Butters finds a box on his front porch containing the AWESOM-O 4000 -- an advanced automatron sent from Japan to serve as his personal robot. Even though everyone else clearly sees that AWESOM-O is just Cartman dressed in a crummy cardboard outfit, Butters suspects nothing of his new robot friend.
He proceedes to gives his new "buddy" a bonanza of embarrassing personal information -- including the fact that he has a "hesiated colon" which occasionally causes him to poop his pants. He also reveals that he possesses a videotape of Cartman dressed up like Britney Spears, dancing and making out with a Justin Timberlake cutout. Stunned, Cartman has no choice but to stay in-character until he finds that tape. Since he's supposed to be Butters' servant, he lugs around his laundry and even inserts medicinal suppositories in his anus. That night, as Butters sleeps, Cartman tosses his room in a desperate, fruitless search for the video. But he cannot find it, and he's forced to continue serving Butters.
Thinking Cartman and their son have become great friends, Butters' parents invite AWESOM-O to go on a trip with Butters to visit his relatives in Los Angeles. Once there, they go sightseeing all around town, eventually ending up at Catamount Pictures. Two Movie Executives see Butters with AWESOM-O and mistakenly think they can program the robot to come up with movie ideas.
Over the next week, Cartman as AWESOM-O generates thousands of movie concepts -- 800 of them featuring Adam Sandler. Word of AWESOM-O's extraordinary abilities quickly reach the Pentagon, which captures the "robot" so it can be turned into a weapon. AWESOM-O/Cartman is then taken to a secure location and chained to a table. When he protests that he's a real person, his captors misinterpret this to mean he's a self-aware robot. The military decides to "erase" his memories and consciousness using a very large drill. But at the last possible moment, a scientist stops the drill and releases Cartman. Just as Cartman goes to remove his helmet and end the ruse, Butters arrives, forcing him to continue on as AWESOM-O.
Butters begs for the life of his "best friend," a display so moving that it brings the Army brass to tears. But suddenly Cartman farts, breaking his cover. Butters, finally wise to the con, pulls off his helmet and reveals the truth.
The final scene shows Butters' video of Cartman dressed as Britney Spears -- being shown to all of South Park's fourth graders, plus the Catamount Pictures Execs and the military. Cartman (now without his AWESOM-O costume) is forced to watch it too.
What I Learned Today
"Perhaps there is consciousness in this robot. Maybe we as a society need to realize that artificial intelligence is intelligence all the same, and we can learn from the robots."
- "You can trust AWESOM-O. In fact, you should tell AWESOM-O all your most personal secrets. AWESOM-O will not make fun of you or tell your secrets to other people and stuff." A.W.E.S.O.M.-O_4000
- "Wait a minute. Did that robot just fart?" General (AWESOM-O)
- "Movie Idea No. 2305: Adam Sandler is trapped on an island and falls in love with a coconut." A.W.E.S.O.M.-O_4000
- "Actually, Eric is still supposed to be grounded for trying to exterminate the Jews two weeks ago." Liane Carman
- "Wow kid, you're a little faggot!" General
- "Oh boy, I've never gotten a package this big! I've always wanted to have a huge package!" Butters
- "Nobody knows it, but sometimes I poop my pants so I have to wear a diaper to school." Butters
- "Hey there have you heard about my robot friend? He's metal and small and doesn't judge me at all!" Butters' song
- "Oh jeeze cheese Louise! My mom is gonna be awful sore when she sees this mess!" Butters
- "AWESOM-O must dispense oil waste. Where is the nearest toilet, please?" A.W.E.S.O.M.-O_4000
- "Adam Sandler is like, in love with some girl, but then it turns out that the girl is actually a Golden Retriever. Or something." A.W.E.S.O.M.-O_4000
- "You are an incredible robot AWESOM-O I was just wondering, are you by chance a Pleasure Model?" Catamount Movie Exec.
- "I'm not a robot dumb ass! I'm alive!" A.W.E.S.O.M.-O_4000
The ultra-robot AWESOM-O 4000, five uncreative Movie Executives for Catamount Pictures, and a slew of Pentagon employees lead by a U.S. General. We also meet Butters' Aunt Nelly and Uncle Bud, who live in Los Angeles. We will learn a bit more about Uncle Bud in "The Return of Chef".
Mr. Scientist, the brave soul who tries to rescue AWESOM-O from the military. He makes an impassioned speech about what truly makes something human, in the process pulling out various internal organs until he dies.
- Butters sings the theme song "Robot Friend," a campy tune about his new best friend AWESOM-O. Two additional variations on this tune play later in the episode: one prominently featuring Hollywood, and the other, a sad ode to a lost friend.
- Like every song in South Park, all three variations of "Robot Friend" were written, produced & recorded 100% in-house.
