Ten Things You Should Never Say to Someone From Florida

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Our state houses phenomenons like Florida Man, Disney World, the worst drivers in the world, alligators, and Miami. With headlines like “Florida man gets beat up by the Easter bunny” and “Weird monkey sightings spread across Florida city, cops say. ‘I knew I wasn’t crazy,’” you may feel a sprouting desire to make snide remarks or pose curious questions to your friends and family from Florida. Here are nine things you should never ask someone from Florida. 

Ten Things You Should Never Say To someone From Florida

Beach chairs on a Florida beach.
Image credit: Deposit Photos.

Please do not ask Floridians any of the following questions.

1. Do Alligators Live in Your Backyard?

Yes. We have alligators. No, we don’t all house them in our backyard or bathtub, as some Floridians do. Alligators populate lakes and ponds throughout parks and swampy areas near apartment complexes. I’ve had friends with alligators in the ponds behind their houses and others who don’t. But inquiring about the gators will irritate Floridians, considering we have myriad other wildlife in our state. Raccoons, seagulls, and opossums, to list a few. 

2. Can I Feed the Seagulls?

Speaking of seagulls. We know you’re a tourist if you try to feed the seagulls on the beach. The answer is no, don’t feed the seagulls because 1. They won’t leave you alone 2. One seagull feeding attracts multiple, and 3. You’re probably fostering the misconception that seagulls like bread. Birds should not eat bread, and feeding seagulls distracts them from their natural environment. 

Don’t worry, though. If you really want to watch a seagull eat, go to Publix, order a pub sub, sit down on a lovely beach blanket, and open the sub. Several gulls will swoop down and steal it out of your hands. 

3. Do You Know a Florida Man?

Chances are, we may, we don’t want to be associated with them. Many Florida men live near the infamous Polk County, and those who don’t live in Polk County avoid Polk County.

Related: 10 Things You Shouldn't Say to Someone From Texas

4. How Obsessed Are You With Disney World?

Just because we live where “the most magical place on earth” resides does not mean we love theme parks. I know a ton of Floridians who despise Orlando and advise their family to visit any other location in the state. We are more than theme parks. Of course, some Floridians enjoy Disney, myself included, but don’t make any assumptions.

5. Can You Get Me Theme Park Tickets?

No. Unless we work there, we can’t get you tickets. Even if we work there, you only get a limited number of tickets annually. 

6. This Cold Is Nothing

Yes, we bundle up when the thermometer dips below 80 degrees, and yes, it is brutal to travel anywhere with a different climate, yet our winters get cold. In college, my roommate hailed from Boston, and she mentioned how the Florida cold hurts your bones, unlike any other frigid atmosphere. 

Don’t tell us you aren’t cold, and we’re wimps for thinking it is cold during our winter. We don’t care.

7. How Do You Not Live on the Beach?

Similar to Disney, the fact that beaches sprawl throughout our state does not make every citizen a beach hound. Chances are, we’ve been to the beach so much during childhood it doesn’t pose the same mysticism it does for tourists. Whenever my family visits, I grumble when they suggest going to the beach

8. Why Aren’t You Tan?

Yes, the sun pounds the pavement almost every day, and we live in sweltering, sometimes claustrophobic humidity, but no, we don’t all tan. Avoiding the sun at all costs is a shared hobby. 

9. You Live in Florida, but You Aren’t Old?

Not everyone who lives in Florida is retired. Yes, it is a popular state to retire in, but others are born and raised here, and others flock here in their 20s.

10. Why Are the Drivers So Bad?

If we knew the answer, we’d give it to you. I mean, my theory plays off the fact that our driver tests occur in parking lots and we don’t have to take Driver’s Ed, but that doesn’t explain the incessant honking, lack of turn signals, and the common occurrence of 10 people piling in the bed of a truck for an afternoon ride. 

What Should You Ask a Floridian?

If you’re struggling to converse with a Floridian, and your final resort involves discussing our state, ask how they like the state, their favorite parts, their least favorite parts, or what is unique to Florida. You can ask their favorite Florida Man headline; just don’t associate them with Florida Man.

About Gabrielle Reeder

Gabrielle Reeder is a travel enthusiast from St. Petersburg Florida. She boarded her first plane at six months old and blames her love for jet-setting on her mom’s background as a travel agent. She’s been to 41 states and six countries, hoping to up that number to 50 states and 10 countries by her 26th birthday. During her trips, she loves to find the best vegetarian food, desserts, and music venues. 

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram

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