180: Canada

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Title text: IT'S ALL REAL!

[edit] Explanation

Canada is the country north of the USA. During political seasons, it's often claimed by partisan voters that if their side loses, they'll move. For Americans, this often comes to claims of moving to Canada.

The punchline references the tagline "If you die in the game, you die in real life," from the 2006 horror movie Stay Alive (released a few months before this comic), where people die in real life soon after their characters are killed in a certain video game. The irony here is that, since Canada is arguably part of reality already[citation needed], Cueball's friend is just really bad at thinking through his plans.

[edit] Transcript

[Two men stand talking to each other.]
Cueball: If we lose this election, I'm moving to Canada.
Friend: You say that every year.
Cueball: I mean it this time.
Friend: Well, becoming a citizen takes work. Meanwhile, you have no money, half an art degree, and it's the start of winter. You'll freeze to death in the streets.
Cueball: Whatever.
[Friend raises his hands.]
Friend: No, don't you get it? If you die in Canada, you die in REAL LIFE!

[edit] Trivia

  • According to Randall's blag, a team named “If You Die in Canada, You Die in Real Life” entered the 2007 MIT BattleCode programming competition. They won the "Best Team Name" award.

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Actually I suspect this comic may be referring to the propensity for video games in which you can create teams of characters which can be generally be respawned or come back to consciousness/life after levels/battles to have areas or levels where if someone is killed they die "for real"- that is they don't come back and you lose them for good. 10:58, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Couldn't this be a Matrix reference? 06:11, 1 December 2013 (UTC) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

From the explanation: "Canada is arguably part of reality already." I would love to have that argument with someone. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I feel like adding some "dubious-discuss" after the first sentence of the explanationMeneldal (talk) 06:54, 11 March 2015 (UTC)meneldal

Sorry for Ninja-editing/commenting, but I take it as a direct reference to the works of Philip K. Dick, especially Ubik (iirc, that is it could also be one of his other VR-related stories), where a scene that could be summarized with 'if you die in canada, you die in real life' actually takes place (in canada). Then again, this could be lucky coincidence, and xkcd might not be familiar with PKD at all. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Addendum to the above (↑) it most certainly is a PKD reference, also taking his biography into account. 05:24, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

We might also want to mention that making fun of Canada is basically a national pasttime in the U.S. Bbruzzo (talk) 14:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
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