The Worst Things ‘South Park’ Has Put Butters Through
Over the years, South Park’s Butters Stotch has evolved from some random background kid with no personality to one of the show’s most fascinating characters: an innocent little boy with an inexplicable Southern accent who remains eternally (and sometimes even disturbingly) positive despite all the disturbing crap they’ve put him through. Here are some dark and traumatic events that would crush other people but just made Butters say, “Oh, hamburgers”…
Being Tricked Into Thinking the World Ended
As with a good number of the misfortunes that have befallen Butters/South Park in general, this one was caused by his “best friend,” Eric Cartman. In this case, Cartman attempts to usurp a spot at Kyle’s birthday celebration at Casa Bonita by convincing Butters that a meteor the size of Wyoming has hit the planet and turned everyone into radioactive cannibals. As a result of Cartman’s ploy, Butters gets trapped in a refrigerator, dumped in a junkyard, and as if that wasn't humiliating enough, rejected by a garbage lady who turns down his offer to “repopulate the Earth” together. Oh, and his parents believe he’s missing or dead, which, as we’ll see, is a running theme in this show.
Getting Botched Homemade Liposuction
One of Butters’ earliest adventures as a replacement fourth friend after Kenny's "permanent" death has the others convincing him to gain 50 pounds and lose them so he could get sponsored by a restaurant like America’s darling, Jared Fogle. Frustrated that Butters isn’t losing weight fast enough, the boys cut a hole in his body, jam a hose in it and push down on his stomach to perform a rather messy but surprisingly effective liposuction. Unfortunately, Butters’ parents had specifically told him never to have liposuction surgery in their own house, so he ends up in big trouble.
Acting as a Human Content Filter for Celebrities
What starts as Butters filtering out the negative comments on Cartman’s social media inevitably leads to him being forced to perform the same service for Steven Seagal, Demi Lovato, Vin Diesel and others. The psychological damage causes him to jump out of a window and get hospitalized (another decades-long running theme in South Park). Still, this would not end up being his worst experience involving celebs...
Being Sold to Paris Hilton
After the self-inflicted death of her latest pet, Paris Hilton grabs Butters, forces him into a bear suit, renames him “Mr. Snuggles,” and adopts him as her new one. Obviously, his parents aren’t willing to just give away their only son; they demand $250 million from her first. Butters runs away from his new “girlfriend” after learning about the gory fate of her previous pets, once again getting him grounded for selfishly costing his family a quarter of a billion dollars.
Being Wedgie’d Into the Hospital
When the boys’ pre-school bully, Trent Boyett, is released from juvie, he pulls Butters’ undies so high that it nearly kills him. He also delivers arm burns, a charley horse, a second-degree titty twister, a colossal swirly, a noogie and what the doctor describes as “a Polish bike ride.” We’re assuming that’s not a term we want to Google.
Being Brutally Assaulted by His Grandma
Trent wasn’t even Butters’ worst bully: That would be sweet ol’ Grandma Stotch, who turns into a vicious sadist whenever they’re alone and verbally abuses him, beats him up, steals his lunch money, puts a urinal puck in his mouth and sticks a fork in his thigh under the table during family dinner. Her worst bullying technique is the “gummy bear,” which consists of removing her dentures and putting Butters’ arm in her toothless mouth. Let’s see Trent try that.
Being Anally Probed for 14 Hours
After becoming convinced that he can see ghosts (more specifically Cartman’s, who isn’t really dead), Butters is sent to a mental health institute to find out the source of the trauma that’s making him hallucinate stuff. The method of examination consists of inserting a giant vibrating probe into Butters’ butt for 14 hours. If a device like that actually worked, it would have made the plot of The Sixth Sense a lot shorter.
Accidentally Killing 17 People Via Tap Dancing
Speaking of Butters’ many traumas, his fear of the words “tap-dancing” is explained by the fact that his shoe accidentally flew off during a tap-dancing competition, triggering a series of events that directly or indirectly killed 11 people. During the episode’s finale, Butters bravely agrees to tap-dance again for the first time in years — once again losing a shoe and killing six more people. The victims were the rival team and their coach, though, so it all worked out in the end.
Being Mistaken for a Zombie
Attempting to infiltrate a girls’ sleepover and learn the truth about their mysterious “future-telling device” (a cootie catcher), the boys fake Butters’ death and convince him to pretend to be a new female student called Marjorine. Meanwhile, Butters’ surprisingly distraught parents bury the pig carcass they believe is their son in an old native burial ground to Pet Sematary him back to life. When Butters returns home, his parents assume he “came back wrong,” lock him in the basement and kill a woman for him to feed on. Which sadly is probably the most loving thing they’ve ever done for him.
Being Mistaken for a Dog and Almost Euthanized
The boys’ anime-style battle with the evil Professor Chaos comes to a sudden stop when Kenny throws an actual shuriken at “Chaos” (Butters) and it gets lodged in his eye. Wanting to help Butters get medical attention but unwilling to get grounded over such a silly mishap, the boys glue dog hair on him so he’ll be mistaken for a dog and treated by a veterinarian. He ends up in an animal shelter, where other dogs pee on him, and the kindly vet decides they should put him down to spare him more suffering. Butters manages to escape in time, so the vet just kills another random dog instead.
Almost Being Drowned by His Mom
Butters got his “Very Own Episode” at the end of Season Five, foreshadowing his increased protagonism during the Kenny-less Season Six. The episode sets the tone for Butters’ future adventures by having him accidentally reveal to his mom that his dad is cheating on her with various men, which causes her to have a nervous breakdown and try to drown Butters in a lake.
His parents reconcile and decide to blame his disappearance on “some Puerto Rican guy,” joining an exclusive club that includes O.J. Simpson and other famous figures searching for their loved ones’ “real killers.” Butters remains blissfully unaware of what’s really going on until the end of the episode, at which point he probably started wishing they’d just kill him for real in every episode like Kenny.