Whether you love the United States or loathe it, there’s one fact that remains true: the country draws people in, both literally and figuratively. More than 40 million people who live in the US are immigrants from other countries, says the Migration Policy Institute. And if you’ve ever traveled abroad, you’re sure to have seen some of the country’s most popular icons, including the golden arches of McDonald’s.
Many American trademarks and trends have infiltrated countries around the world and some are quite, well, odd. Here we’ve compiled some of the oddest American trends that other countries have stolen.
America is not known for being healthy. In fact, over 30 percent of the country’s population is considered overweight. Each expert has their own favorite reason as to why all the obesity occurs, but one of the most popular conclusions is that it is due to the overwhelming amounts of unhealthy foods that are available.
Adding more to the appeal, many of these foods are prepared with those who are in a hurry (just about every American) in mind. You’ll find some of these most popular convenience foods around the world.
Spam. This salty slab of pink-colored meat that is perfectly melded into a brightly colored, peel-back can
Since then, Spam has faced its share of backlash for its ingredients and
Burgers. Although its humble beginnings originate in Germany, the burger has become one of the most popular symbols of American cuisine.
Perhaps it’s the combination of meat, bread, and condiments so intimately intertwined that draws taste buds to it, or maybe it’s the feeling of sinking your teeth into a myriad of different textures and flavors that
KitKats. The combination of chocolate and wafer that elicits that signature “crunch” has mouths all over America loving their KitKats. The sugary treat has also found a welcoming home in Japan.
In fact, it could be argued that people in Japan love KitKats more than Americans do as the country offers over 80 different flavors of the candy, including rose, strawberry cheesecake, and soybean.
It’s true that some Americans are complete label snobs, but apparently, they aren’t the only ones. Certain labels and brands that are made in America are popping their way up all over the world. It’s not always the look of the product that draws attention, it’s also what the label represents that makes it so attractive.
North Face. This American outdoor product company represents a lot of what America stands for, like ruggedness, safety, and looking good. South Koreans have grown especially fond of the brand and
Unfortunately, this love of the label has caused an increase in juvenile crime in the country. Young North Face fans are stealing cash to purchase the products, or they’re just swiping them.
Red Solo Cups. You’d be hard-pressed to attend a party in the States without seeing one of the most popular guests in attendance: the red Solo cup. This flimsy, plastic vessel for liquids started out as a convenient way to serve drinks at parties and keep them cold, all while providing easy cleanup. The cup has taken on a life of itself, however, by becoming a staple at cookouts, frat parties, and your typical, run-of-the-mill house get
Europeans now hold the humble container in high esteem and even have American-themed parties in which the cup is the guest of honor.
Getting their hands on the Solo brand of the red cups is cause for celebration itself. And these popular cups aren’t just for drinking, either. Party-goers in Russia, Amsterdam, and France are known to make cakes and hats out of the cups.
Grape Kool-Aid. Just about every kid in the States has tried the sugary powder that transforms into a deliciously satisfying treat when mixed with water. Just recently, however, the bright-colored packets have found popularity in Germany, with the grape-flavored variety as the fan favorite.
With all of the tasty flavors offered, you may wonder why the meager grape is considered the best. Turns out grape-flavored products are a rarity in Germany.
Celebrities and Television Shows Past Their Prime
Certain celebrities and television shows will always hold a special place in the hearts of Americans. However, they aren’t always what one would consider
Jerry Lewis. Long before he became the host of a popular telethon, Jerry Lewis was a beloved actor in the States and one-half of the comedy duo Martin and Lewis with American legend Dean Martin.
Although his popularity may have waned over here, folks across the pond have welcomed him with open arms. The people of France are enamored with the actor and even hold Lewis film festivals today.
John Ritter. Known for his infectious smile and laugh, John Ritter became a popular comedian and actor in the 1980s; his role as Jack Tripper on Three’s Company. earned him a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe. Featured on a variety of television shows and movies, Ritter worked until the day he unexpectedly died at the age of 54 of an aortic dissection in 2003.
Folks over in the Middle East still love the actor and watch his last project, 8 Simple Rules. In fact, the show is beamed by satellite from two different broadcasting companies and is aired during primetime.
Married with Children. Who could forget grumpy Al, airhead Peggy, and their lazy and often rude kids? Apparently, not the folks in Russia. The Married With Children sitcom that was popular in the 1980s has turned into one of the most beloved shows in Russia.
Although it’s not technically Married with Children anymore, Schastlivy Vmeste, or Happy Together, is a knock-off of the classic show that features an unhappily married couple and two teenagers who argue regularly. Al and Peggy Bundy have turned into Gena and Dasha Bukin, and although the names have changed, the premise—and hilarious tension—is still ever present.
Jersey Shore. What started as a New Jersey-based MTV reality show of a bunch of attractive (to some), Italian-American twenty-somethings became a favorite among Americans, in a hurry.
Unfortunately, time, marriages, and pregnancies caused the cast to move on to different things, but their legend is still alive in the myriad of Jersey Shore spin-offs that have popped up around the world.
Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are just a few of the countries that are proud to call these spin-offs their own. Although the cast is different, the premise is still the same: the beach, partying, and slang that pretty much nobody can understand.