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Recap / South Park S 8 E 3 The Passion Of The Jew

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Original air date: 3/31/2004

Cartman leads a campaign against the Jews after seeing "The Passion of the Christ" while Kyle is left feeling guilty of what people of his religion did in the past. Meanwhile, Stan and Kenny end up not liking the movie and try to get their money back from Mel Gibson and discover that he is completely insane

This episode provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ambiguously Evil: Mel Gibson is quite unambiguously insane, but it's unclear how intentional the anti-Semitic effects of his film were.
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  • An Aesop: In the end, Stan imparts a lesson to the townspeople about how good Christians should be focusing on everything Jesus stood and died for, and how their obsession with the gruesome details of his death led to so much misery over the centuries.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Or in Gibson's case, "Aren't You Going to Torture Me?"
  • Ax-Crazy: Mel Gibson, which Stan and Kenny find out the hard way.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Stan and Kenny stare blankly at the screen after the film's over, but instead of being horrified like Kyle was, they simply say it sucked and that they want their money back.
  • Big Brother Instinct: During Stan and Kenny's adventure Stan did the talking and most of the planning. Also, while dealing with Mel Gibson's crazy antics, Stan was staying in front of Kenny most of the time while they were running and even pushed him away from Mel Gibson at one point.
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  • Berserk Button: Gibson does not take kindly to being called crazy.
  • Broken Pedestal: Cartman, and to a lesser extent the rest of the town, is quickly disappointed to learn how much of a lunatic Gibson is.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Gibson himself reacts to any criticism of The Passion of the Christ by claiming it's like saying Christianity sucks.
  • Captain Oblivious: Applies to the Passion fans recruited by Cartman as a whole. It's one thing for them not to notice that they're chanting in German rather than Aramaic. It's quite another for them not to find it in any way odd that their group is led by an eight-year-old boy dressed as Hitler.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: Kyle goes into this after watching The Passion.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Kyle fully recovers from his Heroic BSoD and regains his pride as a Jew after Stan assures him that Passion is less of an encapsulation of the essence of Christianity than it is merely a manifestation of Gibson's psychosis.
  • Excrement Statement: The episode ends with Gibson defecating all over Cartman, and by extension the principles he's demonstrated throughout the episode.
  • Failed a Spot Check: None of the Mel Gibson fanbase members notice that Cartman is dressed up as Adolf Hitler. Of course, given how unintelligent the adults are in this universe, it's not at all surprising.
  • Hype Backlash: invoked After much hype behind the film, Stan and Kenny decide to check it out... and they're put off by all the gore and simply think it's bad and demand a refund.
  • I Have This Friend: Kyle does this while talking to Father Maxi about his guilt.
    Kyle: I have this friend, see? And this friend belongs to a certain chosen people of Israel and it so happens these chosen people killed your lord.
    Maxi: Ah, you mean he's a Jew?
    Kyle: Right, but he can't live with the guilt anymore. Because even if Jesus wasn't really the son of God, he was still a nice guy and didn't deserve what happened to him in Mel Gibson's movie! I can't sleep at night, I mean my friend can't sleep at night!
  • Innocently Insensitive: The Passion fanbase led by Cartman are completely oblivious to any anti-Semitic messages Cartman or the film itself may be suggesting and are genuinely just moved by its portrayal of Jesus' sacrifice. Their obliviousness leads to them unknowingly approving Cartman's Nazi-inspired slogans, goose-stepping and all.
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    • The Jews outraged by the anti-Semitic stereotypes in Passion all have big noses and speak in a thick Yiddish accent.
    • Mel Gibson, in response to being called crazy, starts acting even more insane.
  • It's the Principle of the Thing: In their effort to get back their $18 from Gibson, Stan and Kenny spend an additional $86 in travel costs. They acknowledge this, but they agree that it's the principle of the thing that matters.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Kyle thought so — Cartman claims that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, as seen in the film, and up until he saw it, he thought Cartman was just being the typical douche. Of course, this is subverted when the rest of South Park discover who Gibson really is.
  • Only Sane Man: Stan and Kenny are the only ones that didn’t massively overreact about the film, with them only wanting a refund.
  • Passion Play: Eric Cartman dresses like Hitler and uses a group of Christians' love of The Passion to get them to help him to exterminate the Jews, making them think that the German for "It is time for revenge. We must exterminate the Jews" is Aramaic. The episode is extremely critical of the film, but it ends with An Aesop about Christianity.
    Stan: It's our eighteen dollars! Your movie sucked!
    Gibson: You can't say my movie sucked, or else you're saying Christianity sucked!
