You Know Your Friend Is a FOB When….


Have any FOBS in your life?  “FOB” stands for Fresh Off The Boat and basically refers to a very recent immigrant.  Today’s post, comes at the end of a week dealing with friendships so what more fitting a way to finish up than to tackle the topic of FOB friends?  Here’s how you pick one out in a crowd:

1)  They are making a peace sign at the camera in every photo – OK so this definitely holds for Asian FOBS… don’t hate me for pointing it out.  My wife did it as a joke sometimes when we first started dating.  Then she went to work in Korea for 6 months and it is now her permanent pic pose.

2)  They will gladly tell you that you are fat. – Especially FOB parents your parents age have no problem hitting you straight.  For more on FOB parents, click here.

3)  They can be super polite and then super blunt – Typical lines from FOBS:  “Excuse me, Bjorn, but do you mind if I tell you something?  You are such a nice boy and this makes me “embarrass”.  But your hair looks no good.”  WOW.

4)  They seriously think Vicks can fix EVERYTHING – When I lived in the Philippines they had something like Vicks that was believed to have all kinds of powers.  You could use it for any ailment, just rub it on where it hurts… I used it for a stomach ache once when I was 11.  It worked.

5)  They are SUPER cheap in everyday life and then they throw the BIGGEST BIRTHDAY PARTIES you have EVER SEEN – FOBS can be NEXT LEVEL cheap.  Check out the Happy Slip video above of the mom sawing the paper towel roll in half.  This is TYPICAL.  But then you go to a bday bash and they have rented out a hot venue, there is a band, tons of food and the place is packed. HUH??!!

6)  They’ve got plastic on the furniture they bought years ago. – How this is supposed to help their living rooms I DO NOT KNOW but I have seen this quite a bit.  And the plastic is getting ratty…

7)  They are VERY superstitious – My grandma, an otherwise intelligent, grounded woman would swear up and down that there were “little people” that lived in the forest in Sweden.  She would defend this belief to anyone.  I have FOB friends that you would never want to take camping because they could tell you ghost stories that would make you wet yourself.

I know you’ve got your own FOB spotting tips.  Hit me with them in the comments.



Bjorn Karlman


6 thoughts on “You Know Your Friend Is a FOB When….”

  1. Yeah, I know a FOB or two – starting with me! Taking the bus instead of driving to save gas. Negotiating for everything including gas when I do have to get it. Going to Costco mainly for the free samples and sometimes to negotiate gas. Plastic on my cell phone – still there after 2 years. No shoes in the house. Doggy bags no matter how much or little food is leftover. 1 cup of soda at fast food restaurants for a family of 10.

    I love being a FOB. but I know I’m better than NKTWAB’s – never knew there was a boat!

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