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Recap / South Park S 3 E 12 Hooked On Monkey Fonics

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A homeschooled boy decides to go to public school after winning the town spelling bee, much to his overprotective parent's fear. Meanwhile, Kyle falls for the boy's sister.

This episode provides the following:

  • 555: The Hooked on Monkey Fonics cassette advises calling 1-800-555-4500 to replace the monkey if it arrives dead in the box.
  • Adults Are Useless: Mr. Cotswolds has this attitude towards the other dads turning a blind eye to Mark being bullied. On the other hand, they point out this is standard behavior for kids and that they can't control every single action. Of course, Cotswolds never bothers to voice his complaints to the principal or teachers, despite the bullying occurring on school grounds.
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  • An Aesop: Mark observes that kids can't be taught social skills; they need to learn them by being around other kids and school is the best place for that.
  • Berserk Button: Jimbo takes offense when Mr. Cotswolds reveals he prefers wine coolers to beer.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Butters is one of the main instigators of Mark's torment.
  • Epic Fail: Cartman struggles to spell the word chair.
    Cartman: "Chair." C-H-A-R-E. (buzzer) God dammit, how come I get the hard ones?!
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The titular "Hooked on Monkey Phonics" learning program, which uses a trained monkey to teach pronunciation by playing the rhythm of a word on a drum. Cartman tries to uses it to cheat on the spelling bee, but the monkey pleasures himself instead.
  • Generation Xerox: Immediately after the kids plan how they're gonna prank Mark and leave, the corresponding adults enter the scene and plan to do the same to Mr. Cotswolds.
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  • Hypocrite: Mr. Cotswolds criticizes the other dads' parenting skills after Mark gets duct taped to the bench, then takes offense when they criticize his approach.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Mark wants to go to regular school because he's fascinated by how other children interact with each other, whereas he and his sister are continually cooped up in their house.
  • Insufferable Genius: Downplayed with Mark. He's easily the smartest kid in Mr. Garrison's class, but he doesn't flaunt it or lord it over anyone. However, the kids hate him anyway since he shows them up by correctly answering a question and threatens to upend the grading curve.
  • Literal-Minded: Rebecca playing doctor with Kyle.
  • Manchild: The dads bully Mr. Cotswolds just like the boys bully Mark.
  • Mood Whiplash: Just as Mr. Cotswolds appreciates Mark's speech about social skills, the other dads duct tape him to the flagpole.
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  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Mark positively freaks when he sees what becomes of Rebecca.
  • No Social Skills: Rebecca doesn't make eye contact, stutters, and doesn't emote when she speaks to people. Downplayed with Mark who has no problems interacting with people, but is confused by the other boys' Vitriolic Best Buds behavior and struggles to adapt to it. Their father appears similarly downplayed; he can go to the bar to confront the other dads without a second thought, but he apparently has no idea how to actually interact with them.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: When he becomes a finalist at the spelling bee, Kyle has to spell "Krocsyldiphithic" (which is not a real word in the English language). When he asks for its definition and to hear it used in a sentence, all he gets is: "Something that has a Krocsyldiph-like quality" and "Krocsyldiphithic is a hard word to spell."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The other dads act friendly towards Mr. Cotswolds and willing to talk out his concerns, but then he mentions his preference for wine coolers.
  • Shout-Out: Kyle's talk with Rebecca is taken word for word from Star Trek S2 E16 "The Gamesters of Triskelion".
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny is done in by the Phonics Monkey.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mark beats the shit out of Kyle after he accidentally turns Rebecca into a slut.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Mark is puzzled by how the other kids claim to be friends but insult each other constantly. His early attempt to emulate it fail, but he does pick it up in the end.

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