25 Unconventional Norms Around The Globe That Americans Find Weird

Published 4 weeks ago

In the vast expanse of the internet, platforms like Reddit serve as virtual town squares where individuals from diverse backgrounds converge to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Recently, a thought-provoking question emerged on the popular online forum: “Americans of Reddit, what’s something the rest of the world does that you find absurd?”

The responses poured in, offering a fascinating glimpse into American perceptions of global practices. Let’s delve into some of the intriguing answers provided by Reddit users.

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Image source: Specific-Squash, Vecislavas Popa

When you rent an apartment in Germany, in most cases it doesn’t come with light fixtures, kitchen cabinets and counters, appliances, etc. You either have to purchase and install these yourself, or hope that the previous tenant is willing to sell theirs to you. In my last apartment search, there were even a few apartments where I would have had to supply and install my own flooring. It’s insane.


Image source: GrimeyScorpioDuffman, Airam Dato-on

The assumption that all Americans are similar instead of a diverse group with a vast variety of backgrounds and beliefs.


Image source: NotHisRealName, Wendy Wei

Honestly? I understand most of it. People are raised where they’re raised. They eat food they know, watch entertainment that is local, follow the traditional sports in their neck of the world.

I totally get that. I think people are the same the world over, they just want to have a good life and a better one for their kids. They don’t want to be hungry or poor or unhoused. I get ALL that.

What I don’t get is Eurovision. What the actual f**k?

EDIT: Holy f**k, I may not be the brightest fork in the drawer but I’m not a f*****g idiot. I am well aware of the format of Eurovision. I do not understand the hype around Eurovision. I do not understand the politics around Eurovision. I do not understand the song selection OR performances of Eurovision. I do not understand how countries NOT IN EUROPE can be in a competition called EUROvision.

There you go, ya pedantic f***s. Happy now?


Image source: tornteddie, Airam Dato-on

How are yall living without AC.


That you believe we are all the same.

There are over 339 million people in America. We are all different, some born here, some moved here.

When we hear “Americans are dumb” or “Americans are ruining the world” – just know none of us think you are talking about us.

There are dumbasses, who live here, just like people where you live and others all over the world. There are also amazing, intelligent, beautiful, fantastic people who live here that care about the world outside their front door. We are not all ethnocentrists or Nationalists.

Many of us want the world to be a better place. A safe place. A happy place.

But, to lump almost 339,000,000 people into one group and expect them all to have the same traits is absurd, especially in a country that has a higher incoming immigration rate than almost any other country in the world. A country that was built specifically for immigrants to come get a fresh start, build their dream, and live a peaceful life.

By contrast:

The entire UK has 67.7 million people.
Germany has 83 million.
France has 64.7 million.

Image source: Ayste


Image source: Kaizo107, Max Vakhtbovycn

Not “the rest,” but some countries throw toilet paper in the trash can, and that is f*****g horrifying.


Not the rest of the world, but I will never understand arranged marriages. I can’t imagine being forced to have children with someone you may not like.

Image source: LaximumEffort


Image source: sosomething, Pixabay

I’m addressing Europe and I guess probably Belgium specifically, because that’s where I encountered this the most.

Y’all are unnecessarily f****n’ stingy with the beverages at restaurants.

Like for real, you stop somewhere for dinner, and the server comes by and asks if you want water. After the awkward exchange about whether you want “shparkling or steel,” they come back roughly 30 minutes later with something the size of a toddler’s sippy cup with water in it.

If, by some happenstance, you find yourself drinking all 8oz of the beverage supplied with your entire meal, and successfully perform the esoteric dark ritual of summoning the server back to your table to check on you, they will be shocked. “Hm, you are very thirsty tonight! It seems you have guzzled down your entire thimble of water in a mere 50 minutes. Would you like me to try to bring another?”

It’s water, you m***********s.

I know that back in like the 1500s all your waterways were basically sewage and so you culturally got accustomed to drinking only heavily-fermented snifters of your own saliva during meals, but I KNOW YOU HAVE PLUMBING NOW.


Specific to Europeans but yall have no business judging Americans for our issues with racism given how yall talk about and treat the Romani.

Image source: Lyn1987


Image source: smileymom19, anon

Milk in a bag.


Image source: llcucf80, Sung Jin Cho

Pay toilets.


Image source: YNot1989, Marcus Aurelius

Lack of disability access.

Don’t give me that c**p about how old your buildings are, you had no problem rebuilding most of the ones that were leveled after WWII, you can install a concrete ramp.


Turd shelves. I’m looking at you, Netherlands.

Image source: uvaspina1


Image source: PacoTaco19, 21 swan

Pay money for water in restaurants.


Image source: Afalstein, William Warby



Image source: viktor72, Qihao Wang

That smoking is still so common. This goes for Europe, Asia, South America. Probably other places too. I know we in the US have since started embracing vaping which is its own problem but at least we made cigarettes uncool. The rest of the world is dealing with both in huge numbers. There were a few glorious years in the US before vaping but after cigarettes were uncool where almost no one smoked. That was amazing.


Image source: jmnugent, Paul Weaver

Believing media-stereotypes about the USA without ever having been here.


I don’t know if it’s everywhere or just certain countries, but having to pay to use a public restroom. Even if you’re filling your tank and buying snacks in the store you still have to pay extra to take a leak at a gas station. I could maybe understand charging non-customers, but if I’m a paying customer of your establishment I think it’s a little weird to charge me extra.

Image source: HoopOnPoop


Complain about us so much.

Image source: refereeVoodoo



I find it absurd that many Asian cultures have a deep seated aversion to having fans on in the bedroom when sleeping.

I find it absurd that in many European countries ice in a drink, like water, is viewed with disdain.

I find it absurd that in Italy it may be 21C outside but if a newborn baby is in the room the windows are closed up, the baby is wrapped up in a blanket, and people think the red skin color of an overheated infant is a sign of good health!

I also find the driving habits of Italians to be absurd.

Image source: Filthy_rags_am_I


Apartment rentals not coming with kitchens… how does anyone afford to install new kitchens every time you move?? And you can’t even take it with you as every apartment had a different arrangement.

Image source: curryp4n


Image source: Tr4ceur, John O’Nolan

I wouldnt call this ‘absurd’, but when i lived in Norway finding out nearly every store closed all day on Sundays was crazy. Additionally- they put CORN on pizza, ew.


Image source: Apprehensive-Crow-96, Paolo Sbalzer

The vacation and time off in other countries. Its crazy to me. But holy cow am jealous.


Image source: here-for-information, GenderIsConfusingAf

I don’t know if it’s everywhere , but I noticed a conspicuous lack of screens in windows while I was in Europe.

It’s so simple, and it prevents bugs. I was woken up by bugs in 4 separate European countries. Why?! You don’t need to live like that.


Image source: Iwouldntifiwereme, Mitch Rosen

Soccer. Not the game, but how insane the fans are.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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America vs other countries, American people, americans, things Americans find absurd, typical American things
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