It Hits the Fan

It Hits the Fan

Infobox Television episode
Title = It Hits the Fan
Series = South Park

Caption =
Season = 5
Episode = 66
Airdate = June 20, 2001
Production = 502
Writer = Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Director = Trey Parker
Guests =
Episode list = List of "South Park" episodes
Season list = Infobox South Park season 5 episode list
Prev =
Next =
"It Hits the Fan" is the 66th episode of the animated series "South Park", and the first-broadcast episode of the fifth season (second in sequence, with "Scott Tenorman Must Die" being the first episode in sequence, which was delayed for several weeks.) It was originally broadcast on June 20, 2001. It is best known for its uncensored use of the word "shit" 162 separate times—a counter in the corner of the screen counts the number of times the word has been uttered. "Shit" is uttered roughly once every 8 seconds, if one includes the show's theme song in calculations. [Rutenberg, Jim (June 25, 2001). " ‘South Park’ Takes Gross to New Frontier." "The New York Times", Section C; Column 5; Business/Financial Desk; Pg. 9]


The episode questions whether there is an empty significance to taboo words and ridicules the relationship between television networks that use shock and the viewers that are predictably captivated. ABC's "NYPD Blue", a show known for controversial network television firsts, is specifically parodied Fact|date=August 2008 within the episode when a show named "Cop Drama" on "HBC" first introduces uncensored "shit." The creators of South Park related that they were angry because "if a drama or a serious show breaks the boundaries, it's "bold" and "artistic," but if a comedy show like theirs tries it, it's just "stupid, or shitty, or bullshit."

A sub-plot in the episode revolves around Mr. Garrison's ability to say the word "fag" (which is said 29 times, three of which are bleeped) due to his outing as a homosexual. However, many characters, most of which have been confirmed to be heterosexual, have said "fag" unbleeped, in both prior and subsequent episodes (including Garrison himself, after discovering that he was actually attracted to women and his transgender surgery reverted him back into a man in Eek, a Penis!, having altered his sex originally in Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina to a woman. After becoming a man again, he asserts that if you can't have children, you're not a woman, when "Thompson" tells him his wife had ovarian cancer and can no longer conceive, he tells him to get an AIDS test "because your wife's a dude, faggot.")

Executives at Comedy Central felt the profanity was justified by context and decided to allow the uncensored episode to be broadcast, which surprised even the show's developers.Fact|date=August 2008 Despite broadcasting a record setting amount of profanity, little controversy was stirred by the transmission. Co-creator Matt Stone explained the passive reception by citing changing cultural standards, "No one cares anymore... The standards are almost gone. No one gives a shit or a bullshit." According to DVD commentary, they were only going to say it a few times, which Comedy Central would not allow. However, when Trey Parker and Stone came up with the idea that they would "say it like 200 times, they [the network] [were] fine with it."

This episode made #8 on the list of "10 South Parks That Changed the World."


Kyle has tickets to go to "The Lion King", but Cartman tells him that the HBC crime show "Cop Drama" is going to use the word "shit." This broadcast leads to widespread acceptance of the word, even in schools, causing people to use it constantly, in casual and often out of context during conversations. Furthermore, Ms Choksondik is forced to clarify the acceptable context of the word—as a noun or adjective meaning bad, or as an exclamation of disappointment, the word is acceptable, but as a noun or adjective referring to shit, it is apparently unacceptable—thoroughly confusing the children (this is a reference to the real-life FCC standards of indecency). Mr Garrison sings "shitty, shitty, fag, fag" to the tune of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" after he realizes that not only is he allowed to say "shit" as it is now commonly accepted, but he is also now allowed to say "fag", as he is a homosexual. People start spewing up their intestines, so action is taken—the boys ask Chef to take them into the HBC Head Office to sort it out. Research proves that the word is actually a literal "curse(d) word," and its constant utterance has caused a resurgence of the bubonic plague. A special live event, "Must Shit TV," also called "The Night of a Million Shits," in which episodes of existing shows are taped live with almost every word of dialogue replaced with the word "shit," goes ahead anyway until the boys come back and tell everyone that curse words are actually cursed. However, by this point the word has been said enough times to awaken a demonic dragon called Geldon (with a voice just like Cartman's; Cartman comments,"Man, what a stupid voice"). Kyle destroys the dragon with an ancient magical rune stone belonging to a knight in the mystical Order of Standards & Practices. The moral of the story is not that saying "shit" is wrong per se, but saying it in excess leads to boredom with the word. And at that point, Cartman tells everyone to watch their language, which Kyle and Stan agree on.

