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YMMV: South Park
  • Acceptable Targets: Everyone and everything on the planet, at one point or another, has been lampooned on the show, even the show itself.
    • Amazingly, U.S. presidents usually get off fairly lightly, with most jokes about them either being too lighthearted or somewhat flattering.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Cartman is a very complex character. Is he an Anti-Villain and Took a Level in Kindness, as is implied in episodes such as "The Death of Eric Cartman" and "Jewpacabra"? Is he a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or is he a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk, just hiding his true nature?
      • Cartman's multiple mental illnesses and hints of bisexuality is also subject to this.
      • Others believe Cartman's increasing cruelty is the result of him being aware that he's The Friend Nobody Likes and deciding Then Let Me Be Evil.
      • On another complex note, in "Cartman Finds Love", is he THAT hellbent on fixing Nicole up with Token due to both of them being black (he's racist of course) or is he THAT hellbent in having Kyle to himself once he finds out Nicole has a crush on him (this is the same kid who wanted Kyle to suck his balls) Not even South Park FA Qs can answer this one.
    • Stan's increasing Angst and Sanity Slippage is either due to an early onset of puberty or the gradual decay of his parents' marriage.
      • Based on what we've seen with his father and grandfather, it might be hereditary.
    • Either The Movie didn't really happen and Sheila Broflovski has just naturally matured or it really did happen and Sheila has been atoning for her actions ever since.
    • Kyle, Stan and Kenny themselves. Are they really good boys, but with some Anti-Hero traits? Or they are Enfant Terribles and sociopaths who are Not So Different compared to Cartman? The fact that they still are Cartman's friends after he crossed the Moral Event Horizon in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" or the infamous attempted genocide in "Coon & Friends" support this interpretation.
      • To be fair, the boys have questioned their friendship with him more than a few times. An interesting thought comes from the fact that while they are friends with him, that doesn't mean they like him per say.
    • Wendy has also been a recipient of this, especially after "The Hobbit" with feuding fan views going to bat: Was she in the right and is she actually a believer in feminism, or is she more of a Straw Feminist only using the cause as her excuse to call others ugly and act superior to them? Was she unfairly ostracized, or was the ending "putting her in her place"? The matter isn't helped by the fact that Parker and Stone's (and Bill Hader's) characterization of Wendy differs heavily depending on the season and episode, and that while they've sometimes had her as one of the few voices of reason in the South Park universe, they've also used her as a way to lampoon feminism and activists. Even the episodes that have her painted as more in the right are subject to dissection as to whether or not she truly is, such as "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset".
      • It seems that while she has good intentions, her approach can go the wrong way or she has trouble. Regarding "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" she approached adult figures who assisted and supported her. In the former, it was Principal Victoria telling Wendy that you can't always say what you want and not expect consequences. With the latter, Mr. Slave made good points and the girls were harassing the boys and freaking them out. Also, while it can be easy to forget sometimes, Wendy still is a child like everyone else and is trying her to best to follow her ideals.
    • The abuse Butters receives from his parents makes more sense when you realize one of them has his grandmother as their mother.
    • Speaking of Butters' grandma, when Butters gave his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, she was completely silent. Was the frown on her face the product of a Heel Realization or a Villainous BSOD?
  • Anvilicious:
    • "Eat, Pray, Queef". Talk about a 21-minute sledgehammer of male guilt. Ironic, considering the show's stance on Aesops.
    • Like everything else, they have fun with it. "...yeah, but at least Family Guy doesn't get all preachy and up its own ass with messages!"
    • A good majority of episodes are essentially Matt and Trey beating you over the head with either their libertarian beliefs or their hatred of Political Correctness Gone Mad.
    • "A Nightmare On Face Time" really beat you over the head with "Nobody rents movies anymore now that the Internet and Netflix have made it easy to get any film or TV show you want to see." Though that was the point: Randy is all too aware of the jokes, and spends the episode complaining about it.
    • The Black Friday trilogy.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Stan's parents getting back together at the end of "Ass Burgers".
      • That was probably for the best considering how problematic that storyline has been as well as its aftershocks.
    • The Crab People on "South Park is Gay," which becomes a discussed trope in a later episode.
    • Osama Bin Laden was shot in the face by a US Marine in "Osama Bin Laden has Farty Pants." He returns in "It's a Jersey Thing" and gets shot again.
    • Saddam Hussein was in hell, then exiled to heaven after Satan got sick of dealing with him, where he's seen in one later episode. He then shows up suddenly as the prime minister of Canada. It stands to reason heaven got sick of him too, and where else was he gonna go, Detroit?
  • Base Breaker:
    • Cartman. There are two types of fans - those who love him for his Crosses the Line Twice behavior (and occasional Magnificent Bastard tendencies), who are responsible for turning him into the show's Breakout Character, and those who absolutely hate him for being a Jerkass who commits Moral Event Horizon grade evil acts at least once a season. The creators seem to be aware of this and try to cater to both (the second half via entire episodes dedicated to making Cartman suffer such as when Wendy beats the crap out of him in "Brest Cancer Show Ever" and getting hit by lightning in "Human CentiPad").
