Mr. Hat is a puppet used as a teaching assistant by Mr. Garrison, representing his repressed emotions, including homosexual and racist tendencies. Garrison actively converses with Mr. Hat, routinely blaming the hand puppet for various predicaments. Beyond the classroom, Garrison relies on Mr. Hat in much the same way.
He appeared with Garrison throughout the first six seasons of the show, primarily from "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" until "Summer Sucks", after which he was briefly replaced with Mr. Twig until he and Garrison made up in "Chef Aid"; after Garrison was rehired at the school in "The Death Camp of Tolerance", Mr. Hat was replaced as teacher's assistant by Mr. Slave.
Mr. Hat returned to the show in "South ParQ Vaccination Special" as Mr. Garrison's teaching assistant once again.
Mr. Garrison has had Mr. Hat since sometime in his childhood, as seen in the episode "Weight Gain 4000", where Mr. Hat is part of his act in the talent show. They can also be seen together when Garrison is ten years younger in flashbacks from "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut".
Throughout the first five seasons, Mr. Hat is shown to channel Mr. Garrison's repressed feelings and emotions, which when expressed through the puppet, Mr. Garrison often calmly blames on him instead. This includes anger and aggression, such as telling Kyle to "go to hell" in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" or threatening the kids Mr. Hat will assault them in "Gnomes". He has also frequently blamed Mr. Hat for racist behavior, such as being a member of the KKK protesters in "Chef Goes Nanners" and using slurs. Most significantly however, Mr. Hat represents his repressed sexuality, with Garrison blaming him for chasing Principal Victoria's butt in "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" as well as various homosexual fantasies.
In "Summer Sucks", Mr. Hat is missing after he and Garrison had an argument before class. Garrison initially blames the students before receiving prank calls from Mr. Mackey regarding the situation. He visits a psychiatrist for help, Dr. Katz, who summarizes Mr. Hat's nature:
"Mr. Garrison, I think that Mr. Hat was actually your gay side trying to come out. You see, it's-it's you that's gay, but, but you're in denial, so...you act out your gay persona with a homosexual puppet."
From the end of "Summer Sucks" until "Chef Aid", Garrison instead uses Mr. Twig as his assistant, requesting the children not mention Mr. Hat in his presence and referring to him as a "two-timing whore". Hat returns nonetheless, after making serious attempts on Mr. Twig's own life, and despite being rejected by Garrison, Hat rescues him and Chef from prison, prompting Mr. Twig to ask Garrison if he loves him and urging him to reunite with Mr. Hat.
In "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut", a dying Mr. Garrison on the battlefield passes the puppet to Cartman, who holds it for a while before tossing it away; the puppet is later located by Satan, who is delighted with it, and uses a similar voice for when it speaks, and decides to take him back to Hell with him. Garrison exhibits confusion when he wakes up and is unable to find the puppet; however, he was with Garrison again in the next episode broadcast.
In "The Entity", Garrison is shown to still communicate with Mr. Hat while alone, as it is Hat's comment about Enrique Iglesia' gyrations that prompts Garrison to develop the It transportation system.
When Mr. Garrison is promoted to the 4th grade teacher in "The Death Camp of Tolerance", he decides the children are "too old" for Mr. Hat and seems to discard the puppet, and replaces Mr. Hat with Mr. Slave as his assistant. Unlike previous instances, Garrison exhibits no negative symptoms over the separation.
In the episode "200", Mr. Garrison is forced by Eric Cartman and his hand-turned-con-artist-puppet Mitch Conner to pull Mr. Hat out of storage, so as to reveal the truth about his father who until recently was believed to be Cartman's mother, Liane Cartman. Garrison is initially dismissive of using the old puppet, saying he no longer has need of it. However, as the conversation between Mr. Garrison, Cartman and Mitch progresses, Garrisons seems to regress back to talk with and responding to Mr. Hat as if the puppet is alive, and after Hat begins to open up, Garrison takes responsibility to admit the truth about Cartman's parentage.
In South Park: The Stick of Truth, Mr. Hat can be found inside Mr. Slave's butt, as an object that the player must climb up.
In the "South ParQ Vaccination Special", former President Garrison returns to town and offers to make a deal with the Hollywood Elites to return to his old job and status quo in town. The elites replace Garrison's post-presidential secret service agent, Mr. Service, with Mr. Hat; Garrison is pleased by this and returns to the classroom with Hat, and seems to take satisfaction in the deal.
