People share the telltale signs that someone is American, and some of them are painfully accurate

By | March 3, 2024

As an American, I always try to stand out when I travel. But maybe I’m not doing a very good job, because apparently people from abroad have quite a few ideas about how to instantly identify an American. So redditor u/Ermland2 asked: “What is a telltale sign that someone is American?” Here are some responses.

TLC

“In Salzburg, I went to pick something up at the drugstore. While I was paying, I said hello to the cashier (thinking there was very little difference between how I said it and how Austrians say it). But the cashier started Immediately I spoke to me in English. I asked her how she knew I was American, and she stared into my eyes and said, ‘Hallloooo.’ “I almost died laughing. I’m a very stereotypical, friendly American who says hello just like that. It’s one of my favorite memories of that trip.”

—u/Ted_Dance_Son

Alexander Spatari via Getty Images

“I worked as a cashier in a touristy part of Paris. I always recognized Americans immediately because they were very friendly to me and always left tips.”

—u/Ateracle

HBO

“An Italian told me that Americans are confidently walking in the wrong direction.”

—u/MagazineOk6401

ljubaphoto via Getty Images

“They ask, ‘How’s your day going?’ or ‘How are you?’ in completely random circumstances.”

—u/KanyeWest_Official

NBC

“When you ask where they’re from, they don’t say ‘America’ (which would make many people wonder which part). Instead, they say something like, ‘I’m from Texas!’ No other people in the world tell you what state or region they come from. They usually start on a continental level, for example with “I’m from Europe,” and then perhaps go further to tell you their home country as the conversation continues. ..American people just go straight to the state. ‘I’m from Texas’, ‘I’m from Florida’, etc. Half of them just say their city, which no one knows. And if you look confused, they say their town. Say like, ‘Oh, it’s in Texas.'”

—u/inksaan

Kevin Trimmer via Getty Images

“They always order ice in their water.”

—u/gianna_in_hell_as

NBC

“They always look cheerful and smiling and look happy all the time. Tourists from other places seem more neutral or even unhappy.”

-you/[deleted]

FG Handel via Getty Images

“They ask, ‘So, what do you do?’ right after you meet someone. It’s not a faux pas or anything, but it’s just something that seems to be more important to Americans.”

—u/lioness-2208

Apatow Productions

“They drive from one store to another, even if it’s only a 50-meter walk.”

—u/maldobar4711

Kyonntra via Getty Images

“They grin kindly at strangers as they pass and make eye contact. It might be received in the Midwest, but not so much in Germany.”

—u/Vkazioa

Paramount Pictures

“When I lived in Europe, people would say that only Americans eat while walking. If I ate a bagel or something on the way to work or class, several people would ask if I was American.”

—u/Tired_Otter

Maria Korneeva via Getty Images

“Tipping. Americans will try to tip everyone, even in countries where tipping is not a thing and can even be considered insulting.”

-you/[deleted]

NBC

“They are so amazed by things that are over 200 years old, probably because they don’t have many things that old in the US.”

—u/Dusepo

FG Handel via Getty Images

“To quote a Latvian woman I met in a hostel: ‘You hear Americans coming like thunder.’ More often than not, if people talk and laugh louder than everyone else, they are American.”

—u/MCRN_Lopez

E!

“They drink coffee in to-go cups. My partner’s Italian mother absolutely cannot get over the idea of ​​seeing people walking around with coffee in their hand. Americans are the only ones who don’t enjoy their coffee while sitting in a cafe to sit.”

—u/flamanten

tomazl via Getty Images

“I was once on a bike tour through Europe, and there was one guy who clearly fit the bill: he had an unusual beard and huge white teeth, he was extremely friendly and a bit loud, and he was literally carrying a jar of peanut butter. him (he said it was the most efficient way to fuel up for his workout).”

—u/Netcob

Vimeo

“While I was hosting in London, I was told I was ‘so American’ because I enjoyed a piece of cake for breakfast. I’m not talking frosted cake, but a piece of coffee cake with nuts and dried fruit. Apparently in Europe this should be eaten only as an afternoon snack, while breakfast should be a hearty meal.”

—u/Signy_France

Kinga Krzeminska via Getty Images

“When asked how far away something is, an American will tell you how long it takes to get there in minutes, as opposed to physical distance.”

—h/Hourlyaverage8401

NBC

“From what European friends and travelers have told me, it is a complete and utter lack of an inner voice that immediately reveals an American.”

—u/KevMenc1998

Rizky Panuntun via Getty Images

“An Italian guy told me he could tell right away that I was American because I wore my sunglasses on my head when I wasn’t wearing them.”

—u/LotsOfGarlicandEVOO

Netflix

“I’ve always noticed that when I’m walking, my friends from the US like to point at things and tell me what it is. We were walking through Amsterdam the other day and they said, ‘Hey, look, it’s a smoke shop’…”Oh, look , a sex shop’…’Look at the canal.’ It was like watching Netflix with the audio descriptions turned on.”

—u/Thecoolbeans

SolStock via Getty Images

“They wear crew socks with white running shoes, khaki cargo shorts, a polo shirt and a baseball cap. It’s the typical outfit of an American tourist traveling through Europe after retirement.”

—u/ViciousNakedMoleRat

NBC

“Someone asked in a group setting if I was American, and another person said something before I could respond. He said, ‘Of course he’s American, look at his teeth. Apparently most Americans get braces.’

—u/Whelpseeya

Carol Yepes via Getty Images

“They don’t wear Speedos on the beach. And for this I want to thank American men!”

—u/LongLegzLizzie

via Associated Press

“When they claim to be one-eighth German, one-eighth Irish, one-sixteenth Scot, one-sixteenth Spanish, three-eighths French and one-fourth Canadian.”

—u/Bean_Earth_Society

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