Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes
|"Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||November 3, 2004|
"Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes" is the ninth episode of the eighth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 120th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 3, 2004. In the episode, a Wall-Mart is built in South Park, and the people start to get addicted to shopping from it, due to its irresistibly attractive bargains, thus leading many businesses in South Park to close down. The four boys have to fight against Wall-Mart and to find a way to stop it from taking over the entire town.
The episode begins with Cartman betting Kyle five dollars that when people die they "crap their pants". Kyle says it is a stupid idea. In the meantime, a Wall-Mart opens in South Park (where Stark's Pond used to be) with much fanfare and everyone in town starts shopping there. Cartman is especially delighted that one can buy three copies of Timecop for $18 instead of just one for $9.98, though Kyle wonders why one would need three copies of the same movie. The popularity of Wall-Mart forces the local businesses to shut down, including Jim's Drugs, within minutes of Kyle's declaration that he will now take all his personal shopping there. Local residents, including Stan's father Randy, soon start to work at Wall-Mart for minimum wage and an extra 10% employee discount on store purchases which according to Randy, evens out the wage.
South Park turns into a ghost town, and the townspeople decide they no longer want the Wall-Mart in South Park. They fail to resist, as they start to miss the bargains (Randy's frenzied case of impulse buying notably re-opens at dinner the first day after the self-imposed ban when Stan accidentally breaks his milk glass), so they (in the form of a vigilante mob) ask the Wall-Mart manager to have the location shut down. Terrified, he asks them to meet him outside in five minutes. As the people stop outside his office, the manager is thrown through the office window in an apparent suicide by hanging, and then voids his bowels (to the viewer, the force of defecation is so strong that his pants are blown off). Cartman gleefully tells Kyle he owes him $5.
The townspeople burn the building down, only to see it rebuilt. A man rebuilding the Wall-Mart tells Kenny, Kyle and Stan that the rebuilding order came from Wall-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Stan and his friends arrange a bus trip to Bentonville, Arkansas to stop the Wall-Mart, but are joined by Cartman, whom the Wall-Mart subliminally told to stop them. Though none of the boys trust him (Kyle knows for a fact that Cartman is secretly against them), they are in a hurry to leave. They then reach Bentonville, despite Cartman's sabotage (slashing the tires of the bus they travel on), and talk to Harvey Brown, the current president of Wall-Mart, who is remorseful of all the damage it's done, since he is one of the founders. The boys ask him how they can stop it, and he tells them they need to find and destroy its "heart". As the boys leave, Brown tells them to tell the world "I'm sorry" and, despite Stan urging him not to, commits suicide by shooting himself in the head; he, like the manager, then voids his bowels with enough force that it blows a hole in his pants. Cartman again laughs that Kyle now owes him $10.
The boys return home to the still-dilapidated South Park. Dressed in camouflage, they try to re-enter South Park Wall-Mart but Cartman confronts them. He denies that they knew he was against them, but Kyle angrily begins yelling at him that he knew Cartman was against them all along, while Cartman continues to talk about why he was against them. Kenny is then assigned to hold Cartman off while Stan and Kyle enter the Wall-Mart. In the television department, the boys are confronted by a man who says he is Wall-Mart, a reference to the film The Matrix Reloaded. He says that he can take "many forms" although he only puts on different costumes. After confusing philosophical dialogue clichés, he finally tells the boys that the heart "lies beyond that plasma screen television". The boys walk over to find it is just a small rectangular mirror, but ignore the metaphor of the true heart of Wall-Mart being human desire and simply smash it to "destroy the heart", in which Kyle does with a black mallet. The building begins to shake, and the Wall-Mart then begins to fall apart, while the man says they will see him in his "true form". However, he does no more than rip off his mustache and jump around. The boys and everyone else inside the Wall-Mart evacuate and gather with other townsfolk in the parking lot, and see the Wall-Mart fold in on itself in a blinding flash of light (in the same way as the Freeling house in Poltergeist), then, inexplicably, crap its pants (shown as the imploding building suddenly releasing a large amount of fecal matter), upon which Cartman laughs loud and hard once again and leaves the scene.
Everyone cheers because Kyle tells everyone that all of these places have a self-destruct sequence if they break a mirror in the back. Chef tells a soldier to spread the word to all the towns on how to destroy these places, in reference to a scene from the film Independence Day. Randy then announces that the Wall-Mart's "heart" was their desires the whole time. Oblivious to the fact that the boys consider this obvious, Randy explains pedantically how the residents of South Park had allowed their consumerism to work against them and nearly destroy their cherished small-town charm. Realizing their mistake — albeit only on the surface — the townspeople loyally return to shopping at Jim's Drugs, which is shown to gradually grow larger until it reaches a Wall-Mart wholesale fashion and is later being burned down itself. Watching it burn, the townspeople vow not to shop there again, and they immediately head to the local True Value (no doubt to repeat the same mistake).
"Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", along with the thirteen other episodes from South Park's eighth season, was released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on August 29, 2006. The set includes brief audio commentaries by series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for each episode.
- Anne Gossage (2009). "Yon Fart Doth Smell of Elderberries Sweet". In Leslie Stratyner, James R. Keller (eds.). The Deep End of South Park: Critical Essays on Television's Shocking Cartoon Series. McFarland. p. 45. ISBN 0-7864-4307-3.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
- Schorn, Peter (August 26, 2006). "South Park: The Complete Eighth Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
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