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  • Kansas City Shuffle: Cartman pulls this off at the end of the episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", after several failed attempts to get back at Scott who initially conned him.
  • Karma Houdini: Cartman does this a lot, usually when he does truly evil things. Examples include Scott Tenorman, the episode "Ginger Kids", trying to kill his own mother, infecting Kyle with HIV, and the hospital incident. Even when he doesn't pull a Karma Houdini in the immediate sense, he rarely suffers for longer than the duration of the episode in which he gets his comuppance.
    • The Ginger and Scott incidents come back to haunt him in the episode "201", when it turns out that he's half Ginger and he unknowingly killed his own father for revenge on his half-brother Scott; the being half ginger part really got to him.
    • All four boys do this in "Pre-School", when they unintentionally cause further damage to their already-burned preschool teacher and let Trent take the blame... just as they were about to confess that the first burning was their fault. The implication is that the boys will pay dearly for what they've done once they turn fourteen; however, thanks to Comic Book Time, this event is unlikely to come.
    • Stan, Kyle, and Kenny pull this at the end of "Good Times with Weapons", leaving Cartman to the mercy of the outraged townspeople as they escape any punishment for what they did to Butters.
      • Admittedly, the whole stupid idea was mostly Cartman's fault anyway, but all things considered they got off pretty lightly for nearly blinding Butters.
    • The episode "The Wacky Molestation Adventure" in Season 4 has pretty much the entire youth population get this after getting their parents arrested. When they get out of prison, they are so confinced they were all perverts that they wouldn't even listen to their kids admitting their false accusation.
      • Sheila herself got off easy on The Movie. Where she declared war over a show, refuse and/or ignore any attempts to negotiate, KILLED Terrence and Phillip even after Kyle pointed out that her adopted son Ike is Canadian. In the end, she faced no trial on her crimes against humanity.
  • Kid Hero: Often the day is saved by the boys (see: Adults Are Useless), but played more traditionally in the Mysterion arc.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Pretty much a series premise.
    • Character Development tones down this aspect with at least Stan and Kyle after the first few seasons. Of course, then you still have Cartman who takes this trope to its logical end.
  • Killed Off for Real: The fifth season episode "Kenny Dies".
  • Killer Rabbit: During the "Pandemic" two-parter, the world rounds up Peruvian flute bands to avoid their music... only to discover they were keeping giant killer live-action guinea pigs in cute costumes away. Also, the Woodland Critters.
    • One-Winged Angel: The leader of the guniea pigs turns out to be the Director of Homeland Secruity, whose true form is... a Guinea Pirate. What would happen if he he met a Guinea Ninja is not discussed.
  • Kill the Poor: Kyle's dad inadvertently gives his son the idea that putting all poor people in concentration camps would be a good for the world.
  • Knight Templar: Rob Reiner is portrayed as an arrogant wealthy liberal who eats vast and unhealthy amounts of junk food, yet still harasses people who smoke in "Butt Out". The tobacco company he attacks is shown to have a nice executive and happy workers, and in contrast, Rob Reiner is a terrorist with creepy followers who tried to kill Cartman.
    • Kyle himself is gradually leaning towards this trope in his rivalry with Cartman, some of their conflicts have shown his willingness to outright kill him (in "Fatbeard" for example, he attempts to convince Cartman to travel to Somalia in his ill-defined plan to become a pirate, he is later seen gloating about assisting in Cartman's supposed death, unfazed by the fact that Butters, Clyde and Kevin went along with him, Ike joining, however, is enough to change his mind).
    • And we shouldn't go without mentioning Cartman himself. He's ground up Scott Tenorman's parents into chili, broke Kyle's faith TWICE, the latter following into finishing what Hitler started to impress Mel Gibson, and recently, enslaved Cthulu into doing his dirty work. Doesn't all of this question to how Kyle and Cartman hated each other in the first place and why?
    • The Knights of Standards and Practises in "It Hits the Fan", who are only slightly more heroic than the dragon summoned by using cursewords. Helps that they look like classical knights.
  • Kung Fu Jesus: In "Red Sleigh Down" and "Fantastic Easter Special".
  • Lack of Empathy: Done very frequently, perhaps the most notable involving Kenny's deaths, which, aside from the standard shocked exclamation, are rarely treated with much weight at all and forgotten about quickly. Subverted with "Kenny Dies", when the boys actually treat Kenny's supposedly permanent death with much more sorrow. It doesn't last long, however, and by "A Ladder to Heaven", it's obvious they've all but forgotten about him.
    • In "Gnomes" in particular, Kyle and Stan are not shocked by Kenny's death at all, and say their usual Phrase Catcher lines in a flat, Motor Mouth fashion.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The famous "They killed Kenny!" exchange was played with more than once during the show, before it fell into disuse after Kenny was Killed Off for Real. And then came back.
    • The episode "Crazy Cripples" focused on Jimmy and Timmy for the A-story and Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman for the B-story. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny become Genre Savvy enough to just walk away from the craziness of both stories.
    • In "Butt Out", Kyle realizes that a lot of South Park's episodes feature a climatic battle between two large groups and always end with the kids spouting what they learned so the fight can end, and tries to avert it, pointing out that before Rob Reiner attacks the tobacco company, they could simply tell the adults they smoked out of their own free will and simply get grounded for three weeks instead of having to preach to an entire town that's about to attack them. It doesn't work out.
    • Craig in the two-parter "Pandemic" lampshades how everyone else in town has started to notice how the four main characters keep getting into trouble.
    • In The Spirit of Christmas, when the storyline reached its most absurd point, Stan notes "This is pretty fucked up right here." This became a tradition in any Christmas story South Park did from then on. The exception being, ironically enough, "Woodland Critter Christmas"; which was, truly, really fucked up right here.
    • Kenny's many deaths are acknowledged by the character in "Mysterion Rises".
  • La Résistance: In the movie, possibly the Trope Namers.
  • Large Ham: Cartman and Randy Marsh for starters.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cartman receives this on a semi-regular basis. He also dishes it out to people like Osama bin Laden and Scott Tenorman. Scott thinks he can dish it back to Cartman in "201", but it doesn't quite go off as he intended.
  • Last-Minute Baby-Naming: Kenny's mom is pregnant. After his Once Per Episode death, the baby is born and the parents decide to name the new baby Kenny.

