21 Unspoken Rules of the True American

(Last Updated On: )

Being American comes with its own set of unwritten guidelines—quirky, yet quintessential to the fabric of society. From BBQ etiquette to remote control diplomacy, here are 21 unspoken rules that every true American knows and abides by.

1. Thou Shalt Never Pass up a Free Sample

shutterstock 414153787

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tyler Olson

Free food? Count us in! Whether it’s at the grocery store or a food court, Americans have an innate talent for sniffing out complimentary nibbles.

2. Thou Shalt Wave When Someone Lets You Merge in Traffic

shutterstock 591575939 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gubin Yury

A small gesture with big impact: a wave of appreciation for that driver who let you squeeze into their lane can go a long way.

3. Thou Shalt Hold the Door Open for Strangers

shutterstock 1752566351 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dmytro Zinkevych

A simple act of courtesy that transcends social barriers—holding the door open for the person behind you is just good manners.

4. Thou Shalt Have a Favorite Local Sports Team

shutterstock 1718759467

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

From Little League to the big leagues, Americans take hometown pride seriously. Rooting for the local team is practically a civic duty.

5. Thou Shalt Respect the Sanctity of a BBQ

shutterstock 2372335323 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / KenSoftTH

Barbecue isn’t just a meal—it’s a way of life. Whether it’s ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, Americans know that good BBQ is worth its weight in gold.

6. Thou Shalt Tip Generously

shutterstock 721260262 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / nutcd32

In America, tipping isn’t just a suggestion—it’s an expectation. Whether it’s at a restaurant or a hair salon, tipping generously is a sign of appreciation for good service.

7. Thou Shalt Stand for the National Anthem

shutterstock 515719543 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Grindstone Media Group

Whether you’re at a ball game or a school assembly, standing for the national anthem is a time-honored tradition that symbolizes unity and patriotism.

8. Thou Shalt Never Skip Dessert

shutterstock 315490937 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / antoniodiaz

Life is short—eat dessert first! Whether it’s pie, cake, or ice cream, Americans know that no meal is complete without a sweet treat.

9. Thou Shalt Have Strong Opinions About Pizza Toppings

shutterstock 2151896221

Image Credit: Shutterstock / DavideAngelini

Pineapple on pizza: yay or nay? Americans aren’t afraid to take a stand on this divisive issue—and defend their pizza preferences with gusto.

10. Thou Shalt Never Discuss Politics at the Dinner Table

shutterstock 2248936947 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / View Apart

In polite company, it’s best to avoid hot-button topics like politics. Save the debates for another time and place.

11. Thou Shalt Hold Your Liquor

shutterstock 2244349123 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / DavideAngelini

Whether it’s at a party or a barbeque, Americans take pride in their ability to hold their liquor. Just remember to drink responsibly!

12. Thou Shalt Embrace the Power of Small Talk

shutterstock 300219482 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Photo Volcano

From the weather to weekend plans, Americans know that small talk is the key to forging connections with strangers.

13. Thou Shalt Never Turn down a Challenge

shutterstock 587469095

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

From eating contests to game nights, Americans love a good challenge. After all, where’s the fun in playing it safe?

14. Thou Shalt Respect the Sacred Bond Between Man and Grill

shutterstock 1126840436 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / NDAB Creativity

Grilling isn’t just a cooking method—it’s a way of life. Whether it’s charcoal or gas, Americans know that everything tastes better when it’s cooked over an open flame.

15. Thou Shalt Stand Up for What You Believe In

shutterstock 2186156323 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

From civil rights marches to environmental activism, Americans aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe in.

16. Thou Shalt Never Drink Instant Coffee

shutterstock 399763387 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / MR.PAPASR MAKEE

In a nation obsessed with caffeine, instant coffee is a cardinal sin. Americans know that good coffee takes time—and a little extra effort.

17. Thou Shalt Respect the Oxford Comma

shutterstock 2117721485

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

In the world of grammar, the Oxford comma is king. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying its power to clarify.

18. Thou Shalt Never Arrive Empty-Handed to a Potluck

shutterstock 209888239 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Locke Photography

In the world of American social gatherings, the potluck is king. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or a holiday party, always bring something to share.

19. Thou Shalt Respect the Power of the Remote Control

shutterstock 1177732651 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gaurav Paswan

In the battle for control of the TV remote, there can only be one winner. Choose wisely, my friends.

20. Thou Shalt Never Underestimate the Healing Power of Comfort Food

shutterstock 1656877345 1 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

Whether you’re sad, stressed, or just plain hungry, comfort food is always there to save the day.

21. Thou Shalt Always Root for the Underdog

shutterstock 1731180391 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Inside Creative House

From sports to movies, Americans love a good underdog story. After all, who doesn’t love to see the little guy come out on top?

Follow the Guide

shutterstock 1277871184 1

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

So there you have it, 21 unspoken rules that every true American knows and lives by. So the next time you find yourself at a potluck or a tailgate party, remember these rules and embrace what it truly means to be American.

More Articles Like This…

Mastering Underwater Photography on Your Travels

One Day in…Ayutthaya, Thailand

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations According to Tripadvisor 2024

The post 21 Unspoken Rules of the True American was republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Suteren.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

Tips for Trip Success

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by using Kayak, a favorite of ours because it regularly returns less expensive flight options from a variety of airlines.

Book Your Hotel or Special Accommodation
We are big fans of Booking.com. We like their review system and photos. If we want to see more reviews and additional booking options, we go to Expedia.

You Need Travel Insurance!
Good travel insurance means having total peace of mind. Travel insurance protects you when your medical insurance often will not and better than what you get from your credit card. It will provide comprehensive coverage should you need medical treatment or return to the United States, compensation for trip interruption, baggage loss, and other situations.Find the Perfect Insurance Plan for Your Tripimage 9133145 14418597

PassingThru is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

To view PassingThru’s privacy policy, click here.

+ posts
+ posts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.