Americans have always had a creative way of doing things. For instance, most like to go big in almost every aspect of their lives, from the size of their Coca-Cola can to the tip they leave at the local café. Undoubtedly, Americans are so used to living like this that when an outsider – a foreigner – points out the genuine uniqueness of their cultural habits, they refuse to believe their ears. But realistically, what Americans may consider pretty much normal in their hometown could be entirely new and weird to a newcomer.
Indeed, there’s always an American way of experiencing things, and then, there’s everyone else’s. Ultimately, that’s what makes us all unique, special and different.
But besides being quite a boisterous country - where the concept of the American Dream was actually born – the U.S also runs on the greyish side of the spectrum. For example, its currency is rather dull, devoid of any color and character. Indeed, the barely-attractive design surely takes most travelers by surprise as well. Wondering what else makes the U.S so different than the rest of the world?
Go ahead and get ready to view the typical American in an entirely different light. Who knew that Canada’s southern neighbor could be so odd, huh?!
22 American Fly Flags, Everywhere
National holidays are the perfect reason to express your patriotic side. After all, it's that time of the year when you can feel the vibes of power, unity, and strength floating through the air. In this sense of the word, there's really nothing wrong with being a little patriotic but how much can actually be too much? Well, according to bestlifeonline.com, most Americans just love the red, white, and blue, and it doesn’t need to be the Fourth of July or Veterans’ Day to wave the national flag.
While exploring the country's beautiful and quirky sides, foreigners and first-time visitors may also spot American flags flying on cars, in front of homes, and even emblazoned on beer cans.
21 Americans Love Eating Grape Skittles
Have you ever tried those? Well, this particular flavor happens to be one of the most delicious and much-loved one in the country; however, for those outside of the states, these grape skittles are actually known as "blackcurrant". But most surprisingly, it used to be a popular flavor in the UK and Australia, bestlifeonline.com details, until one day when legislators decided to ban the fruit. For some reason, these grape skittles were thought of as a "vehicle" for a wood-destroying disease, known as white pine blister rust. But even though it was banned, it still is one of the most atypical but super delicious foods in the U.S. Therefore, it almost became part of their American culture.
20 Americans Aren't At All The Most Frequent Travelers
You may often get "attacked" by the travel bug, but it seems as though most Americans rarely hit the road, bestlifeonline.com notes. Well, admittedly, it does sound a bit strange, but that's just another weird thing about the American way of living. Taking time off work to enjoy a weekend getaway with their significant other isn't at all typical in America. Most people usually work over 50 hours a week, so you see that there's hardly any time left for vacations of any sort. So apparently, workaholism is still alive and breathing in many American families.
19 Always Drink From Red Solo Cups
Why do you think most Americans always drink from Red Solo Cups? Well, blame it on the patriotic side of things. Evidently, these otherwise cheap cups serve as a symbol in America. For the most part, they're usually associated with college parties, backyard barbeques, and all sorts of social gatherings (where fizzy drinks are usually consumed). Well, it's not completely impossible to witness it outside of the states, but ultimately, it's mostly an American cultural habit that's almost like a religion in the U.S. Sometimes the opaque color of the beverage alongside the sturdy design of the cup makes it quite hard to tell what's in the cup, bestlifeonline.com reveals.
18 Shop At Pharmacies That Look Like Mini Shopping Malls
Your local pharmacy doesn't look as nearly as good, does it? Well, neither does ours. In the U.S, though, most pharmacies double as big convenience stores, with aisles of health-boosting goodies, fitness supplements, and all sorts of curious things, bestlifeonline.com shares. Weirdly enough, some American pharmacies even offer sushi, candy, and soda, despite their not-that-healthy profile. BBC reporter, Jon Langford, has recently shared his viewpoint on the U.S. pharmacies by saying the following:
“In America, pharmacies are huge, kid-friendly places with shelves stacked full of crappy plastic toys and just about every conceivable candy bar. It is not a place little ones fear; on the contrary, a trip to Rite Aid is met from the backseat with a whoop or two of delight.”
17 Free Refills For Everyone
Who doesn't love free refills? But what makes us different than most Americans is the fact that they can get a free diet coke refill, while we must pay for it. At least, this is how it goes in most places around the world, except for the U.S. Here, soda lovers can absolutely enjoy free refills without having to spend a dollar for that fizzy luxury. So what's the catch, right?
