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19 American Pastimes Made Popular Globally by Hollywood

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Americans exert significant influence on global trends, thanks to the sway of Hollywood, influential public figures, and a rich historical legacy. This trendsetting propensity often prompts people from various corners of the world to turn to the United States for their daily dose of inspiration. Within this diverse cultural tapestry, a plethora of trends emerges, ranging from genuinely captivating to outright peculiar. By tapping into the perspectives shared in an online community forum, we will delve into the multifaceted aspects of American culture that have garnered worldwide popularity.

1. School Dances

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School dances such as Prom and Homecoming have become more popular in other countries, such as the UK, because of Hollywood depictions and social media influencers. Some students worldwide find it a fun way to celebrate, while other teenagers find it to be an over-the-top waste of money just to spend time with people at school they don’t even like.

2. Popular Fast Food

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When traveling internationally, Americans are often surprised to see US chains like Mcdonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, or Subway buzzing with action. Apparently, these chains are popular worldwide these days in big cities. Surprisingly, they are often far superior to the original US chains, set up to feel fancier. For example, some people think Mcdonald’s offers much better food selection and quality abroad-while others think it sucks everywhere.

3. Red Solo Cup

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Who knew? Someone writes, “They are so popular that people outside of the US use them as decorations for American-themed celebrations.”

Another agrees, “Yes, people bring them back from the U.S. or have them mailed to them. They re-wash and reuse them.”

4. Propane Toys

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From BBQ grills to camping tools like a Jet Boil, Americans have fun with their propane and accessories. These tools have gradually overtaken other country markets over the years.

5. Hollywood and Movie Culture

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Someone writes, “Hollywood – I mean it wouldn’t even exist, but I do wonder what cinema would be like today without Hollywood. Would it be better? Would it have died out?” Hollywood is definitely the epicenter of all things movie related and has all eyes on it worldwide.

6. Jazz and Beyond

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Certain music genres originated or grew quickly in the U.S., including jazz. A style of music loved by many. Plus, it’s evolved into many other styles of music over the years. Someone writes, don’t forget, “blues, country, rock, hip hop, R&B, and funk.”

7. Cheerleading

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Cheerleading has its own obsessive culture in the U.S. It has been made popular worldwide with sporting events (like American Football) and classic movies like “Bring It On.”

8. Reddit

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Reddit is a US-based company, with the largest subgroup being Americans (47%). After that, the next largest group is the UK with 7%. This is likely why many discussions often revolve around American issues and complaints.

9. Garbage Disposals

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Garbage disposals are pretty standard in US homes, but for some people, their only experience with them is in horror movies as a form of injury.

Someone writes, “When I moved to the UK, my flatmates asked how in movies people would stick their hands in the sink drain and it be ripped apart. I told them about garbage disposals and they were very weirded out.”

10. Certain Movie Genres

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A few people discuss that superhero movies and sci-fi movies (such as Alien) are only as popular as they are because of their US fanbase.

11. Country Music

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Unless country music happens to cross over the pop stations, country music is not a popular music genre around the world like it is in the good ol’ USA.

12. Halloween

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While the ideas behind the Halloween tradition are not American, many would agree that the U.S. has successfully commercialized Halloween. This big industry has successfully made it cool to pay tons of money for candy, costumes, and extravagant decorations and parties. Some Europeans love to partake in the fun these days too.

13. Blue Jeans

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What started as a hardy pair of pants for hard-working folks has become a classic go-to fashion statement worldwide- especially in the US.

14. Starbucks

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A few people agree that Starbucks, a US-based company, has changed how many people consume coffee around the world. Someone wrote, “Starbucks really monopolized the coffee industry in the US and cheapened the experience.”

15. Air Conditioning

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Many Americans (and American companies) fully embrace the powers of air-conditioning- successfully freezing people out of homes, movie theatres, shopping centers, and hospitals. This is much less common elsewhere unless you find yourself in a US based store or office globally.

16. Iced Drinks

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Europeans that move to the U.S. are always surprised to find bags of ice as such hot commodities. Whether going in a drink cooler, on a camping trip, or having an ice-cold drink, Americans love their ice.

17. Drink Refills

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When out at a restaurant in America, it’s totally normal to get endless refills on soda or free water.

18. Giant Fridges

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Most of the world is accustomed to smaller more economical fridges. But they would never fit the lot of groceries many Americans buy from big box stores like Costco. They’ve slowly spread to other markets across the world too.

19. BBQ

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Hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak on the grill for every get together? Heck ya!


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