    • Randy Marsh. Fans either love his wacky antics or see him as everything wrong with the later episodes.
    • Kyle is becoming this, mostly due to how annoying he has become with his overzealous moral preaching over every little thing that happens, especially when it involves Cartman.
    • Wendy evolved from The Scrappy to this sometime after she beat up Cartman in "The Breast Cancer Show Ever." While some fans are fond of her and think of her as the voice of reason among the child characters, there are still others that peg her as an obnoxious Soapbox Sadie and hysterical about her causes and that see her as the designated villain for her beating up Cartman, and think of her as hypocritical and cruel to fat people based off of that and her comments about Kim Kardashian in "The Hobbit" - an episode that split fans further between agreeing with Wendy's anti-Photoshopping stance, or hating her for the abrasive way she went about it.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Trey and Matt's live-action cameo in "Free Hat". Context won't help much.
    • The opening scene of "Spookyfish", where a scary alien touches down on South Park, and ends up getting squished by the school bus because it's very tiny.
    • The end of "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000": Kyle spends the entire episode questioning his existence after Cartman learns that the Tooth Fairy isn't real. Eventually, Kyle somehow manages to vanish, but seconds later he comes back in a Mushroom Samba and summons the Half-Chicken Half-Squirrel.
    • The ending of "Butterballs", while set up by a recurring line earlier in the episode, still makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in relation to the episode's plot.
    • Another Brick Joke who comes off as weird even in context is the giant reptilian-bird deity killing Kenny at the end of "The Poor Kid".
    • The live-action sequence at the end of "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
    • This is basically what starts off "You Got F'd In The A" when the Orange County kids show up and "serve" the main four for no reason given.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show's increasing reliance on topical episodes. Some fans embrace this, while others miss the episodes that consisted of original plotlines that weren't Ripped from the Headlines.
      • There are still plenty of these, but the Real Life-based ones really are very obvious.
    • Fans argue whether South Park was better as a lighthearted, yet vulgar Monty Python-esque sitcom, or the darker political satire of later episodes.
    • Season 17 has also caused this. Apart from the widely-loved Black Friday trilogy, some have pegged it as one of the worse seasons due to its shorter length and overly topical nature, while others cite it as an improvement over the last few seasons.
    • The fact that PewDiePie guest starred As Himself in the season 18 two-part finale and wasn't made fun of doesn't begin to cover it.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Kenny has been compared to Rika Furude. Both of them suffer brutal deaths on a regular basis while nobody remembers except for themselves, leading them both to become rather jaded and unaffected by being killed, only avoiding death because it hurts. The Coon and Friends trilogy has established the similarities even further. South Park is also a small, unusual town like Hinamizawa.
  • Creator's Pet: Some people think Randy Marsh is becoming this.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The 14th season episode "It's a Jersey Thing," in which The Jersey Shore is pitted against Osama bin Laden.
    • After Jimmy labels Germans the least funny people of all, Cartman, of course, puts this trope into effect.
    Cartman: Do you know what happened to the last people to piss the Germans off? Tell him Kyle.
    • Honestly, this show deserves its own page for this.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Cartman is this quite often with some groups of fans, particularly in some interpretations of the "Kyman" pairing. Because of his Freudian Excuse about his mother or feeling bad for him, he'll tend to be simplified into an innocent boy driven mad by Kyle's fat jokes and that really just wants to be loved. This tends to overlap with him growing up to be a slimmer, more conventionally attractive teenager. Of course, some also like Cartman precisely for his diabolical nature, and depict him as an attractive Magnificent Bastard type.
    • Mysterion tends to be pegged as an attractive hero. Although at the same time he's also Kenny, who's known for his infamous perversion and crude attitude, and his willingness to do anything for money or attention.
    • For being a brief character that's otherwise only appeared in cameos, Damien can easily be watered and simplified down into a tragic bad boy and anti-hero, and has quite the fans willing to overlook that he hated Pip and actually turned his "friend" into fireworks just so he could be considered cool to the other kids note .
  • Dude, Not Funny!: While it's obvious that South Park is a Sadist Show chocked full of crude humor and mean-spirited gags, there are times where some fans wondered if Trey and Matt went too far. Intentional on the duo's part, of course, as Parker and Stone refer to themselves as "equal opportunity offenders."
    • A good example is in the episode Jared Has Aids where Butters' parents beat him off-screen.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Goth Kids are sure to steal any episode they're in. The creators seem to have noticed this in recent years, as the characters have been appearing more frequently, and even got to star in their own episode.
    • Characters that only appear in The Movie, like Gregory and Christophe, have fanbases that are equal in size to those of reappearing characters.
