Now that we’re all recovering from the seemingly endless madness of FXX’s The Simpsons marathon, which subsequently welcomed us to their “F*ck it, we’re just going to show The Simpsons all the time anyway” block of programming, I’m issuing a challenge to Comedy Central. South Park returns for a remarkable 18th season on September 24 at 10 PM ET, so it’s time for my favorite network to leave on in the background while I work (apologies to HGTV) to saddle up and deliver us a semi-marathon of all 247 South Park episodes, as well as Bigger, Longer and Uncut. The reason I’m not calling for a round-the-clock marathon is because, well, I slept like garbage during that Simpsons marathon, and we also need all of our regular programming like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, so society doesn’t implode.
As I see it, Comedy Central already shows “classic” South Park episodes most mornings while I’m struggling to do my set of six pushups, so all we need to do is spin that into full morning and afternoon blocks, and – bing, bang, boom – everyone’s happy. Until then, we’re going to talk about the thing that I look forward to most with any new season of South Park – the continuing abuse and humiliation of Leopold “Butters” Stotch. Haha, that little cartoon bastard just can’t catch a break, and we sure do love every second of watching him be treated like complete crap by his “friends,” family and just about everyone else that he meets.
Not everything is terrible for Butters, of course, as he occasionally manages to come out on top, or at least somewhere in the middle instead of complete rock bottom. So as you dive into this ranking of his lowest and most cringeworthy moments, in which we can’t help but feel slightly bad that we’re laughing hysterically at this poor, simple-minded (albeit fictional) child, know that you’re not going to see any mention of “AWESOM-O,” in which Butters believes that his new best friend is actually a robot and not Eric Cartman in a crappy cardboard costume, because the end of that episode is probably Butters’ best moment, as he shares the video of Cartman dressed as Britney Spears to everyone, and the general calls fat boy the unmentionable F-bomb.
The “Imaginationland” trilogy was South Park at its finest, as that was actually originally intended to be a second feature film, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker just felt that it worked better as a three-episode series. As for Butters, it was difficult watching him be kidnapped by the terrorists of our minds and then slapped around by the most evil characters in the universe, as his friends escaped to reality. But he still ended up becoming the key to saving Imaginationland, so despite being grounded in the end, he was the hero that brought all of our favorite imaginary characters back.
Nor will I be discussing “The Last of the Meheecans,” because even though Butters was forgotten by his friends during that game of “Texans vs. Mexicans,” he ended up becoming the hero of all Mexicans by defeating Cartman to get back into the U.S. And we will only be mentioning “Butters’ Bottom Bitch” in an honorable style, because the little guy managed to create a pimping empire in South Park, and that’s wholly impressive. However, the reason that this specific episode gets an honorable mention is because of this pathetic Butters moment:
Poor little douchebag. Now on with the good (awful) stuff.
20) “Butters’ Very Own Episode” – Season 5, Episode 14
It’s obviously very awful that Butters innocently revealed his father’s homosexual affairs to his mother, thus sending her into an emotional meltdown that led her to attempt to drown Butters in a river. But it was really, really funny, and let’s face it – that was Season 5 and things only got so much worse for Butters as time went on. And at least he got to go to Bennigan’s in the end.
19) “Professor Chaos” – Season 6, Episode 6
No true super villain is ever successful right out of the gates, or ever in the case of Butters, who would go on to unknowingly rip off the entire Simpsons catalog to that point. But his plan to destroy the O-zone with hairspray wasn’t even taken seriously by the writers. He was less important than Miss Choksondik (RIP).
18) “Marjorine” – Season 9, Episode 9
You could argue that dressing Butters up like a girl so that he could infiltrate an all-girls sleepover to steal their fortune-telling device would be pretty humiliating for him, but you’d be wrong, because he did his job like a champ. It’s the whole faking his suicide and tricking his parents into thinking he’s dead by splattering a pig’s corpse all over them aspect that makes this all so terrible for poor, sweet Butters. The icing on the cake, of course, is him being chained up in the basement when his parents think that he has returned from the dead.
17) “The Ungroundable” – Season 12, Episode 14
No child should think that he’s actually a vampire, just as no child should dress and act like a vampire because Twilight made it look “cool.”
16) “Super Fun Time” – Season 12, Episode 7
A lot of Butters’ worst moments are the result of his friendship with Cartman, and somehow a moment that almost got both of them killed was not the worst of them. While Butters was somewhat heroic during the invasion of Pioneer Village, he was still pretty stupid.
15) “Raisins” – Season 7, Episode 14
Let he among us who hasn’t eaten a ton of really mediocre buffalo wings in an attempt to win the heart of a Hooters waitress cast the first pig carcass. Still, crying about it? That’s pretty weak, dude, even for a little dork like Butters.
