What’s totally acceptable and completely normal in one country might get you some funny looks elsewhere. Or, in other words, welcome to Planet Earth where there are loads of different countries and cultures that are bound to blow your mind when you travel.

This time, we’re looking at the differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. Even though both countries have a ‘special relationship’ (not to mention a rocky initial history together), far from everything is the same there. Hopping ‘over the pond’ means traveling a large distance both physically and culturally, too. Like you'd expect when going to any new country when you fly abroad.

Redditor TownImmediate9060 went on r/AskReddit and wanted to find out what’s socially acceptable in the US but would be horrifying in the UK. The thread went viral and the responses made us seriously realize the extent of the differences between the two allies. Check out some of the best answers below and remember to upvote your fave ones, dear Pandas.

#1

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Healthcare that bankrupts you

chhurry , Olga Guryanova Report

ZeroHargreaves057
Community Member
1 month ago

Mhm! Exactly!

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#2

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Paying more than the price you see on a price tag in a shop due to taxes. WTF just put how much it costs!

gibsterminator , Akshay Chauhan Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah, that also bothered me as well

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#3

Cashiers being forced to stand... give them a chair you masochists

andy_james_78 Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

This weirds me out every time

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Britain continues to use soft power to spread its influence abroad. Its cultural impact is off the charts. Just consider how influential the Harry Potter books, musicians like Ed Sheeran, and football entities like the Premier League really are.

They’re known and respected globally. As such, the UK’s able to draw in plenty of tourists (global pandemic notwithstanding because it’s hit everyone badly) and students from abroad because it remains at the forefront of people’s minds.

#4

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Politicians mentioning religion when campaigning

awbayley97 , wikipedia Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Religion should have no room in politics anywhere. (But for positive values such as grace of charity.)

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#5

New mothers going back to work almost immediately after giving birth, because they don’t have paid maternity leave

MultipleDinosaurs Report

I I
Community Member
1 month ago

that's just SAD , very , very SAD

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#6

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK An $800, four-block ambulance ride.

jeff_the_nurse , REEET JANK Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Anything about the so-called American health system is a mystery to the rest of the world.

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However, research shows that the confusion and uncertainty around the long-term effects that Brexit, the UK’s exit from the European Union, will have slightly dampened the country’s influence abroad.

Meanwhile, the British Council found that it’s actually culture, not politics, that deepens the ties between the UK and the US. And it’s culture that’s going to play a vital role in the future of both nations as well.

#7

That whole thing where American kids pledge their allegiance to the flag. That is completely weird and scarily totalitarian to us Brits.

Naugrith Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

Not only to Brits!

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#8

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Overworking. It's rewarded and encouraged in the U.S., but during my time in the U.K. my colleagues were horrified by the long hours and lack of holidays that was the norm in the U.S.

CuriousAboutLife0 , Alex Kotliarskyi Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

What an awful soulless place. And I'm guessing the only reason they give them what looks like expensive chairs is so they don't get sued for workplace injury.

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#9

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Greeters in supermarkets. Just feels fake.

smokingthegateway , Kristina Paparo Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 month ago

Are greeters real? I thought the Simpson's was exaggerating. I guess in a country so massive, you gta find a way to stand out? Still seems weird tho

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“Culture and history were the two top rated factors contributing to the UK’s attractiveness among American respondents, with 43% identifying ‘cultural and historic attractions’ as a major draw and 42% identifying ‘history,’” the British Council explains what it discovered in its research.

#10

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Driving everywhere.

In the UK it's perfectly normal to have your kid walk to school and walking to the shops to do your shopping.

X0AN , why kei Report

Something
Community Member
1 month ago

This varies in the US too. In most cities it's normal not to have a car, but not in places where most people don't live within walking distance to anything.

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#11

Offering full-time employees anything less than 28 days of paid holidays per year - it's not only socially unacceptable - it's illegal!

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
1 month ago

not in the US.....

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#12

Bragging about how expensive something was.

In the US "this is a $100 shirt" ...smug face

In the UK "can you believe I got this whole suit for £25!" ...smug face

NCC-2000-A Report

A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

Americans love a good discount too.

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Despite some of the more superficial cultural differences between the US and the UK, both nations appear to care about pretty much the same issues.

“The research showed a high degree of shared concern about global issues among young people in both countries with poverty, extremism/terrorism, and climate change as the top factors chosen by young people in both the US and UK,” the British Council found. “The research suggests the relationship between the two countries is at root a cultural as much as a political phenomenon, and viewed in those terms it is indeed special.”

