Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Stereotypes about your city: Norman


From time to time, we here at The Lost Ogle like to make fun of different cities in Oklahoma. It’s fun. (You should hear what we have to say about Gotebo.) But this got us to thinking. Why not do a series about various stereotypes that we all associate with different cities in Oklahoma? Well, seeing as how I’m pretty much down for anything, I decided to take on this momentous task in a series of posts.

So, without further ado, I give you 7 stereotypes about Norman.


1. It’s the Portlandia of the OKC Metro.

Whether you’re into the dream of the 1990s or 1890s, Norman has you covered. You can raise chickens in your backyard, ride a huge Frankenstein bike made by welding several bike frames together, go slack lining between the trees on the South Oval, get some veggies at a community garden, attend a music festival, organize political protests with professors, get a locally-sourced meal, go to a casino, or get drunk and try to find the house that’s just a huge black cube. (It’s on Brooks, by the way.)



2. No one has a real job.

The whole college town thing has really infiltrated the whole Norman lifestyle, because it would appear that no one actually works there. Sure, there are service people working in the restaurants, and there are no shortage of officers of the law watching you. But go to the mall at 11 AM, a restaurant at 3 PM, or a gym at 10 AM, and it will be packed. Either everyone in the whole city has a super cool boss that allows them to have a flexible schedule, or they don’t actually work.



3. Doesn’t exist in the summer.

From the second weekend in May until about the third week in August, Norman actually doesn’t exist. If there aren’t tens of thousands of students crowding the town, there’s no reason for anyone else to be there either. This is most likely where we get the saying “If a drunken twenty-something passes out on Main Street, and it’s summer in Norman, does a cop even care?” It’s admittedly a terrible saying. But there’s too much weed in Norman for anyone to really step back and use their logic reasoning skills to fix it.



4. Everyone smokes weed there.

Everyone. The professors. The students. The townies. The urban chickens kept in backyards. Everyone smokes weed in Norman.



5. They live in terror of Edmond.

If there’s one thing that Norman doesn’t want, it’s for you to Edmond it. Maybe it’s that they really value the bike culture or the thriving downtown. Or maybe they just don’t ever want the gated communities to outnumber the bars. Whatever it is, the “Don’t Edmond my Norman” campaign is set in place to guard against a potential outbreak of high property taxes, golf courses, and old white ladies in Buick SUVs.



6. All of the money in Norman is on the west side.

People think of old houses and a whole bunch of twenty-somethings all living together and sharing one bathroom when they think of Norman. And this is pretty much true. Unless you go to the west side of I-35. There are huge, million-dollar houses that don’t look like any other residences in Norman. And some eccentric rich dude even built a hobbit hole around NW 48th and Tecumseh.



7. It’s guarded by an ancient indian spirit/burial ground.

Have you ever wondered why Norman has never been leveled by a tornado? When it comes to severe weather anomalies, you need to look to the ground instead of the sky. The spirits buried there are what protects the city.


Before you get all worked up, remember that I got my start on The Lost Ogle by making fun of my hometown. Know that I make fun of all Oklahoma equally.



  1. You did not included Norman’s insistence on never being within 50 years of other towns/cities regarding road/highway infrastructure and when they do upgrades they do the entire Interstate, highway and internal roads all at the same time to maximize the pain. Just think when they finish this latest round of upgrades they will be akin to Moore and South OKC………….when they upgraded in the late 80′s!
    Nothing says “thumbing our nose at establishment” like weird one-way street combinations and major internal roads with only two lanes and inconsistent/limited left turn lanes.
    There is a reason Norman has the most Rikshaws in the state….hahhahaha

      • That’s my point, even after upgrading Norman will still have jacked up on/off ramps after 2 freakin years of construction. I was not praising Moore/South OkC’s highway structure in any form or fashion.
        If you live/work or spend more than 5 saturday’s a year in Norman you understand what I’m talking about.

          • Have you seen the plans for the new Main Street whatever they are calling it? Its so confusing, there are going to be so many wrecks and traffic jams. IT IS GOING TO BE A NIGHTMARE!

  2. Lindsey Street. The only thing you need to know about the lack of infrastructure in Norman, and this is from someone who loves Norman very much, but between August and May, you avoid Lindsey Street at all costs.

  3. I was really suprised to see the list didn’t mention something along the lines of:

    We all name our children “Boomer” or “Sooner”.

  4. When I was at OU the OU Daily ran a story over Norman and their liberal “weed laws”. I took a copy of the paper home, called my buddies over, and promplty ordered some Pizza Shuttle. As we knew it would be needed by the time it arrived.

