How To Fart In Public And Get Away With It

How to Fart in Public and Get Away with It

Flatulence is perfectly natural, but when it happens in public, you'd do anything to avoid the embarrassment. Whether they're silent and deadly or loud and proud, here are the most dastardly ways to pass gas around others and slip away like a fart ninja. Image by Nick Criscuolo.

Perfect Your Crop Dusting Technique

Crop dusting is the act of farting on the move. It might seem rude to fart and run, but it's every man for himself in this world, and if you can get out of where you are quickly, you won't have to deal with any of the aftermath. If you're not stuck in a room with people, Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel suggests you release once you get walking:

If you must fart and there's no hope for private relief in sight, do so when you're on the move. Don't linger in the cloud or return to the scene of the crime. If you pass gas in your cubicle, immediately get up and leave your cubicle, lest your chattiest coworker decide that now's a great time to have a talk and what is that smell? Is that Ukranian food? If you're on the train, fart and then make your way to the other end of the car. Leave the gas, take the canoli. Farting is kind of like murder or organised crime in that way.

While you're on the move, Ryan also recommends you use whatever you can to cover up the smell so it doesn't follow you:

You can try to mitigate the smell -- for example, if you carry scented lotion in your purse, take it out right after you fart and start nonchalantly applying some to your hands. Nothing to see here. Just a lady passing gas and moisturizing...

Perfume, cologne, deodorant, chapstick and gum can help cover the smell up. It's better to smell overwhelmingly like perfume than fart, right?

Depending on where you are, some places are better to crop dust than others. There are three types of ideal crop dusting locations: places that are private and blocked off, places that smell good, and places that smell bad. If you can steal away to an empty stairwell, you can fart without a care in the world. If you're at the supermarket, you can take a stroll down the shampoo aisle, or browse the seafood section and break some wind. Areas around trash cans are also good targets because people expect them to stink already.

If you're on a date, your crop dusting options can be pretty limited, but there are a couple go-tos. In the video above, YouTuber nigahiga recommends what he calls "the gentleman": Open your date's car door for them and let it all out while you make your way to your side of the car. If you don't have an opportunity for that, there's always the classic "delay": Tell whoever you're with to lead the way and follow behind, crop dusting out of harm's way.

Win the Blame Game

If you can't escape, you might have to blame someone else. The key is to keep your cool, fart as quietly as possible, and follow what P.J. Whitehill, the author of Catch That and Paint it Purple: A Complete Guide to Farting, calls "the rule of three or more." The bigger the crowd you can find the better, but there must at least be three people in the area before you should even try pass off your fart as someone else's. As Whitehill explains, however, you're not exactly trying to prove someone else farted:

You only need to create the aura of suspicion. Quite often, the protestations of the innocent party being blamed only make them look more guilty. If your patsy starts hanging themselves, just sit back and let them do your job for you.

To create such an environment, the folks at LovePanky suggest you should act disgusted, but wait for your cue:

...wait for others around you to sniff a little. Once you see they have their faces in disgust, it's up to you to react too. This is your cue. Slowly, screw up your face and put your index and thumb finger up to your nostrils. This will show your disgust and will instantly prove your innocence...

As the saying goes, "whoever smelt it, dealt it." So if you want to play it off like the smell is a surprise, do not be the first to point it out. Furthermore, you're much more likely to succeed at passing the blame if you can stand near someone that others would assume to be the culprit. YouTuber The Amyzing Life Guide recommends standing near a baby or a small toddler before letting one rip. Just be sure they can't talk, because as Alex Iwashyna at Late Enough explains, most young children have no problem acknowledging one's flatulence or drawing attention to the smell in question. Other great patsies include senior citizens, dogs, or anyone dressed in filthy clothes. People tend to assume things, so use that to your advantage. Look around the area you're in and ask yourself who you would assume is the farter, and go with them.