    Stan: No, dude, if you wanna be Christian, that's cool, but, you should follow what Jesus taught instead of how he got killed. Focusing on how he got killed is what people did in the Dark Ages and it ends up with really bad results.
    Jack: You know, he's right, Elise. We shouldn't focus our faith on the torture and execution of Christ.
    Ticket Salesman: Yeah. Lots of people got crucified in those times. We shouldn't rely on violence to inspire faith.
    Cartman: Aw, aw, no, come on, people, we're so close to completing my final solution!
    Kyle: Oh, dude, I feel so much better about being Jewish now that I see that Mel Gibson is just a big wacko douche.
    (Gibson craps on Cartman)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Dr. Schwartz tries to prevent the Jewish community from forming an angry mob, quite assured the town is sensible enough to know The Passion is only a movie. It is only when he sees the film's fan group goose-stepping past the synagogue that he joins in trying to boycott the film, though still by sensibly informing the theatre and civilians of the terrible behavior it is causing.
    • Similarly, Father Maxi shows no resentment to Jews and points out to Kyle that The Passion isn't entirely accurate to the Bible and it's mostly based on passion plays from the Medieval Age which often enticed anti-Semitism. He passes it off as just a movie and not legitimate Christian teaching and doesn't become an obsessive fan like Cartman or the other Christians in South Park.
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: Cartman mentions seeing The Passion 34 times.
  • Self-Deprecation: Stan mentions that the last bad movie he and Kenny sat through was BASEketball, a live-action sports comedy made by Trey and Matt that the duo now considers an Old Shame.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gibson paints his face a la William Wallace. He also screams "Freedom" in the same fashion that he did during Wallace's execution at some point while chasing Stan and Kenny.
    • The whole chase scene where Gibson repeatedly appears in front of Stan and Kenny in a different costume each time while singing is directly lifted from the Looney Tunes short Yankee Doodle Daffy. Lampshaded when Stan says that Mel is "freaking daffy!"
    • When Gibson continues the chase to South Park, he's in an 18-wheeler exactly like the one he drove in The Road Warrior.
    • The episode opens with the boys playing Star Trek, pretending they're members of Starfleet and Cartman's mom's minivan is their ship.
  • Snuff Film: Stan and Kenny flat-out panned The Passion as this, thus their trip to Malibu to get back their $18 from Gibson.
  • Take That!:
    • At The Passion of the Christ, which had recently been released at the time, as well as the hype — and controversy — surrounding it.
    • Kyle's nightmare of joining the rest of the Jews in killing Jesus ends by suddenly flashing to a live-action photo of Alan Alda, which ends up being the breaking point and causes Kyle to wake up screaming.
  • Tempting Fate: Dr. Schwartz, the rabbi in the South Park synagogue tries to calm his congregation, insisting that people will recognise The Passion is just a film and there is no cause for alarm. Cue Cartman and his Passion group goose-stepping past the synagogue chanting anti-Semitic slogans (albeit none of them except for Cartman himself realizes that's what they're chanting).
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Mel Gibson's mansion has a guard, but he's more busy reading a magazine than doing his job, allowing Stan and Kenny to easily enter the mansion and meet Gibson himself.
  • This Means War!: Gibson's reaction when Stan calls him crazy.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Mel Gibson. But he would really like you to try:
    Stan: Look, dude, we came a long way. We're not leaving until you give us our money.
    Gibson: Oh, yeah?! Well, you're going to have to find it first. But I won't tell you where I keep my money! (takes off his shirt) You can torture me all you want, I still won't tell you!
    Stan: (taken aback) T-torture you?!
    Gibson: (takes off his pants) Ha! So you do intent to torture me! Well, go ahead! (straps himself to a stretcher rack) Do your worst! You still won't get your ticket money back! I can take whatever you can dish out!
    Stan: ...We don't want to torture you.
    Gibson: I get it, but you "don't have a choice", is that it? Well, go ahead! I just sure hope you don't use those whips over there (gestures with his head) on the wall!
  • Villainous Breakdown: When he arrives at South Park, Gibson starts goading people to torture him, before smearing crap on a wall, equating criticism towards his movie to saying Christianity sucks, and defecating on Cartman.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Gibson shoots at Stan and Kenny (don't worry, he misses) and tries ramming them off the road in retaliation for them not liking his movie and demanding a refund for their film tickets.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: This is Stan's reaction to seeing Gibson pursuing them in the gas truck from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior while wearing William Wallace's blue woad face paint from Braveheart.
    Stan: Oh you've got to be shittin' me!


Video Example(s):


Mel Gibson

South Park portrays the director of "Passion of The Christ," as a sadomadistic lunatic, obsessed with Jesus and who'll shot you for calling him crazy.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / AxCrazy

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