Have you ever been to America? Were you disappointed that what you believed to be true about the country wasn’t correct in the slightest? Well, you’re not alone.
America is one of the coolest countries in the world, right? It’s home to some of the biggest celebrities that pop culture has to offer, it offers some of the most diverse landscapes to exist on this planet, and it seems as though there’s always something going on. Because of this, the US sees countless visitors make the journey across the pond every single year so that they can see this amazing country for themselves. While there’s no doubt about the fact that America has impressed them, it’s fair to say that some visitors have left feeling a little disappointed…
Most people learn about other countries through movies and television shows, and Hollywood has provided us with a pretty epic vision of what America is like. However, it seems as though fictional stories and characters can give us an embellished view of things. That’s definitely the case for the US, as these common misconceptions and stereotypes definitely aren’t true. In fact, most of these misconceptions couldn’t be more wrong if they tried.
Americans are all in debt
When you think of America, there’s a high chance that you immediately think of the stars of your favorite shows and movies who seem to be struggling with their student loans or paying their bills. Because of this, it should come as no surprise to learn that most people think that all Americans are in debt.
While there’s no doubt about the fact that a huge portion of the country does have debt to their name, they’re not the worst in the world for these negative numbers. In fact, those who live in Europe struggle with their debts much more than those in the US.
America is all the same
When speaking of a particular country, it can be easy to lump the whole place together in one fell swoop. Yes, it’s easy to say that “America is hot,” “Americans love to eat burgers,” and “America’s landscape is the same wherever you go,” but that just isn’t true.
This country is pretty enormous, and it’s split into so many different states, cities, towns, and villages. In fact, each state is completely different in terms of its laws and its culture. While some of them may be close to each other in terms of their quirks, there are others who could be worlds apart. So, it’s time to stop referring to America as one complete unit.
Americans never want to leave America
America is a huge country that has so many different states and cities to offer, so why would anyone want to leave? It’s common to hear of Americans packing up their bags and moving across the country to seek a better life and a brand new job, and that means they don’t have to worry about passports, visas, or a change in currency.
What could be better than that? Well, it seems as though the idea that Americans never want to leave America is a misconception. A huge number of those who live in the country dream of one day living in a far-off land, and many have even made that a reality over the years.
Americans are really loud
If you don’t live in America, you’ll know that it’s pretty noticeable when someone from the US makes their way into your life. Whether you simply pass them on the street and overhear their conversation, or whether you actively welcome them into your friendship group, their change in accent makes them pretty obvious.
In fact, most people believe that people from America are actually incredibly loud. They always have to have their voices heard, right? But have you ever thought that this might not have anything to do with volume? This misconception has more to do with the fact that their accents are just different.
America is full of cowboys
Is there anything cooler than watching a Western movie? Full of cowboys and horses, these movies have proven to be incredibly popular over the years – but they have also bred a common misconception. While there are still some cowboys left in the US, it’s fair to say that they don’t go around stealing money from banks before hanging out in saloons and holding sacks with dollar signs on them.
These regular cowboys just go about their days and hang out with their animals, and most people don’t realize that they’re not bandits. Of course, this can be a little disappointing to those who were expecting showdowns in the desert.
Americans know nothing about the rest of the world
Let’s be honest; American culture is pretty popular. Those who don’t live in the country spend much of their time watching Hollywood movies and famous television shows, and we come to learn a huge amount about the states and the various different areas of the country.
However, a common misconception is that those in the United States also focus so much on their own country that they know nothing about the rest of the world. While there are some people who are better at geography than others, most American have a basic concept of the countries that this world has to offer.
Americans aren’t too intelligent
It’s always hard to hear that someone doesn’t believe that you’re intelligent, but it seems as though that’s the case with America and the rest of the world. After seeing Americans on their television screens and sometimes bumping into them on the streets of their hometowns, many people have come to the conclusion that those from the US just aren’t very bright.
However, that is a rather mean misconception. There are many people around the world who could do with a few more lessons in common sense, and while some of them do reside in the US, not all of them do.
Americans are entitled
We live in a world where everyone is different, and these differences are much more noticeable than similarities. Those who have come across American people in the past have worked with the idea that Americans are entitled, and it’s been suggested that they believe that the rest of the world should agree with their beliefs and do what they say.