Sometimes you can't keep your farts silent, however. In that situation, you have two options: own up to it, or blame it directly on your patsy. Blaming it on someone directly takes some courage, but if you say the right things and deliver it properly, your patsy will be getting defensive in no time. The video above, from the Howcast YouTube channel, uses the perfect example of a yoga class, where people unintentionally pass gas regularly. If you try to keep your fart silent and it ends up making noise, reach out to the person closest to you and say, "don't worry about it, it happens to everyone," then go back to what you were doing. Redditor tinkywinky86 gives another great example:

This is a good one for the surprise fart that you had zero prep time for. It's a tough one to pull off, because you must commit 100% to blaming the person you choose. Once you fart, turn without hesitation to the person closest to your back side and with a quick glare shout out "Really!!!???" If you act offended enough, you can pull this off.

The key is commitment and really believing what you're saying. If you don't think you can stick to your guns, you're better off apologizing for your smell or saying nothing at all.

Save Your Elevator Farts for When the Doors Open

Elevators are by far the most difficult places to fart and not get caught. Everyone is cramped together, nobody is talking, and there is no air flow. That being said, there's still a way to fart on the sly. The folks at Bubble News recommend one very simple rule: only fart when the door opens. During that time, three important things happen:

  1. The elevator and doors make noise
  2. People go out
  3. New people come in

If you fart when the doors open, you can cover up the noise, and the blame could easily land on the jerk that farted and ran, or the jerk who waited until they were on the elevator. At that point, do what Jonathan Beck at Quora suggests, and remain silent to maintain plausible deniability. Everyone will suspect everyone, but no one will know for certain that it was you.

Lifehacker's Evil Week highlights the dark side of life hacking. How you use that knowledge is up to you.


    We've recently taken to banning consistently prejudiced news sources in our home (eg. The advertiser, abc news, etc). As a family, we talked about generalising genders/races/etc with the aim of ridiculing or isolating sections of the community.
    Life Hacker is, thankfully, prides itself on trying to be inclusive! My kids laughed their heads off reading this article. It's great to see us all together reading dark, funny and non-prejudiced articles.
    Well done Lifehacker. Bringing families together over farts and trying to set a benchmark for including rather than excluding members of our community!

      Lifehacker should be banned in your household according to your metrics.

    At home I always blame the dog. I suspect everyone else does too.

      I have a cat, and when it's the cat, you KNOW it's the cat. If you tried to blame yours on the cat, everyone would know you were lying because there's no way it would be as bad as hers.

    Just say 'who was that!?' whilst looking slightly accusingly at one of more people in the vicinity. If you do it right, their natural instinct will shift their attention to defending themselves from the accusation rather than pin-pointing the source and as we all know 'he who denied it supplied it'.

    I always put my headphones on. The music tends to drown out the sound. The perfect crime.

    I've always been confused by the saying "As funny as a fart in an elevator", because the elevator fart game is HILARIOUS.

      Our ploy in the elevator (by our i mean dad and i) used to be let one out slowly and then just say out loud oooh ive got new socks everyone bends slightly to see said socks and gets nose full.

    They seem to have missed the fun side of farting.
    Crop dusting an entire aisle in the supermarket, women's clothing section in any department store, crowd of people gathered to watch a busker. Just some of the few enjoyable place to share one's scent.

    What's the point of having a bomb if you can't drop it properly?

      That's a popular saying in Japan.

    This can be used to great comedic effect.

    We were visiting friends in Edinburgh several years ago, and they took us to see the castle. Whilst in a large room, one of our friends let off the longest, loudest fart I've ever heard. Which then echoed around the room for many more seconds.

    Cue much hilarity. And even more at the disgusted looks of some prim American tourists.

    I most prefer dropping bombs whilst on escalators in shopping centres. Works well up and down. Try this and you will be hooked.

      But doesn't the theory of relativity mean that rides the escalator with you? Or perhaps the wind resistance slows it down...

      I still cry tears of hilarity when I remember the dog following me up the stairs one night many years ago, with Mum bringing up the rear. He'd been eating licorice, and farted halfway up the stairs. Cue me hanging on for dear life to the railing trying not to have a prolapse while Mum can't move, breathing it in. Good times.

      I second the cats too. Dear Lord Jesus, that is an experience you can not soon forget!

      The closest I get to that now is the quiet satisfaction of littering the aisles at Coles with bombs.

    "Lifehacker, tips that matter"

    The only trouble with crop dusting though is when it turns into a shart.

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