12 Types of Singaporeans You’ll Find In The MRT


We’ve all taken the MRT at some point in our life. Some of us take the MRT every day as it’s our only way to commute. Some of us take it once a year when our car’s at the mechanics and then subsequently complain about it.

Either way, I’m sure you’ve met these kinds of Singaporeans on the train.  These people may annoy you but most of them amuse me. If you’re not in this list then it must be your lucky day but if you are, read on to find out what you can do instead.

Also check out this video we made!



1. The ‘Reserved Seat’ Phobic



No matter if the train is empty, if there’s other seats available or if they’re extremely tired, you can bet that the ‘Reserved Seat’ Phobic will never ever touch the reserved seat.

I personally fall under this category. I don’t know which is scarier – people staring at you like as if you’re diseased or ninja-like Stompers lurking near me when that happens. Either way, I’m not taking any chances.

Whenever I see an empty reserved seat:


Defining characteristic: Stares longingly at the reserved seat

What to do if you’re one: Heed my advice and stay far, far away from the reserved seat. I’d rather stand the whole way. It’s not worth it. 

2. The Stomper

They could be anyone. They could be anywhere. They could be the old man sitting next to you or the 10 year old boy standing by the door. They’re ruthless and they’re prepared to catch you if you don’t deserve to sit on the reserved seat or if you sneakily pop a lozenge into your mouth. Basically, they’ll catch you if you do anything stupid on the MRT. They’re so ready.

Also read Nicole’s satirical take on “How to make the news on stomp“.


Defining characteristic: Ninja-like abilities

What to do if you’re one: Perhaps practice empathy. Most Singaporeans would willingly give up their seat and some may be really really sick. So, think about that before you ‘stomp’ someone.

3. The Attention-Seeker

These people have guts and they’re not afraid to show it. They don’t mind making a fool out of themselves in public and they don’t care if The Stomper is around. They’ll do pull ups on the train, run back and forth, dance on the train…whatever’s crazy enough. They just want to have fun and make sure everyone knows it.

They be like:


The rest be like:


Defining characteristic: Crazy bunch of people, mostly youths

What to do if you’re one: Tone it down a bit. Even if you want to be crazy in public, some people just don’t appreciate it. Best if you unleash your cray cray when the train is empty.   

4. The Pusher




These are the people who continue to push their way into the MRT even if there’s no space left. They are also the ones who push you aside if they have no space to walk. If they were a superhero, pushing would be their superpower. I am always left amazed at the amount of determination they have to get in and out of the MRT. 

Defining characteristic: “Excuse me, excuse me!”*push*

What to do if you’re one: Another alternative to pushing would be to tap the person’s shoulder and politely ask if they could move aside. It works for me all the time.

5. The Pole Leaner

By the way they’re leaning against the pole, you’d have thought they’re in some sort of intimate relationship together. These people leave no space for others to hold on to the poles. No chance at all!

For short people like me, this means that I have to tiptoe to grab the hand grips and hang on for dear life. Either that or I just pretend I have extraordinary balancing abilities. After all, lower centre of gravity right?

What they think they look like:



What they actually look like:


Defining characteristic: It doesn’t matter what size they are, somehow they always manage to occupy the whole pole.

What to do if you’re one: Please pity others who have inadequate balancing skills and the short ones like me who have to tiptoe to reach the hand grips. Please.

6. The Sleeper 


These are the ones who can sleep in the MRT, no matter if it’s early in the morning, extremely late at night or even in broad daylight. They can snooze away and travel to dreamland. Sometimes, they’d fall in such a deep slumber that they’d miss their MRT stop. They’re also always the ones who wake up with their head on a stranger’s shoulder.

Defining characteristic: Head nodding off, drooling (not always)

What to do if you’re one: If you keep dozing off and missing your stop, perhaps you might want to do what this woman did:


The sign says – “I’m sleeping now. Please wake me up when the train arrives at NISHIOGIKUBO.”

7. The Loud-hailer

These are the people who talk as loud as they want. They don’t mind if you can hear their whole conversation, they just want to make sure the person can…even if they’re on the phone…or worse, just beside them. 

They’re the ones who wake The Sleepers up from their slumber and the ones who you wish would just, to put it simply, shut up.

Them talking loudly like:


Everybody else:



Defining characteristic: You can never miss their booming voices.

What to do if you’re one: Learn how to speak softly especially if the other person is right next to you. I’m sure you don’t care if others can hear you but it never hurts to practice consideration!

8. The ‘Studious’ Student



There are two prominent types of students who come under this. Those who are under The Mugger category in our list of 15 Types of Students You’ll Find in Singapore and the ones who are trying to squeeze in a last minute revision for a test they never studied for.

It’s a good way of maximising time on the MRT especially if you have a 1 hour journey ahead of you. I personally like reading on the MRT because I don’t get motion-sickness like I do when I’m on the bus.

Defining characteristic: Notes in hand, nothing else matters

What to do if you’re one: Give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve mastered time management! Just kidding. Time is precious, so studying while on the way to school is pretty useful if you need that extra time to memorize quotes, formulas and essays. Keep doing what you’re doing!

9. The PDA Couple

Just like The Affectionate Couple in our Types Of Students In Singapore, they don’t mind acting intimately in public. You do not exist. They’re going to do whatever lovey-dovey thing they want wherever they want and in this case, in the MRT.

I’ve not really seen extremely intimate couples on the MRT. But I suspect this would be my reaction when that time comes:


Defining characteristic: Being affectionate on the train is their priority. Who cares about the rest right?

What to do if you’re one: Just. Stop.

10. The Music Blaster

Earphones plugged in, iPod out and they’re ready to give you a free concert. They’re the reason why sometimes, you don’t need an MP3 player. All you need is The Music Blaster in your cabin.

They will blast music so loud that you can actually hear it very clearly. Sometimes, I would hum along to the song that they’re playing because it’s not like they can hear me. Plus that goes to show that we have the same music taste.


Defining characteristic: Oblivious to people’s stares

What to do if you’re one: Lower that volume son! I know it’s free music but not everyone appreciates your music taste.

11. The Anti-Social One


They’re the ones who are on their phones, tablets, or any other gadget all the time even if they’re with a group of friends. Whether they’re watching Youtube videos, playing Flappy Bird or stalking someone’s Instagram, they’re never taking their eyes off the screen. 

Even if their friends ask them a question, they would simply nod or shake their head, preferring to stay focus as they attempt to beat their Flappy Bird highscore. You know, if you’re more focused on Flappy Bird than your friends, I suggest you re-evaluate your priorities in life. 

Defining characteristic: Might slap you in the face if you break their Flappy Bird streak

What to do if you’re one: If you’re alone, I think that’s completely fine. But if you’re with your friends then it’s time you make some conversation!

12. The Seriously-Cannot-Balance One


These people have zero balancing skills. They’re the ones who rush for the poles and hand rails because they know they’re going to fall once the MRT starts moving. I don’t know if it’s because they have a high centre of gravity, they’re wearing heels or if they just don’t bother. Poles and hand rails become their best friends for the time they’re in the MRT.

Defining characteristic: Grips onto the pole/hand grip super tightly but still can’t seem to stand properly on a moving train

What to do if you’re one: Take up surfing lessons, maybe that’ll help.

Came across any of them before?

So there you have it! The 12 Types of Singaporeans you’ll find in the MRT. This list is not exhaustive and I know most of you are ‘normal’ in the sense that you board the train, you mind your own business and then you alight. But hey, I’m sure you’ve come across these types of Singaporeans on the MRT before!

If you know any more types of Singaporeans we can find in the MRT, share it in the comments below!