A man from the year 3045 travels back to South Park looking for work due to the poor economic state of the future. Soon more people from his time show up they start to take the townspeople's jobs.
Goobacks contains examples of:
- An Aesop: Basically, entire episode goes with Take a Third Option on the issues on illegal immigration by improving their livelihood of their home countries, which is portrayed by the town's attempt to reduce pollution through green energy and recycling, would prevent the Goobacks/illegal immigrants from leaving in the first place rather than falling into fallacies of "kick them all out" or "let them stay".
- Artistic License Statistics: Darryl Weathers claims that all scientific data disproves the existence of global warming, even though in real life most scientists including U.S. scientists defend global warming is real. Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the show's creators) didn't believe in Global Warming at the time this episode aired. Though Darryl being portrayed as simple-minded idiot along with the Gooback's original timeline suffering from environmental degradation made the said portrayal either as a jab or support of their then-denial.
- Broken Record: "Chicken sandwich?"
- Demoted to Extra: While Stan is the protagonist here, Kenny, Cartman and Kyle are only given cameos in spite of being seen with Stan for most of the episode.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: A group of people bypass the United States' standard immigration procedures to take menial jobs that will provide their families back home with enough money to live but cause several citizens to become unemployed because they undercut them by offering to work for less pay.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Despite the opposition arguing that the rednecks are bigots, the cold hard truth is that the future immigrants are in fact putting them out of their jobs and, unlike them, they can't travel to a past time to get work.
- Fantastic Racism: Everyone who hates the time travelers begins referring them as "Goobacks" due to the purple goo they have on them when they emerge from the time portal.
- Fiction Isn't Fair: The plot involves people from the future traveling to the present and taking everyone's jobs because they were willing to work for 20 cents an hour. At no point does anyone even try enforcing minimum wage laws. Although this is often Truth in Television for arguments about wage deflation caused by illegal immigrants.
- Global Warming: A redneck suggested using this as a method to quicken humanity's extinction and they could do so by polluting more. The redneck's attempts to connect global warming to an ice age made absolutely no sense and was comically inaccurate which is what made Darryl shoot down his idea.
- In the Future, Humans Will Be One Race: Humans in 3045 are all Ambiguously Brown and bald. The show takes it further by having their language also be a combination of every present-day language and sound like unintelligible grunting.
- It Only Works Once: Time travel follows Terminator rules in that people can only travel to their destination one time and going back to their origin is impossible.
- I Warned You: Stan's reaction after Randy loses his job.
- No Sympathy: The people who support the time travelers have no sympathy for the people who've lost their jobs to them, claiming that they just take menial jobs that no one wants.Stan: I wanted my job.
- Opinion Flip Flop: Randy supports the time travelers and dismisses Stan's complaints as bigotry. But once he loses his job to one of them, he becomes the spokesperson of the protest movement.
- Ridiculous Future Inflation: The future immigrants are willing to work for cents on the dollar, which they then put into a bank account so that in their time the interest has built up to the point that they have billions of dollars. Of course, by that time, billions of dollars is just enough to have a decent living.
- Satire: This episode serves as a satire of both illegal immigrants (Goobacks) and their liberal sympathizers (Hippie Douche and Stan's parents). Though the opposition to illegal immigrants are portrayed as irrational bigots with their solutions ranging from self-destructive (causing pollution to the point of extinction to prevent Goobacks) to outrageous (homosexual orgies to "produce no scions").
- You Are Grounded: Stan is temporarily grounded by Randy for angrily calling the future people "Goobacks" a second time while trying to order a cheeseburger and fries. He is later taken out of his grounding after Randy loses his job and becomes just as pissed.