Americans have long been exporting their pop culture to the world. With TV shows and movies being among the most consumed global American exports, it's no surprise that US actors and directors are recognized all around the globe. However, for all of us non-Americans out there, sometimes the silver screens get us all dazed and confused. Do American people really drink from those red plastic cups at parties? Do they really wear shoes inside their houses? Is homecoming really such a big thing as movies make it out to be?

But we're gonna need a true expert's opinion on the matter—our Bored Panda readers living in the US! So scroll down below to read all the questions that people had about the things they saw on TV and feel free to share your answers!

#1

221Lauren Report

Felix Feline
Community Member
10 months ago

Living in a college town I can attest that yes they do. It's all anyone talks about, and the traffic jams are awful. High school football here is just as bad.

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#2

euricawithhope Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

It’s long.

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#3

PaigeImogenxx Report

Laura Land
Community Member
10 months ago

Mostly thatsv.

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#4

angelvnte Report

Lavender Brown
Community Member
10 months ago

Nope.

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#5

cereaImiIk Report

Why?
Community Member
10 months ago

We also wear our shoes in bed as well.

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#6

kaya_lorne Report

N G
Community Member
10 months ago

I think they make smoothies out of the waste, so they can drink it later.

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#7

XXXX_G0LD Report

Nele H
Community Member
10 months ago

I am German and do this, too.

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#8

sIeepfordays Report

kitcats
Community Member
10 months ago

sadly

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#9

disposablefilms Report

Andres Tejeda
Community Member
10 months ago

I have seen this before, also hard boiled eggs being used, and high tech baby dolls that cry.

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#10

mynameisnotmac Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Millions of people eat this daily in the US.

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#11

gracieelaciee Report

ROSSELAIRA EUGENIE CRUZ
Community Member
10 months ago

In my family, we only use paper plates for gatherings.

Well, I Tried
Community Member
10 months ago

Like bbq? Because that's what my family does

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SBW71
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper plates when there is a lot of people around. Less dishes to wash or get broken!

Colin L
Community Member
10 months ago

Sometimes for picnics or barbecues, but not as a daily thing.

kitty_player 03
Community Member
10 months ago

Funny this is mentioned because I grew up only using regular plates and I thought that paper plates were only used for birthday parties. I was so confused when my friends would eat their meals on paper plates.

Marsha Brown
Community Member
10 months ago

Someone I know uses paper plates almost all the time, only uses regular plates when necessary for the food, or for guests.

Inga Viviane
Community Member
10 months ago

As an european without dishwasher, but healthy hands and a sink, i use real Plates and wash them after. The American paper plate waste is astounding.

CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper Plates is potluck sort of thing. I haven't used one in years.

Siena Valenta
Community Member
10 months ago

Sometimes at events like parties and stuff, but not usually at home. Very wasteful...

Tabitha L
Community Member
10 months ago

I don't use paper plates for anything in my house.

Lance d'Boyle
Community Member
10 months ago

Generally only for parties but some bachelors and inbred families are lazy and will use them daily.

Rebecca Schultz
Community Member
10 months ago

Usually just for large gatherings or picnics, but some young bachelors may use paper plates to avoid doing dishes.

Kim Lorton
Community Member
10 months ago

I have nerve damage in my hands, so I have to use paper or plastic plates. I got so tired and frustrated and upset, dropping my glass plates! So, company gets the good stuff, and I use paper plates. Husband will get the good plates, and I use paper plates.

Connie Martin
Community Member
10 months ago

No. Never use paper plates unless we're eating outdoors, and sometimes not even then.

Mer
Community Member
10 months ago

Eh, that depends on the people and the situation. Some never do; some always do, but most will only do it in certain situations like large gatherings or if the power is out or they're sick, that kind of thing since it's a wasteful practice.

Helen Haley
Community Member
10 months ago

Most people don't have enough room for the number of 'real' plates that would be needed for large gatherings (extended family dinner, party, bbq, picnic, reunion, birthday parties) so cheap disposable options are often the go-to choice. We enjoy large gatherings, but don't have the room or resources for real plates for everyone.

Camy
Community Member
10 months ago

Wait what Do yall have ceramic plates? Cuz I know of 2 in my house.

