The entire town is gearing up for the annual 4th of July celebration when a ban on fireworks is imposed.
South Park's hot, boring summer is made even worse by a new state-wide fireworks ban. The only thing still legal are "snakes", a type of firework that "spews out a little snake of black ash" from a disk. The mayor has the largest one in the world created for the town's Fourth of July celebration. But after lighting it, the manufacturer points out that it won't burn out until November of the next year. In the meantime it will make a huge trail of ash that destroys everything it touches.
Mr. Garrison undergoes a personal crisis when Mr. Hat suddenly vanishes. He sees a New York City psychiatrist, who tells him the puppet represents his own gay side. Before they can make much progress, the snake (which now spans the country) breaks through a window and incinerates the psychiatrist.
But help is on the way. Jimbo and Ned return to town with a huge cache of illegal Mexican fireworks, which the boys use to destroy the giant snake. Ash from the pulverized monstrosity rains down on the town, which the residents use for sledding and other winter activities.
Mr. Garrison returns to town with a new puppet, Mr. Twig (literally a twig). Chef, returning from a vacation in Aruba, mistakenly thinks South Park's soot-covered residents are wearing blackface.
What I Learned Today
"Look how much happiness a little firepower can bring to a child."
- "Well, I can tell you that I'm 100 percent NOT GAY!" (Mr. Garrison)
- "Hell, everything's legal in Mexico. It's the American way." (Jimbo Kern)
- "Hey! If you so much as touch Kitty's ass, I'll put firecrackers in your nutsack and blow your balls all over your pants!" (Eric Cartman)
- "Serves you right, you gay-bashing homo!" (Mr. Garrison)
- "Okay, everybody get in a line so I can whoop all your asses!" (Chef)
- "Summer sucks ass, Mr. Garrison.” (Stan Marsh)
- "I only know how to do it doggy style." (Eric Cartman)
A kid named Kevin who's been missing for months. When a particularly large mound of snow melts, he's found beneath it, still alive and none the worse for wear.
Stu, of Stu's Firework Shack, and Charlie, the DYNO-MIGHT firework company owner. Charlie's responsible for creating the giant snake that destroys the town. We also meet Mr. Romero, the school's skinny music teacher.
Finally Mr. Twig, a little wooden twig with a pink-triangle t-shirt, makes his hand-held debut. Mr. Twig is Garrison's replacement for Mr. Hat who has gone missing.
Kenny, killed when some bleachers collapse on him as he dodges the giant snake.
Technically Kenny gets it twice. During a flashback he's seen blowing himself up with a firecracker in kindergarten. In response baby Stan says something to the effect of, "Oooh das kill Kenny!" and Kyle says, "Oooh bastards!"
Also Mr. Garrison's psychiatrist and various other citizens across the country that get in the snake's way.
While vacationing in Aruba, Chef sings "Simultaneous Love" surrounded by a bunch of bikini-clad ladies.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
This episode is based on real Colorado law which made fireworks that explode or fly in the air illegal to use.
Pop Culture References
The psychiatrist Mr. Garrison visits in New York City is Dr. Jonathan Katz, the eponymous character in another Comedy Central animated program Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist that was popular at the time.
For the conclusion of Charlie's "Giant Snake" presentation, he flips to a photo of Abe Vigoda tipping his hat.
With the snake on the verge of destroying the town, the boys pick up musical instruments and start playing "Nearer, My God, to Thee", the same hymn the band on the Titanic allegedly played before sinking.
Mr. Garrison, distraught over losing Mr. Hat, fantasizes about murdering ventriloquist Shari Lewis and her sock puppet Lamb Chop with an ax.
Mr. Garrison confesses, "sometimes Mr. Hat liked to pretend he was in a sauna with Brett Favre and a bottle of 1000 Island dressing." We later see a scene where this actually happens (minus the 1000 Island dressing).
- Pip states that his biological parents are dead. We later see him visit their grave in "Pip".
- This is the first time we see Cartman (or any of the boys) without their shirt on.
- Mr. Mackey prank calls Garrison in this episode, asking "if Mr. Hat is there". Garrison has no idea who it is.
- This is the first of many episodes in which Mormons are featured (here, performing a baptism before being killed by the snake). Matt and Trey grew up in an area with a lot of Mormons, hence their interest in the topic.
- A visitor can be spotted swimming in the pool.
- 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