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South Park / Tropes R to V

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This page covers tropes found in South Park.

Tropes A-D | Tropes E-J | Tropes K-Q | Tropes R-V | Tropes W-Z | YMMV | Shout Outs

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  • Rabble Rouser:
    • Mr/Mrs. Garrison has a tendency for these, in one episode even creating an alternate timeline where the entire world converts to his abrasive train of thought on religion ("Logic and reason aren't enough. You have to be a dick to anyone who doesn't think like you."). Subverted in one episode where, in an attempt to stop legalized same sex marriage, Garrison spearheads a "fag drag". The mob look dumbfounded, explaining they don't actually hate homosexuals, they just don't want them to marry. Garrison also spearheaded an annoyance & fear campaign to make the "richers" move out of town: first he had people burn lower-case Ts on their lawn ("for Time to Leave"), then dress up as ghosts wearing pointy hats.
    • When not Garrison, Sheila Broflovski and Randy Marsh tend to spearhead most of the town's riots. Cartman is also known to start lower key ones with kids (perhaps most glaringly, getting ginger kids to beat up a Broadway star of Annie who wore a wig). Special mention goes to at least one instance where Randy manages to raise a rabble simply by yelling the word "rabble" a few times.
  • Race Against the Clock: "Sorry, boys. No ticket stub, no candy shopping spree. If you find it, you can come back, but you only have one week to claim the prize. That's called 'The Ticking Clock.' Works great in the movies."
  • Raging Stiffie: Jimmy had one for practically all of "Erection Day". It got even worse in his dream, where his boner just kept growing. Not surprisingly, the audience chortled at it.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Cartman, with himself regarding the invention of the joke, in "Fishsticks."
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In "The China Probrem", a character recalls how George Lucas and Steven Spielberg literally raped Indiana Jones. In the send-up to the rape scene in The Accused, they rape Indy in a bar on top of a pinball machine. At one point, the Nazi agent from Raiders of the Lost Ark walks in, but is completely shocked when he sees what Lucas and Spielberg are doing, and immediately leaves.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: Deconstructed in "Chicken Fucker", where the titular serial rapist makes Officer Barbrady learning to read part of his M.O. and, at the end, Barbrady declares reading as a waste of time after finishing Atlas Shrugged.
  • Reality Bleed: Happens in "#REHASH" and "#HappyHolograms", when the popularity of Cartman's meta-commentary videos allow his CartmanBrah commenter window to pop up in The Wendy Williams Show, as well as around South Park. Even more so in the latter episode, where his trending gets so high his window starts appearing everywhere.
  • Reality Ensues: Has its own page.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • In "Fishsticks", Jimmy writes a joke that Cartman seeks to publicize as their joke, even though he sat on the couch and ate chips while Jimmy came up with the actual joke (although Cartman remembers it as being the other way around). Much of the episode is dedicated to this conflict, and the episode ends with Cartman apologizing to Jimmy - for not accommodating Jimmy's belief that he wrote most of the joke. The season that contains this episode was the first to not co-bill Matt Stone as a writer for the show, and during Jimmy and Cartman's interview with Ellen, Cartman is shown with the same hair and clothing that Trey Parker is seen wearing in interviews. However, nobody on the Internet has commented on this because everybody focused on the episode's treatment of Kanye West.
    • Stan's whole final speech in "Ass Burgers". The previous episode, "You're Getting Old", had looked like it might change the show dramatically, and fans (mirroring Stan in-universe) were worried that the change would be bad for the show. So in-universe, Stan gets over his emo phase, gives a whole Aesop about how things can change for the better with the entire speech Leaning on the Fourth Wall... only to play Status Quo Is God, hit the Reset Button, and return the show to exactly where it was. And note that it's not the original status quo but, the last episode where Stan was depressed. Meaning that Stan is still, even if more so, depressed while everything else is the same. Meaning, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny still hang out with Stan, he lives in the same house, goes to the same school, his parents still live together and all this with the added bonus that Stan turned to alcohol to try and be happy.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Chef and Principal Victoria. Also, President Bush, as he was the only one in "Cartoon Wars Part 2" who defended the Family Guy writers rights to free speech instead of having them arrested like many people were recommending.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Played completely straight. "Starvin' Marvin" was followed—two seasons later—with "Starvin' Marvin IN SPACE".
  • Red-Headed Stepchild:
    • The episode "Ginger Kids".
    • It turned out, in "201", that Cartman got half his genes from Scott Tenorman's father. He is very upset over being half-ginger, though he calmed down when told he is also half Denver Bronco.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • At first, Stan and Kyle had pretty similar personalities, but later on, as the series progressed, they began to diverge. Stan developed as deadpan, impassive, more introverted and sensible, while Kyle developed as impulsive, outward-looking, sociable and rash, especially when he wanted to stop Cartman. Cartman is the stoic red.
    • This is available for Craig (Blue) and Tweek (Red), too.
  • Red Shirt: In Season 2's "City on the Edge of Forever", the unnamed kid who gets off the bus after Mrs Crabtree warned them that "A big scary monster WILL EAT YOU!!" is actually wearing a red Star Trek shirt.
  • Reference Overdosed: And how.
  • Refuge In Audacity: So, so much. See the trope page for some examples.
  • Refusal of the Call: Craig in "Pandemic". Repeatedly. Emphatically. Unsuccessfully.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • "Quest for Ratings" features the guys running a news show on the elementary school closed circuit television system; they act as though they've always done this, but it's never mentioned again after that episode.
    • In "Sons a Witches", the South Park adults state that Chip Duncan has always been an annoying asshole, yet he was never even mentioned before this episode. He'll never be mentioned again, either, since he turns into a witch and gets vaporized by a Kill Sat. For that matter, the supposed long-standing tradition of dressing as a witch and smoking crack on every Halloween is only relevant in this one episode.
    • Wing, from the episode of the same name, is a real-life Chinese "singer" who in the show is presented as the City Wok owner's wife, though she never appeared before, and never appeared again besides a very short cameo in "Cock Magic".
    • Tim Burton is one of the celebrities coming back to sue the town in the "200" two-parter, yet he never appeared in any other episodes of the show before or after.
  • Reminder Failure: In "Toilet Paper", Cartman comes up on the spot with an extremely detailed alibi for where they were on the night that their teacher's house was toilet-papered; however, none of the others are able to get the "facts" straight because the alibi is too long:
    Cartman: Okay. Last night, all four of us were at the bowling alley until about 7:30, at which time we noticed Ally Sheedy, the Goth chick from The Breakfast Club, was bowling in the lane next to us, and we asked her for her autograph, but she didn't have a pen, so we followed her out to her car, but on the way we were accosted by five Scientologists who wanted to give us all personality tests, which were administered at the Scientology Center in Denver until 10:45, at which time we accidentally boarded the wrong bus home and ended up in Rancho de Burritos Rojos, south of Castle Rock, and finally got a ride home with a man who was missing his left index finger, named Gary Bushwell, arriving home at 11:46.
  • Replacement Flat Character: Butters, created to fill the Butt-Monkey role better than Pip.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-universe example, both Butters and Tweek get this treatment from the boys themselves in attempts to replace Kenny as the token fourth friend — Butters for his innocence and lack of backbone (to the point where an entire episode revolved around the boys kicking Butters out and running a contest for a new replacement), Tweek for his paranoia. Ironically, for all their guilt trips and manipulation involving Kenny's death, the boys had in fact nearly completely got over it and all but forgotten about "that asshole". The sixth season was generally one giant Kick the Dog for the three main boys.
  • Reset Button: Kenny's death, sometimes even lampshaded.
  • Resurrective Immortality:
    • Kenny has this power. First mentioned as a joke at the end of "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", then made Canon and played for realism in "Mysterion Rises", where Kenny actually feels and remembers his deaths and no one has any memory of how he dies.
    • Jesus. In "Fantastic Easter Special", he escapes from a jail cell (in the Vatican) by having Kyle kill him and resurrecting on the other side of the door. He can only do this on Easter though.
  • Retargeted Lust: A bout of impotence keeps Gerald Broflovski from having an erection until a couple of women come into his office to complain about global warming which is making them get skin cancer. They take off their clothes to show him, he gets excited, and runs home to have sex with his wife.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Cartman, usually disproportionate to the offense. Kyle, who is usually the most logical and kind one of the boys often devolves into this when Cartman is involved.
    • Primary Cartman example: Scott Tenorman.
    • Kyle convincing Cartman to go to Somalia to be a pirate was this (he even happily told Stan that he was sure Cartman would die). Too bad Cartman convinced Ike to come along for the ride.
  • Revenge Is a Dish Best Served: In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman is out to get revenge on a teenage boy named Scott Tenorman who tricked Cartman into buying his pubes. Cartman decides to get revenge on Scott by tricking him into having his wiener bitten off by a pony. But it turns out Cartman's true plan was far more sinister, as he tricked Scott into eating chili containing his parents' ground-up corpses.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • In "Cartman Finds Love", Cartman tries to force Token and Nicole together just because they're both black, but it turns out they're perfect for each other anyway. He also refuses to let Kyle interfere after they end up together— he convinced Kyle it would be wrong because they're happy, but Cartman's true reason is that he's a "fat racist piece of fucking garbage," according to Kyle.
    • "Best Friends Forever" ends with Kyle realizing that he and Stan were trying to do the wrong thing (keeping Kenny on life support) for the right reason (friendship), while Cartman was trying to do the right thing (letting Kenny die) for the wrong reason (inheriting his PSP).
  • Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Reason: Cartman decides in prejudiced irrationality that the new Arab student is a terrorist and pulls out all the stops to save Hillary Clinton, who, coincidentally, is in South Park that very same day. Even though Cartman's theory is completely unfounded, it turns out that there are terrorists plotting to kill Clinton (Russians secretly working for the British)—but the only reason we found out about them is thanks to Cartman's prejudice. This is lampshaded heavily at the end, when they deliver the story's moral about tolerance only for Cartman to point this out.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Because of the short time to animate episodes, they can be far more topical than nearly any show on TV.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Both averted and played straight in "Go God Go XII". When Cartman makes a small change to the past, he doesn't notice any of the minor but obvious changes around him. However, when he makes a major change and completely changes the future, he only remembers the old timeline.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: Kyle does this after getting his parents arrested for child molestation, leaving him to take care of himself.
  • Rivers of Blood: In "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer", Shelly is menstruating and sends Stan out to buy her some tampons. When he comes back (without any) and opens the door, menstrual blood floods out.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kyle in "Tonsil Trouble" when he finds out Cartman infected him with his AIDS virus.
  • Robeast: Barbra Streisand undergoes a henshin-style Transformation Sequence into Mecha-Streisand, a blatant Expy of Mecha-Godzilla. Comes back in "200".
  • Robosexuals Are Creeps: In the "AWESOM-O" episode, Cartman disguises himself as a robot, and he and Butters eventually get taken to a film studio. One of the producers mistakes Cartman as a "pleasure robot," so Cartman freaks out and flees the studio's boardroom.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant carnivorous guinea pigs.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Said guinea pigs. This was an interesting example, as they were giant.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: In "Fishsticks", when Cartman and Jimmy make the Fishsticks joke, Jimmy is the one who comes up with the idea of it, but when confronted, Cartman believes he is the one that made it. His flashbacks even involves people telling him he's not fat, and make him out to save Jimmy's life from bigger and bigger threats.
  • Rule of Cute:
    • According to the commentary, the logic behind "The Losing Edge" was "Wouldn't the boys look cute in baseball outfits?"
    • There was a similar reasoning behind "Pre-School."
  • Rule of Drama: In "Make Love, Not Warcraft", the boys encounter a player in World of Warcraft that is so powerful that he can kill the administrators running the game and kill anyone he wants, even if they don't accept a duel. Normally, admin players can use powerful characters themselves and they can easily ban the offending player, but this is all set aside for dramatics and hilarity.
  • Rule of Funny: This show is probably the ultimate litmus test for it. If they can't make it funny, no one can.
    "You know what this means? AIDS is finally funny!"
  • Rule of Three: In "The Death of Eric Cartman".
    Cartman: Well, it's all done. My soul is at peace. I think I can go now.
    Butters: So I won't see you again?
    Cartman: Don't be sad, Butters. What awaits each person in Heaven is eternal bliss, divine rest, and ten thousand dollars in cash.
  • Run for the Border: Inverted in "The Last of the Meheecans". Butters inspires a resurgence of nostalgia, homesickness, and nationalism that causes Mexican emigrants to the United States to cross the border back into Mexico. Border patrol guards eventually have to guard the border on the U.S. side instead to prevent the loss of menial laborers to the American economy.
  • Running Gag: Many episodes have an internal running gag, but the show also has a number of gags that run across episodes and the show itself.
    • Kenny dying Once per Episode, though this got Running Gagged in later seasons.
    • Rednecks shouting, "They took our jobs!" and degenerating into nonsense with each repetition.
    • During the earlier seasons, there is at least the outline of one of the aliens from the first episode's heads once per episode.
    • There was also more than one mention of Cartman wanting to give Kyle AIDS. Until he does.
    • Scott is a dick.
    • Mr. Garrison's habit of teaching the class nonsense "history" that is actually based on a summary of a popular novel, movie, or musical. For example, talking about the history of Westeros in Game of Thrones as if it were real history.
    • In the "Go God Go" duology, there's the running gag of Cartman pacing back and forth while waiting for something and going "Come ooon!"
    • Cartman, throughout the series, repeatedly shows up in Butters' bedroom with some scheme in mind. When he does, he says "Butters" with the same monotone inflection, and the same scare chord plays while lightning strikes outside. By the same token, Chef always refers to kids as "children" even when he's only talking to or about one child.
    • Kyle angrily asks Cartman why he "Always [has] to hit stuff with a stick" when Cartman does so to an Underpants Gnome. Indeed, throughout the series, Cartman does appear to have some weird desire to hit things with a stick (including his cat, a snake, a squirrel monkey, a three-toed sloth, and his cousin Elvin).
    • In season 19, PC Principal screaming at a female student named Leslie to stop talking to her friend and be quiet during assemblies, at least once when she was actually already quiet.
    • "Tweek x Craig" focuses on characters giving Tweek and Craig money for no discernible reason.
    • Whenever the boys play with a fantasy setting, Kevin Stoley will show up with Star Wars or Star Trek clothes or toys instead. Cartman will inevitably tell him off with a "Goddamnit, Kevin", and in The Stick of Truth, directly calls him out on how he does this every time.
    • Cartman says his Catchphrase of "Seriously!" whenever he should grammatically say some other version of the word "serious," such as "I'm seriously, you guys!"
  • Running Gagged: Kenny's deaths. They were about Once per Episode before the end of season 5, where they killed Kenny in the most dramatic way possible in "Kenny Dies". After staying dead for the entirety of the following season, he came back at the end and only dies approximately Once a Season, if not at all.

  • Sarcasm Mode: Pretty much every adult in "Sarcastaballs", starting with Randy. It actually becomes a plot point where the sport makes Sarcasm Mode Randy's default mode, so much that when he realizes it, his reaction is that of shock and fear.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr./Mrs. Garrison is sometimes one.
  • Safety Worst: In "Broadway Bro Down", Larry is a little boy with very overprotective parents; his parents always have him wearing a life vest to prevent drowning. During the episode, Shelly convinces him that he doesn't need to wear the vest all the time. Ironically, Larry drowns at the end of the episode, and the news reporter comments that he might have survived if he was wearing a life vest.
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: In "Cartmanland" after Kyle gets a hemorrhoid, he goes to the church to contemplate by himself. He yells at God and wonders how this could have happened to him.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • "%1" ends with the implication that Cartman's sociopathic tendencies are growing into a full blown psychosis. Even without any greater implications, you can see his sanity suffer with each stuffed animal destroyed.
    • Randy in "A Nightmare on Face Time". Complete with shot-for-shot, line-for-line homages to Jack Nicholson and The Shining.
  • Satan: Initially portrayed as half of a homosexual pairing with Saddam Hussein, Satan being the submissive half.
  • Save the Villain: Played straight with Stan, Kyle, and Kenny towards Cartman on more than one occasion.
  • Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: Cartman claims to have seen The Passion of the Christ 34 times (in theaters) in "The Passion of the Jew".
  • Scam Religion: Nearly every religion spotlighted in the show is depicted as having corrupt or hypocritical undertones. That said it is often balanced with a redeeming view of its followers (Gary in "All About Mormons" views that even if his religion is a scam his family have happy satisfying lives as a result of the ethics it teaches). This extra complexity is interestingly left out during the show's jab at Scientology (when it seems this moral is about to given the Scientologist members all throw tantrums and threaten to sue anyone that mocks their religion).
  • Scope Snipe: Butters in "Going Native". Through a pair of binoculars. With a golf ball.
  • Sea Aping: In the episode "The Simpsons Already Did It", one of the main plots focuses on Cartman's Sea People developing their own society after exposure to semen.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: "The Losing Edge", where the boys try to lose at baseball because they don't want to play. Everyone else has the same idea.
  • Seeking the Intangible: One episode has the kids going around looking for a "nerection" for Kyle's dad, having overheard his parents talking about Kyle's dad not getting one. Goes even further when they hear about "resurrection" (Cartman demanded to play Jesus in an Easter play), and decide to leave Cartman on the cross until the "res-erection" shows up so they can give it to Kyle's dad.
  • Selective Enforcement: With all the terrible things Cartman has done, the one thing that got the other kids to give him the silent treatment in "The Death of Eric Cartman" was his eating the skins off the KFC. (Technically, this was more of a "Straw that broke the camel's back" situation.)
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In "A Very Crappy Christmas", after the boys recreated the 1995 "Spirit of Christmas" and showed it to the town:
      Mayor: Kids, that cartoon was fabulous. How would you like to have your own show and make 100 more of them?
      Stan: Are you kidding? I think we'd rather stab ourselves in the head.
    • ''Terrance and Philip" mocks their potty humor and jokes.
    • South Park is known for mocking its Anviliciousness, more prominently in later seasons, especially in "Cartoon Wars": "At least Family Guy doesn't get all preachy up the ass with its own messages." It mocks itself for this again in "Where My Country Gone?", in which there is a subplot about the boys calling out Kyle for his habit of dropping anvilicious speeches.
    • "Raising the Bar" features a moment where Stan and Kyle remark how they somehow feel responsible for how far the bar of good taste and public shamelessness has dropped.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "World War Zimmerman" sees Cartman attempting to avoid riots and mass panic by inadvertently creating it himself.
  • Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: In "Obama Wins", Butters eats an almond M&M (he's severely allergic to almonds) in a parody of captured spies killing themselves with cyanide so as not to surrender important information.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In "Fishsticks", Cartman repeatedly recalls to the origin of the fishsticks joke, each time getting more and more fantastical.
  • Serenade Your Lover:
    • Stan is advised to stand outside Wendy's window and play Peter Gabriel. He picks "Shock the Monkey"...
    • Kyle attempts this in "Hooked on Monkey Fonics" to Girl of the Week Rebecca Cotswold. Unfortunately for him, she's oblivious to his advances and just tips him.
