It’s no secret that the most powerful country in the world often stands out from the rest. And if there’s one thing we can all agree on, people seem obsessed with sharing deeply held beliefs about the nation. Whether it's hilarious memes that poke fun at the country or things America is doing right, opinions about the US are split. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility, so why don’t we let the citizens themselves speak their minds for a change?
Well, Redditor Tell_me_why- did precisely that when they reached out to the Ask Reddit community: "Americans, what is the rest of the world not ready to hear?" The post immediately became a hit. Thousands of users wasted no time typing out the quirky things that people from other countries are unaware of, and sharing some hard truths along the way.
To get to the bottom of this question, we’ve gone through the thread and picked out some of the most surprising and thought-provoking responses to share with you all. Continue scrolling to read through these answers, then upvote the posts you agree with and be sure to share your own takes with us below in the comments!
#1The dumbest Americans often speak the loudest.
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#2The only reason "Florida Man" exists is because of Florida's laws about the accessibility of crime documentation, which makes it a goldmine for tabloid journalism.
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#3Most New Yorkers aren't psychopaths
All of us are
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#4I went to Italy and there was a restaurant selling "American pizza" which was pizza with french fries hot dogs and more ranch than pizza. He said it's authentic American pizza and it's how everyone eats pizza over there. I told him I'm from America and I've never once seen anyone eat that... He told me i was wrong and it's how all Americas eat pizza
Y'all are crazy too
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#5That someone personally spent over $400 million on a replica of Noah’s ark in Kentucky. Like actually. I’m not even kidding. It’s several football fields long.
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#6Despite there being an obesity epidemic, there are many MANY children who are hungry. Unfortunately, the foster care system is a worse outcome sometimes. We have many, many hungry children.
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#7Twitter/Reddit are probably the worst representation of american culture possible. Life outside these two platforms are completely different no matter what way you spin it. Reason being, extremist opinions are the ones that get the most fake internet points, so thats all you will ever see.
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#8Children are not your retirement fund
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#9The use of the Metric system is way more prevalent than you think.
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#10We aren't uncultured because we don't travel, it's just that our states are the size of your countries. I can drive 8 hours in my state, and still be in my state.and then you have Texas
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#11Europe has a racism problem as well. I moved from America to Europe and yall jump through so many hoops to pretend that America is the only place with racism despite how blaringly blatant it is in Europe.
Edit: obviously I know Europe is not a singular country, I just did not feel like listing all the European countries I've lived in or traveled too.
Editedit: If yall really wanna focus more on the fact that I said Europe instead of listing every country I've ever been to than on the racism thing then you're really just proving my point.
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#12America is not as exclusive and xenophobic as you might think. Nearly anyone of any origin can come here and be considered American. Whereas if you visit a lot of other countries no matter how much you know about or appreciate their culture, or how long you have lived there, they will never consider you one of them.
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#13America isn’t the best by far, but as an African American I know the racism in other big countries is way more overt, I’ve experienced it and sadly realized America is one of the few places I can live in somewhat peace
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#1480% percent of all Americans don’t have $500 in their savings account
#15M*A*S*H is better without the laugh track.
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#16America is more welcoming than most other countries.
For example, I've been living in Korea for almost three years. I could speak the language perfectly, interact with the community, learn the customs and traditions, and yet I still wouldn't be considered Korean, or even be looked at as a Korean citizen. I wouldn't belong, because I don't look Korean.
But in the U.S, you can be from pretty much anywhere and be accepted as an American. You might look African, Asian, European, but you would be considered American. And you would belong. And it's awesome.
The U.S is one of the most welcoming places in the world.
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#17America isn't actually that bad, it's just the news
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#18Many Americans don't have passports because the US is so big and diverse that you don't have to leave the country.
Edit: I meant geographically diverse, with mountains, deserts, skiing, nice beaches, major cities, etc... Obviously for real cultural diversity, you'd need to leave the states, although there is the argument for regional diversity across the US.
