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Recap / South Park S 5 E 14 Butters Very Own Episode

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Airdate: December 12, 2001

A Day in the Limelight episode centered on Butters Stotch, a cheery, little boy whose mom tries to kill him after Butters discovers that his father goes to gay bathhouses.


"Butters' Very Own Episode" contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Serves as this for Butters, as, although he's been around before, this is the first time we get a good look at him. He essentially became a main character at this point.
  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: When Butters returns home, he scolds his parents for trying to teach him how to lie and that lying is always wrong. Deciding that he is right, they go outside and confess as to what really happened, including Steve's bi-curiosity and affairs and Linda's attempted murder. Disturbed by these truths, Butters concludes that maybe sometimes lying is for the best.
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  • Abusive Parents: Butters' mom becomes so insane once she learns about her husband's secret, that she literally tries to drive Butters into a lake in an attempt to drown him. Good god!
  • Accidental Misnaming: The theme has the singers mispronouncing John Elway's last name as "All-way". Butters corrects them ("EL-way!"), though they pay no heed.
  • Brick Joke: At one point in the episode, Butters' mother has gone insane and is compulsively painting the house - Butters decides this means his father should get her a paintbrush for her anniversary. Later in the ep, he has an Imagine Spot of their anniversary, and Linda opens a gift containing a paintbrush.
  • Call-Forward: Some characters who wouldn't be officially introduced till Season 6 were seen in the episode including Tuong Lu Kim and Mr. Slave
  • The Cameo: Stan, Kyle, and Cartman only appear in the last scene. Kyle doesn't even get any lines.
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  • Children Are Innocent: Butters believes his Dad went to see a Tear Jerker movie and then went wrestling, when he was instead watching a gay porno film and having sex with other men.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Butters was being targeted by a Predator in the cursed woods, only to be perfectly fine and return to the Stotch house in the final act.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Butters, especially regarding the truck driver who chose to abandon him due to Butters being too bubbly and innocent.
    Butters: (disheartened) He must like T.G.I. Friday's.
  • Creepy Gas Station Attendant: After the truck driver drops off Butters (because of his singing), he asks for directions to South Park. He's told to go down a creepy road.
  • Driven to Suicide: Linda decides to kill herself after learning that her husband is watching gay porn and having sex with other men.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Mr. Slave's voice can be heard when Butters walks into one of the rooms at the bathhouse.
  • Expy: The old farmer Butters encounters is clearly supposed to be Judd Crandall. He would make a reappearance three seasons later just to reaffirm it.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Cartman cheerfully tells Butters that him, Stan and Kyle plan on mocking him over his dad's visits to gay bathhouses and movies and his mom trying to kill him. Stan and Kyle don't disagree.
  • Karma Houdini: Chris (later Stephen) and Linda Stotch get away completely with trying to kill her son and lying about it to the police.
  • Mood Whiplash: Butters' mother trying to drown him in a lake is sharply interrupted by the cheerful and goofy "It's Butters!" interstitial bumper.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Stephen has this moment after his son walks into him at the gay bathhouse.
    • Linda also has one when she feels regretful for drowning her son.
  • Never My Fault: Stephen passes off the blame for his infidelity on the Internet as it was how he connected with other married men in chat rooms. Of course, he likely would have cheated regardless, it probably would have taken a bit longer but people cheated on spouses long before the Internet was a thing.
  • Offing the Offspring: After her Sanity Slippage, Linda decides that it would be best to kill Butters and then herself. She tries to kill him by locking him in the car and letting it roll into the river.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: Played for laughs. Butters gets a special opening title sequence and bumpers just for this episode.
  • Shout-Out: The chant that O.J. Simpson, the Ramseys and Gary Condit use when inducting Butters parents into their club is from Freaks.
    • Butters is initially targeted by a Predator as he tries to find his way home.
  • Soap Punishment: Butters mentions that his grandmother once washed his mouth out with soap for saying "nutsack" in front of her.
  • Take That!: O.J. Simpson, ex-Congressman Gary Condit, and John & Patsy Ramsey are all portrayed as Karma Houdini liars and murderers. This came back to bite Matt and Trey in the ass when the overwhelming amount of evidence vindicating the Ramseys was made public years later.
  • Uncanny Valley: Gary Condit is animated disturbingly realistically. It doesn't help that he has a Thousand-Yard Stare the entire time.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Butters' mom tries to kill him by abandoning the car he's in and letting him drown in the river.
    • Butters discovers his dad's bisexuality after his dad publicly announces what he was doing in public bathhouses.

Everyone knows it's Butters! Well, that's me!
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