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Recap / South Park S 21 E 8 Moss Piglets

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Timmy and Jimmy's science fair project becomes a hit, but Nathan and Mimsy want a piece of that pie, with unexpected consequences. Meanwhile, Heidi begins to act very differently than usual, in an extremely familiar way.


  • Artistic License: Special education programs don't put on their own science fairs. Kids participate in science fairs as part of the general education program or they don't participate. Basically, all the special education students in South Park Elementary were corralled into one group so that Heidi could pick on them as a collective, which allows Cartman's negative influence on her to shine through.
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  • The Bad Guy Wins: Heidi succeeded in sabotaging the special education science fair, just because she didn’t want to spend Saturday in school being a judge.
  • Brick Joke: By the end of the episode, Nathan and Mimsy's project is taken in by the NFL as their last hope, after Nathan spent a good portion of the episode bragging about it and asking the NFL to take it in.
  • The Bus Came Back: Not a character, but rather a location; the bus stop finally returns after three years of absence (its last appearance being in Season 18's "#Rehash"). The associated music cue, which hasn't been heard for years, also returns.
  • Didn't Think This Through/Dramatic Irony: Nathan's plan had one huge flaw in it: due to his absence last season, he was completely unaware of the gender war. So even if he had won the science fair, it was very unlikely he would've been able to hook up with a girl from school.
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  • Dirty Kid: Nathan wants to win the science fair to have sex with girls. The thing is, Nathan's ten.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Cartman has managed to mold Heidi into his own female counterpart.
    • The girls seem to act as this at the bus stop scene. Wendy is Kyle; Isla is Stan; Teresa is Kenny; and, of course, Heidi is Cartman.
      • While this may be true on the most basic surface level of characterization, Teresa and Heidi parallel Cartman and Kyle’s dynamic; her defensiveness against Heidi’s malicious remarks and the ladder’s enjoyment from her reactions mark down Kyle and Cartman’s rivalry to a t.
      • Wendy’s passiveness and restraint from giving in to Heidi’s insults make her a similar counterpart to Stan.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: After an entire season of dealing with Cartman's emotional abuse and manipulation, Heidi herself starts using threats and intimidation to control their relationship, ironically becoming the abuser Cartman wrongfully accused her of being at the beginning of the season.
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  • Easily Forgiven: Judging by Jimmy's usual friendly demeanor towards Nathan, it seems that he has forgiven him for helping the Ads take over South Park.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Cartman is horrified by the stuff Heidi does in the episode.
  • Evil Is Petty: Heidi drank an entire bowl of potentially sentient water bears just to avoid going to school on Saturday to judge a science fair, despite the fact that she had gotten the science fair cancelled by that point.
  • Evil Vegetarian: Heidi claims that because she's a vegan, she's healthier than everyone else despite being obese. Subverted in that Cartman might still be tricking her into eating junk food that contains meat which Cartman lies is Beyond Meat and its so-called derivatives.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Apparently, Heidi is now a bigger Jerkass than Cartman now. Mr. Mackey even lampshades it.
  • Fan Disservice: We did not need to see Heidi's fat butt crack.
  • Foreshadowing: Clyde's birthday party and Butters being invited to it would have a major importance in one of the next season's episodes.
  • Gasshole: Heidi has developed a habit of burping disruptively, and farts repeatedly while attempting to snuggle with Cartman (though that has as much to do with a bunch of Tardigrades dancing in her stomach).
    • This is pretty much true of anyone who stops eating a vegetarian or vegan diet. Your digestive system isn't used to it so it'll be screwed up for a while.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Heidi has become just like Cartman thanks to his manipulation, but she is more ruthless than Cartman himself and will back up every threat she makes.
  • Heel Realization: Cartman realizes near the end what he’s turned Heidi into, and isn’t happy at all.
  • Hypocrite: Heidi who complains she doesn't want to do the science fair judging because she feels the school is unfairly forcing more work on her yet she tried hoisting the judging duties upon Butters or someone else.
