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Young woman holding an American flag with clouds in the background

Many people think that Americans believe their ways and customs are superior. Recently, someone posed an interesting question asking “What is an American thing that Americans think everyone outside of America does too?” As an American, the responses were interesting enough to share. Here are the top-voted responses.

1. Server Bringing the Bill

Someone expressed, “When I went to Australia, I automatically assumed that the waiter would bring the bill over when they think we’re done eating and tell us to pay whenever we’re ready. So I sat at the table for 15 minutes browsing my phone with no food or drink on the table until I decided to call a server over. They told me when I was ready. I could pay at the front counter.”

2. Prepaying for Street Food

Additionally, they shared, “Went to Brazil to visit my wife’s family, and we ordered some street food. I tried to pay upon order, and my wife told me they take payment after we finish eating, even if it’s street food.”

“After eating, we forgot that we hadn’t paid yet and just got up and walked away because we’re so used to paying upon order. After about 50 meters of walking, I was like, wait. We didn’t pay for the food. We rushed back to pay, and the cooks laughed about it.”

3. Garbage Disposals

One person identified, “Having a garbage disposal unit installed under the kitchen sink. My wife and I are hosting an exchange student from Germany. She was very confused the first time I turned on the disposal.”


Someone confessed, “This is at least consistent and shows the date information beginning with the highest significance. It’s hard for me, as a European, to use the American date system. It matters which part of the date (month or day) is attributed to the highest practical value.”

When others questioned why Americans do this, one replied, “It’s how we talk. “December 22nd, 2022″ is what we say, so it made sense to do mm/dd/yyyy.”

5. American Holidays

“No joke, I knew a girl who thought every country lit fireworks on the 4th of July,” one stated. “I had an American girl ask me what I was doing for Thanksgiving and had to tell her we don’t have that where I live,” another confessed.

6. Grape Flavored Foods

“Have grape-flavored foods. I’m sure it exists elsewhere, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in the U.K. We have blackcurrant flavor instead, which is the ‘purple’ version in sweets and drinks,” one shared.

“The rest of the world needs to get on the best flavor America invented, Blue. Such a great flavor and almost no one to accurately describe it,” another expressed.

7. The First Amendment

“The first amendment,” someone replied. “I just howled with laughter when some Canadian convoy protestor claimed he had first amendment rights when the first amendment in the Canadian constitution provided for the government of Manitoba.”

8. Venmo

“When I came to the U.S. from Canada to see a friend, after dinner, when we were splitting the bill, they asked if I could Venmo it. And then I told them we don’t have Venmo. And then I saw the shocked Pikachu meme face around me. So I’m going to say Venmo,” another volunteered.

9. Commercials

Someone added, “The sheer amount of ad breaks when watching a TV show. In the U.S., there are one every 10 mins, but here in the U.K., you get a break halfway through a show and then in between shows, and that’s it.”

Another shared, “This varies wildly by country, and the U.S. isn’t even close to the worst. For example, they have an ad break every 5 minutes in India. That would be bad enough, but they play the same ads every single break for hours on end.”

10. Thinking the Entrée is the Main Course

“Immense portions in restaurants and then taking a slightly less immense but still significant boxful of leftovers home and calling the main course an entrée, when entrée means starter/appetizer,” a third user replied.

11. Tipping

“Tipping. For example, here in Finland, we don’t have a tipping culture, and I work in tourism, so I often have to explain to many tourists (primarily Americans) that I can’t take tips,” shared one.

12. Taxes

Someone explained, “I’m in the U.K. here. The price you see in a shop is the price you pay.” Another explained they were surprised every time they had to pay more than the sticker price on items in America.

13. Free Refills on Sodas

“Free refills on sodas. That’s not a thing anywhere else,” shared one. Another added, “Or drink this much soda! Really? And the entire 50ft aisle of the grocery store is all soda?” Finally, a third joked, “I don’t understand it either. (*Hides can of Cherry Vanilla Coke*)

14. Major League Baseball

“Growing up, I thought baseball was as widely played as football (soccer) worldwide,” admitted one. Someone commented, “Crazy how the World Series only consists of U.S. Teams and the Blue Jays.”

15. Circumcision

“Circumcision. It is not very common outside North America, Africa, and some Asian countries,” one said. Finally, someone confessed, “Uncircumcised American, I have been the first uncut male with every partner I’ve been with, so many misconceptions, and it’s depressing.”

This article was inspired by this thread, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cents + Purpose.

Elizabeth Ervin

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing, a website that provides information about addiction, recovery, mental wellness, spirituality, and resources to help people succeed in rebuilding their lives. Elizabeth has education and experience with addiction, healing, and spiritual studies. She is passionate about learning, teaching, and loving her neighbor. 

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