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
Tuesday 18 December 2012
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
I asked if anyone wanted the last biscuit. Someone did.
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
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.
I don’t feel well but I don’t want to disturb my doctor.
People who don’t leave one step empty between people when going up the escalator
The police in Dartford are now driving around in Smart cars and I now cannot take them seriously.
The email from the National Lottery gets my hopes up too much
Heard an announcement at the train station: “We are sorry.” Just that, nothing else.
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.
I said ‘thank you’ as a warden handed me a parking ticket.
Michael Portillo is wearing a bright pink blazer over a lime green shirt
There’s no etiquette for using an umbrella in crowded areas during wet weather.
My pre-packed sandwich packet is impenetrable
I never know whether to say thanks to people that stop at a zebra crossing
My cat meowed during the 2 minute silence.
I accidentally touched another commuter’s hand on the handrails on the tube today.
I was looking forward to a nature documentary I recorded but when I sat down to watch it the narrator wasn’t David Attenborough
My girlfriend claims to be ‘neither here nor there’ on Marmite. Now I can’t trust anything she says or does.
Every time someone says ‘PIN number’, I want to strangle them. But I don’t.
My housemate finished the Heinz ketchup, and replaced it with Tesco own-brand.
Life & Style blogs
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?
Black Friday: Best beauty deals
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Black Friday: best UK tech deals on iPads, Macs, PS4 and more
Black Friday: From Bicester Village to Amazon, best fashion deals
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£50k - 70k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...
£32000 - £34000 per annum + Uncapped OTE £65,000 : h2 Recruit Ltd: Looking for...
£28000 - £31000 per annum + Bonus + Progression: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you looki...