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South Park: Tropes R To V
aka: Tropes R-V
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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- Sarcasm Mode: Pretty much every adult in Sarcastaballs. Particularly Randy. It actually becomes a plot point where in Sarcastaballs makes Sarcasm Mode a person's default mode.
- Sadist Teacher: Mr./Mrs. Garrison is sometimes one.
- Safety Worst: In "Broadway Bro Down," Larry is a little boy with very overprotective parents; his parents always have him wearing a life vest to prevent drowning. During the episode, Shelley convinces him that he doesn't need to wear the vest all the time. Ironically, Larry drowns at the end of the episode, and the news reporter comments that he might have survived if he was wearing a life vest.
- Sanctuary of Solitude: In "Cartmanland" after Kyle gets a hemorrhoid, he goes to the church to contemplate by himself. He yells at God and wonders how this could have happened to him.
- Sanity Slippage:
- "%1" ends with the implication that Cartman's sociopathic tendencies are growing into a full blown psychosis. Even without any greater implications, you can see his sanity suffer with each stuffed animal destroyed.
- Randy in "A Nightmare on Face Time". Complete with shot-for-shot, line-for-line homages to Jack Nicholson and The Shining.
- Satan: Portrayed as half of a homosexual pairing with Saddam Hussein. The submissive half.
- Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: Eric Cartman claims to have seen The Passion of the Christ 34 times (in movie theaters) in the episode "The Passion Of The Jew."
- Scam Religion: Has portrayed both Scientology and Mormonism in this way, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous. Ironically, other episodes have shown that Mormons are the only people who get into Heaven, so it's not taking itself that seriously.
- Nearly every religion spotlighted in the show is depicted as having corrupt or hypocritical undertones. That said it is often balanced with a redeeming view of its followers (Gary in "All About Mormons" views that even if his religion is a scam his family have happy satisfying lives as a result of the ethics it teaches). This extra complexity is interestingly left out during the show's jab at Scientology (when it seems this moral is about to given the Scientologist members all throw tantrums and threaten to sue anyone that mocks their religion).
- The voice actor for Chef (A close personal friend of the creators) left the show over Scientology, so they're probably, quite understandably a little bitter about that (They also think Scientology contributed to his eventual death, which...)
- Scope Snipe: Butters in Going Native. Through a pair of binoculars. With a golf ball.
- The Scottish Trope
- Second Place Is for Winners: "The Losing Edge", where the boys try to lose at baseball because they don't want to play. Everyone else has the same idea.
- Selective Enforcement: With all the terrible things Cartman has done, the one thing that got the other kids to give him the silent treatment in "The Death of Eric Cartman" was his eating the skin off the KFC. (Technically this was more of a "Straw that broke the camel's back" situation.)
- Self-Deprecation: In "A Very Crappy Christmas", after the boys recreated the 1995 "Spirit of Christmas" and showed it to the town:
Mayor: Kids, that cartoon was fabulous. How would you like to have your own show and make 100 more of them?
Stan: Are you kidding? I think we'd rather stab ourselves in the head.
- ''Terrance and Philip" mocks their potty humor and jokes.
- South Park is known for mocking its Anviliciousness, more prominently in later seasons, especially in "Cartoon Wars": "At least Family Guy doesn't get all preachy up the ass with its own messages."
- "Raising the Bar" features a moment where Stan and Kyle remark how they somehow feel responsible for how far the bar of good taste and public shamelessness has dropped.
- Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In the episode Obama Wins, Butters eats an almond M&M. He is apparently severely allergic to almonds.
- Self-Made Orphan:
- Cartman. Well, half-way there at least.
- Scott Tenorman, indirectly.
- Clyde's also half-way there.
- Self-Serving Memory: In "Fishsticks" Cartman repeatedly recalls to the origin of the fishsticks joke, each time getting more and more fantastical.
- Sensitivity Training
- Serenade Your Lover: Stan is advised to stand outside Wendy's window and play Peter Gabriel. He picks "Shock the Monkey"...
- Serial Escalation:
- Series Continuity Error: Unsurprising in such a long series.
- Randy (a geologist) is mentioned as the only scientist in town, but later Token's mother is said to be a chemist, and Clyde's father a geologist.
- And later Clyde's father is not a geologist but a shoe store owner.
- Jimbo was originally supposed to be Sharon's older brother, but then they gave her the maiden name "Kimble" (as opposed to Kern), so he was Retconned as being Randy's half-brother.
- Randy Marsh's teenage years are stated to have taken place through the '80s, and we briefly see a girlfriend who may or may not be Sharon. However, a later flashback places a younger Randy and Sharon as having been teens at Woodstock.
- Kenny is revealed to have a younger sister in "Best Friends Forever", when previously the McCormicks were stated to have two children. Matt Stone admitted that she was an oversight, and she didn't reappear for a while until "The Poor Kid".
- It has since been revealed that Kenny did have a younger sister in early plans for the series. She was meant to be around Ike's age, and was mentioned in an early script for "Starvin' Marvin" (though she did not make it into the final product).
- Sometimes Kyle's family are the only Jews in South Park, sometimes there are more.
- They're particularly bad with names (see "Sudden Name Change").
- They frequently go back and forth on who's aware of Kenny's deaths.
- "Cartmanland": when Cartman is sued for Kenny's death at his theme park, Cartman bursts out, "Who, Kenny? He dies all the time!"
- "Chinpokomon": Cartman repeatedly has to fend off rats from Kenny's catatonic body, saying, "No! He's not dead yet!"
- "Chef Goes Nanners": Kenny dies from ingesting antacid tablets he thought were mints. After he explodes, the boys laugh hysterically and respond with "That was a good one!"
