We won’t even try to deny it: Detroiters are a delightfully odd bunch. But our quirks are what make us unique, and we certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. There are a few habits and experiences that set residents of the Motor City apart, and we’re always eager to celebrate these special traits. Here are nine things Detroiters do that might make others scratch their heads in confusion.
1. Drink Vernor’s when we're sick.
Most people would likely reach for Tums or Pepto Bismol upon experiencing nausea, but we Detroiters know better. When a stomachache strikes, nothing hits the spot quite like Vernor’s — and we’ll continue sipping this ginger ale to cure our ailments, no matter how many odd looks we get from non-Michiganders.
2. Take a "quick day trip" over to Canada.
Our unique location near the Canadian border gives us the opportunity to venture across the Ambassador Bridge whenever we see fit. Because of this, we can truly take a "quick" international day trip — something that most Americans find difficult to imagine. Our neighbors in Windsor are a fine bunch, and we’re always eager to pay them a visit!
3. Brave the cold without flinching.
Detroit (and, really, Michigan as a whole) certainly knows that winter is no joke. Here in the Motor City, we’re used to heading outside in freezing conditions and blowing snow. In fact, we don’t even mind driving on icy roads. We’re accustomed to the occasional blizzard, and we rarely take snow days.
4. You know, the whole octopus thing.
If you’re a Red Wings fan, you know the tradition: we Detroiters enjoy tossing a dead octopus onto the rink prior to the start of each hockey game, and it might just be the weirdest Detroit trait of them all. But that won’t stop us. In fact, we know that the octopus brings the Red Wings good luck — so we’ll keep tossing!
5. Continue to root for the Lions.
Are we insane for continuing to support a team that repeatedly lets us down, no matter how hopeful we feel at the beginning of the season? Well, probably. But that doesn’t mean we’re giving up on our boys in blue. Our dedication to the Lions is simply in our blood, and we’ll keep pushing down our frustrations before waking up each Sunday to watch those darn Detroit Lions.
6. Eat multiple coney dogs in one sitting.
For most non-Detroiters, one or two coney dogs hit the consumption quota. After all, these classic Motor City delights are undeniably heavy and flavorful. But those of us who hail from Detroit won’t flinch at downing several coneys in one sitting, despite the heartburn we might deal with later on. The taste is entirely worth it!
7. Point to our hands instead of using maps.
As with many of our fellow Michiganders, we Detroiters are inherently opposed to using traditional maps. After all, we’ve got built-in maps right on our palms, and we’ll never hesitate to point out our city to anyone who asks. It might be confusing to those who aren’t familiar with the Mitten State, but it’s just something we Detroiters do!
8. Laugh at out-of-town friends who can’t pronounce "Gratiot."
Okay, okay, we know it’s mean… but there’s something endlessly funny about listening to non-Detroiters struggle to properly pronounce "Gratiot." We’ve heard it all: from "Gray-tee-oat" to "Grah-twa," there are all sorts of ways to fumble this word — and we’ll probably keep chuckling before we correct you.
9. Stand up for the city of Detroit… no matter what.
Detroit has been the subject of countless negative stereotypes throughout the years. To many who aren’t familiar with the Motor City, our hometown is a wasteland with no potential and all sorts of unfixable problems. But we Detroiters know the truth: that Detroit is a constantly growing, evolving, and improving city full of wonderful people and events. To some, our city pride might be hard to understand — but it’s certainly here to stay.
Okay, Detroiters: what do you think? Tell us about some of the strangest habits you’ve encountered during your time in the Motor City. We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.