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Recap / Ren & Stimpy 2x07 "Son of Stimpy"

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Original air date: 1/13/1993 note  (produced in 1992)

Stimpy is sitting at home in front of the TV one day when suddenly... something comes out of his butt; it makes a sound, and it smells funny. He tries to explain it to Ren, but he doesn't believe himnote , and eventually doesn't "want to hear any more of [his] stinky fantasies!" After having named the thing "Stinky", Stimpy goes on a search for his "son"...who is NOT a fantasy, he IS real!note 

Anyway, he can't find him anywhere, even after asking his "magic nose goblins"... and gets depressed for three years. After all this time, Ren fruitlessly tries to pull his best friend out of this depression, first suggesting TVnote , then trying to cheer him up first with his favorite catnip mouse, and finally his own "nice and stinky" litter box, which results in making Stimpy even worse, causing him to violently "[cry] about [his] imaginary BUTT stinkyness", as Ren puts it. Eventually, he gives up after stubborn Stimpy refuses to "[listen] to this anymore", convinced that "He's real! He's real! He's REAL!!", and, all the while, doesn't care about anything anymore. Months later, Stimpy is (still) waiting for "Stinky" to come home, and after Ren tries cheering him up again, he finally snaps, and goes by himself to "the naked city" to find poor little "Stinky"...who is out there in the cold! Lost! ALONE!note ...and is not coming back until he finds "him".

Yeah, it's that ridiculous, not to mention disgusting. However, John Kricfalusi wrote the episode this way on purpose, as discussed under Deconstructive Parody.

In the home video release, this episode was preceeded by the Cat Hairballs music video.

Son of Stimpy contains examples of:

