Weird American Quirks As Seen By A French Person (21 PICS + 13 GIFS)

Posted in INTERESTING       12 Nov 2020       4173       29 GALLERY VIEW

Hi! I'm Marie. I'm French — but I spent eight years living in the US.

During that time, I noticed a few funny American quirks. Here are some of them.

Asking "how are you?" when you just mean "hello" and don't want to know how the person is.

"If you don't actually wanna hear about my latest insomnia or the state of my mental health, just say "hello" and don't ask me how I am."


Unadjustable shower heads.

"How do you clean your butt with these things??


Being carded when you're old enough to be an AARP member.

"I have grey hair, a bad knee, and I need reading glasses, I shouldn't need to show my ID to get some booze or a pack of cigarettes."


Being able to buy prescription drugs, a pack of beer, cigarettes, and candies all from a pharmacy??

"Your pharmacies are sending mixed messages is what I'm saying."


Serving water iced no matter the weather or the season.

"This is a nightmare for anyone with sensitive teeth. Besides, who needs water this cold in the middle of winter?"


Izismile Videos

Waiters constantly checking in on you at the restaurant...

"If something is wrong, I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'd love to have a whole meal and conversation without being interrupted every five minutes."


...and refilling your glass every few minutes.

"I feel like this is just another excuse to come check on people during their meal to increase chances of getting a good tip. Can't we all agree to fill our own glasses and leave, at minimum, a 20% tip anyway?"


The concerning amount of flags.

"Outside buildings, on the street, outside houses... are you afraid we're going to suddenly forget what country we're in??"


Having to share a room with someone in college.

"French students would probably go on strike if they were asked to live in a dorm and share a tiny room with a rando for a year. But I guess it's a rite of passage and a good way not to feel too lonely once you leave home."


The insane amount of commercial breaks on TV.

"Ten minutes of ads for a 20-minute show is just too much!"



Having to tip everywhere.

"All the rules around tipping are confusing and annoying. How about you start paying everyone in the service industry a decent wage instead?"


All the dances in high school.

"Fair warning: My vision of American high schools is mostly based on movies and TV shows. Going from those, it seems like you have at least two formals a year. I'm actually very jealous of this as we don't even have a single one all throughout high school in France. How is that fair??"


Being able to vote at 18 but not being allowed to drink.

"Call me crazy but if you're old enough to pick the next President, you're old enough to legally enjoy a beer or two."


The size of your cars.

"I know the US is a big country, with big roads, and big cities, but do you really need cars *this* big?"


And the size of your highways are too.

"I guess with big cars come big highways."



The massive portions at restaurants.

"Cut that in half and you get a French plate."


The huge gaps around the doors in public bathroom stalls.

"On the plus side, you always know if it's occupied or not."


The overuse of air conditioning.

"I too love AC in the summer. But do we really need to turn every store and subway car into a refrigerator?"


The HUGE glasses of wine.

"Your wine glasses almost look like fish bowls and if you go to a bar where they use smaller glasses, they just fill them to the brim. Not that I'm complaining. More wine is always a good thing in my book, especially nowadays."


Prices being listed before tax.

"I just want to know exactly how much something cost before choosing it. Is that too much to ask?"



All the subway and highway ads for lawyers and doctors.

"I miss Doctor Zizmor. (But also, please don't pick your lawyer or doctor from a subway ad.)"


Writing dates MM/DD/YYYY instead of DD/MM/YYYY.

"That's confusing in so many ways."


Calling this crime against cheese "mozzarella".

"Honestly, this is reason enough for Italy to declare a war on the US."


Not using the metric system.

"Almost every single country on earth uses the metric system, get on it!"


And using Fahrenheit instead of Celsius degrees.

"You know what makes sense? A unit of temperature where 0° means freezing and 100° means boiling. Such a unit exists, it's called Celsius and it's used by most countries in the world. You should give it a try."



Selling everything in tons of different flavors.

"Torture for any Libra."


Putting rugs in kitchens.

"I can already picture the mad emails I'm going to get for this one, but rugs and floor mats have nothing to do in a kitchen! It looks good in pictures but it's gross and inconvenient IRL."


The fact that all your bank notes look almost the same.

"Don't tell me you've never been drunk at a bar and given out a twenty instead of a single. I know I have."


The obsession with flavored lattes and frapps.

"Can't we show a little respect for coffee??"


Laws changing from state to state.

"I know that's the whole idea behind federalism but it can get pretty confusing."



Easy Cheese.

"This isn't just weird, it's straight up wrong."


People going food shopping in their PJs.

"I have seen this in the wild several times and I'm actually into it! Who said you shouldn't wear pajamas at the store? The world is going to [email protected]#t, so anyone should just wear whatever makes them feel comfy and cozy at all times."


Calling a North American competition the "World Series".

"This just in: The world is bigger than just the US and Canada."


And calling this "French bread".

"This is an even bigger affront to French culture than Emily in Paris."



Salmon 8 month s ago
I actually agree with the dorm room thing (#9). Forcing strangers right out of high school to live in a 12 x 15 room is terrible.

