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Recap / South Park S 5 E 8 Towelie

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Original air date: 8/8/2001

The boys can't stop playing their new Okama GameSphere until they find it missing one day. To get it back, they must bring an anthropomorphic pothead towel to the government and become involved in a feud between paramilitaries and aliens.

"Towelie" contains examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: At the end of the episode it turns out that Tynacorp were aliens who were planning to take over the world, while the military actually were a resistance group determined to stop them. The boys still don't care.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Towelie is a towel come to life through a government project to create the perfect towel.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: The military is destroying all towels to stem the threat posed by Towelie. Mr. Garrison is getting out of the shower in a Modesty Towel when the military stampedes in and rips it away. He assumes that they're going to rape him and cries out, "Oh alright, have your way with me if you must! Go on, fulfill your sick pleasures! "... and is immensely disappointed when they leave once the towel's destroyed.
  • Blackmail: Cartman finds one of Sharon's used tampons and accidentally blackmails her through his badgering of what it means.
  • Bilingual Bonus Okama means Gay in Japanese
  • Bland-Name Product: The "Okama GameSphere", a pastiche of the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The PlayStation 2 was originally going to be featured in this episode, but the creators couldn't get Sony's permission.
  • Brake Angrily: The Trope Namer. When Towelie won't reveal where the GameSphere is because he is getting high, Stan tells Kenny to brake angrily to prove that finding it is Serious Business.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Towelie appears out of nowhere with one of his catchphrases, "Don't forget to bring a towel!" and explains why it's best to do so, painting him as some kind of overly-specific PSA character come to life. After the boys stare at him in stunned silence for several seconds, he changes the subject with another of his catchphrases: "Wanna get high?"
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: While Towlie dangles the boys over a lava pit, the muscular clone holds out a blunt and offers it to Towlie if he drops the boys and their GameSphere. Towlie, using his elasticity, takes the third option and saves the boy and their Gamesphere while getting high off the blunt.
  • No Periods, Period: Subverted. Cartman finding a freshly discarded tampon in the trash at Stan's house kicks off the plot. An extremely embarrassed Sharon bribes the boys with Okama GameSphere to get them to drop their questions about it.
  • No, You: Whenever someone calls Towelie out for being a towel, he responds that the accuser is a towel.
  • Parody Commercial: A commercial for Towelie merchandise is shown. Besides the Towelie towel, the customers who like Towelie can get the "I Love Towelie t-shirt", and those who don't like him can get the "I Hate Towelie t-shirt."
  • Running Gag: The boys are reluctantly dragged into a science fiction plot with Towelie, but only want their GameSphere back. They repeat "Don't care, don't care" as they are repeatedly fed cliche exposition.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The scene with all the previous Towelies, with one begging to be put out of its misery, is taken from the same scene in Alien: Resurrection.
    • Cartman does an impression of Karl Childers from Sling Blade in the opening scene.
    • When Towelie gets high, an instrumental of the Popeye theme song plays.
  • Skewed Priorities: The Boys spend the entire episode, after their Okama GameSphere is stolen, apathetic to what's going on and just want to get back to playing video games.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: When Kenny falls into the acid pit, Kyle remarks "Oh my God... our GameSphere!"
  • Take a Third Option: The beefy Towelie clone tells Towelie that he has to choose between saving the boys from falling into the acid and getting high. Towelie chooses both by stretching enough to take a puff while holding on to the boys - this also allows the boys to grab the GameSphere.
  • Take That!: To Comedy Central, who were and still are willing to commercialize any new character that appears on the show. Towelie was intentionally created to be as stupid and annoying as possible, and the Parody Commercial listed above is a burn of Comedy Central's rabid merchandising. Also doubles as Biting-the-Hand Humor.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The military's plan after failing to capture Towelie is to destroy every towel in a thousand mile radius. They do this by shooting every towel to pieces with automatic rifles. When that fails to destroy Towelie, their next plan was to blow up all of Colorado.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Kenny falls into an acid pit and dies. Kyle is more worried about the boys' GameSphere, while Cartman is ironically the only one to show any concern for Kenny's death, as you would think it would be the other way around.
  • Tortured Monster: A failed Towelie clone can only say "kill me."
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: The boys are addicted to the game Thirst for Blood. The screen shows two monsters fighting.
    Stan: Dude, I just cut off your face and ate it!
    Cartman: That's... so... cool!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The boys barely react to anything related to the conspiracy other than annoyance since they're more concerned with getting their game console back.