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17 Things That Will Make You Say, “America, You Crazy!”

Every country has its own unique culture and identity, and America is no exception. While many people learn about America through movies, it’s important to remember that what you see on screen is not always an accurate representation of reality.

Some things that are portrayed in movies as being true about America are actually false, while others are exaggerated versions of the truth.

But, how do Non-Americans know the difference? A user asked Non-Americans, what is the craziest rumor you heard about America that turned out to be true? And, here are the top picks: 

1. Extracurricular Activity 

Football soccer match for children. Kids waiting on a bench.

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In American teen movies, we see a lot of extracurricular activities happening. Is it for real? 

A user shared, “I really want to check something. In the movies/series, schools have a ton of extracurricular activities and clubs. Basketball, football, swimming, cheerleaders, chess, and much more. How true is that? Also. How serious are those games between schools?”

Another user shared, “My best friend is a teacher and runs a Pokemon card game after school club. Pokeclub or something. He gets stipends from the school to run it, so he gets paid to play Pokemon after school. It’s also the most popular club in the school, with a waiting list to get in.”

Yes, that’s real. The seriousness varies by geographic region. Where I’m in Ohio, school sports are fairly lighthearted, but in Texas, high school football is serious.” added another. 

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2. Alligator Attacks

Close-up of an Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, resting on a tree log, in the Swamps in the Florida Everglades.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Those people actually get attacked by Alligators which got in their pools (specifically referring to Florida here)?” asked one.

You’ve got it right. But Florida (especially the Everglades) is an ecological paradise for them, with a favorable climate and small and large game to hunt. 40 years is plenty of time to spread like wildfire in those circumstances.” answered one.

Generally, the only people attacked by backyard alligators are the over-brave and under-brained ones who think they can remove the gator by themselves. It really is a job for a small team of professionals. Next time you’re in Florida, find a restaurant that carries alligator meat; some pest/wildlife control companies supplement their business by selling the meat of problem alligators that must be killed because they keep coming too close to humans.” added another. 


3. Yellow School Buses

A group of young children getting on the schoolbus

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A lot of people seem to have one question. Do Americans really have yellow school buses?

So apparently, yellow school buses are actually a thing in America. I honestly thought it was just a cartoon thing, but nope.” said one. 

Related:10 American Quirks That Americans Think Are Typical, But Aren’t


 4. Dolly Parton Theme Park


Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

That Dolly Parton has her own theme park in Tennessee. I thought it was a joke.” asked one. 

A user shared, “I’ve got season tickets, and we get them yearly. Dollywood is amazing and the best way to kill time on a Sunday afternoon. Dolly Parton is a national treasure (and single-handedly responsible for the economy and livelihoods of thousands and thousands of people in Sevier County).

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5. Olive Garden

SALINAS, CA/USA - APRIL 23, 2014: Olive Garden Restaurant Exterior. Olive Garden is an American casual dining restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

We have heard of Olive Gardens in far too many American shows. But, is that a name or a code for generic restaurants?

I always thought that the Olive Garden in The Simpsons was just code for ‘generic restaurant,‘” shared one. 

It’s at least a specific genre of food (Italian), and they have some pretty famous items like their breadsticks. I don’t think Olive Garden necessarily embodies the idea of generic as much as it embodies chain or mass-produced.” clarified one. 

It is the McDonald’s of Italian food,” added another. 


6. Cereal Aisle

Breakfast Cerail Aisle at a Grocery Store

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If you have watched American shows, you know breakfast equals to cereals. Too many options! 

I don’t know if this is true. Still, you have a whole supermarket aisle dedicated to just the hundreds of cereals you have?” asked one. 

Mostly true. It’s cereal and other breakfast items, like granola and oatmeal. But mostly cereal.” answered a user. 

Related: 6 Simple Things That Americans Take For Granted (But Really Valued In Less Developed Countries)


7. Red Cup

Woman with drinks having fun and enjoying beer pong game on table at home.

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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 and made everyone sign the cup, and I still have it.” said one. 

I’ve had several German friends who were amazed that everyone drinks out of red Solo cups at house parties. They thought that was just a weird thing people did in movies, and now they believe it is a vast conspiracy or something.” added another. 