  • Serial Escalation:
  • Series Continuity Error: Unsurprising in such a long-running series.
    • Randy (a geologist) is mentioned as the only scientist in town, but later Token's mother is said to be a chemist, and Clyde's father a geologist. And even by the time he’s alleged to be the only scientist in town, Dr. Mephesto had already been introduced.
      • And later Clyde's father is not a geologist but a shoe store owner.
    • In "Canada on Strike" (season 12), Denmark is called "The Canada of Europe", and we see the Danish with beady eyes and flapping heads just like Canadians. In Season 20, Danish people are drawn with the typical animation.
    • Jimbo was originally supposed to be Sharon's older brother, but then they gave her the maiden name "Kimble" (as opposed to Kern), so he was Retconned as being Randy's half-brother.
    • Randy Marsh's teenage years are stated to have taken place through the '80s, and we briefly see a girlfriend who may or may not be Sharon. However, a later flashback places a younger Randy and Sharon as having been teens at Woodstock.
    • Kenny is revealed to have a younger sister in "Best Friends Forever", when previously the McCormicks were stated to have two children. Matt Stone admitted that she was an oversight, and she didn't reappear for a while until "The Poor Kid".
      • It has since been revealed that Kenny did have a younger sister in early plans for the series. She was meant to be around Ike's age, and was mentioned in an early script for "Starvin' Marvin" (though she did not make it into the final product).
    • Sometimes Kyle's family are the only Jews in South Park, sometimes there are more.
    • They're particularly bad with names (see "Sudden Name Change").
    • They frequently go back and forth on who's aware of Kenny's deaths.
      • "Cartmanland": when Cartman is sued for Kenny's death at his theme park, Cartman bursts out, "Who, Kenny? He dies all the time!"
      • "Chinpokomon": Cartman repeatedly has to fend off rats from Kenny's catatonic body, saying, "No! He's not dead yet!"
      • "Chef Goes Nanners": Kenny dies from ingesting antacid tablets he thought were mints. After he explodes, the boys laugh hysterically and respond with "That was a good one!"
      • "Gnomes": Stan, Cartman, and Kyle are completely indifferent to the gnomes killing Kenny. The gnomes are horrified, but the three boys make it explicitly clear that their term paper is far more important, as their hasted run-through of the usual catchphrase indicates.
      • On the other hand, Kenny has stated before that he's the only one aware of his deaths in other episodes. In "Cherokee Hair Tampons", Stan is distraught over the possibly of Kyle dying from kidney failure. He opens up to Kenny about how lost he feels watching a friend die, and Kenny responds (muffled) "You never seem to care when I die!" Stan, however, doesn't reply.
      • In "Tweek vs. Craig", Kenny is terrified to take shop class. When he is finally transferred into the class, much to his distress, one of the other boys tells him, "Come on, Kenny, you're not going to die!"
      • "City on the Edge of Forever" is mostly clips with altered endings from old episodes, all of which the boys remember despite the screwed up, ice cream-centric endings. However, Stan and Kyle call Cartman out on 'lying' about a past episode because Cartman's recount of it included Kenny's death from that episode.
      • And of course, there's the "Mysterion" arc of season 14, which focuses almost entirely on Kenny's power. He dies a total of 4 times in the arc—3 of them by suicide—in an attempt to prove to the other boys that he does, in fact, keep dying. Despite pulling the trigger on himself in front of six of the other boys, he's never able to get any of them to remember his death after he comes back to life.
  • Series Mascot: Both Cartman and Kenny are frequently used to represent the series, often as icons (for example, Cartman on the official website and Kenny for the pinball game's options menu).
  • Serious Business: At this point making a list of episodes that don't feature this trope would be much shorter. Whatever form it takes, Randy Marsh usually gets involved in a big way.
    • What really takes the cake is "Cartoon Wars". Many characters treat Family Guy having an episode with Muhammad in it like the start of World War III, and Kyle nearly dies trying to stop Cartman from getting it canned.
    • "Douche and Turd" takes it Up to Eleven, when Stan's refusal to vote got him threatened, banished and nearly killed.
    • At the end of "Quest For Ratings" when Craig's show falls in the ratings the AV teacher orders him to be suspended from school and puts in a request for the surgical removal of his testicles, just to reinforce how important ratings are.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Butters getting his first kiss in "Butters' Bottom Bitch" is an obvious metaphor for this trope.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Happens two-fold in "Douche and Turd". After spending the entire episode being mocked, threatened, and even shunned by the two for his refusal to vote, Stan finally casts a vote at the last minute, only for his candidate, the Turd Sandwich, to lose to the Giant Douche by 2.49%. Stan's parents try to tell him that his vote still mattered, only for the Giant Douche to be replaced by Mooey, the original mascot, due to Puff Daddy destroying PETA, who were responsible for the plot in the first place.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Early on in "Cartoon Wars Part 1", Randy says, "If we're still alive in the morning, then we'll know we're not dead."
  • Share Phrase: Sometimes a character will speak for a group, and other members of said group will express their agreement by simply shouting "Yeah!" The boys, the girls, the men of South Park, and even the kindergartners have all been shown doing it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: "The Mole" in The Movie, despite being the same age as the boys.
  • Ship Tease: And how! Just look under the Ho Yay tab. The creators seem to delight in going out of their way to ship the boys with each other as jokes, especially Kyle/Stan and Kyle/Cartman.
  • Shipper with an Agenda:
    • Cartman in "Cartman Finds Love". He goes to great lengths to pair Token up with the new girl in school. True to form, however, it's only because she's also black and Cartman thinks they should be together solely on that racist notion.
    • In "Tweek x Craig", the two characters were at first shipped by In-Universe Yaoi Fangirls (which is in itself a reaction to the real life shipping of South Park characters), but then the whole town which at the time had gone mad with political correctness also started to support the ship just to prove that they are supportive of the gay community (despite having no clue about what it is).
  • Shmuck Bait: Poor, poor Butters. Every single time. And a lot of the time, he just never catches on.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: "Stanley's Cup".
  • Shop Class: "Tweek vs. Craig" focuses on boys taking Wood Shop and girls taking Home Ec. Kenny breaks the mold and takes Home Ec because he fears, not unreasonably, that one of the machines will kill him. His fears became true when the Home Ec teacher, not believing Kenny could get a rich husband, which is what she teaches her students to do, sent him to shop class.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Slightly altered with them having a good reason for being shorter. Small children like Kyle, Stan, and Cartman sometimes seem to be the smartest people in South Park.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?:
    • Handwaved in "Kenny Dies".
    • In the beginning of "Ass Burgers", Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman leave the bus stop moments before the bus arrives to ask Gerald if Asperger's Syndrome is real. In class, Officer Barbrady shows up with them, saying they were caught playing hooky.
  • Shout-Out: See the Shout Out page.
  • Should Have Thought of That Before X: In "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut":
    Liane: I mean, what right do I have bringing another child into this overpopulated world? Then again, I should have thought of that before having sex...
  • Shower of Angst: Stan takes one of these in the beginning of "Ass Burgers", after getting out of bed.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Terrance and Phillip, which is considered offensive in-universe much like South Park itself.
    • Jesus & Pals, among others.
    • Russell Crowe: Fightin' 'Round the World
    • Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
    • Boy Meets Boy
    • Chinpokomon
    • The list goes on and on and on.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • For all that it is, South Park can be fairly sensitive when the writers want to be. Most of their issues are pretty well researched. When Timmy and Jimmy's conditions become applicable they are taken fairly seriously, "Le Petit Tourettes" handled Tourette's Syndrome better than most recent approaches, many terminal illnesses like AIDS, Cancer and Muscular Dystrophy are researched, they noted that Americans built military bases on Muslim holy ground, and they are not adverse to using Bible quotations.
    • Henrietta's room after she becomes emo in "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" is filled with visual puns and inside jokes about emo culture that must have taken some research on Parker and Stone's part. Besides a conversation about Fall Out Boy playing the Super Bowl when emos take over the world, easy emo culture jokes are avoided, with a Shout-Out reference going to obscure emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate.
    • Whatever your opinion of Family Guy is, it's hard to deny that the parodies of its cutaway gags in "Cartoon Wars" would be out of place at all on the real show.
    • In "Chef Aid", when Johnnie Cochran uses his Chewbacca defense, he states that Chewbacca comes from the planet Kashyyyk. Sounds like something Parker and Stone learned from Revenge of the Sith...except "Chef Aid" first appeared in 1998, seven years before ROTS came out and Chewbacca's home planet was a relatively obscure tidbit of knowledge at the time. note 
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Cartman and Heidi in season 20. Bebe actually vomits after witnessing their affection for each other.
  • Side Bet: Happens as a running gag. Examples include:
    • In the episode South Park S 7 E 14 Raisins Raisins, Butters tells his parents he has a girlfriend, they exchange money according to their bet on his sexuality.
    • On the episode "Christian Rock Hard", Cartman bets Kyle 10 bucks that his Christian rock band will sell a platinum album before him. It backfires when during an album release party, Cartman is presented a Myrrh album, resulting in the bet falling apart and Cartman throwing a tantrum.
    • On the episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", Cartman bets Kyle that people shit themselves after they died. Cartman wins each bet every time someone dies and shits on themselves.
    • And of course, the entire subplot about Cartman betting Kyle to suck his balls if leprechauns are real in the "Imaginationland" trilogy.
  • Similar Squad: Craig's gang.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The foul language the main quartet of kids constantly spout would make sailors blush, especially Cartman.