Mr. McCormick: God, this must be the 50th time this has happened.

Mrs. McCormick: Fifty-second.

  • Last Supper Steal: In "Margaritaville", Kyle says he has "this feeling that one of you will totally betray me." Everyone gasps and freezes into Last Supper position.
    • Earlier in "Fantastic Easter Special", which mimicks Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Professor Teabag shows Stan and Kyle a portrait of the Last Supper, which looks the same, except that there is a colored egg next to St. Peter, whom Teabag reveals to be a rabbit.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The DVD cover for Season 14 reveals that Kenny is Mysterion.
  • Laxative Prank: "Bass to Mouth" has Cartman give Jenny Simon a laxative-laced cupcake, to distract the school from Peter Melman's recent Potty Failure, as they do not want him to commit suicide, as a former student did when this happened to him. Cartman's plan backfires when the obvious occurs - Jenny ends up attempting suicide. So nobody gets singled out, the staff and Cartman attempt to give the entire student body laced Pizza Hut pizza, so everyone will crap themselves. At the end of the episode, Cartman gets thrown in front of a school bus by the school school staff and was declared that he committed suicide. Cartman gets back at the staff with certain cupcakes...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The beginning of the 200th episode had Kyle and Cartman exchanging insults. Stan tells them to stop, saying "all you're doing is rehashing a bunch of old stuff!"
    • Also, 100 episodes before that (actually, 103):

Stan: Look, we just want to talk to you about the show Earth.
Kyle: Please don't cancel us. Please.
Joozian 1: Oh I'm sorry, Earthlings, but you have to realize the universe is a business.
Joozian 2: You've made it to a hundred episodes, you should be proud!
Joozian 1: Yeah, a show should never go past a hundred episodes, or else it starts to get stale with ridiculously stupid plotlines and settings.

