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Cartman discovers that he is ginger
|Episode no.|| Season 9|
|Original airdate||November 9, 2005|
|List of all South Park episodes|
In a class presentation, Cartman argues that "Gingers"—those with red hair, freckles, and pale skin—are creepy and evil. He explains they suffer from "gingervitis" (a play off of "gingivitis") and their light skin comes from their lack of a soul. He also argues that they cannot stand the sun, and that Kyle, who has auburn hair (but not light skin or freckles)—is a "Daywalker". After his speech encourages other students to discriminate against gingers, Kyle decides to make his presentation about the genetic causes of gingers being born. Kyle interviews a family with ginger children, and it soon becomes apparent that although Cartman's prejudiced ideas about Gingers are untrue, the fact remains that the general public, even their own parents, carry a similar bigoted hatred and intolerance toward them (although ironically, the gingers are depicted as being genuinely creepy). Kyle's status as a "Daywalker" prevents anybody from listening though, so he and the others agree that Cartman needs to be taught a lesson. They get together in the night to dye Cartman's hair red, bleach his skin a lighter hue, and give him henna freckles, to make him "ginger", after which Cartman begins to be discriminated against by the kids he influenced by his speech. However, Cartman becomes a leader of the "Ginger Separatist Movement", at first asking to be treated like everyone else.
Quickly, however, Cartman's movement becomes violent and Hitler-esque in tone. He begins to preach that gingers are, in fact, the "chosen race," and orders the eradication of all non-gingers from the Earth. Following Cartman's orders, the gingers abduct as many of South Park's children as they can, including Stan and Kyle, then bring them to their meeting place the Sunset Room at the Airport Hilton to throw them all into a pit of lava.
Kyle is chosen as the first to die, but before the gingers throw him into the lava, he whispers to Cartman that they really made him look ginger, and Cartman is shocked. He then tells his followers that he has suddenly had an epiphany, and now realizes that everybody has to get along. As the other children are freed, Kyle mutters to Cartman that he is a manipulative asshole. Cartman (for once) agrees, but doesn't care as long as he isn't killed by the people of his movement.
Popular culture references
- When concluding his first speech, Cartman says "If you think that the ginger problem is not a serious one," He then shows a picture of Carrot Top and Sean Doherty and finishes his sentence saying "think again."
- The ginger kids appearing at a window is a reference to the TV adaptation of the Stephen King book 'Salem's Lot.
- The term "Daywalker" is a reference to the Marvel Comics character Blade.
- When Cartman wakes up, before he realizes he is now ginger, as he walks across the hall to the bathroom he sings "Lucille" by Kenny Rogers.
- Six notable kids that weren't captured by the gingers were Butters, Wendy, Jimmy, Timmy, Pip, and Jason.
- The nagging hotel clerk at the ginger's hotel convention meeting is a reference to The Witches.
- When the kids go to talk to the parents of some local ginger kids, the father tells them that if they don't want to have gingers they should marry an Asian woman. He then says he knows a guy who is marrying a Japanese woman for that very reason. This is possibly a reference to Trey Parker who at the time was engaged (and is now married) to a Japanese woman.
- In the playground when Cartman leads the gingers, they shout, "Red Power!" as a reference to the Ku Klux Klan's motto, "White Power!"
- In the playground scene, when Cartman and the ginger kids shout "Better red than dead", it is a parody of "Better dead than red", a phrase used by Americans in the Cold War.
- When the ginger kids appear at night, scare off several children in South Park and two of them lock themselves in to escape it is a reference to Michael Jackson's music video "Thriller".