Grey Dawn

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"Grey Dawn"
South Park episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 10
Directed byTrey Parker
Written byTrey Parker
Production code710
Original air dateNovember 5, 2003
Episode chronology
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South Park (season 7)
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"Grey Dawn" is the tenth episode in the seventh season and the 106th overall episode of the animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 5, 2003.

In the episode, the senior citizens of South Park ran over more than a few farmers' markets, and the residents feel that they are no longer safe in the streets. With their well being at stake, the boys decide to take action against the older generation. Unwilling to surrender their driver's licenses, the elderly fight back. Soon, the AARP is involved.

The episode, and its name, parody the 1984 film Red Dawn.[1]


At the South Park Farmers' Market, Priest Maxi holds a memorial service for nine people who died the previous day when they were run over by senior citizens. The proceedings are marred by another unfortunate senior related driving incident. The news covers the recent rash of senior related driving tragedies, mentioning the DMV was planning to suspend driver's licences from senior citizens over 70. Grandpa Marsh and the other seniors have a meeting at the community center to decide what to do, struggling to remember what they were there for in the first place. When the meeting is over, all the seniors will are driving on the road at the same time. Randy manages to save the boys, who were playing street hockey, and they flee from the many cars recklessly wandering the streets. They hide in an old house.

Because of the incidents, the state of Colorado demands all seniors turn in their driver's licenses, much to the seniors' anger. Grandpa Marsh drives anyways to pick up his new Hover Round and makes the boys accompany him, with the boys theorizing they will be safer if they are in the car. After causing other cars to swerve off the road and crash, Officer Barbrady pulls the car over and takes Grandpa Marsh to jail. There, Grandpa Marsh calls the AARP to send their aid. During a class session later on, Mr. Garrison notices a large number of old people dropping out of the sky. The AARP has airdropped reinforcements and they begin taking hostages, liberating their colleagues from the retirement home and begin to take over the town.

The military arrives and the seniors list their demands: their driver's licenses, more Medicare, and keeping kids from skateboarding on the sidewalk. The AARP leader realizes they could even take over the whole country, and demonstrates that they are willing to kill hostages and soldiers to get their demands, but Marvin feels this goes too far beyond their original demands. The children find their parents under lockup. Randy tells the boys that the seniors were able to organize so effectively because they get up earlier than everyone else, representing an advantage over their children, who prefer to sleep late. Randy then realizes that the children get up almost as early as the seniors, and are the only hope for getting the town back. Randy tells the boys to hide in the woods and find a way to fight, shouting through the fence "Avenge me!"

After fleeing, the boys resolve to board up the Country Kitchen Buffet restaurant in order to cut the seniors off from their food supply. The AARP plans are thwarted when they start collapsing from hunger outside of the locked Country Kitchen Buffet. The military takes the town back and arrests the AARP. Marvin is turned back over to his family, but when Randy admonishes him for his actions, Stan rebukes Randy, telling him that the condescending manner in which he treated Grandpa like a child is one of the main causes that led to the crisis in the first place. Stan also tells his grandfather that he should be proud to be a senior, but he should realize that he is a killing machine when he is driving, an assessment that Grandpa accepts. As the reconciled family goes home, Stan mutters, "Dude, I hate my family."

Cultural references[edit]

During the opening scene Eric responds to Kyle, "Yeah, but like eight of them were hippies; mostly hippies go to Farmers' markets. Mostly." This is a reference to Carrie Henn's character 'Newt' and her line in Aliens (1986): "We'd better get back 'cause it'll be dark soon and they mostly come at night. Mostly."

The episode, according to the creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, was partially inspired by the case of George Russell Weller, an elderly man who in 2003 accidentally killed 10 people at a Santa Monica farmers market by driving through the crowd. They stated that while it was a terrible incident, they didn't agree with elderly drivers losing their licenses and suggested they go through retesting.[1]

Older drivers in the episode are depicted similar to zombies from the film Dawn of the Dead.[2]

The restaurant that all the old people go to was originally going to be a Furr's Cafeteria, but the creators liked how Country Kitchen Buffet sounded.[1]

When Randy and the kids are running up the stairs during hiding, a man's corpse swings from a doorway, this is a reference to the slasher flick Halloween.

Home release[edit]

"Grey Dawn", along with the fourteen other episodes from The Complete Seventh Season, were released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on March 21, 2006. The sets included brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode. IGN gave the season an 8/10.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Parker, Trey (March 2006). South Park: The Complete Seventh Season: "Grey Dawn" (Audio commentary) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  2. ^ 73-Year old Man Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road Reminds Us of South Park
  3. ^ Schorn, Peter (March 14, 2006). "South Park: The Complete Seventh Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved January 25, 2017.

External links[edit]