      • Damien from season 1 is also comparable to Gregory and Christophe's following. Lesser examples (contested depending on part of the fanbase and the time period) also include Bradley from "Cartman Sucks", Thomas from "Le Petit Tourette", the Cotswolds siblings, Kenny's first girlfriend Kelly and his second girlfriend Tammy Warner. All one-shot characters (save for any later background cameos by Mark or Damien), but very beloved by their fans all the same note .
    • TIMMY!!!
    • Mysterion became one almost the moment he showed up. Even after being revealed as Kennynote , he's STILL one of the most talked about characters. In fact, Mysterion, before he was revealed, was such a major thing, that the South Park creators put out a Who Is Mysterion? t-shirt.
    • As far as Kenny's alter-egos go, Princess Kenny is also well-loved for being a perfect parody of Moe in anime and for being adorable in ...her?... own right, inspiring tons of fanart, cosplay, and even a fake trope page for a Princess Kenny series on this wiki, despite only appearing as an anime character for about 2-3 minutes. While his appearance in The Stick of Truth tones down the anime elements, it also makes him into one of the main villains and the Final Boss via a Plot Twist, despite his super-girly princessy getup.
    • The tertiary classmates can have their own fan followings, such as Kevin Stoley (the Star Wars-loving kid) and Dog Poo.
    • The New Kid, naturally.
    • The Mole. For a character who appeared only in the movie, and for only about fifteen minutes, he's widely popular, and has practically an entire subgenre of fan-art, cosplays, and fan-fics devoted to him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: A staple of South Park, which makes sense given that it's a Family-Unfriendly Show.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of things get this treatment by fans, such as Chef's death and especially Mr. Garrison's sex change.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hooooo boy, Craig/Tweek. They have interacted in the show only once or twice and now they are the second most shipped characters after Stan and Kyle, who are the protagonists, anyway. Talking about ensemble darkhorses, huh?
  • Freud Was Right: The aesop for "T.M.I."
  • Fridge Horror: In "Mysterion Rises" Kenny reveals that his superpower is immortality and that, no matter how many times he dies and catches glimpses of the afterlife, he'll always wake up in his bed the next morning. Not only that, but everyone who witnesses him dying gets their memory wiped the moment he comes back, leaving him as the only one who remembers the experience. Considering his dozens of deaths over the course of the series, you really have to wonder what kind of mental strain that would leave on a nine year old.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Every single one of Kenny's deaths throughout the run of the show become this when we find out that Kenny is immortal and hates feeling the pain of dying every time.
    • In the commentaries, Parker and Stone noted that of all the early episodes, the only one that's more edgy nowadays and which they probably wouldn't be able to get away with now is "Volcano" because it features children pointing guns and threatening to shoot each other.
    • Cartman Sucks had a running gag in the scenes of Butters at the Christian camp where all the sexually-confused boys kill themselves rather than live with trying to change their sexuality. Kinda hurts now, given the rash of LGBT teen suicides that made the news in 2010 (as well as the banning of "conversion therapy").
    • In "Clubhouses," Randy and Sharon briefly separate after a series of arguments. They get back together at the end of the episode. The episode itself is funny... but then along comes "You're Getting Old...," which is "Clubhouses," only more dramatic (and a two-part episode).
    • The entire plot of "Cartoon Wars" (about people panicking over Family Guy broadcasting an episode that has Muhammad on it) became a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment thanks to the "201" debacle. In fact, this and the line about the truck driver liking Family Guy because it's not preachy and up its own ass in morals aren't so funny anymore now that South Park and Family Guy have had their Seasonal Rot blamed on being heavy on the morals. Also Hilarious in Hindsight as the show predicted that Family Guy would do an episode that has to do with Peter and Islam ("Turban Cowboy"). It didn't have any reference to Muhammad in it, but it is a very happy coincidence.
    • At the end of "Professor Chaos", we are abruptly asked, "Which of these six South Park residents was killed, and will never be seen again?" Since this is a parody of cliffhanger endings, the answer is immediately given as Ms. Choksondik. Besides her, the suspects were the Mayor, Officer Barbrady, Jimbo, Mr. Garrison, and... Chef, which wouldn't be true until four years later.
    • As gross as the "stick food up your butt and shit out your mouth" concept in "Red Hot Catholic Love" was, it was at least ridiculous enough to be seen as impossible — until a video on Tosh.0 proved that vomiting up feces is physically possible.
    • Funny Aneurysm Line: From "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", after the "Through the years we all will be together/If the fates allow" part of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", Kenny is killed by a chandelier.
  • Genius Bonus: One episode has Jimmy mistaking the Crips gang for a group of fellow "cripples." In reality, the Crips' name does refer to "cripple." They got the nickname for always appearing in public with pimp canes in The Seventies, and the nickname stuck.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The German-speaking fandom is the second largest after the English-speaking fandom. It has become so popular that the channel it airs on has started to show the newest episode 10 days after their US debut in English with subtitles not only giving German viewers the chance to see it earlier (until it has been properly dubbed) but also get a chance to hear the original voices and untranslated jokes.