#13

Labelling the winner of a sports tournament that only your country plays as ‘World Champions’

Calling Football ‘Soccer’

DM1994 Report

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 month ago

We're not the only ones doing that. No one seems to blink at the audacity of the Miss Universe beauty contest, where Earth seems to win every time.

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#14

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK A rubber in England is not the same as a rubber in the US.

Butwaip , Annie Spratt Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

In the UK, a durex is (or used to be) a condom. In Australia, it's sticky tape. Best not to get them confused.

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#15

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Gaps in bathroom stalls

8xxx5 , ttarasiuk Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Again, horrifying everywhere in the world

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Ironically, the actual term ‘special relationship’ sees very little use in the US, primarily being a British way of categorizing the tight bonds between the two nations. However, this doesn’t change the fact that both countries are very much skipping along arm-in-arm, primarily admiring each other’s cultural output (leaving politics a secondary concern).

#16

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Making tea in a microwave.

fantsukissa , MoneyBlogNewz Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

This is horrifying for the rest of the world not just the UK!!

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#17

When my Brit friends were visiting, they were horrified when the waiter took their credit card to swipe back at the terminal. This made them REALLY uncomfortable.

cn45 Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

I would have been too!

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#18

Cutting lines for things, I’ve seen some people when going to Disney world trying to cut lines for random reasons. Queueing in the uk is like our national sport

CMDR_omnicognate Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Respect the queue! This should be everywhere!

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Redditor TownImmediate9060’s thread about the differences between the US and the UK was a roaring success. It got more than 67.7k upvotes in just over a week. What’s more, the thread got over 51k comments which just goes to show that the OP hit the nail on the head and chose a niche topic that plenty of folks were interested in.

The thread also got over 300 awards, proving that TownImmediate9060’s fellow Reddit users really appreciated them asking the question in the first place.

#19

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK My (British) partner & I (American) were in London, running late to meet our friends. Just as we get to the tube station, I see our train has just pulled in; we haul ass across platform and I yell, “HOLD THE DOOR.” Someone does, we make the train, I don’t see a problem. My partner, by contrast, is mortified. This was 4-5 years ago & he is still mortified. Apparently we were meant to just...let the train leave? Without us?? & wait for the next one???

Ok-Cryptographer8906 , Chris Yang Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

On the tube, there's absolutely no reason to "hold the door". The next one will be in in a few minutes, and you will just be a little late. By holding, everyone on the train will be late, and there is actually a possibility that it travels down the line, delaying several trains.

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#20

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Asking new neighbors, "Have you found a church yet?"

boganvegan , Cosmic Timetraveler Report

JuJu
Community Member
1 month ago

That would be weird.

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#21

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Huge portion sizes. Kids meal in U.S is like a adult meal in U.K.

Revolutionary_Ad5901 , Ashley Green Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

"supersize me"

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What’s your opinion about the relationship between the US and the UK, dear Readers? What, in your opinion, makes this relationship between the two special? What do you think are the main cultural differences between Americans and Brits? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. We’d absolutely love to get your take on this, especially if you’re currently living in the US or the UK.

#22

I was in Japan once and there was a vending machine selling beer outside my hotel room.

So, being British, I bought a can and went to the elevator where I shared an excruciating couple of minutes with two American business men. They were horrified at my early day drinking, and I at their willingness to express this.

armosnacht Report

Shelp
Community Member
1 month ago

What's particularly wrong with day drinking? I mean, night won't reduce your drunkenness

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#23

As a Brit in the US, this is a fun one!

Pharmaceutical adverts on the TV are still weird af to me

The length and frequency of commercial breaks in general on TV is shocking

Low hanging fruit, but anything relating to child beauty pageants just makes me feel physically sick

Here's a nice one: taking 20+ minutes to help a complete stranger who is struggling with something. The amount of times a total stranger has stopped to assist me or someone I know? Y'all really make my heart melt!

Toxic_Orange_DM Report

A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

This happens in the UK too. I am a woman and I traveled by train with a suitcase too heavy for me to lift and always some lovely man immediately assisted me with getting on and off.

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#24

Spray on cheese

Stew32 Report

Felicor Bongolan
Community Member
1 month ago

That's horrifying!

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#25

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Addressing a stranger as ‘Sir’

UnsaddledZigadenus , Wikipedia Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 month ago

To me, this sounds like a good style. How would you address a stranger in the UK?

