More American Cartoons On Canada

I enjoy the diversion of witty cartoons (especially those in The New Yorker magazine), and I’ve posted previously about funny cartoons that comment on American perceptions and stereotypes about Canada (for example, here and here). Β Below are a few others that may provide for some amusement.


This one deals with the general lack of knowledge about Canada by many Americans:

What part of Canada . . .


Americans know they share many similarities with Canadians and might be happy to think that’s true in all respects but every now and then something will remind otherwise — such as the finishing of a sentence with an “eh?” or a different pronunciation of a common word (like “about” pronounced as “aboot”) — even if they can’t put their finger on it:



Of course, there’s the widely held perception of Canadians as being polite to a fault:

Canadian Mob


This one, while showing two Canadian politicians, plays on the notion held by many Americans of U.S. “exceptionalism” and the idea that Canada doesn’t often register with many Americans:



And . . . there’s the word “about” again:

Canadian CSI

(Image credits to the various cartoonists: Liam Walsh, D. Reilly, P.C. Vey, Paul Noth, Dan Piraro)

102 responses

  1. Many years ago I met an American who asked if we had VCR’s in Canada. My travelling companion was quick and said “yes we do and next week we are getting flush toilets.” He knew he had been had.

  2. Reblogged this on The Chicago Files and commented:
    Here is a wonderful post reblogged from “O Canada”. Brett has a wonderful blog. As an American, he writes and posts pictures about Canada. I am a Canadian who writes about the differences between Canada and America. Thank you, Brett.

  3. Hi Brett. I enjoyed this piece. This from a Canadian woman who bumped into a table and, in a moment of distraction, apologized to it. I sometimes wonder our politeness comes from the influx of Loyalists affected our prevailing culture. I’m thinking of Quakers and like minded folks who were adverse to conflict.

    • Gwen, I’ve often wondered about the cultural roots of that as well. I think it’s probably something that goes back to the early period as you suggest. Best, Brett

  4. I find Canadians to be a mixed bag. Some can be quite standoffish, which gets a shrug from me. Coming from the States, I’ve seen much worse. Others are very peculiar in the sense of personality. There are a lot of blank looks, and signs that they have no idea how to handle me. I don’t recall being rude or uncooperative, but there’s a sense of confusion about them. I’m not sure what to make of that. There are also genuinely nice Canadians that fit the stereotype perfectly. In other words, they’re just as human as anyone else.

    Then there are the Ontarians on the freeway down here. They can get real dicey.

  5. Pingback: How to Complain Like a Canadian | Kiwi Over/CCC

  6. That is really good Brett. I have to admit everyone here in Germany knows Canada. But the funny thing is when I tell them that i will live in Ontario I can see some question marks in their faces.

  7. Reblogged this on Yoh! WTF? and commented:
    I remember when I lived in Calgary, I’d speak with many Americans who genuinely believed that we had moose and polar bear roaming the streets of Calgary. Some even believed me when I jokingly said that instead my home in the city and a cottage in the countryside, I had a home in the city and an igloo in the countryside!

    Go figure!

  8. Hmmm, I guess some Americans forgot Alaska is further north than Calgary. However in Calgary it does really get as cold as -25 degrees C or -31 degrees C. Oh, I guess I shouldn’t speak metric at all.

    There are some highly ignorant Canadians about the U.S. also. Maybe they are glued in front of TV, watching a lot of U.S. in Canada. We do get a lot of U.S. tv stations beamed into Canada, not the other way around.

    • One of my favourite Mercer bits is the Talking to Americans. I know editing plays a role, and the Americans featured are likely a select few, but I do wonder how our neighbours can know so little about us!

      Americans I meet are often surprised to find out how much we are taught about the US in school.

  9. Cute but they also display U.S. ignorance about your country. To be honest, I know many who are jealous of Canadians simply because of these stereotypes! Here’s to you, eh?

  10. i am canadian, and i have never heard ‘aboot’ and we all say ‘eh’ sometimes, but we are only making fun of americans who think we say ‘eh’…. so i’m not sure where all this stuff comes from, except bob and doug mckenzie, so, yeah, none of us would say ‘eh’ if it wasn’t for bob and doug… when i phone people, to this day i say ‘hello eh’ in a bob and doug accent, and we still laugh, but yeah, we are laughing at americans, haha, not ourselves πŸ™‚

  11. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
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  12. Just spent a week kayaking out of Fort McNeil on northern Vancouver Island. There were lots of “ehs”. πŸ™‚ Also, I am a fan of the New Yorkerβ€” mainly because of the cartoons. I should be blogging about the kayaking trip in a couple of weeks. But for now I am off to Burning Man, where I suspect there are lots of Canadians, eh. Loved your blog. –Curt

  13. As a former loyal servant of the queen and crown for more than 8 years (and truly, I really was), I ask, where is the toon about the Vancouver hockey riot of June 2011? Now that was a keeper.

