"Florida Man" – which depicts a male from the Sunshine State who commits stupid crimes – became a huge internet meme around 2013 and has entered common parlance.
Typical characteristics of a Florida Man's shenanigans involve drunkenness, nakedness, and lack of intellect.
Some examples that made news headlines in recent years include a man who called 911 so he could hitch a ride to a Hooter's restaurant or the guy who was caught watching the solar eclipse during an attempt to steal a vehicle.
If anyone ever hears of an idiotic crime that was committed, the default response would be, "it was probably Florida Man."
And chances are, they are usually right.
But how do Floridians feel about their unfortunate reputation?
Redditor ohyeahthatsthestuff1 asked:
"I encounter them fairly often and I find it pretty accurate. It doesn't describe all of us, but there are a non-zero number of them in any public space, so it make sense that it has caught on."
The keys is basically wild floridians in their true form."
"Everything is so chill down here though. I've been in Key West for about 2 years now and everyone is so laid back. Great change of pace from the year I lived in Texas.
"So I've lived in Florida for the last 10 years in my most bizarre interaction with Florida man was that a golf course. It was the beginning of February and I went to the local track to play 18. The starter paired me with a threesome and on a par three overwater lying just off the green were three at least 10 foot alligators. One of the guys made a joke about there being no unplayable's, and we all hit.
One of the guys, as luck would have it, hit right in the middle of these three alligators. We all drive over to the green and the guy drops his ball just off of the green to chip on. Another one of the guys got furious at this and started calling him names. He casually walks over to one of these at least 10 foot alligators and reaches over and grabs it by the tail and gives it a shake. All three of them shoot off into the water like they were more afraid of this 5 foot nine guy than anything else in the world. To this day it's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."
In Sarasota County
"Having spent a lot of time in Sarasota county. Can confirm, a lot more crazy sh*t happens that doesn't make the press, because no one got arrested for it."
Hanging With "A Bunch Of Rednecks"
"Oh yeah. Born and raise in FL. One of my last good memories there was going out with a bunch of rednecks (all of us were in HS) to the swamp with home made potato shooter gun and shoot potatoes to feed the gators. Another time those same rednecks wanted to go out and hunt wild boars with nothing but knives. I passed on that one."
"Yeah where I grew up in Boca Raton, this didn't happen. When I was in Pensacola for Navy training, it definitely did. Nothing really floridamany happens in Palm Beach or Broward counties, particularly east of 441."
Some Redditors embraced the myth and were amused by the ridiculous news headlines coming right from their own backyard.
One person admitted they wore the Florida title like a "badge of honor," and another incorporated reading news about the Florida man as part of their morning ritual.
"I find it entertaining. Weird stuff definitely does happen here. I once went to a party and ended up in the start of a zombie apocalypse because a crazy girl bit me on my arm and wouldn't get off me till her roommate came across the room and kicked her in. I only offered my hand to help her off the ground and she bit me, totally unprovoked. I'm sad I don't remember her name or I'd fb message her on our bite-iversary."
"I wear the Florida Woman title as a badge of honor- I wrestled a gator in a Christmas hat! (My Uncle is an alligator trapper for the state, FWC, who needed help removing a large nuisance alligator when I was home from the navy. It was a perfect Christmas card opportunity)"
"Edit: A link to the picture for the nonbelievers https://i.redd.it/l4ztoun69yc61.jpg"
"This was in Sarasota FL. The gator was reported to the state after it attacked a lawnmower, ate a calf, and tried to eat the farmers daughter. Yeehaw"
"I had to sit in a bush by the waters edge making a baby alligator call to attract the gator when the speaker died.... Nearly had a heart attack when the gator beelined towards me to investigate! Baby alligator calls sound like you are saying 'oww oww' in a constipated voice."
"I give a quick look at the local Florida city police arrest report online every morning as I sip my coffee and sit down to work. It gives my life a bit of perspective. I know that correlation is not causation and all that, but,...... Do bad haircuts cause crime? Or does crime cause bad haircuts?"
Spoken Like A True Floridian
"I've lived in Tampa for 15 years and that stereotype is total fiction that the deep state wants you to believe to keep you in the dark."
"Now if you will excuse me, I have to go freebase some bath salts so I have the energy to wrestle the alligator out of my above ground pool (tarp in the bed of my pickup truck filled with water)"
Crazy Came To Visit Florida And Stayed
Some people refused to believe the sunshine state breeds crazy.
There were a handful of Redditors who adamantly believed that the Florida Man or Florida Woman came from somewhere else.