    • In Cartman's anti-Family Guy rant, he explicitly compares himself as a character in a comedy show to the writing of Family Guy, much to Kyle's confusion.
      • Also from that episode, when Stan and Kyle are dragged outside while everyone's panicking:

Stan: "Kyle! What the hell's going on this time?!"
Kyle: "I have no idea!"

    • Another from "200":

Tom Cruise: By taking what Muhammad had, we would all be safe from ridicule. Like Tim Burton here. Imagine this, Tim: nobody could rip on you for all the rehashed movies you've made lately. There'd never be a TV show that pointed out you haven't had an original thought since Beetlejuice. And you put Johnny Depp and the same crappy music in every film. And if you're that in love with Johnny Depp you should just have sex with him already. A TV show could never say that! [1]

    • In "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" (Episode 53), when the new baby Kenny shows up:

Mr. McCormick: God, this must be the fiftieth time this has happened.
Mrs. McCormick: Fifty-second.

    • "I'm unhappy too. We both are, obviously. How much longer can we keep doing this? It's like the same shit just happens over and over and 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." Tell us how you really feel, Trey.
      • Save them britches.
    • In "It Hits the Fan", they mock the controversy that just because someone swears on television doesn't mean it harms society.
  • Leather Man: Mr. Slave
  • Left It In: In "Volcano", while the mayor's speech is being recorded live:

Mayor: All we know right now is that some of our children are camping on that mountain and... Oh, I'm sorry, can I start over?
Newscaster: Huh?
Mayor: You can edit this, right?

  • Limited Wardrobe
  • Literal Ass Kissing: Randy Marsh's "apology" to Jesse Jackson.
  • Little-Known Facts: Cartman is fond of spewing these about ginger kids, Jews, and everyone else.
  • Little Boy Blue Note: The boys' Christian Rock band is just one example.
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: In "Coon vs. Coon and Friends", Cartman and freakin' CTHULHU. Complete with shout outs to Feed the Kitty.
  • Little Professor Dialog: Everyone, though it's most notable with Stan, Kyle and Cartman, for obvious reasons. In fact, fanfiction writers have used this trope to justify writing so much High School AU fic, seeing as how aging the characters requires virtually no change in personality.
  • Liz Lemon Job: Stan, for all the adults, especially his dad. Kyle as well on occasion, as long as it has something to do with Cartman.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Cartman had a doll tea party.
  • Loud of War: In "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub", the ATF try to force people out of the house where a "comet party" is being held by playing an obnoxious pop song that's a thinly disguised parody of "Believe" by Cher. It went unnoticed because the same song was playing on the stereo inside.
  • Lowered Recruiting Standards: "Best Friends Forever": Kenny dies and ascends to Heaven in order to command Heaven's army against the forces of Hell. He is told by the angels that they used to only let Mormons into Heaven, but they started to let others in order to increase their army's size.
  • Low Speed Chase: Kenny gets into a huge police chase in a battery-powered toy car.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: More like "Luke, you killed your father and fed him to me."
  • Machinima: The World of Warcraft episode.
  • Magic Feather: In the episode "Bloody Mary", when the news reports that the Virgin Mary statue is bleeding out of its ass, Randy -- convinced that his drinking problem is a disease -- goes to the church and gets sprayed in blood by the statue. This apparently cures him. A later news report reveals that the statue was actually bleeding out of its vagina ("A chick bleeding out her vagina is no miracle. Chicks bleed out their vaginas all the time."), and Randy briefly lapses until Stan tells him the truth about what happened to him.
  • Malignant Plot Tumor: The first episode of a trilogy of episodes in Season 14 was about Cartman trying to get Captain Hindsight to join his superhero team, with BP's recurring drilling accidents being the B-plot. Then BP unleashes Cthulhu and the last two episodes focus mostly on him, tying up Captain Hindsight's story in the second.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Or at least, a man has gotten his first kiss already, in "Butters' Bottom Bitch".
  • Manufacturing Victims: In one episode, Stan's dad drank too much as was forced into the AA movement. He quickly got hooked on it, thus making his life miserable AND making his alcohol problem worse. It's implied that the other members of the "support-group" had equally dysfunctional relationships to the whole thing.
  • McLeaned:
    • Almost all one-episode characters who die have this happen to them. Hell, almost every death is this. Most of the time, characters die and it will never be mentioned again.
    • In "Cripple Fight", Timmy exploits the camp's intolerance of gays and gets Jimmy kicked out. They are later good friends and never bring this up again.
  • Medium Awareness: In "It Hits the Fan", Mr. Garrison says, "On television they usually don't allow 'fag,' but because I'm gay, it's alright." Later, when South Park adults are lamenting that HBC needs to find a new swear word, Mr. Garrison again argues that the word "fag" is a case of N-Word Privileges. Randy says the word and gets censored for it, causing Mr. Garrison to say, "See, you got beeped." After a random character also says it, Jimbo says it himself in a rant, but doesn't get censored. Randy remarks, "Hey, you didn't get beeped."
  • Medium Blending: The World of Warcraft episode.
  • Messianic Archetype: Kyle plays to this more times than you'd think. The most obvious example is "Margaritaville" (where this is played very literally), but it's underpinned subtly in a few episodes. And, in direct opposition Cartman tends to play to the more Dark Messiah or Anti Christ side of things (how far he goes down this road... YMMV).
  • Midlife Crisis Car: Stan's dad gets one.
  • Midword Rhyme: In an old playground rhyme that melds with a little Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion.
  • Milestone Celebration: "Cancelled" was intended to be the 100th episode, but aired as the 97th (the actual 100th episode had a tacked-on Milestone Celebration ending anyway). "200" plays it completely straight.
  • Mirror Universe
  • Misplaced Accent: In the "Crack Baby Athletic Association", Slash is revealed to be "Vunter Slaush", a parody on the Dutch Sinterklaas, complete with parody song. The problem? The name and song are in German, not Dutch...
    • Actually, no. They're not in German. Most likely they're just vaguely Dutch/German sounding gibberish.
  • Misplaced Sorrow: After Kenny is Killed Off for Real, the boys discover that he has the winning ticket to a candy store shopping spree, so they decide to build a ladder to heaven in order for him to give it to them. But when adults ask what they're doing they don't mention the candy part, they just say they want to see Kenny again,
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens to Kyle and Cartman in "Tonsil Trouble" and Butters and Cartman in "Super Fun Time".
    • Stan and Kyle have been warned multiple times their relationship would fall under this.
    • Kyle and Cartman in "Cartman Finds Love", only in this case perpetuated by Cartman himself. Kyle is unsurprisingly not amused.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Inverted in "Here Comes the Neighborhood" where they are trying to get rid of all the rich people in town (who are all black). Mr. Garrison proposes burning a "lower-case t" on their lawn as in "time to leave". The victims take it as exactly this.

