|South Park character|
|First appearance||The Spirit of Christmas (1995 short)
"Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" (official)
|Created by||Trey Parker
|Voiced by||April Stewart (current)
Mary Kay Bergman (1997-1999)
Kari Turner (the unaired version of "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe")
|Family||Mrs. Testaburger (mother)
Mr. Testaburger (father)
Grandma Testaburger (deceased grandmother)
|Significant other(s)||Stan Marsh (on-again, off-again boyfriend)|
|Education||South Park Elementary|
|Residence||South Park, Colorado|
Wendy Testaburger is a fictional character in the American animated series South Park. The series' most prominent female character, she is best known for her on-again, off-again relationship with her boyfriend, Stan Marsh, and being more intelligent and mature than most children her age, which is utilized by her activism and feminism. Wendy debuted as a nameless background character in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's 1995 college short film, The Spirit of Christmas, and made her first appearance on television when South Park initially premiered on Comedy Central on August 13, 1997 with the episode "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe". She is currently voiced by April Stewart. Prior, she had been voiced by several different voice actors throughout the show's run: Mary Kay Bergman, Eliza Schneider, and Mona Marshall.
The character has met generally positive reception for her portrayal of maturity and political correctness in contrast to most child characters in fiction.
In South Park's first 19 seasons, Wendy attends South Park Elementary as a third- then fourth grade student of Mr. Garrison's class, a position of his which is then replaced by Ms. Nelson after Garrison becomes the 45th President of the United States starting with season 19 onward. She resides in South Park, Colorado as the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Testaburger. In the episode "Tom's Rhinoplasty", it is revealed by Principal Victoria that her grandmother died during the events of the episode, in reference to the scene in the 1986 John Hughes teen comedy film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where the nurse informs Solange of the same news. During the show's first 58 episodes – "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" to the season 4 episode "Fourth Grade" – Wendy is a third grade student in Mr. Garrison's class. Starting with the aforementioned "Fourth Grade", Wendy's grade, along with all the other major child characters', transfers to the fourth and remains as such due to the floating timeline of the series.
Creation and Design
Wendy is a Caucasian female child with long straight black hair, who typically wears a pink beret, a light purple jacket with navy blue trim (and matching gloves), yellow pants, and black shoes. In the 1995 short, The Spirit of Christmas and South Park's debut episode "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", the character is composed of construction paper and animated through the use of stop motion. Starting with "Weight Gain 4000" onwards, she is animated via computer software, though her appearance is portrayed to give the impression that the show still utilizes its construction paper technique. In tradition of the show's animation style, Wendy is composed of simple geometrical shapes and colors, and is not offered the same free range associated with most hand-drawn characters; her character is typically shown from one angle and animated in an intentionally crude fashion.
Fellow co-creator Stone has stated that Wendy's name is based on that of Wendy Westiberg, the wife of a friend from his childhood.
Wendy first appeared in the 1995 sequel to Stone and Parker's 1992 film The Spirit of Christmas, Jesus vs. Santa, which was developed after Fox executive Brian Graden paid Stone and Parker $1,000 to make another animated short as a video Christmas card that he could send to friends. In turn, the duo created the aforementioned sequel.
Personality and traits
Wendy is portrayed as more level-headed and mature than her peers, often getting good grades and protesting world issues. For example, in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" she writes an essay in regards of breast cancer and expresses her condolences to disease's patients losing their lives to it. Due to her liberal views, Wendy frequently comes into conflict and opposition with Eric Cartman. For instance, in the aforementioned "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Wendy engages in a violent fight between Cartman due to his mockery of the subject of breast cancer. However, she developed a crush on him in the episode "Chef Goes Nanners" after realizing that they have a lot in common while on the debate team against the racist depiction of the South Park flag, though it is dissolved after she kisses him as a means to relieve a sexual tension. She tends to be outcast by her girlfriends for not giving into peer pressure. For example, in "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset", she refuses to participate in the trend of emulating the notorious lifestyle of Paris Hilton, deeming the celebrity a bad influence towards the female youth, and her friends abandon her for it.
One of Wendy's most defining traits over the course of the series is her on-again, off-again relationship with Stan Marsh. She is shown to love him very much, even going as far as hiring a group of Iraqis to shoot a substitute teacher named Ms. Ellen into the sun after interpreting the latter's relationship with Stan as an infatuation in "Tom's Rhinoplasty", though he usually doesn't return the favor. This is epitomized in the earlier seasons when Stan vomits on Wendy as a running gag when the two are about to kiss, much to her disgust. Despite the problematic elements of their relationship, Stan is still shown to have feelings for Wendy whenever the two breakup: in the episode "Raisins", he is left devastated for weeks after she dumps him in favor of Token Black, and joins an alliance of gothic children as a result.
Time featured Wendy on a list entitled "The Top 26 Best Female TV Cartoon Characters". IGN ranked the character #22 on "The Top 25 Best South Park Characters" and described her as the "Courtney Love of the series" stating that "if she wasn't the girlfriend of someone important, we probably wouldn't have initially paid any attention to her at all." PasteMagazine ranked her at #12 on a list entitled "The Top 20 Best South Park Characters" and praised her for her oppositions of the politically incorrect portrayal of society. TVOvermind ranked her #8 on a list entitled "Top 10 Best South Park" characters, praising her utilization of realism and vocal politicalness and criticized her lack of prominence in the more recent seasons of South Park.
Appearances in other media
Wendy appears in many South Park-related media and merchandise, such as its 1999 musical comedy adaptation South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and its video games South Park the Video Game, South Park Rally, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and is set to play a significant role in the upcoming video game South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
- Matt Cheplic (1998-05-01). "'As Crappy As Possible': The Method Behind the Madness of South Park". Penton Media. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
- Abbie Bernstein (1998-10-27). "South Park – Volume 2". AVRev.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- Trey Parker, Matt Stone (2003). South Park: The Complete First Season: "Weight Gain 4000" (Audio commentary) (CD). Comedy Central.
- "Brian Graden's Bio". VH1. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "Brian Graden Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "The Top 26 Best Female TV Cartoon Characters". Time.
- Isler, Ramsey (28 February 2014). "The Top 25 South Park Characters". IGN.
- "The 20 Best South Park Characters". PasteMagazine.
- "Ten of the Best Non-Lead South Park Characters". TVOvermind. 23 November 2016.
- "South Park: The Fractured But Whole preview". TrustedReviews.