|Episode no.||Season 22|
|Original airdate||November 28, 2018|
|List of all South Park episodes|
Plot details follow.
Cartman is speaking to the therapist about the issues he's had, and the realization that people suck. He complains that he only feels happy with his phone, but people keep distracting him. The therapist (although incorrectly) diagnoses him with anxiety.
At the school, PC Principal is called into Strong Woman's office. On the way in, he is stopped by Mr. Mackey, who checks that nothing is going on between the two anymore. PC Principal denies this then goes in to find Strong Woman struggling with the PC Babies, who are all crying over something one of them said. Angrily, she gives the babies to PC Principal to look after.
In a restaurant, Cartman is trying to enjoy his phone but is disturbed by the waiter and a man behind him, so he leaves. Outside, he is still disturbed by townsfolk trying to help him. After one warns him about almost getting knocked down, he finally snaps and yells at everyone, saying his anxiety has got worse thanks to them.
Cartman then discovers Buddha Box, a box put over the head that allows the user to play on their phone without being distracted. He uses this at school, noticed by all the kids. In the bathrooms, he convinces Craig to get one to help his anxiety. Cartman is told off by Mrs. Nelson and PC Principal for using it in school. He manages to convince the latter to get a Buddha Box to help with his troubles.
He uses this to deal with the PC Babies, much to the anger of Strong Woman. He gives her one but she refuses to use it until she gets annoyed by the kids. Once both of them have boxes on their head, the babies escape the house, and to a parody of the Muppet Babies tune, they make the world more PC. They first "protest" at Crunchy's Micro Brew for their offensive drink names.
The Boys play football at school, but keep losing because Cartman is too distracted with the Buddha Box to play in goal. When Kyle tries to complain, Cartman turns the tables, claiming that Kyle believes people with anxiety shouldn't be able to play in goal.
The therapist sets up an anxiety management group, with the anxiety sufferers still using their Buddha Boxes. Tweek is upset that Craig has changed, and Liane tries to tell Cartman that he has so much potential. Cartman complains that he doesn't even want to be here because of his anxiety.
PC Principal and Strong Woman go out looking for their babies, arguing over whose fault it is that they went missing. They go to the Park County Police Station to get help, but continue to defend PC Principal when people ask if he is the father. They sit and wait for help, and continue to use their Buddha Boxes.
The Boys visit Pi Pi's Splashtown, but once again, Cartman is too busy with his Buddha Box to get involved, causing a long line on the water slide. He shames Kyle for believing anxiety people should stay home. Kyle, in response, tells him everyone has anxiety, and they get over it. Cartman then gets an idea, much to the dismay of Kyle.
Cartman goes to City Hall to speak to the mayor about anxiety. He explains the word Namaste, meaning "Fuck you, I have anxiety". He gets the mayor to give everyone Buddha Boxes, believing it will help.
The PC Babies, after protesting a building being built, end up making music for a record company. Their song, which is just them crying, is heard by PC Principal and Strong Woman, who come to get their kids. They discover they missed the babies' first protest because they were on their phone, and PC Principal has an idea.
The two have a PTA meeting, where PC Principal tells all the parents that he is banning phones and Buddha Boxes from schools. The parents, however, are all using Buddha Boxes, so none of them listen. The two then realize that, with no-one watching, they can be a normal family for once, and they do that in a montage, having a picnic and visiting Aspen.
AV Club gave "Buddha Box" a "B-" rating saying: "Buddha Box was an enjoyable enough episode that laid its message on a little too thick. Once the box is introduced, it’s not hard to figure out where things are going, and when PC Principal speaks to an audience full of people wearing them, it’s too predictable to be climactic."
IGN gave "Buddha Box" a "3.5" rating saying: "As strong as Season 22 has been most weeks, it's also shown that the series is still sometimes guilty of rehashing old jokes well past their expiration date. That problem has rarely been more apparent than with "Buddha Box," which features two plotlines marked by one-note, often mean-spirited humor. The charming ending was a nice surprise, but that hardly makes up for this episode's numerous problems."
- "Buddha Box (Season 22, Episode 08)". southparkstudios.com.
- "AV Club: Heavy-handedness about smartphones mars an otherwise enjoyable South Park". AV Club.com.
- "South Park: "Buddha Box" Review". IGN.com.