    • The considerable Latin American fandom.
    • And of course, the Japanese fanbase. It's not as big as it was around season 7, but it's still loyal and responsible for some of the anime-style fanart. Japanese South Park fans also tend to love Happy Tree Friends.
    • In an in-universe example: Terrance and Phillip, a Canadian show, is popular with American kids.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: The kids get paired with alot of other kids, slash,femslash or straight.The four main kids gets paired with about everyone, Wendy and Bebe gets to be paired with about everyone. even Red and the other girls gets their fair share of being paired with several kids.
  • Growing the Beard: Trey Parker and Matt Stone consider season 4 to be the point where this happened, and absolutely hate the entirety of seasons 1-3 bar "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without my Anus." Ironically, seasons 1-3 were the highest rated in the history of the show, while season 4 was the lowest rated. Even still, the new shift toward Darker and Edgier social commentary and current events has seen the show through an unprecedented 17 seasons, with consistently high ratings for Comedy Central.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In-universe example- In the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" the boys are playing a board game called "Investigative Reports With Bill Kurtis." Cartman gives Kyle an AIDS card in the game and the other characters are horrified by this. Years later, the episode "Tonsil Trouble" had Cartman actually giving Kyle AIDS.
    • The part in "Christian Rock Hard" when the boys illegally download songs and a SWAT team comes bursting in. Before the raid of the Megaupload offices this was thought to be ridiculous.
    • If there was ever any humor to be gained from the opening of "Dances with Smurfs," it left after the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, in which the sounds of the shooting were broadcast to the entire school after someone activated the office intercom.
    • Also, seeing Cartman attempt to kill his mother while she sleeps in "Tsst" becomes creepier in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, where the shooter shot and killed his mother while she slept.
      • Chef parodying the Thriller video might come off as uncomfortably awkward since both Isaac Hayes and Michael Jackson died.
    • In "Obama Wins" he asks all of the people to leave a Red Lobster so he can have his meeting. In real life Obama uses his presidential power to cut in front of a long line at a BBQ Restaurant.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", Cartman describes independent movies as being about "gay cowboys eating pudding". 7 years later, Brokeback Mountain fills 2/3rds of that criteria. Parker and Stone even said in an interview "if there's any pudding eating, we will sue".
    • In "The Passion of the Jew", Mel Gibson is portrayed as a raving lunatic who loves torture. The recent tapes to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva makes this exaggeration even funnier.
    • "At least it doesn't get all preachy and up its own ass with messages, you know?": Once a burn on South Park's descent into being more political than funny, it can now also be applied to South Park's biggest rival Family Guy as well.
      • The whole plot of "Cartoon Wars" was kicked off by Family Guy deciding to show the prophet Mohammed uncensored. Then South Park did it with the episode "201" and caught controversy because of it.
    • Remember the episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft", wherein Butters said he prefers playing "Hello Kitty Island Adventure"? Yeah, that's more-or-less real now...
    • Osama Bin Laden being shot in the head by US soldiers on multiple occasions (namely the season five episode "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants" and the season 14 episode "It's A Jersey Thing") becomes funnier now that bin Laden's death (and how he died) has become a reality.
    • The Movie (which depicts Saddam Hussein in Hell and as the Big Bad) was made years before to Saddam Hussein's death, interestingly enough.
    • The entire "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode seems to have become a prophecy for the future of World of Warcraft now that a hacker has started killing large groups of people in major cities.
    • "Medicinal Fried Chicken" counts as this, since the state of Colorado recently voted to allow marijuana for recreational use.
    • In "Fantastic Easter Special", we hear a news reporter say that "Pope Benedict has stepped down, ushering in a new era of... Pope Bill Donohue" (since Bill is an American of Irish descent). Nearly six years later, Benedict did indeed step down, and now we have a new American pope (a South American one, if you want to be pendantic, but it still works).
    • In "Britney's New Look", after Britney Spears is paparazzi'ed to death as a sacrifice for a good corn harvest, the show implies that Miley Cyrus will be the next sacrifice. Come 2013, and Miley's starting to veer towards train-wreck territory...
    • Although this can be applied to many adults of the late 90s, "Chinpokomon" seemed to imply that, like many other "fads," Pokémon would eventually fade into obscurity. Nope. The Pokemon series is still as popular now as it was back then, with Pokemon as a whole being Nintendo's second biggest Cash Cow Franchise (just after Mario), and the anime series actually rivals South Park in terms of longevity (both premiered in 1997 and are still going strong). Even better, recent statistics and sales data show that Pokemon is just as popular with adults today as it is with children. Granted most of those adults are probably people who got into the series as kids in the 90s, but hey it shows that there are adults out there who do understand Pokemon's wide appeal, unlike the adults in South Park.
