South Park: Tropes E To J
This page covers tropes found in South Park
| Tropes E-J
| Tropes K-Q
| Tropes R-V
| Tropes W-Z
| Shout Outs
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- The Faceless: Kenny, though his face has been seen at least six times: In The Movie, "Super Best Friends," "Good Times With Weapons," "The Jeffersons," "The Losing Edge," and "Major Boobage." This, is of course combined with You All Look Familiar: If you know he has blonde hair, there's no mystery.
- Subcerted in Rise of Mysterion, when Mysterion is unmasked. Of course every kid in town with the exception of Cartman and Token look exactly the same without a distinguishing item such as a poofball hat or visible hair, so you don't know it is Kenny until a later episode. The police purposely are vague, with comments such as "take the kid to jail."
- Fail O'Suckyname: Sea Man from the episode "Super Best Friends". Not only do the superhero religious figures call him by a pun on "semen", but it doesn't help that he can communicate with fish, one of which is a sidekick named Swallow:
Narrator: Meanwhile, in the ocean depths, Seaman seeks out water to mix with the concrete.
Sea Man: *looks at camera* Sea Man! *looks at pipe* Look, Swallow, we should be able to divert the water with that pipe.
Narrator: And so, Seaman and Swallow get to... get to work. *laughs*
- The boys' school football and dodgeball teams are the Cows.
- Kyle joins the superhero group "Coon & Friends" under the alter-ego "The Human Kite". "The Coon" is Eric Cartman. Guess what he gets called...
- Failure Gambit: In one episode, Satan fights Jesus, and intentionally takes a dive after the people of the town have all bet on his victory due to his overwhelming physical advantage. He then reveals that he made a fortune by being the one and only person to bet on Jesus winning, all according to plan.
- Fake-Out Opening: The opening scene in "Spooky Fish" appears to set up an Alien Invasion story... only for the alien in question to get run over by the school bus. The rest of the episode revolves around Evil Twins and a Mirror Universe.
- Fake Real Turn: The Obama administration.
- Fan Disservice: Among others, Ms. Choksondik's enormous, sagging breasts and the sex scene between her and Mr. Mackey, as well as Ms. Garrison's "boob job".
- Fan Of The Underdog: Pip, Butters and Dougie are all "Melvins" prone to bullying at school, and so often act as their only friends. Stan and Kyle occasionally Throw the Dog a Bone as well (so long as no one else is around).
- Fantasy Character Classes: The five basic classes in the South Park RPG are Fighter, Mage, Thief, Cleric... and Jew.
- Fantastic Racism: When Stan complains about the time traveling immigrant "Goobacks" taking away all the present day people's jobs, his parents accuse him of being "an ignorant timecist".
- Farts on Fire: Cartman in the first episode. In the pilot version, it was caused by eating extra spicy tamales that Chef gave to the boys to help give them an excuse to leave school. In the actual premire, his anal probe was causing this.
- Fat Camp: Cartman is sent to one in "Fat Camp". He appears to have actually come back having lost weight, but it was really another kid he paid to show up.
- Felony Misdemeanor: The boys get this a lot from their parents.
- Field Trip to the Past: Parodied in "I'm a Little Bit Country" where Cartman's refusal to study for a history exam like Stan, Kyle and Kenny leads him to intentionally attempt this based on his knowledge of it by harming himself in various ways to render himself unconscious and induce a flashback. His final plan involves electrocuting himself in a tub with a TiVo that he recorded to capacity with History Channel programs. And it actually works.
- Fighting from the Inside: Randy does this between sarcastic statements in "Sarcastaball" when attempting to break through his sarcasm addiction's hold on him:
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Played straight sometimes, but more often subverted. Sure, there's plenty of flame, but as often as not it seems to be a pleasant and fun place, and just about everyone winds up there regardless of their goodness or badness.
- Flatline: Present in some episodes where characters happen to be in hospital for various reasons.
- Flat "What.": Cartman gives one in "T.M.I." when he finds out that the school actually didn't post the boys' penis sizes.
- Cartman also does it in "Crack Baby Athletic Association" when Kyle proposes using 30% of the company's profits to build an orphanage for the crack babies.
- Stan is quite prone to these when something immensely strange, stupid or unexpected happens. Sometimes he upgrades it to a deadpan "Dude, what the fuck?".
- Flat Yes: After Cartman explains to his mother that Butters, confused about his sexual identy, gave him a hickey and threw up before leaping out the window earns this:
Liane: Oh, my...
- Flaw Exploitation: Cartman's revenge plot against Scott Tenorman relies heavily on this. If Stan and Kyle didn't rat him out to Scott, or Scott himself had reacted differently, the whole plan could have fallen apart.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Limited only to Mormons. It's extremely dull as a result.
- Food Porn: Taken to disturbingly literal territory with Randy's short-lived obsession with Food Network in "Crème Fraiche".
- Foreshadowing: In South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, when Kenny wants to go see the Terrance and Philip movie instead of going to church, his mom says, "Well, fine, you go ahead and miss church. And then, when you die and go to hell, you can answer to Satan!"
- For Inconvenience, Press "1": "Pinkeye" has this in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Forgettable Character: In the episode "The Last of the Meheecans", the boys play a Border Control role play game, and eventually the Mexican side claim victory. It takes a long while until Cartman realizes they forgot about Butters (and even then only because he can now still win as the Texan side). As the others wonder how this happened, Craig Lampshades that Butters is a rather easy to forget person.
- Formally Named Pet: Cartman's cat, Mr. Kitty.
- For the Evulz: Apparently the Mongolians' only motivation for repeatedly destroying sections of the Great City Wall of South Park in "Child Abduction is Not Funny."
- For the Funnyz
- Fratbro: Musical theatre creators Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John are all portrayed as being beer-swilling bros in secret.
- The Freelance Shame Squad:
- When Stan shows up to the class Halloween party dressed up as Raggedy Andy (and Wendy doesn't go through with dressing as Raggedy Ann), Mr. Garrison actually says "Let's all laugh and point at Stan, everyone", and they do.
