When we're traveling abroad, we often get away with things locals simply wouldn't. "I'm just a tourist. I didn't know!" we say after we get caught for something we (knowingly) did wrong. But sometimes it's not enough.

So in an attempt to figure out when this seemingly ultimate excuse is worthless in the United States, Reddit user u/firebullmonkey made a post on the platform, asking: "People from the US, what's a no-go in American culture?" And their question was answered.

From dealing with authorities to tipping servers, here are some of the most popular answers!

#1

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Hating Keanu Reeves. Just don’t.

ronnimarie3 , Anna Hanks Report

Invisible Potato
Community Member
4 months ago

Noone hates Keanu...

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#2

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Do NOT get out of the car to greet the officer if you're pulled over by a cop!!! Stay in the car and let the officer come to you. If you need to reach for something like your license, tell the cop you are doing so before you do it.

Aceandmace , Michael Report

yeciye
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Land of the free.

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#3

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Unless it is a clear and DIRE emergency, you ask someone if they need an ambulance before you call for one. It’s the most expensive taxi you will ever take and it can ruin most people financially for years.

Scuzzball666 , Lalithmalhaar Gudi Report

Lys Chen
Community Member
4 months ago

The older I got the less I understood how americans survive in general..if your life is saved it is haunted by debt at the same time.

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#4

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Be careful not to trespass on private property, in a lot countries just walking through is fine but that can get you shot in the US.

CarelessResearcher56 , Parihav Report

Sarcastic Cow
Community Member
4 months ago

Folks, you are so obsessed by the land you stole...

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#5

When passing a funeral procession on the road you pull over and wait for them to pass out respect.

slick_shoes83 Report

Péter Rózsahegyi
Community Member
4 months ago

We don't have funeral processions on the streets (Hungary). Maybe in little villages. They usually begin at the gate of the cemetery then they go to the grave. I drive for almos 30 years but don't remember if I ever saw a funeral procession on the streets.

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#6

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Do NOT hitchhike. It is not safe here.

Aceandmace , Kamaji Ogino Report

Mike Ray
Community Member
4 months ago

Best hitchhiking joke: “Thanks for picking me up, but how do you know I’m not a serial killer?” reply... “What are the odds of two serial killers being in the same car?"

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#7

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Don't ask black people about their hair. I saw a german kid asking a black girl if he could pet her hair. Just don't.

AnneHathawaysPanties , Following NYC Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Off topic, the woman on the photo has a beautifully shaped mouth.

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#8

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Conversations about religion, politics, or other personal beliefs. It will most likely devolve into one person trying to convince another that their viewpoint is correct and that the listener is wrong.

milbfan , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

Walking On Sunshine
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah. DON'T DO IT.

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#9

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There In the South, being called 'hun' or 'honey' is a great compliment. Conversely, if they yell your name across the house you f**ked up bad.

Aelirynn , Andrea Piacquadio Report

William Teach
Community Member
4 months ago

Unless they say "oh, honey, bless your heart"

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#10

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Never cut in line. I saw that a lot in Europe. Here, you might get shizzled.

Livid-Spring-5454 , Adrien Delforge Report

Iris
Community Member
4 months ago

yeah also don't cut in line in Western Europe.. not sure where this person has been in Europe that they saw people cut in line

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#11

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There A hug or a one of the cheek touch greetings are a big no no. Physical touch is VERY personal to us Americans. If you introduce yourself like that, especially to a man, you might get laid out. Shake hands or nod an acknowledgment and say hello.

FunkyFresh33465 , Municipalidad de Miraflores Report

lovemy suffolk
Community Member
4 months ago

This is true!! Americans take personal space very seriously. Don't touch people without their permission

Buren
Community Member
4 months ago

Don't do that anywhere

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Troux
Community Member
4 months ago

This is regional. Cheek kisses are quite common in the US South, but most typical from older women.

Marilyn leger
Community Member
4 months ago

cheek kisses or air kisses?

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William Teach
Community Member
4 months ago

Well, touching during the age of COVID is rather a big no no, too

bee_
Community Member
4 months ago

It depends on the person who does it. I'm good with greeting hugs from family and friends, but strangers? Absolutely not.

julie son
Community Member
4 months ago

People don't shake hands either! I had a very hard time for years after moving to North America, because the rules of behavior back home said you shake hands when you meet somebody, and I kept reaching out, only to have people looking at me hesitantly, and mostly not returning the gesture. I also still find it rude that there seems to be no equivalent of "bon appetite" here. You have a meal with friends or family, and nobody says anything before eating, everybody just digs in. (Ok, if you are at a restaurant, the server will say "enjoy your meal", but not in any other settings.)

