The boys lie to get ninja weapons from the fair, but must decide whether or not to tell their parents when Butters is injured with a throwing star.
Let's Fighting Tropes:
- Adults Are Useless: The adults pay no attention to Butter's eye injury, instead focusing on Cartman walking around nude.
- Affectionate Parody: Of shonen anime and background songs, especially nonsensical ones.
- Apathetic Citizens: The citizens of South Park (aside from the Stotches) don't care about Butters getting seriously injured. Only the sight of Cartman being nude grabs their attention.
- Animorphism: Played for Laughs when Cartman uses his powers to turn Kyle into a chicken.Kyle: Goddammit, Cartman!
Cartman: (mock singing) Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Now you are a chicken! Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!
- Art Shift: The fantasy sequences would often cause the episode to shift to an Animesque art style.
- Becoming the Mask: The plot starts off when the boys get a little too invested in their ninja play fight and Kenny throws a shuriken straight at Butters. Cue Mass "Oh, Crap!" when the Imagine Spot cuts off and they realise Butters really has a shuriken through his eye.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Let's Fighting Love" is full of these; the first verse sees the singer boasting about his genitalia, while the second verse points out how ridiculous the lyrics are. Notably, the entirety of the song is in authentic Japanese (which Trey Parker speaks fluently), as opposed to foreign-sounding gibberish.
- Bittersweet Ending: The boys are let off the hook while Butters is ignored by the townsfolk in favor of Cartman's nudity, but Butters does get taken to a hospital by his mom (albeit off-screen).
- Blatant Lies: Cartman tries to blame his nudity on a Wardrobe Malfunction. No one buys it.
- Brick Joke: When Chef meets the weapon-wielding boys, he warns that they could "have somebody's eye out".Stan: ...Yeah, we know...
- Crocodile Tears: The boys convince the weapons vendor to give them weapons by making up a sob story about their parents being dead, all while fake-crying loudly.
- Delayed Reaction: It takes around three seconds for Butters to scream in pain after getting hit with Kenny's shuriken.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- Kenny iconically throwing a ninja shuriken straight at Butters' eyes during their play-fight. Kyle straight up lambasts Kenny for this, to which he frantically insists he still thought they were playing.
- Cartman probably wouldn't have stripped naked had he remembered the kids were only pretending to be super-powered ninjas and he doesn't actually have the power of invisibility.
- Everybody Cries:
- Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny use a sob story, complete with Crocodile Tears, to convince a vendor at the county fair to sell them their ninja weapons.Stan: Goddamn, that's like the 12th time that's worked.
- Craig mentions to the boys he and his gang used a similar sob story to get the weapons from the same vendor.
- Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny use a sob story, complete with Crocodile Tears, to convince a vendor at the county fair to sell them their ninja weapons.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Stan doesn't often have a high opinion of Butters, but is rather shocked that Kyle is scared enough to agree to Cartman's plan of killing Butters to hide their crime.
- Linda may be abusive to Butters for the most part, but she was legitimately shocked over his predicament.
- Eye Scream: Butters gets hit in the eye with a shuriken, setting off the episode's main conflict.
- Gratuitous Japanese: "Let's Fighting Love," with a bit of Gratuitous English thrown in.
- Invisible Streaker: One of Cartman's "many, many powers" as a ninja is the ability to turn invisible, albeit with the caveat that his clothes don't follow, hence why he strips naked at the end. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't have any powers in the real world, so all he accomplishes is just getting naked in front of everyone.
- Jerkass Ball: Stan, Kyle and Kenny reject Butters when the latter asked to play with them, then refuse to give him proper medical attention since it would get them in trouble. Kyle even agrees with Cartman's decision to kill Butters. Also, the boys later throw Cartman under the bus to save themselves. Although Cartman is an asshole, in this episode he wasn't really responsible for the main incident.
- Karma Houdini: Stan and Kyle face no repercussions for not helping Butters deal with his eye injury. While he does get punished for something else, Cartman also does not face extra punishment for that. However, Kenny stands above them all, as he was the one who gave Butters the injury. He doesn't even come close to dying in this episode!
- Lampshade Hanging: Later in "Let's Fighting Love," the lyrics lampshade the song's nonsensical dialogue. Translated from the Japanese (except for the last six words, which are in English in the original):This song is a little stupid
It's hard to make sense of
The English is all messed up
That's okay, we do it all the time!
