Planning to go to the U.S.A. anytime sooner? If you are, maybe you should know about some of the cultural shocks that you might see there. 

We understand that every country has its good and bad points. But lately, the cultural shock people have seen in the U.S.A. is grabbing our attention. 

In response to Daleelab’s thread on r/AskEurope, people have shared some hilarious and unbelievable things that they have seen in America. Scroll down to have a look. 



Police are the rudest and most aggressive I have experienced anywhere in the world (and I say this as someone who’s dealt with some famously prickly regimes). I go up to ask for directions and they put their hand on their gun. If I have more than a single question they are basically telling me to back off and move along. I always read about conflicts between American police and citizens; with that attitude, no wonder it’s a problem.


I witnessed a mother opening several packs of sugar and sprinkle it in their kids Coca-Cola. I’m still speechless.

I also can’t comprehend how people think private health insurance is a threat to their freedom or that private prisons could be a good idea.

Lastly, the gap in the toilet doors. WHY


Having to say the ”Pledge of allegiance“ every single day, not gonna lie I found that really strange because it kinda gave off North Korea vibes to me, that’s just something that would be unheard of in German schools

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I saw more obese and morbidly obese people than I ever had seen before in my life. Literally, before I visited NYC, I think I only once or twice saw a morbidly obese person.



When I was a young child I went on holiday to Florida. I remember going to a museum and seeing a ‘non-guns’ sign at the entrance. My mum has to explain to young me that in the US people regularly carried guns around, which blew my mind. Still does today.





Every time I’m in the States I’m always shocked by the number of homeless people. Especially in San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Obligatory (not-really-but-yes-totally-obligatory) tipping



People wear shoes inside their homes. So strange.









I went to the US in 2014. We landed in San Francisco and had to rent a car. We thought: “we’re in America, let’s rent a big car” So we rented a “big” car. Then we joined the I101 and we were the smallest car on the road… So with our redefined car, we went to the Golden Gate Bridge but we were hungry. So we stopped at a diner. My brother ordered a burger and a small 7up. He got a liter of 7up. He wasn’t even halfway and the waitress came to ask if he’d like a free refill (!). To quantify the bigness would be an insult to the big bigness that is the American lifestyle. Certainly a shock for me.

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The prices not including tax so you never know how much you’re gonna pay because you can’t multiply by 1.08875 in your head


Swiss is famous for the love of cheese and putting cheese on and in things, but America takes that to another level…even if the cheese is less good tasting. They think they have Swiss cheese, but what they call Swiss like a really sh*t version of Ementaller cheese. They are surprised that we have like 400+ kinds of cheese, none of which we call Swiss.




So many whackos around. People just standing in the middle of the pavement with a huge “Jesus is coming” sign or similar


My experience was that Americans act or seem to be more friendly and personal. But it always feels like they don’t actually mean it. Don‘t get me wrong, I met great people in the US. But Europeans, especially Germans, seem to be more reserved at first or second contact.


How divided everything is. There are only extremes, no in-between. I thought this was mostly the case on the internet.

On the drive from the Florida airport, I saw a “the NRA is a terrorist organization” billboard right next to one advertising semi-automatic (assault) rifles.

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I was also surprised by how many churches there were in rural Florida. Most seemed to have advertising unlike anything here in Europe. Some seemed to wage war against each other.


The educational system sucks and is made to print money and throw the youth under the debt bus. Professions that don’t make any sense to spend years in uni for (nurse for example) instead of doing an apprenticeship course.


Extremely dirty and old public infrastructure – NY subway feels unsafe to use at times, some of the stations look like they’re collapsing any minute now



To be honest, the flag salute in school. I could not comprehend it. I had flashbacks to videos seen in history class…. Made me feel super uncomfortable.


Extreme friendliness to you when you’re a customer. Too much, in my opinion, it made me feel uneasy