We often read of things that are totally normal in America but look super crazy to the rest of the world. Like free refills, medical debts, the sheer portion sizes, you name it. But hey, the place and time is everything when it comes to which things we view as typical and which ones raise our brows.

So this time, we are setting our eyes on Europe and the weird customs, things, and manners people in its 44 countries have that look totally crazy to Americans. “What's considered normal in Europe but horrific in America?” someone asked on AskReddit, and 12.7k comments followed.

We picked some of the most telling and thought-provoking responses that prove European countries are also home to a bunch of weirdos!

#1

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Old things. Houses especially. "Someone died in this house" yeah no s**t Sherlock, this house has been here more than your country

flawed_yet_fun , Mike Report

dom farque
Community Member
5 months ago

my house was built in 1677

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#2

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America The metric system

rmbl88 , pxfuel Report

Sam Yobado
Community Member
5 months ago

Favorite metric system quote is by Josh Bazell. “In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, weighs one gram, and requires one calorie of energy to heat up by one degree centigrade—which is 1 percent of the difference between its freezing point and its boiling point. ... Whereas in the American system, the answer to ‘How much energy does it take to boil a room-temperature gallon of water?’ is ‘Go f**k yourself,’ because you can’t directly relate any of those quantities.”

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#3

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Taking the bus. There is so much stigma around public transport in the US, especially busses, and in Europe it's just a totally normal way to get around because nobody wants to deal with driving and parking in a big city.

Also from an employer's perspective: 25+ vacation days minimum for all employees and unlimited sick days. The absolute horror.

Zack1018 , Pofka Report

October
Community Member
5 months ago

This! When I was a nanny in the US, the family I worked for was always nagging me for using public transport. I never unederstood what the big deal was.

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#4

Songs with swear words being broadcasted on the radio, or swear words not being covered with a beep tone on tv. It’s always felt weird to me that Americans are all about being free and freedom of speech but then again they are scared of some stupid words.

Elisiana12 Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
5 months ago

And then we have our beloved bored panda censure... s**t!

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#5

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Pro union laws. Pro worker labour laws. Mandatory paid vacation days (including fines for companies if the workers don't take their vacation days or get them payed out. They NEED to actually leave work legally for around 25 days per year).

AgarwaenCran , Alex Kotliarskyi Report

LH
Community Member
5 months ago

Rested and healthy employees = higher productivity. Who'd have thought?

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#6

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Letting kids go to school or walk around the neighborhood by themselves without supervision.

A Dutch family moved to the USA and their kids went to school on their bikes like they always do, after a while the police showed up on their doorstep and child protective services letting them know they’re being irresponsible and to not do that again.

ik101 , Elizabeth Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
5 months ago

What???

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#7

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Mailman doesnt leave packages unattended on your porch. He eather gives you it on the doorstep or you go get it at the post office. Much less infureating than getting it stolen or thrown accros your yard by a mailman...

haberg6 , MobiusDaXter Report

Fred L.
Community Member
5 months ago

Or, at least partially in Germany, leaves it with a neighbour.

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#8

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Taking of your shoes when getting home.

Fliggan , Cade Martin Report

James016
Community Member
5 months ago

I'd rather not have muddy footprints/ dirt from outside around the house.

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#9

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America I don't know if this would horrify Americans as I've never heard it discussed, but where I live in Europe (Luxembourg), voting is mandatory and you can get fined for not voting in an election. You can still spoil your ballot, so you don't have to decide between lesser evils if you don't want to, but you have to make the effort to go to the polling station or submit a postal vote. It guarantees a high voter turnout and by extension more representative elections, coupled with a proportional voting system so we're not locked into a two-party mess like the UK or the US - not that it's without its issues of course, but I think it's an improvement.

MrLuxarina , Santeri Viinamäki Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

They should make this a European thing.

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#10

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Being expected to know another language other than English.

Coygon , Thirdman Report

MiriPanda
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

I think they meant: While it is normal for Europeans to speak at least one language other than their mother tongue, Americans are not expected to speak any other language than English.

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#11

At least in Germany, nudity. No one cares if you're naked, no one thinks you're a sex offender, no one thinks it's even sexual to be naked unless you're actively having sex, and no one makes it weird.

You can be naked in public parks to soak up sun, on beaches, swim naked in lakes. Saunas are all naked, mixed sex areas in spas and saunas are naked with no issues and in general, it's just not an issue.

climbmea Report

Tassenküchlein168
Community Member
5 months ago

At least where I live in Germany it’s NOT usual to be naked in parks or bathing naked in crowded places, except they’re designated as nude areas. Topless is tolerated in most urban parks, if you don’t Walk around. Otherwise it’s a "Public nuisance", which is an administrative offense and is punished by a penalty fee.

