There are any number of reasons you might be using a payphone and most of them have to do with unimaginative screenwriters.

Image by Senor_Taco.

Another payphone suicide.

Just The Facts

  1. Payphones are a thing of the past
  2. Homeless people miss getting to overhear your conversations on the payphone they sleep behind.
  3. If you see someone talking on a payphone, you should try to keep them talking until the police can triangulate their location.

10 Things Using Payphone Say about You

Payphones were the first casualty of the great mobile boom of the past 10 years. As recently as 1994, every single commercial break contained Carrot Top using the "Head-On" school of advertising to convince you to dial down the middle, and use 1-800-CALL-ATT whenever you didn't have a quarter.
Because they're presumably a pain in the ass to remove, payphones are still out there. Occasionally, you'll even see someone using a payphone. When this happens, you can immediately assume one or more of the following things about them:
5. They are tourists from a foreign country or the year 1987. (3%)
4. They are paranoid enough to brag about "staying off the grid," yet not paranoid enough to realize that with a total of 5 payphone conversations taking place at any given time, the FBI could easily monitor them all. (4%)
3. They are looking for a vintage 1994 case of the flu to go with their vintage sneakers. (10%)
2. They like to think of themselves as non-conformists, the less ego-deflating way of saying "unemployed." (13%)
1. They are urinating. (70%)