Kobe Bryant: T. Time to leave?

  • Mistaken for Terrorist: "The Snuke".
  • Mister Descriptor: Misters Hat, Stick and Slave.
  • Mood Whiplash: "You're Getting Old", which ends with Fleetwood Mac's Landslide without irony. Trey and Matt said on The Daily Show that after the airing of the episode, a lot of people came up to them asking if anything was wrong, but denied that they're tired of the show.
  • Moral Dissonance: In "Toilet Paper", the boys feel guilty about letting Butters take the blame for what they did. They have no such qualms in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs", when they attempt to blame Butters for writing the book when they think it'll get them in trouble and when they blame Sarah Jessica Parker's death on him.
    • Actually, the former example actually runs in contrast to the boy's treatment of Butters in earlier seasons, they frequently abused him or left him for dead in episodes such as "Jared Has Aides" and "Freak Strike". Much akin to other Butt Monkeys such as Kenny and Pip, it is mostly a case of Depending on the Writer whether the boys are sympathetic towards Butters or vent an outright Comedic Sociopathy towards him (though at least in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs", they felt slight empathy for what he's been through).
  • More Than Mind Control: Arguably, Cartman when he's trying to stop his friends from destroying the Wall-Mart.
  • Motivational Lie: In the episode "Damien":

Stan: You know, somebody once said, "Don't try to be a great man, just be a man."
Jesus: Who said that?
Stan: You did, Jesus.
Jesus: ...You're right, Stan. Thank you, boys! (resumes his fight against Satan)
Kyle: Wow, did he say that in The Bible?
Stan: Nah, I saw it on Star Trek.

