This ‘South Park’ Fan Theory Makes Mr. Mackey’s Bullying Story Even More Harrowing

Did Billy Thompson return for further revenge in disguise as an anti-bullying advocate?
This ‘South Park’ Fan Theory Makes Mr. Mackey’s Bullying Story Even More Harrowing

Imagine if your childhood bully returned to your life as an adult under a new identity and started bullying you at your job. It’d be a nightmare come to life, m’kay?

Compared to a certain teacher-turned-U.S.-president at South Park Elementary, Mr. Mackey Jr. is one of the more well-adjusted, level-headed staffers at the school where children spend decades trying to graduate from the fourth grade. As South Park Elementary's guidance counselor (and the South Park City Council’s Head of Public Health), Mackey is charged with maintaining the mental health and well-being of the South Park kids, which, given the frequency of uproariously violent and disturbing incidents at the school, is a daunting task. However, despite the extreme circumstances of the position and the kids’ general dismissal of his attempts to help them, Mackey does a m’kay job at being one of the less psycho adults around. 

That said, even Mackey’s mind has some dark corners, and in the 2010 episode “Insheeption,” the ambitious Dr. Chinstrap dove into the source of Mackey’s hoarding habit to find a traumatic bullying episode early in Mackey’s own childhood at the hands of a bowl-cutted bully named Billy Thompson.

Two years later, an adult Mackey found himself subjected to intimidation from an anti-bullying advocate and aggressive bully himself, one Bucky Bailey, in the episode “Butterballs.” Over in the South Park subreddit, one fan recently noticed that both of Mackey’s tormentors bore bizarre, bowl-ish haircuts and wondered whether Bucky Bailey was once a bully named Billy.

Even if theyre not the same person, they definitely have the same barber.

As the theory goes, user DuckyAvens explains, “Only just noticed that Mackey’s childhood bully potentially grew up to be the alleged anti-bullying counsellor in a later episode. Which would explain why Mackey is so affected by his insults in the episode.”

In “Insheeption,” the deeply engrained and painful memory of Billy Thompson harassing and attacking Mackey serves as a battleground in the Inception parody, though its later revealed that Mackeys hoarder-inducing trauma wasnt Billys doing but rather the result of a “bad touch” by an anti-littering owl mascot. Perhaps the uncovering of the real trauma from Mackeys childhood tricked his brain into forgetting the face (and hair) of the second-most destructive figure from his formative years.

When anti-bullying spokesman Bucky Bailey barges into Mackeys office and makes him cry in “Butterballs,” neither he nor Mackey indicates that Buckys bullying is a repeat performance, but, as “Insheeption” demonstrated, Mackey is capable of making himself forget far worse.

“This is the kind of hard-hitting investigative content we need on this subreddit. Well done OP,” a moderator of the South Park subreddit congratulated DuckyAvens under his uncovering of a possible callback. Another South Park fan added of the connection, “That absolutely has to be intentional. No doubt about it.”

Others were less credulous over the connection, noting that Bucky was explicitly modeled after the classic childrens television character Captain Kangaroo. However, even if Bucky and Billy arent literally the same person, the pattern of Mackey getting mercilessly pushed around by guys whose names sound like bully and have bowl-cut-adjacent hairstyles certainly seems like an intentional visual cue from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

If Bradley Biggle, aka Mintberry Crunch, ever starts slamming Mackey into lockers, well know for sure that things are not mkay for poor Mr. Mackey.


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