Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!
Kyle, Kenny and Stan (against his parents' wishes) accompany Cartman to Nebraska to visit his grandmother for the holidays. It turns into the road trip from hell. All of Cartman's relatives are in attendance, and they're just as fat and obnoxious as him. The guest list includes Uncle Howard, who gets in touch via a satellite link from state prison. That evening he pays an in-person visit, having broken out with another inmate, his friend, criminal mastermind and noted lunatic Charles Manson.
Manson volunteers to drive the boys to the nearby Mall of Nebraska, where Mr. Hankey is allegedly appearing. Once there, the infamous killer parks himself in front of a department store television display and becomes engrossed in watching Christmas specials.
Meanwhile Kyle and Stan visit the supposed Mr. Hankey, who turns out to be a guy in a costume. Disappointed, they "out" the imposter to the mob of kids waiting to see him. A bloody riot erupts and police are called in. They recognize Manson and a televised, high-speed car chase ensues.
Manson and Uncle Howard make it back to the Cartman residence and hold everyone hostage -- a development the Cartmans, busy watching Terrance and Phillip on TV, barely notice. When Stan's furious parents arrive to take him home, he asks the two criminals if he can go on the lam with them. Instead Manson, who's suffered some sort of holiday TV special-induced epiphany, lectures him about the importance of family.
Stan changes his mind about leaving. Kenny is gunned down by the cops. Manson and Uncle Howard surrender and go back to prison. The Cartmans, plus Stan and Kyle, surprise him in his cell by shouting, "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!" and singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."
What I Learned Today
"I'm sorry for what I did, but that doesn't make up for it. I deserve to be in jail. All I hope is that I don't make mankind lose faith in itself. Yes there's murderers in the world, there's rapists and thieves, but those are the vast minority. The majority of mankind is made up of caring people who try every day to do what they think is right. And that's the spirit of the season."
- "Oh my God! They killed the little orange coat kid!" Charles Manson
- "Mister Hankey kicks ass!" Elvin Cartman
- "The holidays are bullcrap!!" Cartman
- "No, Jimmy! That's grandpa's pot pie!!" Florence Cartman
- "Stan, don't be such a dumbass. You have to trust people." Cartman
- "Folks need to understand that I am terror. I am fear! I AM - Oh look, another holiday special " Charles Manson
- "I'm glad I'm not you right now kid." Charlie Manson
Although we briefly saw Cartman's grandmother in Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods, the rest of his extended family is introduced: Uncle Stinky, Grandpa Cartman, Cousin Fred, Cousin Alexandra, Fat Bob, Jimmy (the bulldog), little Cousin Elvin, Uncle Howard, and great grandma Florence.
And, of course, Charlie Manson.
Kenny for sure; he's shot, beaten with a baton, and then handcuffed by policemen. There's also a massive pileup during the police chase that leaves a lot of cops in bad shape.
Manson breaks out into song after his Christmas epiphany, singing the jolly yule tune "Happy, Happy Holiday".
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
The prison sing-along at the end of the episode is lifted from a similar scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Manson is also mesmerized by a Christmas special called Grinchy Poo -- a reference to How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Finally Manson, once back in jail, pens a series of introspective books, including Are You There God? It's Me, Manson. This is a rip on the novel by Judy Bloom Are You There God? It's Me Margaret.
In the Terrance and Phillip Christmas Special, Terrance and Phillip take turns farting on a reindeer who's nose glows red with every fart - an obvious homage to Rudolph.
Jimmy Stewart. In a scene allegedly from It's A Wonderful Life he tells Mr. Potter, "You know what you are? You're a little bitch. That's right, you're a bitch and I'll bet you'd like to suck it, wouldn't you?" Also the entire state of Nebraska, which is portrayed as pool table-flat and covered with wheat. A sign at the state line reads "You are now in Nebraska sorry."
The Mall of Nebraska crowd unaccountably includes Craig, Red, and Butters. Cartman sleeps in his Weight Gain 4000 t-shirt from the episode of the same name. We also get to see his hair for the first time.
To get his cousin Elvin to stop crying, Cartman takes a stick and whacks him over the head. He will do the same thing to an Underpants Gnome in "Gnomes", and an endangered monkey in Rainforest Shmainforest.
The reporter covering the Manson chase is named Robert Pooner. This alias was also used as the name of the "Executive Producer" for Barbrady's cop show in Chickenlover. Pooner signs off with, "God bless us, every one", a classic line from A Christmas Carol.
Kyle complains that "ever since Mr. Hankey was in that movie, he got all famous". He's talking about the Tom Hanks independent film Mr. Hankey and Me from Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls.
- 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