We report the first femtosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy study of 2-, 3- and 4-nitrobenzaldehyde (NBA) and nitrobenzene (NBE) in the gas phase upon excitation at 200 nm. In 3- and 4-NBA, the dynamics follow fast intersystem crossing within 1–2 picoseconds. In 2-NBA and NBE, the dynamics are faster (∼0.5 ps). 2-NBA undergoes hydrogen transfer similar to solution phase dynamics. NBE either releases NO2 in the excited state or converts internally back to the ground state. We discuss why these channels are suppressed in the other nitrobenzaldehydes.