Stupid Subway Sign Prank

It's a long running Panic joke that our local Panic Subway always, always has two of the same kinds of soup on display. The soup sign always looks exactly like this — two slots, one soup. Eternally, now and forever. (And if you stare at the sign for a while and cross your eyes, a bitchin' unicorn pops out!) In all fairness, I should note that this is mainly a running joke among those of us at Panic who can actually stomach the spectacular blandness and molecular-level smell embedment of visiting a Subway. Not everyone here is as tolerant, like Steve. Me, I've traditionally enjoyed1 Subway because, as I always say, "When you eat at Subway, it's like not eating anything at all!"

Anyway, after snickering at the whole DoubleSoups™ situation for a while, I decided it was time for a change, a change from within. When they weren't paying attention — which is usually — I slid out one of the soup cards, traced it on to the back of a local weekly newspaper, drew a couple key crop lines, went back to the office fired up Adobe Illustrator, and went to work, template-style.

The end result:

For one whole day, our Subway featured delicious, piping hot Bison Noodle Soup.

Now, I will agree that "Bison Noodle Soup" isn't the most obvious comedy choice here. But it's not easy: the comedy threshold is very delicate. The goal is to fall somewhere in the realm of extremely general believability. If you do something outright offensive ("Poop Soup"), or something too obviously insane ("Horn of Unicorn" or "Children Con Carne"), you'll only accomplish one thing: the next customer will look, laugh, ask, and the sign will be taken down immediately.

No, my friend, you want the sign to stay forever. You want, as happened to us, big burly men to take a look at the sign, ponder it for quite some time, and apparently seriously consider ordering the Bison Noodle Soup before having second thoughts. The game here is to pick something funny, but not so funny as to elicit questions. Longest time wins!

Here are four .pdf alternates we've prepared for you. Just print out, trim on the dotted lines, and simply slide it into the soup slot (oo-er!) of your own local Subway. It can go in front of the existing card, for massive non-damage.

And for the truly adventurous, here's my template file. Note that I used Helvetica Neue Black for the font which, frustratingly, isn't a perfect font match, as you can see. Is there a semi-condensed version? Maybe they used Arial... probably. Anyway, I really want to see your ideas! Get crackin'!

Subway Soup (4.84 MB, Adobe Illustrator CS2)

(If you manage to pull off your own stupid soup trick, make sure to take a picture, let us know, post in the comments, and maybe we should start a Flickr group. Also, Panic is not responsible for you being kicked out of a Subway. Which seems extremely unlikely.)

1. In a beautiful bit of karmirony, I ate at this particular Subway the day before thanksgiving — it was the only place I ate that day — and I swiftly became violently ill with food poisoning in all manner of directions. My Thanksgiving was spent at home on the couch watching Judge Mathis, and finishing Bully (which was a totally amazing game in every way). Needless to say: take heed, my friend. Subway's Revenge is swift, and in your stomach.


That. Is. AWESOME.
Anonymous William Wilkinson 11/29/2006 4:52 PM  
This is an indescribably amazing idea.
Anonymous Eric 11/29/2006 5:01 PM  
That is hilarious. A perfect sense of humor.
Blogger Raybob Industries Inc. 11/29/2006 5:01 PM  
Cream of Regret? Genius.
Anonymous Michael 11/29/2006 5:55 PM  
Cream of Regret looks more like Poop Soup.
Anonymous Anonymous 11/29/2006 6:10 PM  
I dont see a unicorn...n
Blogger mutant piggy 11/29/2006 6:17 PM  
Dugg, for some reason.
Anonymous Anonymous 11/29/2006 7:07 PM  
...I totally need to try this.
Anonymous Eamon Ford 11/29/2006 7:30 PM  
* Quince Barley
* Chunky Wonton
* Tomato Maple
* Matzo Dumpling
Anonymous Paul 11/29/2006 10:16 PM  
I wonder if they have these signs in our Scotch Subways? They're popping up all over the place here like Starbucks. I'll make a 'Magic Broth' sign just in case...
Anonymous rodti 11/30/2006 4:11 AM  
So a bowl of soup is 2.00, but only 2.00 if you add to Sub, Wrap, Salad, or Fresh Value Meal?
Anonymous Kevin Rodgers 11/30/2006 6:24 AM  
if I'm not mistaken, Subway uses various weights and widths of Franklin Gothic for their signage.

btw, great stunt!
Anonymous plain*clothes 11/30/2006 9:23 AM  
funny as hell, reminds of rob cockerham's coffee shop and TGIF menu pranks.

