When it comes to international travel, Americans don’t have the nicest of reputations. In fact, this reputation is so awful that the world has coined a phrase to describe Americans abroad: the “ugly American.” When one hears the phrase ugly American, a specific characterization comes to mind: someone that’s arrogant, ignorant, loud, rude, inconsiderate, and generally America-obsessed. We’d like to think that most Americans disprove this stereotype when they travel abroad, but unfortunately, some American tourists make such a terrible, memorable impression that embodies the ugly American stereotype. And then there are some exceptional Americans who don’t just fulfill this terrible tourist caricature, but manage to do something so outrageous that it warrants a spot on the list of the most embarrassing American tourists of all time. So let’s take a glance at some of these exceptional Americans, shall we?
15. Two American Tourists Arrested For Carving Their Initials Into The Colosseum In Rome And Taking A Selfie
In 2015, two Californian girls were arrested for carving their initials into the wall of Rome’s Colosseum with a coin. But unlike most graffiti artists, it wasn’t enough to just leave their mark on an ancient cultural landmark and, you know, escape the scene of their crime. The girls decided to take a picture with their artwork, shortly before being arrested for damaging the wall. And this incident is really an embarrassing one on a few levels. It’s one thing to get arrested in a foreign country because of some unfamiliar law, but come on, how can anyone think that defacing one of the most famous historical landmarks in the world is a good idea? And to do something that horrible just to draw your initials like some eighth grader with a crush? Oh, and let’s not forget the genius move of sticking around to take a picture, because if you’re not waiting at the scene of the crime to be arrested, then make sure to snap some photographic evidence before you leave. Ugly American behavior, indeed.
14. Ryan Lochte Falsely Claiming He Was Robbed During The Brazil Olympics
It’s one thing to be a tourist and embarrass the hell out of your home country by being a buffoon, but it’s quite another to travel to another country to literally represent your home country and act like a moron. And Ryan Lochte isn’t exactly known for his intellect, but somehow he managed to exceed expectations when it came to “Lochtegate.” An inebriated Lochte (along with a few other swimmers) vandalized a gas station in Rio de Janeiro and were detained by security before ponying up for the damages they caused in the station. This was certainly some asinine behavior on its own, but for some reason, they decided to one-up themselves, and the next day Lochte publicly claimed that he had actually been robbed at gunpoint. His allegation dominated reporting on the Rio Olympics, but shortly afterwards, he mostly recanted his version of events. Brazilian police initially charged him with falsely reporting a crime, but later dropped the charges.
13. American Man Punched In Germany For Doing The Nazi Salute
For most Americans, hating Nazis is downright patriotic and something we’re well known for. Even Captain America loves punching Nazis. But in a repulsive reversal of roles, an unnamed 41-year-old American man was spotted giving the Nazi salute in downtown Dresden. Since contemporary Germans aren’t great fans of Nazis, a passerby actually punched the seriously drunk man in the face for the offence. The assailant fled the scene, and German police did investigate the assault. But the tourist was also investigated, because in addition to being horrifying, displaying any kind of Nazi symbols is actually against German law. Now, intervening in WWII is one of the brightest shining moments in American history, and we don’t have a ton of bright shining moments to choose from. The last thing in the world any American should want to do is bring Nazism back, but it takes a very special kind of stupid to try to revive the Third Reich in Germany of all places.
12. Johnny Depp And Amber Heard Caught Smuggling Their Dogs Into Australia
We all know that dogs are man’s best friends, and it’s definitely tough to be without them. However, imagine being paid millions of dollars to spend a few months in an amazing location, and we are sure that would soften the blow of that separation a bit. But when countries have rules about what sorts of living things you can bring across their borders, it’s usually for a reason. Australia has an extremely isolated ecology, and because of that, the island is free from a lot of pests and diseases that have spread across the rest of the world. When it comes to dogs, Australia keeps them quarantined for at least ten days to ensure that they’re free from disease, and surprisingly, the Australian government does not bend their environmental laws for the sake of spoiled actors. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard failed to declare their dogs when they entered the country, and when the Australian government discovered this, they demanded that the pair fly their dogs back to America, or they may have to be euthanized. Initially, they engaged in a PR fight with the Australian government, but eventually the couple gave a tepid video apology for the incident.
