15 Common Practices Americans Do That Are Weird Everywhere Else

I wish adding a tax on price tags wasn’t a thing in America!

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When traveling outside of the United States, it could be quite of a culture shock when Americans see something done differently than what they’re used to. What you may think is normal to you may not exactly be the same reality for other countries. Sometimes you’ll even get a funny or questionable look in the process.

Being different is not necessarily a bad thing- it can be interesting and even entertaining! One Reddit user recently posted the following question, and it immediately went viral: “What do Americans think is normal for everyone, but actually it’s not normal for anyone but Americans?” Here are some “normal” things we do in the U.S., that the rest of the world may view as a bit strange:

1. Servers taking your credit card:

“Having the restaurant take your credit card. In most countries, it’s considered impolite to disappear with the card, as they might write the digits down to charge extra later. Therefore, they normally bring a portable terminal to your table, so you can keep the card in eyesight and have the (optional) tip actually charged when the card is run and not added after the fact.”

2. Needing to sign the check:

“I’m Canadian and was surprised to still be required to use my signature on credit card receipts in the United States. Haven’t done that here since like 2007-ish?”

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3. No need to flag down the server:

“A lot of non-American restaurants expect you to flag down the waiter for the final bill. It’s rude for them to ask, since you might not be done eating yet. In Italy, for example, they typically only have one family per table, per night. You hang out and talk, drink coffee, and eat dessert until the wee hours of the morning.”

4. Drawn-out elections:

“Absurdly long election campaigns. In most countries I’ve been to, election campaigns last a month or two. In the US, they seem to go for a full year.”

5. Unnecessary Social Hour :

“The multiple social cliques. Holidays. The extreme importance of sports. The freedom most students have, as compared to other countries, even though they don’t think they do. Learning periods and subjects taken.”


6. High school years:

“The use of the words ‘freshman,’ ‘junior,’ ‘sophomore,’ and ‘senior.’ I don’t think I have ever heard these outside of an American TV show or movie.”

7. Surprise Tax:

“This may be a shot in the dark, but product prices not including tax when they’re displayed? Like, if something says it’s $10, and you only have $10, what’s with the surprise tax at the till?”

8. Sticker tattooed cars:

“Bumper stickers. They’re a lot less common in Europe anyway, not sure about the rest of the world.”

bumper sticker

9. National Anthem at sporting events:

“Playing the national anthem before sporting events. There may be a handful of other countries that do, but in much of the world, it’s only played for international matches.”

10.  “Right hand over your heart”:

“The pledge of allegiance. If you tell people here that in America they make kids stand up and recite some prayer to a flag every single morning, they’ll look at you like you just grew a third arm.”

11. Red, White, and Blue:

“Putting. Flags. Everywhere.”

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12. Tipping luxury:

“Tipping as a wage subsidy. Many countries don’t have tipping, and those that do generally tip a small amount for good service.”

13. Jaywalking:

“Jaywalking. Like, in Europe, you can pretty much cross a road wherever you want, but when I visited America, there seemed to be this weird sense you were being judged if you walked out into an empty road.”

14. Keep your clothes on:

“Now, I’m not advocating for mass naturism, but if I’m in the changing area at the gym, I’m going to see naked people. If I’m at the pool getting changed, I’m going to see naked people. Hell, if you live with people, you’re probably going to see them naked at some point. Americans always freak out. It’s fine to be a little shy, but the fear of the human body is just weird!”

if you could keep your clothes on that would be great

15. Drug encyclopedia

“Americans who are not a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, or someone working in healthcare still know the names and uses of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs and sedatives.”

All of these are so customary in America and quite frankly I didn’t realize how odd this was to non-Americans, did you? Let me know in the comments below

What do you think?

Written by Emma Reed

Emma is a full time gossip chaser. Her passions are riding through the countryside with her doggos and writing stories that make people go WOW. She's the editor at

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