It’s no secret—the rest of the world looks at how peculiar American culture can be and wonders if it’s even real.

‘Cause let’s face it—even if it looks fine for us, that doesn’t mean that having police patrol your school, paying for a ride to the hospital, and calling the toilet “restroom” when we all know very well there ain't nobody going there to have a rest shouldn’t raise a brow for others.

So this time, we are looking at what American things make our fellow non-American friends scratch their heads in simple, yet very spot-on questions below. Our dear American Pandas are also welcome to help separate what’s real, what’s rumors, and what only happens in movies in the comments! And after you're done with this post, check out our previous one with things Americans do that require an explanation for non-Americans.

#1

Questions-For-Americans

max_lus Report

Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
4 months ago

But taking off shoes and socks when you come in is nearly as good as taking off your bra.

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#2

Questions-For-Americans

izzi_taylor Report

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

It's a staple food. Most kids grow up eating PB&J sandwiches.

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#3

Questions-For-Americans

dreamdoie Report

GirlFriday
Community Member
4 months ago

We have them. They are usually part of the cheerleader squad or dance squad. It is a sports thing. We take sports very seriously.

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Even though Americans and Europeans share many things, like commitment to democratic principles, a strategic alliance, and some of the highest standards in the world, there are still some very notable differences between them.

A 2016 study done by Pew Research Center was very revealing in that respect. First of all, it showed that Americans are more likely to believe they control their own destiny.

The research showed that a staggering 57% of Americans disagreed with the statement “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control.” The percentage was higher than in any other European nations polled.

#4

Questions-For-Americans

Kina_Matata Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
4 months ago

How else do you hide bodies?

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#5

Questions-For-Americans

AnonymouseWDW Report

Ray Martin
Community Member
4 months ago

It's aisles, though an isle just for cereal would be amazing :-)

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#6

Questions-For-Americans

melo1ore Report

Brendan
Community Member
4 months ago

An affective way to make the 'popular' kids feel even more popular.

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The second interesting thing the Pew poll showed is that “Americans prioritize individual liberty, while Europeans tend to value the role of the state to ensure no one in society is in need.”

When it comes to religion, it turned out that over half in the US (53%) say religion is extremely important in their life, which is nearly double the share with the same view in Poland.

In France, for example, only 14% consider religion a very important aspect of their lives.

#7

Questions-For-Americans

hobipeachyy Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
4 months ago

you should see what we do to marshmellows....they had it coming

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#8

Questions-For-Americans

thatsgayrichie Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago

How else would you call them? Students wouldn't use the teachers first name.

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#9

Questions-For-Americans

whorevina Report

GirlFriday
Community Member
4 months ago

Some schools are more strict than others and require them. My schools didn't require them. We just excused ourselves and went to the restroom when needed.

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#10

Questions-For-Americans

alfadamson Report

GirlFriday
Community Member
4 months ago

No. They don't - at least the schools that I went to and my nieces and nephews don't (they are ages 4 - 17). In the past, students were made to recite the "pledge of allegiance" each morning, but I think this is something that has fallen by the wayside.

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#11

Questions-For-Americans

lovetrivialove Report

giraffescupcakesandlove
Community Member
4 months ago

Some schools don't allow it, but at the schools I went to we were allowed to. It was fun! You can put magnets, quotes, pictures of loved ones.

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#12

Questions-For-Americans

kraken_seance Report

Potter
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, and there are usually one or two questions where you have to read something and write a few pages for it.

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#13

Questions-For-Americans

maydaybaerade Report

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, and sometimes mail does get stolen even though it's a federal offense.

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#14

Questions-For-Americans

dsicknasty Report

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Some do and if you put raisins on top you call it ants on a log.

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#15

Questions-For-Americans

omarsgiggles Report

Les🐝an
Community Member
4 months ago

My lab partner lit the science classroom on fire. I love chemistry

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#16

Questions-For-Americans

megomerrett Report

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Bacon IS considered finger food :D

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#17

Questions-For-Americans

molgibbs Report

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, instead of wanker or cunt.

