South Park: Tropes K To Q
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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- Kansas City Shuffle:
- Cartman pulls this off at the end of "Scott Tenorman Must Die" episode, after several failed attempts to get back at Scott who initially conned him.
- Another earlier, elaborate version occurred at the beginning of the "2000" arc, within the season 4 premiere "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000", again involving Cartman. As this long, and extremely complicated plan began with Cartman convincing the boys to pose as imitation tooth fairies to get rich quick, which immediately draws the attention of the Tooth Fairy Mafia and the American Dental Association (Don't ask)), drawing Cartman's plans to a temporary halt through the rest of the "2000" arc, until "Something You Can Do With Your Finger", where Cartman's goals of obtaining $10 million come back, this time seemingly disguised as plans to become an ultra-successful boy band. It isn't until the two-parter "Do The Handicapped Go To Hell?"/ "Probably" that Cartman, under the guise of fearing eternal damnation, convincing the children of South Park, through twisting Father Donovan's rather extremist words into a sign that they need to split off from the church, leave South Park, and start their own religion. He gets so far as stating that God would strike them down if they didn't start "donating" a dollar to him. When Kyle discovers Cartman rolling around in his spoils, Cartman reveals that this rather elaborate plan was in development ever since they became false Tooth Fairies.
- Karma Houdini: Cartman on many occasions.
- The goth kids in "The Ungroundable" set a Hot Topic store on fire but recieve no known punishment or jail sentence.
- Karmic Rape: A minor villain is raped by a shark. Twice.
- And in a later season, a crossdresser/trans woman. Apparently, the shark was more preferable out of the two.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The main characters inverted this trope, so they're more like "adult-appeal kid characters".
- Kid Hero: Often the day is saved by the boys (see: Adults Are Useless), but played more traditionally in the Mysterion arc.
- Kids Are Cruel: Pretty much a series premise. Character Development tones down this aspect with at least Stan and Kyle after the first few seasons. This leaves Cartman who goes on to push this trope with each passing season.
- Killed Off for Real: The Season 5 "finale" "Kenny Dies".
- Only to mysteriously return at the end of the following season.
- Matt and Trey seem to have a habit of killing off characters they no longer have a use for, such as Ms. Choksondik (the fourth grade teacher with the hideous, sagging breasts and the lazy eye) at the end of "Professor Chaos", Ms. Crabtree in "Cartman's Incredible Gift", Pip Pirrup in "201" and now all of Cartman's dolls in "1%".
- Killer Rabbit: During the "Pandemic" two-parter, the world rounds up Peruvian flute bands to avoid their music... only to discover they were keeping giant killer live-action guinea pigs in cute costumes away. Also the Woodland Critters.
- Kill the Poor: Kyle's dad inadvertently gives his son the idea that putting all poor people in concentration camps would be good for the world.
- The Klan: Appears several times, most notably in "Chef Goes Nanners" and Cartman's ghost costume in "Pinkeye" resembles a KKK robe, much to Chef's dismay.
- Averted when the townspeople attempt to scare away the new residents, whom they don't like because they're wealthy. They dress up in costume as "spooky ghosts" and decide to burn a lower-case t on the rich families' lawns, for "time to leave". The rich families — who are, coincidentally, all black — take it exactly as it was intended.
- Knight of Cerebus: Sheila Broflovski (in The Movie), Trent Boyett, The Super Adventure Club and Grandma Stotch are some of the villains that were NOT Played for Laughs.
- He can be played for laughs all the time, but Cartman is played much more seriously in the "Coon & Friends" trilogy.
- Knight Templar:
- Eric Cartman. His Disproportionate Retribution in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" and his bizarre concept of "good" in the "Coon" episodes are just a sampling of him embodying this trope.
- Kyle himself is gradually leaning towards this trope in his rivalry with Cartman, some of their conflicts have shown his willingness to outright kill him (in FatBeard for example, he attempts to convince Cartman to travel to Somalia in his ill-defined plan to become a pirate, he is later seen gloating about assisting in Cartman's supposed death, unfazed by the fact that Butters, Clyde and Kevin went along with him, Ike joining, however, is enough to change his mind.
- Rob Reiner is portrayed as an arrogant wealthy liberal who eats vast and unhealthy amounts of junk food, yet still harasses people who smoke in "Butt Out". The tobacco company he attacks is shown to have a nice executive and happy workers, and in contrast, Rob Reiner is a terrorist with creepy followers who tried to kill Cartman.
- The Knights of Standards and Practises in "It Hits the Fan", who are only slightly more heroic than the dragon summoned by using cursewords. Helps that they look like classical knights.
- Played with with the NSA. On one hand, they're shown to be genuinely reasonable. On the other, a brief scene shows that they accomplish their work by imprisoning Santa.
