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Recap / South Park S10 E1 "The Return of Chef"

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Original air date: 3/22/2006

After a long hiatus, Chef returns to South Park, but the boys notice that he isn't the same friend he used to be.


"The Return of Chef" contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Darth Chef never appears again after this episode despite the fact that he is still at large after the episode ends. Chef's fully organic appearance in South Park: The Stick of Truth makes it borderline Canon Discontinuity.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Just when the boys rescued Chef and have almost crossed the bridge from the Super Adventure Club, Connelly's words at that moment immediately make him stop and reconsider returning to South Park.
    Connelly: Don't you remember why you left South Park in the first place?
  • Blunt "Yes": The boys' response to the Super Adventure Club being far stupider than other religions.
    Connelly: Is it any more retarded than God sending His only son to die for our sins? Is it any more retarded than Buddha sitting under a tree for 20 years?
    Stan: Yeah it's way more retarded.
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  • The Bad Guy Wins: William Connelly and the Super Adventure Club succeed at indoctrinating Chef and making him their newest member as Darth Chef.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A bear shows up just after Chef is attacked by a mountain lion, signifying that there really is no hope for him anymore.
  • Big Bad: William Connelly, the Super Adventure Club's leader.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Stan yells this when Chef asks the boys to make sweet love to him.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Chef.
  • Burying a Substitute: After Chef's death, his body can't be recovered, so one of his spatulas is inside his coffin when the funeral is held.
  • The Bus Came Back: Chef. The title says it all, but unfortunately he returns only for this episode.
  • Call-Back:
    • Cartman tries to assure the others that Chef isn't dead by pointing out people crap their pants when they die.
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    • "Trapped in the Closet" featured the "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer "THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE" when explaining OT-3. When Connelly explains the Super Adventure Club's beliefs (that having sex with children makes you immortal), a similar message pops up.
  • Casting Gag: Darth Chef is voiced by Peter Serafinowicz, who provided Darth Maul's voice.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: After starting as a fond welcome back to Chef (who'd been Out of Focus for some time), the episode takes a darker tone the moment Chef starts behaving oddly.
  • Chubby Chaser: In an attempt to break the Super Adventure Club's brainwashing, Chef is taken to a strip club. At first, he disregards the attentions of the women there - until the greatly obese Spontaneous Bootay makes her entrance. Chef is utterly mesmerized by her, and her affections break the Super Adventure Club's brainwashing.
  • Church of Happyology: The Super Adventure Club, a horrific cult that brainwashed Chef into betraying his friends, is a pretty clear satire on the Church of Scientology and how they made Isaac Hayes leave the show after it directly targeted them in "Trapped in the Closet." The SAC's backstory is even accompanied by the same "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer that the doctrine of Scientology got in that episode.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Chef's death is pure Gorn and Nightmare Fuel.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Chef is resurrected as a pedophile.
  • Darker and Edgier: This episode is generally considered one of the darkest episodes of South Park, even for a series full of Black Humour.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The butler of the Super Adventure Club, while he is only seen for a very short time, he always goes barefoot.
  • Downer Ending: Chef dies a brainwashed man, and the kids aren't able to save him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Cartman hates that the club transformed Chef into a pedophile (he has no problems with the club itself).
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the end, Chef chooses his life with the Super Adventure Club over his old one and willingly becomes a pedophile .
  • Fallen Hero: Chef.
  • Faux Affably Evil: While Connelly doesn't want to kill the boys, he does not seem to mind psychologically traumatizing children in order to get their "marlocks".
  • Faux Horrific: William Connelly's attempts to ask the boys to leave and then threaten to have them escorted out by security sound threatening, complete with dramatic fanfare and an Evil Laugh.
    Connelly: ...Okay, you know how, like, when you want people to leave but they won't leave, it's really frustrating?
  • Groin Attack: Kenny headbutts one guard in the crotch during the boys' attempt to rescue Chef.
    Cartman: Kenny, spin-blossom-nut-squash!
  • Hate Sink: William Connelly and his Super Adventure Club are a group of disgusting pedophiles who go around the world raping children, and the plot is about them trying to brainwash Chef into becoming one of them, which they unfortunately succeed at doing, no less.