  5. This list is a joke, I think that you confused Norman with the NW 23rd street Paseo District for nearly 75% of your points. #1,#3,#4 is a far cry from anything I’ve ever heard about Norman. Stereotypes about Norman generally are that their citizens are too pretentious and to greek (in the sorority fraternity sense and not the of Mediterranean decent sense). Not that everyone here smokes weed. The point about no one working here is amusing along with the old cry, “don’t Edmond my Norman”. #3 the town doesn’t exist in the summer, while that is an interesting observation I assure you the police are in full force. If you don’t believe me just leave campus after a night of drinking and take a left onto Boyd street. This list would have been much funnier if you hadn’t tried to portray Norman as only the regulars who frequent the Deli. I’m down to listen to some smack talk about Norman however, this is just doesn’t seem accurate. Here is my version:

    1. Drive on Boyd St. after 10pm and expect a DUI
    2. 92.9% of all foreign cars less than four years old in Norman will have an out of state tag. 100% will have a greek sticker
    3. Despite the fact that its 16 degrees you could still probably find at least 3 frat kids wearing columbia PFG fishing shirts.
    4. If you’re between Boyd and Lindsey and in between Porter and McGee you can forget about a left turn because it’s simply not happening. So you might as well find three right turns you can maneuver instead.
    5. Tarahumara’s is the best mexican food north of the red river.
    6. 30 Main Street
    7. From months May-August you may turn left in the above mentioned area.
    8. The yellow flashing left turn arrow (in lieu of the green signal for yield after green arrow) is the most bizzare and confusing thing in the world.
    9. Expect to be stopped at an intersection every 25 yards.
    10. “what house were you in”?

    • Tarahumara? Really? I suppose you think that Natty Lite is the best tasting beer…

      • Sir. Charles I suppose you’re more of a Blue moon fan? and also probably more of the Ted’s Cantina type. If you disagree please feel free to share your favorite tex-mex restaurant in the state and or OKC metroplex. IF you do say Ted’s then you are a pretentious lackluster conformist.

        • 1. I prefer Newkie Brown.
          2. To me, Ted’s is as unimpressive as Tarahumara.
          3. Mamaveca-texy-mexy and Peruvian, without a hint of pretentiousness.
          4. I am so full of luster that I am quite shiny, sir.

          • 1. a.k.a Newcastle can be mentioned in the same breadth as Blue Moon however, it’s obviously different and better than B.M. Almost the same point can be made though.
            2. Mamaveca’s?????????????????????????????????????????
            not even in the same league. In fact they are not even playing the same game.
            2a. The set-up at Tara’s is systematically better on every single front than Mamavecas watery cheese soup they refer to as queso. I’m not saying its a bad establishment but I don’t compare Cattleman’s to Outback. I don’t compare the University of Oklahoma’s football team to Florida Poly-Tech…
            2b. There is a fundamental difference in quality between the fajita meat used by Tara’s and that of Mamaveccas. Until Mamavecca’s gets that all cleared up we’ve got nothing else to say.
            3. Shine on.

        • Chuy’s for the win! Yeah, I know its based in Texas, but I can’t help it if its the best in Norman.

    • This article is “Stereotypes about your city: Norman”

      not “7 things you’ll notice about specific intersections in Norman”

    • 8. When the cops pull you over expect your car to be searched and the entire department to be there to bully and belittle you.

    • Jarrod Gamble, you sir, need to leave campus more and also stop finding places to eat in the Gazette.

      First off, there are other people who live in this city other than students. People actually do grow up in Norman and also raise families. It’s true.

      Second, if you’re between Boyd and Lindsey and Porter and McGee, you’re not in Norman, because Porter does not run between Boyd and Lindsey. That street would be Classen, Porter ends around Alameda. Even still, I think Berry would have been a better choice than McGee.

      Third, Tarahumara’s is decent, but there are better places to eat Mexican food in Norman, including Chuy’s and Taco Loco the taco truck. Tara’s is probably the most overrated restaurant in all of Norman. You also mentioned something about Outback being a far cry from Cattleman’s. Is Cattleman’s really the best steak you could come up with? You need some culture.

      Finally, yellow flashing left turn signals are not isolated to Norman, Oklahoma. You would probably know that if you had ever ventured off of College Avenue.

      The original article is way closer to accurate than your sorry attempt at humor or even satire. The original article was a tongue-in-cheek piece with an exaggeration of some stereotypes about the city as a whole, not just confined to Greek life.

    • Damn you, Marisa, how dare you make a list without consulting THE Norman expert, Jarrod Gamble. TLO needs to replace you with him because obviously he knows so much more than you…

  6. #6>30 years of age you visit main street bars not Boyd Street bars <30 you may visit Boyd and not feel out of place. (really more like 21-27). Also the perfect nexus for young and old is directly in the middle at Blu Wine & Food.***

  7. Actually (info comfirmed by 20 yr local Norman banker) all the money is near campus – if we are talking about net worth. West siders are all in debt, even w the big houses.

