South Park

Season 3 Episode 2

Spontaneous Combustion

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 14, 1999 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
282 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Kenny spontaneously combusts. The mayor asks Randy Marsh to find a solution. The boys try to help Kyle's dad to get an erection. One way they think they can help is by performing the Stations of the Cross at church crucifying Cartman and waiting three days for his resurrection. Randy Marsh figures out the reason everyone is combusting is because they are withholding their farts.


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  • Spontaeous Combustion

    If like me - you live in the UK and find it difficult to get a good web site where you can watch South Park episodes then you will find it pretty hard to actually be able to catch up regularly but I reccomend South Park Zone - when it is actually working or not frozen.

    Season 3 of South Park got off to a good start straight away and this episode is not as good but it is promising and very entertaining. The " erection " joke is very funny and I agree that even though some bits can be dull - this episode is quite good

    ;D Well Done South Park-ateers!moreless
  • The best episode of South Park so far.

    This episode had many many laughs in it for me. The theory of farting to avoid spontaneous combustion leading to global warming was not only funny, but incredibly smart too. Kyle asking people for an erection so he could give it to his Dad was pretty funny and the funniest thing was the lengths they would go to to get the erection, a.k.a killing Cartman on the cross so he can get res-erected. All the characters had a good part to play in this episode, including Officer Barbrady's hilarious, "T. T is for turtle." line, showing just how incompetent the police force in South Park really are. The only reason this didn't get a 10 was because the ending was rather weak.moreless
  • This episode was kinda spooky, well what I mean is that spontaneous combustion is a real thing so it was quite shocking.

    Apart from all of the bits that put you of a little, like the spontaneous combustion bits it was ok. I liked how they put eric on a cross like jesus because they thought kyles dad wanted that to happen, that bit was really well thought up and I think everybody else who has seen this episode thinks the same way. I dont think this episode was the best southparks productions could make it, but I do know it took at least a mounth to make it. I could never get bored of watching this episode because it gives you that special thrill.moreless
  • T is for turtle.

    In this episode Randy Marsh creates a "highly scientific" reason for spontaneous combustion, and Kyle wants to get his dad a nerection. But Randy's cure [farting to release methane gas] rips a hoe in the ozone, and Cartman gets Crucified. Randy's fix was "farting in Moderation", and Cartman survived for 3 weeks on his own fat [god that was funny]. Good episode.
  • Spontaneous Combustion is one of the first episodes to feature Randy Marsh as one of the main characters. He has recently proven to be a great source of material. It is nice to see this early version.moreless

    Spontaneous Combustion is one of the first episodes to feature Randy Marsh as one of the main characters. He has recently proven to be a great source of material. It is nice to see this early version.

    He is assigned to research the phenomenon that is spontaneous combustion. That is, people are exploding all over town and he has to figure out why.

    The highlight in this episode is naturally Randy. His dreams of becoming a successful scientists are fulfilled, if only partially.

    "Make love to me, Randy.. please."

    This episode is very good, and marks a new era of South Park. An era that will end up being very good.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

Mary Kay Bergman

Mary Kay Bergman

Voice of Wendy Testaburger; Liane Cartman; Sheila Broflovski; Sharon Marsh; Mrs. McKormick; Mayor McDaniels; Ms. Crabtree; Princ

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Voice of Jerome "Chef" McElroy

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • The memorial statue of Randy is sculpted in the exact same style of Michelangelo's David.

    • Visitor Sighting: In the first shot of Cartman's dream sequence where Chef gets him off the crucifix, a Visitor's head appears on the face of the moon.

    • This is the first episode in which a funeral is held for Kenny when he dies.

    • Cartman seems to magically regain his obesity after this episode. It is as if his weight is as constant as Kenny's regeneration. EDIT: Knowing Cartman, he went home, and had his mom make him a feast, which filled him to his normal weight.

    • If the heat wave was so bad you'd think the snow would've melted.

    • Everyone thinks the temperature is incredibly high and all the adults are wearing T-shirts. But the children never take off their woolly hats and scarves, and there is still snow everywhere!

    • Randy is a geologist but the Mayor chooses him anyway because he is the only "scientist" in town. Mephisto is also a scientist and the issue is actually much closer to his field than Randy's.

    • It was stated that the reason Kenny had spontaneously combusted was because he wanted to be polite in front of his new girlfriend, who we can assume is Kelly from the previous episode. In the Rainforest ep, Kelly states she live across the country from South Park, so how can Kenny be going to see her everyday?

