South Park Archives

"World War Zimmerman"
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Episode no. Season 17
Episode 3
Production no. 1703
Original airdate October 9, 2013
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"World War Zimmerman" is the third episode of Season Seventeen, and the 240th overall episode of South Park. It aired on October 9, 2013.[1]


Cartman sees Tolkien as a threat to all humanity.[1]


SPW pic -- Spoiler Spoiler warning!
Plot details follow.

During school day, Eric Cartman, for some reason, is awkwardly attempting to compliment and converse with Tolkien Black. Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick watch dumbfounded, and Kyle asks "Is he doing it again?". As the conversation ends, Cartman asks Tolkien for a fist bump, which Tolkien reluctantly gives.

During class, while Mr. Garrison teaches, Cartman has fallen asleep and is having nightmares. He disrupts the class by shouting out loudly about Tolkien and Brad Pitt.

At the guidance office, Mr. Mackey gives Cartman a lecture and says this "feud" between Cartman and Tolkien must stop. Cartman tells Mackey that something which happened a long time ago is pissing Tolkien off, and that he blames Cartman. Mr. Mackey eventually is able to talk Cartman into dropping it.

That night, at the Cartman residence, Cartman has nightmares again. In his dream, he takes the role of Brad Pitt’s character Gerry from World War Z. He has a wife and two daughters. As they eat breakfast, CNN reports that a verdict is due soon in the Trayvon Martin murder case. Gerry and his wife proceed to take their kids to school.

Later, they realize that they are in a ton of traffic and turn on the radio to hear the news. After listening to "It's a Beautiful Day", a bulletin announces that George Zimmerman has been acquitted. Suddenly, all black people become enraged and begin attacking everyone, including Gerry and his family. They escape and climb up a building, only to have the black people climb up as well. They encounter Tolkien on the rooftops and he lunges at Gerry. Cartman then awakes from his terrible nightmare.

The next day, a sleep-deprived Cartman tries to be nice to Tolkien once more. This time, however, Tolkien hurries away.

In class, once again, Cartman is having a nightmare, screaming Tolkien's name. This leads him back to Mr. Mackey, who is angrier that the "feud" is still going. Tolkien is called in so that Cartman can tell him what he needs to tell him. Cartman tells Tolkien that he was not “in the jury”, but Tolkien has no clue what he's talking about. Cartman reads him a poem. The poem, entitled "I Was Not the Bullet", explains that Cartman is not to blame for the Trayvon Martin verdict, and that Tolkien should not blame him or take revenge.

At a school assembly, after the cheerleaders cheer, while Butters Stotch beatboxes, Cartman raps a different form of "I Was Not the Bullet". This enrages Tolkien, who shouts at Cartman. This makes Cartman believe the apocalypse has started and he runs home. He grabs his handgun and dresses up like Gerry. He runs out into the street, warning everyone that there is an “outbreak”. He stops Nelly's Mom, who is driving a Tesla, and makes her drive him to the airport.

At the airport, Cartman runs onto a plane, hurrying people inside, and then tells the pilot to take off.

At the control tower, air traffic controllers are trying to figure out why the plane took off without permission. One worker alerts his boss of a "survival guide" discovered in the airport (obviously hand-made by Cartman) depicting the apocalypse, which sends everyone into a panic.

Cartman explains to the airplane passengers that an outbreak has started and that they need to go to Iceland. Realizing the plane won’t make it, Cartman heads to the bathroom to think. Inside, finds a black man finishing up. Scared, he blocks the door and tells everyone that "one of them" is in the bathroom. One passenger, scared to become a zombie, opens the emergency exit and flies out. As everyone is holding on for dear life, the black passenger gets out of the bathroom and a flight attendant tries to shoot him. The black man ducks, causing the bullet to ricochet and ignite an explosion.

The plane crashes violently. The only survivors are Cartman, Nelly’s Mom, and the pilot, although he is fatally injured. Nelly’s Mom calls her husband who says that even though the news says it is the end of the world, nothing is going on where he is. She passes this news to Cartman, giving him hope that the “outbreak” has not yet spread. The pilot asks Cartman to end the apocalypse and then he dies.

Later, at the Stotch residence, Butters is watching the news. He immediately recognizes a drawing of “patient zero” from Cartman’s survival guide as Tolkien.

At Jimbo's Guns, Cartman attempts to buy a gun. He is informed of the "stand your ground" law in Florida. Distraught that he can't kill Tolkien, he realizes he can abuse this law to kill the other patient zero, George Zimmerman.

Cartman and Nelly’s Mom rush onto another airplane and inform the passengers of the situation. Cartman notices a black man on board and again ends up causing the plane to crash.

That night, in Florida, Cartman and Nelly’s Mom get ready to take out George Zimmerman. Nelly’s Mom begins to thank Cartman for everything he's doing and is hit by a truck.

The next day, at the Zimmerman Residence, George Zimmerman's morning goes just like Gerry's from Cartman's dream. Two agents show up and ask George to kill another African American kid for the sake of the country. George suddenly feels something is wrong and notices Cartman, in blackface and wearing a dark hoodie. George immediately shoots Cartman. At first, the agents commend him, but once they realize that Cartman is white, they send him to court.

The Judge finds him guilty, sentences him to death, and he is executed.

Channel 4 News reports on Cartman, George Zimmerman, and how the apocalypse is over. The boys are gathered and watching this report, but Tolkien leaves. Outside, Cartman gets his attention and spray paints a red circle around himself. After some arguing, Cartman offers a fist bump. Tolkien goes to bump his fist and Cartman shoots him. He says that Tolkien was on “his land” and that he was simply standing his ground.

Later, Cartman is dreaming again, and Gerry is saying he loves his family on a boat, heading to the shore. Cartman suddenly wakes up in class because the ending to World War Z was so bad. Kyle points out that the ending shouldn't be what's bothering him. What should be bothering him is the fact that he's a murderer. Cartman is then called to the guidance office where Tolkien sits, wearing a sling.

Mr. Mackey makes Tolkien and Cartman apologize. Cartman says he has nothing to apologize for, as he was simply standing his ground. Tolkien gets mad, shouting that "stand your ground" laws seem to apply only when white people need them to. Cartman freaks out and runs home, presumably to prepare for an outbreak.

As the credits roll, a plane is seen falling out of the sky.

Critical Reception[]

AV gave "World War Zimmerman" a "A-" rating saying: "It’s not a perfect episode. The World War Z thing bugs me. It doesn’t have the same lasting power as, say, using World War II-era Looney Tunes to mock Osama bin Laden in "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants." And some of the jokes that drive home the more serious points—like Zimmerman's quick receipt of justice once he shoots a white kid—lack the subtlety of the episode's best moments. But these quibbles are minor. There are moments that are as sharp as anything the show has done and even the throwaway jokes are pretty great."[2]

IGN gave "World War Zimmerman" a "8.7" rating saying: "Delicately treading a fine line between hilarious and heinous, "World War Zimmerman" was a return to form for South Park, as it handily lampooned both the Trayvon Martin case and World War Z in one fell swoop."[3]


  1703: "World War Zimmerman" edit
Story Elements

George Zimmerman • "I Was Not the Bullet" • "It's a Beautiful Day" • Tesla driver


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South Park: The Complete Seventeenth Season