20 American Things People Secretly Love That Actually Have a Bad Reputation

America is the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the subject of endless debates worldwide. It’s no secret that the United States often gets a bad rap for various reasons. There’s always something to critique, from its foreign policies to its fast food culture. But here’s the catch: beneath all the criticism, there are certain aspects of America that people around the globe secretly love.

One Redditor asked, “What is something America gets a bad rap for but you secretly love?” This thread received thousands of comments, and we have listed the most interesting ones for you!

1. Americanized Food

Woman eating pasta
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We’re talking about those massive portions of pasta drowning in creamy Alfredo sauce or covered in a mountain of gooey, melted cheese. Sure, Italians might cringe at the sight of it, but for us, it’s pure comfort on a plate.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Americanized Italian food and Tex-Mex. I don’t care that it isn’t authentic. It’s tasty.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Olive Garden is my secret guilty pleasure (I live in the NYC metro area with access to many authentic Italian places).”

2. Ice-cold Drinks

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It’s not just a drink; it’s a lifestyle. Whether it’s a scorching summer day or a freezing winter morning, there’s something oddly satisfying about sipping on a cup of coffee that’s chilled to perfection.

One said, “Ice cold drinks. Even in the winter, I want that drink ice cold.”

Another replied, “I’ve seen a few posts say Ice; why is EU so stingy on frozen water cubes? I don’t care what anyone says; I love my ice cold drinks …with ice.”

3. Air-conditioners

Air Conditioning unit on building
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A Reddit user wrote, “gratuitous AC everywhere.”

Someone else added, “Traveling abroad in hot climates, I always marveled at these little wall AC units. Like cmon. We need that everywhere.”

Sure, critics argue that it’s excessive and that we should tough it out, embrace the heat, and save the planet. But let’s be real, have you ever tried to survive a heatwave without AC?

4. Being Fun

Joyful senior hispanic man pointing at you laughing.
Image Credit: Koldunov/Shutterstock.

Americans have this knack for turning everyday things into epic adventures. A simple backyard barbecue? Nope, it’s a full-blown fiesta with grilling, games, and laughter that echoes through the night. And what about holidays? Americans don’t just celebrate; they go all out.

Someone commented, “Say what you will about Americans, but you can’t deny they are a fun bunch. Even their real-life drama is something we could never imagine.”

Another responded, “The best deployment I ever had was with Americans. They really are a fun bunch. They know how to relax. During down time, they start belting out tunes, playing an instrument, dance. They even make working out really fun!!!”

5. Free Speech

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Image Credit: Kues/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Majority of countries (and people from them) rarely admit their faults to the outside world. They are nowhere near as open as Americans when it comes to admitting problems. (They only talk about them amongst each other).”

Another person agreed to it and said, “I love absolutely unlimited free speech. And when we mess up, we tell everyone about it. It makes a lot of countries look like a bunch of thinned-skin queen bees.”

Some argue that free speech leads to all sorts of chaos- hate speech, fake news, and all those messy debates. Yeah, it can get wild and sometimes uncomfortable, but secretly, we all kind of love it.

6. Road Trips

children look out from a car window.little boy and girl playing inside a minivan.
Image Credit: Evgeniy Kalinovskiy/Shutterstock.

America is dotted with bizarre and fascinating roadside attractions- the world’s largest ball of yarn, a museum dedicated entirely to potatoes, or a house shaped like a shoe.

One said, “I’ve always thought American road trips and vast landscapes are underrated. Nothing beats the open road!”

Another replied, “I traveled the country for two years in an RV. It’s a beautiful country. I love road trips. I have a couple of them I’d love to do. One is the coast of Maine, and the other is the trip from Washington to Alaska through Canada.”

7. Car Culture

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First off, there’s this freedom that comes with owning a car. It’s not just a mode of transport; it’s a ticket to endless adventures.

Someone commented, “The freedom to just get in a fast-moving vehicle, on your own schedule (3 a.m.? no problem), by yourself, and explore that vast landscape is something else. That being said, nothing wrong with other options existing, but I like that we have that.”

Someone else added, “Being European, I feel car culture in general is getting a bad rep, yet it’s an unbelievable feeling hitting a road trip here. I love the American car culture for sure.”

8. The Super-country

Vietnam Vet With Rough Beard Looking Up With American Flag Background.
Image Credit: ThomasPhoto/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Being the hegemonic power of the world. It’s a much better world than if China or Russia was in the same position.”

Another replied, “I’m not from the US, and I also think that. I know there are A LOT of things that the US does wrong, and I criticize them heavily for it, but definitely, I prefer the US being the hegemonic power of the world over Russia, China, or any other non-western country.”

