T.M.I. (South Park)
"T.M.I." is the fourth episode of the fifteenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 213th episode of the series overall. "T.M.I." premiered in the United States on Comedy Central on May 18, 2011. The episode centers on Eric Cartman being sent to an anger management class after he protests what he mistakenly believes to be the school's publicizing the male students' penis sizes. "T.M.I." was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA-L in the United States.
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 15|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||May 18, 2011|
At South Park Elementary, Cartman has a meltdown in the cafeteria, swearing over the publicly posted results of the students' annual school physicals, which document how much each student has grown in height, mistakenly understanding them to be a list of all the boys' penis sizes. Embarrassed because his number is the smallest, and shorter than his real length, he organizes the measurement all of his male schoolmates' penises and posts his own findings in the hall. He is then called to Principal Victoria's office, who explains what the first list actually documented. To make matters worse, Cartman has found that his penis really is the smallest of all the boys in the school. The principal points out that Cartman's anger typically leads to this kind of overreaction and trouble ("And this time, you've done it to yourself!") and sends him to a consultation session with a psychiatrist after he curses her out. Cartman is tested to see how he deals with anger. While the psychiatrist tries to incite him into anger with insults about his obesity, Cartman, who would usually go ballistic over such jokes, seems to take it calmly, texting on the phone. The therapist is just about to conclude that Cartman is the most calm child he's ever met, when the secretary shows up with his wife on the phone, saying she just received a text (sent by Mitch Connor) implicating the psychiatrist in an affair with a 14-year-old girl on the Internet before committing suicide over the phone. Cartman then menacingly replies to the psychiatrist, "I'm not fat; I'm big-boned."
Soon after, Cartman is sent to an anger management class, which he shares with a number of other people, such as Tuong Lu Kim, Michael the tall Goth and a member of the Tea Party movement. It soon becomes apparent that every person in the class has issues with their penis size (even the masculine female of the group). Meanwhile, Randy Marsh gives a talk to the fourth grade class about human sexual behavior, presenting a ridiculously complicated formula for calculating "adjusted penis size" — or "T.M.I." — that transforms his below average penis length to above average. Soon afterward, the Surgeon General of the United States delivers her own talk to correct Randy's inaccurate information, presenting the government's official but equally bizarre T.M.I. formula that prompts Randy to beat her up in front of the class. This results in his attending Cartman's anger management class, where the two of them incite the group to riot against the federal government.
They take over a FedEx shipping center, mistakenly believing it to be a government office, Randy names their group the "Pissed Off and Angry Party" and presents their demands to a national television audience: the resignation of the Surgeon General, Obama's birth certificate, "moms to stop trippin'", and to "fuck Kyle". The movement spreads around the country, with other FedEx locations being taken over. Even Butters joins in when his T.M.I. falls in the smaller range. In response, Cartman's psychiatrist develops a theory that the true source of everyone's anger is their embarrassment over their very small penis size. After he informs the Surgeon General, she addresses the nation on TV. She says that although the government's formula for calculating T.M.I. is accurate, the national "average" value has been re-defined downward to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). The violent movement instantly breaks up, since every man involved now falls into the "above average" range—except for Cartman, whose penis remains under the new average. Cartman's frustrated remarks are dismissed by the Pissed Off and Angry Party's former members as they proclaim that "America is back!"
The A.V. Club, IGN, and Assignment X all gave "T.M.I." generally positive reviews. Sean O'Neal of The A.V. Club rated the episode A− and praised it as a character-based episode "that managed to turn the minute, ridiculous happenings in a small Colorado town into a microcosm of what's going on in the country." Ramsey Iser of IGN called "T.M.I." "a solid episode with plenty to like" but not "top of the line South Park material", giving a rating of 8 out of 10. Carl Cortez of Assignment X wrote that "T.M.I." was "not perfect, but good", and compared it favorably with the two preceding episodes. He praised it for its simplicity and "the inspired lunacy that makes South Park so great".
- "T.M.I.", South Park Studios, accessed June 9, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (May 19, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: NBA Playoffs Lead Night + 'South Park,' 'Real World,' 'Mythbusters,' 'Top Chef' & Much More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- Sean O'Neal (May 18, 2011). "T.M.I." The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- Isler, Ramsey (May 19, 2011). "South Park: "T.M.I" Review". IGN. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- Cortez, Carl (May 19, 2011). "TV Review: SOUTH PARK – Season 15 – "T.M.I."". Assignment X. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
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