10 Things I Hate About The Tube in London



After living in London for four years, I have easily Cinderella-style transformed from a tourist; cute, bubbly and always taking photos to a proper moody, head down, fast walking – talking local. 

Real life footage of me on the tube TBH. Illustrated by Ben Brown.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a tourist in spirit, but the longer I live here, the more I realise what I do and don’t like about the city.

It’s mostly love though. 

The most London-y thing that I’ve gone from slightly disliking to furiously wanting to leave in the EU (cries) is the London Underground. Otherwise known as the ‘tube’. 

Obviously, the tube is a helpful means of transportation. It’s the fastest way of getting from one side of London to the other and I’ll admit, it’s pretty cool that all of this occurs underground. 

BUTTTTTTTTTTTT… it’s undeniably my least favourite way of getting around in London. There are loads of options… so why not tag yourself.


Which one are you??? I'm the cool orange shoes walking person! (Illustrations by Ben Brown)

I’m in the minority with over 5 million journeys spent on the tube. PER DAY. This is a baffling statistic to me because I could write several strongly worded essays on this very first world issue. Oh wait, I already am.

So here are... 10 Things I Hate About The Tube (2019)

  • 11

    The Crowds

    Rush hour upsets me deeply. I do not believe in a life where I have to run for a tube to be stuck in between several reaaaaaally tall, slimy guys in suits who hate their lives. 

  • 22


    The northern line is undeniably the worst tube line to be stuck on. Catching your reflection in the window with sweat trickling down your face is enough to be disgusted with yourself for the rest of the day.

  • 33

    The Manspreaders

    I appreciate there’s nowhere much to look on the tube but, please don’t look at me (!) Nothing screams male privilege more than when a man feels comfortable enough to full-on stare at you for the duration of 13 stops as he takes up a ridiculous amount of space, physically (but also metaphorically). 

  • 44

    THAT Horrible Noise When In Transit

    In between stops, there are intervals of darkness that is often accompanied by something that can only be described as the sound of screams from the mythical underworld.

  • 55

    When People Pretend Homeless People Don’t Exist 🙁

    It’s so upsetting to see a group of talkative work colleagues go invisible as a homeless person approaches them asking them for money. I’m not telling you what to do but… LOOK at people. Acknowledge their existence. Smile. 

  • 66

    People Who Don’t Make Good Use Of Space On The Tube

    I hate you if you do this. 

  • 77

    People Who Don’t Talk

    Nothing else quite illustrates British culture like the silence that occurs on the tube. It’s London and assumingly everyone has beautiful, exciting and passion filled lives that keep them talking on and on about anything and everything. But as soon as your foot steps over the concerningly large ‘gap’ and into the tube, British silence comes to play. 

    My issue with this is that I can’t be silent and the tube’s no exception. Rewind to me in my 1st year of Uni, on the way to a night out on the tube with my friends. I’m drunk and giggly as usual. I don’t remember much but I *shouting* “I know we don’t talk on here but I hope everyone fulfils their dreams” as I point to a dog before crying and claiming “JUST LIKE THIS DOG!!!!”

    Guess what was the response? Silence. 

  • 88

    People Who Get Super Awkward 

    I don’t wanna look at you. But I also can’t read the same vitamin advert for the 400th time. So I look at my phone. Then I realise there’s no wifi. I look for my book but the tube is too packed. I look again for the 401st time and I catch a glance of some stranger. They look at me like I’ve ruined their day. And Repeat. 

  • 99

    PDA Couples

    You know how much I love love, but LOVE isn’t sharing salvia with another person on a silent tube and making everyone (me) feel uncomfortable. Get a room – preferably one above ground and stationary. 

  • 1010

    The Drunk People On The Tube… and Also The Sober People On The Tube 

    There are certain times you never wanna be on the underground. I’d argue most of the time. But night time around 1 a.m. is one that should be avoided, unless you’re drunk, of course, which everyone normally is around then. If you’re sober then the sound of silly football chanting suddenly becomes unbearable.

    BUT what is debatably worse are the sober ones who judge the drunkies as if they have never been messes like that before. 

    Example: My friend Ros got super drunk coincidentally the night that Alan Rickman died… a very sad day. She was sick on the tube and managed to empty an entire carriage from pure fear. And no one thought to help her. But I bet everyone on that tube had got Ros drunk like that at least once in their life. Though, at the same time, gross. 

The list goes on. 

You will know me a little bit by now and realise I’m rarely this negative about anything in particular. I have gone IN about how much I hate the tube, and believe me if in a game of would you rather I was asked to never use it again or use it every single day for the rest of my life – I would choose the first option.

But there are just a few things that I can stand. 

10 Things I Loooove About The Tube

  1. Lovely musicians.
  2. The tube brings ALL sorts of people together.
  3. The tube isn’t THAT expensive. £2.40 for transportation magic is just about worth it. 
  4. The cute service announcements on the signs at the tube stations. 
  5. Having doors open at the tap of the card is something else. 
  6. The beauty of British silence gives you time to think.
  7. Cute dogs. 
  8. Stylish people! (Who’s outfit ideas you can steal..)
  9. Nice families on holiday trying to manage too many suitcases.
  10. If you think about it. It’s truly fascinating that all of this exists underground the real world. 
Exhibit A: very cute note on the tube notice boards ala Ben Brown

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