South Park

Trapped in the Closet

Season 9, Ep 12, Aired 11/16/05
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  • Episode Description
  • Stan finds out that he's depressed after taking a test given to him by Scientologists. After joining his new religion, the other members realize that he is the reincarnation of their leader. Upon hearing this, the Scientology masses arrive outside his house, but several members end up in the closet instead.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Trey Parker

  • Matt Stone

    Voice of Kyle Broflovski; Kenny McKormick; Gerald Broflovski; Pip Pirrup; Jesus; Jimbo Kearn; Phillip; Saddam; Various Others

  • Photos (3)
  • Fan Reviews (58)

    By DeadRookie, Nov 28, 2015

  • Clever and brilliant. A very important episode in the series' history because of the controversy.

    By grindhouseninja, Mar 14, 2009

  • Episode 12, Season 9: Trapped in the Closet

    By gingerhunter, Jun 20, 2008

  • You just end up laughing at it too much for being so ridiculous!

    By AdrenalinDragon, Dec 17, 2006

  • stanietology

    By heylin_prince, Feb 10, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (26)

    • Scientology President: You see, Stan, there is a reason for people feeling sad and depressed. An alien reason. It all began 75 million years ago. Back then there was a galactic federation of planets which was ruled over by the evil Lord Xenu. Xenu thought his galaxy was overpopulated, and so he rounded up countless aliens from all different planets, and then had those aliens frozen. The frozen alien bodies were loaded onto Xenu's galactic cruisers, which looked like DC-8s, except with rocket engines. The cruisers then took the frozen alien bodies to our planet, Earth, and dumped them into the volcanoes of Hawaii. The aliens were no longer frozen, they were dead. The souls of those aliens, however, lived on, and all floated up towards the sky. But the evil Lord Xenu had prepared for this. Xenu didn't want their souls to return! And so he built giant soul-catchers in the sky! The souls were taken to a huge soul brain-washing facility, which Xenu had also built on Earth. There the souls were forced to watch days of brainwashing material which tricked them into believing a false reality. Xenu then released the alien souls, which roamed the earth aimlessly in a fog of confusion. At the dawn of man, the souls finally found bodies which they could grab onto. They attached themselves to all mankind, which still to this day causes all our fears, our confusions, and our problems. L. Ron Hubbard did an amazing thing telling the world this incredible truth. Now all we're asking you to do is pick up where he left off.

    • Stan: …Huh? Brian: Yeah, I'm afraid that you are completely miserable and totally depressed. Stan: I am? I didn't know that!

    • Kyle: Oh dude, check it out. I got a Jake Plummer. Cartman: Aw man, I got a crappy AJ Feeley again! Kyle: How come you didn't buy any cards, Stan? Stan: I can't spend any money. I'm saving up for that bike I want. Cartman: Saving money! Duh!

    • Randy Marsh: Mr. Cruise, come out of the closet.

    • Brian: Well, what seems to be the… Oh hi Greg! Stan: Stan. Michelle: Can you look at his Thetan levels. Brian: Well, get another E Meter this one's obviously broken. Sorry about this Greg.

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    Notes (10)

    • In 2008, The Emmys Academy chose the most memorable comedy TV moments. The scene where John Travolta joins Tom Cruise in the closet, was in the top 5.

    • At the end of the episode you can see that all the names in the credits are either John or Jane Smith, presumably so Tom Cruise can't sue as he threatened to do at the end of the episode.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2006 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)".

    • The same week that Isaac Hayes quit the show over the "religious bigotry" of the episode, the episode was due to air again as part of the normal rotation. The episode was pulled and replaced with the Chef-centered episode "Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls." Tom Cruise reportedly threatened Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, that if the episode aired again that he wouldn’t do publicity work for the upcoming "Mission: Impossible III." Cruise's representatives denied the allegation, stating that "he didn't threaten to pull publicity of 'Mission: Impossible III'." They didn't say whether he threatened to do something else, however. Parker and Stone, who were reportedly told to keep quiet on the reason the episode was pulled, placed a full-page ad in Variety with the following statement: "So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!! -- Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants for the overlord Xenu"

    • Isaac Hayes, who is a Scientologist and didn't appear in the episode, quit the show (just before the next season was going to go into production) after the ensuing publicity over the episode, citing that he couldn't take the religious "bigotry" and "insensitivity" of the show. Show creator Matt Stone, on the show's website (posted 13 Mar), said that Hayes didn't complain when the show made fun of other religions such as Christians, Mormons, and Jews. This was just a rumor. Isaac Hayes had a stroke at around this time when this episode came out. So that is the real reason for his absence. Also the church of Scientology is believed to have started the rumor but Hayes never said that was the reason himself. It put a strain on his relations with the church.

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    Trivia (7)

    • One of the aliens seen being frozen by Xenu is a Marklar.

    • John Travolta seems to be portraying his characters from Grease and Saturday Night Fever with the heavy accent and "Oh my God" references, yet in the episode, The Entity, he speaks in a normal tone.

    • The alien souls look like colourful sperm.

    • If the interstellar overlord had planned on the souls escaping, wouldn't he have a plan for some science fiction writer figuring it all out and writing it down? Also, how would no-one else in human history have had even the slightest snippet of this info before L. Ron Hubbard discovered all of it? Response: Um, possibly because L. Ron Hubbard didn't think to go back and edit his STORY to cover up his giant, gaping plot-holes.

    • The scientologist's helicopter was named "L-Ron 7".

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (5)

    • Scientology/Star Wars: This episode reveals that Stan's Thetan levels are OT9, higher than any other living creatures. The president of Scientology decides that Stan, a mere child, is the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard. In a strange parallel, a young Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars has the highest known number of midi-chlorians, even higher than experienced Jedi masters. Qui-Gon Jinn believes that Anakin is "The Chosen One."

    • Katie Holmes: Stan: Look, is this a religion? Because my family is like, Catholic or something. Katie Holmes has recently started studying Scientology, and Tom Cruise claims that this has no interference with her Roman Catholic upbringing.

    • Xenu, Alien Souls and Volcanoes: This story was also told in L. Ron Hubbard's novel Battlefield Earth. This book is more than 800 pages long and probably cheaper than joining the Church of Scientology.

    • Coming Out: Stan: Dad! Tom Cruise won't come out of the closet! The expression "coming out of the closet" means telling a secret that you've hidden for a long time, usually about being gay. In 2001, speculations and rumors said that Tom Cruise was gay.

    • Trapped In The Closet: R. Kelly made a 12 part music video soap opera with this title. In the videos, the main character narrates all of his actions and dialogue, just like was portrayed in this episode.

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