Yeah, yeah – we know, Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, we're not idiots. Okay, maybe we are, because we have literally no idea why. And the Thanksgiving episodes of our favourite shows don't help, unless it really is part of the tradition that your most handsome friend wears one on his face and walks around. Is that right? Have we covered this one comprehensively? Are we good?
(Summary: Thanksgiving celebrates the Pilgrim Fathers' arrival in America and the Native Americans' sharing of their produce with them to keep them from starvation. A move they probably regret, with hindsight.)
5. Sadie Hawkins dance
This one is usually explained by whatever show uses it as a device – it's a school/college dance which women invite men to attend, in a radical reshaping of societal norms. What we don't quite get is... who the hell is Sadie Hawkins? Was she the first woman to ask a man out?
As it turns out, no – the tradition is named after a Li'l Abner comic strip plotline which made fun of the concept of women chasing bachelors to marry them up. So this so-called feminist tradition is actually super sexist. Sarcastic yay!
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6. Cotillion ball
Last time we checked (a minute ago, on Wikipedia), a Cotillion was an elaborate 18th-century French dance based on the contredanse, obviously. But whenever we watch American high school shows, they seem to think a Cotillion ball is a formal gathering where middle schoolers teach manners and etiquette to newbie students while wearing suuuuuper fancy clothes, like more fancy than Prom even.
The O.C seemed to have one every other week, but there's a possibility it just felt that way. Whatever, it was as boring to watch as it presumably was to attend.
Question: Why do Americans have so many formal parties?
When we first watched, we totally assumed Eggos were one of those made-up brands like Morley cigarettes in... well, everything.
As it turns out, Eggos are a totally real thing, and are a bit of an American staple. The frozen waffles were first introduced to market by the Dorsa brothers as "Froffles" (we see what you did there, guys) but were nicknamed "Eggos" by consumers (because they tasted of egg – seriously), so the brothers decided to go ahead and make that the official branding for some reason.
The whole "Leggo my Eggo" thing featured in the most recent Stranger Things trailer is a major part of their marketing, and is an instantly recognisable phrase in the States, even if it was greeted in the UK with a slightly indifferent shrug.
8. Spring Break
THIS ONE IS AMAZING. OK, so we totally thought Spring Break was some sort of bacchanalian festival where everyone under the age of 30 goes on holiday, gets totally wasted dresses and dances around in bikinis.
But – and brace yourself for this – it's also known as "study week", "reading week", or "reading period".
Bwahahahahaha – does it look like those guys in the video above are doing much READING to you?
9. Conway Twitty
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