Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow
|"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow"|
|South Park episode|
The people of Beaverton stuck on their roofs
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker
|Original air date||October 19, 2005|
"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" is the eighth episode of the ninth season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 19, 2005. In the episode, Stan and Cartman accidentally destroy a dam, causing the town of Beaverton to be destroyed.
The episode was co-written by series co-creator Trey Parker and Kenny Hotz and is rated TV-MA L in the United States, except on syndicated broadcasts where it is rated TV-14 when airing in reruns on Comedy Central before 9PM Eastern Time. It parodies the film The Day After Tomorrow, and also general responses to Hurricane Katrina, particularly the various ad hoc explanations for the increased level of suffering from the hurricane and its aftermath.
Stan and Cartman are playing in a boat that Cartman claims is his uncle's when Cartman dares Stan to drive the boat, claiming he will take the blame if trouble arises. However, as Stan does not know how to drive a boat, they crash into the world's largest beaver dam, flooding the town of Beaverton. Cartman revealed that the boat Stan crashed wasn't his uncle's boat; it was the boat that Cartman knew. Stan and Cartman try to hide their involvement by maintaining complete silence about the incident.
Meanwhile, the flood has a worse outcome than Stan expected. The people of Beaverton are in a disaster area, with some of the town stuck on their roofs. The media begins reporting horrific scenes of violence and even cannibalism in the city (they soon admit not witnessing anything, but are reporting it anyway). Furthermore, their statistics of deaths are in the hundreds of millions despite a population of 8,000 in the town. Nobody really tries to help the situation, but would rather figure out who to blame (George W. Bush, terrorists, FEMA, etc.). The scientists, namely Randy Marsh, are called in to examine the phenomenon. At a conference at the Governor's office with top Colorado scientists and government officials, they all declare that the disaster is the result of global warming. At first, it is determined the full effects will take place on The Day After Tomorrow. However, some scientists suddenly burst in and state that it has been proven that the disaster will take place "Two days 'before' the day after tomorrow" to which Randy responds "Oh my God! That's today!"
The declaration of the scientists causes mass hysteria, and everybody runs from "global warming". Most of the South Park people crowd in the community center. Randy persistently states that global warming is causing an ice age outside that would kill them if they left. Randy also says that the temperature outside will fall to over 70 million degrees below zero (which is impossible). Meanwhile, a reporter declares that 600 billion people have died in Chicago. Although this is false due to the Earths population being only about 7 billion people and there are only about three million people living in Chicago.
Stan admits to Kyle that he and Cartman were the cause of the Beaverton flood (although Stan takes most of the blame), despite Cartman's earlier warning that Kyle would "Jew him out". The trio then set off to rescue the people by boat. The attempt is a disaster in itself, as they wind up crashing into an oil refinery, compounding the problems of the stranded people who now must deal with drowning and fire. Meanwhile, Randy, Gerald, and Stephen brave the supposed ice age to find their sons, dressed in arctic weather gear despite the mild weather; they end up collapsing in the street due to heat exhaustion and dehydration (which they believe to be warning signs of hypothermia).
At this point the Army comes to rescue the boys with a helicopter, but Cartman tries to stop Kyle at gunpoint, demanding he give up his "Jew gold". It is revealed that Kyle not only has a bag of Jew gold, but a decoy bag as well, which he gives to Cartman. Cartman calls his bluff; then, Kyle throws his real Jew gold into the fire so Cartman cannot have it. They all leave the building and board the helicopter. Back at the town, everyone exits the shelter, and the Army claims that the Crab People are responsible. Stan finally admits that he broke the dam, but one of the townspeople incorrectly interprets his admission as a lesson to stop the town trying to find blame; they all begin to admit "I broke the dam", a la Spartacus (with Cartman joining in, knowing that he won't get in trouble now) while Stan tries unsuccessfully to explain that he actually did it. He even screams, "No, I literally broke the f*cking dam!" adding "On a boat, that wasn't mine!" but by this point everyone has stopped listening, leading Stan to give up, shouting "Aw, f*ck it!".
This episode parodies the response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly the various ad hoc explanations for the increased level of suffering from the hurricane and its aftermath. In addition, the episode parodies the misplaced anger and unwillingness to negotiate between all the parties in the Katrina relief effort, the distorted media coverage that occurred during the hurricane's aftermath, and the Houston mass evacuation during Hurricane Rita. For instance, when the people conclude that George Bush was the cause of the beaver dam being broken, someone says "George Bush doesn't care about beavers!" in a parody of Kanye West's quote, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." In addition, during the evacuation, only white people are rescued, while a black man can be seen left stranded. This references the accusations of selectively racist rescue efforts and media coverage during the Hurricane Katrina crisis.
"Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" also parodies the film The Day After Tomorrow, and general responses to global warming. For instance, the scene where Stan calls his father on the phone while the water level rises is a reference to a similar scene in The Day After Tomorrow where Sam calls his father while trying to outlast the fatal coldness. The final scene where everyone says "I broke the dam" is a reference to the film Spartacus where the title character comes forward as Spartacus, and the slave-crowd all claim to be Spartacus in an effort to protect him.
- "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow". South Park Studios. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Keith, M. (2006). Drawn to television: prime-time animation from the Flintstones to Family guy. reenwood Publishing Group. p. 149. ISBN 9780275990190.
- de Moraes, Lisa (2005-09-03). "Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- Giles, Nancy (2005-10-04). "What If They Were White?". CBS News Sunday Morning. CBS News. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Stratyner, Leslie; James R. Keller (2009). Leslie Stratyner, ed. Title The Deep End of South Park: Critical Essays on Television's Shocking Cartoon Series. McFarland. ISBN 9780786443079. Retrieved 8-6-09. Check date values in:
- "Updated Number of Deceased Victims Recovered Following Hurricane Katrina". Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. December 9, 2005. Retrieved 2006-08-01.
- Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow Full episode at South Park Studios
- Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow Episode guide at South Park Studios
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