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Recap / South Park S 5 E 9 Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants

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Original air date: 11/7/2001

Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants is the ninth episode of the fifth season of South Park and was the first to air after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The plot revolves around the boys receiving a goat by mail from a group of Afghan children whom they donated a dollar to for charity. They decide to send the animal back to Afghanistan, but they all get accidentally locked inside the plane and are flown to the country themselves. There they meet Osama bin Laden...

Despite getting shot and blown up here, Bin Laden would reappear alive and well in later episodes such as "Krazy Kripples", "Cartoon Wars" and "It's a Jersey Thing".

This episode provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Cartman's confrontation against Osama is an homage to War Time Cartoon shorts of the 1940s.
  • America Saves the Day: Osama is killed in the end.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign:
    • Osama speaks complete gibberish with sparse random Arabic words.
    • The singing as the boys are taken to Osama is complete gibberish.note 
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Bin Laden is more interested in the camel Cartman was riding than Cartman in drag.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Afghan children speak actual Farsi.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Bin Laden is killed this way courtesy of one of the soldiers.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: Osama's final line "Terrorists are the cwaziest peoples" is a direct reference to the final scene of Russian Rhapsody, where a defeated Hitler says: "Nazis are the cwaziest peoples.". This comment in return was a reference to 1940s comedian Lew Lehr's line "Monkeys are the cwaziest peoples".
  • Brick Joke: When Officer Barbrady is searching students entering the bus, due to 9/11 paranoia, he confiscates a pair of safety scissors from Cartman. Two episodes later in "The Entity", an Airport Security Guard finds nail clippers on Kenny, yells "Die terrorist!" and shoots Kenny in the head.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The entirety of the Arabic language being "Derka derka, Muhammad jihad" in Team America: World Police started here.
  • Disguised in Drag: Cartman attempts to seduce Bin Laden by disguising himself as a beautiful Afghan woman riding a camel. Osama falls in love with the camel instead.
  • Disproportionate Reward: When the Afghan children receive one lousy American dollar for charity in the mail they look up at their city, which has been entirely destroyed by US planes. They look completely beat.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Osama is shot through the head in a rather casual, anti-climatic way by just one soldier.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This episode shows Randy keeping his sanity while Sharon is a mess after 9/11. In later episodes, this dynamic would certainly be the other way around.
  • Exposed to the Elements: The boys are in winter gear, but no one is complaining about the heat.
  • Eye Pop: Done when Bin Laden spots Cartman in drag upon a camel. Turns out his reaction was actually for the camel.
  • Heroic BSoD: 9/11 has made Sharon a mumbling wreck who spends all day laying on the couch and watching CNN. According to Randy, she's been like this for eight weeks.
  • Honor Before Reason: Cartman refuses to go along with Kyle's plan to trick the terrorists in thinking they're Canadians (so they'll be left alone) just because he hates the country so much.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When Stan asks their Afghan counterparts why over a third of the world hates America. The Afghans simply reply that "Because you don't realize that a third of the world hates you." Kyle even lampshades how ridiculous the argument is. Although they could be referring to their belief that Americans are ignorant of the world outside their own borders.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The boys groan at Towelie's "Towelie ban" joke.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Even though Bin Laden is ridiculed mercilessly, the episode also points out that the Afghan children hate the US because the American army bombs their country flat and built their military bases on Muslim holy ground, going as far as to call America an "evil empire" who wants to Take Over the World. This leads to an argument between them:
    Kyle: Do you really think your civilization is better than ours?! You people play games by killing animals and oppress women!
    Boy in Blue Vest/Afghan Stan: It's better than a civilization that spends its time watching millionaires walk down the red carpet at the Emmys!
