South Park has never been one to shy away from calling out social annoyances no matter how ‘first-world’ they may be, but this episode shows how self-proclaimed food critics can devastate a small business. After last week’s hiatus, it seems Matt Stone and Trey Parker are taking a break from the SoDoSoPa overarch of the season and focusing in on something a bit more personal: jerks who bully restaurants into special service by mentioning they are a Yelp reviewer. Sometimes South Park tackles large social or political issues, and sometimes episodes of South Park are focused around something that the writers personally find offensive or just annoying. Sometimes, these are the best kinds of episodes.
This week, three very different South Park residents – psychotic 10-year-old Eric Cartman, middle-aged Jewish lawyer Gerald Broflovski, and South Park Police Sergeant Harrison Yates – all believe themselves to be the town’s most expert food critics on Yelp. And it’s not just those three characters; almost everyone who walks into a restaurant in this episode claims to be a Yelper and demands special service. Gerald acts like a morally superior critic, Sergeant Yates believes he’s the only trustworthy voice in the whole town, and Cartman uses his sway over a local Mexican restaurant to torment the son of the owners to be his personal servant in school every day at lunch, including assigning him a duty to recite, “I ride my teeny-tiny bicicleta to school.”
It wasn’t hard to see where the episode was headed. Eventually, every single Yelper thinks that they themselves were appointed leader of Yelp. At the end there was only one appropriate solution, proposed by Kyle, South Park‘s moral compass: to make each Yelper believe they had been specially chosen by the Mayor to be South Park’s official Yelp voice. The episode ended with a montage of these self-important people being served ‘special’ food to the jolly tune of “Boogers and Cum” suggesting that any person selfish or snobby enough to claim special treatment for being one of a million voices deserved to eat a little boogers and cum in their burrito. And honestly, who could argue that?
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