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Recap / South Park S1E4 "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride"

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Airdate: September 3, 1997

Stan is embarrassed when he discovers his new, macho dog is a homosexual and tries to make him heterosexual, but when Stan's dog runs away, Stan goes after him and nearly blows Jimbo and Ned's chances at beating the point spread of the elementary school football game.

"Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" has the following examples:

  • Advertised Extra: George Clooney was advertised as a guest star on the show. Yet, in the episode itself, he is just Stan's gay dog, Sparky. All he does is bark.
  • Book Dumb: Jimbo proudly declares himself to be a South Park Elementary alum, since that was as far as most of the town got.
  • Butt-Monkey: Pip not being allowed to use a helmet while playing football.
  • Camp Gay: Big Gay Al.
  • Censored Title: On TV Guide, this episode was retitled "Big Al's Big Boat Ride".
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  • Early Installment Weirdness: This time Clyde is voiced by Matt Stone instead of Trey Parker, which is why he sounds like Butters in this episode.
  • Epic Fail: We see Cartman finishing a report for school on how Simon & Simon were not actually brothers — only on television. Unfortunately, the assignment was on Asian cultures.
  • Every Year They Fizzle Out: Subverted. The team loses the game, but they beat the spread.
  • Gay Aesop: Being gay is perfectly natural and anyone who is gay shouldn't be discriminated against or treated differently because of it.
  • Musical Trigger: Jimbo straps a bomb on the opposing team's mascot, set to go off when the high note of "Loving You" is sung during halftime. Unfortunately, the singer (John Stamos' less talented brother) can't hit the high note and the plan fails. And then at the end he manages to sing it right and the bomb goes off.
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  • Nice Guy: Big Gay Al, he takes in gay animals and takes care of them and teaches people that being gay is natural.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Richard Stamos stands out from the other characters in having a realistic appearance and slightly rounder eyes.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jimbo when he realizes that if his confidence in Stan's ability is wrong, the town will kick his ass since they bet heaps of money on him.
  • Politically Incorrect Announcer: One of the Announcers for the football game.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Cartman calls Sparky a "gay homosexual".
  • Shoo the Dog: Stan shoos out Sparky because he doesn't want a gay dog.
  • Special Guest: Parodied. George Clooney provided the dog noises for Sparky.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Mr. Garrison denying he's gay and claiming he acts that way to pick up chicks.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Three Middle Park Cowboy football players dismember and decapitate Kenny.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Kenny being decapitated on the gridiron doesn't even draw a flag.
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