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#19A lot of the world may know the origin story of America. At its core, it began as an experiment in decentralization of authority with the goal that there would be no overarching ruler deciding what you can and can't do. That's why the concept of states' rights exist.
What the world may not know is how extreme that concept has become over the last 50 or so years. At this time, it's more apt to say that your employer's HR policybook has far more say over your life than any law, be it local, state, or federal. Things have become so skewed in favor of "job creators" that depending on who you work for, you could be free as in freedom, or you could be no better off than an indentured servant. Think about what other countries' governments give their citizens as a right of citizenship: health care, higher education, comped maternity leave, childcare subsidies, guaranteed minimum time off, adequate public transit, just to name a few. Think about what the US government doesn't offer: all of the above, and more. But there are some corporations who do offer equivalents to those: health insurance, tuition reimbursement, per-employer maternity leave policy (which is typically not very generous), and lately some have been extending perks like unlimited vacation (still subject to your manager's approval), transit pass reimbursement, or private shuttles.
The truth is our government really is only good at two things, and that's incarcerating people and findng money to build weapons with. Everything else, they delegate to "job creators". That's why there's such a huge obsession with job creators here - they're the only way most will experience even a fraction of the amenities that other nations' citizens take for granted.
It's a double-edged sword though. Many states are "at-will" states - meaning your employer can fire you for any reason at any time, including no reason. That, combined with everything I described above, means that most people live under the fear of losing their job. Because if you lose your job in America, you have nothing. Employers have taken this position of power and leveraged it to have near-complete control over the day-to-day operations of society, and to government, to an almost equal extent. Labor has little power over their lives and their country.
America isn't a dictatorship. It's a nation of a hundred thousand micro-dictatorships, each presiding over everyone on their payroll.
EDIT: made wording less unjivey
#20The government is not an accurate reflection of the people. The vast majority of Americans are moderates who have views all over the spectrum depending on the topic.
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#21Most of us are just normal folks, trying to get by - it's just 10% at each end of the political spectrum that are dingbats, but they get all the media coverage and give the rest of us a bad name.
#22More Americans would travel if they could. There is criticism of Americans not being curious of other cultures. Some of that is valid, but travel isn't easily within people's means in the US. With no mandated vacation time and crippling low wages, having the time and money to travel to other countries isn't realistic for most Americans.
#23Most people in the US do NOT have guns. The reason for the "There are 400,000,000 guns in the US" is because guns are counted when they are sold, but they are not counted when they are destroyed, broken or disposed of (legally or illegally) so when you have a number that only goes up, guess what. It gets really big. It's also possible guns are double counted when one owner sells a gun to another person. Also, most gun owners own more than one gun, so you can't just divide the number of guns by the number of people because you have that one guy with 20 guns.
So, when you come to visit, relax. There aren't cowboys and gangbangers on every street corner.
#24Racism is not just an American problem.
I’ve heard so many Europeans say that only in America do people of color experience discrimination, and that in Europe everyone lives in total peace and harmony and no one “sees color.” Complete BS.
#25Americans are not the only annoying tourists in the world. We can be bad sure, but I have met PLENTY of [jerks] from all sorts of countries visiting.
Sometimes reading through Reddit you get the sense that the only people in the world with bad travel manners are Americans.
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#26Henry Winkler gets even cooler after happy days.
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#27We have more cities than New York, LA, and Miami. It's not just these 3 places and the rest is flyover country.
Also, our country is HUGE. The bigger states, like mine (PA), you can drive for 6 hours in one direction and still be in the same state. I remember my family had to tell an English couple that was going to be in Erie for a week or two that we wouldn't be able to meet them for tea since we're on the opposite side of the state.
That goes for flights, too; you won't be able to visit New York, LA, and Miami all in one or two weeks.
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#28Everyone likes to harp on our past of slavery but we didn't invent, nor were we the biggest ones to do it. If we cast a light upon other countries past they would look bad also. Humans in general are incredibly sh*tty throughout time.
