18 Things Non-Americans Don't Understand About American Culture

·3 min read

Now, as an American, I am always obsessed with reading what things we do that non-Americans find weird. And I get it, we do a lot of things that only make sense to us!

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And yesterday, Reddit user celestial_introvertt asked that very question to the AskReddit community: "What's something that as a non-American you will never understand?"

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Of course, the thread quickly went viral, with thousands of replies. Here are some of the top-voted and best comments that non-Americans have for the good ol' USA:

1."Why they don't use the metric system! And another thing: WHY THE FUCK is the month first and then the day???"

u/GatoxGalacticos0906

2."The importance sports have in college."

VardamirNolimon

3."Homecoming. Would someone please explain what a 'homecoming' is?"

u/Fardles_Bear

1980s homecoming scene from the Bold and the Beautiful
Cbs Photo Archive / CBS via Getty Images

4."HOAs. They aren't really a thing where I am and it baffles me that people don't have permission to do certain things to their own homes."

FloofBallofAnxiety

5."Having an average of only 10 days of annual leave. And then sometimes even being looked down on for taking it."

timeboxparadox

6."Not including tax on retail items — so if something is $20 on the price tag, it could be $21.50 when you get to the counter. Just makes no sense, include it prior so that people can get the change out if they need it. Not such a big issue if you pay by card, but still."

u/Traditional-Soup7883

Yellow and red flannels with a blurred background and the buyer's hand checking the price
Robertodavid / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7."Tipping culture."

u/timeboxparadox

8."Some Americans' (note: I say some, I'm not generalizing here) total lack of awareness about other parts of the world, e.g. I've seen things like Africa referred to as a country, people who don't know Paris is in France, etc. It just seems bizarre to me."

TheSneakUK

9."Jumbo-sized drinks intended for one person to drink."

isendmemetobfevryday

Young woman drinking coffee from large disposable cup at take away counter of cafe
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

10."The fact that so many people don't want universal healthcare."

spacemonkeypantz

11."How obsessed you guys are with politics and integrate it into everyday life."

"'Oh, he does (something I don't agree with), must be a Democrat!' I have an aunt there and all she does is ramble on, on, and on on Facebook about Democrat this, Republican that, liberal, conservative blah, blah.I've seen it brought up many times on Reddit during arguments...why is this so important?"

u/Fates_the_Great

12."How long American commutes are. Some Americans really think it’s normal to drive for a couple hours for work."

u/f1redude_YT

Businessman driving car
Poba / Getty Images

13."Why they always assume everyone views things from the eyes of an American 🙄."

u/BuTerflyDiSected

14."Children's beauty pageants."

u/BixxBender123

15."What I will never be able to understand is this: How can it be completely normal for you people for Amazon to leave the package on your doorstep???"

FreeFly104

Amazon packages at on door step
Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

16."Why kids have a social pressure to leave their parents' homes at 18."

Gio25us

17."The World Series. Why is it called that?"

Bingsterishere

And lastly...

18."Why public toilets have this little gap between the doors that let people make eye contact with you when you...you know, are taking a shit."

u/Avivbb

Public bathroom with three stalls with open doors
Ananaline / Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.