When Sharon Marsh's Aunt Flo makes a monthly visit, she brings a mysterious pet fish for Stan. Cartman suddenly has a beard and is very nice.
It's Halloween and Cartman is acting weird. Sometimes he's his regular obnoxious self, endlessly saying the word "hella". Other times he shows such un-Cartman-like traits as compassion and consideration for others.
Meanwhile, Stan's mother Sharon Marsh tells him that her Aunt Flo Kimble who visits each month has given him a fish as a present. In reality, the fish murders people at night. Sharon, convinced Stan is the killer, dutifully buries the bodies to cover her son's tracks. She even kidnaps Officer Barbrady when he comes snooping around and locks him in the basement. The fish also kills Aunt Flo and of course Kenny.
The boys discover that Cartman is actually two separate people. The "good" Cartman is from an evil parallel universe, as is the pet fish. They promptly return Stan's fish to the Ancient Indian Burial Ground Pet Store where the portal between worlds reside. They learn that nine other evil pets have already been returned.
After they leave, doppelgangers of Stan and Kyle cross over from the evil universe. They release the evil pets which go on a killing spree. They also ally themselves with the Cartman from this world and go gunning after Stan, Kyle and good Cartman. After a vicious struggle the evil Stan and Kyle are vanquished back to their own world using a "gingerfication gun".
Stan and Kyle want to send their Cartman back to the evil parallel universe and keep the good Cartman. However, the two boys lose track of who is who and don't know who to blast. One of the Cartmans says they should shoot both Cartmans just to be sure. Figuring only doppelganger Cartman would be capable of such altruism, they zap the other one instead. Stan and Kyle are stuck with their Cartman, who figured the two would fall for such a lame ruse.
- "Man, you guys are hella stupid." (Eric Cartman)
- "Hush little baby, don't say a word, momma's gonna buy you a mockingbird. If that mockingbird don't sing, momma's gonna bury it in the backyard." (Sharon Marsh)
- "You guys are my best friends! Through thick and thin, we've always been together! We're four of a kind! Havin' fun all day! Pallin' around and laughin' away!" (Evil Cartman)
- "You guys can kiss my black ass." (Eric Cartman)
- "I've got such a good boy, such a handsome boy” (Sharon Marsh)
- "You kick ass Evil Cartman!" (Kyle Broflovski)
- "Let's see I hate you guys. You're hella-stupid” (Eric Cartman)
Close to a dozen people including Kenny and Aunt Flo are finished off by Spookyfish. The other evil pets also claimed an undetermined number of South Park residents.
Behind The Scenes
Where Did The Idea Come From
The plot elements involving parallel universes and doppelgangers are a parody of the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror". This episode introduced a mirror world where the Federation was evil and each crew member of the Enterprise had an evil doppelganger. Mr. Spock's had a beard much like the Cartman, Stan and Kyle doppelgangers.
Using pictures of Barbara Streisand for "Spooky-Vision" comes from Trey and Matt's strong distaste for the singer-actress (see "Mecha-Streisand"). This was also a response to an interview she had with Mirabella magazine where she commented on her portrayal in the aforementioned episode. She stated that "I enjoy satire and parody, [but] I wonder if shows like South Park and Beavis and Butt-head don't add to the cynicism and negativity in our culture, especially in children."
Pop Culture References
When Officer Barbrady shows Stan's mom photos of people who have gone missing, the lineup includes a shot of actor William Shatner, known for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
The alien creature that emerges from the space ship at the beginning of the episode resembles the xenomorph aliens from the Alien franchise.
When Kyle remarks about a puny squash Kenny wanted to use for a pumpkin-carving contest, he says, "I never thought it was such a bad little squash. It just needed some tender loving care." It's a reference to a similar line in the Peanuts animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The notion of murderous pets coming out of an Indian burial ground borrows from Stephen King's horror story Pet Sematary.
Sharon, who believes Stan is murdering people, comforts him by saying "I've got such a good boy, Mommy's little angel". This is a parody of a similar scene from The Bad Seed, a 1956 film about a murderous child and her mother's intervention. Kenny's mother saying "you'd be drunk too if you'd lost your boy" is another reference to the movie.
The closet doorway that holds an entrance to the parallel universe is a reference to the 1982 horror film Poltergeist. When Stan puts a jacket over Spookyfish's bowl and the jacket disappears, this is also a reference to the cult classic.
Barbara Streisand again. After being mocked in "Mecha-Streisand", this time her image is emblazoned on all four corners of the screen along with the words "spooky-vision" during the entire episode. Her "spooky" picture changes four times throughout the show.
The boys mock the doppelganger Cartman, asking him if he's dressed up like actor Luke Perry. He is best known for his role in the original Beverly Hills, 90210. During the time this episode aired, Perry was sporting a beard.
- Aunt Flo is a personified parody of a woman's menstrual cycle.
- When Cartman and his doppelganger appear in the same scenes together, there is a clear seam down the middle of the screen to give the effect that the image was crudely mirrored. This was done on purpose, as a tribute to shows and films that used this old-school film splicing effect so an actor playing two roles can stand side by side.
- Those buried under the Indian Burial Ground Pet Shop are stated to be members of the Wampanoag tribe. They are not indigenous of Colorado; the tribe mostly inhabited Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
- The boys can't stand Cartman's constant use of the term "hella" in this episode. However, when Bebe sprouts boobs in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", she uses the term "hella" and everyone loves it.
- A Hidden Visitor head can be found on the road sign behind the boys. Another can be seen behind a tree when Stan's dog digs up the dead bodies.
- e1 Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus
- e2 Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut
- e3 Chickenlover
- e4 Ike's Wee Wee
- e5 Conjoined Fetus Lady
- e6 The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka
- e7 City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)
- e8 Summer Sucks
- e9 Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls
- e10 Chickenpox
- e11 Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods
- e12 Clubhouses
- e13 Cow Days
- e14 Chef Aid
- e12 Spookyfish
- e13 Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!
- e14 Gnomes
- e15 Prehistoric Ice Man