This page contains trivia for "Cancelled". Remember, trivia must be factual, provable, and it is always best to cite your source for not-so-obvious trivia. If you would like to dispute a trivia point, please discuss it in the article comments.
At the beginning of the episode, the overuse of profanity appears to be a reference to the writing of the first season, which was criticized for its frequent swearing and rude humor (more so than other seasons).
The Joozians are based on stereotypical images of American Jews, as characterized by their huge noses and speaking mannerisms. The fact that they "control all the media in the universe" is also a popular stereotype/conspiracy theory. It is joked that Kyle may have some Joozian ancestry.
A obviously larger version of Tiny Alien can be seen among the patrons of Maroni's restaurant.
The idea of this episode is a reference from "Free Hat". In that episode, it was mentioned that the creators of South Park would remake the pilot episode in the next season.
According to the DVD commentaries, Trey Parker had wanted to put the joke "Oh my God! There's a huge crack goin' right down the middle!" in an episode for over a year, but wasn't able to.
References to Popular Culture
The NASA scientist, Jeff, is a parody of Jeff Goldblum's character in Independence Day, who occasionally goes off on a tangent while deducing portions of the developing plot, much like the movie's character. Also, the scene where the scientist develops a plot to disable the aliens' ship using a computer virus parallels a similar scene in the movie.
It is possible that he is also a parody of Dr. Ian Malcolm, a mathematician that Jeff Goldblum played in the film Jurassic Park. Dr. Macolm specialized in Chaos Theory. Jeff's constant word association is based off of this idea.
Jeff explains to Chef about Chaos Theory, which is a real branch of mathematics that focuses on apparently random or unpredictable behaviors in systems governed by deterministic laws.
The people unknowingly being stars of a television show is a reference to the movie The Truman Show.
When the NASA scientist reverses the polarity on the signal and a blackout occurs, a number of doors can be heard being opened in the background, which coincidentally feature the same opening and closing door sounds from the popular Doom series.
The line "Reverse the Polarity" was a line popularly used by the Third Doctor in Doctor Who.
In the audio commentary for this episode, Trey mentions that television writer and producer Norman Lear was credited as a staff writer for this episode as he gave them the idea to mock reality television shows during one of their writers' retreat. He also mentions that Archie Bunker from Lear's show All In the Family served as the inspiration for Eric Cartman.
Cartman stating this was his fifth time in space is true. He was abducted twice in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" (both events he dismissed as dreams), traveled with the others in "Starvin' Marvin in Space", and was recalled how he was abducted again at the beginning of the episode "Cancelled" (dismissing it as another dream). Making his arrival on the producers ship his fifth time in space.
In the beginning scene of the episode, one of the Stan's lines "It all started when Cartman got an anal probe" has double meaning, referring to the beginning of the episode and directly to the show. This probably goes back to fact that this episode was supposed to be the 100th episode of South Park. This is also mentioned when the Joozians say that a TV series "shouldn't go past a hundred episodes".
The planet Marklar is mentioned when Najix other shows his company makes.
The Joozian producers mention "Maroni's" when discussing where to go for lunch. Moroni is one of the books of Mormon.