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April 2014, February 2015
Timothy "Timmy" Burch is a male fourth-grader at South Park Elementary. He first appears in the Season Four episode, "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000", and is voiced by Trey Parker. He is handicapped, uses a wheelchair to get around, and has a limited vocabulary consisting only of his own name and a small handful of other words and phrases, he is rarely seen doing this, however.
After a decade of being known simply as "Timmy", his full name was revealed to be "Timmy Burch" in the episode "T.M.I." when his name was posted on the poster containing the kids' growth differentials.
- 1 Background
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Personality
- 4 Family
- 5 Interactions
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Prominence
- 8 Video Games
- 9 References
One of Timmy's most notable traits, together with being the only child who uses a wheelchair in the fourth-grade class at South Park Elementary, is his limited vocabulary. He mostly says his name and the slurred phrase "livin' a lie." It was revealed on the official site that the second catchphrase originated when Trey Parker said "Livin' a lie!" while performing as Timmy, after which the catchphrase stuck.
In several episodes, Timmy has said other basic words and names. When addressing Jimmy Valmer, the other major handicapped South Park character, he is able to say "Jimmy", and in "Helen Keller! The Musical", he is able to say the name he had given his pet turkey, Gobbles. He says "Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld!" (the latter being the name of his band) in "Timmy 2000". He also successfully yells "Please help me!" a few times as he rolls down the highway in "Fourth Grade". In "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000", when his wheelchair is hooked via a string to one of Kenny's teeth, he incorrectly interprets a casual use of the word "go", crying out, "Go, Timmy, go!" before riding off. He also says "shit" in "It Hits the Fan", "Bebe" in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", singing "Hula" in "Crippled Summer", "Gross!" in "Bass to Mouth", "Booooooo" in "Butterballs", and "Octonauts!" in "Moss Piglets".
In the South Park opening theme song for Season Six, he sings "Timmy timmy Timmy Timmy, Timmy Timmy livin' a lie Timmy!", continuing the tradition of incomprehensible lines, previously sung by Kenny McCormick.
Concept and Creation
Timmy Burch first appears in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000"; his three scenes in the episode having little relevance to the central plot. Comedy Central originally wanted to remove him from the episode, in fear of potential controversy over the inclusion of a mentally handicapped character. Series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker pushed to keep the character in the story, with their basis being that although Timmy is different, the other children in the series treat him equally.
Timmy was originally intended only for that episode, but proved so popular that he was given his own story three episodes later, in "Timmy 2000", where he becomes the lead singer of a successful band (originally titled "The Lords of the Underworld", later titled "Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld"), despite his limited vocabulary. Throughout the episode, Phil Collins complains that Timmy is being exploited, although he achieves extreme popularity. The message delivered at the end of the episode is that there is nothing wrong with the situation; given that Timmy enjoys playing music and his audiences enjoy listening to him.
- Assault - In "Cripple Fight", he and Jimmy Valmer physically fought over a dispute about Jimmy's comedy.
In the future timeline set in South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid, he is no longer confined to a wheelchair, though he still requires a walking stick to aid movement. His vocabulary has also improved, being able to converse without much difficulty.
Timmy wears a red sweater and blue jeans. His head is deformed at the top, and he has strawberry blonde hair. He is almost always seen sitting in a black wheelchair and is usually smiling openly and fidgeting with his hands.
During the metrosexual fad in the episode, "South Park is Gay!", he wears a light blue unbuttoned shirt, gelled hair, brown work shoes and a purple-and-pink wheelchair with a rainbow band.
In South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid, he wears a brown jacket over a red shirt, blue pants, and black shoes.
- To see images of Timmy Burch, visit Timmy Burch/Gallery.
Timmy was originally described as being somewhat mentally handicapped, but over time his character has become described less as such and more often as "disabled". In various episodes (such as "Up the Down Steroid") he appears to be quite cognizant, intelligent and principled. In "Cripple Fight", and "Make Love, Not Warcraft", he appears to have no trouble operating a computer, and in the former, he even comes up with a clever plan to get Jimmy kicked out of the scouts. He appears to have hydrocephalus, as well as involuntary movements.
Despite his disabilities, Timmy is treated fairly amongst his classmates at school. In "Professor Chaos", Timmy makes the top ten finalists in the boy's competition for their new friend, although he is disqualified, as Cartman claims he is "self-centred". He is also used by the boys as a camera-man for their band in "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" (which he failed at) and as a test subject for their time machine in "Fourth Grade" (which backfired).
Timmy has parents named Richard and Helen. Their surname is Burch (revealed in "T.M.I."), and they have the same disability as Timmy, in that they can mainly only say their own names, and they are confined to wheelchairs. They also have swollen heads. This implies that Timmy's disorder is hereditary.
