A Million Little Fibers
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2009)|
|"A Million Little Fibers"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 19, 2006|
"A Million Little Fibers" is the fifth episode of the tenth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 144th episode overall. It was first broadcast on Comedy Central in the United States on April 19, 2006. The episode focuses on Towelie and parodies the controversy over the book A Million Little Pieces, an infamous novelistic memoir by James Frey that was lauded by Oprah Winfrey on her talk show until it was revealed to be largely fabricated.
Having lost a job because he was high, Towelie decides to write his memoirs, but a publisher turns them down as uninteresting and irrelevant to the public because Towelie is a towel. He then submits the manuscript again, under the guise of a human author called Steven McTowelie and having tweaked the references to him being a towel, replacing every instance of the word "towel" with the word "person," with the result that phrases he uses that seem mundane when applied to a towel suddenly become emotive when applied to a human, such as "hung out to dry" and "hung up on a rack." The next publisher he goes to is moved by the content. He is then invited to go on The Oprah Winfrey Show, because Oprah Winfrey loves and promotes his book. Meanwhile, Oprah's vagina, Minge (also referred to as "Mingey"), is depressed that the overworked Oprah never pays attention to him any more. Gary, her anus, in reference to the Cockney Rhyming Slang phrase 'Gary Glitter', conspires with Minge to get Oprah fired, so she can pay more attention to them and perhaps go to Paris (where Gary has always wanted to go). As Minge realizes that Towelie is not a person, they call Geraldo Rivera and give him the information. Subsequently, Towelie is interviewed on Larry King Live, during which Geraldo Rivera calls in from Afghanistan to reveal that the author of the book is a towel.
When the truth comes out, Oprah does not see what the big deal is because people were inspired by the book for how it was written, not by whether it is a lie or the truth. But mobs congregate to protest wildly; Oprah invites Towelie back on the show, saying that he can explain that he wanted to make the book more relevant and easily understandable. However, instead she erupts in anger and calls on the audience to lynch Towelie. As she brought the audience onto her side, Minge and Gary's plan is foiled. Towelie is cornered at the First National Bank of Chicago. Just as Oprah and the crowd prepare to lynch him, Minge, fearing that their plans are never going to succeed, tears through Oprah's pants with a revolver. Taking hostages, he guns down a police officer and begins making demands in preparation for an escape to France. Gary tries to plead with Minge to stop, put down the gun and give himself up, arguing that "they'll probably go easy on us." Minge, however replies, "Don't be stupid Gary, I killed a policeman! They'll fry me, and they'll lock you up for life!" Towelie struggles to think of an idea to deliver himself and his fellow hostages to safety, resisting the temptation to get high. He realizes that any stoned idea will only "get him into trouble."
Towelie's solution: using his inherent flatness, he slips into the bank and allows the hostages to enter through the previously locked doors. The hostages being cleared from the area, police snipers open fire on Oprah's nether-region and accidentally hit Gary instead of Minge. Minge realizes that Gary was hit and begins to comfort him. A delirious Gary believes that he is in Paris and then dies. Gary poops after he dies. Minge, in a state of shock over the death of his best and only friend, takes his own life. Oprah survives, and is rushed to the hospital, with police informing Towelie and the hostages that Oprah will be fine. Towelie, now hailed as a hero, learns not to get high for ideas, but to get high as a reward after he comes up with them.
According to the DVD commentary, this episode was originally their "bank episode." This is an episode that is partially animated before they start doing episodes the same week it is broadcast. "Banking an episode" allows the staff to have one or two days off during the run. It was intended to be a spoof of the TV show Intervention with the people of South Park trying to get Towelie into rehab. About halfway into making it, they decided it did not work too well and it could not go anywhere, so they started from the beginning. The Intervention plot line was later used in the season 14 episode, Crippled Summer. They also discuss the "Hat on Top of a Hat" scenario to describe the "weirdness" of the episode, saying that when you put a hat on, and then you put a hat on top of the first hat, "you just end up looking like an idiot" (weirdness on top of weirdness replacing the hats).
- Goldman, Eric South Park: "A Million Little Fibers" Review TV.IGN.com (April 20, 2006).
- "James Frey and the A Million Little Pieces Controversy". Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Parker, Trey, and Stone, Matt. Audio commentary. South Park The Complete Tenth Season. Dir. Parker, Stone. DVD. Paramount Home Video/Comedy Central, 2007