Skip to Content

11 Things Europeans Will Find Shocking In The US

When traveling abroad, it is common to experience culture shock, a feeling of disorientation and confusion caused by immersion in a new and unfamiliar culture.

A recent forum thread asked Europeans who had visited the United States what their biggest cultural shocks were. The responses were both surprising and eye-opening, offering a unique glimpse into the cultural differences between the two countries.

Words Of Endearment

Confused,Curly,Haired,Woman,Shrugs,Shoulders,Cannot,Understand,Why,Says

Image Credit: Cast Of Thousands, Shutterstock

“Everyone keeps calling me honey/love/sweetie. Those words/terms of endearment aren’t used that casually over here (Netherlands).” Said one.

“This annoys me. I get it, people are trying to be nice, but boy, I don’t know you! We aren’t friends, don’t call me sweetie.” Another replied.

Huge Stuff All-Around 

Child having breakfast with her mother and father

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“THAT EVERYTHING IS SO BIG. 

Cars, food portions, tips, roads, people, attitudes. Always fun, though.” Said one.

“We’re like the giant world on Super Mario 3.” Another chuckled. 

The Food Dynamics 

Pretty chef woman holding a plate in hand with turkey meat ham with lettuce, asparagus, carrot, strawberry and lemon on a white background

Image Credit; Deposit Photos

“The food. This was 2001, and I’m from the UK/France. I’d never seen refillable drinks before. I couldn’t believe you could just have as much soda as you wanted, and no one would think you were stealing.

When we ate dinner, there were entire loaves of bread and a ramekin of butter. Supermarkets were packed so high and wide. Turkey drumsticks the size of a T-rex. I was bowled over.” 

The Awe-Inspiring Amicability

Young boy with a surprised expression with eye glasses

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“I know it’s popular to dunk on Americans, but honestly, for me, it was how friendly everyone was.” Said one. 

“This, I was amazed how random people started to have nice conversations with us while standing in line for coffee.” Another added. 

The Price Difference 

shocked blonde young woman in colorful outfit holding head on purple background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“The price difference. The first time I went to NYC, I was living like a goddamn king off my regular average wage. The last time I went, it was basically an exchange like for like with currency. 

But the big thing on every trip, Americans are, for the most part, really, really nice people and friendly.”

Formal Greetings With A Vintage Touch 

hispanic pretty woman open-mouthed and amazed, shocked and astonished with an unbelievable surprise

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“Having expected much less formality in the USA, I was pleasantly shocked to find elements of courtesy and good manners that are no longer common in the UK.

The use of the terms ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’ between equals is a delightfully civilized exchange to hear and to experience, and one which implies a hierarchical relationship here in the UK, rather than one of mutual respect as in the USA.

I also love the elements of eighteenth-century grammar and syntax which have survived in American English. The word ‘gotten’ has long since fallen out of use in British English.” 

It’s Not How People Tell You

Portrait of an annoyed woman

Image Credit; Deposit Photos

“It wasn’t the violent drug addicted narcissistic, divided, dysfunctional dump the Internet makes it out to be.” Said one. 

“We got those people around. But like, I’m not running through a war zone to get to 7/11 for a diet soda and chips.” Another added. 

Big Yellow School Buses

middle school teacher

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“I “visited” for 5 years. The one moment that really sticks out above all others, was getting passed by a row of big yellow school buses.  Just like in the Simpsons.

I grew up in the UK, and school buses were a) rare, and b) just buses.  The same buses you’d see anywhere else. And I mean exactly the same – after 9 am they’d go back to doing their day jobs. They either set their sign on the front to read ‘school’, or they’d have a yellow placard in the window, with two kids on it.

Big yellow school buses with flashing lights, a pop-out stop sign…just like off the telly.  But in real life. Just cruising down the street like it was normal.”

Adversarial Adverts

Pharma, branding and lab concept - Pills and capsules for diet nutrition, anti-aging beauty supplements, probiotic drugs, pill vitamins as medicine and healthcare cosmetics, pharmacy brand background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Adverts (commercials). We generally don’t have medical or adversarial (mentioning competitors directly) adverts, at least in the UK.

My kids picked up on this when we went to the cinema, and there was a Samsung advert directly trashing Apple. They were like, “What the hell was THAT?”

Tax System 

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“I lived in America for a year when I was around 8, and foolish me didn’t understand the tax system.

I remember my mother giving me money to go to the store to get ice cream, and being confused/upset when the cashier told me my $3 was not enough despite its labeled price. 

I remember thinking how stupid the cashier must be that she couldn’t read the label properly.”

Toilets With Not Enough Privacy

Scared hipster with hands to face on vignette background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“Toilets with not enough privacy. What’s with the big gaps around the doors and the rest of the cubicle?” Said one. 

“As an American, even I’m incredibly bothered by this. Those things are designed for people to peep at you and possibly murder you!” Another added. 

13 Things Are Scientifically Proven, But People Still Don’t Believe Them. Do You Believe Them?

Portrait disappointed lovely girlish feminine youth impressed astonished horrible terrible gossip rumor secret irritated scandal unbelievable unexpected modern summer clothes isolated green background.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

There are so many things that are scientifically proven but some people try to ignore the scientific experiments and prove the theories wrong. Read more about it.

15 Red Flags That Someone Is Stupid. Are You?

Photo of crazy funny young nerdy man stick tongue out fooling face joke isolated on blue color background.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Intelligence is not a binary trait. Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses, and what constitutes “smart” can vary depending on the context. Here are 115 red flags that you’re stupid.

15 Dead Giveaways That You’re Nonsense Person

Cheerful funny man with lush hairstyle showing tongue making faces at camera, fooling around, joking, aping with silly face, teasing. Young adult guy boy isolated alone on blue studio background

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Sometimes, a single act can reveal a person’s true character. If you see someone doing something that you find disgusting, it can be hard to understand if they’re a reliable person. Here are 15 giveaways you’re a nonsense person.

12 Scams That Will Fool Even the Smartest People. Have You Fallen For It?

Young caucasian woman isolated on blue background forgetting something, slapping forehead with palm and closing eyes.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Scams come in all shapes and sizes, but what makes them particularly dangerous is when disguised as something legitimate. Read here about scams that food the smartest people.

13 Reasons Why Most Older Women Cut Their Hair Short

angry old woman

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

A lot of women seem to prefer cutting their hair short once they reach a certain age. Why exactly do you think they do that?. Read here.

This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.