  • Shouting Free-for-All: A Running Gag has angry crowds all talk over one another, yelling "Rabble rabble rabble!" instead of anything coherent. In "I'm a Little Bit Country," not only do the townsfolk rabble on while yelling at each other over whether the Iraq War is a good idea, but a flashback shows the Founding Fathers similarly yelling over each other when debating whether to go to war with Britain.
  • Skewed Priorities: At the end of "The Death Camp of Tolerance," the boys are pulled from the Tolerance Camp after a huge misunderstanding. "You have no idea how much we've suffered!" said Sheila Broflovski to the emaciated Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Butters, in full Heroic BSoD mode.
  • Skyward Scream: Cartman doesn't react well to Scott Tenorman burning his money.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: The show is normally level 3 (Subtle Continuity) but occasionally goes into level 4 (Arc-Based Episodic), especially when a major event happens or characters go through major Character Development.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: One of the most cynical cartoons ever put on television, however there are times where it establishes some heart, empowering messages, or touching emotion. Despite how cynical this show can get and how low brow the humor can be, the creators do surprisingly establish some of their issues with a balanced mindset.
  • Small Town Rivalry: A three-way one between South Park, North Park, and Middle Park.
  • Smoking Is Glamorous: Actually, not smoking is stupid and dorky, based on an assembly hall presentation.
  • Snap Back: Kenny's deaths, destruction of the town.
    • Subverted in "Mysterion Rises". After 14 seasons, it turns out that Kenny is completely aware of every single death.
    • "Trapper Keeper" is perhaps the only episode in which one of the boys' homes (Cartman's, in this case) is explicitly shown being destroyed. Of course, it's fully intact again in the next episode.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Wendy, especially if the creators are trying to deliver a heavy-handed liberal Aesop.
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: South Park parodies this trope with their Cartoon Wars two-parter; in the first episode, Family Guy resorts to shock value by doing a caricature of Muhammad, and after some Islamic fanatics make vague threats of revenge, the residents of South Park are afraid that they will be targeted by terror attacks. In the second episode, the revenge turns out to be a cartoon of caricatures of various aspects American culture crapping on each other.
  • The Sociopath: Eric goddamn Cartman. Perfectly summed up in "Toilet Paper". Butters confesses to TP-ing the art teacher's house, when it was really Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman. When Kyle expresses concern for Butters, Cartman (and not just because he's very young) legitimately doesn't understand how the others can feel bad for someone else when the plight of that person doesn't impact them negatively at all. Even by the end, he's still convinced that the only reason they were worried about Butters is because they might get in trouble as a result of his situation.
  • Sociopathic Hero: In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman starts as this, going up against Scott Tenorman, who is portrayed as even worse than Cartman (but only because Cartman is so stupid). But then the ending comes and subverts it, showing that Cartman is actually much, much more sinister.
  • Solid Gold Poop: "How about a taco... that craps ice cream?"
  • Something Completely Different: Many, many times, including:
    • "Not Without My Anus", which was a complete Terrance and Phillip half-hour TV special. It might have been more popular if it hadn't been an April Fools joke airing on the night when viewers were expecting to see the second part of a Cliffhanger.
    • "Butters' Very Own Episode", devoted to side character Leopold "Butters" Stotch.
    • Several musical episodes.
    • "It Hits the Fan", which set out to break the world record for the number of inclusions of the word "shit" (162 in total).
    • "Good Times with Weapons", an Affectionate Parody of Shōnen fighting anime that spent half its running time as anime.
    • "Pip", which was devoted entirely to spoofing the Charles Dickens story Great Expectations.
    • "Make Love, Not Warcraft", half of which was portrayed in World of Warcraft.
    • The third act of "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" which is done completely in live action with adult actors etc.
    • One of the most notable is probably The Movie, which is both deliberately cruder than the TV series (it has an anti-censorship theme, as well as an "R" rating), and a full-fledged musical.
  • Son of a Whore: Cartman. In "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut", he learned that his mom had slept with the entire named adult population of South Park.
    • ...including Jesus.
    • ...and the entire roster of the 1989 Denver Broncos.
    • ...and a black guy.
      • All of which were being tested to find out who had fathered Cartman at the 12th Annual Drunken Barn Dance. So yeah...
      • And one of the Denver Broncos turned out to be the father of both Scott Tenorman and Eric Cartman.
    • ...but Halfy didn't sleep with her. How can he? He doesn't have any legs!
  • Sorry Ociffer: "What seems to be the officer, problem?"
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Very prevalent in the broadcast version of the show due to how much swearing is present in this show. Played with in "It Hits the Fan", where Mr. Garrison is allowed to say "fag" uncensored because he's come out as gay. While discussing it with some guys at the bar, Mr. Garrison points out that they're all getting beeped for saying it. Then Jimbo complains about it and doesn't get beeped. Mr. Garrison sarcastically asks him if he wants to make out.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Professor Chaos' pitiful attempts at committing evil are only made all the funnier by the genuinely sinister and dramatic orchestral Leitmotif accompanying his schemes.
    • Later episodes often have this melodramatic piano music or orchestra playing in some scenes that are actually funny in the right context.
  • Space Whale: The plot of "Free Willzyx" relies on this trope.
  • Space Whale Aesop: From "Fun with Veal":
    Stan: It's wrong to eat veal because the animals are so horribly mistreated, but if you don't eat meat at all you break out in vaginas.
  • Speak of the Devil: In the same vein as the Bloody Mary and Candyman, Biggie Smalls' ghost manifests when someone says his name three times.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Kyle's surname is usually Broflovski, but it has appeared as Brovlofski, Broflofski and Broflowski.
    • Many fans tend to leave out the second "e" in Shelley's name.
  • Spin-Off:
    • Parodied in "Jakovasaurs".
      Cartman: (coming in to visit the Jakovasaurs) Hi, Jakov.
      (applause from Studio Audience)
      Cartman: What the hell is that?
      (audience laughter)
    • The MUCH channel in Canada made a series of promos for South Park depicting a Canadian equivalent of the series called "North Park", lampooning Toronto multiculturalism, Canadian politeness, and Rob Ford (mayor of Toronto). Coincidentally, the geometry is even square-based like Canada's depiction in the show proper.
  • Sphere Eyes: The entire cast, of course, excluding the Canadians and Saddam Hussein, at least at first.
  • Split Personality: In "City Sushi", it is revealed that the City Wok guy is actually a white man named Dr. Janus, who has at least ten different personalities. The cops decide to let him live as the City Wok owner, as it is the strongest developed and most practical for the town.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Kenny dies of this in "Spontaneous Combustion"; it’s later explained that Kenny had a new girlfriend and was holding in all his farts.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: "Cherokee Hair Tampons" had a Running Gag where Cartman squirts milk out of his nose whenever he's laughing, except he wasn't actually drinking anything at the time. At the end, the Everybody Laughs Ending is interrupted when milk squirts out of Kyle's nose. Cartman has the last laugh, saying Kyle got the crappy kidney from him.
  • Springtime for Hitler: In "The Losing Edge", despite trying to get themselves eliminated from the baseball playoffs because they hate it and are pressured into playing it by their parents, the boys make it all the way to the finals because every other team is trying to do exactly the same.
    • In "The Death Camp of Tolerance", Mr. Garrison hears of a teacher who was fired for being gay and sued the school for millions, so he ramps up the Depraved Homosexual act while on the job in an attempt to get himself fired and do the same thing. When the kids try to tell their parents what they have been exposed to, they are chastised for being homophobic and sent to the titular Tolerance Camp, which resembles a Nazi concentration camp. Garrison, however, is praised for his "courageous" behavior and presented with an award for overcoming adversity. He is appalled by how everyone is treating him and snaps during the awards ceremony, screaming at the audience about how "tolerance" is not the same thing as "acceptance", and that anyone would deserve to get fired for doing what he has done, regardless of their sexuality. However, this causes Principal Victoria to declare that he is too intolerant of his own behavior and sends him to the Tolerance Camp as well.
  • Stalker Shot: In Season 22 "Bike Parade", after the Stotches get their packages from Amazon, they're happy to get their stuff. The camera then cuts to an Amazon Alexa in their living room, revealing that Jeff Bezos is eavesdropping on the citizens of South Park through Alexa.
  • Standard Police Motto: Parodied; the side of Officer Barbrady's patrol car has "To Patronize and Annoy" on it.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Parodied in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" with Ms. Stevenson and Ike.
    • Played straight with Kyle and Rebecca in "Hooked on Monkey Fonics".
  • Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded multiple times.
    • The first time, in "Mecha-Streisand", a reporter appears, saying that the town had managed to rebuild itself "just weeks after the devastating attack of mutant genetic creatures, zombies, and Thanksgiving turkeys". Then Mecha Streisand shows up and begins to wreck the town, prompting a "not again" comment from the reporter.
    • The second time, in "201", after the main events of the plot is resolved, the mayor announces, "Alright, people, let's start rebuilding our town! ...for the 39th time."
    • In "You're Getting Old":
      Sharon: "It’s like the same shit just happens over and over, then in a week it just all resets until it happens again. Every week it’s kind of the same story in a different way, but it just keeps getting more and more ridiculous."
    • And its sequel, "Ass Burgers", has Stan accepting the change in his life, only to have everything change back to the way it was against his will. Sharon even remarks at how sometimes it's just best to stick with what you know.
    • A straight example happens when it is discovered that the City Wok owner is the psychotic, murderous Caucasian Dr. Janus. Since he's the only Asian restaurant owner left in town after the Japanese sushi chef whom he harassed killed himself after this reveal, the police let him go back to work at City Wok.
    • At the end of "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", where Kenny's parents are in the hospital with their newborn son...complete with orange parka.
      Stuart: "God, this must be the 50th time this has happened."
      Carol: "52nd."
