Let’s face it: America is a weird place.
There’s lots to love about the USA—and also some stuff that’s not so great. If you’ve lived here for a while, chances are you’re pretty used to the weirdness—but what about if you’re a non-American who either is visiting or has just moved here?
On Reddit, non-Americans are sharing the craziest rumors about America they found out were actually true.
Yes, Dollywood is real. Yes, our National Parks are beautiful. Yes, food and beverages come in Super Sizes. And yes, Solo cups are plentiful.
“I’m from Quebec and when we went down to Boston for a school trip, I sneezed in public and heard two or three people say ‘bless you.’ Quite a weird rumour I had heard not 2 months prior to that. I thought it was nice.” — Inquistador43
“That people actually get attacked by Alligators which got in their pools (specifically referring to Florida here).” — TheHunterBB
“So apparently yellow school buses are actually a thing in America. I honestly thought it was just a cartoon thing, but nope.” – Kwickly1
“That Dolly Parton has her own theme park in Tennessee. I thought it was a joke.” — panda_1996
“I always thought that the Olive Garden in The Simpsons was just code for ‘generic restaurant.'” — Hamptaro
“I studied in Maryland for about half a year back in 2017. I’d always heard that Americans are like…super good at pie.
I was pretty much all alone during thanksgiving since everyone else was with their families. One of the RAs I’d befriended knocked on my door and brought me all different kinds of pie.
Dear lord, I’ve never tasted anything that delicious. From blueberry to apple to pumpkin. Every. Single. Pie. They were all amazing.” — DeeKaah
“I actually don’t properly know if this is true but you have like a whole aisle in your supermarkets dedicated to just the hundreds of cereals you have?” — outrojin
“All the food is bigger.” — BucketsofKFC
“Free refills!” – el_dude_brother2
“I’m from Australia, and all my life I believed red Solo cups were like 555 area codes – a Hollywood prop. When I immigrated to the US, my MIL was making dinner and offered me iced tea in a red Solo cup. I lost it, made everyone sign the cup. I’ve still got it.” – RavynLearnsBadly
“Masked people come to your house, knock on your door asking for candy. Mostly it’s just packs of kids but sometimes whole families. This was my friends Halloween culture shock.” — PlaidSkirtBroccoli
“Sports Bars are actually exactly how they’re portrayed on TV.” — BeYourOwnDog
Drink sizes. Holy s**t. When my family visited in 2017 we landed in Texas for a stopover. First thing I saw in the shops part of the terminal was a dude who was drinking from what looked like an actual f**king bucket – here in NZ our ‘large’ drinks would be considered an American ‘small’ or maybe ‘medium.'” — The_Sly_Sloth
“Not exactly crazy, but I wanted to test out the stereotype that Americans will talk to anyone so I sought out a sports bar on my first visit. Ended up having a ton of really fun conversations with total strangers who I’ll never talk to ever again. It was great!” — Wurdan
“American State and National parks are some of the most beautiful places on earth. All parks could use more funding, but American parks are well staffed and maintained. There’s real pride.” — everydayboots
“America has libraries that are essentially free to use. (This was not even a rumor, but more like sarcastic comment from a friend who heard I was excited to go to the US, because he knew what book nerds my entire family is).
When I first arrived here 25 years ago, the first day of work at Newark NJ, I walked out at lunch time and saw the huge Central Library. The size boggled my mind, but I bravely walked in to check it out. The guy says, yup, show me your work ID (for local address) and you get a membership card.
Me: how much does it cost? I only own $80 total till I get my first pay.
He (bemused, almost laughing): it’s free. You don’t pay anything.
Me (after a brief recovery time from shock): so how many books am I allowed to take home? (Expecting that to be a catch – maybe I need to put down a security deposit for each book)
He (now positively enjoying himself): how many can you carry?
That day I took home 30+ books, just being greedy.
And quickly called my dad to tell him about it.
For a guy who painstakingly would browse used books stores in small town India just to get his kids great books to read, he was suitably amazed. He was puzzled if that would kill the book-store business, because who’d buy if such free libraries existed?!?
Till date I remember the gratitude I felt that day for being able to come here. And when Dad visited some years later, I would drop him off at a library on my way to work and he’d be lost in it all day.” — SFLoridan
“To any one who has never been, you will be blown away by the general Americans’ generosity of their time, knowledge and helpfulness.
I have done a few summers of Road trips from Calgary. one time I went to as far east as Ohio-Tennessee, as far south as New Orleans and Dallas, went through the flatlands and rode up the Rockies the rest of the way home…I have visited almost all the landlocked states (5 more to go) and 4 along the Gulf states, all by Car.
I have been through a lot of big American cities and a lot of tiny towns. ALL OF YOU, North to South – make Canadians look like Bloody Savages. I expected something worse, probably because of Television and the Internet.
I ended up leaving your country after the first time i visited, blown away and with a new found VERY REAL love for my southern neighbors.” — animal1988
“The honking…I thought it was a movie stereotype, and then I went to New York.” — [deleted]
“That American kids eat straight sugar. Walked on to the playground and saw kids chugging these long thin sticks. I try and it was just colored sugar lol. Called them pixie sticks.” — whowantsrice
“Not me but my dad. My dad heard this crazy rumor about everyone getting drunk and wearing green for one day a year. He obviously didn’t know this was a holiday, and was like WTF. When he came to the US and discovered St. Patrick’s Day, he was amazed.
Edit: My dad is from China for those who are asking.” — alan13510
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