- Kubrick Stare: When Randy starts acting like Jack Torrence in "A Nightmare on Face Time", he shows one of these watching Ted on a monitor, and then later when he ends up imitating the famous "frozen shot" from the end of the film.
- Kung-Fu Jesus: In "Red Sleigh Down", "Fantastic Easter Special" and "A Scause for Applause". In "Fantastic Easter Special", Jesus kills a preacher by throwing a five-pointed curve-bladed ninja star boomerang that slices the preacher in half in slow motion, then catching it with one hand while doing a badass pose and then slips on a pair of jet-black sunglasses with his other hand. Jesus, how much more badass can you get?
- Lack of Empathy: Done very frequently, perhaps the most notable involving Kenny's deaths, which, aside from the standard shocked exclamation, are rarely treated with much weight at all and forgotten about quickly. Subverted with "Kenny Dies" when the boys actually treat Kenny's supposedly permanent death with much more sorrow. It doesn't last long, however, and by "A Ladder To Heaven" it's obvious they've all but forgotten about him.
- Kyle and Stan are not shocked by his death in "Gnomes" at all, and say their usual Phrase Catcher lines in a flat, Motor Mouth fashion.
- Lampshade Hanging
Stan: "Kyle! What the hell's going on this time?!"
Kyle: "I have no idea!"
- The famous "They killed Kenny!" exchange was played with more than once during the show, before it fell into disuse after Kenny was Killed Off for Real. And then came back.
- "Krazy Cripples" focused on Jimmy and Timmy for the A-story and Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman for the B-story. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny become Genre Savvy enough to just walk away from the craziness of both.
- In "Butt Out", Kyle realizes that a lot of South Park's episodes feature a climatic battle between two large groups and always end with the kids spouting what they learned so the fight can end, and tries to avert it, pointing out that before Rob Reiner attacks the tobacco company, they could simply tell the adults they smoked out of their own free will and simply get grounded for three weeks instead of having to preach to an entire town that's about to attack them. It doesn't work out.
- Craig in the two-part "Pandemic" lampshades how everyone else in town has started to notice how the four main characters keep getting into trouble.
- Kenny's many deaths are acknowledged by the character in "Mysterion Rises".
- Another from "200":
- In "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" (episode #53), when the new baby Kenny shows up:
Mr. McCormick: God, this must be the fiftieth time this has happened.
Mrs. McCormick: Fifty-second.
- From the climax of "You're Getting Old"
Sharon: "I'm unhappy too. We both are, obviously. How much longer can we keep doing this? It's like the same shit just happens over and over and then in a week it just all resets until it happens again. Every week it's kind of the same story in a different way but it just keeps getting more and more ridiculous."
- In "It Hits The Fan" they mock the controversy that just because someone swears on television doesn't mean it harms society.
- in "Gluten Free Ebola" Stan asks aloud, "Why does everybody remember what you said all of the sudden."
- Large Ham: Cartman and Randy Marsh for starters. Mel Gibson takes this trope Up to Eleven.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Cartman. He doesn't always get what he deserves, but for the most part it hits him good and hard. And yet he never seems to learn his lesson...
- Last Minute Baby Naming: Kenny's mom is pregnant. After his Once per Episode death, the baby is born and the parents decide to name the new baby Kenny.
- Last Name Basis: Eric Cartman, who is typically only referred to by his last name by the students. The adults are more likely to call him 'Eric'.
- Last-Second Word Swap: The punchline of "It Hits the Fan" (in which the word "shit" is repeatedly said uncensored):
Stan: Holy sh—! ...poo.
- "Last Supper" Steal: In "Margaritaville", Kyle says he has "this feeling that one of you will totally betray me." Everyone gasps and freezes into Last Supper position.
- Earlier in "Fantastic Easter Special", which mimicks Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Professor Teabag shows Stan and Kyle a portrait of the Last Supper, which looks the same, except that there is a colored egg next to St. Peter, whom Teabag reveals to be a rabbit.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The DVD cover for Season 14 reveals that Kenny is Mysterion.
- Laugh Track: The episode "Kenny Dies" inexplicably begins with one (and over a completely inappropriate scene to boot), but it's soon revealed that it's coming from a television showing The Benny Hill Show, which is soon turned off.
Doctor: Alright, Ms. Sanders, all ready for your abortion?
Ms. Sanders: Ready as I'm ever going to be, I guess.
(audience laughter dies down)
Doctor: Well, try to relax. It will all be over very soon.