Check out
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 1:19 PM  
looks fugin lame, I dont see the comedy. I can only laugh at the guys doin this stunt
Anonymous wacways 11/30/2006 1:25 PM  
Well, some people never get the joke. You could log onto YouTube and claim "It's fake!"

It IS funny. I loffed and loffed.
Anonymous Fred 11/30/2006 1:32 PM  
wacways: we're laughing at you, too, but you don't seem to get that one, either.
Anonymous bobo 11/30/2006 2:35 PM  
You can do the same thing with the shelf label tags at Ikea. Just swap out their goofy product names for similar-sounding puns. My favorite was relabeling a desk as the "TESTIKLES" desk.
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 3:18 PM  
I am so going to do this. First thing that came to mind was "Blowfish Bisque".
Blogger Archemedes Rex 11/30/2006 4:10 PM  
Cream of Cornstarch
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 5:26 PM  
I work at a shop that can do this very easily, I can't wait for my favorite Subway to have a new soup everyday. And I know the guys... they won't ever notice!
Thanks for the template... You just made my job that much easier.
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 5:56 PM  
If I had the time to make my own, I'd make

Vegetarian Beef


Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 6:25 PM  
Why not give credit to the originator of this kind of prank, Rob Cockerham: Here, Here, and Here.
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 7:25 PM  
Cream of Cornstarch! That's great!

How about:

Poodle Noodle
Jumbo Gumbo
Ashtray Consomme
Chocolate-Chip Gefilte Fish Chowder
Cream of Cream
Chunky Gizzard Stew
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 7:32 PM  
There's a lunch bento place near my office in downtown Portland that serves Bison bento. Also, they sell it at the grocery store. It's says something about you that Bison soup seems absurd enough to warrent a fake soup sign. Maybe somewhere Chiken Noodle would get big laughs...
Anonymous Anonymous 11/30/2006 9:00 PM  
Heh, I would try this but I'm in the same town as you guys and it's possible they now have an anti-soup vandalism force out to get me :P
Anonymous AceTracer 11/30/2006 9:40 PM  
That's gotta take some balls to pull out, and put back the sign. Nice!!
Anonymous PSW 12/01/2006 8:01 AM  
Anonymous, the guys behind this prank are in the same town as you with the bison bento, which btw is ossum.
Anonymous Anonymous 12/01/2006 10:42 AM  
Sometimes the employees themselves create the embarrassing signage.
Blogger Branden 12/03/2006 9:09 PM  
Quoting Paul:

* Quince Barley
* Chunky Wonton
* Tomato Maple
* Matzo Dumpling

These are all very funny. I love the subtlety of them. If I saw these, which is unlikely, since I see no reason to enter a subway, I would probably end up snarfing.
Anonymous freddy 12/05/2006 10:18 AM  
I don't know, I think my favorite aside from Cabel's originals has to be Vegetarian Beef. That one still has me laughing.
Blogger JL! 12/05/2006 7:37 PM  
As an aside... Just got the latest Tiger-pimpin' ADC mail and it features YOUR QUOTE!!!!!!)1 OMG U R FAMOUS!
Anonymous diode 12/07/2006 4:35 PM  
I was going to say the same thing as diode, except my email was pimping Leopard, not Tiger! I kid.
Anonymous Anson 12/09/2006 3:39 PM  
Years ago, I got an email with a Campbell's soup label for Poodle Noodle Soup, which I thought was hilarious. Maybe too over the top?
Anonymous BK The DJ 12/21/2006 10:04 AM  
I would do that, but my printer's not good enough :/
Blogger Jacqueline 2/10/2007 10:23 PM  
similar idea but.. hoffy:
Anonymous Anonymous 3/16/2007 3:06 PM  
>>"Why not give credit to the originator of this kind of prank, Rob Cockerham."

I seriously doubt this kind of prank was invented in 2003.
Anonymous Anonymous 2/29/2008 12:17 AM  
HAHAHA i work at subway now and i think it is funny. it would make my manager laugh
Anonymous Kevin 4/14/2008 4:45 PM  

Post a Comment


Name:Cabel Maxfield Sasser
Job:Co-Founder, Panic Inc.
Location:Portland, OR