    • When the citizens of South Park come in with another combustion case Randy automatically knows it's a she.

    • It's assumed that Mephisto doesn't live in South Park seeing how the mayor calls Randy "South Park's only scientist."

    • A statue of a naked Randy,"Randy's Dream"

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Kyle: Hey, that went really well. They really liked it.
      Cartman: Yeah, told you I'd be a sweet Jesus, you guys.
      Kyle: Aw man, at least the real Jesus didn't weight 400 pounds.
      Cartman: Up your ass, with broken glass!

    • Randy: Boys, did you notice anything strange about Kenny, in the weeks leading up to his combustion? What did he spend his time doing?
      Kyle: He didn't do anything. He was always with his new girlfriend.
      Randy: New girlfriend?
      Stan: Yeah, he started seeing this girl and he spent all his time taking the bus to go visit her. What does that have to do with his death?
      Randy: Maybe nothing...maybe everything.
      (Dramatic music plays in the background)
      Stan: Yeah, well, we're gonna go work on getting Kyle's dad a nerection.
      Randy: Yes, yes of course-I've got work to do.
      (They leave the room)
      Randy: What?

    • Stan: Is this what you're looking for, Kyle?
      Kyle: No, I don't think so.
      Kenny(muffled): How 'bout this?
      Kyle: No, that's a hairdryer!
      Store Clerk: Can I help you find something?
      Kyle: Yeah, do you have any nerections?
      Store Clerk: Any what?
      Kyle: I need to get a nerection for my dad.
      Store Clerk: Very funny, boys. Go on, beat it.
      Stan: Why is that funny?
      Kyle: Dude, my mom and dad keep fighting all the time. And I heard them say it's because my dad doesn't have a nerection. So, I wanna get him one.
      (The scene changes, and they're outside)
      Kyle: Damn it, what the hell is wrong with everybody?!
      Stan: That's the fifth store we've been kicked out of; why's it so hard to get a nerection?
      Kenny(muffled): I know, it's f**kin' bullshit!
      Kyle: I just wanna get a nerection so I can give it to my mom.
      Random man on street: What?

    • (Stan and Kyle arrive at Cartman's cross, three weeks after crucifying him)
      Kyle: Wow!
      Stan: That's amazing!
      Cartman: (Not in view) You guys, I am really pissed off now!
      Kyle: You're still alive?!
      Cartman: Get me down from hyah!
      Stan: You survived all this time on all the fat stored up in your body?
      (camera switches to show a shrivelled Cartman on the cross)
      Cartman: That's right. And when I get down from here, I'm gonna kick you both right in the nuts!

    • Randy: Mayor! I have it. I found out why people spontaneously combust.
      Mayor: [over the phone] Why?
      Randy: It's too complicated to explain over the phone.

      [Cut to clipboard that says:]
      Boyfriend == > Death
      Girlfriend == > Death

    • Stan: Dad, where's our Bible?
      Randy: Not now Stan, I have to figure out what makes people spontaneously combust. Or else.
      Stan: Or else what?
      Randy: Exactly.
      Stan: What?
      Randy: Right.

    • Newscaster: The spontaneous combustion problem escalates as more and more people go back to holding in all their farts. Meanwhile, the ozone layer continues to deplete as others refuse to hold in their farts for fear of combustion. As we all know, the cause for all of this is Randy Marsh, the son of a bitch who calls himself a scientist. We caught up with Mr. Marsh earlier today and he had this to say:
      Randy Marsh: Uhh, I, I don't know what to say--
      (Cuts back to the newscaster.)
      Newscaster: What an asshole! I hate that guy and so do you! And now onto the weather! It' f(beep)king hot! Thanks to Randy Marsh; son of a bitch.

    • Cartman: As soon as I get my superpowers, I'm gonna smote you two assholes off the planet!

    • (Kyle walks in on his parents in bed together)
      Kyle: Don't worry guys, I'm getting an erection as we speak! Well actually it's Cartman that's getting the erection but after he's gonna come over and give it to you, so buck up!
      (Kyle leaves)
      Sheila: We have a very strange little boy Gerald.

    • (Randy, after having been shunned by the town, is carrying the Micheal Angelo's "David" style statue of himself like Jesus carried the cross while being pelted with rocks )
      Randy: Mr. Garrison, Mr. Garrison! You've got to help me!
      Mr. Garrison: I, I do not know you, sir.