- "Gnomes": Stan, Cartman, and Kyle are completely indifferent to the gnomes killing Kenny. The gnomes are horrified, but the three boys make it explicitly clear that their term paper is far more important, as their hasted run-through of the usual catchphrase indicates.
- On the other hand, Kenny has stated before that he the only one aware of his deaths in other episodes. In "Cherokee Hair Tampons", Stan is distraught over the possibly of Kyle dying from kidney failure. He opens up to Kenny about how lost he feels watching a friend die, to which Kenny responds (muffled) "You never seem to care when I die!" Stan doesn't acknowledge Kenny spoke.
- In Tweek vs. Craig, Kenny is terrified to take shop class. When he is finally transferred into the class, much to his distress, one of the other boys tells him, "Come on, Kenny, you're not going to die!"
- "City on the Edge of Forever" is mostly clip shows with altered endings from old episodes, all of which the boys remember despite the screwed up, ice cream-centric endings. However, Stan and Kyle call Cartman out on 'lying' about a past episode because Cartman's recount of it included Kenny's death from that episode.
- And of course, there's the Mysterion arc of season 14, which focuses almost entirely on Kenny's power. He dies a total of 4 times in the arc—3 of them by suicide—in an attempt to prove to the other boys that he does, in fact, keep dying. Despite pulling the trigger on himself in front of six of the other boys, he's never able to get any of them to remember his death after he comes back to life.
- Series Mascot: Both Cartman and Kenny are frequently used to represent the series, often as icons (for example, Cartman on the official website and Kenny for the pinball game's options menu).
- Serious Business: At this point making a list of episodes that don't feature this trope would be much shorter. Whatever form it takes, Randy Marsh usually gets involved in a big way.
- What really takes the cake is "Cartoon Wars". Many characters treat Family Guy having an episode with Muhammed in it like the start of World War III, and Kyle nearly dies trying to stop Cartman from getting it canned.
- "Douche And Turd" takes it Up to Eleven, when Stan's refusal to vote got him threatened, banished and nearly killed.
- At the end of "Quest For Ratings" when Craig's show falls in the ratings the AV teacher orders him to be suspended from school and puts in a request for the surgical removal of his testicles, just to reinforce how important ratings are.
- Sex as a Rite-of-Passage: Butters getting his first kiss in "Butters' Bottom Bitch" is an obvious metaphor for this trope.
- Shaped Like Itself: Early on in "Cartoon Wars Part 1", Randy says, "If we're still alive in the morning, then we'll know we're not dead."
- Shell-Shocked Senior: "The Mole" in The Movie, despite being the same age as the boys.
- Shipper on Deck: Surprisingly, Cartman in "Cartman Finds Love". He goes to great lengths to pair Token up with the new girl in school. True to form, however, it's only because she's also black and Cartman thinks they should be together solely on that racist notion.
- Shmuck Bait: Poor, poor Butters. Every single time. And a lot of the time he just never catches on.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "Stanley's Cup"
- Shop Class: One episode focuses on boys taking Woodshop and girls taking Home Ec. Kenny breaks the mold and takes Home Ec because he fears, not unreasonably, that one of the machines will kill him. His fears became true when the Home Ec teacher, not believing Kenny could get a rich husband, which is what she teaches her students to do, sent him to shop class.
- Shorter Means Smarter: Slightly altered with them having a good reason for being shorter Small children like Kyle, Stan, and Cartman sometimes seem to be the smartest people in South Park.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Handwaved in "Kenny Dies".
- In the beginning of "Ass Burgers", Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman leave the bus stop moments before the bus arrives to ask Gerald if Asperger's Syndrome is real. At class, Officer Barbrady shows up with them, saying they were caught playing hooky.
- Shout-Out: See the Shout Out page.
- Shota Con: A bit of a Running Gag.
- Should Have Thought of That Before X: In the "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut":
Liane: I mean, what right do I have bringing another child into this overpopulated world? Then again, I should have thought of that before having sex...
- Shower of Angst: Stan takes one of these in the beginning of "Ass Burgers", after getting out of bed.
- Show Within a Show: Terrence and Phillip, Jesus & Pals, among others.
- Shown Their Work: Henrietta's room after she becomes emo in "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of The Posers" is filled with visual puns and inside jokes about emo culture that must have taken some research on Parker and Stone's part. Besides a conversation about Fall Out Boy playing the Super Bowl when emos take over the world, easy emo culture jokes are avoided, with a Shout-Out reference going to obscure emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate.
- Shrunken Organ: Osama bin Laden's penis.
- Side Bet
- Similar Squad: Craig's gang.
- Skewed Priorities: At the end of "Death Camp of Tolerance," the boys are pulled from the Tolerance Camp after a huge misunderstanding. "You have no idea how much we've suffered!" said Sheila Broflovski to the emaciated Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Butters, in full Heroic BSOD mode.
- Skyward Scream: Cartman doesn't react well to Scott Tenorman burning his money.
- Sliding Scale of Continuity: The show is normally level 3 (Subtle Continuity) but occasionally goes into level 4 (Arc-Based Episodic), especially when a major event happens or characters go through major Character Development.
- Small Town Rivalry: A three-way one between South Park, North Park, and Middle Park.
- Smoking Is Glamorous: Actually, not smoking is stupid and dorky, based on an assembly hall presentation.
- Snap Back: Kenny's deaths, destruction of the town.
- Subverted in "Mysterion Rises". After 14 seasons, it turns out that Kenny is completely aware of every single death.
- "Trapper Keeper" is perhaps the only episode in which one of the boys' homes (Cartman's, in this case) is explicitly shown being destroyed. Of course, it's fully intact again in the next episode.
