Recap / South Park S 16 E 5 Butterballs

Airdate: April 11, 2012
Stan starts his own anti-bullying campaign and Butters is being harassed by his evil grandmother.

"Butterballs" contains examples of:

  • Beware the Nice Ones: Butters has had so much of his grandma's abuse and Stan's pressure that he attacks Dr. Oz on national television.
    • Who knew Jesus was such a bully?
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Grandma Stotch
  • The Bully: A whole host of them. Bucky Bailey, Stan, Stan's lawyer, Butters Grandma and even Jesus.
  • Bully Hunter: Deconstructed. Stan creates a video about anti-bullying, but in turn uses it to attain fame instead of actually helping people. What's more, the type of bullying his movie revolves around bullying at school, not general bullying like Domestic Abuse or at in the workplace. Not to mention, several people who claim to be against bullying have turned out to be bullies themselves, showing how anyone, not just children, can become one for whatever reason, and that hardly anyone is any better than a real bully.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Despite the absurdity of Butters' grandma acting like a schoolyard bully, the abuse itself isn't all that hilarious. Especially to those who suffer bullying themselves.
  • Continuity Nod: Cartman uses the term "vajayjay", which he previously used in "Reverse Cowgirl".
  • Expy: Bucky Bailey appears to be one of Bucky Larson. Compare here and here.
  • Foreshadowing: Kyle predicts that Stan's video will fail and he'll end up "jacking it in San Diego".
  • Gainax Ending
  • Hypocrite: The anti-bullying representative bullies others to get his way.
    • Stan accuses Kyle of being a bully to him just for not agreeing with his anti-bullying video, when he himself is acting like a bully by pressuring him to join his cause and forces Butters to be a onscreen celebrity rather than treating him like an abused victim.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Implied heavily with Grandma Stotch at the end.
  • Karma Houdini: Grandma Stotch gets no actual punishment for her abuse, though Butter's speech to her at the end makes it perfectly clear that she's an empty, miserable person for what she does, and when she's in hospital dying, he'll get the last laugh. She's quite visibly aware of that too.
    • Stan may have been called out on for having Butters act like a deranged psychopath on TV, but he still managed to escape punishment by flying to San Diego where he's shown to be fairly okay with his new life, implying he doesn't really learn anything.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Grandma Stotch. Butters' parents are saints compared to her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Stan exploiting Butters for fame eventually gets him hated by the school after Butters punches Dr. Oz.
  • Only Sane Man: Kyle sees through Stan's anti-bullying campaign as one giant ego trip and refuses to participate in it, leading to the other kids bullying him for not being on board. Kyle also realizes that Butters is very uncomfortable with the whole thing, but while the others force Butters to go through with it because they think it's for "his benefit," Kyle doesn't try to make Butters do anything at all. If anything, Kyle could've realized that he may have become just as much a bully as Stan and the others for trying to make Butters, or even Stan, do something they wouldn't want to do. He only calls out Stan's hypocrisy when Stan himself provokes Kyle into a confrontation.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Who would expect that Butters own grandma is making his life a living hell?
  • Running Gag: People showing up in the bathroom to bully others, including Grandma Stotch, an anti-bullying representative, Stan and Jesus.
  • Shout-Out: Stan's video is a parody of an anti-bullying video made by Cypress Ranch High School.
    • The ending reflects Jason Russell's breakdown as a result of the criticism from his Kony 2012 video.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: It does sound weird to hear Grandma Stotch use current slang like "narc".
  • Sudden Musical Ending
  • Take That: This episode satirizes the anti-bullying movement, and includes a nod to the controversy surrounding the release of the documentary film Bully.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: The anti bullying representative harasses Stan in the bathroom for "stealing" his idea. He is then bullied himself by Stan's lawyer and even reduced to tears. Said lawyer is then harassed by Jesus in another bathroom.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Butters gives an epic one to his grandma concerning how empty bullying must make her feel and how as she'll likely wither and die he'll come see her and show how he's alive and strong despite her, her expressions throughout making clear how effective this speech is on her.
  • Truth in Television: Yes, bullying can happen anywhere, not just school. In fact, parental bullying (one Butters suffers from his family) and business bullying (one Bucky suffers form the lawyer) are arguably just as common as classic school bullying. And believe it or not, people are willing to stoop low enough to exploit the news of bullying for their own gain, because almost no one is that selfless and altruistic.
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