Here Comes the Neighborhood
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Locations
- 4 Original Songs
- 5 Behind The Scenes
- 6 Pop Culture References
- 7 Bonus Factoids
- 8 Season 5
The children at South Park Elementary are presenting science projects. Tolkien Black gets a "check plus" for presenting a computer model of predicted weather conditions, while Cartman is angry for receiving a "check minus" on his hastily constructed project and points out to the class Tolkien's wealth in his rage, notably his clothes. Tolkien, the token black child of South Park, happens to be the richest kid in town, and becomes upset when he can find no other kids in the school he can relate to. He tries to get himself and his family to act poor. They shop at J-Mart, where the rest of the families buy their clothes, but when he comes to Stan's house with the other boys and brings a DVD of The Lion King instead of a video tape–Tolkien's family being the only people in town with a DVD player–the boys realize that he has not changed.
Despondent at his social estrangement, Tolkien decides to arrange for dozens of rich people (who all happen to be black) such as Will Smith and Snoop Dogg to move into South Park, which leads to Mr. Garrison complaining about the "richers" in the town, which in turn leads to ire among the other, less affluent members of the community (who all happen to be white). However, Tolkien discovers that the rich kids (who are even richer than him) are as different from him as he is from the poorer kids in town. All the rich kids play polo, buy shops and speak with exaggerated English accents. Tolkien feels so much like an outcast that he goes to live with lions in the South Park Zoo after the rich kids taunt him to do it, where Aslan is the leader of the pack.
The situation between the rich and poor residents of town continues as the gentrification escalates. Led by Mr. Garrison, the townsfolk enact a series of measures. They decide to plant a lower case "t" cross for "time to leave" in the garden of some of the rich residents, setting it on fire to emphasize their point. They mock the rich residents by insisting they sit at the front of buses claiming it to be the "first class" section. They refuse to let them drink in the bars or eat in the restaurants. In response, the rich residents organize a Million Millionaire March by paying poor black residents such as Chef.
Tolkien eventually decides he does not want to live with lions anymore (because they only play practical jokes) and leaves the lair. However, he finds the boys and discovers that the poor kids in town who made fun of him being rich didn't dislike him. They tell him that they only picked on him because they all pick on each other on a regular basis. They decide to stop ripping on him for his money, and instead mock him for his reaction to the previous insults as being a "pussy".
Eventually, the townsfolk dress as ghosts (resembling Ku Klux Klan robes), resulting in the rich people responding with terror and fleeing the town. The poor townsfolk gather around their abandoned houses. Mr. Garrison suggests that by selling the empty houses the townsfolk can become rich. Jimbo Kern and Randy tell him that if they do they will become the very thing they hate. Garrison shrugs, "Well, yeah, but at least I got rid of all those damn ni-", and the episode cuts to credits before he can complete the word.
What I Learned Today
"You see, even though kids at South Park make fun of me, I still like hanging around them more than snobby rich kids or lions. Even though I may be different from them, I still like my old friends best."
- "For my project I made a pencil taped to a pen. In this way we see the duality of writing devices that occur in nature." Cartman
- "Your mother is a chemist for a pharmaceutical company, whereas your friend Eric Cartman's mother is a crack whore. One pays more than the other." Steve Black
- "Hey look, these pants are only five bucks apiece. They must really suck." Tolkien
- ""There goes the neighborhood." Jimbo Kern
- "What's in the huge box, richer? Your checkbook?" Herbert Garrison
- "Maybe you didn't see the sign out front. This bar is for people living below their means ONLY!" Barkeep
- "It looks like it will be a great turnout, as some of the millionaires also paid several thousand Mexicans to march for them." News Reporter
- "I do believe this town is HAINTED!" Rich Guy
Azlaan the lion, who seems unusually interested in practical jokes. Also Oprah Winfrey (who will be seen again in "A Million Little Fibers").
Just Kenny, though we don't know how. Toward the end of the episode we see his badly beaten body, but what happened to him isn't explained.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The show is about racism, sort of, though it's cast as a battle between rich and poor -- right until the very end, when Mr. Garrison blurts out the front half of a racial slur before being cut off by the show's credits. Some people consider it smart and ironic, but Trey and Matt aren't so sure. "It seems to be smart, but I don't think it is very smart," Matt says.
Pop Culture References
When Tolkien brings over a DVD of The Lion King for the boys to watch (not realizing none have DVD players), Cartman offers to "take this disk up to the Enterprise and see if Captain Kirk can decrypt it." Also, the lion that leads the pride in which Tolkien tries to live is named Azlaan, after the "Great Lion" character Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Tolkien's clothes are from Armani Exchange, an expensive Italian clothing store. The boys' clothes are from J-Mart (a spoof of K-Mart), where Tolkien eventually shops to try and fit in. While in J-Mart, there's a line of home goods called "Bertha Stewart" a parody of Martha Stewart's home dcor line. We'll see more of Stewart in "Red Hot Catholic Love" and "Eat, Prey, Queef".
Tolkien has an autographed Barry Bonds baseball bat.
The Million Millionaire March is a parody of the Million Man March, a mass political demonstration put on by African American men in 1995.
Pretty much every A-list African-American television, music, movie and/or sports star, along with their kids, who come off as snooty and over-privileged. More specifically, we see: Will Smith, Snoop Dogg, Oprah Winfrey, Kobe Bryant, Bill Cosby, and Puff Daddy's kids (named P Diddy Mini, Pidi Poofy Bite Size, and Puff A Diddy Daddy Puffy Fun Size).
When Tolkien's parents visit the local discount store, Kyle's mom wonders why they bother when they can afford to shop at Cherry Creek -- a real Denver-area shopping mall.
After getting a check minus on his presentation, Cartman says to Ms. Choksondik "I'll make you eat your parents." This is the second time he's used that threat (the first being in "Behind the Blow").
While the rich kids play polo, the boys play their own game "I'll kick you in the nuts".
In reality, The Lion King didn't debuted on DVD until two years later.
- e1 Scott Tenorman Must Die
- e2 It Hits the Fan
- e3 Cripple Fight
- e4 Super Best Friends
- e5 Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow
- e6 Cartmanland
- e7 Proper Condom Use
- e8 Towelie (episode)
- e9 Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants
- e10 How To Eat With Your Butt
- e11 The Entity
- e12 Here Comes the Neighborhood
- e13 Kenny Dies
- e14 Butters' Very Own Episode