- Soapbox Sadie: Wendy, especially if the creators are trying to deliver a heavy-handed liberal Aesop.
- Society-on-Edge Episode: South Park parodies this trope with their Cartoon Wars two-parter; in the first episode, Family Guy resorts to shock value by doing a caricature of Muhammad, and after some Islamic fanatics make vague threats of revenge, the residents of South Park are afraid that they will be targeted by terror attacks. In the second episode, the revenge turns out to be a cartoon of caricatures of various aspects American culture crapping on each other.
- Sociopathic Hero: In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman starts as this, going up against Scott Tenorman, who is portrayed as even worse than Cartman. But then the ending comes and subverts it, showing that Cartman is actually much, much more sinister.
- Solid Gold Poop: "How about a taco... that craps ice cream?"
- Something Completely Different: Many, many times, including "Butters' Very Own Episode", devoted to side character Leopold "Butters" Stotch; several musical episodes; "It Hits The Fan", which set out to break the world record for the number of inclusions of the word "shit" (162 in total); "Good Times With Weapons", an Affectionate Parody of Shōnen fighting anime that spent half its running time as anime; "Pip", which was devoted entirely to spoofing the Charles Dickens story Great Expectations, the third act of "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" which is done completely in live action with adult actors etc. One of the most notable is probably The Movie, which is both deliberately cruder than the TV series (it has an anti-censorship theme, as well as an "R" rating), and a full-fledged musical.
- First seen in "Not Without My Anus", which was a complete Terrance and Phillip half-hour TV special. It might have been more popular if it hadn't been an April Fools joke airing on the night when viewers were expecting to see the second part of a Cliff Hanger.
- Son of a Whore: Cartman. In the first season finale, he learned that his mom had slept with the entire named adult population of South Park.
- ...including Jesus.
- ...and the entire roster of the 1989 Denver Broncos.
- ...and a black guy.
- All of which were being tested to find out who had fathered Cartman at the 12th Annual Drunken Barn Dance. So yeah...
- And one of the Denver Broncos turned out to be the father of both Scott Tenorman and Eric Cartman.
- ...but Halfy didn't sleep with her.
- How can he? He doesn't have any legs!
- Sorry Ociffer: "What seems to be the officer, problem?"
- Sound Effect Bleep: Very prevalent due to how much swearing is present in this show. Played with in "It Hits the Fan", where Mr. Garrison is allowed to say "fag" uncensored because he's come out as gay. While discussing it with some guys at the bar, Mr. Garrison points out that they're all getting beeped for saying it. Then Jimbo complains about it and doesn't get beeped. Mr. Garrison sarcastically asks him if he wants to make out.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Professor Chaos' pitiful attempts at committing evil are only made all the funnier by the genuinely sinister and dramatic orchestral Leitmotif accompanying his schemes.
- Later episodes often have this melodramatic piano music or orchestra playing in some scenes that are actually funny in the right context.
- Space Whale: The plot of "Free Willzyx" relies on this trope.
- Space Whale Aesop: From "Fun With Veal":
Stan: It's wrong to eat veal because the animals are so horribly mistreated, but if you don't eat meat at all you break out in vaginas.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Kyle's surname is usually Broflovski, but it has appeared as Brovlofski, Broflofski and Broflowski.
- Many fans tend to leave out the second "e" in Shelley's name.
- Spinoff: Parodied in "Jakovasaurs".
Cartman: (coming in to visit the Jakovasaurs)
Hi, Jakov. (applause from Studio Audience) Cartman:
What the hell is that? (audience laughter)
- The MUCH channel in Canada made a series of promos for South Park depicting a Canadian equivalent of the series called "North Park", lampooning Toronto multiculturalism, Canadian politeness, and Rob Ford (mayor of Toronto). Coincidentally, the geometry is even square-based like Canada's depiction in the show proper.
- Sphere Eyes: The entire cast, of course, excluding the Canadians and Saddam Hussein.
- Split Personality: In City Sushi, it is revealed that the City Wok guy is actually a white man named Doctor Janus, who has at least 10 different personalities. The cops decide to let him live as the City Wok owner, as it is the strongest developed and most practical for the town.
- Spontaneous Human Combustion: Kenny dies of this in "Spontaneous Combustion"; it’s later explained that Kenny had a new girlfriend and was holding in all his farts.
- Springtime for Hitler: In "The Losing Edge", despite trying to get themselves eliminated from the baseball playoffs because they hate it and are pressured into playing it by their parents, the boys make it all the way to the finals because every other team is trying to do exactly the same.
- In "The Death Camp of Tolerance", Mr. Garrison hears of a teacher who was fired for being gay and sued the school for millions, so he ramps up the Depraved Homosexual act while on the job in an attempt to get himself fired and do the same thing. When the kids try to tell their parents what they have been exposed to they are chastised for being homophobic and sent to the titular Tolerance Camp, which resembles a Nazi concentration camp. Garrison, however, is praised for his "courageous" behaviour and presented with an award for overcoming adversity. He is appalled by how everyone is treating him and snaps during the awards ceremony, screaming at the audience about how "tolerance" is not the same thing as "acceptance", and that anyone would deserve to get fired for doing what he has done, regardless of their sexuality. However, this causes the principal to declare that he is too intolerant of his own behaviour and sends him to the Tolerance Camp as well.
- Standard Police Motto: Parodied; the side of Officer Barbrady's patrol car has "To Patronize and Annoy" on it.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Parodied in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" with Ms. Stevenson and Ike.
- Played straight with Kyle and Rebecca in "Hooked on Monkey Fonics".
- Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded multiple times.
- The first time, in the episode "Mecha Streisand", a reporter appears, saying that the town had managed to rebuild itself "just weeks after the devastating attack of mutant genetic creatures, zombies, and Thanksgiving turkeys". Then Mecha Streisand shows up and begins to wreck the town, prompting a "not again" comment from the reporter.
