Absentee Actor: None of the main boys appear at all in "Not Without My Anus", "Pip", and "A Million Little Fibers". There have also been a few episodes were one or some of the boys are absent throughout.
Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: In Butt Out. Believing Kyle is going to sneak behind his back to steal the commercial position for the Anti-Smoking team, Cartman sneaks into Kyle's house to nail his bedroom door at night. It turns out not only was Kyle just getting back to his room after getting a glass of water, but the door opened the other way. This still didn't stop Cartman from boarding up the door once Kyle went into his room.
The Shitty Wall built to keep outsiders out of South Park because they will kidnap their children. Goddamn Mongorians!
Which is another poke at history: The townspeople hire the only Chinese member of their town to build the wall to keep out Mongolians, because they have so much experience doing so.
Butters's parents, who will ground him for anything, including looking silly in his school pictures, even though he wasn't doing anything wrong. Once he was locked in the basement at the end of one episode, and was tellingly absent from the next episode, suggesting he may have been kept down there for up to a week. He sees his father as a kind of grounding-monster, suggesting that the beatings he has mentioned on occasion are more frequent than he lets on. Oh, and there was that whole bit about his mother attempting to murder him in his very own episode. With the reveal that even his grandmother bullies him, it appears that Child Abuse runs in the Stoch family.
Subverted with Mr. Garrison in "World Wide Recorder Concert": he's shown to have issues with his father for reasons of sexual molestation, but it turns out that he's upset because his father didn't abuse him.
The McCormick kids' strictly agnostic foster parents in "The Poor Kid".
Butters: "Well I've had about enough of this! My name's not Kenny."
Kyle: "C'mon, Not Kenny"
Butters: "My name's not Not Kenny.'"
Cartman: "Okay, Not Not Kenny."
From "The Poor Kid":
Cartman: "Laugh it up, people! Carman's mom is so poor that when she goes to KFC she has to lick other people's fingers. Ha! I beat you to it "Keeyal"!"
Kyle: "My name... is not... 'Keeyal'."
Done again with Cartman's foster mom.
"My name... is not... 'Meeeeym'"
Achievements in Ignorance: In "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", Kyle's mother tells him he can only go to the Raging Pussies concert if he takes out the trash, shovels the driveway, and brings democracy to Cuba. Taking it literally, Kyle writes a heartfelt letter to Fidel Castro (complete with song), and Castro is so touched he ends the communist dictatorship. Kyle gets pissed when his parents still forbid him to go to the concert because they deliberately gave him a task that they thought was impossible.
There are many episodes where Cartman thought he was living this trope, except what he thought made him "better" than the other kids was completely incorrect.
Butters, who is usually the Nice Guy in the show, has this happen in one episode where he gets his first kiss, which leads to him becoming a pimp. Stan and Kyle, who stuck up for him at the beginning of the episode, become concerned with his new attitude, but Butters brushes Kyle off.
Kyle: Butters, can't you see this is wrong? You've got little boys all over school spending all their lunch money on kisses. Boys shouldn't be paying for kisses. It's wrong.
Butters: Kyle, every boy pays for kisses. Do you know what I am saying? If you've got a girl, and she kisses you, sooner or later you're paying for it. You've gotta take her out to lunch, take her to a movie, and then spend time listenin' to all her stupid problems. Look, look at Stan right there. Why he's gotta sit there and listen to her stupid motherf**kin' problems 'cause she kisses him. If you ask me, that's a lot more than the five dollars my company charges.
Butters: What happened is that I became a man! I'm sorry I'm not your little buddy anymore, but there's a time people have to grow up! Do you know what I am saying?!
Acronym Confusion: "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" involves confusion between the North American Man/Boy Love Association and National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes.
Act Break: During Seasons 1-4 the show had four acts to each episode, though the fourth one was usually The Tag. The TV pilot had a weird case, with five acts (the additional break occurring during the forest scene, right before Chef appears). From "The Death Camp of Tolerance" onward, it switched to the usual three acts.
Action Girlfriend: Based on her fight with Cartman in season 12, Wendy might grow up into one.
Activist Fundamentalist Antics: One episode ended with a ban on secular Christmas as well as religious Christmas, all thanks to Kyle's mother. The only song left for the kids to sing for Christmas was "Kyle's Mom is a Big Fat Bitch" (in D minor, no less).
Addiction Powered: Subverted. Towelie thinks that marijuana makes him smarter and more creative. On at least one occasion, Popeye's Theme Music Power-Up plays while Towelie is lighting up. But once Towelie gets high...he does what every pot-head does while high, which is to say absolutely nothing.
Admiring the Abomination: Cartman only works with Cthulhu because of his ability to strike terror and misery into people he hates... and his friends.
Adults Are Useless: Every adult in South Park and then some is a moron, even when they're not holding the Idiot Ball. This clip pretty well sums it up. (You can skip the first minute of the clip.)
Most of the kids are either too scared of their parents to tell them the truth about anything (Kyle and Butters), are pretty good at manipulation (Cartman and to a lesser extent Stan) or are completely ignored most of the time (Kenny).
Randy Marsh. He is practically the king of this trope.
Zig-zagged with Mr. Adams. He was the caseworker for the Mc Cormick siblings when they are taken away from there parents, but he was obsessed with telling them bad Penn State jokes rather than help them adjust. When he learns of the foster family's abuse, he not only pulls the foster children out, but is deeply distraught for putting children in a bad environment. He does end up sending them back to their original homes, but only because he felt the system was too incompetent for people to want to use.
An Aesop: many episodes end with a character delivering an aesop. Often this is Kyle or Stan starting with, "I learned something today..." Often times the aesop delivery is subverted in some way.
In "Chinpokomon," Stan delivers an aesop to Kyle to stop him from bombing Pearl Harbor, saying he shouldn't conform. Kyle uses the aesop to justify going ahead with the bombing, so Stan delivers a second aesop completely contradicting his earlier speech.
Another subversion is "The Entity", where the kids try to pull their usual "I've learned something today..." Aesop speech, only for it to die out several times when they realize that, no, they actually haven't learned anything this time.
"Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants" is a paean to the classic Wartime Cartoons, especially Bugs Bunny's.
In the "Coon and Friends" trilogy, this is done twice between Cartman and Cthulhu: one, a tribute to My Neighbor Totoro, and the other is a nod to the Chuck Jones cartoon "Feed the Kitty". The original "Coon" episode also parodies The Dark Knight in the beginning.
The "anime" episode "Good Times With Weapons". Someone had to have been an anime fan to be able to mock such Gratuitous English.
A meta-example: the 20+ minute animation "Trey Gets Stoned" is one of both the show itself (seriously, the animation is indistinguishable) and Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Not surprising, since it was made by several fans.
Aesop Amnesia: At the end of "Jewpacabra", Cartman had finally decided to get over his anti-semitism. Six episodes late he becomes half-traumatized when Kyle tells him the Jewish population is growing.
Ageless Birthday Episode: The episode "Damien" does this with Cartman's birthday (although we can probably assume that he turned 9 in this episode, as the show subtly suggests that he's a little older than the three other SP boys).
Aliens Made Them Do It: The "wizard alien" from "Sexual Healing." In this episode, the American government is trying to figure out what caused the "recent" trend of successful men having affairs with lots of women. Instead of just admitting that this kind of thing has happened throughout history and that most men have similar urges, the government blames it on a wizard alien living in Independence Hall. When a soldier calls BS on this, the other soldiers take him away to the Running Gag of "There's a turd in the punchbowl", dress him up as a wizard alien, and have Kyle and Butters shoot him dead.
Aliens Steal Cattle: One of the first tropes used in the show. The aliens actually consider cows to be the most intelligent species on the planet (it helps they communicate in "moo"s). When one cow asks about the abductions and mutilations:
Alien 1: Oh, that was Carl. He's new. Alien 2: Yeah, my bad.
If you have seen more then one or two episodes, it becomes clear that aside from Stan, Kyle and maybe Kenny, the cows are probably the most intelligent species on the planet. And that includes the Crab People, talking turds, and whatever the hell Towlie is.
However, in the original version of that episode, the aliens mutilate the cows because they like BBQs.
Allergic to Love: Stan vomits every time Wendy talks to him. Though when they started dating as the show progressed (after The Movie), Stan stopped vomiting completely around her. However, in "The List", when they discover feelings for each other again (after having been broken up for some time), Stan vomits in front of her once more before they can kiss.
All-CGI Cartoon: Switched to this format after the first episode. It, Beast Wars (released around the same time) and ReBootnote that series' third season premiered in 1997 were the notable ones that were airing on American television during the mid-late 90s.
