You’re Not Alone: These TV Characters All Hate the Subway, Too


Subways, am I right? Can’t get anywhere on-time with ‘em, can’t get anywhere at all without ‘em. (Unless you can take cabs or have a car, in which case—what’s that like?)

The New York City subway has long been a grimy hellhole, but this summer in particular has been marked by increasingly frequent delays and breakdowns—including one instance in which riders risked literal death to escape their stalled trains. And who can forget the dangerously hot F train that trapped sweltered commuters this past June?

While we can’t save you from tardiness, butt sweat, or obnoxious music courtesy of that guy who has somehow never heard of headphones, we can provide you with a bit of solidarity—courtesy of a few TV characters who have been caught on a muggy car or two themselves.

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Full ScreenPhotos:7 TV Characters Who Have Gotten Stuck on a Subway Just Like You

Ilana and Abbi, Broad City

No tale of two girls’ misadventures in the Big Apple would be complete without at least one ill-fated subway ride. In Season 3, Abbi and Ilana experience just that in an episode titled, appropriately, “Getting There.” They just want to get to the airport—but as any New Yorker knows, the train has other plans.

Arnold and Friends, *Hey Arnold*

Arnold and Friends, Hey Arnold

There’s an entire episode of this 90s Nickelodeon staple about Arnold and the gang getting on a subway after dark, thanks to a movie that ran long. There’s a claustrophobic woman chanting “big open spaces,” a homeless guy telling everyone to “get out of my house,” and a dog that unexpectedly gives birth to puppies, bringing everyone together. The episode ends with everyone holding hands and singing—which, though imaginative, is perhaps the most unrealistic thing this cartoon ever did.

Photo: From Hulu.

Cory Matthews, *Boy Meets World*

Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

What was it with 90s sitcoms and trapping people in trains? Cory, Sean, Eric, and Topanga get stuck underground on their way to a New Year’s Eve party—as a woman gives birth. But hey, they also manage to throw their own party on the train and find a P.S.A. starring Mr. Feeny.

The Tanner Family, *Full House*

The Tanner Family, Full House

Poor Uncle Jesse just wants to get to his long-delayed high-school graduation, but alas, Team Tanner gets stuck on a motionless B.A.R.T. train instead. (See, the subway is awful no matter where you live!) The silver lining? Jess convinces an aspiring high-school drop-out to stay in school, and ends up having an underground graduation ceremony of his own. Fun fact: something similar happened to a real-life Hunter College student this summer.

Oscar and Felix, *The Odd Couple*

Oscar and Felix, The Odd Couple

This one’s an oldie but a goodie: Oscar gets tired of New York City, so Felix tries to show him what a magical place this town can be. Unfortunately, they get stuck in a subway car with some very unfriendly company—including a woman who carries a defective flashlight just so she can hit people over the head with it, should they get too close. She’s clearly well versed in New York etiquette.

Photo: From CBS.

The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls

This one isn’t technically a subway story, but it’s a Golden Girls classic: remember the time our favorite four ladies got stuck at a train station overnight? They recall the incident in a flashback episode called “Bedtime Story” back in Season 2, remembering how they were stranded by the one train station from which trains actually left early. That’s how you know it’s fiction.

Photo: From NBC/.

Elaine Benes, *Seinfeld*

Elaine Benes, Seinfeld

Remember when poor Elaine gets stuck on a train that just keeps stopping? She also experiences that horror that every New Yorker knows so well: the lights cut out as the train sits motionless. Her silent, internal, vastly relatable screams of profane frustration will forever ring in our ears.

Photo: From Castle Rock Entertainment/Everett Collection.

Ilana and Abbi, <em>Broad City</em>

Ilana and Abbi, Broad City

No tale of two girls’ misadventures in the Big Apple would be complete without at least one ill-fated subway ride. In Season 3, Abbi and Ilana experience just that in an episode titled, appropriately, “Getting There.” They just want to get to the airport—but as any New Yorker knows, the train has other plans.

Arnold and Friends, <em>Hey Arnold</em>

Arnold and Friends, Hey Arnold

There’s an entire episode of this 90s Nickelodeon staple about Arnold and the gang getting on a subway after dark, thanks to a movie that ran long. There’s a claustrophobic woman chanting “big open spaces,” a homeless guy telling everyone to “get out of my house,” and a dog that unexpectedly gives birth to puppies, bringing everyone together. The episode ends with everyone holding hands and singing—which, though imaginative, is perhaps the most unrealistic thing this cartoon ever did.

From Hulu.

Cory Matthews, <em>Boy Meets World</em>

Cory Matthews, Boy Meets World

What was it with 90s sitcoms and trapping people in trains? Cory, Sean, Eric, and Topanga get stuck underground on their way to a New Year’s Eve party—as a woman gives birth. But hey, they also manage to throw their own party on the train and find a P.S.A. starring Mr. Feeny.

The Tanner Family, <em>Full House</em>

The Tanner Family, Full House

Poor Uncle Jesse just wants to get to his long-delayed high-school graduation, but alas, Team Tanner gets stuck on a motionless B.A.R.T. train instead. (See, the subway is awful no matter where you live!) The silver lining? Jess convinces an aspiring high-school drop-out to stay in school, and ends up having an underground graduation ceremony of his own. Fun fact: something similar happened to a real-life Hunter College student this summer.
Oscar and Felix, <em>The Odd Couple</em>

Oscar and Felix, The Odd Couple

This one’s an oldie but a goodie: Oscar gets tired of New York City, so Felix tries to show him what a magical place this town can be. Unfortunately, they get stuck in a subway car with some very unfriendly company—including a woman who carries a defective flashlight just so she can hit people over the head with it, should they get too close. She’s clearly well versed in New York etiquette.

From CBS.

The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls

This one isn’t technically a subway story, but it’s a Golden Girls classic: remember the time our favorite four ladies got stuck at a train station overnight? They recall the incident in a flashback episode called “Bedtime Story” back in Season 2, remembering how they were stranded by the one train station from which trains actually left early. That’s how you know it’s fiction.

From NBC/.

Elaine Benes, <em>Seinfeld</em>

Elaine Benes, Seinfeld

Remember when poor Elaine gets stuck on a train that just keeps stopping? She also experiences that horror that every New Yorker knows so well: the lights cut out as the train sits motionless. Her silent, internal, vastly relatable screams of profane frustration will forever ring in our ears.

From Castle Rock Entertainment/Everett Collection.





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