(more audience laughter)
- Laxative Prank: "Bass To Mouth" has Cartman give Jenny Simons a laxative-laced cupcake, to distract the school from Peter Melman's recent Potty Failure, as they do not want him to commit suicide, as a former student did when this happened to him. Cartman's plan backfires when the obvious occurs: Jenny ends up attempting suicide. So nobody gets singled out, the staff and Cartman attempt to give the entire student body laced Pizza Hut pizza, so everyone will crap themselves. At the end of the episode, Cartman gets thrown in front of a school bus by the school school staff and was declared that he committed suicide. Cartman gets back at the staff with certain cupcakes...
Mr. Mackey: Ooooooooooooh, it's bad, m'kay!
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The beginning of the 200th episode had Kyle and Cartman exchanging insults. Stan tells them to stop, saying "all you're doing is rehashing a bunch of old stuff!"
- Also, 100 episodes before that (actually, 103):
"You've made it to a hundred episodes, you should be proud!"
—->"Yeah, a show should never go past a hundred episodes, or else it starts to get stale with ridiculously stupid plotlines and settings."
- In Cartman's anti-Family Guy rant he explicitly compares himself as a character in a comedy show to the writing of Family Guy, much to Kyle's confusion.
- Also from that episode, when Stan and Kyle are dragged outside while everyone's panicking.
- In the episode where the word shit is uncensored, Mr. Garrison goes around calling people fags because he's gay and thus is allowed to say it. When the men in the bar discuss what curse words get censored (complete with the censor beep when spoken), fag is beeped out for everyone except when Mr. Garrison says it. When Jimbo says fag, he is not bleeped out and someone notes it while questioning him.
- La Résistance: In the movie, possibly the Trope Namer.
- Leatherman: Mr. Slave
- Left It In: In "Volcano", while the mayor's speech is being recorded live:
Mayor McDaniels: All we know right now is that some of our children are camping on that mountain and... Oh, I'm sorry, can I start over?
McDaniels: You can edit this, right?
- Lethal Chef: Double subverted, Randy made some appetizing dishes (In South Park's animation at least) but it was too complex and not to the liking of the kids and the adults.
- Lethally Stupid: ALL THE ADULTS. But Randy is the worst.
- Lighter and Softer: The season 16 was much more of this compared with the earlier seasons.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Lies to Children: All over the place as this is a show about 10 years old. The main one to suffer from this is Butters, being encompassed by a veil of protective isolation by his parents. Most recently shown in Sarcastaball, especially its ending:
Butters: "Dad! My wiener is all stiff and pointy!" Mr.Stotch: "Oh, ah, well, Butters: That is a 'friendly compass'! Whenever you have friends in the area, that compass will point towards where they are." ... Mr.Stotch: "...It points upwards, because Jesus is your friend."
- Like Goes with Like: This is thoroughly explored when a new girl comes to the school and is the only black female student (in the same year as the main characters anyway). She and Kyle share a mutual crush but Cartman insists on pushing her together with Token since Token and the black girl, Nichole, are the only ones at the school of their race and gender. At the end of the episode Kyle ends up alone since Nichole is with Token.
- Literal Ass Kissing: Randy Marsh's "apology" to Jesse Jackson.
- Literal Genie: In "Crippled Summer", Mimzy is this for Nathan. Nathan sends Mimzy to sabotage Jimmy several times, but due to Mimzy's literal interpretation of Nathan's orders they always backfire. For example, when Nathan sent Mimzy to switch Jimmy's map with a fake so he gets lost he repeats the order to make sure Mimzy understood, Mimzy then switches the maps twice, because Nathan gave him the order twice.
- Little Guy, Big Buddy: In "Coon vs. Coon and Friends", Cartman and freakin' Cthulu. Complete with shout outs to Feed the Kitty.
- Little Known Facts: Cartman is fond of spewing these about ginger kids, Jews, and everyone else.
- Little Professor Dialog: Everyone, though it's most notable with Stan, Kyle, and Cartman, for obvious reasons. In fact, fanfiction writers have used this trope to justify writing so much High School A.U. fic, seeing as how aging the characters requires virtually no change in personality.
- Liz Lemon Job: Stan, for all the adults, especially his dad. Kyle as well on occasion, as long as it has something to do with Cartman.
- Logical Fallacies: Randy. Continuously. Also a lot of the other adults as well.
- Parodied in Creme Fraiche when the boys make a terrible job of impersonating Gordon Ramsay. Stan remarks, "I know my Dad's retarded, but not THAT retarded." Randy proves, that yes, he is that retarded.
- In "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining", Cartman drinks exorbitant amounts of Mountain Dew in order to prevent himself from succumbing to the killer boredom. He works his way up to Double Dew, a fictional (hopefully) version of Mountain Dew with double the sugar and caffeine. By the time Kyle starts berating him giving himself diarrhea with Mountain Dew, Cartman points out that he's drinking Diet Double Dew, which has half the sugar and caffeine of Double Dew, making it... regular Mountain Dew.
