Skip to Content

15 Minnesota Stereotypes You Need to Know

15 Minnesota Stereotypes You Need to Know

Oh, stereotypes. We use that word so many times even without noticing it. If you want to know whether they are true or not, read more here to find it out.

People tend to group other people based on their ethnicity, where they come from, how they look, gender profile, and so many other factors.

Hence, stereotypes and cliches are born. Every country has its good and bad stereotypes, and in every country, there are even regional clichés.

That’s the case of the USA as well. Like, for example, when people say Illionians never agree on a single thing, New Yorkers don’t like tourists, and Alabamians are all conservatives.

Or how about this one: when people from Boston think they are the best of the best (when we all know official sources said that this statement is false and misleading). Get the joke?

And that leads us to Minnesota, a place where stereotypes are everywhere around the corner.

List of Typical Stereotypes About Minnesotans

Some of this Minnesota might be true or not, but you will definitely hear them before visiting this cold state (the cold weather isn’t a stereotype, though, that is very true).

Look at the most heard Minnesota stereotypes and find out if they are true or not.

1) People Speak Like The Fargo Movie

A clapperboard

First of all, and in case you don’t know, Fargo is a crime, comedy thriller movie released in 1996 with a 94% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie managed to become a popular iconic film in the US.

Minnesota has a lot to do with this movie as the main characters are from there. And because of the way they speak, their peculiar accent, and the way they express themselves paved the way to think Minnesotans are like in the movie.

Hence, the stereotype.

But come on, not everyone. Maybe in the northern part, well, just maybe. But definitely, not everyone speaks like in Fargo.

In fact, Fargo is not even in Minnesota. The town is in North Dakota, though.

But for some reason, people believe one of the things Minnesotans say is “ya”, or “oh yah” all the time.

And this is one of the most well-known Minnesota stereotypes.

What do you think about this Minnesota stereotype?

Final comments: this is false.

If you are visiting Minnesota, finding a place to stay is not that hard. Tons of option awaits you depending on your needs and wants.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis, MN

2) Minnesotans Accent Is Like Scandinavian People Speaking English

A man standing with the flag of Norway

Many people don’t know this, but from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century the U.S. received a huge amount of immigrants from Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland).

As they settle in their new home looking for better conditions of life, they brought a large cultural influence in the U.S, especially in the Midwest, where Minnesota is located.

The Scandinavian contribution to Minnesota led many people to think Minnesotan’s act, dress, eat and even speak English as it is a Scandinavian people trying to communicate in English.

Indeed, many people say if you close your eyes while listening to things Minnesotans say, they would sound like Scandinavian people speaking in English.

Scandinavian people made their way here so many years ago, especially Norwegians, and at first, they struggle to speak English and like any other foreigner, they do have an accent.

But it seems the stereotype stayed there over the years even after a handful of generations have grown in Minnesota since then.

And that’s another reason for these Minnesota stereotypes to flourish.

Of course, that is a mockery from outsiders. But is also very popular that people know Scandinavians influenced the state in many ways.

Also, if you want to book good rooms when you travel, make sure you check out Booking.com. They have nice options for hotels in Minnesota and all around the world!

See Related: Best Things to do in Brainerd, Minnesota

3) Cow Tipping Is Common in Minnesota

A man lying next to a cow

We have also heard that when Minnesotans are bored, they go cow-tipping. In case you haven’t heard this thing before, Cow tipping is a prank where a person sneaks up on a sleeping cow and pushes the animal over onto its side. Since these animals sleep lying down, many believe it is impossible.

However, some scientists think it is possible. Others believe a cow wouldn’t allow being tipped.

Anyways, it is a popular urban legend and directly related to rural areas.

But what this has to do with Minnesota? Well, believe it or not, many people still believe the whole Minnesota state is mostly rural and countryside.

But many questions come from this weird activity. First, is it really possible to tip a cow?, is it an urban legend?, And more importantly, why would Minnesotans do such a thing?

We want to believe it is an urban legend and this is only a Minnesota stereotype case.

But do you imagine this one is true? We let it all to the imagination, but we hope it’s not.

Final comments: we think is false, but who knows…

By the way, if you are fond of going to city or state parks to unwind and to relax, Minnesota has tons of it. It’s about time to get closer to nature and feel the earthy vibe yourself.

4) Caribou Instead Of Starbucks

Two cups of coffee

And yeah, if there is one thing Minnesotans can’t argue is that they’d rather go to Caribou Coffee before Starbucks. And this is one of those things about Minnesota culture. Because if you think straight, you would say Starbucks is far more famous than Caribou.

But for some good reasons, Minnesotans prefer Caribou, it is almost like a landmark in the state. One of the reasons why Minnesotans love Caribou so much is because of the Caribou Coffee Cares, a program that supports children’s hospitals and raises awareness of cancer at a young age.