#29Y’all arent as smart as you think. Dont get me wrong, we are morons. But stupidity is a human trait, not just an American one.
#30Mexican American here. Yes. This is still the land of opportunity.
#31Many of y’all are just as f****d up, we’re just louder
#32we have no control over most of the things you make fun of us for, you’re just being d***s mocking us for it
#33American food isn’t just burgers and fries. It’s Americanized versions of all the cultures that immigrated here. Like hard shell tacos, ny and Chicago pizza etc.
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#34The United States of America is a collection of 50 united states that all have distinct semi-autonomous governments and economies, as well as distinct histories, ethnic, racial and religious makeups, climates and topographies, and cultures. Each of these states is itself divided into regions, parishes, counties and districts of its own. The fact that we’re not only still a unionized, functioning country at all, but the most powerful/influential, richest, and currently the 17th-best-quality-of-life country in the world, means you could probably stand to stop judging us every once in a while. Like, sorry we’re not one tiny population of one ethnicity of people who have been living in the same land for hundreds if not thousands of years while practicing pretty much the same religion/culture. If you’ve met one American…you’ve met one American.
America is always trying to come to grips with its racism, but it's actually one of the least racist countries I've lived in (and I've lived in many).
The countries with the worst racism are the counties that never talk about their racism.
#36When all you do to get a good idea of what America is like is scroll through Reddit or Twitter, you’re not. You’re just making yourself look like a dumbass
#37We're really f*****g nice. If you're here, you're one of us. For example, I'm sure you heard about Russians here getting harassed after the war popped off. But for every person that was acting like a fool, there are 100 others asking them "Are you ok? Is your family ok? I'm glad you're here and not getting sent to war." In general we want good things for people.
#38California is the 5th largest economy in the world.
#39McDonald’s is not the only building in America
#40America isnt the only country with problems
#41when we ask for ice they give us a full cup
#42Not all Americans have money
Edit: most don't
#43We are not a monolith. The difference in culture between states, even COUNTIES or TOWNS can be massive. Making a generalized statement about “Americans” is really just disingenuous
#4427 US states are actually farther north than the southernmost point of Canada
#45We have a buttload of fresh water. When the climate crisis is in full impact we will still have usable water in the country.
ETA: I said in the country, not that the entire country will have usable water. The Great Lakes are one of the largest fresh water systems in the world. And if you are worried about pollution here, you clearly haven't been to much of the rest of the world.
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#46Reddit is an awful representation of America. It's an awful representation of reality in general but awful representation of America as well.
#47Twitter is a very small community where just 10% of users make up 80% of the content.
#48America has problems yes, but I feel people use our problems to make use seem like we are the worst place to live in when other countries have it way worse.
#49Americans generally disagree with alot our government does especially in other countries and we would love to just focus on the U.S. for once.
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#50Europe has plenty of its own issues with racism.
Everywhere else does too, but I'm focusing on Europe because I find they often act as if racism is a uniquely American thing that they can't comprehend
#51For all the s**t we take, much of the world's stability and security depends heavily on the US's massive military budget.
#52Your people are just as stupid as our people. The only difference is media control.
#53You'd rather have us as the world police than China
#54Most Americans, be they liberal or conservative, are not nearly as hateful as you might assume from reading Reddit posts or watching American news programs.
#55kfc will have a new seasoning on the chicken sandwiches
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#56There's an awful lot of people who describe Americans as dumb or uncultured, and seem to be completely unaware of the sheer quantity of American tech and cultural exports they consume on a daily basis. What they don't seem to get is that American culture has become so dominant and ubiquitous, that it's just assumed to be the "standard".
It's especially amusing when these criticisms of Americans as "dumb" are written in the comment sections of websites founded and based in the US like reddit or YouTube.
#57If we stopped interfering in foreign affairs and pulled all our tax dollars away from foreign funding, many countries would fall.
