23 American Quirks That Some Non-Americans Assumed Were Actually Fake

    To be fair, Black Friday does sound a little made up.

    We asked the non-Americans of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which American quirks they didn't realize actually existed outside of TV and movies. Here are the wild responses:

    1. Sororities and fraternities:

    "When I was younger, I always thought that sororities and fraternities were just a concept made for movies. I liked it, but it didn't seem like it could be real."


    2. The Pledge of Allegiance:

    "I thought it was TV shorthand to let audiences know they were in America, the way they use Big Ben to show people are in London. I didn't think anyone actually did it."


    3. Ice cream trucks:

    "I lived in the US for three years before finally seeing one."


    4. Pep rallies:

    "I thought they were made up for films as a plot device."


    5. People caring about college sports:

    "I thought films were exaggerating, but college football is literally a multi-billion-dollar industry."


    6. American flag clothes:

    "Especially people wearing them other than on July 4."


    7. American Pie–type house parties:

    "We go to clubs in Europe, but I experienced house parties when I moved during college."


    8. Cheerleading:

    "When I was younger, I thought cheerleading was only a myth. I was pretty shocked when I found out the truth."


    9. High schoolers driving to school:

    "I live in the US now, but back home and basically anywhere else in the world, that’s unheard of."


    10. People wearing shoes in their house:

    "I always thought it was something they just did in TV and movies because showing a character taking their shoes off and putting them on would be tedious, especially since they're often dashing out of the house to do things. I found out it was true from a BuzzFeed comment section, and I was shocked."


    11. Yellow school buses:

    "Honestly, I thought it was a trope from old high school films from the '90s, but when I went to America for the first time, I saw them everywhere."


    12. Summer camps:

    "It amazes me that a lot of young kids get sent away from their families for the summer!"


    13. Going all out on holiday decorations:

    "I couldn't believe the love of decorating and Christmas competitions, like best street for lights or tree decorating competitions. It's so serious!"


    14. Black Friday sales:

    "It’s really like the Hunger Games."


    15. Sports scholarships:

    "In movies and TV shows, it's like a necessity to have one. Everyone’s life depends on it. I didn't realize people actually needed them."


    16. Televangelists:

    "I genuinely thought that was a joke, and I was baffled when they turned out to be real."


    17. Prescription drug commercials:

    "I thought it was a running joke for the show I was watching. I went to America once, and when I played a YouTube video on my phone, guess what ad played? You guessed it, prescription drug commercial."


    18. Baywatch-style lifeguard houses:

    "Those things were huge and real!"


    19. The lack of school uniforms:

    "In Turkey, if you come to school without wearing your uniform, they are probably gonna send you to principal."


    20. Flags. Flags everywhere:

    "I thought this was just something in movies, but Americans really are obsessed with flags."


    21. Canned bread:

    "I saw it in SpongeBob, but I didn't realize it was actually a real thing."


    A screenshot from SpongeBob of canned bread

    22. Giant portions:

    "I never thought that was true. A medium fountain pop in the US is a large (or extra large, depending on where you are) here! We have decently large portions where I live, but in the US, food is colossal!"


    23. And finally, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch:

    "Where I’m from, that would be just a mid-morning snack."


    Are there any other American quirks you once thought were just Hollywood fiction? Leave them in the comments below!