14) “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs” – Season 14, Episode 2
Butters was right to take credit for writing the world’s most awesomely disgusting book after his friends tried to sell him out to save their own asses. But being a fan of the Kardashians and thinking that Kim has a butt that looks like a big mountain of pudding is terrible and deserves instant scorn.
13) “Sexual Healing” – Season 14, Episode 1
While not quite as big of a pervert as Kenny, Butters’ obsession with the female anatomy and sex was downright creepy and concerning at times. Specifically, his obsession with bush and the “Joker lips” beneath it almost drove him past the brink of insanity.
12) “Cartman Sucks” – Season 11, Episode 2
Once again, Butters takes the fall for Cartman’s assholery. In this case, Butters had to spend some time at a “Pray the Gay Away” camp after his dad caught him with Cartman’s penis in his mouth as part of a “prank.” Sure, Butters spreads a positive message that it’s okay to be a little “bi-curious,” but Cartman still reveals the photo of his prank to the entire school. At least it was artistic.
11) “Freak Strike” – Season 6, Episode 1
While the rest of the freak union would have boiled Butters alive like they did to that poor lobster boy if they’d uncovered his lie that the balls hanging from his chin were actually glued on, he still got to go on TV for it. That’s always pretty cool.
10) “Casa Bonita” – Season 7, Episode 11
In perhaps Cartman’s most elaborate stunt to dick Butters over, the very stupid young boy was left to believe that he had survived the apocalypse, and had to rebuild society from memory. Butters should have been pissed that he’d been locked in a fridge, as all of those PSAs that I watched as a child taught me that was the way I’d probably die, but I’d be more upset that I got screwed out of tacos.
9) “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers” – Season 6, Episode 13
Poor, sick, twisted Butters. Most of us probably remember the first porn that we ever watched, but there’s no way that it was as epic as Backdoor Sluts 9. I mean, that made Crotch Capers 3 look like Naughty Nurses 2. (Mine was Debbie Does Dallas, because I’m a purist.)
8) “Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset” – Season 8, Episode 12
This is probably my favorite episode of South Park, because short of Snooki in “It’s a Jersey Thing,” this show never nailed a celebrity as accurately as it did with Paris Hilton. Having to be her pet and especially touching her no-no spot was about the filthiest thing I could ever imagine for poor Butters.
7) “City Sushi” – Season 15, Episode 6
Very few of the 30+ episodes that I watched (for probably the hundredth time each) that predominantly feature Butters in hilariously pathetic situations have a scene that makes me laugh as much as Butters’ Paranormal Activity moment, as he comes to and shouts, “I peed the bed again!”
6) “Jared Has Aides” – Season 6, Episode 2
On the other hand, no South Park episode has a moment that is as disgusting as this one that actually makes me “wooooozie” each time that I watch it. And yet we laugh along with it, because we’re such sick bastards sometimes.
5) “The China Probrem” – Season 12, Episode 8
Cartman’s increasingly insane racism aside, poor Butters just can’t stop shooting people in their dicks. Not cool, Butters. Not cool at all.
4) “Butterballs” – Season 16, Episode 5
Being bullied is a very serious thing that affects millions of children. However, being bullied and abused by your own grandmother is really embarrassing. Butters needed to nut up and beat that mean, old lady’s ass before she stabbed or tried to feed him a urinal cake again, instead of telling her that he’d be there when she dies. Pacifism gets you nowhere, fictional cartoon boy.
3) “The Death of Eric Cartman” – Season 9, Episode 6
The mood and setting would never matter. Aliens could be here to annihilate the entire human species, and if someone shows me Butters being violently probed, I’ll still pee a little.
Tie-2) “Eat, Pray, Queef” – Season 13, Episode 4
This entire episode is a ridiculous, offensive clusterf*ck of awesomeness, but Butters being queefed on by one of his female classmates is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life, and I don’t care at all what that says about me as an adult.
Tie-2) “Good Times with Weapons” – Season 8 Episode 1
While the liposuction scene from “Jared Has Aides” just makes me a little queasy, watching Butters take a throwing star in the eye and then wander around town looking like a mangy dog-boy as he cries for help actually makes me consider feeling bad for him. But since it’s fake, I just like to laugh like an idiot instead.
1) “You Got F’d in the A” – Season 8, Episode 5
Poor Butters. Even when he’s the most talented tap dancer in the world, he’s still a murderer. Let’s hope that Season 18 takes this hilariously pathetic character to all new lows, even though that would take a considerable amount of creativity.