Several student characters attend the fictional school South Park Elementary in the animated television show South Park. The school is one of the most prominent settings on the show, whose narrative revolves mostly around the students.
While a few characters from varying grades have been depicted in recurring minor roles, the students in the fourth grade — including central characters Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman — receive the primary focus of the series. The fourth grade class is currently taught by Mr. Garrison, whose homosexual lover Mr. Slave was briefly his teacher's aide. Upon entering the fourth grade midway into season four (2000), the students' teacher was Ms. Choksondik until her death in the season six (2002) episode "Simpsons Already Did It". These students also attended class under Mr. Garrison during their previous time as third graders during South Park's first three-and-a-half seasons.
In tradition with the show's animation style, all characters listed below are composed of simple geometrical shapes and primary colors. Ever since the show's second episode, "Weight Gain 4000" (season one, 1997), all characters on South Park have been animated with computer software, though they are portrayed to give the impression that the show still utilizes the method of animating construction paper composition cutouts through the use of stop motion, which was the technique used in creating the show's first episode "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe".
In addition to the main characters, other students below will sometimes give a brief monologue as a means of expressing the lessons they have attained during the course of an episode. Most of the characters are foul-mouthed as a means for series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to display how they claim young children really talk when they are alone. Most of the male students are amused by bodily functions and toilet humor, and their favorite television personalities are Terrance and Phillip, a Canadian duo whose comedy routines on their show-within-the-show revolve substantially around fart jokes. In response to the focus on elements of satire in South Park, Parker has said that the main goal of the show is to portray the students as "kids just being kids" as a means of accurately showcasing "what it's like to be in [elementary school] in America".
Bebe Stevens, Wendy Testaburger's best friend, has often been seen keeping company with fellow female classmates throughout the duration of the series. She played a major role in the episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", when the boys' attraction to her increased due to her newly-developing breasts. When the attention became unwanted, she professed her wish to have others appreciate her for her aspirations and intelligence instead. She is voiced by South Park supervising producer Jennifer Howell.
Leopold "Butters" Stotch is cheerful, naïve, optimistic, and more passive relative to the show's other child characters, and can become increasingly anxious, especially when faced with the likelihood of his parents' austerity. His birthday is on September 11th (see "AWESOM-O" episode). As a result of his increasing popularity with the show's staff and fans, Butters was given a more prominent role beginning with the show's fifth season (2001). He is voiced by Matt Stone.
Previously portrayed as Clyde Goodman and Clyde Harris, Clyde Donovan maintains a friendship with the show's main characters.He is also known for his constant crying at "the drop of the hat". The season 11 (2007) episode "Lice Capades" focused heavily on Clyde and a group of anthropomorphic lice, who were portrayed as living in a civilized society on Clyde's head. His nasal voice is provided by Trey Parker.
Characterized by his blue chullo hat and nasal, monotone voice, Craig Tucker has played a significant role in several episodes. Cartman once claimed that Craig was the "biggest troublemaker in [their] class", and parents of his classmates have cited him as a "bad influence". In a running gag during the show's earlier seasons, establishing shots of Mr. Mackey's office would feature Craig waiting outside. Craig has a habit of giving people the finger, a trait the show's official website attributes to his learning the behavior from his family, all of whom frequently use the gesture as well.
Craig dislikes the four main characters and rivals them in several episodes. Craig is a pragmatist and has no wish of being involved in any extraordinary adventures the other main characters on the show customarily experience. In the season 12 (2008) episodes "Pandemic" and "Pandemic 2 - The Startling", Craig repeatedly castigates the main characters' propensity to have a pursued activity or idea disproportionately backfire.
One of the show's most popular and iconic characters, Eric Cartman is obese, obnoxious, racist, and somewhat sociopathic. Most other students are alienated by Cartman's insensitive, often misogynistic, and bigoted behavior, though they are occasionally influenced by his obtrusive, manipulative, and propagandist antics. He is voiced by Trey Parker.
Jimmy Valmer (formerly Jimmy Swanson) is physically handicapped, requiring crutches in order to walk. Hampered by his withering legs, Jimmy prefers to be called "handi-capable". Voiced by Trey Parker, Jimmy is able to speak coherently, though his speech is largely affected by his stuttering and his tendency to end some of his sentences with "...very much". The stutter was the source of a running joke in the season six (2002) finale "Red Sleigh Down", in which repeated cutaway scenes feature a crowd at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony falling asleep as he takes several hours to complete his rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". He aspires to be a stand-up comedian, and is often featured performing his routines.