Another reason is that Minnesota is Caribou’s hometown. Caribou was born in Edina, Minnesota, in 1992, so people feel great supporting a local business.

Another good reason why Caribou is the most popular coffee business in Minnesota is that it has 293 stores in the state so far, while Starbucks has only 184. Starbucks simply can’t do it there.

A true Minnesotan would invite you to Caribou to grab a coffee. And there you go, the stereotype was born.

What can we say? They like it. So if you are asking what are Minnesotans like, you have an idea based on this.

If you ever visit Minnesota and don’t go to Caribou, you didn’t visit Minnesota, my friend.

Do you like these Minnesota stereotypes?

Final comments: True, true, true!

If you are as excited as us to visit Minnesota, check out Scott’s Cheap Flights and get your plane ticket to Minnesota with up to a 90% discount!

5) Minnesotans Say “Uff Da” At All Times!

A sweater with the phrase Uff da

Another Scandinavian mark right here.

If you ever meet a Minnesotan or have visited the state before, you might hear the expression “uff da”.

We found out “uff da” basically means everything. The expression is very common to show surprise, a shock moment remark, consternation, anxiety. But also satisfaction, relief, tiredness, and the list goes on!

But why Minnesotans say it? Where does that come from?

Well, you may know by now Scandinavian culture influenced Minnesota in a lot of ways, and saying “uff da” is one of them.

For example, Swedish day “usch då” and “ojdå”, which are very similar in pronunciation as “uff da” with kind of the same meaning.

So a quick tip for you, whenever you are in Minnesota, remember people will say “uff da” in any situation.

This is one of the things Minnesotans say, and it is a part of Minnesota culture for sure.

Are you loving this Minnesota stereotypes reading? Stick around with us because we have much more!

Saying this confusing phrase is a part of Minnesota culture.

Final comments: uff da!

Also, check this out The 18 Best Hotels in Duluth, Minnesota.

6) Minnesotans Can’t Live Without Corn Dogs

A corndog in a Fairytale

If there is a meal Minnesotans have in their daily basis diet, that’s the corn dog.

We all know the corn dog is a part of American culture and Minnesotans claim it was invented in their state in the 1940s decade in the popular Minnesota State Fair.

Regardless, whoever the creator of this exquisite meal was, we all have to thank him or her. In fact, Minnesotans can’t live without them. The corn dog made their way into Minnesotan’s hearts and now is very common that people to invite you to go eat some corn dogs on a night out.

It is fair to say that corn dogs change people’s behavior and moods in Minnesota. Interesting, isn’t it?

This is another part of Minnesota culture you should know. Also, anytime you need a room or stay in Minnesota don’t hesitate in checking Airbnb. You have so many options that it is not going to be a problem to find your ideal hotel in Minnesota.

7) Four-way Stops Are A Nightmare

Four way stop

They say people in Minnesota don’t know how to deal with four-way stops. It’s either they let you go first or don’t let you drive past because no one knows what to do in that awkward moment.

So people who haven’t ever visited Minnesota think Minnesotans drive clumsily.

But why? Well, that’s how Minnesota stereotypes and every cliché works. You see one group or a member of one group doing something, and automatically think all of them act the same way.

However, this is one of the Minnesota stereotypes you might hear. Nonetheless, when you go there you will confirm by yourself if this Minnesota stereotype is true or not.

Final comments: hope it’s not true.

See Related: Best Things to do in Winona, Minnesota.

8) Minnesotans Do What The Weather Says

Cars covered by snow in Minnesota

One of the things people wonder about Minnesotans is why they are always talking about the weather as if their life depended on it.

As we said in the beginning, Minnesota can get cold, very cold. If you are curious, Minnesota’s weather can get as cold as −60 °F (or −51.1 °C).

So yeah, that means people do or don’t do things based on the weather conditions. People really have to keep on with the forecast to know what they are doing the next weekend.

Imagine your weekend plans are based on a weatherman’s prediction. Also, in Minnesota, you either have a good day at the lake or struggle to turn on your car in the brutal cold.

Normally, the weather is below freezing from November to March. But it also gets sunny and a little bit hot during the summer. Now we understand better this Minnesota stereotype, we can all agree that much is true.

Final comments: We don’t know, ask the weatherman.

Also, if you are looking forward to your next Minnesota adventure, check out the amazing tours Viator has for you. They have the best options when it comes to travel, you will find the absolute best tours, excursions, walking tours, and more!

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in St. Paul, Minnesota

9) Minnesotans Make The Goodbyes Look Awkward

A 'Time To Say Goodbye' sign

It indeed takes an entire life to say goodbye to your friends, family, and even acquaintances in Minnesota.

This may happen in every corner of the planet but Minnesotans really take their time to say goodbye. It is a whole ritual, indeed.

Who says the last goodbye? Who says the first goodbye? Who’s even going home anyways?

We simply don’t know. But we can tell this might be a combination of they like to socialize, they are a little bit shy, and overall they are respectful.