- Lonely Doll Girl: Cartman has tea parties with his own dolls, stuffed animals, and action figures. The sheer extent of his relation to this trope is brought to light in "1%"
- Lonely Piano Piece: Used in hilarious Running Gag fashion in "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000" as Kyle learns that the Tooth Fairy isn't real.
- Long Runners: South Park has been running continuously since 1997, with plans to renew the series far into 2016.
- Long Song, Short Scene: In the South Park commentary for the season seven episode "Christian Rock Hard", it is revealed that full songs were written for Cartman's band "Faith +1". However, due to lack of time, they only played a small amount of each song. Word of God says they may be release the full songs on a CD, so far they haven't.
- Loud of War: In "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", the ATF try to force people out of the house where a "comet party" is being held by playing an obnoxious pop song that's a thinly disguised parody of "Believe" by Cher. It went unnoticed because the same song was playing on the stereo inside.
- Love Makes You Uncreative: In "The Succubus", Chef finding true love results in his sensual baritone singing voice turning into that of a high-pitched dweeby white guy. As is evident from the title, his fiancée' is really a soul-draining succubus.
- Lowered Recruiting Standards: "Best Friends Forever": Kenny dies and ascends to Heaven in order to command Heaven's army against the forces of Hell. He is told by the angels that they used to only let Mormons into Heaven, but they started to let others in order to increase their army's size.
- Low-Speed Chase: Kenny gets into a huge police chase in a battery-powered toy car in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000".
- "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" has the boys tying to outrun the onset of killer boredom on a 4 mile-an-hour boat.
- There's a tricycle race of appropriate speed between Eric and Kyle in "Cartoon Wars". A police car somehow loses control trying to keep up.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: More like "Luke, you killed your father and fed him to me".
- Machinima: "Make Love, Not Warcraft"
- Magic Feather: In the episode "Bloody Mary", when the news reports that the Virgin Mary statue is bleeding out of its ass, Randy—convinced that his drinking problem is a disease—goes to the church and gets sprayed in blood by the statue. This apparently cures him. A later news report reveals that the statue was actually bleeding out of its vagina ("A chick bleeding out her vagina is no miracle. Chicks bleed out their vaginas all the time."), and Randy briefly lapses until Stan tells him the truth about what happened to him.
- Magical Minority: Parodied in "It Hits The Fan" when the boys assume the guy from the Las Vegas casino knows all about ancient Arthurian curses simply because he's British.
- Malignant Plot Tumor: The first episode of Season 14's "Coon & Friends" trilogy was about Cartman trying to get Captain Hindsight to join his superhero team, with BP's recurring drilling accidents being the B-plot. Then BP unleashes Cthulhu and the last two episodes focus mostly on him, tying up Captain Hindsight's story in the second.
- Manufacturing Victims: In "Bloody Mary", Randy is forced into Alcoholics Anonymous after being arrested for drunk driving. After being told that he has a "terminal illness", he convinced himself that he was a sick man with alcoholism, sitting in a wheelchair downing beer bottles like the alcoholic he believes himself to be. It's implied that the other members of the "support group" had equally dysfunctional relationships.
- Marijuana Is LSD:
- There's an episode where Mr. Mackey — of "Drugs Are Bad, m'kay?" fame — is finally convinced to try mari-jou-wanna. Mackey frolicked around and a few of the objects in the alley he was in changed into bright neon colors. Later, when convinced into taking LSD, his head becomes a free-floating children's balloon. Interestingly, Mr. Garrison averts this when he's seen smoking marijuana. He's simply seen mellowed out and giggling at a cartoon.
- Another episode features men in town deliberately getting testicular cancer (by putting their balls in the microwave) in order to be able to legally buy marijuana from the local seller. The same episode had the local KFC restaurant shut down, resulting in all the kids going into KFC withdrawal and Cartman running a KFC ring by importing take-out from another town. Naturally, Status Quo Is God, and the marijuana store once again becomes a KFC restaurant at the end. Interestingly, the episode doesn't really show any ill effects from the drug. Instead, it's the length that the men go through in order to be able to buy it is over-the-top.
- Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: Randy and Sharon, though all the adults qualify to a varying extent.
- Matricide: Subverted in "Tsst", when Cartman decides that his mother Liane has to die after she stops indulging him and finally succeeds in disciplining her bratty son. This attempt on his mother's life causes Cartman to go through a Split Personality struggle as he destroys his evil side (parodying a scene from Altered States).
- Almost all one-episode characters who die have this happen to them. Hell, almost every death is this. Most of the time, characters die and it will never be mentioned again.
- In "Cripple Fight", Timmy is extremely jealous of the attention Jimmy gets and becomes resentful of him, to the point of seeking vengeance. At the end of the episode he plots a scheme that involves photoshopping him into a homosexual situation that goes against the Boy Scout's rules, getting him kicked out. They are later good friends and never bring this up again.
