This page contains trivia for "Quest for Ratings". 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.
This episode satires the difficulty the writers were having with coming up with ideas for the episode, especially due to the struggles with trying to make their film, Team America: World Police, and South Park at the same time.
Indeed, the ending of this episode mirrors the frustration that Matt and Trey experienced while also working on Team America. By contract, they had only one week to complete an episode.
The Student Conference Room looks similar to the writers' room of South Park Studios from inside.
Neither Stan or Kyle wear their trademark hats at any point during this episode; Cartman only wears his in a flashback.
The boys struggle to compete with Craig's show is a satire of major news networks and the tactics they employ for better ratings. Kyle and Token's suggestion that they make reports about how dangerous it is to be alive is an example of sensationalism. Another example is Butters' idea to "lie about celebrities", which parodies tabloids.
When Cartman tells Token to change his TV persona because people only like to see African Americans on TV and not hear them is a reference to music in the 50's. Record companies tried to hide the fact that their artists were African American because people liked hearing them on radio, but probably wouldn't listen to them if they knew they were African American due to the racism back then. Also, record companies tried to get white singers who sounded African American, with Elvis being a popular example of such.
Butters mentions that he might have seen actress Sigourney Weaver, but then mistakes her for a dead horse.
When the news team tells Mr. Meryl that they did their best, he replies "Well I guess your best wasn't good enough" to the tune of Quincy Jones' 1981 hit Just Once.
At Whistlin' Willy's, Kevin Stoley is seen both sitting at the table and also standing behind Stan. This duplicate is also seen in the following scene.
When Kyle does the report on the girls' basketball team, he talks about how they had to forfeit their last game and haven't won one at all. However, Cartman makes the error of saying they had been on a 6-0 slide instead of 0-6 slide.
At Middle Park Elementary, a girl can be seen walking off screen to the left to reappear on the upper floor on the other side of the screen 1-3 seconds later.
When the children are shown from behind watching Close-Up Animals with a Wide-Angle Lens at Whistlin' Willy's, there are two girls who look like Millie briefly shown standing in the crowd.