Initially, the aim was to emulate the stop-motion cardboard of the pilot and prior "Spirit of Christmas" shorts in a way that was actually practical and could be done in a timely fashion (the pilot took 3-4 months to produce). This approach was eventually scrapped in favor of doing anything that they could fit within the show's art style.
The practical problems of the original method were lampshaded in an episode where the boys try using stop-motion cardboard animation to make a Christmas animation of...themselves.
All Gays Are Pedophiles: Big Gay Al becomes a victim of this trope when he is fired as the boys' scoutmaster due to concerns from the parents that he will try to molest them. His replacement is, of course, an actual pedophile whom nobody suspects since he's not gay.
All Hail the Great God Mickey!: In the episode "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", the children of South Park manage to send of all adults on false molestation charges. Later, in the ruins of the town, they are seen worshiping a statue made of trash that is supposed to represent "The Great Provider", a supreme being that provides them food and shelter (as a faint memory of what their parents did for them). Played for Laughs when we find out it's been only one week since all adults have left.
The Provider is a statue of John Elway that they appeased with human sacrifice. As shown by Butter's great disappointment when the Aesop is delivered and he is brought down, saying, "I was going to give myself to Mr. Elway."
Kyle's parents and his cousin. And to Cartman's delight, sometimes Kyle falls prey to it too.
Parodied viciously in "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", where it seems that Cartman and Kyle are going to die, and Cartman demands Kyle's "Jew Gold". Kyle, appalled, tries to convince him that this is a Jew stereotype, but Cartman doesn't relent, and Kyle pulls out a small sack of gold that had been tied around his neck. Cartman proceeds to insist that all Jews carry a spare sack of Jew Gold, which is really fake, and demands that Kyle hands over an identical sack also tied around his neck. Kyle didn't hand over the real Jew gold either, he threw it into a fire rather than let Cartman have it.
Subverted in "Night of the Living Homeless" when Kyle gives a homeless man $20. Because of that, all of the homeless invade South Park. But it turns out that it wasn't Kyle's fault, but the fault of the neighboring town of Evergreen, who evicted the homeless.
And then subverted majorly in "Margaritaville" when he uses his American Express credit card (with no spending limit) to pay off the debts of all of South Park, much to the dismay of his mother Sheila, who say he's ruining himself. This is all to make a point of the nature of the economy.
In "Good Times with Weapons" Cartman mocks the fact that Kyle can't throw away his weapons because he paid money for them.
The plot of "Sexual Healing." More specifically, the extreme lengths men will go to to prevent women from finding this out.
In the Lord of the Rings episode, all the boy's fathers are very knowledgeable when it comes to porn, much to their wives' disgust. Subverted somewhat by Mrs. Broflofski and Mrs. Cartman describing a sexual act from the titled movie with unusual accuracy
All of the Other Reindeer: While Butters is the most obvious victim, more recent seasons (especially Craig in "Pandemic") claim that not very many people beyond their clique like Stan, Kyle, Kenny or Cartman.
All Take and No Give: Cartman to everyone, especially his mom. In Season One, you had to give him rather expensive toys to attend his party (who everyone only comes to because Cartman's Mom cooks damn good).
A running gag with Mr. Garrison for several seasons. He's virulently anti-gay, yet sports a stereotypical gay lisp. Several characters state outright that they thought he was gay, but he insists that he just acts that way to "get chicks". In one episode he writes erotic fiction and focuses on penises, seeming to get very aroused by his own writing, but then insists that he's just writing to what his audience, women, want to read. In later seasons he comes out of the closet.
He's also engaged in sexual acts with men several times, thinking NAMBLA is an innocent organization. He presumably gave Ben Affleck a hand job as part of a bizarre plot to convince Kyle that his hand was a sentient con man named Mitch Connor (who turned out to actually exist in "200") who was impersonating a woman named Jennifer Lopez (much to the chagrin of the "real" Jennifer Lopez).
In "Imaginationland,", a subplot is based entirely around Cartman's obsession with making Kyle suck his balls. Jimmy even points this trope out to him in part 1 of the trilogy. He says it's solely for humiliation purposes, but we all know Cartman's track record with the truth...
"Cartman in Love" gives us Cartman telling the new girl, Nicole, that he and Kyle are a gay couple, so that Nicole will be more likely to go out with Token. Cartman puts a ton of effort into convincing the town that his lie is true, to the point where it's hard to tell if he's just really committed or playing out some sort of wish-fulfillment exercise.
In "Sarcastaball", he has no reservations about drinking Butters' creamy goo. Although Randy has him beat in this particular case, as he's the only one who actually recognizes it.
In "Le Petit Tourette" when Cartman is unable to filter what he says and what he thinks, he admitted that he and his cousin touched each others wieners together.
Jimbo and Ned. They're unrelated, live together, evidently have hospital visitation rights worked out. And then, Jimbo can say "fag" without getting bleeped, which according to Mr. Garrison (at the time it was Mr.) means that he is one. All the other guys at the bar except for Garrison are bleeped when they say "fag". After an awkward silence, Mr. Garrison says "Well, we've certainly learned something about you today, Jimbo, you friggin' fag. Wanna make out or somethin'?"
Butters. He has been shown crossdressing, he's feminine, innocent, submissive, polite, and fits The Twink status. While he has shown affection toward girls, it's mostly blocked by his naivety. Oh, and he's more than willing to share his "creamy goo" with all the boys.
And There Was Much Rejoicing: Done a few times when the usual "They killed Kenny!!"-"Bastards!!" routine was subverted and Kenny's death was met with amusement.
Kyle: (laughing) That was a good one!
This is pretty much Cartman's reaction to arranging Scott Tenorman's parents to be killed and ground into chili to get even for being swindled out of $16.12
Animal Athlete Loophole: The parody of You Got Served (and similar movies) had Stan's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits dancing team include a dancing duck. The duck gets injured, forcing Butters to finally join the crew, with disastrous results.
None of this actually happened though, as it all just came from the demented imagination of Eric Cartman. They become terrifyingly real though in the Imaginationland arc.
Anti-Hero: All main characters verge on anti-heroism on occasion, though Cartman often verges on Villain Protagonist. Usually they learn their lesson at the end, however, and often are shown to be morally superior to the adults in town.
Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: In "Towelie," Garrison is ambushed by a squad of towel-destroying soldiers. He assumes that they're going to rape him and says, "Have your way with me, if you must! Go on, fulfill your sick pleasures! ...Where are you going?" Garrison was also traumatized because his father didn't molest him when he was a child, because he associated being molested with being loved.
Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: In "Worldwide Recorder Concert", Stan and Kyle are thinking of a way to get back at the New Yorkers, when Cartman announces that he found the "brown noise" and demonstrates it on Kenny and a deliveryman.
Stan:(to Kyle) Dude, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Cartman: That they should bring back Chicago Hope for another season? Totally.
Art Evolution: The difference between first season episodes and recent episodes is like night and day, even though they have kept the simplistic cutout style. Early on, the show had incredibly crude character and background designs and the animation was very shaky and choppy, while today the animation can be very sophisticated, the backgrounds are rich in detail (actually having perspective and shading), the characters are much more detailed, and animals being realistic (compared to, say, the game in the first season episode "Volcano").
Early on, the show tried to imitate some side effects of using construction paper, such as the aforementioned shaky animation and shadows under objects. Later on, it was dropped.
Art Shift: The art has shifted between its standard 'cutout' style and other styles on various occasions. Backgrounds often contain pictures of real life places or real art, and there are many cases of deliberately conspicuous CGI.
The best example would probably have to be from one of the newest episodes "A Song of Ass and Fire" where the opening sequence is shot entirely in 3D. It is glorious especially considering South Park has not attempted anything of that magnitude ever
As Long as There Is Evil: The core of the evil Wall-Mart turns out to be a mirror, with the explanation that the citizens of the town empower it. Subverted as smashing the mirror destroys the whole Wall-Mart.
Ashes to Crashes: Cartman drinks Kenny's ashes, believing them to be chocolate milk mix. As a result of this, Kenny's soul becomes trapped inside Cartman, providing a story arc for the next few episodes.
Ash Face: "Summer Sucks" ends with the town covered in ash. Chef arrives from vacation to find everyone in what looks like blackface and orders everyone to get in line for a butt kicking.
Every single Asian character. Honorable mention goes to "fucking Mongoriansh!" Funnily enough, both creators are fluent in Japanese.
