The Crowded Subway Etiquette Guide

Everyone in New York secretly thinks they have good subway etiquette, just like everyone thinks they’re good at singing. The reality is, you probably don’t, because if everyone did, we wouldn’t have to resist the urge to off people while riding that nightmarish underground steel tube on a daily basis. And even if you do (and we’re sure you have a great singing voice, too) a refresher course doesn’t hurt.

Behold: the all-encompassing etiquette guide for riding a crowded NYC subway like a classy son of a bitch.

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should remember that the pole is for holding only

Don’t hug it, lean on it, interlock your arm around it, or even dance on it (yes, “It’s Showtime” guys, if the subway is crowded, that means you too).

One should not use an entire seat for his or her belongings

Does your bag have a person in it? Good, now put it on the floor. Or hold it. Just get it the hell off of the most sought-after real estate on the train.

One should not play music at loud volumes that disrupt the entire train

How is your music still audible through your headphones?!

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should refrain from eating anything on the subway

If you seriously have to, at least choose from this list of acceptable subway foods.

One should always let others fully and efficiently exit the train

We know you have your eye on that seat, and you’ll do just about anything to get it, but don’t block the people exiting the train. It just makes you a jackass.

One should remove his or her enormous backpack during the ride

There's nothing you can do about an armpit in your face, but there is something you can do about the massive Herschel knocking into you.

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should always give up his or her seat to the elderly, pregnant, or those with baggage

We don’t mean the emotional kind, or you’ll be giving up your seat every time.

One should seldom, or never, strike up a conversation with a stranger

We’re just trying to get from point A to B and out of this shitty situation known as the NYC commute as quickly as possible. Shhhhhh.

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should refrain from nodding off at all costs

It’s really awkward when you have to wake someone up because their head is on your shoulder and they’re starting to drool.

One should absolutely never block the doors

Picture this: you’re running late, and shit this train is full and -- wait! -- you can squeeze yourself in this car if this person would just walk all the way in, move away from the doors, and free up a little space. Don’t be that life-ruiner.

One should never stare at a neighboring passenger

Eye contact of any kind is discouraged, honestly. When you’re already in this close of proximity, it’s incredibly uncomfortable.

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should not use the subway as one’s personal vanity

No matter how late you’re running, this isn’t your bathroom. Put your makeup on at work if you have to, but not mid-ride.

One should not use the double seats for oneself and one’s feet

Wow, that looks comfortable… dick.

Courtesy of Richard Yeh / WNYC

One should not, under any circumstances, engage in manspreading

Close your legs, guys. CLOSE THEM.

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Liz Newman is a freelance writer for Thrillist, and will admittedly break rule No 6 if you’re in violation of any of the others on this list. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.