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11 Buffalo Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

After you knock the snow off your car, throw on some polka music and warm up with some hot wings while reading these 11 totally true stereotypes of Buffalo!

Ian Douglass

46 articles, 0 comments

1. Buffalonians Are The Most Justifiably Bitter Sports Fans In The World

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user Scott Kinmartin


Cleveland sports fans are contenders for the title, but fans of Buffalo’s teams can’t open their mouths without ranting about the injustice of being a Buffalo supporter. Forget about the fact that Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal (AKA, “Wide Right”) that lost the Bills the only winnable Super Bowl of the four in a row they competed in; Buffalo was on the wrong side of two of the most unforgivable officiating calls in the history of playoff sports: “The Music City Miracle” and “No Goal”. If you’re a a Buffalonian, it’s enough to make you want to shout… and not in the way you’d like to.

2. No, Seriously Bro… They’re Bitter

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user ViperWD


NHL legend Brett Hull even had the nerve to take to Twitter one decade after the fact just to troll Buffalo Sabres fans over “No Goal”—his clearly illegal goal that cost Buffalo its opportunity to win a Stanley Cup championship. You can debate the silliness of the rule all you want, but it was definitely illegal at the time. And it’s not like anyone was able to come to the city’s defense, because the greatest Buffalo Sabre of all time, Dominik Hasek, rudely bolted for Detroit, joined forces with Hull and promptly backstopped the Red Wings to one of the two Stanley Cup championships he won since leaving Buffalo. And all of this was before the fans were forced to buy jerseys with a giant slug on them masquerading as a real logo.

3. How Bitter Are They?

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user Divine Harvester


Did I mention that you can’t even talk about the Buffalo Bills’ successes of the 1970s because their greatest player ever, O.J. Simpson, may also be the most famous person to ever be found “not guilty” of double homicide? How about the fact that the former Buffalo Braves left the city and eventually became the L.A. Clippers—just one more cool thing about Los Angeles? How about the fact that Buffalo built a huge baseball stadium, successfully packed it with fans for the Triple-A baseball team in expectation of being awarded a MLB club, and they still haven’t gotten one? Man… it’s rough being a Buffalo sports fan.

4. Buffalo Is Polish. Really, Really Polish…

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user rocketsareneat


… or at least they like to think they are. As far as major cities go, Buffalo boasts one of the largest populations of Poles in the country, especially for a major population center. The Dyngus Day festival in Buffalo is one of the largest ethnic festivals in the nation, and successfully convinces even non-Poles that being Polish at least once a year is a lot of fun.

5. Buffalo Is Basically No Different From Canada, Yet Hates It For No Reason

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user Cavalier92k


Buffalonians are convinced the feature that practically defines Canada for many people in the northeast— Niagara Falls—really belongs to them. The funny thing is, for all intents and purposes, most travelers would have a hard time telling where Canada ends and Buffalo begins were it not for the bridge they have to cross. Buffalonians consumed so much of Canadian beer company Labatt’s beer that the company moved its sales and marketing headquarters to Buffalo. Apparently, Labatt can’t tell them apart either.

6. Buffalonians Especially Hate Toronto…

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user JasonJThomas


Part of this hatred is proximity based, some of it is based on sports rivalries, and some of it is the feeling of being held hostage. How would you feel if the owner of your favorite football team kept threatening to move the team to the city you have such a bitter rivalry with? What makes it worse is Bills fans have to watch while two of their yearly home football games are now played in Toronto… which can’t even sell out the seats for the games.

7. …But They Hate Being Grouped In With New York City Even More Than They Hate Toronto

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Google Maps


Buffalonians are culturally distinct and far more down to earth than their in-state brethren from New York City, which makes it especially annoying when outsiders assume that Buffalonians spend all their free time in NYC, as if the two cities were only half an hour from one another. It actually takes two hours longer to drive from Buffalo to New York (six hours) than it does to drive from Buffalo to Detroit through Canada. However, the dirty little secret here is that Buffalonians will still sing “Empire State of Mind” and pretend the “New York” in the song somehow applies to them.