    • In the "Go God Go" series ("Go God Go" and "Go God Go XII"), one of the atheist groups, the Unified Atheist League, wears hats that kind of look like condoms on their heads. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Lighter and Softer Animated Adaptation of Emperor Joker, we kind of get the feeling that The Joker's whoopee cushion crown looks like... you know... a condom.
    • YMMV on "hilarious", but Mr. Garrison being told that "most teachers don't carry a gun!", demonstrating what a Cloudcuckoolander he is. As of 2013, some groups are pushing for teachers to be given guns in the wake of school shooting tragedies.
    • In "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", two men speculate that Ricky Martin is gay. This episode aired over a decade before he actually came out.
    • In "The Snuke", it's revealed in the midst of the 24 parody that Hilary Clinton has a nuke in her vagina. In the 2014 video game, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, it's implied that Paz has a bomb placed there herself, and 24 star Keifer Sutherland voices the lead character in the game.
    • The purple unicorn on Wendy's t-shirt in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" looks somewhat similar to Twilight Sparkle, who would not exist for another two years.
    • The Black Friday trilogy's primary conflict was X-Box One vs Playstation 4. Its thought that the X-Box One would 'win' the Console Cycle...but now months later its sales are tanking with Playstation 4's flying off the shelves. It was true even in the holiday season!
    • The Movie was a fully-blown Disneyesque musical. Years later, we get the episode "Elementary School Musical", which focuses entirely on how the boys react badly to everyone else in the school singing and dancing like the characters in a Disney musical.
    • The episode "Cripple Fight" has Timmy being jealous of Jimmy stealing all of the attention and taking his place as the new crippled kid. This becomes hilarious when Jimmy appears more frequently and actually does end up replacing Timmy in following episodes, and Timmy has been Demoted to Extra as a result.
    • The opening narration for The Coon sounds just like the opening narration for Arrow.
    • In 1997, South Park did a bumper commercial for Magic: The Gathering, where Kenny said that it sounded "fucking gay" But fast forward to 2014 and the episode "Cock Magic" involves Magic The Gathering... and Kenny turns out to be a pro at it! Kinda makes Kenny sound like a hypocrite.
  • Hype Aversion: In-universe; Unlike the rest of the town, Kyle doesn't care about Cop Drama having a Precision S-Strike.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: Like other animated shows, South Park uses Stock Footage to save time and money, especially considering that this show is produced on a low, low budget. It is hilarious however when some South Park fans complain at other budget shows/movies when they also reuse animation cells for the same reasons.
  • I Am Not Shazam: "In this scene, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy." Nice one, Comedy Central.
  • Idiot Plot: "Freak Strike", "Jared Has Aides", "Toilet Paper", "Butt Out", "Douche and Turd", "Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow", "More Crap", "Tonsil Trouble"note , and "The China Probrem"note .
    • "Fat Camp" and "Free Hat" have the respective Idiot Subplots of Kenny becomes famous for doing nauseating acts and the adults wanting a baby killer named Hat McCullough freed from prison, claiming that "the babies were killed in self-defense".
  • Informed Attribute: Stan and Kyle's friendship can be this. While Stan can sometimes be a douche to Kyle, he usually makes up for it somehow or he's punished by the plot for it (Outside of South Park is Gay!), but when Stan's in trouble in some shape or form, Kyle is often quick to abandon him (Raisins, Douche & Turd, for example) for not doing what Kyle wants him to do.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Some fans say they liked the show better back in its early days when Moral Guardians condemned the show and concerned parents who had cable (or access to a VCR or a DVD player) banned it from their households. Now that it is Comedy Central's highest rated show and widely popular, some people don't like it anymore.
  • Jerkass Woobie: You could make this case for almost every character in the show, especially when they are not normal woobies. Scott Tenorman can count as such in particular. To start, after Cartman killed his parents and tricked him into eating them, one can't help but show sympathy for him. Even though he was a bully and became a psychotic villain afterwards as a result of this, he did care a lot about his parents.
    • Cartman does occasionally get subtle moments of sympathetic spotlight, usually under a Heel Realization of how lonely his monstrous behavior makes him. Every now and then the boys will do something cruel to him without his usual provocation as well. Naturally it comes off as somewhat petty compared to what he does in retaliation but still...
      • "The Death of Eric Cartman" is a good example of this. Everyone at school starts ignoring him to the point where believes he is dead and is now a ghost, all because he ate all the chicken breading off an order of KFC.
      • Though that was more the straw that broke the camel's back.
      • More conventionally in "Jewpacabra" as Cartman does it all to himself, but getting chained up and left as bait does given him a rare sympathetic moment.
    • Shelley qualified twice: in "Cat Orgy" when her much older boyfriend dumped her for not putting out and she tearfully admitted to Cartman that no guys her age would date her because of her looks and in "Broadway Bro Down" when her (age-appropriate this time around) boyfriend died.
    • Ms. Crabtree. It's possible that she's suffering extreme trauma and that might be leading to her yelling and screaming.
