Did you miss anything? Read on to enjoy the fullest, longest and most uncut list of pop culture nods and references in South Park’s October 1, 2014 episode Gluten-Free Ebola.
+ The boys return to school after the failed Kickstarter campaign from the previous episode, Go Fund Yourself.
+ Stan asks Wendy if she’d like to watch “that stupid Maze Runner movie” with him.
+ Butters has almost literally burned his bridges by burning the gym down.
+ Mr MacKay is gluten-free. He does not have actual Celiac Disease.
+ The Gluten-Free Craze should have been laid completely to rest due to a May 2014 study that found FODMAPs (Fermentable, Poorly Absorbed, Short-Chain Carbohydrates), not gluten, are one of the perceived enemies in the fight by faux Celiacs. And if it’s not the FODMAPs it’s the bleaching agents that make you feel like trash.
+ Celiacs, of course, are happy that their traditionally terrible food choices have become more plentiful. Unfortunately they now come off like self-important douchey idiots thanks to the new legions of the self-diagnosed. Celiacs need very strict food handling and safety. Blase attitudes toward gluten-free food prep is very dangerous when you’ve got an actual allergy.
+ The boys choose to throw a party for Scott Malkinson whose diabetes which is an actual food-sensitive disease. The Potato Salad Kickstarter guy threw a party after attracting $55,000 in donations from idiots. Apparently some charities got some money too from this. Somehow.
+ The radio station is WSPIC 88.3. Spic is a racial slur. The music is P!nk’s Get The Party Started.
+ Hooey and poppycock are both synonyms for nonsense.
+ Red meat (and fat) were shunned in the 1990s as being bad for your health. Seinfeld’s 1993 The Non-Fat Yogurt and their 1995 The Postponement are good time capsules showing the wane of fat-is-bad.
+ Mark’s Daily Apple covers the carbs VS fat/meat fight here.
+ From here, the episode turns into a nifty The Stand homage. Also see: Dongcopter.
+ The foods Randy and Sharon are removing from their home are bad for you regardless. Cutting it out will make you feel better, but it’s not ’cause of the gluten.
+ A bottle of Vitamin Water is on the kitchen floor. Its advertising has been under scrutiny by anyone who reads and understands labels.
+ You might want to consider avoiding ice cream because it contains Guar Gum. Both Guar and Xanthan Gum are notably useful for gluten-free baking.
+ Kyle is working on the party’s budget when he answers his black iPhone when Cartman calls. The Apple iPhone 6 came out on September 19th, 2014.
+ Tom Vilsack is the actual American Secretary of Agriculture.
+ Jeff Wilson is a real Research Chemist in the Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit.
+ The USDA was cobbled together due to the backlash from the 1906 novel, The Jungle.
+ Randy is greeted at the door by two men with Geiger counters which are used to detect radiation. They find Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) which is considered a poor or hipster beer.
+ The USDA appears to be using Java on their computers. The USDA’s command center is either based generically on WarGames or specifically on some new movie I haven’t seen yet.
+ Note: The Canadian food guide considers 35g of bread to be one serving. Most commercial bread slices are about 45g-55g.
+ Watch your portions, mmkay.
+ Michael Taylor, the real Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine from the FDA arrives. He and the two others are dressed like Men in Black.
+ Aunt Jemima is a pancake syrup brand whose icon was based on Nancy Green, born a slave in 1834. More women would go on to play the part. “Aunt Jemima” is interpreted as a racial slur.
+ Cartman’s “Aunt Jemima” dream sequence continues the homage to Stephen King’s The Stand.
+ One of the flashback shots resembles the cyan Futurama intro.
+ As of September 10, 2014 Google Maps’ Street View function now includes the Pyramids of Giza.
+ The triangle reminds me of the Triforce because when I was your age, computer games had terrible graphics capabilities. The FDA can’t triforce.
+ Papa John’s restaurant shows a portrait of real-life owner John Schnatter.
+ The motto is actually “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.” In South Park, the sign reads: “More Dough. Better Pizza.”
+ This episode satirizes the current Ebola outbreak. On September 30th, it was announced that an American man in Dallas who had recently been in Liberia had been diagnosed with ebola after returning to his home in Dallas, Texas on September 20th. Stan’s radio message recalls the September 16th, 2014 comment by President Obama that the “chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low” at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
+ Eggo waffles and pizza pockets are considered childish or “poor” foods.
+ One of the callers is from Como, Colorado.
+ First Lady Michelle Obama is known for her overreaching involvement against childhood obesity and has influenced the new American food guide. Michelle Obama and Tom Vilsack released Choose My Plate on June 2, 2011, replacing the old Food Guide Pyramid, rendering old episodes of Clone High strange and confusing to younger viewers.
+ The well-balanced vaccine comment probably refers to some other movie I’ve never heard of. But what?!
+ Randy’s Lorde dress is distilled from several of the musician’s getups, including the netted top/dress/thingy from her June 23, 2013 music video Tennis Court. See also this and this. Bless her weird little heart.
+ The end credits give Matt Stone and Trey Parker as (GF), which is a common initialism for Gluten-Free. It is often used to denote gluten-free menu items at restaurants.
Did I miss anything? Comment below!
A great article on Drug Abuse and Diabetes from Drugabuse.com