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Parodied in one scene of "The Coon", in which Sergeant Yates keeps finding the Coon gone, only for the Coon to tell him he's elsewhere in the room.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In "The F Word", the dictionary's head editor is Emmanuel Lewis.note 
    • In "Royal Pudding", the various Canadian wedding "traditions" that get increasingly bizarre and disgusting are being acted out by The Aristocrats who are getting married.
    • Wolf Home Security in "Insecurity" refers to The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
    • In "Ass Burgers", the President is replaced by a duck that spews shit, making him a lame duck.
    • A school named "Jim Davis High School" appears in "Eek, A Penis!". It's a parody of the Garfield High School from the film Stand and Deliver, referencing the other Garfield, who was created by Jim Davis.
    • Chef was voiced by Isaac Hayes.
    • In "Nobody Got Cereal?", several mentions are made of Red Dead Redemption 2; in the same episode, Satan fights against ManBearPig, is defeated and killed, but the act of protecting the city of South Park saves his soul. In short, Satan is red, is dead and has achieved redemption.
  • Steam Never Dies: Whenever a train appeared in the early seasons, it was a steam locomotive with 19th century coaches and cars. Later seasons show more contemporary diesel trains.
  • Stern Teacher: Ms. Choksondik and Mr. Mackey. Mr. Garrison as well whenever he's not being a Sadist Teacher.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: "Good Times with Weapons" sees the boys buy ninja weapons and run amok with them.
  • Stock Sound Effects: South Park just loves using these more than most shows.
  • The Stoic: Craig is like this, most of the time, especially when he flips people off.
  • Strangely Arousing: Butters, upon watching Backdoor Sluts 9, experiences arousal for what we can assume is the first time. "What's going on down there?". It acts as a double-down of the trope, as both the porno and his arousal are strange and exciting. Also helps illustrate Butters' innocence, considering how alien the idea of sex is to him.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In "Red Man's Greed", the boys are thinking up a way to generate $300,000 to buy back South Park. Butters suggests a dog parade, in which the dogs are dressed in little outfits and the kids sell tickets to their moms and dads. This idea is shot down by Stan, who points out their moms and dads are the ones who need the money. Later on, the kids run up telling the adults they have an idea to generate $300,000. Butters's dad Stephen eagerly asks if it's a dog parade.
  • Strawman Political:
    • Sometimes lampshaded, sometimes played straight. More cynical viewers might argue that their entire method of political commentary typically involves pitting various strawmen against each other before settling on a Golden Mean Fallacy.
    • One of the draws of the show is that unlike politicians and other writers who simply say "People with different views should just get along", South Park actually gives rationalizations for it.
    • The one consistent political message is that too many people pay way, way too much attention to politics. Anyone with a pet political cause of any kind almost always will be portrayed as a troublesome fool (when not a villain).
  • Stress Vomit: Stan vomits whenever Wendy talks to him, sometimes even vomiting on her. They're still an item in spite of this.
  • Stuck on Band-Aid Brand: The Sega Dreamcast, Sony PSP, and Nintendo Wii have all appeared in episodes. Each console was mentioned repeatedly with its manufacturer's name, where a normal person would just say "Dreamcast", "PSP", or "Wii"note .
  • Student/Teacher Romance: Between Miss Stevenson and Ike. Ike is three years old.
  • Stupid Question Bait: A somewhat provoked case after George W. Bush explains his theory of Saddam Hussein being sent to heaven after Satan broke up with him:
    President Bush: Question?
    Crowd member: Are you high, or just incredibly stupid?
    President Bush: I assure you. I am not high.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" takes this one all the way.
  • Subverted Kids Show:
  • Suck E. Cheese's:
    • Whistling Willy's. Played straighter in its initial appearance, where it was called "Krust E. Crotch's".
    • Raisins = Hooters for pre-teens.
  • Suckiness Is Painful:
    • The Raiders of the Lost Ark special edition, which melts the faces of the corrupt producers who made it.
    • "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining". So painful that it killed Kenny.
  • Sudden Name Change: Happens a lot in the show, due to it being a long-runner and Parker and Stone admittedly not prioritizing many characters' names or details.
    • Jimbo Kern/Kerns
    • Jimmy Swanson/Valmer
    • Ryan/Stephen Valmer
    • Chris/Stephen Stotch, with his given name going back and forth for some time until the creators finally settled on him being "Stephen".
    • Token Black/Williams
    • Bob/Steve Black/Williams note 
    • Alphonse/Alfonz Mephesto/Mephisto and his son Terrance/Terrence
    • Sally Turner/Powder
    • Loogie/Luigi (though that may just be nickname vs. given name)
    • Red/Bertha/Rebecca (and back to Red again)
    • Milly/Jessie/Millie Larsen
    • Leroy Jenkins/Peter Mullen. The first name was used in "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", "The List", and "1%", but suddenly became the latter in "Informative Murder Porn". His first full name also happened to be a Shout-Out to World of Warcraft. In The Stick of Truth, the creators opted to refer to him as "Leroy Mullens".
    • Marcy/Heidi Turner, who is also infamous among fans for her multiple different sets of parents.
    • Clyde Goodmannote /Donovan/Harris (and back to Donovan)
    • Martha/Betsy Donovan
    • Casey/Sky/Kevin. Fans tried to reconcile the first and the third by changing "Casey" to "KC" (with "C" being an initial for his surname). It worked well enough until his surname was revealed to be "Stoley". Previously in a season 6 episode, it was suggested his last name was "Brooks" and showed that his parents were Caucasian (despite another episode stating his parents were Chinese).
    • Sheila Broflovski and Sharon Marsh were both called Carol in "Death". Mrs. Stotch was also initially called this in "Super Best Friends", but "Butters' Very Own Episode" revealed her name to be Linda.
    • Butters was referred to as "Swanson" in season 2's "Conjoined Fetus Lady", while a female classmate Annie was called "Jordan". Annie has also been alternatively referred to as "Ashley" in "Butters' Bottom Bitch". Before being called "Swanson", Butters had the name "Puff Puff" (due to his puff of hair) given to him in storyboards for season 1. Annie's surname was also initially "Faulk", but later became "Nelson" and then "Knitts".
    • A nerdy classmate was initially named "Lorraine", but later named "Lisa Berger" when she got more of a role.
    • Ethan/Herbert Garrison, though in his short-lived stint as a woman, he preferred the name Janet.
    • Officer Lou/Harrison Yates, who's also been referred to as "Officer Harris" in some of the actual scripts.
    • Officer Mitch Harris/Mitch Murphy
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The "Imaginationland" episodes. Could also count as an Eldritch Apocalypse given the purpose of the war orchestrated by the terrorist cell was for the Good and Evil Imaginary characters to kill each other off entirely.
  • Suicide as Comedy: Shows up with disturbing frequency. One has to wonder how this reflects on the mental health of the creators...
  • Suicide Dare:
    • One episode has Cartman tell the hall monitor to kill himself.
    • Another episode has Stan calling a shopping network when his grandfather was spending all his savings buying from them, and, in a nod to the Bill Hicks example below, telling the presenters to kill themselves for taking advantage of old people. The elderly viewers join in and all start telling him to kill himself in a Running Gag. In the end, it works.
  • Suicide Is Painless: Averted. In "Night of the Living Homeless", a scientist tries several times to kill himself before the homeless get to him, but each shot just leaves him bloodier and in more agony until he finally, mercifully, dies.
    • Though it was only an assisted suicide, Jesus' death in "Fantastic Easter Special" is lengthy and bloody.
    • In "Coon Vs Coon and Friends", Kenny kills himself several times. Once, in a desperate attempt to get his friends to remember his many deaths; another time, to escape from an alternate dimension; and yet another because he was just tired. And as he reminds us in case we forgot after 100+ deaths through the show's history:
      Kenny: [Immortality] is not cool, Kyle. It fucking hurts!
  • Superhero: The gang, plus a few of their friends, all have their own superhero alter-egos. Together they are... Coon and Friends!
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • From "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig" when Cartman is trying to sound like he wouldn't as easily let a girl beat him up as Stan does.
      Cartman: If some girl tried to kick my ass, I'd be like "AY, why don't you stop dressing me up like a mailman, and making me dance for you, while you go and smoke crack in your bedroom, and have sex with some guy I don't even know, on my dad's bed?"
      Stan: ...Cartman, what the hell are you talking about?
      Cartman: I'm just saying you're just a little wuss. That's all.
    • In "Fishticks", Cartman's recollection of the titular joke being born becomes increasingly more absurd each time he thinks about it. In at least two of them, more than one character compliments Cartman for not being fat.
    • In "Pinkeye", when Chef walks in on the mayor and a pantsless Officer Barbrady and her desk covered in cash, she says "I can assure you it has absolutely nothing to do with the Japanese Mafia."
  • Supporting the Monster Loved One: In one episode, Butters' parents believed their son died, and underwent a ritual to bring him back. When Butters returned home, they thought him an abomination, and tried to feed him a solicitor they captured.
  • Swallowed Whole: One of the ways Kenny died in the series, by a giant reptilian bird that out of nowhere breaks through the school ceiling.
  • Sword over Head: Subverted in "Red Sleigh Down", where after being freed from his torture, Santa takes a gun and shoots the person who tortured him. It looks and sounds like he shot to the side but then we see the victim and Santa says "I just couldn't do it, I just couldn't let him live. He shocked Santa's balls." It's probably a reference to a scene from Three Kings, where after saving Barlow from his Iraqi torturers, Major Gates hands Barlow his pistol. Barlow stares at the pistol, then at his interrogator, who was Not So Different, and finally points it to the side at the last minute and empties the clip into the wall.