  14. Hilarious!

    When I was in Bromont visiting Tom and EJ ( in June 2014, I learned a lot about the engaging and fascinating differences between Canada and the USA. I’m hoping to be able to travel to Canada again (in the spring or summer). πŸ™‚

  15. Pingback: Whack A Canadian « O' Canada

  16. I was in the Air Force and stationed in Newfoundland – left in September 1965. We Americans do find humor in language – I’m sure other peoples can’t believe how many words we have for the same thing. Like home, house , abode, dwelling, residence, etc. It’ s a wonder we can communicate at all.

    • Not a question of humor. That’s the wonder of English. It absorbed a huge chunk of French from all the back and forth invasions in the Middle Ages, and thousands of bits and pieces of other languages from the Empire. Makes for much richer and nuanced expression, I think.

      • I agree on the adaptability of English and its ability to evolve. Very much a living language. Lots of history reflected throughout.

  17. I’ve often thought Canadians and Americans have a similar relationship to Australians and New Zealanders. Like niggling siblings, except the size discrepancy isn’t so noticeable between us. We Australians have lots of running gags about the Kiwis and vice versa and our sporting rivalries make everything from rugby to netball so much more fun!

  18. I’ve been reading some of the comments from my fellow Canadians and in all fairness (now that’s being Canadian) how much do Canadians know about American geography? 😊

  19. Canadians know a great deal about American history. Back in the day, geography was a required topic so we were tested on the Capital Cities of each of the American States, as one example. In civics, we learned about the first suburban design, Levittown and don’t get me started on Frank Lloyd Wright. Politically, we are taught about the 2 party system and had to memorize the names of all the American presidents. And of course, we all know the history of the American Civil War. Love the New Yorker and Woody Allen flicks.. Is my age showing?

    • In high school I had the option of continuing along with the Grade 12 history or actually taking Canadian history. (It was also the only year Canadian Literature was on the program). Always annoyed me to have so much US history, geography and etc. As if all that US television broadcasted wasn’t enough! I’m sure it wouldn’t bother me quite so much except that some people in the US can’t even find Canada on a map. (I know this first hand, not something I heard from a Rick Mercer video).

  20. Brett:

    Thank you for liking my recent blog post of Rick Stevens’ “Diesel Sweeties” cartoon; it’s a pleasure to encounter another blogger who also appreciates this art form!

    All best wishes for your continuing success,

    Jay Pochapin

  21. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your concept… Canadian appreciation posts! Good one, eh. I live near the border and agree that they are a fabulous bunch. Reminds me I should head north again soon. Anyhoooooo, this post tickled me (New Yorker cartoons are the best). I also love your photos, and arts sensibility seen on your other posts as well. I’ll stop in now and then for a dose of it. Cheers.

  22. Hey Brett, I caught up with U after I noticed U appreciated my start on world events+political cartoons ……. what was in the news when you were born? Can you find a cartoon that depicts it?

    • Hi! I’d have to give that some thought but I love how political cartoons can capture the essence of a situation and convey so much in a single or a few frames.

  23. While I am an American, while in Germany in the Army in the late 70s, I was a member of a golf club on a Canadian Air Force base. It was next to the runway and noisy, but I enjoyed playing golf with the guys that I met there.

  24. OMG!!! SO FUNNY!!!!! I work at an American International School, and a few years back one teacher from Atlanta, Georgia and I had a great laugh about how we pronounce or call different school supplies.


    Canadian Name: Elastic Band American Name: Rubber
    Canadian Name: Scribbler American Name: Notebook

    I can’t recall any more examples now as it was a bit ago….. but it sure was funny!!!! :)))))))

    • Stephanie, thanks for sharing this — those are great examples! I love such differences in language and wondering how people came up with different terms for the same thing.

  25. Probably, there are misconceptions everywhere about nearly everyone, especially when mainstream media shows the rest of the world only a tiny % (if not entirely false representation) of a populations views.
    These are spot-on and hilarious! I’ve heard “aboot” & enjoy it every time : )

  26. Things are changing up there. I see now a Canadian exceptionalism. Americans have been guilty of that for a long time. However, you would expect people to I have been to Canada numerous times as I have relatives there. I think the politeness is more with the 40-somethings and up. Under that not so much.

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