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Recap / South Park S 6 E 8 Red Hot Catholic Love

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Original air date: 7/3/2002

When Father Maxi informs the children about the Young Men's Catholic Retreat many adults in South Park don't want their kids to go, because of all the pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church. As a result, many convert to atheism. Meanwhile, the children have no idea why they are being asked whether "Father Maxi, at any time, ever tried to put something in your butt" and misinterpret the question, trying to find a way and succeeding to put food into their rectums and defecate through the mouth.

Father Maxi goes to a meeting of Catholic priests in Colorado where he is outraged over the fact that many priests are actually in favor of child molestation. He decides to go all the way to the Vatican and The Pope to settle the matter...

Note: This episode should NOT be confused with "How To Eat With Your Butt", where Cartman's latest prank (putting Kenny's school photo where only his butt is exposed on a milk carton) backfires when an actual couple with butts for faces comes to South Park searching for their missing child and Cartman suddenly blows a "funny fuse," which he thinks is from seeing something so funny that he can never laugh again (but others think is from guilt).

This episode provides examples of:

  • Artistic License – Biology: Played for Laughs. According to the Surgeon General, eating with your butt is healthier. It breaks down the food sufficiently as it goes through the intestines, and thus preventing high cholesterol and stomach cancers. Of course, he based it on "absolutely nothing".
  • Ass Shove: Rather than just ask the children directly if Father Maxi ever molested them, the councilor instead asks them if he ever tried to "put something in their butt". This just confuses the boys and leaves them wondering what that could possibly mean, which eventually gives Cartman the idea that if you eat food with your butt, you'll crap out of your mouth.
  • Bait-and-Switch: During Maxi's meeting with the local priests, it appears that the other priests are concerned about the number of priests being outed for molestation. However, it turns out that they're only concerned that children keep reporting the molestations and they discuss on how to stop them, which horrifies Maxi.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While both male and female characters are shown or said to be shoving food up their rectums, only male characters are shown defecating from the mouth.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Apparently the Gelgamek vagina is 3ft wide and filled with razor-sharp teeth (hence why they're in favour of sex with children).
  • Characterization Click Moment: After being The Fundamentalist for the past five seasons, this episode would establish Maxi becoming a Good Shepherd and becoming much nicer in the process.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Many people are suddenly Catholic in town, as the script demands them to be.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The very reason why defecating through the mouth became a trend is because the children misinterpreted a question whether they were ever sodomized by Father Maxi.
    • Also, the priests don't get why the children they molest keep reporting them to their parents and the police. A bewildered Father Maxi tells them the molestation is the problem. They all laughed at the notion as if it was a joke, especially when he admits to never having molested before.
  • Corrupt Church: The Catholic Church uses a "Holy Document of Vatican Law" that doesn't prohibit child molestation. Even worse, the "highest authority" the Vatican answers to isn't even God but a giant queen spider from another dimension.
  • Dirty Old Man: The priests, except for Maxi, are all proud pedophiles.
  • Everyone Has Standards: It's one thing for Father Maxi to have sex with a woman in a confession booth, but even he finds molesting children repulsive.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The adults of South Park deciding to become atheists can seem a little silly when one remembers that Jesus runs His own cable access show in their town, Satan has tried to take over Earth several times, and God has even shown Himself once. Then again, the Catholics in the Vatican aren't any better, considering they take their cues from a giant spider when the savior is literally a phone call away.
  • Giant Spider: The Vatican apparently worships a giant spider, rather than God. Unless she speaks for God.
  • Graceful Loser: What Kyle resorts to to get Cartman to stop rubbing it in that he was right, even going so far as to say he's glad he's his friend; Cartman is so enraged that he just up and leaves, not even taking the $20 with him.
  • Grossup Closeup: Anytime somebody is portrayed pooping out of their mouths. (Except in syndication and pre-2017 daytime Comedy Central airings, where they cut to a black screen until the crapping's done.)
  • Hollywood Atheist: The Hollywood Atheism notion is satirized when the adults convert to atheism just because other Catholic priests (while not including their own) molested children, thus they figured that should discredit not just Catholicism as a whole (and apparently had not heard of religions outside of Catholicism) but religion in general. The imagery of the adults "reverse eating" (i.e., literally pooping from their mouths) while saying childish anti-theistic remarks says it all.
    Mr. Stotch: Yeah, let's kill God!
    Randy: Um, no, let's just be atheists.
    Mr. Stotch: Same thing.
  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: The Gelgameks are the only known aliens to practice Catholicism.