    • I was about to say the same. Many many biz owners live in SW Norman, east of I-35 and campus area has some very nice places – I can think of 3 mini-mansions immediately.

  8. Little Guys Movers and Speeding Bullet Comics can assure you that there are no mystic spirits protecting Norman from tornadoes, seeing as a tornado tucked their shirts in April 2012.

  9. Thanks for your concern about our streets, folks. But the only folks who actually drive anywhere are either out-of-towners or overpriviledged frat kids. And frankly, we just don’t care about you. Get yourself a bike like everyone else, and quit your bitching.

  10. Yeahhhh not that accurate lol. I love jokes about Norman or Oklahoma or anything else, but the town is chock full of giant SUVs, pickups, and really pricey cars, in addition to priuses and bikes. Norman is really like snotty upper class to upper middle class with a very nice and laid back bohemian blend. : ) Anyway, we’re only snotty to out-of-towners.

  11. You forgot to make fun of the fact that if you talk to someone who lives in Norman, they will act as if “the City” exists across some insurmountable chasm that they couldn’t possibly be arsed to cross. If you live in OKC and have friends in Norman, just accept that you will be the one commuting; the Norman folks certainly won’t.

  12. One time I was walking down Symmes toward campus corner, and there was a chicken running around in the street. I went to the nearby house to inform its owner, and its owner happened to be a totally cute hippie 30-something.

    She said “I know! I just let her run around–I figure, if she gets hit, then whatever: she’s just a chicken!”

  13. GI’ve been in this area for 10 years and outside of Hosty, the Deli, and the occasional radical left wing professor at OU there is nothing “Portlandia” about Norman. Nowadays, Norman is far more in line with your typical SEC college town; an odd mix of new money white flighters, pretentious fratties, and some redneck townies that trickled out of the Cross Timbers of Cleveland County thrown in for good measure. As a somewhat recent OU grad, I will always like Norman, but let’s not act like it’s some Berkley on the Prairie. Old timers described Norman back in the day as closer to something like that, but once I-35 was built and people could commute to jobs in OKC it was all downhill from there. I gotta say I know a ton of Portlandia-types from Norman buying up and rehabbing houses in Gatewood, Crown Heights, etc. in OKC and they are creating a place closer to what’s described in this article. And unlike in Norman, there are no Tri Delts or Brookhaven soccer moms in sight!!

  14. #292 Norman folks have to bring their dogs to every possible outdoor event in town. Even if the dogs are not friendly around crowds.

    • At Norman events, I’ve seen pitbulls and other large dogs eye-to-eye with babies in strollers more times than I care to have a panic attack about.

  15. Well hell! I guess The Lost Ogle really got lost on this one! Son of a bee.

    Seriously, I thought it was a great article, with appropriate grains of truth that obviously slipped through the cracks. And the disc golf is awesome in Norman. Especially N.E. Lions. Griffin used to resemble an untamed thicket of wilderness, but since they trimmed it, it’s all I wish it to be.

  16. What about the day-passers from Central State? I remember all the characters seen through town who were mostly harmless but exceedingly eccentric.

  17. I love Norman but Campus Corner has sort of become too chain-restaurant-y. I think the only truly locally-owned eating places left down there are New York Pizza and The Earth Cafe. Places like Hideaway and Louie’s, which are Oklahoma-owned chains, is pushing it in my view.

  18. Summer is the best time to be in Norman. It’s the only time when it’s OK for Greeks to mingle with the infidel.

  19. This is the reason why I don’t read The Lost Ogle, because the authors seem to be really, really… lost. Have you people actually been to Norman? Or did you just wake up this morning hoping to bash Norman because it really is just that much better than every other city in Oklahoma including my hometown of Edmond. Everyone who actually lives in Norman, not just the students DO have real jobs and aren’t like all the stay-at-home moms who seem to strut around Edmond like their gods. I really don’t like to bash people on their views of things, but you really have to be stuck under a rock if you believe any of this stupidity.

    • 1. If you don’t read The Lost Ogle, why’d you read this column?

      2. The article was is about Norman “stereotypes.” Do you know what a stereotype is?

  20. What a hoot! Good job, Marisa. Even if it did result in a bunch of gabachos arguing who has the best Mexican food. Everyone knows if you want the good stuff, it’s all between S. 15th and S. 44th. My vote goes to Mariscos la Costa. If you find a busy restaurant and you’re the only one there who doesn’t speak Spanish, you’re probably on to something. Like saving 40-50% for food that is WAAAAY better. But this is supposed to be about Norman. Maybe the stereotype should be clueless gabachos arguing about who has the best Mexican food!

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