Truth and Advertising
PC Principal disappears along with 2 fourth grade students. The latest news in the school paper sets the boys on a search to find their two missing classmates. Being the crack reporter that he is, Jimmy sets out to learn everything he can about what makes Leslie tick. Meanwhile, Principal Victoria and Mr. Garrison return to a South Park that has become unrecognizable.
Template:Spoiler The episode starts in the 4th grade classroom with Cartman throwing Kyle's pen across the room because he's "bored". Mr. Mackey then calls Kyle to the office, much to Kyle's anger. Mr. Mackey then tells Kyle that PC Principal has finally lost it, and that he and his PC Delta frat boys have started a hunger strike. Mr.Mackey then says that PC Principal had problems with Leslie and Jimmy and now they are missing, and warns Kyle that if you go against PC, you go missing too.
Jimmy explains the evolution of ads through TV and the internet, the processes in which humans blocked ads, and how they have now taken human form. Next scene shows the Marsh family eating dinner. Randy begins to talk about how South Park sucks now and tries to convince them to want to bail. Sharon talks to Randy about this, saying that a month ago Randy was going on about how great South Park was with all the changes. Randy reveals Sharon that they cannot afford to live in South Park anymore, and that he had to take out a second mortgage on their house to help pay for all the expenses that the new places cost.
Jimmy is then shown talking with the Newsmen about Leslie and how he seemed to hit it off with her, but she turns out to be an ad. The head newsman then says that ads were created to entice and manipulate. Jimmy then suggests that published an article on ads in the Super School News. He then explains how the ads have destroyed the news business, and they show him that the GEICO Insurance Salesman was a former news reporter who defected to the ads. He tells Jimmy to just figure out what the ads are planning.
At the school, Stan shows Kyle a newspaper clipping showing that PC Principal sent Leslie and Jimmy on a "Disney Cruise" for being exemplary students. When Stan says that they need to find out what is going on, Kyle refuses to get involved and says that Stan should know since PC Principal has "converted" Stan's dad. The boys and Butters then talk to Nathan who throws the boys off his trail by acting retarded. He then communicates with the ads through his computer, looking for their praise. Meanwhile Mr.Garrison, Caitlyn Jenner, and Principal Victoria are outside South Park. Victoria suggests they put on disguises, and they go into town. The three then head to the Whole Foods Market, and in the process Caitlyn Jenner agains runs over a person. Mr.Garrison is shocked about the changes.
At the newsmen base, Jimmy is trying to interrogate Leslie again, but fails. The head newsman then says that Jimmy is talking with his dick after Jimmy starts trying to defend Leslie. At Cartman's house, the boys use the computer to search up on PC Principal, when suddenly a sequence of ads pops up that gets the boys distracted, and they end up at an ice cream shop. Stan realizes that they have been distracted, and they run off to continue their search.
At Skeeter's, Randy starts ranting about how the changes are forcing people out of their homes. As he heads outside, he begins to sing a rendition of Where My Country Gone? (Where My Town Gone?"" is attacked by Caitlyn Jenner, Mr.Garrison and Principal Victoria.
Leslie tells Jimmy she knows about him trying to get info out of her, but that the PC Principal is the enemy, not her. She then puts an ad on the newsmen's monitors so they can't see. While their screens are obscured by the ads, she tells Jimmy to help her escape. Meanwhile, the boys are trying on shoes when Stan once again realizes they got sidetracked. The boys come to the conclusion that one of them is trying to throw them off track. Stan and Kyle start arguing about who it is.
Meanwhile at a motel, Randy wakes up tied to a chair. He is interrogated by Garrison, Jenner, and Victoria, who tell him that the PC change is happening all over the world, showing a photo book of towns across the United States and other countries that have been gentrifying spaces, and that PC Principal is the cause. Randy then says that if this is true then he will kill PC Principal himself. While the newsmen are watching a news report, Jimmy breaks Leslie and helps her escape, but the newsmen catch him and command Barbrady to kill the two. Barbrady refuses, joins Jimmy and Leslie in their escape, and accidentally shoots one of the newsmen.
In the cafeteria, Stan is ranting about how Kyle is working with the ads when Kyle shows up. Cartman tells Kyle about what Stan was saying, enticing them to argue again, which breaks out into a fight. Caitlyn, Garrison, Victoria and Randy arrive at the PC Delta house and break through the "safe space" tape. Jimmy and Leslie confront Nathan about the lies, but Leslie instead attacks Jimmy, and brutally beats him up. Leslie then asks Nathan to finish him.
At the PC house, the four find the house to be empty. While looking through the computer, the four find out that PC Principal was looking into the ad situations, and that he may be trying to help. Ads appear on the screen, and they get distracted and end up at a shoe store just like the boys. The episode ends with Leslie showing up at Kyle's door asking for his help, and social security number. Kyle tells her, and the two run off.
AV Club gave "Truth and Advertising" a "B+" rating saying: "Even if you’re unsure of who or what Trey Parker and Matt Stone are targeting at the beginning of a South Park episode, it usually becomes clear by the end. Not so with “Truth And Advertising.” In fact, it’s a chapter of the increasingly epic season 19 that relies almost entirely on cryptic intentions, shifting allegiances, and general confusion among the characters as they try to unravel who’s really behind the recent madness around town."
IGN gave "Truth and Advertising" a "7.2" rating saying: "As the penultimate episode of Season 19, "Truth and Advertising" was a little sluggish, especially in terms of the main plot. While Jimmy and Leslie's storyline made some headway on that front, the boys came up empty-handed in their investigation -- although their sudden transitions to consumerist hotspots were really funny. Meanwhile, Principal Victoria and Mr. Garrison relayed a few key bits of info about the PC/ad/gentrification conspiracy, but we still don't know how they all tie together. Luckily, most of the bits here were strong, and it looks like Kyle will soon learn the truth from Leslie in the next episode. Hopefully, the finale will be able to give the season a proper sendoff."
- "Truth and Advertising (Season 19, Episode 9) - Episode Guide". southparkstudios.com.
- "AV Club: The enemy remains a mystery in this season’s penultimate episode of South Park.". AV Club.com.
- "South Park Truth and Advertising Review.". IGN.com.