8. Halloween

vampire, zombie and witch holding a pumpkin isolated

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Masked people come to your house and knock on your door, asking for candy. Mostly it’s just packs of kids but sometimes whole families. This was my friend’s Halloween culture shock.” shared one. 

Related: 8 Things Non-Americans Find Confusing About America


7. Free Libraries

African american female librarian dressed in casual wear choosing literature book for exam preparation.Dark skinned hipster student pulling out book from bookshelf spending time in library

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While many people have heard about free libraries, they thought it was a rumor and too good to be true. 

America has libraries that are essentially free to use. When I first arrived here 25 years ago, on the first day of work in Newark, NJ, I walked out at lunchtime and saw the vast 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 from shock): 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.” shared a user. 

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8. Minimal Off Day

Young Businesswoman Calculating Bill With Computer And Laptop On Desk

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The minimal amount of paid days off you get from work. A friend from Wisconsin was very proud he got 20 days off per year. If someone in Germany offered me only 20 days, I would laugh at him and leave.” said one. 

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9. Hospitable Nature Of Americans

Friends make your life funnier

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My parents were from the USSR. They were shocked at how nice you Americans are, and they said that y’all are a weird type of excellent, but nice regardless. It didn’t matter if they were from the USSR (they moved to the States post-collapse). You Americans seem to accept them anyway.” shared a user. 

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. I ended up having many enjoyable conversations with strangers I’ll never speak to again. It was great!” added another. 


10. Drinking From The Tap

Young beautiful girl with glasses drinking water from hand in the kitchen

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That they can drink from the sink. I tried that and spat out the water. It tastes bad (in my country), but when I went to America, it tasted great.” shared one. 

Related: Why You Shouldn’t Judge These 10 Things So Quickly? (You Most Likely Do!)


11. Garbage Disposals

A portrait of a homeless hungry woman

Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

They have those angry sinks that chop stuff” asked one. 

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12. Injured people try to avoid getting ambulances called for them.

Female doctor checking young man blood pressure

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A lot of people seem to believe that huge ambulance bills were untrue, but they found out its quite the opposite. 

My boyfriend (who has health insurance) got a bill for $990 for a 15-minute ambulance ride” shared one. 

Absolutely. I’m an American and have insurance, but it’s terrible. I’d call an Uber and go to the hospital if there was no way to avoid going to the hospital.” said another. 


13. Pharmaceuticals Ads

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

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As a Brit living in America, the amount of pharmaceutical commercials on TV is creepy.” added one.


14. Buying Everything At Walmart

Novi, Michigan, USA - AUGUST 8, 2021: Walmart sign at store exterior. Walmart is an American large retail corporation operates discount stores across the world.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

Can you really buy a gun at Walmart?” asked one. 

At my local Walmart, you can bring your car in for an oil check, get an eye exam, get a haircut, eat lunch at the in-store Subway, purchase a gun, purchase groceries, buy a freaking couch, and then go home once the background check for the gun is finished, and the oil change is done.” answered one. 

Related: Debunked: 19 Frugal Myths That Don’t Actually Save Money


15. Taxes Over Product Price

Photo of unhappy worried young woman sit desk problem deadline work laptop isolated on pastel blue color background.

Image Credits: deagreez1, Deposit Photos

That the prices of their products are without tax, and you get the tax when you pay” asked one. 

Like here, the tax is already, like, in the price. If it costs 1€ you pay 1€.” said another. 


16. Student Debt

Young desperate girl writing with an old typewriter. Conceptual

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That you can rack up 100,000$ upward in debt easily through student loans.” asked one. Well, its true!

Related: 4 Little Known Benefits of a High Credit Score In The U.S.


17. Tipping Culture

a plate of coins for a tip or fee toilets. in english

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The extent of the tipping Culture is frankly shocking to me” said one. 

My dad’s girlfriend is a bartender, relying on tips for good pay, and she will walk out with $200 in tips on a good day.

My best friend is a waitress who also depends on tips for a good wage. She has clocked out with upwards of $300 on a good night (usually after football games, if our home team wins, a bunch of people typically go to the restaurant she works at to celebrate with dinner, close to the school and really good).” shared a Redditor.

We hope you liked this Reddit discussion on what seemed like a rumor, but is actually true about America. Read 8 Things Non-Americans Find Confusing About America

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.