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South Park Easter Eggs You Didn't Notice

South Park needs no introduction; if you're reading this, and are anything like us, you can probably name 15 or 16 favorite episodes off the top of your head. It would be the longest-running animated series of all time if The Simpsons hadn't already done it, which seems fitting for some reason, and it's nearly as beloved.

Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are, quite famously, weirdos who obsess over nearly every detail of their work while still managing to stick to an insane production schedule. As such, they throw in plenty of inside gags and callbacks—some of which require an eagle eye, inside knowledge, or both.

The address of Les Bos

In the eleventh-season episode "D-Yikes!" Mrs. Garrison—during that character's run as a woman—is invited to a "girl bar," Les Bos (pronounced in the French manner, of course.) Mrs. Garrison needs very little persuading to take up lesbianism wholeheartedly, the bar's patrons must rally when Persian businessmen attempt to buy it out, and the whole thing swerves into a hilarious parody of 300.

The Easter egg in this episode hides in plain sight. The numerical address of Les Bos is 13280, which—with a little imagination, or if you type it out on a handheld calculator—looks a bit like LEZBO. If you're not seeing it, you may not be old enough to remember when kids actually figured out ridiculous stuff like this for entertainment.

Cartman's IMs

Even though it had already developed a healthy reputation for ignoring all boundaries, the season 4 episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" made thousands of jaws drop when it aired in 2000. Determined to make cool, older friends, Cartman goes online looking for older guys who want to hang out with young boys, with predictable results; he becomes the poster child for the notorious pedophile organization, ropes all the boys in town into joining, and is bailed out by the FBI and that other NAMBLA (the North American Marlon Brando Look-Alikes.)

When Cartman first goes online, he's bombarded by IMs that quickly blot out his entire screen. If you're able to pause the episode while watching, several weird jokes and surly remarks can be found among the torrent of messages. Among them: "Help me." "Helluva!" "Get a life." And, of course: "R u reading these?"

Randy's Jean-Luc Picard moment

Another season 4 episode, "Something You Can Do With Your Finger" sees the boys start a boy band called Fingerbang (which is a reference to pretending your hand is a gun, obviously.) Randy protests, revealing that his '80s boy band past in the Ghetto Avenue Boys almost ruined his life, but eventually decides to let Kyle follow his dreams.

When Randy first learns of Kyle's activities, his reaction is characteristically dramatic—he lets out a tortured "NOOOOOO!" and puts his head through a glass cabinet. If Randy sounds a little Picard-esque at that moment, it's because a brief audio clip from Star Trek: First Contact was slyly inserted in this scene.

Apparently Parker and Stone are pretty big fans, because South Park has a long history of Star Trek references. A season 2 episode, "City on the Edge of Forever," even shares its title with an episode of the original Star Trek series, and loosely follows its plot.

Celebrity cameos... crappy ones

The show also has a history of celebrity guest stars, usually appearing as themselves. In fact, if you're famous and want a spot on South Park, appearing as yourself is really the way to go. Otherwise, you're likely to be assigned a ridiculously small role in which there's no way your voice will be recognized—and the bigger the star you are, the crappier the part they'll give you.

For example, take Jay Leno, a household name when he guested in the final episode of the first season as Cartman's cat. Or George Clooney, who similarly landed the plum role of Stan's dog in only the fourth episode of the show. Clooney, at least, would get a small speaking role in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, but the tradition of sticking huge stars in anonymous roles continued with that film—Stewart Copeland (drummer for the Police) and Nick Rhodes (keyboardist for Duran Duran) voiced random soldiers in the epic U.S./Canada conflict. Huge fan Jerry Seinfeld stopped being so much of a fan when he was offered the role of Turkey #4 in the season 1 episode "Starvin' Marvin"; he turned it down, which makes us wonder if he ever really got South Park's humor.

Shpadoinkle Day

One clever Easter egg appeared regularly for the entire first two seasons. Production company Braniff featured a jaunty 12-note tune, played on a xylophone, over the graphic that closed each episode. At the time, few people outside of Colorado—where Parker and Stone went to college–would have known what it was, although it might be a little more familiar now.

It's the melody from "Shpadoinkle Day," a song featured in Parker and Stone's first film Cannibal! The Musical, which was completed in 1993 and released the year before South Park's debut by the infamous Troma Studios. The movie started as a project for Parker and Stone's film class, and while they never finished the class, they did finish the movie. It would go on to considerable cult success upon re-release—mostly due to South Park's notoriety, but also because it's hysterically funny.

