Stanley's Cup (South Park)
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"Stanley's Cup" is the fourteenth and final episode of Season 10 of South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central on November 15, 2006 in the United States. It was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker.
When Stan's bike is towed, he ends up coaching a pee-wee hockey team in order to get it back.
Why It Doesn’t Deserve the Stanley Cup
- For starters, it's a malicious and severe Stan torture episode.
- At the start of the episode, Stan's bike was towed away by the tow driver for some unexplained reason, and he's forced to train the entire pee-wee team (which are little children), despite lacking any knowledge of hockey.
- The episode has multiple unlikable characters, with the worst offenders being:
- The tow truck driver towed Stan's bike and ignores him (as mentioned before).
- Coach Gavin, who is a generic "incompetent rival" of Stan, who doesn't get any comeuppance.
- The Detroit Red Wings, who are portrayed as malicious brutes who have no respect for children playing hockey and only care about winning even when it means torturing them for it. Worse, they don't get disqualified for their actions toward the pee-wee team. That effectively makes them Karma Houdinis due to this.
- It does not make any sense that a professional hockey team of grown men would be allowed to play against a pee-wee team under any circumstances.
- The hockey fans are portrayed here as complete morons, because not only does nobody call out the Red Wings for assaulting children, but they even goad Stan to let them play.
- The middle of the episode is packed with boring filler, with Stan's team participating in a match against Addams County, only for nothing eventful to happen because the match ultimately ends in a 0-0 draw.
- Mean-spiritedness is cranked up to eleven, as one of the pee-wee players said that if he lost a match, his dad would beat him up because he's a failure, and no one cares at all about Nelson's cancer and the pee-wee team getting destroyed in bloodshed.
- The injuries the pee-wee players get during the match are too sickening and ultra-realistic, even by South Park standards, including scenes where a puck hits one boy bloodying his face, and Ike gets repeatedly punched by a Red Wings player.
- Terrible ending: In a final match, the pee-wee team gets assaulted, tortured, and bullied by the Detroit Red Wings. They not only get away with attacking children but also victory a cup without any sportsmanship. It also means that all the training provided by Stan was for nothing. After seeing what happens, Nelson, a child with cancer, dies.
- This is one of the only few hated South Park episodes that neither of the creators has ever apologized for making.
- Stan is still a likable character with his parents caring much about him.
- There is one genuinely funny moment where Randy Marsh goes nuts during a hockey match.
- Despite being very poorly executed, it is interesting to see a parody of a sports movie where the hero's team does not win in the end.
- It parodies the film The Mighty Ducks from 1992, as well as other "cheesy" kids' sports movies.
- Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick are absent in this episode, and Kyle only appears in one scene.
- Co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have gone on record as hating the episode, admitting they only rushed it so they could finish the tenth season of the show. However, they have also defended the ending of it.
- South Park: The Complete Tenth Season DVD commentary for "Stanley's Cup"