During a school field trip to an archaeological dig Cartman discovers a strange-looking stone triangle. The find attracts the attention of film critic Leonard Maltin, who asks Chef if he's seen singer/actress Barbara Streisand lurking around. He says that if Streisand knows about the triangle, the boys could be in terrible danger.
Soon Streisand does indeed turn up, landing her helicopter at the boys' bus stop and demanding the "Triangle of Zinthar." They enrage her by (1) not giving her what she wants, and (2) having no idea who she is. She returns in disguise, convinces them that the artifact belongs to her, offers a cash reward, and takes them to her mountain condo to collect it. At the same time Maltin is driving Chef to Streisand's lair to confront her. He says she wants to conquer the world with the aid of the Diamond of Pantheos, which was split in half and its two pieces carefully hidden. Streisand found the first piece during the filming of My Fair Lady. The second was unearthed by Cartman. Possessing both pieces will transform her into a loathsome and all-powerful being.
Once at her mountain hideout, Streisand torments the boys using both traditional torture as well as her singing voice. Finally they surrender the triangle, which she combines with the one she already possesses, creating the dreaded Diamond of Pantheos. She changes into a giant robot monster intent on conquering the world -- starting with South Park.
The boys are freed by Leonard Maltin and Chef and head back to town, where Maltin attempts to stop Mecha-Streisand by transforming into a giant robot. But he's no match for her and quickly defeated -- as is actor Sidney Poitier, who transforms himself into a giant turtle. South Park seems doomed. That is, until the timely arrival of Robert Smith, lead vocalist of The Cure. Changing into a giant moth, he punches Mecha-Streisand in her vulnerable nose, knocking the Diamond of Pantheos free. He then hurls the defeated monster into outer space. The boys toss the two halves of the diamond into the trash. But Kyle's little brother Ike fishes them out and transforms into a gigantic Mecha-Ike.
What I Learned Today
"I've learned that people who want power, a lot of power, always end up dead."
- "Robert Smith is the greatest person who ever lived." Stan
- "'Disintegration' is the best album ever!" Kyle
- "Well, I guess we'll have to Roshambo for it." Cartman
- Kyle: "Isn't there some rule about not getting into cars with strangers?" Cartman: "Not when money's involved, stupid."
- "Damn your black heart, Barbara Streisand!" Cartman
- "Damnit Cartman, don't you ever learn anything?" Kyle
Kenny is strangled during a freak tetherball accident. Many South Park townspeople meet their fate in the wake of Mecha-Streisand's wrath.
Behind The Scenes
Robert Smith wasn't told the context of any of his lines. Matt and Trey thought it would be funnier that way.
Where Did The Idea Come From
The show is a massive homage to Japanese monster movies. Mecha-Streisand is a takeoff on Godzilla; Leonard Maltin's robot is a thinly disguised Jet Jaguar; Sidney Poitier portrays a fire-breathing turtle very similar to Gamera; and Robert Smith morphs into a giant moth suspiciously like Mothra.
Pop Culture References
The entire program salutes Japanese kaiju (strange creature) movies. Also, Stan says, "My mother told me there are no real monsters, but there are." It's a line from the movie Aliens.
Officer Barbrady says to Barbara Streisand, "Well, you ain't Fiona Apple. And if you aint' Fiona Apple, I don't give a rats ass!"
As Robert Smith is walking into the sunset, Kyle yells "'Disintegration' is the best album ever!" This is a nod to The Cure's iconic 1989 album, a personal favorite of Parker and Stone.
Leonard Maltin says Streisand found the first half of the Diamond of Pantheos during the filming of My Fair Lady. Streisand wasn't in that film.
Barbara Streisand, big time. She made the incredibly poor decision to criticize South Park, saying it was bad for kids because it promoted cynicism.
She got blasted again in the episode Spookyfish.
Sally Struthers is shown doing a scene on set with Sidney Poitier. Just like "Starvin' Marvin", she is seen shoving large amounts of cake into her mouth.
Both Leonard Maltin and Sidney Poitier are portrayed as courageous defenders of the earth. And Robert Smith, becomes the savior of the human race and gets a shameless album plug to boot. Not surprisingly, Matt and Trey are big fans of The Cure.
The same tetherball that kills Kenny in this episode is featured again briefly in the Season 17 episode Let Go, Let Gov.
Leonard Maltin chants "Kitte, Kitte, chuurippu," just before transforming into a giant robot. According to Trey, this is something the Japanese commonly say after farting. It means, roughly, "Listen, listen, a tulip."
Inside Streisand's mountain hideout is a picture of her with Satan.
The term "Roshambo"-- the process of settling a debate by kicking one another in the nuts until only one man is left standing -- is introduced by Cartman here. It will be used frequently to settle arguments between the boys.
When Chef and Leonard Maltin are driving to Streisand's condo, animators used greenscreen to place video of a snowy road in the background, a technique frequently employed in TV and movies. This is the first time they use actual video footage in the show.