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.

  • Musical Episode: Several, including The Movie.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Wendy sends Ms. Ellen into the sun by taking control of the Iraqi guard and framing her as an Iraqi traitor. DON'T. FUCK. WITH. HER.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: One of the teenage skiers in the episode "Asspen" kept referring to Stan Marsh as "Stan Darsh". Even his friends eventually found it annoying.
    • One of the rare occasion where the German dub is better - it's Stan Arsch.
    • His grampa also always calls him "Billy".
    • My name's not Kenny!

Stan: "Come on, Kenny."
Butters: "Well I've had about enough of this! My name's not Kenny."
Kyle: "C'mon, Not Kenny"
Butters: "My name's not 'not Kenny.'"
Cartman: "Okay, Not Not Kenny."

    • "The Poor Kid":

Cartman: "Laugh it up, people! Carman's mom is so poor that when she goes to KFC she has to lick other people's fingers. Ha! I beat you to it Kial!"
Kyle: "My name. is not. 'Kial'."

      • Done again with Cartman's foster mom. "My name. is not. 'Meeeem'"
  • Narrative Shapeshifting: In "Up the Down Steroid", Timmy attempts to tell Mr. Mackey about Jimmy using steroids, but doesn't have much luck since all he can say is "Timmy" and "Jimmy". So he mimics Jimmy shooting up and then getting all muscular, but Mr. Mackey still doesn't get it.
  • Narrator
  • Native American Casino: Evil Native American casino owners are planning to pave over South Park in order to build a freeway directly to their casino.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In "Pee", one drop of urine manages to flood the water park that the boys spend time at. Since Kyle can hold his breath the longest, the others suggest for him to swim down to the submerged maintenance room to release the emergency valve, but Kyle is very disgusted by all the urine, and objects to the park owner's suggestion of drinking 24 oz. of pee to make the mission easier (don't question it too much). Kyle attempts to do it anyway, but unfortunately, Randy gets to save the day instead, and Kyle gets to play Audience Surrogate.

Kyle: Are you fucking kidding me?!

