Breast Cancer Show Ever
|"Breast Cancer Show Ever"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 12
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||October 15, 2008|
"Breast Cancer Show Ever" is the ninth episode in the twelfth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 176th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 15, 2008. The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker. In the episode, Cartman's disrespectful behavior puts him on the wrong side of Wendy Testaburger when he mocks her presentation on breast cancer awareness.
The episode begins with Cartman mocking breast cancer during Wendy's presentation on breast cancer awareness, but Mr. Garrison does little to stop him. After class, Cartman continues to mock her efforts for breast cancer awareness, and Wendy announces she is going to fight Cartman after school. Butters rallies his classmates, including Bebe, who survived her defeat (in The List), Ike reports the kindergarten students, and Red tells the Goth Kids about it as well.
This only makes Cartman frightened and reluctant after hearing even the uncool, weak Butters speak out and say that he will be a reject to his peers if he gets beat up by a girl. Cartman tries to call off the fight with quiet apologies (attempting to keep the rest of the school from hearing it and pretending that he is brave and "hardcore", in order to avoid being called a coward), bribery, and desperate claims. When Wendy tells him she will "shove [his] ass down [his] throat and make [him] eat [his] underwear!" he painfully chokes down his underwear in an attempt to appease her, but this only disgusts and angers her as she sees what little self-respect Cartman has (a statement Cartman surprisingly agrees with, quickly adding, "Unless you want me to. You want me to have self-respect, then I will.").
Cartman tries to convince Stan to talk Wendy out of it (while choking his underwear back up, replying "oh, that's where I put those"), but Stan does not believe he can do anything to stop her. Desperate to avoid the fight, Cartman defecates on Mr. Garrison's desk, causing him to be put in detention. Butters, Craig, and Jimmy tell him there are rumors that he deliberately got detention to avoid the fight, and that they rescheduled the fight for the following morning before school.
Later, Cartman has his mother convince Wendy's parents not to let her fight him by pretending to be tormented and bullied by her at school, and she reluctantly gives in. Much to Wendy's shock, instead of letting up, Cartman merely continues to taunt her, taking advantage of the fact that she can no longer fight back lest her parents find out, and the other students start to follow his example. When Cartman gives a mock presentation on breast cancer in class to rub her face in his victory, she nearly fights him but is called to Principal Victoria's office. Much to Wendy's surprise, Principal Victoria commends Wendy for all the things she has done to spread awareness of breast cancer, and explains that she is a breast cancer survivor herself. She indirectly (but deliberately) compares Cartman to a cancer, telling Wendy that "Cancer does not play by the rules", that it is "a fat little lump that needs to be destroyed", and "you refuse to let that fat little lump make you feel powerless." Realizing that he will never stop of his own volition, and also that she has Principal Victoria's support, Wendy decides to confront Cartman once and for all.
Wendy then meets Cartman on the playground for the fight, and although Cartman briefly gains the upper hand, Wendy soon emerges victorious with only a few bruises, while leaving Cartman bruised, bloody, and having knocked out many of his teeth. The other students cheer her and Cartman further lowers himself by not even taking the beating with any kind of dignity, bursting pathetically into tears in front of everybody. He declares that his friends will not find him cool any more, but they tell him they never thought of him as cool, and have always hated him and always will, stating that they cannot possibly think any less of him. Cartman takes this to mean that they are pretending to not have a different opinion about him in order to make him feel better; reasoning that if they are trying to make him feel better, they do not care if he got beat up by a girl (and reminding viewers that Cartman as a narcissistic psychopath does not particularly care if people like him or not; merely that they see him as superior). He walks away happy, leaving the others confused by his bizarre logic.
The plot of the episode is loosely based on the films Three O'Clock High, and There Will Be Blood. The fight scene is also based on that of the film Snatch. In the DVD commentary, Parker and Stone refer to the character's interactions in the episode as thematically similar to the cartoon show Peanuts and "kids being kids.".
While Cartman awaits the fight in class, Mr. Garrison says, "So you see, at this point Euripides knew he could not win the battle", referencing The Frogs, a comedic play by Aristophanes where the Greek tragedians Euripides and Aeschylus are measured against one another, the better to be revived so he can "educate the thoughtless" and rid Athens of evil politicians that are ruining the city (1500–1502, The Frogs).
The episode received mostly positive reviews. The A.V. Club graded the episode a B+, stating "All in all, not the most ambitious episode, but that actually worked in its favor: Outside of Wendy's crib from There Will Be Blood at the end, it could have been broadcast 10 years ago and worked, and I also have a feeling it will still be funny 10 years from now since it wasn't crammed with instantly dated references". IGN gave the episode an 8.2/10 rating, stating "While this is a fun sequence, and a nice bit of observation, the episode does seem somewhat anticlimactic. It's amusing that Cartman thinks he somehow achieved something when he finds out the kids always thought he sucked and their opinion of him 'couldn't possibly be any lower'. Massive self delusion is part of Cartman's 'charm'. But the episode is unusually focused for South Park and once the fight is over there's a sense (perhaps intentionally?) of 'that's it?' It's not one of the best episodes ever, but it's a solid old-school installment that offers up some truly great moments – many of them quintessential Cartman. Which is always fun to watch".
"Breast Cancer Show Ever", along with the thirteen other episodes from South Park's twelfth season, were released on a three-disc DVD set and two-disc Blu-ray set in the United States on March 10, 2009. The sets included brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode, a collection of deleted scenes, and two special mini-features, The Making of 'Major Boobage and Six Days to South Park.
- Episode Announcement - South Park Studios Archived October 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "South Park Episode Guide - 1209". South Park Studios. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- "South Park FAQ Nov 08". South Park Studios. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
- Parker, Trey (November 2008). South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season: "Breast Cancer Show Ever" (Audio commentary) (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- "Breast Cancer Show Ever - Full Episode - Season 12 - Ep 09". South Park Studios. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- O'Neal, Sean (2008-10-15). "Breast Cancer Show Ever". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Fickett, Travis (2008-10-16). "South Park: "Breast Cancer Show Ever" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Liebman, Martin (February 26, 2009). "South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season Blu-ray Review". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
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