Here in Minnesota, we’re known for being polite, hotdish-loving people who harbor a simmering resentment towards our neighbors to the east. And you know what? These stereotypes are not without good reason. With enough goading, any Minnesotan is likely to admit that these stereotypes are just a little bit true. Here are 12 of the biggest stereotypes of Minnesotans that we should probably just come to terms with. Which do you agree with?
1. We do all have accents – The Minnesota accent made famous by movies like Fargo didn’t come out of nowhere. Though it’s more pronounced in northern and rural areas, most of us still elongate our vowels with the best of ’em. “Oh You Betcha’!”
2. Minnesota Nice is real – Anyone who has ever lived through a Minnesota winter has probably been on the receiving end of Minnesota Nice with a car jump or with help shoveling. The misery of winter really brings out the friendly in us, but Minnesotans are super nice all year long.
3. Minnesota Nice can also be not-so-nice – Minnesotans may be willing to help, but there is a dark side to Minnesota Nice. Many outsiders have observed just how difficult it can be to meet people in our state. We are friendly to strangers, but hesitant to turn those strangers into friends. Maybe that’s why all of us hold on to our high school friends for the rest of our lives.
4. We’re all obsessed with Target – Isn’t everyone? But as the birthplace of everyone’s favorite retail store, we like to think we like it a little bit more than most. We go there to browse just for fun, and we’re always up on what’s new at Target.
5. No one knows what to do at a four-way stop – Meet a Minnesotan at a four-way stop, and they’ll probably insist on you going first, even if they were there first. Why? Maybe it’s politeness, or maybe it’s because we’re still not 100% sure what the protocol is. And if you think that’s bad, try zipper merging with a Minnesota vehicle.
6. Scandinavian Minnesotans are super proud of their heritage – You’ll often hear Minnesotans talk about their 100% Norwegian grandpa, or how they met their fifth cousin twice removed in Sweden over the summer. In a state with this strong a Scandinavian heritage, it should come as no surprise.
7. The weather really does rule our lives – For one thing, the weather is the easiest conversation topic there is. No one will think twice if you ask whether they have plans for this beautiful day, or whether they had trouble starting their car this cold morning. Plus, you need to know the forecast to plan your day properly.
8. Caribou is preferred over Starbucks – Sure, there are some Minnesotans who would choose a Starbucks over a Caribou if given the chance. But many of us hold a special place in our hearts for our hometown coffee chain – to the point where we all have a go-to order.
9. We live for going to the lake – The only thing better than spending a day on the lake is spending a day at your family cabin on the lake. But even if you don’t have a cabin, our 10,000 lakes are the centerpiece to a Minnesota summer. Most of us have a favorite lake to swim, fish, and relax in.
10. We all really do go crazy for the Minnesota State Fair – We don’t call it the Great Minnesota Get-Together for nothing. The state fair is over a week of incredible food, entertainment, and people-watching, the perfect way to end the summer with a bang. For Minnesotans, it’s full of nostalgia and tradition, buckets of cookies and piles cheese curds – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
11. All of us look down on Wisconsin – And now that Sunday beer runs are a thing of the past, is there any reason to go to Wisconsin at all? We beat Wisconsin in every way, from our number of lakes to our most recent Vikings win.
12. It really does take forever to say goodbye – Saying goodbye might as well be our state dance. There’s an art to it that, if you haven’t live here for long, you just won’t know about. The goodbye begins long before you step out the door, and even longer before you finally pull out of the driveway. Anything else just wouldn’t be nice.