Seven times Canada and the U.S. went to war... in fiction

Seven times Canada and the U.S. went to war… in fiction

The next great Yank-Canuck conflict, as imagined by filmmakers, authors and musicians



With Donald Trump in the White House, suddenly everyone is talking about Canada and the U.S. facing off in a trade war. But will Canada ever actually go to war with the U.S.? Oh wait, we already did, in 1812. However, in the land of movies, books and music, we’ve fought America several times since. Here are seven works that imagined the next great Yank-Canuck conflict.


1. Canadian Bacon (1995)

Michael Moore’s lone attempt at a fictional film, in which the president of the United States declares war on us, because that’s what presidents do in Michael Moore’s world.

Fighting words: “Surrender pronto, or we’ll level Toronto”

Screen shot from Canadian Bacon (YouTube)

Screen shot from Canadian Bacon (YouTube)

2. Pinky and the Brain, “Brain of the Future” (1997):

Two genetically altered cartoon lab mice accidentally create a world where the severed head of Hillary Clinton launches nuclear destruction on a Canada where everyone talks like Rick Moranis.

Fighting words: “Return fire, destroy the Americans, eh?”

Screen shot from Brain of the Future (YouTube)

Screen shot from Brain of the Future (YouTube)

3. Canadian Idiot by Weird Al Yankovic (2006):

The song parodist calls for a “pre-emptive strike” against Canada because Canadians are so polite that they must be “up to something.”

Fighting words: “Break their nose and they’ll just say ‘sorry'”

4. North Reich by Robert Conroy (2012):

In this alternative-history novel, the Nazis take over Canada and use it as a base from which to attack America. The book portrays Canadians as a bunch of wimps who would be sitting ducks for Hitler. An American wrote it, of course.

Fighting words: “Despite half-hearted protests from the United States about violations of the Monroe Doctrine, Germany had quickly occupied key places in Ontario and Nova Scotia.”

5. The Canadian Conspiracy (1985):

This CBC show posited the theory that Canadian entertainers are infiltrating the U.S. to subvert it from within.

Fighting words: “The year is 1948, President Harry Truman meets with William Lyon Mackenzie King. It was this fateful encounter that would spark the Canadian conspiracy. Truman innocently tells the old joke about a Canadian ice fisherman who caught 40 lbs of ice. To Harry Truman it was just a silly joke. To Mackenzie King: WAR!”

Screen shot from The Canadian Conspiracy (YouTube)

Screen shot from The Canadian Conspiracy (YouTube)

6. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999):

The U.S. goes to war with Canada over the bad influence of our flatulence-themed cartoon Terrance and Phillip. Introduced the Oscar-losing song Blame Canada.

Fighting words: “My fellow Americans, at five a.m. today, a day which will live in infamy, the Canadians have bombed the Baldwins. In response to this, the U.S. has declared war on Canada.”

Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Youtube)

Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Youtube)

7. Faultline 49 by David Danson: (2012):

Another alternative-history novel, this time written by a Canadian, traces a journalist’s journey through U.S.-occupied Canada after the Can-American war was brought on by the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre… in Edmonton.

Fighting words: “The reasoning for the specificity of the mortar strikes and the brevity of the Etobicoke shock-and-awe campaign? … [Bruce Kalnychuk] was being fenced in and kept alive so that he could be executed before the American people.”


Originally published in Maclean’s Book of Lists, Volume 2 (2013). Published online in 2014. Updated in 2017.

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