Here’s everything American TikTokers ALWAYS get wrong about the UK
STOP DANCING ON THE TUBE
It’s easy to see why people from other countries get *everything* wrong about the UK. They’ve only had the best possible representations of us to go on. Harry Potter, Bridget Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch… we all look like charming, posh people who live atop rolling hills and eat fish and chips every day.
For better or worse, this definitely isn’t the case. Men aren’t typically like Hugh Grant’s characters, not unless you visit the proper tory ends of England anyway. We don’t all live in castles and there isn’t a TARDIS around every corner. The UK isn’t much of a dreamworld, that’s why we tend to call it “trash island”.
I spent a long time making a list of everything US TikTokers and content creators constantly get wrong about the UK. Here’s a rundown:
1. It’s not all pretty gardens, castles and white cliffs
@ukhiddengems Tag someone your taking here! #travel #tiktoktravel #bucketlist ♬ My Tears Are Becoming a Sea – M83
Why is it, when Americans think of the UK, the first image in their mind is always the White Cliffs of Dover? Or somewhere regal, like Chatsworth House? Why is it never a desperate-looking corner shop in a Brexit-tinged rural village somewhere in distant Shropshire?
Yeah, okay. The UK *does* have a few National Trust gardens and mansions. And, obviously, the Cliffs are iconic. But why not expand your horizons? Go and have a two-star-hygiene-rated kebab instead, let’s see how you romanticise that one.
2. You need to spend your nan’s inheritance on one piece of American Candy
@cashmoneyfood what’s ur opinions on our uk snacks ? Takis are here to stay 😇 #takis #uksnacks #snacks #food #try #haul #fyp #FYP #explore #foodblog #wednesday ♬ Coming for You (feat. A1 x J1) – SwitchOTR
Hate to break it to you – especially if you’re feeling homesick for the US – but cheese puffs aren’t, like, 80p a bag over here. Turns out, you have to go to one of the many American Candy Stores around various British cities and take out a mortgage to buy some. Genuinely, it costs around £12 for a regular bag of crisps for some reason.
3. There isn’t a red phone box around every corner
@london.by.kseniia London travel tips🇬🇧 #london #uk #visitlondon #londoners #fyp #londonsbest #londonlife #tips ♬ unwritten demotapes flip breakdown – demotapes
This isn’t the 1960s, people don’t just look amazing and get photos in phone boxes (unless you’re American, pretty much). The rumours about them smelling of piss in the inside are true – and besides, most of them are just preserved relics nowadays. No-one actually makes calls from them anymore, so what’s the point?
4. You CAN’T spend time in London on a budget
@brookiebarry Some days we spent a bit more though 😂🇬🇧✈️ #london #travel #traveltips #uk #moneytips #savingmoney #europe ♬ Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) – Karaoke Version – Edison Lighthouse
On my first working day in London, I was asking my taxi driver for advice on how to save money (lol, not by taking taxis, I guess). He said the following to me: “You can’t eat. Don’t bother buying anything. I once paid £8 for an egg sandwich in a local shop. I could make that at home.”
Basically, the only way you can *do* London for less than £50 a day is if you spend all your time looking at pretty houses and packing your own lunch. But then, you could do that anywhere, so what’s the point?
5. The tube is not ‘fun’
@virgomatcha_ And they dont have as many weird people 🤌🏾 #uk #uktiktok #americanintheuk #london #traveltiktok ♬ Nobodys Fool – Seven11
At the risk of sounding like a jaded old woman – the tube isn’t a novelty joyride. The barriers are literally the gates of hell, and everything you do from then on is just a necessity until you get where you really need to go. Don’t make eye contact, don’t bring stinky food on – and oh my god, do NOT try and climb the poles. Even if you’re insanely drunk.
6. Gentrification isn’t a great look, actually
@munyachawawa Ben Trifier visits Brixton 🥑☕️ #foryoupage #comedy #brixton ♬ original sound – Munya Chawawa
Sorry, but eating a wheel of cheese and truffle fries in Brixton isn’t “yums for my tums,” it’s erasure. The borough used to be rich in different cultures and history, before becoming whitewashed and adopted by the posh. I’m really sorry you need to forgo your aesthetic just this once, but listening to devastated communities is more important, to be honest.
7. Cornwall isn’t really a jet-skiing, Mediterranean paradise
@fridayfamilyfun The UK seaside is something to experience! #uktravels #cornwallcoast #kynancecove #americanintheuk ♬ Paradise – Bazzi
Don’t get me wrong, some bits of Cornwall are absolutely amazing. Clear sea, lush views and banging local food awaits. But just like everywhere else, it has its not-so-nice parts, too. Don’t make the mistake of booking somewhere random in Cornwall because you reckon all of it will be nice. Do some research first, pls.
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Featured image via @brian..smith, @petite.blondeline and @reagan.xo on TikTok before edits.