|South Park episode|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 14, 2004|
"Awesom-O" is the fifth episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 116th episode overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 14, 2004. The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker.
In the episode, Cartman masquerades as a robot, named AWESOM-O, for Butters in an attempt to obtain an embarrassing video tape of himself that is in Butters' possession. While Butters is thrilled to have found a new best friend, Hollywood is after the phony robot to develop their next big blockbuster and the U.S. Army believes AWESOM-O is a new secret weapon.
Cartman plays a prank on Butters by disguising himself in a crude cardboard suit as a robot named "A.W.E.S.O.M.-O 4000" and by putting himself in a crate "from Japan" on Butters's doorstep. Cartman is planning to befriend Butters so that he can discover his most embarrassing secrets, which will allow him to blackmail him and/or embarrass him in school. Butters falls for the trick and reveals several highly embarrassing personal secrets. However, just as Cartman is about to reveal his identity, Butters mentions that he himself knows one of Cartman's secrets. Butters has a videotape of Cartman doing a Britney Spears dance routine to a life-sized cutout of Justin Timberlake while dressed as her and making out with the cutout, which he plans to show to his classmates the next time Cartman plays a prank on him.
Cartman, terrified of Butters' plan of revenge, searches desperately for the tape, but to no avail. Cartman soon begins to starve because Butters believes that, since he is a robot, he does not need to eat. Butters also forces the robot to do all his chores for him, including some of the more unpleasant tasks. With the agreement of Ms. Cartman, who is willing to temporarily let her son off punishment for trying to exterminate the Jews two weeks prior, Butters' parents (knowing who AWESOM-O really is, but thinking it is an elaborate game that Butters is in on) decide to let Cartman come along with Butters on a trip to Los Angeles to see his aunt. Cartman realizes that he will have to accompany Butters on the trip, in order to keep up his disguise. Upon arriving, he is so hungry and worn out after wearing the suit for a whole airplane ride that he makes up an excuse to use the bathroom and proceeds to eat toothpaste.
During their visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, two movie producers find out about the "robot" and decide to hire him to create movie ideas. Cartman, as the robot, comes up with over two thousand terrible, nonsensical film concepts (800 of which would star Adam Sandler), which the movie producers all find brilliant. To make matters worse for Cartman, the fortune that he makes from the movie ideas is donated to charity by Butters, who believes that AWESOM-O has no need for the money. Meanwhile, the U.S. military hears about AWESOM-O, and decides to capture it and make it into a weapon. Cartman flees the movie studio in panic after a film producer tries to engage in sexual activity with him, thinking that he may also be a "pleasure model". The military captures Cartman by shocking him and conveying him to a secret base.
Cartman tries to explain that he is really just a kid, but the military believes he is a robot with artificial intelligence enabling him to think like a human, even possessing the memories of a nonexistent eight-year-old child. A scientist, moved by this, attempts to save Cartman, who is about to reveal that he is a human when Butters shows up to rescue him. He has to maintain his disguise, allowing the military to kill the rebellious scientist. Butters pleads with the military to spare AWESOM-O, and the general is touched. Just as it appears he will get off undetected, Cartman farts, causing everyone—including Butters—to suspect and finally discover his true identity.
Butters carries out his promise and shows the video to the whole town, as well as the movie producers and the military, at a special screening. The theater is filled with wall-to-wall laughter. As Butters finally celebrates his revenge and a soldier calls Cartman a "little faggot," Cartman is ridiculed and upset, simply uttering, "Lame."
"Awesom-O" has one of the shortest production cycles in South Park's history, being produced in just three days while series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone attended a wedding in Hawaii. The episode starts with a cold open stating that an old episode of the show will "not been seen tonight" because of "tragic events in Hawaii".
The song "Let Me Tell You About My Robot Friend" sung by Butters in the episode is a parody rendering of "Girlfriend" by Harry Nilsson.
"Awesom-O", along with the thirteen other episodes from South Park's eighth season, was released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on August 29, 2006. The set includes brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode. The episode was also released on the two-disc DVD collection A Little Box of Butters.
- Parker, Trey (March 2006). South Park: The Complete Eighth Season: "Awesom-O" (Audio commentary) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- "Southparkstudios FAQ". Southparkstudios.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- Schorn, Peter (August 26, 2006). "South Park: The Complete Eighth Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Burchby, Casey (September 28, 2010). "South Park: A Little Box of Butters DVD Review". DVDTalk. Retrieved January 25, 2017.