From natural disasters to economic crises, Americans have this uncanny knack for coming together and rising above the challenges.

9. The Hustle-bustle

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One said, “I’ve spent a fair amount of time traveling Europe. There seems to be a calmness about societies in Europe. Nothing is urgent or terribly important. I love how chaotic and hectic the US is. Everyone walking down the street is on a mission. Whatever they are doing is fatally important. everyone else around, I need to get to it!”

Another responded, “I’ve noticed this about the northeast US. That region feels like it’s humming along at a different pace than the rest of the country, and I love that!”

Then there’s the convenience. America practically invented the concept of everything at your fingertips. Need groceries at 3 AM? No problem. Craving a burger at midnight? You got it. The 24/7 culture means you can get pretty much anything, anytime.

10. Not Caring

man wearing red tshirt looking upset
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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Not giving 2 flying and just not care about much. They mind their own business.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “This one is so underrated. Americans are so unfazed by things in their peripherals, for better or worse, they charge 100% at what they do like no other people I’ve ever known.”

There’s a resilience in this attitude, a way of not letting failures define them. And deep down, we all secretly admire that ability not to let setbacks crush our spirits.

11. Food Portions

Emotive dark skinned bearded guy keeps both hands on head, opens mouth from surprisement as sees too much desserts at one table.
Image Credit: Cast Of Thousands/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “Large portions of food 🤪👀”

Someone else added, “Right?! People always act like you have to eat the whole thing, when in reality you just got two or more meals for the price of one because leftovers are a thing”

Sure, some might say it’s excessive, but secretly, we all adore getting more bang for our buck. Who doesn’t want leftovers for days?

12. Walmart

Young man in blue t-shirt shouting oh my god with open mouth.
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A Reddit user wrote, “Wal Mart. If I want a sandwich or a sweatshirt or a socket wrench at 3AM on Christmas, I can get it.”

Another replied, “I have a friend from India who worked on a cruise ship back in like 2002. I lived in a small town in Arizona and he docked somewhere in Florida…he thought I could just pop in the car to hang out with him but I had to tell him how far we were.

Anyways…He saw a Wal-Mart and asked me what it was about. I told him to go check it out. He called me about 3 hours later, saying he spent like $200 on snacks, deodorant, cologne, shoes, clothes…etc. He was like so enthralled.

He said we were soooo spoiled because he had to go to one store like half a mile away JUST for his toiletries and had to have his clothes made at a tailor in another shop across his city. He said he’d never seen sandals, sneakers, or slippers all on one shelf. He was so happy it melted my heart.”

Need a last-minute birthday gift, a new blender, and a bag of dog food? Walmart’s got your back.

13. Rednecks

Angry blond muscular European man over white background.
Image Credit: CREATISTA/Shutterstock.

Rednecks have this amazing ability to fix anything with duct tape, a wrench, and sheer determination. Their DIY skills are legendary. Need a makeshift barbecue pit? A redneck will fashion one out of spare car parts.

One said, “I moved to America from Europe, and I love rednecks. They work hard, are honest, and are pretty good cooks. I also bought a Toyota Tacoma truck due to my interactions with them. Rednecks can make their Truck with 300k miles on it do literally anything, and it’s incredible.”

Someone else added, “My dad always said the happiest person on earth is a redneck with money! If you don’t talk down to them and just be cool, they are usually extremely kind and generous too. Not all, of course.”

14. Chocolate

Portrait of a cheery brown haired woman with bright makeup holding chocolate bar at her face isolated over blue background.
Image Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.

Americans have this wild imagination when it comes to chocolate. From s’mores to chocolate-covered bacon (yes, that’s a thing), they transform this heavenly ingredient into the most unexpected and delightful concoctions. Ever had a chocolate-covered pretzel? It’s like a perfect balance of salty and sweet, and secretly, we all want to munch on these addictive creations.

Someone commented, “Swear US chocolate hate is just an online meme, Since Mars Chocolate is 2nd best-selling brand in the UK.”

Another replied, “I was hospitalized in Ireland for 3 months. The social worker asked for a wish list, and I put down dark chocolate. He brings me a Cadbury dark chocolate bar. It was nasty! It has so much sugar, which destroys any dark chocolate flavor. I’ve never had a more disappointing dark chocolate bar. So the UK and Ireland suck for chocolate. Only US chocs are the best.”

15. Lawsuits

Confident lawyer portrait.
Image Credit: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.

Americans have this incredible knack for turning everyday mishaps into multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Spill hot coffee? Sue! Slip on a wet floor? Sue!

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Our love of lawsuits.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Yes, it is really silly that we have “caution hot” on cups, and everyone wants to talk about how stupid and lawsuit crazy we are because of that, but we just have accountability. I’m in construction, and half of our day is negotiating contracts and holding individuals to contracts that they try and default on. Can only imagine how that would go in a world of handshake deals.

