Up the Down Steroid

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"Up the Down Steroid"
South Park episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 2
Written by Trey Parker
Featured music "Push It to the Limit" from Scarface
by Paul Engemann
Production code 803
Original air date March 24, 2004
Episode chronology
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"Good Times with Weapons"
Next →
"The Passion of the Jew"
List of South Park episodes

"Up the Down Steroid" is the 113th episode of the Comedy Central series South Park. The title is a parody of the book Up the Down Staircase. This episode originally aired on March 24, 2004.


Timmy and Jimmy, the two disabled children in South Park, are eager to participate in the Special Olympics in Denver. Cartman decides to fake being disabled and beat all the handicapped children in the events to win the $1,000 prize.[1]

To pretend to be handicapped, Cartman undergoes a rigorous sports training-esque montage - set to the music track "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" - that shows a training regime of sitting on the special education bus while taking notes of how "retards" act, cutting his hair badly, studying a Kid Rock performance, modifying his shoes so it looks like he has a club foot, wearing a bicycle helmet, and pulling the string of said helmet so tightly around his face that it both deforms it and affects his ability to speak.

Meanwhile, Jimmy is talked into taking steroids by Nathan to increase his chances of winning. He manages to keep his use of it a secret from everyone except for his training partner and best friend, Timmy. While Timmy frowns on this, being unable to say anything other than his name, Jimmy's name and the quote "Livin' a lie!", he is unable to fully explain the situation to his school counselor, Mr. Mackey. Soon Jimmy begins to neglect his girlfriend and studies. When his girlfriend grows tired of neglect and announces she is leaving him, Jimmy flies into a steroid rage and savagely attacks his girlfriend and mother. Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" is playing in the background as Jimmy snaps -- an obvious reference to the Vietnam War drama Platoon

Throughout the episode, Kyle tries to talk Cartman out of his plans. Kyle hates Cartman and has always seen him as a thoroughly ruthless boy, but this time he seriously worries that Cartman will go to hell. He even goes as far as to call himself Cartman's friend. Cartman dismisses Kyle, claiming that he is the one who is going to hell because he is Jewish using Mel Gibson's The Passion as an example.

At the Special Olympics, Jimmy sets multiple records and is declared the winner. Cartman, on the other hand, is so out-of-shape and overweight that his plan fails miserably and is beaten by all the handicapped children, who have all spent weeks in intensive training before the start of the competition. However, he gets a "spirit award" of a gift voucher to Shakey's Pizza as a consolation prize. When he comes up to the stand to collect the prize, Jimmy recognizes Cartman and is about to beat him up for being a cheater, but Timmy intervenes, and Jimmy realises that he is just as much of a cheater himself.

Jimmy confesses his drug use to the crowd and returns his medal. As he says that people who are taking steroids are "big fat pussies", the camera pans across smiling guests Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi (athletes who all notoriously took steroids to increase their performance), and asks for his records to be cancelled. At that point, the people give Jimmy a standing ovation with cheers for being honest, and he says he'll be back next year to "compete with honor".

Cartman then tells his friends that he pretended to be retarded just to teach Jimmy about taking steroids, but they simply stare at him, clearly unconvinced. In response, Cartman angrily says, "Oh yeah?! Well, you guys are assholes! Grow up!" before walking away.


  1. ^ Stratyner, Leslie; Keller, James R. (2009-01-01). "The Deep End of South Park". ISBN 9780786453337. 

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