South Park

Season 8 Episode 11

Quest for Ratings

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 17, 2004 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
368 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

South Park Elementary has a closed circuit television network. Jimmy and "Rick" Cartman are the anchors for "Super School News." Stan reports on school lunches, Butters covers the celebrity watch, Token does the weather and Kyle covers sports. All is going well until Craig premieres a new show that gets much higher ratings than the boys' news program. So, they set out to get better ratings by finding a great story.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • I wish there was a Pizza Hut in South Park too!!

    South Park Elementary has a closed circuit television network. Jimmy and "Rick" Cartman are the anchors for "Super School News." Stan reports on school lunches, Butters covers the celebrity watch, Token does the weather and Kyle covers sports. All is going well until Craig premieres a new show that gets much higher ratings than the boys' news program. So, they set out to get better ratings by finding a great story.

    This episode really showed alot of things to me including that medicine can get you high. Seriously "trip balls" if you will. It was funny, funny, funny. And the animals were so cute!moreless
  • God! I wished there was a Pizza Hut in South Park.

    In this episode the Boys get a show to do the news, but Craigs show "Close Up Footage of Animals with a Wide Angle Lens" is kicking their ass, so there is a ratings war untill it is discovered that cough medicine abusers enjoy his show, and after they are taken off of it no one watches anymore. Personaly the hair and the footage was funny enough for me and earned this episode a point, I really enjoyed it. Nice Benny Hill tribute too.moreless
  • 122nd Episode

    It's Sexy Action School News Vs Close-up Animals With a Wide Angle Lense, Wearing Hats in a quest for school ratings!

    It may seem like a nothing plot of a bnunch of kids coming up with ideas for shows but South Park makes it anything but, with a cough medicine scandal and Butters getting ideas from the funnies.

    There are some very brilliant scenes such as Stan's hallucination and the school that banned cough medicine which were both memorable scenes in the episode as was Eric referring to himself as Rick for a reason only Cartman (if that) knows.

    Overall, this is one episode that is very original and entertaining but it could have been better in some aspects.moreless
  • Benny Hill Tribute

    Really loved this episode, I could have watched 'Close-Up Animals With a Wide-Angle Lens' for ages, especially with that classic Benny Hill music which braught back memmories of hilarious Benny Hill episodes with him being chased by buxom babes! Classic, only to be upstaged by 'Close-Up Animals With a Wide-Angle Lens Wearing Hats', those animals were really cute, cuter than the 'Panda Bear Madness Minute'! In the spirit of Benny Hill the guys come up with 'Sexy Action School News' with the delectable 'Raisins girls' that would do Benny proud! This is a classic, get it on DVD, I could watch it over and over!moreless
Trey Parker

Trey Parker

Voice of Stan Marsh; Eric Theodore Cartman; Herbert Garrison; Officer Barbrady; Terrance; Timmy; Ned Gerblanski; Satan; Randy Ma

Matt Stone

Matt Stone

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

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy

Mona Marshall

Mona Marshall

Voice of Sheila Broflovski; Linda Stotch; Various Others

Gracie Lazar

Gracie Lazar

Voice of Liane Cartman; Wendy Testaburger; Shelly Marsh; Sharon Marsh; Various Others

Adrien Beard

Adrien Beard

Voice of Token Williams

Recurring Role

John Hansen (V)

John Hansen (V)

Voice of Mr. Slave

Recurring Role

Jennifer Howell

Jennifer Howell

Voice of Bebe

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • This is the second episode of the series to revolve around a TV ratings battle between local TV programs, the first being season 2's 'The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka'.

    • According to the DVD commentary, Matt's dog, Mr. Yes, and Trey's cat, Jake, are featured in Craig's "Animals Close Up with a Wide-Angle Lens."

    • Stan appears to have no apparent resentment toward Token, even though he lost Wendy to Token.

    • Cartman suggesting the Crab People and being shot down by the others is a reference to how Matt and Trey use the Crab People as a temporary plot device in scripts until they can think of something better. Usually when they're stuck for ideas someone will say "Crab People" and everyone else will tell them "no", because they all know what a stupid idea it is.

    • When the boys are thinking of ideas, when Kyle starts to say his idea, he sounds like Butters!

    • Cartman said the girl's basketball team was on a 6 & 0 slide, but going undefeated in six games can't be considered a slide.

    • Token's last name is Williams, but Jimmy calls him Token "Black," which was his last name in earlier seasons.

    • The boys seem to change the hand they write with, and their pencils sometimes moved when they had a different camera angle.

