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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Healthcare that bankrupts you

chhurry , Olga Guryanova Report

ZeroHargreaves057
Community Member
5 months ago

Mhm! Exactly!

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#2

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The 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
5 months 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
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Politicians mentioning religion when campaigning

awbayley97 , wikipedia Report

Hans
Community Member
5 months 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
5 months ago

that's just SAD , very , very SAD

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#6

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK An $800, four-block ambulance ride.

jeff_the_nurse , REEET JANK Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
5 months 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.

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Shelp
Community Member
5 months ago

Not only to Brits!

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#8

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The 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
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Greeters in supermarkets. Just feels fake.

smokingthegateway , Kristina Paparo Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK A rubber in England is not the same as a rubber in the US.

Butwaip , Annie Spratt Report

Downunderdude
Community Member
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Gaps in bathroom stalls

8xxx5 , ttarasiuk Report

troufaki13
Community Member
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Making tea in a microwave.

fantsukissa , MoneyBlogNewz Report

troufaki13
Community Member
5 months 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.

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Shelp
Community Member
5 months 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
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The 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
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Asking new neighbors, "Have you found a church yet?"

boganvegan , Cosmic Timetraveler Report

JuJu
Community Member
5 months ago

That would be weird.

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#21

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The 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
5 months ago

"supersize me"

Max Thompson
Community Member
5 months ago

That was a great mobie that changed my perspective about all that jazz.

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Rick Seiden
Community Member
5 months ago

About 3 years ago I decided to lose weight. I've kept it off since then, and it's hard to eat out because of the size of meals here. I look at the menu at some restaurants and one meal has all the calories recommended for a day. No wonder I was fat.

StrangerOfTheDark
Community Member
5 months ago

That's because children in the US are genetically hungrier.

Jim Day
Community Member
5 months ago

That's an In-N-Out order there that you are disparaging. We invaded Iraq for less.

Anita Pickle
Community Member
5 months ago

Omg hahahahahahahaha

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AroAcePanda
Community Member
5 months ago

in-n-out is amazing tho...

Finn
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't know, I'm an American who lives in Germany and some places here offer some really huge plates as a "normal" portion that I can't even eat half of

cassiushumanmother
Community Member
5 months ago

But Bratwurst, Currywurst and Kartoffeln count as water, like liter Bier.

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backatya
Community Member
4 months ago

Hey if Brits rather be eating like kids go for it. But we Americans are hungry.

Barbara Vandewalle
Community Member
4 months ago

In restaurants the portions are usually 1/2 size more than you can eat in one setting. OK if you ask for to go box.

Sawdust
Community Member
5 months ago

When visiting the UK, I found the Full English Breakfast to be very a large portion.

Id row
Community Member
5 months ago

Given the quality of the food in the UK, I can see why you wouldn't want much of it. But if you've ever tried In 'n Out, then I guarantee you'd fight someone if they tried to take any off your plate. Granted, it's not slathered in baked beans, but it doesn't need to be.

Sarah Grape
Community Member
5 months ago

People keep saying this about america-they don't get that it's so you can have leftovers for later. no one is actually supposed to eat that much, though some people do get confused and do it anyway. the restaurants just want to give you your money's worth, giving you more food doesn't help them at all.

Covid Pan Demic
Community Member
5 months ago

yeh no kidding, this is a guy at Macdonalds R9bc94fdd0...2d64cf.jpg R9bc94fdd054bffdb4a7edaa31f9f3615-60882e22d64cf.jpg

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
5 months ago

just a wafer thin mint Mr Creosote?

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Covid Pan Demic
Community Member
5 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

Jazzy Mc. Jaz
Community Member
5 months ago

that must suck! 😆

Sammy
Community Member
5 months ago

wait really! I want to see an adult meal in the U.K now

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
5 months ago

Here you are Sammy- just some simple search engine use from an American invention called Google: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMaW6TamNAc You are welcome, have a nice day (said in a disingenuous manner)

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Tom Spade
Community Member
6 days ago

I eat one meal a day. Yep, it's good sized. I don't, however, eat the type of s**t depicted, lol. I prepare my own meals each evening, using actual meats a veggies, many of which are locally produced.

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
1 month ago

This is the only comment that I totally agree with!!!

Sue User
Community Member
4 months ago

If I get fast food, I order the kids meal. The cashier will usually explain that I only get a small cup for soda. That's okay, not a big fan anyway. And besides, if you dine in ( soon ) , refills are free.

Isabel Care
Community Member
4 months ago

Can we ask them to "Super small me"

dev mehta
Community Member
4 months ago

I've been to the UK a few times. The portion size there are quite large in most restaurants I visited. This helps explain why there are so many fat people in UK.

sylvanticx
Community Member
4 months ago

it really depends on the place tho.