  • Hope Spot: For a moment, the boys are able to get Chef back to his old self when they take him to a strip club, and start hearing him sing how he's going to "make love to you, woman." Then the Super Adventure Club find them, kidnap him, and things only get worse from there.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: One of the club members shoots Chef rather than the animals that were attacking him.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Super Adventure Club believes sexual abuse will give someone immortality...despite its founder dying after being hit by a train.
  • Instant Sedation: The darts the Super Adventure Club use on Chef and the boys knock them out in seconds.
  • Ironic Echo: During the episode, Kyle repeatedly calls the Super Adventure Club a fruity little club. When Chef surrenders to the Super Adventure Club...
    Connelly: Yes... looks like our "fruity little club" is safe after all.
  • Jerkass: To call William Connelly this would be putting it lightly.
  • Karma Houdini: William Connelly and his Super Adventure Club get away with everything and they don't receive any punishment for their crimes.
  • Killed Off for Real: Chef, though he is revived in the final scene as a cyborg.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The episode takes a turn for the dark when William Connelly shows up and we learn that the Super Adventure Club brainwashes its members into becoming child molesters. While Connelly does have some comedic moments, his actions cause immense pain to the four boys.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: The horrific injuries Chef endures over the course of his grueling death scene are accompanied by notably muted voice samples that make it sound like he's only stubbing his toe.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Spontaneous Bootay treats Chef to this, placing his head between her breasts and jiggling them back and forth. She then proceeds to turn around and give him the same treatment with her buttocks.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Played for Laughs.
    Cartman: Maybe... maybe he's still okay. No, really. They say the last thing you do before you die is crap your— (Chef's corpse loses its shit) Oh, never mind.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: "THIS IS WHAT THE SUPER ADVENTURE CLUB ACTUALLY BELIEVES", a Call-Back to "Trapped In the Closet".
  • One-Shot Character: William Connelly never appeared again. Neither did Darth Chef, for that matter.
  • Pædo Hunt: The school and police try to arrest Chef once he reveals his brainwashed state.
  • Pet the Dog: Cartman being genuinely upset over Chef's death.
  • Rasputinian Death: To wit, Chef is struck by lightning, burned by fire, hit by several rocks as he falls down a chasm, impaled on a tree branch, shot multiple times, and is finally ripped to pieces by a bear and mountain lion before dying.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The therapist who knows what the Super Adventure Club do and believes Chef was brainwashed.
  • Recorded Spliced Conversation: Chef's dialogue while brainwashed sounds like previous recordings of his dialogue spliced together to make him sound like he's propositioning the kids.
  • Religion of Evil: While every religion in the South Park universe has their sins, the Super Adventure Club is easily the most evil of them all. The SAC believe that when an adult has sex with a child, mysterious particles called "Marlocks" are transferred from the child and into the adult, and if one obtains enough Marlocks the adult would obtain immortality, actively approving of such behavior, according to the alien "ruler of Baythos."
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: The leader of the Super Adventure Club, after explaining the Club's beliefs, asks if they're any more absurd than those of Christianity or Buddhism. Stan responds that, yes, they are.
  • Stylistic Suck: All of Chef's dialogue in this episode (prior to his death and resurrection as Darth Chef) consists of bits of his dialogue from previous episodes spliced together. They are intentionally spliced together poorly while he's brainwashed and spliced together more naturally after he's freed from it.
  • Take That!: The entire episode is one toward the Church of Scientology after Isaac Hayes, a Scientologist, was forced to leave the show in response to Trey and Matt parodying the religion.
  • The Stinger: At the end of the episode, Chef is seen being rebuilt as Darth Chef, still with the Super Adventure Club.
  • This Is Gonna Suck:
    Connelly: Our club has a message, and a secret that explains the mysteries of life!
    Stan: Oh Jesus, here we go.
    Connelly: Very well, I'm now going to tell you the secret of the Super Adventure Club.
    Stan: We don't wanna hear it.
  • Undignified Death: Chef's death is long, grueling, violent, painful, gruesome, and leaves him mutilated beyond recognition. When that's all done, he craps himself.
  • Un-Installment: The episode opens with a fake Previously on… showing Chef leaving the town.
  • Wham Episode: One of the only instances of a major character death in the entire series, the repercussions of this episode are still felt years after it originally aired.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The psychiatrist the boys called in to help Chef vanishes after Chef and the boys are ambushed by the Super Adventure Club.

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