The China Probrem: Wikis


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"The China Probrem"
South Park episode
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Indiana Jones about to be raped by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Episode no. Season 12
Episode 8
Written by Trey Parker
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 1208
Original airdate October 8, 2008
Season 12 episodes
South Park – Season 12
March 12, 2008 – November 19, 2008
  1. Tonsil Trouble
  2. Britney's New Look
  3. Major Boobage
  4. Canada on Strike
  5. Eek, a Penis!
  6. Over Logging
  7. Super Fun Time
  8. The China Probrem
  9. Breast Cancer Show Ever
  10. Pandemic
  11. Pandemic 2: The Startling
  12. About Last Night...
  13. Elementary School Musical
  14. The Ungroundable

Season 11 Season 13
List of South Park episodes

"The China Probrem" is the eighth episode of the twelfth season of the animated series South Park,[1] which was broadcast on October 8, 2008. It was the mid-season premiere for season 12. In the episode, Kyle seeks to bring George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to justice for "raping" Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Cartman tries to avert a suspected Chinese invasion.

The episode was written and directed by series co-founder Trey Parker, and was rated TV-MA in the United States.

The episode was dedicated to Isaac Hayes who died shortly before the episode.



Cartman has been plagued by persistent nightmares about the Chinese ever since he watched the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics on TV. He awakens one night after yet another bad dream, and his mother tries to calm him, but Cartman comes to believe that the Chinese, with their "two billion"-person population and "advances in technology," are a growing threat to America and the world. He concludes that America will be invaded by the Chinese within days. The next day, Cartman goes to warn Stan, Kyle, and Kenny, but Kyle suddenly runs off. Stan later confronts Kyle about this sudden departure and Kyle states that he cannot pretend things are normal again after "the rape of a friend." He confesses his feelings of deep guilt and his regret over the fact he, Stan and their friends "just stood there and did nothing". Stan admits that he shares Kyle's feelings but that they nonetheless have to move forward with their lives. Elsewhere, Cartman finds Butters and convinces him that China is going to take over America and kill Butters' parents. Butters decides to join Cartman's group, the American Liberation Front.

Kyle experiences a nightmare in which the rape incident is revealed to be about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which he saw earlier in the summer. He was appalled to see George Lucas (Matt Stone) and Steven Spielberg (Trey Parker) "rape" Indiana Jones, in the sense that the latest Indiana Jones movie did an injustice to the earlier films. Other boys similarly are going through a tough time after having witnessed the "rape" alongside Kyle themselves. Jimmy, commiserating by the lake, sees a similarly depressed Stan, and the two converse about the incident, and as Stan is leaving, Jimmy tearfully calls out to him that he cannot pretend things have not changed. Later dream sequences by the boys are more literal in their interpretation of the term "rape".

Meanwhile, Cartman and Butters dress up as stereotypical Chinese children and go to P. F. Chang's to try and trick the Chinese people there into telling them when the "invasion" is set to occur. Cartman's frustration doubles upon seeing caucasian Americans working there and (in his eyes) selling out their country. The two boys' antics begin to annoy everyone, but when they are asked to leave, they instead take the entire restaurant hostage. Cartman gives Butters a gun and tells him to fire at a man who is trying to escape; Butters' shot accidentally hits the man in the crotch. An enraged Cartman yells at Butters that "shooting guys in the dick is not cool."

At the same time, Kyle visits the Park County District Attorney and asks him to arrest Spielberg and Lucas for raping Indiana Jones. The attorney initially dismisses the case as rubbish, even after Stan, Jimmy, Clyde and Kenny come to back Kyle up, but when they make him relive the rape in his mind, he tearfully agrees to help them. The attorney and the boys go to the Park County Police Station and try to convince Sergeant Yates to find Lucas and Spielberg, but Yates refuses, as he never saw the movie, which shocks the boys. After another policeman admits he did see the movie and relives the rape in his mind, Yates agrees to help the boys bring down Lucas and Spielberg. At the restaurant, the police arrive to respond to the hostage situation. Noticing that one of the policemen is Chinese, Cartman convinces himself that the Chinese have already infiltrated the United States. He demands to speak directly with the president, the only safe option in his view. When the police try to enter the restaurant, Butters fires a warning shot and also hits the Chinese policeman in the penis, angering Cartman.

In the closing moments, the police find and take away Spielberg and Lucas, right as the two directors are literally raping an Imperial Stormtrooper. The two are taken off to jail despite their protests over a lack of evidence and the huge totals they have brought in at the box office. Meanwhile, at the restaurant, Butters has now shot a SWAT officer in the penis, who is now on the ground in pain, by which time Cartman is fed up, and abandons his mission of saving America by scapegoating Butters claiming that it was all his idea and that he doesn't want any part of "his" American Liberation Front anymore, leaving in frustration. As he is walking outside to announce his surrender, a police officer arrives to inform the others that Lucas and Spielberg are finally in custody. The officers and hostages all rejoice that "it's all over", and while everyone is hugging and crying, Cartman and Butters sneak away. Cartman ultimately explains to Butters that seeing Butters "go crazy" has made him realize that it may be difficult or feel intimidating for Americans to witness the emergence of a new global power but that Americans need to be more accepting of the idea. He adds that he is always willing to defend his country, but not if it means shooting people in the penis and losing his dignity. As Cartman leaves, Butters mumbles that he does not understand the big deal about Crystal Skull, as he actually thought that it was a pretty good movie.


The episode premiere drew 3.7 million total viewers, 2.5 million in the 18-49 demographic. This was up 21% from the previous fall's debut and topped all of cable during its time period. It stands as the show's most-watched fall premiere since 1999.[2]

IGN's Travis Fickett gave the episode 9 out of 10 points, praising both storylines and writing that "[t]he show is as funny and as smart as ever — and it's back at just the right time."[3] 411mania's review, written by DC Perry, criticized the episode for using material that felt dated, but described it as "pretty solid" and gave it a rating of 7.3 out of 10.[4]


The episode's rape scenes caused some controversies. The Telegraph's Catherine Elsworth wrote that Parker and Stone seemed "to have taken the taboo-busting to a place even hardened South Park watchers have found hard to go".[5] Nikki Finke reported that her knowledge was that Paramount, which owns the Indiana Jones franchise, had no intention to protest against the episode, but, in the words of an insider, "[wanted] it to go away".[5][6] The episode was named "Worst Cable Content of the Week" by the Parents Television Council for "exploiting the sensitive topic of rape for a trivial movie satire".[7]

Cultural references

The rape scenes in the show make reference to previous cinematic rape scenes. The scene where Indiana is raped behind a temple is a reference to the 1999 film Boys Don't Cry, the daydream of the lawyer in which George Lucas rapes Indiana Jones on a Howard the Duck pinball machine at a bar with Steven Spielberg cheering him on, is patterned after the film The Accused, in which Jodie Foster's character is gangraped on a pinball machine.[1] The scene where Indiana is forced to squeal like a pig while he is raped is a direct reference to the 1972 film Deliverance.[1]


External links

Preceded by
Super Fun Time
South Park episodes Followed by
Breast Cancer Show Ever


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