It’s titled “How To Meet Women On The Subway.” Maybe it’s just a joke, and if he’s looking for a reaction from his fellow commuters, he’s certainly getting some. 


31. Employee of the Year

This is what a dedicated employee looks like. When a deadline approaches and work must be completed, you have to work as if you have blinders on, as a racehorse would. This guy clearly takes his work so seriously he literally can’t look away from the screen.

standard/Rachel Pavitt/Facebook

This creative commuter put his laptop on a music stand on his lap to keep his screen at eye level. It’s one way to keep your back straight while you sit down to work, anyway. It’s not an everyday sight, regardless of how often you travel.


32. Airing Out

We find this particular behavior offensive. This man is breaking the number one rule on public transportation: don’t spread. Look at the way his arms and knees are hanging out like that. He’s leaving no space for other passengers to sit. To be honest, though, standing might be preferable.

He’s sending out all the “keep away” signs, and he probably doesn’t want people talking to him. We suppose that his plan is working though. No one is sitting closer than two seats away.


33. Just Another Day On The Subway

It takes a lot to get New Yorkers to pay attention, especially during their daily commute. While we might giggle at the sight of this gravity-defying madman standing upside-down in a busy carriage, for a New Yorker, it’s just another day.

Gawping at such a thing is just a tell-tale sign that you’re one of those out of towners or fresh off the boat. “You think seein’ someone standin’ upside down on the subway is wild, kid? Nah. You ain’t seen nothin’.” 


34. Something is Missing

We think we can explain this one, but bear with us. Okay. This guy must have woken up in the morning and put on—what he imagined to be—a fine cotton shirt. Hours later, while riding the bus home from work, he realizes that his shirt was actually two rabbits stuck together, hence his surprised expression.

While it’s not a good explanation, it’s the only one we’ve got. It doesn’t look too warm there, but at least the rabbits look pretty chill. At least they got to ride for free. 


35. Have You Heard Of “Me”?

Sometimes riding public transportation can feel like a curse, but other times, it can feel like a blessing. We really don’t know if this guy will be attending a party of some kind, but one thing’s for sure, there will be plenty of leftovers and wine to go around afterward.


We wonder if he went around asking people to follow him. Or maybe people were simply moved by his words alone. He doesn’t look to be sporting any pockets. Where does he keep his tickets or subway pass, we wonder? Remember, commuters: if you’re found to be riding without a valid ticket, you’ll be nailed to the cross in fines.


36. Couch Surfing

The plastic subway seats didn’t seem to be comfy enough to satisfy this traveler. It’s also possible that she went shopping, and this is the most economical way to bring her brand new couch home, but somehow, that doesn’t seem likely.

In any case, she’s sitting in one of the best, if not the best, seats in the house. We’d love to see how she got that thing onto the train in the first place, and consequently, how she got it out. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.


37. Personal Protective Equipment

Even if you’re vaccinated, the only safe way to travel in 2022 is by wearing a mask and regularly washing your hands while in public. Given that this photo is a few years old, these guys seem to be ahead of their time.

However, they might have taken this suggestion a bit too far, opting for plague doctor attire while around others. In this case, we suspect they may actually be time travelers. They got the wardrobe a little mixed up if they did indeed come from the future.


38. On The Beach

There’s an expression we like: “I’m on the beach!” This saying conveys to the listener that you are taking it easyas if you were relaxing by the seaside, no matter where you arethe office, on the highway, or in the subway. This guy nicely encapsulates the spirit of this mantra. He’s found a way to make himself comfy in the most unlikely of places.

This might be a bit more difficult to pull off during busy hours, but we’re not sure this would discourage him from trying. Hammocks are notoriously difficult to assemble and disassemble, so good luck beating the closing doors.


39. Doctor Evil’s Other Clone!

Somebody call Austin Powers—we found out where Doctor Evil has been hiding all this time! He migrated to the suburbs and has been working a 9-5 job in the city. We wonder if he’s been listening to all those swinging hits from the 60s.

It doesn’t quite bring the “frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads,” but it pays the bills. It’s a living. Maybe after years of being foiled by the foppish English hippy, Doctor Evil is happier with his new regular life.


40. The Santas’ Christmas Gathering

Maybe there were cutbacks at the north pole this year. It’s funny to see so many Santas taking the metro, especially when they’re doing things that aren’t particularly Santa-like. We’re curious to know where they were headed and where their sleighs and reindeers were.

Or maybe even Santa enjoys riding the subway occasionally. We had significant logistical issues regarding the delivery of our desired Christmas presents when we were nine years old—if only we could have been there to ask about it.


41. Spiderman Swings By The Subway

Spiderman has been occasionally known to run out of web fluid after a long night of fighting crime, and since he’s got such a bad reputation with the people of New York, nobody’s ever willing to give him a ride across town. We hold the Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson to be responsible.

In any case, even superheroes have to get around, and the subway is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to do it. Of course, it’s nice to see a celebrity being modest in public, but still, the webhead probably felt the need to show off for the other passengers. Excelsior!