Top 10 things that get on London commuters nerves

January 18, 2016

1. Do not pass go, move back 3 places!

Whether you have loads of time or 5 measly minutes to get into work, is there anything more irritating that someone who blocks the exit barriers by repeatedly touching out with their NOT WORKING oyster card. True… there are times when it’s just a blip of the system and on second touch your through. But I am talking about those serial offenders who stand there like wind-up toys… card, touch reader, ‘oh… not working’, look puzzled, try again….. and again…… and again….

3 Little Buttons Blog, London Underground


2. I have already read that bit

With a bit of manoeuvring you have managed to safely board the very busy train and are now on your way to work. ‘Yes!’ you think, its only 3 stops, it will be fine. That’s until you get a newspaper in your face.


3. Anyone for a game of musical statues?

Why oh why does anyone think it’s ok to suddenly stop right at the top of the escalators, before getting on, or right at the bottom where everyone is getting off. Common sense should tell you that this is dangerous stuff.

 No excuses non-commuters, unless you can tell me that you have never been on an escalator before! Meh…I didn’t think so.

3 Little Buttons Blog, London Underground


4. Food glorious food

You are packed like a sardine on the tube and something familiar and gross wafts through the air. A wet munch munch sounds turns your stomach as you come face-to-face with a greasy spoon gobbler laden with some sort of ketchup smeared mountain of food. Why you are eating THAT first thing in the morning we will never know!

Everyone leans aways from the offending stink in hope that it won’t stick to their clothes and hair… but… there’s worse danger ahead as the train lurches forwards and someone gets showered with batter balls of grease! A perfect look for this mornings meeting.

5. Bum superglued to the priority seat?

The prickly issue of the priority seat is always a tricky one. There are of course lots of different and sometimes hidden reasons why someone would need THAT seat. However, under no circumstances is it ever cool to race a waddling 8 month pregnant lady to the seat, and then close your eyes to feign sleep. It’s just not funny!

Nor is it kind to watch them hanging from the rail like an over grown berry swinging round in circles.

3 Little Buttons Blog, London Underground

6. Stop I tell you

The bus is annoyingly running late… but oh yes here it comes now. A small cheer rises through the ranks as we all realise it’s empty…. meaning ‘seats for all!’ Except, the bus doesn’t look like it’s slowing. Arms start frantically waving, and a brave one yelps ‘stoooopppppp’ as it whizzes past, splashing us with puddles as it goes. Fun times.


7. Smells good in here… NOT

It’s been a long day, your frazzled, the train is busy and in pops someone taller than you. You, being much shorter HAVE to hold the handrail pole or else risk toppling over like a skittle. They on the other hand CAN reach the overhead handrail in that giant space over there. Except they don’t. They plumb towards you and neatly fold you under their smelly armpit. Lovely!

3 Little Buttons Blog, London Underground

8. On your marks, get set…

You are walking down the tube corridors when you feel someone right behind you. No, wait… on the left, now on the right and bam… they race round you knocking your bag off your shoulder and occasionally catapulting you into another commuter. OK, they are obviously in a major hurry you think. Except, what’s that… why are they slowing. They are slowing right in the middle of the walkway, and…… they are now walking at the speed of a snail, blocking everyone’s way.


9. There’s no room at the inn!

The train is packed and no one else can reasonably fit on… but there is always someone who thinks they are the size of a mouse (?!?) and will be able to fit their itty bitty self into the non-existent gap that they -and only they- see. They run towards their fellow commuters like a charging rhino in attempt to wedge themselves in. It doesn’t work.

3 Little Buttons Blog, London Underground


10. Space invader

You got a seat on the train… you lucky thing. Except just as you thought all was well, an alpha comes and parks their bum in the seat next to you. Wait for it…. Out come the elbows knocking yours off your arm rest and POW – legs spread so wide that you want to ask if they are a gymnast in training?


Sound familiar? What type of thing gets on your nerves the most when travelling?

This post is linked to
3 Little Buttons


Mudpie Fridays


44 responses to “Top 10 things that get on London commuters nerves”

  1. dmnicholson says:

    There is always one of every journey!
    Those pictures are adorable, did you do them yourself?!

