19 Things Americans Think Europeans Don’t Understand

We all know Europe and the United States have very different cultures, so a recent internet survey asked Americans, “What is something Europeans aren’t ready to hear?” Here are the top 19 responses.

Italians Drive Crazy

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“The way people drive in Italy makes me understand why they’re so religious. Absolute lunatics. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’m from NYC.”

“I had to drive in Sicily, and people would overtake me if I hesitated at a stop. It’s bad.”

The US Is Huge

The US Is Huge
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“We had some distant relatives come to Boston from Scotland. We asked what their plans were, and one of the things they wanted to do was take a day trip to LA. I asked, “Did you rent a rocket car?””

“We have a European office in Dublin and an office in CA, and we are on the East Coast. Our European people ask us why we rarely visit the California office. Like, guys, it takes us the same time to get to you.”

The KFC Double Down Will Both Disgust and Delight You

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“2 buddies and I went and got them. We came back to my apartment and ate one each. We woke up several hours later, and no one remembered falling asleep. Our bodies shut down to protect us.”

“What struck me was this food item looked the MOST, unlike its advertisements, than any other food product I’ve ever seen.”

Public Toilets Being Free Should Be a Standard

Public Toilets Being Free Should Be a Standard
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“Having to pay a euro to wash my hands at an Italian train station was wild.”

“That’s why most of our cities don’t smell like Paris. Paris does not smell like baguettes.”

Racism Isn’t Just an American Thing

Racism Is Rife In America
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“When stationed in Germany while in the Army, I was floored by the racism my black friends encountered from locals. From looks of disgust in public to outright racist comments spoken out loud without shame or hesitation. It really was shocking.”

“Remember when Sweden took in 5,000 Syrian refugees and almost re-wrote their police laws to allow racial profiling?”

You’re Getting Fat

You’re Getting Fat
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“In France, anything tastes good with enough butter.”

“2/3rds of Brits are overweight or obese (same as the US), but they constantly criticize “fat Americans who eat at McDonald’s.” I guess it’s only ok to be fat if you eat at Gregg’s instead.”

Americans Are Friendly

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“From watching TV, we may come across as rude, but in person, we are great.”

“As an American currently traveling in America, we all love to talk about the place we’re from. And we love hearing what locals say about their home when visiting.”

Americans Have A Leftovers Culture

Americans Have A Leftovers Culture
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“While some people will eat their whole meal at a restaurant, it’s completely normal if you don’t, and you’ll be offered a to-go box to take it home. There isn’t a big expectation of finishing your meal at restaurants.”

“My great great grandparents beat my great parents so badly during the Great Depression for wasting food that the lesson has carried on through generations.”

Biscuits and Gravy Is Delicious

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“I watched a tik-tok of Irish high schoolers trying biscuits & gravy for the first time. And watching their reactions go from fear and disgust to heaven and bliss was amazing.”

“I think their aversion comes from biscuits meaning something else to them and gravy meaning something else to them. They are thinking of the thinner brown gravy from their Sunday roast, and they are thinking of cookies. So it all comes off sideways.”

Some Americans Wear Pajamas in Public

Wear Cozy Pajamas
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“If someone in Austria walked around in pajamas, most would genuinely think they’d have some sort of mental problem.”

“Very true, especially when traveling at airports. You’ll see a lot of people in pajamas there.”

There Are Actually More States Than Texas, New York, and California

There Are Actually More States Than Texas, New York, and California
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“And most people don’t know about all the cool stuff in Texas, New York, and California. It’s just Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and New York City. Upstate New York may as well be a different country than New York City.”

British People Invented and Used The Word “Soccer”

British People Invented and Used The Word “Soccer”
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“Almost every English-speaking country except Britain (Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa) calls it soccer; none get called out for it.”

“Right, I never understood why people get so worked up over this one. Just call it whatever you want. We know what you mean if you say football with a British accent.”

Americans Are Actually Smart

Americans Are Actually Smart
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“The stupid ones are just the loudest and the most annoying.”

“I saw a map that showed what every country leads the world in. What a great summary of the US!” for the United States, it said “Nobel Prizes and lawnmower deaths.”

Not All American Beer Tastes Like Water

Not All American Beer Tastes Like Water
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“Many big-name domestic beers taste watery, but not all of them. There are also tons of great craft breweries and microbreweries all over the country that make great beer. We also don’t all drink Budweiser.”

“In fact, due to microbrewery culture, American beer is actually, on the whole, superior to European beer at this point.”

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Are Great

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Are Great
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“Most Europeans have never tried PB&J because it sounds gross to them since they think of gelatin instead of fruit juice preserve.”

“When I first encountered peanut butter as a kid in Germany, we made just peanut butter sandwiches with good, solid German bread. And let me tell you, that mix is structurally sound as concrete. Trying my first PB&J sandwich was a revelation…”

Not Everyone Should Wear Speedos

Not Everyone Should Wear Speedos
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“I always thought speedos were a meme until I was 13 and saw a Brazilian dude wearing one at the lake. Buddy had a huge beer gut and was rocking the speedo and flip flops having the time of his life.”

“Some Europeans definitely need to wear board shorts.”

You Have Drinking Problems – Don’t Brag About It

You Have Drinking Problems – Don’t Brag About It
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“The level of alcoholism in some areas of Europe is troubling. I’m amazed at how often people miss work as a result. The levels of colorectal cancer are also twice the rest of the world in countries with the highest consumption.”

“It’s just so normal to start drinking at 15 in Europe. I am not saying that it should be prohibited but taxing it so most people won’t be able to buy it except for special occasions would be awesome.”

Europeans Are Rude

Europeans Are Rude
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“Rude is most definitely a culturally defined thing. There’s no universal standard. The differences can even be bizarre, such that you are bewildered why people are offended by you when you go abroad, or better still, you are oblivious to it.”

“Some of the nicest people I’ve met have been in NYC. They are just busy. They don’t have time to hear your life story or wait for you to make a decision, but they’ll tell you where to get good food or which train line to take.”

All The Good American Athletes Don’t Play Soccer

All The Good American Athletes Don’t Play Soccer
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“America has three sports (four if you count hockey) that pay professionals a massive amount of money, and soccer is not one of them. We would win the World Cup every year if soccer was the dominant sport in the country.”

“For real. Could you imagine Lebron James playing goalie? I don’t think another team would score on him. The rest of the world is lucky that all the American super athletes play in the NFL, NBA, or MLB.”

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