Things Only People In Small Towns Say Slideshow

Unlock your doors, get your pigs and goats ready for the county fair, and grab a latte at the coffee shop. It's time to reminisce about life in a small town.

“Are you ready for the county fair?”

The county fair takes over your life every summer. Whether you're showing a pig, participating in a pageant, or fundraising for your high school sports team, you're participating and attending the county fair for its entire duration.

“Did you hear about…?”

Whether you're discussing people who still live in town or people who used to and have since moved to the big cities, social media can't compare to small town gossip.

“Did you catch the game on Friday?”

Friday Night Lights is real in your small town. You ask whether people caught the football game, but you already know they were there. And you just have to talk about that big win.

“Do you want to go for a drive?”

When your town is too small to have its own movie theater, there's really not a lot to do on Friday and Saturday nights, especially for the under-21 crowd. Once you get that driver's license, taking a drive to nowhere is a common — and fun! — activity.

“Door’s unlocked.”

You don't have to worry much about your safety of your personal belongings in your small town. Your front door and car doors are always unlocked.


Sure, downtown is just a couple of antique stores, a bar or two, and maybe a coffee shop and general store, but that 100-yard stretch of road is the most exciting part of town.

“I hear the new Applebee’s has a liquor license.”

Beer, wine, and fun mixed drinks are few and far between in your small town. So, when a new chain restaurant opens up and it includes a brand new bar, it's something to celebrate... ideally with some Bud Light and endless mozzarella sticks.

“It’s right at the barn, left at the gas station, and then a few miles down the road.”

Giving directions with street names and miles is for suckers. It's a lot easier to call out your local landmarks than to name off all of your state route numbers.

“I’m from [insert nearest metropolitan area].”

When meeting someone from another state or even another corner of your own state, you don't even bother listing off the name of your tiny town. It's a lot easier to say you're from Cincinnati than it is to say your own hometown.

“OK, I’m from about an hour [north, south, east, west] of [insert nearest metropolitan area].”

When people really press, you'll finally say the name of the town you graduated high school from. And when they inevitably haven't heard of your population-4,000 town, you'll explain where it is in relation to the big cities in your state.

“Let’s get a coffee.”

Pretty much everyone drinks coffee, but "getting a coffee" is really only an activity in small towns. When there's not much else to do, lounging in the café and talking to all of your friends who happen to also stop in is a fun and relaxing way to pass an afternoon.

“Let’s meet at the bar.”

You don't need to specify which bar you and your friends are meeting at. Even if your small town has two bars, everyone knows what the better bar is, and you're going to that one.


Mudding, the act of driving your Jeep or pickup truck in doughnuts in a muddy field, is the ultimate pastime in many small towns. Yes, your car and your clothes get wrecked. The muddier, the better.

“[Neighboring town] is the worst.”

Small town rivalries are very real and very intense. The people from your neighboring towns are either classless and uneducated or — much worse — they're snooty and uptight. There's no debating it — your small town is the best.

“Oh, that’s my cousin!”

If it seems like everyone in your small town is related, that may be because they are. If they aren't your cousin, they're your cousin's cousin or your cousin's cousin's cousin.

“They’re an old family friend.”

If you're not related to someone in your town, you and your family have known them and their family forever. You're friends with your doctor, your dentist, your mayor, your grocery store clerk, your butcher, and basically everyone else in your town.


It's "the McDonalds," "the grocery store," "the Walmart," and "the deli." You don't need to specify which one. There is only one, and it is the one.


While we admit this one isn't a saying, waving and generally being friendly are a huge part of small town culture. You don't want to be labeled as an unfriendly person because you didn't wave back to the third grade teacher at the Advance Auto Parts.

“Wow! Your graduating class was huge.”

When coming from a town that has (at most) a population of 5,000, each graduating class from the local school district is going to correspond with small numbers. When you grow up with everyone in your class of 100, a class of 300, 500, or 1,000 kids seems insane.


Though we know not all American small towns are in the South, this particular pluralization of "you" is synonymous with the simpler life. We blame Andy Griffith.