Taken to extremes in one episode where a Japanese man and Chinese man argue with each other with the nearly the exact same accent and can't understand each other.
Cartman's attempts to disguise himself as Chinese consist of little more than saying "herro prease".
Asshole Victim: Clyde's mother, Betsy Donovan in "Reverse Cowgirl", to the point she's still one beyond the grave.
Assimilation Backfire: One episode has Cartman's super high-tech Trapper Keeper begin assimilating all technology (beginning with a calculator, then a computer, then a lamp, then Cartman). "Trapper Keeper ready to ensorb." Eventually it goes on a rampage and heads for Cheyenne Mountain to ensorb the NORAD command center there, but on the way it eats Rosie O'Donnell, weakening it enough for Kyle to turn it off.
The premiere episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," culminates with a 50-foot satellite dish emerging from Cartman's ass.
Another episode has Cartman smuggling all of Disneyland into a juvenile hall inside his ass.
Then there was the time Cartman tried to eat through his butt to see if he would then crap through his mouth. It works! In fact, it becomes quite a trend and even leads to Martha Stewart shoving a Thanksgiving turkey up her bum.
One word: Lemmiwinks.
The episode that aired after the 2008 US Presidential Elections has Barack Obama shove the Hope Diamond up his ass in order to steal it.
The No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Steve Irwin was always sticking his thumb up some poor animal's butthole. And let's not forget Cartman being shoved up a cow's butt at the end of that episode.
"The Death of Eric Cartman": Cartman (who think he's dead) trashes Butters's room, which gets Butters sent to an insane asylum where he's examined by a questionable doctor whose methods included having a machine anally probe him for hours on end (the probe itself◊ was about the size of a football and rotated).
Assumed Win: Inverted when the boys bring in Kyle's cousin, Kyle as a ringer to make sure they lose and thus no longer have to play baseball.
Stan figures this when coaching pee wee hockey. Unfortunately he was Wrong Genre Savvy.
Parodied in "How to Eat With Your Butt", in which Cartman does it with what turns out to be a gun-shaped piece of chocolate after writing an apparent suicide note, then adds a request for more of said chocolate guns.
When a line of pedophiles find out they've been lining up to see Chris Hansen, they immediately begin shooting themselves, one after another.
Butters is told to do this by a meme-hating teacher in "Faith Hilling". He ends up frozen in his seat with the gun in his mouth for nearly the entire episode's length.
Parodied in "Night of the Living Homeless." A scientist tries to eat his gun, only to live through the attempt. He then goes on to try again several times, each one unsuccessful, until finally making it.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Played for laughs with Scott the Dick in "Royal Pudding." At first, it appears to be played straight, but a change in the camera angle reveals that he's actually seven feet tall.
Author Avatar: Stan and Kyle were originally Author Avatars for Trey and Matt, respectively, but they slowly grew out of it as the show progressed. In one interview, they said something along the lines of "He's supposed to be Stan, and I'm supposed to be Kyle... but really we're both Cartman."
Terrance and Phillip also occasionally serve as author avatars for the duo, reflecting the reactions Trey and Matt expected their show to get from parents, most notably in The Movie. Terrance has black hair, as does Matt, while Phillip has blond hair, as does Trey - likely deliberate.
Cartman, most famously in "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
The Woodland Critters, Mickey Mouse and Mel Gibson.
Russell Crowe's obsession with fighting leads him to berating and almost beating up a little girl merely for looking at him. In the same episode, he physically brutalizes a man with terminal cancer (hooked up to IV and looking as frail as can be) because he thought it was a good idea, since he (Crowe) discovered that he couldn't literally "beat up cancer" like he wanted to. Might be a good example of Well-Intentioned Extremist if it weren't such a ridiculous idea.
Bail Equals Freedom: In "The Losing Edge," Randy is constantly getting in fights at his son's little league games. After he's been released, Gerald asks him how much bail was and Randy casually replies, "Like two hundred dollars, no big whoop." This is played for comedy as he keeps on assaulting people over and over and presumably keeps getting let back out for chump change. The inevitable trial for twelve counts of assault never happens.
Bait and Switch: If there is an episode where the preview involves anything that will get a large portion of the fanbase going "Ha ha, they're making fun of X" the actual episode will likely portray X in a much more endearing manner, while those that see it as a cheap, acceptable target will be the ones on the receiving end of a Take That. These episodes typically center around Cartman The most recent notable example is "Poor and Stupid", with regard to NASCAR and its fanbase.
Part 2 of [episode title]... WILL NOT BE SHOWN TODAY to bring you this special showing of Terrance And Philip!
In "You Have 0 Friends", the whole sequence of Stan trapped inside the world of Facebook is a homage of TRON, and it appears that everything is all set for the inevitable Lightcycle race... when the bikes are abruptly replaced with a game of Yahtzee.
Barrier Maiden: Terrence and Philip in the movie. Although theoretically any Canadian living south of the 49th parallel.
Batman Gambit: Cartman's plot in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" hinges upon him understanding Stan and Kyle's and Scott's personalities, and predicting their actions perfectly (with a lot of assuming).
Beard of Evil: Inverted with Cartman in Spookyfish since he was already evil, his alternate universe counterpart was the good one. Played straight with everyone else.
Be Careful What You Wish For: "Ass Burgers" has Stan wishing everything in his life would go back to the way it was before he was depressed, which includes his life with his family before his parents got divorced. The ending of the episode has Stan getting over his depression and learning that change can be good, only to have his life get hit with the Reset Button where his parents get back together and having his daily routines reverting back to the way they were.
Becoming the Mask: In "Butters' Bottom Bitch", Officer Yates assigns an undercover agent for a series of prostitution busts: himself. During the operations, he makes his arrests afterperforming the sex act, each one becoming more and more elaborate, to the point of gangbanging a college fraternity. He even marries the Big Bad pimp at the end of the episode, living with him in a Swiss chateau before finally deciding to place him under arrest on their anniversary.
Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Slash is really a mythological character based on the legend of Vunter Slaush. It was just one of their parents that actually played at Cartman's party.
Kenny (as Mysterion) gets one when he tries to tell the rest of the kids that he can't die, and Kyle says it'd be pretty cool to be immortal. Kenny, who knows better, flips out just a little bit.
He gets another one in "The Poor Kid". Don't mess with his little sister.
If you don't want to piss off Mr. Mackey, don't take a dump in the urinal. Or ruin the tooth decay play he worked on for six years, whether it's by accident or not. Or touch any part of the overwhelming trash and paper hoard that suddenly materialized in his traditionally clean office.
As for Wendy, don't be Cartman and don't get between her and Stan. You've been warned.
In a strange variation, Cartman attempts to train a pony to bite Scott Tenorman's penis off. He builds an effigy of his enemy, and attaches a hotdog to represent the pe—well, you can picture it. Cartman is dismayed when, instead of biting the hotdog, the horse fellates it. It becomes a Funny Background Event while Cartman has a conversation with Jimbo and Ned.
As proven in Season 1 - Don't fuck with Wendy Testaburger!
Subverted with Butters, who adopts a secret evil identity and attempts to plunge the world into chaos by switching restaurant orders, hiding chalkboard erasers at school, running the water hose in his front yard non-stop, and using ineffective spray cans to destroy the ozone layer.
Butters can be pretty badass if he wants to grow a spine. He's the Chosen One of Imaginationland, a national hero in Mexico, and in "Butters' Bottom Bitch", he is temporarily the most successful pimp in Colorado. Yes, Butters.
Big Bad: Cartman is sometimes this, mainly in the trilogy "Coon & Friends". Satan and Sheila Broflovski are this in The Movie.
Bigger Bad: Saddam Hussein. He is more or less, the Satan's evil head in The Movie. Moreover, him represents an evil far more threatening than the war between the U.S. and Canada.
"Chinpokomon." Sounds like just a play on Pokémon, right? It's not. In Japanese, it means "penis monster", or more figuratively "dickimon".
The running commentary of Butters crossing the border in Last of the Meheecans refers to Cartman primarily as gordo.
'Mantequilla', Butters' pseudonym in the episode, is Spanish for 'butter'.
In "Funnybot", Cartman speaks in German without subtitles, and says some...interesting things about Kyle:
Cartman: Duerfen wir dir Kind dort ... geboten. Er ist Jude. Ein schoener saftig Jude. Er ist frisch und wunderhuebsch. Wunderhuebsch. Translation: Can I offer you instead this child? He is Jew. A nice, juicey jew. He is fresh and beautiful. Beautiful"
Billy Elliot Plot: Inverted with Brighton in the episode Elementary school musical. He wants to play basketball, but his father forces him to sing.