Not From Here
"Born and raised Floridian. I feel like it's appropriate and wrong at the same time. The biggest problem with it is most of the 'Florida men and women' you hear about are originally from somewhere else. Same reason we're seen as being bad drivers. No one is actually from here. You throw a million different driving styles into one place, you're bound to have a bad time."
State Of Being
"Florida Man is a state of being, not an accident of one's birth. A Florida Man or Woman may be born anywhere, but they will always, inexorably find there way here, like a moth drawn to a flame."
It's A Theory
"In my experience this is usually what happens. Grandma or Grandpa (or both) move to Florida. They have one f'k up son or grandson that has pissed everyone off from wherever they're from. So they go to Florida to leech off their parents/grandparents since they're the last ones on earth that'll still somewhat support them. Then they do their crazy stuff."
While every state undoubtedly has its share of bad behavior, Florida, unfortunately, gets a bad rep due to the state's frequency of bizarre crimes.
And there are a couple of reasons for that.
Or it could be the dramatically fluctuating weather. Who knows?
Florida has earned the unfortunate reputation of being the progenitor of the "Florida Man" – an individual who commits really stupid crimes.
Examples of ridiculous crimes include a man having sex while stealing a trailer; the man who sets off fireworks inside a Wendy's; and a man who was caught watching the solar eclipse while trying to steal a vehicle.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg.
Florida's reputation is not helped by the fact that a state law allows easy access for public records – which include police arrests.
The numerous bizarre headlines leave many residents planting face to palm as non-Floridians endlessly mock the sunshine state.
Which leaves many like Redditor broseidon_13_ to wonder:
"Here in Italy it's 'Man from Naples,' usually. I don't wanna be racist, I love Naples and Neapolitans, but there are some weird 'Man from Naples' headlines lemme tell you."
"As somebody who leaves in Avellino, that is roughly 2 hours from Naples I can confirm you they are the italian 'Florida Man.'"
"Here in Kenya it is our Governer. This guy broke out of jail, started a taxi Buisiness, said he hates politics, and proceeded to become Governer."
"Finland here, Nokia man. They be always popping pills and driving a head on crash to a moped-car and say they thought it was a semi-truck. Taking over a cop car and flipping the bird..."
"Or maybe Vantaa man, but that's pretty Helsinki centrist imo."
An Estonian County
"Im estonian and we have a place called Idavirumaa witch means east viru land and people there are like florida man mixed with a russian and drunk finniah man."
The Hungary Man
"Hungary: it's Miskolc. This city is Florida and Alabama in one place."
"Oh no. Florida and Alabama in one place sounds like a degenerate nightmare.. I'm from the North Eastern US (New England) and I would 1000% rather be euthanized than live In Alabama or Florida. Specifically those two states."
"Every city has its equivalent. In Brisbane, QLD, Logan man is probably the most infamous. My father contacts around the Logan shopping centre, and has a story every other week of the police clashing with the locals. About two months ago, one tried to burgle a Hungry Jacks (Burger King), only to find that the restaurant, which was still doing drive through, was still staffed. Shocked, he ran over the road, stole a car and posted admit his cunning theft on social media, which the police just happen to monitor. This was all within 24 hours of him being released from prison. 'Logan man' is typically the start of a great headline in a Brisbane news feed. The Aussie slang for a lazy, willfully ignorant, possibly deranged miscreant is a bogan (and yes, bogan from Logan is a source of much mirth and many a derisive headline)."
Things "Polish Man" Would Do Or Has Done
"Polish man, it's pure gold."
"Polish man mistakes iron for telephone"
"Polish man finds a bullet in his head five years after party"
"Polish man electrocuted while peeing"
"Polish man tries to bury wife alive"
"Polish man tries to rob a bank with a spoon"
"Polish man dressed as Gandalf stops an upcoming train"
"Polish man decapitates himself during a macho contest"
"Polish man blows up house after his family goes to a picnic without him"
"Lost Polish tourist made fire to signalize his location, starts a huge fire in Montenegro"
"Polish man terrorises a village with a tank"
The French Conflict
"For people from Paris, it's people from anywhere else in France, for everybody else in France it's people from Paris and sub-urban Paris."
"In Denmark we got Brian, don't know why though."
"I'm old enough to answer that. It's due to a radio satire program with a character named Brian back in the 80's/90s. It became popular to an extend where it crept into everyday language. Like tuned golf GTI became a 'Brian-car' etc etc."