8. Buffalonians Will Debate You On Upstate New York Boundaries

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user andynash


To a New York City resident, anything northwest of Manhattan is “Canada”. If you live outside of New York state, you probably consider anything outside of New York City to be “Upstate New York”. However, Buffalonians will kindly (and sometimes not so kindly) explain to you the “Upstate New York” label is reserved for the central part of the state, and definitely does not include Buffalo, which is in “Western New York”. And if they could figure out a good way to separate themselves from Rochester, they’d probably do that too.

9. Buffalonians Are Chicken Snobs And Will Give You The Stink Eye For Saying “Buffalo Wings”

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user JasonParis


Hot wings are considered to have originated in Buffalo’s Anchor Bar and to have been perfected by Duff’s, and their popularity has spread throughout the world. But, if you call them “Buffalo Wings” in Buffalo, you probably don’t belong in the city. In Buffalo, they’re “wings”… period. And even Buffalo Wild Wings learned the hard way not to push its knockoffs in the town that gave birth to perfect chicken.

10. Buffalonians Love Their Snow And Will Laugh At You For Complaining About Fewer Than 18 Inches Of It

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user Sherene


Buffalonians don’t want to hear about your snowy winters and cold temperatures, unless of course you’re from Syracuse. That’s because Buffalo gets legitimate lake-effect snow, and when it hits, it can be brutal. Buffalo regularly competes for the “Golden Snowball Award” for the most yearly snowfall with Syracuse and three other Upstate New York cities (even though it’s not really “Upstate”, right?).

11. Buffalonians Feel Guilty About Their World Fair That Killed A President

11 Stereotypes About Buffalo That Are Completely True

Source: Flickr user Sean_Marshall


Presidential assassination was once a semi-regular event in the United States, with three occurring within a forty-year period. President William McKinley was one victim of these assassinations after he was shot at the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. Two things have helped to virtually erase the damage this might have caused to Buffalo’s reputation. One is the fact that McKinley’s assassin, despite being born in Michigan, was viewed as a Polish anarchist rather than a domestic terrorist. The other is that McKinley’s successor, Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the greatest U.S. presidents and purest examples of sheer manliness that ever existed. Come on, remember that moustache?

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posted on: January 17, 2014
229,976 views, 21 comments

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21 Comments

  1. Kelly

    I totally agree with Zach Hyland’s statement. of “An article written like a true non-Buffalonian.” We’re really not hostile at all. In fact we are “The City Of Good Neighbors” I still have no idea where this idea that we hate Canadians or Toronto.

    • ag in response to Kelly

      The Buffalo Hospitality one is a lie. I work in the Hospitality idustry and its not the friendlist town with the best record. This article is pretty spot on. Buffalo may not hate Canada but they hate Canadians. And they are some of the most bitter sport. Fans.

      • Paul in response to ag

        Really? No one I know in the Buffalo area hates Canadians….

        • J-Lew in response to Paul

          You’re an idiot…. If you were born and raised in buffalo it’s in your blood to want to punch Canadians in the face

          • LPort in response to J-Lew

            Mindless violent feelings are an inherent trait for those “born and raised” in Buffalo?

            Might explain the difference in crime rates and overall differences in the quality of life between Buffalo and its neighbors to the north.

            BTW, it appears that most residents of Buffalo are, intelligently, not irked by Canadians: differences among citizens of any geographical area exist, some people are annoying, some aren’t. Not all people from Buffalo are narrow-minded idiots, or violent, or arsonists, or drug dealers, or economically disadvantaged, etc. At our core, people are alike. An us vs. them mentality on the part of a Buffalo resident is esp. pathetic since, objectively, quality of life indicators consistently favor the northern neighbors.

            (I spend much time there: douche bags may exist everywhere, but if I *had* to generalize, they seem thoughtful, fair, tolerant and polite. Even sports rivalries seem good-natured: they cheer for the home team, without stupidly hating fans of other teams, or the people of an entire city or country).

            Your comment indicates a disturbing personal psychological failing: seek help if you actually think there is nothing wrong with this sentiment, exaggerated or not.

