10 Things You Should Never Say to Anyone From the Midwest

10 Things Not to Say to a Midwesterner

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10 Things Not to Say to a Midwesterner
Cheapism; Gramercy Pictures/Getty Images; 400tmax/istockphoto; Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

Them's Fighting Words

"Midwest is best." Not only is that the truth, but it's also a perfectly acceptable thing to say to a Midwesterner. As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I've found that people have a tendency to put their foot in their mouth about this part of the country. I will defend the Midwest until my dying day, and clap back at anyone who says any of these head-scratching and just plain dumb things about my home. 

Related: 23 Foods You've Never Heard Of Unless You're From the Midwest

Magical sunrise through ground fog with long shadows and sunbeams

1. "Oh, you're from flyover country."

Could you be any more condescending? Millions of people live in the Midwest — 68 million to be exact. To think that there's nothing of value anywhere among those states is absurd. We have amazing local foods and restaurants, world-class museums, beautiful scenery, tons of lakes (inland seas, really, since you can't see the other side), and to top it off, we're pretty nice, welcoming people. 

Not to mention all that "flyover" land grows your food, and the food that feeds your food, too. Even if the Midwest were made up only of farmland, it'd still be pretty damn important to the economy.

Related: Delicious Bucket-List Food Experiences in Every State

Rear view of family of father, mother and son bending over paddock with cattle

2. "Did you grow up on a farm?"

If you assume that anyone you meet from the Midwest must have grown up on a farm, you should go buy yourself a map. Ever heard of Chicago? Detroit? Minneapolis? We don't expect everyone to know where Oconomowoc is (or how to pronounce it), but you should at least realize that we do have lots of urban areas. Some people live on a farm, but it's not the majority by any means.

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Christian K./Yelp

3. "What do you even do there?"

This one goes hand-in-hand with: "You must be so bored there." Just because you don't know anything about the Midwest doesn't mean that we sit around bored all day. Besides things like festivals, road trips, cultural events, and concerts, we do all the same normal things you do, like reading, playing video games, and cooking. You know: hobbies. We're not a different species, we just live in a different place.

Jibarito sandwich
Felonius M. / Yelp

4. "You have the blandest food."

Yes, I do know one person that considers black pepper "too spicy." But those people 1. exist in other places outside the Midwest as well and 2. are not the norm in the Midwest, either. We have all kinds of food traditions here, and much of it has been brought from waves of immigrants over the centuries. There are thriving communities of Hmong, Mexican, Jamaican, Indian, and Middle Eastern immigrants, just to name a few, and Midwesterners flock to the restaurants they open. I can assure you that we do, in fact, have amazing food.

Harbor Inn | Cleveland
Jim F./Yelp

5. "I could drink you under the table!"

Have you ever seen a map of the drunkest cities in America? Every year, some think tank comes out with the list, and every year, the majority of them are in the Midwest. I know this because seven of the top 10 are always in Wisconsin, so I hear about it every time. Only one of the top 10 for 2024 is not in the Midwest. You absolutely cannot outdrink a Midwesterner (especially if you're at a dive bar), so don't even try. 

Chicago Pizza Burts Deep Dish
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

6. "My [city, state] is way better."

It's great that you also think your hometown is amazing, and it probably is! But maybe learn a little Minnesota nice and just not pick a fight about it, OK? That's rude. Let's be friends and visit each other's cities/eat other styles of pizza/compare local idioms instead. 

Related: Who Needs NYC? These Regional Pizza Styles Are Way More Enticing

Frances McDormand in Fargo
Gramercy Pictures/Getty Images

7. "You sound like Marge in 'Fargo.'"

We sure do have an accent, thanks for noticing! It's generally not as pronounced as it was in the movie "Fargo", though. More often, we just sound like we have no accent, kind of like national news anchors or some actors. But if you ask nicely, many Midwesterners can pump up the nasal qualities and give you a resounding "ya der hey" as good as Marge. 

Exterior of Detroit Lions, Ford Field, Detroit, Numerous People Walking Around and Getting Into Lines

8. "The [Bears, Packers, Hoosiers, Buckeyes] suck!"

Those are fighting words are you know it. We'll tolerate the sentiment from rival Midwesterners (the Bears Still Suck is all in good fun), but we're not so inclined to tolerate outsiders who are just looking to start something. We take our sports allegiances seriously. 

Polar Plunge

9. "Don't you freeze in winter?!"

Nope, because unlike people from other, warmer parts of the country, we have cold-weather gear that prevents that. Plus, you really do get used to the winter cold after a while of living here. We even do weird stuff like willingly jump into a frozen lake. It makes you appreciate summer even more.

We do reserve the right to complain about any and all weather conditions, though, because it's one of the things we do best.

Kermit Sipping Tea

10. "I would hate to live there."

Well that's great, because we'd hate for you to live here, too.