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"Tonsil Trouble"
South Park episode
1201 sneaking into kyles room.png
Cartman sneaks into Kyle's room.
Episode no. Season 12
Episode 1
Written by Trey Parker
Directed by Trey Parker
Production no. 1201
Original airdate March 12, 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

"Tonsil Trouble" is the first episode of the twelfth season of the animated television series South Park. It was first aired on March 12, 2008.[1] In the episode, Cartman contracts AIDS during a blood-transfusion, and intentionally infects Kyle as well when Kyle laughs at Cartman's misfortune. The episode is unique in the fact that in many other South Park episodes Cartman has stated his wish for Kyle to contract AIDS.

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

DVD: The Cult of Cartman, The Complete 12th Season



While having his tonsils removed, Cartman is accidentally infected with HIV from donor blood. Shocked, he attempts to gain the support and pity of those around him but is unsuccessful because the AIDS awareness fad has been replaced by concern about cancer.

Kyle is among those who do not show care for Cartman, being actually pleased at his misfortune because of all the years that he had made fun of other people with AIDS. Cartman plots revenge by drawing some of his own blood and putting it in Kyle's mouth as he sleeps. When Kyle is diagnosed with HIV, he knows at once who is at fault and confronts Cartman in the playground and beats him up until Mr. Mackey stops him. The school authorities ask that Cartman apologize to Kyle for giving him HIV, and also that Kyle apologize for tattling about it.

Angered by this injustice, Kyle ignores Cartman's apology and goes straight to Cartman's house, telling Cartman that he intends to break everything he owns. When Kyle picks up Cartman's Xbox 360; Cartman pleads with him, telling him that he has done research which leads him to believe that a cure for AIDS lies in Magic Johnson's longevity since becoming infected with HIV. Kyle and Cartman fly to Johnson's house after gaining free airline tickets by pretending to have "all-over" cancer, because AIDS is too "retro" a disease. During their trip together, Kyle becomes angered by Cartman's constant jokes, ultimately screaming at him about how neither AIDS nor dying is funny, in stark contrast to how he treated Cartman at the beginning of the episode. Johnson is sympathetic toward the boys, offering assistance, but is unsure what he has in his house that helps. Upon investigation, Kyle and Cartman find that Johnson sleeps regularly with huge piles of cash in his bedroom, because he doesn't trust banks, which eventually prove to have the ability to neutralize HIV. Laboratory scientists experiment with a concentrated dose of "about $180,000 shot directly into the bloodstream" on the boys, which forces the HIV to disintegrate. Word is spread about the cure for AIDS and an event is held at which Jimmy Buffett sings "CUREburger in Paradise". Volunteers spread the word to poverty-stricken Africa that the fight against AIDS is over because all those suffering from the AIDS epidemic have to do now is inject themselves with piles of cash. Kyle, after an unfortunate mix-up during the celebration in which the speaker addresses him and Cartman as "Two brave lovers", tells Cartman he is still going to break his Xbox anyway, prompting Cartman to run after him.


The episode received generally mixed reviews with the consensus being that the episode "runs out of steam". IGN gave the episode a score of 7.2 out of 10 stating "It's a bit like 'South Park by the numbers,' as opposed to being truly inspired and insightful as the show's best episodes tend to be."[2] TV Squad also gave a mixed review, saying that "Overall, a good show with some great one-liners. Sadly, it also had a weak ending."[3] gave the episode a very positive review, praising the episode's message about AIDS.[4]

Cultural references

The film Philadelphia has been parodied multiple times in the episode, in which Eric Cartman is infected with HIV and dresses as Andrew Beckett, in the iconic black baseball cap with the red letter "P" on it and a black outfit, throughout the entire episode. The courtroom scene is parodied as well.


External links

Preceded by
The List
South Park episodes Followed by
Britney's New Look


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