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Recap / South Park S 8 E 10 Pre School

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A terrified Stan tells Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman that Trent Boyett, the bully of their pre-school class, is being released from juvenile hall after serving a five-year sentence. Butters is so terrified by the news that he goes into hiding. In a Flashback, we see that the core quartet used to play a game called "Fireman" in which they pretended to put out fires by urinating on them, and they persuaded Trent to set a real fire. However, the fire spread out of control, and when their teacher, Miss Claridge, tried to put it out, she ended up with severe burns all over her body that left her unable to speak or walk. The boys let Trent take the fall for the incident, while Butters shied away from getting involved despite having witnessed the exchange, so now Trent is out for revenge against all five of them.


Stephen and Linda Stotch finally get sick of Butters hiding in his room and order him to go out to play, whereupon Trent finds him and puts him in the hospital by subjecting him to a series of standard school bully tortures (titty twisters, Indian sunburns, noogies, swirlies, etc.). Stan suggests he, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman recruit the sixth graders as bodyguards, but their protection comes at a price: a picture of Sharon Marsh's breasts. Sickened by the idea of having to ask his mother for such a picture (and even more sickened by Kyle's suggestion that he take the picture personally), Stan suggests an alternative: drawing nipples on Cartman's ass and taking a picture of that instead. To the boys' amazement, the sixth graders are fooled, but when they go after Trent, he puts every single one of them in the hospital with more standard bully tortures.