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#58Im not American but was raised there for most of my life. Its honestly one of the best places to live, its clean and has so many different places to visit, perfect weather and beautiful nature. The school system wasn't bad either I learned more stuff there than my home country which has great education as well. I don't understand why other people try to convince themselves that the US is bad. Sure i didn't live in a very big city but i still visited alot and they were fine aswell. The only thing that isn't good is the health care system but if u have insurance you'll be fine.
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#59We do **stupid**s**t. But thankfully we don't think shark fins will make our d***s bigger.
#60We make good cheese.
We make good beer.
We make good wine.
We make good chocolate.
If you come to the U.S. and can't find good cheese, beer, wine, or chocolate; that's definitely a *you* problem.
#61Many European countries are as racist if not more racist than the US. One example is your treatment of the Romani.
Don't make fun of our sh*tty health care system since you get to spend less on your military because we cover the lion cost of NATO.
It's not funny to make fun of school shootings. I know our children being [unalived] is hilarious but f**k off.
#62Fahrenheit is a good temperature system for measuring temperature's effect on humans.
#63Can’t blame all the world’s problems on us.
#64Chinese tourists are worse.
#65A large majority don't care about covid, gun violence or racism, which are still major problems in the US. Everyone is just concerned about their own happiness and making it through the day.
#66It's likely the US will not ride to the rescue for the next international crisis. The world has relentlessly criticized us for every international effort - justly in many cases; unjustly in many others. Yet the world always pleads with us to save this third world [butt]hole or Europe or Asia - and criticizes again when we do.
In truth it is our own damn fault. But now Americans in general are tired of our government gaslighting us into wars and overseas spending just so our politicians pad their pocketbooks and look good in Paris and London parties. Furthermore, our economy and military is on the wane. So even if we want to, it may not be an option. Suck up to China and Russia or hope Europe cuts back on its social welfare and starts doing the heavy lifting in their own defense.
#67Dear French people, yes blackface is racist. Yes, you can do blackface as a French person, it is not uniquely an “American problem”.
#68A lot of people bring up that we spend so much on defense, but don't realize we also defend a lot of other countries on top of our own.
#69People immigrate here for a reason
#70The US is probably not even top 10 or 20 for racism.
#71America’s absurdly large military budget is indirectly allowing many, many countries to neglect theirs and allowing them to spend a great deal on other things. You know, the things people from those countries “just can’t believe Americans don’t have”….
#72A lot of us find it annoying to hear countries older than us who don't have their s**t all the way figured out telling us how we should do things.
#73America really isn’t that “third world country in a Gucci belt” you think it is. Sure, we have our issues but it is a great privilege to live here. Those born in America or have been able to immigrate have really hit the lottery in life.
Edit: I want to clarify bc a lot of people saying this is something mostly Americans say, I promise you it isn’t. Having lived abroad for several years, I can tell you I have heard this statement more times from ignorant British folk than I have an American. Sure, there are some Americans who agree but I’ve never actually heard an American outside of social media unironically say it like I have with ignorant Europeans who most likely have never stepped foot in the United States before.
That being said, America has a lot of issues but I will never have to worry about be prosecuted for my sexuality, I can criticize my government and politicians without fear of retaliation, i have a passport that allows me to travel pretty much anywhere in the world, I have access to education, and many other privileges.
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#74That our decline as a superpower will mean more frequent and deadly wars. For all the hate we get, the pax Americana is real.
#75Americans don't all think "everything is about them" on reddit or that no other countries matter. Americans are just by far the biggest demographic on the site (last time I looked up numbers it was like 49% of traffic a month as the US, and the second highest amount was 7% from the UK) so of course US related issues are going to come up the most
#76American food is damn good. Better than most of the world’s
Not talking abt fast food , but our regional and local cuisines. From Cajun and creole to Chesapeake to Tex mex and Nuevo Californian cuisine. And everything in between.
And the food cultures in our cities is stellar and some of the best in the world, if not the best. Thank you immigration and entrepreneurial culture both! From NYC to San Francisco, New Orleans and Chicago.