If you ever visit Minnesota, prepare yourself to sing Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Two Harbors, Minnesota.

10) Everyone Excels At Ice Skating

People having fun ice skating

Indeed, if you live in Minnesota and don’t know how to ice skate, you should be embarrassed, my friend.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, though. After all, what do you expect from people who live under the snow almost all year long? As a matter of fact and to the surprise of no one, there are hundreds of ice rinks throughout the state.

They provide entertainment to Minnesotans and ice skating is part of their culture. So you don’t have to ask yourself what are Minnesotans like, they love ice skating. It is in their veins.

As a matter of fact, if you visit Minnesota be ready because many people will invite you to ice skate. If you are planning on visiting Minnesota, you can also get the cheapest plane tickets on Kayak. See the amazing offers they have for you!

11) Minnesotans Love Prince and Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan street art

Firstly, who wouldn’t like Prince and Bob Dylan in the first place?

For Minnesotans, they are like Gods, and for good reasons.

Both iconic singers and songwriters are probably the most famous people born in Minnesota.

The worldwide known singers are everything a musician could dream of.

One of the things Minnesotans say is that they love Prince and Bob Dylan, and we can’t blame them.

Their music transcended for generations so it is easy to tell why loving and admiring them so much is one of the best Minnesota stereotypes.

Don’t miss this out 11 Things to do in Wabasha, Minnesota.

12) Everyone Lives In a Cabin

A lake and a cabin in the background

Outsiders might think of Minnesota as a rural state and indeed many parts of it are.

In fact, there are about 11.000 lakes in the state and that makes people from other regions believe every Minnesotan lives or owns a cabin.

However, of course, not everyone loves in a cabin or on the edge of the lakes. This belief is nothing else than a feeble Minnesota stereotype.

Still, many people fail to realize Minnesota is not a rural state at all, there are big cities in Minnesota such as Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, or Bloomington.

So whenever you think about a Minnesota stereotype, think better than this.

Also, have a look at this 14 Best Things to do in Stillwater, Minnesota.

13) ”Ope!”

Ope Minnesota T-shirt

”Ope” is one of the most popular things Minnesotans say. However, the expression not only belongs to Minnesota, though. “Ope” is an idiom exclusively from the Midwest, according to Dictionary.com. This expression mostly refers to saying sorry and to an apology.

In other words, ”Ope” is a polite expression. Where does it come from?

As with many idioms and regionalism, it is difficult to know where or how exactly ”Ope” was born. However, researchers from the University of Minnesota believe ”Ope” is simply the word ”open” without the N at the end.

But as with every idiom, it prevailed over the years and most people don’t even know why they say it, they just say it. Indeed, people in Minnesota don’t even notice they say it, it gets out automatically of their mouths.

So don’t expect people to say ”I’m sorry”, ”excuse me”,or something boring like ”my apologies”. They will simply say ”Ope”.

That is why outsiders tend to mock Minnesotans with this regionalism. Even though ”Ope” is a Midwest expression, Minnesotans insist that word is theirs.

Final comments: this Minnesota stereotypes is absolutely true.

This is a nice lecture 10 Best Minnesota Family Vacations | Top Destinations & Ideas.

14) Minnesotans Can’t Stop Eating Ranch Sauce

A ranch dressing surrounded by six other sauces

Who wouldn’t like that, though?

Sincerely, we can’t blame Minnesotans if they really eat ranch every time they are going to eat something.

Not liking ranch sauce is almost like a sin, honestly.

However, the tasty sauce became an instant classic dip in almost every Minnesota family.

Not offering a Minnesotan ranch dressing is almost like an insult. Hence, another Minnesota stereotype was born.

We can’t deny this delicious sauce is part of Minnesota culture.

Final comments: For most of them is true.

If you can’t wait to visit Minnesota, you might also want to get after getting a VIP kind of treatment at the airport. In that case, Priority Pass has your back, leave the noise, and the crowded places behind! 

15) Minnesotans Are Unfriendly

Have you ever wondered what are Minnesotans like? The review of their character in the country is a mix between mean and gentle.

Not everyone in Minnesota is nice, not everybody is rude. And the same implies to every region and country. So don’t be one of those people who judge an entire population based on the behavior of a few individuals.

Anyway, the mean attitude still remains a Minnesota stereotype because of the misleading remarks.

Final comments: This is not true at all. Don’t put everyone in the same bag.

See Related: Best and Free Things to do in Rochester, Minnesota

BONUS – Weird Fact

Did you know People from Venezuela usually get confused with Minnesotans?

Sounds weird, right? This is because when a Venezuelan in the US says he is from Venezuela, Americans for some reason confused their pronunciation of “Venezuela” with “Minnesota”.

Maybe that is because of the Latin American accent and the Spanish-like pronunciation. So people from Venezuela know them very well in Minnesota because they always get confused with them.

Funny, don’t you think?

Related Resources