I've always wondered why college sports teams don't have private room dorms and use that as a selling point to recruits.
Mira 8 month s ago
Thank you for returning to France.
Onnie 8 month s ago
Feel the love...
Stuart 8 month s ago
apparently muricans don't like to be criticised...
Lucinda 8 month s ago

Too true. The recent Presidential election proves that many of us are wimps.
Roberta 8 month s ago
meh true but they also love their country at the same time. How's Paris been lately? burning down yet? or over run with men outside and women hiding at home?
Lucy 8 month s ago
I'm Belgian. Been to the US 50 + times and totaly agree. Especially the tips. Why can't you pay the people a reasonable wage? Why can't you just put the correct price, on say, a t-shirt. And that Fahrenheit an inches-thing, Come on.
Anyway, I'm pensioned now but I'll come back. Love you guys.
Mae 8 month s ago
Lucy, working for tips makes you work harder
i'd rather have a nice and polite waitress who is trying her best to get a tip for her service than a rude french waiter who's being paid the going rate and doesnt care on way or the other if you're enjoying your meal

and yes, i've run into rude waiters in Paris over in the Latin Quarter
Lucy 8 month s ago

Well, you took the right place I must say. Never go to eat in the Latin Quarter. It's a tourist trap. Never go to eat in the 'rue des bouchers' in Brussels either. And yes, they are rude in those places (Parisians in general look down on other people :-) ). I (Dutch-speakingBelgian ) speak fluently French, except in Paris, then I speak English, it makes them uncertain.
But on the other hand, you know before you enter exactly what you will be paying. I'm still against your tipping system.
Crate 8 month s ago
i disagree that tips make you work harder. if you are paid 2$ an hour and you *have* to get tips to make a living wage it's insane and stressful.
if the waiter is rude then the restaurant will suffer bad rating/rep and this person is more than likely to lose their job. being decent and polite is a minimun requirement.
Madge 8 month s ago
Mae, so you're saying that all customer service type jobs should be paid via tips? You really are a useful idiot for the restauranteurs that love perpetuating this myth as an excuse to pay lousy wages sm_80

Jennifer, well in all fairness, there have been numerous posts along these lines in reference to other countries. I recall a number of ones about Russia for example.
Lucinda 8 month s ago
"This is an even bigger affront to French culture than Emily in Paris."

I laughed too hard at this. Well done, Marie, well done. heart
Edmund 8 month s ago
#32. 'The world is going to .... ' where the [email protected]#k is that ?
Nat 8 month s ago
Listen Frenchie Customs in France are weird to all of us, yet I am not complaining. We drive big cars to feed our big egos and enjoy big meals because we can! And American coffee doesn’t pretend to be European at all. Air conditioning I recall a number of people that died during a heat wave in France. We like to keep cool and smell nice, oh yeah that reminds me American girls shave their legs, bikini area, and arm pits. For one, they look way hotter and smell nicer in the summer.

Baseball is the American past time and for crying out loud you guys would loose to us if you even tried. Hence the World Series in North America.

Celsius vs Fahrenheit. In cold weather I will agree with you, but think about it what sounds better in summer 30 degrees Celsius or 86 Fahrenheit. And cars way cooler that can go from 0-60 than 0-100. We drive big muscle cars and use the Imperial system because we can. When I think of metric I think of Canada. So boring. Didn’t the Imperial system originate in the UK?

Oh and don’t rip on the multi varieties of Oreo cookies because you Frenchies are jealous you have maybe just plain Oreos. Variety is the spice of life.

One last thing when in America do like the Americans. Life is much happier.
Trudy 8 month s ago

There should only be two Oreo flavors: original and vanilla.
Julie 8 month s ago
Your countrymen did not complain about the American flags when they were on tanks that freed your miserable country of cowardly cheese-eating men and hairy legged and smelly women, did they? The French are the most arrogant people with the least to be arrogant about.
Virgy 8 month s ago
Butthurt with no sense of humour


Americans don't have a sense of humor about themselves. They only laugh at others.
Jennifer 8 month s ago
Here's another racist post by izismile,
You never see izismile post anything like this about any another country.
"Why do you point that high power of perception at yourself or are you to afraid" Hannibal Lector.
Tony 8 month s ago
Not true ! dance3 dance3 dance3 dance3
Mae 8 month s ago
#8 its called "patriotism" and love of country
i know, you're french so the only flag you people know is a white flag
Roberta 8 month s ago
huh these are annoyances at best. changing laws per state? how about changing languages? Europe sucked before you all started using a single currency.
And America is caught up on the metric system. you just dont pay attention that we use both and not just one, not the other.
Pandora 8 month s ago
Wow she seems pleasant. I would love to have a conversation with her... NOT
Trudy 8 month s ago
33. The team that wins the World Series is actually the best baseball team in the world.
Left 8 month s ago
Hi Marie,
for shure many, many germans see and feel that exactly like you good
Ein Hoch auf die Deutsch/Französische Freundschaft drinks

Vive la France, allez les bleus heart
Sandra 8 month s ago
Bien mon ami ! Merci bocure
Winny 8 month s ago
#1 false we say "ça va ?" in french
Jody 8 month s ago
Comment ca va? = How do you do?
But, yes, we should start a war for naming that piece of sh#t French bread.
Manny 8 month s ago
question to the french why did the pedofile movie cuties not cause uproar in france?what is wrong with you guys promoting this bs
Epsey 8 month s ago
The French never like anything American until the Germans are marching into Paris.



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