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Characters / South Park: Randy Marsh

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Randy Marsh
"Stan? Staaan?"

Voiced by: Trey Parker
Debut: "Volcano"

Stan's dad, a geologist (and thus the only non-mad scientist in South Park; sometimes). Deficient in common sense, but makes up for it with great passion and enthusiasm for... well, whatever happens to be the focus of the episode. The de facto leader of the town whenever they face a threat. He tends to be the main character in storylines involving the adults of South Park, and thus is the adult figure that most interacts with the boys in the main plot.

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  • The Alcoholic: The plot of "Bloody Mary" focuses on him going to A.A., though he's less an "alcoholic who needs to drink constantly" as "an idiot who also drinks too much." Since then he's slightly better and doesn't drink drive but he does often make excuses for his drinking and is shown drunk on several occasions.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Subverted. Randy likes to drink with friends, but is only seen drunk in a couple episodes. In one episode he gets a DUI, has to attend AA meetings, where instead of taking responsibility and controlling his behavior, he is told he has a "disease." At the end of the episode, he possibly learns discipline and self-control.
  • All Men Are Perverts: He's very into porn, masturbating and has some very disturbing fetishes.
  • Ascended Extra: Originally he was just Stan's dad, but nowadays it's not unheard of to have entire episodes focused on Randy with the boys relegated to background characters.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The show's crowning example of this trope, when accounting for the other degrees of uselessness of the adults.
  • The Atoner: Near the end of Season 19, when he finally came to realize that South Park's gentrification was doing more harm than good (with some help from a beatdown courtesy of Caitlyn Jenner), he pledged to help undo the damage he helped cause.
  • Author Avatar: Trey Parker has said that Randy has become more prominent, due to the fact that he has started to get older and identifies with the character more.
  • Ax-Crazy: In "T.M.I." he goes insane and is the spearhead of the movement to take over the Federal Express.
  • Becoming the Mask: In "Sarcastaball." he loses control over his ability to be sarcastic and can't stop doing it. Lorde was originally just an excuse to use the girls bathroom.
  • Big "NO!": Does Picard's and Vader's, with the sound taken directly from Star Trek: First Contact and Revenge of the Sith.
  • Big "OMG!": He gets two separate Big OMGs when he realizes every senior citizen in town is driving at the same time.
  • Breakout Character: Randy has become increasingly more important lately due to a mix of popularity and Trey Parker's identifying with Randy more as he gets older.
  • Bumbling Dad: The king of this trope.
  • Butt-Monkey: Seems to have gained this status to a certain extent in Season 21, where more and more people view him with contempt and regard his antics strictly as being immature and absurd, and treat him accordingly. Sharon even seems to call him out on his selfish behavior much more often.
  • Catchphrase: "Stan? Staaan?", "Hey, Sharon," "(Oh my) Gawl!", "Well, that sucks", "Score!", and a few of his son's.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: In the episode "Overlogging" Randy has gone for weeks without masturbating to internet porn, eventually near the end he sneaks into the camp's computer room, looks at a bunch of perverted things, and eventually ejaculates all over the room, everyone comes in thinking he was grunting in pain and with his pants down, he tells them that he was doing that because "a ghost was attacking him and left his ectoplasm everywhere".
  • Cerebus Retcon: "You're Getting Old" sheds some very harsh light on Randy's zany moments. It turns out the reason he's been acting increasingly bizarre is because he's suffering depression and wants to distract himself from his humdrum extistence.
  • Characterization Marches On: He used to be the more laid back of the Marshes earlier on, and one of the saner adults overall. Now...not so much...
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Especially during the obsession phases.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his dim-witted nature, he's demonstrated multiple times to be a highly competent brawler.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: A major part of "Overlogging" is the fact that he wants to masturbate, but can't without Internet porn. In Cream Freiche, he masturbates to cooking shows. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Speeds Up to 11 in Sarcastaball faster than a jet.
  • Dirty Coward: In "Fantastic Easter Special", he gets captured and interrogated by the American Catholic League's ninjas over the location of a rabbit, which he gave to his son to hide in a good place. When they ask him where it is, he responds:
    I don't know, and even if I did know then... I'd probably just tell you because I don't want to be here anymore.
  • Doting Parent: Even at some of his least sane moments, he absolutely adores both his kids and often goes to outrageous lengths whenever he thinks they need help, even if they'd disagree, usually for good reason.
  • Fetish: Randy has some really odd fetishes like Japanese girls puking on each other, bestiality and so forth. Oh, and murder porn, but every adult in South Park seems to be into that.
  • Flanderization:
    • Randy started out as one of the smartest characters on the show. His 'wild side' stemmed from a desire to connect with his son, and he simply failed to grasp the idea of fads changing rapidly, a frequent plot point in South Park. As the series progresses, he evolves into a hyperactive, extremely paranoid and idiotic Manchild.
    • Even within his earlier stupid bouts, he was still usually a Knight Templar Parent, genuinely having the best intentions for Stan and only spearheading the same hysteria the other parents succumbed to. From about Season Nine onwards however, Randy's motives became more selfish and childish, having his family in collateral damage for whatever fad he takes to and leaving even the other brain dead residents of South Park dumbfounded by his behavior.
  • Foil:
  • Genius Ditz: He is a brilliant scientist and is capable of alot of amazing feats like being a talented musician, songwriter and being Lorde, but otherwise he's an alcoholic with barely any common sense.
  • Giving the Sword to a Noob: The nominal noob.
  • Good Parents: Despite his eccentricity and Bumbling Dad status, he very much cares about Stan and Shelly and will go out of his way to save them when they're being endangered.
  • Hidden Depths: His talent as a musician is impressive as he writes and edits his own song as Lorde and is a very competent guitar player, as seen in "Guitar Queer-O".
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His idea to make the town more PC and get wholesale foods ended up making everything so expensive that it's no longer possible for the Marshes to live in South Park. As usual Randy blames someone else until Caitlyn Jenner beats him up.
  • Hypocrite: Randy is frequently the most hypocritical character in the show.
  • Idiot Houdini: Thus far, Randy doesn't seem to have learned any real lessons from being an idiot.
  • It's All About Me: In newer episodes, Randy is far more likely to be self obsessed and selfish, stubbornly refusing to listen to anyone else.
  • Jaded Washout: He was once in a boyband and got fired because he turned 19 and was mocked by the town once he returned and has had dreams of being a proper rock star that never went anywhere.
  • Jerkass: At his worst, he can be a spoilt, irrational Manchild who often disregards his son to erupt into chaos over everything.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Aside from his the insane things he has been a part of, he is a normal, well-meaning father. He can be selfish but he has shown that he genuinely loves his wife and children.
  • Large Ham: Randy pretty much embodies this trope.
  • Lethally Stupid: He even accidentally killed his daughter’s boyfriend!