- When Randy gets a DUI in "Bloody Mary", Mr. Garrison gives a lecture on drunk driving, in which he brings Randy into the classroom to give a half-hearted apology speech. Mr. Garrison then berates him quite thoroughly while he addresses the class as Stan hides his face in agonized embarrassment.
- The Freakshow: In one episode, the city attempts to ban "Freak Shows", prompting the performers to protest about the town preventing them from making a living.
- Free-Range Children: Very possibly the most overt use of this trope in the history of Western media.
- Friendship Song: One episode of the show has the song "You Guys Are My Best Friends". Sung by "Evil" Cartman from a Mirror World. The song s about how they've always been friends through thick and thin. It has some irony to it since the real Cartman would never say that.
- The Friends Who Never Hang: The relationship between Cartman and Stan and between Kyle and Kenny is never really developed as compared to relationships between Cartman and Kyle or Kyle and Stan. Honestly, though, Kenny doesn't have too many plots tying him too closely with any of the other boys in the group.
- While there have at least been a few exceptions between the four boys, Kenny and Butters barely interact at all in South Park. This amusingly came into play in the episode "Going Native", where it is revealed Kenny is actually Butters' favorite friend and the two finally share an entire plot together.
- Friendship Denial:
- This dialogue in the episode "Canada On Strike"
Stephen Abootman: "Look, guy. We have to stay strong. If you don't stand with your fellow Canadians, then you are a rat!"
Terrance: "Don't call me a rat, buddy."
Stephen Abootman: "I'm not your buddy, friend."
Phillip: "He's not your friend, guy."
Stephen Abootman: "I'm not your guy, buddy."
Terrance: "He's not your buddy, friend."
Stephen Abootman: "I'm not your friend, guy."
- This also happens in "The Death Of Eric Cartman" where the other boys deny Eric as their friend and that they will start ignoring him from this point on:
Token: "Ignoring him? How come?"
Token: "Oh yeah."
- From Bad to Worse: BP first drills into the ocean and creates another Oil spill. Then they dig again and release monsters from another dimension. They dig into the moon now, can't get worse right? They release Cthulhu.
- Oh cmon, that's total bullshit...everyone knows Cthulu is sealed somewhere in the Atlantic near Antarctica!
- From the Mouths of Babes: The kids are usually a lot more worldly than one would expect from their age, but other times they are quite innocent.
- Fully Automatic Clip Show: When Cartman is not invited to Kyle's birthday party, the latter mentions the times Cartman teased him for being Jewish.
- Funny Background Event: In the new (at the time of this post) opening theme, if one looks closely at the very opening, one will see a gravestone with Kenny's name on it.
- Fur and Loathing: An example of the sheer extent the show takes this trope is near the end of "Douche and Turd" when PETA throws blood on P Diddy's jacket, causing him to murder everyone in the organization.
- Gainax Ending: The Plot Twist near the end of the "Coon and Friends" arc.
- Gambit Pileup: In 'Cat Orgy', Shelly is baby-sitting Cartman and invites her boyfriend over. This leads to Cartman taking a picture of them making out with the intent to show it to his mother and bust them, and eventually this leads to a—likely on the fly—pileup between the two.
(Cartman lets Shelly into his locked room.)
Shelly: Haha! That was a turd trick! Your mom isn't really dead!
Cartman: Aha! I knew it was a turd trick, and I opened the door because Mr. Kitty is on his way right now to my mom's party with the picture!
Shelly: Aha! I knew you sent the cat, and that's why I went outside and got him. *Holds up the picture.*
Cartman: Aha! I saw you get the picture back from Mr. Kitty and that's why I wrote a letter to the press, to be opened in case of my demise. Should anything happen to me that letter will go out, and you will never find it.
Shelly: *Picks up the letter* You mean this one?
- The Game Plays You: The Oculus Rift
- Game Show Appearance: "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" opens with Stan's dad as a Wheel of Fortune contestant.
- Garage Band: The Lords of the Underworld. They only become popular when they become Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld.
- The boys' band Moop in "Christian Rock Hard". Randy's reaction sums their sound up pretty well.
Randy: Stan, are you okay?
Stan: Yeah, dad. We're just rehearsing our band.
Randy: Oh, I thought a group of Vietnamese people were having their intestines pulled out through their mouths.
- The Generation Gap: The ability of the adults to be unearthly retarded and allow the children to be Wise Beyond Their Years is due to that gap, which breaks the possibility of the two parties to share the same wave-length; the show puts this one into an extreme as it exhibits the children's point of view; essentially: Because the show is about the children, and the children cannot comprehend how adults behave; they perceive them to be retarded.
- Actual example from the show would be "You're getting old"; The parents perceive the children's music to literally be shit, while the children hear literal bowel movements during the adult's music.
- Genius Ditz: Randy Marsh is a brilliant scientist, but otherwise a complete idiot.
- Cartman can come up with crazy villainous schemes and speak Spanish and German fluently, yet is otherwise dimwitted and clueless.
- Genre Savvy: Subverted. The children (especially Stan and Kyle) seem to be at least partially aware of the insanity of their world and its other inhabitants, but are unable to change anything.
- In "Stanley's Cup" the characters correctly realize that they are in a typical sports movie and thus are bound to win against all odds. They also understand that to achieve that, they need to invite a really good player to their team for the final match, which they also do. This is subverted when they turn out to be Wrong Genre Savvy and are beaten brutally: the opposing team were the real protagonists all along. Similarly, in "The Losing Edge" the team remarks that at this point of the movie, they should include a new, special player in the team to achieve their goals. Only their goal in to lose and the player is absolutely terrible.
- Cartman plays this straight in "Spooky Fish" when Stan, wanting to send Cartman to the 'evil' universe', is deciding on which one to send back. Cartman tells them to send both him and his good twin back, knowing that normally he'd never say something like that, and they send back his 'evil' self instead.
- Also, Kenny as Mysterion is sort of Genre Savvy, treating his inability to die as a "super power".
- Kenny in general is occasionally very genre savvy about his dying. In "Tweek vs Craig" he avoids shop class knowing exactly what will happen (and does happen) the moment he gets around those dangerous power tools. In "Christmas in Canada" he's wary about getting on a plane because, saying (muffled) "dude, I'll fucking die." In "Cherokee Hair Tampons," when Stan is distraught about Kyle nearly dying he points out with increasing irritation that nobody gives this much of a crap when he dies, before leaving in frustration (and instantly dying).
