Hooked on Monkey Fonics
- 1 Story
- 2 Memorable Quotes
- 3 Characters
- 4 Locations
- 5 Original Songs
- 6 Behind The Scenes
- 7 Pop Culture References
- 8 Bonus Factoids
- 9 Season 3
Cartman's mom buys him a study aid called Hooked on Monkey Fonics. It comes with an actual monkey, which taps out a beat on a tiny set of drums and makes learning to spell easier. Cartman figures the monkey makes him a shoo-in to win The 15th Annual South Park Spelling Bee finals. But on the big day, instead of playing its drums, the monkey begins masturbating furiously. Cartman, flustered, misspells "chair" as "chare".
The spelling bee winner is shared by two home-schooled siblings, Mark and Rebecca Cotswolds. Mark becomes fascinated with the bizarre interactions of the public school kids, while Kyle becomes infatuated with Rebecca. Cartman finds the idea of home-school appealing and decides to become home-schooled himself. He spends the whole time sleeping in, eating snacks and watching TV. When Stan and Kenny come to visit to tell him about the coming South Park Elementary Bay of Pigs Memorial Dance, the Fonics Monkey kills Kenny.
Mark enrolls at South Park Elementary where he is relentlessly duct taped to benches by his classmates. Worried about his son, Mr. Cotswolds attempts to compromise with the kids' fathers at the South Park bar, only to be duct taped himself by the men. Meanwhile Kyle pursues Rebecca, asking her to attend the Bay of Pigs Memorial Dance. The two share a kiss and Rebecca, exhilarated by the intimacy, agrees to go with Kyle.
Unfortunately Rebecca's first kiss has some undesired effects. She shows up at the dance dressed like a hooker and kisses every boy she sees. Enraged, Mark beats Kyle to a pulp; the other kids are impressed that Mark can stand up for himself and suddenly respect him a lot more. Mr. and Mrs. Cotswolds enter the dance and, horrified at what their children have become, angrily demands Mark and Rebecca to leave. Mark refuses and insists that sheltering them from public schools has turned his sister into a whore and him almost into a social cripple. Finally understanding, Mr. Cotswolds allows them to stay in public school. He promptly get carried outside by the kids' fathers to be duct taped to a pole.
What I Learned Today
"Public schools may be a bit lacking in education, but it's the main place where children learn all of their social skills. You can't teach a child social skills. They have to learn them themselves. And the only place to do that is on the playground and the cafeteria and so on. [...] I know letting your kids out into the world is scary. I know you wish nothing bad would ever happen to us. But bad things will happen, and we have to start learning now how to deal with those things."
- "If your monkey arrived in the box dead, call 1-800-555-4500 to get a new monkey." (Hooked on Monkey Fonics Instructional Tape)
- "All right children, let's just try to pretend there isn't a little boy in a huge plastic hamster bubble here and go on with our studies." (Mr. Garrison)
- "Oh God, that kid's gonna last about five seconds out on the playground." (Stan Marsh)
- "Screw you guys, I'm gonna be home-schooled." (Eric Cartman)
- "No Fonics Monkey! That's a bad Fonics Monkey!" (Eric Cartman)
- "You bitch! I'm gonna whip your bitch ass!" (Mark Cotswolds)
- "Put your hand down, cream puff." (Mr. Garrison)
- "Please hit me." (Pip Pirrup)
- "You bet your sweet ass I will." (Rebecca Cotswolds)
- "You made my sister into a slut!! I'll kill you!!" (Mark Cotswolds)
The home-schooled kids Mark and Rebecca and their concerned parents.
Kenny, killed by the Fonics Monkey in a fight over a cupcake.
Kyle picks up a guitar and sings his heartfelt, acoustic song "Rebecca" outside of his love's window.
Behind The Scenes
"Hooked on Monkey Fonics" was the last episode voice actress Mary Kay Bergman, who did nearly all of show's female characters, worked on for South Park. This episode aired on Nov 10, 1999, the day before her suicide. Broadcast a week later, "Starvin' Marvin in Space" was the last South Park episode to use her dialogue.
According to Trey and Matt, home-schooling is brought up from time to time during South Park writers meetings. All the writers agree it's a great topic and begin to develop a story, only to remember they already created an episode about the subject.
Where Did The Idea Come From
This episode explores the issues of home-schooling. Matt and Trey have a mutual friend who home-schooled his kids. Likewise, they watched some spelling bees on TV and thought the kids, most of whom were home-schooled, seemed socially stunted by extremely strict parents. Matt also thinks this episode sums up South Park's attitude toward children: most people see children as peaceful and innocent, but Matt and Trey see kids as "just evil little bastards" who weed out the weak.
The character Rebecca is based on Rebecca Sealfon who won the 1997 Scripps National Spelling Bee, spelling her final word "euonym" by screaming out each letter. She also displayed the odd habit of whispering each letter into her hand before speaking into the mic, which was parodied in the episode as well.
Pop Culture References
Hooked on Monkey Fonics is a parody of the educational brand Hooked on Phonics, which gained popularity in the '90s for home-school parents. The brand relies on phonics, a method that teaches reading and writing of the English language through phonetics.
When Kyle talks to Rebecca about young love and reaching a "flicker of light", this is a direct reference to the Star Trek episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion", when Captain Kirk sweet talks an equally sheltered alien woman named Shahna.
The heavy metal band Dio performs its 1983 hit song "Holy Diver" during the school dance.
The name of the school dance is "South Park Elementary Bay of Pigs Memorial Dance". It is named after The Bay of Pigs Invasion, a failed attempt on April 1961 to overthrow the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro by CIA-trained Cuban exiles and the US armed forces. Beaches on the real Bay of Pigs on the southern coast of Cuba were used as landing sites.
When Mark rolls into Garrison's class in his hamster ball, Cartman says "Dude, what's wrong with you? Do you have some kind of John Travolta disease?" This is a reference to 1976 film The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, in which John Travolta plays a boy with an ineffective immune system who lived in a sterile bubble.
- During the school dance, the instrumental version of Chef's song "Stinky Britches" briefly plays. It can also be heard in the background of "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub".
- The word Kyle has to spell at the spelling bee is "kroxldyphivc", which is not an actual word.
- This episode features Kyle's first crush and his second kiss. Kyle's maturity has dramatically changed from his first kiss with Bebe in "Clubhouses" after which he runs away screaming.
- Rebecca has a flag of Slovenia on the back of her bedroom door. Beside her door is a poster of the skeletal formula of acetic acid (CH3COOH), the main component of vinegar.
- In this episode, Butters receives a kiss from Rebecca. Ten seasons later in "Butters' Bottom Bitch", the boys rip on Butters for never having kissed a girl, which acts as a catalyst for him to pay Sally Darson for his first kiss and later become a pimp. The boys may have forgot about Rebecca and Butters' kiss; however, it is more likely that this is a continuity error or Butters didn't kiss back.
- e1 Rainforest Shmainforest
- e2 Spontaneous Combustion
- e3 The Succubus
- e4 Tweek Vs. Craig
- e5 Jakovasaurs
- e6 Sexual Harassment Panda
- e7 Cat Orgy
- e8 Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub
- e9 Jewbilee
- e10 Chinpokomon
- e11 Starvin' Marvin in Space
- e12 Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery
- e13 Hooked on Monkey Fonics
- e14 The Red Badge of Gayness
- e15 Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics
- e16 Are You There, God? It's Me, Jesus
- e17 World Wide Recorder Concert