Leftarrow "Rainforest Shmainforest/Trivia" "Spontaneous Combustion/Trivia" "The Succubus/Trivia" Rightarrow
This page contains trivia for "Spontaneous Combustion". 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 leads on from the previous episode "Rainforest Shmainforest", Kenny died from not farting in front of his girlfriend Kelly from the previous episode.
  • Officer Barbrady recognizes the cross as the letter "t" (lowercase), marking his first known instance of him reading since "Chickenlover".
  • The General Store Manager is also the ticket guy from the South Park Theater. In this episode he also disagrees to sell fireworks to children because of their age, although in "Summer Sucks", they weren't allowed to buy them because of prohibition by state government.
  • Kenny McCormick's family seems bored at his funeral, including his brother sleeping and his dad looking at a Gazongas magazine. His mother is the only one crying.
  • When Randy calls the Mayor to tell her about his discoveries she is reading the same pornographic magazine as Stuart McCormick was reading at Kenny's funeral.
  • Randy's assistant playing Cartman seems to have the same catchphrase "Screw you guys I'm going home".
  • The statue made for Randy is a parody of Michelangelo's representative work The Statue of David.

References to Popular Culture

  • This episode uses Spontaneous Combustion as a plot point. To date, there is no single case of Spontaneous Combustion in humans. Suspected cases are usually ruled to be, in reality, the Wick effect.
  • Priest Maxi's prayer is all about the Denver Broncos football team. He mentions Neil Smith, who was the defensive end for Broncos from 1997-1999 until he became a free agent. He also mentions Steve Atwater, who left the team to join the New York Jets. The prayer is finished with the church saying the Bronco's cheer "Let's go Broncos".
  • Priest Maxi asks Kyle if he isn't "too Jewish to worship Jesus". In Judaism, it is not believed that Jesus Christ was the son of God, nor that he was resurrected.
  • Priest Maxi has the boys reenact the Stations of the Cross which is the trial that Jesus went through during the Crucifixion.
  • Stan and Kyle decide that they're going to have to look into the Bible.
  • In their reenactment of the Stations of the Cross, however, they jump back and forth between the traditional stations and the scriptural.
    • The boys state that the First Station was the when Pilate sentenced Jesus to death. This is the first station in the traditional version of the Stations. Pontius Pilate would be the judge during Jesus' trial and would sentence him to death.
    • Station Two is Jesus taking the cross. This is the second station in the traditional version of the stations, however it is seventh in the scripture.
    • The boys then mention that Jesus was then denied by Peter. This is the fourth station in scripture, and it happens before Jesus gets the cross. The traditional stations do not make reference to the denial of Peter. According to the Bible Saint Peter denied knowing Jesus three times during his trial which ultimately led to his crucifixion.
    • Station 11 according to the boys is Jesus being nailed to the cross. This is station 11 of the traditional stations, it is station 10 of the scripture. They state that he gets his crown of thorns. This isn't identified as part of the stations in the traditional, but it is listed as station 6 of the scriptures, before Jesus was crucified.
    • They mention that Jesus is placed on Mount Sinai where he died and was resurrected three days later. Jesus was never placed on Mount Sinai, according to biblical texts Moses went to Mount Sinai where he was given the Ten Commandments from God.
  • The picture Randy uses in his presentation about Spontaneous Combustion is of the "Cat Woman", Jocelyn Wildenstein, a Swiss-American socialite.
  • Stan mentions that Jesus had "super-powers". According to Biblical legend Jesus had healing powers (making a blind man see), was able to turn water into wine, walk on water etc., all due to his holy lineage. These are all abilities he apparently manifested before he was crucified however.
  • Randy Marsh wins a Nobel Prize, which is given out for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, and Physiology, and Medicine.
  • The Nobel Prize awards in this episode is a parody of the Academy Awards, the annual award show for films. There are a number of elements that are parodied upon in this regard:
    • The host of the awards is actress Whoopi Goldberg. She has hosted the Academy Awards a number of times, including 1999, the year this episode was produced. In this episode she states that "Republicans are stupid", this is a comment on Whoopi's outspoken political views, she has been a staunch critic of the Republican party.
    • The "Nobel Prize for Science" is read by actor Nick Nolte
    • Of all the nominations for the Nobel Prize for Science, only Herald R. Pinkerton's contributions to Unified field theory, is a real scientific achievement. However, the people who, in real life, won the Nobel Prize for Physics did so based on contributions to Unified field theory.
  • Apparently the constant farting in South Park is causing Global warming. It is commonly argued that methane from cow farts contributes to global warming.
  • On the radio there is a commercial where former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bob Dole brags about how he can get an erection. In 1999, Bob Dole became a spokes person for Pfizer, the makers of Viagra, and spoke in support of combating erectile dysfunction.
  • Randy's fall from grace amongst the people of South Park is not unlike the stoning that Jesus received while carrying the cross.
  • Stan confuses Jesus accepting his fate with Star Trek. He says quotes Jesus as saying "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." and gives a Vulcan greeting. This is, in actuality, from the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At the end of the film Mr. Spock, sacrifices his life to save the crew of the Enterprise. From behind a glass wall Spock says to Captain Kirk "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." while placing his hand in the shape of the Vulcan greeting on the glass before dying.
  • When Kyle, Stan and Randy work together to come up for a solution to the spontaneous combustion/global warming problem, it is done in the form of a musical montage. The music and montage is a parody of musical numbers commonly seen on the Monkees TV show. The monster chasing them through various rooms is a common cliche found in the Hanna Barbara cartoon series Scooby-Doo.