11. Two American Sisters Arrested For Taking Butt Selfies In A Cambodian Temple
Well, “dropping trou” in a holy temple is a pretty sure fire way to make a complete idiot of yourself in a foreign country. Not to mention, it’s more than a little weird to be taking pictures of your butt with your sister. However, a pair of American tourists decided that they needed some pictures of their behinds in Cambodia and very quickly managed to earn their place on the worst American tourist list. The sisters, Lindsay and Leslie Adams, are strangely not the only tourists to be caught taking inappropriate pictures in this particular temple, but memorializing your bare bottom in public is in fact illegal in Cambodia. The sisters were fined for exposing themselves and given a suspended jail sentence, and were also banned from entering the country again for the next four years. Still no word as to why exactly they wanted to take pictures of their butts, though.
10. Lindsay Lohan Falsely Claims That She Rescued 40 Child Workers While In India
Well, there’s certainly never a dull day in the life of Lindsay Lohan. The former actress and eternal headline-maker knows how to get attention wherever she goes, and her liberal interpretation of reality once nearly got her banned from India. Lindsay admirably traveled to India in 2010 to film a documentary for the BBC, exposing human trafficking and child labor in the country, but she ruffled the feathers of the Indian government when she tweeted that she had personally rescued 40 child workers in a sweatshop raid. It was eventually revealed that Lohan hadn’t even arrived in the country yet when the raids she was referring to actually took place, but all of the extra press coverage also brought attention to the fact that she hadn’t entered the country on a work visa, despite filming a documentary there. Because she entered India as a tourist, she faced a possible ban from entering the country again.
9. An American Student In Germany Had To Be Rescued After Getting Stuck Inside A Giant Sculpture Of Lady Parts
Well, his leg got stuck inside of it. According to the 20-year-old American exchange student, he put his leg in the sculpture on a dare and then tried to snap a photo of it, but when he tried to pull himself free, he was unsuccessful. Eventually, someone called the police to report the boy stuck in the statue, and ultimately it took twenty-two firefighters to get him free. Luckily, he didn’t damage the artwork, and despite having five service vehicles called to the scene, the firefighters managed to pull him out by hand. The firefighters were not happy about the incident, but unlike a lot of average ugly American tourists, this boy at least reportedly had enough sense to be embarrassed by his own actions. Getting stuck in a sculpture is one thing, but being eternally known as the guy who got trapped in giant marble statue of lady parts is in a league of its own.
8. Snoop Dogg Arrested In Sweden Under Suspicion Of Driving Under The Influence
Snoop Dogg‘s fondness for drugs isn’t exactly a closely held secret. But after a concert in Sweden, the rapper was pulled over in Uppsala for suspicion of driving under the influence. After some reportedly erratic behavior, the police arrested him and took him to the station to administer a drug test, releasing him about an hour later. Upon his release, Snoop claimed that the Swedish police had racially profiled him, and was so upset by the incident that he vowed to never return to the country again. The police reported that his drug test came up positive for narcotics, but Snoop countered with a claim that he had legally obtained and taken the drugs in the US. Despite the positive drug test, the Swedish police chose to drop the case. But one can only hope that Snoop’s claim was true, because if he was legally smoking marijuana in California, there’d be no need to take it anywhere where it’s not legal. Also, it’s just basic common decency to stay off the road while under the influence.
7. 55-Year-Old Missouri Man Breaks Off The Finger Of A 600-Year-Old Statue In A Museum In Florence
When most people see something intriguing or pretty, they have an impulse to touch it, which is why museums always tell people not to touch things. Apparently, that’s for pretty good reason. Most would assume that museum curators are concerned about their exhibits deteriorating over time, but one unlucky American tourist managed to snap the finger off of a centuries-old statue. Apparently, the man was either trying to compare his hand to the hand of the statue or possibly giving it a mock high five, but when the human hand made contact with the stone hand, the stone pinky snapped right off. The man was apologetic for the mistake, but the museum was understandably upset and unsure of how much time, effort, and money it would take to repair the damage. Granted, it’s pretty unexpected for something made of stone to break when you touch it, but come on, man. Not touching the artwork is, like, the number one museum rule of all time.
