‘South Park’ Season 16, Episode 11: ‘Going Native’ Recap

Published 1 year ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 4:33 am,

south park season 16 episode 11 recap South Park Season 16, Episode 11: Going Native Recap

The fall run of South Park season 16 kicked off with specifically targeted satirical jabs at the NFL and Honey Boo Boo, but starting with last week’s “Insecurity,” the show has focused the majority of its humor on human nature as opposed to pop culture.

Of course, as with any South Park episode, there are plenty of pop culture references to be found in episode 3, “Going Native,” but the premise and most of the jokes are centered on a group of Hawaiian tourists who wrongly consider themselves to be natives.

Unlike many South Park episodes, “Going Native” is driven by Butters, who inexplicably unleashes his pent-up rage at friends and classmates. His parents sit him down and, rather than ground him (as is their modus operandi), they explain that his anger is due to that fact that he has yet to discover who he really is or where he’s from. They then reveal that he’s a native Hawaiian and must return to the homeland of his ancestors to confront his newly-discovered emotions.

Butters brings his one true friend, Kenny, on his journey of self-discovery and meets his fellow “natives,” who are obviously just tourists, at the airport. The “natives” – but really just tourists – take Butters to his sacred ancestral grounds where he must take part in a ceremonial ritual to rid him of his anger once and for all.

South Park Going Native Recap South Park Season 16, Episode 11: Going Native Recap

Most of the jokes of the episode revolve around these “natives,” who wear Hawaiian shirts, rely heavily on their Mahalo rewards points, and are all Caucasian. In true South Park fashion, these things are never pointed out to the natives by any of the other characters, who are either too oblivious or simply don’t care enough to bring it up.

The ridiculousness hits a high point when other tourists, or “haoles” as the so-called “natives” refer to them, disrupt the ceremony and invade their sacred land, starting a war between the “natives” and the United States Coast Guard. The outcast, rogue band of natives battling their own kind for what they believe to be a just cause closely resembles the premise of ABC’s new fall show Last ResortThere’s also more than a passing resemblance to the Oscar-winning film The Descendants (2011) starring George Clooney.

Overall, topical humor is sparse in this episode. It appears to be one of the “banked” shows that Trey Parker and Matt Stone typically reserve for when they don’t have any great ideas mid-season. Sometimes, their week-by-week production schedule serves them well, enabling them to tackle virtually any newsworthy topic, but other times, such as in “Going Native,” it proves that the funny well can run dry, which forces them to put out sub-par material.

Butters Explores His Hawaiian Heritage South Park Season 16, Episode 11: Going Native Recap

That’s not to say that there aren’t laughs to be had in “Going Native.” A sight gag involving the ghost of Elvis, some classic Butters one-liners, and the reveal that Butters’ anger was really just jealousy toward Ben Affleck for the critical success of Argo and for being married to Jennifer Lopez (though he’s not so jealous when he realizes Affleck’s actually married to Jennifer Garner) definitely save the episode from being a complete disappointment.

Even the running gag involving the wannabe natives is pretty funny (though probably also annoying to actual natives), but it has trouble carrying the entire episode. When you beat a joke for so long, it eventually loses its punch.

Even though the episode won’t rank as one of South Park’s best, if you are a fan, you’ll still get a kick out of it, so it’s still definitely worth checking out and you can do that at southparkstudios.com.

Be sure to catch new episodes of South Park on Comedy Central every Wednesday @10pm.

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  1. I thought that Kenny’s letters were the big saving grace of this episode. It certainly wasn’t a great episode, but it was funny enough to be watchable.

  2. Wasn’t a very funny episode. What I did laugh at was Kenny’s letters to the gang back in South park. Only part of the episode that made me laugh. Hopefully next week is better!

  3. Like the other two comments pointed out, Kenny’s letters were very funny, but I also laughed pretty hard at Butter’s anger for Ben Affleck.

    Other than that though, not the best… last week’s episode was funnier IMO.

  4. Not what I expected. I hoped we were going to see more development with Butters and Scott Malkinson. Not very funny.

  5. Thought the episode was hilarious, but thats because i’m from Kauai. from kenny SUP on the Wailua river to the Safeway scene and all the little things inbetween, they summed up this island pretty good.

  6. This has to be one of their worst episodes ever. The “jokes” were to vague…very disappointed. Made it to about 18 mins in and I had to turn it off. Didn’t understand it at all and didn’t laugh once.