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#18

Questions-For-Americans

shcbangsthedrum Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago

What's so unusual with this? I'm Austrian and my children's friends never used my first name.

Cassie
Community Member
4 months ago

It's generally considered disrespectful for kids to call adults by first name in the US. If the adult permits it, it's fine, though. I thought this was typical in the UK, too. I'm curious where these places are that it's typical for young people to refer to adults by first name.

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GirlFriday
Community Member
4 months ago

I still call some of my childhood friends' parents Mr and Mrs even though I am grown. It is a sign of respect here in the US.

Iggy
Community Member
4 months ago

That's not just an American thing.

Rissie
Community Member
4 months ago

You know, it just sounds fine and to be honest here in the Netherlands you get called the "Mother of name" which is very elaborate. "Simon's mother asked me to ask the mother of Dennis for some cookies".

Luka Hamer
Community Member
4 months ago

I came here to mention this. 'Michael's mom (and then the question or comment)'

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Linus Nilsson
Community Member
4 months ago

In Sweden it is considered rude not to use ones first name

Alexis D.
Community Member
4 months ago

it's a regional thing in the US. I was born in California and called my friends' parents by their first names. then moved to Maryland and everyone was Miss *first name* or Mister *first name*

Pusfarm
Community Member
4 months ago

I was born and still live in CA and rarely did I or other kids use first names, unless invited to do so.

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Jenna
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Yes, it's a sign of respect. I am 30 and have my doctorate and still call my older neighbors Mr. -- and Mrs.--.

Martz Migraña
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm 27 and still called my best friend's mom "Mrs." Hahshha

shemeowsalot
Community Member
4 months ago

In India we call anyone who's not related to us as uncle/aunty/any appropriate relation.

BG
Community Member
4 months ago

You call someone who is not related to you your uncle?

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Paul Macdonell
Community Member
4 months ago

It is seen as a sign of respect for elders.

Perfectly Imperfect
Community Member
4 months ago

It’s always Mr. or Miss, Ms., or Mrs. until the grown up tells you otherwise. Anyone in authority is not called by their first name, especially by someone underage. That’s how I was raised. That’s how I raised my children.

BryanR
Community Member
4 months ago

Even at 63, I will still call my friends parents by their surname.

Susan Reid Smith
Community Member
4 months ago

I do too. It seems uncomfortable using just their first name.

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Pan Narrans
Community Member
4 months ago

In most parts in The Netherlands even your employer of managing director is addressed with their first name. The family name is only used when the first name is too common in the company.

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
4 months ago

OMG, we always addressed adults as Mr/Mrs/etc. Whether someone's parents or not. I was 30 before I could call my BFF's parents by their names, and ti still felt weird.

Jo Choto
Community Member
4 months ago

There is a different level of expected respect in the US. If kids grow up knowing you they will call you Mr/Mrs + last name. If you are more in the south, you will be called Mr/Miss + first name. I failed to ever get a kid who had then reached adulthood to call me by my first name only.

Peko
Community Member
4 months ago

No. You have a different way of expressing respect, that's not the same thing as a different level of respect.

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NJM
Community Member
4 months ago

In Finland we use first names

Tambot
Community Member
4 months ago

In my generation (growing up in 80's) it was mr./Mrs., my kids call them by their first name

Týna Ef
Community Member
4 months ago

In my country is usual to call close (non relative) adults or parents of close friends (if they agree) aunt or uncle

Adriana Franco
Community Member
4 months ago

In Brazil, we call them "aunt" and "uncle" kkk

JessG
Community Member
4 months ago

It's a sign of respect, until they ask you to use their first name

Madeline Shafer
Community Member
4 months ago

no normaly when we say hi it's your friends name then mom

Torchicachu
Community Member
4 months ago

i have a kinda not related question - why are people getting downvoted for saying its respectful? just cuz thats not the case where you live doesn't mean you have to shame other places for their different ways to respect others

Peko
Community Member
4 months ago

Because they're saying that it IS respectful. Not that it's considered respectful in their culture, thus implying that cultures where it's not considered respectful people are less respectful to each other.

