Casa Bonita (episode)
For his birthday, Kyle is allowed to invite three of his friends to go with him to Casa Bonita, a Disneyland-esque Mexican restaurant in Denver. To Cartman's dismay, Kyle decides to take Stan, Kenny, and . . . Butters.
Cartman tries to wrangle an invitation by being nice to Kyle, but Kyle bluntly points out that Cartman doesn't really know how to be nice. Finally, after Cartman makes a sincere-sounding apology for his previous acts, Kyle reluctantly tells him that if Butters can't go for some reason, he can take his place.
This is, of course, the opening Cartman needs. He convinces Butters that Earth is about to be struck by an asteroid and gets him to hunker down in Jimbo's old bomb shelter while he gets help.
With Butters out of the picture, Cartman heads to Kyle's house for their Casa Bonita adventure. But just as the boys are about to leave, Butters' parents show up worried, saying their son has gone missing. Kyle cancels the trip for one week in order to help with the search. Cartman must now keep Butters under wraps for another seven days. He convinces Butters that the asteroid struck and destroyed the town. Butters agrees to stay in the bomb shelter until the radiation levels go down. Cartman tells him he can come out in a week.
When the volunteers expand their search area to include places like abandoned wells and bomb shelters, Cartman quickly moves Butters to an derelict gas station and seals him inside an old refrigerator -- which is promptly hauled off to the dump. Butters manages to free himself, and mistakenly thinking the dump is the blasted remains of South Park, sets about "rebuilding society."
A full week passes, and Cartman finally accompanies Kyle, Stan, and Kenny to Casa Bonita. But just before they enter, the police call Kyle's mom to inform her that Butters has been found, and that they want to talk to Cartman. Cartman panics -- he runs inside the restaurant to hurriedly take advantage of all the joys that Casa Bonita has to offer before he's arrested.
Finally the police catch up to him. Before he's hauled away, he's asked if all the grief he's caused -- not to mention the week-long stint in juvenile hall he'll have to serve -- was worth it. To which he replies, "Totally."
What I Learned Today
"I should have known better! You [Cartman] never cared about my birthday at all!"
- "That's not being nice! That's just putting on a nice sweater!" Kyle
- "Do you really think that beating up a handicapped kid is being nice?" Kyle
- "Pray, Butters. Pray for all mankind." Cartman
- "Oh God, I hate cannibals!" Butters
- "Oh God, he's eating my hand like a piece of chicken!" Cartman
- "Boy, that meteor sure did make everything stinky." Butters
- "Maybe he caught a disease and died. That'd be so awesome." Cartman
- "Kiss my balls asshole!" Cartman
- "I'm sorry we had that fight just now. You know, I mean, I said some things, you said some things, but I think it was good and we've moved past it." Cartman
- "Eric, you're the best friend in the whole world. I I love you." Butters
- "You look so delicious! Must eat your brains!!" Cartman
- "Well ma'am, I guess we should get started repopulating the Earth, huh?" Butters
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The story revolves around an actual Lakewood, Colorado eatery called Casa Bonita, where Trey and Matt both dined as kids. It's still open today, and the ownership was gracious enough to allow South Park to use its real name. Pretty much everything mentioned from the episode, from indoor cliff diving on a fake waterfall to Black Bart's cave, is actually there.
Pop Culture References
Twice during his ordeal, Butters sings the Chicago song "If You Leave Me Now." He will sing this again in future episodes. Also, before Cartman locks him in the refrigerator, he gives him a bag of Chips-A-Ho Cookies -- an obvious reference to the Chips Ahoy brand.
Jimmy attempts to tell a knock-knock joke about Ingmar Bergman, the iconic Swedish director and writer, but before he gets to the punchline, Cartman punches him.
The outfit Butters wears while "rebuilding" in the dump is reminiscent of that seen in the post-apocalyptic movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. During the rebuilding process, Butters makes sure to include his favorite chain restaurants, although
In this episode, we learn that Butters first name is "Leopold." We also learn that The Studcat Theater, the male-themed cinema frequented by Butters' father in "Butters' Very Own Episode," is located across the street from Casa Bonita.
When Cartman denies that he's ever ripped on Kyle for being Jewish, we are treated with a montage of previous shows in which he's done just that. A few notable clips are from: "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics," "Fun With Veal" , and "Lil' Crime Stoppers" .
Wellington Bear, that happy, smiling bear we see on a lot of the boys' toys and clothes, really makes an appearance in this episode. Cartman is seen with a Wellington Bear calculator, alarm clock, pajamas, and stickers. On the Casa Bonita calander in Cartman's room, there are also stickers of Chinpoko Mon and Terrence and Phillip.