Original air date: 6/26/2002
Butters (as Professor Chaos) suffers a mental breakdown after realizing that all of his diabolical plans are plots to Simpsons episodes. Meanwhile, the boys create a micro-universe of sea monkeys and discover that Ms. Choksondik is dead.
- Art Shift: When Butters snaps from The Simpsons having already done his ideas, he starts seeing everyone as Simpsonized versions of themselves.
- Black Comedy Rape: Cartman manages to get a whole bowl's worth of semen from a guy in an alley named Ralph, who gave it to him by having Cartman "close [his] eyes and suck it out of a hose."
- Characterisation Marches On: In this episode, Stan and Kyle largely treat Tweek as badly as they did Butters beforehand. Two episodes later, the dynamic is altered so that Tweek genuinely likes Stan and Kyle, with only Cartman being particularly abusive towards him. This dynamic shifts onto their treatment of Butters as well in later episodes of Season Six.
- Dramatic Irony: After the majority of the plot concerns The Simpsons doing his (and others') ideas first, the subplot with Cartman's sea monkeys ends with them developing nuclear weapons and destroying themselves. Or, in other words, it ends by ripping off Matt Groening's other cartoon — one which, ironically, was revived by Comedy Central.
- It's Been Done: The main plot, of course. Later when Cartman reveals his plan to have the sea people shrink him so he can live with them, Butters points out that's from The Simpsons as well. Cartman and everyone else tells him it doesn't matter, since the show has done everything over its long run and even does stuff that other shows already did. Chef points out that the "ruling over a tiny civilization" plot was actually ripped off from an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959).
- Killed Off for Real: Ms. Choksondik. Her death remains a mystery.
- Mondegreen Gag: The boys mishearing "semen" as "sea men".
- Mood-Swinger: Upon seeing that the "Sea People" are just brine shrimp, Cartman completely loses his shit. In the span of a minute, he goes from furiously ranting at all his friends, falling into despair upon realizing he won't be going on any undersea adventures, and then perking up when Kyle suggests pouring the critters into their teacher's coffee. The last part is even punctuated with the sad music cutting off abruptly.
- Mythology Gag: The joke about a snowman coming to life and killing the boys is in reference to The Spirit of Christmas, a short that eventually evolved into South Park.
- Noodle Incident:
Stan: Tweek, when has that ever happened except for that one time?
- In the opening scene, Tweek is paranoid that the snowman will come to life and try to kill him while he's putting on its nose.
- When Butters mentions forgetting about destroying the town and running away to join the circus, Dougie mentions that plotline's been done by the Simpsons, much to Butters' ire.
- Poke the Poodle: Butters' plan to inject expired mayonnaise into chocolate-covered cherries.
- Poor Communication Kills: The boys' misconstruing of the term "semen" as "sea men" causes them a lot of problems, particularly when they tell Chef they think they killed their teacher and they're about to get caught since their "sea men" were found in her stomach, leading Chef to assume they raped and murdered her. It's only in a later conversation where they go into more detail about what happened that things get cleared up.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Trey and Matt really were frustrated with having to scrap so many ideas after learning that The Simpsons had already done them.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cartman angrily drops one of these to the other three boys after it turns out the "Sea People" are just brine shrimp.Cartman: I got ripped off!Kyle: I told you, Cartman.Cartman: Oh shut up, Kyle! Shut your goddamn Jew mouth! You people are why there's war in the Middle East! And you, Tweek, why don't you learn to button your shirt right for once?! You're as bad as Stan and his stupid girlfriend, always spending time with her! God, I hate you guys!
- Recycled Soundtrack: Chef's song "Sometimes You Kill Your Teacher" was a capella in the original broadcast. Rebroadcasts give it a backing track - one which was lifted from "The Prostitute Song" in "Fat Camp".
- Sea Aping: The plot is kickstarted by the boys buying a set of "Sea People," thinking that they're going to become a civilized society that "builds castles and plays basketball and stuff" due to the exaggerated cartoony ads. When they see the Sea People are just brine shrimp, they're disappointed...but upon combining the shrimp with semen, they end up inadvertently creating the sapient and underwater society they were hoping for.
- Seashell Bra: In Cartman's Imagine Spot, some of the female Sea People wear seashells on their chest.
- Shout-Out: Cartman's subplot is based on The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror VII" segment "The Genesis Tub".note Which itself, as pointed out by Chef, was based on The Twilight Zone episode "The Little People".
- Sudden Downer Ending: After Butters learns to not worry about The Simpsons doing his ideas first (since by this point, The Simpsons have done everything), Cartman's sea monkeys kill themselves via nuclear war.
- Take That!:
- At The Simpsons for having so many episodes and different plots that it's hard to come up with original ideas today. The episode came about when the creators learned that The Simpsons used the idea of blocking out the sun in before South Park could for "The Wacky Molestation Adventure".
- There's also one towards the series' perceived Seasonal Rot. When Butters reveals his plot to replace the cherries in chocolate-covered cherries with mayonnaise, Dougie tells him he thinks The Simpsons "would be more clever than that". Then it's revealed a brand-new episode will feature Bart doing that same exact plot.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: When Butters finally comes up with an evil plot that The Simpsons hasn't done, he's dismayed to discover that a brand-new episode is airing which will now have the exact same plot he was cooking up. This is what finally leads to him snapping.
- Your Television Hates You: While the boys are watching "Terrance and Phillip", trying not to think about how they killed their teacher, Terrance suddenly reveals that he may have killed Céline Dion out of the blue.Terrance: Phillip, I think I may have accidentally killed Celine Dion.
Phillip: (gasps) Killing is never an accident, you dickface! (farts)
Terrance and Phillip: Ah-hahahahaha!
Stan: Oh Jesus, change the channel.