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Stephen and Linda Scotch
"No, you call a doctor. I'll ground him." - Stephen Stotch; "The Death of Eric Cartman"
Excessively Abusive Parents
Media of Origin:
'"Chickenlover" (Stephen) "The Wacky Molestation Adventure" (Linda)
Stephen and Linda Stotch are Butters Stotch's parents and characters from South Park. They are notorious for grounding Butters for petty reasons.
For beginners, their main issue with them is their habit to grounding Butters for no good reasons. Notable ones are for making a silly face on his school photo (in "How to Eat with Your Butt") and for misplacing food in their cupboard (in "The Ungroundable").
They are very bad at parenting and treat Butters like their punching bag and act like they want nothing to do with him.
They're both responsible for inflicting serious psychological trauma on Butters. In the Imaginationland trilogy, the first thing that came to Butters mind was his father before turning into a demon, showing how much damage poor Butters has faced.
Linda literally wanted to kill Butters by drowning him in her car.
They killed a social worker and wanted to feed Butters with her corpse because they thought he was a demon. They falsely thought that Butters had a multi-personality disorder when Butters was just playing around, though they were misled into believing this by Butters' therapist.
This lead to Butters getting sodomized by the therapists machine later in the episode.
Cartman once managed to get them to beat up Butters thanks to him impersonating Butters.
In the episode "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Play-set", they sold Butters to Paris Hilton, showing that they care about money more than him. And when Stephen didn't get his money, he grounded Butters for this. Great parenting!
When Butters is returned home safely after having been kidnapped in Imaginationland, instead of showing relief that their son was alright, they grounded him because he was out playing when he was supposed to be helping his mother with chores. Like seriously?
When Grandma Stotch bullied Butters in "Butterballs", they didn't become suspicious about Butters' behavior.
They often get away with how they treat Butters.
Stephen is the worst out of the two. He sometimes acts like he cares for Butters, but he abuses and grounds him for no good reason. What's even worse is that they delude themselves into thinking they're great parents and think their methods are perfectly normal.
In "The Death of Eric Cartman", he is known for his quote "No, you call a doctor. I'll ground him." If they think Butters has some kind of issue and they are still going to punish him for that, it is extremely offensive to people who actually have these kind of issues.
Stephen is also shown to be a hypocrite, In "Pre-School", he was quick to convince his wife that it was neither of their faults that Butters was badly beaten up by a bully on their doorstep, even though it was him who refused to let a frantic Butters back in the house.
Overall, they treat Butters the worst. All the boys treat him better than they do. Even Eric Cartman has his kind moments with Butters.
Despite having done nothing wrong, Stephen did get some karma in "Grounded Vindaloop".
Linda also suffered for her actions in "Turd Burglars".
Despite everything they do to him, they still love Butters.
Sometimes they have good reasons to ground Butters, the main example being when Butters spread false rumors about his friends on Facebook.
However, their abuse and punishments towards Butters was reduced after season 12 to just very good and valid reasons.
Out of the two, Linda is a little more tolerable than her husband since she's shown to care for Butters at some points and even show some concern for him too.
Their voice actors did a decent job voicing them.
They have a few funny moments here and there like spitting their coffee out in shock after Paris Hilton tells them that she'll give them $200,000,000 in exchange for Butters.
Stephen showed a more caring and compassionate side in Season 22, choosing to return working for Amazon when his friends went on strike despite wanting to join them, sacrificing his happiness for their sake. Thanks to this, Butters managed to get a much nicer bike for the Bike Parade and showed it off to the girls at his school.
In the ending of Post Covid: The Return of Covid, he convinced Butters that he's not grounded anymore - even admitting that he loves him too thanks to him also sharing a hug with his son.
They did apologize to Butters in "My Future Self N' Me" after realizing that they provoked him into letting Cartman smear poop over their house.
They did help Butter explain fake love in the episode "Raisins"
Despite receiving a mixed response from critics, Stephen and Linda Stotch received a lot of heavy backlash from fans for grounding Butters for the littlest of reasons, blaming him for things he didn't do and for physically and emotionally torturing and abusing him (even people who aren't fans of the show hate them). However, the hatedom died down sometime after season 20 due to them not getting as much screentime as they did before.