People Are Sharing Things That Are Accepted In The USA But Would Be Considered Horrifying In The UK (20 Answers)

Published 3 years ago

Just because something is considered socially acceptable in your own country, this doesn’t mean that it is in another. And you might be in for an unpleasant surprise if you don’t keep this fact in mind the next time you’re on a trip abroad.

Recently, Reddit user u/TownImmediate9060 posted a question on the r/AskReddit subreddit, asking others to share some things that are considered socially acceptable in the US but would be deemed horrifying in the UK. The user received over 50k answers, and some of them might surprise you, especially if you’re not familiar with the American healthcare and tax systems. From ambulance rides that cost hundreds to the bizarre gaps in bathroom stalls, see the American things that surprised British people the most in the gallery below!

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Image source: gibsterminator

Paying more than the price you see on a price tag in a shop due to taxes. WTF just put how much it costs!


New mothers going back to work almost immediately after giving birth, because they don’t have paid maternity leave

Image source: MultipleDinosaurs


Image source: chhurry

Healthcare that bankrupts you


Image source: jeff_the_nurse

An $800, four-block ambulance ride.


Cashiers being forced to stand… give them a chair you masochists

Image source: andy_james_78


Image source: awbayley97

Politicians mentioning religion when campaigning


Offering full-time employees anything less than 28 days of paid holidays per year – it’s not only socially unacceptable – it’s illegal!

Image source: RandGenUserName


Image source: CuriousAboutLife0

Overworking. It’s rewarded and encouraged in the U.S., but during my time in the U.K. my colleagues were horrified by the long hours and lack of holidays that was the norm in the U.S.


That whole thing where American kids pledge their allegiance to the flag. That is completely weird and scarily totalitarian to us Brits.

Image source: Naugrith


Image source: X0AN

Driving everywhere.

In the UK it’s perfectly normal to have your kid walk to school and walking to the shops to do your shopping.


Bragging about how expensive something was.

In the US “this is a $100 shirt” …smug face

In the UK “can you believe I got this whole suit for £25!” …smug face

Image source: NCC-2000-A


Image source: smokingthegateway

Greeters in supermarkets. Just feels fake.


Image source: Hawkholly

I’ve learned from my British friends that you have to be very careful giving peace signs. If you have your hand facing a certain way, it’s like a “f**k you” in the UK basically, whereas in the US it doesn’t matter which way it’s facing really. Several years ago I sent them a picture with me doing an “incorrect” peace sign and they were appalled

ETA: The offensive version is where your palm is facing inwards


Image source: 8xxx5

Gaps in bathroom stalls


Image source: Butwaip

A rubber in England is not the same as a rubber in the US.


Labelling the winner of a sports tournament that only your country plays as ‘World Champions’

Calling Football ‘Soccer’

Image source: DM1994


Image source: Ok-Cryptographer8906

My (British) partner & I (American) were in London, running late to meet our friends. Just as we get to the tube station, I see our train has just pulled in; we haul ass across platform and I yell, “HOLD THE DOOR.” Someone does, we make the train, I don’t see a problem. My partner, by contrast, is mortified. This was 4-5 years ago & he is still mortified. Apparently we were meant to just…let the train leave? Without us?? & wait for the next one???


When my Brit friends were visiting, they were horrified when the waiter took their credit card to swipe back at the terminal. This made them REALLY uncomfortable.

Image source: cn45


Image source: fantsukissa

Making tea in a microwave.


Image source: boganvegan

Asking new neighbors, “Have you found a church yet?”

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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British people, british people in the usa, Brits, uk, USA
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