Weird

Weird Laws in New York

List of strange state laws on the books in New York. These rules and regulations were passed by the New York state legislature, or in an individual New York city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned, or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case that set a common law precedent from that point on.

Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor in popular culture. TV shows such as "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with the notion of small towns having peculiar regulations on the books. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)

Vote up which laws you think are the most ridiculous New York laws to have ever been created.
Ranked by
  • Going Topless in Public is A-OK
    1

    Going Topless in Public is A-OK

    Women may go topless in public, providing it is not being used for business.
  • It's Illegal to Call Sons Homophobic Names
    2

    It's Illegal to Call Sons Homophobic Names

    It is illegal for a father to call his son a “f*ggot” or “queer” in an effort to curb “girlie behavior." (Staten Island)
  • Couples Must Both Agree that Their Differences Are Irreconcilable
    3

    Couples Must Both Agree that Their Differences Are Irreconcilable

    New Yorkers cannot dissolve a marriage for irreconcilable differences, unless they both agree to it.
  • There Goes Everyone's Social Lives
    4

    There Goes Everyone's Social Lives

    It is against the law to throw a ball at someone’s head for fun.
  • If Jumping Off a Building Doesn't Kill You... the City of NYC Will
    5

    If Jumping Off a Building Doesn't Kill You... the City of NYC Will

    The penalty for jumping off a building is death.
  • Thou Shalt Not Wiggle Thine Fingers at Fellow Citizens
    6

    Thou Shalt Not Wiggle Thine Fingers at Fellow Citizens

    Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.”
  • Carrying Ice Cream Cones in Your Pocket is Prohibited.. on Sundays
    7

    Carrying Ice Cream Cones in Your Pocket is Prohibited.. on Sundays

    A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.
  • Suitable Bathing Suits Only, Please
    8

    Suitable Bathing Suits Only, Please

    If one wishes to bathe in the city limits, they must be clothed in a “suitable bathing suit.” (Sag Harbor)
  • No Slurping Allowed
    9

    No Slurping Allowed

    People may not slurp their soup. (Ocean City)
  • Choose Your Concert Snacks Wisely
    10

    Choose Your Concert Snacks Wisely

    During a concert, it is illegal to eat peanuts and walk backwards on the sidewalks. (Greene)
  • You Can Join the Army at 18, But You May Not Smoke Until You Are 21
    11

    You Can Join the Army at 18, But You May Not Smoke Until You Are 21

    In 2013, NY voted to raise the minimum smoking age to 21.
  • If You Find Yourself in a Wagon, Keep Your Clothes On
    12

    If You Find Yourself in a Wagon, Keep Your Clothes On

    It is illegal to disrobe in a wagon. (Sag Harbor)
  • New York Enforces Awkward Elevator Rides
    13

    New York Enforces Awkward Elevator Rides

    While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking toward the door.
  • Kim Kardashian is Essentially Banned from the Streets of New York
    14

    Kim Kardashian is Essentially Banned from the Streets of New York

    It is illegal for a woman to be on the street wearing “body hugging clothing.”
  • Keep Your Flirting to Yourself
    15

    Keep Your Flirting to Yourself

    A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.
  • No Pinball Machines on the Lord's Day
    16

    No Pinball Machines on the Lord's Day

    Pinball machines are not to be played on Sunday. (Ocean City)
  • They Have a Pretty Generous Slipper Policy
    17

    They Have a Pretty Generous Slipper Policy

    Slippers are not to be worn after 10:00 PM.
  • Looks Like You Won't Be Making Burgers at Your Next BBQ
    18

    Looks Like You Won't Be Making Burgers at Your Next BBQ

    Raw hamburger may not sold. (Ocean City)
  • Limit How Often You Sleep in Your Backyard
    19

    Limit How Often You Sleep in Your Backyard

    It is against town ordinances to camp out on your own land more than 72 hours a month. If you want to camp out for two weeks you need a permit, which can only be obtained once a year. (Kendall)
  • Avoid Eating and Drinking Outdoors
    20

    Avoid Eating and Drinking Outdoors

    It is illegal to eat in the street in residential neighborhoods, and the only beverage you can drink on the beach is water in a clear plastic bottle. (Ocean City)