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This page contains trivia for "Roger Ebert Should Lay off the Fatty Foods". 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.


  • Cartman's middle name is revealed in this episode as the Cheesy Poofs casting director calls him Eric Theodore Cartman.
  • This is one of the few times Cartman saves the day, even if he was unaware of it at the time.
  • Cartman's grandmother, Mabel Cartman, appears for the first time talking on the phone to Cartman.
  • Mr. Mackey says for the first and only time "Drugs are good" in order to convince the kid from the planetarium that it was okay to let Nurse Gollum sedate him.
  • This episode marks the first time that Butters Stotch speaks. His voice, however, sounds very different to modern episodes and a lot more like Stan's voice.
  • Mr. Garrison's learning plan follows:
    • Barnaby Jones as Cultural Text
    • Taking the children to the planetarium
    • Haiku

References to Popular Culture

  • The title to this episode mentions popular film critic Roger Ebert. It's possible that this episode was produced to make fun of him in light of the fact that he gave Trey Parker and Matt Stone poor reviews for their films Orgazmo (with half a star) and BASEketball (with a star and a half), both films he reviewed in 1998.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Mr. Garrison is forcing the children to watch and answer questions about the television series Barnaby Jones. It was a crime drama that ran from 1973-1980.
  • Mr. Garrison says that episode #203 of Barnaby Jones is called "Barnaby Under Siege". This is incorrect, as episode 203 of the series is called "Echo of a Murder". There is no such episode titled "Barnaby Under Siege".
  • The talent search for a child singing the Cheesy Poofs Theme Song was likely inspired by a similar, real life contest by Oscar Mayer Wieners around the same time this episode was produced.
  • Mr. Garrison warns his children that the planetarium is not a Bangkok Brothel. Bangkok Thailand has a thriving sex trade even though prostitution is technically illegal in the country.
  • When coming up with a Haiku to insult Eric, Kyle compares Cartman's fat to Jell-O.
  • When Cartman is at the casting office, the poverty-stricken girl is based on the character Cosette from Les Miserables.[1]
  • Other than ranting about the planetarium, Van Gelder is upset that model/actress and former MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes is on America's Funniest Home Videos. Daisy Fuentes took over hosting duties of the long running video clip series with co-host John Fugelsang from 1998 to 1999 after the previous host Bob Saget left the show.
  • One of the boys at the audition for the Cheesy Poofs is singing the song "Bingo", an old country song about a dog named Bingo.
  • Cartman sings the 1983 Donna Summer song "She Works Hard for the Money" from the album of the same name.
  • Dr. Adams hypnotizes Officer Barbrady to think that he is late musician Elvis Presley the so-called "King of Rock and Roll."
  • Mr. Mackey confuses Barbrady's bad Elvis impersonation as him pretending to be the late actor and former head of the NRA Charlton Heston.
  • Several real constellations are seen; Taurus, the "Big Dipper" (Ursa Major, meaning greater bear), Polaris (the current North Pole star), Orion and Cassiopeia. Some fake ones are seen; Roger Ebert (he is a deceased film critic who gave South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut a negative review) and the Crusades.
  • Kenny Loggins - "Footloose" plays while Mr. Mackey visits the planetarium.
  • James Taylor is also featured at the Planitarium.
  • The inspiration of this episode comes from an episode of Star Trek titled Dagger of the Mind. The premise follows Captain Kirk going to the planet Tantalus V, a prison colony for intergalactic criminals. There he is mentally tortured until his mind is healed by Spock using the Vulcan Mind Meld. Many of its plot elements are used in this episode.
  • The observatory is called the "Tantalus V. Observatory", this is another reference to "Dagger of the Mind" as Tantalus V is the planet that Captain Kirk travels to in that episode.
  • Dr. Adams from the planetarium gets his name from Dr. Tristan Adams from the Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind". In the Star Trek episode Dr. Adams is the director of the Tantalus V facility and is mastermind behind all the shady goings on at the sanitarium.
    • The little girl named Missy is based on the character Lethe, a female enslaved by Dr. Adams in the same episode.
  • The little boy who escapes from the planetarium named Van Gelder is based on the character Dr. Simon van Gelder from Dagger of the Mind. Simon van Gelder was also tortured by the insane Dr. Adams and stows away aboard the Enterprise and reveals Adam's plot to the crew.
    • The scene where Mr. Mackey "mind melds" with Van Gelder is yet another plot point parodies from "Dagger of the Mind", in the episode Mr. Spock uses the Vulcan mind meld on Dr. Simon van Gelder to learn the truth.
  • One of the News 4 anchors in this episode is an A 34 Year-old Asian Man Who Looks Strikingly Similar to Ricardo Montalbán. Mexican-American actor Ricardo Montalbán is best known for his role of Khan Noonien Singh in the Star Trek episode "Space Seed" as well as the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • After Cartman destroys the machine causing the hypnosis, the musical cue is reminiscent of that composed by James Horner for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • At the end of the episode while commenting on Dr. Adam's fate, Kyle says to Stan: "Can you imagine it, Stan. A mind, emptied by that… thing." This is a parody of the line that Captain Kirk says near the end of "Dagger of the Mind". Kirk's line was "It's hard to believe that a man could die of loneliness."
  • The archway above the door when the class returns to the planetarium reads: "Me transmitte sursum, Caledoni!." This is Latin for "Beam me up, Scotty!"  a reference to the famous phrase from Star Trek.


  • Cartman's brief appearance at the end of the Cheesy Poofs commercial marks the second time he has been on television. The first time was in "Weight Gain 4000" where he got too fat from the beefcake and ended up on Geraldo Riveria's eponymous talk show Geraldo as a result.
  • This episode is Nurse Gollum's last major appearance.


  • Though Dr. Adams has a disorder that hinders him from saying the "T" in planetarium, he can be heard pronouncing the word correctly when Mr. Garrison is absent from the hypnotizing room.
  • Dr. Adams incorrectly refers to the star Polaris as the "Dog Star." The star Sirius, of the constellation Canis Major, is known colloquially as the Dog Star. Polaris, on the other hand, is known as the "North Star".
  • After Cartman leaves the planetarium to sing the Cheesy Poofs song, a brief glimpse of his body is still seen on the planetarium seat next to Stan and Kyle.

Kenny’s Death

  • His head explodes as a result of a seizure caused by the larger intensity of a planetarium when Stan and Kyle examine the control booth. Stan says “oh my god!, we’ve killed Kenny!” Kyle says: “We’re bastards!”.

Hidden Visitor(s)

  • Before Liane tells Cartman to not pick his nose at the planetarium, you can see two glowing visitor eyes and around them, a visitor's body.


  1. Official Script from Roger Ebert Should Lay off the Fatty Foods (Season 2, Episode 11)

  211: "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods" edit
Story Elements

Tantalus V. ObservatoryVan GelderPeterDr. Tristan AdamsTommy FritzCheesy Poofs Talent Ship • "Footloose" • "Bingo" • "Cheesy Poofs Theme Song" • "She Works Hard for the Money"


ImagesScriptWatch Episode


South Park: The Complete Second Season

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