20 Annoying Habits of Americans the Rest of the World Can’t Stand

Americans seem to do things a bit differently from the rest of the world. As one of the most influential countries on earth, its no surprise its presence is so widely felt.

Thanks to the influence of US TV and movies, some perceptions are slightly misguided. Nonetheless, these bizarre habits and unusual stereotypes make for some amusing perceptions. 

Here’s a look at some of the hilarious and bizarre things the US does differently that drive the rest of the world mad!

The Tipping System

Close up of hotel employee wearing uniform holding money cash taking payment from customer while working in hospitality industry, selective focus. Waitress receiving tip from generous client
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What’s with all the tipping? Many foreigners are baffled by the demanding tipping culture. They often question the weird unspoken rule, especially when service and tax aren’t included in the meal price. 

Not to mention, many find it ridiculous that it’s based on a percentage rather than the quality of service and don’t understand the rules. 

National Pride

Woman holding American flag against the background of an industrial plant
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No one seems to do national pride quite like Americans. The idea of having to say the pledge of allegiance every morning at school is a truly alien and frankly quite a dystopian concept to many Europeans.

Overly Friendly

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Given that most service industry staff work on commission, it makes sense to Americans that they are always over-attentive. However, for non-Americans, the helpful staff is frankly a bit off-putting. It’s not normal outside of America to constantly be asked how your days are going, and to be honest, it feels a bit invasive.

Thinking Europe Is A Country

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One thing that drives the rest of the world crazy is America’s lack of geographical awareness. Europe is not a country; it’s a continent, and the UK isn’t in Europe. Saying you’ve been on holiday to Europe literally doesn’t mean anything nor indicate what you were doing.

Talking To Strangers

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The rest of the world finds it very unusual how people openly converse with random strangers. Outside of the States, most people keep their heads down and are taught to mind their own business, something Americans don’t seem to understand.


Women are already strong. Shot of a young woman screaming into a loud speaker while protesting in the city.
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Americans have developed a reputation for being notoriously loud and brash. For the most part, the rest of the world finds this lack of self-awareness incredibly annoying.


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For some reason, there’s a distinct difference in how Americans spell certain words, which other English-speaking countries like the UK and Australia can’t stand. 


Retired senior couple walking with dog
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Especially for Europeans, the fact that nowhere in the US seems to be pedestrianized is very odd. Not being able to walk to the shop or having to get in a car to go anywhere is an unnatural concept. 


Hand arranging wood block with healthcare medical icon. Health insurance - concept.
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The lack of free or even affordable healthcare is bizarre. Having to pay for the ambulance or emergency services to come out just seems morally wrong to the rest of the world.

The Accents

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It’s all subjective, but given there are countless different accents across the States, some foreigners find specific ones very jarring and sometimes difficult to understand.

Drinking Age

Stop Drinking Alcohol
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Most foreigners find it bizarre that you can be conscripted into the army, drive a car, own a gun, and get married, all before you can legally have a drink.


Rush-hour traffic approaching the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge
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Not only is nothing pedestrianized, there seems to be a serious lack of public transport. The only way people seem to get around is by car, which means there’s constant traffic and terrible pollution.

The Silent H

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Calling herbs ‘erbs’ really riles up the Brits. The ‘h’ isn’t meant to be silent; otherwise, it wouldn’t be there.

Eating Contests

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Watching someone gorge themselves to the point where they are in pain, all in the hopes of getting a free meal with a side of temporary glory, seems like a uniquely American concept. 

Excessive Ice

Refreshing summer drink, iced lemon
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Ordering any kind of cold beverage in the US is the equivalent of getting a glass of ice with a bit of added flavoring (which they’ll then charge a fortune for). Not to mention, putting ice cubes in wine is a surefire way to wind up the Europeans.

Imperial Measurement

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While the rest of the world uses the metric system, Americans seem content with being different, making it a nightmare for foreigners to ever understand what they’re talking about, especially regarding the weather or speed limits.


Angry boss shouting to an employee
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The rest of the world finds Americans to be pretty loud and obnoxious. There’s a common disdain for US tourists when traveling abroad, thanks to their reputation for being arrogant and entitled, especially when it comes to their beliefs that the customer is always right. This is a concept that much of the rest of the world just can’t stand.

Supersized Food

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Small doesn’t seem to exist in the US. The jumbo-sized food portions are frankly concerning for most foreigners. While some enjoy larger servings, the constant excess is pretty overwhelming, given that the options are usually limited to something between a large and XXL. 


Die-hard sports fan watching football
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It’s not soccer; it’s football. The fact that Americans call football soccer and have a whole other sport called football is bizarre. Especially given that American football doesn’t even involve using your foot in anywhere near the same way as the actual version, it truly baffles non-Americans.

Pharmaceutical Commercials

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Commercials for pharmaceutical drugs are a weird American concept the rest of the world doesn’t get. Advertising prescription drugs, especially on daytime TV channels, seems very wrong to many outside of the US.

Not All Bad

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Of course, this list is a generalization (much like believing Europe is all one country). Still, because of how popular and appealing the US is as a country, it’s no surprise that people have developed a few issues with it. Like with life, there are pros and cons to everything, and when it comes to a clash of cultures, you will undoubtedly get some funny outcomes. 

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