  • Manchild: Randy has the intelligence of an adult, yet the behavior of a child. "You're Getting Old" reveals that this is a response to him being unhappy with his current life.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: With his wife, Sharon. Sharon is generally far more levelheaded and less impulsive than her husband, with a much more restrained wild side. Increasingly, she becomes the only real adult in the house, with Randy devolving more and more into a man-child.
  • Never Live It Down: An In-Universe example happens to him in the episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson," when he is forever known as "The 'Nigger' Guy" when he says the n-word on the game show "The Wheel Of Fortune" on National TV.
  • Never My Fault: While he shares this with the other adults, he's by far the worst offender. He almost NEVER acknowledges his fault in anything, and childishly clings to his own delusions.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. He joined a boy band before finishing high school.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Parodied or Subverted. A few episodes ("Spontaneous Combustion," "T.M.I.") have him take on non-geology jobs on the ground that he is a "scientist." In the first case it's Lampshaded, though he actually turns out to be competent; in the latter it's not, but he does poorly. "Die Hippie, Die" has him volunteering in Cartman's plan to dig through the hippies because he is the only scientist the city has.
  • Papa Wolf: In "Die Hippie, Die", "Pee", and "Broadway Bro Down".
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Randy is supposed to be a geologist, but rare is the time we actually see him doing any geological work. Instead, we see him trying to set the world's record for taking the biggest crap, aiming to become a TV chef, giving himself testicular cancer so he can smoke medical marijuana, etc.
  • Porn Stache: He has a mustache.
  • Rabble Rouser: In a more literal case than most, he has managed to start a rabble at least once by shouting "Rabble!" a few times.
  • Running Gag: His pants falling when he gets drunk.
  • Sarcasm Mode: In "Sarcastaball", he is diagnosed with a mental condition that causes everything he says to be a sarcastic comment.
  • Sanity Slippage: "A Nightmare on Facetime" makes it very clear he's lost it.
  • Serious Business: Whatever the focus of the episode is, he's taking it waaaay too seriously.
  • Snap Back: Quits/gets fired at least 4 times.
  • Stage Names: He performed his interpretation of Tween Wave music as "Steamy Ray Vaughn".
  • Supreme Chef: In "Crème Fraiche", he's shown to be a very talented chef, being capable of replicating dishes he sees on cooking shows. Much to the chagrin of his family, who have to clean up the resulting massive pile of dishes. However, its implied that his food still doesnt taste very good, and he's just imitating the flashy "gourmet" style popular on cooking shows without really understanding it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Has become this post Flanderization, but his biggest moment comes in "Medicinal Fried Chicken" where he gives himself testicular cancer just to be legally qualified to have medical marijuana.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Takes a level every episode he appears in, and probably the ones where he doesn't appear, too.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Starting in "My Future Self 'n Me."
  • Toxic Friend Influence: He's an alcoholic and none of his friends try to keep him from getting drunk (even encouraging him on occasion).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: His preferred beer brand is Pabst Blue Ribbon, and ever since the gluten scare, he has been exclusively drinking gluten-free beer.
  • Tuckerization: Parker named Randy after his own father.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: To Stan. Randy is an over-the-top, sex-crazed, alcoholic and drug addict, while Stan is the Straight Man who is wise beyond his years.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: As revealed in "Gluten-Free Ebola" and "The Cissy", he has a double life as Lorde, using Auto-Tune to make himself sound like a teenage girl.
    Clyde: Lorde sucks.
    Jimmy: Yeah, she isn't as hot in person.

Example of: