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Creator / Trey Parker and Matt Stone

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Can you guess which one of them used to have an afro back in the day?note 
"Me and Matt love to argue, but in general our sense of humor is pretty much alike."
Trey Parker
"We are entertainers. We're trying to entertain people."
Matt Stone

Trey Parker (born Randolph Severn Parker III, October 19, 1969) and Matt Stone (born Matthew Richard Stone, May 26, 1971) are creative partners in crime, best known for being the creators of Comedy Central's long-running, brutally satirical, extremely vulgar animated sitcom South Park. The two became friends in college and made their first short, The Spirit of Christmas (aka Jesus vs. Frosty), that caught the eye of many and got South Park launched as the success it still is.

Creative works by the two include:

  • Your Studio and You (Their first Hollywood gig, an internal video for Universal after their buyout by the liquor company Seagram in the mid 90s; modeled after a 50s educational short, filled with famous cameos)
  • Time Warped (two pilots- one for Fox, the other for Fox Kids- intended as a "musical romp through time")

They also starred in BASEketball (a fact that they are NOT proud of), but didn't write or direct. Trey has also voiced the villain in Despicable Me 3, a very different turn from the duo's usual adult fare.

Tropes related to the creators:

  • Amusing Injuries: A staple in their work.
  • Author Appeal:
    • They like reasons to include Mormonism in their works. This includes a Mormon missionary as the main character in Orgazmo, a South Park episode ("All About Mormons") dedicated to the religion, and The Book of Mormon.
    • They enjoy throwing in musical numbers into their works, due to their love of musical theater (similar to Seth MacFarlane doing the same on his three animated sitcoms). On top of this, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut was made a musical with tons of shout-outs to contemporary shows and the protagonist of Team America is a Broadway actor.
    • Trey is an admitted Japanophile and actually knows the language, so you can pretty much expect any use of the Japanese language in their work to be some kind of Bilingual Bonus.
    • They also have a soft spot for imbecilic voices and laughable speech impediments.
    • Being big fans of Monty Python's Flying Circus, they have referenced the show and its style often in their work.
  • Author Catchphrase: "Derp" was apparently a nonsense word invented on the set of BASEketball to exemplify stupid humor (really most of their work fits, ergo). It has been carried over to South Park in several forms, with no in-show explanation or link between them. Once there was a substitute school chef named "Mr. Derp" who did stupid physical gags; another time there was a Rob Schneider movie trailer (as part of a running gag of successively stupider movie trailers) whose narration consisted almost entirely of nonsensical permutations of the word "Derp". The movie title is Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb.note 
  • Author Tract: Much like how Seth MacFarlane is an atheist liberal, Parker and Stone‚Äôs work often have themes of agnostic libertarianism.
  • Bad Impressionists: They deliberately put no effort in their celebrity voice impersonations, let alone the characterizations. Celebrities will appear in a way that is grossly exaggerated and often has little to do with their public image. As the famous "disclaimer" that prefixes every episode of South Park puts it: "All celebrity voices are impersonated.....poorly."
  • Berserk Button:
    • Barbra Streisand once insulted the duo's home state of Colorado in an interview. They responded by depicting her as a robot destroying South Park in "Mecha-Streisand", and even her very name is a swear word in of itself in BLU. Bottom line: don't mess with Colorado!
    • They do not like hearing their show compared with Family Guy.
  • Big Eater: In the behind-the-scenes South Park documentary, Parker reveals that, when writing, he eats copious amounts of McDonald's food... and a Coke Zero.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: While their work does not lack explicit villains and does take a moral stance on whatever issue they're satirizing, they're also not afraid to say that even the most well-meaning people can make just as many harmful, arrogant mistakes as ill-intentioned people, even if one side is clearly more in the right than the other.
  • Black Comedy: Their staple.
  • Breakthrough Hit: It's because of South Park that you know their names.
  • The Cast Showoff: Both of them are capable singers, as seen in South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut and Cannibal! The Musical. Trey can speak fluent Japanese, and on occasion Matt and Trey will speak Spanish.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Parker and Stone are Real-Life examples as far as their writing goes. Seriously, many of the plots of various South Park episodes simply have to be seen to be believed.
