Non-Americans Share The Uniquely American Customs That They Find Strange

List Rules
Vote up the oddest cultural customs that are distinctly American.

Every country has its unique cultural quirks and folkways. But when it comes to the US, there are many customs the rest of the world finds puzzling. From driving on the other side of the road to using imperial measurements instead of the metric system, there are plenty of obvious cultural differences between Americans and most other citizens of the world. However, you might not have realized some practices are as different as they truly are.

Of course, the US is a big country, and various places within it have their own traditions that don't always match up. Some things may be part of everyday American life, but Americans themselves may still find these things strange. Whether it's a beloved custom or something you think should be changed (and whether you live in the US or across the globe), vote up the cultural customs that are unique to the US of A. 


  • 1
    602 VOTES

    Advertisements For Medications

    From Redditor u/supertek:

    All the pharmaceutical ads all the time.

    From Redditor u/effygrant:

    “Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.”

    Ummmmm, isn’t that her job? To suggest a treatment based off her diagnosis. So crazy.

  • 2
    743 VOTES

    The Healthcare System

    From Redditor u/CurvePuzzleheaded361:

    Being afraid to go to hospital because of the bill. I am a type one diabetic and as a young teen I ODed on insulin because I wasn't well. I was in intensive care for a week and general ward for three. I can't imagine my parents being scared about paying for that.

    From a former Redditor:

    The health system that's corrupt but people pretend it's normal.

    From Redditor u/No-Cheesecake9182:

    That calling an ambulance is an expensive thing to do.

  • 3
    676 VOTES

    The Work/Life Balance, Or Lack Thereof

    From Redditor u/JimmyHerbertKnockers:

    Not getting proper holiday time.

    From Redditor u/darkstriders:

    People bragging that they work long hours or on weekends.

    From Redditor u/DubiousPeoplePleaser:

    Norway: 25 days [off] a year (equals four weeks and a day). The year you turn 60 you get an extra week.

    Worker rights in general are horrid in the US.

  • 4
    551 VOTES

    Steep Prices For Higher Education

    From Redditor u/OkayAppearance575:

    Having to pay [an] enormously large amount of money for college education.

    From Redditor u/Agent__Caboose:

    I study architecture at my Belgian university and once did a test to calculate what it would cost me to study at MIT as an American resident. The tuition fees alone would cost me 7x what I pay for the whole year now, room and material expenses included.

  • 5
    668 VOTES

    The Drinking Age

    From Redditor u/be_my_plaything:

    All the things you can do at younger ages [without being able to] have a drink.

    You can get into life-long debt with a mortgage or university fees, you can drive a car, you can buy a f*cking gun, you can have kids, you can join the army and kill people, [and] you can get married.

    But at the wedding, even having done all of the above, when the father of the bride makes his speech and ends with a toast, you're [seated] at the kids' table raising a glass of orange juice because you're not allowed champagne!

  • 6
    694 VOTES

    Media Censorship

    From Redditor u/Small_Space_8961:

    The fact that swearing is such a big deal and you bleep out everything is so weird.

    From Redditor u/amazing_wanderr:

    This is even funnier in TV shows like [The Walking Dead]… they show zombies tearing apart people and eating them, but in the next scene the "f*ck" is censored.

    From Redditor u/oneaveragejoseph:

    I knew about the swear words, but I was surprised when listening to music on the radio and noticing the words "damn" and "God" were silent.

    From Redditor u/1girlonreddit:

    That you have extremely violent shows on daytime, but you censor nudity. How will a boob harm you, but stabbing and blood splashing is normal?