A common source of humor is Mr. Hat seeming to exhibit behavior suggesting sentience and self-awareness, rather than merely being a puppet and representation Garrison's imagination, often prompting debate about his true nature. Below is a list of moments in the series where Mr. Hat shows sentience:
- His eyes glow and his head rotates in "Weight Gain 4000", although it may be a hallucination that Mr. Garrison is having.
- At the end of the episode "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut", his mouth can be seen moving.
- In "Summer Sucks", Mr. Hat appears in a sauna room with Brett Favre, and he blinks and looks at Brett without anyone holding him. Favre, meanwhile, seems to treat Mr. Hat as an actual person, greeting him warmly.
- Manages to jailbreak Chef and Mr. Garrison by ramming an SUV into the jail wall in "Chef Aid" and the only thing Chef wonders is how he reached the pedals, not how he drove a car.
- He also attempts to destroy Mr. Twig by boiling him and snapping him, also in "Chef Aid". However, this could have been Mr. Garrison's unconscious behavior.
- In "World Wide Recorder Concert", Mr. Hat gets into a fight with Mr. Mackey (during which he is separated from Mr. Garrison) and wins.
- In "Cherokee Hair Tampons" and "The Entity", he jerks off Mr. Garrison, who does not seem consciously aware at first what is happening.
- When Mr. Garrison refuses to take Mr. Hat to the KKK rally in "Chef Goes Nanners", he disappears off Garrison's hand and appears at the meeting anyway.
- After climbing up Mr. Hat in South Park: The Stick of Truth, the player immediately receives a Facebook friend request from him afterward.
Mr. Hat is a puppet who resembles a person's torso and head with the puppet wearing a purple shirt, a brown beard and mustache with a tall red and white hat which his eyes are placed on. In "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" Mr. Hat does not have eyes.
- Mr. Hat was a boss in the South Park video game for the N64. He operated a robot vehicle, without Mr. Garrison anywhere near.
- Mr. Hat is based on a puppet used by Trey Parker's kindergarten teacher, most likely "High-Hat", a puppet that bears a striking resemblance to Mr Hat and is used as a teaching aid used by early childhood educators to teach basic language skills.
- Mr. Hat wears a red and white hat resembling the Cat in the Hat's hat.
- In deleted dialogue for South Park: The Stick of Truth, the player would have needed to deliver a letter from Mr. Hat back to Mr. Garrison, telling him that he is living a great life and that he is happy, to which Garrison would remark he is proud of the closure this has given him.
- "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" - Mr. Hat declines Kyle's request to leave the classroom due to his younger brother being abducted by aliens.
- "Weight Gain 4000" - Persuades Mr. Garrison to kill Kathie Lee Gifford.
- "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride"
- "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig "
- "Pinkeye" - Seen dressed up as Chewbacca.
- "Starvin' Marvin"
- "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo"
- "Tom's Rhinoplasty"
- "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut"
- "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut"
- "Ike's Wee Wee"
- "The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka"
- "Summer Sucks" - Appears at a sauna, meeting Brett Favre.
- "Chef Aid" - "Saves" Mr. Garrison from the police station, later replaces Mr. Twig as Mr. Garrison's teaching assistant again.
- "Rainforest Shmainforest"
- "Sexual Harassment Panda"
- "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub"
- "Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus"
- "World Wide Recorder Concert" - Mr. Hat gets into fight with Mr. Mackey and ends up winning.
- "Cherokee Hair Tampons" - Helps Mr. Garrison write his novel.
- "Chef Goes Nanners" - Mr. Hat is one of the Ku Klux Klan protesters.
- "Fourth Grade"
- "Trapper Keeper"
- "Fat Camp"
- "It Hits the Fan"
- "Cripple Fight"
- "The Entity"
- "The Simpsons Already Did It"
- "A Ladder to Heaven"
- "The Death Camp of Tolerance"
- "200" - Cartman persuades Mr. Garrison to put Mr. Hat on his hand and tell him who is his real father.
- "South ParQ Vaccination Special" - Mr. Service is transformed into Mr. Hat by the Hollywood Elites, then returns as Mr. Garrison's teaching aid.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - Taken by Satan when he goes back to Hell.
- South Park: Post Covid - Seen with Mr. Garrison in the retirement home.
|Mr. Garrison's Teaching Assistants|