It’s pretty well-known that media and Hollywood play up stereotypes for any number of reasons, and that when people travel and actually meet others from around the world face-to-face, those are easily dispelled.

In these 15 cases, though, non-Americans were totally shocked to learn that the “crazy” thing they’d heard about the States was actually pretty much true.

#15. I thought it was a joke.

That Dolly Parton has her own theme park in Tennessee. I thought it was a joke.

#14. Our waistlines prove it.

All the food is bigger.

#13. Can confirm.

I’m still not 100% sure is true so hopefully can confirm – “buoy” is pronounced “boo-ee” ?

#12. Halloween culture shock.

Masked people come to your house, knock on your door asking for candy. Mostly it’s just packs of kids but sometimes whole families. This was my friends Halloween culture shock.

#11. Conversations with total strangers.

Not exactly crazy, but I wanted to test out the stereotype that Americans will talk to anyone so I sought out a sports bar on my first visit. Ended up having a ton of really fun conversations with total strangers who I’ll never talk to ever again. It was great!

Edit: It seems reddit likes hearing stories about this trip, so here’s another one I shared a while back.

#10. Actually.

Surfer-dudes actually speak like that.

#9.  Code for “generic restaurant.”

I always thought that the Olive Garden in The Simpsons was just code for ‘generic restaurant’

#8. Super good at pie.

I studied in Maryland for about half a year back in 2017. I’d always heard that Americans are like… super good at pie. I was pretty much all alone during thanksgiving since everyone else was with their families. One of the RAs I’d befriended knocked on my door and brought me all different kinds of pie. Dear lord, I’ve never tasted anything that delicious. From blueberry to apple to pumpkin. Every. Single. Pie. They were all amazing.

#7. As seen on tv.

Sports Bars are actually exactly how they’re portrayed on TV

#6. Holy sh*t.

Drink sizes. Holy shit.

When my family visited in 2017 we landed in Texas for a stopover. First thing I saw in the shops part of the terminal was a dude who was drinking from what looked like an actual fucking bucket – here in NZ our “large” drinks would be considered an American “small” or maybe “medium”

#5. Only in Florida. Mostly.

That people actually get attacked by Alligators which got in their pools (specifically referring to Florida here).

#4. I thought it was nice.

I’m from Quebec and when we went down to Boston for a school trip, I sneezed in public and heard two or three people say “bless you”. Quite a weird rumour I had heard not 2 months prior to that. I thought it was nice.

#3. A Hollywood prop.

I’m from Australia, and all my life I believed red Solo cups were like 555 area codes – a Hollywood prop. When I immigrated to the US, my MIL was making dinner and offered me iced tea in a red Solo cup.

I lost it, made everyone sign the cup. I’ve still got it.

#2. All the Coke!

Free refills!

#1. Not-so-sweet tea.

Biscuits and gravy is a legit thing. Also you can ride motorcycles without helmets in some states??? And your iced tea isn’t sweetened unless you ask for sweet.

Edit: nothing could have possibly prepared me for the absolute dichotomy of sweet tea vs iced tea in the comments. This is evidently very important to many

Bless our hearts over here.