- In fact, Kenny tends to be something of a genre-savvy Straight Man in general: the gag being that the audience can't generally understand what he's saying even though it's a lampshade or something savvy.
- Craig is this, especially in latter episodes, with "Pandemic" being the most blatant example.
- Kyle shows this in "Butt Out", advocating prematurely aborting their Zany Scheme to avoid being grounded lest they fall into the same formula of the entire town overreacting and one of them having to admit that they learned something. They end up following through anyway, with results exactly as Kyle predicted. Further Lampshaded when Kyle retorts to Stan's "Well, I guess we learned our lesson." with "No we didn't, dude".
- Genre Shift: South Park initially started out as a simple surrealist comedy, but the creators later shifted it to a commentary of the real world, from everything such as politics to celebrities. The creators intentionally wrote Mr. Hat out of the show as a symbol of the transition.
- In-universe: in "Sexual Healing", the video game franchise Tiger Woods PGA Tour turned into a pastiche of fighting games based on Woods' marital infidelity. Cartman, Stan, and Kenny loved the game. Once Woods got over his sexual addiction at the end of the episode, the next PGA Tour game went back to the status quo, upsetting Cartman and Stan (Kenny, meanwhile, had died. Again).
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Said word-for-word to Butters in "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Despite the TV-MA rating, the show seems to have its limits as to what gets shown or heard on TV. Of course since it's South Park, they find loopholes...
- According to an interview featured in This Film Is Not Yet Rated, The Movie's subtitle was supposed to be "All Hell Breaks Loose", but the use of the word "hell" was resisted. By the time that resistance figured out what else "Bigger, Longer & Uncut" can refer to, the authors could get away with saying they'd already ordered the posters and making new ones with the original title would cost them too much money.
- Kenny's dialogue is not nonsensical mumbling, but just Matt Stone speaking into his sleeve. If you're able to decipher it Kenny easily has the most raunchy dialogue. Especially in the opening.
- The song Wendy sings for her audition in "Something You Can Do With Your Finger" substitutes swear words with ones that have similar beginning syllables.
- Liu Kim, owner of City Wok. Whenever he says "City Wok" or any of his "City" products his accent makes it sound like "Shitty Wok" and so on, much to the kids' amusement.
- In "Spookyfish", Stan's "Aunt Flo" visits. It's mentioned she only visits Sharon once a month for five days, she's a bitch who demands things be done particular ways, is very emotional, and while she's there Randy has to sleep on the couch.
- Most recently, DP-oil. Though they didn't simply get the crap past the radar, but sneaked in the control room and, well, DP-d the operator.
- Muhammad was in the opening crowd shot for 27 episodes (from "Smug Alert!" to "The List").
- On at least one occasion in "The Coon 2" saga, Cartman refers to Kyle as "The Human Kike"note .
- He also says it to Kyle's mother in "Le Petit Tourette", which also had relaxed language regulation (though the "F" word and that other one were still avoided).
- Speaking of which, "Coon". Cartman believes it's just a slang for "raccoon", when of course the the word has another major connotation.
- The bowling place in "You're Getting Old" has an arcade cabinet of Custer's Revengenote .
- About halfway through Season 15, the original broadcast version of episodes have now become able to say "shit" without being bleeped out, although other episodes didn't follow this. "Fuck" is still unable to be said uncensored.
- In "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", Kyle is ranting to Cartman in Pig Latin and calls him an "ucking-fay aggot-fay".
- In certain parts of the world the show is entirely uncensored.
- In "Raisins", Stan asks Jimmy to tell Wendy that she remains "a continuing source of inspiration for Stan". Given Jimmy's stutter, this goes about as well as you'd expect.
- Gilligan Cut:
- "Asspen" opens with all the boys' parents having drinks together, and the Stotches saying how glad they are that Butters finally seems to have finally made some close friends. Cut to the kids watching TV, and Cartman urinating on Butters while he's asleep.
- In the episode "Woodland Critter Christmas", Stan defies this by arguing with the narrator. It happens anyway.
- A God Am I:
- In the "Cartoon Wars" episodes, Cartman thinks he's managed to pull Family Guy off the air:
- He also proclaims "I am God of the sea people" but is later told that The Simpsons already did it and that was a Shout-Out to The Twilight Zone.
- In "Cartman's Incredible Gift", the police comes to the serial killer's house, who refers to himself as God. The not-too-bright officers take this to be his real name.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: In The Movie, Satan and Saddam Hussein rise up from hell and take over earth. Only the fact that Saddam is such a Jerkass and Satan is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold saved Earth from being plunged into a 1000 years of darkness, and yet God does not seem to be doing anything to stop him. It's especially jarring considering that Jesus and God are both recurring characters, and you can actually briefly see Jesus in the background of one of the shots in the movie (when the soldiers are marching in front of Kyle's house). Also, in the newest episode, "Mysterion Rises", God and Jesus don't seem to care that Cartman and the evil god Cthulhu are taking over the world.
- Godzilla Threshold: Randy's answer to the people of New Jersey taking over the country? Summon Al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden realizes the danger New Jersey poses to the world and immediately rallies his people to action, and even gets a ceremony in his honor.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Played for laughs. In "Tsst", a group of television nannies try to correct Cartman's bad behavior before realizing what he is and giving up. Supernanny is the last one to attempt it. Within three days she's confined to a psychiatric hospital where she spends most of her time eating her own excrement and sobbing uncontrollably while screaming "From Hell! It's from Hell!".
- Gonk: Subverted with Ugly Bob in "Not Without My Anus", who is by all accounts extremely hideous but is rendered with the same facial and bodily features as his fellow minimalistically-drawn Canadians.
- Played straight with their portrayal of Sarah Jessica Parker in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoggerballs".
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Spoofed in "Ike's Wee-Wee" when Mr. Mackey contemplates drinking alcohol.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel/Power Trio: Nowadays there is a tendency for Kyle to act as the superego (good angel), Cartman act as the Id (devil), and Stan be the ego. (Played with frequently, however).