- The second time, in "201", after the main events of the plot is resolved, the mayor announces, "Alright, people, let's start rebuilding our town! ...for the 39th time."
- In "You're Getting Old":
Sharon: "It’s like the same shit just happens over and over, 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."
- And its sequel, "Ass Burgers", has Stan accepting the change in his life, only to have everything change back to the way it was against his will. Sharon even remarks at how sometimes it's just best to stick with what you know.
- A straight example happens when it is discovered that the City Wok owner is the psychotic, murderous Caucasian Dr. Janus. Since he's the only Asian restaurant owner left in town after the Japanese sushi chef whom he harassed killed himself after this reveal, the police lets him go away.
- At the end off "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", where Kenny's parents are in the hospital with their newborn son...complete with orange parka.
Stuart: "God, this must be the 50th time this has happened."
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Parodied in one scene of "The Coon", in which Sergeant Yates keeps finding the Coon gone, only for the Coon to tell him he's elsewhere in the room.
- Stealth Pun: In "The F Word", the dictionary's head editor is Emmanuel Lewis.note
- In "Royal Pudding," the various Canadian wedding "traditions" that get increasingly bizarre and disgusting are being acted out by The Aristocrats who are getting married.
- Wolf Home Security in the episode "Insecurity" refers to The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
- In "Ass Burgers", the President is replaced by a duck that spews shit, making him a lame duck.
- A school named "Jim Davis High School" appears in the episode "Eek, A Penis!". It's a parody of the Garfield High School from the film Stand and Deliver, referencing the other Garfield, who was created by Jim Davis.
- Stern Teacher: Ms. Choksondik and Mr. Mackey. Mr. Garrison as well whenever he's not being a [[Sadist Teacher]].
- Stock Ninja Weaponry: "Good Times With Weapons" sees the boys buy ninja weapons and run amok with them.
- Stock Sound Effects: South Park just loves using these more than most shows.
- The Stoic: Craig is like this, most of the time, especially when he flips people off.
- Strangely Arousing: Butters, upon watching Back Door Sluts 9, experiences arousal for what we can assume is the first time. "What's going on down there?". It acts as a double-down of the trope, as both the porno and his arousal are strange and exciting. Also helps illustrate Butters' innocence, considering how alien the idea of sex is to him.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Red Man's Greed", the boys are thinking up a a way to generate $300,000 to buy back South Park, Butters suggests a dog parade, in which the dogs are dressed in little outfits and the kids sell tickets to their moms and dads. This idea is shot down by Stan, who points out their moms and dads are the ones who need the money. Later on, the kids run up telling the adults they have an idea to generate $300,000. Butters's dad Stephen eagerly asks if it's a dog parade.
- Strawman Political: Sometimes Lampshaded, sometimes played straight. More cynical viewers might argue that their entire method of political commentary typically involves pitting various strawmen against each other before settling on a Golden Mean Fallacy.
- One of the draws of the show is that unlike politicians and other writers who simply say "People with different views should just get along", South Park actually gives rationalizations for it.
- The one consistent political message in South Park is that too many people pay way, way too much attention to politics. Anyone with a pet political cause of any kind almost always will be portrayed as a troublesome fool (when not a villain).
- Stress Vomit: Stan vomits whenever Wendy talks to him, sometimes even vomiting on her. They're still an item in spite of this.
- Stuck on Band-Aid Brand: The Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Wii have both appeared on episodes. Each console was mentioned repeatedly with its manufacturer's name, where a normal person would just say "Dreamcast" or "Wii".
- Student Teacher Romance: Between Miss Stevenson and Ike. Ike is three years old.
- Stupid Question Bait: A somewhat provoked case after George W. Bush explains his theory of Saddam Hussein being sent to heaven after Satan broke up with him:
President Bush: Question?
Crowd member: Are you high, or just incredibly stupid?
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" takes this one all the way.
- Suck E. Cheese's: Whistling Willy's. Played straighter in its initial appearance, where it was called "Krust E. Crotch's".
- Raisins = Hooters for eight-year-olds.
- Suckiness Is Painful: The Raiders of the Lost Ark special edition.
- "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining". So painful that it killed Kenny.
- That has been jossed as not a legitimate death. So technically Kenny made it through season 16 without dying ONCE!
- Sudden Name Change: Happens a lot in the show, due to it being a long-runner and Parker and Stone admittedly not prioritizing many characters' names or details.
- Jimbo Kern/Kerns
- Jimmy Swanson/Valmer
- Ryan/Stephen Valmer
- Chris/Stephen Stotch, with his given name going back and forth for some time until the creators finally settled on him being "Stephen"
- Token Black/Williams
- Bob/Steve Black/Williams note
- Alphonse/Alfonz Mephesto/Mephisto and his son Terrance/Terrence
- Sally Turner/Powder
- Red/Bertha/Rebecca (and back to Red again)
- Milly/Jessie/Millie Larsen
- Leroy Jenkins/Peter Mullen. The first name was used in "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", "The List", and "1%", but suddenly became the latter in "Informative Murder Porn". His first full name also happened to be a Shout-Out to World of Warcraft. In The Stick of Truth, the creators opted to refer to him as "Leroy Mullens".
- Marcy/Heidi Turner, who is also infamous among fans for her multiple different sets of parents.
- Clyde Goodmannote /Donovan/Harris (and back to Donovan)
- Martha/Betsy Donovan
- Casey/Sky/Kevin. Fans tried to reconcile the first and the third by changing "Casey" to "KC" (with "C" being an initial for his surname). It worked well enough until his surname was revealed to be "Stoley". Previously in a season 6 episode, it was suggested his last name was "Brooks" and showed that his parents were Caucasian (despite another episode stating his parents were Chinese).