Also, in the South Park movie, the doctor's discovery of a baked potato in the microwave when attempting to zap Kenny's heart is a sideways reference to the song and its line, "my heart is full as a baked potato." The duo are obviously proud of this tune, and with good reason; if everyone started every day by listening to it, the world would be a much more shpadoinkle place.

Aliens everywhere

South Park let us know what kind of show it would be right off the bat with the pilot episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," the only one to be animated with actual cardboard cutouts. Aliens come to South Park to communicate with the most intelligent species on the planet—the cows, of course—but it wouldn't be their last visit. In fact, they started to show up so frequently in the show's backgrounds that rumors proliferated that at least one "visitor" could be found in every episode.

While this isn't true, it was actually pretty close in the show's earlier years. The E.T. appearances started to taper off after the first few seasons, but then picked up again around 2008—Comedy Central even had a "find the hidden aliens" contest during the first seven episodes of season 12. The gag has recurred a ridiculous number of times, and it pops up now and again to this day. Nobody in town ever seems to notice—maybe after all this time, everybody is just used to them.

Orgazmo, also everywhere

Parker and Stone also seem to get a huge kick out of referencing their second feature film, 1997's criminally underrated Orgazmo. If you're unfamiliar with it, just know that it features Parker as a devout Mormon who becomes a porn performer, and then a porn-themed superhero, and it's every bit as hilarious as that sounds. Unfortunately, it didn't perform too well—no pun intended—as its premise somehow failed to click with South Park fans; perhaps this is why Parker and Stone were so insistent on sticking the character into every episode that they logically could.

For starters, Orgazmo can be seen on a poster in Cartman's room throughout the first dozen seasons. He also shows up briefly a few times in the opening credits, and appears as a statue in a graveyard and on a couple different trophies; the character's theme music is even snuck in during the end credits of season one's "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride." It wasn't the last time they would reference their other work, but it was certainly the most obsessive.

The sneaky Team America reference

The two-parter "Cartoon Wars" was meant to open the tenth season, but its plot—with Cartman going on a mission to prevent Family Guy from airing an episode with a cartoon depiction of Muhammed—didn't go over terribly well with Cartoon Network. It was only made a two-parter in the first place because negotiations were ongoing—part one actually ends with the announcer asking, "will Comedy Central puss out?"—and it still famously ended up with text describing what's happening in place the of the disputed images.

During part one, there's a scene in which characters are discussing Islamic terrorism; Parker and Stone took this opportunity to make a subtle reference to Team America: World Police by slipping in a bit of its score. If it seems odd that the brilliant Team America gets short shrift compared to the likes of Cannibal! and Orgazmo when it comes to Easter eggs, it's probably because making the film was unbelievably brutal and almost destroyed Parker and Stone's relationship—but nobody ever said perfection was easy.

The first name of Cartman's mom

If there's one thing we know about Eric Cartman's mom Liane, it's that she's notoriously...promiscuous. She didn't come by her first name by accident, and the story behind it is just a little bit personal—she shares her name with Trey Parker's college girlfriend, who he discovered was cheating on him with multiple guys.

The first appearance of this gag even predates South Park: in Cannibal! The Musical, the name is given to the main character's beloved horse, who wanders off midway through the film and starts letting just anybody ride her. As harsh as this may seem, the real Liane—whose last name is Adamo—seemed to take it all in stride, and the pair remained friends despite Parker's not-so-flattering homage.

The South Park house band

In the second season episode "Clubhouses" the boys pair off to see who can create the coolest and most elaborate clubhouse, so they can play Truth or Dare with the girls (and make them eat bugs). Cartman and Kenny's "Ewok Village 2000 Deluxe Club Kit" succeeds in attracting a couple of teenage runaways, one of whom is wearing a shirt that may be South Park's ultimate inside joke.

The shirt reads "D.V.D.A.", which stands for something that can't be printed here, and is also something we strongly advise against Googling, especially if you happen to be at work. But more importantly, it's the name of Parker and Stone's band—the band that provides the music for South Park and all of the pair's other projects, featuring Parker on lead vocals. You already know many of their tunes, such as "America (F*** Yeah)" and "Montage," which was featured in both Team America and the South Park episode "Ass Pen." But they've also recorded several covers and original tunes with titles like "Everybody Loves Crack" and "David Kelley, TV Warrior," and they've opened for the likes of Primus (who perform South Park's theme song) and Ween. An intrepid fan has even put together a complete box set-style collection of the band's work, and if you're the kind of South Park fan we think you are, you're gonna thank us for that link.