Canada and the United States have always had a fraught relationship, dating all the way back to the War of 1812, when the U.S. attempted to invade, failed miserably, and had their capital destroyed in retaliation.

Sure, the two countries became friends and allies in the two hundred years since, but tentions continue to occassionally simmer. In 2018, for example, leaders on both sides of the border exchanged some pretty harsh words during the long negotiation of a new trade deal.

In this period of renewed political hostility, it's worth taking a moment to point out the more lighthearted cultural exchanges between the two countries.

ALSO READ: Why Netflix Canada Is Going To Be Awful In 2019

So, listed below are twenty things about Canada that confuse the "heck" (this is Canada, we're keeping things polite) out of Americans. These items are each accompanied by Tweets from over the years from baffled Americans and a few ironic Canadians.

Enjoy! And let's remember that it's ok, even important, to laugh at each other and ourselves once in a while!

Americans are confused...

That Canada is actually an independent country

To many Americans, Canada is just a quirky satellite blob to the north that keeps to itself. Even worse, many Americans just lump Canada into discussions about the United States. While only the most ignorant people actually think Canada is part of the U.S., disregard for Canada is pretty common among the American population.

That they can't just "move" here when they're sick of the U.S.

We're all familiar with the perennial American promise to "move to Canada" when things aren't going their way.

Sorry, but Canada actually has its own immigration system. Americans can't just "move" here without applying for a permit first.

by Canadians and their syrup

It's actually not Canada's only export! Americans can "judge" Canadians all they want for their syrup consumption, people in Canada are still healthier than their counterparts to the south.

That Canadians aren't all clichés

Canadians are not cartoons.

That people speak French

Canada has deux langues officielles.

That Canada is a monarchy

Many Americans have absolutely no clue that Canada is a monarchy and shares a queen with dozens of other countries.

By Canadian money

At least Canadian money isn't winkly, smelly, and a gross shade of green.

By Canadian cuisine

Americans may actually have a point here...

By Canadian slang

Canadian slang was actually first invented as a secret code to fool Americans.

By bagged milk

There are actually dozens upon dozens of Tweets from Americans who are angry about bagged milk.

To be fair, even some Canadians are unfamiliar with it:

That Canada is so huge

Americans are indoctrinated with the belief that the U.S. is the "number one" country on the planet. So for some, the fact that Canada is actually bigger can be unsettling and confusing.

That not everyone has an accent

"Really?? You're from Canada????? You don't have an accent, though..."

By Tim Hortons

General American ignorance of Tim Hortons became especially clear this week when Timbits, the famous Canadian donut holes, were trending on Twitter. 

By the Canadian system of government

Canada does not have a president, but it does have autonomous regions called "provinces," but, no, they're not "states."

That Canada is progressive

Canada always seems to get it right when America gets it wrong. While so many factors prevent the United States from advancing on key issues, Canada is moving decisively forward.

By Canadian friendliness

Canadians are probably friendly because they have a functional country. The truth is hard.

By the ubiquitous maple leaf

Well, Canadians have to do something to distinguish themselves from Americans.

By the cold

Believe it or not, "cold" is not the only adjective that could possibly describe Canada. Yet, it seems to be one of the only things Americans know about their neighbour country to the north. There are actually parts of Canada that are relatively mild all year round.

Winter temperatures are generally lower, it's true. But tens of millions of Americans live in the desert and that must be equally unpleasant.

By Canadian Thanksgiving

Why do Americans care so much?

By Canadian spelling

Canadian spelling is somewhere between British and American spelling and we're not apologizing for it.


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