People Are Sharing Customs That Are Actually Completely Bizarre To Everyone Else Except Americans

If you've been immersed in American culture for long enough, there are certainly things that are so "normal" it's hard to imagine that they'd be considered alarming to non-Americans. So Redditor u/ColossusOfChoads asked, What's something that foreign visitors complain about that virtually no one raised in America ever would? Here's what people said.

1."I’ve had visitors from Ireland and Germany who got upset that the windows in my home open up rather than out."

A woman opening a window.
Grace Cary / Getty Images

2."Root reer. I have seen foreigners become almost angry that we drink this stuff. I know the flavor is common in liquid children's medicines in Europe, but let us love our weird soda flavor."

A mug of root beer and a burger.
David Cooper / Toronto Star via Getty Images

3."The fact that American wait staff are often very friendly. This always seems to freak out our European visitors."

An excited waitress at a restaurant.
An excited waitress at a restaurant.



4."Not having the sales tax listed on price tags. Obviously, I agree with them. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could know the actual amount you’ll need to pay!? But I’ve lived with this my whole life because it's just the way things are here in the states, and it never occurs to me to complain about it."

Checking the price tag on a blouse.
Siewwy84 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5."That in America we call it football even though it's played with hands."

Football players walking onto the field.
Football players walking onto the field.



6."That are food portion sizes are 'too large.' 'Oh no, you’ve given me a lot of delicious food! What am I supposed to do with this food that is left over? How could I possibly take it to go home with me!? In some box, like it’s a lightbulb!?' Ridiculous"

Messy pancakes with fresh berries and maple syrup.
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

7."Small talk with strangers. It's so uncommon in Europe that visitors get really freaked out when they encounter it here. That and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

Jonah Hill making small talk.
Jonah Hill making small talk.



8."Garbage disposals. Europeans either don't understand them or assume they hurt our sewer system. Well, no more than some giant log from a meal of bratwurst and schnitzel."

A Simpson riding a chair being tossed by a garbage disposal.
A Simpson riding a chair being tossed by a garbage disposal.



9."They find air conditioning and ceiling fans — common in most American households — a bizarre concept. They can't stand the heat, yet they can't stand ways to beat the heat."

Air conditioning units in an apartment window.
Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

10."The sheer size of the US. Someone from abroad asked me about taking a road trip from LA to Vegas, the Grand Canyon and maybe Florida, and they only had a few days to do it. They didn’t understand the massive size of the country."

A road leading through desert.
Jakob Radlgruber / Getty Images/EyeEm

11."That when you pay at a restaurant, the server takes your card to the back rather than bringing a machine and swiping in front of you. My father in law is always like 'where are they taking my card? I can't see them, they are stealing my information!'"

A man paying at a restaurant with a credit card.
Grace Cary / Getty Images

12."That very high quality bread and produce isn’t available at our 7-11s and convenience stores."

Refrigerated food at 7-Eleven.
Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

13.According to every Middle Easterner, Israeli, and Australian I've met, us Americans are fake because we're always nice and smiling even when we don't mean it. Apparently we're 'too nice and friendly' compared to other peoples."

Ted Lasso smiling.
Ted Lasso smiling.

Apple TV


14."Window screens. My German father in law always complains about them. You know, the things that keep the bugs out? He is convinced that they keep the air from circulating. They don't, and I don’t like mosquitoes so we keep the screens down."

A butterfly on a window screen.
Cavan Images / Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

15."I've heard that Europeans think Americans are lazy because we use dishwashers. What's funny about this comment is that dishwashers actually save a lot of water compared to hand washing."

Open dishwasher with clean dishes.
Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images

16."I have a foreign friend who worked in the US for two years. She found it strange that Americans were always so happy to be eating or drinking in places that aren't restaurants, like at the beach or bus stop, on a trains or in the mall."

A couple eating outside.
Bonfanti Diego / Getty Images/Image Source

17."The way Americans greet one another by asking 'how’s it going?' I understand that in other cultures, nobody asks that question unless they’re actually inquiring after your well being. But here in the US, we will ask, 'how’s it going?' as a general greeting without expecting an in depth answer simply because it serves as an easy way to start a conversation. No, that does not make us stupid, or fake, or bad, or wrong. These are our customs."

Joey from Friends asking "how you doin'?"
Joey from Friends asking "how you doin'?"



18."That we drink our beverages with ice. I can understand being annoyed if you order a drink that is 90% ice and 10% drink. But if it's just the right amount of ice to make your drink properly cold, what's the issue?"

Iced tea in glasses.
Ablokhin / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19."That American toilets are too full of water."

A man plunging a toilet.
A man plunging a toilet.



20."Foreigners are always confused as to why school buses must stop traffic. They think: 'why don't you just teach your children not to run out into traffic.'"

A school bus driving on a road during fall.
Seanami / Getty Images

21."That in America people are so obsessed with sports that they would call in sick to go see their favorite team play."

A woman in a jersey cheering for the New York Knicks.
A woman in a jersey cheering for the New York Knicks.

Paramount Pictures


22."Long-distance driving. I had relatives from Eastern Europe visit a few years ago and we drove them from New Jersey down to DC for a weekend visit. When we got back they commented that it was such a long drive, easily the longest that they’d ever taken by car. Then I showed them a map of the US and how far we’d driven versus the size of the rest of the country. Their heads nearly exploded."

Cars on the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.
Comezora / Getty Images

23."So many aspects related to our homes in the US confuse foreigners. For instance, wood frame construction. But here in the US they provide better insulation against our more extreme temperatures and seismic activity like earthquakes. They're also confused by open floor plans, big refrigerators, electrical outlets inside bathrooms, and double hung windows for starters."

A wood frame house.
Chris Rogers / Getty Images

24."That our food is overly sweet. High fructose corn syrup is in so many things that lots of Americans no longer notice the sweetness. Meanwhile, people from elsewhere are freaked out by our sweet grocery store bread."

Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Juanmonino / Getty Images

Non-Americans who have spent time in the states, what's something that you find bizarre about the US? Tell us in the comments!