26 ways to piss off a Chicagoan

By nature, Chicagoans are pretty easy-going. But do or say any of these 26 things, and expect our rage to flow like melted cheese

Photograph: Sam Howzit/FlickrNo. 13: Put your name on a skyscraper.

There's a reason the saying "Midwest nice" exists. Chicagoans are generally affable, kind people—especially to out-of-towners. But our kindness has limits. How will you know when you've reached that limit? Oh, you'll know. Just say or do any of the following 26 things and watch that Midwest nice morph into Midwest rage. Which means we'll probably apologize for disagreeing with you.

RECOMMENDED: More on living in Chicago

1. Compare us unfavorably to New York.
2. Compare us unfavorably to Detroit.
3. Treasonously write an article for the New York Times about how much you hate living here (you still suck, Rachel Shteir).
4. Sign away our parking-meter revenue until our great-grandchildren are our age.
5. Say you're from Chicago when you're actually from the suburbs.
6. Only be able to come up with Al Capone and Michael Jordan as famous Chicagoans.
7. Only laud our hot dogs, steakhouses and pizza.
8. Call it Chitown or Chiraq.
9. Call us an Illinoisan.
10. Say you couldn't live here because of the weather. Especially if you're from Boston or NYC. It's truly not that much colder here.
11. Move away from here as soon as you get the slightest whiff of success.
12. Move away but still call yourself a Chicagoan.
13. Put your name on the side of a skyscraper.
14. Be any of these 19 people on the CTA.
15. Remind us that Billy Corgan is the last great rock musician to come out of the city in 20 years.
16. Make fun of the neighborhood we live in.
17. Call us "flyover country."
18. Assume we only wear North Face puffy coats and jeans.
19. Put a street fest on our street.
20. Stage sitcoms in Chicago that clearly are not filmed in Chicago.
21. Make us switch to Ventra and then ruin everything.
22. Try to build a high rise in our neighborhood.
23. Put "Da" in front of every stupid thing, still, even though the reference is now old enough to rent a car.
24. Assume everyone is running around shooting each other all the time.
25. Pretend like our beaches aren't real because they're on the lake instead of the ocean.
26. Say we're called the Windy City because it's windy here.


Tim B

#27. Talking about "New York Pizza" as if slight variations on the thin crust pies served worldwide, such as soggy crust, is somehow a local signature food on par with Chicago's distinctive deep dish and stuffed pizza styles.


@tbchicago1 I'm a recent (one year ago) transplant from my hometown of Chicago to NYC, and I have to say that there is only one pizza place that even comes close to the life-affirming greatness known as deep dish pizza: Emmett's, in Soho. The kicker: the founder, Emmett Burke, is from Chicago! 


It's no Giordano's. Or Uno's. Or Roots. Or Lou Malnati's.

Jesse A

It is way colder there than Boston for a fact, it is one of the most grim cities I have ever been in. Nobody in their right mind would move there, very sad and depressing. I let out a sigh of relief when my plane landed in JFK


At least this author still lets us call it Shitcago

Robert R

I wae born and spent my first ten years in Chicago. After that, I spent a lot of time in the city, including learning how to drive versus taxis. To say that I'm not a Chicagoan is insulting. The City is not complete without the suburbs and vice versa. Quit being egalitarian you pompous ass.

Tim B

@Robert R you mean be egalitarian right?

adjectiveadjective: egalitarian
  1. 1. of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities."a fairer, more egalitarian society"
nounnoun: egalitarian; plural noun: egalitarians
  1. 1. a person who advocates or supports egalitarian principles.
Vicky K

They all "loooove" Shicago soooooo much; especially when they are in Florida and LA.

Michael S

Suburbanites, please ignore #5 when you're south of I-80.  Nobody in the rest of the state cares which suburb you're from, or how close it is to which IKEA.

Sean M

..and I don't care where I end up I'm still from Chicago so you can ditch 12...lol

Luke H

As a born and bred (and still living here) Chicagoan, I can attest that only 1,2, 10, 24 and 25 are viewed as ignorant statements. BTW, in my 63 years in Chicago, I've yet to witness a shooting.  

Ron J

Allow somebody from Missouri to compile a list about Chicagoans.

Joe W

How about hilacking one of our iconic institutions and turning it into a national chain based in NYC (I'm thinking of you Macy's)

Tim B

Macy's save those stores dum dum. Fields was going bankrupt and Macy's bought them out. So next time do a little research and say thank you to Macy's for saving all those jobs around Chicagoland.

Sean M

Who care nothing for the legacy of what Marshall Fields was

Kathy A

#25 Drives Me CRAZY!!!

David M

how did I know new york would somehow be involved