  • Cool Old Guys: More "cool middle aged guys," but the duo has evolved into this now.
  • Corrupt Church: Also a topic in their work, although they have attacked atheists and agnostics too.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Trey and Matt feel embarrassed about the show's first three seasons, as noted in an interview for Entertainment Weekly, "it's just embarrassing to watch." In one of the commentaries on the season 3 DVDs, the duo mentioned that they considered season 2 to be particularly bad.
    • They're not too proud of their involvement with BASEketball. Not only did they feel that its brand of humor was beneath them, but they only agreed to under the assumption that it was just something you did once you "made it" in show business, and that South Park would have been canceled by then anyway (it wasn't, resulting in very little sleep during production).
    • In addition to a noted dislike of the South Park video games made early in the show's run (one of which, for the Nintendo 64, managed to make a 2003 G4 list of "most spectacular failures"), Trey and Matt were not happy about the "201" censorship. Trey even threatened to quit the show afterward.
  • Creator Breakdown: Trey had a hard time forgiving his ex for cheating on him and it shows in a lot of his work:
    • Cannibal! The Musical has Matt and Trey providing commentary, during which Trey gloats over how he's now a famous comedy writer and his slut of an ex is now dating a nobody.
    • The Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut two-parter: No prizes for guessing who Liane Cartman is based on.
    • The Love Dodecahedron in Team America may also have been influenced by this, as Lisa is the one who cops the most abuse for sleeping with Gary.
    • Raisins (the season seven South Park episode where Stan turns Goth after Wendy breaks up with him and Butters thinks a waitress at a Hooters-style restaurant for kids actually likes him) may have been an indicator that Trey has since learned to let go and laugh about it... then "The Ring" (the season 13 premiere in which Kenny dates a fifth grader with a seedy reputation who gets Kenny to join a purity ring program after seeing The Jonas Brothers in concert) happened.
  • Creator Provincialism: The titular town of South Park is based on Parker's hometown of Conifer, Colorado, and also on nearby Fairplay, located in Park County note .
  • Creator's Pest: Trey and Matt are noted as disliking the following characters:
    • Kenny was Killed Off for Real because they were getting sick of him and finding new ways to kill him off. After a season of Butters, and later Tweek, filling his place, Kenny was brought back, though with a reduced role.note  They originally considered killing Kyle off, because they felt that he and Stan were interchangeable, but the pair have since undergone Divergent Character Evolution.
    • Dr. Mephisto was phased out because they stopped finding him funny. They felt that they should have got rid of him in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA".
    • Pip existed simply because Trey and Matt hated reading Great Expectations. Eventually, they realized that Butters fulfilled his role better, and Pip was phased out. They brought him Back for the Dead in "201", mostly so that fans would stop asking what happened to him.
  • Deranged Animation: Their signature style, pretty much.
  • Equal-Opportunity Offender: Their personal philosophy has always been "If one thing is off limits, then everything is."
  • Garfunkel: Parker is the chief creative force behind the duo, with Stone playing more of a supportive role. Stone seems to have made peace with his secondary role in group judging by his answers to interviewers. For his part, Parker says that he considers their work relationship to be a partnership and that their joint ventures would not be the same without Stone's input. He also says that Stone has a more forceful personality and will take charge in situations where Parker is more likely to bend to pressure, making his producer credits well-earned.