  • Informed Poverty: Played with. Heidi mocks Theresa for living in a trailer, while Theresa insists it's a tiny home to decrease their carbon footprint. We never see Theresa's house so we don't know who's right.
  • Inferred Survival: The possibly-sentient water bears. Heidi consuming the tiny creatures is treated as her killing them off, but Tardigrades can survive in some absurdly harsh conditions, leaving doubt as to whether or not this was fatal. They're still partying inside her digestive tract well after that, for what it's worth.
  • Irony: Cartman spent the past episodes constantly stating that Heidi was a terrible girlfriend to him and treating him badly, only for his own manipulations to turn her into exactly that by making her just like him.
    • Cartman spent the first half of Season 21 unwilling to do anything with Heidi, given he was in the middle of a thing with his friends. The roles are reversed here, as Heidi makes fun of Isla talking.
  • Jerkass: Heidi's become an even bigger one than Cartman. She's adopted all of his most negative traits but has none of his comedy or charisma to balance it out. (The impression Cartman got about women in Season 20 holds true where Heidi is concerned; she may be smart, but she's not funny.) She's become hateful, belligerent, and intimidating, and was willing to kill an entire population of potentially sentient water bears simply to avoid having to go to school on a Saturday.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The NFL goons did hold a group of special education students at gunpoint to try and turn the water bears into football fans, but they had a point that the water bears were displaying sentience and that they could help revolutionize science and medicine.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The girls and Cartman are now suffering from a demeaning and cutthroat Heidi thanks to their own poor treatment of her.
  • Motive Decay: For the first time, Nathan is more interested in scoring with girls than undermining Timmy or Jimmy, and the prospect of him disrupting their plans is merely collateral. However, as detailed above, this is entirely thankless.
  • Never My Fault: The girls question why Heidi stayed with Cartman for so long after finally breaking up with him, apparently they never realized that it was their own mistreatment of Heidi that had driven her back to Cartman in the first place.
    • Let's face it, this seems to be the girls' main trait as they displayed this countless times this season and the last season.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Nathan's attempt to sabotage Jimmy's experiment ends up turning the water bears sentient.
  • Oh, Crap!: PC Principal is visibly shocked when Mr. Mackey informs him Heidi will back up her threats.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: All of a sudden, Nathan's really interested in being a pimp. One would think his shark encounter back in "Crippled Summer" would make him more wary of making himself so available.
    • Although season 19 did show him with his "girlfriend" Classi.
  • Redemption Rejection: Instead of coming to her senses and handing over the water bears, Heidi decides to swallow them and continue being the female Cartman.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Heidi protests the fact that she is being "forced" to judge the science fair ... even when Mr. Mackey notes that she volunteered to do so a month prior. In keeping with the themes of the episode, this trope has been a canon part of Cartman's behavior and personality for many years.
  • Swallowed Whole: Heidi drinks the evolved water bears, who continue to respond to music while in her stomach.
  • Take That!:
    • To the National Football League for the numerous controversies that have popped up in recent years, and their pathetic attempts to regain viewership without actually addressing the issues. The Los Angeles Chargers also get one for the fact they've struggled with game attendance after they moved away from San Diego.
  • This Loser Is You: At one point Heidi goes on a rant about the special ed science class getting more attention than her, an obvious jab at people who complain about their taxes going towards institutions which don't benefit them directly.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Once it's revealed Nathan and Mimsy were responsible for the water bears evolving, they get their due credit from everyone in attendance.
    • Yank the Dog's Chain: Then again...they were still sabotaged in the end by Heidi once she drank the water bears. Though, despite this, they still got off pretty lightly compared to their previous appearances. Plus, the NFL executives liked their basking soda volcano.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Cartman's behavior has rubbed off on Heidi to the extent that she's essentially a Gender Flipped version of him.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The only scene where Cartman and Heidi both get along is when they're bullying Butters and Kyle.
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