- Meaningful Background Event: During the episode Smug Alert!, when Stan is frantically looking for Kyle at a party Cartman is holding, you can see Wendy pull a concerned face, step forward a little, and then stop herself when he runs out. This is almost three seasons after she broke up with Stan, and possible Foreshadowing that they end up together again.
- Meaningful Name: Ms. Information (say the name a few times) in "Cherokee Hair Tampons" lives up to her name, which almost gets Kyle killed from his illness since she suggested herbal medicine instead of traditional western medicine.
- Medium Awareness: In "It Hits The Fan", Mr. Garrison says, "On television they usually don't allow 'fag,' but because I'm gay, it's alright." Later, when South Park adults are lamenting that HBC needs to find a new swear word, Mr. Garrison again argues that the word "fag" is a case of N-Word Privileges. Randy says the word and gets censored for it, causing Mr. Garrison to say, "See, you got beeped." After a random character also says it, Jimbo says it himself in a rant, but doesn't get censored. Randy remarks, "Hey, you didn't get beeped."
- Medium Blending: "Make Love, Not Warcraft"
- Also season 2's "The Mexican Staring Frog of South Park", which uses live-action historical Stock Footage of Vietnam for Mr. Garrison's Imagine Spot and Stock Footage of helicopters for Jimbo's rather... bizarre recollection of the Vietnam War.
- Memetic Mutation: The subject of the episode "Faith Hilling". It also alludes to LOLCats by depicting cats evolving to the point where they're creating their own memes and declaring war on humanity. The episode even has this quote:
There are two ways a species evolves: physically, from genes, and culturally, from memes. Just like genes, memes replicate, mutate, and adapt.
- The Underpants Gnomes business plan is referenced extensively outside of it's original context even by writers.
- Messianic Archetype: Kyle plays to this more times than you'd think. The most obvious example is "Margaritaville" (where this is played very literally), but it's underpinned subtly in a few episodes. And, in direct opposition Cartman tends to play to the more Dark Messiah or Anti Christ side of things (how far he goes down this road depends on whom you ask).
- Midlife Crisis Car: Stan's dad gets one.
- Midword Rhyme: In an old playground rhyme that melds with a little Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion.o
- Mind Screw: An eXistenZ-style mind screw plot is parodied in the "Grounded Vindaloop" episode. And it is awesome.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: At the end of "Christmas in Canada", Cartman starts a fight with Kyle for having him miss Christmas. Kyle taps jabs him lightly on the shoulder and he cries out for his mother.
- Mirror Universe
- Misplaced Accent: In the "Crack Baby Athletic Association", Slash is revealed to be "Vunter Slaush", a parody on the Dutch Sinterklaas, complete with parody song. The problem? The name and song are in German, not Dutch...
- Actually, no. They're not in German. Most likely they're just vaguely Dutch/German sounding gibberish.
- Misplaced Sorrow: After Kenny is Killed Off for Real, the boys discover that he has the winning ticket to a candy store shopping spree, so they decide to build a ladder to heaven in order for him to give it to them. But when adults ask what they're doing they don't mention the candy part, they just say they want to see Kenny again.
- Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Kyle and Cartman in "Tonsil Trouble" and Butters and Cartman in "Super Fun Time."
- Stan and Kyle have been warned multiple times their relationship would fall under this.
- Kyle and Cartman in "Cartman Finds Love", only in this case perpetuated by Cartman himself. Kyle is unsurprisingly not amused.
- A minor one with Shelly in "Preschool":
Kyle: So..... You're going to help us?
Shelly: Yes, but I'm going to want something in return.
Cartman: (beat) A picture of your mom's boobs?
- Mistaken for Racist: Inverted in "Here Comes The Neighbourhood" where they are trying to get rid of all the rich people in town (who are all black). Mr. Garrison proposes burning a "lower-case t" on their lawn as in "time to leave". The victims take it as exactly this.
Kobe Bryant: T. Time to leave?
- Mistaken for Subculture: The Goth kids get tired of being mistaken for vampire kids.
- In another episode, they get referred to as "emo kids".
- Mistaken for Terrorist: "The Snuke"
- Mister Descriptor: Misters Hat, Twig, and Slave.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Scuzzlebutt.
- Mondegreen: Timmy's "lib-a-lah!" was so commonly heard as "livin' a lie" that it was later used for an actual Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld song and became part of Jimmy's comedy routine in "Cripple Fight".
- Mood Whiplash: "You're Getting Old", which ends with Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" without irony. Trey and Matt said on The Daily Show that after the airing of the episode, a lot of people came up to them asking if anything was wrong, but denied that they're tired of the show.
- The ending of "Kenny Dies". Twice.
