Stanley's Cup (South Park)
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Stanley's Cup is the fourteenth and final episode of the tenth season of the American animated television series South Park. The 153rd episode of the series overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 15, 2006. In the episode, Stan is forced to become the coach of a pee-wee hockey team. It was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker, and parodies the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks. It was panned by fans and critics as one of the show's worst episodes.
Why It Sucks
- In 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, despite lacking any knowledge of hockey.
- It has very unlikable characters, with the tow driver, Coach Gavin, and the Detroit Red Wings being the worst offenders.
- Speaking of which, the Detroit Red Wings are portrayed as malicious brutes who have no respect for children, and they only care about winning even when it means torturing children for it. Worse, they don't get disqualified for their actions toward the pee-wee team.
- 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.
- Hockey fans are portrayed here as complete morons, because not only does nobody call out the Red Wings for assaulting children, but they also goaded Stan to let them play.
- 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.
- Stan lets Nelson die by losing an unfairly matched game, and we never find out if Stan gets his bike back.
- 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 win a cup without any sportsmanship. It also means that all the training provided by Stan was for nothing.
- This is a prime example of how not to end a season of a show.
- The creators have never apologized for making the episode and to make matters worse actually DEFENDED it to some extent like it’s ending despite admitting that they do hate the episode.
- Stan is still a likable character.
- 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.
- Eric Cartman does not appear in this episode at all, and Kyle is only 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 Season 10 DVD commentary