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Recap / South Park S 22 E 8 Buddha Box

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Eric Cartman has been diagnosed with anxiety and he can’t deal with people any longer as they get in the way of what’s most important in his life.


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The PC babies walk off to various places when both PC Principal and Strong Woman are distracted.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Almost everyone in South Park is now using Buddha Box thanks to Cartman. However, because of this, it allows PC Principal and Strong Woman, two people who realize the negative aspects of Buddha Box from firsthand experience and subsequently reject it, to actually be parents to the PC Babies without having to worry about people learning that PC Principal is the father.
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  • Breather Episode: Takes place between the ManBearPig two-parter and the two-part season finale and is much more Lighter and Softer than either of them.
  • Call-Back:
    • Cartman mentions some of the events in season 22, including the school shootings, e-scooters, ManBearPig, and how it might all be traced back to Black Panther (2018), which causes him to develop "anxiety".
    • The PC babies from "The Problem with a Poo" return, and are still crying whenever something politically incorrect is uttered.
    • Pi Pi's Splashtown, the water park from "Pee" is shown when Cartman is still wearing his Buddha Box and holding up the line for the waterslide.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Rather than realizing the error of his way after Kyle explains to him that everyone has anxieties, Cartman instead sees this as a reason to convince the Mayor to support a program to give everyone in town their own Buddha Box.
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  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Cartman uses his "diagnosed" anxiety, to ignore social interactions, go on his phone all day, and be inconsiderate to his friends and family; everyone else in the town follows Cartman's example.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Kyle tells Cartman that everyone has anxiety in some form or another, people cope with it daily, and anxiety shouldn't be used to excuse bad behavior. Surprisingly, Cartman actually listens to Kyle when told this. However, Cartman completely misreads Kyle's message, much to Kyle's dismay, and concludes that everyone should have a Buddha Box to help them cope
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: The PC babies got two drinks taken off a bar menu because their names were considered "offensive" and stopped a construction project because of who was funding it.
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  • Only Sane Man: Kyle seems to be the only person knows that using anxiety as an excuse to be awful is completely stupid. PC Principal and Strong Woman follows Kyle's example when they realize that using Buddha Box was the reason they lost their kids and missed out in some milestones in their lives.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Cartman doesn't bother arguing back with Kyle, which sets Kyle off and realizing he fucked up the moment Cartman said he knows what to do now. Of course, Cartman misinterprets what Kyle meant.
  • Reality Ensues: Two parents are distracted. A group of babies walk off. Do the math.
  • Sequel Episode: This episode continues the PC babies' Story Arc which last left off in "The Problem With A Poo" 5 episodes ago.
  • Shout-Out: The PC Babies theme song is a nod to the theme song to Jim Henson's Muppet Babies.
  • Take That!: Towards people who see anxiety as an excuse for everything they do; society's obsessions with their phones; and once again towards PC culture. Additionally, the episode is also this trope towards society for enabling their behavior by giving into their demands so easily.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Kyle, who tells Cartman that everyone has anxiety, which causes Cartman to convince the mayor to allow people to use the Buddha Box to cope with anxiety, which in turn causes everyone in South Park to use Buddha Box. An unfortunately self-aware example, as Kyle has an Oh, Crap! moment when Cartman gets an idea.
  • Visual Pun: People who are using the Buddha Box are "shutting out all the people in the real world", literally.
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