- Moonwalk Dance: In Meet the Jeffersons the Michael Jackson Expy character performs the moonwalk briefly. When Ike is possessed by Jackson's ghost in Dead Celebrities he briefly does it too.
- Moral Dissonance: In "Toilet Paper" the boys feel guilty about letting Butters take the blame for what they did. They have no such qualms in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" when they attempt to blame Butters for writing the book when they think it'll get them in trouble and when they blame Sarah Jessica Parker's death on him.
- Actually the former example actually runs in contrast to the boy's treatment of Butters in earlier seasons, they frequently abused him or left him for dead in episodes such as "Jared Has Aides" and "Freak Strike". Much akin to other Butt Monkeys such as Kenny and Pip, it is mostly a case of Depending on the Writer whether the boys are sympathetic towards Butters or outright Comedic Sociopaths towards him (though at least in "The Tale Of Scrotie McBoogerballs" they felt slight empathy for what he's been through).
- Moral Guardians: The show was a frequent victim of them during The Nineties, much in the same way The Simpsons and Beavis And Butthead were. Today, it's much less of a target, only really being attacked when it "insensitively" depicts some kind of minority group (such as Scientologists or Muslims).
- More Than Mind Control: Arguably, Cartman when he's trying to stop his friends from destroying the Wall-Mart.
- Motivational Lie: In the episode "Damien":
You know, somebody once said, "Don't try to be a great man, just be a man." Jesus:
Who said that? Stan:
You did, Jesus. Jesus:
...You're right, Stan. Thank you, boys! (resumes his fight against Satan) Kyle:
Wow, did he say that in The Bible
Nah, I saw it on Star Trek
- Motion Capture: Cartman documents a handicapped walk through this method in "Up the Down Steroid".
- Motor Mouth: In "Toilet Paper":
Cartman: Okay. Last night, all four of us were at the bowling alley until about 7:30, at which time we noticed Ally Sheedy, the Goth chick from the Breakfast Club, was bowling in the lane next to us, and we asked her for her autograph, but she didn't have a pen, so we followed her out to her car, but on the way we were accosted by five Scientologists who wanted to give us all personality tests, which were administered at the Scientology Center in Denver until 10:45, at which time we accidentally boarded the wrong bus home and ended up in Rancho de Burritos Rojos, south of Castle Rock, and finally got a ride home with a man who was missing his left index finger, named Gary Bushwell, arriving home at 11:46.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Make Love Not Warcraft" makes transporting a flash drive to succeed in a computer game epic. Takeshi Obata would be proud.
- "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" manages to portray field trip boredom as life-or-death suspense. Literally life-or-death.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Wendy sends Ms. Ellen into the sun by taking control of the Iraqi guard and framing her as an Iraqi traitor. DON'T. FUCK. WITH. HER.
- Murphy's Law
- Musical Episode: Several, including The Movie.
- Painting the Medium: In "201", when Tom Cruise steals Muhammad's goo, a Censor Box appears over him just like Muhammad. When Stan makes a joke at his expense during the final battle, the box disappears.
- Also in 201, there were two main plots; one was a political plot about censorship, the other was about finding Cartman's true father. Cartman and Kyle argue with each other about which is more important, then look straight at the camera.
- The "Coon & Friends" arc initially got bad reviews after the first episode, in part because the boys (playing superheroes in silly outfits) couldn't be recognized due to the Only Six Faces art style. And then it turns out to be done on purpose, deconstructing the secret identity aspect of superhero stories, and the characters' identities are very slowly revealed throughout the episode trilogy. And then the story takes a few very dark turns once Mysterion's is revealed.
- Pals with Jesus: His show isn't named Jesus and Pals for nothing, you know.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: Or else they'd be a bunch of sad pandas.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Used effectively quite a few times, with "AWESOM-O" making a full episode out of it.
- Possibly the best is Towelie using a hat and mustache to pass for human. No one notices this until Oprah's "minge" conspires to expose him.
- Parallel Porn Titles: Inverted, as they copied the title "Bigger, Longer, & Uncut" from John Bobbit's (Yes, THAT one's) porn movie.
- Parental Obliviousness: On the rare occasions when their parents know what they're doing, they either punish them for all the wrong reasons (for example: "Butt Out," in which the boys get grounded for smoking as opposed to burning their school down) or fail to realize that they're doing anything all that bad (like in "Pandemic," when Sharon and Sheila claim that Craig is a bad influence on Stan and Kyle; according to Craig, it's the other way around, since Stan and Kyle tend to suck everyone around them into the insanity they get swept up in).
- Parodied Trope: So many.
- Parody Episode: Again, so many.
- Parody Sue: Mintberry Crunch, who turns out to be a living Deus ex Machina.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Thad Jarvis from "Guitar Queer-O".
