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Facebook is just the latest high-tech South Park skewering: iPhone, Bill Gates, Star Trek, the Internet all get lampooned
Season 4, episode 11: Cartman purchases a Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper Ultra Keeper Futura S 2000, apparently the most advanced trapper keeper ever built. In a spoof of Terminator, a cyborg from the future goes back in time to destroy the trapper keeper, but Cartman buys another one, which eventually absorbs Cartman's body and becomes a giant monster that threatens to destroy the world. Look for the reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey when Kyle travels inside the giant Cartman-trapper keeper to disable it.
Season 11, episode 4: In this parody of the show 24, Kyle helps a CIA intelligence expert improve his Web browsing skills. After the CIA leader instructs his operatives to "check for any terrorist chatter on AOL" and "try searching for nuclear devices on AskJeeves.com," Kyle shoots back: "AskJeeves? Nobody uses AskJeeves! Just Google search it!"
'Starvin' Marvin in Space
Season 3, episode 11: Aliens land on Earth, only to have their spaceship taken by an Ethiopian child named Starvin' Marvin. Kenny gets frozen in carbonite, just like Han Solo. As far as alien-themed episodes of South Park go, it's pretty clean, especially compared to the first episode in season one, in which Cartman is abducted by aliens and receives a free, er, "medical exam." Incidentally, the very first episode of South Park was the only one animated without the use of a computer.
Season 4, episode 12: The kids build a time machine using Timmy's wheelchair, with help from two obsessive Star Trek fans whose friendship is threatened by a disagreement over how many episodes were produced in the original Star Trek series.
Season 13, episode 10: A wrestling coach, frustrated by the locals' fascination with fake wrestling, takes out his iPhone to show them a video of what real wrestling looks like, but is fired when it is mistaken for pornography.
Go God Go XII
Season 10, episode 13: Cartman has traveled 500 years into the future – well, actually, he cryogenically froze himself and waited 500 years - to locate a Nintendo Wii in an ancient technology museum so he can play it before it comes out in his own time. But he discovers that the Wii is incompatible with TVs in the year 2546, so he uses a "time phone" to call himself and prevent his plan from being set in motion.
What South Park has taught us about technology
Bigger, Longer and Uncut
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is shot in the head by an Army general in the South Park movie/musical, released in 1999. After suffering a computer problem, the general yells "Get Bill Gates in here!" and the executive is promptly escorted into the room by soldiers. The general complains "You told us that Windows 98 would be faster, and more efficient with better access to the Internet!" Gates replies "It is faster! Over five million…" but before Gates can finish his sentence the general shoots him dead.
Season 8, episode 10: The boys reminisce about an incident from pre-school in which they played with fire, burning their teacher so badly she is confined to a wheelchair that resembles a brainwave-operated wheelchair featured in a Star Trek episode called "The Menagerie."
Season 5, episode 11: After Mr. Garrison invents a Segway-like vehicle called "IT," Steve Jobs and Bill Gates come to South Park to check it out. After learning that IT travels 200 miles an hour and gets more than 300 miles per gallon, Gates says "this will change everything," and Jobs exclaims "We're going to have to rethink cities!"
Make love, not Warcraft
Season 10, episode 8: The gang obsessively plays the online role-playing game World of Warcraft, in the process gaining hundreds of pounds and ignoring basic human functions such as using the bathroom. The boys are finally able to destroy their arch-nemesis after receiving a 1GB USB flash drive which contains the "Sword of a Thousand Truths."
Season 11, episode 13: First airing a week after the release of a Guitar Hero video game, the episode has the South Park kids obsessed with mastering the game and securing a recording contract. When Stan's father, Randy, interrupts their game by playing a real electric guitar, the kids scoff at his reliance on ancient, non-video game music technology.
Season 12, episode 6: After the Internet crashes in Colorado, South Park-ians migrate west in a search for Web access that parodies The Grapes of Wrath. After arriving in California, the Marsh family takes shelter in a Red Cross Internet refugee camp, where refugees are rationed 40 seconds of Internet access a day. Eventually, Kyle fixes the entire Internet by power cycling a giant wireless router.
Season 13, episode 6: Stan's father, Randy, steals a superconducting magnet from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to give Stan an unfair advantage in the local pinewood derby. Stan's car is able to bend time and space and move at warp speed, but sets off an intergalactic incident when it shoots into space and is discovered by aliens
Season 10, episode 2: South Park residents start buying hybrid cars to save the environment, but become so full of themselves that they fill the sky with "smug" emissions, creating a storm that levels the town. The hybrid cars are destroyed and replaced with SUVs, returning smug levels to normal.
Season 1, episode 12: Barbra Streisand uses an ancient relic called the "Diamond of Pantheos" to turn herself into a giant mechanical dinosaur dubbed "Mecha-Streisand," which terrorizes South Park until being defeated by Robert Smith of The Cure, who has transformed into a giant moth.
Best Friends Forever
Season 9, episode 4: Kenny dies (no surprise there) and is lifted to Heaven where he is tasked with defeating the minions of Hell with a golden PSP, the portable gaming device made by Sony. The episode teaches us that the PSP was actually created by God to defeat Satan in an ultimate battle between good and evil. Oh, and, while Kenny is in Heaven, his vegetative body is subject to a media frenzy back on Earth that parodies the Terri Schiavo euthanasia debate.
Christian Rock Hard
Season 7, episode 9: After Cartman forms a Christian rock band, the other kids download songs from the Internet, only to have their house stormed by FBI agents investigating illegal music downloads. After Kyle says he didn't think downloading songs was a big deal, a detective shows them "impoverished" rock stars, such as Metallica's Lars Ulrich, who "was hoping to have a gold-plated shark tank bar installed right next to [his] pool," but could not afford it immediately "thanks to people downloading his music for free."
What South Park has taught us about technology
South Park takes on Facebook in a new episode titled "You have 0 friends" premiering Wednesday. Kyle apparently will face a crisis when his Facebook friends desert him, but this is far from the first time the show has given its unique perspective on technology, real and imagined. Let's look at some of the most memorable technology-related moments from South Park.