Jimmy first appeared in the season five (2001) episode "Cripple Fight", in which he was from a neighboring town and antagonized Timmy. Parker and Stone initially intended for this to be Jimmy's only appearance, but decided to include the character in subsequent episodes; now portrayed as a South Park resident, student, and good friend of Timmy, Jimmy has been a recurring character ever since. The season eight (2004) episode "Up the Down Steroid" ended with Jimmy addressing the issue of anabolic steroid use in sport, declaring it as "cheating" while suggesting professional athletes who use steroids voluntarily reject the accolades and records attributed to them. Melanie McFarland of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer describes Jimmy and Timmy's capabilities and portrayal in the show as Parker and Stone declaring their opposition to political correctness as social restriction. When praising the show for both its depiction of Jimmy and Timmy and its coverage of disability-related issues, The Seattle Times columnist Jeff Shannon, a quadriplegic, describes Jimmy and Timmy as "goodwill ambassadors".
Kyle Broflovski often trades places with his best friend Stan as the protagonist of the show, customarily in opposition to Cartman's antagonist. Kyle is distinctive as one of the few Jewish children on the show, and because of this, he often feels like an outsider amongst his friends and classmates. Kyle is both voiced by and based on Matt Stone.
Voiced by Matt Stone, Pip Pirrup was featured mostly during the first few seasons of the series, having later been relegated to being a background character. Pip is originally from Britain, and shares his name with the main protagonist of the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. Wearing a bow tie and flat cap, he is often teased by his fellow classmates. While largely passive, Pip is prone to becoming infuriated when fellow students mistake him for being French. He is very good at dodgeball when in this mood. The show's official website has noted that this is in reference to the hatred shared between some natives of Britain and France. Pip was the central figure of an eponymous episode during the show's fourth season. The episode, which did not feature any of the show's other characters, was a comedic retelling of Great Expectations, with Pip assuming the role of his character's namesake.
Stan Marsh is generally kind, honest, smart, well-meaning, assertive, and often shares with his best friend Kyle a leadership role as the main protagonist of the show. Stan is portrayed as the everyman among the show's four central characters. Stan is both voiced by and based on Trey Parker.
Timmy is a mentally- and physically-handicapped boy who uses a motorized wheelchair. Voiced by Trey Parker, he is based on an elementary school acquaintance of South Park artist supervisor Adrien Beard. Timmy's exact condition has never been specified in the show, though South Park's official website describes it as "a strange combination of palsy and Tourette's". Timmy's vocabulary is mostly limited to the enthusiastic shouting of his own name as well as the gibberish phrase "livin' a lie!", though occasionally he will say other words and phrases.
Timmy first appeared as a minor character in the season four (2000) episode "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000". Parker and Stone had to push hard for the inclusion of the character, as Comedy Central was originally reluctant to allow the show to feature a character with a cognitive disability. The duo asserted their intention of portraying other children as treating him as an equal, while stressing the importance of both including a mentally retarded character who is "happy to be [himself]", and representing him "as part of the gang and not as the subject of cruel schoolyard humor". Two weeks after his debut, Timmy was a central figure in the episode "Timmy 2000", where doctors and school faculty erroneously attribute his behavior to ADD in the show's condemnation of the rampant diagnosis of the disorder.
Timmy quickly became a fan favorite, and was once voted "The Greatest Disabled TV Character" in a poll conducted by a BBC-sponsored webzine named Ouch!, where he was more popular among disabled voters than among non-disabled voters. IGN ranked Timmy second in a list of the "Top 10 South Park Peripheral Characters", stating that "South Park's most controversial character may be one of the funniest and most enduring". Parker noted that soon after Timmy debuted, fans he encountered began mimicking the character's exclamation of "Timmy!" as opposed to their earlier habits of impersonating Cartman and repeating the show's other popular catchphrases. When the handicapped Jimmy was introduced in the season five (2001) episode "Cripple Fight", Timmy became jealous of Jimmy's newfound popularity with the main characters, and the two later got in a physical altercation. The two made amends, and were depicted as good friends in subsequent episodes. Timmy remained a recurring character through the early part of the show's eighth season; since then, his role in the series has declined.