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: During the Stand and Deliver episode, one of the students is pregnant but refuses to have an abortion. Cartman convinces her otherwise (since it's "cheating").
- In "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut", Liane wants to abort Cartman and slept with many politicians in order to allow abortions in the 40th trimester. It turns out, however, that she confused "abortion" with "adoption".
- Good Grief, Another "Peanuts" Shout-Out!: Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy appear among the good fictional characters in Imaginationland.
- Good Is Not Nice: Kyle. Seeing some of the conflicts between him and Cartman out of context wouldn't make all that clear that Kyle's supposed to be the good guy.
- One example is "Le Petite Tourette". Cartman fakes Tourette's Syndrome to get what he wants, and Kyle, who's known Cartman all his life, gets annoyed and says that he doesn't have Tourette's, and an authority figure that hears it accuses Kyle of being a bully and he is taken to observe various kids with Tourette's (with lack of swearing). He is then forced to apologize to Cartman. However, when Cartman plans to bad-mouth Jews, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back, so Kyle devises an elaborate plan that actually saves Cartman from going in too deep.
- In earlier episodes, Stan and Kyle were essentially lower scale Jerkasses that actually joined Cartman in bullying or manipulating others when they weren't the target (usually Butters, Pip or Kenny). It was only around Cartman that they looked moralistic (though admittedly they are far more toned down and sympathetic in later episodes).
- Good News, Bad News
- Good Ol' Boy: Many locals, particularly the "I'm A Little Bit Country" guy.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: In the "Coon & Friends" trilogy, it's revealed that Kenny coming Back from the Dead isn't just a gag, but an actual superpower. That he's had to use his power hundreds of times by the time he's turned ten is apparently a coincidence.
- Goofy Print Underwear: In the episode "Chef Goes Nanners", the KKK conclude their meeting by playing "Who's Got the Silliest Thing On Under Their Robe?" One of them is wearing heart-print boxers.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Usually, Butters. Aversions are notable, such as the end of "Christian Rock Hard, "Imaginationland" and "Breast Cancer Show Ever", as well as the entirety of "Butters' Bottom Bitch".
- "All About Mormons" contains a more subtle example where Butters refers to Gary, the new kid, as a peckerface, though quiet and in the background. He also tells the rest of the gang to "suck on [his] weiner" in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerBalls.
- Got Volunteered: A Running Gag with Butters, usually suggested by Cartman and agreed by Stan and Kyle.
- Gratuitous English: Spoofed in "Good Times With Weapons".
- Gratuitous Japanese: "Over Logging", in which we find out that Randy Marsh has a fetish for Japanese girls puking in each other's mouths (among other perversions), said porn features "dialogue" along the lines of "kawaii deshou" and "watashi wa *barf* daisuki..."
- This gets even more amusing when you remember Trey Parker speaks fluent Japanese.
- Gratuitous Rap: From "Cat Orgy":
- The Grays: The aliens in the first episode who put satellites in people's butts are this. This later turns out to be a plot point in a later episode they re-appear in. They are also seen in the background in nearly every episode.
- When the series started, that part of Colorado ranked very high in UFO-related claims. Trey Parker claimed to have been abducted and probed in his first Tonight Show interview.
- Greedy Jew: Cartman uses the term "Covetous Jew".
- Played with heavily. Gerald Broflovski is a lawyer and has invoked this from time to time, most notably in "Sexual Harrassment Panda". It's also implied that Kyle's family is a little better off than much of the town (but nowhere near the Blacks). Kyle himself usually averts this trope despite Cartman's (hands down the most greedy character) constant ripping on Jewish sterotypes.
- Green Aesop: Sometimes spoofed, but more often subverted in that the Aesops are anti-environmentalist (or, at the very least, anti-Green Aesop). Going as far as to flat-out say that rain forests are evil, and there's no evidence of global warming.
- One of the creators of the show actually visited Costa Rica. During the commentary for "Rainforest Schmainforest", they said that Cartman's view of the place was about the reaction they'd had to their own personal experience with the place.
- Played pretty straight—albeit in twisted South Park fashion—in "Lice Capades".
- Gross Out Show
- Grotesque Cute
- Growing Up Sucks: "You're Getting Old" and "1%".
- Guest Star Party Member: Non video-game example. Pretty much every other boy in class, especially Butters and Tweek, has been part of the main four's group.
- Half-Arc Season: Season 6 had most of the episodes deal with Butters and Tweek as Kenny's replacements, and later Cartman being possessed by Kenny's spirit.
- While they have different plots, most of the "non-issue" episodes in Season 4 tended to revolve around Cartman's various attempts at getting $10 million. In Season 12 it's the boys' gradual discovery of their unpopularity.
- Handicapped Badass: Timmy and Jimmy. In "Cripple Fight" they manage to beat each other up despite being wheelchair and crutch-bound. Jimmy can out-limp street thugs and reach between speeding cars, and Timmy is perfectly capable of... well, doing whatever it's funny for a retarded kid in a motorised wheelchair to do.
- Hannibal Lecture: Played with in "Toilet Paper."
- Happily Ever After: Subverted in some episodes:
- Hard Work Montage: The end of "Goobacks" being one example.
- Harmless Villain: Butters' "Professor Chaos" alter-ego.
- Haunted House: Randy buys a Blockbuster Video store which has no customers because everyone now watches movies online. It is haunted like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. After Randy sees a ghost dressed in a 1980s aerobics outfit ask for Turner & Hooch and disappear:
Randy: Oh I get it! Video stores are so old they have ghosts in them! Okay I get it! (pointing upwards) But you're wrong!
- Haunted House Historian: A parody of Judd Crandall from Pet Sematary.
- Have a Gay Old Time: "The F Word" argues and advocates the notion that "fag" is no longer a derogatory term for homosexuals, but for loud, annoying douchebags. Like Harley riders.
- Headdesk: In "Pinkeye", Stan, dressed as Raggedy Andy for Halloween, does this when he discovers Wendy actually dressed up as Chewbacca instead of Raggedy Ann.