Mari Bryant
Community Member
4 months ago

Not true. Kids meals aren't even in the photo.

Lisa Buneo
Community Member
4 months ago

Agree but seriously my mom lives there and we ate potatoes for 7 days straight, when I found a sushi place I was overjoyed. Not sure if this is true of all Brits.

Hugo A-niro
Community Member
5 months ago

So what ? Peopke what they want

Kitty Luna Darrow
Community Member
5 months ago

well, we don't get to nap during work like in some countries. We also are more overworked. Thus, we can work up an appetite. :)

Hollysmom
Community Member
5 months ago

Probably larger

Spittnimage
Community Member
5 months ago

Well order the kids meal then.

Lexi
Community Member
5 months ago

we phat

Mary Peace
Community Member
5 months ago

Even the pic makes me feel ill. One reason I won't be visiting the states.

Crochet lady
Community Member
5 months ago

Many of us Americans feel the same way and when we eat out I always have lunch for the next day. I never finish what's on my plate.

Cory Tollman
Community Member
5 months ago

If you want to feed your whole family get a regular sized portion of a chicken fried steak meal at someplace along the highway in Texas or Oklahoma. If I'm eating at one of those places I usually get the child sized and a I'm a big dude, still end up stuffed. The portions there are geared or a holdover when they were feeding actual cowboys who burn a lot of calories a day and might not have had much to eat for awhile.

Mark Jaress
Community Member
5 months ago

Poor babies

Cassie
Community Member
5 months ago

I haven't been to McDonalds in a few years now, but when I do get McDonalds, I get a kids meal. I'm in my 40s. Better portion sizes plus I get a toy.

Christopher Troisi
Community Member
5 months ago

And a UK kids meal is like an adults meal in France...

Mazer
Community Member
5 months ago

Hey, if the kids don’t eat it, the adults will and the dog is always up for the last couple of French fries

Paul Budhram
Community Member
5 months ago

If a kids' size is an adults' size...

John C
Community Member
5 months ago

what's even worse: some places WON'T ALLOW an adult to order a "kid's size" i mean, WTF! obviously you can just say it's for a kid (if you're taking it to go) but the rule itself is baffling.

Vicky Zar
Community Member
5 months ago

Is that really a kids meal? OMG

Anita Pickle
Community Member
5 months ago

No this not a kids meal. This represents two meals from one of the best burger places ever! Fries are cut from the potatoes in front of you and and then fried in peanut oil. So good. Not good for you, but no one is arguing that.

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Ersan Deneme
Community Member
5 months ago

In-N-Out has perfectly normal portions and this image shows two orders! In-N-Out is the BEST!!!

David Beaulieu
Community Member
5 months ago

This is not true. Yes, portion sizes at fast food places are ridiculous but children's meals are not huge. And the image is of 2 meals in a carry out box from a fast food place called In-n-out Burger. Show me what a 2 person curry/late night kabob looks like?

Spork420
Community Member
5 months ago

Those are the standard burgers at In-N-Out. On the secret, not listed menu, you can order a 4x4, which is 4 burger patties, 4 pieces of cheese, on one bun.

Asy EnderDragon
Community Member
5 months ago

i have to agree, this is why i feel like i should eat less because everything here is huge and i am just now seeing it.

Douglas Turner
Community Member
5 months ago

Is this really "horrifying", though? Like, run screaming and hide under the covers, the large servings are coming to get you! Ordering two burgers and two fries isn't an over large serving, it's a meal for two. If you eat it alone that's on you...

Andrew Gibb
Community Member
5 months ago

the portion size correlates with the size of the average person

Juliane Groß
Community Member
5 months ago

Not true. The portion sizes some fast food places in the UK offer are similar to US standards and far bigger than in the rest of Europe.

Pedro
Community Member
5 months ago

True, but that also explains why the UK seems to be playing catch up with the US when it comes to morbid obesity. I actually believe that to be one of the reasons for such a high covid death toll in both, in spite of an world class NHS (that must be defended from privatization at all costs).

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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.

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Shelp
Community Member
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months ago

That's horrifying!

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#25

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Addressing a stranger as ‘Sir’

UnsaddledZigadenus , Wikipedia Report

chi-wei shen
Community Member
5 months ago

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

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#26

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK Responding to work emails while on leave/vacation.

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N G
Community Member
5 months 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

30 People List What Things Are Accepted In The US While Are Totally Horrifying In The UK high fructose corn syrup

itssteveninnit Report

Gillbella
Community Member
5 months ago

Vile stuff

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#28

Chanting the acronym of your country at any given opportunity.

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Downunderdude
Community Member
5 months 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
5 months 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

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Alma Mater
Community Member
5 months 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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Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.