The third South Park Episode of Season 16, titled Faith Hilling (watch it here) took the trend of internet memes, specifically photos of people in specific poses posted online from around the world, bringing the online trend to new levels of absurdity. The trend itself began with planking, where someone essentially poses as a plank of wood in an unconventional location, and since mutated and changed, even spreading to cats, who have been photographed en mass with their heads poking through slices of bread in what is called breading (check out the International Business Times' very own Michael Nunez in our own coverage of the breading meme below).
The episode begins at a Republican primary debate where no one is saying anything interesting until suddenly Cartman runs onto the stage and pulls out the front of his shirt to imitate breasts, called Faith Hilling after the singer.
Cut to later that night and the boys are watching coverage of their own prank on the news. As Hilling becomes more and more popular the questions becomes, who will be the first... to die doing it?
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The next day at school the student are lectured on the dangers of memeing.
I know what you think you're doing is new and hip and cool, but it's been around for a long time, the professor says before showing them an old movie on the danger of Tebowing from 2010 in which kids posing as Tim Tebow get smashed to bits by trains in increasingly ridiculous situations.
There are only three approved memes: peace sign, bunny ears, fake wiener, before adding, if you are watching this in the future, get off your flying cell phone scooters and think.
After lecture boys make plans for more Faith Hilling, butters protests but Cartman counters that Faith Hilling defines our generation. Cartman may have spoken to soon though. Later that day the boys discover that Cartman's photo has made the front page with the headline, Faith Hilling so 2000s late.
The article even quotes ex-speaker for the House: 'Faith Hilling is pretty lame,' said Newt Gingrich, 'if they had crashed the debate by Taylor Swifting that would have been impressive.' In reaction the boys set out to fight against the new meme, which involves pulling down your pants and dragging your butt along the ground like a dog.
Another safety lecture is called, in which the professor pulls out a loaded gun and demands that Butters stick it in his own mouth, to serve as a metaphor for the dangers of Memeing.
Suddenly, two men in suits walk in to the classroom and demand to speak to Professor Lamong, meme expert, in private. They ask him what he knows about other species posting meme photos online, before showing him online photos of cat breading.
They're evolving, warns Professor Lamont. There are two ways a species evolves: physically from genes and socially from memes. Just like genes, memes mutate, replicate and adapt. Cultural ideas are passed on through memes... if cats are putting slices of bread on their heads and taking pictures, they're proving to be almost as intelligent as we are.
Cut to Butters still with gun in his mouth, everyone else has left the lecture room. At the end of the episode he's still sitting there.
Meanwhile, Cartman yells at his cat for breading. Cartman wants to go Faith Hilling at an AA meeting. Kenny says Faith Hilling is out of style. A news report says Swifting has been replaced by Oh Long Johnsoning, in which teens put themselves in dangerous situations and see how many times they can say the words. According to the news, the meme was invented by a cat.
Skipping ahead, things continue to heat up when Professor Lamont, and the Ambassador of People are unable to broker a deal with the speaking cat and war between humans and felines appears inevitable.
The entire gang of boys has abandoned Faith Hilling, and plan to crash the next Republican debate (where Ron Paul has been replaced by a cat) with a new meme. Cartman rushes the stage, but at the last minute changes his mind. He Faith Hills, Kyle queues Hills football-themed song and he riles the crowd up, while Romney, Gingrich and Santorum join him, pulling out their own shirts to resemble breasts and dancing behind Cartman.
Summing up the episode, a reporter present at the debate speaks into a camera, saying, in the face of war a little boy gives us hope. The message isn't really clear, but it doesn't matter as long as have a song, celebrities and Republican hopefuls dancing around with boobies. It's called pandering and all over the country people are.... Before getting the last words out he gets hit by an oncoming train.