- Perpetual Poverty: Kenny's family.
- Pet The Cat: Cartman is a really bad person, but he goes to extremes to protect the cats in the neighborhood in "Major Boobage."
- Phony Psychic: The Biggest Douche in the Universe.
- Physical God: Apparently, Mickey Mouse is a powerful godlike entity limited only by his need to slumber in Valhalla after his destructive, fire-breathing rampages.
- Cthulhu also makes an appearance.
- Pyrrhic Victory: "201" reveals Eric's revenge over Scott Tenorman in Season 5 to be this.
- Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Rather than an adult opposing a teenager, we instead get a little kid opposing a teenager. It's also inverted, in that Kid Hero Cartman is the one who's determined to get even with the teenage villain Scott Tenorman.
- Pig Latin: In "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", Kyle brings a cake as a gift to Cartman when visiting him in juvenile hall, mentioning that there's an "ailnay ilefay" baked inside of it, which will enable Cartman to "eakbray out of isonpray". When Cartman informs him that they're not allowed to accept gifts, Kyle goes into a lengthy rant while still speaking Pig Latin. Stan on the other hand just calls Cartman "umbassday".
- The Pig Pen: Dogpoo, a minor character.
- Ping-Pong Naïveté: Very. They swear like sailors, but they don't know that you don't have to wear a condom if you don't have sex.
- In one episode, Jimmy remarks that he and his girlfriend took ecstasy and stayed up all night having sex. Later on, in "Erection Day", he gets his first erection and doesn't have a clue what he's supposed to do with it.
- Pink Elephants
- The Place
- Planet of Steves: Marklar, home of the Marklar, who like to Marklar on the Marklar with plenty of Marklar to Marklar.
- Playful Otter: "Go God Go".
- Pleasure Island: Several episodes.
- "Chinpokomon" is about a Bland-Name Product version of Pokémon that turns out to be an Imperial Japanese indoctrination tool.
- "South Park is Gay" reveals that the metrosexual subculture was started by evil crab people to turn all men into effeminate sissies and make taking over the world easier.
- "Die, Hippie, Die." A large contingent of hippies arrives in town from Colorado's big cities for a massive 1960s-style music festival; they claim that the purpose of the festival is to stick it to all the corporate bigwigs and other "little Eichmanns" who supposedly run America. Stan, Kyle, and Kenny naively join in the "fun" at first, donning their best "student protester" outfits and learning to play the guitar. But as the festival drags on they start to become bored, and they realize the message of social activism preached by the college kids is, well, pretty much b.s. And on top of it all, all the marijuana smoke is starting to make them sick. They try to leave, but the crowds have become much too thick...
- "You Have 0 Friends" portrays Facebook this way when Stan gets sucked into a TRON-esque digital world and has to fight the embodiment of his own Facebook profile.
- Plot Immunity: In "Whale Whores" when the Japanese bomb the Whale Wars ship, the entire crew of the ship dies. But somehow, the three 10-year-olds (even Kenny) make it out just fine.
- Plot Coupon: One draft of The Movie's script had Saddam Hussein sending Kenny out to find some Snacky S'mores proofs-of-purchase so he can get a wish granted. This is really a Snipe Hunt, however, as there are no proofs-of-purchases in Hell. When Terrance and Philip's blood is spilled on American soil and the Legions of Hell emerge on the Earth's surface, Kenny takes the opportunity to get the proofs-of-purchase and presents them to Saddam, only to be told, "I Lied." After Satan gets rid of Saddam, he accepts the proofs-of-purchase and grants Kenny's wish as in the final movie.
- Poe's Law:
- Pokémon Speak: "TIMMY!"
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: South Park is fond of making fun of people who make the left-wing look bad by taking political correctness too far. "The Death Camp of Tolerance" and "Sexual Harrassment Panda" are just two episodes.
- When Chef attempted to inform Principal Victoria about Garrison's inappropriate in-class demonstration of what to do with a gerbil, Chef is the one who gets punished for being "intolerant".
I believe the word you used to describe him was... "Sick Queer." Chef: He
is a sick queer!! Mr. Garrison:
- Chef has stated on multiple occasions that there is a big difference between gay people and Mr. Garrison, and even Randy Marsh knows that he is seriously fucked up.
- Pooled Funds: Cartman once proves Kyle wrong and wins money in the process, so he turns it into dollar notes, and then quarters, just so Kyle can see him dance and swim in it.
- Poor Communication Kills and all its subtropes: Very commonly used.
- Post Modernism: Given that the show is all about social satire, this is a given.
- Potty Failure: On the worldwide level in "Worldwide Recorder Concert", and on a graphic level in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
- The Power of Rock: Eric uses a Slayer CD to rid the town of hippies in "Die Hippie, Die".