- Sheila Broflovski and Sharon Marsh were both called Carol in the episode "Death". Mrs. Stotch was also initially called this in "Super Best Friends", but the season 5 finale revealed her name to be Linda.
- Butters was referred to as "Swanson" in season 2's "Conjoined Fetus Lady", while a female classmate Annie was called "Jordan". Annie has also been alternatively referred to as "Ashley" in "Butters' Bottom Bitch". Before being called "Swanson", Butters had the name "Puff Puff" (due to his puff of hair) given to him in storyboards for season 1. Annie's surname was also initally "Faulk", but later became "Nelson" and then "Knitts".
- A nerdy classmate was initially named "Lorraine", but later named "Lisa Berger" when she got more of a role.
- Ethan/Herbert Garrison, though in his short-lived stint as a woman, he preferred the name Janet.
- Officer Lou/Harrison Yates, who's also been referred to as "Officer Harris" in some of the actual scripts.
- Officer Mitch Harris/Mitch Murphy
- Sugar Apocalypse: The "Imaginationland" episodes. Could also count as an Eldritch Apocalypse given the purpose of the war orchestrated by the terrorist cell was for the Good and Evil Imaginary characters to kill each other off entierely.
- Suicide as Comedy: Shows up with disturbing frequency. One has to wonder how this reflects on the mental health of the creators...
- Superhero: The gang, plus a few of their friends, all have their own superhero alter-egos. Together they are... Coon and Friends!
- Suicide Is Painless:
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: From "An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig" when Eric is trying to sound like he wouldn't as easily let a girl beat him up as Stan does.
Eric: If some girl tried to kick my ass, I'd be like "AY, why don't you stop dressing me up like a mailman, and making me dance for you, while you go and smoke crack in your bedroom, and have sex with some guy I don't even know, on my dad's bed?"
Stan: ...Cartman, what the hell are you talking about?
Eric: I'm just saying you're just a little wuss.
- Swallowed Whole: One of the ways Kenny died in the series, by a giant reptilian bird that apparently breaks through the school ceiling.
- Sword over Head: Subverted in the episode "Red Sleigh Down" where after being freed from his torture, Santa takes a gun and shoots the person who tortured him. It looks and sounds like he shot to the side but then we see the victim and Santa says "I just couldn't do it, I just couldn't let him live. He shocked Santa's balls." It's probably a reference to a scene from the movie Three Kings, where after saving Barlow from his Iraqi torturers Major Gates hands Barlow his pistol. Barlow stares at the pistol, then at his interrogator, who was Not So Different, and finally points it to the side at the last minute and empties the clip into the wall.
- Symbol Swearing: In some early episodes, the Closed Captioning used grawlixes whenever a word was beeped.
- Synchronous Episodes: The three-party Meteor Shower Trilogy. The first episode had Cartman babysat by Stan's sister Shelly while his mom was at a party; the second part showed Stan with his parents at that party, which the government thought was a Heaven's Gate-style cult meeting; and the third had Kyle and Kenny at a camp for Jewish kids, where a villain tried to summon an Eldritch Abomination Biblical Bad Guy.
- Take a Number: In "Over Logging", Stan, his sister, and his dad have to take a number to get rationed web access at a refugee camp. Features both versions of the trope: the fighting and the closing.
- Take a Third Option: Between having sex with his son or letting him die, Garrison's father chooses to bribe Kenny G to impersonate him.
- Take Our Word for It: The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs.
- Take That: Almost every episode. One of the most elaborate ones they did was a slam against Family Guy and the "manatee gags" they always do. In the same two episodes, with just as much importance to the plot, they made fun against the overreaction to a cartoon with Mohammad.
- Hell, in that very episode, they provide a Take That against themselves, as Kyle, the head of the CBC, and a passerby all express the idea that they like Family Guy because it's easy to watch, makes them laugh and doesn't get "preachy and up its own ass with messages".
- They're generally pretty free with the Self-Deprecation in general. Another notable Take That, Us from "Passion of the Jew": "This is just like when we got our money back for BASEketball."
- "Fishsticks" was run repeatedly back-to-back on Comedy Central the Wednesday after Kanye's outburst at the VMAs.
- The captain from Whale Wars gets raked across the coals thoroughly in "Whale Whores".
- In "Up the Down Steroids", Jimmy calls athletes who take steroids "big fat p-p-p-pussies" as the camera cuts to close-ups of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi all idiotically grinning.
- The entire episode "How To Eat With Your Butt" is just a twenty-minute buildup to an Incredibly Lame Pun about Ben Affleck.
- The Tale Of Scrotie McBoogerballs has an obvious Take That against banning books early in the episode when the boys are assigned to read the un-banned The Catcher in the Rye and find it boring. It's also a more subtle Take That against all the fans that read too deeply into what they bash or not, and claim South Park is one thing or another.
- "Insheeption" is twenty minutes of "people who find Inception cool because they think it is complex are dumb, because it's actually pretty simple"
- Unless, of course, it was a Take That against Inception for substituting convoluted, jargon-laden exposition for story and character development.
- The episode straddles the line so it can be interpreted both ways. They didn't know whether to say it was good or bad, because they didn't watch the movie.
- Canada on Strike was a massive Take That towards all those involved in the 2007/2008 Writer's Strike.
- "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce" aired during the height of very public allegations that September 11th was a False Flag Operation, saying those people are "retarded."
- "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" ridicules the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (specifically those that were more content to place blame than to help people), people who believe all the hype over global warming, and the film The Day After Tommorrow.
