31 Ways to Tell Houston Transplants and Locals Apart

Cool story: Houston is expected to take over Chicago as the third-largest city by 2025. As such, America’s fastest-growing city has a steady influx of people who have moved here solely to ruin your morning commute. And while everyone is pretty welcoming in spite of that traffic and a super-cool melting pot culture has been created, it’s still incredibly easy to pick out a transplant to make fun of in a crowd. Here are 31 ways to spot ‘em:

Transplants: Enjoy donuts with their coffee.
Locals: Enjoy kolache with theirs.

Transplants: Love all of the new construction changing their neighborhood.
Locals: Are ready to stage a coup d'etat of the city council to eliminate it.

Transplants: Didn’t give a crap when Blue Bell was temporarily shut down.
Locals: Still have PTSD from the devastation.

Transplants: Aimlessly wander the streets of Downtown looking for a spot for lunch.
Locals: Are down in the tunnels eating Treebeards.

Transplants: Whine about the humidity roughly 75% of the year.
Locals: Know better than to whine even though they’re sweating balls May through August.

Transplants: Like two hot sauces -- Sriracha and Frank’s RedHot.
Locals: Have 10 different kinds in their pantry.

Transplants: Say “Humble” and don’t even try to pronounce Kuykendahl.
Locals: Drop the “H” and laugh at your butchery of the other (it’s Kirk-en-doll).

Transplants: Consider eating McDonald’s a guilty pleasure.
Locals: Feel exactly zero guilt about their thrice-weekly Whataburger runs.

Transplants: Think low gas prices are a good thing.
Locals: Think high gas prices are a good thing.

Transplants: Hear “The Breakfast Club” and think of an ‘80s movie starring Molly Ringwald.
Locals: Hear “The Breakfast Klub” and think of fried chicken & waffles and catfish & grits.

Transplants: Shop at whatever grocery store is closest.
Locals: Will go out of their way to get to Fiesta or HEB.


Transplants: Might think a jalapeño was hot as hell.
Locals: Might think a jalapeño was hotter than usual, but will only admit it over their dead bodies.

Transplants: Want a Coke when they ask for a Coke.
Locals: Can be referring to any kind of soda, but most likely want Dr Pepper.

Transplants: Grew up going to multiple sweet sixteens.
Locals: Grew up going to multiple quinceañeras.

Transplants: Believe there are four seasons.
Locals: Know there are only two.

Transplants: Snack on chips and salsa.
Locals: Snack on chips and two kinds of salsa with a vat of queso.

Transplants: Are still unsure about crawfish.
Locals: Can take down 5lbs in the time it takes transplants to get through one.

Transplants: Try to use a credit card at Lankford’s.
Locals: Brought exact change.

Transplants: Are freaking out about that hurricane warning.
Locals: Are still prepared from the last one.

Transplants: Think this is the year the Astros take the World Series.
Locals: Know better.

Transplants: Instagram photos of their pastries at Common Bond.
Locals: Won’t tell you where their favorite pasteleria is unless you’re in their circle of trust.

Transplants: Think “chopped & screwed” sounds like a type of brunch drink.
Locals: Still mourn the loss of DJ Screw.

Transplants: Complain about the lack of a mass transit system.
Locals: Complain about the city trying to build a mass transit system.

Transplants: Are surprised by a 3pm torrential downpour on a sunny day.
Locals: Know the weather forecast means NOTHING.

Transplants: Have a favorite bagel shop.
Locals: Have a favorite breakfast taco shop, plus three to five backups in case the favorite is closed.

Transplants: Think the streets are lined with glitter.
Locals: Know that “glitter” is shattered car windows.

Transplants: Mistakenly wait until Sunday morning to buy beer for their tailgate.
Locals: Bought theirs the night before.

Transplants: Ask for their brisket with barbecue sauce.
Locals: Know good brisket doesn’t need any.

Transplants: Ask where the “actual city” is.
Locals: Are all about that urban sprawl life.

Transplants: Find Houston to be ugly.
Locals: Find beauty in its eccentricities.

Transplants: Believe Austin is the coolest city in Texas.
Locals: Know that Houston is.

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who is one of those transplants, but whatever, she still loves this damn city. Share your H-town pride with her @BrookeViggiano.