Well, according to bestlifeonline.com, this small "gift" has created an endless stream of visitors who come in to get something to eat, then walk out of the store with a free refill (probably as a complimentary bonus added to their meal). But interestingly, they're not obliged to buy something in order to get a free refill, and that's what strikes foreigners the most about the American culture.
16 They Still Carry Boring Currency
There's no doubt that the American currency may be quite synonymous with power and dominance; however, its color-devoid scheme is quite boring. After all, America has long been the center of the global economy; however, the currency features a pretty dull design when compared to other countries with colorful, almost too exquisite bills with cultural figures imprinted on the side, and all the like. For instance, the Canadian currency is quite the opposite of the U.S one, with appealing color schemes and female cultural figures. But for a reason, unbeknownst to us, the U.S has decided to stick with their green-based dollar bills that are even quite difficult to tell apart.
15 They Love To Cheer On Cheerleaders
Many European colleges don't even have a squad of cheerleaders, so the thought of cheering on a bunch of pretty girls sounds almost too crazy to most non-Americans. Besides, you don't usually see cheerleaders at the annual World Cup, do you?
Therefore, it's quite normal that most foreigners raise their eyebrows at the sight of guys cheering on these girls, no matter the reason for it. Well, they do realize that these girls are only there to support their sports team, but still, it's just not a typical "procedure" in many countries around the world. But again, it's all about the cultural differences and oddities in America that even other English-speaking countries can't always relate to.
14 Can't Go Out Without Coffee
Unlike Italians, who really cannot live and breathe without their slightly-sugared beverage, most Americans enjoy their coffee while on the go.
With so many Starbucks shops at their fingertips, most Americans don't even think about brewing coffee at home anymore. Why would they anyway when Starbucks, or any other big coffeehouse, can offer them a whole new world of coffee flavors. But still, most foreigners cannot get their head around the idea why Americans always walk around with a coffee cup glued to the hands. In fact, this "coffee practice", according to bestlifeonline.com, was born in America, and still finds a way to strike many people as quite a bizarre everyday habit.
13 They Just Go Big With The Tips
What a generous nation, right? Whether it's only for show or not, most Americans actually leave pretty good tips at cafes & restaurants. But if we must compare the U.S. to some European countries, like Italy or Germany, tipping isn't at all considered a compulsory, let alone a necessary thing to do. In Latin America, bestlifeonline.com reveals, tips rarely go over 12% while in the U.S, you'll be expected to add at least 20% onto your bill; and that's only to avoid the stare of death coming from your server. So, whether you like it or not, that's the level of tipping you're almost obliged to reach when visiting America.
12 Servers Always Check In On Their Costumers
Another curious fact that non-Americans are usually shocked by is the over-attentive server at the local diner. Foreigners are not used to being checked in on every 10-15 minutes, bestlifeonline.com reveals. But in a country like the U.S., it's one of the most typical and normal things in the world. In many other places around the globe, people don't get to see much of their servers once their meals are served. So, just imagine the confused look on their faces when the server asks them how they like the dish or whether everything was okay on the table.
11 Everything Needs Ice
Ask any American, and you'll most certainly get the same answer. These people really love their ice, and it doesn't matter whether it's whiskey, soda, tea or just water - everything that's in a liquid form needs a few ice cubes, bestlifeonline.com shares. By the way, the oddity still goes on even in the dead of winter when most cafes and restaurants usually serve well-cooled beverages. Well, this sure isn't that common in many other places outside of America, including Canada.
Reporting for, Lisa Bramen suggested that this curious tradition might have actually come from the typically American "more-is-more" approach to life.
10 They Just Love The Jet Cool Operation Mode
Most Americans really go nuts with the air conditioning, bestlifeonline.com notes, so they usually crack it to the point where you'll really start missing your sweater. In fact, even a quick run to the local supermarket will eventually make your feet feel numb and super cold. So, if you haven't gotten used to such extremely cold temperatures, you'd better get ready to experience chattering teeth while in the store. Actually, you may even start considering getting back under the sweltering sun again. At least, you'll no longer feel as though you've been locked in a brand-new and perfectly working freezer.