Terry Tobias
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm sorry you've had such an unfriendly experience here! I grew up in a family of huggers and I shake hands with people I meet, at least I did pre-Covid. You can tell alot about a person by how they shake hands. I personally think the people you're describing sound kind of cold.

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
4 months ago

Ummm.... ask first. "Can I hug you". Nod, only extend a hand if they do, and forget the kiss-kiss thing. My mom's famiy does that last one, and my dad's is "typical US", so I grew up with both sets of rules, and Canadian too! Whee!

Nicki Knoll
Community Member
4 months ago

This depends on where you live. When I moved from California to New York (Manhattan), I had quickly get used to people giving me a one cheek kiss upon introduction. It is not bad once you get used to it 😊😘

Fabian Meresse
Community Member
4 months ago

Anyway'', because of pandemic, we don't even shake hands anymore...hadn't kissed my mom for nearly two years. So sad

Jeanne Dukes
Community Member
4 months ago

What's sad is that you fear death more than you love your mother. God numbers the hairs on your head. Death is inevitable. Rather than living your life in fear of that inevitable day, live your life with your chin up, knowing that any day could be your last. Live each day to your fullest. Hug and kiss whom you wish.

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Lovin' Life
Community Member
4 months ago

Where I am from, in the boonies and back in the sticks, we hug!!! Not so much the kissing.

gooberpeas
Community Member
4 months ago

If it's obvious that you are visiting from another country you won't get "laid out". It might be a bit awkward but you'll find Americans very accepting of your custom.

Donkey boi
Community Member
4 months ago

Where I grew up, If I know you, you get a kiss on the cheek when we meet and again when we depart. Standard etiquette. When I moved to the UK it changed to hugging.

ADHD
Community Member
3 months ago

actually im pretty sure the Americans are the mad ones who go in for a hug lol

Wednesday
Community Member
3 months ago

Many people will accept that once you get to know them. Men are uptight here...

GramDB
Community Member
3 months ago

No hand shaking!

mamafrog
Community Member
4 months ago

And you might get really hurt if you try that on some women...

Riley Quinn
Community Member
4 months ago

Theater folx are the only ones who can get away with this contact. I won't even shake hands. I'll nod or slightly bow my head in greeting, but no physical contact.

Mickie Shea
Community Member
4 months ago

However, if we know each other and are both into hugging, maybe cheeking, then we will. Heck you could have cooties, I mean AIDS, no I mean Covid.

Evelyn Haskins
Community Member
4 months ago

Yuk!!!

Evelyn Haskins
Community Member
4 months ago

It is a very European thing to do. :-( I hate it! I consider it very LOW class :-( Don't ever try to rub you cosmetic laden skin against a nice clean Asperger's skin!!

Jane Petersen
Community Member
4 months ago

A step past arm's length, please.

Laura Cottone
Community Member
4 months ago

Not true. I will happily give most people a hug. Now If I get bad vibes from you or you smell then no.

Jeanne Dukes
Community Member
4 months ago

Bullshit. It is not true. Americans are always hugging and giving a peck on the cheek. It's a normal greeting and it's done every day. Unless it's a snowflake. They are offended if you even occupy the same state as them. Ignore those people.

Phil Potter
Community Member
4 months ago

And yet the men love patting other men on the ass....

Terry Tobias
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm American but for me it depends on who's doing the greeting. Shaking hands is normal to me but I wouldn't mind a cheek-touch with the right person. However, with some others a smile and head-nod is sufficient.

Jennifer Dzieło
Community Member
4 months ago

good

Lyn Peverill
Community Member
4 months ago

Do not pat us Aussies on the shoulder either, even though a American teacher was telling a class we do not mind. WRONG

Lady of the Mountains
Community Member
4 months ago

oh yeah, I will greet very close friends with hugs, but kisses are a no-no.

Frankenfrog
Community Member
4 months ago

I don't think people on the west coast got that memo

Mike Loux
Community Member
4 months ago

That being said, once we get to know you...you might get hugged every time we see you from then on. Depends on the people, but...yeah.

Isak Nygren
Community Member
4 months ago

This is the same for everyone outside Southern Europe.

