04/08/2014 02:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

17 Things You Need to Explain to International Visitors About America


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Foreigners are kinda like parents: Sure, sometimes they can be annoying, but we really wouldn't be here without them. And since we're not exactly the most gracious of guests when we visit their countries, it only seems fair that we explain the way things are done here in Amuuurica -- with the hope that they go home, convey what they're doing wrong, and make our next visits there even more enjoyable.



1. You MUST tip your waiter/bartender

And if you don't tip, we might revoke your visa. Twenty percent of your bill is good. Eighteen percent is okay. Anything below 15 percent? Congratulations: The entire waitstaff now hates your country. They may also hate you if you do any of these 16 things, just so you know.

2. Sales tax isn't included either

Most states charge an extra 5-10 percent of the price in tax. So when you pay for that $.99 bag of Funyons with a $5 bill, expect to get your body weight back in change. Which sucks because...

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3. Our coins are pretty much worthless

Unless you have a hankering for an oversized gumball. Or enjoy frustrating ten-minute conversations with clueless sales clerks about how, yes, the gold $1 coin is real. Just because nobody uses them doesn't mean they're fake.

4. We'll ask how you are, but nobody really cares

Seriously, don't think for a second that the girl at the Walgreen's check-out counter has any interest in why you're buying four kinds of laxatives and a copy of Hola! Also, phony interest, enthusiasm, and hospitality is decidedly more prevalent south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You've been warned.



5. You have to pay to see a doctor

And the 6 hours you spend at the hospital will cost more than your house.

6. You can turn right on a red light

Yes, all of the people behind you slamming on their car horns can see the light is red. They can also see your right blinker is on and you're not moving, which now makes you roughly as popular in America as Kim Jong-un. Or Juan Pablo, if you're more of an US Weekly reader.

7. The drinking age is 21 and we mean it

If one person in your group is under age, consider your awesome birthday trip to South Beach officially ruined. Unless that person is female. And hot.

Head over to to check out 10 more things Americans need to explain to international visitors!

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