    • Clyde Goodman is called Clyde Donovan. "Goodman" was never used on the show, but did appear on a South Park T-shirt in the first season

    • When the kids are at the pizza place and craig shows the kids the new episode of his show, notice the kids, there are TWO Kevins. Whoops!

  • QUOTES (20)

    • (after hearing the kids plan to lie to get ratings)
      Jimmy: Are you s-sure that this is ethical?
      Cartman: We're in 4th grade, Jimmy. We don't even know what ethical means.

    • (Craig enters Mr. Merrel's office)
      Craig: You wanted to see me Mr. Merrel?
      Mr. Merrel: Oh yes Craig. It appears that the ratings for your show are down, significantly.
      Stan: Gee what a coincidence.
      Jimmy: I wonder w-why.
      Mr. Merrel: You need to know how important ratings are Craig. So I'm going to suspend you from school, and request that you have your testicle's removed surgically.
      Cartman: Haha! In your face Craig!

    • Stan: You guys. You guys wake up!
      (the boys wake up & Kyle finds Butters laying against him wearing only his undies)
      Kyle: Argh! Butters. Get away from me.
      Butters: Oh Jesus! Where are my clothes?
      Stan: We took a bunch of cough medicine to come up with idea's for our show, I didn't come up with anything.
      Cartman: I did, I wrote something down. Here it is. Ahh squiggly line, circle.
      Kyle: I wrote down... all the lyrics to the Happy Days theme song.

    • (While the kids are high on cough medicine)
      Butters: Hey, let's run naked through the streets! (rips off clothing)

    • Cartman: Kenny! What the hell are you doing with this asshole?
      Kenny: (Muffled) Craig just asked me to do his show, geez.
      Cartman: You're helping Craig do his show? I can't believe that you would betray us like that! We've always been super cool to you!
      (Cuts to a scene where Cartman gloats about the news show in front of Kenny)
      Cartman: (Singing) Ha ha ha ha ha ha! We're gonna do a news show! And you can't do it with us! Because you are too poor! And poor people don't watch the news! Nya nya nya nya nya nya!
      (Scene goes back to the pizza place, with Kenny glaring at Cartman, with his arms crossed with a long pause)
      Cartman: Aw, whatever Kenny!

    • Announcer: This is South Park Elementary closed circuit television. And now… (dramatic music) on with the SEXY ACTION SCHOOL NEWS!!
      Cartman: Is South Park Elementary about to explode from a methane gas leak??? More on that later!!! But first, Stan Marsh has a look at some new outfits for the Raisins girls!
      Stan: Eric, the outfits are even skimpier than before leaving very little to the imagination. No doubt that if I were a little older, I would be aroused.
      Cartman: And now for a look at the weather here is Token Black, and Token! I hope there's no tornados headed our way!
      Token: (in Caucasian voice) No tornados Eric, but interestingly enough! There is a low pressure storm moving in over the Park County Valley. Should bring us some chilly days ahead! (smiles)

    • Jimmy: Here's Token Black with the weather.
      Token: Jimmy and Eric, it looks like a massive snow storm is headed South Park's way. I asked my dad last night and he said that he heard the snow storm is expected on Tuesday.

    • Jimmy: Welcome to Ssuper School News. I'm Jimmy Valmer.
      Cartman: And I'm Rick Cartman.
      Jimmy: The price of milk money will go up next Monday to 49 cents. The school claims the added money is due to the cow shortage in South Park County.
      Cartman: Parent-teacher conferences will be held this Wednesday night, from seven to nine. So kids, get a lot of playing in before you get grounded. And now, for a look at what's on the menu for school lunch today, here's Stan Marsh.
      Stan: Eric, it looks as though the school will be serving a chicken cutlet. Now that's traditionally a uh, a white meat chicken… breast, if you will, that has been breaded, and then cooked. I've been told there will also be tater-tots, and a vegetable dish. This is really shaping up to be a ah ah one fantastic lunch. Eric?
      Cartman: Hard-hitting reporting, Stan. Thanks a lot. And now, here with the celebrity watch is Butters Stotch. Butters, seen any celebrities?
      Butters: No, not yet. I've been standin' out in front of the school for about …two hours now, and I haven't seen any celebrities. Uh about thirty minutes ago I thought I saw Sigourney Weaver, but it turns out it was a dead horse.
      Cartman: All right, Butters, keep your eyes open.
      Butters: Will do!

    • Butters: Whoa! I'm feeeling kind of 'bowling-ballish' fellas.

    • Butters: I know! We should read the funnies! I always get good ideas from the funnies!
      Cartman: Butters, only gay little dweebs read the funnies!
      Butters: Yeah, I read them all the time!