        • Lex in response to Paul

          As a Canadian who grew up in Buffalo, Buffalonians are assholes to Canadians. I have heard 20 years of chaff for being Canadian, from friends, from non friends, you name it. It is always “Canadians are such assholes when they come over to the states” or “Canadians can’t drive” or “Gross, you are Canadian?”. I would say 75% of the Buffalonians I have met give me shit for being Canadian or talk shit about Canadians, whether they know me well or not.

          • Andrew in response to Lex

            You only hate Canadians if you like hockey, and outlet malls. Honestly we do live in WNY, brag about our snow, and don’t like the assumption that everyone from NY, is from NYC. But really, I think this article’s pretty obviously from someone not from here. I grew up here, and have no plans on leaving. The people ARE nice, and to us, there are two Niagara Falls’.

  2. Corinne L

    I must be THE most polish girl in buffalo since that’s my photo for #4… Haha

    • ablejack in response to Corinne L

      Well then, you’re one of our most pretty girls too; Great photo!

  3. Jack

    This article is horrible and clearly was written by somebody who is not from Buffalo. Horrible linkbait from “movoto” – I will make sure to never use this website.

    Most amusing is the “Buffalo Wing” commment. You are correct, nobody calls them “buffalo wings”. Then you go on to refer to them as “Hot Wings” – WHICH NOBODY WOULD CALL THEM IN 100 YEARS.

  4. Jb Hartman

    This article is spot on for the most part not everyone is the same but a large chunk and for everybody who says it’s not you are oblivious to your own area

    • bud b. in response to Jb Hartman

      most of what was covered is one observation of a non buffalo resident. yes to the polish population not a mention of st.patricks day italian festival how about the greek festival.each are well attended and last for days…one so called “fact” you may be close on is the misunderstanding of our location to n.y.c.most new yorkers you meet here are at buffalo state collage or u.b.true they dont take to buffalo right away. but by their senior year they have bought a home and looking for employment.there a so many overlooks in your article i feel you will be getting many many more responses to make the FACTS STRAIGHT…. p.s.stop in buffalo this june thers a litte thing called the allentown art festival doubt you know of it. will buy you some (buffalo)wimgs

  5. Northtowns

    Oh come on! This article is dead on for a number of the Northtowns (If you’re really from Buffalo, you know there are differences). For one, most people who live in the Northtowns are said to be richer and snobbier and judge-y-er (as one South towner put it). The City of Good Neighbors is a misnomer here; have you EVER driven on the 290 (or, should I be real old school and call it the Youngman)? People tailgate in the center and right lanes when the passing lane is WIDE OPEN, don’t merge without a fight and a middle finger, refuse to actually pass ON THE LEFT (because they are, what? afraid of being pulled over for speeding?). People in Kenmore drive through stop signs no matter the time of day, nearly hit elderly pedestrians…need I go on? There is so much anti-Canada hatred in the northtowns (i’m looking at you GI, the CITY of Tonawanda, NT) that if you mention it, usually in some stupid story about crossing the border back into the U.S. super drunk, everyone else chimes in something lame and spiteful (and the anger through the years was directed often at the Outlet Mall in NF). Wings, sure, yeah. Football and no goal…yeah, sure. Buffalo 66, etc etc.

    Overall, the article suffers from the split personality of the area: Buffalo itself and the Southtowns at times can feel like a different region. Ditto for Niagara Falls.

  6. Steph

    We don’t “hate” Canadians because of sports or Niagara Falls is really “owned” by them… It’s because they come into this country and litter after they go on their shopping sprees. Canadians from certain areas are very snobbish and act as if they are special/run the place. I work in retail at a store that is very popular for them to shop at. This article is really lame not just because of this Canadian crap but pretty much everything else. Obviously someone is mad at buffalo.

    • LPort in response to Steph

      I find that while litter used to be more on the part of Canadians years ago (taking everything out of its packaging to avoid duty?), people with NY plates are doing more of it now. Worked in retail as a student and the snobbish people were usually the ones with more money regardless of country. Some people just treat staff badly. Black Friday I avoid outlet malls, and the Canadians I encounter shopping at stores like Target are polite.

