Characters: South Park Elementary School Staff
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Mr./Ms. Herbert/Janet Garrison
(after his first sex-change operation)
"I tell you, there's some crazy stuff going on in this town."
The boys' eccentric homeroom teacher throughout most of the series. He used to carry a sarcastic hand puppet with him (two, actually: Mr. Hat and Mr. Twig), but later left them behind. His gender and sexual preferences have been in constant flux.
- Anything That Moves: He's been anything that moves and back again at this point.
- Apathetic Teacher: When he's not busy belittling his students, he basically phones in his job.
- Ax-Crazy: Has tendencies of this.
- Bad Bad Acting: His ventriloquist act...isn't.
- Character Development: Complete with a Star Wars style quest to come to terms with his sexuality. It... didn't entirely stick.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He believes Mr. Hat and Mr. Twig to be sentient beings, for starters. (Though eventually, it turns out they are.)
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Companion Cube: Mr. Hat and Mr. Twig subverted, as they actually are alive.
- Demoted to Extra: Originally the second-most prominent adult on the show, he's now limited to a single line in scenes inside the classroom.
- Depraved Homosexual: He's been a Depraved Homosexual, a Depraved Heterosexual, a Psycho Lesbian... He's a depraved whatever-his-orientation-is-at-the-moment. As Chef puts it:
"Children, there's a big difference between gay people and Mr. Garrison."
- Dirty Coward: In "Super Fun Time" he tries to sacrifice some children to save himself from gunmen.
Please, don't take me. Take the children, they're worth more for you!
- Dynamic Character
- First Law of Gender Bending: Subverted in Season 12 when his female-to-male sex change operation turns out to be a success.
- Played straight in the episode where he first gets the male-to-female operation. He changes his mind, but his testicles get destroyed and he is unable to go back to being a man until the Season 12 episode mentioned above.
- Freudian Excuse: Inverted. He has been deeply tormented all his life because his father didn't molest him as a child, thinking it meant that his father didn't love him. Bizarrely, his mom also thinks the same thing.
Garrison's Mom: That's not true! Your father loved you! Often!
- Gay Conservative: Despite his ever-changing sexual orientation he is generally depicted as being one of the town's Republicans rather than a Democrat.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The only adult in South Park as remotely volatile as Eric Cartman.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: He was this way before coming out of the closet.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Whenever he tries to teach children. From the first episode alone: "Christopher Columbus discovered America and was the Indians' best friend. He helped the Indians win their war against Frederick Douglass, and freed the Hebrews from Napoleon, and discovered France." Becomes a Running Gag in later seasons when he tries to teach the children the plots of various popular plays and television shows, for example presenting the plots of Game of Thrones and Les Miserables as real history.
- Rape as Backstory: Averted, much to his disappointment.
- Sadist Teacher: His emotional imbalances cause him to be this quite often.
- Straw Misogynist:
Well I'm sorry, I just don't trust something that bleeds for five days and doesn't die.
- Transparent Closet: For the first few seasons.
- Transsexual: Became a woman in season 9 and back to a man in season 12.
- Turn in Your Badge
- You Are What You Hate: He was quite homophobic in the early seasons before coming to terms with his sexuality.
- Then became homophobic again after becoming a woman... until s/he became a lesbian.
Chef (Jerome McElroy)
"Hello there, children!"
Voiced by: Isaac Hayes (regular voice), Peter Serafinowicz (Darth Chef)
The school chef and token minority of the early seasons (Seasons 1-9). The former go-to guy for advice for the boys, which was often dispensed in R-rated songs about making love to women.
- Big Beautiful Man: Women love his chocolate balls even though he's overweight.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In his final episode.
- Catch Phrase: "Hello there, children!"
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: A massively violent and gory one to boot. Given the falling out between his voice actor and the rest of the staff, it's not at all surprising.
- And then they pulled him out from the rubble and rebuilt him as Darth Chef. A subtle form of real life writing the plot.
- Reappears in the Video Game, only to die again...and his skin is burnt off.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Chef was voiced by popular R&B musician Isaac Hayes. This was considered so significant that the credits sequences dedicated an entire frame to "And featuring ISAAC HAYES as the voice of Chef", even in episodes where he didn't appear.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Along with many other things, such as mutilation.
- Intercourse with You: The subject nearly every time he sings, intentional or not.
- Killed Off for Real: In "The Return of Chef". Or maybe not.
- Magical Negro: In fact, while he was on the show he seemed to be the only adult with any kind of common sense.
- Subverted when he sometimes decides that helping the boys would be more trouble than it's worth (in "Simpsons Already Did It", for example, he starts singing a song when he realizes the boys just told him that they killed their teacher and the autopsy found their "sea men" in her stomach, and he starts preparing to send them to Thailand instead). And when Chef goes crazy, he really goes crazy.
