19 Things Americans Do Way Better Than the British

More than one American has argued that the USA is the best country in the world, and most certainly better than the United Kingdom. After all, we fought an entire war to gain independence from the English throne. The last thing we’d ever want to admit is that we were somehow inferior to our cousins across the pond. 

Of course, in reality, Americans and the British both have their share of talents. And, there are many things the United Kingdom (UK) excels in that America doesn’t, like teatime and universal healthcare. 

America may be better than the British at the things on this list, but we’re not saying one country is better than the other. We’re just saying if you want central air conditioning and fixed-rate mortgages, you might want to live in the U.S.

1: Keeping Things Cold

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Go to any restaurant in the U.S. and ask for a beverage. Unless you asked for coffee and tea, we can almost guarantee it came served over ice. If it’s beer or another alcoholic option, it may not have visible cubes, but it will be ice-cold. 

In the UK, ice isn’t standard. Your beer will likely be room temperature, your water straight from the tap, and your soda will probably come with a minuscule amount of ice, if it has any at all. Forget asking for an iced latte, as many coffee shops don’t even have ice available. 

2: Air Conditioning

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You’ll find central air conditioning (AC) in most U.S. homes and public buildings. According to the 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, 88% of Americans use AC. 

In the UK, air conditioning exists, but it’s far less common. Time Magazine reports that less than 5% of British homes have central air, meaning there’s no escape from sweltering summer heat waves. 

3: National Parks

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The U.S. National Park system is arguably the best in the world. We preserve over 52 million acres of diverse landscapes and attempt to make them easily accessible to everyone. 

The UK only has 15 National Parks, and though beautiful, they’re not nearly as diverse as those in the U.S. You’ll see a lot of greenery in the UK, but you won’t get the range of mountains, prairies, deserts, and forests that the U.S. contains. 

4: Cultural Diversity 

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We’re not saying the UK doesn’t have cultural diversity. There’s no doubt that you can experience authentic foods and experiences from certain parts of the world in UK cities. 

However, the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, making it hard to compete with our range of cultural offerings. Head to any major U.S. city and you’ll find foods from around the world, museums that speak to specific cultural experiences, and a stunning amount of diverse religious institutions. 

5: Refrigerators

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Refrigerators in the U.S. are often large, taking up a significant amount of kitchen space. We can store fresh produce, milk, eggs, meat, and condiments for a week or more. And, we typically have ice makers connected to our refrigerators. 

In the UK, you’re more likely to find a small, under-the-counter fridge, just big enough to hold your meat and produce for a few days. Of course, Brits also don’t refrigerate as many foods. Things like bread, eggs, and tomatoes are typically left out at room temperature. 

6: Work Ethic

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We’re not going to try and claim that this is healthy, but Americans typically work more than their British counterparts. In general, a strong work ethic is deeply ingrained in American citizens. 

Americans take fewer holidays, work longer hours, and almost 40% have a side hustle to tend to after work. In the UK, work is important, but work-life balance is the ultimate goal. 

7: Dryers

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In America, few people use clotheslines to dry their clothes, preferring the convenience and speed of a dryer instead. In the UK, though, that’s not the case. 

Despite the prevalence of rain in the United Kingdom, a significant number of people don’t own clothes dryers and opt to hang their clothes dry instead. Alternatively, many have combination washer dryers which aren’t known for being very effective. 

8: Dishwashers

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According to Statista, only 50% of British homes have dishwashers. The rest prefer to do their dishes by hand. 

In America, most homes rely on dishwashers. They’re convenient timesavers that often work more efficiently than handwashing. 

9: Comic Books

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British people may enjoy reading comic books, but they don’t write them the way Americans do. In fact, finding even one mainstream comic book hero that originates in the UK is a challenge. 

Think about the most famous comic book stories, the ones that permeate culture today. Stories like Superman, Batman, and Spiderman were all made in the USA. 

10: Hip-Hop

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Hip-hop is a uniquely American genre. Born on the streets of New York in the 1970s, it would be hard for anyone in the UK to fully understand this type of music. 

That’s not to say the British haven’t tried to add their spin to hip-hop. There are many British musicians within the hip-hop category. It’s just that none of them have attained much notoriety outside the UK. 

11: Tailgating

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Technically speaking, bringing food to enjoy before a contest or event is probably an ancient ritual. However, no one seems to have mastered the art of cooking, drinking, and partying from the back of a car the way Americans have. 

In the U.S., tailgates are so popular that many Americans attend without having any inclination to enter the stadium and watch the game. There’s nothing quite like them in the UK. 

12: Football

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The Brits have “football,” which is American soccer, and they have rugby, but they don’t have football like the USA. Football in America is a big deal, from high school to university to professional teams. 

There isn’t a man, woman, or child in the US that doesn’t know what touchdown means, and many Americans are practically born with a team jersey on their backs. In the UK, they may be die-hard fans of other sports, but they don’t understand football like Americans. 

13: Fast Food

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It’s easy to be critical of fast food, but if we’re being honest, most of us love the way it tastes. There’s nothing quite like a burger with fries and a Coke, especially when you can get it without leaving your vehicle. 

Most of the biggest and most popular fast-food giants, including McDonald’s, are American creations. Sure, the UK has a few of its own fast-food chains, but they’re nothing like the burger behemoths we have in the USA. 

14: Athletic Shoes 

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When you think of big-name sneaker brands, there are a few that probably come to mind. Nike, Reebok, Converse, and New Balance are all big-name companies throughout the world. 

There’s something else they have in common; they’re all American. The UK doesn’t have any athletic shoe companies that can compare. 

15: Jeans

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Blue jeans are an American staple that the rest of the world has adopted. Some of the biggest denim brands like Levi and Calvin Klein come from the U.S. 

Sure, lots of Brits wear jeans on a regular basis, but few of them wear denim designed in the UK. Instead, they’re borrowing from one of America’s greatest fashion exports. 

16: Movies

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Hollywood is by far and away the most famous and most successful source of big-screen hits. There are many UK movies that have done well over the years. But for every British blockbuster you can think of, you can probably name five or ten from the U.S. 

Many of the best British actors and directors travel to America to take part in big roles. And, often, American films have bigger budgets, making them more likely to produce box office success. 

17: Accessibility

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They call America the “new world,” for a reason. It’s a much younger country than the UK. While there are advantages to old age, accessibility to infrastructure isn’t one of them. 

In the US, buildings have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, which means most of them have ramps, elevators, and other mechanisms that allow everyone, regardless of their abilities, to move around. In the UK, new builds must make reasonable efforts to accommodate differing abilities, but there’s a lot of old architecture that doesn’t have ramps or elevators.  

18: The Blues

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It’s hard to say exactly when the blues originated, but it’s certainly a uniquely U.S. phenomenon. According to the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), the music genre probably emerged in Virginia in the 1860s, a turbulent period that included the end of slavery. 

The blues’ unique origin story and deeply emotive sound later helped give rise to rock and roll, and in many ways, it shaped music around the world. The British may have given us the Beatles, but the Beatles arguably wouldn’t have been what they were if the blues hadn’t come first. 

19: Mortgages

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No one really likes paying their mortgage, and Americans spend their fair share of time complaining about rising interest rates. However, compared to the British system, mortgages in the U.S. are a great deal. 

Many Americans take advantage of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, locking in an interest rate for the long term. In the UK, you’re more likely to get a two or five-year fixed-rate loan, which means your interest could increase significantly after that. 

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