Black Comedy Rape: The Indiana Jones episode, "Worldwide Recorder Concert," arguably a lot of episodes.
Arguably subverted in-series, while absolutely hilarious to the audience (most of the time...). In the Indiana Jones episode, everyone is absolutely terrified and traumatised by witnessing the rape of Indy, to the point of Kyle Breaking the Fourth Wall and saying "I can't do this anymore." In fact, the episode wasn't just Played for Laughs, but Played for Drama at the exact same time.
The Christmas Critters also gang-rape a platoon of US soldiers and Kurt Russell to death in "Imaginationland". (Which was arguably horrifying.)
The idea that Chef thought the boys took turns raping Ms. Choksondik and then murdering her afterward is played for laughs.
The Blank: During woodworking class in "Tweek vs. Craig", Clyde informs Mr. Adler that some kid named Tommy got his face stuck to a belt-sander, and Tommy shows up with no face.
Blessed with Suck: Mysterion's (Kenny's) power. He reveals to Captain Hindsight that he has the power to never die, even if he sees Heaven or Hell. Every time he does die, he later just wakes up in bed, in his regular clothes. The worst part is that no one has any recollection of his deaths. They always think he ran away or something, despite the fact that they saw him die with their own eyes.
Captain Hindsight. He knows instantly how a bad situation could've been prevented.
Book and Switch: when Randy goes on a Food Network frenzy, he hides a cookbook under a Playboy magazine
Bloody Hilarious: South Park arguably wouldn't be half as funny without all the gratuitous gore - I mean, really gratuitous gore.
Boomerang Bigot: In "The Entity", Kyle exclaims in horror that the presence of his cousin Kyle Schwartz has turned him into a self-hating Jew.
Born Unlucky: Butters has a birthday of September 11th and is constantly grounded for little to no reason.
Kyle: Kenny?... Kenny! Don't worry, Kenny. You didn't die for nothing. We're gonna get Wing back as our client and and make a ton of money, I swear it to you! (returns to the other boys) They killed Kenny! Stan: You bastards!
In "Going Native", Cartman borrows Butters' "Fellas! FELLAS!"
Bratty Half-Pint: Most of the boys in earlier seasons, with Cartman being most obvious.
Then there is Ike, who runs away to Somalia because he was already bored with life. He's about 4 years old.
Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: when the boys are doing the school news and want to give it higher viewership. They realize they need to add lots of sex and lots of action, and wind up renaming it Sexy Action News.
He literally causes a motivational speaker to lose his cool (read: flip shit) on him after laughing at him and cracking jokes at his expense because he happened to be a dwarf in "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson".
Throughout the pilot episode, Eric keeps calling everyone he comes into a contact with "a dildo". During the beginning of the second act of the same episode, Eric yells for his mother, telling her that "Kitty's being a dildo!" Eric's mother delightfully responds with:
Well, I know a certain kitty-kitty 's who's sleeping with mommy tonight!
In "Jared Has Aides", Cartman pretends to be Butters and gets his parents angry by swearing at them over the phone. Later at the end of the episode, Butters' parents come to beat the stuffing out of him. Butters later refers to this very incident in "AWESOM-O", including somehow-realized knowledge of the setup.
In "The Biggest Douche in the Universe" Stan insults John Edward, telling him he nominates him for the biggest douche in the universe award. The conclusion of the story is a Deus ex Machina where aliens take away John Edward for an award ceremony for the "Biggest Douche in the Universe"(where he winds up competing with a literal giant douche, natch).
In "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", upon learning that a film festival only screens independent movies, Cartman stands by his viewpoint that independent movies are about nothing else than "gay cowboys eating pudding". It seems as though this goes unheeded, as the first movie Stan and Wendy attend for their paper is about lesbians, but around twelve minutes in, there is a big gathering at the Bijou theater for what the director calls a "visionary new motion picture". Said visionary motion picture is about, and is literally titled, "Gay Cowboys Eating Pudding." Due to plot conveniences, this movie is never shown, however Stan winds up vomiting at least twice upon watching it.
In "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants", when Officer Barbrady is searching students entering the bus, due to the paranoia from 9/11, he confiscates a pair of safety scissors from Cartman. Two episodes later in "The Entity", an Airport Security Guard finds the same type of scissors on Kenny, yells "Die Terrorist!" and shoots Kenny in the head.
The Bride With A Past: In the episode "The Succubus", the womanizing Chef has finally found his one and only...but, as the episode title suggests, she has a secret. The boys know, but no one listens, until the actual ceremony is underway and Veronica is forced to reveal her true nature.
Bring My Brown Pants: Matt and Trey are quite fond of their poop humor and thus this mentioned repeatedly. "Hell on Earth 2006" and "Le Petit Tourette" come to mind.
"World Wide Recorder Concert" involves Cartman trying to discover the actual Brown Note.
The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs makes people throw up if they read just two seconds of it.
The porno "Back Door Sluts 9" from The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers.
Brutal Honesty: Craig in "Pandemic", but Kyle also frequently veers in this territory.
The Bully: In "Butterballs" Butters is secretly bullied and beat up by his own grandma. She even follows him to school and bullies him in the bathroom. It's a running gag in the episode where people go to the bathroom to find a bully there waiting there for them.
Even more so when Butters attempts to find inner strength by donning the costume of Professor Chaos, only to have Grandma show up in a costume of her own, complete with black cape.
Cartman seems to be the most evident in South Park Elementary, once even spearheading a tirade of abuse on a kid until he committed suicide. In earlier episodes, Stan and Kyle also had shades of this, it's implied even Cartman suffered heavily from them.
Bunnies for Cuteness: Subverted (in a non-Hair-Raising Hare way) in the episode "Pip" (parodying Great Expectations). Pip tries to prove to Estella that she is not an unfeeling monster, because an unfeeling monster wouldn't hurt a cute little bunny rabbit (which Pip pulls from Hammerspace).
ESTELLA: I told you, Pip. I have no heart.
PIP: But you do! And I shall prove it to you once and for all! Look at this adorable little bunny.
ESTELLA: Oh my. 'E's very cute.
PIP: You see that? A heartless person wouldn't care at all about this bunny. They'd just as soon break its neck. Estella breaks its neck ...Oh. But look at this bunny. There. You see that? You have too big a heart to kill two baby bunnies.Estella kills bunny #2...Right...
Mr Garrison and Mr. Mackey. However the fuck they keep their jobs despite at LEAST appearing completely stupid and acting like fools, they somehow keep their jobs. Subverted briefly for Mr Garrison since he was fired but that was quickly remedied and he was brought back on.
Randy has been Flanderized into this. In earlier seasons, he was a competent, if slightly doofy, geologist. Unfortunately as the seasons wore on, he continually got himself in increasingly stupid situations (some of which involved quitting his Geology job, going into VERY risky business ventures, or being a complete dipshit around the office). However it's been implied that Randy's litearlly the only scientist in town (no mention of Dr. Mephisto during that episode oddly enough).
But Thou Must: In the episode Woodland Critter Christmas, after Stan kills the mountain lion and finds out that the animals he had helped to build a manger are actually Satan worshipers he repeatedly refuses to take her now-orphaned cubs to learn how to perform abortions. With a forceful "YES. HE. DID!" the scene jump-cuts to an abortion doctor, with Stan and the mountain lion cubs there. Stan is not amused.
Earlier than that, Stan attempted to stay home after learning the Critters' true nature.
He tried to forget all about it by watching TV, but his conscience caught up with him and to the forest he did flee. (Stan stays put.) He thought he could hide from his problems - not true! He knew in his heart the thing he had to do! (Stan is getting annoyed by the persistent narration.) He knew that only by going to the forest could he— (Stan finally gives in and leaves the house.)
Butt Monkey: Kenny filled the role due to his constant deaths. Pip was the other buttmonkey who is constantly humiliated until his spot was taken by Butters.
Clyde in some episodes.
Buxom Is Better: Parodied in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society". Being an early blooming third-grader, her "breasts" are practically nonexistent (she first mistakes them for mosquito bites), but even they're enough to first make every boy in her grade fall head-over-heels for her and eventually transform into lustful, breast obsessed cavemen. They all grow out of it just in time for Wendy, who's spend the entire episode jealous of Bebe's newfound popularity, to get ridiculously large breast implants, which of course immediately turn her into a subject of mockery instead of adoration.
Cain and Abel: Lemmiwinks and Wikileaks in "Bass to Mouth". In this case, it's the good brother killing the evil brother.