Kai David
Community Member
4 months ago

Yet Americans invade each others space all the time, ie creepers, karens and kevins, rude people, friends and family.

Becky Graybeal
Community Member
4 months ago

This American has always loved being touchy-feely. Until March 2020. Now I just can't. Sadly.

pelemele
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

I hate systematic kisses with strangers (men or women, between one and two on each cheek... so at worst, four in total, it depends on habits) now I reach out at the risk of coming across as rude or cold.

Douglas Mock
Community Member
4 months ago

I once brushed past a Little Napoleon in a supermarket who called the police because I took the last Southwest Salad...

Memere
Community Member
4 months ago

First time meeting - no hugs or cheek touches, nope nope nope. I'm not gonna hit anyone for trying, but I will step back quickly, & they will get pushed away if necessary.

Black Karen
Community Member
4 months ago

Not in states with high hispanic/latino population. Greeting con un besito is normal. This list is so steroetypical. No ody is going to "lay you out" for hugging or touching.

13
Community Member
4 months ago

Holy s**t if there's any nationality totally OBSESSED with hugging strangers it's Americans. This is bullshit. Two men giving eachother a peck on the cheek as a greeting maybe but that just makes the entire country seem homophobic.

Poultry Geist
Community Member
4 months ago

I would never lay anyone out ! I don’t mind a hug from a stranger in certain circumstances!

Radek Suski
Community Member
4 months ago

I love it

Shadowfall The Explorer
Community Member
4 months ago

As a American I agree

Centu Rionick
Community Member
4 months ago

in the Netherlands, you hug and do the 3 kisses thing with family/friends/acquintances. If you have just met or during business meetings, you don't. (pre covid)

Bettie-Jean Neal
Community Member
4 months ago

Do not ever touch me or you will get my fist in your throat.

Dave Smith
Community Member
4 months ago

Might get laid out, Americans such badasses unless your face to face then surprisingly they're not.

lovemy suffolk
Community Member
4 months ago

That's a lot of people to make generalizations about.

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Bella10
Community Member
4 months ago

This is so sad.

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

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Introductions and an immediate kiss hug????. Nobody does that. Not anywhere. Never. Nope.

Gandalf the Pink
Community Member
4 months ago

Are you kidding me? Quick kisses to the side of the cheek is common in many European countries. In Scandinavia hugging is suuper common even with friends of friends you meet the first time. Just don't _stand_ too close.

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#12

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Picking up after yourself. Cleaning your table off at a fast food restaurant is the one that comes to mind. My personal stance on it is if they brought the food to your table then they clear it, if you brought the food to your own table you clear it and yet people still leave mountains of trash when they leave. This also applies to litter and not cleaning up after dog poop and such. Just clean up your own messes or you’ll get a lot of dirty looks.

Lurking_Goose , Spotted: Colchester Report

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
4 months ago

shouldn't that be a no-go in every culture?

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#13

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Americans may be friendly in passing, but that doesn't mean we want to take you home and be best friends. We tend to be called fake a lot, we make an effort to be nice (especially while working at customer service jobs)....but many don't have time, or money, to devote to friendships.

So if you press too much you might get blanked/ghosted over time.

ChineseChaiTea , Alexander Suhorucov Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Do people visiting the USA "press" too much? Maybe we want to kiss and hug you guys ;)

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#14

Don’t ever dress up as a clown at 2am and try to scare people in a parking lot, sidewalk, neighborhood etc…. You will get shot or worse! And just Don’t dress up as a clown anywhere, ever! Not funny!

Subject-Craft5870 Report

Lothriel
Community Member
4 months ago

What's worse that being shot?

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#15

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There When someone asks you how you are the answer is "good", "great" or any variation thereof. It doesn't matter if your husband just left you, your dog died and you have been diagnosed with cancer, nobody wants to actually know how you are. If you expect to die in the next couple of days you can say something like "hanging in there". If you slip up and say something like "not too great" quickly catch yourself and add "but it's getting better" so that the questioner can reply with something positive like "glad to hear that" and move on. The whole exchange is just an elaborate way of saying "Hi". In other countries people ask this to find out how someone is doing and the person answering is giving an assessment of how they are. If they don't want to know they don't ask. It's often meant as the opening to a longer conversation. Not so in America.

heidschibumbeidschi , Zen Chung Report

Karen Cooper
Community Member
4 months ago

In the UK the standard answer is "Fine" no matter what.