Also, the caution hot lawsuit was totally legit and is an example of a big company refusing to make changes that should protect the consumer. Look up legal Eagles take on it.”

16. Film Industry

Hollywood boulevard street sign
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Hollywood, Netflix, Broadway- America is basically the entertainment capital of the world.

A Reddit user wrote, “You make the best films. With actual movie stars. If it weren’t for you, we’d be stuck watching the kitchen sink soap operas.”

Another replied, “There’s a reason why Hollywood is this famous and celebrities are so well known and rich.”

17. Disability Friendly

Disabled Icon. Worker Injury And Disability. Hands Protecting
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.

One said, “I’m very critical of America but I think the country is more disability friendly than most in our infrastructure.”

Someone else added, “It is illegal to not have handicapped access to a public building. My crosswalk in town, I kid you not, has a beep for people who can’t see well. A+ to America for that.”

The fact that we’re even talking about disability-friendly infrastructure shows progress. It’s a reminder that society is becoming more inclusive and more aware of the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

18. American Football

American Football Player running upfield
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American football isn’t just a sport; it’s a full-blown adrenaline rush. The tackles, the touchdowns, the drama- it’s like watching a blockbuster movie unfold live on the field.

A Reddit user wrote, “American Football. Other countries hate it and think it’s stupid, but it’s an amazing sport. 300 lb athletic freaks who can somehow Squat 600 lbs and run as fast as a car hitting each other at full speed? I do appreciate global football and its nuances…But 5there’s something special about American Football that sets it apart from other sports.”

Another responded, “It’s a turn-based strategy game basically. I’m not even sure if there’s another major sport that plays with… plays! Like, everything starts with the teams lined up in position, and both teams have to execute their plays at the same time.

Most sports have constant movement, and you can watch and not pay full attention and get what’s going on. There’s something about two teams lining up, waiting for the ball to snap, and seeing what plays both sides can execute within about 6 seconds.”

19. People

Group of smiling friends making selfie outdoors.
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Americans have this reputation for being overly friendly, but secretly, we all adore it. Strangers striking up conversations, genuine smiles, and the willingness to help- it’s like living in a giant, hospitable community. A random stranger’s kindness can secretly turn your mood around, even if you’re having a bad day.

One said, “The people. At least the people I encountered when I visited the country in 2014 were really nice.”

Another replied, “People really want to help and do get excited about visitors coming to their little corner of the country.”

20. Craft Beer

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A discerning Reddit user commented, “Craft beer. The scene is unmatched in the US. The selection of IPAs, in particular.”

Another person agreed to it and said, “Living in NL now and was very excited to try new craft beers when I moved. I was very disappointed to find there is more selection and availability of even Belgian beers in Cornfield, Ohio, than in NL. Belgium is right next door to NL; it makes no sense to me.”

Secretly, we all admire the imagination behind these innovative flavors!

12 American Customs That Make No Sense To Foreigners

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When people from other countries visit the United States, they often notice some things that seem really strange. These are things that Americans do in their everyday lives, but they might not make much sense to visitors.

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12 Mythological Creatures That Might Actually Exist

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via DepositPhotos.com.

Mythology has always been a fascinating realm where imagination and reality intertwine. While many mythological creatures have been dismissed as pure fiction, there are a few that might find a place in the realm of possibility.

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12 Healthy Foods Most People Refuse To Eat

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When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, we often hear about the importance of consuming a variety of nutritious foods. However, some of these foods often end up being overlooked or outright refused by many individuals. Despite their incredible health benefits, certain foods face a lack of popularity due to taste, texture, or unfamiliarity.

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20 Jobs That Used To Be Prestigious But Aren’t Anymore

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Some jobs used to be all fancy-schmancy, but now? Meh, not so much. We are talking about those gigs that used to make you raise your eyebrows in admiration, but now, you’re more likely to raise your remote and change the channel.

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10 So-Called “Frugal” Habits That Are Actually A Waste Of Time And Money

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Do you know any things that people do that they think are frugal but actually aren’t saving them money but sometimes are just wasting their time and money?

I am sure you have read articles and tips that promote frugal living and give some ideas that are just not frugal! These frugal myths float around and sometimes even cost people a lot of money!

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12 Extreme Frugal Living Tips You Can Try

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via DepositPhotos.com.

A Reddit user was curious to know the extremely frugal things people did that they didn’t tell people about. He gave an illustration that he used to collect promotional coffee sachets on top of car windows and that saved a ton of money.  He wanted to know whether other Reddit users did extremely frugal things that they did not want other people to know. 

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.