"In Some Countries, Schools Have Them Just Because They Saw Them On American TV:" People Are Sharing Specific Aspects Of American Life That Have Have Gained Surprising Popularity Abroad

    "Nobody here has any idea about the actual history behind it. Everyone just celebrates because of US television."

    It's no surprise that many aspects of American culture have become so popular, you can find them all around the world. In fact, many of these things that were once considered distinctly "American" have become a sort of global culture. So u/bigbeantheory asked, "What wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it wasn’t for the US?" Here's what people said.

    1. "Black Friday. It’s a worldwide thing now...even though only the US celebrates Thanksgiving the day before."

    Shoppers arriving at Best Buy in the dark.

    2. "Diner food. There's nothing better than the American-style, sort of crappy diner that smells like grease and coffee where you can order two over easy fried eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and toast with a cup of way-too-hot semi-burnt coffee. It's as American as it gets."

    A plate of eggs and bacon.

    3. "National parks. The whole National Parks system was started in the US by president Theodore Roosevelt and quickly became a worldwide practice."

    The Twelve Apostles rock formations in Australia.

    4. "Americanized Chinese food. Even while living in Asia I would crave the very different Chinese cuisine that has been popularized by America like General Tso's chicken and honey walnut shrimp."

    Chinese food at Panda Express.

    5. "GPS. The American military gave away one of the coolest technologies to the world with no service fees and no subscriptions."

    A phone map with directions in a car.

    6. "Halloween. Even abroad I see kids dressing up and trick-or-treating around every year now, but nobody has any idea about the actual history behind the holiday. Everyone just celebrates it because of US television."

    Kids in costumes trick or treating.

    7. "Starbucks. For better or for worse, it's always a little bit of a relief that I know I can always find proper American iced coffee wherever in the world I'm traveling. All I have to do is seek out a Starbucks."

    A Starbucks coffee cup next to the Eiffel tower.

    8. "Disney and Disneyland. It’s not surprising the US has been able to expand into other countries. There’s all the magic, happiness, and whatnot that comes with Disney."

    9. "Elite education. Top students from across the world flock to America's universities for education in engineering, finance, math, medicine, law, and everything else. The smartest (and often richest) high school students in other countries frequently will move to a different country to go to Harvard, Princeton, and even highly regarded public universities like University of Wisconsin or Michigan."

    Harvard campus.

    10. "Prom night. In other countries some schools host proms just because they've see it on American TV shows."

    11. "American-style donuts. A lot of donut chains in Asia make donuts, but they make them much less sweet than they do in America because otherwise the locals won't care for them."

    12. "Ranch dressing. I am Croatian, and I have a few American friends who introduced me to ranch dressing. I don't know what it is about those Hidden Valley ranch packets, but they're fantastic."

    A salad with ranch dressing.

    13. "Gender reveal parties. Easily one of the worst gifts the US has given the world."

    Cutting into a blue cake during a gender reveal party.

    14. "Hamburgers topped with pickles, mustard, and the works. It’s a strange combo, but it's delicious. I doubt the entire world would have embraced it as a standard order without the US making it commonplace."

    A homemade hamburger with pickles, cheese, and tomato.

    15. "Christmas lights strung outside to decorate houses around the holidays."

    A house covered in Christmas decorations.

    16. "Spam in Northeast Asia, especially South Korea. American soldiers ate Spam — a Minnesota-born meat product created during the Great Depression — during the Korean war and it gained such popularity that these days it's a common food in Korean, Japanese, and some Chinese cultures."

    Spam fried rice.

    17. "Red solo cups. I have friends who have seen them for sale abroad. They don't call them 'solo' cups since Solo is a brand. They call them 'American party cups.'"

    18. "McDonald's. I'm American but I've been living in Europe for almost a year now, and I absolutely love trying the different fast food options at European McDonald's when I travel around."

    A customer carrying a McDonald's tray.

    19. "The whole idea of the 'American dream.' It has given people hope for generations."

    20. "Blue jeans. My neighbor had a Polish exchange student living with her back in the '90s who would send packages of blue jeans to all of her friends in Poland. I think she made a business out of it. For a long time, American blue jeans were considered a novelty elsewhere."

    A person holding a pair of blue jeans off a shelf.

    21. "Tipping culture. This is one of the worst exports we can blame on the US."

    A table with cash on it for a tip.

    22. "Guitars. Virtually every single significant guitar ever made is American. Regardless of a band's nationality, the bands that don't use an American Fender, Gibson, Martin, Epiphone, Rickenbacker, PRS, etc... are few and far in between. With the exception of several British amplification companies, America has virtually every aspect of the guitar market covered."

    Harry Styles performing with a guittar.

    23. "Superheroes and all the movies about them."

    24. "Cinco de Mayo, as ironic as it is. Sure, it's from Mexico, but it's a way different celebration in the US."

    What's the best (or worst) part of American culture that has been popularized around the world? Tell us in the comments!