Christian Rock Hard
||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (April 2011)|
|"Christian Hard Rock"|
|South Park episode|
Cartman and band's Faith+1 album cover
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||October 29, 2003|
|List of South Park episodes|
"Christian Rock Hard" is the ninth episode of the seventh season of the American animated series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 23, 2003. In the episode, the kids start a rock band, but concerned with the fact that people will potentially download their music from the Internet illegally, they refuse to play. Meanwhile, Cartman starts his own Christian rock band. The episode satirizes famous artists who have spoken out against copyright infringement, such as Metallica. Christian rock music is also parodied as being identical to love songs, except for referencing Jesus in their lyrics.
Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman have formed a band called Moop, but disagree on what direction they should take. The disagreement becomes so heated that Cartman bets that he will have a platinum-selling album before Kyle's band does and leaves the band. Seeking inspiration, the remaining members of Moop illegally download some music from the Internet and are busted by the FBI. Moop are told of the serious consequences of illegal downloading, namely forcing musicians like Lars Ulrich (drummer of metal band Metallica) and Britney Spears to lose so much income from music piracy that they must either downgrade their extremely lavish purchases to very-slightly less lavish ones or save up until they can afford all of what they want. As a result, Moop decides to go on strike until fans stop downloading illegally and are joined by a large number of pop and rock musicians, including Britney Spears, Ozzy Osbourne, Missy Elliott, Master P, Blink-182, Metallica, Alanis Morissette, Meat Loaf, Rancid and Skyler's band (Lords of the Underworld) from the season three episode "Cat Orgy" and the season four episode "Timmy 2000".
Meanwhile, Cartman enlists Butters and Token to form his new band. Realizing that Christian rock is a perennial top seller, Cartman decides that his band, which he has christened Faith + 1, will join the Christian music racket. Cartman builds the band's repertoire by simply taking vague generic pop love ballads and changing references like "baby" to "Jesus". While effective, the band eventually comes under some scrutiny when one of the songs involves more passionate and sexual lyrics involving Christ. Cartman manages to manipulate his way out and the band begins to build a huge following.
Before long, Faith + 1 celebrates the sale of its millionth album. By this time, Stan, Kyle and Kenny decide that the satisfaction of having fans should be more important to musicians than fighting against the fans who make them popular and go to see their concerts. They decide that touring still brings in revenue and call off their strike. However, the other musicians do not follow suit, because, according to Britney Spears, "[they are] just about the money."
Cartman has spent all the money made from their album on a lavish, extravagant awards ceremony to celebrate Faith + 1's success and specifically to insult Kyle for losing the bet to Cartman. However, Cartman's jubilation is short-lived. As it turns out, Christian record companies only hand out gold, frankincense and myrrh records, so Faith + 1, as Christian artists, will never have a platinum album, meaning that Kyle technically did not lose the bet. Cartman, enraged at this turn of events, destroys the band's myrrh album award and unleashes a stream of blasphemous obscenities that causes the horrified fans to flee as all he ever cared about was winning a bet with Kyle.
When Token confronts Cartman for spending every penny of their take, driving away their fans and ending the career of the band, Cartman continues to rant and insults him with crude racist remarks. In response, Token beats up Cartman on the stage before walking away. Feeling that Cartman got what he deserved, Stan, Kenny and Kyle take their leave as well. As Cartman lies on the stage in pain, Butters approaches him meekly. In a surprising show of audacity, Butters farts in Cartman's face, gives him the finger, and mutters "Fuck you, Eric", before walking away himself, leaving Cartman all alone to recover from his pain.
- Eric Cartman's instructions for the Faith + 1 album cover, are a reference to U2's Joshua Tree album.
- Token's bass is fashioned after the bass Rudy played in the cartoon series Fat Albert. 
- Eric Cartman on the bus writing lyrics onto his palm is taken from the film 8 Mile, when Eminem does the same thing on his way to a rap contest.
- Faith + 1's songs are based on real-life songs, with the lyrics changed.
- Christian Rock Hard Full episode at South Park Studios
- Christian Rock Hard Episode guide at South Park Studios