6 creepy things only Americans do

For better or worse (actually, definitely worse), America's favorite pastime isn't baseball; It is judging other countries that are not America. But what about all the things Americans do that are considered creepy in other countries? Like all cultures, there are some American customs that simply don't translate well, or they may seem completely normal until you think about them carefully and suddenly realize how weird they actually are.

I’m not talking about the political system, although much can be said about the creepiness factor of certain wigged, tanned presidential candidates, or the well-documented friendliness that initially startles some visitors. Instead, today's focus is on those aspects of American culture that aren't even considered weird until your cousin visits from Australia and is baffled by the light-hearted interrogation that accompanies every visit to a sandwich shop. (Sandwich artists are called artists for a reason , friends.)

However, there are enough lists of weird American customs floating around the internet; let's talk about the really weird ones. You know, 60 years from now, this phenomenon will inevitably end up on the list of creepy historical traditions. You may think they're normal now, but once their weirdness is pointed out to you, it's impossible to ignore it.

1. Pledge of Allegiance

Let's face it: America's Pledge of Allegiance is pretty creepy. Every morning, nearly every schoolchild across the country stands, faces the flag, and blindly chants allegiance to the United States of America. oops.

2. Advertising, advertising, everywhere

No matter which country you live in, advertising creeps into every aspect of life, but it's especially prevalent in the United States. Television seems to be the culprit. Several Reddit users, in a thread dedicated to exploring weird American customs, said they were startled by how many ads there were when they sat down to watch TV.

3. Bathroom privacy (or lack thereof)

America spends so much time making fun of other countries for using bidets, it seems only fair that our bathrooms come under attack at some point. According to Thought Catalog, some non-Americans find the lack of privacy in American bathrooms disturbing—that is, there are huge gaps between stall doors and door frames, sometimes wide enough to see through.

4. Canned laughter

Because canned laughter is a staple of sitcoms in the United States, most Americans barely notice it as adults. However, according to the Internet, using a fake smile to encourage a real audience member to laugh will just look weird if you're not used to it. Reddit user Chizfoley wrote: "I think you know when something is funny without being prompted to laugh."

5. Roadside Attractions

That's not to say roadside attractions don't exist in other parts of the world, but in the United States they're a thriving, delightfully weird business. Yet beyond mundane attractions like the Toilet Seat Art Museum and restaurants where former presidents once dined, America has its share of tourist traps that are decidedly non-existent. Just look at the 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue pictured above (apparently one of many similar statues across the country), or visit the Museum of International Propaganda. To be honest, most Americans probably find it all a little creepy, too.

6.Thanksgiving Mask

It’s no secret that Americans (myself included of course) love Halloween. Today, the festival is known for gore, viscera, and lingerie-based animal costumes—something that, in short, has moved beyond "weird" into "disturbing and slightly disgusting" territory (except for the lingerie costumes Outside of that, of course; you do you).

As early as the late 19th century, however, Americans were observing a tradition that rivals modern Halloween celebrations: masking on Thanksgiving. According to the Huffington Post, early Thanksgiving parades eventually evolved into a custom of people strolling through the streets in fancy dress, sometimes cross-dressing, and often wearing masks. Sound familiar? This tradition is considered the (extremely racist) precursor to trick-or-treating, but in my official opinion it's about 1000% creepier than its contemporary incarnation - and that's all thanks to the mask aspect .

Also known as "doughface," it was a popular custom for children to don "hideous and hideous false faces," as Appleton Magazine described it in 1909. Just look at them. Or, you know, don't do it because it will make your nightmare last until Thanksgiving this year.

Unlike the other American traditions on this list, Thanksgiving masks are long over—and that's probably for the best.

Image: Giphy (4)