Richard wears an old-fashioned red jacket with a white shirt underneath, and blue jeans. He has a crop of brown hair on top of his head. His head seems to slump down, a little. Helen wears a turquoise jacket and a lilac/grey skirt. Her hair is orange and shoulder length.
A picture on their wall indicates that Timmy, Richard and Helen have been to Paris.
Gobbles was Timmy's disabled pet turkey that appeared in the Season Four episode, "Helen Keller! The Musical". Timmy bought Gobbles for fifty dollars from Farmer Carl Denkins. After overcoming various hardships despite their disabilities, Timmy and Gobbles formed a deep bond.
Timmy is friends with South Park's other disabled character, Jimmy, who is able to understand what Timmy is saying. In the first episode in which Jimmy appears, "Cripple Fight", Timmy is intensely jealous of him and even tries to have him killed by giving him a parka like Kenny McCormick's. Eventually, the two make amends and are shown hanging out together.
This relationship was strained, however, in "Up the Down Steroid" when Timmy discovered that Jimmy was using steroids to cheat in the Special Olympics. The two, once again, make amends when Jimmy does the right thing by telling the truth.
- In the episode "Cripple Fight" it is revealed that Timmy's chair is named "Lil' Run-About"
- In the episode "Die Hippie, Die" a joint-smoking man who eerily resembles Timmy rolls by in a wheelchair during Randy Marsh and Sharon Marsh's Woodstock flashback - perhaps Timmy's father, or another older male relative.
- Timmy's name, and the way he says it, maybe a play on the Japanese word "temē" (てめえ), a very rude way of saying "you" used chiefly by male speakers and when the speaker is angry. Trey Parker is fluent in the Japanese language.
- Timmy played a Priest during "Make Love, Not Warcraft".
- Although Timmy has an askew face, he is not considered one of The Ugly Kids. The same is true for Jimmy Valmer.
- In "T.M.I." he was given the last name Burch.
- Timmy's Iron Maiden costume bears a slight resemblance to the historical torture device of the same name (which is now believed to be an entirely fictitious device.)
- Timmy is apparently aware of Kenny's constant deaths; he gives Jimmy a parka exactly like Kenny's in the hopes that he would die. He probably did not tell Kenny he was aware of his common deaths in "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" because he can only say his own name.
- Despite being in a wheelchair, Timmy is seen swimming in "Up the Down Steroid", where he glares at Jimmy winning the swimming competition while floating in the water.
- During the Season Six intro, as the animator designs the boys with construction paper while clips from episodes play, Timmy can be seen in construction paper form. This makes him the only character who was designed with construction paper after "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", which was the only episode to use the animation technique.
- Timmy's superhero alter-ego in South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Doctor Timothy, is a parody of Professor X from the X-Men franchise.
- In "The Scoots", he appears to be wearing his Mecha Timmy costume from South Park: Phone Destroyer
Being a highly popular character, Timmy has been received very well by the South Park community. It was seen that he is more popular among disabled people based on the voters who voted Timmy for Ouch! 's "The Greatest Disabled TV Character" poll. Jeff Shannon when commenting on Timmy said "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.". When Comedy Central first heard of Timmy, they were against the idea. After Timmy appeared in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000" and fans were ecstatic, Comedy Central, according to Trey Parker, were eager to have Timmy appear again.
IGN ranked Timmy second in a list of the "Top 10 South Park Peripheral Characters", commenting that "South Park's most controversial character may be one of the funniest and most enduring". In Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!, author Douglas Pratt describes Timmy's use of different inflections to express his mood, all the while saying nothing but his name, as amusing, although he adds that some may disagree.
M. Keith Booker, author of Drawn to television: prime-time animation from the Flintstones to Family Guy, describes Timmy as arguably being the most controversial of the secondary characters in the series.
According to Trey Parker, soon after the character's debut, he observed that fans of the series began shouting "Timmy!" in an imitation of the character, as opposed to their earlier imitations of the character Cartman and their usage of other popular catchphrases on the show.
Despite Timmy's fame during his initial seasons on the show, his role has declined considerably, without a single line of dialogue between "Make Love, Not Warcraft" and "Crippled Summer", having been replaced by Jimmy Valmer. Trey Parker noted in a 2000 interview he tries to avoid using characters like Kenny McCormick and Timmy because viewers could not understand their dialogue. Despite this decline, Timmy has made somewhat of a comeback and appeared in several episodes in the fourteenth and fifteenth seasons.
- Due to the popularity of South Park, Timmy's exclamation "TIMMEH!" soon entered into pop culture as an outburst used to describe, chide, or respond to moments of extreme un-coordination, lack of concentration or other losses of logic, sense or reason. There are many other ways in which the exclamation is referenced, such as:
- The popular MMORPG World of Warcraft features the character Timmy the Cruel in the Stratholme instance (who yells "TIMMY!" when he appears).
