Foreigners Share The Weirdest Things They've Noticed About America

Some of them are surprising.

If you're an American, it probably isn't easy to know the things that make your country unique.

But for the thousands of people who pass through the United States every year, plenty sticks out. In a recent Reddit post, foreigners and a handful of Americans shared some of the things they were most surprised by when coming to America, or things they'd heard from friends visiting abroad.

The responses were hilarious and insightful. 


"Met some Swiss guys at a house party after a mutual friend's wedding ...

"They couldn't believe that we were all actually drinking out of red Solo cups, it blew their minds. They kept on taking pictures and saying 'It's just like the movies!' " — DillSe

"American here, one huge difference I noticed being in Germany was that our toilets are puny and wimpy.

"The first time I flushed a toilet there it sounded like a jet engine and I swear the air pressure dropped in the room. That is a proper toilet." — Brendazee

"I recently realized Americans have to register to vote.

"Probably not the weirdest but I recently realized Americans have to register to vote. In here it's just: you're 18, you can vote." — Makhiel

"Brit travelling in America at the minute and there's a few things I've noticed:

"-smiling at people on public transport, someone smiled at me on the light rail the other day and I had a mini panic attack.
-I'm guessing this could vary state to state but the amount of people I met carrying enough weapons on them/in there (sic) car to invade a small country was insane.
-If you walk into a busy bar and shout USA WHOOOOOOOO!!!!! 99% of the time someone somewhere in the bar will repeat it back."

— Calthis

"To be fair, almost nothing in the US is grape flavored.

"It's purple flavored." — Sanfode

Abid Katib / Getty

"Having tax added on when you get to the till.

"I.e. price tag says $5, you take a $5 bill out of your wallet, then bam, you're asked to pay $5.86 or whatever." — ahphoque

"Not so much weird, but I was actually really surprised at how big of a subject food is in your general conversations.

"Maybe it was just the people I met, but seriously. Every time someone mentions they're going to a specific town, 'oh you gotta try that pizza place there,' people talking about new burger joints that opened or how they're going to this restaurant that serves pancakes with bananas or whatever.

The image about Americans and food in France is that you guys don't really care — you always eat at fast food restaurants or just microwave everything because you don't care, quantity over quality. But that is so untrue — oh god, how much you care about food.

We definitely have differing standards of quality in food & drinks compared to you guys, but dammit if you guys aren't passionate about it." — mrdeuter

"A coworker of mine visited the U.S. and stayed over my house from the U.K.

"Oh my god ... You have a mail box!!! Just like in the movies!" — I_Should_Go_N7

"Drive-thru everything!"

"Smiling at strangers." — kidsinballoons

Cover photo: Joe Raedle / Getty


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.