  • Here We Go Again!: They lost the Academy Award for Best Song to Phil Collins at the 1999 Oscars (Collins won it for his songs in Disney Animation's newest animated classic, Tarzan), then had to go up against Bono and The Edge (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) at the 65th Tony Awards, with Trey especially despising the idea of losing to both Collins and Bono in one lifetime. They didn't, and won nine Tonys.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The two have been friends since college. Stan and Kyle's relationship in South Park makes this trope evident even more, considering the two are based on their creators (Stan being Trey and Kyle being Matt). It got to the point where, early on in their careers, people assumed they were gay, which was one of the factors in them not getting much work in Hollywood.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Despite their hate for the show's first three seasons (with season 2 as so hated that they didn't even do audio commentary for it on the DVD set), Parker and Stone also state the second season episode "Not Without My Anus" (the episode that centered on Terrence and Phillip getting their child back from Saddam Hussein) to be the only episode they liked from said era, because it was "something weird and different". Even stranger considering the episode generated a lot of fan backlash, and that the first three seasons are home to many of the show's most memorable episodes according to critics and fans.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: South Park features the voices of the two for every male character with very few, case-by-case exceptions. And they flat out admit their imitations of celebrities are done "poorly".
  • Not So Above It All:
    • They've actually been involved in celebrity causes (notably the WM3 case involving three teenagers falsely convicted of murder); though in fairness, it later turned out that the kids were innocent.
    • They harshly mocked and deconstructed microtransactions and pay-to-win free mobile games, and the addiction caused by them, in the episode "Freemium Isn't Free", but apparently had no qualms about the release of the Allegedly Free Game South Park: Phone Destroyer.
  • Playing Against Type: Given their usual work, Trey Parker taking up the role of Balthazar Bratt in a family-friendly movie like Despicable Me 3 is a far cry from the duo's Black Comedy shtick.
  • Reclusive Artist: While they do still occasionally grant interviews and do DVD commentaries note , they've also made it quite clear that they don't crave fame, nor are they willing to play by Hollywood's rules to achieve it, and are fine with burning bridges if it means getting to speak their mind. In the more modern sense, neither use social media for similar reasons (Trey briefly joined Facebook, but quit because he didn't like the culture, which inspired the South Park episode "You Have 0 Friends"). As such, Hollywood and the media have responded in kind by leaving them alone. They've also said that they prefer spending time with their families anyway. According to Trey, both he and Matt have repeatedly offered Comedy Central the opportunity to cancel South Park on amicable terms if both parties can't reach an agreement on censorship (which, considering how the show is still running, probably tells you all you need to know about who relies more on the other).
  • Refuge in Audacity: They are "equal opportunity offenders" after all.
  • Running Gag: Back in the early seasons when they introduced each episode of South Park, they would refer to each episode as their favorite episode.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Trey and Matt wrote the gag song "Montage" for an episode of South Park, but the same song was used in their completely unrelated film Team America: World Police.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Surprisingly, despite their love of black comedy and audacious humor, much of their work is on the idealistic end and express hope for mankind. Though often accused of being centrist for their Black-and-Grey Morality, if there's ever an explicit villain in their work, they're almost always punished or the world is clearly much worse off if they win.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Trey took the role of Balthazarr Bratt in Despicable Me 3 so as to be in a movie appropriate for his then four-year-old daughter Betty.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Parker is clearly the more creative of the two, while Stone handles more of the business side (fitting, as his father was an economist). See "Garfunkel".
  • Terrible Artist: Parker and Stone enjoy Stylistic Suck. They deliberately don't make the animation in South Park and Team America too good, because they enjoy the jerky movements.
    • Subverted with The Book of Mormon, which looks just as professional as any other broadway musical.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In recent years, they've been treating their designated Butt-Monkey Butters with much more dignity. For instance, when Butters does finally break and attempts suicide, it's not played for laughs and his injuries stay with him for the rest of the season.
  • What Could Have Been:


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Matt Stone, Trey Parker


Betty Parker Voicing Ike

Unlike the older kids, all the toddlers in South Park are voiced by young children. Here, Trey Parker coaches his daughter Betty on saying Ike's line.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (34 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChildrenVoicingChildren

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