Stereotypes of British people are found in several cultures. Some are false, while others have some truth to them.
Both historically and in the present day, the British have often been associated with good manners by many people around the world, similar to Canadians.
British humour is well known for its use of sarcasm, dark comedy, and irony. Monty Python was a famous British comedic group and some of the most highly regarded television comedies, such as Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean, are British.
Drinking tea is seen as a key part of British culture. Originally introduced as a luxury product in the 17th century, cheap imports from colonial India allowed its consumption to significantly increase during the second half of the 19th century. Today it remains a massively popular beverage. One survey of British adults from 2017 found that almost 75% of people who drank tea daily had at least two cups a day. Research from a similar time showed that the UK had the 12th largest tea consumption per capita in the world. Other hot drinks, especially coffee, have become extremely popular.
The British are often seen as reserved and unemotional. This perspective has been bolstered by popular British phrases such as "stiff upper lip", which means displaying an emotionless and determined exterior in the face of hardship; "keep calm and carry on", which was taken from a motivational poster produced by the UK government in preparation for World War II; and "always look on the bright side of life", which was lifted from a popular Monty Python comedy song about persevering in the most dire situations.
The weather in the United Kingdom is often seen as being poor and mostly consisting of cold air, heavy rain, clouds, and fog. The weather is actually mild most of the time, but prone to large changes at short notice. In recent years, climate change has caused the UK's weather to become more extreme with incidents such as heat waves, snow storms, and massive flooding occurring more frequently.
Americans often joke about the British having bad teeth. This stereotype appears to stem from a particularly American view of dental health in which artificially straightened and whitened teeth (sometimes referred to as "Hollywood teeth") are the healthiest, but this primarily affects only the outer appearance of teeth and some evidence has shown that artificial whitening actually has a negative effect on dental health. In reality, British teeth have been ranked as the fifth healthiest in the world, with American teeth behind in ninth place.
Jokes are often told about British food being either poor quality or inedible. Historically, British cuisine was generally fairly bland since around the post-World War II period, but globalisation and mass immigration have caused it to become significantly more diverse.
There is a common stereotype that the British are only able to speak English. This has some truth to it, as (like in many English-speaking countries) levels of bilingualism are relatively low. Additionally, the number of people who speak a language other than English as their first language is reasonably low, especially among those who were born in the UK—even among those with immediate immigrant ancestry. However, most British schoolchildren receive at least a few years of compulsory Spanish or French lessons. This used to happen during the first years of high school, but teaching foreign languages at an earlier age has been viewed as increasingly important.
In some tourist-heavy European countries such as Cyprus, Greece, and Spain, British holidaymakers are closely associated with anti-social and violent behaviour, usually related to binge drinking. Like Americans, British tourists have also been stereotyped as preferring to shout and talk slower in English when interacting with foreigners instead of making an effort to use the local language (see "monolingualism" above).