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Recap / South Park S9 E9 "Marjorine"

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Original air date: 10/26/2005

After mistaking the girls' paper fortune-teller as a future-telling device, the boys make Butters fake his death in order for him to have a new identity as a girl and attend Heidi Turner's Slumber Party in hopes of gaining possession of the "weapon."

This episode contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Butters' parents chain him up in their basement because they believe that he has become a demon. They even lure a decorator into the basement so that Butters can "feed" on her.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Clyde seems to be rather interested in Butters' female alter-ego, as evidenced by him responding "Nice." when Marjorine says that "she" likes getting her snooch pounded on Friday nights.
  • Back from the Dead: When Butters returns to his parents to reveal that he isn't dead after all, Stephen and Linda Stotch believe they've brought their son back to life as a result of the former burying his remains at a certain Indian Burial Ground. They're also convinced that he's now an unholy abomination, even though he looks and acts the same as he always has.
  • Becoming the Mask: After the girls apologize for their earlier teasing and give "Marjorine" a makeover, Butters actually starts getting into the role. He genuinely enjoys the "girly" activities at the slumber party and forgets about his mission to recover the cootie catcher.
  • Captain Obvious: After the boys hurl a pig dressed in Butters's clothing off the roof, it explodes in a shower of bloody goo. A doctor then rushes up, briefly feels for a pulse on a pile of internal organs, and sadly says, "He...didn't make it."
  • Children Are Tender-Hearted: The boys convince Butters to disguise himself in drag to sneak into the girls' slumber party and steal their cootie catcher, which they believe is a genuine way to see the future. Though the girls initially make fun of "Marjorine", they realize they went too far when "she" starts crying. The girls genuinely apologize and decide to give Marjorine a makeover to cheer her up.
  • Disguised in Drag: Butters is forced to venture into this territory in order to infiltrate Heidi's slumber party to steal the fortune-telling device.
  • Dramatic Irony: Much of the humor comes from the boys fretting over the cootie catcher, believing that it's a dangerous future-telling device, while the audience knows that its just a harmless paper toy.
  • Faking the Dead: Happens to Butters towards the beginning of the episode; the boys dress a pig up as Butters and then proceed to throw it off a building, leading to the citizens believing that Butters actually died.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: The boys are convinced that the girls' cootie catcher gives them genuine psychic powers and conspire to steal it. The trope is downplayed in that the girls aren't necessarily against the boys, as they seem oblivious to the fact that they're even scheming against them at all.
  • Idiot Houdini: Overlaps with Karma Houdini as the boys manage to get away with the girls' fortune-teller, legitimately believing that it actually has the power to see into the future, and not get in trouble for almost ruining Heidi's slumber party by having Butters (as Marjorine) infiltrate the event.
    • Not only that, when Butters gets home and meets up with his parents, they chain him up in their basement because they believe that he has become a zombie that Stephen Stotch created by burying Butters' "body" in an Indian Burial Ground. They even lure a decorator into the basement so that Butters can "feed" on her.
  • Jerkass Realization: The girls are initially hostile to Butters (as Marjorine), but when their abuse pushes "her" to tears, they're immediately apologetic and make up for it by giving Marjorine a makeover.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The girls at Heidi's slumber party insult Marjorine by saying that "she's" a nerdy, dorky geek and that "she's" flat. This brings Butters to tears.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The dead pig the boys drop off the building explodes into bloody chunks when it hits the ground. But since everyone thinks it's Butters, it makes his death that much more horrifying, especially to his parents who get splattered in his blood.
  • Mistaken for Undead: When Butters returns home, his parents think he Came Back Wrong as some kind of Undead Abomination.
  • No Sympathy: When Mrs. Garrison announces that Butters died the previous day, none of the class seems to care. Red even asks "Who's Butters?" However, he didn't actually die, so it isn't as harsh as it seems.
  • Papa Wolf: Mr. Turner is very protective of Heidi and the other girls, warning them that if he finds any boys at or near the slumber party, they'll all be in big trouble—all while "Marjorine" is standing in the group. It doesn't help that Mr. Turner is enormously musclebound.
  • Punny Name: The name of Butters' female alter-ego, Marjorine, is a play on "margarine", a substitute for butter.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The boys go through a lot of trouble just to get the fortune-teller from the girls (never finding out it's just a folded-up piece of paper) and destroy it out of fear of the power they think it holds, unaware that the girls can just make a new one (and did the second the first one was stolen).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several of Stephen King's works are referenced:
      • The farmer with a New England accent telling Stephen Stotch not to bury "Butters" in the Indian burial ground (only to wind up giving him the idea to do just that) is a reference to Pet Sematary (1989).
      • Linda throwing herself into "Butters"' grave has a similar concept to a scene in the book version of 'Salem's Lot.
      • A poster for I.T. (a parody of Steven Spielberg's E.T.) is hung on the wall in Heidi's basement.
    • Kevin compares the boys' plan to disguise Butters in drag to the plotline of Juwanna Mann, which Cartman objects to in response.
      Kevin Stoley: You mean like that movie, Juwanna Mann?
      Cartman: No, not like Juwanna Mann, Kevin, okay? It’s way cooler than that!
  • Slumber Party: Heidi hosts one involving typical girl activities like playing board games, dancing to pop, and doing tricks like "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board." Cartman, however, mistakes what goes on at girls' slumber parties for "lezzing out".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The girls give a big one to "Marjorine" when fed up with "her". However, they soon regret it.
    Red: Yeah. I can tell your future, Marjorine! You're going to live alone your entire life because you're a nerdy, dorky geek.
    Heidi: Yeah, and your hair is totally stupid.
    Bebe: Yeah, and you're flat!
    Heidi: Marjorine, why don't you just leave? Nobody wants you here!
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: The boys ultimately decide that the "dangerous" cootie catcher needs to be utterly destroyed, as its power is too great for any one person to wield.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: This is how the boys destroy the fortune-teller after they deem it to be too powerful to use: they douse it in several cans of gasoline, wire it up with a detonator and blow it up. The resulting explosion is so massive that it could actually be seen from space and levels the whole forest. And this is all for just a piece of paper.
    Cartman: Damn, Ken.
  • Vocal Dissonance: When Craig speaks, Kyle's voice comes out instead.


Video Example(s):


Butters' Fake Death

Happens to Butters towards the beginning of the episode; the boys dress a pig up as Butters and then proceed to throw it off a building, leading to the citizens believing that Butters actually died.

How well does it match the trope?

4.9 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / HeDidntMakeIt

Media sources: