Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers

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"Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers"
South Park episode
Episode no. Season 17
Episode 4
Directed by Trey Parker
Written by Trey Parker
Production code 1704
Original air date October 23, 2013 (2013-10-23)
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South Park (season 17)
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"Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" is the fourth episode in the seventeenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 241st episode of the series overall, it premiered on Comedy Central in the United States on October 23, 2013. It was originally scheduled to air October 16, but a power outage that occurred at South Park Studios in Los Angeles prevented the episode from being finished in time, breaking a streak of 240 episodes aired consecutively without ever missing a single deadline.[1] The episode satirizes the goth, emo, and vampire teen subcultures, and uses plot elements from the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.[2] The episode received a mixed critical reception.


Henrietta, a member of the Goth kids, is informed by her parents that she is being sent to Troubled Acres, a two-week camp for teenagers with emotional problems. At Troubled Acres, Henrietta is locked in a cell that is monitored by a security camera. Her only contact with anyone comes when a trapdoor opens on the floor of her cell, and a potted plant is deposited before her, vibrating as if it was alive.

Two weeks later, much to the horror of her Goth friends, Michael, Pete, and Firkle, Henrietta returns to South Park as an emo. When Michael confronts Henrietta over what the camp did to her, he realizes that Troubled Acres is part of a plot to turn the entire world emo, and ends up being transported by his father to Troubled Acres. Realizing that goths are being "body-snatched" by emos, Pete and Firkle attend a meeting of their sworn enemies, the Vampire Kids, and explain the problem to them. Mike, the lead Vamp Kid, and a black male adult member of the Vamp Kids agree to help, and during a séance, summon the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe, to whom both the Vamp Kids and the Goth Kids regard as their spiritual progenitor. Poe thinks little of emos, vampires, or goths, but agrees to help anyway.

At Troubled Acres, Michael finds himself tied to a chair in a greenhouse filled with potted plants. He is told by Harold Flanagan, the plants' elderly caretaker, that the plants are the actual emos, sentient beings who invade the bodies of humans. Pete, Mike, the black man, and Firkle arrive, but Firkle reveals himself to be emo, and captures the other three at gunpoint, tying them up alongside Michael. The ghost of Poe then intervenes, who quickly discovers that the plants are just ordinary ficus plants in vibrating pots. A television production crew then appears, and reveals that Flanagan has been the target of a hidden camera prank television show called Yes, I Was Scared!. The host further explains that Troubled Acres and the idea of the plants turning goths and vamp kids into emos were part of the prank.

Henrietta sits in her room awaiting the others and ready to embrace EMO supremacy. Michael and Pete tell what really happened and she is humiliated. Then they lie and go along with the deception and she pretend to return to her normal goth self. Firkle shows back to goth as well. And the relationship with Henrietta and her mother is also back to normal.


"Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and was originally scheduled to air on October 16, 2013.[3] South Park episodes are usually produced in only six days and delivered to Comedy Central just hours before airing. However, on October 15, South Park Studios suffered a power outage, causing the staff's computers to go down during post-production and leaving the episode incomplete, missing its deadline for the first time in the show's 17-season run.[4] Series co-creator Trey Parker wrote that "it sucks to miss an air date but after all these years of tempting fate by delivering the show last minute, I guess it was bound to happen."[5] A rerun of the fifth season episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was shown in its place, with live tweets accompanying the broadcast. "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" eventually aired one week later on October 23, 2013.[6]

The episode's opening title sequence departs from the one used since the beginning of the seventeenth season, as it features the Goth kids as the central characters instead of the series' four main characters, and uses elements from the discontinued title sequence that had previously been used for the series' first three seasons, and a version of the show's theme song with altered lyrics that reflect the Goth kids' bleak outlook.[2]


The episode received mixed reviews.

Ryan McGee of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C−, saying: "Unfortunately, 'Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers' was a fairly limp episode, one that an extra unexpected week of time apparently could not fix".[2]

Chris Longo of Den of Geek gave the episode 1 out of 5 stars, opining: "Instead of realizing the tired Emo/Goth storyline is about six years past its expiration date, South Park drudged on to complete its most uninspired episode of the young season."[7]

Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a score of 7.7 out of 10, declaring that "this week's South Park proved that the goth kids still had enough material for (most of) one more episode."[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c McGee, Ryan (October 23, 2013). ""Goth Kids 3: Dawn Of The Posers"". The A.V. Club. 
  3. ^ "Episode 1704 Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers Press Release – News". South Park Studios. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  4. ^ "South Park to Miss Air Date for the First Time Ever Due to Power Outage". Gawker. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  5. ^ "Episode 1704 will not air tonight – News". South Park Studios. Archived from the original on 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2013-10-16. 
  6. ^ Prudom, Laura (October 16, 2013). "Tonight's 'South Park' Episode, 'Goth Kids 3,' Postponed, Rescheduled For Next Week". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ Longo, Chris (October 24, 2013). "South Park: Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers, Review". Den of Geek. 
  8. ^ Nicholson, Max (October 24, 2013). "SOUTH PARK: "GOTH KIDS 3: DAWN OF THE POSERS" REVIEW". IGN. 

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