    Stan: ...He's got us there, dude.
    • It's parodied at the same time when the boys' Afghan counterparts state that "Over a third of the world hates America". When Stan asks why, they just say "Because you don't realize that a third of the world hates you". Kyle points out the ridiculousness of the argument, which descends to both groups of boys calling each other buttholes.
  • No Sympathy: Cartman does not care that Afghan children are suffering due to the war and whines about having to send a dollar to one kid, which earns him a reprimand from Wendy and Choksondik.
  • Oh, Crap!: Randy and Sharon after Stan says he got a package Afghanistan, fearing that it may be a weapon.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: Osama rolls up his tongue after seeing Cartman in drag seated upon a camel.
  • Patriotic Fervor: In the final scene, Stan still puts up a tiny American flag and explains that he still likes his country, because:
    Stan: America may have some problems, but it's our home, our team. If you don't want to root for your team, then you should get the hell out of the stadium.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The episode pokes fun at America post 9/11, including the US-Afghan war. Sharon hasn't stopped watching CNN for two months, the children are being forced to wear gas masks on their way to school, and Officer Barbrady checks everyone's bookbags to make sure they aren't carrying "lethal weapons".
  • Recognition Failure: The Afghan goat is mistaken by everybody to be Stevie Nicks, lead singer of Fleetwood Mac. Taken to the predictable extreme in the final sequence, when the goat performs with Fleetwood Mac, who don't notice anything either.
  • Running Gag:
    • An unintentional one that would continue into later episodes and even real life, as bin Laden just keeps getting unceremoniously shot in the head.
    • The goat being confused for Stevie Nicks.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Cartman refers to Arabs as "Sand People" and later "Jawas".
    • When Cartman notices the poor appliances used by the Afghans in their war-struck country, especially the camel-drawn taxis, he says: Dude, what is this? The friggin' Flintstones?
    • When Cartman says "What's up, Bin Laden?" he munches on a donut, in reference to Bugs Bunny. His entire confrontation against Bin Laden is done in the style of the war time cartoons Looney Tunes used to make during World War II, complete with similar music, Cartman kissing his opponent à la Bugs Bunny, shouting "whoo hoo" à la Daffy Duck, dressing up as a woman to seduce Bin Laden and using hammers, sticks of dynamite and signs with insulting rebuses. The line "Tiny, isn't it?" is similar to the signs with "Silly, isn't it?" that would appear in many Tex Avery cartoons. Osama's final line: "Terrorists are the cwaziest peoples!" is a direct reference to the end of Russian Rhapsody, in which Hitler says the same thing, only about Nazis.
    • The final insult on Cartman's signs is nothing but a picture of Barbra Streisand.
    • Stan putting his jacket around the base of the American flag is similar to Linus putting his blanket around the bottom of the Christmas tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Bin Laden's microphone is actually a stick of dynamite, which causes him to explode.
  • Take That!: Bin Laden is the Butt-Monkey.
    • As stated in Shout-Out, the final insult read on Cartman's sign is just a picture of Barbra Streisand, an continuation of Trey and Matt's outright hatred of her.
    • Everyone thinking the goat is Stevie Nicks.
    • When they arrive in Afghanistan, Cartman says, "What a craphole! This is like east Denver!"
    • America and its handling of post-9/11.
    • Afghanistan and its people are portrayed as poor and beyond repair.
    • The Emmys being a good sticking point against American culture.
  • Teeny Weenie: When Cartman pulls down Osama's pants he is revealed to have a penis so tiny that you need several magnifying glasses to see it. Cartman concludes:
    Cartman: So THAT's what this is all about!
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny and his Afghan counterpart are killed in an airstrike. Stan and Kyle's Afghan doubles give the "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" and "You bastards!" catchphrases in Dari Persian.
  • War Time Cartoon: Cartman's battle against Bin Laden is done in the style of World War II propaganda cartoons, most notably those of Looney Tunes, where Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck would combat Adolf Hitler.
  • Wham Shot: The first shot after the opening credits is the boys in gas masks waiting for the bus.
    Kyle: Remember when life used to be simple and cool?
    Cartman: Not really.
  • Wolf Whistle: An appreciative two-note whistle is let out when Osama spots Cartman in drag on a camel. Turns out it was actually for the camel.