‘What is something Americans will never understand?’ – 25 transatlantic brainbusters

Over on Reddit people have been sharing things they reckon Americans will never, ever understand after neolee203 asked – you guessed it – this.

“What is something Americans will never understand?”

And the answers came thick and fast. We’ve read them all – well, quite a lot of them – so you don’t have to and here are our 25 favourites.


‘I understand all of these things pretty well as an American. Except for Cricket. Whoever answered Cricket, well done. Don’t really understand it, and probably never will.’


‘Chai Tea’ means ‘Tea Tea’.

‘Like Naan bread.’

‘I’m going to use my PIN number at the ATM machine to get cash money to buy a chai tea with naan bread.’

‘Because I’m a VIP person.’


‘I don’t understand why political parties are treated like rock bands and idols. The amount of merchandise (such as maga hats, political yard signs, and t-shirts of your favorite politician’s face) aren’t things I would see on a daily basis here in Europe.

‘Edit: since lot of people are complaining, my answer would be : (many) Americans don’t understand that treating their politicians as celebrities and Biblical figures is WEIRD and not a thing outside of the US.

‘Edit 2: To the people saying that this also happens outside of the US, such as Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, 1930s Germany, etc, that’s not the flex you think it is. Also there’s a big difference between endorsement and idolization. Even my pet spider can tell the difference. And yes, i know it’s not ALL Americans. Jesus.’


‘American here. Paying to use the restroom!’


‘That being from a place and having ancestors from a place are not the same thing.’


‘The differences between a UK, Australian and New Zealand accent.’

‘Bring South Africa’s accent into it and they’ll explode.’


‘Taking 2 or 3 weeks off work to do whatever is normal, even expected.’


‘That in some places we can’t just return things we have bought because we don’t like them.’


‘How much better the metric system is.’


‘I find it strange (some) Americans think Europe is just one entity that is comparable to the USA. It’s not. Countries are not comparable to states. The differences between Poland & Spain are far greater than those between California & Florida.’


‘Implications of “War on terror”


‘I encounter a lot of Americans who cannot comprehend that in a lot of places in Europe you DON’T need a car. I’m 30, I have no desire to drive, I don’t have a license or a car. Public transport is reliable and popular and I can get anywhere by myself. Nearest grocery store is literally 30sec away from my home. Everything else I’d need is in 5min walking distance.

‘(This obviously has to do because North America has really bizzarre building regulations and plans cities in a way that requires a car as a basic necessity because otherwise there would be no way anyone can get anywhere.)

‘Edit: Hello, I did not expect this to blow up 🙂 YES, we know America is big. We know that you’re less densely populated. And we do know that everything is more spread out. You obviously NEED a car because this is how everything is designed.

‘However, to us who live in walkable places it’s not a necessity and it’s incomprehensible that absolutely no alternative to cars exists in North America, even in the areas that could have one (yes, we know the reason is probably the car lobby). Not everyone can drive after all (too young, disabled, etc), so if they live in the middle of nowhere they’re basically confined to their homes…?’


‘That you work to live and not live to work. Sometimes you need a vacation. Not just when you’re super rich.’