Kenny's death

Kenny dies from the bubonic plague, then vomits out his intestines, which normally doesn't happen with the plague in real life, but is nonetheless consistent with the depiction of the plague throughout the episode.


This is the second of four instances of "shit" not being censored from "South Park", the first being in "Ike's Wee Wee," in which Mr. Mackey said the word "bullshit" uncensored (this was bleeped in all subsequent showings after the premiere, though.) In "Le Petit Tourette," some uncensored uses of the word were utterances of Tourette Syndrome. The ending of "Imaginationland Episode III" in season 11 also includes an uncensored version of the word. (The word "bullshit" was also said uncensored in the episode "It's Christmas in Canada").Fact|date=August 2008 According to commentary on season nine episode "Follow That Egg," there was a big fight with Comedy Central to allow Mr. Garrison to say the word "fag," and that they tried to convince the network he should be allowed because he is making a point. The network said they could have "two or three uses," which actually turned into twenty-six.Fact|date=August 2008


The Parents Television Council featured this episode in a study on violence, sexual content, and profanity on cable television in November 2004. [ [ PTC study] ] This is the only TV-MA rated episode on the syndicated airings, due to too many uses of "shit" for a TV-14 rating.

External Links

[ Episode page at South Park Studios]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • the shit hits the fan — offensive used to describe what happens when people find out about something that makes them very angry I told him I was dropping out of school and the shit hit the fan. • • • Main Entry: ↑shit …   Useful english dictionary

  • hits the fan — (something) hits the fan bad things develop or suddenly become known. After I learned I had cancer, I realized you need laughter more than ever when things hit the fan. Related vocabulary: the shit hits the fan …   New idioms dictionary

  • (the) shit hits the fan — taboo if the shit hits the fan, a person or an organization gets into serious trouble. If Dad finds out how much money you spent, the shit will really hit the fan …   New idioms dictionary

  • It Hits the Fan — Episodio de South Park Episodio nº 1 Temporada 5 Escrito por Trey Parker Matt Stone Dirigido por …   Wikipedia Español

  • shit hits the fan — Phrs. As when the shit hits the fan , it warns that severe consequences will be felt when the results of actions are discovered. Alternatively, in such phrases as the shit will hit the fan when she discovers the truth . See when the shit hits the …   English slang and colloquialisms

  • something hits the fan — (something) hits the fan bad things develop or suddenly become known. After I learned I had cancer, I realized you need laughter more than ever when things hit the fan. Related vocabulary: the shit hits the fan …   New idioms dictionary

  • When Pop Hits the Fan — Album par Suite Chic Sortie 26 février 2003 (CD) 30 avril 2003 (Vinyle) Genre Jpop ; hip hop ; RnB Format …   Wikipédia en Français

  • When The Shit Hits The Fan/ Sunset BLVD — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • when the shit hits the fan — When real trouble or conflict begins • • • Main Entry: ↑shit * * * when the disastrous consequences of something become public * * * when the ˌshit hits the ˈfan f4 idiom when sb in authority finds out about sth bad or wrong that sb has done •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • when the shit hits the fan — Phrs. When the truth is discovered the consequences will be felt. E.g. You re in big trouble when the shit hits the fan …   English slang and colloquialisms

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