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Recap / South Park S 1 E 12 Mecha Streisand

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Robert Smith (The Cure) is phoned to help save the day.

Original air date: 2/18/1998 (produced in 1997)

On an archaeology trip, Cartman finds an odd triangle that turns out to be an artifact needed to turn Barbra Streisand into a metal Godzilla-like monster.

"Tropes of Zinthar":

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Japanese Kaiju cinema, particularly those made by Toho and Daiei. Giant monsters based on the likenesses of Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera and Ultraman appear to fight each other and cause destruction, all to the campy soundtrack of some random Japanese guy who's singing along to all the chaos.
  • Anything but That!:
    Leonard Maltin: "Her mother was a jackal and her father was an insurance salesman."
    Chef: "Woohoohoohoo. An insurance salesman!"
  • Artifact of Doom: The Triangle of Zinthar is one part of an ancient artifact that, when assembled, will turn its bearer into a nigh invincible monster.
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  • Attack Its Weak Point: Mecha-Streisand is only defeated when Smith punches her nose, releasing the Triangle of Zinthar and weakening her severely.
  • Author Appeal: The only explanation why a bunch of eight year old boys are gushing over Robert Smith.
  • Author Avatar: The fact that Kyle says that "Disintegration is the best album ever!" should be understood as the opinion of Matt Stone, a known huge fan of The Cure, who voices Kyle.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Robert Smith defeats Barbra Streisand and saves the world.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Japanese song literally translates to "Barbara, Barbara, the person we hate the most! Barbara, Barbara, you have a big nose!"note 
  • Butt-Monkey: Pip. He finds an arrowhead and Cartman Roshambos him for it and then throws it aside, claiming he didn't really want it.
  • Call-Back:
  • Characterization Marches On: In subsequent seasons, the boys would have instantly seen through the Paper-Thin Disguise that Streisand uses to fool them into handing over the triangle.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Streisand's singing is so torturous to the boys it causes one of them to tell her where he hid a small artifact he took from Kyle. Guess which one it is.
  • Continuity Nod: The town being destroyed before is mentioned by a news reporter, right before being destroyed again by Mecha-Streisand.
    Reporter: And so just weeks after the attack of mutant genetic creatures, zombies and Thanksgiving turkeys, the town of South Park has managed to rebuild itself once again be– [Mecha-Streisand rampages through downtown] Oh, goddammit! Not again!
  • Dutch Angle: One when Streisand is torturing the boys with her singing.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Pip falls over after Cartman kicks him in the nuts, and Butters laughs at this. Granted this is long before Butters was named or even singled out among the random boys.
  • Foreshadowing: Remember whose name was mentioned at the end of Cartman's Saddam-destroying V-Chip-fueled profanity rant in The Movie?
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Cartman overhears the news reporter on live-TV calling him tubby and pops up in front of the camera to call him out on this.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The Japanese singer who pops up during the fight and sings; notable in that it's actual Japanese, as opposed to foreign-sounding gibberish.
    Singer: Megara Poitier, Megara Poitier
    Sokuroi da neTranslation 
    Megara Poitier, Megara Poitier
    Chef: Is that really necessary?
  • Groin Attack: What the Roshambo is. Two guys kick each other in the nuts until one of them can't stand up. Cartman does it to Pip and Robert Smith does it to Cartman.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The boys' reaction to Streisand's singing.
    Cartman: Damn your black heart, Barbra Streisand!
  • Here We Go Again!: After Robert Smith saves the day and leaves, the boys decide to leave the artifact separated. However, Ike soon finds the artifact and turns into a giant.
    Cartman, Kyle and Stan: AAAAAGH! MECHA-IKE!
  • Medium Blending: Chef and Maltin's car ride is superimposed over a live-action forest background.
  • Meta Sequel: In Poitier's dressing room is a poster for In the Heat of the Night 5.
  • Not Zilla: Streisand is obviously changing into Mechagodzilla from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (with Streisand's hair on top), but this is never addressed.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mecha-Streisand has one briefly when she sees Maltin.
  • One-Winged Angel: Streisand uses the completed Triangle of Zinthar to turn into Mecha-Streisand and go on a rampage. Leonard Maltin, Sidney Poitier and Robert Smith transform as well.
  • Pet the Dog: Mecha-Streisand stops her rampage in South Park to sign an autograph for Sheila, aka Kyle's mom.
  • Running Gag: A Japanese man singing in Engrish due to celebrities transforming and fighting.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sinister Schnoz: Streisand is pure evil, and has a hideously large nose to compliment it. It turns out to be her weak point.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Robert Smith has the same definition of Roshambo as Cartman.
  • Take That!: The episode is one to Barbra Streisand, since she's one of the few celebrities that Trey and Matt genuinely hate instead of just poking fun at her like they do with everyone else. Appropriately enough, she wasn't all too pleased with the "homage" either.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny narrowly avoids being stomped by Mecha-Streisand, only to get himself strangled playing tetherball.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The boys all get into a car with Streisand wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise. Kyle lampshades getting into cars with strangers.
    Cartman: No, not when money's involved, stupid.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The act of kicking someone in the nuts is called Roshambonote .
  • Would Hurt a Child: Streisand picks up Kyle and strangles him for information on the Triangle of Zinthar. Later she kidnaps all of them, tortures them for information with medieval torture devices and uses her voice on them.