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Recap / South Park S 19 E 7 Naughty Ninjas

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Original air date: 11/11/2015

After Officer Barbrady accidentally shoots a minority child, South Park decides that it is time they get rid of their police force. Meanwhile, SoDoSoPa has become infested with homeless people, so Kenny and his friends dress up as ninjas to scare them away — only to be mistaken for members of ISIS.

Naughty Ninjas contains examples of:

  • Aesop Amnesia: While it wasn't the main aesop of the episode, the citizens of South Park seem to have forgotten what happened last time there was no police in South Park (although that was 17 years ago). Interestingly, Stephen Stotch was in this group when he was one of the people who was breaking laws after there were no police force.
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  • Artistic License – Law: The Inciting Incident of the episode is when PC Principal called the cops on Leslie for talking during a school assembly. It's against the law to crank-call 911 or file a false emergency with law enforcement, and if this were Real Life, PC Principal would have had to pay a hefty fine or face jail time. As far as we know, PC Principal faces no repercussions for any of this.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When Barbrady goes home and says he's been fired, it looks like he's talking to his wife, calling her sweetheart. It turns out he's talking to his dog and her name is Sweetheart.
    • When Stuart tells his family that the cops have refused to help them with the vagrants, we get a close up of Kenny. But nope, no Mysterion this episode.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning when Mr. McCormick calls the police about their vagrant problem, Yates tells them that they are thinking about turning the department into a hula school. Later after the town screwed over the police and come crawling back, the police did, in fact, turn the department into a hula school.
  • Call-Back:
    • Randy mentions there has been a Whole Foods in South Park for a month now. Now practically Once per Episode by this point.
    • Cartman briefly mentions Tweek and Craig being gay.
    • The wall of Barbrady's apartment has a newspaper article about the Chickenlover case.
    • Barbrady points out he was for a time the only police officer in South Park, referring to the first few seasons.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Yates flat out admits that he and the rest of the force only joined the police to beat up minorities.
  • Catchphrase: Skeeter brings back his "We don't take kindly to" catch phrase from Sexual Harassment Panda.
  • Crossing the Burnt Bridge: After the townsfolk harassed and shunned the police force, they were forced to seek their help in order to get rid of the homeless people. Needless to say, the police force weren't willing to help until the end, where they agree to come back on the condition that nobody will watch when they beat up minorities.
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  • Didn't Think This Through: What do you think would happen when you tick off the police?
    Officer: Sorry but I guess you'll have to find somebody else to do all the difficult dirty shit you don't want to do yourselves.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The final scene of the episode, in which ex-Officer Barbrady is recruited by a mysterious agency to foil a plot to destroy South Park, puts PC Principal's actions throughout this season under a new light.
  • Entitled Bastard: The adults towards the police force. The moment the adults feel like they don't need the police anymore they treat them like crud and harass them nonstop. When they encounter a problem they refuse to deal with themselves (Shi Tpa Town being overrun with the homeless), they are quick to head back to the police for help.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: PC Principal called the police and told them it was a Code Red because Leslie wouldn't stop talking during the assembly. The ending implies it was all part of a set up.
  • Given Name Reveal: Surname reveal ("Rodriguez") for David (despite the official SP Twitter having said it was "Teelez").
  • Guilt by Association Gag: Skeeter refuses to serve a cop and Barbrady is kicked out of Whole Foods despite not being a cop anymore.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The townsfolk fire Barbrady for accidentally shooting a Latino child, but they allow the other police officers to assault some homeless minorities in exchange for their cooperation.
    • Cartman tries to blame Kyle for calling the ninja club 'gay' when he was the one who did it, and argues that Kyle is fabricating events to keep himself in the club. However, Cartman is doing exactly that.
    • Randy claims to be progressive and PC but he calls the boys' ninja club "gay".
    • The townspeople claim that they want to create a dialogue with the police to prevent acts of racism, but all they do is harass and act like intolerant jerks to them.
    • Despite claiming they are for progressive ideology the townspeople treat the homeless as if they were litter, with Randy usually saying "Eww!" around them.
  • Irony:
    • Officer Barbraday, the only non-racist cop in South Park, is fired for being supposedly racist.
    • Stotch says the Ninja kids probably have really bad parents. Butters is one of the Ninja kids.
  • Jerkass:
    • Randy is at his absolute worst in this episode (at least until Season 23). He leads the harassment of the police, ungratefully expects them to help with the homeless problem, manipulates Barbrady to kill kids who he thinks are a part of ISIS and then when his actions result in David getting shot, he pins the whole thing on Barbrady.
    • Cartman is not much better in this episode. Throughout the episode, he continually attempts to blame Kyle for calling their ninja club "gay" when he actually did it. He even tries to retell the events to demonize Kyle, when he's retelling the events.
    • While not as extreme as the above two, Mayor McDaniels. She fires Barbrady for shooting a Latino kid and tells him that he does not belong anywhere in a town as progressive as South Park.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While the town of South Park did go overboard harassing the police force and saw the homeless as trash despite seeing themselves as progressive individuals, they are correct about the police force's racism as most of the town's cops joined with the desire to beat up minorities.