While there are some Americans who do feel as though they are above the rest, it’s fair to say that this is a misconception. In fact, those who have given these people time have realized that they are incredibly open to learning more about those who perhaps don’t have as much as them.
America is not environmentally conscious
America is an extremely developed country, and it has been since the beginning of its existence. This country has provided us with some major advancements in terms of technology and power, and this has led many people to believe that they aren’t environmentally conscious.
After all, how can they be environmentally conscious with their cars, their factories, and their bustling cities? Although there’s no doubt about the fact that Americans have some rather large footprints, it’s a common misconception that the country is doing nothing about it. Most people in the US believe that people should be doing more to save the planet.
Americans are obsessed with witch trials
The Salem witch trials have intrigued people for centuries, and there’s no doubt about the fact that most people have heard of them before. These trials took place between 1692 and 1693, and it’s fair to say that most people think Americans were pretty obsessed with this point in history.
While these trials have become fascinating tidbits of the past, it’s a common misconception to say that Americans and the US were the only ones concerned with witches. While the witch trials in Salem get a huge amount of stick for what happened, that’s nothing compared to the number of witches that were sent to the fishes in Europe during the same century.
Americans are always cheerful
It’s the truth, right? Most people can’t think of an American person that they have come across who was miserable and didn’t want to speak to them. That’s because they seem to be able to talk to everyone, from restaurant servers to car salespeople.
However, most Americans would say that this is a misconception. While they are always polite and make the effort to talk to people, that doesn’t mean that they are inherently happy and cheerful. It just means that they know how to hide their stresses well! Alternatively, it could be that the rest of the world don’t hide their stresses at all.
Americans don’t like Canadians
Everyone likes a little bit of beef every now and then, right? There’s nothing better than realizing that two of your favorite celebs have a bone to pick with each other, but it seems as though the Americans and the Canadians are always fighting against each other.
Yes, every time the news hits the headlines, it seems to involve the likes of Ryan Reynolds poking fun at Robert Downey Jr. What most people don’t realize, however, is that this is all in the name of a good joke. Most Americans and Canadians appreciate the fact that they are so close to each other on the map, and many of them seem to have a good rapport with each other.
Americans all live in suburbs
If you had the chance to live in the suburbs or the city, which one would you choose? According to most American television shows and movies, the main American characters all live in the suburbs. They commute to work, they complain about living in the suburbs, and they dream of living in the big city.
That’s just how it goes, right? Well, not quite. While there are many American people who choose to live in the suburbs on their own volition, there are also many people who choose to live right in the heart of the city. These big apartment blocks aren’t just reserved for the rich and famous, you know.
American independence revolves around July 4th
Independence Day is one of the most popular holidays in any American’s calendar, right? July 4th is known across the world for being pretty important to those who live in the country, as the Declaration of Independence was signed on this day, wasn’t it? Well, not quite.
American independence was first voted in on July 2nd, and was sent back for revision two days later. The revision wasn’t read in front of an audience until July 8th, and then the last and final document wasn’t signed until August 2nd. So, although most people believe that the US celebrates this day for a reason, it’s actually a misconception that most people believe to be true.
Americans are career-obsessed
If you’ve ever come across an American person, you might know that they constantly seem to be on the go. In fact, they don’t even stop and sit down for a coffee! They are always taking their coffee to go, and walking and talking with clients and employees at the same time. So, they’re pretty work-obsessed, right?
After all, all of the movies tell us so. Although there’s no doubt about the fact that there are many people in the country who are work-obsessed, that doesn’t mean that they are doing it because they want to. Many people work because they have to, and others do so because they are trying to get their foot in the door. There are even those who maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Americans drive muscle cars
America is home to a huge amount of people who just love to jump in their cars and go on a road trip just for the sake of it, and most of the time, they jump in their muscle cars to do so. Yes, Hollywood movies have led us to believe that everyone drives fancy sports cars with souped-up engines and a roar that can be heard from across town.
What most people don’t realize is that there are people in America who don’t drive muscle cars. This misconception has come from films with big budgets, as most people in this country don’t have the money to buy expensive vehicles like that.
Americans don’t appreciate soccer
Soccer is one of the biggest sports around the world, and there’s no doubt about the fact that people in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and other major countries are football mad. Of course, if you’ve ever watched any Hollywood movie, you’ll know that the sport most Americans seem to focus on is American football.