Pop Culture References
- The Robot Friend song is accompanied by music that sounds a lot like the theme from the old TV show "The Courtship of Eddie’s Father".
- Butters sings "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago. He also croons this tune in "Casa Bonita".
- The AWESOM-O name is a play on ASIMO, the groundbreaking humanoid robot developed by Honda.
- During the montage, we also see them coming out of a theater showing the film The Prince and Me, a corny 2004 romantic comedy starring Julia Stiles.
- The circular Pentagon meeting room bears a striking resemblance to that seen in the classic 1964 film Dr. Strangelove.
- Finally, when Cartman (still disguised as AWESOM-O) seems to activate himself, it's a parody of a similar scene in the 1995 anime classic Ghost in the Shell.
- Easter Egg: Behind Butters, there's movie posters for two Will Smith movies: "Guys In Dark Suits and Black Sunglasses" & "Badassboys".
- Catamount Pictures is a parody of Paramount Pictures, right down to the iconic water tower.
Grauman's Chinese Theater
A number of Hollywood landmarks are parodied here: Universal Studios (complete with the Jaws ride), Disneyland, and Grauman's Chinese Theater (which just happens to be showing The Passion)..
- Adam Sandler, for whom AWESOM-O generates a never-ending supply of incredibly lame movie concepts. One is tentatively titled Punch-Drunk Billionaire -- a play on the 2002 Sandler vehicle Punch-Drunk Love.
- Also, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Butters posseses a videotape with Cartman dressed up like Spears, dancing and making out with a Timberlake cutout. We actually see this tape at the end of the episode, and it is every bit as disturbing as it sounds.
Character Art: Cartman as Britney
Cartman got a total character make-over for this last scene…
- Butters' birthday is revealed to be September 11.
- In 2011, fans ranked #AWESOM-O as Number 7 on their list of all-time best South Park episodes.
- Finally, Cartman's mom states that her son is grounded for trying to exterminate the Jews -- a reference to "The Passion of the Jew" , which aired two weeks earlier.
- Butters mentions a few of Cartman's cruel tricks: the time where Cartman made Butters think a meteor hit the Earth and convinced him to stay in a bomb shelter for three days ("Casa Bonita"); and the time where Cartman pretended to be Butters on the phone, and called Butters' dad a pussy ("Jared Has Aides").
- Butters drinks the tasty beverage Sunny Delight, and makes AWESOM-O serve it to the rest of the boys.
Behind The Scenes
- Where did the idea come from?The concept sprang from a pre-season writer's retreat. The thing that sold it was the idea of Cartman saying "lame" in his robot voice.
- According to Matt and Trey: We loved the way the story developed. It was Cartman doing something, then getting caught. And then kinda fucking himself.
- as far as Cartman and Butters episodes go, Trey said: "Definitely either this or 'Death of Eric Cartman' would have to be on my top list."
- Matt's favorite part of AWESOM-O: "My favorite part of this episode is definitely when Cartman eats the toothpaste. That makes me laugh like hell every time I see that. He’s just so hungry, he fucked himself so hard, and now he has to literally eat toothpaste 'cuz he’s so hungry."
Matt & Trey: "AWESOM-O" as a Fan Favorite
Here's Matt and Trey on why this is fan-favorite episode: "I think that part of the reason fans really liked this, is the same reason we did. You’re kind of watching Butters win the entire time. Butters, at that point in the show, has been screwed over so many times by Cartman, and this time Cartman finally gets whats coming to him for almost the entire 20 minutes of the show."
Original AWESOM-O Script
Here's the original script written by Trey, from our vault. According to Matt and Trey: "We always love when it's a Butters and Cartman show. With those two as the main characters, it’s a little easier to write, just because they're such great characters."
Character Art: Suppository
Check out the old-school Character art created for this infamous scene.
Here's a never-before-seen storyboard for the infamous "suppository" scene. All storyboards for "AWESOM-O" were hand drawn.
Production Art: Army General
Before new characters appear in an episode, we make "Corels" of them which must be approved by Trey.
Check out this hand-drawn 'board. Our storyboard department draws them digitally now.
Character Art: Cartman Corel
Here's another "Corel" of Cartman. Every single new pose and outfit must be created and approved…
- e1 Good Times With Weapons
- e2 AWESOM-O
- e3 Up the Down Steroid
- e4 The Passion of the Jew
- e5 You Got F'd in the A
- e6 Goobacks
- e7 The Jeffersons
- e8 Douche and Turd
- e9 Something Wall Mart This Way Comes
- e10 Pre-School
- e11 Quest for Ratings
- e12 Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset
- e13 Cartman's Incredible Gift
- e14 Woodland Critter Christmas