“Trapped in the Closet” (Season 9, 2005) and “201/202” (Season 14, 2010)
HOW BAD WAS IT? Cruise came to South Park to pay homage to Stan, who was declared the spiritual successor to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. But when the kid didn’t lavish praise on his acting, Cruise had a crisis of confidence and hid in Stan’s closet, where he was joined by John Travolta and R. Kelly. MEMORABLE LINE: “Tom Cruise won’t come out of the closet!”
HOW’D HE TAKE IT? Not well. Cruise, who was promoting Mis
sion: Impossible 3 at the time for corporate cousin Paramount, threatened to stop doing publicity if Comedy Central showed repeats of the episode. (The network agreed, for a while). But incurring the wrath of Cruise wasn’t the only fallout: Fellow Scientologist Isaac Hayes, who voiced Chef, quit the show. His character was later killed off in spectacular fashion.