  • Symbol Swearing: In some early episodes, the Closed Captioning used grawlixes whenever a word was beeped.
  • Synchronous Episodes: The three-part Meteor Shower Trilogy. The first episode, "Cat Orgy", had Cartman babysat by Stan's sister Shelly while his mom was at a party; the second part, "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", showed Stan with his parents at that party, which the government thought was a Heaven's Gate-style cult meeting; and the third, "Jewbilee", had Kyle and Kenny at a camp for Jewish kids, where a villain tried to summon an Eldritch Abomination Biblical Bad Guy.

  • Take a Number: In "Over Logging", Stan, Shelly and Randy have to take a number to get rationed web access at a refugee camp. Features both versions of the trope: the fighting and the closing.
  • Take a Third Option: Between having sex with his son or letting him die, Garrison's father chooses to bribe Kenny G to impersonate him.
  • Take Our Word for It: "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs."
  • Take That!: Almost every episode.
    • One of the most elaborate ones they did was a slam against Family Guy and the "manatee gags" they always do. In the same two episodes, with just as much importance to the plot, they made fun against the overreaction to a cartoon with Mohammad.
    • Hell, in that very episode, they provide a Take That against themselves, as Kyle, the head of the CBC, and a passerby all express the idea that they like Family Guy because it's easy to watch, makes them laugh and doesn't get "preachy and up its own ass with messages".
    • They're generally pretty free with the Self-Deprecation in general. Another notable example of Self-Deprecation from "The Passion of the Jew": "This is just like when we got our money back for BASEketball."
    • In addition to the above, the main targets of "Passion of the Jew" were Mel Gibson for his borderline anti-Semitic themes and behavior, as well as those who mindlessly allow themselves to be guilt tripped into following a herd mentality just because they sat through what basically amounts to Torture Porn.
    • "Fishsticks" was run repeatedly back-to-back on Comedy Central the Wednesday after Kanye's outburst at the VMAs.
    • The captain from Whale Wars gets raked across the coals thoroughly in "Whale Whores".
    • In "Up the Down Steroids", Jimmy calls athletes who take steroids "big fat p-p-p-pussies" as the camera cuts to close-ups of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi all idiotically grinning.
    • The entire episode "How to Eat with Your Butt" is just a twenty-minute buildup to a Pun about Ben Affleck.
    • "The Tale Of Scrotie McBoogerballs" has an obvious Take That! against banning books early in the episode when the boys are assigned to read the un-banned The Catcher in the Rye and find it boring. It's also a more subtle Take That! against all the fans that read too deeply into what they bash or not, and claim South Park is one thing or another.
    • "Insheeption" is twenty minutes of "people who find Inception cool because they think it is complex are dumb, because it's actually pretty simple".
      • Unless, of course, it was a Take That! against Inception for substituting convoluted, jargon-laden exposition for story and character development.
      • The episode straddles the line so it can be interpreted both ways. They didn't know whether to say it was good or bad, because they didn't watch the film.
    • "Canada on Strike" was a massive Take That! towards all those involved in the 2007/2008 Writer's Strike.
    • "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce" aired during the height of very public allegations that September 11th was a False Flag Operation, saying those people are "retarded."
    • "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" ridicules the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (specifically those that were more content to place blame than to help people), people who believe all the hype over global warming, and The Day After Tomorrow.
    • "Make Love, Not Warcraft" is practically an episode-long Take That towards people who are obsessed with MMORPGs. With people often referring to players as "Ones with No Life" (i.e. Griefers). It also makes fun of people who go out of their way to get revenge on players who destroy them in a game.
    • The use of a real fraternity house (Alpha Tau Omega) in "Butters' Bottom Bitch" makes it pretty obvious who Matt and Trey had a beef with when they were at Boulder.
    • Then in "Broadway Bro Down", Randy attempts to stop Shelley and her new boyfriends from seeing Wicked to protect her from "subliminal subtext." He cries "It's time to put an end to Broadway!" Then he dresses in a Spider-Man costume...
    • The Movie was basically a big Take That! at Moral Guardians and scapegoating. The last lines to the song "Blame Canada" pretty much spell it out.
      We must blame them and cause a fuss.
      Before somebody thinks of blaming us.
    • "A History Channel Thanksgiving" takes a big aim at The History Channel (as you probably would have guessed) and its unique brand of Network Decay, all set to a parody of Thor that reveals the Pilgrims and Indians were basically Asgardians and Frost Giants fighting over the universe's supply of stuffing.
    • "Faith Hilling" is an affront against following trends and those who look down on others for not doing so.
    • "The China Probrem" thoroughly skewers Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by taking the popular rape metaphors used by Caustic Critics and running with it. In the documentary "Six Days to Air", one of the staff members mentions that Matt actually came out of the theater saying that "It was like a rape. It was like being raped."
    • "Smug Alert" is a large and obvious ridicule of the fact that many hybrid car owners are arrogant and more focused on making themselves look superior to drivers of less eco-friendly vehicles (SUVs in particular); it's also poking at one of George Clooney's acceptance speeches about Hollywood, how San Francisco think they're more progressive than the rest of the country; and last but not least, how some smug LA film writers who owned hybrid cars were also major hypocrites because they use private jets. (Which are much worse than any car for pollution)
    • "All About Mormons" started off mocking the origins of the Mormon faith only to completely 180 on it's target during the ending with a Take That! at people who mock or try to poke holes in others' religious and spiritual beliefs.
    • "Stupid Spoiled Whore Playset" is basically a huge riff on Paris Hilton on how she is spoiled and parties everyday.
    • "You're Getting Old" rips into people that do nothing but complain about how everyone and everything is shit while refusing to find anything wholesome or good to be happy about. The doctor who diagnoses Stan's extreme cynicism explicitly calls him a cynical asshole.
    • "Raising the Bar" slams Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo for glorifying people that are obese and live like slobs while also blasting The Learning Channel for airing the show and slamming people that watch such shows in the first place. The episode also does a quick jab at Randy Newman after Kyle confronts Token for making a copycat show called Here Comes Fatty Doo Doo. Incidentally, Randy Newman lowered the bar to keep his career afloat.
      Token: Kyle, Kyle. I'm trying to make compelling television.
      Kyle: You got Randy Newman to do the theme song. You're not trying that hard!
    • "Let Go, Let Gov" slams several groups at once; it pokes fun at people who cry about their privacy being invaded while doing things that aren't so private to begin with (talking loudly on their cell phones while having the speakerphone on for instance), slams people that use Twitter to post anything that comes to their mind without thinking about it first, trashing the NSA for spying on people, and Alec Baldwin (again).
    • "Informative Murder Porn" flips a big middle finger to cable companies for forcing customers to take channels they don't want and for making them wait to get any kind of service during an unspecified time period.
    • "#REHASH" is a mockery of the concept of Let's Play (especially PewDiePie, whose catchphrase is based on Mr. Hankey), with the kids having to put up with Cartman's redundant, unfunny, and obnoxious commentary on everything, and wondering why anyone wouldn't just play the damn game itself. The episode also takes a dump on Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj.
      • However, in the following episode, "#HappyHolograms", Kyle eventually comes around and accepts PewDiePie and his ilk for what they are.
  • Taken for Granite: Happens to the Tooth Decay monster after seeing Ugly Bob's face in "Royal Pudding".
  • The Talk: The boys are treated to this after their parents mistakenly think that they saw a depraved porn film.
    Randy Marsh: "Alright, now, now listen, kids, there's some things we need to put into context for you. You see, a man puts his penis into a woman's vagina for both love and pleasure. But sometimes the woman lays on top of the man facing the other way so that they can put each other's genitals in their mouths. This is called "69ing" and it's normal."
    Sharon Marsh: "See boys, a woman is sensitive in her vagina and it... feels good to have a man's penis inside of it."
    Sheila Broflovski: "That's right, but sometimes a woman chooses to use other things - telephones, staplers, magazines. It's because the nerve endings in the vagina are so sensitive, it's like a fun tickle."
    Gerald Broflovski: "Now, on to double penetration, boys. You see, sometimes when a woman has sex with more than one man, each man makes love to a different orifice."
    Randy Marsh: "That's right. It's something adults can do with really good friends in a comfortable setting."
    Sheila Broflovski: "It's also important that you understand why some people choose to urinate on each other."
    Randy Marsh: "Going #1 or #2 on your lover is something people might do, but you must make sure your partner is okay with it before you start doing it."
    Gerald Broflovski: "Okay boys. Do you have any questions?"
    Stan Marsh: "...Wow."
  • Team Prima Donna: Cartman, when he founded the team "Coon and Friends".
  • Tears of Fear: Randy shows these during a conversation with Sharon in "Sarcastaball" when attempting to break away from a sickness that makes him unable to communicate without sarcasm.
  • Teeny Weenie:
    • In one episode, Osama bin Laden is shown to have an absurdly microscopic penis.
    • "T.M.I." uses the idea of compensating for a small penis as its entire premise. It turns out that all of the angry people in the world are just pissed off because they're below the average length. To fix the problem the "average length" is shortened (ironically, Cartman, being a kid and all, still doesn't make the cut).
    • In the Pokémon spoof "Chinpokomon", the Japanese creators keep talking about how small their penises are as opposed the well-endowed Americans. Sharon calls them out on this, saying that they're only saying this to distract the male Americans. While this is true, one of the creators proves that he's not lying about the size of his penis, either.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: "Let's Fighting Love" is arguably qualified as this. It plays in "Good Times with Weapons" when the boys pretend to be hyper-muscled hyper-detailed Japanese anime teenage ninja badasses and have epic imaginary ninja battles against each other.