While most Americans will tell you that American football is one of the loves of their lives, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t got room in their hearts for other sports. In fact, some of the best soccer stars in the world move to America to make their professional dreams become a reality.
America is materialistic
When the world looks at other countries, it’s easy to focus on the negatives rather than the positive. When looking at the number of malls and stores that exist in big cities and towns, it’s safe to say that many people come to the conclusion that America and Americans are pretty materialistic.
Those who come out of these stores normally carry oodles of bags on their arms, right? Not always. While there are many people who are materialistic around the world, there are also some who live in the US. Of course, there are also those who don’t care for materialistic possessions who live in this country.
Americans live in huge apartments
For those who don’t live in American, it’s easy to get a glimpse of what life is like in the country through television shows. Programs such as New Girl and The Big Bang Theory show young Americans hanging out in their amazing city apartments, and it’s enough to make anyone jealous.
So, all young people in this country must be able to afford such living quarters, right? Not quite. Most Americans don’t get the chance to live in huge apartments – and especially not in the city. These shows give a rather limited view of the housing situation in this country.
Americans are incredibly attractive
Of course, attractiveness is completely subjective, but there’s just something about American pop culture that makes it seem as though the people who live in the country are perfect in every way. They wake up with perfectly curled hair and without bags under their eyes, and they seem to be able to throw on an outfit without having to worry about crinkles.
While most of us know that this isn’t what normal, everyday life is like, it can be easy to dream of life in America where this happens. What’s funny about this is that it doesn’t happen like this in America. It’s all a construct of Hollywood’s makeup and costume departments.
Americans are all overweight
When you think of American food, you probably think of supersized burgers, fries, and milkshakes that seem to come in all different flavors. This food is relatively cheap and easily accessible, so it should come as no surprise to learn that some of them eat a little too much of this food.
While there are some people in America who are overweight, it’s unfair to say that all of them are. There are many people in this country who stand at a healthy weight, and there are other countries in the world that also struggle with the weight of its citizens.
Americans are prudes
If you have ever been to a European beach, you’ll have probably seen a huge amount of skin on show. That’s because there are many people around the world who don’t have any problems with taking their clothes off and embracing what their mommas gave them.
They will wander around the beach without their bikinis in tow, and they’ll even head to the sauna without their towels wrapped around their waists. But it’s a different story when you head to the US, right? Well, not quite. Although many people believe that Americans are prudes, it’s hard to believe this when you think back to that time when Miley Cyrus swung from a wrecking ball…
America isn’t safe
Nowadays, it seems as though you can’t turn on the television without seeing pictures and hearing stories of devastating crime in America. Every day there is a news story, and this can lead many people to believe that the whole country is unsafe.
While there’s no doubt about the fact that there is a huge level of crime in the US, that doesn’t mean that it’s any worse than other countries in the world. Destinations such as England, France, Australia, and China also has to deal with crime every single day, but it seems as though many news stations focus on the dangerous acts in America instead.
American Thanksgiving is a celebration
If you’ve seen any American movie or TV show, you’ll know that Thanksgiving is all about going big or going home. It’s a time to get the turkey out, it’s a time to invite friends and family around to your house, and it’s a time to give thanks for what you have in life.
However, what most non-Americans don’t realize is that Thanksgiving isn’t really a celebration. While many US citizens have transformed it into a national holiday full of good food and parades, the true story of Thanksgiving actually involves a huge amount of violence and fatalities. In fact, it was pretty gruesome.
Americans are rich
When looking in on a country that isn’t your own, it can be easy to see the positives. For those who learn what they know about the US from movies and television shows, it can be equally as easy for people to come to the conclusion that all Americans are rich.
These guys have money to spend, and most of the time they can’t help but head to the designer stores and buy a new pair of shoes just because they can. Of course, there are many people in America who do have that kind of cash to burn. Yet, just like every other country in the world, some people suffer from extreme poverty.
Americans don’t have time for other languages
Across the world, school children are taught numerous different languages from a young age. They are taught their mother tongue, they are taught Spanish, they are taught English, and some may even learn Latin. Americans are rarely part of this generalization, as many people believe that they simply learn the ways and wheres of the American-English language and then leave everyone else to do their own thing.
Yet, this is a common misconception. Although major budget cuts in schools mean that kids in the US don’t get the chance to learn as many languages, this country is made up of various different cultures. This means that many people speak a second language around their family.