Melanie McFarland of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer describes Jimmy and Timmy's capabilities and portrayal in the show as Parker and Stone declaring their opposition to political correctness as social restriction. When praising the show for both its depiction of Jimmy and Timmy and its coverage of disability-related issues, The Seattle Times columnist Jeff Shannon, a quadriplegic, describes Jimmy and Timmy as "goodwill ambassadors", while commenting that "Timmy appears, at first glance, to uphold the condescending disability stereotypes that are gradually fading from mainstream entertainment. But like everything else in 'South Park,' he's actually challenging preconceptions, toppling taboos and weaving his singularity into the fabric of the show".
The only African-American kid attending South Park elementary is Token Black (previously portrayed as Token Williams). His name is a reference to tokenism, which is the tendency in fiction to include a minority character who is often present, but has no function to the overall plot (e.g., the token black character). The name has been interpreted as an example of the anti-political correctness attitude of South Park and as an implication that the tokenism phenomenon is outmoded enough to be a laughing matter. Despite the role that his name implies, Token will sometimes play a significant part in an episode, and has been a recurring character since his first major role in the season four (2000) episode "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000".
Even though Token fills the role of stereotypical "black guy" on the show, his family appears to be among the wealthiest in South Park, as evidenced in the episodes "The Return of the Fellowship to the Two Towers" and "Here Comes the Neighborhood". This could be interpreted as a counter-stereotype, as blacks are normally depicted as poor in most Western media.
Episodes in which he plays a major role often address ethnicity-related topics. In "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", he (along with Stan and Kyle) declares hate crime legislation to be "a savage hypocrisy". In the season 11 (2007) episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Stan is perplexed by Token's rebuffs of his attempts to make amends with Token after Stan's father reluctantly exclaimed "niggers" when attempting to solve a puzzle as a contestant during a live taping of Wheel of Fortune. When Stan has an epiphany, he tells Token "I've been trying to say that I understand how you feel, but I'll never understand. I'll never really get how it feels for a black person to [hear] somebody use the N-word", to which Token accepts Stan's apology by saying "Now you get it".
Parker and Stone had originally taken turns providing their voices for the few lines Token had as a minor character. Token is now voiced by South Park art director and co-producer Adrien Beard. When trying to find a new voice actor for Token during production of "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", Parker said he recruited Beard "because he was the only black guy we had in our building at the time".
Largely due to his mass consumption of coffee, Tweek Tweak is a boy characterized by his hyperactivity, paranoia and anxiety. His strained voice is provided by Stone, and he tends to scream, "Oh God!", "GAH!", and "Too much pressure!". His name is taken from a slang term referring to recreational users of methamphetamine, as well as hyperactive or dysfunctional people in general.
While Tweek's parents — who run a coffee shop — attribute his hyperactivity to ADHD predominantly inattentive, it also stems from their frequent habit of giving him coffee in an attempt to calm him down. This has the effect of increasing his caffeine levels and worsening his mental state. As a result, Tweek is perpetually shaky, and he is always portrayed as having disheveled hair and an incorrectly-buttoned shirt.
Tweek was introduced in the season two (1998) episode "Gnomes", and was prominent as one of the four main central characters during the middle portion of the sixth season (2002). The character of Kenny was absent during most of the season, which allowed the show's creators and writing staff an opportunity to provide larger roles for both Tweek and Butters, both of whom were growing more popular with both viewers and staff of the show. Kenny ultimately returned in the season finale "Red Sleigh Down", and Tweek's role has remained that of a background character ever since.
Wendy Testaburger is the show's most prominent female student, and the show's main source of perspective in that regard. Her best friend is Bebe Stevens, and her boyfriend is Stan, though their relationship as such has received less focus in the show's later seasons. Wendy has previously been voiced by Mary Kay Bergman, Mona Marshall, Eliza Schneider, and is currently voiced by April Stewart. Wendy's character is reportedly based on Liane Adamo, a former fiancée of series co-creator Trey Parker. Fellow co-creator Matt Stone has also said the name Wendy Westiberg, the wife of an old friend from his childhood. The last name appears to reference the fast food restaurant Wendy's. Wendy made her first appearance unnamed, but clearly recognizable, in "The Spirit of Christmas".
