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Recap / South Park S19 E6 "Tweek × Craig"

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Original air date: 10/28/2015

After the South Park Elementary Asian community creates yaoi art, Wendy Testaberger gives a cultural presentation on it — said presentation being art of Craig and Tweek in poses ranging from innocent to explicit. This shocks everyone, not least Tweek and Craig, who find that everyone they meet now assumes they're in love. This includes the adults of the town, who are thrilled to have a young gay couple in their midst.

All of South Park are so in love with their own open-minded tolerance that Craig and Tweek's protests that they're not together fall on deaf ears. Eventually, Craig suggests to Tweek that they 'come out' and then publicly break up to stop the rumors, but Tweek acts his part so well that he gets everyone's sympathy, leaving Craig to face the scorn of the town.

In a subplot, Cartman sends Cupid-Me to put Tweek and Craig back together for fear one of them will try to get with him (unaware that his cupid self has a thing for him). The parents of the titular "couple" also get involved: Tweek's parents think a gay son is just the right accessory and give him cash for coming out, while Craig's dad isn't ready for his son to be gay and has to do some soul searching before he's ready to give his blessing to a couple that may or may not even exist.

Tweek x Craig includes examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of shippers in general and "Creek" shippers in particular. The episode still pokes fun at them by portraying shippers as Yaoi Fangirls but it's clearly in a lighthearted fashion. The episode even features art submitted by the show's fans.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The episode ends with Craig and Tweek holding hands and spending time together, with nothing to show whether it's rekindled friendship, an act for the sake of the town, or genuine interest. Later episodes — and the show creators themselves — have confirmed that they are indeed a couple.
  • Ambiguously Bi: A Freeze-Frame Bonus shows Clyde Donovan and his dad heading inside the Yaoi Art Exhibit, implying that aside from Clyde's flirtatious behavior towards the girls in Season 11's 14th episode "The List", he also leans towards other boys since he's the only male student who is seen entering the exhibit.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Craig is heavily implied to be this since his behavior in this episode and how he behaves after hinted that Craig has been repressing his true sexuality and his true feelings for Tweek for a long, long time, which is further proven by Word of God from Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Tweek is implied to be this as well but Craig's encouragement to make their fake break-up seem real (which worked a bit too well) possibly gave him the courage to come out sooner than Craig.
  • As You Know: Wendy when talking about the Asian exchange students.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Craig starts the fake break-up, his tone is as flat and stilted as ever — which doesn't help when everybody sympathizes with the more emotional Tweek.
  • Breather Episode: This episode is a light-hearted reprieve from the rest of the season, which is a continuous spiral of From Bad to Worse until the very end of the finale.
  • Broken Aesop: The lesson of learning to distinguish fantasy from reality is broken by the fact that Tweek and Craig are an Official Couple in later seasons.
  • Call-Back:
    • Mayor McDaniels lied to the Whole Foods rep saying Craig was gay three episodes ago.
    • The aide who was killed by the Homeless was apparently her boyfriend.
    • Butters is still wearing a neck brace after jumping out the window in the previous episode. Also, in the third romantic montage, he's Skyping with Charlotte from "Where My Country Gone?" as the latter had promised.
    • During the ending montage, a few people watch the titular now-couple play Assassins Creed. One of them is Mr. Adler, who had called them out for "Screwing around" way back in S3's Tweek Vs. Craig.
    • The fact that the Asian Girls are drawing Tweek x Craig yaoi might be a Call-Back to Tweek Vs. Craig as well due to the Foe Yay Shipping that followed from that episode alone, leading many fans to believe that it was also a case of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Eric's mom walks in on him masturbating on the toilet but quickly leaves. Cartman is too preoccupied to notice, and his mom finds it cute that he's growing up.
  • Closet Key: Tweek and Craig kind of become this to each other by the end, if not If It's You, It's Okay.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After some Asian transfer students make romantic art featuring two South Park students, Randy Marsh comes to the obvious conclusion: Asians decide who will be gay. After speaking to the President of China, he realizes he was wrong — the Japanese decide who will be gay.
  • Coming-Out Story: They tried to avert it but it failed, and they get back together to please the town, only this time they actually have feelings for each other.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: With Season 3's "Tweek Vs Craig" which was about people pressuring Tweek and Craig to fight while this episode had people pressuring Tweek and Craig to be a gay couple.
  • Continuity Nod: Butters is wearing a neck brace due to the injuries he suffered in the last episode and he's seen Skyping with his Canadian girlfriend from "Where My Country Gone?"
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: The episode ends with Cartman's mother catching him masturbating — which she takes as an adorable sign that he's growing up.
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Zig-Zagged, Craig and Tweek were uncomfortable with the accusation that they were a couple. Craig, in particular, was questioning his own feelings for Tweek and his own sexual orientation. After staging a breakup that completely demoralizes the town, Craig and Tweek start dating officially and were able to reinvigorate the town.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Clyde Donovan and his dad are seen heading inside the Yaoi Art Exhibit, which implies that Clyde himself could be bisexual and a Shipper on Deck for Tweek and Craig.
