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Recap / South Park S 12 E 4 Canada On Strike

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It's "Canada Appreciation Day" and Mr. Mackey shows everyone a video. Unfortunately, things don't go well and Canada gets made fun of. Stephen Abootman's not going to take that lying down.

Tropes used Canada on Strike.

  • An Aesop: As Kyle explains, while the internet is a great place for creative people to share their works, it hasn't been monetized to the point they can use it as a substitute for a career through traditional means of media. Keep in mind this episode aired in 2008.
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  • And Your Reward Is Edible: Canada only gets cheap prizes for its economically destructive and very costly strike, which were coupons to Bennigan's (that require you buy a meal to get a free second meal) plus bubblegum.
  • Argument of Contradictions: "I'm not your buddy, friend!" "He's not your friend, guy!" "I'm not your guy, friend!" "He's not your friend, buddy!"
  • Big "NO!": Cartman lets one out when Family Guy is on TV.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Abootman plus Terrance and Phillip's argument of "I'm not your friend / buddy / guy!"
    • To fill in the labor shortage caused by Canadians going on strike, the Americans simply replaced them with the Danish. Later on, when Abootman is exposed for lying to everyone that the strike worked, he gets set adrift and Phillip says, "Maybe you can go live with the Danish!"
  • Call-Back: Cartman still hates Family Guy.
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  • Comically Small Bribe: Kyle offers Abootman a very small reward in order to end the strike. Abootman easily accepts just because he thinks it'll save his reputation. Abootman hands every Canadian a bubblegum plus a coupon to Bennigan's. Terrance and Phillip crunch some numbers and find that this reward is minuscule compared to the millions of dollars Canada lost from forgoing work.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Canada going on strike, just because nobody cared about "Canada Appreciation Day". They didn't even take into account that the whole charade could be a detriment rather than a benefit to the country.
    • The boys think that they will immediately gain monetary compensation for a viral video that gains a lot of views. They needed to have ads sponsor their video and generate revenue from the advertisers to make money.
    • Abootman demanded "more money" to end the strike, despite having no clue where they would get the extra money from.
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  • From Bad to Worse: Stephen Abootman forced Canada to go on strike for money. It not only failed, it got them into debt.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The strike absolutely screws Canada over by the end. Many people died of starvation from going on strike, the boys' attempt to get "Internet money" fails because their video didn't have ad revenue on it and the consolation prize at the end was worth around 3000 dollars (compared to the 10.4 million the country lost by not working). And to top it off, Stephan Abootman (who organized the strike in the first place) gets set adrift, still screaming at Terrance and Phillip about how much he hates them.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The web celebrities, especially Tay Zonday, who is taken from Nice Guy to egomaniac here, are all a present day example, though Jerkass would be more apt than villain.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Out of all the internet celebs, Tay Zonday / "Chocolate Rain" Guy is the most self-absorbed.
    • Stephen Abootman. All Stephen cared about was looking like a hero rather than an impulsive idiot who had no idea what he was doing. He refused to stop the strike for that reason rather than swallow his pride and end the strike before it resulted in the numerous deaths of his countrymen.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: As mentioned before, Stephen didn't really care whether or not this scheme of a strike earned Canada more respect and/or money; all he cared about was looking like a hero. As a result, he ultimately ended up looking like a fool, costing Canada millions in dollars and hundreds if not thousands in lives, and was banished from Canada by being set adrift.
  • Never My Fault: Abootman tells Kyle over the phone that “the blood will be on your hands” if all of Canada dies before he gets them the money they are striking for. Even though he was the one who started the strike, he’s trying to pass the blame off to someone else. At the end of the episode, he refuses to admit he did wrong even as he is being forcibly exiled from Canada.
  • No Sympathy: The rest of the world laughed at Canada's national appreciation day, and when Canada went on strike their leaders waited for them to all die from its self-imposed famine so they can use the now vacant territory for land development (Newfoundland was planned to be a theme park).
  • Reality Ensues: By going on a country-wide strike and only getting coupons as a token of gratitude, Canada lost millions more dollars than gained. Adding onto this, because of no funds coming into the country, a lot of citizens starve and die before the end of it.
  • Take That!:
    • Towards the 2007-2008 Writer Strike. It's obvious with the World Canadian Bureau's initials being "WGA" instead of WCB.
    • Family Guy gets hit with this again, when the boys suggest that they watch American TV. Cartman lets out a Big "NO!" and shuts off the TV.
    Cartman: We are not resorting to that.
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