Call Back: In the first Halloween episode, Wendy wins the school costume contest with a Chewbacca mask. In the third, Kenny enters the contest with an insanely elaborate Humongous Mecha costume and seems a shoo-in to win... only for Wendy to win again with the exact same mask. They might even have relooped Mr. Garrison's announcing her winner for that one.
In the season 3 episode Starvin' Marvin' in Space, Cartman blames Kyle for a turd in the urinal. Season 10 makes an episode note the Mystery of the Urinal Deuce out of finding out who took a crap in the urinal. Cartman blames Kyle, obviously. After a purposefully convoluted plot, it turns out to have been Stan.
In the Season 8 episode "AWESOM-O", a disguised Eric Cartman asks Butters to reveal private aspects of his life. After mentioning a particularly embarrassing bowel condition, he mentions a bully named—you guessed it—Eric Cartman who likes to play tricks on him. The two incidents he names are from previous episodes: "Jared Has Aides" and "Casa Bonita".
In the theatrical movie, General Plymkin shoots Bill Gates in the head after what he believes is a glitch in Windows '98. Gates later appears in "The Entity" (airing two years after the film was released), only this time, with a band-aid poorly covering a hole in his head.
In "Elementary School Musical", the boys are asked rhetorically "where have you been" when they say they don't know anything about High School Musical.Craig replies "Peru", a Call Back to "Pandemic" earlier in the season.
In "The Coon", Cartman holds a failed rally for his eponymous superhero alter-ego, where the attendant asks him if he's the same kid that held the "Ginger Pride" rally from "Ginger Kids" and the AIDS benefit from "Tonsil Trouble", to which Cartman angrily denies.
Calvinball: Randy's idea of "Sarcastaball". The players wear bras and tinfoil hats.
Came Back Strong: Parodied when Cartman throws himself off a roof and wakes up from a coma in the hospital, and the cops who have the Idiot Ball believe he has precognition. Kyle later does the same thing at the end of the episode so people will believe him about the serial killer and Cartman. Eerily, the lights flicker violently when he gets frustrated.
Came Back Wrong: When Butters fakes his death, his dad buries the mutilated pig remains he thinks is Butters in an Indian burial ground - when Butters goes back home his parents assume this is what's happened, and chain him up in the basement.
Canada, Eh?: Canadians are usually portrayed as having floppy Pac-Man esque heads and black beady eyes.
All Canadian anatomy and technology is shown to be rather, uh, odd. Terrance and Phillip seem to have square testicles—yes we've seen them on screen. Canadian automobiles are shown to have square wheels.
Averted with some actual Canadian celebrities who have been caricatured on the show, including Alanis Morrisette, Justin Bieber, Sarah McLachlan, and professional wrestler Edge.
Captain Ersatz: The Movie featured an assortment of original songs that were obvious tributes to numbers from classic American musicals. Oklahoma! got quoted quite a bit ("Mountain Town"/"O What a Beautiful Morning"; "Uncle Fucka"/the title song; and "It's Easy, Mmmkay?"/"The Farmer and the Cowman"), but there were others. "Kyle's Mom's a Big Fat Bitch" was a pretty generic tribute to early 1900s musicals in general, complete with a "showstopper" climax followed by a "Good evening, friends!" finale. "La Resistance" is structured after "One Day More" from Les Misérables and the Quintet from West Side Story; "La Resistance (Reprise)" is more specifically derived from "A Little Fall Of Rain" from Les Misérables.
Carload of Cool Kids: There's one episode where people from the future repeatedly come to live in their own enclave, called Little Future. A bunch of futurists drive by in a hovercar and wordlessly start jumping the car up and down (as if it were a lowrider).
Car Meets House: Played with in the episode that covered the dangers of elderly drivers. Said old people chase the boys through the house serial-killer style, using their cars. Lampshaded when the boys and Randy take cover on the second story of a house, only to flip on the lights and reveal another car with elderly drivers. Cue driver: "How the hell did we get up here?"
Cassandra Truth: Often happens, somewhat justified as some of what the boys say is hard to believe, but this is South Park after all. Sgt. Yates never seems to listen to Kyle. Stan trying to prove that John Edward is only conducting a parlor trick, or that there is a fish that is out for blood.
"I broke the dam"
The Cast Showoff: Trey Parker. So very much. Pick an episode and it will usually have him singing or it will have something spoken or written in Japanese (for those who don't know, Trey Parker is the lead singer of the band, DVDA, and majored in Japanese in college)
Isaac Hayes before he left. In almost every appearance, he's singing.
They also toyed with the "They killed Kenny" line a lot; one of the best was when it became a version of "Marco! Polo!" to let Stan find Kyle in "Super Best Friends". Then there was the "I found a penny!" bit from "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls".
The classic Butters catchphrase: "Oh, hamburgers!"
In "Butters' Bottom Bitch", he learns a new one off the pimps, with it becoming increasingly natural for him to say...
Butters: Do you know what I am saying?
Butters also has "Fellas! FELLAS!"
Randy Marsh: "Well, that sucks."
Stan has "Goddammit!", "Oh, ohhhhhh!", and in the earlier seasons, a simple "Dude", or "That right there, that was fucked up".
Caught with Your Pants Down: In "Overlogging", Stan's dad Randy has gone for weeks without masturbating to internet porn, (which he needs, as normal porn is now too tame) eventually near the end he sneaks into the camp's computer room, looks at a bunch of perverted things, and in a moment of Squick ejaculates all over the room and himself. He tells the people who come to investigate the strange noises that "a ghost was attacking him and slimed him with ectoplasm". He asks several times if anyone else "saw the ghost."
The episode "Chicken Lover"—the name of the villain is actually "Chicken Fucker", but the name of the episode was changed.
The term "Chicken Lover" was used in the episode, to be fair— three times by Officer Barbrady and once by Cartman.
Officer Barbrady: Uh, Mayor, please. When we're around children we prefer to call him the "Chicken Lover".
The episode "You Got Fucked in the Ass" as well, usually switched to "You Got F'd in the A" or just "You Got...".
Also, in the newspaper's TV sections, "Make Love, Not Warcraft" became just "World of Warcraft", and "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" had the word "Bangs" removed, making the title just "Miss Teacher ... a Boy".
"The Biggest Douche in the Universe" is truncated in TV listings to just "The Biggest". The two-parter that closes Season 1 ("Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut") and "officially" opens Season 2 ("Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut") has "(is) a dirty slut" replaced by ellipses. The "bitch" in "Butters' Bottom Bitch" is replaced with a "B".
"An Elephant Fucks a Pig" was toned down to "An Elephant Makes Love to A Pig", which Parker and Stone found ridiculous.
Cephalothorax: The "girl born without a midsection" on the Maury Povich show.
Cerebus Retcon: Kenny's recurring deaths and the explanation behind the subsequent Snap Backs given in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" are given a dark twist in "Mysterion Rises".
And it's not about Kenny's dad getting raped by the 30 or so middle aged men in that episode either.
You know all those wacky activities that Randy hilariously takes as Serious Business? Well, it turns out... that Randy was trying to distract himself from the fact that he's unhappy with his life.
It might have always been there but "Cash For Gold" revealed that Stan's grandpa has Alzheimer's disease, making him calling Stan "Billy" all those times a little less funny.
Cartman has developed both ways. At first he was just a spoiled brat who got worse and worse. He evolved into a Manipulative Bastard capable of rounding up a lynch mob with a stirring speech, and rose to the point where the writers had trouble thinking up how to top himself. "Tsst" suggests an attempt to take him back down to sane levels. He's still spoiled, selfish and agressively dominant, but a few of the demons have been exorcised.
"1%" appears to have furthered this development.
The town of South Park itself has undergone development over the years, gaining more businesses and residents, becoming more of a medium-sized town, to the point of having a mall. The sole South Park policeman, Officer Barbrady, has been marginalized over the years in favor of a county police force (though Barbrady now seems to be more competent than in the earlier seasons). This development is best shown in the new season 17 intro, where many more houses and businesses (many of which are from past episodes) are shown to populate the town.
Characterization Marches On: The children characters were generally more childish and bratty early on. Stan and Kyle were generally lower scale bullies (compare their treatment of Butters in early and later episodes) while Cartman was less calculating and sociopathic and more just a Jerkass. That said, they can still be immature at times in later seasons.
And that change may be justified as him trying to live his life to the fullest, because he dies all the time, and really has no reason to avoid potentially life-threatening activities. (That and the fact that the creators have stated that the "Kenny dying every episode" trope had gotten stale and/or they had reached the point where they had trouble thinking of original deaths (almost) every episode. This was one of the reasons for the episode "Kenny Dies".)