  2. Daddy Button says:

    Getting ready for the morning journey to work…Let the battle begin!

  3. Brilliant! This is exactly why I hated commuting! I love your pictures. #TwinklyTuesday

  4. haha, this is brilliant and really sums up everything I hated about commuting in England when pregnant. I used to really hate it when people bought coffee on the train as it used to set my morning sickness off and I would stand there trying not to heave onto their skinny latte! #twinklytuesday

  5. Edward says:

    Love this post so much. The 11th point for me is those people who lean on the poles in the middle of the carriage stopping others from holding on. As far as I know the pole is there for lots of people to hold on to and not for one person to hogg! Very cute drawings

  6. natasham says:

    Your post made me laugh and I love the pictures!! What I hate is a super crowded train and then you look inside and the whole middle section is empty. Move in people, move inside!! #TwinklyTuesday

  7. moderatemum says:

    Ugh, I forgot about many of these! Now that I don’t commute, I’m sure I’m annoyingly zen and dawdly. It amuses me muchly how angry people get at the poor sods that stand on the left. #TwinklyTuesday

  8. Love it. I am writing a few bits on commuting at the moment. I like to refer to your #2 as The Resilient Reader. No space is to small, no personal space that can’t be invaded to balance a kindle or broadsheet paper.

  9. The ‘Sudden Stopper’ is a major bug bear for my mummy! It happens all the time to her. One time she actually fell into someone as they abruptly stopped in front of her. They are usually on their phones too!! Grrrrrr #TwinklyTuesday #BloggerClubUK

  10. Annette says:

    Opps! Well… they really shouldn’t just suddenly stop 🙂 Thanks for ermmm stopping by x

  11. randommusings29 says:

    Love this! I’ve never had the pleasure? torture? of travelling on the London Underground (I’m not a snob, just don’t live anywhere near London) but this totally reminds me of the train system in Rome. People are so unconsiderate and the only way to combat it was to play them at their own game. Head down, elbows out lol 🙂 #UKBloggersClub

  12. Jerry says:

    After reading the title, I thought that I was in for a feast of recognition. It WAS a great read, but it turns out that not all of your annoyances are universal. So, time for the point of view from a daily Moscow metro commuter…
    – Unlike every other piece of machinery in this country, the entry barriers actually work here without failure. So people understand that if they won’t open, there is a problem with their pass and make way quickly.
    – Newspapers are a rarity here, and all of them seem on tabloid format. In another dramatic break with tradition, Russians actually seem considerate to each other when they do read them.
    – Everyone walking on the escalators stops about 2-3 meters before the end. No unpleasant surprises of musical statues here
    – Russians don’t eat or drink on the streets nor in the metro… the occasional drunkard excluded of course. This is Russia after all, I should mention him if only to keep the stereotype intact!
    – The priority seat issue is also not a biggie. I another bit of un-Russian providence, 18 out of the 42 seats per carriage are labelled priority seats, so there is always at least one person who has the decency to stand up.
    So, despite a long list of problems here that I could bore you with, the trains are actually doing quite well!

    There IS however a unique annoyance that I have not yet seen anywhere else: when the train arrives at a station, everyone on the platform understands that it is in their own interest to make way for the ones exiting… Everyone, except for women of above average width, in their late 40s, early 50s, invariably wearing fur coats. They always seem to think that it’s the train drivers fault that the doors are in front of them, and seem to wait until he moves a meter forward… Argh!

  13. Haha, love this! Most of my uni friends are living in London these days so they spend *lots* of time complaining about transport when we meet up. I counter it with my complaints about show my nowhere near London transport costs a fortune and stops running ridiculously early. We battle it out for who has it worse! 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  14. As someone who has commuted for 15 years I can very much relate to this! Thanks for sharing x #bloggerclubuk

  15. Jules says:

    This makes me so glad to be living in sleepy Norfolk! #BloggerClubUK

  16. The joys of commuting in London captured perfectly in a post! A number of these definitely create commuter rage in me lol. Emily #TwinklyTuesday

  17. Mama says:

    I always get in trouble travelling in London as I feel the need to check every sign to make sure I’m getting on the right train. All the commuters who are practically sprinting past me definitely don’t appreciate it. Sorry, I am a hapless tourist 🙂

