A Ladder to Heaven
A Ladder to Heaven
|Written By||Trey Parker|
|Original Air Date||2002-11-06|
The boys win a candy store shopping spree, but they can't collect their prize without their half of a special ticket -- a ticket that was last in Kenny's possession. The problem is their friend Kenny is dead. They steal the urn containing Kenny's remains, but when they open it, it just looks like chocolate milk mix -- which Cartman promptly mixes with milk and drinks.
Desperate to get the other half of the ticket, they decide to build a ladder to heaven to ask Kenny where he put the ticket. Their effort (which adults think is merely an attempt to reach their friend) soon draws national media attention. Military recon teams on the scene soon find what they believe to be "weapons of mass destruction" in heaven. They are being constructed by Saddam Hussein (whom we learn was secretly killed by the U.S. months earlier). A debate rages over whether we should bomb heaven to stop him.
Cartman starts having flashbacks from Kenny's perspective and realizes he somehow consumed Kenny's soul when he drank his ashes. During one flashback, he sees that the ticket stub is hidden in a box in Kenny's room. The boys recover it, have their shopping spree, and tell the adults they're done with the ladder. The grownups, realizing they were idiots for thinking Saddam Hussein was in heaven building WMDs, give up too.
The boys get on with their lives -- until they realize that Kenny's soul now shares Cartman's body. Meanwhile, in heaven, we see Saddam Hussein really is building weapons of mass destruction.
What I Learned Today
"Yeah, but now we think maybe heaven isn't a place you can get to. Maybe heaven is just an idea. A frame of mind, or something gay like that. Maybe heaven is this moment, right now."
- "I'm checking for robot guards." (Cartman)
- "Poor people don't have anything better to do than piss other people off! Don't you watch Springer?" (Cartman)
- "Now that Americans believe in heaven, should we bomb it?" (TV Reporter)
- "Are you high or just incredibly stupid?" (UN Ambassador)
- "You bet your fat clown ass it is!" (Cartman)
- "Hold on, I'm checking for robot guards." (Cartman)
- "A ladder to heaven? That's fucking stupid." (Mr. Garrison)
- "Don't get cancer on the ladder, Cartman, you'll fall off and break it!" (Stan)
- "Aw, don't tell me we haven't even reached the cloud city yet!" (Cartman)
- "Maybe we're not seeing heaven because one of us is a J-O-O." (Cartman)
- "Did I just call myself a blood belching vagina?" (Cartman)
- "You drank Kenny!" (Stan)
- "If Saddam is building weapons, we have to stop him. With our weapons." (Stan's dad)
- "I've never heard the words 'only' and 'candy' in the same sentence before." (Cartman)
Alan Jackson's acoustic tearjerker "Where Were You When They Built The Ladder To Heaven?"
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Trey and Matt felt that kids building a ladder to heaven was well in keeping with the country's highly emotional and sentimental post-9/11 mood. It was also a good way to begin the long process of bringing Kenny back to life.
Pop Culture References
When the townspeople encircle the ladder to heaven and hold hands, it is an homage to a similar scene from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The Japanese try to build their own ladder to heaven so they can get there before the boys. This is a reference to the historical "Space Race" between the United States and the Soviet Union in the late 60s, which aimed to put their respective man on the moon first.
Country singer Alan Jackson (who wrote the 9/11 song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?") comes to South Park to write a tearjerker about the boys' ladder to heaven. A TV reporter says he's in town "once again to capitalize on people's emotions." The lyrics include, "Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven? Did it make you feel like cryin' or did you think it was kind of gay?"
- There's some confusion over how Saddam Hussein died. In Season 2's "Not Without My Anus," he was killed by farts; in the South Park movie, he was reportedly killed by wild boars; and in this episode, George W. Bush says he was secretly killed by the United States.
- Cartman yells at Kyle, "Your idea of heaven is getting five dollars off your Matzo Ball soup at Barney's Beanery by lying about a hair in it." Barney's Beanery is a well-known bar and eatery in Los Angeles.
- In Kenny's flashback, Cartman is seen singing a rendition of Elvis Presley's "In The Ghetto." He also serenaded Kenny with this song in Season 2's "Chickenpox."
- When asked about why he thinks Saddam Hussein would possibly be in heaven, President Bush goes off on an extended, far-fetched explanation about how Saddam was sent to hell, had a homosexual relationship with Satan, and was eventually banished to heaven to live with Mormons as a punishment. This is, in fact, the exact plot line from "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" and "Probably" -- a two-parter from Season 4.
- e1 Freak Strike
- e2 Jared Has Aides
- e3 Asspen
- e4 The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer
- e5 Fun with Veal
- e6 Professor Chaos
- e7 The Simpsons Already Did It
- e8 Red Hot Catholic Love
- e9 Free Hat
- e10 Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society
- e11 Child Abduction is Not Funny
- e12 A Ladder to Heaven
- e13 The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
- e14 The Death Camp of Tolerance
- e15 The Biggest Douche in the Universe
- e16 My Future Self 'n' Me
- e17 Red Sleigh Down