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lara
Community Member
4 months ago

In the South you NEVER call adults by their first name unless they request it. I am much older than all of you and I still NEVER call anyone by their first name unless they are much younger. And I would NEVER call a physician or teacher or professor by their first name unless they gave permission. It is considered presumptuous and very, very rude. I am still taken aback when someone, whom I do not know and who is younger than me addresses me by my first name. Even when I email someone it is Mr. or Mrs. or Miss or Dr.

lara
Community Member
4 months ago

BTW, that includes blacks, my mother would have had a fit and given me what for for being that rude. The lady who came and helped my mom clean every week was NOT called by her first name but by her last name and Mrs.

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NMN
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

I dont even know my parents friends last names, most I only know the nickname (Brazil) as for my in law friends (US) also only first names, our friends kids only call us by our first names too

Cee Mor
Community Member
4 months ago

We always called my mom's friends aunt and uncle and then their first name...so now I call their kids my 'fake cousins' when introducing them

Jill Pulcifer
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, its just considered respectful to not address an adult with their first name. All my kids friends call me "X child's mom" and thats fine, they are also welcome to address me as "Mrs. Pulcifer". The only time I have ever had a child address me by my first name, they were attempting to be rude.

Danieletc
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes, I used to, but it varies here and there.

Ella H
Community Member
4 months ago

We also do this in Austria. I only called a friends parent by their first name we they told me to - this usually happens after knowing them for quite some time.

MiaOokami
Community Member
3 weeks ago

Most kids do. I don't, because I'm wierd.

Nate Malnaa
Community Member
2 months ago

I've had best friends call my mom mom before which works lol

Dead Rat
Community Member
4 months ago

There's nothing unusual or strictly American in that. I live in UK I cannot recall me and mates calling each other parents with their first name.

Suzi Gauthier
Community Member
4 months ago

It depends on the family. In my family, we went by first names for close adult friends. Some people do the aunt & uncle thing.

MAnahP
Community Member
4 months ago

I called my friend's parents as "Mr ____ or Mrs___" growing up in New Zealand.

Leslie Burleson
Community Member
4 months ago

It's like the teacher thing. It's a sign of respect . In the south we say yes ma'am and yes sir too

Richard Brown
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm always called Phoebes Dad

Valerie G.
Community Member
4 months ago

"You are looking especially lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver", and other sentences that Eddie Haskell (RIP) said on Leave it to Beaver. Ken Osmond died in May of this year.

Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
4 months ago

Sometimes.

Lisa Holman
Community Member
4 months ago

Yes we do, did, as children.

Hollie Newton
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm from the UK and I call them by their first name cuz that what my mum does. If she doesn't call them Mrs Smith then I won't

Brittania Kelli
Community Member
4 months ago

I called them all mom and dad. Not sure how my parents would've felt had they known....

Mikal Du Preez
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

OK but I'm an Afrikaans-speaking South African and to me this isn't an American thing, it's an English-speaking thing. I never know what to call English friends' parents. In Afrikaans you'd call them (and most people older than you) "tannie" and "oom", which directly translates to aunt and uncle. But you don't go around calling random people aunt and uncle in English. But Mr/Mrs sounds so formal and impersonal, like you're in school or a job interview. But you can't go calling people older than you by their first name either? So what do you do?! I'm 31 and still struggling with this :/

Jessica
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm sure my kids friends dont even know my name lol I'm just his mom...

Captain Legible
Community Member
4 months ago

It was normal when I was in UK growing up and we'd get told off for calling an adult by their first name. There were exceptions to be learned, however... some adults would ask you to use their first name, and uncles and aunties would be "Uncle James, Auntie Mary". Grandparents would just be "Grannie and Grampa", but I always called my grandfather by his first name, and nobody minded, since he didn't.

Roadkill The Brave
Community Member
4 months ago

At first yes, its considered polite and respectful. Does it stay that way? No, not always. Sometimes but not always.

