The Marsh family is spending Stan's ninth birthday at a public aquarium in Denver. As the Marshes enjoy interacting with the trained bottlenose dolphins, Japanese armed with spears suddenly storm the dolphinarium and kill all the dolphins. The Japanese perform similar attacks at several other aquariums, and at an NFL game, where they kill members of the Miami Dolphins football team. Stan asks his friends Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny to help him take on the cause of saving the dolphins and whales from the Japanese. Kyle declines, feeling they can't change Japan's views on the issue, while Cartman and Kenny are much more interested in playing the video game Rock Band, professing they "don't give two shits about stupid-ass whales". Eventually, Butters (who is also too busy) informs Stan about the television show Whale Wars, stating that they can take volunteers to help them. Seeing this as his chance, Stan takes Butters' advice and joins host Paul Watson and his Whale Wars crew aboard the Sea Shepherd, but is underwhelmed by their method of throwing "stinky butter" at Japanese whalers in an effort to deter them. After the Japanese whalers kill Watson with a harpoon, Stan destroys their ship by igniting their fuel barrels with a flare gun. Stan becomes the new captain and leads a more successful campaign in impeding the Japanese whaling effort by employing more aggressive methods. The crew ends up getting interviewed by Larry King, who describes Paul Watson as an "incompetent media whore" and questions Stan on his intentions of increasing ratings with violence. Stan dismisses the charge and contends he is only interested in saving the whales, not ratings.
Wanting to be on television, Cartman and Kenny join the ship's crew under false pretenses of wanting to save the whales (especially, in fact, since they are more interested in the fame and fortune). After a brief run-in with Captain Sig Hansen and his crew from the show Deadliest Catch, Japanese pilots launch kamikaze attacks on the Sea Shepherd. The suicidal planes kill the Whale Wars crew except for Stan, Cartman and Kenny. The trio are captured and brought to Japan, where Emperor Akihito tells them retaliation for the bombing of Hiroshima is the primary motive for Japan's whaling efforts, with Cartman finding the whole nuclear drop and mass devastation hilarious. He shows them a doctored photograph—given to Japan by the United States after the bombing—of the Enola Gay piloted by a dolphin and a killer whale. According to him, Japan was so grateful the Americans gave the Japanese these photos they declared peace. Knowing the picture is a fake, Stan decides to reveal the truth about the bombing, but Cartman reminds him that the Japanese seek to drive the entire species of the perpetrators to extinction. Claiming the U.S. government has authorized him to show the "original" photo, Stan presents the Emperor, Prime Minister Yukio Hayotama, and other Japanese officials with a new doctored photo showing a cow and chicken in the Enola Gay (created by Kyle, who Stan managed to phone beforehand). The Japanese become infuriated, now believing cows and chickens had modified the original photo to frame the innocent whales and dolphins. The Japanese agree to cease their whaling efforts and start slaughtering cows and chickens, storming farms full of the animals. The episode ends as Randy congratulates Stan for making the Japanese "normal, like us".
Behind The Scenes
Pop Culture References
The episode prominently features and mocks animal rights and environmental activist Paul Watson and his Animal Planet reality series, Whale Wars. Watson has received wide criticism for his method of disrupting whale hunts by at times attacking and sinking Japanese and Norwegian whaling ships. "Whale Whores" presents Watson and his show in a way that mocks his attempts to garner media attention by simply lying rather than doing anything productive.] The episode mocks Whale Wars and its attempts to present mundane ship-board activities as dramatic television. This is particularly illustrated in newspaper headlines after Stan takes over Watson's ship: "New Captain Turns Vegan Pussies Into Real Pirates" and "Whale Wars Gets Better: Things Actually Happen!" Watson himself is also portrayed in a physically unflattering way, with his stomach too fat to be entirely covered by his shirt. "Whale Whores" also refers to the criticisms that Watson bends the truth in order to further his popularity. This is particularly reflected through the fictional interview with Larry King, who calls Watson "an unorganized, incompetent media whore who thought lying to everyone was OK as long as it served his cause". The fact that Whale Wars gets better ratings after Stan takes over and employs more violent tactics is a satire of the tendency in Whale Wars, and television in general, to exploit violence for money and viewership
During the scene of the with the crab fishing boat, a Visitor can be scene behind the crew on the top deck.