  • Animate Inanimate Object: The fart, natch.
    • And the boogers.
  • Animation Bump: John K. put extra care on the character expressions and painterly backgrounds to make this episode as good as possible. In the DVD commentary, he mentions that it's "feature quality animation, amazing on a tv budget."
  • Based on a True Story: Parodied in the Opening Narration, stating that "this here's a true story that we just made up."
  • Bathos: This episode is entirely fueled by this. Who else would get depressed over a fart disappearing?
  • Big Word Shout:
  • Bowdlerize: Nickelodeon airings, as well as the episode's VHS release, removed the scene of Stimpy consulting a police sketch artist who tosses him into the street (although the "Cat Hairballs" music video briefly includes a clip of the scene).note 
  • Break the Cutie: Stimpy, who is more of an "eediot" than a cutie, but this trope still applies.note 
    Stimpy: I don't care...
  • Callback: There are several from the first season:
    • The opening scene is similar to "Stimpy's Big Day"
    • The Magic Nose Goblins from one of the "What'll We Do Til Then?" segments appear.
    • The shows that Ren tries to cheer Stimpy up with are "Commander Hoek and Cadet Stimpy" ("Space Madness", "Marooned", "Black Hole") and "Muddy Muddskipper" ("Stimpy's Big Day")
    • Ren tells Stimpy to pull himself together is similar to how he tells him that in "Black Hole".
    • The way Ren reunites with Stimpy is identical to "The Big Shot".
    • Ren and Stimpy saying "memoriiiiies" is from "The Big Shot" and "Black Hole".
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Then again, the viewers knew this from the start even if Ren didn't, and even then, it wasn't the point either way.
  • Christmas Episode: Or rather a...
  • Deconstructive Parody: This episode was deliberately made by John as a stealth deconstruction of pathos scenes in movies, using a deliberately ludicrous and baffling plotline that's Played for Dramanote , just to show how easy it is to make people cry at a scene if you use the right staging and music tricks. He discusses this at length in this post on his blog, John K. Stuff:
    John: "I purposely made a cartoon that used some filmic tricks to make people cry just to show that it's not hard to do it. And I didn't have to shoot anyone's Mom either. I made people cry over the fact that Stimpy couldn't fart for a second time. I went out of my way to make the story have the most preposterous plot events in it-everything to undermine the seriousness of Stimpy's depression. Besides the mood tricks, I relied heavily on Stimpy and Ren's acting-the drawings of their expressions and their interactions. A lot of films will ignore this part of the pathos recipe. They rely on the filmic tricks and contrived story points."
  • Dismissive Kick: After they pop and deflate from overexertion, Ren kicks the deflated remains of Stimpy's butt.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Deliberately invoked in order to prove the above point.
  • Extreme Close-Up: Happens a couple times in the first few minutes, and one of the surprisingly few times it's not the gross out kind. First there's an up-close of Stimpy's butt seconds before the, um... "birth of Stinky". Then later when Stimpy tries to fart for Ren, we see a close up of Stimpy's butt cheeks as they strain, swell up, and deflate like balloons.
  • Foot Bath Treatment: After searching for his sentient fart out in the cold, Stimpy returns home encased in a block of ice and is given this treatment.
  • Happy Ending: In the end, Stinky and Stimpy are reunited, and although Stinky can't stay, he has found a fiancee (an old fish head) and invites Stimpy to the wedding, making Stimpy the happy eediot we all know and love again.
  • Heroic BSoD: Stimpy goes into a ridiculously, unrealistically long one, even by the trope's standardsnote .
    Stimpy: I don't care...
  • Heroic RRoD: At the start of the episode, Stimpy tries to fart for Ren in order to prove that Stinky is real. After the first two attempts fail, Stimpy puts everything into the third try, which results in Stimpy's butt cheeks over exerting themselves, swelling up, then going limp and deflating complete with sound effect and Stimpy gasping in defeat.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Stimpy's talking boogers think he's crazy - because he talks to farts.
  • Jerkasses: Stimpy's boogers. That's right, his boogers. Oh yeah, and they talk.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rennote 
  • Little "No": As his butt deflates, Stimpy lets out an exhausted and defeated gasp of "Nooo..."
  • Madness Mantra: Parodied. In Stimpy's case, it's more like "stupidity mantra" with his constantly saying "I don't care..." and "He's real..."
  • Male Gaze: Parodied a bit in regards to Stimpy's butt. In several of the extreme close up shots of it, Stimpy's butt looks very womanly and full and is drawn in great detail. Examples are in the opening scene right before the "birth" of Stinky, and during Stimpy's attempt to re-create the moment for Ren, especially on the third try right before it bursts and deflates.
  • Missed Him by That Much: While Stimpy is under the wheel of a truck, Stinky comes by and sits on his butt while regretting having left, unaware of where he's sitting on.
  • Mood Whiplash: One moment Stimpy's talking to boogers underneath a piano stool. He sits up, and the stool sticks to his head. Cute joke, right? The very next scene, he's gone into a three-year-long depression about the fart he was looking for.
    Stimpy: "I don't care..."note 
  • Pain to the Ass: In an attempt to prove to Ren that Stinky is real, Stimpy tries farting a second time. Cue lots of straining to no avail. Then we're treated to an up-close shot of Stimpy's butt cheeks as they swell up from the strain then suddenly deflate like a couple of balloons.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: A downplayed example. After the strain of trying to fart becomes too much, Stimpy's ass cheeks burst and deflate.
  • Say My Name:
    Stimpy: Stiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnkyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!
  • Stealth Pun: Meta example. As previously mentioned, in creating this episode, John K. went for the most insane plotline he could think of. In other words, in creating this episode he had pulled something out of his you-know-what.
  • Time Skip: Not specified onscreen, but after the audience sees Stimpy moping around for an unspecified amount of time over his lost fart, a line from Ren reveals it's been "three years already".
  • Toilet Humor: Kind of the whole point.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Invoked with the two bums that Stinky tries to make a home in, who then hunt him down while carrying lit matches.
  • Tropey, Come Home: Or in this case, "Stinky Come Home"...
  • Trauma Button: Apparently saying the word "stinky" in front of Stimpy was this for him.
    Ren: It's Mr. litter box, come on! Take a stinky one! (scatches steps) Nice and stinky!
  • Truth in Television: As "unfunny-on-purpose", and "completely-discordant-even-by-the-show's-standards" as this episode is, it does show, even if exaggerated, one of the things depression can do (such as anything related to the pushing of a berserk button that causes uncontrollable crying or other things).
  • Under the Mistletoe: In a major case of Ho Yay, this happens between the two. When Ren is trying to look for an excuse to get Stimpy back inside, he looks upwards and spots the mistletoe on the top of the front door. After he points it out, Ren then looks at Stimpy with a sly smile and bats his eyelashes. Stimpy, after a moment, realizes what Ren is trying to do. He then says “GOSH DARN IT, Ren! Is that all you can THINK OF?!
  • Wacky Sound Effect:
    • When Stimpy's butt cheeks deflate after straining too hard they sound like a pair of balloons releasing air.
    • Even before that, the "sound" that comes out of Stimpy's butt also sounds like air rapidly escaping a balloon.