During a special school assembly, former Vice President Al Gore stops in to educate the students about the single biggest threat to our planet: ManBearPig. According to Gore, this "half man, half bear, half pig" roams the Earth alone, trying to get you.
Later, while the boys are playing basketball, Gore pays a surprise visit dressed in a shitty ManBearPig costume -- warning that next time, this could actually be the real monster. He's super cereal. He then continues to "spread awareness" by calling Stan frantically in the middle of the night, demanding that he and the rest of the boys attend a vital morning meeting concerning the MBP threat.
Feeling sorry for Gore (who has no friends and cries frequently), Stan agrees to attend. He drags along Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny to the meeting at Gore's hotel room, which is set up as a high-tech MPB Command Center. Just then, an alert goes off signaling that ManBearPig is holed up in a famous Colorado tourist spot called Cave of the Winds. The boys don't want to go, but when they learn Gore can get them out of school, they give in.
At the Cave of the Winds, the boys and Gore join a tour group to explore the caverns. During the tour, however, Gore thinks he hears ManBearPig lurking in the darkness and starts blasting off his shotgun, causing a massive cave-in that traps the kids.
Stranded, the boys all search for ways out. No one finds anything -- except for Cartman, who secretly discovers a mound of gold and treasure. In order to keep it safe from the others, he painfully swallows every piece over the next few days. Consuming all this treasure makes him horrifically bloated and immobile. Unaware of the true cause, the boys believe him to be severely ill, and struggle to carry Cartman to safety.
Meanwhile, rescue teams frantically dig through the rubble to try and rescue the missing boys. Gore, however, urges the workers to stop digging, and instead fill the cave with molten lead, as this is the only way to make sure ManBearPig is dead. The workers ignore his plea and continue to search.
Taking matters into his own hands, Gore diverts a nearby river, effectively flooding the cave with water in an attempt to drown MBP. Instead, he almost succeeds in drowning the boys, who barely escape with their lives. They emerge from the rubble in the middle of a memorial service being held in their honor.
Kyle berates Gore for his ManBearPig obsession, while Cartman learns that his "treasure" was just worthless junk positioned in the cave as a tourist photo spot. He then begins to slowly, painfully shit out great masses of coins and jewelry. He's still at it when the credits roll.
What I Learned Today
"I was nice to you because I felt sorry for you. Because you don't have any friends. But now I see why you don't have any friends! You just use ManBearPig as a way to get attention for yourself, because you're a loser!"
- "I'm spreading ManBearPig awareness." Al Gore
- "Boys, I don't want you hanging out with that ex-vice president anymore, okay?" Randy
- "I'm trying to warn everybody and nobody takes me cereal!" Al Gore
- "Oh Jesus on ice skates!" Al Gore
- "You just had to go and be nice to Al Gore, now we're trapped in a cave!" Cartman
- "EXCELSIOR!!" Al Gore
- "God must really want those kids dead." (Rescue Worker)
- "Dude, did Cartman just crap treasure?" Kyle
- "There is something out there which threatens our very existence and may be the end to the human race as we know it. I'm talking, of course, about ManBearPig." Al Gore
- "Are you cereal?" Al Gore
- "What does your dad look like?! Does he have large hooves where his feet should be?!" Al Gore
- "I've got news for you, Kyle. You're NEVER going to get my treasure." Cartman
- "I'm super cereal and nobody will listen to me!" Al Gore
- "Everyone is super stoked on me. Even if they don't know it." Al Gore
- "We will never forget the names of the brave young kids who lost their lives: kid one kid two kid three and of course, kid four." Al Gore
ManBearPig -- a deadly cross-breeded monster that is half man, half bear, and half pig. Although only sketches of this mythical beast are shown here, the danger is super cereal.
The creature finally reveals itself in bloody fashion during next season's "Imaginationland: Episode II."
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Trey and Matt toyed with the ManBearPig concept for a long time, but couldn't find a spot for it until Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth came along. In this episode the ephemeral creature serves as a stand-in for global warming. Gore even says at the end of the episode, "Maybe I'll make a movie. A movie starring me. Then people will take me super cereal!" Trey also loves the part where they get lost in the cave, because it's a chance to let the boys act like boys.
Pop Culture References
Al Gore comes across as a twitchy goofball with no friends, struggling to get someone, anyone, to take him "cereal." This is his first appearance since his brief cameo in Season Three's "The Red Badge of Gayness." He will return again in "Imaginationland: Episode III," still spreading MBP awareness.
During the Cave of the Winds tour, the guide points out various stalagmite and stalactite formations with names such as "The Hanging Mushroom," "Man With Helmet and Two Bowling Balls," and "The Two Sisters" -- all of which look like gigantic stone penises. Cave of the Winds is a real tourist attraction outside of Denver, Colorado. What you see here is modeled after the real place (well, minus all the stone penises).