Up the Down Steroid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Up the Down Steroid"
South Park episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 2
Written byTrey Parker
Featured music"Push It to the Limit" from Scarface
by Paul Engemann
Production code803
Original air dateMarch 24, 2004
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Good Times with Weapons"
Next →
"The Passion of the Jew"
South Park (season 8)
List of South Park episodes

"Up the Down Steroid" is the third episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on March 24, 2004. In the episode, Jimmy enters the special Olympics but starts using steroids to improve his performance. Cartman, believing he will have an advantage over the other children, disguises himself as handicapped so he can enter and win the cash prize. The title of the episode is a parody of the book Up the Down Staircase.[1]

In 2000, the actual Spanish Basketball team at the 2000 Summer Paralympics were disqualified and stripped of their gold medal after it was revealed almost none of the players were actually disabled.[2]


Timmy and Jimmy, two disabled children in South Park, are eager to participate in the Special Olympics in Denver. Cartman decides to fake being disabled and attempt to beat all the handicapped children in the events to win the $1,000 prize. 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 Timmy (who discovers the drugs after he accidentally dropped the bag and spilling the contents). While Timmy frowns on this, being unable to say anything other than either his own and Jimmy's names, he is unable to explain the situation to the school counselor Mr. Mackey.

Jimmy begins to neglect his girlfriend and studies as a result of his steroid use. 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. Kyle repeatedly tries to talk Cartman out of his plans but is ignored. At the Special Olympics, the prizes are given by Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds. Jimmy sets multiple records and is declared the winner. Cartman, on the other hand, is so out-of-shape that his plan fails miserably when the more athletic handicapped contestants beat him; he nevertheless wins a "spirit award" - consisting of a gift voucher - for coming last. When he goes to collect the prize, Jimmy recognizes Cartman and is about to attack him, 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, asking for his records to be cancelled and that people who use steroids are "pussies" (all the while the camera focuses on McGwire, Giambi, and Bonds during his speech). The people give Jimmy a standing ovation for being honest, and he says he will be back next year. Cartman then claims to Stan and Kyle that he pretended to be handicapped in order for Jimmy to learn his lesson, but Stan and Kyle don't buy his lies; in anger, Cartman calls them "assholes" and tells them to "grow up".


There was some controversy surrounding "Up the Down Steroid" and the 2005 film The Ringer, as both feature the same plot: someone pretending to be disabled in order to compete in the Special Olympics.[3] The Ringer was written and filmed months before this episode was aired, although, The Ringer was not released to the public until after this episode aired.[citation needed] According to the episode's DVD audio commentary, series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone did not think that they ripped off The Ringer, since the idea to them did not seem hard to come up with, and they did not even think it was big enough for a twenty-minute episode let alone a two-hour film.[1]

In the opening scene, the boys are playing the same "Investigative Reports with Bill Kurtis" funtime game as they did in the season four episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA".[1]

The episode's title refers to the 1964 young adult novel Up the Down Staircase, by Bel Kaufman, which was adapted into a film in 1967 starring Sandy Dennis. Trey Parker admitted he had to perform this story in a high school play and hated it.[1] Additionally, Stone admitted in the commentary that he once pretended to be disabled to get into Six Flags Magic Mountain for half price.[4]

Home release[edit]

"Up the Down Steroid", along with the thirteen other episodes from South Park's eighth season, was released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on August 29, 2006. The set includes brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Parker, Trey (March 2006). South Park: The Complete Eighth Season: "Up the Down Steroid" (Audio commentary)|format= requires |url= (help) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  2. ^ "Paralympic Group Orders Suspensions". The New York Times. 30 January 2001. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  3. ^ Did Ringer rip off South Park -- or vice versa? Entertainment Weekly
  4. ^ Stone, Matt (March 2006). South Park: The Complete Eighth Season: "Up the Down Steroid" (Audio commentary)|format= requires |url= (help) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
  5. ^ Schorn, Peter (August 26, 2006). "South Park: The Complete Eighth Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2017.

External links[edit]