- "Make Love, Not Warcraft" is practically an episode-long Take That towards people who are obsessed with MMORPGs. With people often refering to players as "Ones with No Life" (ie. Griefers). It also makes fun of people who go out of their way to get revenge on players who destroy them in a game.
- The use of a real fraternity house (Alpha Tau Omega) in "Butters' Bottom Bitch" makes it pretty obvious who Matt and Trey had a beef with when they were at Boulder.
- Then in Broadway Bro Down, Randy attempts to stop Shelley and her new boyfriends from seeing "Wicked" to protect her from "subliminal subtext." He cries "It's time to put an end to Broadway!" Then he dresses in a Spider-Man costume...
- The Movie was basically a big Take That at Moral Guardians and scrapegoating. The last lines to the song "Blame Canada" pretty much spell it out.
- A History Channel Thanksgiving takes a big aim at The History Channel (as you probably would have guessed) and its unique brand of Network Decay, all set to a parody of Thor that reveals the Pilgrims and Indians were basically Asgardians and Frost Giants fighting over the universe's supply of stuffing.
- "Taylor Swifting" is an affront against following trends and those who look down on others for not doing so.
- "The China Problem" thoroughly skewers Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by taking the popular rape metaphors used by Caustic Critics and running with it.
- In the documentary "Six Days to Air", one of the staff members mentions that Matt actually came out of the theater saying that "It was like a rape. It was like being raped."
- Smug Alert is a large and obvious ridicule of the fact that many hybrid car owners are arrogant and more focused on making themselves look superior to drivers of more pollutive vehicles (SUVs in particular), and also one of George Clooney's acceptance speeches about Hollywood, how San Fransisco think they're more progressive than the rest of the country, and last but not least, some smug LA film writers who owned hybrid cars who were also major hypocrites because they use private jets. (Which are much worse than any car for pollution)
- All About the Mormons? started off mocking the origins of the Mormon faith only to completely 180 on it's target during the ending with a Take That at people who mock others' religious and spiritual beliefs.
- "Stupid Spoiled Whore Playset" is basically a huge riff on Paris Hilton on how she is spoiled and parties everyday.
- "You're Getting Old" rips into people that do nothing but complain about how everyone and everything is shit while refusing to find anything wholesome or good to be happy about. The doctor who diagnoses Stan's extreme cynicism explicitly calls him a cynical ass hole.
- "Raising the Bar" slams Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo for glorifying people that are obese and live like slobs while also blasting The Learning Channel for airing the show and slamming people that watch such shows in the first place. The episode also does a quick jab at Randy Newman after Kyle confronts Token for making a copycat show called Here Comes Fatty Doo Doo:
Token: Kyle, Kyle. I'm trying to make compelling television.
: You got Randy Newman to do the theme song. You're not trying that
- Incidentally, Randy Newman lowered the bar to keep his career afloat.
- "Let Go, Let Gov" slams several groups at once; it pokes fun at people who cry about their privacy being invaded while doing things that aren't so private to begin with (talking loudly on their cell phones while having the speakerphone on for instance), slams people that use Twitter to post anything that comes to their mind without thinking about it first, trashing the NSA for spying on people, and Alec Baldwin(again).
- "Informative Murder Porn" is a big FU to cable companies for forcing customers to take channels they don't want and for making them wait to get any kind of service between an unspecified time period.
- Taken for Granite: Happens to the Tooth Decay monster after seeing Ugly Bob's face in "Royal Pudding".
- The Talk: The boys are treated to this after their parents mistakenly think that they saw a depraved porn film.
Randy Marsh: "Alright, now, now listen, kids, there's some things we need to put into context for you. You see, a man puts his penis into a woman's vagina for both love and pleasure. But sometimes the woman lays on top of the man facing the other way so that they can put each other's genitals in their mouths. This is called "69ing" and it's normal."
Sharon Marsh: "See boys, a woman is sensitive in her vagina and it... feels good to have a man's penis inside of it."
Sheila Broflovski: "That's right, but sometimes a woman chooses to use other things - telephones, staplers, magazines. It's because the nerve endings in the vagina are so sensitive, it's like a fun tickle."
Gerald Broflovski: "Now, on to double penetration, boys. You see, sometimes when a woman has sex with more than one man, each man makes love to a different orifice."
Randy Marsh: "That's right. It's something adults can do with really good friends in a comfortable setting."
Sheila Broflovski: "It's also important that you understand why some people choose to urinate on each other."
Randy Marsh: "Going #1 or #2 on your lover is something people might do, but you must make sure your partner is okay with it before you start doing it."
Gerald Broflovski: "Okay boys. Do you have any questions?"
Stan Marsh: "...Wow."
- Team Prima Donna: Cartman, when he founded the team "Coon and Friends".
- Tears of Fear: Randy shows these during a conversation with Sharon in "Sarcastaball" when attempting to break away from a sickness that makes him unable to communicate without sarcasm.
- Teeny Weenie:
- In one episode, Osama bin Laden is shown to have an absurdly microscopic penis.
- "T.M.I." uses the idea of compensating for a small penis as its entire premise. It turns out that all of the angry people in the world are just pissed off because they're below the average length. To fix the problem the "average length" is shortened (ironically, Cartman, being a kid and all, still doesn't make the cut).
- In the Pokémon spoof "Chinpokomon", the Japanese creators keep talking about how small their penises are as opposed the well-endowed Americans. Sharon calls them out on this, saying that they're only saying this to distract the male Americans. While this is true, one of the creators proves that he's not lying about the size of his penis, either.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Let's Fighting Love is arguably qulaified as this. It plays in the "Good Times With Weapons" episode when the boys pretend to be hyper-muscled hyper-detailed Japanese anime teenage ninja badasses and have epic imaginary ninja battles against each other.
