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A mishap at the morgue transforms the residents of South Park into brain-eating zombies and threatens the boys' night of trick-or-treating.
Kenny is killed by the falling Mir space station while waiting at the bus stop with Stan, Kyle and Cartman. The boys quickly shake off the incident and debate who has the most ass-kicking Halloween costume. Kenny's body is trucked off to the morgue, where his embalming fluid is contaminated with Worcestershire sauce. This causes him to reanimate, as a flesh-eating zombie. He escapes, mauls the mortician and his assistant, and heads into town.
Next day the boys are back at the bus stop, each wearing a costume. Kyle is dressed as Chewbacca and Stan (because his girlfriend Wendy told him she was coming as Raggedy Anne) is dressed as Raggedy Andy. Cartman wears a Hitler costume. As Kyle tries to understand what possessed his friends to make such poor choices, zombie Kenny staggers up and joins them.
At school nearly everyone is dressed in identical Chewbacca outfits, even Wendy. When Stan asks what happened to their Raggedy Anne/Raggedy Andy pact, she says, "I guess I just realized how stupid we would look."
That evening's trick-or-treating doesn't go well, because Kenny attacks everyone who answers their door. They visit Chef's house, who greets them with a chainsaw in each hand. He's aware of the zombie invasion and leads Stan, Kyle and Cartman to the mortuary to try to find out what happened. They're attacked by a mob of undead and Chef, bitten, joins their ranks. The boys flee into the night.
Kyle manages to find a pay phone and call the Worcestershire helpline while Stan and Cartman, in a bloody chainsaw fight, hold off the zombies. Kyle is informed that once the original zombie is neutralized, everyone else will revert to normal.
Stan encounters a zombified Wendy and can't bring himself to kill her. Just then, Kyle appears and cuts Kenny, the original zombie, in half. Suddenly everyone (that is, everyone the boys haven't slaughtered) returns to life.
What I Learned Today
"Halloween isn't about costumes or candy. It's about being good to one another and giving and loving."
It's worth noting that Stan confuses Halloween for Christmas.
- "You scared me, you communist bastard!" (Russian Cosmonaut)
- "You know, I think death is least funny when it happens to a child." (Mortician)
- "At least my mom's not on the cover of Crack Whore Magazine!" (Stan Marsh)
- "Too bad drinking scotch isn't a paying job or else Kenny's dad would be a millionaire!" (Eric Cartman)
- "I'm gonna make love, even when I'm dead." (Zombie Chef)
- "Oh my God, I killed Kenny!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "Remember kids, dressing up like Hitler in school isn't cool" ("That Hitler Guy" PSA)
- "Let's all point at Stan and laugh, children." (Mr. Garrison)
- "You're probably wondering why we're standing here with a pile of money and no pants on." (Officer Barbrady)
We are first introduced to South Park Elementary's Principal Victoria this episode. We also see South Park Morgue's mortician and zombified versions of some characters.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
Trey wanted to convey how Halloween is a positive holiday, despite its horror themes. The episode is a salute to the flesh-eating zombie movie genre, but mostly to the 1985 flick The Return of the Living Dead.
Pinkeye was also included in the plot because Trey and Matt associated the illness with elementary school life, claiming pinkeye was something every third grader got.
Pop Culture References
When Chef gets bitten, he immediately breaks into the song "I'm Gonna Make Love, Even When I'm Dead". The song, as well as the accompanying dance number with the zombies, is a takeoff on Michael Jackson's "Thriller". When Chef rips open his shirt and shouts, this is a reference to Michael Jackson's "Black or White".
Mr. Garrison is dressed as Marilyn Monroe in her iconic white dress for Halloween. Chef is dressed as Evel Knievel, the legendary stunt man. Principal Victoria mistakes his costume as Elvis Presley.
After Principal Victoria makes Cartman change his Hitler costume into a "ghost" costume, he looks like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Similarly in "Here Comes The Neighborhood", the townspeople also dress up like "ghosts" in order to scare rich African American people out of town.
In Principal Victoria's office, there is a poster about "Puffy the Bear", which is a parody of fire safety mascot Smokey the Bear. She also has a picture of Kathy Lee Gifford on her shelf.
In a reference to The Shining, the school bus in the opening animation has "Redrum" (murder, backwards) scrawled on it.
Romance author Jackie Collins, whom Mr. Garrison discusses in class on Halloween eve because she's a "great horror writer".
Tina Yothers from Family Ties judges the school's costume contest. Kyle responds by saying, "Dude, I thought she was dead." During the costume contest the horrifically decomposing Kenny wins second place for what Yothers mistakes to be an Edward James Olmos costume.
- A poster of Isaac Hayes is seen hanging in Chef's house.
- The theme song, as well as opening animation, was totally redone for this Halloween-themed episode. This is the only time the theme song has been altered for just one episode.
- Jimbo and Ned can been seen on the rooftop of South Park Avenue with guns, shooting zombies.
- Cartman's mom is on the cover of the fictional Crack Whore Magazine, with the subtitle reading "Back do' ho. Five on one action!" She is later seen actually being a crack whore starting from "Jakovasaurs".
- This is the first time Cartman dresses up like Hitler. He does it again in "The Passion of the Jew".
- Wendy sends all the candy she won to starving children in Nairobi, which is the capital city of Kenya. While places in Africa are commonly associated as third world and impoverished, the city of Nairobi is actually a well developed city.
- There are three hidden Visitors throughout the episode: in a jar and a calendar at the morgue, and at Cartman's house when his mother is decorating.