  • Negate Your Own Sacrifice: Kenny has done this a few times, knowing that he'll come Back from the Dead.
  • Negative Continuity: Kenny's frequent deaths in the early seasons, and the town of South Park's penchant for being destroyed.
    • As of "Mysterion Rises", it seems Kenny's deaths aren't Negative Continuity after all.
      • That just causes more Negative Continuity, as it was already established earlier that Kenny's parents just keep having more kids and naming them Kenny. The boys also once said "Who wasn't expecting that?" in response to one of his deaths, implying that they were in fact aware of his previous deaths.
      • "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" shows that whenever Kenny dies, Kenny's mom gives birth to a new baby that she puts in Kenny's parka and lays in bed at night. However, this still conflicts with some earlier episodes.
  • Never Bareheaded: The four main kids almost never take off their hats. In Kyle's case, it's to hide a really embarrasing Jewfro. Kenny never took off his hood, so no one knew what he looked like until he finally took it off in the movie.
  • Never Say "Die": Parodied in "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", where it was repeatedly said that Cartman is "running out of time", and near the beginning it is suggested that he needed a "time transplant" (without explaining how it's done). Subverted when Kyle and Stan go tell Chef about it and Stan says, "Cartman is in the hospital. They think he might die."
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for "200" was shown to be a simple class-action lawsuit by most of the celebrities who appeared on South Park. It turned out to be much more epic than that.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Despite Kyle's intense hatred and resentment towards Cartman, he can be a darn nice fella.
  • Nigh Invulnerability: In the early seasons, Kenny was always killed off Once an Episode, only to inexplicably return the next week. In later seasons, it's revealed that he will always resurrect due to a Lovecraftian curse that was placed on him. Worse yet, because of the curse no one can remember any of his previous demises.
  • Nixon Mask: The Chickenlover.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The fight between Wendy and Cartman at the end of "Breast Cancer Show Ever". Cartman never stood a freaking chance.
  • No Bisexuals: Subverted? When Mr./Ms. Garrison becomes a lesbian for one episode.
    • It's Mr. Garrison, at some point the man crossed the line where any set sexuality really doesn't apply to him
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Averted. Celebrities are parodied, mercilessly, by name and without warning.
  • No Dead Body Poops: Brought up in "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes" and also occurs in "The Return of Chef".
  • No Ending: "Fatbeard".
  • No Man Should Have This Power: After Butters successfully infiltrates a girls' slumber party and steals a fortune teller, the boys decide that the power to tell the future is to great and dangerous to possess, and destroy it with a spectacular explosion.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. Towelie.
    • Mr. Hat. Mr. Stick.
      • Jennifer Lopez/Mitch Conner (the one that was just Cartman's hand).
      • K-10, who, thanks to time distortions, later became KIT-9 and COCKA-3.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Mr. Mackey. Ike was initially an example, but it was retconned to him being of Canadian birth in the second season.
  • Noodle Incident: The entire plot of "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs".
  • "No Respect" Guy: Stan and Kyle.
  • Not Good with People: In the early episodes, Craig gave the finger to every single person. Damien had an aversion to people, too. But that was because of their families.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Their version of the story of Xenu was captioned "THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE" because people would think they were taking the piss (as the show isn't averse to doing) otherwise.
    • Somewhat parodied in the episode "The Return of Chef", where Chef joins a club of child molesters, and the captions were "THIS IS WHAT THE SUPER ADVENTURE CLUB ACTUALLY BELIEVES". Of course, it still was a not-so-thinly veiled reference to Scientology, since Isaac Hayes was a member of it.
  • Not So Above It All: Stan and Kyle are hit with this every now and then.
  • Not So Different: Cartman and Kyle. In earlier episodes especially, Kyle was essentially a lower-scale bully with a much more fickle approach to his ethics and morals. He becomes more genuine in his moral code later on, but his rivalry with Cartman also takes an occasional extreme approach at times.
    • This becomes most apparent in Season 12: in "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Stan and Kyle tell Cartman that they've always hated him, only to have him refuse to believe them; then, one episode later in "Pandemic", Stan and Kyle refuse to believe Craig when he tells them that all their classmates think they're assholes.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Cartman in "Up the Down Steroid".
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Ike of all people if you skipped a few seasons. It is most obvious in "About Last Night...", but by "Fatbeard", it has either become canon or Only Sane Man territory with nobody noticing.
    • Also from "About Last Night...": Sarah Palin, who has a highly technical role in the heist, and a Faux British accent.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: In the first episode, Cartman is watching a news report on Crop Circles and the camera pulls back to show that the circles form an exact portrait of him.

Hey! That looks like... Tom Selleck.

