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Recap / South Park S15 E10 "Bass to Mouth"

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Original air date: 10/19/2011

Someone begins leaking all the school's secrets on a website called "Eavesdropper", prompting an investigation to figure out who did it. Meanwhile, a piece of Cartman's past makes the faculty worry that Cartman will drive students to suicide after a pants-crapping prank, and they are forced to do things they don't want to do to stop this from happening.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Bebe, Craig, Tolkien, and Red have prominent roles in this episode.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Cartman receives his payment from the administration. Selena Gomez arrives and Cartman is excited to meet her. Then Cartman gives the order and she gets beaten up by the staff.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Mr. Mackey learns this the hard way after literally throwing Cartman under the bus.
  • Bungled Suicide: Jenny attempts suicide offscreen via jumping off the school's roof and fractures her pelvis due to the humiliation from defecating herself in school.
  • The Bus Came Back: After a near 10 season absence, Lemmiwinks returns to stop Wikileaks. Catatafish, Sparrow Prince, and Frog King return as well.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The whole subplot with Cartman starts off because the school's staff don't want him bullying a kid like he did to Corey Duran in third grade, but because Cartman's mind is so twisted he thinks A: the only way to not make fun of the kid for crapping his pants is to get another kid to crap themselves so everyone will forget about the first kid, and B: there's no way he can't make fun of someone for crapping themselves because the idea is so alien to him. Also counts as an example of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good and Lack of Empathy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kyle and Wendy dip into this after Stan, who spent the past few days laughing at Eavesdropper, has a change of heart only after his emails get leaked.
  • Dirty Kid: Eavesdropper reveals Stan's addiction to "crack" (specifically, Elise Thomson's butt crack). Wendy is not pleased.
  • Dramatic Incontinence: Cartman gives Jenny a cupcake laced with laxatives, causing her to soil herself in the middle of the class. Her humiliation is such that she tries to commit suicide by jumping out of the class window.
  • Driven to Suicide: It is revealed that in 3rd grade, Cartman lead a bullying campaign against a kid names Corey Duran after Corey accidentally defecated himself. He committed suicide as a result. He almost does the same to Jenny Simons from "The List", but Jenny barely survives the fall.
  • Every Pizza Is Pepperoni: The pizzas at the pizza party are pepperoni.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cartman feels incredibly put upon when the school faculty ask that he not bully Pete to the brink of suicide and pin blame on him for the last time it happened.
    Cartman: I'm not the one who crapped his pants in front of everyone!
  • Evil Is Petty: Wikileaks exposes Tommy Edwards' crush on Marla Watkins seconds before he is about to text Marla that he likes her.
  • Exact Words: After Cartman harasses a kid for crapping his pants in school, the school staff insists that Cartman stops harassing him so Pete doesn't kill himself. Cartman accomplishes this by making Jenny Simons crap herself in school so she takes attention away from Pete. When Jenny attempts suicide and the school staff chews Cartman out, he points out that they only said to lay off of Pete.
  • Fiction Isn't Fair: If it weren't for the school staff holding the Idiot Ball, Cartman surely would have been expelled for his stunts.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look very closely on one of the Eavesdropper pages, Trent Boyett can be seen in a video thumbnail.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Calling Mr. Mackey and Principal Victoria good in this episode is pushing it, but they made their problems much worse by giving Cartman free rein to do whatever he wants to help Pete Melman without any guidelines or supervision.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Mr. Mackey resorts to trying to kill Cartman after getting himself in too deep. Principal Victoria too for allowing him to do it.
  • Hypocrite: Stan has no problem laughing at other students' secrets being released on Eavesdropper, until one of his text messages is made public. Thankfully Kyle calls him out on this.
    Stan: This is an issue of trust and privacy! We have to all work together to put an end to Eavesdropper once and for all! (Sees Kyle raising his hand) Yes, Kyle?
    Kyle: So, just to be completely clear, now it isn't funny, right?
  • Idiot Ball:
    • After Cartman drives two students to suicide and attempted suicide respectively, the school faculty continue to do everything he says to get Cartman to stop making fun of students for pooping themselves rather than expel him for doing that, which probably would have been more successful. Mr. Adler even recognizes confiding in Cartman was practically digging their own grave.
    • Jenny Simons accepts a gift from Cartman after rejecting his (fake) crush on her.
  • Irony: The school staff tries to kill Cartman and frame it as a suicide to distract the public from their attempt to poison the entire student body. The whole reason they sought Cartman's help in the first place was to prevent another student from committing suicide.
  • Jerkass: Cartman for tormenting several students to suicide.