- In "Hooked on Monkey Fonics", Kyle falls in love with the Homeschooled Kid Rebecca, who is unfamiliar with the public school system. When he asks her to come to the dance, she says she might see him there. Kyle explains that he meant going to the dance with him, but Rebecca explains there is no need for that since her father will drive her there. Once she leaves the room, Kyle bangs his head against her chair.
- Headless Horseman: One of the "evil" characters that resides in "Imaginationland".
- Hear Me The Money: In the episode "Super Fun Time," robbers stole both money and food from a Burger King. When one of them wants out, he is given his cut. He then flips through the sandwich to make sure that all of the toppings were there.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Parodied with Captain Hindsight, whose only superpower, besides flight, is to tell people what they should've done before an accident happened. This somehow counts as saving the day.
- Mintberry Crunch uses his abilities to defeat Cthulhu.
- Heavy Voice: When Cartman gains a lot of weight in "Weight Gain 4000", his voice gets deeper (and thicker). The same happens to all the boys in "Make Love, Not Warcraft."
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Cartman has gone from being one of the team to actually being the villain of the episode and back again so many times over the years, he may as well be labeled the poster boy for this trope.
- Cartman will generally do whatever will benefit him at the moment, but there a few episodes where he does something good even when he won't get anything out of it.
- Heel-Face Turn: Charles Manson in "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!" has one of these while learning the True Meaning of Christmas.
- Hell Invades Heaven: In one episode, the legions of Hell are invading Heaven and Kenny (who died and went there) is called upon to stop them.
- Hell of a Heaven: Heaven is full of Mormons. At one point, this is used to punish Sadam Hussein.
- Henshin Hero: Bradley Biggle plays this trope straight to become Mint Berry Crunch. Complete with a henshin phrase, a costume influenced by Kamen Rider, and a Transformation Sequence which is heavily influenced by Sailor Moon.
- Hermaphrodite: Liane Cartman is revealed to be one at the end of the "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut". Though recent events suggest this may have been a fabrication.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Polly Prissypants in "1%", who tells Cartman to shoot her so she can no longer feel guilt about "killing" Cartman's stuffed animals, and so Cartman can avoid blame for it. He does.
- In "A Nightmare on Face Time", when Kyle's iPad is about to die before the final judging in the costume contest, Kyle is desperate for a charger so Stan can see their trophy, but Stan tells them not to worry about it and tells Kenny (in his Iron Man costume) to "stay gold" before the iPad dies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Stan and Kyle, though both Randy and Cartman have questioned the 'heterosexual' part.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Although it's never explicitly shown or mentioned in the show, this trope has been very gradually wearing away at Kyle since the beginning of the series, owing to Cartman's constant verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse. As of now, Kyle has only reached Determinator status, but his obsession breaks through rather...darkly on occasion (eg. "Ginger Kids", "Fatbeard").
- Abiding by some circumstances, Cartman himself. While often depicted as a sociopath and a Jerkass it is made clear the other boys enjoy picking on him whether he provokes it or not, this perhaps becomes most coherent in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" where after Cartman's departure, Stan and Kyle label Clyde the new fat kid and pick on him excessively for no reason until he gradually gains the same obnoxious temperament as Cartman. Indeed a lot of Cartman's treatment may come off as rather cruel and sympathetic if not for the rather extreme manners of revenge he commits.
- The plot of "Crack Baby Athletic Association" is heavily based on Kyle fulfilling this trope. In one scene where he attempts to justify Cartman's shady behavior to Stan, Stan repeatedly responds that it "sounds like something Cartman would say" as Kyle continues his monologue. Eventually Kyle becomes enraged at Stan's comments and snaps back "I do not sound like Cartman, GODDAMNIT!", complete with raspy voice and grimacing face. He quickly covers his mouth in embarrassment and the episode cuts to commercial.
- An interesting pattern is given in both characters' behaviour as a result of their abuse, Kyle is tortured by Cartman and thus bullies fat people, Cartman is tortured by Kyle and thus is anti-semetic.
- Heroic BSOD: Kyle at the end of the Trauma Conga Line that is "Ginger Cow."
- Hey, You!: Shelley hasn't called Stan by his given name since Season One, generally preferring "Turd" or, on special occasions, "Stupid Turd."
- Hidden Depths: Lots of characters but Ike in particular. He is a conservative, intellectual, jewel thief, pirate, adopted, Canadian/American, Jew in Kindergarten. And a knight in Canada.
- And if his late female teacher/lover is to be believed, a demon in the sack.
- Another great example would undoubtedly have to be Cartman himself. Despite being the most laziest piece of stupid scum who abhors anything that he doesn't like, Cartman, despite being incredibly all-around stupid, ignorant and a regular invoker of Insane Troll Logic, has repeatedly shown himself to be a master manipulator who can whip out Batman Gambit's like nobodies business. He can also speak fluent Spanish AND German. Let me remind that this guy would not study if his life depended on it and the only way for him to study is have studying further his goals in some way. Did I mention this guy is quite possibly the biggest Troll in the South Park Universe?
- High Dive Escape: Of the many attractions Cartman talks about in the "Casa Bonita" episode, the cliff diver waterfall becomes of particular significance. When he finally makes it to Casa Bonita, Sheila Broflovski reports him to the police after discovering that he had manipulated Kyle into bringing him by hiding Butters inside a bomb shelter. The police chase him throughout Casa Bonita as he hurriedly samples every attraction in his path, finally being cornered at the top of the cliff diver waterfall. You can probably guess what happens next.
- High On Catnip: Parodied in "Cat Orgy". Kitty brings her tomcat friends in the house, dumps catnip on the floor, and one of the cats snorts it.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Considering the fact that all the protagonists suffer from some form of child abuse, this trope follows naturally.
- Hippie Jesus
- Hiss Before Fleeing: Butters in "The Ungroundable".
