10 Differences Between “Minnesota Nice” and “Passive Aggression”

Minnesota’s cultural and linguistic subtleties are often lost on those who hail from warmer lands with winning football teams. In particular, the line between “Minnesota Nice” and “Passive Aggressive” often appears blurred, though, of course, they are entirely distinct attitudes. The following list has been prepared to aid in differentiating between the endearing self deprecation of the North Star State and the universal urge to not be a complete jerkwad.

10. Passive Aggression starts with a  “P,” while Minnesota Nice starts with “You know, dear…” and a strained smile.

9. If you tell your girlfriend she’s being Passive Aggressive, she’ll throw a glass of milk in your face and tell you she’s spending the night at her friend Julie’s. If you tell her she’s being Minnesota Nice, she’ll laugh and then backhandedly complain about her friend Julie.

8. Passive Aggression has more letters in it. Minnesota Nice has more self deprecation in it.

7. Minnesota Nice rhymes with “mini boat of rice,” while “Passive Aggression” rhymes with “massive erection.”

6. Passive Aggression can only occur beyond Minnesota’s borders.

5. Minnesota Nice is used primarily as an excuse to mask comments that would otherwise seem incredibly rude, while Passive Aggression sounds like a romantic comedy starring Paul Rudd and Drew Barrymore.

4. You can mock any NFL team except the Minnesota Vikings using passive aggressive techniques without striking a nerve. The only way to prevent Chad Greenway (LB) and Greg Jennings (WR) from crying is by prefacing any criticism with a comment about how nice they look in purple and immediately chasing negative feedback with insights on the weather.

3. Ask anybody fifty miles north of the Twin Cities the meaning of Passive Aggression, and they’ll be dumbfounded. Ask them the meaning of Minnesota Nice, and they’ll “tell ya all about it” over some hot dish and a few dozen “You Betchas.”

2. The writers couldn’t actually think up 10 of these, but the copy editor was too Minnesota Nice to do anything about it.

1. You know what? It’s fine that you can’t tell the difference between the two. It’s fine.