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    Stephen and Linda Stotch (South Park)

    "Don't let your kids watch it!" - Robbie Rotten

    This article contains potentially sensitive content that may be discomforting or upsetting to certain users. Reader discretion is advised!

    Reason: Child Abuse.

    Stephen and Linda Scotch
    "It's strange. I don't recall him really doing anything particularly bad, and yet... and yet he is grounded."
    — Stephen
    Gender: Male (Stephen)
    Female (Linda)
    Type: Excessively Abusive Parents
    The Worst Examples of Poor Parenting
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Trey Parker (Stephen)
    Mona Marshall (Linda)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: South Park
    First appearance: Chickenlover (Stephen)
    The Wacky Molestation Adventure (Linda)


    Stephen and Linda Stotch are Butters's parents and characters from South Park. They are notorious for grounding Butters for petty reasons.

    Why Child Protective Services Should Take Butters Away From Them

    1. The main deal with them is their habit of always grounding Butters, often for petty reasons. Notable ones are for supposedly making a silly face on his school photo (even though he didn't), and then grounding him again for taking his bag off of his head, even though they let him (in "How to Eat with Your Butt"), and for misplacing food in their cupboard (in "The Ungroundable").
    2. They are very bad at parenting and treat Butters like their punching bag and act like they want nothing to do with him.
    3. They're both responsible for inflicting serious psychological trauma on Butters. In the Imaginationland trilogy, the first thing that comes to Butters's mind is his father before he turns into a demon, showing how much damage poor Butters has faced.
    4. Linda literally trying 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.
    5. 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 led to Butters getting sodomized by the therapist's machine later in the episode.
    6. In the episode "Jared Has Aides", Cartman once managed to get them to beat up Butters off-screen thanks to him impersonating Butters.
    7. In the episode "Marjorine", they tried to get Butters out of "committing suicide" by saying that they would not ground him for more than a week. Sure, Butters was faking it, but punishing someone for being suicidal is still a horrible thing to do.
    8. In the episode "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Play-set", they act very selfish and greedy. They tried to sell Butters to Paris Hilton for 200 million dollars, showing that they care about money more than him. And when Stephen didn't get his money, he grounded Butters for this. Bad parenting.
    9. When Butters returns home safely after having been kidnapped in Imaginationland, instead of showing relief that their son is alright, they ground him because he was out playing when he was supposed to be helping his mother with chores. Really?
    10. They were willing to ground Butters just because he was last place on the girls' attractiveness list for all the boys.
    11. When Grandma Stotch bullied Butters in "Butterballs", they didn't become suspicious about Butters' behavior.
    12. They often get away with how they treat Butters, thus making them karma houdinis.
    13. Stephen is the worse out of the two, as he’s often the one who grounds Butters. What's even worse is that they think they're great parents and that 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 have these kinds 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.
    14. In "Butters Very Own Episode", Stephen causes his entire family almost to fall apart when he decides to cheat on Linda with several gay men at the white swallow spa. When Butters catches his father in the act, it results in a chain of events where Linda becomes so unstable that she tries to murder Butters by drowning him in the family car and attempting suicide.
    15. In "South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid", it is revealed that not only did they ground Butters in his room for sixteen years, they even abandoned him, causing Butters to become insane and become "Victor Chaos". While some believe that they were killed at some point after leaving the house, they were both seen at Shady Acres Retirement Home in the previous episode.
      • This event probably caused Butters to believe that his parents never loved him. When Stan and Kyle address "Victor" as Butters, "Victor" claims that they confused him with someone else, calling his younger self a "twerpy, little loser kid whose parents didn't love him."
    16. Overall, they treat Butters terribly. All the boys treat him better than they do. Even Cartman has his kind moments with Butters.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. Despite having done nothing wrong, Stephen did get some karma in "Grounded Vindaloop".
    2. Despite everything they do to him, they love Butters.
    3. They were quite clearly supposed to be hated.
    4. Sometimes, they have good reasons to ground Butters, the main example being when Butters spreads false rumors about his friends on Facebook.
      • However, their abuse and punishments towards Butters were reduced after season 12 to just excellent and valid reasons.
    5. 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 shows concern for him too.
      • Linda is a likable and better parent in "Good Times with Weapons" where she actually shows concern about Butters having a shuriken stuck in his eye and she also takes him to the hospital afterward.
    6. As for the other characters, Trey Parker and Mona Marshall did a good job voicing them.
    7. 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.
    8. Stephen showed a more caring and compassionate side in season 22, choosing to return to 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 convinces Butters that he's not grounded anymore - even admitting that he loves him too thanks to him also sharing a hug with his son.
    9. 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.
    10. They did help Butter explain fake love in the episode "Raisins".
    11. They were completely justified in season 20.
    12. At least they don't stoop to the lows that Kyle's parents do.

    Controversy

    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 because they did not get as much screen time as before.

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