Like her boyfriend, Wendy is mature for her age, critical of popular trends, moral and intellectual. She rallies for liberal causes in several episodes and often criticizes people who don't believe in them, her arguments often being fought with Eric Cartman who calls her a "whore" in response. She is also known to like having lots of attention paid to her, and gets jealous very easily. This was first evident in "Tom's Rhinoplasty" when she accused an attractive substitute teacher of stealing Stan from her. In the episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", her best friend, Bebe Stevens, was getting more attention than her because Bebe was developing breasts. Wendy had breast implants placed on her so she would receive more attention. However, instead of boys liking her, they ridiculed her because they looked silly and unnatural.
Wendy was very prominent in the show's earlier seasons, usually quarreling with Eric Cartman or reinforcing her relationship with Stan Marsh. She spoke in several episodes, especially in the first season and often was chosen to help the boys out over her classmates as in later seasons. During the fifth season, Wendy's role faded and she became more so one of the girls and less so herself, and she had only one arguably major role in Season Six. This culimated in her breakup with Stan in "Raisins" after which she made only three prominent appearances until the end of the eleventh season, four seasons later. Since getting back together with Stan, Wendy's role has greatly expanded - she and Stan partner up in "Super Fun Time", she beats Cartman up in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and a plotline in the episode "Elementary School Musical" shows Stan suspecting that Wendy may leave him for a popular kid called Bridon (although it was later revealed that all the girls in the school have a crush on Bridon and not just Wendy - though Stan remains unconvinced). Their relationship appears to have gotten somewhat stronger since their previous one, as the two are much more affectionate towards one another. On the other hand, Stan seems to have gotten more used to her and her affections, having not thrown up on her outside of "The List" episode, since the movie (and outside of that, the second season), despite it long having been a staple of their relationship. In fact, Wendy was able to kiss Stan on the cheek (in the episode Elementary School Musical) without his normal reaction of vomiting.
Wendy was the school council president until the episode "Dances with Smurfs", when Cartman became the morning announcer and started spreading defaming comments about her - most notably her supposed holocaust of the Smurfs. In response to the allegations, Wendy became a guest on Cartman's morning show and manipulated his own story of the Smurf holocaust before announcing her resignation and electing him as the new school council president, effectively relieving him of his morning announcement job. Throughout the episode, Stan solidly defends her.
In response to the question 'Will Stan and Wendy ever kiss?" during a South Park Studios interview, Trey Parker said that Stan and Wendy kissed a multitude of times, and jokingly that, during an episode he couldn't recall, they also had sex, but "you didn't see it." Parker then added "If you're dumb enough to look you deserve to lose that much of your life."
Several other students appear as recurring background characters, while also having minor roles in various episodes, including:
Dougie is a geeky, red-haired, second-grade boy with glasses and freckles. His most prominent appearances come when he assumes the role of General Disarray, sidekick to Butters's alter-ego Professor Chaos.
The Goth kids are a group of stereotypical goths, usually composed of four members: A tall, curly-haired boy who walks with a cane, a small child who appears to be a kindergartner, an overweight girl named Henrietta, and a boy who has black hair with dyed red streaks and constantly flicks his long fringe out of the way when it gets in his eyes. In the season seven (2003) episode "Raisins", Stan was briefly the fifth member of their group. They frequently display double standards in their talks about conformity, and are often presented as ridiculous, though they are also occasionally portrayed in a sympathetic light. The Goth kids are easily provoked, and are very protective of their image. They find it annoying to be confused with "emo" kids, but even more frustrating to be compared to the Hot Topic "vampire" kids.  The Goths never attend classes and prefer to sit around all day listening to goth music, drinking coffee, and smoking.
Ike Broflovski is Kyle's younger adopted brother, and the only Canadian-born student at the school. He is a gifted three-year-old, and received advanced placement in the school's kindergarten class.
The Sixth-graders are a group of older students who tend to bully the fourth-graders. They are usually seen riding their bicycles. They were originally depicted as fifth graders, but moved to sixth grade in the fourth season. Their leader is a boy with a distinctive haircut who is always depicted wearing a shirt with a logo of his own face. Episodes concerning the sixth-graders' interactions with the main characters have become less frequent in later seasons.
Wendy and Pip were multi-player characters in South Park (video game). The preceding two characters, along with Tweek, Bebe, and Damien were playable in South Park Rally. All aforementioned characters with the exception of Damien, along with Craig, Clyde, Token, Jimmy, Timmy, and Red are unlockable characters along with Butters Stotch and Professor Chaos (only available as an exclusive Downloadable Content code) in South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play!.