    • (After being rescued by Chef)
      Chef: Eric, i have to tell you something and it's really gonna bum you out.
      Cartman: What?
      Chef: It'll really piss you off.
      Cartman: What, tell me!
      Chef: This is just a dream, you're still up on that cross.
      (Cartman wakes up an realizes he's still on the cross)
      Cartman: Oh, dammit!

    • Officer Barbrady: Stand back, people, give the little burnt boy some breathing room!

    • Mr. Mackey: Hi boys!
      Stan and Kyle: (imitating Mackey) Hello, Mr. Mackey.
      Mr. Mackey: Have you boys been sure to pass gas so that you don't spontaneously combust?
      Kyle: We know how to fart, Mr. Mackey.
      Mr. Mackey: Well let me show you. (pats his butt) Oooh, baby, come on.
      (Mr. Mackey farts and boys cover their noses and mouths)
      Kyle: Jesus Christ!
      Stan: Sick, dude!
      Mr. Mackey: I had a steak wrapped with bacon last night. (giggles)
      Kyle: Dude, I think you pulled mud.
      Mr. Mackey: So you know you need to do that regularly, mmmkay.
      Stan: Okay, okay, just go away. (Mackey goes away) Dude, that was not cool at all.

    • Anchorman: Now for the weather. It's f(beep)king hot thanks to Randy Marsh, son of a bitch.

    • Randy: Stan, go live with Kyle's family.
      Stan: No dad, Kyle's dad sucks. He can't even get a nerection.
      Randy: (chuckles) Really?

    • (The same situation as in Randy's dream, Randy is tossed in the air by a happy crowd)
      Crowd: Randy! Randy! Randy!
      Man: We love you Randy!
      Woman: Make love to me Randy!

    • Officer Barbrady: (upon seeing Cartman on the cross) T is for turtle.

    • Father Maxi: Blessed be the name of Jesus.
      Congregation: (in unison) It's a great name, isn't it?

    • Father Maxi: Lord, is it so much to ask that you not let us burst into flames for no apparent reason? I mean, come on. Amen.

    • Cartman: Sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm Jesus and you're not.

    • Father Maxi: Boys, I haven't seen you in church lately.
      Kyle: Well, I'm Jewish.
      Father Maxi: You're not too Jewish to worship Jesus, are you?

    • Father Maxi: (During Kenny's funeral) Lord, though we have lost Neil Smith to free agency and Steve Atwater to the Jets, still we hope our beloved Broncos can bring home another super bowl championship and once again bathe in the glory of your light. Amen.
      Father Maxi: Let us pray.
      (Father Maxi and church begin cheering in the form of a hymn.)
      Father Maxi: Let's gooooooo.
      Congregation: Let's goooooo.
      Father Maxi: Broncoooooos.
      Congregation: Broncoooooos.
      Father Maxi: Let's go Broncos…
      Congregation: LET'S GO!

  • NOTES (3)


    • The Academy Awards
      The Nobel Prize ceremony is a knockoff of an Academy Awards ceremony, complete with actors Whoopi Goldberg and Nick Nolte.

    • Orgazmo:

      The song that plays in Randy's final daydream is similar to a song from Trey Parker and Matt Stone's earlier movie Orgazmo, when Joe and Ben are testing the orgazmorator.

    • Star Trek:

      When Stan says the line, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" is a reference to a quote said in Star Trek, he also holds up the Vulcan salute from Star Trek.

    • The Crucifixion:

      When Randy is forced to carry his own statue, Kyle almost subconsciously joins the crowd in insulting him (and pelting rocks) in a manner reminiscent of Jesus' crucifixion. This is almost certainly a humorous take on the belief that the Jews were somehow responsible for Jesus' death.

    • Jocelyn Wildenstein:

      The picture Stan's dad uses in his spontaneous combustion presentation is of Jocelyn Wildenstein. Jocelyn Wildenstein is notable as a socialite who had dozens upon dozens of plastic surgeries performed on her face in a misguided attempt to keep her husband, a famous art dealer, from leaving her. Her goal, bizarrely enough, was to transform herself into a human tiger. Common nicknames for Jocelyn included "Tiger Woman" and "Bride of Wildenstein".

    • Scooby Doo:

      Toward the end of the episode, there is a scene with a song playing in the background and various things are happening such as a monster chasing Kyle, Stan and Randy (Stan's dad) around a la Scooby Doo.