9 Eating Super-Sized Food
Actually, that's one of the clearest, most obvious signs that give away the birthplace of the stranger sitting next to you. These guys just love huge portions and super-sized food, bestlifeonline.com reveals, especially when it's a burger, donut, pizza, or soda. Well, most of them usually add diet soda to their order, which only makes it twice as confusing and absurd. Besides, they just can't get enough of their meal. After all, why have a tiny steak when you can have a 20-ounce one? Maybe some Americans even wish they could order a 30-ounce one. But all jokes aside now - this just seems to be the American way of having a quick lunch.
8 Tv Shows Full of Ads For Prescription Medication
Another oddity that most foreigners often deal with is the vast number of tv and talk shows, full of ads for prescription medication. At first, you may not realize that all of those soft-focus and happy-looking commercials are somehow linked to some brand-new medication; however, the long list of possible side effects that the narrator eventually rattles through surely gives it all away. But as you already know, most pharmacies in the U.S. share nothing in common with the ones in your hometown. All in all, this is just another oddity that first-time visitors to the U.S just can't get their head around.
7 Wear Pajamas In Public
You've already seen such crazy images of ridiculously-dressed people shopping at Walmart, haven't you? In fact, this one is a pretty good example. Believe or not, most Americans feel surprisingly comfortable wearing their bedclothes even to run some errands during the day, bestlifeonline.com reveals.
Whether dropping by the local Starbucks for coffee or just shopping for groceries, some Americans don't really care about their morning looks. Sometimes, it's not about being lazy and moody, but about feeling comfortable in your skin, although it's really strange to anyone from outside of the states.
6 Deep Fry Everything (Literally)
Let's not pretend that we hardly like the taste of fried chicken wings or grease-filled donuts with cocoa creme that sends us on cloud nine. But in reality, most American foods are literally drowning in grease, and that's hardly a shocker to anyone. After all, it's the U.S that's one of the most obese countries on the planet. So, it's really not hard to see the link between obesity and their deep-fry cooking methods. Of course, the concept of fried chicken isn't foreign to non-Americans, but just try to explain what chicken-fried steak really is. It's just too weird, isn't it?
5 Sneak Pumpkin Into The Simplest Meals
Speaking of more U.S. obsessions, we just cannot miss the pumpkin mania. According to redbookmag.com, most Americans regularly consume all things pumpkin, and it doesn't have to be a specific holiday. And unlike the rest of the world, where pumpkins are consumed just as often as any other food, most American families just love it when everything tastes like it. But while we see pumpkins as part of the squash family and nothing more, Americans can't help staying away from all those pumpkin-flavored dishes and desserts. Of course, it could be a tradition, but it's still super weird that this food has got such a fan base in the U.S.
4 Laughing Out Loud Really Comes From America
Ironically, the Japanese believe that it's really rude to show your teeth even when laughing, but look how smiley and boisterous most Americans are. That's how they are, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. Most people from the U.S. really tend to let out hearty, open-mouthed guffaws.
But when compared to other nations, you'll certainly be able to see one hell of a difference, mostly in the way people carry themselves, and behave, especially among strangers. So next time you hear somebody laughing out really loud, you'll instantly know more about them - it's most certainly an American.
3 They Open Gifts In Front Of The Giver
There's no rule about properly opening your presents; however, this doesn't necessarily mean that you have to unwrap them in front of your guests. Of course, you are curious to find out what could possibly lie inside this beautifully wrapped box; but there's also a chance that you may not like it. So, instead of running the risk to come across as a super rude American, just save the work until after all of the guests are gone. Generally, according to redbookmag.com, most Americans actually do open them in front of the giver with the idea to thank them personally. But sometimes, the whole idea may not go as planned.
2 Chat Up Total Strangers
Another thing that seems to be a bit surprising to most people in the U.S. is the fact that non-Americans don't like small talk, especially with strangers, redbookmag.com reveals. Actually, Americans' penchant for the small talk can even be extremely off-putting to those who didn't have the chance to grow up, talking about the weather. If you've ever been to the states, then you might have actually experienced that yourself. Most Americans are really not that shy to chat up a person they've never seen before. But again, that's the kind of environment most Americans just grow up in.
1 Refuse To Discuss Finances
Another curious thing about Americans is that most people don't really like to talk about their finances. This sure includes random discussions about their usual expenses, lifestyle, their annual earnings, and all the like. After all, it's a personal choice; however, according to TripAdvisor, most Americans really get offended when they get asked about the price of their recently bought house, car, etc. It may be just a simple question that comes out of curiosity, but obviously, some people just take things way too personally.
Reference: bestlifeonline.com, redbookmag.com