Randy underwent a huge change. Compare his very first scene—where he casually sips coffee after learning of a volcanic eruption—to his main character trait later on, i.e. freaking out over every little thing, including non-existent threats.
Cheating with the Milkman: The episode "Insecurity" suggests this trope had been modernized with UPS deliverymen in place of milkmen.
Chekhov's Boomerang: In the episode "200," every celebrity/famous figure that has been on South Park is back in this episode. Tom Cruise, Barbara/Mecha Streisand, Mel Gibson, Bono, Paris Hilton, R. Kelly, Sally Struthers, you get the point. They're ALL back to sue the town..
Chekhov's Gag: In "You're Getting Old", there's a joke where Stan can't tell the difference between a turd in a microwave and an ad for Kevin James's Zookeeper. In the following episode, at the very end, Stan's friends ask him to come watch a movie together. Guess which one it is a sequel of.
Cartman:Zookeeper 2: Zookeepier!
Chekhov's Gun: The "goo" that came out of the Rob Reiner at the end of "Butt Out" becomes a plot point in the episode "200".
The plot of a latter episode, "Medicinal Fried Chicken" revolves heavily around KFC.
The V-Chip implanted in Cartman's head near the end of The Movie.
The "Kenny born for the 52nd time" gag at the end of "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" becomes a major plot point in the "Coon and Friends" trilogy.
In "Margaritaville", Kyle holds a Sermon about the economy, saying he applied for an American Express Platinum card to prove a point, and holds it up to show his audience. Near the end of the episode, he uses that same credit card to pay off the town's debts.
Chekhov's Gunman: In the Coon and Friends saga: who'd have thunk that Mint-Berry Crunch, who came out of nowhere, had no real significance to the plot, and was a noticeably lame superhero, would wind up being the one to fix everything? Even Cartman's surprised.
Chekhov's Hobby: In "Lil' Crime Stoppers" a drug cartel states that they'll have to have the Mc Cormicks start making their meth again. Nobody payed much attention. Then eight years later it becomes a major plot point in "The Poor Kid"
Chekhov's Skill: Parodied in the episode "You Have 0 Friends" with Stan's ability to... roll Yahtzee?
Kyle: Cartman, what are you doing? Cartman: I'm killing you. Unfortunately I could only afford a wiffle bat, so it's gonna take a while.
The Chessmaster: Both Cartman and Kyle frequently engage in this with one another. Typically involves Cartman developing a scheme and Kyle attempting to counter it. This can get quite elaborate as both are more than familiar with the other's capability.
Child Prodigy: Ike is the most blatant version of this trope with his recreation of the last supper using macaroni and contributing to a diamond heist and becoming a knight in Canada before reaching 4.
To a lesser extent, Kyle can be this. He has regularly been portrayed as the smartest in the 4th grade class. Existential philosophy, crossbreeding of animals, photoshopping well enough to fool a foreign government and single-handedly thwarting a terrorist plot while the government sits by idly isn't exactly typical of an eight to ten year old.
Cartman may be somewhat Book Dumb, but he is a certifiable master at scheming and manipulation and when enticed will go to great lengths to get what he wants. Is frequently capable of getting the better of Kyle's attempts to stop his plan of the week.
Children Are Innocent: Usually subverted, most often with the murderous Cartman and the sex-crazed, glue-sniffing Kenny. It's also often played straight. Butters is most usually portrayed as innocent, while other children are sometimes shown to be uncorrupted by various stupid or disgusting aspects of adult culture.
Played straight in some episodes even by Cartman, like the one where the kids simply cannot fathom that people kill each other for having different-colored skin, or when they use "fag" without implying gay (for obnoxious Harley riders).
Christian Rock: Parodied in "Christian Rock Hard" as taking pop love songs and substituting "Jesus" for one's lover.
Cartman: "I want to get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus, I want to feel his salvation all over my face..."
Chronic Pet Killer: A variant, where it turns out that all of Paris Hilton's pets had committed suicide rather then putting up with their obnoxious owner.
Major character Pip went from featuring heavily and getting his own solo episode, to vanishing permanently and never being mentioned again until 201where he was promptly killed by Mecha-Streisand.
A lot of early season characters on South Park haven't been seen much (or at all) in later episodes, such as:
Officer Barbrady: Effectively replaced by a full police force around season 7, though he is still brought back for small appearances every now and again.
Kenny's brother, Kevin (the dirty kid who speaks like a hick, when he speaks at all). He was only seen on "Starvin' Marvin" (from season one), "Chickenlover" (from season two), and "Chickenpox" (also from season two). His most recent appearance (I think) was at the end of season 12 where he's at the dinner table and Kenny gets shot by a stray bullet (with no one in the family doing the "Oh my God! They killed Kenny!" bit).
Actually, his most recent appearance was in the Season 15th episode, That Poor Kid.
Lampshaded in "Cartman's Incredible Gift" when Ms. Crabtree is murdered by a serial killer.
Lou: I owe it to that victim over there! I know she hadn't been in any recent episodes, but DAMMIT, she deserved better than this!
Damien hasn't reappeared in years despite his father making numerous reappearances.
Nurse Goodly (the nurse with no arms from "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut") hasn't made a reappearance in scenes taking place in Hell's Pass Hospital.
There's even a flashback of the kids in a Happy Days scenario watching Fonzie jump over buses on his bike, and that's treated like it was from an actual episode — the joke being that kids say that the flashback was wrong because if Kenny died eight hours ago, how could he have died back then as well? And then they turn things Up to Eleven by bringing up a flashback from earlier in the episode! "Remember that time that that kid in the Red Shirt decided to go off on his own?" Things play out just like that earlier scene, up until after the monster ate the kid:
(the monster, instead of running away like in the real scene, pulls out some ice cream) Kyle: Hey look! He's got ice cream! (the monster tears a hole in the roof of the bus — just like when he killed Kenny in a scene elsewhere in the episode — and gives ice cream to the kids)
Cloudcuckoolander: Anyone from Canada. Butters and Cartman seem to be shifting more towards this trope as of recently too.
Also, Randy Marsh.
President Bush. Apparently he thinks Saddam Hussein is Satan's gay boyfriend and that he is somehow building chemical weapons plants in Heaven. Subverted in that he is completely right about everything.
He's actually portrayed as pretty intelligent in his later appearances: he's the Only Sane Man in parts of "Cartoon Wars" and almost pulls off a Xanatos Gambit in "The Mystery of the Urinal Deuce." Word of God says that they just didn't see a point in making him an idiot when every other show was already playing that joke to death.
"Ow, my nipples! They hurt when I twist them!"
Parker and Stone are Cloudcuckoolanders themselves. Seriously, many of the plots to these episodes simply have to be seen to be believed.
Color Me Black: One episode has the boys making Cartman think he's a ginger. Freckles and hair dye. The episode then turns this trope on its head - rather than making Cartman rethink his horrible attitude, he actually starts a ginger supremacist movement and almost kills every non-ginger kid in town.
Come to Gawk: Someone's about to get beaten up! Let's call the entire town, so that everybody can watch!
This is also what happens in "Breast Cancer Show Ever."
Comic Book Time: The boys started out as 8-year-olds in 3rd grade. In season 4, they moved onto 4th grade and are now 9-year-old boys. They have remained 9-years-old and in 4th grade ever since (though occasional recent episodes make reference to them being either 8 or 9).
In "Crack Baby Athletic Association", Stan says that everyone present (Cartman, Kyle, Butters, Clyde, and Craig) is ten years old. Later in "You're Getting Old" Stan himself turns ten, so this is probably the default age for all the kids now.
In "Ike's Wee Wee" it was stated Ike was born in 1996. This makes no sense nowadays as his older brother was stated to be born in 2001 in "You have 0 Friends".
Comically Missing the Point: Cartman tends to exemplify this one, the "Major Boobage" episode in particular. Mainly due to the sub-plot of his rescuing the cats from being put into the pound (eventually taking in around 100). When asked by Kyle (a Jew) why the cats are in his attic, he replies with "They're innocent victims in this! They have to hide or they'll be put to death. Something you just can't understand." By the end, we have this exchange between Cartman and Kyle:
Cartman: But ya know, we've all learned something, you guys. We can never persecute living beings and force them into hiding. It's wrong. Kyle: And you don't see any parallel between that and anything else in history? Cartman: Hmmm, nope. I have no idea what you're talking about, Kyle.