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#12

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America From what I’ve heard, allowing retail workers to sit. I’ve heard it’s regular for people to be sitting in Europe as cashiers, but in the us it is seen as lazy. Only store I know of that allows it is Aldi and that’s because it helps their cashiering metrics.

whovian1087 , Wolfmann Report

Natalie
Community Member
5 months ago

Seen as lazy, huh? So the management only have standing desks?

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#13

You don't have to answer your phone on vacation.

affo_ Report

Trillian
Community Member
5 months ago

Of course not. I am on VACATION.

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#14

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America The number of rooms in the description of apartments. 1 room in the US usually means 1 bedroom, a living room ,and separate kitchen. Was shocked when I realized it means everything inside one room in most European countries

coolth3 , Bromford Report

Robert T
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

In the UK we normally describe properties as 1 bed, 2 bed etc. and give a separate count of other rooms. Studio is normally used to describe rooms of mixed use. So a 1 bed studio apartment will normally be a combined kitchen, living and sleeping space with a separate bath- or shower-room.

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#15

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Open borders.

Starfuri , pxhere Report

Robert T
Community Member
5 months ago

I remember one work trip where I was in Germany, just over the border from France. All the staff were French and commuted across the border daily. Hell, we even went back across the border for lunch each day!

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#16

Not being super patriotic.

Bladeteacher Report

Got Myself 4 Dwarves
Community Member
5 months ago

I love being Scottish, I love living here, the people (mostly), the accepting and open culture, the sarcastic swearing humour, that we can take the piss out of ourselves - but I don't feel the need to fly a flag on my doorstep or cover myself in Scottish symbols and scream about my freedom and rights and chant some verse every morning - im sure there are plenty of Americans who also think that the stereotypical over the top patriotic American is as odd as outsiders do - but they do tend to be the loudest

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#17

Long paid parental leaves and month long holidays (vacations).

sammacias Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
5 months ago

Fun fact: These are all things that Unions achieved and next the government made them law. Some Americans would go bat shyte crazy over that. "The government has no right to force 25 mandatory vacation days on me!!!!"

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#18

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Oh man... europe has so many different countries. Something that is completely normal where I live could be frowned upon as soon as I cross the next border. But in general we tip for good service, not bc we have to. A rude waitress won't get tipped by me. Also we usually remove our shoes before we enter a home. And yep, "free" healthcare.

ghost882 , Lee Haywood Report

Roxy Eastland
Community Member
5 months ago

Absolutely, what's acceptable in Spain wouldn't fly in Denmark and vice versa. All countries have their own cultures. The first time, years before the internet through reading American magazines, I came across 'Europe' being referred to as a homogeneous whole I was extremely confused. I was also highly entertained by all the adverts stating 'Everyone in Europe is using this product' for something I'd never seen in my life.

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#19

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Not giving your debit/credit card to your server but doing it yourself

Ok-World-4822 , HLundgaard Report

Jon Steensen
Community Member
5 months ago

It prevents them from copying you card information and using them to commit fraud by buying stuff online with your creditcard information. In fact I think we ought to memorise the control numbers on the back of the card and then remove them for the card. Having them there is like writing the pin code on the card with a marker, it is just making abuse way to easy.

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#20

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Sitting a foot away from a complete stranger and then completely ignoring them.

skelebabe95 , TheOtherKev Report

James016
Community Member
5 months ago

This is Rule 1 of the London Underground

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#21

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Americans get so bend out of shape over naked children running around the beach.

On every beach in Bulgaria I've been, naked children is the norm, women sunbathing in monokini is considered absolutely normal, while naked men are okay only in the nude sections of the beaches. And every beach has a nude section.

gerginborisov , Charlottees Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

True. Topless is normal.

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#22

Smaller food portions

Sharp-Run-8670 Report

Pat Bond
Community Member
5 months ago

You mean normal portions.

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#23

Not enrolling your kid in extracurricular activities. In Europe, some kids are enrolled in a sport or club and the older ones are mostly responsible for getting there and figuring out their schedule. In America, some parents are so obsessed with kids sports that the whole family's existence revolves around it, or they get judgemental when they hear that a kid isn't involved in any sports or clubs.

cookiecutterdoll Report

lenka
Community Member
5 months ago

I am in the Netherlands and almost every kid I know does some kind of extracurricular sport. There are also special subsidies to make sure every kids even from low income families can participate. But we dont tend to get obsessive parents here.

