The United States Of Stereotyping: Sifting Through A Viral Gold Mine

By 06.01.11

Last Friday author and internet personality Paul Jury released “50 State Stereotypes in 2 Minutes” (next slide) to promote his new book States of Confusion. The bit is a winner because it’s clever, succinct, and just about every stereotype is funny ’cause it’s true snicker-worthy. Oh yeah, he’s already got 600K+ YouTube views and counting.

It’s well documented that cats playing keyboards and kids accidentally on drugs and kids accidentally cursing while on drugs are recipes for surefire viral hits. I’ve been pretending hanging out on the internet is my job for long enough to identify other surefire recipes, and one that hasn’t been getting enough credit is the state by state formula. Previous successes have all been in easily digestible map format but Jury has proven it works with video as well. Bottom line: gimmick labeling states = eyeballs.

It has to be well done mind you, but there’s something about the state by state formula that triggers a combination of curiosity, pride, self-deprecation, defensiveness, and the satisfaction that comes along with pointing out the inadequacies of other states that simply appeals to everyone in one way or another.

Here’s a collection of the best recent examples I’ve come across. Click to enlarge the maps.

Paul Jury's 50 State Stereotypes

If you don’t enjoy making fun of the Dakotas we can’t be friends.


The United States of Shame

Pleated-Jeans helped kick start a trend with this fun map of what every state sucks at.


The United States of Awesome

Ilya Gerner responded in boy scout fashion with this idealistic version of what every state rocks at.


The United States of Movies

A Redditor with a love of cinema and geography put together this fun and polarizing map of what movie best represents each state.


The United States of Television

Andrew Shears responded with this television version.


The United States of Autocomplete

Very Small Array’s map of Google’s first thought of your state on December 10, 2010.


The United States of Food

Self-explanatory. Except for Rocky Mountain Oysters. Nothing will ever explain those.


The United States of Good Beer

The best craft brew each state has to offer. I volunteer to make this video.


The United States of Sodomy

And finally, because you can never be too informed.



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