    • Kyle counts too when he's not a regular woobie, considering that a lot of horrible things happen to him over the course of the series.
    • Nathan. At least in the episode 'Handicar' where he seems to suffer far more abuse this time around while also acting far less cruel and evil than he did in his previous appearance.
  • Jumping the Shark: As with every long-running show, you'll find people who insist that it's not what it used to be and was funnier in the past than it is now. Of course, the fans all have their own ideas on what point this show started going downhill. Some prominent examples include:
    • After the movie:
    • When Cartman became more violent and sociopathic (starting with "Scott Tenorman Must Die")
    • When Kenny was Killed Off for Real note 
    • When the show went from having fart jokes and bizarre storylines to making fun of current events and being more dramatic.
    • After the backlash of "Trapped in the Closet" from the Church of Scientology.
    • After Chef was killed off on season ten's "The Return of Chef" and Isaac Hayes died in real life two years later.
    • After the "200/201" two-parter that caught controversy for visually depicted Muhammad (which, in the Islam religion, is highly taboo)
    • The Wangsty Stan two-parter episode "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers".
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In "World War Zimmerman", Cartman shoots Token while invoking "Stand Your Ground". The next scene has him only injured in the arm.
  • Love It or Hate It: The tie-in pinball machine for pinball fans, released shortly after Season 1. Whether they find the machine fun or not lines up largely with whether they like the show or not.
    • "Terrance and Phillip: Not Without My Anus" can seem like this. Even years after the fervor over it being a "prank" episode, people still debate over if the prank was funny or a low blow from Trey and Matt, and if the episode itself is a hilariously over-the-top bit of grossout humor or if it's just dumb. Most fans are at least glad that it introduced Saddam Hussein as a character, though.
    • Just about every recent Ripped from the Headlines episode is this, ESPECIALLY ones that revolve around hotly debated political topics.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Stan (of all people!) during "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce."
  • Misaimed Fandom: Yeah, there are people out there who actually agree that "gingers have no souls." And act on it.
    • Like his spiritual forebear Archie Bunker, there is a Vocal Minority of Cartman's fanbase who completely miss the satire inherent in his racist, misogynistic, anti-semitic rants.
    • Likewise, there are those who fail to recognize that the show employs stereotypes (racial, sexual, regional, national, religious, etc.) for the purpose of mocking them, rather than endorsing them.
  • Moe: The "anime" version of Princess Kenny is a perfect parody of Moe anime characters.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Most people label "Scott Tenorman Must Die" as either Cartman's Moment Of Awesome or this trope. Sometimes both.
    • Wendy crossed this earlier than Cartman when in "Tom's Rhinoplasty", she had Miss Ellen kidnapped by Iraqis who then sent her spiraling into the sun...all because Stan had a crush on her.
  • Narm Charm: Mr. Adler reminiscing about his dead fiancee. The flashbacks are funny, but his pain sure isn't.
  • Nausea Fuel: The opening scene in "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina". Right before Mr. Garrison's operation begins, the doctor says, "I think if more people could just see a sex-change operation, they would know how perfectly natural it is." That tells you right there that Discretion Shots will not be used at all. The rest of the sequence has the process described — and shown — in detail, complete with Art Shifts to live action. (in actuality, the live-action shots are of a dog neutering rather than a sex change, but that doesn't make it any better for the viewer.)
    • In "Poor and Stupid", Cartman goes to a drugstore and drinks Vagisil in order to become stupid enough to be a NASCAR racer.
    • The "creamy goo" from "Sarcastaball". It's Butters' ejaculate, which he bottles and saves in his closet — and everyone drinks it!
    • The "HUMANCENTiPAD" episode. It's one of South Parks most vulgar episodes. It's one thing to have a Christmas Turd as a speaking character. It's another to have the kid who's supposed to be your moral compass be the middle part of something that forces him to eat shit.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
    • The 2014 RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth, was widely received as not only the best South Park game to date, but a decent game in it's own right.
    • 2009's South Park Let's Go! Tower Defense was generally well received.
  • Older Than They Think: Chef was fighting zombies with dual-wielded chainsaws over a decade before Zombieland.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Patty Nelson from "Le Petit Tourette" the only other girl besides Wendy who Cartman ever shown attraction to. She only appeared in one brief scene, but she's got a good amount of fanarts and the second most popular straight pairing involving Cartman after Cartman/Wendy.
  • Periphery Demographic: The show is extremely popular with Yaoi Fangirls on Fanfiction Dot Net and Deviant ART. Blame all the ambiguous (and obvious) Ho Yay and interesting character interactions.
    • Quite a few conservative Christians (who would normally condemn this show for its vulgarity) have come around to being fans of the show, due to its unabashed liberal bashing.
    • The show also has a small but dedicated Japanese audience because of how very bizarre and surreal the show frequently becomes.