  • There Is a God!: When Cartman inherits a million dollars after his grandmother's death, he buys an amusement park, which causes Kyle to lose his belief in God, which in turn causes him to be at death's door due to a hemorrhoid. At the end of the episode, Cartman gets his comeuppance.
    Stan: Look, Kyle, Cartman is totally miserable. [a shot of Cartman on his knees, sobbing] Even more miserable than he was before because he's had his dream and lost it.
    Cartman: It's not fair! It's not fair; I wanna die! I wanna daaahahie! [Kyle looks at Cartman, then up at the sky, then sits up and removes the oxygen mask]
    Kyle: You are up there! [smiles]
  • Think Nothing of It: In "Raising the Bar", James Cameron doesn't take credit for the eponymous act. "James Cameron doesn't do what James Cameron does for James Cameron. James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron."
  • Third-Person Person: James Cameron in "Raising the Bar".
  • This Is a Drill: Cartman will not hesitate to use it against hippies.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: "All characters and events in this show—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated... poorly. The following program contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone."
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • Weakly used by Stan to threaten Gary in "All About Mormons".
    • The "guy/buddy/friend" exchange in "Canada on Strike".
    • From "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy": "You just dealt with the Dawg, bitch!"
  • This Is My Side:
    • Played straight in "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", where all of the adults are gone from South Park and kids split the town into Smiley Town and Treasure Cove.
    • Deconstructed in "I'm a Little Bit Country", where the town attempts to split themselves into pro-war and anti-war halves, only to almost immediately find that certain needs of theirs are on the other side of the line they just made, and Skeeter concludes, "What we really should be doing is just beatin' the hell out of each other like we were."
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In "Super Fun Time", Kyle says this when he first arrives at Frontier Village and having to hear the annoying Pioneer Paul.
  • Three Stooges Shout-Out: "Hell on Earth 2006" features notorious serial killers Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy sent to Earth to get a cake for Satan's party. They start fighting each other in typical Three Stooges' fashion. The title card even spoofs the ones from their shorts.
  • Time Passes Montage: Parodied in "Cartman's Incredible Gift".
  • Title Drop:
    • Butters does this in "Last of the Meheecans".
    • The Catatafish does this in "Bass to Mouth". And also accidentally flubs it and says "Ass to Trout".
      "Did I say ass to trout? I meant bass to mouth. Although I guess it's basically the same thing.
  • Title Sequence Replacement: The series has a syndication-only version of the Title Sequence, which blends the pre-2007 versions together.
  • Toilet Humour: Used in just about every episode.
    • The boys like to watch ''Terrance and Phillip'', a series comprised almost entirely of fart jokes.
    • In some episodes, the plot is built around toilet humor: as a couple of examples, in "Spontaneous Combustion," people are urged to stop holding in their farts so they don't spontaneously explode, and "More Crap" revolves around Randy Marsh trying to break the world record for taking the largest dump.
    • In "You're Getting Old", everything turns to shit. Literally.
    • "Reverse Cowgirl" is toilet humor that actually focuses on the damn toilet.
  • Toilet Paper Prank: One episode was all about this. In typical fashion, it was treated as a Felony Misdemeanor as if the boys committed a murder together. Kyle was even haunted by nightmares of their "crime", so Cartman decided that Kyle needed to be killed to keep it a secret.
  • Token Minority: Conveniently named Token Black (although played with in that he's both the token black kid and the token rich kid). In "Here Comes the Neighborhood", Randy called them the Williamses. Possibly to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of Randy saying "Isn't that the Blacks?"
  • Token Minority Couple: Invoked, parodied, and then reconstructed, in "Cartman Finds Love".
  • Tomato Surprise: Liu Kim, the City Wok owner, is actually one of Dr. Janus' personalities.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Many of the adults, especially Randy, are this, hence why many of the plots on the show revolve about their stupidity and gullibility.
    • In "Faith Hilling", the kids are forced to watch a PSA showing the dangers of memeing. It shows 3 clips, all with kids ending up getting run over by trains. While the third one was forgivable, due to the fact that the train had no business being there, the first two have no excuse, considering they spent the 30 seconds they had to run away, screaming.
    • In "Super Fun Time", the actors at Pioneer Village are so absurdly dedicated to remaining in character as people in a Old West style village that when robbers break in they won't break character to give the robbers what they want even as they are threatened repeatedly and then one of them is killed by the robbers. One of them is even about to but another actor kills them to prevent it. Even after their work shift ends and they can break character none of the actors even seem to notice or care that 2 of their coworkers are now dead.
  • Too Hot for TV: Not just all the swearing, but parodied with a Jesus & Pals version.
  • Too Many Halves: According to Al Gore, ManBearPig is "half man, half bear, half pig".
  • Too Smart for Strangers: Parodied three times over.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Cartman. He went from being some stupid fat kid to being a surprisingly smart sociopath. Compare Cartman in "Cat Orgy", where he gets beat up by Shelly, to making Scott Tenorman eat his own parents, or literally driving the nanny insane in "Tsst".
    • Ike goes from "Don't kick the baby!" in season 1 to being part of a plan to steal the Hope Diamond by Barack Obama and John McCain. This is before he runs off to be a pirate, having grown bored with middle class life.
    • Liane as of "Coon 2: Hindsight". She's actually refusing to be Cartman's personal servant for once, and punishing him for swearing and beating up his friends. It says something that this is a level in badass for her. (She does fall for the LeBron James Technique, however.)
      • As of "HUMANCENTiPAD", she has apparently stopped putting up with any of Eric's attitude, making her one of the few (if only) competent parents on the show. Of course, now Eric has started screwing her over the same way he does everyone else.
    • Kenny as of "Mysterion Rises".
    • Butters on numerous occasions:
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Wendy in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" by standing up to Cartman and then beating the snot out of him at the end.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the early seasons, Stan and Kyle were only slightly less obnoxious and self-centered than Cartman, and often seemed to act as lower-scale school bullies. While they still have occasional Jerkass moments (for example, most of Season Six), they are much more rational and empathetic individuals (arguably the most so in the entire town), likely to contrast Cartman, who Took SEVERAL Levels in Jerkass.
    • Compare and contrast Sheila in The Movie (declaring war on Canada and initiating genocide) to after (scolding her husband for condemning Mr. Garrison's sex change).
    • Cartman slightly for the two-parter "You're Getting Old" and "Ass Burgers" only. Averted in that Status Quo Is God and he reverts to his usual Jerkass self at the end of the two parter, of course.
      • Cartman attempts to change during season 20 as well, although this ultimately fails and we are given the impression that he never really changed with the start of season 21.
  • The Topic of Cancer:
    • Discussed in "Tonsil Trouble". Of course they have to bring it Up to Eleven by having activists claim that just having AIDS is way better than having cancer.
    • Then there's "Breast Cancer Show Ever".
  • Torture Cellar: In "The Poor Kid", The Weatherheads' have a Creepy Basement called "The Punishment Room". They "punish" their foster kids by hanging them from the ceiling and spray them with Dr Pep-er via a power washer as a way to force their agnosticism onto them.
  • Tortured Monster: Stan falls in with a bunch of extreme environmentalists who marry animals. The "child" of such a pair — a man and an ostrich — can only say "kill me." This is also said by one of the failed Towelie clones in "Towelie". Unlike the ostrich-baby hybrid, at least it gets put out of its misery.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Stan realizes his grandfather was swindled in "Cash for Gold", he calls the shopping channel responsible, calls him out for scamming senile old people, and tells him to kill himself, without raising his voice the entire time.
    • Though Cartman's mostly known for his frequent tantrums, it's when he falls into this that you should be worried.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: In "Butters' Very Own Episode", Butters' mom tries to drown him by locking him in the car and sending it into the river, blaming it on "some Puerto Rican guy".
  • Trauma Conga Line: Butters and Kyle are often subjected to this. The fact that these characters are often at the brunt of Cartman's antics plays heavily into it.
    • "Good Times with Weapons": Butters is ridiculed by the boys, gets a ninja star stuck in his eye, is forced to dress up as a dog, wanders around town in a delirium of pain, gets sent out of an actual hospital to a vet's office due to his disguise, and is pissed and pooped on by the dogs there.
    • Kyle in "HUMANCENTiPAD" and "Ginger Cow" is pretty much a string of increasingly humiliating and horrific events.
    • "Cartmanland" also serves as this for Kyle until the last thirty seconds where the world is put in place thanks to Cartman's instant misfortune.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Parodied in "Cartman's Incredible Gift"; when Cartman wakes up from coma a due to a head injury, he fakes psychic powers because, due to completely normal predictions of events, the cops who visit him are convinced he has them.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Parodied by Chef in The Movie: Everything worked out/What a happy end!
  • Troperiffic: South Park is famous for skewering tropes just as much as virtually everything else in existence. Pick any episode and you'll probably find five tropes that haven't been added to this page in it.
  • Trade Snark: Bucky Bailey's Bully Buckers™ or, as its spokesman insistently pronounces it, "Bully Buckers, trademark".
  • Transgender: Mr. Garrison, in Seasons 9-12.
  • True Companions: Lampshaded in "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", when Chef tells Stan and Kyle that Cartman is their friend whether they like him or not. This trope becomes more apparent in later seasons, once their Weirdness Magnet status has begun to wear old; the boys fall victim to All of the Other Reindeer more often, making it evident that, while their classmates may tolerate them, they don't really have any friends outside of one another.
    • Averted very much so as it's shown that the other boys in their class do spend time with them in recent seasons, helping them through situations, sitting with them during lunch, and hanging out with them outside of school. In fact, it seems like the only person they genuinely all dislike is Cartman.
  • "Truman Show" Plot: "Cancelled".