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#24

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Not doing small talk.

Thundechile , Tim Douglas Report

Daria Z
Community Member
5 months ago

Not smiling all the time, too.

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#25

Putting mayonnaise on french fries instead of ketchup.

actuallynotvictoria Report

tomandjerry56
Community Member
5 months ago

what about mayonnaise AND ketchup??

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#26

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Almost every car having a manual transmission. when i visited ukraine, i only saw rich people with automatic cars

_doofus25_ , Rutger van der Maar Report

Moodles
Community Member
5 months ago

Personally, I dislike automatics. It makes me feel like I'm driving a go kart. If you're going to drive a car...well...drive it!

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#27

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Charging for water at a restaurant.

dpstreetz , Pixabay Report

brukernavn340
Community Member
5 months ago

In Norway you'll get tap water when you ask for water, and that's free.

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#28

Bidets? I was born and raised in the US and I think they're efficient and far more hygienic than TP, but apparently most other dudes in this country think it's gay to clean up after your business is done lol

Vanatru Report

Ole Peder Amrud Hagen
Community Member
5 months ago

The only really gay thing I know is falling in love with someone of the same gender as yourself. If cleaning your ass after you've been to the toilet is 'gay' to you, you have some real issues.

Nadine Bamberger
Community Member
5 months ago

Also enerally if you use "gay" as a swear word, consider gay to be bad.

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Tassenküchlein168
Community Member
5 months ago

Im not sure if you got the concept if you use bidets INSTEAD of toilet paper. 😅

Giovanna
Community Member
5 months ago

THANK YOU!!! I always find it funny how ppl misunderstand the use of bidets

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Jane Rubie
Community Member
5 months ago

Honest question - I’ve never understood how plain water is enough to get clean with a bidet. I’ve been a nurse all my working life, cleaned thousands of bums, & I know it takes more than just spraying some water on it! Do they really work well? Or does it just make using paper much more efficient if the area's wet? I’m in Australia, nobody has bidets, but I’ll admit I’d love to have them if they actually work. Can imagine they'd be great when menstruating too.

kim morris
Community Member
5 months ago

I just installed a Tushy bidet (available on amazon) myself last week, and I LOVE it. it's not soap and water clean, but it's 1000x better than just smearing the stuff around w/ toilet paper! I just use paper afterwards to dry, and go about my day. It really works well, and my skin/delicate membranes are already feeling healthier. I went with the 2 dial, warm water hookup option, but the room temp water is fine.

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Kim Shannon
Community Member
5 months ago

Once you use a bidet, you'll never want to do without it again. A clean bum is a happy bum!

Santiago
Community Member
5 months ago

In Uruguay near 100% of the houses have bidets. You first clean your bum with toilet paper and then a second thorough clean with water, cold of warm at will, and with soap if you want. It makes you feel a lot clean and better the whole day.

aaaggg hhh
Community Member
5 months ago

It would take a fire hose to clean off all the crud stuck to my starfish after a good dump.

John Juan
Community Member
5 months ago

lol. Upvote for most descriptive comment ever!

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Jarrod Nichols
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm a dude with a bidet. Much better than tp

Nugget
Community Member
5 months ago

It's gay to have a clean b******e? 😂

InfectedVoice
Community Member
5 months ago

I would like a bidet, one day I will have one.

Ely Tanaka
Community Member
5 months ago

People still think we use the INSTEAD of tp? -.- It's an extra. Also, usefull if you're on your period. Also, usefull if you're at a 'friend's house and know something will happen but can't take a proper shower. Also, you can wash your foot if you walked with sandals (and have a shower later). And so on.

Giovanna
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes, yes and yes!

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
5 months ago

Bidets are hardly common in Europe. Only some countries have them.

Burs
Community Member
5 months ago

They have a very bad rep in Spain but I feel that our bidets are very different from the ones used in Japan or USA. They are sort of a basin with a tap snd a drain so it’s very unhygienic because all the bacteria would accumulate there. If they are connected to a toilet they seem very nice.

Eric Mac Fadden
Community Member
5 months ago

When I had one, always let a little bottle of a nice disinfectant behind it, for after use

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brukernavn340
Community Member
5 months ago

Not a thing in Norway.

IeabellAlakar@aqueenofaplanet
Community Member
11 hours ago

How the living f**k are you supposed to get your butt dry then??!??

Melissa Johnson
Community Member
2 weeks ago

Nope. We ladies call that "considerate".