Americans have a bad taste in electronic music
There are oodles of musical genres in this world, but it’s fair to say that electronic music is pretty popular. Yet, when you think of electronic music, you probably don’t think of the US. That’s because many people associate this genre of music with giant uber-clubs around Europe that feature some of their best DJs.
Because of this, many people eliminate the US from the electronic race – but that shouldn’t be the case. Those who know the history and the highlights of this genre will know that electronic music has a right to be associated with America. After all, America was home to the iconic Studio 54!
Americans are overly patriotic
It’s often pretty easy to spot an American in the crowd, right? These guys are normally wearing flag pins on their lapels, socks that are red, white, and blue, and holding their hands over their hearts in preparation for the national anthem. In fact, you may have just seen this stereotype in popular culture.
Although there are many Americans in the world who love their country more than anything and love to show off their patriotism, there are others who don’t. As if that wasn’t enough, these guys aren’t the only ones who like to pledge their allegiance to their country, as many others across the globe also do this.
Americans only speak in a few dialects
To those who don’t live in the United States, it can seem as though the people of this country only speak a few dialects. After all, their accents are all pretty similar, right? While it’s clear to see whether the person speaking on the television is from the South, it’s often hard for people to distinguish between other accents and dialects.
What most people don’t realize is that the American speaking system is so much more complicated than that. There are around 24 different dialects in the US, and all of these come with their own twists and twangs, and they all come with their own quirks.
Americans don’t use public transport
You just have to put on any Hollywood movie to see that most of the people in these movies just love to hail a cab or call an Uber. It seems as though they just love to spend their journeys sitting in a car and potentially striking up a conversation with their driver, but what about all of the public transport options they have in the country?
One common misconception about Americans is that they don’t use public transport, but that just isn’t the case. Those who live in big cities love nothing more than to jump on the subway and get to their destination. After all, it’s so much better than sitting in traffic.
Americans love to party
It’s safe to say that Americans love to party as much as the rest of the world, but it seems as though these go much harder than those who live in other countries. They stand upside down on kegs, they drink out of those classic red cups, and they even take part in initiations.
Yes, parties in America are pretty wild, right? While there’s no doubt about the fact that this is true, it’s not true for the whole country. What most people don’t realize is that a huge amount of this country is uninhabited, and there are some towns that simply lie in the middle of nowhere. Parties are a big thing in the city, but not so much in these quieter areas.
Americans always use air conditioning
If you’re from a country that doesn’t use air conditioning in everyday life, there’s a high chance that you don’t quite understand why all Americans use these things. After all, whatever went wrong with just opening the window and letting the breeze in?
While those who live in America will probably clap back with some statistics and some facts on how hot it gets in their country, it’s safe to say that there will be some Americans who don’t get it either. That’s because the misconception is that all Americans use air conditioning. A large portion of citizens do, but that doesn’t mean everyone has the chance to cool down at the touch of a button.
America’s Wild West was dramatic
The Wild West is all about cowboys, vigilantes, violence, and a whole load of gold, wasn’t it? Those who aren’t from America have learned all of this from movies and television shows, and these stories have taught us everything we now know about those who lived during that time.
We have been led to believe that bank robberies were constant and that these areas were run by outlaws and those who had absolutely no regard for the law. However, that isn’t true. While these dramatic things did happen, they didn’t happen all the time. Mostly, the Wild West was full of people just trying to make a living. It’s the same for those who live in these areas nowadays.
Americans love celebrity culture
America is the home of Hollywood, so the people of America must be totally obsessed with celebrity culture, right? One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to this country is that they love to keep up with E! News, and they spend their days scrolling through Instagram to see what their favorite celebs are up to.
But is that just limited to those who live in the US? There are people who love celebrity culture across the world, and it just so happens that there are some in America as well. There are even many people who absolutely hate the fact that these people are famous.
Americans curse all the time
One thing we have learned from American movies and television shows is that Americans seem to curse all the time. It seems as though they can’t go a few minutes without dropping some curse words, and most of the time, it’s like it has become a part of the language.
So, is that what it’s like in real life? This is actually a common misconception, as there are many people in the US who don’t condone cursing and will not allow it in their houses. It seems as though Hollywood has added this little nugget of drama for the sake of selling their shows and the characters.