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!

RandGenUserName Report

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.

DG
Community Member
1 month ago

What, beauty contests are still a thing?!?? Glad no one cares about that where I'm from, then

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A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean Aussies too though right?

Pedro
Community Member
1 month ago

Sure, it's just that Aussie Rules championship winners aren't referred to as World Champions.

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TexasWoman
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm American and always thought soccer should be called football cuz you only use your feet. Football you mainly throw the ball, so 'handball' should be the name

Llama_flower93
Community Member
1 month ago

Right! In soccer/football you use your feet. Makes sense to call it football.

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CrunChewy McSandybutt
Community Member
1 month ago

The Brits were the ones to coin the term "soccer" for association football.

Eslamala
Community Member
1 month ago

The "World Series" hahahhaha

J Gund
Community Member
1 month ago

To be fair, there is a Canadian team in mlb

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Id row
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean, technically, they're still world champions if only because they're the only ones playing, lol.

Dre Mosley
Community Member
1 month ago

We may use the word, "Soccer," but the word did not originate with us.

Covid Pan Demic
Community Member
1 month ago

I agree, why does the US think they have the fuc*ing right to call themselves the "world championships" of American Football. And what the fu*k is Soccer, get a life, it's football.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 month ago

Hang on! They say World Champions in American Football? Do any other countries play American football?

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David Beaulieu
Community Member
1 month ago

I love it when Brits get funny over the term Soccer. YOU invented the word. Your weird slang term stuck in most other English speaking (Empire anyone?) countries.

Helmut Kok
Community Member
1 month ago

And now it's played under FIFA rules guess what one of the F's stand for

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Jeff Christensen
Community Member
1 month ago

Soccer is an abbreviation for Association football. My understanding is that a student (William Webb Ellis, legend has it) from a famous English school called Rugby once picked up the ball and ran with it and thus invented the game known as Rugby; then Americans started playing it in full body armour and some called it Gridiron. Meanwhile in Australia was developed Australian Rules football, also known as aerial ping-pong or cross-country ballet, where players kick the ball vast distances and others catch it. All of these games (and Gaelic football, whatever that is) are called "football" in various parts of the world.

Alan LeMire
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean the term soccer did originate in the UK

Ian Smith
Community Member
1 month ago

Britain called it soccer first then flip-flopped back to football. Facts.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

You're wrong. Fact.

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

The World Series of Baseball was originally sponsored by a paper called THE WORLD. Hence the name. ....

Anne Reid
Community Member
1 month ago

And there were two teams from outside the US at one point, so it’s not just American.

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MisterE
Community Member
1 month ago

US actually got the term soccer rrom England. This is some high school "popular kid" move..... say something is cool, but once another not in the "in-crowd" kid follows suit, suddenly is very uncool amd they make fun of that kid.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

The US got the English language from England.

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AnimalsRuleHumansDrool
Community Member
1 month ago

I call AFL football.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

AFL is the ICAO code for Aeroflot.

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NgatiDreadz
Community Member
1 month ago

Tbh they aren't wrong though if no other country wants to play them at said sport then wouldn't that make them world champions

backatya
Community Member
1 month ago

We can't help that other countries don't want to compete. So in essence they are world champions of all the ones that played. You call it what you want to and we'll call it Football, don't cry.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

No-one is crying.

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Damon Hill
Community Member
1 month ago

How about NASCAR where the winner of the majority of the races isn't the winner of the season. This due to a point system that's manipulated by a handful of officials who decided who was going to be declared winner before the race even started. It's called a "stock car race" but there's nothing "stock" about the cars nor do they even exist in the real world.

ERIN W.
Community Member
1 month ago

TOUCHEÊ

ERIN W.
Community Member
1 month ago

I have wondered that quite often too because you don't play the game with your hands you pay it with your feet so how did we come up with calling it soccer here in America versus football in the European area I don't understand that part I know we have a football organization here with a funny looking Ball but it stayed with their hands and not with their feet so what's the deal can someone explain please thank you?!

