Best Friends Forever
Kenny is the first to buy the much-coveted, brand-new Sony PSP videogame console. This, of course, pisses off Cartman. He wanted to be the first kid to have it, but now must sit idly by and watch as Kenny enjoys it. Kenny proceeds to spend every waking moment playing and mastering a game called Heaven versus Hell. In a glorious display of talent, he reaches Level 60 -- the highest level possible -- and then is run over by an ice cream truck.
Kenny's spirit rises to Heaven, where he's informed that the PSP was invented by God himself. The device was designed to locate "the one" with the tactical skills to defend Heaven against the impending assault from the 10 billion-strong armies of Hell. Since Heaven has a measly population of less than ten thousand, this is no easy task, and it seems the fate of all the universe lies solely on Kenny.
But just as the final battle between Heaven and Hell is about to begin, Kenny is pulled back into his earthly body. An overzealous Dr. Doctor has revived him (despite the fact that he's been dead for an entire day), leaving him "alive," but in a vegetative state.
Cartman adovacates pulling the plug -- his not-so-secret motive being Kenny's PSP which he's inherited, but now can't have because Kenny isn't technically "dead." Cartman goes all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing that since he was Kenny's BFF (Best Friend Forever), he should decide his fate. The court sides with Cartman and Kenny's feeding tube is removed.
Stan and Kyle, however, realize that Cartman just wants Kenny's PSP and take their case for preserving their friend's life to the media. This whips up a firestorm of protest. Meanwhile, in Heaven, a much more literal firestorm brews as Satan's army prepares to attack the pearly gates. Finally the stalemate on earth is resolved when the last page of Kenny's will is found and read. It turns out Kenny's sole request, if he ever ended up in a vegetative state and kept alive on life support, was that "please, for the love of God, don't ever show me in that condition on national television."
Chastened, both factions leave Kenny alone and let nature take its course. He passes away and ascends to Heaven, where he uses a golden PSP to guide God's forces to victory. In honor of his courageous efforts in saving all of humanity, Kenny is given the ultimate prize a statue of Keanu Reeves.
What I Learned Today
"Maybe we should just let Kenny go in peace."
- "Amazing, doctor! You've revived somebody who's been legally dead for almost a day!" (Nurse)
- "Japanese people don't have souls!" Archangel Michael
- "Basically, Kenny, you are Keanu Reeves." Archangel Michael
- "Hail the holy PSP." Angels
- "That's not Kenny! Kenny sniffs paint and sets things on fire!" Cartman
- "Oh my God they killed Kenny!" Archangel Michael
- "I can't wait to see the look on everyone's faces when I show up to school with a PSP. I wonder if Kyle will cry. Oh, PLEASE let Kyle cry!" Cartman
- "What's the point? They have a Keanu Reeves now." Satan
- "All you have to do is play the game, Kenny. Only this time it's for reals." Archangel Michael
- "Kenny is the same as he ever was. It's just that now he's more like a tomato." Dr. Doctor
- "I DO have legal authority your honor. You see, I was Kenny's BFF." Cartman
- "Let's go to the media! We'll make everyone in the country know that they're killing Kenny!!" Stan
Kenny twice. He was hit by a truck, revived, then allowed to die again. In case you're counting, this is his fourth (and fifth) death since his resurrection in "Red Sleigh Down". Kevin, Satan's #1 man (and apparently his boyfriend) also gets toasted. Fed up with his persistent nagging, Satan kills/breaks-up-with him in a single blast of eye death rays. In the script, Kevin is referred to as "Brutis."
Behind The Scenes
There was a big debate about whether the final battle between Heaven and Hell should be shown. In the end it was decided the story wasn't really about that. Plus, there just wasn't time to animate something so elaborate. So all we get is Archangel Michael's commentary about how incredibly cool it is.
Where Did The Idea Come From
The story is a commentary on the case of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman in a persistent vegetative state. Attempts by her husband to have her feeding tube removed provoked international controversy -- a controversy that reached its crescendo as this episode was prepared. Trey has said that the entire story came together in about 30 minutes -- something that never, ever happens.
Pop Culture References
Terri Schiavo's plight drove the story, but the stuff about Kenny playing a video game to save Heaven is a nod to the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter. This extremely obscure film is also referenced in Season Two's "Conjoined Fetus Lady."
This is the second time a real video game system (in this case the Sony PSP) served as a plot device. The Sega Dreamcast, which played a pivotal role in Season Four's "Tooth Fairy Tats 2000," was the first.
Keanu Reeves. Based on his roles in the Matrix movies and Constantine, he's portrayed as the gold standard for heroes who triumph over unbelievable odds. After Kenny leads Heaven's forces to victory, he's given a statue of Reeves.
Apparently God, who formerly only let Mormons past the pearly gates, has relaxed his entry requirements in order to increase Heaven's population. During Kenny's PSP montage, we see the whole McCormick family in the amusement park once owned by Cartman in "Cartmanland." Kenny even plays the PSP while riding The Mine Shaft -- the rollercoaster ride on which he was impaled in that episode (a death which wound up costing Cartman half a million dollars). The driver of the ice cream truck that runs over Kenny is the same driver that picks up Butters in "Butters' Very Own Episode." He can be seen briefly in several other episodes, including "Goobacks" . During the meeting of Heaven's angels, there is a stone statue of "God" in the background. We first met Him in Season 3's "Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus." According to the Supreme Court, a BFF (Best Friend Forever) is the most important, legally binding authority possible. To solidify such a relationship, a BFF Necklace is highly recommended.
This episode won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. After being previously nominated four times, this was South Park's first Emmy win. Incidentally, Terri Schiavo died the day after this episode originally aired.
- e1 Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina
- e2 Die Hippie, Die
- e3 Wing
- e4 Best Friends Forever
- e5 The Losing Edge
- e6 The Death of Eric Cartman
- e7 Erection Day
- e8 Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow
- e9 Marjorine
- e10 Follow That Egg!
- e11 Ginger Kids
- e12 Trapped in the Closet
- e13 Free Willzyx
- e14 Bloody Mary