Helping the World

37 Things Americans Do in Movies/TV Shows That Are WAF to Non-Americans.

Okay, the article didn’t say “WAF” — use your imagination.

Next, I don’t speak for All Americans the same way that I don’t speak for All Men or All People. I’m just somebody. But, read over the list — here are my own thoughts to go along with them:

  1. Yes, there are some people that are intent on attending one specific university. Those people are strange. I didn’t know that I was going to university until I just randomly picked one that was convenient. The second time? Eh, same thing, really. Didn’t know. Didn’t plan for it. Didn’t expect it.
  2. No, they don’t. And if they do, then it’s absolutely a psychological extension of the fluorescent light trope.
  3. Again, no, they don’t. Trope.
  4. Yes! They do have and actually get school lunches. In fact, it’s called the National School Lunch Program. People often complain about the lunches, but it’s not poisonous and it’s a damned sight better than having nothing at all.
  5. Occasionally. But, no, not nearly as often as depicted in movies. It’s trope.
  6. Okay, yes. Yes, nearly every school does have its own mascot. Typically Jr. High (7th & 8th) and High School (9th – 12th). It tended to be a symbol around which we could apply our efforts for sports… and we had a social justification to leverage it as a “we” vs. “they” symbol.
  7. Cliché. See also: trope.
  8. It’s a TV show thing. Then again, it may be an ‘everyone’ thing, but it certainly doesn’t happen in my home.
  9. Nah, they really do. I never understood them. Prom. Homecoming. Valentines Day. Halloween. So, yeah, pretty much one for every season.
  10. Yeah, I have no idea why they’s say that, but it could be a pedestrian attempt by the show’s writers because they can’t think of an exact location to call out or want to avoid the effort it would take to add clarifying statements. But I agree.
  11. What British accent? There are loads of British accents.
  12. Yes. Well, they did. It seems to be losing favor. Often it would be respectful to refer to them as Mr. or Mrs. Surname until the parent were to say, “Oh, please, call me…”. See also, duzen wir uns.
  13. I avoided cheerleaders throughout school, so I haven’t any frame of reference.
  14. Depends on the school, but yes, it was common to have a project to demonstrate the creativity and comprehension of concepts. I think there was some degree of projects in nearly every course apart from mathematics.
  15. It’s an overused trope.
  16. Mmm… PB&J. Yes, we do. Not everyone. But it’s rather common regionally. There are better and worse peanut butters. And then there’s the debate about whether to use jam, or jelly.
  17. Bacon, when eaten by itself or as a side to some main course, is typically eaten with fingers.
  18. Okay, I’m somewhat out of touch with television — I’m not sure what’s meant by “fake babies, getting ‘married’ to each other”. I can say that it was common for young children — perhaps 6 or 8 — to “play house” and pretend to be married. Not sure what you mean though.
  19. Yes. Yes, they do. From 1st-grade through 12th. We had to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every single school day. Every. Single. Day. How to say it is defined in U.S.C. §4.
  20. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever had somebody ask, in 48 years, how I like eggs while they’re already in the active process of cooking them.
  21. No. And if they do, then they absolutely deserve whatever they get. Also, their password is probably “1-2-3-4-5” or “changeme”.
  22. Laziness on the part of both the actors and directors.
  23. No. Not everyday. I think I’ve had pancakes like two or three times this year.
  24. Not all. But summer camps are a thing. I attended summer camp twice when I was in grade school. It was rather fun as I recall.
  25. Not at all common.
  26. Yeah, it’s often a TV-thing.
  27. Probably about as often as they might say, “Please do…” or “help yourself”.
  28. I do not.
  29. There are places that this is acceptable: salons, conference rooms, community break-rooms… but I don’t think I’ve ever had bottles of water just sitting in the refrigerator.
  30. Garbage disposals.
  31. Okay I rather like a fireplace. But, I don’t get excited about it. I have one and in a year, I think I had a fire in it once. Maybe twice.
  32. Sometimes called “mystery meat”. There are variations across many cultures around the world, so this one’s a bit of a curiosity to me. Although, I would also argue that it’s likely just a lazy story object.
  33. No. No, they don’t. Most humans apart from the Maasai and some Northern Europeans, become rather lactose intolerant in adulthood.
  34. Yep, they do. Detention is usually only 45 min or an hour after school.
  35. No, not everyone wants to have their own reality TV show.
  36. Continuity issues, probably.
  37. Perhaps because trucks have become the ultimate utilitarian vehicle.

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