Gin
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, lots. Enough for a large BBQ with friends and family. -European

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Gipsy Kings fan
Community Member
10 months ago

We use real plates for formal meals like a family dinner, but sometimes use paper ones if it's just for a sandwich or toast. Less dishwashing, saves time and water! If my paper plates are fairly clean (e.g. toast only), I wipe them off and re-use them.

Katri
Community Member
10 months ago

Can't you then just wipe off and re-use a regular plate with this same idea?

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MammaG
Community Member
10 months ago

Rarely.

The weird one!
Community Member
2 weeks ago

i thought every one did that wow the more y u know

Katie Peter
Community Member
4 months ago

With my family we only use paper plates when we have BIG gatherings and my parents don't want to do dishes for 20 people

I_Love_Food🍰🍨🍱🍤🐕🐈
Community Member
9 months ago

we only use paper plates when we have a bunch of people over and don't have enough real plates

Kit Kat
Community Member
10 months ago

Sometimes we do

Steve Cruz
Community Member
10 months ago

I don't understand the question: paper plates ARE "real plates."

Beth Arriaga
Community Member
10 months ago

We use paper plates for lunch during the day, for a sandwich and some chips or other light fare and ' real' dishes for breakfast and dinner... never really thought about it either way.

Jeannie Carle
Community Member
10 months ago

If a large gathering - we use paper plates at my house. At picnics, big family dinners, etc. Not all of us own 3 sets of dishes LOL

Ava Lewis
Community Member
10 months ago

i think i have a few online friends who do

Cindy Snow
Community Member
10 months ago

Sometimes yes. Depends.

Emily Smith
Community Member
10 months ago

Sometimes. It depends on the situation. If I'm just gonna cut up an apple or heat up something small in a microwave - then yes, I'll use a paper plate instead of a real one. I'll use them for more mainstream things if I haven't had time to do the dishes and I don't want to dirty anymore.

John Baker
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, we do. There's no sense in dirtying a regular plate for a sandwich and some chips.

Patti Renwick Parrish
Community Member
10 months ago

paper plates all the time!

James Gallegos
Community Member
10 months ago

Yup some do. When I visit my mom, she uses paper plates as do I. Less dishes to wash. Plus I think she only uses her actual plates for nicer occasions.

Marty BlackEagle-Carl
Community Member
10 months ago

usually just for picnics or outside backyard family parties.

Drive Bee
Community Member
10 months ago

They are for picnics or barbecues

Murray Woodington
Community Member
10 months ago

And what’s the deal with the red plastic cup? Does no one have any glasses to drink from?

Elina Kuusisto
Community Member
10 months ago

I hate it when people regularly use disposable plates/utensils. I don't know how common it is but it happens.

scrappyrat
Community Member
10 months ago

I'm an American and I'm really kind of shocked at how many people commenting use paper plates for anything other than parties (though even then most people I know don't usually use paper places) or picnics sometimes, though really most of the people I know bring reusable stuff because we don't want to drown the planet in garbage. Seriously, I'm really surprised how un-eco-conscious so many people are. It freaks me out a little. I mean, global warming is real, folks. I mean, I get it when people are handicapped and have issues that make it difficult to hold heavy plates, but I'm handicapped and I use regular dishes, so not even all of us need them.

overcat
Community Member
10 months ago

only paper plates for cookouts

Felix Utterback
Community Member
10 months ago

paper plates means no dishes. That's all we use unless its a special occasion. Paper bowls too

Donna Gettings Apperson
Community Member
10 months ago

I use both. Depends on the situation.

Jewels Vern
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes. Farms grow special plants which are beaten into pulp. The pulp is dried and sold to a factory where it is treated and pressed into the shape of plates. These are wrapped in sterile material and trucked to a store where consumers can buy them, carry them home, and serve food on them. This is considered to be less work than washing them.

Randy Roberts
Community Member
10 months ago

We use paper plates for small items like sandwiches or cold salads. Stuff like that. Funny thing is we use real plates underneath for support.

Aimee Simmons
Community Member
10 months ago

only when it's a larger than casual gathering because we like easy clean up, and who wants to have dishes for 30 people filling all available storage in your not large enough house to store all of your normal kitchen stuff.