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#16

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Don't use any bad words, because some that are used casually in other countries are unforgivable insults here - fighting words that will make you an enemy for life.

EnigmaWithAlien , Pavel Danilyuk Report

lovemy suffolk
Community Member
4 months ago

I've learned from reading BP that the c**t word in Australia is not a big deal. In the US, that word is way worse than saying F**k or calling someone a B***h.

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#17

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Talking about your salary. Talking about someone’s weight. Driving too slow in the left hand lane. Not tipping. In Chicago, putting ketchup on a hot dog.

n00bcak3 , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

Elliot Fowler
Community Member
4 months ago

I talk about my salary because it finally became clear to me that ít is a way for corporations to underpay employees since most don't know how much their colleagues actually makes.

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#18

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Reusing the same plate when you go up for a second round at the buffet. You've got to get a new one.

whoa_nelleus , Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Report

Bernd Herbert
Community Member
4 months ago

Really? Why?

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#19

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Don’t call someone’s house “Homely” in America. Out here it’s an insult.

Satires_ , Tatiana Report

Lance d'Boyle
Community Member
4 months ago

Homely means drab and unattractive: homey means cosy and comfortable: homie is a friend, usually from where you grew up.

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#20

Well when you live in the stix, you wave at people while driving on the back road (usually one or two finger wave) or they think you’re from the city/up to no good

Firefly_Cait Report

Shadowfall The Explorer
Community Member
4 months ago

Unless your both driving a Jeep then it is expected to wave.. it's a Jeep thing.

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#21

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Americans like personal space. Leave room between you and the person you're speaking to or lining up behind.

Catinthemirror , Barry Dale Gilfry Report

JD
Community Member
4 months ago

You wouldn't think that going on some of the American visitors in the UK

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#22

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Politics...... don't ever EVER bring up Politics

lokis_dad , Michael Candelori Report

Trillian
Community Member
4 months ago

Sooo I shouldn't put stickers on my bumper or signs on my lawn or wear politician-themed merch? Hmmm ok. No one here does that anyway.

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#23

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Sleeping during your lunch break. Alcohol at your desk or during lunch (besides work parties). Being touchy (as in hugging people, touching their arms, etc).

Ironically, I've done all of these, but my point is don't do them unless you know your company's culture and the people around you, else you may get a warning from management or HR.

huokun9 , Marcus Aurelius Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
4 months ago

Alcohol at your desk seems like it would be a bad idea everywhere though?

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#24

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Putting cash or cards on the counter, instead of handing them to the staff, is often considered rude in America but polite in other places. Especially throwing them down on the counter - super rude.

DrWolfCastle , The African Union Mission in Somalia Report

lovemy suffolk
Community Member
4 months ago

Throwing anything at anyone is super rude. Wherever you are, IMO

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#25

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Many Americans aren't afraid of confrontation. A lot of them will be nice as a formality, just to get to know you and be a good neighbor but they won't shy away from talking s**t if it comes down to it.

hisnameis_ERENYEAGER , Keira Burton Report

Candy corn
Community Member
4 months ago

lol not this american

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#26

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Might be a NYC thing MIND YOUR BUSINESS AND WHAT EVER YOU DO DONT STARE. Unless you want the " waddaya lookin at? mind ya f**king business!"

superway123 , Mikail Duran Report

lovemy suffolk
Community Member
4 months ago

This is true. Don't stare! Very rude. No matter what the person is wearing or looks like.

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#27

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There Walking on the left side of a hallway or passage instead of the right side.

badonkaz , Armin Rimoldi Report

Twodogsandapicnictable
Community Member
4 months ago

You mean like traffic? Is everywhere else one big mosh pit the second you get out of your car?

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#28

30 No-Gos In American Culture According To The People Who Live There In the elevator with multiple people, everyone faces the door and doesn't talk to anyone. It's an awkward silence, especially if you're a big guy around smaller women. the worst thing you could do is ask your elevator-mates how their day is

anonymous , WNYC New York Public Radio Report

Chucky Cheezburger
Community Member
4 months ago

And don't bust out a fart unless you're evil...

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#29

Learning accurate history about our nation and others, apparently.

Elvirth Report

Thiamat Thiamat
Community Member
4 months ago

I'm sure about all americans will do so prior to visit countries in Europe ...

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#30

In Alaska, you’re better off to assume that every local has no sense of humor. They’re still friendly but none of us ever smile or laugh.

DiscountCthulhu Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
4 months ago

Sounds like fun /s

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