- Loophole Abuse: When the other boys tell Cartman that he can only have one power, he declares that he has the power to have any power he wants.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It's very understated, but Kenny is blatantly horrified when he realises he really did impale Butters with a ninja star.
- Negative Continuity: Butters' eye injury seems to have completely healed by next episode and is never brought up again even though the severity of the injury would likely cause him to lose that eye.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Cartman constantly makes up new powers for himself, to the point where Kyle eventually takes them all away from him.Kyle: Goddammit, Cartman! you can't keep making up powers!
Stan: Yeah dude, that's like the fifth power you've come up with.
Cartman: I am Bulrog, and I have lots and lots of powers.
Kyle: No, asshole! From now on, you only get to have one power. So, what is it?
Cartman: I have the power to have all the powers I want.
- No Sympathy: Downplayed. Though the boys were horrified by accidentally injuring Butters, they still care more about getting in trouble for doing so.
- Oh, Crap!:
- The boys have this reaction after Butters gets stabbed in the eye with Kenny's shuriken.Cartman: Oh shit, dude!
Stan: Butters! Oh my god!
Kyle: What the hell did you do that for, Kenny???
Kenny: *frantic muffles* (I just threw my ninja star at him!)
- Cartman also has this reaction when the townspeople witness him in the nude.
- The boys have this reaction after Butters gets stabbed in the eye with Kenny's shuriken.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: After Kenny throws a shuriken into Butters' eye, Kyle is so terrified of what his mother will do to him if she found out he was playing with weapons that he actually agrees with Cartman that they should kill Butters and hide his body rather than get him medical attention.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Played with. The adults completely buy into Butters' "dog disguise", but his mom is able to see through it by the time he shows up at the auction.
- Pet the Dog:
- Despite blowing him off earlier, the boys do allow Butters to play with them after he shows up in his Professor Chaos costume.
- Butters' parents take him to a hospital (albeit off-screen) after witnessing his predicament at the auction.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The adults' outrage at Cartman running around naked in public as well as Cartman trying to defend it as a "Wardrobe Malfunction" are a reference to the Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy.
- Shout-Out: The boys ninja/anime forms are basically Street Fighter characters. Stan looks like Ryu, Kyle resembles Fei Long, Cartman is E Honda, Butters resembles M Bison combined with Sagat, Jimmy is Sodom, Clyde is Adon, Craig is Guy, and Token is Dee Jay. Kenny is the odd man out here, as he resembles Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Also, Chef resembles Akuma.
- Skewed Priorities:
- The townspeople are more upset at Cartman running around naked than Butters nearly losing his eye, ultimately forgetting about the latter and allowing the other boys to get off scot-free for what they did.
- The boys are more concerned over getting in trouble than how Butters is seriously injured.
- Stock Ninja Weaponry: The boys all acquire stereotypical ninja weaponry and fight with it. Stan uses tonfas, Kyle and Token wield nunchaku, Cartman wields a sai, Kenny uses a shuriken (the only weapon he could afford), Craig wields a katana and Clyde fights with two kama.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
- The stylized anime battle between the boys and Professor Chaos. The make-believe fireballs and energy blasts aren't working, so Kenny tries his magical shuriken and scores a direct hit on Professor Chaos. Cut back to the normal art style, with poor Butters shrieking in pain and terror while blood streams from the throwing star in his eye.
- During the climax, the boys discover that Butters is at the auction and is in danger of exposing his injury to the parents. Cartman decides to save him by turning invisible while naked. This only works in the anime art style, however — the normal animation shows that he just walks across the stage naked, causing a much bigger controversy than Butters's injury.
- Take That!: The end of the episode tackles how parents and Moral Guardians make uproars with the presence of nudity or sexuality in media, but at the same time tend to be unfazed by depictions of extreme violence.
- Teeny Weenie: Cartman's penis is shown to be very shriveled up and minuscule. That stands to logic because being obese makes your penis look a lot smaller. There's also that fact that's he's still a kid.
- Trauma Conga Line: Butters has a rough episode. First he gets hit in the eye with a shuriken. Then, in order to disguise his identity, he is forced to pretend to be a dog. To top it all off, he gets urinated and defecated on by actual dogs.
- Vocal Dissonance: None of the boys' voices change, even when they're drawn to look like big, burly ninjas.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Kyle screams what the hell was Kenny thinking throwing a ninja star at Butters' face.