The episode opens with Stan, Kyle, Cartman and a disembodied Kenny (sharing Cartman's body) playing The Lord of the Rings, Stan's family having checked out a The Lord of the Rings video from the Two Towers Video store, Very likely The Fellowship of the Ring judging from the title. Stan's parents ask the boys to bring the tape to Butters' house, as the Stotches had asked to borrow it. Still caught up in their game, the boys see this assignment as a "quest", and set off on their journey. When the boys leave, Stan's parents try to watch Back Door Sluts 9, a pornographic movie, described as the most "hardcore" porno ever, and the "single most evil piece of porn ever produced". To their surprise, they discover that Randy accidentally got the The Lord of the Rings video and the pornographic movie mixed up, and realize in horror that Butters is now watching it at his house.
The two drive to Butters' house, and come across the boys returning home, having already delivered the tape. Stan's father plays into the boys' imagination and sends them on their greatest quest ever: retrieve the tape, as it "holds an evil power." Excited, the boys eagerly comply and set off toward Butters' house. They arrive and take the tape, but not before discovering that Butters, though not realizing the nature of it, has watched the movie and becomes obsessed with it. Excluded from the game and denied the video, Butters becomes steadily more insane, and remains secluded in the basement, muttering about his "precious" which is a reference to Gollum. At this point, the Marshes, who have grown worried that the boys have not returned, show up. Distraught at Butters' behavior, they assume that the boys now have the tape and are watching it. Contacting the other parents, they go on a desperate search to find their missing children and "put it into context."
Returning home, the boys run into some sixth graders, who look inside the box and realize that the tape is actually a pornographic movie. Although they try to take the tape, the boys are able to escape and decide to take it to the council of the High Elf of Faragon (Clyde). At the council, at which most of the fourth-graders are present (in The Lord of the Rings costumes), it is decided that to determine the tape's power, they should send one of their own to watch it for a few minutes. Talangar the Black (Token Black) is volunteered, and steps inside his house for a moment. He soon comes out, expressionless, and announces that he is not playing anymore without an explanation. Now truly convinced of the tape's power, the council decides the tape must be returned to the Two Towers video store "from whence it came", and forms the "Fellowship of the The Lord of the Rings", which consists of Stan, Kyle, Cartman (with Kenny), Craig, Jimmy, and an unnamed kindergartner (possibly Filmore).
The boys go the store, and after avoiding a run-in with the sixth graders (in which their party loses Jimmy, Craig, and the kindergartner), join up with Butters, who offers to guide them to the store in a thinly veiled attempt to get the tape back. Soon all the boys wind up at the Two Towers and with the sixth graders in hot pursuit they desperately try to return the tape to the drop box. When Butters refuses to let go of it, Kyle throws him and the tape into the box. Angered at losing their movie, the sixth graders threaten to beat the boys up, but flee when the parents arrive. The parents then go into a long discussion with the astonished boys about sex, touching on such subjects as 69ing and Double penetration. The boys (who never actually watched the movie that their parents are so graphically describing) are speechless. The episode ends with a view of Butters, clutching his "precious" among a pile of other returned tapes in the drop box.
Parallels with The Lord of the RingsEdit
Many actions and events in this episode parody those in the The Lord of the Rings itself.
- Stan — Frodo and Aragorn.
- Kyle — Sam and Legolas.
- Cartman (and Kenny) — Gandalf.
- Clyde —Elrond.
- Jimmy — Possibly Boromir; in one scene takes on role of Gandalf.
- Craig — Legolas.
- Butters — Sméagol/Gollum.
- Filmore (the kindergartner) Gimli.
- Pip — Possibly Legolas; it is certain that the character is an elf.
- The 6th graders — Ringwraiths, Orc armies/Goblins, Balrog
- "They came, and they...took the precious. Butters was really enjoying that movie too..." (Butters, after being asked where the movie was)
- "It's only a videotape! how bad can it mess them up?" (Mr. Cartman)
"Precious! Precious!..." (Butters, after having watched the tape is looking for it, and is scratching at the window. The Adults stare in slack-jawed horror.)
- At one point, the boys hide under a massive root in order to hide from the sixth graders, who try to sniff them out, much like the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
- In the scene when the 6th graders meet on their bikes, a building in the background can be seen which says "More Doors" (Mordor's Doors), which is a reference to Mordor.
- When the boys arrive to Clyde's home, Cartman says the word "mellon"(friend), which is actually the password used by Gandalf to enter the Mines of Moria in the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
- Clyde's council parallels Elrond's council. During the council, Stan says: "I will take it", a quote from Frodo during the council scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Cartman also closes his eyes mournfully in response, in the same way Gandalf did in Peter Jackson's film The Lord of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.
- As the Fellowship arrives in Bailey, it meets a group of kids playing "Harry Potter". Cartman immediately mocks them by shouting "Hah! Fags!".
- Jimmy stands in the road and attempts to stop the sixth-graders by saying, "You shall not pass!" (the same words Gandalf said to the Balrog on the bridge, before sacrificing his life to stop it - in Peter Jackson's film; in the book it is actually "You cannot pass"). However, because of Jimmy's stutter, he cannot finish the line in time, and gets run over by the sixth graders' bikes before finally saying "...pass."
- The boys escape from the sixth-graders by crossing a river, as did Frodo and Arwen escape from the Ringwraiths. In the story, Ringwraiths are defeated by water (though this is only because a flood washes them away); in this episode, Cartman claims the sixth-graders do not like water, which Craig dismisses as foolish. It nevertheless works, since they don't want to get their bikes wet.
- At the end of the episode Butters, like Gollum, grabs the tape/ring and inadvertently ends up in the drop box/volcano
- In syndication, most of the sexual references described are edited out.
- When Gerald Brofloski learns of the video tape the boys are in possession of, his head spins 360 degrees.
- One of the posters at the Two Towers video store advertises a movie called Guys in Dark Suits, a play on Men in Black. Another poster at the Two Towers video store advertises a movie called Nutty Nutty West, a play on Wild Wild West. A third poster at the video store advertises a movie called GD2 (Groundhog Day), a play on Independence Day. Perhaps not accidentally, all three posters parody Will Smith movies.
- Kyle says the Two Towers video store is in Conifer, a real town in the state of Colorado, which is wikipedia:Trey Parker’s hometown.
- After the parents explain to the kids about pornography, in the shot where Stan says "Wow", Cartman is standing a little to the right of where he was when the parents originally started talking.
- Scott Tenorman is one of the 6th graders seen in the army.
- Despite the visual re-creations and references to scenes in The Lord of the Rings films, all of the names, titles and verbal references used in the episode are gibberish.
- Flash creator 'Legendary Frog' aka Joseph Blanchette used this title for a The Lord of the Rings parody.
- When Stan, Kyle, and Cartman walk down into Butters' basement as he is watching Back Door Sluts 9, porn star Evan Stone is seen briefly on the television.
- The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers entry at Wikipedia