  • Twisted Echo Cut:
    Cartman: (watching the Queef Sisters at his house with his friends) Dude! What the hell is this disgusting crap?!
    Phillip: (watching the Queef Sisters at CBC with Terrance) What the hell is this disgusting crap?!
  • Two Decades Behind: The actors in the "Bloody Sunday" educational short look like they came from The '80s, but according to the copyright date at the end, it was produced in 2010.
  • Tunnel King: The Mole from Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
  • T-Word Euphemism: In The Movie when Cartman calls Kyle a "fucking Jew" in class.
    Mr. Garrison: Eric, did you just say the F-word?!
    Cartman: "Jew"?
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Bill Donohue in the "Fantastic Easter Special", who takes over the Catholic Church before Jesus makes him Half the Man He Used to Be.
  • The Tyson Zone: Randy and Cartman. "1%" is pretty much dedicated to showing just how far Cartman's gone into this trope for the previous decade or so.

  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: Thirst for Blood, introduced as a console game in "Towelie" and later shows up in the background of numerous episodes as an arcade cabinet.
    Stan: Dude, I just cut off your face and ate it!
    Cartman: Sweet!
  • Unbelievable Source Plot: In "Cartman's Incredible Gift", Cartman gets a head injury and thinks he's psychic, so the police want him to help solve a series of murders. Kyle, who does some independent detective work, finds the murderer but can't get the police to pay attention to him because he isn't psychic - so he recreates Cartman's head-bumpage so he can pretend to also be psychic so the police will pay attention to his information.
  • Uncertain Doom: "Trapped in the Closet" ends this way, though the doom here is purely legal.
  • Understatement: At the end of "Scott Tenorman Must Die":
    Kyle: Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Happens a lot, but one particular spoof on the concept: Cartman responds with this when Kyle taunts him by saying that he was a stillborn.
  • The Unfettered: Cartman. He killed Scott Tenorman's parents to get revenge for conning him out of $16.12 in "Scott Tenorman Must Die". He gave Kyle AIDS to get revenge for laughing at him in "Tonsil Trouble". He saved Kyle's life just so that he could make Kyle suck his balls in "Imaginationland". He tricked Butters into thinking that the world had ended and trapped him in a refrigerator just to go to Casa Bonita in "Casa Bonita". He held a man at gunpoint to get Family Guy cancelled in "Cartoon Wars". He rigged an election to be in the new Star Wars in "Obama Wins". He gave Ben Affleck a handjob and got his hand broken just to make Stan and Kyle look dumb in "Fat Butt and Pancake Head". He convinced a woman to have an abortion to build his own Pizzeria in "Kenny Dies". In "Tsst", it was established that he will not murder his own mother. However, that seems like the only thing that he will not do. Every other conceivable atrocity is acceptable, no matter how petty the end that they serve.
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • Played with in regards to Ms. Choksondik. She has the astronomical fortune of the implied Unfortunate Implications going over her students' heads, whose insulting modifications only serve to make it tamer ("Ms. Chokes-on-rocks" and "Ms. Makes-me-sick"). It does, however, become quite ironic in regards to her death in Season 6.
    • The Super Best Friends member Semen.
      Seaman: It's Seaman!
      Buddha: But that's what I said. Semen.
      Seaman: Stop it!
    • Kyle and Ike are probably not the best names for kids of a Jewish family
  • The Unfought: Satan in The Movie, when Saddam turns out to be the real Big Bad.
  • The Unintelligible: Kenny.
  • Uninvited to the Party:
    • "Casa Bonita" revolves around Kyle having his birthday at the titular restaurant and refuses to invite Cartman. Cartman then tries to become nicer so Kyle will invite him, and when that fails he manipulates Butters into going missing so he can take his place.
    • "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" has the girls invite several boys over for a party. Cartman, who wasn't invited, later tries to get in only to be turned away each time.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • In "Mysterion Rises", the Coon attacks a little girl who was only asking about Mint-Berry Crunch, with a man breaking the fight off. In the Coon's subsequent summary of what transpired, the girl was depicted as a villain who was bigger than him and "fought with all her might" against him, while spectators cheer the Coon on.
    • All of the "comic book" scenes regarding the Coon invoke this.
  • The Unreveal:
    • Epitomized with the entire Aesop of the episode "201". Guess why.
    • Due to the show's art style in which most children are only distinguished by their hair and trademark clothes, when Mysterion is finally forced to remove his mask at the end of "The Coon", the viewers are still unable to recognize who it is though characters are able to tell right away. In "Coon 2: Hindsight", it's narrowed down to just two people, until the next episode "Mysterion Rises" where Kyle nonchalantly refers to Mysterion by his secret identity.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: In "AWESOM-O", in which Cartman's robot disguise (consisting of a couple of cardboard boxes) manages to fool everybody (except Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Butters' parents and uncle and aunt) until he gives the game away by farting.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Cartman tells a fake plan to humiliate Scott Tenorman to Stan and Kyle (who of course warned Scott about it), and only revealed the real plan once Scott completely fell for it.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Cartman is the one main character prone to this.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Kyle in "Tonsil Trouble".
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Several characters, though Cartman rises above the rest.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Stan, Kyle, and Scott Tenorman in "Scott Tenorman Must Die". This happen to Kyle again with Leslie.

  • Vagina Dentata:
    • From "Red Hot Catholic Love":
      "The Gelgamek vagina is three feet wide and filled with razor sharp teeth! Do you really expect us to have sex with them?"
    • Hillary Clinton has... something in there, according to "The Snuke".
  • Vampire Vannabe: Butters, in "The Ungroundable".
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Mr. Mackey (based on Trey's actual school counselor) puts "m'kay" at the end of a lot of his sentences. It crosses language borders; when speaking Spanish, he consistently ends his sentences with "m'bien" said with the exact same inflection as his "m'kay". It even apparently extends to writing, as it shows up in a note he wrote trying to fake Cartman's suicide.
    • Also Mickey Mouse in "The Ring" usually ends his sentences with his traditional "Haha!"
    • The head vampire (and Butters) in "The Ungroundable" ends his sentences with "per se" a lot: a parody of a guy who used to appear on a lot of television programs claiming he was a vampire, per se. He did it a lot, too, per se.
    • David Blaine ends a few of his sentences with "twah". The real Blaine doesn't. Trey and Matt, in their commentary for "Super Best Friends", said they had no idea why they gave Blaine a Verbal Tic. Blaine even called them and asked why they gave him one.
    • All Canadians make frequent use of the words "buddy", "guy", and "friend", to the point that they're part of their alphabet. Starting to use these words more often is also a part of Canadian puberty.
  • Very Special Episode: Parodied in "Sexual Harassment Panda", complete with a closing Public Service Announcement against suing people to make money.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: In-Universe with Family Guy, which always mentioned what's happening in the actual plot after their signature Cutaway Gags.
    Lois: Peter, I can't believe you invited your old high-school sweetheart over for dinner.
    Peter: You think that's bad? Remember when I auditioned to be David Hasselhoff's car?
    (Insert Cutaway Gag here.)
    Chris: Yeah. But Dad, why would you invite an ex-girlfriend to dinner?
    Stewie: Perhaps he wants to make our mother nervous.
    Peter: Nervous? Like when I had to sell pancakes to the school soccer captain?
    (Insert Cutaway Gag here.)
    Lois: But Peter, I don't wanna cook dinner for your ex-girlfriend.
    Peter: Well, maybe we can just have tea.
    Brian: You mean like the time you had tea with Muhammed, the prophet of the Muslim faith?
    (Insert Cutaway Gag here.)
    Peter: Oh boy, was that ever weird. Anyway, I can't believe I invited my old sweetheart to dinner. Huh.
  • Villain Song: Cartman, after successfully using Cthulhu to remold the world to fit his Knight Templar ideals, gets one that drips with Lyrical Dissonance. That it's a parody of My Neighbor Totoro's ending theme makes it all the more sweeter.
  • Violence Really Is the Answer: Kyle, Jesus, and Santa's censored speech in "201" is this, saying that the only way to get what you want is to threaten people with violence. The Irony of this is that the reason why the speech and various other parts of the episode are censored is because Comedy Central feared a potential violent backlash from Islamic extremists.
  • Visual Pun: In "Medicinal Fried Chicken", Randy and his workmates all get testicular cancer as an excuse to buy medical marijuana, and their testicles become so large they move around town by bouncing on them. In other words, they're literally tripping balls.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Cartman and... everyone else, actually, but especially with Kyle, though in later seasons the two lean toward more arch rivals.
  • Vocal Evolution: In earlier episodes, Trey and Matt's voices for the boys were much more high-pitched and exaggerated, slowly becoming more relaxed and closer to their real voices sans the artificial pitch shifting with each season. Their acting is also noticeably stilted in earlier episodes, considering their mastery of Ham and Cheese in later points of the show. To make the comparison, the fourth season finale featured clips of their first animated work with the finalized version of the South Park cast "The Spirit of Christmas", with a fair bit of Self-Deprecation added in there.
  • Volleying Insults: Common between the boys, but pretty much a regular occurrence when Kyle and Cartman are in the vicinity of one another. It never takes long before they devolve into insults concerning Jews and fat people.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: In Turd Burglar,Harriet can't stop pooping and vomiting everywhere when she finds out that her poo has been tainted. Linda and Laura find out that they got their's tainted and do the same.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: So much. Usually part of an Overly Long Gag.
    • A consistent, fundamental aspect of "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerBalls".
    • In a nod to Prince of Darkness, "Oh Jeez!" has Caitlyn Jenner projectile vomiting Member Berry juice down Randy's throat to brainwash him. Later, a brainwashed Randy does the same to his wife and daughter.


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