  • Gay Aesop: Mr. Tucker is the one who plays it the most straight, telling Craig that no one chooses to be gay and that he loves him. Subverted in a number of ways, where most of South Park loves the idea of a gay couple so much that they don't bother to find out whether they actually have one.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Craig's plan to publicly "break up" does convince the town that they're through, but it also convinces everyone that they really were gay to begin with and that the relationship failed because Craig cheated on Tweek...
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: ...which gives the Asian girls an excuse to draw sad fan art of them, thus failing to solve the original problem and making Craig look like a monster.
  • He Really Can Act: An In-Universe example; Tweek claims he's a terrible actor and that he can't handle that kind of pressure, but with Craig's encouragement, he not only puts on an amazing show but does some improvisation that gets everyone's sympathy at Craig's expense.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Cupid-Me likes Cartman, who keeps telling him that he's straight (despite this possibly being Cartman's weird way of dealing with his own sexuality).
    • Craig insists that he's not gay when Tweek offers to get 'back' with him to save his reputation.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Tweek, unable to deal with the misunderstanding of him and Craig being a gay couple, spends an entire day in his room binge-drinking coffee as a coping mechanism. This unsurprisingly only made his anxiety even worse than usual.
  • Innocently Insensitive: The adults end up being this as they sincerely accept Tweek and Craig as gay and become sad over the 'breakup'.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: When Craig confronts the Asian girls about their art, two of them begin talking in another language and he demands to know what they said. Another girl replies that she doesn't know; she's Japanese, not Korean.
    • Randy calls the President of China to learn about Yaoi, only to be told that it comes from Japan. Naturally, we later see him self-importantly telling people that it's not Asians who make people gay, but specifically the Japanese.
  • Irony: Everybody in South Park is feeling sorry for Tweek and sees Craig as the bad guy in their 'break-up' when technically it's Tweek who messed up and feels guilty about it.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Randy gives Stan a talk about sexuality which starts out correctly, but once Stan asks how Asians decide who is gay or not everything goes south. Rather than ask what Stan is talking about, he just goes with it in order to look smart, which kicks off the B-Plot. Of course, everyone takes him seriously.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Randy mentions they have had a Whole Foods for three weeks.
  • The Lost Lenore: During the romantic montages, Mayor McDaniels is implied to have a deceased boyfriend/husband who has never been mentioned before.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Tweek's coffee addiction gets kicked into overdrive from the immense stress of his current situation and had downed more than twenty-five cups worth by the time Craig came to his house.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Tweek and Craig.
  • Mondegreen Gag: When calling the President of the Republic of China to learn more about Yaoi, Randy mishears his talk about the Rape of Nanking and, when conveying the information he learned to the rest of the adults, proceeds to tell them about "the rape of Don King."
  • Name Order Confusion: When on the phone, Randy calls Xi Jinping, the president of China, "Mr. Jinping". His surname is actually Xi.
  • Narcissist: Cartman's Cupid-Me is in love with him, and he spends the last few minutes of the episode fantasizing about having sex with his alter ego.
  • Only Sane Man: While the adults, the girls and Cartman all accept that Tweek and Craig are gay, the other boys are mostly confused about the issue. Kyle looks into yaoi and realizes it's just fan art, just before Craig and Tweek stage their fake break up.
  • Pet the Dog: Cartman is one of the few boys to be completely okay with Tweek and Craig being "gay". His main concern is that Craig might've checked him out in the locker room once — so it's important to get Craig and Tweek back together so that they'll leave him alone.
  • Product Placement: The boys are shown playing Assassin's Creed Syndicate at the end of the episode. Ubisoft incidentally is also the developer and publisher of South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
  • Rule of Three: This is the third episode to have a gym assembly scene inevitably featuring PC Principal abruptly giving a Big "SHUT UP!" F-Bomb at Leslie, with the twist being that Leslie isn't talking to anyone this time.
  • Sad-Times Montage: After Craig and Tweek's "break up", there's a montage of everybody in South Park being sad and a whole lot of fangirls' Craig/Tweek 'breakup' art, to A Great Big World singing "Say Something (I'm Giving Up On You)".
  • Selective Obliviousness: PC Principal refuses to listen to Tweek and Craig when they tell him they aren't gay and focuses on teaching them affirmative consent instead.
  • Shipper on Deck: The girls, Clyde, and most of the adults support the Tweek/Craig ship so they can say that South Park has a young gay couple. Even Craig's dad starts supporting it when he sees how unhappy the 'breakup' makes his son.
  • Take That!:
    • The adults of South Park might've been a crack at the shippers who only ship gay couples for the sake of having a gay couple (and appear "progressive" to other more PC-leaning fans) and not because of any actual compatibility.
    • Alternatively, they could be mocking shows that add a gay Token Minority Couple and feel proud to be so inclusive.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: All the Asian girls really love to draw Yaoi fanart of Tweek and Craig. All the other girls find the 'couple' cute as well, with Wendy's presentation on Yaoi being what starts all the trouble in the first place. After the two "break up", they don't stop drawing; they just draw sad art.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Craig tells Tweek this to motivate him into going along with his fake break-up plan. It works... a bit too well.