British People Problems: BuzzFeed meme attracts more than 230,000 views in 24 hours

An online forum for a uniquely British form of moaning has gone viral in the US. Liam O'Brien celebrates

Britons are used to the stereotypes thrown our way. According to the rest of the world, we have bad teeth, we sound like Colin Firth and there’s nothing we love more than a well-organised queue.

But now, thanks to the internet, our American cousins have a better idea of the true psychological terrors that visit us every day: the overbearing politeness, the self-sacrificing propriety and the innumerable instances in which we feel obliged to say sorry.

An online trend in which members of the public post one-line “British People Problems” has gone viral, with a selection of the posts on US website BuzzFeed attracting more than 230,000 views in 24 hours.

Among those who responded  to the article  were empathetic Americans who professed to sharing our difficulties (“I’m not British, just deeply socially awkward”) and Britons who felt they’d hit the nail on the head. One student from Kent commented: “Once I was so alarmed when someone bumped into me that I panicked and squeaked ‘Thank you!’ by mistake.”

The posts were all submitted by users of Reddit, a social-news website responsible for a substantial proportion of the internet memes that can baffle and confuse outsiders. But in posting their British Problems, contributors (or redditors, as they call themselves) appear to have struck  a chord.

Jack Shepherd, who wrote the BuzzFeed post, said: “If we had any biscuits in America, it would essentially be a national motto to always take the last one, so these terrifying and confusing insights into the British psyche are going to take a while to process.”

It shouldn’t happen to a Brit: A selection of 'British people problems'

I live outside the UK so when I say “With all due respect” nobody realises I’m insulting them

by TonicBang

I asked if anyone wanted the last biscuit. Someone did.

by Shastrix

I accidentally rang the bell on the bus at the wrong stop, and instead of explaining my predicament to the driver, got off and walked the rest of the way home

by marcofshj

I was visiting a friend’s house for the first time and I couldn’t find the toilet so I came down, pretended I did and now my bladder is going to kill me.

by OneSlyPanda

I don’t feel well but I don’t want to disturb my doctor.

by Yummilyspam

People who don’t leave one step empty between people when going up the escalator

by Captain_Salmon

The police in Dartford are now driving around in Smart cars and I now cannot take them seriously.

by Wabbithunter68

The email from the National Lottery gets my hopes up too much

by Memoriae

Heard an announcement at the train station: “We are sorry.” Just that, nothing else.

by ZynuxIRDC

I picked out something that wasn’t in the meal deal so I had to pay full price for everything as I didn’t want to go and change it.

by heaneyy

I said ‘thank you’ as a warden handed me a parking ticket.

by superblinky

Michael Portillo is wearing a bright pink blazer over a lime green shirt

by spindu

There’s no etiquette for using an umbrella in crowded areas during  wet weather.

by Mutius_the_Crow

My pre-packed sandwich packet is impenetrable

by Wa_Wa_Wa

I never know whether to say thanks to people that stop at a zebra crossing

by Brandaman

My cat meowed during the 2 minute silence.

by InternetTouchesMe

I accidentally touched another commuter’s hand on the handrails on the tube today.

by Dragodot

I was looking forward to a nature documentary I recorded but when I sat down to watch it the narrator wasn’t David Attenborough

by rabidcelery

My girlfriend claims to be ‘neither here nor there’ on Marmite. Now I can’t trust anything she says or does.

by layendecker

Every time someone says ‘PIN number’, I want to strangle them. But I don’t.

by IwishIwereaDinosaur

My housemate finished the Heinz ketchup, and replaced it with Tesco own-brand.

by PhoneCar

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

    £30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

    Oil & Energy Business Anaylst

    £45000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Harrington Sta...

    UI Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Visualisation)

    £35000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: UI Developer (HTML5, C...

    Senior Systems Test Analyst – Surrey – 12 month contract – £340 daily rate

    £300 - £340 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently seeking...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment