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Recap / South Park S12 E2 "Britney's New Look"

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Original air date: 3/19/2008

The boys decide to cash in on capturing footage of Britney Spears' current erratic behavior, as that's making the news more than anything about the 2008 election or the war in Iraq, but when Britney blows her head off after mistaking Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Butters for her children and is still forced to perform and make appearances, the boys must save Britney from the trappings of fame.


"Britney's New Look" contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Britney Spears survived the shot, but only has the lower half of her face, and is unable to see, hear, or talk; she only makes horrible gurgling noises with what's left of her mouth and neck.
  • Animal Disguise: The boys make Butters dress as a squirrel so they can take a picture of Britney crapping on a squirrel and get rich.
  • Butt-Monkey: Butters is stuck wearing a squirrel costume and is captured by people who mistake him for one.
  • Believing Your Own Lies: The train driver seems to think a picture of a camels toe looks exactly like Britney.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Britney Spears is shown to hate her fame due to the obsession people have for her. She even shoots herself after Stan, Kyle and Cartman attempt to take advantage of her, blowing most of her head off in the process.
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  • Downer Ending: Despite Stan and Kyle's best attempts to get her to safety, Britney is still caught by the townspeople and sacrificed by being photographed to death. To make matters worse, the cycle will begin all over again with Miley Cyrus as the next sacrifice.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Stan and Kyle are initially among the people wanting to take advantage of Britney Spears. When she almost kills herself, however, they spend the rest of the episode trying to save Britney from everyone else's harassment. However, at the ending, they reluctantly join in on their plans on sacrificing Miley Cyrus after they give up on trying to talk some sense in the adults.
  • Heel Realization: Seeing Britney Spears nearly kill herself makes Stan and Kyle realize how wrong they were for trying to take advantage of Britney’s mental state, for cash.
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  • Hell Is That Noise: The unintelligible gurgling noises Britney makes while trying to talk with half her head blown off.
  • Here We Go Again!: After Britney's death, everyone then notices Miley Cyrus is becoming popular and name her the newest sacrifice...
  • Human Sacrifice: It turns out the whole point of Britney Spears' suffering, along with hundreds of other girls before her, is to sacrifice her for a bountiful harvest. The difference is that people in modern times would rather force the sacrifice to kill herself rather than stone her to death. It's not that they want the girl to die, but rather they need her to.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The paparazzi thinks that killing Britney Spears is the only solution in harvesting their crops. Needless to say, there are other more effective solutions, though they were clearly too stupid to think of them.
  • Jerkass:
    • Randy forces Stan and his friends to watch the news despite their protests.
    • The entire paparazzi who bullied, stalked, and harassed Britney even after nearly killing herself, part of it being that she's a Human Sacrifice to improve crop yield. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Randy is one of them.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Liane and Sharon, of all people, are the ones amongst the paparazzi.
    • To a lesser degree, Stan and Kyle, at least in the beginning. They force Butters to wear a squirrel suit so he can get humiliated by Britney Spears and insult him when he rightfully protests. That being said, they do clean up their act after witnessing Britney's Bungled Suicide.
  • Lemony Narrator: When Stan and Britney are on a train to the North Pole, while a disguised Kyle lures the paparazzi away.
  • Losing Your Head: Britney's failed suicide took off most of her head but left her brain stem intact, leaving her still alive and mobile, but unable to speak, see, hear, or comprehend what's happened to her.
  • Murder by Suicide: The town of South Park do this to Britney by tormenting her until she dies.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Butters dresses up a squirrel and people actually believe he is one and try to capture him.
    • Kyle has a blonde wig on his head to impersonate Britney Spears. The townsfolk buy into it, until Kyle reveals himself.
  • Not so Above It All: Sharon and Liane are among those seen in the paparazzi mob who photograph Britney to death.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Britney shoots herself, Cartman decides to leave the room and doesn't appear again afterwards, making it clear that he doesn't want to escalate it further.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That!: To the perverse obsession with celebrities and every aspect of their personal lives, no matter how banal or personal, perpetuated not only by the paparazzi who stalk and harass them for the sake of getting a story but also the fans of celebrity gossip who keep demanding it, despite (or even because of) how much psychological damage it does to the subject.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: The entire town of South Park is willing to terrorize Britney Spears into committing suicide just because they apparently need a Human Sacrifice for their corn harvest.