    • Meanwhile, the South Park Police may be violent and racist but they accurately point out that the town are a bunch of Entitled Bastards for expecting the cops to help with the homeless situation in Shi Tpa Town after all the harassment the cops received.
    • While she was harsh about it, Mayor McDaniels was right to fire an officer who shot a child even if on accident.
  • Kick the Dog: Right after firing Barbrady, Mayor McDaniels tells him to go away and that he doesn't belong in any other town as progressive as South Park, in an extremely cold-hearted manner.
  • Lampshade Hanging: There are several references to how Barbrady used to be the only police officer in town until Sgt. Yates and the other officers showed up in season seven.
  • Laser Sight: Barbrady mistakes PC Principal's laser pointer for one of these, resulting in him firing his gun and accidentally hitting a student.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The government agent says Barbrady has lived in the town longer than almost anyone, referencing the fact that Barbrady was in the first episode and most other characters that appeared in the first episode have since died.
  • McNinja: Played for Laughs as the boys play ninjas to guard SoDoSoPa against the homeless.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • Kenny's ninja club is mistaken for an ISIS cell by the adults.
    • Cartman continually mistakes his friends because of their ninja masks.
  • The Mole: The ending heavily implies Leslie is in cahoots with PC Principal.
  • Never My Fault: Officer Barbrady gets all the blame for David getting shot even though it was Randy tackling Barbrady to stop him from mistakenly shooting the kids (which he wasn't going to do) that caused his gun to discharge. Even when Barbrady flat out states they ordered him to kill them and that they were ISIS the townspeople treat it as if he was supposed to find that out on his own and Randy claims he phrased his statement to "kill some kids" as if it was a question.
  • No Sense of Direction: While the rest of the police are swarming the gym, Officer Barbrady gets lost in the school, having been instructed to enter from the back.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Every time the parents talk to the Ninja kids, they have it in their mind that they are ISIS and think they joined a terrorist cell, the kids think they are talking about their Ninja club and how they are protecting Kenny's home.
  • Only Six Faces: In a Running Gag, Cartman keeps mistaking the indistinguishable boys for the wrong character, and claiming he's someone else in the group when he's the only fat one. At one point, he claims he's Token, despite the fact that Token is black.
  • Police Are Useless: The South Park police deliberately dismiss all requests for aid from civilians as payback on the town's adults for saying "Fuck the police!" and getting the whole town to gang up on the cops.
  • Retcon: The boys seem to have no idea who ISIS is, despite the fact the main kids were against ISIS supporting their kickstarter.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: This entire episode is one towards Barbrady who becomes the scapegoat to every incident. To fully emphasize the point, he is taking care of a shaggy dog.
  • Skewed Priorities: When all of the kids join Token and Kenny's ninja clan, Cartman spends the rest of the episode trying to gaslight everyone into thinking that Kyle was the one who called it "gay" instead of him. It gets to the point where they all try to kick him out because he tried framing Kyle with (obviously fake) slanderous pictures while having him beat up and tied to a chair (unaware that it was Clyde that he did this too).
  • Smash Cut: Right after telling Barbrady that they don't need someone like him in a town as progressive as South Park, they cut to Kenny's house where the SoDoSoPa buildings are being left to rot.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Cartman and Randy think ninjas are "gay".
  • Straw Hypocrite: The adults try to appear like they are supportive, but they are just more terrified of being seen to be against "anything" and are willing to throw anyone under the bus so no one can accuse them of intolerance.
  • Take That!:
    • The episode is this to the Black-and-White Insanity that has emerged following highly publicized incidents of police brutality. It criticizes those who claim all police are bad because of the actions of a few actual bad cops without looking at the gray area of the responsibilities police have. It also shows that in many cases, those who protest police brutality do nothing more than harass the police and treat them like dirt, just like racist police officers do to minorities.
    • The protesters claiming that they want peaceful communications with the police only for them to constantly harass them seems to mirror Jonathan Butler. As in an interview it has him calm and polite only for his protest being him causing riots and shouting racial slurs and hate towards police.
    • The episodes also takes shots at hypocrites who don't mind treating homeless people like dirt while claiming they are progressive towards human beings.
    • Also, to the people who notify the police based on wrong assumptions, leading to other people getting hurt or killed, then putting all of the blame on the police and not admitting fault for it.
  • Turn in Your Badge: After accidentally shooting an unarmed child, Officer Barbrady gets fired from the force for this. Even though he was left visibly shocked over it, the act is still grounds for immediate termination.
  • Twist Ending: Leslie is somehow involved in a plot to destroy the town, and seems to have (or once had) a very close relationship with PC Principal.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Officer Barbrady is shown a photo concerning a conspiracy in South Park to destroy it. It's PC Principal pushing Leslie on a swing.
    • The reveal that Barbrady is caring for a dog with mange.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Barbrady has been stripped of everything, living on the street, been given the chance to get everything back if he just kills some kids who are believed to be ISIS. He has them at gun point and simply tries to talk to them to get them to stop.