- Precision Crash: Kenny is killed in the opening scene of the episode "Pinkeye", when the space station Mir crashes into him.
- Precision F-Strike: Some of the characters who don't swear very often will drop these in extreme circumstances. See: Butters in "Christian Rock Hard" and "Breast Cancer Show Ever". And there was also that time Kenny was eaten by a giant bird that busted through the ceiling after the plot of the episode was already resolved.
- Premature Encapsulation: In "Red Hot Catholic Love", people learn how to eat with their butt after becoming atheist and abandoning the Catholic church due to child molestation allegations, and not the earlier episode entitled "How To Eat With Your Butt" where Kenny poses for his school picture in his parka upside-down and attracts the attention of a family with real butts for faces who lost their son.
- Pretend Prejudice
- Preview Piggybacking: In-Universe in "The New Terrance and Philip Movie Trailer". The only reason why the kids of South Park were watching through Fightin' Around the World with Russell Crowe was because a movie trailer for Asses of Fire 2 was playing during one of the commercial breaks. None of the boys cared for Fightin' Around the World, and the show also attracted criticisms from most anyone around them.
- Pride Parade: In the episode "South Park is Gay", all the males in town have turned metrosexual. Once the women of the town start getting fed up, the men put on a Metrosexual Pride Parade, which includes the chant, "We're here, we're not queer, but we're close, get used to it!"
- Product Placement: The show uses real brand names just as often as Bland Name Products, but given the tone of the show, it's probably not because they're getting paid.
- The show seems to have an uncanny obsession with Dr Pepper. Nearly any drink that has a label on it is going to be this, and dinner parties will very often consist of nothing but it as a beverage. It also plays a major role in "The Poor Kid" as the foster father has a fridge consisting of nothing but it, and explicitly states that it is the only beverage allowed (though only because no one knows what's in it). A possible explanation is that Trey is just a big fan of the drink, and expresses his partiality to it via the show.
- Many references are made to the Xbox and Xbox 360, often in situations where the kids would usually just talk about Video Games in general. In "Tonsil Trouble", Kyle attempts to break everything that Eric owns, including his most treasured stuffed animal, but is stopped at his Xbox. Trey himself has mentioned "playing Xbox" as something he does during off-time, so this is almost certainly a case of expressing his choice of products through his work, much like the theoretical Dr. Pepper example.
- Properly Paranoid: Tweek, partially because of his coffee habit.
- The Prophet Muhammad: He's a member of a team of superheroes. Jesus and Buddha are on the same team. Portrayal Problem #1 is redefined into a superpower. In one episode, Tom Cruise is trying to steal this superpower, so that he can be immune from getting depicted by the tabloids.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Invoked in "Coon vs. Coon & Friends".
The Coon: It's not my fault you guys turned evil, Kenny!
Mysterion: You are the bad guy, fat boy. You!
The Coon: I'm going around making the world a better place!
Mysterion: For you! You're making the world a better place for you!
- This is Eric Cartman's sociopathy at work again - his total Lack of Empathy means that he thinks by making the world better for himself, he is also making it better for everybody else. It doesn't make his teaming up with Cthulu any more excusable though.
- Pro Wrestling Episode: "W.T.F."
- Punch Clock Villain: Satan provides a borderline, if not outright example.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- Don't. Fuck. With. Wendy. Testaburger. Or else she'll send you into the sun on a rocket ship.
- "This. Is. LES BOS!"
- During Poor Kids, when Cartman goes on a tirade against Kyle about the poor jokes he is(n't) making, we get this response: "My name. Is not. 'Kee-yle'."
- Later in the same episode, when Cartman is sent to a foster home, and tries his usual "Mee-em!" routine on his foster mother, we get this: "My name. Is not. 'Mee-em'." Cartman's slowly dawning Oh, Crap expression sells it.
- Punny Name: Aunt Flo Kimble, the 50/60-year-old relative of the Marshes (Sharon's direct aunt, Stan and Shelly's great-aunt), who was introduced and unceremoniously disposed of in Season 2's Halloween episode "Spookyfish". Even after the one-shot character's death came and went, it seemed as though the writers could not resist the urges to throw one more pun related to the poor woman's name into the mix.
- Putting the Pee in Pool:
- A water park is thrashed by a tidal wave of urine when the pool is peed on one time too many.
- In an earlier episode, Cartman is forced to take swimming lessons with first graders, and he complains because he says that they'll pee in the pool. True to his prediction, whenever Cartman must pass by them, the water turns yellow as the children pee in the pool. Many "Oh, weak!" comments from Cartman ensue.
- Put on a Bus: Officer Barbrady announces at the end of "Toilet Paper" that he needs to take a long vacation, and his role is soon replaced by an actual police department. He still shows up from time to time, though.