Something You Can Do With Your Finger
Cartman dreams that he and the rest of the gang have become the next big boy band to sweep the nation, earning them, or at least him, the admiration of thousands of beautiful women and ten million dollars. Convinced that his dream is a message from God, Cartman corrals Stan, Kyle and Kenny into assembling a band called "Fingerbang." However, Kyle notes that most boy bands have five members (using New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync as examples). As a result, they hold auditions for a fifth member. Wendy gets the job despite Cartman's opposition to allowing a girl in a boy band.
Cartman tries to convince the manager of the local shopping mall to let them play a free show there, but is turned down. Chef tells him that the key to success for this sort of band is to get some girls screaming, as girls' screams are very contagious. Cartman gets the band to perform for a video, shot inexpertly by Timmy, and pays classmates to scream at them. The mall manager reluctantly agrees despite the catastrophic quality of the video to give them the show.
Stan's father Randy inexplicably throws a fit when he discovers what his son is up to and forbids him to take part in the band. He eventually reveals that he was part of a boy band called "The Ghetto Avenue Boys" back in the 1980s. Randy dropped out of high school and left his friends and family behind to pursue this fame. Although initially wildly successful, the band was quickly replaced due to its members' getting "too old" to be part of a boy band. Deeply in debt and properly shamed, Randy was forced to sell his possessions and return home with the remainder of his earnings to complete his education.
However, after a heart-to-heart father-to-son conversation, Randy agrees to let Stan play, deciding that his son has to make his own mistakes in order to learn. The two rush to the mall for the show, where Cartman is desperately stalling for time while they try to find a replacement for Stan. Stan and Randy arrive in the nick of time but Kenny is crushed to death by an elevator, reducing their numbers once more to four. Randy gallantly steps in to replace Kenny and perform the song. When one of the few remaining listeners asks for an autograph afterwards, the group realizes that, what with all this "fame" that they have acquired, they will never be able to live normal lives. They promptly break up the band.
What I Learned Today
"I don't know if I can handle all this fame. I mean, I always thought I'd wanna become famous, but now that I am, I don't know if I like it. I mean, I probably can't even walk through this mall right now without people goin', 'Oh my God, it's the Fingerbang guy! Oh my God!'"
- "God has finally spoken to me, you guys. And he has told me how I can make $10 million." Cartman
- "Mrs. Landers was a health nut, she cooked food in a wok. Mr. Harris was her boyfriend,and he had a great big.. cock-a-doodle-doodle the rooster just won't quit, and I don't want my breakfast, because it tastes like.. shitzus make good house pets, they're cuddly and sweet, monkeys aren't good to have 'cos they like to beat their.. meeting in the office a meeting in the hall, the boss he wants to see you so you can suck his.. Balzac was a writer he lived with Alan Funt, Mrs. Roberts didn't like him but that's cuz she's a.. contaminated water can really make you sick, your bladder gets infected and blood comes out your.. dictate what im saying 'cos it will bring you luck, and if you all don't like it, I don't give a flying FUCK!" Wendy Testaburger
- "I'm gonna fingerbang-bang you into my life." Fingerbang
- "I swear to God, if he ruins this dream of mine I will have his nuts!" Cartman
- "Geez What's up dad's ass?" Shelly Marsh
- "What about her huge friggin' hooters, huh?!" Cartman
- "Move along, sir." Mall Cop
- "Once you get girls screaming, you can't sop 'em. They're crazy!" Chef
- "Well there's plenty of other interesting things you can do. Have you ever tried marijuana?" Randy Marsh
- "Hell no! I'm not being part of a FOUR member boy band! We'll look stupid!" Kyle
Kenny crushed by an elevator.
Wendy wins her audition with her rhyming, upbeat "Mrs. Landers". There's also the amazing self-titled pop tune, "Fingerbang", performed by the boys. And Randy's pop sensation "You've Got IT", which he recorded as a teen with the Ghetto Avenue Boys.
Behind The Scenes
This was the first episode in which Matt and Trey decided they could just tell one story per episode, instead of weaving in multiple sub-plots.
Where Did The Idea Come From
In college Matt and Trey briefly (very briefly) considered forming a band called Fingerbang.
Pop Culture References
The scene in which Stan's dad smashes the china cabinet is an homage to a similar scene in Star Trek: First Contact, in which Jean Luc Piccard smashes a display case with a phaser rifle. Also, the piano player used for the auditions for the fifth member of Fingerbang looks a lot like Schroeder from Peanuts. He'll reappear briefly (playing piano) in several future episodes.
Fingerbang is a parody of the boy band craze that swept the nation in the late 90s - 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees - all had chart-topping success when this aired. Stan's Dad also speaks about the dark side of boy bands, saying that after their popularity fades, bands like New Kids on the Block and The Osmonds "wander the Earth in disarray".
To create a distraction, Cartman says the mall will be giving away a "free Nissan Sentra" to the first 20 people to buy an orange smoothie. This titillating offer creates a riot.
When Fingerbang approaches the manager of the South Park Mall about performing there, he responds by saying, "Like Tiffany?" Also, during the filming of Fingerbang's video, when Cartman tells a group of girls to scream as if they're seeing Leonardo Di Caprio, they say they don't give a "rat's ass" about him. Instead they pretend they're cheering for Matt Lauer.
Chef attributes the success of boy bands to canny exploitation of the "Garmlich Effect", a law of physics stating that, "If one girl screams for something, it will make other girls scream. And then, it grows exponentially until all girls within a five-mile radius are screaming." Also, this is the first of a long series of episodes in which Cartman develops various crazy schemes for getting $10 million.
Butters auditions with "Little Bunny Foo Foo", a classic children's rhyme, and Ike follows suit with "It's Bitsy Spider", then the alphabet. Last, Ike sings "Oh Danny Boy", a somber Irish ballad.
Cartman records his "music video" over an old VHS of Mr. Mackey and Cartman's mom in some seriously compromising dominatrix positions. Mackey moans, "Oh, Mrs. Cartman, I've been very bad. Mkay", and then things just get dirty.
Randy's teenage boy band, The Ghetto Avenue Boys, was featured on the cover of Teen Heat, a teeny-bopper magazine.
A Visitor can be spotted under the bridge that is behind Stan and Randy as they talk in Randy's bedroom.
- e1 Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000
- e2 The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000
- e3 Quintuplets 2000
- e4 Timmy 2000
- e5 Pip
- e6 Cartman Joins NAMBLA
- e7 Cherokee Hair Tampons
- e8 Chef Goes Nanners
- e9 Something You Can Do With Your Finger
- e10 Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?
- e11 Probably
- e12 Fourth Grade
- e13 Trapper Keeper
- e14 Helen Keller! The Musical
- e15 Fat Camp
- e16 The Wacky Molestation Adventure
- e17 A Very Crappy Christmas