  • Jerkass Ball: Mr. Mackey and Principal Victoria. Cartman was undeniably in the wrong for driving students to suicide, but trying to kill him only served to stoop them down to Cartman's level. Stan and Butters for laughing at other people's secrets. Luckily, a secret of Stan's was enough to change his tune.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When the school faculty balks at Cartman's plan to make the entire student body crap their pants with spiked pizza, Cartman asks why he's in their meeting if they had a better idea. Mr. Mackey numbly picks up the phone and starts arranging a Pizza Day.
  • Karma Houdini: Unlike Stan and Craig, Butters doesn't get his secrets exposed despite laughing at other students over their secrets being leaked.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty:
    • Jenny Simons, who was the only major player in the list-tampering scheme in The List, to leave unscathed. (Lola was kicked in the groin by Wendy and Bebe was arrested). Here, she's humiliated after being tricked into eating a laxative-induced cupcake by Cartman.
    • Considering that, a year ago, Cartman bullied another kid for crapping their pants until they committed suicide and seemingly received no punishment for it, the faculty (literally) throwing him under the bus definitely counts as this.
  • Kick the Dog: Cartman payment for the laxative plan is to have the faculty bring Selena Gomez and beat her up in front of him. Worse, is that she's not portrayed negatively in her brief appearance.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Cartman giving the faculty laxative-spiked cupcakes after they tried to kill him just to save their own skins. Of course, that act in itself is perfect karma for someone who bullied another child to the point of suicide without a shred of remorse.
    • Stan and Craig get their secrets exposed on Eavesdropper after spending much of the first act laughing at the secrets of other students.
  • Literal Metaphor: The school faculty plans to throw Cartman "under the bus" to cover up their role in the pants-crapping scandal:
    Principal Victoria: But how're we gonna do that?
    Mr. Mackey: We're gonna get a bus... and we're gonna throw Eric Cartman under it.
  • Make It Look Like A Suicide: The South Park Elementary staff try to kill Cartman and make it look like he killed himself. This being South Park, it's done very poorly.
  • Never My Fault:
    • When the school faculty confront Cartman for bullying students to suicide after soiling themselves in class, Cartman refuses to believe he's in the wrong. The idea of simply not bullying and mocking a student who crapped themselves in class is completely foreign to him, and he blames the students for bringing the relentless torment on themselves for a Potty Failure that wasn't their fault.
    • The faculty willingly goes along with Cartman's plan to drug the students, but when they're about to be exposed by Wikileeks, Mackey insists "we're not bad, mmkay?" And proceeds to suggest throwing Cartman under the bus.
  • No Sympathy:
    • Jenny Simons' boyfriend mocks her for defecating herself despite her having attempted suicide after what happened.
    • To a lesser extent, the kid who owns Lemmiwinks now, Vernon Trumpski, doesn't seem to know or care about how important Lemmiwinks is or what Eavesdropper is - all he knows is that some other kids are stealing his pet.
    • The school staff tries to pose their killing of Cartman as an elaborate suicide, though being Cartman, no one really cares anyway and goes back to searching for Wikileaks.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jenny Simons, figuratively and literally, after she consumes Cartman's laxative-laced cupcakes.
  • Potty Failure: This happens to Pete Melman, Jenny Simons, and Mr. Mackey at different points throughout the plot.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Kenny bails on Stan once Wendy confronts him about his leaked email.
  • Shout-Out: The song "Go Lemmiwinks, Stop Wikileaks!" is a reference to "Down Down, To Goblin Town" from The Hobbit.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Catatafish did NOT make a teenage salmon perform "bass to mouth"—or "ass to trout", though that's basically the same thing, not that he did it.
  • Take That!:
    • Cartman's sole provision for helping the school staff is that they bring in Selena Gomez and beat the crap out of her in front of him. Averted a bit by the fact that she is not portrayed as a typical asshole/hypocrite celebrity like most in the South Park world, but as someone who is genuinely excited to meet someone who she thinks is a fan. This makes Cartman even more unsympathetic, as he would abuse his power to get a celebrity beaten up just because he can.
    • One of the ingredients in the poisonous pizza is Arby's horsey sauce.
  • Tempting Fate: Kyle says that Stan wouldn't find Eavesdropper funny if somebody posted a story about him. Stan insists that he wouldn't care. Cue Eavesdropper posting a story about Stan, prompting him to change his opinion entirely.
  • Title Drop: Catatafish says the episode's title when he mentions having made a salmon perform "bass to mouth".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wendy calls out Stan for sending Kenny an email about another girl's ass crack (and it's implied that he sent the email to other kids), and how embarrassing it is to both of them now that its been leaked.