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Recap / South Park S 1 E 3 Volcano

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"That lava is comin' right for us!"
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Airdate: August 27, 1997

Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny go camping and hunting with Stan's Uncle Jimbo and his buddy Ned. Stan ends up unable to kill any of the animals, but Kenny has no problem and Jimbo gives him more attention than Stan, which makes Stan unhappy. Meanwhile, a nearby volcano erupts and unless something's done, it'll destroy South Park.


"Volcano" contains the following:

  • Ad-Break Double-Take: Stan aiming a gun at a disguised Cartman.
  • Answer Cut: When Randy's trench plan successfully diverts the lava into a canyon, the mayor asks where it exactly goes. As Randy stares into his plans, going, "Uhh..." the camera cuts to the lava engulfing Denver.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Scuzzlebutt appears at the end to save the town.
  • Big "NO!": Patrick Duffy when Scuzzlebutt is killed.
  • Big "WHY?!": When Stan shoots Scuzzlebutt, Patrick Duffy lets out a Big "NO!" and exclaims, "Why, God, why?!"
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  • Corruption of a Minor: Jimbo not only gives the boys high-power rifles for hunting, but he also gives them beer (because, after all, what's hunting without it?). He also teaches them illegal hunting tactics, including catching fish with explosives.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Randy being so stoic, when it turns out a volcano is about to erupt, he just sips his coffee. If this were a later-day episode, he'd be freaking out like crazy. Also, this episode doesn't establish that Randy is Stan's father ("An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig" would).
    • Kyle says "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" instead of Stan, and nobody says "You bastards!" at any point in this episode.
  • Epic Fail: The "duck and cover" method of avoiding lava does not work after all, as three hapless men find out the hard way.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cartman dresses up like Scuzzlebutt to scare Jimbo, Ned, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny. By doing so he learns the cardinal rule of hunting: Never dress as an animal on a hunting trip.
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  • Horrible Camping Trip: Although Jimbo, Ned, and the boys make the best of it, even when their car was accidentally blown up.
  • Jerkass: Mayor McDaniels, who uses the attention the town is getting and the fact that the boys are stuck on the mountain for her own benefit and doesn't really care about what happens to them.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Cartman's Vietnam War "flashbacks" could be just him messing with Ned... or genuine flashbacks from a previous life.
  • Real After All: Scuzzlebutt is dismissed as a lame campfire story until he appears at the end.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Jimbo and Ned's excuse of "They're coming right for us!" is inspired by an incident in Colorado in which a man shot three Rocky Mountain black bears (a protected species) down from a tree. His excuse was "They were coming right for us!"
  • Skewed Priorities: When Stan and Cartman aim guns at each other, Jimbo stops them because "That's dangerous! You're gonna spill your beers!"
  • Sting: When Randy realises a volcano is about to erupt, and when he announces this to the mayor. A longer, more overblown sting is used when Randy shows the mayor how much the town is doomed.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: At first, the tale of Scuzzlebutt was presented as if it was just an invention of Cartman, but when Scuzzlebutt actually appears during the volcanic eruption...
    Mayor: What... is that thing?
    Chef: That's... Scuzzlebutt!
    Mr. Garrison: Yeah, he has Patrick Duffy for a leg, and weaves baskets.
  • Take That!:
    • When the other kids don't find Scuzzlebutt having Patrick Duffy for a leg scary, Cartman retorts, "Haven't you seen Step by Step?"
    • Trey and Matt have admitted that this episode was inspired by the notoriously nonsensical movie Volcano.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Jimbo kills a deer by blowing it up with a bazooka.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny dies when he's accidentally shot by Ned — apparently having survived being torched, then crushed by a fireball.
  • Too Dumb to Live: As mentioned above, three men take Officer Barbrady's obviously ridiculous PSA-styled "Duck and Cover" lava safety video seriously and do just that when lava floods towards them...they get cooked, obviously.
  • Two Decades Behind: Spoofed when a volcano covers much of the town with lava and the city screens a 1950s "duck-and-cover" safety short that is so hilariously useless it actually gets more townspeople killed.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: When Jimbo, Ned, and the kids go out and search for Cartman...
    Ned: There's not many animals out today, Jimbo.
    Jimbo: Yeah, it's almost like something funny's going on.
    (The mountain quakes.)
    Jimbo: Christ, Ned. What'd you have for breakfast?
    Ned: I don't know, man, I've got some bad gas.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Stan quickly gets jealous once Jimbo starts giving Kenny more attention.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Stan gets this after killing Scuzzlebutt since it saved them.
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