Many tourists to the United States report a kind of "uncanny valley" effect. Years spent watching Hollywood movies and TV re-runs mean visitors often feel a dose of déjà vu, even on a first visit to the States. US culture is everywhere.

But ten seasons of Friends and a childhood spent watching Sesame Street cannot prepare you for these bizarre customs and cultural curios.

A recent online discussion reported that there are still elements of US culture that baffle visitors.

Their toilets in particular are a mystery.

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The discussion was held in a Reddit forum asking: 'People who have visited the U.S. from another country, what surprised you the most?'

Tourists found little rest in US 'rest rooms'. Photo / Robert Alexander, Getty Images
Tourists found little rest in US 'rest rooms'. Photo / Robert Alexander, Getty Images

"OzRockabella" voiced concern over the issue: "Your toilets are 3/4 full of water - why?"

"Punkalunka" agreed that US toilets seemed over-engineered: "The toilets are so wide. And why is the water in the toilet bowl right up near the seat? Why does it need to be so high?"

Why so much water, America?

While some were worried about the prodigious volumes of wastewater, others were concerned about privacy.

"StegoSnail" admitted the "gaps around toilet doors" were something he just didn't get.

Remaining in the "rest room", others were not content with the washing facilities. "Showers without detachable shower heads is so weird in a first-world country like the US," wrote another user.

The practice of not including taxes on price tags left other visitors embarrassed at the till. Photo / Getty Images
The practice of not including taxes on price tags left other visitors embarrassed at the till. Photo / Getty Images

Beyond the scatological, one of America's other great taboos caused further consternation: money.

The practice of not including taxes on price tags left other visitors, like "SlurmsMcenzie", feeling embarrassed at the till.

"Why isn't tax added on to the item initially? It means you never know how much you're actually going to pay."

Putting "ice in every single drink" was another oddity that flummoxed Redditor "helloitsalesandra".

"AlonRulz727" saw straight through the US phenomenon of the "healthy option" menu.
"On your health menu there are waffles and pancakes and they're defined healthy because you add a strawberry or they come with some fruit. Also everything is so big."

The portion sizes were a shock to many visitors.

Visitors saw nothing wonderous in pre-sliced 'wonderbread'. Photo / Getty Images
Visitors saw nothing wonderous in pre-sliced 'wonderbread'. Photo / Getty Images

"From extra large meals to the Grand Canyon. Everything is just big," wrote "AquaNautauctical".

Everything, that is, apart from working wages.

"Tips are aggressively expected because many places pay their workers "slave wages". It's a horrendous system," explained "MacAttack2013."

Contributor "Bestyan" was frustrated by the inability to find decent bread anywhere.

"Apparently quality bread is not valued, all you can buy is this toast-like white bread. No whole-grain bread or other variations," he wrote. "Bestyan" saw nothing wondrous in "wonder bread."

Overall, visitors were surprised by how "lovely and outgoing" Americans were and willing to discuss almost anything.

And so it was proven, in this charming exchange;