With nowhere else to turn, Stan begs his older sister Shelly for help; she reluctantly agrees, but tells the boys they first have to confess to Miss Claridge that they were responsible for setting her on fire. Miss Claridge's wheelchair has run out of battery life in the middle of a crosswalk, so the boys approach her and start to explain themselves when Trent catches up with them. Cartman tries to ward him off with a taser he stole from his mother, but ends up tasering Miss Claridge's wheelchair instead. With its battery now at full charge again, the chair goes berserk, sending Miss Claridge crashing into a propane store and bursting into flames, then smashing through a pet shop, and finally knocking over a fire hydrant to put out the fire. The police arrest Trent for trying to finish the job they believe he started in pre-school; as they did five years ago, the other four boys throw him under the bus and get him sent back for another five-year stint. Cartman's celebration is interrupted when he moons the departing Trent... and the sixth graders, fresh out of hospital, mistake his ass for breasts and drag him off for a few minutes alone.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Accomplice by Inaction: Butters is on Trent's revenge list for refusing to speak up on his behalf despite having witnessed that Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny were the ones responsible for setting Miss Claridge on fire.
  • Adults Are Useless: Even by the usual standards of South Park's adults, this episode sees a steady parade of uselessness.
    • True to form, Stephen and Linda Stotch are completely indifferent to Butters pounding on the door and screaming to be let back in as Trent shows up to give him five years' worth of payback. Linda even says she can't stand to hear him screaming and... goes upstairs so she can't hear him.
    • When Trent shows up on the Broflovski doorstep with a switchblade knife and asks Sheila if Kyle can come out to play, Sheila simply says Kyle isn't home, and thinks nothing of the implied threat against her son.
    • The adults who approach Miss Claridge after her wheelchair's battery runs out of juice assume that she's lost her will to live and that her lack of responses to their questions is simply a case of her being standoffish, and they grumble and leave her where she is.
    • Overlapping with Police Are Useless, the police simply take the boys at their word when they blame Trent for Miss Claridge's misfortune twice - once after Miss Claridge is set on fire, and once when Cartman's careless taser use causes her wheelchair to go out of control.
  • Affably Evil: Evil might be a strong word, but Trent is remarkably polite for someone so pissed off and seeking vengeance.
  • And I Must Scream: Due to her horrifically burnt state, poor Miss Claridge has no way of communication other than saying yes or no using a light and accompanying tone on her wheelchair (once for "yes", twice for "no").
  • Anti-Villain: Trent is after the boys, but only because he spent five years in Juvie after they framed him.
  • Ass Shove: While Trent's attack on the lead sixth grader is not shown, the doctor explains that it involved a telephone pole, Tobasco sauce, and the lead sixth grader's anus.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Kenny's reaction to Stan telling him and Kyle that Trent's being released from juvenile hall.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When Trent confronts the boys in the episode's climax, he references their adventures from several past episodes, including "Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo", "Mecha-Streisand", and "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants".
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Cartman tries to spoonfeed Stan how to protest, "But mom...." when they try to get a picture of Sharon topless to give to the sixth graders.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Trent Boyett is first released from juvie, the warden gives him a Crayola 8-pack with a crayon sharpener, a pair of scissors, a blue marble, and a switch-blade knife.
  • Brick Joke: The nipples painted on Cartman's buttocks to make them resemble breasts.
  • Censored for Comedy: According to Trey Parker, Trent Boyett doesn't actually swear in the flashback, rather they had the young actor playing him say something less offensive like "dummies" and then bleeped it to make it sound as though he said something more offensive. Parker even had to reassure his mother that they weren't making children swear.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Boys did this with Trent. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny asked him to create a fire so that they can be the heroic firemen to put it out with urine. To be fair, Trent was already pretty mean to begin with, but it was the boys' half-truth regarding Trent starting the fire that went out of control and Butters (who witnessed the exchange) deciding not to defend Trent out of fear of being grounded by his parents that lead Trent to vow revenge against all five of them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Trent easily beats up the Sixth Graders off-screen.
  • Dirty Coward: The boys, big time.
  • The Dreaded: The boys' reaction to the news that Trent has been released from juvenile hall tells us all we need to know about how terrifying he is.
    [the halls of South Park Elementary; Clyde is talking to Kyle and Kenny as Stan runs toward them in a panic]
    Clyde: Yeah, it was called Man from Atlantis, he had, like, webbed fingers...
    Stan: Kyle! Kenny! I have to talk to you right now!
    Kyle: Okay, hang on a second, I—
    Stan: [drags Kyle down the hall] RIGHT NOW, goddammit!
    Kyle: All right, all right! [Kenny follows them; Stan eventually lets go of Kyle's hand and takes a moment to catch his breath] Dude, what is the matter with you?
    Stan: Trent Boyett is being released from juvenile hall.
    [Kyle's jaw drops in horror; we can assume Kenny's does the same behind his parka]
    Kenny: (WHAT!?)
    Kyle: Trent Boyett?! The kid from pre-school!?
    Stan: Yeah! He's just got paroled!
    Kyle: Oh no... no!
    Cartman: [walks past] Hey gaybots, what's goin' on?
    Kyle: Trent Boyett is being released from juvenile hall.
    Cartman: Really, that's cool, when did — [stops dead in his tracks; Musical Sting] ... what did you say? [runs back to the other three] Trent Boyett?? Meanest, dirtiest, toughest kid in the world, super-pissed-off-at-us Trent Boyett!?
    Kyle: Yeah!
    Cartman: Oh, holy Jesus God...
    Stan: What the hell are we gonna do?!
    Butters: [runs up to the other four, terrified] Is it true? Trent Boyett is getting out?
    Cartman: It's true.
    Butters: Oh Jesus, oh Christ in Heaven, I gotta hide! [barrels out of the nearest doors, then screams and runs off down the road]
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Trent is horrified by Cartman accidentally crashing Miss Claridge into a gas store and causing an explosion.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Miss Claridge was burnt so badly that she can only move around in a motorised wheelchair rigged to beep once for "yes" and twice for "no", her only form of communication.
  • Flashback: In the first act of the episode, we see how Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters ended up on Trent Boyett's hit list. Five years earlier, the main quartet, then in pre-school, persuaded him to set a fire which they tried and failed to put out by urinating on it, and when their teacher, Miss Claridge, tried to put out the fire, she was engulfed by the flames. When Trent was blamed for the fire, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny denied all responsibility, while Butters, who also knew the truth, said he didn't want to get involved, leaving Trent to serve a five year sentence in juvenile hall.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Boys get Trent arrested again and celebrate another period free from his wrath which again is only for 5 years.
  • Homage: The episode's plot is similar to that of Cape Fear; both feature a paroled convict seeking revenge against the people responsible for getting him put away years earlier.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Trent manages to scare Cartman.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Shelly only promises to help Stan because she wants to be the only one to bully him.
  • Idiot Ball: Miss Claridge tries to put out the fire with a blanket instead of using a fire extinguisher or calling the Fire Department. And when she catches on fire, her reaction is not dropping on the floor and roll around quickly but run around flailing her arms. Given that Colorado public schools mandate fire drills, how does Miss Claridge, a teacher in South Park, Colorado, not know the proper procedure for fire emergencies?
  • Informed Attractiveness: The sixth graders want Stan to give them a picture of his mother's breasts, although she is depicted with a normal figure (although in "Lil' Crime Stoppers", Butters did visualize them to help him get a semen sample).
  • Insane Troll Logic: Having been locked up in jail for 5 years, Trent thinks that the boys getting sent to Afghanistan, going on Christmas adventures with a talking piece of Christmas Poo, and having to fight a giant mechanic Barbra Streisand is "fun". Granted, it proves how much the show is set in a Crapsack World, but it's also considered to be much better than rotting in jail for 5 years over false implications.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Shelly tells the boys that they can't run from their past and must make amends with their teacher.
    • When Cartman resists with him a taser, a frustrated Trent breaks from his Unstoppable Rage briefly to make the point the boys would be better taking their punishment and getting it over with, rather than spending their whole lives ineffectually trying to hide or fight him off.
  • Karma Houdini: The Boys get away from being arrested twice, with Trent getting arrested instead. Although Cartman does get some form of punishment where the sixth graders assume his butt cheeks with the drawn on nipples are boobs and they carry him away to behind the bushes so they can masturbate to him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Though Trent is framed for a crime he didn't commit, his history as a bully and a troublemaker made it very easy for the boys to blame him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Trent Boyett gets arrested twice throughout the episode.
  • Never My Fault: The Boys keep blaming Trent and get him sent to jail for something that was their idea.
  • Police Are Useless: To a beneficial extent for the boys because they just take Cartman's word for it that Trent should be held responsible. ("Trent Boyett is a liar, sir!")
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: This is used a couple of times, but only in the flashback to preschool.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Miss Claridge's mode of transportation is a reference to Christopher Pike's wheelchair in the two-part Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Menagerie".
    • The shop Miss Claridge crashes into has the tagline “Propane and Propane Accessories,” a reference to King of the Hill.
  • The Worf Effect: The Sixth Graders were easily defeated by Trent all by himself.


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