- Historical Villain Downgrade: There's an in-universe example in the halloween episode in season 1, arguably a parody of this trope as well. Cartman dresses up in a Hitler costume for Halloween, so the principal shows him a classroom video about how Hitler was a bad person. Because it's made for 8-year-old American children, it only says that "Adolf Hitler was a very, very naughty man!" and merely shows him speaking to a bunch of parading soldiers, which Cartman can't understand because of the language barier. Based on that the children are supposed to learn An Aesop that dressing up as Hitler to school is not acceptable. Things like the Holocaust and other war crimes couldn't be shown of course, because it's directed towards children. Cartman finds Hitler very cool instead, and imagines being in his place.
- History Repeats: "Pre-School" ends with the same exact events that were shown at the beginning of the episode: The boys from pre-school, with Trent Boyett, cause a fire that burns Ms. Claridge, but was the boys' idea, and Trent gets arrested while the boys face no punishment. At the climax of the episode, the boys cause an accident that sets Ms. Claridge on fire again and Trent is once again blamed and arrested.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Cartman Sucks", Cartman decides to show an incriminating photo to the class before Kyle can to take the wind out of his sails, only to discover that Kyle didn't have it after all and that he simply misplaced it.
- In "Crippled Summer", all of Nathan and Mimsy's plans to kill Jimmy backfire on them. #1: Mimsy plans to put a Black Mamba snake in Jimmy's canoe, but accidentally puts it in their canoe. #2: They try to redirect Jimmy's team into the land of the vicious Tardicaca Indians, but they end up on that path and Nathan gets struck. #3: They attempt to get Jimmy eaten by summoning a Tardicaca shark, but he blows the whistle on land, and was supposed to while underwater. Then, a shark comes out of the water and humps Mimsy. #4 (and final): The boys plant half a pound of C4 into Jimmy's ukelele, which is set to go off during the ukelele solo of his song. He skips the solo because he doesn't remember it, and goes right to the second verse, then Mimsy tries to do it but a furious Nathan takes the ukelele. Then he starts performing the solo, but he ends up doing the B flat and the ukelele blows up on him, and gets humped by a shark again. Needless to say, those didn't go over well.
- Hollywood Atlas: Mocked. The city of South Park is a send-up of the cliches and stereotypes about "flyover country."
- Hollywood Tourette's: Played straight and deconstructed in "Le Petite Tourette".
- Homage: See the Shout Out page.
- Horrible Judge of Character:
- Cartman's mom seems to think he's a "little angel" to the point where she doesn't even question his story about why he has a picture of him with Butter's penis in his mouth in "Cartman Sucks". She also lets him get away with murder and always takes his side, with the exception of more recent episodes ("Tsst!", "Coon 2: Hindsight" and "HUMANCENTiPAD").
- The members of the Mel Gibson fan club in "The Passion of the Jew", who are unaware that Cartman want to restart the Holocaust and instead think that he just wants to promote Christianity.
- Played in "Free Hat" for laughs. The episode's titular character, Hat McCollough, is a serial murderer of twenty-three babies, but a protest group wants him freed from jail, claiming he killed the babies in self-defense.
- Huge Holographic Head: Moses in "Jewbilee" and the Prime Minister in "Christmas in Canada".
- Hugh Mann: "Bill Cosby" in "Trapper Keeper".
- Humanoid Abomination: Wall-Mart in "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes". Wall-Mart is actually portrayed as a complete Eldritch Abomination in the episode, being an abstract entity from beyond that exists as long as there is consumerism and poisons every town in which it manifests itself. Near the end of the episode however, it temporarily takes on human form so it can talk to Stan and Kyle.
- Humans Are Morons: The episode "Cancelled," reveals Earth to be a giant Reality TV show for the rest of The Universe's silly amusement.
- Humble Goal: Many episode plots involve the kids wanting something relatively mundane—say, getting the latest gaming system, or returning a rented video on time—but continually getting waylaid by assorted weirdness.
- Humiliation Conga: The entirety of "AWESOM-O" is this to Cartman. Especially the ending.
- Hypocrite: Everyone at some point in this show. The adults are the biggest offenders, mostly in the earlier seasons.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: The only time Shelley shows any affection towards Stan is when it looks like someone else might have the privilege of beating him up.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the Spanish dub of The Movie, since there isn't a word for "bitch" in Spanish, Cartman sings "la mama de Kyle is una puta" (Kyle's mom is a whore). And we all know about Cartman's mom...
- From "My Future Self 'n Me":
- In the episode "Free Hat," the boys attempt to get George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to stop releasing updated and altered versions of their movies. Midway through the episode, there is an advertisement for a fictional updated rerelease of "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" that includes things such as CGI, Star Wars characters, and other things Parker and Stone didn't have the budget for when they initially created the series.
- In "I'm A Little Bit Country", Sheila is holding a picket sign reading "War Is Not My Voice" at the anti-war protest. Strange considering the fact that she once started one.
- Maybe she's learned her lesson since then.
- In 201 Jesus says that people get upset when Muhammad is made fun of because he's a religious figure, immediately followed by Buddha doing crack in front of kids.
- In "It Hits the Fan", the kids in school are taught about the proper use of the word shit. Kyle gets angry over everyone's obsession of the word and gets reprimanded by the teacher when he lets out a Precision F-Strike.
Ms. Choksondik: Boys! Watch your language! Shit!
*** The same episode at the end has the boys telling everyone that there's no need to be cursing all the time, despite the fact that they and everyone else swears all the time.
- "Eat, Pray, Queef" has the men complain about the women queefing, yet when the women point out how a man farting is no different, the men make a bunch of excuses.
- In the episodes where the boys role-play as high fantasy characters ("The Return of the Fellowship of the King to the Two Towers", the "Black Friday" trilogy), they will come across a group of kids role-playing as characters from a different franchise (Harry Potter, Star Trek) that Cartman makes fun of.
- I Am Big Boned: Cartman
- I Am Not My Father: Stan in particular is pretty ashamed of his father most of the time and tries to avoid being like him, not that he always succeeds.
- I Ate WHAT?:
- I Banged Your Mom: Cartman's mom is known for this. By everyone in town. Including the women. Including Jesus. Including the time traveling robot.
