South Park

Season 13 Episode 7


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 22, 2009 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
469 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Cartman decides to become a pirate, and takes Butters and a small group of recruits with him to help make his dream come true.

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  • Meh.

    There's a handful of good laughs here, and the sea shanty Cartman teaches the Somalian pirates is priceless, but ultimately this episode gets close to scraping the barrel (of rum?). There's the potential for a really excellent storyline here, but somehow it never really happens.

    Cartman and his crew find pirating a little too easy for a little too long, and when Matt and Trey cut the funnies to yank on the heartstrings with the harsh realities of life in Somalia, I couldn't help feeling they were getting a little too self-righteous for a show that had spent the majority of the episode painting the Somalians as stupid black guys with guns.

    Maybe there's a part of the South Park audience who need obvious things like 'people turn to piracy as a last resort when their lives are awful' ramming down their throats, but for me the show works best when it's satirising and illuminating - not mocking and preaching. Sure there's usually a message to the better episodes, but it generally conveys a solution of some sort, even if it's just a simple idea. This episode has no solution, and leaves you only with the bitter fact that life in the Western world is heavenly compared to Somalia. Well, duh. So what do we do about it, Matt and Trey? Laugh at the Somalians, but feel a bit guilty?

    I wasn't upset or offended by anything in this episode - I like them teasing political-correctness - but I did feel like I sat through a rather meandering series of jokes where the final punchline was that none of the jokes were really funny. Which seems like a strange way to end the first half of the season.moreless
  • superb

    Cartman yearns to become a pirate, and him and some other kids from school (including Kyle's brother, Ike) go to Somalia to become pirates. But when Kyle learns his brother has left, he tries to find them all so they can go home.

    Good episode, the only negative comment I have is that the ending seemed a little rushed. I think this episode was close to being a 2-parter, but in the end, they wrote it so that it was all wrapped up, and that, to me, made the ending seem rushed. But the rest was good, so my final grade is a B+moreless
  • Just a hilarious episode. A must see.

    Having misunderstood the news about a recent upsurge of piracy in Somalia, Cartman excitedly tells his friends the classic era of piracy has returned, and asks the boys to join him in becoming a pirate at what he describes as a responsibility-free life in a warm tropical paradise. Sensing an opportunity to get rid of Cartman once and for all, Kyle encourages him to go, even offering to help pay for his ticket. Although Butters, Ike, Clyde and Kevin are the only students who agree to join his crew, an undaunted Cartman uses his mother's credit card to book a trip to Cairo, Egypt. After a long flight and a 49-hour bus ride, the boys arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia dressed as archetypal pirates. Once there, however, they are shocked to find themselves in an impoverished failed state completely the opposite to their expectations.

    They quickly find the pirates, who are shocked that anyone would knowingly venture into their lair. The pirates decide to ransom the boys out to the first European vessel that they find. The boys confidently go with them, believing that they are being taken to a pirate ship, but are once again disappointed when they are taken to a small motorboat. Eventually, the pirates find a French schooner and demand a ransom in exchange for the lives of the boys. Meanwhile in South Park, Kyle happily claims credit for sending Cartman to Somalia and expects things will be better without Cartman around. But when his parents read him a farewell letter from Ike, Kyle realizes his brother has run off with Cartman to Somalia, and he sets off for Mogadishu to bring his brother home. Back in Somalia, the ransom is paid and the boys are surrendered. Once on board, however, Kevin brandishes a toy lightsaber, frightening the French crew into abandoning ship. Cartman and the boys return to Mogadishu with the captured vessel, giving several bundles of Euros to the pirates. As a result, the pirates begin to respect Cartman, who in turn starts fashioning them into a stereotypical crew and leads them a traditional sea shanty called "Somalian Pirates, We".

    Meanwhile, the French crew is discovered by a cargo ship, and the U.S. Navy is deployed due to the news that one of the pirates had a lightsaber. Kyle arrives in Mogadishu, but is immediately taken captive by the pirates and held hostage. Meanwhile, a pirate named Guleed asks Butters and Ike why they became pirates. When they say that they left because they were tired of things like school, chores, homework, and being hollered at by adults, Guleed responds by telling them he always wanted to go to school, but was forced to become a pirate because he was desperately poor and his family would otherwise die. Butters and Ike realize a life of piracy is one of suffering and hardship, not fun and adventure, and tell Cartman they want to return home. Cartman, however, refuses to give up his romantic notions and threaten the boys with death by calling the real pirates to hold them at gunpoint. Cartman's vision is quickly disrupted, however, when a U.S Navy ship appears off the coast carrying snipers, who kill all of Cartman's pirates with a single gunshot to each of their headsmoreless
  • Danidarko, don't take it so seriously. TV isn't made to change the world, and thats how it does it, and the more people so literally think what it says matters, the more stupid the world becomes, the more blissfully gullible they make themselves.moreless

    Season 13 has been great fun so far; sure, maybe a little morally inept, but the show isn't supposed to walk a tightrope. Its supposed to piss people off and challenge how they think. I just think the kids are smart enough to know what they do always ends up working out at the end of the week; its called metahumor. And btw danidarko, Kyle knows Cartman isn't going to die, he just wants to get him **** out. And again, the kids are smart: Cartman knows there's something suspicious about Kyle wanting him out of school. In fact, if theres any weakness in the newer seasons, its both a blessing. The kids are smarter; they often don't feel like kids anymore... but it means the situations they're in can be a lot more intellectually complex. What you call 'confusing' I call good writing; I call irony that gets us away from a pie in the sky **** image of things, the 'family hugging at the end of the sitcom' world. Honesty is such a lonely word, but lately its been getting more company. Look at the episode again, and try this time to say 'that ISN'T out of character; for that is the character. Maybe I just haven't been looking hard enough AT the characters. Maybe like real human beings, a character should change as well!' Its hella fun.moreless
  • Cartman sets out to be a pirate. Warning this review is more like a rant on anyone who didn't like this episode and others rather than a review of the episode as I mostly agree with anyone who gave it above a 4.moreless

    Like most South Park seasons since the Death of Chief this one has mixed reviews from many. some like me enjoy all the episodes at least somewhat, and others for some reason hate the **** out of it.