Triv
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean, if the sports tourney only occurs in one country, the winners WOULD be world champions, wouldn't they?

Vincent Ingram
Community Member
1 month ago

The funniest 'event' I saw was a competition to find the Motocross Wheelie World Champion. The field was so clearly loaded for a USA winner with only 1 of the ten competitors a foreigner. The Frenchman won...

TMinus6 and Counting
Community Member
1 month ago

Since you brits suck at basketball, baseball, american football...who else can compare?

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

The World's most popular sports were invented in Britain ... and baseball and Ameri and football are US corruptions of sports invented in Britain.

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StrangerOfTheDark
Community Member
1 month ago

I don't under stand it either. Californian here, and I dont understand any of this either.

Paul Budhram
Community Member
1 month ago

Then what do you call american's "football"? (real question. I don't know)

Honu
Community Member
1 month ago

We sometimes jokingly call it Colonial Handegg, but American Football seems to be the normal way to distinguish it. My understanding is that, in the early days of the sport, there was more kicking involved. Now it's more of a running and passing game, so it seems even more strange that it's called football.

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Thomas Sweda
Community Member
1 month ago

We’re you aware that the Brits called it Soccer first?

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

Were you aware English is from England? However, that use of an apostrophe indicates a low understanding of the language.

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McPanda
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, if any other country had professional American Football like the US, then they could have a shot at the title of World Champion, but no one does. So they are the World Champions.

*me*
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Hey,you made up the word soccer first and technically they are world champions because no one else plays it, so they are best.

Bill
Community Member
1 month ago

"Soccer" comes from the UK.

Roland
Community Member
1 month ago

Sure. That's why they call it football there.

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Corcaigh
Community Member
1 month ago

Football is soccer practically everywhere else but the UK though.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

No it isn't. Also, the governing body of the sport globally is FIFA ... have a guess what one of the Fs stands for?

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Corcaigh
Community Member
1 month ago

Football is soccer everywhere else but the UK though.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

Wrong.

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Daniel Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

American football is older than "soccer." (Or, more accurately, the older game is more similar to American football.) It refers to running on your own feet, instead of riding a horse. The U.S. Major League Baseball has numerous players from throughout the Americas and East Asia, attracted by superior pay. Other nations' baseball leagues feature minor-league quality play, at best. And yes, that includes Japan.

J Sauires
Community Member
1 month ago

Association football predate American football.

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ButterScot
Community Member
1 month ago

Soccer is a British term that they abandoned and act like they never used it.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 month ago

Life moves on and names change. Sometimes for the better. Football is the term used now and it makes sense - you kick the ball with the foot.

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Bobby
Community Member
1 month ago

England named it soccer first...

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Well according to another post from here soccer was actually a British created term so yeah read your history!

Jim Day
Community Member
1 month ago

Hey, get together a team, suit up, and give the NFL a shot. Until then, they are the world Champions. Japan is pretty close (if not equal) to Baseball. Would love to see Japan join MLB.

RoseTheMad
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually... in terms of WBSC rankings points, Japan is considered the highest ranking nation when it comes to Baseball, with the US in second and South Korea in third. Don't ask why I know this, I don't care for sport anyway, I just hear random facts that stick in my mind. xD

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Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm not surprised considering Americans feel like they are the center of the world (no offense)

TMinus6 and Counting
Community Member
1 month ago

We are because we keep your stupid asses out of trouble all the time...

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Shannon Caraccia
Community Member
1 month ago

Didn't the word "soccer" originate in England?

Jacqui Dunn
Community Member
1 month ago

Sorry, but rugby-playing nations also call it 'soccer', because football is rugby, isn't it?

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

Sheffield FC were the world's first Football club in 1857 in England, UK. It's football. Rugby is rugby. And American Football is just throwing and catching.

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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

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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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