11 Major Stereotypes About The U.S. That Trigger Americans the Most

America is well-known for many things; some are based on facts, while others are merely passed on as generational folklore—the classic stereotypes. This list of opinions from an online forum showcases a wide range of the stereotypes we often poke fun at, yet are still enough to rub an American the wrong way. You’ll either be surprised or offended, too. Either way, we bet you won’t forget this encounter with the quirkiest side of America.

1. Ignorant About Other Countries

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Americans often get branded with the stereotype of being ignorant or uninformed about other countries, a generalization that can often sting. Sure, America’s geography can make it challenging to stay in tune with worldwide affairs, but labeling the entire country as “stupid” is hardly fair. People across the globe could be just as oblivious about events outside their borders. As one user rightly commented, “However, people from other countries are pretty ignorant as well.”

2. Limited Cheese Selections

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European countries pride themselves on their vast assortment of cheeses, so they believe that the only types of cheese available in the United States are processed Kraft Singles and Cheez Whiz, someone remarks. On the contrary, the diversity of available cheeses in the U.S. easily rivals those in Europe.

3. America the Unoriginal

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The idea that America is unoriginal and isn’t innovative is a tired trope when you look at the things invented in this country and used worldwide, shares a responder, such as iPhones, airplanes, personal computers, 3-D printers, email, and the internet.

4. Nationalism Is the Norm

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Some claim there is a perception that all Americans are nationalists who believe that only America’s interests count. This is disproven by how Americans generously step up and assist citizens from other countries when they need help.

5. Americans Are Uncultured

American Culture
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Because the U.S. is a relatively young country compared to many European countries, there is a false belief that Americans lack culture, a user laments. The U.S. is well-represented culture-wise when you look at all the musical genres that started here and the numerous renowned playwrights, authors, writers, poets, artists, and musicians from the U.S.

6. Small Town America

Hillsboro, Oregon
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A widespread stereotype about those living in areas with a population of less than 10,000 is that they are uneducated and disconnected, bristles an individual on the discussion board from Nebraska, who’s been “asked if they have internet where they live as if their state is a developing nation.”

7. Americans Don’t Travel

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Another individual on the discussion board comments how they hate the view that Americans don’t travel anywhere, a complaint they mostly hear from Europeans. In some ways, it’s understandable why Europeans believe that falsehood.

Most European Union countries have an open border policy that makes traversing the continent relatively simple and inexpensive. While many Americans don’t have a passport, they are still well-traveled, visiting numerous states across the U.S., which is something considering the country’s size.

8. Rural America

A pusher boat in the Mississippi River near the Vicksburg Bridge in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA.
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Numerous commenters took exception to the cliché that rural America is accurate in television shows like Duck Dynasty or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. At least one person finds it particularly offensive that Americans living on the East and West coasts believe these exaggerations are real.

9. America Is a Monolith

trinity church boston
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The U.S. is a culturally, regionally, and religiously diverse nation. However, according to one responder, some Europeans think that all Americans are fundamentalist Christians from the South. In reality, the U.S. has people living in different regions, representing various cultures, and having their own religious beliefs and practices.

10. The U.S. Has Terrible Beer

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Beer is such a significant part of the American identity a user on the thread is willing to argue that the U.S. has the best beer in the world. They opine, “All anyone outside of America knows about is Bud Light and all the other macro brew,” and that the country’s best brews haven’t “had enough time to hit the rest of the world yet.”

11. All Americans Are Biased

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A terrible misconception about the U.S. is that all Americans are homophobic, are prejudiced against people from other countries, and hate anything “that doesn’t have an American flag on it.” Unfortunately, a segment of the population holds these toxic views. Still, America is a nation of immigrants, and its diversity is its greatest asset.

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Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.