What Foreigners Consider Strange About America: 15 Facts That Prove American Culture Is Surprisingly Different From the Rest of the World

The United States is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world, which makes it unique and fascinating. But if you’re visiting from another nation, there are some aspects of American culture that can be downright baffling at first glance. A popular online forum looked into things that foreigners find difficult to understand about America and here are the top 15 answers!

1. The Tipping Point: When Tips Become Trips

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Many folks detest the American tipping culture. The sheer absurdity of having to tip for everything is driving people insane. One person shares how they had to tip at a souvenir shop even though no service was involved. Oh, and don’t get me started on how you must deselect the automatic tip applied to virtually all purchases.

2. No Poutine Routine

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One Canadian user mentions that Americans eat french fries, cheese, and gravy but not poutine. However, they’ve not figured out why “poutine never took off south of the border.”

3. Legal Looniness

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Forum users are wreaking havoc over how odd the American laws are. Imagine being able to drive at 16 and join the military at 18. But then stating you’re still too young for the devil’s drink and a pack of smokes until you’re 21.

4. Zero Tolerance for the Zero-Tolerance Rule

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Many users rightfully question the zero-tolerance rule introduced in schools. One person highlighted that the only person facing the penalty is the victim. So, there are only two options: continue being bullied or get punished for defending yourself. A second user stated how schools use this policy to shrug off responsibility from their shoulders.

5. Your Favorite Product for Only $4.99 (Excluding Taxes)

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An average math hater is not too happy about the American pricing exclusive of tax. One person wished for the tax to be included so they don’t have to do the math each time.

6. Aquaholics Anonymous: Can Americans Survive Without Flavored Beverages?

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One user loses it over the Americans’ obsession with flavored beverages. People would consume soda, juice, or energy drinks instead of water. Even when they do have water, they need to tamper with it in one way or another. It must be flavored or icy cold.

7. Having 2 Weeks Vacation: No PTO for Most.

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A Dane is baffled by the American reality of only having two weeks of vacation or no PTO for many. They elaborate in Denmark. They receive seven weeks of vacation annually, including all holidays, and are forced to take a mandatory two weeks off in a row.

8. Smart and Stupid: The Best of Both Worlds

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One user observes that Americans appear to have a diverse population, including the shrewdest and dumbest people on Earth. As expected, a second person points out that this happens everywhere. The only difference is how expressive Americans are in the media compared to other countries. Consequently, they end up being perceived in an extreme light.

9. (Not So) Legal Bribery: When Crime Goes Mainstream

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Something about the concept of legal bribery sounds incredibly illegal. It’s almost as if putting the word “legal” next to a crime suddenly makes the deed less sinful. I guess it isn’t a crime if a rich person does it.

10. Flags, Fights, and Political Delights

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The forum shows that many non-Americans complain about the state’s political atmosphere. Political parties are given a high and mighty status with cult-like followings.

11. Shoes Off: When Feet Meet Floors

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A Russian user points out the incomprehensible American practice of wearing shoes indoors. Of course, people from many cultures share a similar understanding since they require you to take off your shoes before entering indoor spaces.

12. Taxes: America’s Favorite Annual Sport

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Americans do this silly little exercise of doing their taxes at the end of every year. No one questions why that’s even necessary. Someone points out that if the government knows you’ve paid what you owed, why must you file taxes?

13. Date Frustration: America’s Love Affair With MM/DD/YY

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The metric system isn’t the only thing the Americans refuse to follow. Unfortunately, they have their own rules for dates as well. Many folks mention following the YYYY/MM/DD calendar in their countries since the sorting is more accessible than the American format.

14. Debt

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Many people can’t get over how transient debt is. According to someone, it’s crazy how simple it is to obtain loans on others’ behalf without telling them.

15. School Mascots

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Typically, you’d have teams and play matches against other individuals, but in America, it’s all animal noises and guys in ugly costumes spinning a basketball. Someone mentions how each game commences with a cheerleader dance sequence instead of the traditional hand-shaking.

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