  • Odd Name Out: "Who built the pyramids? Was it the Babylonians? Barbrady? Samaritans?"
  • Off on a Technicality: To avoid being arrested for illegal hunting, Jimbo always claimed his game was about to attack him. When a new law made it impossible to use that excuse, Jimbo started claiming he was reducing the animal population to save the whole bunch from starving to death.
  • Once an Episode: Turns into an Overused Running Gag.
  • Online Alias: In "Make Love, Not Warcraft": "We are looking for a great knight by the name of... lovestospooge."
  • Only Sane Man: Poor Stan.
    • When he was around, Chef was usually one of the very few adults with any kind of common sense.
    • Though as Craig pointed out in "Pandemic", Stan has a tendency to mire himself in insanity and exacerbate an already absurd situation into a Zany Scheme of pure destruction, so he's not entirely a victim.
    • President Bush, especially when compared to his cabinet and the press.
    • By this point, it appears that Kenny is the only one that has showcased routine common sense throughout the series.
    • Apparently, Father Maxi is the 'only' catholic priest who doesn't rape boys.
  • Only Six Faces: The kids are defined almost entirely by their wardrobe, while the adults are only marginally more varied. In the episode "Super Best Friends", when the cast ends up in the same outfits and shaved heads, Stan and Kyle lose track of which of them is which and have to put on their hats to figure it out.
    • This trope is important in the episode "The Coon". Though Mysterion reveals his face at the end, the face cannot be identified. The characters appear to know who the unmasked hero is, but the viewers do not. Cartman mentions that he guessed Mysterion's identity, but he had guessed several different secret identities for Mysterion earlier, and the viewer is not told which guess was correct. The sequel "Coon 2: Hindsight" does nothing to fix this, but in the next episode "Mysterion Rising", he is revealed to be Kenny.
  • Opinion-Changing Dream: In "I'm a Little Bit Country", Cartman specifically says: "I'm uninterested in American history" before hitting himself unconscious so that he can have a dream taking place during the American War of Independence (1776). During the dream, he gains the information he wants and when he wakes up he manages the changing the entire town's opinion's about the war in Iraq.
    • And then again with "Jewpacabra". Cartman's tranquilizer fueled dream of the book of exodus has such an effect that he converts to Judaism.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: A giant dragon summoned by overuse of the word "shit" has Cartman's voice - when it's defeated, Cartman says "What a lame voice..."
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: In both parts to the episode "Go God Go", Cartman finds himself in a future where everyone was inspired by Richard Dawkins to give up their religious beliefs, thus making everyone but him an atheist.
  • Out of Focus: Kenny, and indeed most of the original supporting characters.
  • Overly Long Gag: Used on occasion, such as when Cartman had to smuggle cigarettes and other items into prison up his anus, they made his grunting when... taking them out offscreen quite a bit longer than necessary.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: In "201", when Tom Cruise steals Muhammad's goo, a Censor Box appears over him just like Muhammad. When Stan makes a joke at his expense during the final battle, the box disappears.
    • Also in "201", there were two main plots; one was a political plot about censorship, the other was about finding Cartman's true father. Cartman and Kyle argue with each other about which is more important, then look straight at the camera.
    • The Coon and Friends arc initially got bad reviews after the first episode, in part because the boys (playing superheroes in silly outfits) couldn't be recognized due to the Only Six Faces art style. And then it turns out to be done on purpose, deconstructing the secret identity aspect of superhero stories, and the characters' identities are very slowly revealed throughout the episode trilogy. And then the story takes a few very dark turns and everything goes to hell.
  • Pals with Jesus: His show isn't named Jesus and Pals for nothing, you know.
  • Pandaing to the Audience: Or else they'd be a bunch of sad pandas.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Used effectively quite a few times.
    • Possibly the best is Towelie using a hat and mustache to pass for human. No one notices this until Oprah's "minge" conspires to expose him.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: Inverted, as they copied the title Bigger, Longer & Uncut from John Bobbit's (Yes, THAT one's) porn movie.
  • Parental Obliviousness: On the rare occasions, when their parents know what they're doing, they either punish them for all the wrong reasons (for example: "Butt Out", in which the boys get grounded for smoking as opposed to burning their school down) or fail to realize that they're doing anything all that bad (like in "Pandemic", when Sharon and Sheila claim that Craig is a bad influence on Stan and Kyle; according to Craig, it's the other way around, since Stan and Kyle tend to suck everyone around them into the insanity they get swept up in).
  • Parodied Trope: So many.
  • Parody Episode: "Die Hippie, Die" parodies The Core, with elements from The Day After Tomorrow and Armageddon.
  • Parody Sue: Mintberry Crunch, who turns out to be a living Deus Ex Machina.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Kenny's family.
  • Pet the Dog: Cartman is a really bad person, but he goes to extremes to protect the cats in the neighborhood in "Major Boobage".
  • Phony Psychic: "The Biggest Douche in the Universe".
  • Physical God: Apparently, Mickey Mouse is a powerful godlike entity limited only by his need to slumber in Valhalla after his destructive, fire-breathing rampages. Who knew?
    • Cthulu also makes an appearance.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Rather than an adult opposing a teenager, we instead get a little kid opposing a teenager. It's also inverted, in that Kid Hero Cartman is the one who's determined to get even with the teenage villain Scott Tenorman.
    • This is inverted again when at the end of the episode, everyone realizes that Cartman, embodying the Not So Harmless trope, is not a Jerkass with occasional cruel moments like everyone thought but a psychopath.
  • Pig Latin: In "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", Kyle brings a cake as a gift to Cartman when visiting him in juvenile hall, mentioning that there's an "ailnay ilefay" baked inside of it, which will enable Cartman to "eakbray out of isonpray". When Cartman informs him that they're not allowed to accept gifts, Kyle goes into a lengthy rant while still speaking Pig Latin. Stan on the other hand just calls Cartman "umbass day".
  • The Pig Pen: Dogpoo, a minor character.
  • Ping-Pong Naivete: Very. They swear like sailors, but they don't know that you don't have to wear a condom if you don't have sex.
    • In one episode, Jimmy remarks that he and his girlfriend took ecstasy and stayed up all night having sex. In a later episode, he gets his first erection and doesn't have a clue what he's supposed to do with it.
  • Pink Elephants
  • Planet of Steves: Marklar, home of the Marklar. The episode was also a parody of Smurfing.
  • Playful Otter: "Go God Go".
  • Plot Coupon: One draft of The Movie's script had Saddam Hussein sending Kenny out to find some Snacky S'mores proofs-of-purchase so he can get a wish granted. This is really a Snipe Hunt, however, as there are no proofs-of-purchases in Hell. When Terrance and Philip's blood is spilled on American soil and the Legions of Hell emerge on the Earth's surface, Kenny takes the opportunity to get the proofs-of-purchase and presents them to Saddam, only to be told, "I Lied". After Satan gets rid of Saddam, he accepts the proofs-of-purchase and grants Kenny's wish as in the final movie.
  • Poe's Law:
  • Pokémon-Speak: "TIMMY!"
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: South Park is fond of making fun of people who make the left-wing look bad by taking political correctness too far. "The Death Camp of Tolerance" and "Sexual Harrassment Panda" are just two episodes.
    • When Chef attempted to inform Principal Victoria about Garrison's inappropriate in-class demonstration of what to do with a gerbil, Chef is the one who gets punished for being "intolerant".