  • The mayor calls Randy "The only scientist in town", seemingly forgetting all about Dr. Alphonse Mephesto, who even appears later in the same episode. The mayor might have said this because she thinks Mephesto is crazy and doesn't exactly consider him a scientist, as seen in "Starvin' Marvin".
  • The arrow on Mrs. McCormick's shirt is facing right instead of the usual left.
  • During Kenny's funeral, when Kyle, Stan, and Cartman are looking at Kenny's body, Kevin is wearing a red pullover sweater with a black tie, and in the shot where he falls asleep on his mother, he is still wearing red, but when there is a closer view of him sleeping, he is wearing a dark blue pullover sweater. A couple of scenes later, his sweater returns to red.
  • After Kenny's funeral, Helen spontaneously combusts outside the church. A crowd gathers behind Tom as a man consoles him. When the camera zooms in on them, however, the people to the right of the man disappear.
  • When the second spontaneous combustion victim is brought to Randy, he asks what 'she' had been doing, despite Randy not seeing if it was a man or a woman who combusted in the first place or anyone telling him.
  • When Cartman is dragged off from the church and says "Hi Mom.", she is at the end of the seat, but when Stan leaves, she is not there anymore. Chris Peterson, evidently, took her place.
  • After Father Maxi says "Blessed Be Jesus Christ", the people say "It's a great name, isn't it?", and as they say this, Cartman's mother isn't in her seat, nor is anyone.
  • During the heatwave in South Park, there is still some snow on the ground and on top of the mountains.
  • When Randy is trying to explain The Unified Theory of Moderation to angry townspeople, his clipboard at on point clips between his hand and arm.
  • The short video introducing Herald R. Pinkerton shows that he is a chemist, but he is doing researches on theoretical physics, which is irrelevant.

Kenny's Death

  • Spontaneously combusts at the start of the episode due to withheld flatulence. Because of the shocking and suddenness of the death, there is a long pause before Stan and Kyle say their usual lines.

Hidden Visitor(s)

  • On the face of the moon when it pans out and Cartman is covered by a shadow.

  302: "Spontaneous Combustion" edit
Story Elements

Randy MarshThe Unified Theory of Moderation • "You and Me, Girl"


ImagesScriptExtrasWatch Episode


South Park: The Complete Third Season

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.