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Recap / South Park S 4 E 15 Fat Camp

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Original air date: 12/6/2000

Cartman is sent to a weight loss camp. Meanwhile, Kenny gets paid to do disgusting, outrageous things.


  • Bait the Dog: When Chad, one of the kids at the fat camp, starts crying over being unable to lose weight because he can't control his urges to eat sweets, Cartman initially acts sympathetic to him, telling him he needs a friend. He then adds that he needs a "chocolate friend," and waves a candy bar in front of Chad, which Chad tearfully takes and eats. Then Cartman charges him four dollars for it.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: This episode reveals that one of Cartman's favorite snacks is a Pop Tart sandwich with a chocolate milk powdered stick of butter in between.
  • Call-Back:
  • Delicious Distraction: Cartman and the other fat camp members plan to break out of the fat camp, only to be deterred by an ice cream truck showing up.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Chad, the kid who had the Bait the Dog moment earlier with Cartman, is the one who decides to tell the truth about what Cartman was doing, which motivates the other kids in the Fat Camp to do so as well.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Tom Green and Johnny Knoxville will do all sorts of disgusting things for money (and have in Real Life), but ten bucks is too low a price for them to give Howard Stern oral sex.
    • The other kids at fat camp ultimately feel guilty about sneaking candy, especially when their parents condemn the counselors for their "failed" methods. The kids confess what they did and apologize.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Kenny giving his own grandfather a sensual massage on live TV, complete with him sprawled on a heart-shaped bed. Thankfully we don't see the massage, but we can still hear his grandfather moan.
    • Then we get Not!Kenny (the Cartman imposter dressed as Kenny) climbing into Ms. Crabtree's womb. And then we see her give birth to Not!Kenny's lifeless body!
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Cartman is kicked out of the weight loss camp, he refers to the remaining campers as "fat asses" while biting into a powdered doughnut and crying.
  • Irony: Kenny getting busted for prostitution in New York when, really, Howard Stern should have been arrested for lewd conduct with a minor.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Cartman may be an ass whose actions nearly sabotage the fat camp, but considering how the camp's counselors act like a pair of overzealous kid show hosts, it's understandable why he sees the whole program as patronizing and embarrassing to watch.
  • Never My Fault: When Chef gets caught singing about prostitutes, he tries to blame James Taylor. When that doesn't work, he pins it on the children tricking him.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Apparently during his stint in juvie, Cartman was tricked into eating feces.
    • Other disgusting things Kenny has done for money (as mentioned by the announcer of The Krazy Kenny Show) include eating mice, killing newborn babies to shock their mothers, and washing his hair with battery acid. We (thankfully) don't see these.
    • The boys apparently asked Chef about rim jobs once.
  • No Sympathy: After discovering Cartman and the imposter's ruse, Stan and Kyle force the imposter to impersonate Kenny. When the imposter protests, they dismiss his complaints on the grounds he's a drug addict.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chef's reaction to seeing Principal Victoria glaring at him for telling the children about prostitutes.
  • Only in It for the Money: The only reason Kenny agreed to perform those outrageous stunts and eat disgusting things like dog shit, a manatee's spleen, and his own vomit.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Stan and Kyle don't like the thin Cartman because he's too nice. Then when the thin Cartman says what he learned from Kenny getting arrested for prostitution, Kyle reveals that the thin Cartman isn't really him.
  • Properly Paranoid: After exposing the fake Cartman, Kyle says he knew it.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Subverted. Cartman seems to take the Aesop of the fat camp subplot to heart and seems like he wants to start working hard to lose his weight as well. But the counselors turn him down since he was the reason everyone else was staying fat. He then promptly scarfs down a doughnut, ensuring he remains his obese self.
    • Possibly played straight. He eats the doughnut while crying, as an Ironic Echo to when Chad did, indicating he has the same lack of control around food. Since the episode ends there, it's ultimately left ambiguous.
  • The Scapegoat: Chef starts singing a song about prostitutes and gets some accompaniment from James Taylor. Then Principal Victoria walks in and looks displeased.
    Chef: [beat] James Taylor, what the hell you doin' in here singin' about prostitutes to the children?! Get outta here!
  • Spotting the Thread: While the fake Cartman was acting noticeably different than Cartman, the tipping point was when he tried delivering the Aesop of the subplot.
  • Staging an Intervention: Liane has Chef and some of the other adults hold one for Cartman to explain to him why he needs to go to fat camp. Everyone there says they care about Cartman, except for Mr. Garrison, who just wanted to see the horrified look on Cartman's face.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Chef mentions he does get in trouble with Principal Victoria for answering the boys' questions about sex and other inappropriate matters... which also happens when he sings his song about what a prostitute is.
    • Even though Cartman realizes the error of his ways, he's still banned from fat camp for selling candy and junk food to the kids and making the camp look bad.
  • Technology Marches On: The college kids who discover Kenny watch his Port-A-Potty camp-out stunt on a VHS tape. These days, that stunt would easily be uploaded on the Internet as a viral video.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Averted. Kenny is arrested for prostitution, but he survives this episode as far as we can tell. Cartman's imposter dies after Stan and Kyle disguise him as Kenny. They have to alter their catchphrase accordingly.
    Stan': Oh my god, they killed Kenny... sort of.
    Kyle: Yeah, they kind of killed Kenny's... lookalike. You bastards!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Ms. Choksondik never once questions why she got a whole bunch of endangered manatees for the class to dissect and only ever finds out something's wrong when she receives news that they got mixed up with a delivery of frogs.
  • Values Dissonance: Invoked. Jesus tells Stan that he and Kyle have reduced Kenny to a prostitute because he is getting paid to do things anybody can do. The reflection of how to define a prostitute has changed over time comes when Chef gets upset at Stan asking what one is.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kenny is arrested for prostitution. The episode ends with him still in jail.