Victoria: I believe the word you used to describe him was... "Sick Queer".
Chef: He IS a sick queer!!

Mr. Garrison: Yeah!!!

      • Chef has stated on multiple occasions that there is a BIIIIIIIG difference between gay people and Mr. Garrison, and even Randy Marsh knows that he is seriously fucked up.
  • Pooled Funds: Cartman once proves Kyle wrong and wins money in the process, so he turns it into dollar notes, and then quarters, just so Kyle can see him dance and swim in it. As soon as Kyle submits, gloating stops being any fun.
  • Poor Communication Kills and all its subtropes: Very commonly used.
  • Potty Failure: On the worldwide level in "World Wide Recorder Concert".
  • Precision F-Strike: There are, believe it or not, a couple of characters who don't swear very often, and they tend to drop these in extreme circumstances.
  • Premature Encapsulation: "Red Hot Catholic Love" is the episode where people learn how to eat with their butt after becoming atheist and abandoning the Catholic church due to child molestation allegations, and not the earlier episode entitled "How to Eat with Your Butt" where Kenny poses for his school picture in his parka upside-down and attracts the attention of a family with real butts for faces who lost their son (which makes Cartman lose his sense of humor).
  • Pretend Prejudice
  • Pride Parade: In the episode "South Park Is Gay!", all the males in town have turned metrosexual. Once the women of the town start getting fed up, the men put on a Metrosexual Pride Parade, which includes the chant, "We're here, we're not queer, but we're close, get used to it!"
    • Their parade float eventually crashes into a building, and the men panic over the resulting fire, yet are too concerned over their personal looks to put it out.
  • Product Placement: The show uses real brand names just as often as Bland Name Products, but given the tone of the show, it's probably not because they're getting paid.
  • Properly Paranoid: Tweek. But that's only because he's addicted to coffee.
  • The Prophet Muhammad: He's a member of a team of superheroes. Jesus and Buddha are on the same team. Portrayal Problem #1 is redefined into a superpower. In one episode, Tom Cruise is trying to steal this superpower, so that he can be immune from getting depicted by the tabloids.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "W.T.F.".
  • Punch Clock Villain: Satan provides a borderline, if not outright example.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This. Is. LES BOS!"
  1. Made more humorous in that Tim Burton had never been mentioned or made an appearance in South Park before.