- Icarus Allusion: In "Cartman's Incredible Gift", Cartman tries to fly from his roof with cardboard wings and ends up in the hospital recovering from head trauma. The cops believe that he now has psychic abilities because they have heard of similar cases; they take his advice and dismiss Kyle's. Kyle concludes he has to be as stupid as Cartman to be acknowledged. Before he does so, Butters tells him not to fly too close to the sun.
Stan: God damn it, Butters.
- Idealized Sex: Subverted spectacularly when Mr. Mackey and Ms. Choksondik fall for each other, and when the same happens for Richard Dawkins and Ms. Garrison.
- Idiot Ball: The adults always get tossed this.
- Passed back and forth between Stan and Kyle in select episodes.
- In "Red Man's Greed", the townspeople beat the Native Americans at their own game, and have enough money to resolve the plot of the episode. However, the rush of winning gets to the adults and bid their winnings for 12¼ million dollars. Needless to say, they wind up back at square one, prolonging the episode.
- Ignored Aesop: Sometimes the Aesop summation devolves into this, not that the straight Aesops make much sense to begin with.
- I Have This Friend: Randy attempts this in "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", when trying to discuss whether or not watching another guy masturbate would make you gay. This merely drives the other men in wanting to kick this "friend"'s ass, until Randy mentions he lives in Florida.
- I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference: Parodied with VSM471, a cyborg from the year 2034 coming to our time and adopting the name "Bill Cosby".
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Happens often with automatic weapons. Particular examples include:
- "Wing," where multiple Chinese thugs fire at the boys and miss completely from mere feet away
- "Medicinal Fried Chicken," when a bunch of heavily-armed gangsters are taken down slowly and one by one, in a close-range gunfight with South Park's incompetent police force, who are wielding only pistols
- Taken Up to Eleven in "Little Crime Stoppers," where the boys' presence incites nearby gangs to accidentally shoot each other to death.
- Impersonating an Officer: Cartman's brief impersonation of a police officer in an early episode. He dressed like a cop (complete with aviator sunglasses) and pulled people over in his big wheel. When they inevitably figured out that he wasn't a real cop, he'd start beating them with a baton.
"RESPECT MY AUTHORIT-AH!"
- Implausible Deniability: The show is full of them:
- Cartman's constant use of I Am Big Boned whenever someone calls him fat. It doesn't help that his mother told him he was big boned all the time too until the episode "Fat Camp" had her tell him the truth.
- Randy Marsh in "You're Getting Old" tries to defy fate by pretending the new album his son and the rest of the kids like is cool, even though it sounds like shit to him. No matter how much his wife tries to force him to admit the album is crap, Randy insists that it sounds cool and that he is not like the rest of the adults that are old and think new music is shit.
- Inadequate Inheritor: When Cartman inherited one million dollars, it was mentioned his benefactress left her money to him because she feared her other relatives would spend it on crack.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: In the episode "Here Comes The Neighborhood", while the rich kids play polo, the "normal" kids amuse themselves by running around and kicking each other in the balls.
- Incurable Cough of Death: "Kenny Dies" first shows Kenny coughing a bit, and it being commented that he's had the cough for a while. The titular death is the result of "a muscular disease."
- Indian Burial Ground: They have a couple episodes with them, featuring full-on homages to Pet Sematary.
- Informed Attractiveness: In "Pre-School" the Fifth Graders say Stan's mom has the hottest "bewbs" in South Park.
- Informed Deformity: Played for Laughs with Ugly Bob from "Not Without My Anus".
- Informed Obscenity: In the episode "It Hits The Fan", The Knights of Standards and Practices each represent a different bad word. One of these: "Mee Krob", the name of a really nasty Thai dish.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted and played straight: While one of the recurring gags of the show is the death of Kenny, he keeps coming back at the next episode. Eventually is revealed that Kenny is indeed immortal. Played straight with Cartman, Stan and Kyle, that despite being put constantly on situations that normally would kill somebody (Like for example, being in the middle of the war) they manage to survive.
- Insane Troll Logic: How else can you get from buttsex (which wasn't even mentioned) to binary code?
- Pretty much all adults (and often the children too though less frequently) use Insane Troll Logic most of the time. And that's all of them, in the world.
- Cartman is the most fond of this, as can be seen in "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce" (using irreverent mathematics to pin 9/11 on Kyle) and "Dances With Smurfs" (as a parody of political pundit Glenn Beck).
- Insistent Terminology: "Bucky Bailey's Bully Buckers, trademark"
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Cheerfully subverted with Timmy and Jimmy, who in addition to having plenty of achievements that have nothing to do with their disabilities also have dynamic personalities, with character strengths and flaws.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Mecha Streisand.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: "Let's Fighting Love".
- And, Trey Parker majored in Japanese. Translated, there are some jokes in there.
- Some of the lines translate to things such as "I have a fantastic penis", "This English is screwed up". If you ever wanted to know the Japanese word for a man's jewels, it's in there as well.
- Intercourse with You: Pretty much every time Chef sings, intentional or not.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: In City Sushi, the City Wok guy tries to get revenge of the owner of City Sushi due to this trope.
- Interesting Background Event: In the "Bloody Mary" episode, one of the aliens makes an appearance as a reflection in the car window if viewed at the right time during the scene when Stan tries to dissuade his father from driving drunk once again.
- Internal Deconstruction: Kenny dying was eventually played painfully straight as a way to show how traumatic it would be, showing him slowly dying in a hospital. This was eventually used as a way to move on to where they don't kill Kenny every episode.
- Internal Retcon: The 200th episode revealed this to be the case with the early story arc concerning Cartman's father.
- Intimidating Revenue Service: Cartman inherited one million dollars in one episode and a good part of it was taken by tax collectors.
- Invisible Streaker: Subverted in "Good Times With Weapons", wherein Cartman attempts this during the fairgrounds auction at the climax in the episode, but he was only imagining things—he ends up nude on stage and causing bigger controversy than the sight of Butters with a ninja star impaled in his eye.
- Ironic Echo: In "The Jeffersons", Kenny asks if he's too big to be Blanket, to which Kyle replies that Mr. Jefferson doesn't pay enough attention to notice. Sure enough, when Mr. Jefferson sees Kenny disguised as Blanket, he immediately picks him up thinking he's his son.
