|South Park episode|
Kyle as part of the HumancentiPad
|Episode no.||Season 15
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||April 27, 2011|
"HUMANCENTiPAD" is the first episode of the fifteenth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 210th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 27, 2011. In the episode, Kyle is kidnapped after agreeing to an iTunes user agreement, and forced to become part of a "revolutionary new product" that is about to be launched by Apple. Meanwhile, Cartman, who has not acquired an Apple iPad, pesters his mother on the issue, drawing her ire.
The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA L in the United States. The episode's title, and main plot, refers to the 2010 film The Human Centipede (First Sequence). This episode parodies reports about tracking software built into Apple's iPads and iPhones, and also the tediously long end-user license agreements.
The making of the episode was the subject of the TV special, 6 Days to Air, which aired on Comedy Central on October 9, 2011.
After Cartman mocks the other students for not having an iPad, it is revealed that he himself does not have one, much to his humiliation. Meanwhile, Kyle, who did not read the Terms and Conditions when agreeing to download his last iTunes update, is pursued by shadowy agents from Apple Inc., who wish to perform a number of intrusive actions upon him, informing him that he agreed to them when he downloaded the update. Kyle attempts to flee these men, and is incredulous when his friends inform him that they all actually read the entire Terms and Conditions when they downloaded their last update. Kyle seeks refuge at his father's law office, but the Apple agents kidnap him and taser his father. He is thrown into a cell with a Japanese man and a young woman who also failed to read the Terms. Meanwhile, Cartman embarrasses his mother, Liane, at Best Buy, exposing his buttocks in front of the customers and loudly accusing her of "fucking" him after she offers to buy him the cheaper Toshiba HandiBook. As a result of his outburst, she declines to buy him anything and takes him home.
At a gathering of Apple employees, Steve Jobs unveils the new product for which Kyle and the other two were kidnapped: the HUMANCENTiPAD (based on The Human Centipede), comprising the three kidnapped subjects on all fours and sewn together mouth to anus. The Japanese man is in front, with an iPhone attached to his forehead; Kyle is in the middle; and the woman is at the rear, with an iPad attached to her anus and powered by the trio's defecation. However, Jobs is disappointed when Kyle continues to sign agreements that are put in front of him without reading them first, and puts the "device" through tests in an attempt to make it read.
Back in South Park, Gerald goes with Stan, Kenny, and Butters to the Apple store to seek advice from "the Geniuses" on how to save Kyle. After performing two rituals, a "quickening" in which they interface through their mouths using light beams and a "toran ra" ritual in which they poke floating colored bubbles, the Geniuses conclude that they can make Kyle's agreement void if Gerald, a PC user, signs up with Apple and creates a family account. When Gerald consents to join Apple, the head Genius proclaims the Vulcan phrase Kal-if-fee and an induction ceremony in tin foil hats is held in a setting resembling the planet Vulcan in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time".
Meanwhile, Cartman appears on Dr. Phil to publicly accuse Liane of "fucking" him. The audience takes his side despite Liane's protests; as a consolation gift, Cartman is given the first ever HUMANCENTiPAD as Jobs unveils it to the public. Cartman is elated to have a device that not only supports web browsing and email, but allows him to have someone defecate into Kyle's mouth. Shortly afterwards, Gerald and the Apple employees arrive to tell Jobs that Kyle must be released, since his agreement to the iTunes terms and conditions is no longer valid. Jobs allows Kyle and the two others to be taken away to be separated, and Cartman, enraged at having his dream taken away so quickly, shouts at God, angrily mocking him for "fucking" him. He is then struck by a bolt of lightning (presumably sent by God, angered by Cartman's disrespect, as punishment for Cartman's behavior). The episode ends with a shot of Cartman battered and bruised in a hospital bed, sobbing, while his mother flips through a book indifferently.
Reviewing the episode for EW, Ken Tucker called the episode "scabrously funny" and summed up its message as "[k]nowledge really matters; many people are lazy and consequently become prey to exploitation". Ramsey Iser of IGN rated the episode 7.5 out of 10. He said the episode was "a decent opening" for the season, but criticized it for overuse of Cartman's accusations against his mother, generic jokes about Apple's "Geniuses", and "poop jokes ... [that] didn't do much for the story or the comedy".
- Tucker, Ken (April 27, 2011). "'South Park' season premiere review warning: Don't read about 'HUMANCENTiPAD' on a full stomach". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
- Ramsey Isler (April 28, 2011). "South Park: "HUMANCENTiPAD" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
- "The Toran Ra", Season 15: HUMANCENTiPAD, South Park Studios, accessed June 20, 2011.
- Gorman, Bill (April 28, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'South Park' Premiere, NBA Playoffs Lead Night + 'Justified,' 'Mythbusters,' 'Real World' & More". TV by the Numbers. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
- "HUMANCENTiPAD" at South Park Studios
- "HUMANCENTiPAD" Episode guide at South Park Studios
- "HumancentiPad" at the Internet Movie Database
- "HumancentiPad" at TV.com
- "HUMANCENTiPAD" Press Release