  7. I thought it was funny as hell. About time someone took a jab at the racism that exists on the Islands.

  8. Weakest episode of South Park in a long time. Kenny’s letters FTW!

  9. Yeah, Kenny’s letter and the cruise ship sinking were the only parts that made me laugh. I guess you have to come from the islands to really understand what was going on and “get” the joke.

    Then again, honestly, I only watched because I’d missed the return of The Office earlier in the week (we’re only just up to the episode in season 7 with Michael having the happy and sad boxes in case Holly was engaged or not here in the UK) and my recording of it usually cuts out the joke before the opening sequence.

  10. man, i´m 37 but i do watch -south park- every evening on c.c.. it´s just too funny,i´m ashamed but it´s the truth.

  11. Like Kauai said above… lots of insider island jokes.
    Wailua river SUP (stand up paddling); Kenny tumbling down the Wailua waterfall – from the tv show Fantasy Island. The poor Coco Palms, just renovated when Hurricane Iniki hit, left to crumble since then.
    The big name resorts right on the Nawiliwili harbor, gated communities, hahahahaha!
    The ‘howlie’ word is ha’ole, which means without the breath (ha) of life (ole). This is a huge insult from days gone bye towards whites/non-natives.
    The Reward Points… Yup, get yourself a check out card for the local grocery chain and save big bucks. Get a credit card for airfare to the islands with our local airline.
    Yes, have to have been here to get some of the jokes… AloooooooHA!

    • The funniest thing about SUP, it was created in Austin, Tx, and exported to Hawaii. It is NOT a native sport like surfing.

    • Thanks for telling us.. I usually get SP’s inside jokes, or at least recognize where they are, but this time didn’t b/c of lack of familiarity w/ Hawaii.

  12. I’m from Oahu but I didn’t get a lot of the jokes, maybe because I’ve never been to Kauai. The haole thing is an insult towards foreigners, which is one of the few things I did get because I’m haole-looking, i.e. half white. There’s a lot of racism in Hawaii because the Hawaiians say they were annexed to the US illegally, under duress. The US was going to wage war if Queen Liliokalani didn’t sign, and when she did the natives locked her up in the palace for betraying them.

    Anyway, all this amounts to a lot of bad feelings and community TV saying all the non-Hawaiians should leave. Or that Hawaiians shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Or that the one private school created in King Kamehameha’s name should be allowed to refuse students if they don’t meet a certain percentage of Hawaiian blood in their ancestry (constitutionally unacceptable, and was struck down by the governor when a Hawaiian family adopted a kid who wasn’t literally of Hawaiian blood got kicked out.) There are still some places on the island where whites can’t go without fear of getting beat up. It’s archaic and ridiculous but that’s the way it is.

    I’m disappointed that South Park didn’t make any meaningful contributions to the subject. It wasn’t well explained and I don’t think they had much of a point.

    • The U.S government locked the queen in the palace

      • NO, it was the “missionary boys” provisional government, NOT the U.S.

        • Uh. Yes is was the US. It was the US military that guarded the palace to keep the Queen under house arrest. I am part kanaka maoli as well as white but it is still wrong. The US and other hotel owners dig up ancestral graveyards and just rip apart land…waikiki steals water from the north side. And the US military just stole the land right off the islands…Having Kamehameha schools for natives only is all that we have left. Most of the natives left the islands anyways because haoles are taking over. Ua Mau ke ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono!

    • Your summation of the annexation of Hawaii is all wrong.

      It was the Anglo descendants of the first missionaries to Hawaii who staged a coup, the “bayonet constitution” where the King was forced to sign happened to Liliokalani’s predecessor, and she was locked in the palace by the “missionary boys” because of her suspected involvement in a counter-coup. Annexation happened several years later, achieved through a referendum but native Hawaiians weren’t allowed to vote.

      I am glad that you and Makalani pointed out the article of this article’s piss-poor research in spelling ha’ole as “howlie.” That was “Hella-lame” on thew writer’s part!

      Notice the people who didn’t think it was funny haave no knowledge of Hawaiian culture or history, the episode was sort one long inside joke, so to speak.

      • I am a white guy and even I knew it is ha’ole and not Howlie. I think the author was thinking too much of Towlie and made a bad assumption.

        At any rate, I spent a year working in Oahu and Kauai and it is pretty laughable at all the mainlanders that have relocated there and try to assimilate as a kama’aina.(spellling correct locals?) The sound of a white person with a hawaiian accent to fit in just makes me laugh! (are you listening Dog and Beth Chapman?) I knew to avoid certain areas, such as the west side of Oahu, just like I avoid South Central since I live near LA. The hardcore racists are always going to treat you like crap, but show some respect for the islands and the culture and you will get some back in return.