And a non-chain hamburger (whether local restaurant or home grilled) is mouth-watering great
#77We are not dumb, but those stupid public experiment skits that depict people from the States not knowing their own country’s geography and things like that are the only thing people see that represents any sort of intelligence from Americans
#78surprise surprise, we’re not all morbidity obese and eat greasy food all day
#79birth-right citizenship is good
#80We don’t really care what you think.
#81We won't stop until the rest of you are as fat as us.
#82Not all Americans are ignorant [jerks]
#83Most of yall haven't worked in customer service and it REALLY shows.
#84Everybody hates America until Russia (or China) plays find the border.
#85Y'all gonna miss us.
1. A majority of us **did/do not** support or even have neutral feelings towards Trump, most of his votes were a casualty of the two-party system. Every Conservative/Republican I knew except for 2 people hated the man but couldn’t bare to vote for Hillary Clinton. Your statistics on the 2016*election voting that you love referencing (“Over 50% of your voters support him, so clearly he must be widely loved!”) didn’t account for the low voter turnout/Russian interference. When only the fanatical voters go to the ballot, the fanatical voters win. Equating his behavior or that of his Stans with average Americans is unfair and entirely exhausting.
2. We can’t simultaneously be told to be the world police *and* get yelled at for being the world police.
*edit: I did a brain dum dum
#87Most of you guys are getting pretty fat too.
#88The FitnessGram™ Pacer Test is a multistage aerobic capacity test that progressively gets more difficult as it continues. The 20 meter pacer test will begin in 30 seconds. Line up at the start. The running speed starts slowly, but gets faster each minute after you hear this signal. [beep] A single lap should be completed each time you hear this sound. [ding] Remember to run in a straight line, and run as long as possible. The second time you fail to complete a lap before the sound, your test is over. The test will begin on the word start. On your mark, get ready, start.
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#89If it's not us dominant in world politics, then it's Russia and/or China. And as sh*tty as America can be, our people and our government have a lot more respect for individual liberties than either of those countries' governments.
#90Ya'll need to spend more money on your military and stop calling us.
#91There are two Portlands in the United States. One of them is the original one and I can guarantee your a*s it's not the one in the West.
Differentiate your Portlands.
EDIT: *Prominent* Portlands. Apparently there are tons of Portlands in the US, whoops lol.
EDIT 2: Okay *fine* I'll *tell you all*, it's Maine and Oregon. Portland, Maine came first; Portland, Oregon came second. Differentiate between these two, please. Good night.
#92For all the hate and jealousy non-Americans post about the US on reddit, they're really gonna miss it when the US collapses and China takes its place.
Apparently some people REALLY aren't ready to hear it
#93That every country's electorate are just as stupid as Americans.
#94Despite the s**t America gets, y'all have asked for our help more times than we've asked for yours.
#95Neoliberalism is broken and failing.
#96I heard non stop during 2020 how Europe was handling covid and just about everything so much better than America, and as of 2022 it seems that couldn't be further from the truth
#97Americans subsidize healthcare costs in the rest of the world. Medical supply companies sell more cheaply to other countries because they know they can rack up the price in America. If America moves to a single payer system, the collective bargaining power that will create in the US will probably cause healthcare costs in the rest of the world to increase dramatically.
#98Without the US military Europe would once more be sending their men to major wars every 20 years as they did in a nearly unbroken chain of warfare since the fall of the Roman Empire. Also we subsidize your standard of living because you refuse to defend yourselves adequately- which given your incredibly violent past may be a good thing.
#99You can only afford free health care because we subsidize your military.
#100For as much as you criticize us, you are dependent on our military to be the police of the world so that you can enjoy relative peace.
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#101The U.S. never intended to become the "world's police" and only did so because the rest of the world couldnt keep its s**t together for more then 25 years before plunging itself into another world war.
The only reason a large majority of Europe exists is because U.S. military bases in Europe were the only deterrent to keep the Soviet Union from rofl stomping their way to the Atlantic.
When your cards are down you'll always call Papa America