South Park's 14th Annual Cow Days rodeo and carnival is here, and the boys are determined to win Terrance and Phillip dolls. Meanwhile, the town's cows begin to worship a statue.
Two game show participants named Tom and Mary win a trip to South Park for its notoriously lame Cow Days festival. The celebration includes a third-rate carnival where Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny discover a ball-throwing game that offers Terrance and Phillip dolls as a prize. The object is to toss balls through an opening that represents at Jennifer Love Hewitt's mouth. But the balls What they don't know is that the balls are too big to fit in the appropriate space, and they will never win. Undaunted, the boys enter Cartman in a bull-riding contest, figuring the top prize of $5,000 will buy them enough chances at the game to win.
Meanwhile, the town's cows steal a giant cow-shaped clock and carry it off to worship as a god. The game show winners Tom and Mary are accused of carrying off both the clock and the cows, and are tossed in jail. The fugitive cows are found and confronted, but rather than surrender the statue and return to their former lives, they commit mass suicide by walking off a cliff.
Cartman is thrown from a bull during practice, hits his head and assumes the personality of a Vietnamese prostitute named Ming Li. He nevertheless wins the bull riding contest. Then he spends the night with Leonardo DiCaprio. Then (and only then) his memory returns.
The carny in charge of the Jennifer Love Hewitt game gives the boys the dolls in exchange for their $5,000. But they turn out to be cheap knockoffs. The townspeople get wind of the swindle, decide the entire carnival sucks and attack the carnies.
Amidst all the distractions, Tom and Mary quietly starve to death in their cell. The mayor tells Officer Barbrady to say that the couple never arrived in town in the first place.
What I Learned Today
"Perhaps one day cows will learn that cults are never a good thing."
- "Sucky sucky? Five dorra!" (Eric Cartman)
- "Me so horny! Me love you long time! (Eric Cartman)
- "I'm starting to think that maybe it's wrong to put someone who thinks they're a Vietnamese prostitute onto a bull." (Stan Marsh)
- "Young man, you can't just go around declaring shenanigans on innocent people. That's how wars get started." (Officer Barbrady)
- "Screw you guys I hate you guys." (Eric Cartman)
- "Oh my god! They killed Cartman!" Kenny McCormicK)
- "Shenanigans!!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "Everybody grab a broom! It's shenanigans!" (Officer Barbrady)
Kenny (killed by a bull), Tom and Mary, a bull rider impaled on a bull's horns, and one participant in the annual "running of the cows" extravaganza.
Oh yeah, and every cow in South Park. They all decide to commit mass cow suicide instead of being rounded back up.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Cow Days is a reference to Burro Days, an annual event celebrated in the town of Fairplay, Colorado. Burro Days celebrates the role of the burro, a small donkey, in the state's mining heritage. The festival includes burro races, parades, arts and crafts booths, food vendors, contests and music entertainment.
Pop Culture References
Cartman's Vietnamese prostitute alter ego is a direct lift from the 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket. There is a scene where two privates deployed in Vietnam are approached by a Vietnamese prostitute who uses the infamous lines "Me so horny", "Me love you long time" and "Me sucky sucky".
The Running of the Cows event is a parody of the famous Running of the Bulls which most famously takes place every year in Pamplona, Spain. The practice involves chasing and running in front of a group of cattle that have been let loose in sectioned-off streets.
The cow cult's cow-shaped clock is imaged after Gautama Buddha, the head figure and founder of Buddhism.
When the cow cult is confronted by the FBI and then commit mass suicide, this is likely a parody of two cult-related incidents in the '90s. The incidents are the Waco siege, initiated by the FBI against the Branch Davidians who then allegedly set their own compound on fire, killing most of its members; and the event involving Heaven's Gate, whose members committed mass suicide in order to escape the earth and join an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp. Mass suicide committed by cults is satirized again in the episodes "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" and "Super Best Friends".
The Chamber of Farts and the Line Ride are a parody of amusement park rides, especially at Disney theme parks. They are notorious for exceedingly long lines for short rides.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who according to the episode likes to spank Vietnamese prostitutes. At this time DiCaprio became immensely popular for his lead role in the film Titanic.
Jennifer Love Hewitt, who's balls-in-mouth game is the subject of the boys' quest. The actress was at the height of her popularity around this time, starring in the teen drama Party of Five and 1997 slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer.
- The lame carnival rides includes the Chamber of Farts, which is shaped like a giant purple butt.
- The announcer for the game show W.T.H.I.T? is voiced by Dian Bachar, an actor that has appeared in several other projects by his friends Trey and Matt. He also lends a voice in "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson", "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?", and "Probably".
- According to Carnie math, roughly 7 Bon Jovi toothpicks is equal to one cheaply-made Terrance and Phillip doll.
- Cartman describing his dream at the end of this episode is a nod to the opening scene of "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" and "Cancelled".
- There are two hidden Visitors: behind Stan when they are in front of a red tent, and in the limo as the driver at the end of the episode.
- e1 Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus
- e2 Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut
- e3 Chickenlover
- e4 Ike's Wee Wee
- e5 Conjoined Fetus Lady
- e6 The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka
- e7 City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)
- e8 Summer Sucks
- e9 Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls
- e10 Chickenpox
- e11 Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods
- e12 Clubhouses
- e13 Cow Days
- e14 Chef Aid
- e12 Spookyfish
- e13 Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!
- e14 Gnomes
- e15 Prehistoric Ice Man