The Losing Edge
|"The Losing Edge"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Featured music||"You're the Best"
by Joe Esposito
|Original air date||April 6th, 2005|
The South Park Cows are South Park's Little League baseball team, although nobody on the team enjoys the sport at all. They find baseball boring, playing only because of their parents' enthusiasm for the sport. When they win their final game, they are at first overjoyed that now they can finally enjoy their summer vacation, until they discover that since they placed first in their division, they will have to continue playing in the post-season playoffs, much to their horror. During a 'celebration' meal, the team discusses plans to lose on purpose but make it look like they are trying. However, South Park realizes that the other teams also hate the game and are using the same tactic.
The South Park Cows manage to win again and again to beat their opponents, whose efforts at throwing games are more successful, and eventually, they get to the state championship game. To their horror, they realise that if they win that game, their season will start over on the national circuit, meaning they will have to play baseball all summer.
Meanwhile, Stan's father Randy has taken up the hobby of being a "trash-talking dad", being generally obnoxious at every game so as to get into fights with other, equally obnoxious fathers. While training to be the best fighter he can be, Randy becomes terrified when he meets the Denver Little League team's "Bat Dad", who wears a purple Batman cowl and cape, is much bigger than him, and behaves even more obnoxiously. He decides not to attend the game in fear that he isn't good enough.
Cartman tells the team that they need someone who "totally sucks ass" to join their team. Kyle says he knows just the person: his stereotypically Jewish cousin Kyle Schwartz, as he knows his cousin is terrible at any sport. Stan and the others play their game against Denver, who, like the other opponents, do not want to win either. Even drafting Kyle's cousin fails, as the other team is the best yet at intentionally losing.
Just as it seems the South Park team is sure to win, Randy shows up and begins a huge fight with Bat Dad that spills onto the field. Randy continuing to fight causes officials to disqualify South Park and the team celebrates.
The episode's idea originally came from Trey Parker and Matt Stone thinking that the children of South Park would look cute in baseball uniforms. Parker and Stone also were not fans of baseball themselves so it made sense to have the boys hate baseball. The choice to go ahead with a baseball-themed episode did create some problems animation-wise, however, as most of the children look nearly identical wearing the same uniforms. Lots of time was spent on making sure that each character was distinguishable from each other; for example Butters Stotch and Stan Marsh look identical with the same attire. To rectify this, Stan's hair is more prominent than Butters' and Butters has a speaking line early.
According to the DVD commentary, "this was a really, really hard episode to do" because sports episodes in general aren't easy but also because the teams are trying to lose. Because they're trying to lose on purpose, new rules are needed which makes it different from any actual sport. The character of Bat Dad made it easier for Parker and Stone, however, as if it got too difficult, they could cut to Bat Dad.
- Parker, Trey; Stone, Matt (2005). South Park season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "The Losing Edge" (DVD). Comedy Central.
- The Losing Edge Full episode at South Park Studios
- The Losing Edge Episode guide at South Park Studios
- The Losing Edge South Park Wiki