Abigial Griffith
Community Member
4 months ago

i dont

Madeline Shafer
Community Member
4 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

thepinkrobot
Community Member
4 months ago

I actually learned the opposite when I moved to the US. Every one's friends' moms would go by their first name to other kids and I was like... this doesn't seem right.

Shea Briggette
Community Member
4 months ago

i do first names

deanna woods
Community Member
4 months ago

I refer to people by Mr./Ms./Mrs. first name. For example, one lady I know is named Elaine, so I call her Mrs. Elaine.

Gerry Higgins
Community Member
4 months ago

No. Yes when I was growing up but now people teach their kids to use first names for adults, which I think is very wrong. They're not the peers of adults and should use a respectful term "Mr or Ms"

Tabitha L
Community Member
4 months ago

In Louisiana is is usually miss/mr (first name). Miss is used for all women, regardless of age/marital status.

Miss Cris
Community Member
4 months ago

Do adult people only use "miss", too?

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Anxious Pansexual Nightmare
Community Member
4 months ago

It depends on the kid and the parent

Mariaf
Community Member
4 months ago

Where is she from?

Shelp
Community Member
4 months ago

We do this in France too

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Unless given specific permission, or in the South, children are taught to call all adults by mr./mrs./ms (last name). In the South you still use mr/mrs/ms but with the first name.

staygoldponyboy
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm not sure why someone gave you a downvote, Ms. Kat, but I upvoted your reply because it's quite accurate.

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Truth Monster
Community Member
4 months ago

regional/generational/social some do, some don't

Torchicachu
Community Member
4 months ago

I feel that it is way more polite

Justin Calhoun
Community Member
4 months ago

It's just respect

BG
Community Member
4 months ago

Ms. Jackson if you're nasty.

ebony1k124 touch
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

It is a sign of respect and politeness for your elders. I call my older friends (those that are my parents' ages) Mrs. or Mr. Growing up if I called an adult by their first name, there was going to be trouble in my foreseeable future. Maybe things have changed but I grew up in the South in the 70s/80s and that is how we were taught.

Daniel Lewis
Community Member
4 months ago

This was common until sometime around the 1960s.

glowworm2
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

My boyfriend always addresses my father as such. He's very polite.

CatWoman312
Community Member
4 months ago

Maybe Americans have manners? This post is just insulting at this point

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#19

Questions-For-Americans

qtkyoo Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
4 months ago

question: why do you ask?

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#20

Questions-For-Americans

KeptinOnZeBridg Report

Bill
Community Member
4 months ago

Veterans do.

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#21

Questions-For-Americans

karlakissez Report

Electric Ed
Community Member
4 months ago

Where do teens not slow dance??

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#22

Questions-For-Americans

TANGYRO Report

Dave P
Community Member
4 months ago

no, never seen it and you do it in NYC you will be banned for life

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#23

Questions-For-Americans

zeffles Report

Kat Hoth
Community Member
4 months ago

Most of us have the entire thing memorized.

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#24

Questions-For-Americans

Lissasies Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
4 months ago

I think children all over the world have to feel "slightly suicidal" to do this.

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#25

Questions-For-Americans

cmangles_ Report

80 Van
Community Member
4 months ago

No, we call eye doctors “Optometrists,” and we call Opticians “Opticians.”

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#26

Questions-For-Americans

Eleanormpl Report

Truth Monster
Community Member
4 months ago

Regionally yes. it is also known as "hot chocolate"

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#27

Questions-For-Americans

Limp_Fairy Report

Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
4 months ago

every human loves fireplaces.....

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#28

Questions-For-Americans

professorhuIk Report

Missy Wernstrom
Community Member
4 months ago

I’m afraid so. It’s not a movie thing.

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#29

Questions-For-Americans

Kaylee_Crystal Report

Bill
Community Member
4 months ago

most countries do because it has been a part of military training for centuries. They want inshape youth for military service.

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#30

Questions-For-Americans

floatign Report

Danieletc
Community Member
4 months ago

American: Yes. And we do both.

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