        Not a great episode, but funny if you understand the inside jokes.

    • “I’m disappointed that South Park didn’t make any meaningful contributions to the subject….” Seriously!?

      • it´s south park- they make no enemies,they make bad and anarcho jokes about every nation and race on this world. and nothing is holy for them. that is the reason why i like -south park-.

    • What part of Oahu are you living in? Hawaii is not a racist place. Did you have a run in with a couple racist people and make a whole assumption about the Island on that bad experience? I have never had a problem with racism here (I am black) I am called a Popolo, its not a racist term, just a word to describe me…a black person. My friends also never had any problems with racism here either, (who are white and turkish).
      I think Hawaiians get mad when people come in and act they own the place and buy land. Not many Hawaiians own their own land in their native home land. So how would you feel if you see all these tourist coming in and buying land from left to right. I think this is one of the issues the creators of south park where trying to get across to the viewers.
      And as for the word Haole, it is not consider an insult. Just a term for non-natives, you can even find business with the word in it. Hapa Haole for one or Haole Boy Computer Services.

  13. Apparently, two of the natives were caricatures of Abercrombie and Linda Lingle (Hawaii’s current and former governor), but I didn’t recognize them.

    • they were. some people view them as haoles who came and tried to claim kama`aina status (arguable… TOTALLY different discussion, though). but the fact that they were even included in that crowd of “natives” is a (not so) subtle dig at that claim… which is even funnier :)

  14. There were actually many jokes hidden throughout the episode that only people from hawaii would have gotten, so for us here in the islands this was a pretty funny episode. There was a big uproar on social media here about it so most people have watched and thoroughly enjoyed this hawaii special episode. It was so accurate as to what actually goes on here, props to the creators for doing their research. It almost seems as if one of them experienced this racism towards Haoles (native hawaiian word for foreigner, often used in a derogatory way). Anyways, the jokes were spot on and it was good to see hawaii so accurately represented in a show.

  15. I gave up on SP two years ago when they seemed to have lost the funny and just turned to biting. Once in a while I check them out but I think they’ve pretty much ran their course and ideas. Too bad because they used to be damn funny

  16. I love the timing of this as it came out as I’m trying to get a hawaii state ID so I can take advantage of kama’aina rates. I’m originally from Hawaii but live in Seattle now and right now I’m sitting at my parents place visiting trying to figure it out but it seems being born in Hawaii isn’t enough to get an ID however having Hawaii address or utility bill with your name on it is consideration to be deemed “local”.

    • Pog,
      I believe it might have something to do with currently paying taxes to the state i.e., therefore helping to support it. It’s the same way in most states in order to reap the benefits of residency.

  17. I get why people don’t understand, and that’s point blank they don’t know the cultural references. COCO PALMS (where Elvis filmed BLUE HAWAII); Safeway (sort of like Walgreens, by American standards); Haoles (what ‘natives’ refer to tourists of white skin); the ‘natives’ attacking the ship at(references the Superferry when it tried to harbor at Nawiliwili, but was blockaded by ‘Natives’, who were in fact also haole); and just the plain fact that it references “Havai’i” is a parody in and of itself. THANK YOU FOR THE LAUGHS, I’m in serious pain because of it!

    • to reiterate, the idealized “Hawai’i.”

  18. I think you have to live here in Hawai`i for it to be funny. I was ROFL the whole time because of the references and the VERY relevant satire of haoles (not “howlies”) who visit, stay, and try to claim a place as their own by colonizing the People of the land. Especially neighbor islands where folks are still rural. Haoles (or any groups) who have done this will probably be offended because the episode throws that RIGHT back in their faces. In that way, it’s genius. But, you wouldn’t know that if you’re not here :)

    • Its actually very heavy subject matter if you have lived in Hawaii for any length of time. I found the episode very relevant because I’m a “haole” that grew up here. It pokes fun at part time residents and residents of gated communities who try to pass themselves as locals, but it also brings up the extreme racism and hatred of white skin people that many Hawaiians, asians and pacific islanders have. If you’re non white and you live in Hawaii, and you’ve seen this episode, it might offend you if you have enough sense. “The only good Haole is a dead haole.” That’s some primitive s***. And if you as a human being can relate to that in any shape or form, you’re a monkey.

  19. This episode is hilarious. I cant believe certain writers claim it to be not humorous. Knowing the airline history and the sense of humour that the creators created are genius. We talka about this episode all ths time. Its very satirical and very close in what we experience. I have people that I know who live in California and come to hawaii live here part time and they act just like the episode..funny as he’ll.

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