|Episode no.||Season 13|
|Original airdate||March 25, 2009|
|List of all South Park episodes|
Plot details follow.
The story opens with Stan and Randy at a local bank, because Randy thinks it is important for Stan to learn to save his money. Stan gives the teller the $100 savings bond from his grandmother. The teller explains how instead of simply putting it into the bank as he should, he will invest it in several different ways, while only to state a split second later that "it's gone", meaning that all the money was lost. Stan is angry, but the teller asks him to stand aside for customers that actually have money. The teller does this to two more people, whose money also instantly vanishes. At dinner, Randy explains to Stan why the economy is struggling, blaming it on people who spend their money on foolish things while not having enough to actually pay for it, which he explains to Stan while making himself a margarita in an automatic-margarita-making-machine called a "Margaritaville". The blending is so loud that part of his explanation went inaudible. The machine is obviously very expensive, this is ironic as it is representative of a stupid purchase Randy himself had made with money he did not have so he had put it on credit.
People in South Park are struggling with the recent economic downturn and many people on the street are preaching about who they should blame. A Wall Street executive suggests that low-interest rates are to blame, a regular citizen blames the problems on Wall Street, and as usual, Cartman blames the Jews. Randy continues to teach his philosophy of saving money to the rest of the city, while hypocritically defending his own stupid purchases, saying the bare essentials people should buy include Margaritas. Randy's ideas become the most popular and he starts to gather a following, telling people they have angered the economy with their reckless spending and encourages people not to spend money in order to propitiate the economy's anger. People start to wear togas made of bed sheets so they do not have to wash clothes as much and also try to spend as little as possible to try and earn the economy's favor like it is some sort of deity.
Kyle, getting annoyed with everybody's idiocy, starts to get his own following when he preaches that the economy is not actually angry with them since it is not a living being, saying if they want the economy to get better, then they need to spend money responsibly. Word gets back to Randy and his friends and they eventually decide that they need to kill "the Jew". Kyle continues to preach to people that the economy does not really exist except in people's minds and that if they want the economy to be strong, they must first have faith in it. He shows how easy it is to get money by showing a no-limit American Express Platinum Card that he applied for just a few days ago. This all happens in a setting that parodies older paintings of Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount. Cartman, in his desire to obtain a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, says that he will deliver Kyle and his friends to Randy in exchange for the game.
Kyle and his friends go out for pizza, in an obvious parody of the Last Supper, and he laments that he feels they will not be able to get together like this anymore because people cannot afford luxuries like pizza. He says he worries that one of his friends will betray him. All of them act shocked while Cartman stands up and says that whoever betrays Kyle "is a dick." and "it's not cool!"; Kyle, of course, already suspects that Cartman will do it. He admits to his friends that he knows what he has to do to save everyone.
The next day, it shows everybody in the town lining up to a table with Kyle and a credit card machine, where he is "paying everybody's debts" with the no-limit American Express Platinum Card. Kyle's mother begs him not to do it because he will be paying it off for the rest of his life. Kyle agrees but feels he must do it to help everybody in the town. After paying the last person's debt, a $17,000 bill from Randy, Kyle passes out. The episode ends with a news report about how the economy almost did not survive in South Park if not for the efforts of one very brave person, President Obama. It ends with Kyle being upset at the news.
In a side story, Stan spends most of the episode trying to return a "Margaritaville" margarita mixer. The store would not accept the return because it was bought on credit. He keeps trying to find out who he can return it to, with each person saying the debt has been sold to someone else. Eventually, he goes all the way to the US Treasury, who "consults the charts" and tells him the mixer is worth $90 trillion. A man approaches to tell the treasury workers that another bank is failing and asks what they should do. They say they have to "consult the charts" again. Trying to find out what the charts are, Stan follows the men inside. He sees around the board, where the men decapitate a chicken and let the chicken run for a minute until it falls over dead. The chicken falls on the "bailout" spot, which determines the course of action. In anger at the ridiculousness of the system, Stan throws the mixer on the platform by the chicken and walks off. The next day Randy gets the newer model 'Margaritaville', which is the same as the old one but has a pointless salsa dispenser built into it. The mixer is representative of people's mortgages.
- This episode won a 2009 Emmy Award in the category of "Outstanding Animated Program (for programming less than one hour)". This is the show's fourth overall Emmy Award.
- "Margaritaville (Season 13, Episode 3)". southparkstudios.com.