    • The show is popular with the geekdom in general due to its willingness to venture outside the Geek Reference Pool, which is quite unlike many other sitcoms (animated or otherwise).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Style (Stan/Kyle), Creek (Craig/Tweek), Kyman (Kyle/Cartman), K2 (Kyle/Kenny), Crenny (Craig/Kenny), Bunny (Butters/Kenny), Candy (Cartman/Wendy) and many, many more.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games::
    • The Acclaim published video games based on the series - South Park, South Park: Chef's Love Shack, and South Park Rally - received a less-than-stellar reception upon release, with the experience of having little control in the game's direction & the generally poor representation of the show making Matt Stone & Trey Parker more protective of what they licensed the series out for.
    • The pinball machine, at least at first. See Vindicated by History below.
    • South Park: Tennorman's Revenge, a time travel themed platformer exclusive to Xbox Live, received a mediocre reception upon release.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Tweek was regarded by some fans as one for Kenny and, to a lesser extent, Butters. A number of fans resent Sergeant Yates for usurping Officer Barbrady's role.
    • Generally averted with Jimmy, instead. He supplanted the wildly popular Timmy (TIMMEH!!!), but his very nice and bright personality gained him much respect.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of Kenny's scenes take on new meaning after he reveals the nature of his condition.
  • The Scrappy: Earlier on, Wendy wasn't that popular. Somewhere between the early seasons and "Breast Cancer Show Ever", that mostly changed, although some fans still throw potshots at her.
    • Randy's this for some fans who get sick and tired of his exaggerated reactions to everything around him. And that's all we're going to say.
    • Cartman's becoming one in recent years. From his continued Karma Houdini run, to the fact he's become even more racist and evil than he has been in the past, the base has broken from 'Those who think he's funny' to 'Can someone beat the shit out of him already?' He is especially hated by Kyle's fans.
    • The goth kids have become this for a lot of people, as many believe their decidedly one-note schtick (while funny in the Season Seven episode "Raisins") has gotten old.
    • Stephen and Linda Stotch because of their tendency to punish Butters for every minor offense, beating him in Jared Has Aides, and selling him to Paris Hilton. Their abuse towards him has gotten so bad that he imagines his father as a monster and clearly has pent-up aggression towards him as shown in Grounded Vindaloop.
    • Officer Yates for replacing Barbrady and for being a one-note critique of the police force.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 17 is considered this due to its short length and large amount of lackluster topical episodes.
  • Self-Fanservice: Well, fan art usually portrays South Park characters rather differently. Possibly parodied in the show itself with "Princess Kenny".
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Discussed in the commentaries: The first few episodes of the show were very controversial when they first aired, but look rather tame nowadays. Even the foul language is more heavily bleeped than it would need to be today.
  • Shallow Parody: Parodied mercilessly in "Cartoon Wars", specifically as relating to how pop culture jokes and references are written on Family Guy.
    • Played straight again in "Insheeption," which parodies Inception using College Humor as research instead of the film itself.
    • And yet again in "You're Getting Old", in which Stan and his friends watch the trailer for Jack and Jill. The actual trailer hadn't even came out yet at the time the episode aired, so all Matt and Trey had to go by were the title and the fact that Adam Sandler stars as both characters.
    • The Game of Thrones parody had many jokes rely on the series having a lot of dicks everywhere. The show rarely has penises on-screen, in fact having breasts or vaginas in almost literally every episode.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Jimmy and Timmy exist to show that disabled people are human too, with all their positive and negative attributes displayed alongside their handicaps.
    • "Butterballs" showed that anyone can be a bully, even people trying to stop them, and how all that stereotypical advice on how to deal with bullies is not quite so helpful when it's put into practice.
    • "My Future Self and Me": Be honest with your kids.
    • "Conjoined Fetus Lady" has a rather nice anvil about how hurtful and demeaning the Inspirationally Disadvantaged mindset can be.
    • "Go, God, Go": Removing religion will not stop conflicts or end the world's problems, no matter how much atheism and anti-theism are revered over religion and spirituality. Why? Because, those problems would still be around, and people would use something else as a scapegoat.
  • Strawman Has a Point: You'd pretty much have to agree with Cartman's thoughts about today's music videos in "Butterballs". Hell, Cartman sometimes says things that, believe it or not, are true in some way.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • In "Christian Rock Hard", Cartman plays one song that is kinda similar to the Delfonics' "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)".
      • Considering that Cartman openly stated that his songwriting technique was plagiarizing other songs and throwing "Jesus" into the lyrics, this probably applies to most of their other songs.
    • DVDA's "Now You're a Man" is basically "You Give Love a Bad Name" with different lyrics.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Watching Butters punch his father in the nuts in Grounded Vindaloop was definitely satisfying.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Since 2008, all of the show's episodes were able to be streamed for free on southparkstudios.com. Needless to say, fans were NOT happy when the website switched to Hulu for streaming.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The new intro for Season 17 takes a more 3D/clay animation style compared to the past seasons, but it's been received rather negatively compared to the previous ones that utilized clips from past episodes and such.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Played deliberately in the "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers", after an enormous number of life changes occur as a result of him maturing (including his parents divorcing and Kyle and Cartman becoming friends and business partners), Stan is just coming to appreciate the new directions in his life and new possibilities there are. Cue a stack of Reset Buttons reverting everything back to normal, much to his despair.