    The episode that really got to me way back to explain this was around episode 100 when they explained how after 100 episodes the shows usually get repetitive or have ridicules plots and settings. and it would seem south park is at least attempting not to follow that by having focused character episodes like this one was. or by attacking pop culture in some way like the Jonas Brothers episode this season. and in some cases having writing and plots similar to season 1 plots where the writing is still clever but using abnormal things or commenting on others.

    and yet in the attempt to please everyone, the ones who want the episodes from the great season, the ones who want it back to it's roots, the people who want it to evolve and the ones that just want it to be entertaining no matter where they go, they seem to end up with seasons like this one where some love it and some hate it.

    much like all south park seasons lately this one starts strong with thier best episode ideas and leaves the end to have the ones that are still entertaining yet usually get mixed reviews by the public.

    I just hope we will see a season 15, 14 is assured I'm guessing, and I hope to enjoy more as the writers do there best not to get too repetitive or go too out there to be funny.moreless
Trey Parker

Trey Parker

Voice of Stan Marsh; Eric Theodore Cartman; Randy Marsh; Mr. Garrison

Matt Stone

Matt Stone

Voice of Kyle Broflovski; Kenny McKormick; Leopold 'Butters' Stotch; Gerald Broflovski

Mona Marshall

Mona Marshall

Voice of Sheila Broflovski; Various Other Females

April Stewart

April Stewart

Voice of Liane Cartman; Principal Victoria; Sharon Marsh; Wendy Testaburger; Various Other Females

Abdi Fatah Adawe

Abdi Fatah Adawe

Voice of Pirate

Guest Star

Dahir Ali

Dahir Ali

Voice of Pirate

Guest Star

Abdullahi Prime

Abdullahi Prime

Voice of Pirate

Guest Star

Sebastian Yu

Sebastian Yu

Voice of Ike

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Cartman shows a map of where Somalia is but states that Somalia is in North Africa instead of East Africa.

    • The first 2 legs of the route to Somalia which Cartman planned does not exist in the real world.

      First leg to Miami - Southwest Airlines do not have Miami as one of their destinations.

      Second leg from Miami to Cairo - There are no flights which serve this route. Also there is no such commercial airline as 'Dubai Air'.

    • It is revealed that Kevin's last name is Stoley, even though he's always been known as "Kevin C.".

    • Cartman tells Butters to move the ship "Hard to port" then tells him to go to the right. Port is a sailor term for left.

    • When Cartman announced that he was making a meeting for pirates he says no one who is Jewish, Mexican or Ginger can join but later on Ike joins and becomes a pirate even though he is Jewish. This is most likely because his origins are from Canada.

    • When Cartman's new pirate ship goes to attack the Italian ship you can clearly see that Cartman's ship still has the French flag on it, even though earlier he replaced it with the pirate flag.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Kyle: (reading Ike's letter) "Dear Mommy and Daddy. I am running away. I am sorry, but I can no longer handle the monotony of middle-class life. Everyone at school is a f***ing idiot, and if one more person talked to me about that Susan Boyle performance of Les Miserables, I was going to puke my balls out through my mouth. I love you all, but I have to move on. I'm going to Somalia to be... to be a pirate."? Oh, sh*t!

    • Cartman:We drink and we pillage and we do what we please,
      We get all that we want for free
      Cartman/Butters:We'll kick your ass and rape your lass
      Somalian pirates we!
      Cartman/Butters: With a yo ho ho!
      Somalian Pirates: Yo ho ho.
      Cartman: And with a ye he he!
      Somalian Pirates: Ye he he!
      Cartman: We take to the African sea!
      We'll brave the squalls and bust your balls,
      Somalian pirates we!
      Somalian Pirate: Somalian pirates we.
      All: Wee left our homes and we left our mudders to go on a pillaging spree,
      We'll cut off your ears and break your toes and make you drink our pee.
      And if you sail into our waters, you best hear this decree!
      We'll take your boat and set your ass afloat.
      Somalian Pirate: Somalian pirates we.
      Cartman: Nice!
      Cartman: With a yo ho ho!
      All: Yo ho ho!
      Cartman: And a tricky la tee do!
      All: Tricky la tee do!
      We'll shoot you in the face with glee
      We'll cut off your c*ck and feed it to a crock
      Ike: Somalian pirates we.
      All: Somalian Pirates We!
      CartmanSomalian Pirates We.

    • Cartman: (Reoccurring quote) Da f*ck?!

  • NOTES (3)

    • International airdates:
      Latin America: February 15, 2010 on MTV Latinoamerica Este.

    • For the first 7 episodes of this season, the show was nominated for the 2009 Teen Choice Award for "Choice Animated TV Show".

    • The crew of the USS Bainbridge, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missle destroyer which participated in the rescue of the hijacked MV Maersk Alabama, contacted the South Park creators to praise them for the episode. In return, they received numerous copies of the episode to view while at sea.


    • Ike's Letter: ...if one more person talked to me about that Susan Boyle performance of Les Miserables, I was going to puke my balls out through my mouth.

      Susan Boyle is a Scottish amateur singer. She gained worldwide attention around the time of this episode's airing for her performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical Les Misérables on Britain's Got Talent.