- There Is a God!: When Cartman lost his dream of owning his own amusement park, it restored Kyle's faith in God.
- Long story short: When Eric Cartman gets a million dollars he buys an amusement park, which causes Kyle to lose his belief in God, which in turn causes him to be at death's door due to a hemorrhoid. At the end of the episode Cartman gets his comeuppance.
Stan: Look, Kyle, Cartman is totally miserable. [a shot of Cartman on his knees, sobbing] Even more miserable than he was before because he's had his dream and lost it.
Cartman: It's not fair! It's not fair; I wanna die! I wanna daaahahie! [Kyle looks at Cartman, then up at the sky, then sits up and removes the oxygen mask]
Kyle: You are up there! [smiles]
- Think Nothing of It: In "Raising the Bar", James Cameron doesn't take credit for the eponymous act. "James Cameron doesn't do what James Cameron does for James Cameron. James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron."
- This Is a Drill: and Cartman will not hesitate to use it against hippies.
- This Is a Work of Fiction: "All characters and events in this show—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated... poorly. The following program contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone."
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: The "pal/buddy/friend" exchange in "Canada on Strike".
- From "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy": "You just dealt with the Dawg, bitch!"
- This Is My Side:
- Played straight in "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", where all of the adults are gone from South Park and kids split the town into Smiley Town and Treasure Cove.
- Deconstructed in "I'm a Little Bit Country", where the town attempts to split themselves into pro-war and anti-war halves, only to almost immediately find that certain needs of theirs are on the other side of the line they just made, and Skeeter concludes, "What we really should be doing is just beatin' the hell out of each other like we were."
- Thousand Year Reign
- Three Stooges Shout-Out: "Hell on Earth 2006" features notorious serial killers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy sent to Earth to get a cake for Satan's party. They start fighting each other in typical Three Stooges' fashion. The title card even spoofs the ones from their shorts.
- Time Passes Montage: Parodied in "Cartman's Incredible Gift".
- Title Drop: Butters does this in "Last of the Meheecans".
- Title Sequence Replacement: The series has a syndication-only version of the Title Sequence.
- Toilet Humour: Used in just about every episode. The boys of the show like to watch ''Terrence and Philip'', a series comprised almost entirely of fart jokes. In some episodes, the plot is built around toilet humor: as a couple of examples, in "Spontaneous Combustion," people are urged to stop holding in their farts so they don't combust and "More Crap" revolves around Randy Marsh trying to break the world record for taking the largest dump.
- In "You're Getting Old", everything turns to shit. Literally.
- "Reverse Cowgirl" is toilet humor that actually focuses on the damn toilet.
- Token Minority: Conveniently named Token Black (although played with in that he's both the token black kid and the token rich kid).
- In "Here Comes The Neighborhood", Randy called them the Williamses. Possibly to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of Randy saying "Isn't that the Blacks?"
- Token Minority Couple: Invoked, Parodied, and then reconstructed, in "Cartman Finds Love."
- Tomato Surprise: Liu Kim, the City Wok owner, is actually one of Dr. Janus' personalities.
- Too Dumb to Live: In "Faith Hilling" the kids are forced to watch a PSA showing the dangers of memeing. It shows 3 clips, all with kids ending up getting run over by trains. While the third one was forgivable, due to the fact that the train had no business being there, the first two have no excuse, considering they spent the 30 seconds they had to run away, screaming.
- Too Hot for TV: Not just all the swearing, but parodied with a Jesus & Pals version.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ike goes from "Don't kick the baby!" in season 1 to being part of a plan to steal the Hope Diamond by Barack Obama and John McCain. This is before he runs off to be a pirate having grown bored with middle class life.
- Liane Cartman as of "Coon 2: Hindsight." She's actually refusing to be Cartman's personal servant for once, and punishing him for swearing and beating up his friends. It says something that this is a level in badass for her. (She does fall for the LeBron James Technique, however.)
- As of "HUMANCENTiPAD", she has apparently stopped putting up with any of Eric's attitude, making her one of the few (if only) competent parents on the show. Of course, now Eric has started screwing her over the same way he does everyone else.
- Kenny as of "Mysterion Rises".
- Butters on numerous occasions:
- "Super Fun Time": He will not let go of Cartman's hand. For anything.
- "Christian Rock Hard": After Cartman's plan to scam the Contemporary Christian community falls flat on his face, breaking up his band and humiliating him in front of a deeply offended audience, Butters (a devoted Christian himself) farts in Cartman's face, then flips him off and says "Fuck you, Eric."
- "Imaginationland": Becomes Imagionationland's freaking messaiah by turning the war around with his own, well, imagination, and then completely fucking ressurecting it after a nuclear strike by imagining the whole fucking thing back into existence.
- "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs": The "Reason You Suck" Speech he gives the main characters after the novel they wrote makes him a worldwide celebrity.
- "Butterballs": His "The Reason You Suck" Speech to his grandma.
- Taken Up to Eleven with Wendy in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" by standing up to Cartman and then beating the snot out of him at the end.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In the early seasons, Stan and Kyle were only slightly less obnoxious and self centered than Cartman, and often seemed to act as lower scale bullies at school. While they still have occasional Jerkass moments, they are much more rashional and empathetic individuals (arguably the most so in the entire town), likely to contrast Cartman, who Took SEVERAL Levels in Jerkass.
- Compare and contrast Sheila in The Movie (declaring war on Canada and initiating genocide) to after (scolding her husband cor condemning Mr. Garrison's sex change).
- Cartman as of the second half of season 15.
- Too Many Halves: According to Al Gore, the ManBearPig is "half man, half bear, half pig."