    • "Cartman Finds Love" ends with the entire school believing that Cartman and Kyle are a couple. This is never brought up again despite the vast amount of comedic potential.
    • After "The Cissy" a lot of people were disappointed to find out that Wendy was just faking transgenderism like Cartman was.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Muhammad. Parker and Stone went for lampooning the fact that he's not an acceptable target, instead — particularly because 5 years before the Muhammad taboo entered the limelight, he had been depicted with no repercussion. "201", the second episode of their 200th anniversary two-parter, had all mentions of Muhammad's name censored by the network, along with the "I learned something today" speeches at the end (which didn't even mention Muhammad). Comedy Central went so far as pulling it from ever airing again - they won't even let it be streamed on the show's official website. You can find it here, but its being a TV rip means the bleeps are still in place.
  • Uncanny Valley: Kenny inverts this for some viewers. His face-hugging hood and muffled speech make him seem a bit less human than the other characters, which gives him some mascot-like "cute" appeal that's only helped by his nature as The Woobie and in spite of (or maybe also helped by) his hedonistic tendencies. Coincidentally, he's indeed a Humanoid Abomination.
  • Vindicated by History: The pinball machine initially got a lot of complaints, both because of its offensive content and because of its layout and rules, so much so that SEGA, the company that made it, quit the pinball business. However, if the reviews at the Internet Pinball Database is anything to go by, the South Park pinball machine now brings in good money when out in public, is one of the more sought-after South Park items for collectors, and is genuinely liked by pinball fans who are also South Park fans.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The updated title sequence (mentioned above), which was made by acclaimed titling house Imaginary Forces.
    • "Make Love, Not Warcraft" was really raised up by the in-game segments, which were animated by Blizzard themselves.
  • Wangst: Kyle in Cartmanland, he loses the will to live because Cartman inherited a million dollars and bought a theme park.
    • And Mr. Mackey in "Royal Pudding." While he does a Freudian Excuse about him wanting to do a play about Tooth Decay (since Tooth Decay killed his father), he does go too far in his abuse of the kindergarten students and Kyle for messing up his play, with Kyle receiving most of the abuse.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit: Most cartoons take too long to make to be truly topical, while this show takes days, making it a major aversion to this trope. The one time they were beaten to the punch (regarding Glenn Beck's challenges to the White House) was because just days before the episode aired Jon Stewart on The Daily Show had done a similar razing, which some people argued was more vicious and/or funny.
    • The Facebook episode "You Have 0 Friends" comes off as this, as a result of Trey Parker's reluctance to get into Facebook.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Yes, the animation looks childish and crude, and yes, the protagonists are children. But it contains way too much graphic violence, raunchy language, sex, swearing and other mature content to be seen by young kids.´ Which hasn't stopped it from finding a huge and adoring audience among teens and preteens. In fact, that's probably a large part of why it has.
  • The Woobie: Butters' personality is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. The fact that his parents take all of their problems out on him makes him this.
    Butters: I don't think I'm a happy person. Every night I fall asleep to the sounds of my own screams... And every morning I wake up to the sounds of my own screams. Do you think I'm a happy person?note 
    • Kip Drordy.
    • In the Coon and Friends trilogy, Kenny/Mysterion has been revealed to be of the iron variety.
    • Stan can be seen as this or a Jerkass Woobie, but he certainly qualifies as this in You're Getting Old given the fact it was his friends abandoning him after he was diagnosed with cynicism.
    • Kenny's sister Karen. "The Poor Kid" can attest to that.
    • Mr. Mackey in "Ike's Wee Wee".
    • Britney Spears in "Britney's New Look". The writers were apparently sick of people being mean about Britney for no good reason.
    • Satan is a Woobie Destroyerof Worlds in The Movie.
    • Wendy might be considered The Scrappy or at least a Base Breaker, but after the end of "The Hobbit" you will want to give her a great big hug.
    • Pip. He's bullied mercilessly by EVERYONE (even moreso than his eventual replacements Butters or Scott Malkinson who at least get SOME social accecptance), he lost both his parents, any and all of his accomplishments are ignored by kids and adults alike. How he managed to keep that cheerful demeanor up to his death remains a mystery.
    • Kyle himself qualifies as this on occasions, when he isn't a Jerkass Woobie, the episode "Ginger Cow" is a crowning example of this. By the time the episode ends, you will end up feeling very sorry for Kyle.
    • Tweek is this to some, especially those who have suffered from anxiety or the like and can relate.
    • Cartman's mother in "Tsst".

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