This page contains trivia for "Free Hat". 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.
Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola parody the three main villains in Raiders of the Lost Ark in their manner of deaths. Coppola’s head shrivels up like Colonel Dietrich’s, Lucas’ head melts down to a bloody skull like Agent Toht’s, and Spielberg’s head explodes like Rene Belloq’s. Coppola was in fact added to the episode at a relatively late stage after Trey Parker and Matt Stone realized that they needed a third director in the finale, and happened to fit well since he had also re-edited one of his classic films (namely Apocalypse Now, which was re-edited into a longer version called Apocalypse Now Redux) at the time of the episode's original airing, and Lucas used to work under him early in their careers at Coppola's film company, American Zoetrope. Unlike the re-edited versions of Star Wars and E.T., Parker and Stone actually liked the footage added to Apocalypse Now Redux, but felt that it was "lame" that the original version wouldn't get a release on DVD.
Most of the last six or so minutes of the episode parodies Raiders of the Lost Ark, with many lines being taken almost directly from the movie (a few choice words are replaced).
When George Lucas refuses to give the boys the negative, he says “It is too late for me.” This is a parody of Darth Vader’s words to Luke in Return of the Jedi.
Throughout the episode, the bad guys keep holding walkie-talkies like rifles (e. g. when George calls in the guards to get rid of the boys, the guards are holding walkie-talkies). This serves as a constant reference to the changes Steven Spielberg did in E.T., where the guns, which the special secret agents hold against the children, were replaced in that scene with walkie-talkies to make the film more family-friendly.
In the scene when the boys break into George Lucas's house to steal the original print of Raiders of the Lost Ark, many props from Lucas's past films can be seen in the room where the print is found. These range from a model of Howard the Duck, and many helmets belonging to Stormtroopers.
Although the episode depicts Spielberg as being the main driving force in re-editing Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lucas only reluctantly going along with the plan, in real-life the two directors' attitudes ended up being the other way around after this episode. Spielberg admitted that the re-edit of E.T. was a major mistake and vowed never to do such a thing again, whereas Lucas re-edited the original Star Wars trilogy a second time for its DVD release, and a third time for its Blu-ray release. Plus he re-edited the prequel trilogy a little bit. George Lucas even re-edited his first movie THX-1138. Francis Ford Coppola likewise re-edited Apocalypse Now for a second time in 2019, albeit with the intention of bringing it closer to the theatrical version rather than adding even more new footage.
The song played near the end is called Stars and Stripes Forever.
The boys' actions against Lucas and Spielberg help result in a dislike towards South Park, and along with other celebrities, will result in a Class-Action Lawsuit against the town in the show's 200th episode.
When Tweek is making the hats, his dad comes in and tells him to calm down and find his inner peace. When he walks away, if you freeze frame before he goes off screen, his hair disappears.
Inside George Lucas' house, a trophy case can be seen holding five Academy Awards and four Emmy Awards. In real life, George Lucas has been nominated for an Academy Award four times and an Emmy Award twice, but has never won either of these awards. (Although he did receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Oscars, which is given outside of competition.)
Although Spielberg and Lucas die in this episode, they are shown to be alive and well while raping Indiana Jones in "The China Probrem". This either is a continuity goof, ignored or implying that celebrities have a Kenny-esque ability to cheat death. Another similar situation is when Paris Hilton gets stuck inside of Mr. Slave's ass, but is seen later in Season Fourteen episodes, "200" and "201".