Up the Down Steroid
In order to pass as "disabled," Cartman trains in classic South Park fashion -- with a montage. Backed by the song "Push It to the Limit," he practices making stupid faces, gives himself a horrendous haircut, starts wearing a bicycle helmet at all times, and carefully studies the behavior of kids riding the "short bus." He even convinces his mom to accompany him when he signs up to participate.
Meanwhile, Jimmy decides to improve his chances by juicing up on steroids. Soon he outperforms everyone -- but at a terrible price. First, he's shamed when Timmy discovers what he's doing. Then, in a fit of 'roid rage, Jimmy beats up his girlfriend and his mother.
However, when game day comes, all that juicing helps Jimmy dominate the Special Olympics competition. Things don't go so well for Cartman, however. Though he possesses no mental or physical disabilities, he's so fat and out of shape that he's soundly beaten in every event.
Jimmy claims first place at the awards ceremony, while Cartman, who came in last, is given a "spirit award" -- a gift certificate to Shakey's Pizza. But when he steps forward to claim his prize, Jimmy furiously accuses him of cheating -- and then realizes the irony of one cheater accusing another. He confesses to using steroids, renounces his medal, and promises to return next year to compete "with honor."
Cartman, attempting to salvage the situation, tells his friends that he pretended to be disabled just to teach Jimmy about the evils of steroid abuse. Not surprisingly, no one buys it.
What I Learned Today
"I know now that even if you do win on steroids, you're really not winners. You're just a pussy; you're just a big fat pussy. And if you take steroids, the only decent thing to do is come forward and say, 'Remove me from the record books, because I am a big, stinky pussy, steroid-taking jackass.'"
- "Der! I want to be in the Special Olympics!" (Cartman)
- "I can't believe they exploit handicapped people like this. I mean, making them compete against each other just for our amusement." (Cartman)
- "You sure you weren't masturbating, Jim? It's okay if you were." (Jimmy's father)
- "You guys' brains just can't compute complex plans like mine can." (Cartman)
- "You try to leave me and I'll kill you, bitch." (Jimmy)
- "Cartman, if you do this, I really believe that you will go to Hell." (Kyle)
- "What are you gonna do, Kyle, tell on me?! Then you'd be a great big no good double faced poopy pants tattle tale. Is that really how you deal with your problems? Grow up, Kyle." (Cartman)
- "Um, Mommm. Would you mind coming with me to sign up for the Special Olympics so I can beat all the handicapped kids and win a thousand dollars?" (Cartman)
- "I just want a chance to change. Help me change?" (Cartman)
- "I should kick your ass right here you lousy no good cheater!" (Jimmy)
- "Taking steroids is just like pretending to be handicapped at the Special Olympics." (Jimmy)
Nathan, the steroid pusher, and Nancy, Jimmy's girlfriend.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
For years Matt and Trey toyed with the notion of Cartman sneaking into the Special Olympics, but the concept didn't seem strong enough to carry an entire show. Adding the steroid abuse angle gave them enough meat to make an episode.
Pop Culture References
- The episode's title is a satire of the novel/play/movie Up the Down Staircase.
- When Jimmy goes into a 'roid-induced rage and beats up his girlfriend and mom, the scene is a reference to a similar moment in the 1992 movie Lorenzo's Oil, in which the protagonist (who takes steroids to battle a rare disease) punches his mother.
- Paul Engemann's song "Push It to the Limit," which plays while Cartman perfects his "retarded" act, is from the film Scarface.
- On the wall in Cartman's bedroom, there's a poster of Mel Gibson from the film Braveheart. He also has Clyde Frog, MegaMan, and Rumper Tumpskin on his shelf.
- In Jimmy's bedroom, there's a poster for "The Six Billion Dollar Man," a parody of the 70s SciFi television show "The Six Million Dollar Man."
- Cartman again mentions Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ, saying that if Kyle had seen the film, he would know "that hell is reserved for the Jews and all those who don't accept Christ." He goes on to say that it is him who is worried about Kyle's soul.
- At the end of the episode, as Jimmy rants about the immorality of athletes who take steroids, he's flanked by Major League Baseball players Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi, all of whom have either been accused of, or admitted to, using performance-enhancing drugs.
- When Cartman studies the behavior of the mentally disabled, he briefly watches a Kid Rock video.
We see the kids playing the Investigative Reports With Bill Kurtis Board Game -- last seen in Season Four's "Cartman Joins NAMBLA."
Timmy adds a new word to his vocabulary in this episode: "Jimmy."
Although he was originally introduced as Jimmy Swanson in "Krazy Kripples" , Jimmy's last name from this point forward is "Valmer."
- e1 Good Times With Weapons
- e2 AWESOM-O
- e3 Up the Down Steroid
- e4 The Passion of the Jew
- e5 You Got F'd in the A
- e6 Goobacks
- e7 The Jeffersons
- e8 Douche and Turd
- e9 Something Wall Mart This Way Comes
- e10 Pre-School
- e11 Quest for Ratings
- e12 Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset
- e13 Cartman's Incredible Gift
- e14 Woodland Critter Christmas