Although, since it IS Cartman, this could just be him being a Jerkass.
In episode 201: Scott Tenorman's father was Cartman's father. Cartman killed his own father and fed him to his half-brother. Cartman has a Heroic—well, a BSOD of some other character alignment over the fact that this means he is latently ginger.
In "Death," the earlier airings feature the following exchange:
Liane: Eric, dear? I just got a call from your friend Kyle's mother. She said that this show is naughty, and might make you a potty mouth. Cartman: That's a bunch of crap! Kyle's mom is a dirty Jew! Liane: Ohhh, okay, hon.
Later airings censor the word "dirty," making the joke seem less like Cartman's mother is ignorant of her son's racism, and more like she's just plain stupid.
This comprises a good half of the plot behind "Fishsticks." Kanye West, the one person on Earth who can't understand the titular joke, will go to greatlengths in his vain attempt to "get it."
"Smug Alert" has the town realize that their own smugness caused a terrible storm and that driving hybrid cars was the sole cause of it, even though Kyle points out that it's possible to drive a hybrid without being a douche about it.
Condescending Compassion: Nurse Golem calls the townspeople out on that when they are celebrating her, saying the last thing she needs is attention, and she just wants to be treated like everyone else.
Confession Cam: Parodied heavily at the beginning of "It's a Jersey Thing", culminating with when Sheila admits she's from Joisey.
Sharon: Sheila, who are you talking to? Sheila: You wouldn't understand. It's a Jersey thing.
And again in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining"
In "Proffesor Chaos", they parody The Bachelor when looking for someone to take Butter's place
Conspicuous CG: Even though the show is entirely animated on a computer (albeit stylized like construction paper), there's actually quite a few times where it's even more obvious. Which has become very noticeable in the later seasons. It is generally agreed that this is frequently intentional to maintain the appearance of the show looking cheap.
Some examples include the return of Mecha Streishand in "201", the race sequences in "Poor and Stupid", the titular creature in the "Cthulhu Trilogy" and pretty much every background since season 5.
Contemplate Our Navels: in 'The Tooth Fairy Tats' has Kyle start to doubt his own existence after discovering the tooth fairy isn't real. He spends the rest of the episode reading various philosophy books and talking about the nature of reality, even when the conversation around him is something different. He finally has an out-of-body, one-with-the-universe experience, and comments that it was weird. It's never, ever spoken of again.
Then we finally have Mysterion's identity and actual power explained. Mysterion is Kenny, who can't die. On top of that, the conclusion to the Coon/Mysterion saga showed Kenny's mother giving birth again, sans pregnancy, and regretting going to any of the Cult's meetings. This is a direct nod to the episode when she gave birth to a Kenny look-alike, after Kenny had died trying to prevent the new kid from being born.
In "1%" an Okama GameSphere can be seen in Token's room.
Contractual Purity: invoked Parodied in Britney's New Look. The climax reveals that the public intentionally set up celebrities like Britney Spears (and later Miley Cyrus) on a high pedestal just to see them fall. All so they can have a good harvest.
Convicted by Public Opinion: When the heads of a boy scout group were taken to court for discriminating against gays, the judge, when about to announce the verdict, said it was based on public opinion.
Cooking Duel: When Stan battles his Facebook profile in a game of Yahtzee.
Again in Creme F'raische, which pits Randy against various reality TV cooking stars, such as Guy Ferrera and Chef Ramsey which is actually a disguised Cartman.
Couch Gag: In the early seasons, this version of the theme song would be used whenever there was a Halloween episode instead of the standard animation.
Counterpoint Duet: Between Randy and Skeeter in "I'm A Little Bit Country". The song was reprised at the episode to show that they had reconciled.
Country Matters: The only swear word that isn't thrown around with gleeful abandon. There are a few times they sneak it in though.
Stan tries to get Wendy back by having Jimmy tell her she's a "continuing source of inspiration" to him and his stutter makes it sound like... that.
Randy calls Sharon this in "Clubhouses" ("did you just say the 'c' word?"), but it's censored. On the other hand, Tiger Woods calls his wife this in "Sexual Healing", and it is not censored.
Russell Crowe starts to call a woman this in "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer", but it's cut short.
And in Wendy's audition song for Fingerbang: "Balzac was a writer/ He lived with Allen Funt/ Mrs. Roberts didn't like him/ But that's 'cause she's a/ Contaminated water can really make you sick..."
That song uses subverted rhymes on several curse words, and outright uses the word "fuck" (bleeped on TV, though in such a way that it's obvious what it was, as always with South Park). Yet, the title of the song (never mentioned on TV) focuses on just one of the words so subverted - guess which one. 
Gets a literal treatment with "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers": Poor Stan watches his life fall apart around him; and after it all, right as he finally regains his enthusiasm in life, he's dragged back into the status quo against his will, turning to alcoholism just to go on living normally.
Butters has been dressing as a girl on and off ever since his first significant role in "Two Guys Naked In A Hot Tub" - not only did he suggest playing Charlie's Angels with women's clothes, he also said he should get to play Jacklyn since it was his idea. This little game got more intense in "Marjorine".
Cartman has dressed up as a girl a couple of times too.
Cruel Twist Ending: "The Return of Chef", "Stanley's Cup" and "Scott Tenorman Must Die", although the latter two are played for laughs.
Crush Parade: Kenny's first ever death on South Park sees him blasted onto a road by an alien raygun, trampled by a herd of stampeding cows, and the killing blow comes when he's run over by Officer Barbrady's police cruiser. After that, his body is eaten by rats.
The Cuckoolander Was Right: In "Reverse Cowgirl" Butters admits he thought the correct way to sit on the toilet was to sit inward so you can rest your reading material on the top and reach the handle without having to look down. Near the end John Harrington's ghost confirms that this is how he intended it to be used.
Cultural Translation: Sega Dreamcast is changed into Playstation in the Polish translation simply because no one there knew what a Dreamcast was.
"Come Sail Away" was swapped out for "La Cucaracha" in a dub aired on Mexican local TV, while the other Spanish-language dubs used other alternative songs in its place.
Starvin' Marvin was referred to as "Paco el Flaco" (Paco the Skinny) in the original Latin American dub. Big Gay Al became "Gran Pato Al" (pato being slang for an effeminate gay man).
Cure Your Gays: Butters gets sent to a camp of this nature in "Cartman Sucks".
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: That Hippie Drill Cartman came up with in "Die, Hippie, Die"; it could have been used for so much more; and yet they only use it to disperse a hippie festival. (Sure, it could've consumed the the town like a giant, pot-smoking ameoba, but still, you would think that Cartman would've sold it to the government or something for a massive profit.)
Cutting the Knot: When Stan and Kyle try to destroy the Wall Mart by destroying its core, they see that the core is a mirror. The Wall Mart CEO goes on about the symbolism about how it is the citizens of the town that are fueling the Wall Mart, etc. Stan shrugs and says the guy told them to destroy the core, so Kyle shatters the mirror which destroys the Wall Mart.
Damned By a Fool's Praise: If the writers think something sucks, they'll often express it by having Cartman or Butters like it.
Darker and Edgier: Pre-Season 5, the show was really silly and amusing. But once we get to the season of uncensored cursing, Cartman killing two people and grinding them up into chili, brainwashing Earth Day cults, life-threatening hemorrhoids, genetically-engineered towels, and butt-faced people, sooner or later, you'll realize that the show has gotten a near-complete overhaul.
Also in the "Coon and Friends" trilogy, Kenny as Mysterion finally decides to speak to his friends about the matter without the muffle, and completely seriously. It turns out that no one has the ability to remember the deaths, and Kenny reappears in his bed, or occasionally somewhere else.
Demoted to Extra: Most of the characters from the early seasons, particularly Officer Barbrady and Dr. Mephisto, who were major characters in many episodes, and often had whole shows featuring them (both later vanished, and South Park even got a real police force). The Mayor appeared far less as time went on, and Chef was showing up less and less (after being more or less the fourth most important character on the show) before he was killed off. Most of the one-off characters, too.
The boys themselves. More and more episodes seem to follow the formula of "Randy does something stupid, while Stan & Kyle get maybe one or two lines in the beginning".
Tweek, Pip, Wendy, Ike, Jimbo & Ned, Fr. Maxi, Kenny, Mrs. Cartman, Kyle's parents and Mr. Garrison have scarcely appeared in later seasons.
Lately, however, Kenny HAS been getting more appearances, even getting his own episode with Butters in "Going Native" AND NOT DYING!
