Original air date: 8/1/2001
After getting in trouble for masturbating his pet dog, Sparky (who hasn't been seen since "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride"), Stan's parents (and the rest of the parents in South Park) push for the school to teach sex education to fourth graders, but Ms. Choksondik's scare tactics and Mr. Mackey's incompetence instigates a gender war between the fourth grade girls and the fourth grade boys.
"Proper Condom Use" contains examples of:
- An Aesop: Sex education shouldn't come from just one source, as there's a chance said source could be flawed, and parents should help teach their kids when they're ready to learn.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Stan's parents are naturally horrified at their son "milking" a dog. They ground him for 10 months and later confront him about the act.
- Randy dances around the term "semen" by referring to it as "stuff" during this scene. However, in "Sarcastaball" he is able to label semen for what it is, in this case using the slang term "cum".
- Blame Game: After the parents see the aftermath of the battle between the boys and the girls, Cartman blames Butters.
- Book Ends: The episodes ends the way it began: with Cartman "milking" a male dog while chanting "red rocket."
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mr. Garrison is able to see where the camera pans during Chef's recap.Chef: I know it can be hard, parents, but if you leave it up to the schools to teach sex to kids, you don't know who they're learning it from. It could be from someone who doesn't know...
[pans to Mr. Mackey]
...someone who has a bad opinion of it...
[pans to Ms. Choksondik]
...or even a complete pervert.
[pans to Mr. Garrison]
Mr. Garrison: What? Why did you pan to me just now? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
- Children Are Innocent:
Butters: Why, it's just a little donut! *feels it* Oh, it's all gooey.
- The boys didn't know that male mammals don't produce milk. Well, except when they do.
- None of the children knew that they would have to actually have sex to be at risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases from each other.
- Butters has a very naive outlook on the concept of contraception, as demonstrated by his childlike interpretation of a condom.
- Continuity Nod: The toy car with Jennifer Lopez remains damaged from the firework Stan and Kyle popped inside it in "Cartmanland".
- Even Evil Has Standards: Cartman calls out Bebe as a "bitch" when she kills Kenny, despite the fact that he just acknowledged Kenny's repeated deaths in the episode right before this.
- Fan Disservice: The sex scene between Miss Choksondik and Mr. Mackey.
- Gendercide: Due to the teachers ineptitude at teaching about sex the boys and girls wind up thinking the other gender is a threat to them and feel to be safe they need to wipe them out.
- Girls vs. Boys Plot: The misinformation the class receives wind up turning into this.
- Grounded Forever: Stan is grounded for 10 months for jacking off Sparky, but it's recanted when Sharon and Randy learn Stan had no idea what he was doing or why it's inappropriate.
- Harmful to Minors: While Mackey's ignorance and Choksondik's scare tactics are pretty bad, Mr. Garrison one-ups them in sheer awfulness by teaching a class of kindergarteners numerous, bizarre sexual positions and how to put on a condom, which he demonstrates by performing oral sex on a dildo.
- Hypocrite: Miss Choksondik criticizes the lack of condom use but doesn't care when Mackey doesn't use one.
- It's All My Fault: Miss Choksondik admits that she's responsible for the battle between the boys and girls as she didn't tell the girls that in order for the boys to give them STDs they need to have sex.
- Karma Houdini: The unseen fifth graders who taught Kenny and Cartman how to beat off a dog aren't punished in any way (indeed, they aren't even seen).
- Not So Above It All: While Chef is for the most part treated as the Only Sane Man, his insistence that people are ready for sex regardless of circumstance at the age of 17 shows he's just as capable of having a warped understanding of sexuality as anyone else in the town.
- Only Sane Man: Chef, unsurprisingly, is perfectly aware of how wrong what the school is doing is. Subverted when he gives his idea on when people are ready to have sex (seventeen years oldnote , even if they're not in love or even ready for sex). This is likely intentional, as to ensure that sex advice should not be taken from any one source. The pharmacist's reaction to the boys coming in to buy condoms, as well as his subsequent action of alerting the school, may also classify him as such.
- Poor Communication Kills: Miss Choksondik's and Mr. Mackey's poor teaching techniques result in the ending battle between boys and girls.
- Psychosexual Horror: The kids of South Park are forced to endure sex education after Stan unknowingly masturbates a dog as a trick in front of his family. However, Ms. Choksondik's scare tactics on unprotected sex and venereal diseases, along with Mr. Mackey's incompetence, instigate a gender war between the fourth-grade girls and the fourth-grade boys because Ms. Choksondik forgot to mention that sexually transmitted diseases can only be spread through unprotected sex, not regular physical contact. The lesson of the episode is that sex education is an uncomfortable but vital conversation that's best told from parent to child because you don't know how much of a bias educators can have.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The pharmacist is floored at the thought of selling 4th graders condoms but reluctantly sells them when he's reminded of his obligation to sell condoms to people no matter what their age. He then calls the school about the kids buying condoms (which made things worse, but he didn't know this was the school's fault in the first place).
- Same Character, But Different: The pharmacist in prior episodes had no problem exploiting the trend of diagnosing kids with ADD and easily fell for Kenny's forged note and Paper-Thin Disguise. This time, he's a lot more level-headed as he refuses to sell condoms to children (but eventually does so, albeit reluctantly), and calls the school to get them to handle things when he thinks the children are sexually active.
- Scare 'Em Straight: Deconstructed. Ms. Choksondik teaches the fourth grade girls about the many sexually transmitted diseases in an effort to scare them from having unprotected sex. The problem is that she failed to mention that these diseases are sexually transmitted and the lectures cause the girls to become deeply afraid of the boys, which leads to the gender war late in the episode.
- Sex Is Evil: Ms. Choksondik's opinion on sex is clear when her entire class on sex education is more of a series of angry rants about the dangers of unprotected sex rather than the science or reasons behind it. Her opinion changes after she has sex with Mr. Mackey.
- Sex Miseducation Class: Sex ed courses are added to the curriculum of South Park Elementary. It goes poorly to say the least: Mr. Mackey is so incompetent he can't even get Ikea Erotica right, Ms. Choksondik's scare tactics end up sparking a gender war between the students, Mr. Garrison straight up performs sex acts like rolling a condom onto the dildo with his mouth in front of kindergarteners and treats it like normal (as well as teaching them a broad variety of... unconventional sexual positions), and Chef insists that people become sexually ready at the age of 17 regardless of circumstance.
- Shout-Out: The Boys versus the Girls' war is a direct shout to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Butters does the Lord Hummungus' speech in his pedal car telling the girls to "Just walk away, and we will spare your lives." The speaker even makes him sound like Lord Hummungus. Oh, and the girl's base goes up in a huge explosion.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Bebe throws a boomerang at the boys which slices Kenny's face in half, killing him.
- Verbal Backspace: Randy, when telling Stan why he's grounded.Randy: Beating off the dog is not appropriate when we have company. (sees his wife Death Glare at him) I mean ever! Beating off the dog is not appropriate ever!