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Recap / South Park S 20 E 3 The Damned

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Everyone's actions from the previous episode comes back to haunt them when Gerald realizes he took his trolling too far, and the boys are terrified of retaliation from Cartman. Meanwhile, without the internet, Cartman finds an unlikely friendship with Heidi Turner. All the while Garrison tries to quit his campaign, but everything he does only makes people like him more.

The Damned contains examples of:

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  • Accidental Hero: Pretty much what Mr. Garrison's shaping up to be. Every time he tells the voters that he's unfit to be President, the crowd adores him for his honesty and support him still.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After quitting Twitter was treated as committing suicide, it came as a genuine shock that the Freja Ollegard actually committed suicide.
    • For a moment, Gerald thinks Ike might be the one who figured out skankhunt42's identity, but that turns out to not be the case.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Gerald wanted to be the world's biggest Memetic Troll, but his love for pissing people off has caused a woman to commit suicide, earned the hate of many people who want him to suffer, and by the end of the episode somebody knows who he is and is coercing him into a confrontation.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mr. Garrison trying to tell people he doesn't want to be elected and to vote for Hillary, no matter what he says or does.
  • Cliffhanger: There are a whopping four of them:
    • Gerald realizes someone knows he's skankhunt42.
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    • Denmark plans to wage war on America in retaliation.
    • Randy is about to learn how Member Berries are made.
    • Cartman is gonna see Heidi Turner's vagina.
  • Continuity Nod: This isn't the first time Cartman has had a Ship Tease with Heidi Turner.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Gerald was very prepared for the event that he was found out as skankhunt42, calling it "Protocol Zero". It involves deleting his whole internet history and the photoshopped images, destroying his phone with a specially-labelled hammer, and ripping the hard drive out of his computer and throwing it into Stark's Pond.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Cartman is unaware of the fact that girls don't have balls until Heidi reminds him. However, in the "List" episode, he acknowledges that girls don't have balls after the first plan to steal the list from the girls by kicking them in the crotch failed.
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  • Disproportionate Retribution: Denmark's response to skankhunt42's trolling is to betray its NATO ally and invade the United States.
  • The Dreaded: Eric Cartman is this for the boys. Butters feared Cartman's retribution even more than the police. Given his long history of dishing out Disproportionate Retribution (Scott Tenorman, any babysitter, etc...) it's actually justified.
  • Driven to Suicide: Freja Ollegard jumps to her death after being trolled too many times.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gerald is horrified when Freja commits suicide. Subverted, as he doesn't care at all and continues to troll without regret.
  • Exact Words: Hillary continuously insists Garrison is a liar as she was told to do, despite Garrison defaming his own character.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Mr. Garrison admits to being this, but in a weird inversion the people like him for being this way and still support his campaign. It helps that the whole while Hillary is acting like she has all the sentience of a barely-programmed robot.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He got the attention he wanted alright.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Someone in South Park knows Gerald is skankhunt42 and is blackmailing him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Stan does nothing but stay in his room all day looking at photos of Wendy on his phone.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Cartman tells Heidi that the only way to prove that women are funny is to see if African Americans would laugh at Amy Schumer because "Black laughs matter."
  • Just for Pun: Denmark being 'troll hunters' is this, playing off of internet trolls and mythological trolls.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gerald wanted to prove himself to be some big shot by being a troll on the internet. As a result, Freja is dead because of him, and now an entire nation of people is out for his head.
  • Literal-Minded: Hillary, when her advisers says that to avoid losing her temperament in front of Garrison's antics she just have to respond calmly that he is a liar. When Garrison brings up how unprepared he is and that Hillary has a better handling of politics she calls him a liar, much to her advisers dismay.
  • Mistaken for Profound: Garrison trying to quit and defame his own character is seen as him being relatable to the voters.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Freja's death sets off a new plot of the season involving Denmark.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gerald, after realizing he's responsible for the Freja's suicide. Subverted since he doesn't actually care that his trolling caused someone enough pain to take their own life, he just doesn't want to get caught and arrested for it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gerald's reaction when he caused Freja to commit suicide.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A variation. The reason the police are looking into Cartman's disappearance from Twitter is because, unlike most people who quit it, he didn't make a big "I quit" speech before doing so.
  • Odd Friendship: Cartman and Heidi Turner.
  • Playing Doctor: Heidi and Cartman at the end.
  • Punny Name: Gerald uses these (e.g. Juerdo Titsgo) during his trolling during the interview.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Discussed. Cartman tells Heidi he was genuinely trying to become a better person by listening to and speaking up for marginalized groups, but nobody believed it because of everything he did in the past.
  • Ship Tease: Cartman and Heidi.
  • Shout-Out: Gerald accidentally causing the death of a person and then being stalked by an unknown accuser is a very common plot in thriller fiction, e.g. I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • Springtime for Hitler: During the debate, Garrison tries to humbly admit that he would not make a good president. This fails on two counts. First, Hillary continues to call a Garrison a liar even when he's saying that she would make a better president. Secondly, his attempts at being humble only make him more relatable to voters.
    • Same can be said for Gerald's trolling. He got on the news, but not the way he wanted to.
  • Take That!:
    • Hillary's campaign relying solely on calling Garrison a liar and her perceived inability to go off script.
    • Similarly, Garrison's demographic cheering him on despite his claims that he's the worst choice is an exaggeration of how people see Donald Trump's following.
    • Also, the voters in general for flipping their votes for believing the candidates are starting to make sense when neither are.
    • 2016 in general is repeatedly stated as "everything sucking now".
    • To people who make a big announcement of leaving social media, as the cops refuse to believe that Cartman just did it for no reason because of the lack of such a Wall of Text.
  • Villainous BSoD: Gerald has two of these: first, when he realizes he's responsible for someone committing suicide; second, when he's nearly catatonic after realizing someone knows he's skankhunt42.
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