Nirity
Community Member
3 months ago

I don't understand how it's possible to not clean yourself even after "the big thing". Also - I can't allow such person in my bed. Gross and nasty.

Giuliano Carestini
Community Member
3 months ago

I'm Italian and here alll of us use Bidet. Before you use igienic paper to clean and after you clean better with water till you feel all is ok

Mieke Mcdonald
Community Member
5 months ago

I'll just b scared to accidentally spray my face!!!

R S
Community Member
5 months ago

A bit too much lies here, as usual

Paul Z.
Community Member
5 months ago

Gay meaning 'happy' in this context, right?

David Cartwright
Community Member
5 months ago

Bidets were originally used in Whore housing in france. Whores used them to rinse themselves off after a client.

Giovanna
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Yes, I think that's partially why they are so frowned upon by countries or people who dont use themr

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DM
Community Member
5 months ago

We installed bidets on our toilets in our Home (US) and let me tell you, I will never go back to not having one! Way less TP waste and feels way cleaner. Now when I have to poo elsewhere it just doesn’t feel right.

Katherine Heasley
Community Member
5 months ago

I loved my Japanese toilet with a built-in bidet. I want to get one for my new apartment.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
5 months ago

Bidet were popular during the end of last century but do not seem to appear much now.

Giovanna
Community Member
5 months ago

A clean butt will always be fashionable to me 😁

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Rachael Denver
Community Member
5 months ago

To each his own, but it feels like I'm power washing my b******e. I'm not sure how it's cleaner because it's just water and not some type of cleaning agent.

Jill Bussey
Community Member
5 months ago

Using a bidet is only fine in your own home. What about as a guest, public toilet, or in a hotel? I would rather have a shower.

Ivy la Sangrienta
Community Member
5 months ago

I've only ever seen bidets in Italy and Spain. Maybe southern Europe uses them but we certainly don't have them up north.

Douglas Mock
Community Member
5 months ago

Calling someone 'gay' for not understanding a foreign device?

Flip
Community Member
5 months ago

They had those in France. I had no idea what it was. I thought you had to wash your feet in it.

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

🙄 American men are so ridiculously insecure.

Bender Bending Rodríguez
Community Member
5 months ago

I am OK with spray hoses not the small basin looking ones. Heck I don't even know how to use basin thingies. Spray, wipe dry be at your merry way, I like that. Wish I could install one of those at my apartment.

jdvsqz
Community Member
5 months ago

Home Depot carries Bidet Toilet Seats $62-$1000+

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Alex Barnett
Community Member
5 months ago

TRUTH!!! Love mine.

jamie1707
Community Member
5 months ago

I really wish I had a bidet.

Cip IESAN
Community Member
5 months ago

Bidets are great, but there are some people who don't know what's about and they s**t inside.

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
5 months ago

Has mainly to do with the space in bathrooms. Traditionally toilets and bathrooms were regarded as utility closets where you'd only stay for a short while. So there was no sense to waste a lot of usable indoor space on them. What you saved on space could be used for a bigger sitting room or kitchen.

Aahzmandus Pervect
Community Member
5 months ago

In Serbia and Croatia, many houses used to have bidets, but I think they were rarely used.

lara
Community Member
5 months ago

I've used bidets. They only "work' good if you have just urinated. The rest, no so much. I use non-flushable wipes.

regi stra
Community Member
5 months ago

-_- you must to use TP, THEN wash you hole with water and soap, I cant conceive a bathroom without one. It's really BASIC hygiene, you CANT be cleaned with only TP and thats a fact! I never understood why its not used in ALL the world, like toothbrush for example. Here you cant find a bathroom without one... only pubblic places dont have it.

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#29

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America In Germany, looking for a apartment doesn't automatically mean it will come 100% with a kitchen. 90% they don't have them in and you have to buy them yourself.

Ok_Context_732 , Marco Verch Report

Lila Launehase
Community Member
5 months ago

That's one of the most stupid things in Germany. The kitchen should belong to the apartment.

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#30

People Share 30 Things That They Think Are Normal In Europe But Horrific In America Underage drinking seems more of a crime in the US - in most cases of a kid is caught with alcohol in the UK it's just confiscated and poured away. Strictly speaking the age you can drink alcohol is really low as well, so long as you're home with a parent I think it's like 5/6. When you're in a restaurant you're also allowed low percentage alcohol like cider with a meal so long as you're with an adult.

AugustineBlackwater , Ketut Subiyanto Report

Francis
Community Member
5 months ago

in germany you're allowed to drink beer/wine with 14 when you're parents are around, at 16 without them and everything else at 18

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