    • Stan: We have to appeal to all the students. So we need hot girls for the sixth graders…
      Cartman: And panda bears for the pre-schoolers!

    • Butters: So Dagwood says, "go goo good good we are playing the back 9 at your house." Ha ha ha ha ha ha...

    • Butters: Stupid news hair! (throws his wig and kicks it)

    • Mr. Merul: But you got killed in the ratings by Craig's new show.
      Stan: Craig's new show?
      Mr. Meryl: Yeah. It's called Close-up Animals With a Wide Angle Lense, Wearing Hats!

    • Mr. Merrel: I'm afraid it's worse than that, boys. I gonna have to give you all Fs in extra curricular AV class. You have to learn now how important ratings are.
      Stan: Hey...well...but....we gave it our best!
      Mr. Merrel: Yes, (lyrically) and I guess your best wasn't good enough.

    • Mr. Merrel: Not only did you get all the students and myself off of cough medicine, but you got a 22 in the ratings!

    • Mr. Merrel: I'm sorry kids. You should be proud of what you've done. It's just that it's kinda gay.
      (Mr. Merrel walks away)
      Cartman: (pause) You're gay!

    • Mr. Meryl: Boys, I'm afraid I have some bad news. The school has to cancel your show.
      Kyle: What?
      Jimmy: For God's sake, Mr. M-m-Meryl?
      Mr. Meryl: Well, the students just aren't watching ya. Your rating was only a four this whole week.
      Cartman: How many students is that?
      Mr. Meryl: Four. (Holds up four fingers) Four students watch your show. And meanwhile, Craig's show is getting a 57!

    • Jimmy: The Park County School Council has approved a bigger budget for the computer lab-
      Cartman: Oooh, hang on there Jimmy looks like Kyle has some dibs on the students' bathroom habits! Kyle?
      Kyle: Eric, sources are speculating that 3rd grade student Pete Feldman, pees sitting down like a girl. We've also got confirmation that Sally Turner stuffs her bra, and Clyde Donavon has only one testicle.

    • (The boys all sit around a table at Whistlin' Willy's)
      Butters: Geewiz, we sure did work hard on that new show.
      Stan: Apparently it doesn't matter how hard you work.
      Whistlin' Willy: Hello boys, ready to do some whistlin? (whistles)
      Cartman: F*ck Off Whistlin' Willy, where not in the mood.
      Whistlin' Willy: If you want your pizza you got to whistle. (whistles) Come on.
      (Boys start to whistle)
      Whistlin' Willy: There you go. (Puts down pizza)
      Cartman: God, I wish we had a Pizza Hut in South Park.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Cartman says "Let's do a show about crab people" which is a reference to season 7's "South Park is Gay" episode. They even say, we already did that.

    • The last time an episode was about the frustration due to coming up with ideas was in episode 6-07, "Simpsons Already Did It." Its funny how Matt and Trey have turned their problem of not having any show ideas into actual show ideas.


    • Just Once:

      When the teacher sings "I guess your best wasn't good enough" he is referencing a song called "Just Once" sung by James Ingram.

    • The Writing Process:

      The scene where the boys are sitting around a conference table for hours trying to think of an episode idea is a direct reference to themselves and the hardships of making a whole episode of this series in a week's time.

    • Easy Rider:

      Parts of the boys' trip scene (especially the fish-eye lens and distorted music) are an homage to the 1969 film Easy Rider.

      Near the close of the film the protagonists (Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda) drop acid along with two prostitutes, in a scene vaguely reminiscent of this one.

    • Chuck E. Cheese's:

      Whistlin' Willy's is very similar to the pizza restaurant Chuck E. Cheese's.

      Chuck E. Cheese's is a pizza restaurant that celebrates birthdays for kids, and has games and entertainment with mini shows. It also has a big show that has Chuck E. Cheese and other characters of Chuck E. Cheese doing a dance.

    • Crab People:

      Cartman's great idea of a show about 'crab people' is shot down by the others, and is a direct self-pisstake on the exceptional silliness of episode 7-8, 'South Park is Gay,' where it turns out that the five Queer Eye Guys are in fact crab people trying to take over South Park by turning people into metrosexuals.

    • The Benny Hill Show:

      The music in Craig's show is a variation of the one used in The Benny Hill Show, "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph.

    • Anchorman:

      Most of this episode parodizes the 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (starring Will Ferrell) with the newscasting and the 80s hairdo's.

    • Blondie:

      When Butters talks about Dagwood (see Quotes), he's referencing the Blondie comic that appeared on Sunday, 14 Nov 2004.