Here Comes the Neighborhood
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|"Here Comes the Neighborhood"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Eric Stough|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||November 28, 2001|
"Here Comes the Neighborhood" is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 77th episode of the series overall. "Here Comes the Neighborhood" originally aired in the United States on November 28, 2001 on Comedy Central. The title is a play on the expression "There goes the neighborhood".
The children at South Park Elementary are presenting science projects. Token gets a "check plus" for presenting a computer model of predicted weather conditions, while Cartman is angry for receiving a "check minus" on his hastily-constructed project and points out to the class Token's wealth in his rage, notably his clothes. Token, the token black child of South Park, happens to be the richest kid in town, and becomes upset when he can find no other kids in the school he can relate to. He tries to get himself and his family to act poor. They shop at J-Mart, where the rest of the families buy their clothes, but when he comes to Stan's house with the other boys and brings a DVD of The Lion King instead of a video tape - Token's family being the only people in town with a DVD player - the boys realize that he has not changed.
Despondent at his social estrangement, Token decides to arrange for dozens of rich people (who all happen to be black) such as Will Smith and Snoop Dogg to move into South Park, which leads to Mr. Garrison complaining about the "richers" in the town, which in turn leads to ire among the other, less affluent members of the community (who all happen to be white). However, Token discovers that the rich kids (who are even richer than him) are as different from him as he is from the poorer kids in town. All the rich kids play Polo, buy shops and speak with exaggerated English accents. Token feels so much like an outcast that he goes to live with lions in the South Park Zoo after the rich kids taunt him to do it.
The situation between the rich and poor residents of town continues as the gentrification escalates. Led by Mr. Garrison, the townsfolk enact a series of measures. They decide to plant a lower case "t" cross for "time to leave" in the garden of some of the rich residents, setting it on fire to emphasize their point. They mock the rich residents by insisting they sit at the front of buses claiming it to be the "first class" section. They refuse to let them drink in the bars or eat in the restaurants. In response, the rich residents organise a Million Millionaire March by paying poor black residents such as Chef.
Token eventually decides he does not want to live with lions anymore (because they only play practical jokes) and leaves. However, he discovers that the poor kids in town who initially made fun of his money did not really dislike him. They only picked on him because they all pick on each other on a regular basis. They decide to stop picking on him for his money, and instead mock him for his reaction to the previous insults as being a "pussy".
Eventually, the townsfolk dress as ghosts (resembling Ku Klux Klan robes), resulting in the rich people responding with terror and fleeing the town. The poor townsfolk gather around their abandoned houses. Mr. Garrison suggests that by selling the empty houses the townsfolk can become rich. Jimbo and Randy tell him that if they do they will become the very thing they hate. Garrison shrugs, "Well yeah, but at least we got rid of all those damn ni-", and the episode cuts to credits before he can complete the word.
On the commentary, Trey Parker and Matt Stone describe the episode as a world where racism doesn't exist but the last word spoils it by saying something that is fully racist in which they wanted to begin the next episode with Garrison saying "ggers."
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- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" Full episode at South Park Studios
- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" at TV.com