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#26

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK Responding to work emails while on leave/vacation.

rekharai Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

I fear this one may be culturally appropriated - I'm in the UK and have worked for people who have done this, and been "encouraged" to do this myself. I have offered once (but that was because it was a big, serious project, and my time off was looking after the MIL's house for two days and I was BORED!)

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#27

Socially-Acceptable-Us-Horrifying-UK high fructose corn syrup

itssteveninnit Report

Gillbella
Community Member
1 month ago

Vile stuff

Chenandoa
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

But critical for pecan pie...my favorite dessert (only around Thanksgiving, though)

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David Beaulieu
Community Member
1 month ago

What else should we do with all this corn we grow? Feed the world? Bio-fuel these machines? Nope. Lets make something like sugar, but way worse for you.

Eric Law
Community Member
1 month ago

Just another part of our race to the bottom on the quality of everything.

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 month ago

Diabeetus!

Colleen Hindson
Community Member
1 month ago

There is a difference between white Karo corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. White Karo is good for pecan pie. High fructose corn syrup is only used in commercial food products, not in the kitchen. And yes, it is really bad to put in your body.

Something
Community Member
1 month ago

The result of the U.S. Sugar Program.

Crochet lady
Community Member
1 month ago

That's because our government has a massive stake in farms, corn farms to be exact. Of course they want us addicted to that crap. It really depresses me because I don't feel there's much we can do to change this.

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

Hello diabetes

InfectedVoice
Community Member
1 month ago

A dentist's best friend.

Mark Jaress
Community Member
1 month ago

GAGS

Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
1 month ago

I hate it, too. It's just a way to subsidize the big farming corporations.

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
1 month ago

poison

Philly Bob Squires
Community Member
1 month ago

Liquid diabetes...

Colleen Hindson
Community Member
1 month ago

There is a difference between white Karo corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. White Karo for pecan pie, but as far as I know high fructose corn syrup is only used in factory-produced food, not in the kitchen.

Sarah Grape
Community Member
1 month ago

the most evil ingredient of all, that stuff's in everything.

Mamma Mia
Community Member
1 month ago

Horrible stuff!! Always read the labels and avoid it at all costs.

Pamela Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

High fructose corn syrup is NOT ordinary corn syrup. Please look up the difference.

CV
Community Member
1 month ago

but, why?

Dre Mosley
Community Member
1 month ago

Research the corn industry in the US.

Jim Day
Community Member
1 month ago

We have a lot of corn. When we are done feeding it to livestock... Good thing you weren't around for when we had an excess of cotton. We covered it and chocolate and sold it as a type of bonbon. [Catch-22]

Max Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

I can confirm.

dev mehta
Community Member
1 month ago

High fructose corn syrup is good tasty stuff. Mmmmmmm...HFCS

Lynn Morello
Community Member
1 month ago

Great in Soaps.

backatya
Community Member
1 month ago

BAD STUFF I agree

Martha Higgins
Community Member
1 month ago

Lyle's Golden Syrup?

Hugo A-niro
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh well it's in so many things .. But we are trying to get rid of the stuff

Wendy Lam
Community Member
1 month ago

Only use for evil candy making, the Chinese use maltose syrup

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

The stuff you use at home is like glucose syrup used in UK baking. The HFCS is used in mass production (and is a great thing to avoid!).

Jacqui Dunn
Community Member
1 month ago

Nah.

leia's emotional cupcake
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh come on every eats this in one way or another. It's in almost ALL sodas and almost ALL candies!

Kira Okah
Community Member
1 month ago

Not in the UK, heavily restricted, can't even use it in American brand chocolate made in this country. The only times that I have ever seen it in anything here is in food imported from either the US or South Korea.

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StrangerOfTheDark
Community Member
1 month ago

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What's wrong with that?

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#28

Chanting the acronym of your country at any given opportunity.

NeonDave Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
1 month ago

Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi oi oi.

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#29

I don’t know how common it actually is there, but going fucking wild at the cinema during a hugely popular film like Avengers: Endgame or a Star Wars film. There’s a bunch of videos on YouTube of the audience reactions to various big franchise films and I don’t know how anybody lasts more than a few minutes in that room.

When I saw The Force Awakens, like two people half-heartedly cheered when the title screen came up and then someone immediately told them to shut up.

pinksoetko Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
1 month ago

While talking about american cinemas, why don't they have seat reservation? In Sweden, we book in advance, choosing our seats by how many we are, where the screen is and availability.

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#30

Refuse a drink to a grown-ass taxpaying 20 year old

Chapelirl Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
1 month ago

driving alone at 16 but having to wait till you're 21 to drink a beer ??? doesn't make sense

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