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!

View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments

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.)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments

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!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments

“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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.....

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments

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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments

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!!

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#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!

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#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!

View more comments

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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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"

View More Replies...
View more comments

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

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

Delboy
Community Member
1 month ago

I always offer if I see someone who might be struggling on a train with a case

Load More Replies...
Julia King
Community Member
1 month ago

Here's my opinion on child beauty pageants: F**k off! Why do these exist?!

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

I agree - it feels like a big festival for paedophiles.

Load More Replies...
Nic Dudley
Community Member
1 month ago

Child beauty pageants are absolutely disgusting and should be banned for sexualizing little girls.

Guido Pisano
Community Member
1 month ago

in italian is forbidden (permitted only for those you can buy without receipe but is still considered bad to promote a medicine)

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

I miss the days when pharma ads just weren't a thing. I also hate opening a magazine, or a website, and seeing pharma ads. ARGH.

Jim Day
Community Member
1 month ago

We are basically nice people when you get outside some of the big cities.

Amy Hallonquist
Community Member
1 month ago

You know America is going through a pretty shitty time right now .. And with the pandemic there's global depression and grief too.. How about we post a few articles about cool, interesting, fun positive stuff about America? Back to back articles about how weird/awful the usa is, thats harmful. You know.. build people up?

Mary Peace
Community Member
1 month ago

Amy, you could start this off if you wanted to. Post something positive and and get people to reply.

Load More Replies...
Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

I always found weird the ads for medicine and the last years we're having a lot in my country too!! Especially vitamins but also some meds!

AnnaBanana
Community Member
1 month ago

The side effects are fun to listen to, though!

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

(at 1000% speed) Side effects may include: Trouble breathing, numbness, vomiting, dizziness, coughing, fever, dandruff, constipation, diarrhoea, sudden weight gain, sudden weight loss, sneezing, heartburn, stomach ulcers, dehydration, sweating, itchiness, acne, cataracts, pregnancy, sensitivity to light, decompression sickness, two-tip tummy terrorism, jaundice, insanity, gangrene, trachoma, leprosy, blindness, hearing loss, auditory hallucinations, scabies, rabies, boils under the arms, arrhythmia, pneumonia, seizures, the 1000-year gay, loss of consciousness, bodywide organ failure, hysteria, death, and a lack of appetite.

Load More Replies...
David Dwyer
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm in the U.S., and all of this makes me sick too.

David Dwyer
Community Member
1 month ago

Along with the number of Grammarly adds everywhere.

Load More Replies...
Greg Mingus
Community Member
1 month ago

Everyone I know stopped watching TV ages ago because of excessive commercials. One day they will sell that bandwidth for cellphones and tv will be gone and they did it to themselves.

Crochet lady
Community Member
1 month ago

My MIL, who is from NY, thought I was nuts for helping a woman in a parking lot once. We were on our way back to our car and we see a woman, all alone, trying to get a box with a large round patio table into her very small, trunk. It was never gonna fit. Well I offered to follow her home with the table, I had a minivan, otherwise she would have had to return the table. She seemed weirded out at first. We proceeded to follow her, handed over the table and she teared up and said she was new to the area and was starting her OB residency the next day and didn't know anyone, she was extremely grateful for the help and felt like moving wasn't such a bad idea after all. It didn't hurt me to help her and she really appreciated it. MIL has never stopped talking about how weird it was I would approach a stranger like that. I think that's sad.

Susan Widomski
Community Member
1 month ago

Good manners are everywhere. Thank goodness. As I age, it is more difficult to do the everyday things without some assistance. Thank you to every stranger that took the time and effort to lend a hand.

Max Thompson
Community Member
1 month ago

This happens in the uk, but not as much.

sylvanticx
Community Member
1 month ago

i love our pharmaceutical ads! so weird and entertaining, like who's gonna ask their doctor about a treatment? they probably already know!

Ja R
Community Member
1 month ago

no tv tax in the states commercials pay the overpaid actors and news readers

backatya
Community Member
1 month ago

If you don't like it go back to selfish England. I don't like commercials either but someone has to pay for the TV shows. I definitely don't like pharmaceutical commercials. That's greedy and unethical pushing pills by ads.

Triv
Community Member
1 month ago

The commercial lengths and cold beauty pageants get me, to, but what ever happened to chivalry?

Freya Fluharty
Community Member
1 month ago

My daughter (who has FMS) was asked directions by a young man on his birthday. Obvious learning difficulties. Even though she was in a LOT of pain, she took him around, chatted, bought him a birthday present and took him to his bus stop. Unfortunately she suffered greatly for her kindness the next few days.

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

Right there with you with pharmaceutical and all adds (although I think that all of the warning about the great drugs are kind of funny). Runaway capitalism and consumerism. I hate it

Jarrod Nichols
Community Member
1 month ago

Thank you for including something nice. Much appreciated.

Id row
Community Member
1 month ago

They're not commercials, they're mini infomercials and the whole reason DVR's became a thing. I haven't watched commercials in many years. I don't get why they advertise them anyway, it's not like we can just go and pick them up.

Sprockie Quinlan
Community Member
1 month ago

I managed to get completely lost on my own in Beijing - a lovely lady stopped to help me as she could see me sitting on the floor trying to figure out where I was on the map. She looked up where I needed to be on her chinese internet, then showed me so I could see which stops I needed to get to on the underground - without her help I'd probably still be there lol!

Susan Reid Smith
Community Member
1 month ago

When exploring the desert, of course we stop to help complete strangers. We accept help too.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Spray on cheese

Stew32 Report

Felicor Bongolan
Community Member
1 month ago

That's horrifying!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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!)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

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

itssteveninnit Report

Gillbella
Community Member
1 month ago

Vile stuff

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#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

View More Replies...
View more comments

Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.