The 10 worst things about the Tube

The 10 worst things about the Tube

Don’t get me wrong I love London and everything that comes with it BUT commuting to work on the Tube in London during rush hour is a hellish experience at the best of times. Even after 4 years it never fails to amaze me a) how many people can cram into a carriage and b) how irritating people can be in the process.

Certain lines make it even worse (looking at you Central Line) and admittedly I do have extremely limited patience in general but whatever, to me these still remain the 10 most annoying things about commuting on the tube…

1) People forcing themselves onto a full carriage

The classic technique is to lunge for the top rail and hold on for dear life, regardless of who they are mowing down. These people usually have the audacity to then shout “can you move down the carriage please”.

I secretly love and give approving glances to anyone brave enough to yell back “THERE’S NO ROOM YOU IDIOT”.

2) The Pole Leaner

That person (usually a middle aged man) who thinks it’s a great idea to lean on the entire pole making it impossible for anyone else to hold on. You then have a dilemma – do you not hold on and risk falling over in front of the entire carriage or do you try and work your hand in behind their sweaty shirt back? 

Neither are fun and neither tend to end well, stop leaning on the pole FFS

3) Rucksacks

“Oh I just love being whacked repeatedly in the face by your massive rucksack for my entire journey” SAID NO ONE EVER. These people also tend to get on well with those who think their bag is worthy of a seat.


There are signs all the way down the escalator, and if you’re incapable of reading these, signs before you get on clearly stating stand on the right. These signs are also accompanied by a large picture. If all these methods of communication have failed to get through, there’s also someone on the tannoy TELLING YOU to stand on the right. Yet somehow there’s one person (and they’re usually our previously mentioned rucksack culprit) stood on the left, chatting merrily away, oblivious to the queue of people behind them in a silent rage.

5) Man Spreading

My friend coined this term and it’s perfectly accurate. Guys who see the tube seat as their own sofa at home and spread their legs out as far as humanly possible whilst making sure their arms cover every inch of the arm rests. No amount of side glances, huffing or moving around in an “I’m obviously extremely unhappy with this situation” kind of way ever seems to make any difference. Sigh.

6) Headphone Hell

Omg I totes love that techno-house-heavy metal-dubstep-S Club 7 mix you’re playing. You know what would make it even better? A tinny overtone added by blasting it at full volume out of your rubbish headphones.


7) Not waiting for you to get off

People who push onto the carriage before you’ve had a chance to get off are also the absolute WORST. Not only is it pointless – you’ll just end up holding up the carriage – but it is just plain rude. I always make a point of glaring at these people as I’m too scared/pathetic to actually say something to them but I feel so personally outraged at their tube etiquette (or lack of) that I have to at least do something.

8) Strong smelling food

Basically people who eat their evening meal in front of everyone. I find this falls into two categories:

  • Food that generally smells disgusting (e.g. a Tuna sandwich) which when you’re stuck in a small, hot box with hundreds of other people makes you want to vom
  • It is a McDonalds (or some lesser equivalent) and the smell makes you crave those salty fries so badly you want to eat your own arm off. This usually coincides with the 6pm post-work starvation hour or the occasional time I have gone momentarily insane and dragged myself off to the gym

I am not sure which is more painful. God I really want a McDonalds now.

9) Platform Lies

The feeling of pure betrayal when the platform person (usually overly jolly at 7am in the morning) tells you to move down the platform as there is more room at the end, only for you to get to the end and half of London be lying in wait. WHY LIE TO US LIKE THIS.

10) Overly loud buskers

Maybe I’m being a massive fun sponge but busking on the underground never works. Blasting out electric guitar over an amplifier and numerous speakers in an underground tunnel is not the one. It’s 7am, it’s a Monday and I’m trying not to think about how nice a lie in I could be having, the last thing I need is someone cheerily screaming Wonderwall at me whilst I’m listening to Taylor Swift. Sorry.

Am I just a miserable person or do these things also drive you crazy…?



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