      Would agree more with 9 & 10 than the others.

  7. karen

    1.CHICKEN WINGS!! WE CALL THEM CHICKEN WINGS!! 2. Polish yea maybe, but you can’t forget the IRISH!!!In Buffalo everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!! 3. As for the sports teams..we love them and every year we start with a clean slate and by the end of the season we are ready to drink our sorrows away, that is why Labatts needed to be here, not because they can’t “tell the difference”

  8. John J. Burke

    Guilty as charged!

  9. anna

    Ian, I loved your article. It was well written, engaging, and mostly true. Although I don’t agree with your assessment of Buffalo’s feelings for Canadians. I think most of us in Buffalo, whether we admit it or not, like being on the border with Canada. In 90 minutes we can be in one of the hippest cities in North America, Toronto. We also hate to admit it, but they keep our economy alive. Nevertheless, as a border town, this makes Buffalo truly unique. There are only a handful of cites that border large Canadian cites, Burlington, Vermont and Lake Chaplain (NY-wherever that is), Detroit and Windsor (no need to visit Windsor) and Seattle and Vancouver (ok, Vancouver is just as cool as Toronto). In short, we really do like being on the border with Canada, the proof is in the beer consumption.

  10. Ron Newkirk

    Ok, I was born and raised in Buffalo and yes there are a lot of truth’s to this in a round about way. Yes we love the Bills and like very few other cities we are fans come hell or high water,we don’t jump on the band wagon only when we win and sure we get disappointed when we lose but we are always there for support for our team.
    Yes we love our wings, when most other states used chicken wings as pig food and you could buy them at the grocery for little of nothing. Now look they are more expensive that breast. Oh:don’t forget our red hots are to die for.The city line in West Seneca (why they call them Texas Red Hots I just don’t know. And by the way we are a friendly bunch,you treat us with respect and we would give you the shirt off our back BUT look out if you piss us off. like it should be.
    Yes we have a lot of snow and frigid weather but we still get up and go to school and work. Outsiders do think that we are just concrete and steel wtf . NYC is only a small part of New York. Its like saying that all of Illinois is just like Chicago !! We actually have Mountains not just hills like Texas. Go BILLS

  11. Michael

    The article is fraught/riddled and peppered with seemingly specious statements or EGREGIOUS MISTATEMENTS. I’M compelled to say the ”CITY OF GOODNEIGHBORS DISTINCTION” is a glaring misnomer kind of; it warrants elucidation. I readily concede it used to be true(you could etch it in stone/blood) that it FORMERLY could boast/vaunt the latter; albeit that was 4 score and 7 years ago. However, somebody who has lived/crisscrossed the globe I readily concede I’m guilty of conferring and pulling out the old/retired ”LABEL” of it being the city of good neighbors. I had the best. I’ve had old neighbors (formerly Canadian) GWEN LANG who recently passed away. They were very hearty/friendly/quirky albeit not ”flawed”. No kidding about the inevitable kinship with Canada and it’s of the ”spirits/libations variety; ie. their mutual penchant/affinity for the latter. I personally have never seethed with contempt/disdain for them or Cananda as a whole; for that matter any other ethnicity/extraction. It’s patently racist/and amounts to ”brushstroking” ”REDEFINED” and to the nth degree. Buffalo has a decidedly low class/no class ”declassee” pocket like any other place; decidedly gruff/blue collar ruffians who are decidedly ”rabid” (mildly speaking) sports fans. I don’t fall into the latter group. Not a sports aficionado/devotee. Lived in California (Los Angeles/San Fran) and equally are parts that I either really disliked/liked. Now Florida (southern) in my estimation is singularly the worst. Token hillbilly, red necking, Neanderthals, nasty redefined.

  12. Joel Andrews

    Are you kidding me. Yes they are “WINGS” calling them anything else would be an over statement (Could I have a glass of WET water?).

 

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