Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow
Cartman and Stan are playing in a docked speedboat on Jefferson Lake -- a vehicle which Cartman says "belongs" to his Uncle Roy. Cartman dares Stan to drive, saying that he'll take full responsibility if anything happens. Stan punches the gas, launching the boat uncontrollably around the lake and into the world's largest beaver dam. The dam explodes, flooding the nearby town of Beaverton. As the two swim breathlessly to safety, Cartman announces that the boat doesn't belong to his uncle -- or to anyone he knows. As word of the disaster gets out, the boys decide to keep their involvement to themselves. Meanwhile, Beaverton's residents are forced onto their roofs by the high water. The media makes things even worse by launching into a rumor-fueled frenzy, falsely "reporting" that the survivors have descended into violence, rape, and even cannibalism. Everyone is so busy trying to figure out who to blame that no attempt is made to offer aid or rescue those in need. Stan's dad attends a statewide meeting of scientists to discuss the cause of the flood, and they conclude that global warming is the culprit. In fact, it's determined that global warming is going to unleash an attack "two days before the day after tomorrow" which turns out to be that day. The townspeople panic at the news and barricade themselves in the community center, where they watch endless global warming news reports on TV. Stan's dad informs the huddled masses that the heating of the atmosphere has triggered a new ice age, and that the outside temperature will soon fall to "over 70 million degrees below zero." Well aware that global warming had nothing to do with the Beaverton flood, Stan confesses his involvement to Kyle. They, along with Cartman, leave the community center and head to Beaverton to try to help. But instead of helping, they mistakenly ram their boat into the local oil refinery -- which quickly sets fire to the entire town. Stan calls his dad, still unable to confess, and pleads for rescue. With the help of Mr. Stotch and Mr. Broflovski, the dads bundle up against the cold and journey outside to attempt a rescue. They make it about halfway through town before they overheat in the balmy weather and collapse. Meanwhile, the army finally arrives in Beaverton and airlifts the survivors -- and the boys -- to safety. But not before Cartman pulls a gun on Kyle and demands he hand over his bag of "Jew Gold" that all Jews carry around their necks. After denying the existence of "Jew Gold," Kyle actually does produce a bag filled with gold from around his neck, but throws it into the fire rather than let Cartman have it. Back in town, the populace is informed by the Army that global warming didn't cause the flood -- Crab People did. Stan can't take it anymore and confesses that he was responsible for breaking the dam. But they think he means to imply that everyone is responsible for what happened. One by one, the citizens step forward and say (despite Stan's repeated admissions of guilt) "I broke the dam."
What I Learned Today
"Don't you see what this child is saying? We can't spend all our energy placing blame when something bad happens. He's saying . . . we all broke the dam."
- "Global warming is going to strike two days before the day after tomorrow." (Scientist)
- "All Jews carry gold in a little bag around their necks. Hand it over!" (Cartman)
- "We weren't here. This didn't happen. Okay? We were both at my house all afternoon playing Tea Party." (Cartman)
- "What's important is figuring out whose fault this is." (Stan's dad)
- "I'm afraid us adults let you children down. We didn't take care of our Earth and now you've inherited our problems!" (Stan's dad)
- "IT"S COMING! HERE COMES GLOBAL WARMING!!" (Townspeople)
- "Within the hour the temperature outside will fall to over seventy million degrees below zero." (Stan's dad)
- "You can't go out there. You'll freeze to death." (Townspeople)
- "If we survive this, I don't intend to live in poverty. Give me your Jew Gold now!" (Cartman)
This episode marks the third mention of the infamous Crab People, who were first deployed in Season 7's "South Park is Gay" . They were also briefly discussed (but not seen) in Season 8's "Quest for Ratings" . Also, in the ensuing chaos after global warming is unveiled, we see Nurse Gollum (from "Conjoined Fetus Lady") and Mr. Derp (from "The Succubus") all fleeing the school in horror.
The death toll in Beaverton was reported as being in the hundreds of millions, which is particularly devastating since Beaverton only has a population of about eight thousand. Even worse, Fox News reported that over 600 billion people were killed by global warming in Chicago alone. Also, Ms. Garrison suffered a broken leg and leaky boob.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The episode was inspired by the Hurricane Katrina relief effort -- or more accurately, the lack thereof. It also fulfilled Trey and Matt's longstanding desire to do a global warming episode that skewered the 2004 disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, which they consider one of the worst films ever made.
Pop Culture References
The moment in which the townspeople declare "I broke the dam" is a parody of a scene from 1960's Spartacus, in which the title character's followers all proclaim "I'm Spartacus." Obviously, a number of scenes from The Day After Tomorrow are directly parodied here, including the scene where Randy addresses a clich assembly of scientists and politicians. When Randy is challenged, he even says, "With all due respect, Clich Dissenting Republican, the economy isn't going to matter The Day After Tomorrow." While locked away in the community center, the townspeople all work themselves into a frenzy by watching endless reports by Fox News.
The penis Stan's dad unwittingly draws on a map of America refers to a widely publicized National Weather Service wind distribution map for Hurricane Rita, which looked like a wiener. It also references a map scene from The Day After Tomorrow.
The line "George Bush doesn't care about beavers" references rapper Kanye West's accusation: "George Bush doesn't care about black people." He made this statement on live TV during the Concert for Hurricane Katrina on NBC. West will get a lot more attention in Season 13's "Fishsticks."
During Stan's dad's global warming speech, the audience repeatedly says "peas and carrots." This is something that movie and TV extras sometimes mutter to make it look like they're carrying on a meaningful conversation. Also, in one crowd scene a bystander wears a hat that reads "John Denver Experience." This references a carnival ride seen in Season Four's "Cartman Joins NAMBLA."
A number of entities are accused of causing the Beaverton flood here: Global Warming, George Bush, Communists, Chinese Radicals, Terrorists, and Al-Qaeda (who apparently bombed the dam with WMDs). According to Cartman, all Jews carry "Jew Gold" in a little bag around their necks. In fact, they also carry fake bags of gold around their necks to keep the real bags of gold safe. Turns out, he was right.
- e1 Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina
- e2 Die Hippie, Die
- e3 Wing
- e4 Best Friends Forever
- e5 The Losing Edge
- e6 The Death of Eric Cartman
- e7 Erection Day
- e8 Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow
- e9 Marjorine
- e10 Follow That Egg!
- e11 Ginger Kids
- e12 Trapped in the Closet
- e13 Free Willzyx
- e14 Bloody Mary