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> most US states are 16 too, IIRC.

Right, but it's 18 in California, where most TV shows and movies come from, so the unexamined idea in everyone's head is that it's 18 everywhere in the country.

TV Tropes (you knew this was coming) mentions this as an example of SoCalization. The infiltration of Californian idiom and assumptions into the global mass media is truly insidious. But hey, isn't Silicon Valley in California as well?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SoCalization






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