Though, as Chef once noted, "there is a BIG difference between gay people and Mr. Garrison." Liking men is the least weird thing about his sexual preferences.
Cartman. Jimmy put it best in "Imaginationland".
And put on display in "Cartman Finds Love".
Despotism Justifies the Means: Eric Cartman has a deep fondness for this. "Probably", "Dances With Smurfs" and "Crack Baby Athletic Association" are just three examples among many, many others.
Determinator: Cartman may be a gigantic prick, but when he wants something he'll go to almost ridiculous lengths to get it.
Kyle at times too. Both can be pushed easily if it's at the other's expense actually.
Butters in "Super Fun Time".
Butters: "Teacher, my partner is back on the bus."
Jimmy in "Erection Day" and "Up the Down Steroid".
Deus ex Machina: Mintberry Crunch, full-stop. Also, the ending of the film.
Devil in Plain Sight: Averted, in that many characters know that Cartman is a Jerk Ass. However, authority figures like Mr. Garrison, Principal Victoria, and Mr. Mackey oftentimes treat Stan and Kyle as if they're just as bad (or, in "Toilet Paper," worse!) despite this being far, far from the case.
The Devil Is a Loser: Originally a headstrong rebel and pretty badass his first appearance, his later appearances he's a whiny little bitch. God even calls him out on this. He's also gay for some reason.
South Park was actually fairly progressive in this area. He's gay because he happens to be attracted to males. It wasn't done for a quick gag or gay plot, it's just a personality trait.
Diabolus ex Machina: Quite common in the show, especially in later seasons, most notably in Stanley's Cup.
Did Do The Research: For all that it is, South Park can be fairly sensitive when the writers want to be. Most of their issues are pretty well researched. When Timmy and Jimmy's conditions become applicable they are taken fairly seriously, "Le Petit Tourettes" handled Tourettes Syndrome better than most recent approaches, many terminal illnesses like AIDS, Cancer and Muscular Dystrophy are researched, they noted that Americans built military bases on Muslim holy ground, and they are not adverse to using Bible quotations.
In the beginning of "Tsst!", Cartman is in trouble for chaining a boy to the school flagpole, telling him he poisoned his milk (and the antidote is just out of reach), and supplying the poor boy with a hacksaw (it is implied the boy used it). This is a punishment for... calling Cartman chubby. Especially bad if you consider that Stan, Kyle, and Kenny regularly call Cartman MUCH worse names for "chubby".
A more meta-example would be the sex-change episode. Okay, we understand that Trey and Matt think that it's wrong but... did they have to have Mr. Garrison as the primary example? It's the equivalent of having Satan pop out of the ground and say how much he loves a political party!
How about the one involving the OTHER Scott, Scott the Dick, of the Terrance and Philip fame? Scott, disliking fart jokes is completely reasonable, but is it really enough to validate wishing cancer upon someone, letting Saddam Hussein and his army into Canada in hopes that they'd repeatedly shoot and then decapitate Terrance and Phillip, and then trying to get the people you hate to sacrifice themselves in a suicide bomb attack to fix something you screwed up?
"Pandemic". The Department of Homeland Security takes every Peruvian flute band they can find and takes them away to Miami where they plan to make them spend the rest of their lives. Why? For the sole reason that they find them annoying. That is what it seems like, until Part 2, when we find out that the Peruvian flute bands were the key to keeping some monstrous guinea pigs from causing massive destruction. The DMS did that knowing full well what would happen.
In "T.M.I.," a psychiatrist tries to purposely antagonize Cartman by hurling fat jokes and insults at him to test how he deals with anger. Cartman does not respond with the usual emotional reaction one might expect. Rather, he uses an iPhone to produce fake evidence that the psychiatrist was involved with a teenager online. The psychiatrist's wife calls the psychiatrist and kills herself over the phone.
In "1%," Cartman responds to being teased about "crying to his stuffed animals" every time he is persecuted by trashing all of his stuffed animals one by one and blaming it on his friends. Also known as, Cartman's interpretation of "growing up".
"Crème Fraiche" has a meta-example with the Shake Weight, only taken Up to Eleven.
"Major Boobage" has a B Plot about Cartman protecting cats from a Witch Hunt by hiding them in his attic and imploring them to be quiet. Kyle gets progressively more annoyed and incredulous that the anti-Semitic Cartman can't "see any parallel between that and anything else in history."
Kyle's unconventional advice on the economy in "Margaritaville" is heavily paralleled with Jesus' defiance of the Pharisees.
Don't Explain the Joke: Subverted. In Fishsticks, the fishsticks joke becomes funnier when, upon Cartman repeating the joke to Clyde and delivering the punchline, Butters runs up and explains the joke.
Butters: You said you like to put fish sticks note "fish dicks" in your mouth, that makes you a gay fish!
Most recent example: It's not okay to show Mohammed even if he's just standing there looking normal, yet it's okay to show Buddha snorting coke and Jesus watching Internet porn.
After the censorship debacle, Matt and Trey said they'd "come back next week with something completely different and see what'll happen". That "something" was showing a shark raping a mentally handicapped child. Uncensored. Twice.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Revolves around Stan being beaten and everyone being sympathetic toward him over it... until they find out that the one beating him up is his sister. Then they mock him and call him a pussy. This is despite the fact that Stan's sister is older and bigger than he is, and is also a violent sociopath.
Averted in "The Poor Kid." Mysterion (male) beats up an unnamed female student. The female student in question is immediately unsympathetic beforehand, as she's trying to beat up Karen Mc Cormick, a little girl half her size.
The Hobbit, mostly because of how true it actually rings.
The Drag-Along: The characters generally take turns with this. Craig spends two whole episodes lampshading this. But after years of improbable adventures it was about time somebody called them on it.
The Dragon: Kenny or Butters usually act as this to Cartman.
Cthulhu hmore or less became this to Cartman in "Mysterion Rises".
General Disarray to Professor Chaos.
Drama Bomb: As soon as Season 5, the show starts to have these, beginning with "Kenny Dies". Other episodes include "Fun with Veal", "The Death Camp of Tolerance", "Toilet Paper", "Red Man's Greed", "Raisins", "Preschool", "The Return of Chef", and "You're Getting Old."
And in the case of Stan and Kyle's friendship, "Follow That Egg" was the first of several episodes to have these dropped on it in contrast to earlier, sillier episodes such as "Prehistoric Ice Man".
Cartman himself has quite a big one in "1%", which is Lampshaded by his mother, who is watching:
Eric always has been a bit... dramatic... (Uneasy laugh)
Chef. Though it's more like he was dropped off the bridge.
Halfway through the "Professor Chaos"/"Simpsons Already Did It" two-parter, Ms. Choksondik dies off-screen, with the cause of death never revealed. note Though it may be safe to guess that her name is not meaningless.
Driven to Suicide: Most of the deaths in South Park (not counting Kenny's, who is rarely seen killing himself despite his many deaths) are this. Though it's mostly one-time characters doing so, obviously.
In "Coon Vs Coon and Friends", Kenny/Mysterion attempts to goad Cthulhu into either removing his curse of immortality or simply killing him once and for all. After a particularly irksome situation where a mysterious stranger behind a CGI portal gives a speech about powers, destiny, an extraterrestial origin etc. only to find out he's talking about Mintberry Crunch, who then disappears along with Cthulhu and Cartman, Mysterion goes back to headquarters/Cartman's basement after Mintberry Crunch saves the world. There, he tells his gleeful superhero buddies that he wants to "take a nap" then promptly shoots himself. For the third time in the trilogy.
In "Pinewood Derby", Emmett Hollis' father shoots himself with a gun after feeling ashamed to have lost to Randy in the derby-in front of Emmett-much to his horror. Emmett than says, "He's okay, he's okay, he's okay..." quickly before the scene changes.
In "Something Wal-Mart This Way Comes", the owner of the local Wal-Mart faces an angry mob of townspeople fed up with its influence, nervously going back and forth between lauding its qualities and expressing his own negative yet defeated opinion of it. During the conversation he writes and shows a note telling the crowd to meet him outside. After then townspeople leave the office confused and disappointed, the owner suddenly jumps through the window, hanging by a noose. Seconds later, he craps his pants, proving Cartman right about the phenomenon to his satisfaction. The same thing happens later with the founder of Wal-Mart, who shoots himself. And then craps his pants.
The shopping channel host in "Cash For Gold", after spending most of the episode being told to do so by Stan and several elderly people. And does so in the end.
Taken seriously in "Cartman Sucks" where the gay children in the camp see themselves as evil and unable to change the way they think.