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21 Things Foreigners Take Too Seriously About the U.S.

No, the only cheese option in the U.S. isn’t droopy slices of yellow American cheese. This, among many other items, is what Americans want foreigners to know they shouldn’t take seriously about The Land of the Free’s stereotypes.

1: We’re Not All Cowboys

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One American is sick and tired of foreigners thinking that everyone in the U.S. lives life straight from a Western movie. They believe they have Americans pictured as wearing “10-gallon hats, big leather boots, [a] diet of strictly beer and beef, a pick-up truck the size of a small house, and a thick Texan accent.”

2: Garbage Disposal Woes

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According to one American, their German friends think the U.S. must be overrun with rats since they envision food sent through garbage disposals rotting in our sewers. Composting is the way, they say. The second part is hard to argue.

3: Gaps in Bathroom Stalls

Toilet paper.
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Having a gap between the floor and the bottom of a bathroom stall is something foreigners take way too seriously, say some Americans. Creepers are few and far between; the gap-free bathroom doors in Europe are far more problematic, they argue.

4: Three Americans

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“Non-Americans think the entire country either acts like the stereotypical Californian, New Yorker, or Southerner,” says a frustrated U.S. resident. They say foreigners seem to think other personalities can’t exist.

5: “Wood”n’t You Be Crazy

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Wooden houses are a fast-track way to the demise of one’s residency, according to one American’s perception of what foreigners take too seriously about the U.S. Such comments are common from Europeans, where stone and brick are the most popular building materials. “I guess they don’t think wood houses are sturdy, reliable, whatever,” chimes in another American.

6: Dodging Stereotypes

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The impression that America is rampant with crime was a common theme. “A lot of non-Americans…seem convinced that we’re dodging bullets on a daily basis. It’s a FAR less dangerous country than those kinds of people think it is,” says one commenter.

7: Complexing the Non-Complex

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An American says that foreigners take sales tax in the U.S. way too seriously. “They make it sound like it’s some complex calculation everyone has to do. It’s easy math.”

8: TikTok Fallacies

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To one American, foreigners take TikTok too seriously. They argue that, in their eyes, foreigners believe “whatever outrageous thing” they view on TikTok or YouTube about Americans is “commonplace.”

9: Culture Misperceptions

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According to an American commenter, foreigners’ “knowledge of our culture,” or lack thereof, is what non-Americans take too seriously about the US. “The US is portrayed as a simple culture, or even non-culture, and it leads to some wildly ignorant perspectives.”

10: Tipping

Money in a tip basket.
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“Tipping being an insurmountable cultural difference” is what foreigners take too seriously, according to one American. Another agrees, saying, “It is cute to go to a foreign country tho [sic] and see the look of confusion and “oh that was nice” when you tip.”

11: Everyone’s Obese

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Nope, not true. One American explains that “Yes, lots of people in the US are fat, but many people are in great shape too. Gyms are full, there’s always people jogging/biking in the morning, plenty of people playing rec sports, etc.”

12: Firearm Fiascos

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Not everyone bears a firearm in their back pocket, something that foreigners wrongly take too seriously about Americans, says one commenter. “Yes, we have our issues with them,” they admit. But foreigners take the problem “too far out of proportion.”

13: Healthcare Costs Millions

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For many, healthcare costs more than it should. But as one American points out, foreigners take the idea too seriously that we’re “all dying in the streets because we can’t go see the doctor cause [sic] it cost[s] a million dollars to get healthcare.”

14: Get Your Country Straight

Woman holding an American flag.
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An American says, “I find it odd that foreigners like New York and Disneyland, but don’t like America. It is literally America. It’s like saying you love Paris but hate France.”

15: Workaholics

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Yup, Americans receive less vacation time on average than certain other countries. But as one American puts it, some foreigners believe, “Our lack of legally mandated vacation days means nobody gets any vacation. They don’t understand how a labor market works.”

16: All or Nothing

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Foreigners, listen up: You’re taking the U.S. federal government way too seriously, according to some Americans. “I often find that many Europeans think that if the government doesn’t give you something then it means you don’t get it,” says one commenter. “The idea that not everything has to be a law enforced by the government just doesn’t occur to them.”

17: A Match for France

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Many American commenters said foreigners take it too seriously that we have terrible cheese, bread, and beer. That’s just not so, an American said. Another poster responded, “Wisconsin has entered the comments.”

18: In Self We Trust

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Some foreigners are under the impression that Americans are ultra-religious, say commenters. While that’s true for a certain percentage of the population, it’s something foreigners mistakenly take too seriously, they say.

19: Vehicle Size

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Some foreigners take how big many American vehicles are to the serious extreme, argue Americans. Besides, “Guys who drive pickups are 100% going to be the first ones to stop and check on you if you broke down or ran out of gas,” adds one person.

20: No Original Cuisine

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One commenter points the finger at fellow Americans for foreigners taking it too seriously that we have a fast food-only culture. “Frankly, I think we are bad at articulating our own cultures to a concerning degree because I see Americans regurgitating that these things are true all the time.”

21: The Greatest Country in the World

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One American wants foreigners to know that they “think mottos like ‘the greatest country in the world’ get taken too seriously. In reality, it’s not said that often and not taken as a literal evaluation of [the] quality of life between countries.” Case in point? “It’s no different from someone saying their team is the best even when it isn’t the actual champion.”

Source: Reddit.

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1 thought on “21 Things Foreigners Take Too Seriously About the U.S.”

  1. Having lived here for over 40 years I believe most of the foreign beliefs listed are true. Maybe some introspection is due…..
    Wooden houses tend to blow away in storms and end up as matchwood (remember the three little pigs and the big bad wolf) especially in hurricanes, and also once a house fire starts you can say goodbye to the house.

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