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Recap / South Park S 17 E 4 Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers

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When Henrietta's parents send their daughter to a camp for troubled kids and comes back as an emo, the other Goths team up with Mike and the Vampire Poser kids from "The Ungroundable" to get her back.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Parodied. Henrietta's friends are so appalled that her parents mislabeled her as emo instead of goth that they file a child abuse claim against them.
  • Candid Camera Prank: The whole plot turns out to be part of a prank show gag.
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  • Continuity Nod: The Goth Kids burning down the Vamp Kids' lair from "The Ungroundable" is mentioned.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Goth Kids are the stars of this episode. Cartman only appears in the opening sequence and Stan, Kyle, and Kenny only appeared in the gym class sequence and had no lines.
  • Enemy Mine: The Goths are forced to team up with the Vampire Kids.
  • Gainax Ending: The whole thing ends up being a prank show gag.
  • Given Name Reveal: The other three goth kids' names are revealed: the tall goth is Michael, the red-haired goth is Pete and the kindergartner is Firkle.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: All the Goths and Vampire Kids being sent to the facility are being turned Emo. Subverted at the end.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Most of the humor is derived from how the Goths, Vamp kids, and Emos are portrayed to be similar with the differences being subtle or just meaningless. Becomes even more explicit when Edgar Allen Poe is summoned and the Goths and Vamp kids become annoyed by his behavior, presumably in the same way normal kids would be annoyed by their behavior. We even get this line from Pete when Poe refuses to save them after being captured:
    Pete: "Gawd, he is such a downer!"
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  • I Am Not Pretty: When Henrietta becomes Emo, she whines about how she doesn't look as pretty or slim as a cheerleader or Disney Princess.
  • Insistent Terminology: Emos think they themselves are messed up, while Goths think everyone who's not them is messed up.
  • Karma Houdini: While no one gets harmed, the TV execs who set up the prank and got the Goths involved get no punishment.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: This episode focuses entirely on the Goth Kids. Stan and Kyle only make a short cameo playing dodgeball in the gym and Cartman and Kenny only appear in the background of the opening.
  • The Mole: Firkle.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Emos are actually plants that live off of human hosts. Subverted; it turned out to be a prank show set-up.
  • Self-Harm: The emo kids indulge in this.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Edgar Allan Poe speaking in Goth slang and just acting like a teenager in general.
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  • Special Edition Title: A Goth version of the opening sequence is seen, complete with reworded lyrics.
  • Token Minority: The Gangsta Vamp who appears at the Vamp Kids' meeting at the Community Center.
  • Voice of the Legion: "Join us!"
  • You Are Fat: Henrietta's long-suffering and sweet Mother's reaction to Henrietta being de-Emo-ed and insulting her?
    Mrs. Biggle: Fatty.
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