Butters' Very Own Episode
|"Butters' Very Own Episode"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Eric Stough|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||December 12, 2001|
"Butters' Very Own Episode" is the fourteenth and final episode of the fifth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 79th episode of the series overall. "Butters' Very Own Episode" originally aired in the United States on Comedy Central on December 12, 2001. In the episode, Butters survives a murder attempt by his own mother after discovering his father's homosexual dalliances and must travel back to South Park in time for his parents' wedding anniversary at Bennigan's. Meanwhile, Butters' parents join John and Patsy Ramsey, Gary Condit, and O. J. Simpson in lying to the press about who murdered Butters.
The episode was written by series co-creator Trey Parker and is rated TV-MA in the United States, except on syndicated broadcasts, where the episode is rated TV-14, instead. It is notable for being the first episode to center around Butters and a parody of 1950s sitcoms, albeit in a more dark comedic route.
Butters expresses excitement about his parents' upcoming anniversary, which they are going to celebrate at Butters' favorite restaurant, Bennigan's. A few days before their anniversary, Mrs. Stotch asks Butters to spy on Mr. Stotch in order to find out what his gift for her will be so that her own won't fall short. While spying, Butters watches his dad enter first a gay theater and then a gay bathhouse (though Butters is too naive to understand the nature of his father's activity). Upon returning home, Butters reports to his mother about his father's whereabouts, leaving her appalled by her husband's homosexual affairs, becoming visibly distraught and unhinged. Mrs. Stotch then attempts to murder Butters by dumping her car in a river with him inside.
Hours later, Mr. Stotch enters the home to find his wife attempting to hang herself. He rushes to her side and explains that his homoerotic tendencies stem from chatting with other bi-curious and married men on the Internet. He insists he still loves her and doesn't want to lose his family over his "addiction". Mrs. Stotch then reveals to her husband to having drowned Butters. He promises that he will not let her go to jail. The next day, the Stotches confront the press about their son, stating that he was abducted by "some Puerto Rican guy". Here the episode alludes to the case of Susan Smith, replicating the murder method and that a black man is blamed for the act. As the media centers in on the "missing child" case, the pair are inducted into a club of infamous, highly publicized characters whose loved ones have also been "taken from them by Some Puerto Rican Guy", including Gary Condit, O. J. Simpson, and John and Patricia Ramsey. The induction ritual includes the chanting of "one of us, one of us, gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble", an homage to the 1932 movie Freaks.
Butters, however, has survived his mother's attempt to kill him. He does not have an idea this was her intention and brushes it off as an accident, and sets off home, eager to get back in time to celebrate his parents' anniversary with them. First he has to do some singing and dancing at a seedy 'dance' club, and then he has to head down a very scary road. He returns home to find his parents fighting over all the lies they have told, and shocks them that he is still alive. Upon hearing what the quarrel was about, he scolds them for lying and trying to teach him to lie.
Deciding to follow in their son's footsteps, they come clean to the media about the cover-up, revealing many unsettling facts to Butters in the process. Afterwards, Stan, Kyle and Cartman chastise Butters about his unhinged parents. Although he attempts to make light of the situation, Butters admits that he is now probably scarred for life and sometimes lying really can be for the best.
Written by series co-creator Trey Parker and directed by animation director Eric Stough, "Butters' Very Own Episode" was rated TV-MA in the United States, and originally aired on December 12, 2001 on Comedy Central. In the DVD commentary, Parker and Stone indicate they planned to make Butters the fourth group member after Kenny was written off the show, and created this episode as a prelude to his assuming a more prominent role in the series.
At the time of the episode, public opinion held that Gary Condit had probably killed Chandra Levy and the Ramseys had probably killed their daughter JonBenet. However, someone else was later convicted for the murder of Chandra Levy and Condit was exonerated. The Ramsey family were also deemed innocent by the district attorney in the case. In a 2011 interview, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone stated that they regretted how Condit and the Ramseys were portrayed in the episode.
"Butters' Very Own Episode", along with the fourteen other episodes from South Park: the Complete Fifth Season, were released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on February 22, 2005. The set includes brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode. The episode was also released on the two-disc DVD collection A Little Box of Butters.
- Parker, Trey (February 2005). South Park: The Complete Fifth Season: "Butters' Very Own Episode" (Audio commentary) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Goldman, Andrew (September 23, 2011). "The Fogies of 'South Park'". The New York Times Magazine.
- Codding, Jamey (February 26, 2009). "South Park: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review". Bullz-Eye. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Burchby, Casey (September 28, 2010). "South Park: A Little Box of Butters DVD Review". DVDTalk. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
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