|This article's listed sources may not meet Wikipedia's guidelines for reliable sources. (September 2012)|
|South Park episode|
The outside of Cartmanland.
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||July 25, 2001|
"Cartmanland" is the sixth episode of the fifth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 71st episode of the series overall. "Cartmanland" originally aired in the United States on July 25, 2001 on Comedy Central.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2012)|
Cartman's grandmother dies and he inherits her life savings of one million dollars (since she assumed the rest of the family would just spend it all on crack). Cartman decides to buy an amusement park, fulfilling his dreams not only of having a park all to himself without having to wait in lines, but also for the pleasure of telling other people that they can't come to it, presenting it as a reference to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Around the same time, Kyle comes down with a hemorrhoid, and his suffering, combined with Cartman's fortune, causes him to lose his faith in God. A TV ad about Cartman's theme park comes on TV advertising that no one will be allowed in, especially Kyle and Stan. Angered by the ad, Kyle and Stan attempt to sneak into the theme park. But Kyle pops his hemorrhoid on the top of the chain-link fence, which infects the sore and almost kills him. He is sent back to the hospital. Frustrated by the injustice of it all, he renounces his faith.
Cartman decides to hire a security guard to keep trespassers out, especially Stan and Kyle. Cartman believes the guard will accept a few free rides a day as payment, but the guard insists on a cash salary. Cartman is unable to pay after spending all his inheritance to buy the park, so the guard advises him to let a couple of people in a day, for a fee, which should pay for the salary. Cartman also believes from the guard's advice that he should not be inconvenienced by a few customers in the large park, so he sets off the rest of the day to enjoy the rides. Much to his dismay, the customers form a line to one of the rides that he wants to ride. More expenses begin to pile up for maintenance, refreshments, utilities and such to keep the park intact. To cover the costs, Cartman ends up having to admit hundreds to thousands of people a day. The park ends up becoming incredibly successful, due in large part to Cartman's initial advertisements on how nobody can enter. He is making lots of money and being commended on inventing a new advertising strategy, but his inherent sociopathy means that because he now has to share the park, the park's success brings him no pleasure.
At the hospital, Kyle is getting worse. Kyle's parents bring in the Hebrew Bible (although it is clearly depicted as a Christian bible with a cross) and read the trials of Job to Kyle as an attempt to theologically reassure him that the recent incidents are the will of God (interestingly, Kyle's parents truncate the story at Job getting boils, never mentioning the ending where Job regains his good fortune for believing in God despite everything going wrong in his life). Astounded by God's cruelty to Job, Kyle totally loses the will to live, noting "Job has all his children killed, and Michael Bay gets to keep making movies...there isn't a God". A TV business program comments on Cartman's success in the theme park, describing him as a financial genius for his initial refusal to allow people in. This is regarded as a novel marketing strategy, dubbed the "you-can't-come" technique and is quickly copied by other businesses. Watching this causes Kyle to flatline and pass out. Stan is hustled out while the doctors apply CPR and a defibrillator.
Meanwhile, Cartman is becoming more and more frustrated by his park being full as he tries to enjoy his rides throughout the day. Kenny also dies on the roller-coaster after being stabbed in the face by a broken pipe dangerously jutting out against the riders (Cartman never said Kenny couldn't come to the park). The previous owner of the park visits to see the success and congratulate Cartman for it. However, Cartman promptly demands his million dollars back from the previous owner, and the park is sold back immediately (showing Cartman has little business sense as the park is probably now worth more). Even though the park is no longer his, agents from the IRS arrive and take all the money away. Most of the money goes to the IRS as unpaid taxes and penalties thereon (as Cartman failed to keep records of his income and payouts during his ownership of the theme park) and the rest goes to compensate Kenny's parents for a lawsuit on Kenny's death in the park. Cartman tries to explain that Kenny dies all the time, (making this one of the few episodes where Kenny's recurring death gag is referenced). He still owes an additional $13,000 to the IRS, and as a result he will be forced to go to court over the outstanding debt. In desperation he tries to buy the park back to pay for these expenses, but the original owner refuses, commenting that only an idiot would sell the park now it's so successful.
Back in the hospital, Kyle's complications from the hemorrhoid are worsening and he is expected to die. Stan barges into the room and gets Kyle to be wheeled outside to the theme park. When they arrive, they find that Cartman is miserable and frustrated and is throwing rocks at the park's walls. He is then sprayed with pepper spray by the security guard that used to work for him.
Cartman has lost his park, and his money, and furthermore is now deep in debt, humiliated and in pain. Seeing Cartman's downfall as he loses everything he had and more, Kyle's hemorrhoid shrinks and disappears away, and he recovers completely. He looks up happily, his belief in a benevolent and just God restored.
In the DVD commentary to this episode Parker and Stone highlight it as another example (after "Scott Tenorman Must Die") of the show's change in style towards simpler ideas which consisted only of an A-Plot, with no subplot, and "not try[ing] to do too many things at once". Parker mentions that they almost did not make the episode as they did not believe that there was enough going on in the episode, that it was too "basic and easy". Parker also said they were concerned that the story of Cartman inheriting a million dollars and buying a theme park was clichéd. However, as it was the middle of the run and they had no other stories ready for production, they decided to run with the idea. Parker said he realised while they were making the episode that "as long as you have the basic easy cliché thing as the overall thing, then you can get into the scenes and have a lot of fun with scenes and get original in there."
Both this episode and "Scott Tenorman Must Die" appear on The Cult of Cartman DVD.
- "South Park: Episode 506 - Cartmanland - South Park Stuff.com". South Park Stuff. 2007-10-07.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Cartmanland|
- "Cartmanland" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Cartmanland" Full episode at South Park Studios
- "Cartmanland" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Cartmanland" at TV.com