- Irony: In "Cartman Joins NAMBLA," Kenny spends the whole episode trying to stop his father from impregnating his mother, then when that doesn't work, he tries to get rid of the unborn baby anyway. In the end, Kenny dies (again) before the baby is born, and the baby becomes him.
- Cartman's Small Name, Big Ego alter-ego "The Coon", also known as a racial slur for black people.
- I See Dead People: Or "Dead Celebrities".
- It Amused Me: Mysterion's reasoning for why Coon and Friends keeps that name even after the Coon was kicked out: "Because it pisses Cartman off beyond belief, and I find that extremely funny."
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks: "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" contains an In-Universe Parody: "If you work in the entertainment industry, and you make money, you're a sellout."
- It Is Always Winter: It is almost always Winter in this show, even during times of the year when it shouldn't be. A rare exception is in "Summer Sucks", where humor comes from how quickly everyone gets bored with the lack of snow, which was probably a response to TV Guide claiming during season one that Trey Parker was too stupid to animate the Characters' legs.
- Cartman makes a joke in one episode about having only two seasons in South Park: winter and July.
- Semi-justified by the fact that South Park is a mountain town.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: The Sür Lá Täblé store clerk in "Margaritaville" pronounces not only the name of the store with a "leh" instead of an "uhl", but does this with every word that has the same spelling, making sure to fit in as many of them as possible.
Stan: So do you think that I could get this returned?
Store Clerk: That would be impobab-leh, but not impossib-leh.
- It Makes Sense in Context: In "200", when they discussed the last time Muhammad appeared in public.
- It's Always Snowy in South Park
- It's Been Done: "The Simpsons Already Did It".
- It's the Journey That Counts:
- Played with in the episode "Fourth Grade". It's apparently played straight when, as part of Ms. Choksondik's training to teach the fourth graders of South Park, she goes inside The Tree of Insight, only to find nothing there. Though at first disappointed, she realizes that it means she already has what she needs to reach the kids. It's then subverted, as Mr. Garrison goes in after her and does find a physical representation of his "gay side."
- Subverted again in the episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes". The boys are told that in order to destroy Wall-Mart, they have to find and destroy its heart. Stan and Kyle make their way to the TV section (where the heart is said to reside) and encounter the Anthropomorphic Personification of Wall-Mart itself, who directs them to a small door. They open the door and find a mirror, which Wall-Mart says is "the heart" of Wall-Mart, i.e. the consumers. Stan and Kyle, however, take the instructions to "destroy the heart" literally, and smash the mirror, causing the building to implode.
- Ivy League for Everyone
- I Was Told There Would Be Punch and Pie: The kids' lure to get people to join La Résistance.
- I Was Just Joking: Randy Marsh invents "Sarcastiball" in an extended one of these
- I Wished You Were Dead: Stan in "Pink Eye" after Wendy went to the school's costume contest as Chewbacca instead of Raggedy Ann (she and Stan were meant to enter as a pair, but Wendy thought they'd look stupid and assumed Stan would come to the same conclusion), and gave away the two-ton candy prize for charity.
- Japanese Ranguage: "Herro, Shitty Wok!"
- Jerkass: Eric Cartman, whose visage has been displayed on the trope page at least once. Others include Mr(s). Garrison, Sergeant Yates, Mayor Mc Daniels, the goth kids and numerous secondary characters.
- Jerk Ass Has A Point: Cartman surprisingly enough had one of these in one of the newer episodes "Informative Murder Porn" where he states that maybe because one kid's father had killed his mother didn't mean that Murder Porn was neccessarily the cause. Maybe for all they knew the kid's parent had been cheating on each other and doing drugs for a long time before Murder Porn (a near direct quote from Cartman himself). However when Wendy tries to agree with him, Cartman promptly boo's her simply for being Wendy
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Cartman is one of television's most infamous examples. Sometimes he does something that seems genuinely generous or selfless, but there's always a selfish reason to it. His friends expect this. In fact in one episode he protects a lot of persecuted cats and throughout the episode viewers are waiting for the moment he turns out to have hidden agendas. The twist is that he doesn't. He really doesn't. He did it because he likes cats.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus is just a friendly guy living in suburbia and hosting his public access TV show.
- Until he went and sacrificed himself... to save Santa Claus from kidnappers in Iraq on Christmas Day, thus forever marking Christmas as a day to remember Jesus... for saving Santa Claus in Iraq.
- Jewish Complaining: Particularly from Kyle's mother, and his cousin.
- Joins to Fit In: This is Cartman's reason for forming the Ginger Separatist Movement, after being forcibly transformed into a ginger himself.
- Kyle allows himself to be "made over" by his newly metrosexualized friends in "South Park is Gay". It doesn't last very long.
- Another example is in the newest episode and season finale "The Hobbit" where Wendy photoshops a picture of herself in order to be "attractive". Ironically enough, she was the one who accidentally started the whole photoshop ordeal when she had photoshopped a picture of a very unattractive girl at the school and everyone believed that the picture was the girl's "real" image despite her looking absolutely nothing like the picture. This eventually leads to every girl in school aside from Wendy getting their pictures photoshopped and therefore becoming "attractive" because of said pictures. Wendy is eventually peer-pressured into creating a photoshopped picture in order to stop being bullied by pretty much everyone in the entire school.
- Jumping Out of a Cake: "Butters' Bottom Bitch" has an undercover cop posing as a hooker in one of these.
- Jurisdiction Friction: Mocked. In "Lil' Crime Stoppers" the boys are playing city cops, and the kids playing FBI keep showing up to take their cases away. Addressed more seriously in the episode in which the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and several other government agencies debate who should be the ones stopping a potential terrorist attack aimed at Hillary Clinton.
- Just Eat Gilligan: The episode "Butt Out" (Where Cartman idolizes Rob Reiner because of his fascist and manipulative tactics to get people to quit smoking) could've been solved easier had Cartman known Rob Reiner was a Jew, a people Cartman's not a fan of.
- Just Like Making Love:
Chef: Children, playing football is like making love to a really beautiful woman. You can't always score, but when you can, it makes all the trying worthwhile.
- Just The Introduction To The Opposites