6. Emma Roberts Arrested In Montreal For Abusing Evan Peters
Emma Roberts‘ PR team claimed that the entire incident was a misunderstanding, but police were called to the Montreal hotel where the couple was staying because other hotel guests reported a fight. When the police arrived, Evan Peters was apparently bloody and obviously injured (some sources even claim he had a bite mark on him). Because of his injuries, the police decided to arrest Roberts for domestic violence. She was taken to the police station for a few hours, but ultimately, Evan Peters declined to press charges against her, so she was released. The couple stayed together after the incident, and some sources claimed that the fight was mutual, despite Evan’s more obvious wounds. Friends of the couple said that they were an extremely passionate couple who had very intense highs and lows, but once you get to the point of drawing blood or breaking laws, maybe it’s time to un-couple.
5. Texas Man Gets Trapped In A UK Bookstore And Tweets At The Company To Get Himself Out
Dallas resident David Willis certainly had a unique experience while visiting London. Willis went to a Waterstones bookstore in Trafalgar square, and while he went to go browse the selection on the second floor, he came downstairs and realized that the store had been closed, and he was locked inside. Like any American in an emergency situation, he took to Twitter and began chronicling his experience inside of the store. Willis set off the store alarm and called both the store security and the police in the hopes of being let out, as did some other people who saw his pleas for help. After about two hours of waiting, he tweeted directly at the bookstore company’s Twitter, and was apparently freed from the store not long after (of course, not without tweeting, “I’m free”). The strange incident did have its upsides, though; Willis actually made a phone appearance on Good Morning Britain to discuss the incident, and many Twitter spectators fantasized about what they might do if they were locked in a book store all night.
4. Farrah Abraham’s Entire Television Appearance On Celebrity Big Brother UK
Teen mom star Farrah Abraham has already built up a pretty significant reputation as a rude as hell diva in the states, but her appearance on the British reality series Celebrity Big Brother took it to a whole new level. She started off the show with a bang, getting into a fight with one of the housemates about an hour after entering the house, and kept up the attitude for her entire tenure on the show. Most of her dialogue is too explicit to repeat, but some of her highlights in the show include threatening to kill the entire house because she broke her sandal, acting aggressively anti-gay during a task, getting eviscerated by another housemate during nominations for being a generally terrible person, arguing with literally every housemate in the house on a daily basis, and occasionally almost coming to blows with some of them. She wrapped up her UK visit by throwing glasses at fellow panelists on Big Brother‘s after show.
3. American Dentist Shoots Beloved Cecil The Lion In Zimbabwe
There is a specific subset of hunting called big-game hunting, which is essentially when rich people like to prove that they’re the apex predator by killing rare animals. It’s not the kind of hobby most halfway decent people would pick up, but one American big-game hunter really made a name for himself by killing one of Zimbabwe’s most well-known and important lions. Cecil the lion was a bit of a mascot for the Hwange National Park, and was not only a big draw for tourists hoping to get a look at some interesting African wildlife during their park visit, but he had also been tracked by the University of Oxford since 1999 as part of a long term research study. Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer went to Zimbabwe specifically to hunt a lion, but unknowingly set off an international firestorm by killing Cecil, inspiring discussion about the ethics of big game hunting and invoking the ire of animal activists around the world.
2. Four Americans Arrested At Machu Picchu For Taking Inappropriate Selfies
If there’s one thing that a lot of embarrassing American tourists seem to have in common, it’s apparently the desire to take pictures of themselves exposed at exotic locations around the globe. Apparently, stripping down at Machu Picchu is such a popular pastime that the Peruvian government actually made a statement asking tourists to stop. At least we can say it’s not an exclusively American thing, but it’s a weird recurrence and a very easy way to get arrested in a foreign country. This instance is no different. Four men, three of them in their twenties and one in their fifties, were apprehended when Machu Picchu security examined their photographs and saw the inappropriate pictures of the group. The park guards increased their surveillance of tourists at the site in the hopes of curbing the issue, and given how often they’ve apparently had to deal with it, it’s easy to see why.
1. Woman Vandalized National Parks All Over The US
Casey Nocket is another American that can’t help vandalizing tourist sites. This woman travelled all over her native United States and vandalized several beautiful national parks. She even posted the images to her Instagram page, claiming that what she was doing was art and not vandalism. Because of the evidence she left on her Instagram page, she was apprehended in 2016.
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