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Recap / South Park S 18 E 2 Gluten Free Ebola

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Mr. Mackey is now gluten free and everyone is annoyed when he won’t quit preaching about how great he feels — but, after witnessing a disturbing demonstration of what happens to your body when you do eat gluten, South Park becomes the first town in America to go gluten free. This is an inconvenience for the boys, who planned a party to win back the crowd for abandoning school in favor of a start-up company.


"Gluten Free Ebola" contains examples of:

  • As You Know: Pricipal Victoria says this phrase twice regarding Butters and the gymnasium.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Stan said that they already had a friend who needed them, some fans thought it was Butters, given that he was always the Fifth Ranger of their group and that he wanted to come back to school after burning the gym. But instead it was Scott Malkinson.
  • Big "NO!": Cartman towards the end of his nightmare.
  • Credits Gag: The credits have been revised to say who is gluten-free.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: The boys have to face the kids at school after blowing them off to start their own company. Except for Butters, who got himself suspended for burning down the gym.
    • This is the sign that from now on, South Park is no longer a series of stand alone episodes with little to no continuity but it's now it has a continuous episode to episode storyline throughout each season. The A.V. Club noted this as an experimentation with episode-to-episode continuity, in which the episodes "explore the consequences of the boys' actions [week to week], allowing the plots to be motivated in part by their attempts to dig themselves out of a hole"
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  • Easily Forgiven: At the end Wendy gives up on chastising Stan for his Jerkass behavior and gets back together with him.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Wendy gets Stan to admit live on radio that the real reason they're cancelling the party is to avoid ridicule again.
  • Foreshadowing: "I keep having dreams of Aunt Jemima. She's trying to tell me something, but then she just fades away."
  • Hope Spot: One of the quarantinees at Papa John's starts eating pizza dough with no apparent ill effects, and proclaims that gluten is safe after all. Then his dick flies off.
  • Noodle Incident: It's never seen how or why Butters set the gym on fire.
  • Not Hyperbole: The FDA representative starts his demonstration by stating that people have probably heard of all sorts of things gluten is supposedly responsible for, including "having your dick fly off". After he explains his audience what gluten is while using some lab equipment to distill some gluten-heavy foodstuffs into a beakerful of pure gluten, Mr. Mackey shouts at him to drink the contents of the beaker if he's so sure that gluten isn't harmful. He hesitats a bit, decides it can't be that bad and drinks it, but shortly afterwards he's in great pain, his veins start turning black and sure enough, his dick starts flailing around rapidly before flying off like a rocket.
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  • Nightmare Sequence: Cartman dreams about the party being ruined by the lack of food, with Aunt Jemima briefly interrupting it with a cryptic message.
  • Reality Ensues: Subverted. After someone eats gluten and is fine, it seems like it will be proven gluten really isn't that bad for you which will resolve the crisis only for him to just be having a delayed reaction to gluten's effects and it really is a danger.
  • Ship Sinking: Stan/Wendy, after Stan dumped her and bragged he would be "swimming in bitches". It was refloated at the end of the episode.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: While the school staff are waiting for Mr. Mackey, Mr. Garrison complains about Mackey boasting about being gluten free and feeling "sooo fuckin' amazing". Then Mr. Mackey comes in announcing he brought his own gluten free breakfast and claims that he feels "sooo fuckin' amazing".
  • Take That!: Stan asks Wendy if she still wanted to see "that stupid The Maze Runner movie".
  • Tempting Fate: The FDA representative assures the townspeople that gluten is completely safe for consumption. Mr. Mackey dares him to drink a vial of concentrated gluten.
  • The Unfair Sex: Following their breakup when Stan attempted a start-up company, Wendy gives Stan a lengthy "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how selfish, fickle and unreliable he is. Fair enough, but this is the same girl who coldly got her best friend to inform Stan he was dumped after getting bored of him and continuously attacked him verbally due to misplaced jealousy and a lack of trust over Facebook.
  • Wham Episode: Downplayed, but this is the episode where South Park started having episode-to-episode continuity.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The previous episode's Downer Ending is not acknowledged.


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