  18. newmummyblogcom says:

    Fab post! I love your drawings 🙂 I hated the armpit-in-face and the slow people, do they not realise it? Drove me mad! I hated the smell of the tube too. I was so happy when I stopped commuting #bloggerclubuk

  19. Louise says:

    Brilliant post – love the illustrations too! It’s been a long time since I last commuted into London but this brought it all right back. Being short meant I was subjected to the armpit-in-the-face on a regular basis (urgh!) and I once had someone race me to the one and only vacant seat on the train when I was eight months pregnant – I was very unimpressed. The lady next to him actually gave up his seat, at which point I intentionally became “space invader” and proceeded to make his journey somewhat less comfortable! 🙂

  20. Hilarious. I’m reading this sat on a train and I can pretty much spot every single offender. What is it with people slurping stinky food in your ear whilst they are sat in your pocket? #bleuggh

    Fantastic xx

  21. I love this! I get peed off with each of these on a daily basis! I absolutely hate commuting and it just gets worse and worse as more and more people clamber onto the tubes each day! It’s nice to know that we all get annoyed over the same things! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  22. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    This is a fabulous post hun! I laughed my way through it. I can relate to all of these from the NYC subways. I hate when people shove their way into an already full car! Have you seen the packers in Japan? People’s job is to push additional people into the train! It’s crazy. Yup to the food, bad smell, being crammed in. If you get a seat it’s great but then it’s impossible to get out of the train! Thanks so much for linking up with our first #BloggerClubUK we really appreciate your support& hope to see you back again this week x

  23. […] My favorite post last week came from the lovely Annette at The Three Little Buttons “Top 10 Things that get on London Commuters Nerves.” […]

  24. […] Becky’s favorite post last week came from came from the lovely Annette at The Three Little Buttons “Top 10 Things that get on London Commuters Nerves.” […]

  25. Such a good post – I do not miss travelling in London at all!! The heat, the smell, the fact everyone seems so grumpy thanks to being crammed in like sardines!! You’ve got the patience of a saint xx #DreamTeam

  26. Gosh you are so talented love your pics, and just such an awful but so funny post! #dreamteam

  27. Mrs Lighty says:

    Oh I can relate to this SO MUCH!!! Especially number 5, which unfortunately used to happen to me all the time when I was pregnant! So glad I no longer have to commute into the city!! Thanks for sharing this with and hosting #dreamteam 🙂

  28. Ellen says:

    This made me chuckle!! I am pretty glad I don’t have to commute I think I would go mad. I’ve definitely suffered from the armpit one though on a casual Saturday visiting London! #dreamteam

  29. Katie Taylor says:

    what a great post!! thank goodness I don’t commute but my husband does so I will be showing him this post! #dreamteam x

  30. I really hate people who stop at the bottom/top of an escalator too. That happened to me the other day and drives me mad!!!

  31. Sadie says:

    Love the pics, did u draw them? Very cute. I spend lots of time commuting before I had my first and have met almost all of these people. Now I still get on the bus but avoid the tube like the plague! Most annoying are priority seat hoggers and smelly food eaters! Yuk! Thanks for hosting and sharing, made me giggle. #dreamteam

  32. This is a fab blog and I absolutely love your pics. The pregnant berry made me chuckle, totally been there before (made sure I shot the ‘eye’ (in an angry not coming on to way). Super rude. So glad I can walk to work, although the occasional bus journey is required on rainy days, wish I was important enough for a parking space Gem X #dreamteam

  33. ha ha ha after reading this I am more than pleased that I dont have to ride the tube very much at all. I think I will not be taking bubba to london until she is old enough to drive!

  34. This is a) wonderfully amusing and b) a huge reason why I do not miss living in the UK! Honestly, I used the tube for just one week last year when I came back in the Summer to visit and it was the longest week of my life. No idea how I used to be a commuter. Never again. #ReadThisCosYouLinkedItToThePottymouthedMumOne 🙂

  35. […] 3 Little Buttons The 10 Things That Get on My Nerves […]

  36. Sonia says:

    Hilarious and so true! My hubby used to come home regularly with amazing stories of other peoples total lack of thought for others on the train! It’s every man (or woman) for himself out there!! xx #blogstars

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