- Too Smart for Strangers: Parodied three times over.
- The Topic of Cancer: Discussed in the episode "Tonsil Trouble". Of course they have to bring it Up to Eleven by having activists claim that just having AIDS is way better than having cancer.
- Then there's the episode "Breast Cancer Show Ever".
- Tortured Monster: Stan falls in with a bunch of extreme environmentalists who marry animals. The "child" of such a pair — a man and an ostrich — can only say "kill me."
- This is also said by one of the failed Towelie clones in "Towelie".
- Tranquil Fury: When Stan realizes his grandfather was swindled in "Cash for Gold", he calls the shopping channel responsible, calls him out for scamming senile old people, and tells him to kill himself, without raising his voice the entire time.
- Trapped in a Sinking Car: In episode Butters' Very Own Episode Butters' mom tries to drown him by locking him in the car and sending it into the river, blaming it on "some Puerto Rican guy."
- Trauma Conga Line: Butters and Kyle are often subjected to this. The fact that these characters are often at the brunt of Cartman's antics plays heavily into it.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Parodied in "Cartman's Incredible Gift"; when Cartman wakes up from coma due to a head injury, he fakes psychic powers.
- Triumphant Reprise: Parodied by Chef in the movie: Everything worked out/What a happy end!
- Trope 2000: The first four episodes of Season 4 have "2000" in the title.
- Troperiffic: South Park is famous for skewering tropes just as much as virtually everything else in existence. Pick any episode and you'll probably find 5 tropes that haven't been added to this page in it.
- Trade Snark: Bucky Bailey's Bully Buckers™ or, as its spokesman insistently pronounces it, "Bully Buckers, trademark".
- Transsexual: Mr. Garrison, in Seasons 9-12.
- True Companions: Lampshaded in "The Biggest Douche in the Universe," when Chef tells Stan and Kyle that Cartman is their friend whether they like him or not. This trope becomes more apparent in later seasons, once their Weirdness Magnet status has begun to wear old; the boys fall victim to All of the Other Reindeer more often, making it evident that, while their classmates may tolerate them, they don't really have any friends outside of one another. As much as they would hate to admit it, they're a textbook example of this trope.
- Truman Show Plot: The episode "Cancelled".
- Twisted Echo Cut:
Cartman: (watching the Queef Sisters at his house with his friends) Dude! What the hell is this disgusting crap?!
Phillip: (watching the Queef Sisters at CBC with Terrance) What the hell is this disgusting crap?!
- Two Decades Behind: The actors in the "Bloody Sunday" educational short look like they came from The Eighties, but according to the copyright date at the end, it was produced in 2010.
- Tunnel King: The Mole from Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
- T-Word Euphemism: In the movie when Cartman calls Kyle a "fucking Jew" in class.
Mr. Garrison: Cartman, did you just say the F-word?!
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Bill Donohue in the "Fantastic Easter Special", who takes over the Catholic Church before Jesus makes him Half the Man He Used to Be.
- The Tyson Zone: Randy Marsh and Cartman. "1%" is pretty much dedicated to showing just how far Cartman's gone into this trope for the previous ten or so years.
- Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Thirst for Blood, introduced as a console game in "Towelie" and later shows up in the background of numerous episodes as an arcade cabinet.
Stan: Dude, I just cut off your face and ate it!
- Unbelievable Source Plot: In one episode, Cartman gets a head injury and thinks he's psychic, so the police want him to help solve a series of murders. Kyle, who does some independent detective work, finds the murderer but can't get the police to pay attention to him because he isn't psychic - so he recreates Cartman's head-bumpage so he can pretend to also be psychic so the police will pay attention to his information.
- Uncertain Doom: The episode "Trapped in the Closet" ends this way, though the doom here is purely legal.
- Undead Child
- Understatement: At the end of "Scott Tenorman Must Die":
Kyle: Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again.
- Unexplained Recovery: Happens a lot, but one particular spoof on the concept: Cartman responds with this when Kyle taunts him by saying that he was a stillborn.
- Unfortunate Name: Played with in regards to Ms. Choksondik. She has the astronomical fortune of the implied Unfortunate Implications going over her students' heads, whose insulting modifications only serve to make it tamer ("Ms. Chokes-on-rocks" and "Ms. Makes-me-sick"). It does, however, become quite ironic in regards to her death in Season 6.
- The Super Best Friends member Semen.
Seaman: It's Seaman!
Buddha: But that's what I said. Semen.
Seaman: Stop it!
- The Unfought: Satan in The Movie, when Saddam turns out to be the real Big Bad.
- The Unintelligible: Kenny.
- Unreliable Narrator: In "Mysterion Rises", the Coon attacks a little girl who was only asking about Mintberry Crunch, with a man breaking the fight off. In the Coon's subsequent summary of what transpired, the girl was depicted as a villain who was bigger than him and "fought with all her might" against him, while spectators cheer the Coon on.
- All of the "comic book" scenes regarding the Coon invoke this.
- The Unreveal: Recently epitomized with the entire Aesop of the episode "201". Guess why.
- Unrobotic Reveal: In "AWESOME-O", in which Cartman's robot disguise (consisting of a couple of cardboard boxes) manages to fool everybody (except Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Butters's parents) until he gives the game away by farting.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Cartman is Genre Savvy enough to tell a fake plan to humiliate Scott Tennorman to Stan and Kyle (who of course warned Scott about it), and only revealed the real plan once Scott completely fell for it.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Cartman is the one main character prone to this.
- Unstoppable Rage: Kyle in "Tonsil Trouble".
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Several characters, though Cartman rises above the rest.
- Unwitting Pawn: Stan, Kyle, and Scott Tenorman in "Scott Tenorman Must Die."