Randy Roberts
Community Member
10 months ago

we use paper plates for something small like a sandwich or some cottage cheese. The funny part is it's usually on top of a real plate.

Mari Bryant
Community Member
10 months ago

We use both. Depends how we feel.

Joyce Berman
Community Member
10 months ago

Mostly just on TV in my experience or for larger groups.

Id row
Community Member
10 months ago

100% paper plates. I only use real plates for holidays or if I'm having something that will go through the paper.

AliJanx
Community Member
10 months ago

Yeah...paper plates here. Always available, not always used, but definitely available.

Kelly Murray
Community Member
10 months ago

Depends on the occasion. But I definitely keep paper plates handy.

Brandon Collinsworth
Community Member
10 months ago

We use paper plates for Thanksgiving and for Barbecues.

Tiffany Marie
Community Member
10 months ago

Lots use paper plates! Lazy & less clean up.

Robin Smith
Community Member
10 months ago

We use paper plates for pizza or hamburgers.

Lisa Shelton
Community Member
10 months ago

Holidays and bbq's when you have a bunch of people over. Cuts down on cleanup and less risk of people breaking your dishes if they get rowdy.

Karon Sheffield
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper plates are generally used during outdoor parties and large parties where there is the need for easy quick clean up ... Kids birthday parties or ball games parties.

Scott Shepard
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper plates are for picnics, or large groups, where you dont have enough plates. It is considered low class to use them at home every day.

Christopher Frizzle
Community Member
10 months ago

Almost every day. I live alone so it's less dishes for me to do 🤷‍♂️

Toast Of Saint Louis
Community Member
10 months ago

Only for gatherings. Not for everyday use.

Amanda Rudnicki
Community Member
10 months ago

We get porcelain plates at our wedding. It's the only set we ever get so we use paper plates to not break the precious China.

Andrea Anthony
Community Member
10 months ago

we used paper plates in my house as a kid (but my parents are weird). I use proper dishware as an adult.

Kerri Russ
Community Member
10 months ago

We use paper plates in this house. We use them for sandwiches and chips. If there are only crumbs on the plate, I will clean them off and re-use the plate for myself later in the day or the next day. We have china and plastic plates for full meals for stuff that wouldn't be appropriate for paper. It is merely an option... and paper or plastic plates are the only way to go with little kids.

Victoria Swift
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes. All the time. About the only time I don't use paper plates is when we are eating something heavy that wouldn't hold up on a paperplate, of if its a special occasion (like Easter). It saves so much on washing.

DKS 001
Community Member
10 months ago

as an american: it depends on who and why they do this. For some who work 2-3 jobs a week they don't have time to clean dishes

Romina
Community Member
10 months ago

I stayed with an american guy for 6 weeks who never used proper plates but always paper ones because he then didnt have to do dishes.

A
Community Member
10 months ago

I hate this so much. Every American reality tv show I've ever watched, the family is using paper plates. It's so incredibly wasteful. Do they not know how to wash dishes?

Shart
Community Member
10 months ago

We have regular plates too..some use paper for parties and what not..it makes for an easier clean up

Sasha Ross
Community Member
10 months ago

only once in awhile..

Caryn Zent
Community Member
10 months ago

sometimes.

Mommyofboth
Community Member
10 months ago

My family uses them on rare occasions. When we have large gatherings of people, like Christmas or birthday parties.

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
10 months ago

If there is a high attendance event like a shiva/wake where we may have more people in the house than we have plates/cups for. Also when eating outdoors or when there are a lot of children running around that might break stuff.

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

I've learned something! I'm Canadian and have been in the States a lot and have never seen them used in a house but judging by the comments it's more common than I thought.

elfin
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper plates are real plates. They're not imaginary or virtual. They are generally used in situations where you want easy clean-up, like a picnic or a day in the park. They don't have to be carried home and washed.

Les🐝an
Community Member
10 months ago

Paper plates are cheap

Full Name
Community Member
10 months ago

Not as cheap as water and soap.

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mph seti
Community Member
10 months ago

American here. I never use them, at least at home.

deanna woods
Community Member
10 months ago

I use paper plates because I am single and am usually eating alone. My parents use paper plates because they are older and are too tired to wash dishes.

