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"Imaginationland Episode I"
South Park episode
South Park 1110 imaginationland terrorist al qaeda.jpg
Imaginary characters are taken hostage by terrorists.
Episode no. Season 11
Episode 10
Written by Trey Parker
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 1110
Original airdate October 17, 2007
Season 11 episodes
South Park – Season 11
March 7, 2007 – November 14, 2007
  1. With Apologies to Jesse Jackson
  2. Cartman Sucks
  3. Lice Capades
  4. The Snuke
  5. Fantastic Easter Special
  6. D-Yikes!
  7. Night of the Living Homeless
  8. Le Petit Tourette
  9. More Crap
  10. Imaginationland Episode I
  11. Imaginationland Episode II
  12. Imaginationland Episode III
  13. Guitar Queer-O
  14. The List

Season 10 Season 12
List of South Park episodes

"Imaginationland Episode I" is the tenth episode of the eleventh season of Comedy Central's animated television series South Park. "Imaginationland' premiered on October 17, 2007.[1] It is the first episode in a three-part story arc that won the 2008 Emmy for "Outstanding Animated Program for One Hour or More". The three episodes were later reissued together, along with previously unreleased footage, as the uncensored Imaginationland: The Movie. The episode is rated TV-MA-LV.


Plot summary

The episode begins with Cartman directing the other boys through a forest in search of a leprechaun. A skeptical Kyle is there, having made a bet that if Cartman can prove leprechauns exist, Kyle will suck Cartman's balls, but if not, Cartman will owe Kyle $10. To Kyle's shock, they do spot a leprechaun and give chase. They eventually successfully catch it in a trap. The leprechaun says he was sent to warn of a terrorist attack, and that being chased by the boys has made him late, before vanishing. A triumphant Cartman declares that Kyle must now suck his balls, but Kyle initially refuses, asking why a leprechaun would be warning of a terrorist attack and insisting that there has to be a logical explanation. The next day, as Kyle is conversing with Stan, Kenny, Jimmy and Butters, a strange man suddenly appears (Mr. Sophistication from The Killing of a Chinese Bookie), asking them if they have seen the leprechaun. When Kyle argues that leprechauns are just imaginary, the man tells him that just because something is imaginary doesn't mean it is not real. He then invites the boys for a ride in his magical "Imagination Flying Machine" while he serenades them with "The Imagination Song" (consisting simply of the word 'imagination' sung repetitively in various tonal inflection).

The group arrives in a place called Imaginationland, where all the beings created by human imagination reside, including: Mario, Santa Claus, Rapunzel, Dick Tracy, Mr. Clean, Jason Bourne, Cinderella, Napoleon Dynamite, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fat Albert, Count Chocula, Edward Scissorhands, Bigfoot and John Wayne's character Rooster Cogburn from True Grit, and the strange man turns out to be the Mayor of this land. The imaginary creatures are all fascinated by the presence of "creators", and ask them about the leprechaun. At that moment a band of Muslim terrorists suddenly appear and set off a series of bombs, which kill hundreds of the imaginary creatures and destroy most of the city, with Stan watching in a manner quite alike that of Tom Hanks' character during the initial beach-head storm in Saving Private Ryan. The boys flee on the back of a dragon who flies them to safety. Butters, however, gets left behind, and he and the surviving imaginary characters are taken hostage by the terrorists. The next morning, Kyle wakes up in his bed, and is at first sure the whole thing must have been a dream — until he calls Stan who tells him the same story. They also discover that Butters is missing, much to his parents' shock.

Meanwhile, Cartman, angry that Kyle has refused to fulfill his part of their agreement, takes Kyle to court, where the judge sees the contract Kyle signed and orders Kyle to suck Cartman's balls within twenty-four hours or he will be arrested. The United States Department of Defense has received a video from the terrorists, which shows they are holding the survivors of the attack hostage, including Butters. Butters reads a note from the terrorists at gunpoint, and cries out to Stan and Kyle as the video ends. Unsure of how to counter the terrorists, they turn to Hollywood, hoping that they can use their creativity to get ideas. After being disappointed by several directors, including M. Night Shyamalan (who can offer nothing but surprise endings) and Michael Bay (who just suggests random action sequences), they seek the advice of Mel Gibson, who suggests that they examine the video the terrorists sent and determine if there is anyone in it that somehow doesn't fit. The officials at the Pentagon immediately perform a background check on the video and realize that Butters is not an imaginary character. The general orders his men to locate both Stan and Kyle.

In Imaginationland, the terrorists take one of the creatures, "Rockety Rocket", and launch him at the "the Barrier", the wall that separates the good and evil halves of Imaginationland. Despite Butters' attempts to stop them, the terrorists destroy the wall and unleash the evil imaginary creatures. Cartman, meanwhile, dons a Sultan's robe and throws a huge party, during which the other kids are to watch Kyle suck his balls. Kyle has resigned himself to the task, and is about to walk into Cartman's house with Stan when members of the military arrive and take them away for questioning about Imaginationland. Cartman screams in anger about his plan being foiled, then quickly leaves home and hitchhikes with a trucker to Washington, D.C. to force Kyle to fulfill his end of the bet. He ends the episode tracing his finger lustfully across a photo of Kyle, with the closing words, "Make no mistake, Kyle. Before this is over, you will eat my balls."


Production for the episode began in July 2007, nearly three months before the final airing. This was uncharacteristic for South Park, as most episodes are produced in one week or less. The original intention was to make the story into a feature-length film, but Matt Stone later stated that "it just didn't feel right" so they settled on the three-part series instead.[2] Shortly after "Imaginationland" was originally broadcast, the site also featured T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts based on the episode. It featured Butters in a floating bubble, asking "Do I have to be the key?"[3]


Episode I had over 3.4 million viewers and was the most watched program in all of television for Wednesday night among Men between ages 18-24 and 34-49 and ranked #1 in cable among persons 18-49.[4]

IGN gave the episode a rating of 9.1/10 and praised it for being "smart, inventive and provides a number of moments that'll stick with you long after it's over". [5] 411Mania also gave the show a positive review, calling it "a great episode", praising it as an improvement over what the site perceived to be two weak episodes, and awarding it 7/10.[6] TV Squad also gave a positive review saying that "They're still on a roll with another great episode." [7]

The Imaginationland Trilogy won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More).[8]

Cultural references

The mayor of Imaginationland bears a striking resemblance to Dreamfinder, a former character on a ride in Epcot's, Journey Into Imagination with Figment. The "Imaginationland Song," the mayor sings resembles the chorus of One Little Spark, the theme song of Journey into Imagination.

Imaginationland: The Movie

Imaginationland: The Movie
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Starring Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Distributed by USA/UK: Paramount Pictures
Running time 68 min.
Country United States
Language English

Imaginationland: The Movie is all three episodes, completely uncensored, plus previously unseen footage.

It was released straight to DVD in March 2008 for the US and a year later in the UK on May 2009. Included were two bonus full-length episodes from previous seasons featuring imaginary characters that reappeared in the trilogy. They are episode 814, "Woodland Critter Christmas", and episode 1006, "Manbearpig".[9]

A few months later the movie was released for free online as a streaming video.[10]

See also


External links

Preceded by
More Crap
South Park episodes Followed by
Imaginationland Episode II

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