  • Imagine Spot: Randy has one near the beginning after Maxi mentions an upcoming boat trip with his altar boys. He imagines a parody of The Love Boat that has various priests hooking up with the South Park youth. When Boy #3 happens to be his son, he screams in horror.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Instead of waiting to know whether or not Maxi is a pedophile, the parents of South Park decide they have had enough with what the Catholic Church has become and choose to become atheist.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Or Load-Bearing Document in this case— when Maxi tears the Holy Document of Vatican Law in two after losing his temper at the other members of the Church, the Vatican crumbles/implodes, leaving behind a whole bunch of dead pedos in its wake.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Maxi is surprised at the fact the Gelgameks have joined the Catholic Church, and at the "Queen Spider" that apparently runs the Vatican. Especially when he finds out they're ALL pedophiles.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: The town's parents become concerned that Father Maxi is molesting their boys, which he isn't. Maxi investigates claims of molestation within the Church and discovers he's the only Catholic priest in the world (and apparently other worlds, as the Gelgameks demonstrate) who doesn't molest children.
  • Monster Lord: The leader of the Gelgameks looks different from the others, whose heads resemble vaginas.
  • Moral Myopia: The priests sans Maxi have a strict dichotomy on causing harm. They don't care about molesting children, but do care when the children talk about it and hurt their image.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: When Cartman is trying to crap out his mouth, he's standing at a toilet, trying his hardest while the boys are watching. He says they should turn around, but Kyle turns this down because he thinks Cartman is just gonna crap out his butt and lie that it came out of his mouth.
    Cartman: Do you really think I'd be that deceitful, you guys?! (the boys glare at him) Ugh, goddammit you guys, this is so seriously.
  • Only Sane Man: It turns out that Father Maxi is the only priest in the world that doesn't molest children.
  • Pooled Funds: Instead of spending the 20 dollars Cartman won from Kyle when he bet Cartman couldn't crap out of his mouth, he first exchanges them into 20 1 dollar bills so that he can throw them into the air and have them rain on him, and then he further exchanges those into 80 quarters so that he can pour them into a kiddie pool and swim in them. This becomes subverted that he prefers rubbing victory into Kyle's face over the actual bet to the point he becomes angry over Kyle being a Graceful Loser that he even left the money behind.
  • Premature Encapsulation: The South Park episode "How To Eat With Your Butt" revolves around a pair of people who have butts where their faces are. It has nothing to do with eating with your butt aside from one small visual gag where said people are shown eating through their literal butt heads, making it easy to confuse that episode's title for this one's.
  • Rage Breaking Point: The Spider Queen was the last straw for Father Maxi.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: At the time when this episode aired the Catholic Church's child molestation scandals were in the news a lot.
  • Sanity Ball:
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Chef.
    Chef: Hello there, children!
    Stan: Chef! What would a priest want to stick up my butt?
    Chef: Good-bye!
  • Shout-Out:
    • The 'Catholic Boat' sequence lampoons The Love Boat.
    • The name Priest Maxi is a reversal of Maxi Priest, an English reggae singer.
    • The great queen spider worshiped by the Catholics is a reference to the 1970s Doctor Who serial Planet of the Spiders.
    • The old monk in the St. Peter's catacombs, and especially the line "What is your quest, Father?" is a reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
      • The old monk also resembles Desaad.
    • Priest Maxi's adventures through the catacombs after the Holy Document is a trip through Pitfall!.
  • Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: When Cartman first suggested that people probably shove food up their butts to defecate through the mouth, Kyle says it's the stupidest thing Cartman ever said. For that, he bet Kyle just to prove himself right.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: When Maxi runs the gauntlet to retrieve the Holy Document of Vatican Law, it turns into Pitfall!.
  • Take That!: Catholics are ridiculed for the child molestation scandals in their church, the Pope for being in such ill condition that he can no longer properly rule, and Christian fundamentalists for blindly obeying rules. On the other side of the spectrum, atheists are ridiculed by making them defecate out of their mouth every time after making an anti-religious statement.
  • Tempting Fate: Kyle rhetorically asks if Cartman wants a medal for proving a person can crap out their which point the news reporter on TV announces Cartman is to be given a medal, much to Kyle's fury.
  • Troll: Cartman really rubs it in about winning the bet with Kyle, since he was the most vocal against Cartman's theory (see Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard).
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Only Father Maxi is baffled by a race of aliens known as Gelgameks who have apparently joined the church at some point; he's equally baffled by the Queen Spider when she is revealed, but the other clergymen present take it all in stride.
  • X Must Not Win: Cartman enjoys gloating over winning the 20-dollar bet that he could defecate out of his mouth after shoving food up his ass. Yet Kyle being a Graceful Loser makes him so angry that he storms off, and even leaves the money behind.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The other boys are utterly baffled seeing Cartman defecate from his mouth after shoving food up his ass.
    Stan: Get the fuck outta here.