Olya Fedchenko
Community Member
10 months ago

how does eating alone justify using paper plates? which have plastic in them

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Meami
Community Member
10 months ago

We rarely use paper plates at our house (even for gatherings) and when we do, we make sure they are compostable.

M Adams
Community Member
10 months ago

Real plates for home and very special occasions, paper for other less formal gatherings such as family reunions, cook outs, etc.

April McMurphy
Community Member
10 months ago

It's a thing in the midwest. Maddening. So much waste.

glowworm2
Community Member
10 months ago

Because we're Jewish and the pizza/takeout food we bring in isn't Kosher, we use paper plates. Otherwise we eat off of real plates--heck we have two sets of them for meat and dairy.

Erin
Community Member
10 months ago

We use them. Especially for larger crowds or picnics, but NEVER at my grandmother's house. This is also something that my Irish relatives get a kick out of - paper plates and cups.

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, we do use paper plates.

N G
Community Member
10 months ago

...and do Americans always eat ready made salads from those clear disposable bowls?

Lavender Brown
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes and no. I use paper plates only for parties/special occasions where we have people over. Just us though, we use glass plates.

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Mary Kelly
Community Member
10 months ago

when microwaving

Bev Brown
Community Member
10 months ago

I’m literally using one to eat my hamburger.

The Emerald Triangle
Community Member
10 months ago

Use them all the time! They make great starter fuel for the fireplace/pit too!

Ivana
Community Member
10 months ago

I think paper plates should be outlawed. What a huge waste.

K
Community Member
10 months ago

Lots do especially for when eating a sandwich or for a kid’s meal. It’s quick clean up and a kids can’t break it

Jaymi Leigh
Community Member
10 months ago

Really? I'm from Canada and this is not a thing here. We use plastic plates for our kiddos so we can wash and re-use them. Sorry, seems wasteful to me.

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Sarra R
Community Member
10 months ago

Because if you use fancy glass plates for lunch or dinner then you actually have to WASH them. No time. No time. Paper plates ya just toss and that's that.

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#12

benallenwf Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

We usually have a funeral at the mortuary or a church then we go to the cemetery where the chairs are set up for a few last words by a minister or priest. Only the close family sit and the rest stand.

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#13

mrsmop68 Report

Andres Tejeda
Community Member
10 months ago

I always wondered this as well, I tried it once and its hard to do for me for some reason.

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#14

RiverrunStately Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, I believe people do hang out in parking lots near bars more than any other store.

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#15

sam_pIant Report

Felix Feline
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes. Here in this college town Homecoming is a major event. Vast crowds, insane traffic, blaring music.

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#16

Uhuras Report

MammaG
Community Member
10 months ago

Why? Hot water is hot water.

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#17

taanapoop Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

If I’m giving directions to my house, I can say ‘turn 4 blocks after the fire station’ and they understand that.

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#18

KatieBelsey Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

I think they drink it because it’s so easy to carry their water with them. And yes, it can get expensive.

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#19

sIeepfordays Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Some people do have to s of throw pillows on their beds and on their sofas. I don’t.

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#20

a_girl_probably Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

I believe this is mostly a southern trait.

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#21

NeedsDirection Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, we do. Or Fritos or Cheetos.

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#22

todorokidokie Report

Lavender Brown
Community Member
10 months ago

Yep. It's a real thing

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#23

libbybrwnlw Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

I had a lab partner in chemistry and biology in high school.

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#24

ThandekaMsane Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Well, now we use plastic bags donated free by the grocery stores usually.

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#25

tobesostyles Report

MammaG
Community Member
10 months ago

The stupid and vain do, yes. Vanity and egos here are out of control. Everyone thinks they're special or a celebrity.

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#26

danaokeke Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, some people do.

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#27

foreverqal Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, it’s called hot cocoa all the time. It’s written on the box too.

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#28

Fkatiee Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Meatloaf is a delicious combination of hamburger and onions and some sort of thickening like dried oatmeal or bread. Usually catsup is poured on top before baking.

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#29

rrudegal Report

Hedy Hahn
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, many people do.

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#30

aIIexx_ Report

Ayasophya Alturas
Community Member
10 months ago

maybe? I live in a place where seeing a taxi is pretty rare, so I wouldn't know.

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