17 Things Americans Believe That Other Countries Laugh About

Americans are famous for their patriotism and belief that their country is the greatest in the world, but these ideas often cause other countries to roll their eyes. Whether it’s a belief that they won WWII for the Allies single-handedly or that they enjoy unparalleled freedom, the rest of the world mocks these 17 American ideas. 

American Beer is the Best

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The stereotype that American beer is superior is often joked about internationally, especially by countries with long brewing histories like Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Germany. Craft beer culture in the U.S. is respected, but Americans are better known for drinking mass-produced beers like Budweiser. 

The World Series is a Global Event

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The term “World Series” for a baseball championship involving only one team from another country, the Toronto Blue Jays, bemuses people from countries where baseball is not a major sport. Many people, especially those from European countries where soccer and rugby are popular, have never heard of the event. 

American English is the Standard 

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Around 1.35 billion people speak English, with 360 million as their first language. Americans often believe their version of the language is the standard. However, as Acolad notes, British English is “the preferred variant in most European countries as well as in English-speaking countries in Africa and South Asia.”

The U.S. is the Center of the Internet 

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Americans often believe their country dominates internet culture and sets standards for digital trends. However, content creators with millions of followers can be found in every region of the world, and the internet is a mosaic of cultures, languages, and trends with significant international contributions. 

American Cuisine is World-Class 

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While American cuisine, particularly fast food, is famous worldwide, the culinary sophistication of countries like France, Italy, and Japan is more widely praised. The global proliferation of chains like McDonald’s and KFC doesn’t necessarily translate into culinary respect. 

The U.S. Education System is the Best 

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America is renowned for its higher education system, with the Ivy League, but it is also known for its high levels of crippling student debt. The Times Higher Education ranking of the top 100 universities in the world lists 34 American universities. Still, the UK has the top spot with the University of Oxford, and several other countries have multiple institutions on the list. 

American Football is the Real Football 

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The term “football,” referring to a sport played mostly with hands and an oval ball, amuses fans of soccer, the original football, around the world. The sport involves kicking a round ball. The FIFA World Cup generates much higher revenue than the Super Bowl and had over a billion viewers in 2022. 

The American Dream is Alive and Well 

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Many international observers question the ideal of the American Dream as fully attainable, especially considering the socioeconomic challenges and inequalities in the U.S. Achieving success solely through hard work without considering considerable systemic barriers is often seen as overly simplistic by international standards.

America Won World War II Single-Handedly 

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The common narrative among Americans that they were the primary force in winning WWII overlooks the contributions and sacrifices of the Allied forces, especially the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. Europeans often mock their American counterparts for their beliefs surrounding the conflict. 

Americans Don’t Need to Learn Other Languages 

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The notion that there is no need to learn other languages when traveling isn’t unique to Americans; the British are also notorious for it. Non-English-speaking countries find the concept amusing, where learning multiple languages is a standard part of education. 

Americans Think They’re the Most Patriotic 

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Some Americans think their intense national pride is unique, overlooking the deep-seated patriotism in many other countries. Gitnux points to research that shows China, India, Russia, and Poland are deeply patriotic countries.

The Metric System is Unnecessary 

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The American adherence to the imperial system over the metric system baffles much of the world, where the metric system is the standard. American reluctance to adopt the metric system is seen by many as a strange defiance of global norms.

The U.S. is the Greatest Country in the World 

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American exceptionalism has a solid domestic hold, but it often encounters skepticism and amusement abroad, where people take pride in their country’s quality of life. The notion is challenged by international rankings in health, education, happiness, and other quality-of-life metrics, where America isn’t a top-ranking country. 

Freedom is Uniquely American

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Many Americans view their country as the sole bastion of true freedom, overlooking the freedoms enjoyed in many other democracies. Freedom House gives America a score of 83, well below other democracies like the UK, Germany, Japan, and the Scandinavian countries, which enjoy greater access to political rights and civil liberties. 

Hollywood Sets Global Entertainment Standards 

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Hollywood has massively influenced global entertainment, but other countries have rich and diverse film industries. Bollywood in India, Nollywood in Nigeria, and thriving cinema cultures in Europe and Asia often produce films that dominate international film festivals. 

The U.S. Military is Invincible 

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Some Americans perceive the U.S. military as an unbeatable force, overlooking the complexities of modern warfare, including the importance of international coalitions like NATO and AUKUS. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown the limits and challenges faced by the U.S. military since the turn of the millennium. 

Americans are Universally Loved Abroad 

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Americans sometimes assume they are welcomed and admired in every corner of the globe, but international opinions vary widely based on politics, cultural perceptions, and historical relations. American tourists are often mocked for being loud and overly cheerful by their European counterparts.

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