- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Locations
- 4 Original Songs
- 5 Behind The Scenes
- 6 Pop Culture References
- 7 Bonus Factoids
- 8 Season 3
The boys travel to Costa Rica as part of the "Getting Gay with Kids" choir tour campaigning to save the rainforest. They subsequently get lost.
The boys misbehave in class and are forced as punishment to join a touring musical group called Getting Gay With Kids. Led by the idealistic Miss Stevens, the group is dedicated to saving the rainforest.
The kids travel via school bus to Costa Rica to perform for environmentalists against paving over the rainforest. They promptly get lost when their guide is killed, eaten and then excreted by a coral snake. They wander through the trackless green hell, encountering everything from giant insects to rebel guerrillas to actor Tony Danza.
They're finally captured by a tribe of natives called the Yanagapas. The tribe inexplicably dress Miss Stevens in a cheerleader outfit and then tie her between two posts to serve as a sacrifice to the Giant Yanagapa. Suddenly Cartman, whose constant feud with Miss Stevens made him wander off on his own, bursts from the underbrush along with a gang of American construction workers. They make short work of the Yanagapas and the rainforest's creatures by crushing them all with bulldozers.
The kids make it back to Costa Rica's capital of San Jose, where they sing a new song: "There's a place called the rainforest that truly sucks ass / Let's knock it all down and get rid of it fast."
What I Learned Today
Getting Gay With Kids' revised performance include these lyrics:
You say "Save the rainforest" but what do you know?
You've never been to the rainforest before.
Getting Gay With Kids is here!
To tell you things you might not like to hear.
You only fight these causes 'cause caring sells.
All you activists can go fuck yourselves!
- "Being an activist is totally gay." (Getting Gay With Kids)
- "The rainforest sucks. I want to go home." (Kyle Broflovski)
- "I told you Jewish people don't have rhythm." (Eric Cartman)
- "Oh man, this is gonna suck donkey balls." (Eric Cartman)
- ”Maybe that’s it, Kenny! Maybe you’re Costa Rican and that’s why your family is so poor!” (Eric Cartman)
- "The nightmare begins." (Eric Cartman)
- "Look how they live in peace with all living things. Gentle, noble - RUN FOR YOUR LIVES CHILDREN!!" (Miss Stevens)
- "Tom tilly ye!" (Yanagapa Tribe)
Some of the Getting Gay With Kids choir members include Bradley Biggle, Heidi Turner (her hair sometimes appearing as black), Millie Larsen, Powder Turner, and Esther, though none of them are named yet.
For this specific episode, we are introduced to the Getting Gay With Kids team. It includes the choir teacher Miss Stevens, Kenny's one-time girlfriend Kelly, and Jake who gets eaten by a plant. Additionally we meet several Costa Rican authorities and the Yanagapa tribe.
The choir group's Costa Rican guide is brutally killed then eaten by a coral snake. Jake, the student on the choir tour, is devoured by a giant Venus-Flytrap-like plant. Also, most of the native Yanagapa tribe is killed by bulldozers as they rescue Miss Stevens' class from capture.
Fortunately Kenny survives, thanks to his girlfriend Kelly.
Two inspiring versions of the campy "Getting Gay With Kids" are performed by the activist group of the same name.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The episode is a criticism of the American environmentalist movement to save rainforests. The movement often uses ineffective means of activism and is supported by the ignorance of privileged Americans. The episode also mocks environmentalist clichés such as, "We must take only photos and leave only footprints", "It's more afraid of us than we are of it", and "We have to respect mother nature and she will respect us".
Using Costa Rica as the setting is inspired by a nightmarish vacation Trey and his girlfriend took to Costa Rica. There he formed a strong dislike for rainforests, which also influenced the contrarian message of this episode. All of Cartman's comments about the rainforest mirror Trey's personal opinion.
Pop Culture References
- The choir teacher Miss Stevens is voiced by Jennifer Aniston. During this time, Aniston was famous for her role as Rachel on the sitcom Friends.
- The Getting Gay With Kids choir is a parody of Up With People, an education organization that promotes global unity through service, music shows, and international travel. Their headquarters are based in Denver, Colorado.
- Miss Stevens' attempted sacrifice to the Giant Yanagapa is a direct parody from King Kong and its multiple remakes, when the female lead is kidnapped by a tribe and offered as a sacrifice for Kong.
- When Cartman shows up with rescue, Miss Stevens is shocked. He responds: "Who'd you expect, Merv Griffin?" Merv Griffin was a television host, singer and media mogul. He is best known for creating the popular game shows Jeopardy! and The Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies.
- Among the heads of victims of the Yanagapa is a camera. This may be a reference to the film Cannibal Holocaust, a 1980 Italian exploitation film. In the film, a group of documentary film makers go into South America searching for proof of a lost cannibal tribe, and terrorize the natives in order to get sensational footage. The film crew end up getting killed by the tribe they are looking for and their cameras and film cans are put on display around the village.
During a nighttime lightning storm Stan yells, "Oh my God dude, I just saw Tony Danza!" Sure enough, the next bolt reveals the star of TV's Who's The Boss sitting among the kids. At the time this episode aired, he was on The Tony Danza Show.
This episode stirred controversy in Costa Rica on February 2007 over the vulgar comments Cartman made about the living conditions of San Jose and Costa Rica, even though the episode debuted several years prior in the U.S. and Latin America. Costa Rica's Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides stated “We should look at [South Park] as the trash that it is. It’s a program of that nature on a network designed for people with a lowly upbringing and bad customs."
Many environmentalists have also condemned this episode, saying that it had inspired many people to feel apathetic about the movement to protect rainforests.
- This is the second time Kenny survives an episode.
- Kenny's stint with Kelly is his first taste of love. He doesn't find a girlfriend again until he meets Tammy in "The Ring"
- Throughout the episode Kelly says Kenny's name wrong numerous times, calling him Johnny, Benny, Larry, and Lenny. It is implied she has trouble understanding Kenny's muffled speech.
- Mr. Mackey speaks almost fluent Spanish, m'bien? And while Cartman doesn't know how to speak Spanish in this episode, he speaks competently in "My Future Self 'n' Me" and "D-Yikes!".
- Cartman smacks several animals to assert his dominance. He hits a squirrel monkey, a three-toed sloth and a coral snake. Squirrel monkeys and three-toed sloths are native to Central America and therefore Costa Rica. However, the coral snake is native to North America.
- e1 Rainforest Shmainforest
- e2 Spontaneous Combustion
- e3 The Succubus
- e4 Tweek Vs. Craig
- e5 Jakovasaurs
- e6 Sexual Harassment Panda
- e7 Cat Orgy
- e8 Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub
- e9 Jewbilee
- e10 Chinpokomon
- e11 Starvin' Marvin in Space
- e12 Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
- e13 Hooked on Monkey Fonics
- e14 The Red Badge of Gayness
- e15 Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
- e16 Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus
- e17 World Wide Recorder Concert