"Cripple Fight" (also known as "Cripple Fight!") is the second episode of the fifth season of the animated television series South Park, and 67th episode of the series overall. It originally aired in the United States on June 27, 2001 on Comedy Central.
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||June 27, 2001|
In the episode, the boys join a Mountain Scouts troop originally led by Big Gay Al, who is fired due to his homosexuality. The episode is based on the controversy over scoutmaster James Dale and the Supreme Court case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. The episode also introduces the character Jimmy.
Stan, Cartman, Kenny, and Timmy have joined Mountain Scouts troop number 69 and are on their way to their first meeting. When they arrive, they find that their scoutmaster is Big Gay Al. The boys enjoy themselves at the meeting and decide that they like Mountain Scouts, but some parents fear that Big Gay Al will be a poor influence on the boys and that he may be a pedophile.
After a lifetime of membership, Big Gay Al is thrown out of Mountain Scouts by the Head. A new, masculine, scoutmaster named Mr. Grazier is appointed and he promises the parents he will whip the boys into line and make them good scouts, but proceeds to force them to pose for naked pictures with a threat to beat them up if they let this slip.
Meanwhile, Jimmy, a new handicapped boy, comes to town and also joins Mountain Scouts. Jimmy is a stand-up comedian and immediately becomes very popular. Timmy, the other handicapped boy in town, becomes incredibly jealous of the adoration given to the new kid. Timmy tries to undermine Jimmy in any way possible, including offering him an orange parka as a gift, in order to make him resemble Kenny (playing off the running gag that Kenny dies in almost every episode in the first few seasons) and even though Jimmy is nearly killed by a falling safe, a hawk, a fire, a stampede of cows, one of the American Space Shuttles, and gunshots from Jimbo and Ned, his efforts proved futile.
In an attempt to get rid of Mr. Grazier without giving away his secret, the boys assemble their own protest march all the way to the grocery store parking lot, and use Jimmy's stand-up comedy to draw in a crowd. However, the performance goes sour when he tries to enlist Timmy's participation, and Timmy refuses. Quickly, they break out into a lengthy fistfight. A very excited Cartman calls it a "cripple fight" and quickly gathers everyone to watch. From the outside, the crowd seems to be for the boy's protest, so it's picked up by the South Park media. A national controversy erupts as the Mountain Scouts are called a hate group by the media and prominent supporters like Steven Spielberg withdraw their support.
Big Gay Al sues the Mountain Scouts, while Mr. Grazier is revealed to be a pedophile who goes by the name "Mr. Slippyfist" and is arrested. Although the Colorado State Supreme Court rules in Big Gay Al's favor and orders the Mountain Scout Elders to take him back and be put in stocks for three days so they can feel like outcasts, Al refuses, saying that while he appreciated what the boys have done for him, he feels "it isn't right to force them to think our way," and while they should be talked into changing their minds, he begs people not to cut their funding or support for the Scouts, adding that he loves the Scouts for the work they do and that they're a private organization. This causes Big Gay Al's lawyer Gloria Allred to brand him as a homophobe. At the same time, Kenny is carried off by an eagle (so it looks like, but in the end of episode, Kenny is in the Mountain Scout meeting with other kids totally alive and healthy).
At the scouts meeting at the end of the episode, with the Head now in charge, Timmy brings up a photoshopped picture of Jimmy's head on an actual, non-animated man's body, embracing another man. Due to the scouts' views on homosexuality, Jimmy is booted out of the scouts. The episode ends with Timmy declaring "Timmy!" in delight.
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In the recent[when?] UK poll Paramount Comedy's Top 10 Episodes, this episode was ranked number 8. "Park Life", the documentary accompanying the countdown, showcased how the positive characterisation of Big Gay Al in this episode is what earned it so much respect.
The fight between Jimmy and Timmy is based on the fight between John Nada (Roddy Piper) and Frank Armitage (Keith David) in the 1988 film They Live. When overdubbed with the audio from the film, the fight sounds and much of the dialogue match up almost perfectly with the animation because the sequence was animated to the original track.
Parker says in the DVD commentary that this episode was his first nervous breakdown after realizing they had nothing prepared for the upcoming season.
"Cripple Fight", along with the fourteen other episodes from South Park: the Complete Fifth Season, were released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on February 22, 2005. The sets included brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode.
"Cripple Fight" was released on VHS in June 2002, along with the episodes "Scott Tenorman Must Die" and "It Hits the Fan", on a video titled Insults to Injuries. A DVD version of the compilation was released simultaneously, and also contained "Proper Condom Use", in addition to the episodes contained on the VHS release.
- Parker, Trey (November 2008). South Park: The Complete Fifth Season: "Cripple Fight" (DVD Audio commentary). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Ott, Brian L. (2008). "The Pleasures of South Park An Experiment in Media Erotics". In Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew (ed.). Taking South Park Seriously. New York: SUNY Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-7914-7566-9. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Codding, Jamey (February 26, 2009). "South Park: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review". Bullz-Eye. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- "South Park - Insults to Injuries [VHS]". Amazon.com. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- "South Park - Insults To Injuries DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2012.