- In the episode "Red Hot Catholic Love", when the confused boys asked Chef why and what the priest want to put something on their butts, he walks away.
Chef: Hello there, children!
Stan: Chef! What would a priest want to stick up my butt?
- Similarly, when they ask him what a prostitute is in "Fat Camp" he gets angry:
Chef: Dag-nabbit, children! How come every time you come in here you've got to be asking me questions I shouldn't be answering!? "Chef, what's a clitoris? What's a lesbian, Chef? How come they call it a rim job Chef?!" For once, can't you kids come in here and say "Hey Chef, nice day isn't it?!"
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Although this was really just a case of Real Life Writes the Plot.
- N-Word Privileges: Subverted. He calls the boys "crackers."
- Of course, the boys don't even know what it means. (Although Cartman does later on, as he says to Stan: "Token is gonna want to kick your cracker teeth in!)
- Only Sane Man: At least among the other adults.
- Until his final episode, he was brainwashed into becoming a child molester.
- Pluralses: While at the proctologist, he at one point tells Kyle that a proctologist is, "a doctor that specializes in your asshole."
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Take Our Word for It: Whenever the children ask about something he really doesn't want to tell them.
- Token Minority: The only non-white adult in the town in the early seasons.
- Verbal Tic: Always greets the kids with "Hello there, children.", even if there's only one of them.
- His father has also been heard using "children" when referring to one child. Although it was Cartman, so it could have been a fat joke.
- What Could Have Been: Barry White was supposed to be the voice of Chef, but due to White's Christian upbringing, turned down the role. Ironic, considering Isaac Hayes was a Scientologist and quit doing South Park because the show offended his religion.
- Where Da White Women At?: He has had sex with lots of white women (cf. "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig," where, while watching Kyle's elephant make love to Cartman's pig, Chef realizes that it's similar to the many times he's made it with a white woman), but really, he's not picky.
"Drugs are bad, mmm-kay?"
Voiced by: Trey Parker
South Park Elementary's guidance counselor with a very large head. Incredibly mellow, mmm-kay?
Voiced by: Trey Parker (2000-2002)
A grossly big-breasted woman who temporarily teaches the 4th graders until her death in Season 6.
- Death by Irony: A subtle example. It seems, from the comments made about the contents of her stomach post-mortem, that she literally... well, I'm sure you can figure it out.
- Fan Disservice: The sex scene between her and Mr. Mackey in "Proper Condom Use".
- Gag Boobs: They practically sag to her feet. In one episode the rest of the staff discusses asking her to wear a giant bra but they are too afraid of offending her to do so.
- Killed Off for Real
- Meaningful Name: Just read it out loud.
- Interestingly, the children never catch on to this obvious source of mockery, instead calling her "Ms Makesmesick" or some tame variation thereof.
- Stern Teacher: She at least tries to be this.
"Ooh my, what an exciting day!"
Voiced by: Mary Kay Bergman (1997-1999), Eliza Schneider (1999-2003), April Stewart (2004-present)
The principal of South Park Elementary, constantly trying to please everyone and failing.
"SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!"
Voiced by: Mary Kay Bergman (1997-1999), Eliza Schneider (1999-2003)
The school bus driver in the early seasons of the show.
- A Day in the Limelight: Subverted. She had a prominent role in City On The Edge Of Forever (Flashbacks), though it turns out to be part of a dream within a dream, something that even the "dream" Veronica Crabtree partially acknowledges.
- Back for the Dead
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: "She may not have been in any recent episodes, but dammit, she deserved better!"
- Given Name Reveal: Not that there was much point by the time it's revealed.
- Jerk Ass
- Kick the Dog: In City On The Edge Of Forever, she continually threatens to shoot a cute little bunny if the kids don't "sit down and shut up." It's arguably a subversion though, as it's all a dream.
- Killed Off for Real: Was murdered by Michael Deats (a.k.a. the left hand killer) in Cartman's Incredible Gift.
- No Indoor Voice: Crabtree yells almost all the time.
- Put on a Bus: Ironic trope indeed. The Simpsons Already Did It was her last proper appearance, aside from a cameo in the ending of I'm A Little Bit Country. She disappeared for a while, until... well... see Killed Off for Real.
- Running Gag: Kids would say something rude or vulgar, only for Mrs. Crabtree to yell "WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" The kid would respond with something non-vulgar that sounded similar, and she would let it go. Example:
Stan: Yeah, whatever, ya fat bitch!
Ms. Crabtree: WHAT DID YOU SAY?!
Stan: I said I have a bad itch.
Ms. Crabtree: Oh.
Stan: We're not getting on, you fat ugly bitch!
Ms. Crabtree: WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?
Stan: I said "We're not getting on, you fat ugly bitch."
Ms Crabtree: Oh. Alright then... (drives away)
Kyle: Whoa dude.
Stan: I always wondered if that would work.