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In The Stick of Truth, there are many things dire about Canada, dire wolves, dire bears, dire snakes, and dire AIDS.

You know what dire wolves are, right? They're like wolves,

but they're DIRE

There are a million references in Stick to things that happened in the TV show, but I can't remember what episode this is from.

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What is the actual question here? Why is Canada dire? It is an on going joke throughout South Park that Canada is awful so surely this is just a continuation of this joke? –  user7829 Apr 12 at 13:46
    
What episode(s) is the dire X joke from? –  Nick T Apr 12 at 17:33

4 Answers 4

Stick is using a play on words of 'Dire'; deploying it in the D&D manner of which TylerShads describes (no doubt inspired by GoT), but also in its common usage of meaning terrible.

If someone is in Dire Straits, their situation is considered dreadful. Dire is traditionally used to indicate the relative lack of quality, promise or effort of something. To say Canada is 'Dire' is to say it is a terrible place.

Southpark is well aware of this dichotomy of language: a Dire Wolf could be represented as either a fearsome beast (terrible because it is so frightening, terrifying) or as a dog with no legs (a terrible, useless wolf).

Both would be terrible wolves, but with each definition of terrible informed by the context of its deployment.

This is the wordplay Southpark is trying to suggest/lampoon with such things as 'Dire Aids'.

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This may be a reference joke to Game of Thrones, which they've taken the liberty of expanding on. In that series they have "Dire Wolves", which is essentially a very large wolf. An adult Dire Wolf would be about the size of a small horse. They're also very deadly, and extremely capable of killing, which in and of itself, should you run into one, would put you in a dire situation.

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The image you provided was taken from the "Stick of Truth" game, not from the TV episodes.

There are few episodes of South Park that portray Canada as a really crazy place, but I don't remember seeing anything dire in any of them. The Wiki also doesn't mention anything about it.

The "Stick of Truth" was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone as any other South Park episode, so this is probably just another new joke about Canada.

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The term Dire is a Dungeons and Dragons trope where a beast that is larger and more powerful than a standard beast is known as a Dire beast-name-here.

Such things can exist as Dire-Wolves, Dire-Bears, and Dire-Ferrets, if one should so desire.

Therefore, it must just be a play on this joke due to the subject matter of this game being a parody of a lot of gaming tropes, especially of the fantasy-type.

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