- On ESPN's Sports Center, anchors yell "TIMMY" whenever a Tim Duncan highlight is shown.
- During the intro to "Sailor" by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, members of the band can be heard doing 'Timmy' impressions.
- Buffalo Sabres fans often refer to centre Tim Connolly, known for his prolonged absences due to injury, as "Timmah," a reference to the character.
- Rapper Ludacris referenced Timmy, in a guest verse on Missy Elliot's song "Gossip Folks" ("I'm Ludacris, living loud [sic] like Timmy").
- In January 2007, British metal band Siren Lake named their van Timmy, in homage to the character. This has gained them a huge amount of media coverage including an appearance on Peter Snow's, Newsnight.
- In the 2007 music video game Rock Band, one of the unlockable bonus tracks is "Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld", featuring a full-length version of the song used in "Timmy 2000".
- In the 2008 video game "Fallout 3", a dungeon features a series of clones named Gary, who, like Timmy, can only speak their own name. While they are not wheelchair-bound, they are insane and will attack on sight, using their tone of voice while speaking their name to indicate emotion.
- In the film, Team America: World Police, also created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, features celebrity Matt Damon who is portrayed as being mentally handicapped and capable of only saying his name. This was done because his puppet came out as looking handicapped so they went with it.
- "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000" - Helps Stan, Cartman, and Kyle try to pull Kenny's tooth out. Is then later seen driving his wheelchair over the bridge Kenny was thrown down from during the end credits.
- "Timmy 2000" - Unnecessarily diagnosed with A.D.D along with all the other children of South Park. He then joins the band The Lords of the Underworld, which becomes an overnight sensation.
- "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" - Timmy is named dream boy of the decade by NAMBLA member.
- "Cherokee Hair Tampons" - Helps with Stan's plan to get Cartman's kidney.
- "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" - Timmy films Fingerbang's playground show.
- "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" - Makes the fellow Christian fourth graders fearful, due to the fact that he cannot confess his sins.
- "Probably" - He is "healed" by Cartman.
- "Fourth Grade" - Helps his fellow fourth graders by strapping a time-traveling device to his wheelchair, which ends up going terribly wrong. He ends up in prehistoric times but returns later on.
- "Helen Keller! The Musical" - Gets the lead part in the Thanksgiving musical play and finds a crippled pet turkey, which he names Gobbles and learns to say his name. Timmy greatly admires Gobbles. He even goes far enough to jump in front of a bullet aiming for Gobbles.
- "It Hits the Fan" - Timmy learns how to say "shit".
- "Cripple Fight" - Becomes envious of Jimmy's popularity at scouts and fights him in an alley. After the fight, which was a tie, Timmy uses his computer to make a photo with Jimmy's head atop a nude man's body, embracing another nude man. This causes Jimmy to be kicked out of the scouts due to its no homosexual law.
- "Scott Tenorman Must Die" - At Cartman's meeting.
- "Cartmanland" - Allowed in Cartman's theme park.
- "Proper Condom Use" - Timmy needs help putting his condom on.
- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Professor Chaos" - Auditions to be the new "fourth kid". He is suggested by Kyle because he does not tell lame jokes, is quiet and takes direction well making him the perfect friend. Cartman argues with this saying that Timmy is really self-centered. Tweek Tweak becomes the fourth kid instead.
- "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society" - One of the boys infatuated with Bebe.
- "Krazy Kripples" - Becomes part of The Crips with Jimmy.
- "Toilet Paper" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Fat Butt and Pancake Head"
- "South Park is Gay!" - Timmy becomes metrosexual.
- "Grey Dawn" - Seen in class.
- "Up the Down Steroid" - Participates in the Special Olympics and is hurt when Jimmy uses steroids.
- "The Jeffersons" - Seen in the background riding the Ferris Wheel with Jimmy in Mr.Jefferson's Backyard.
- "Goobacks" - Tries learning the futurespeak.
- "The Death of Eric Cartman " - Seen playing football with the other boys.
- "Follow That Egg!" - Paired with Annie.
- "Ginger Kids" - Seen in the classroom clapping for Token after his presentation.
- "Free Willzyx" - One of the boys trying to put the whale on the moon.
- "The Return of Chef" - Seen at Chef’s funeral.
- "Make Love, Not Warcraft" - Part of the army of World of Warcraft players that tries to bring down the high-level player
- "Cartman Sucks" - Seen in class.
- "Super Fun Time" - Seen as part of the field trip.
- "Breast Cancer Show Ever" - Seen in the crowd after the fight between Wendy and Eric.
- "The Ungroundable" - Seen in the background at the Goths' assembly.
- "Margaritaville" - Seen with the other boys while they eat pizza.
- "200" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Crippled Summer" - Goes to the summer camp with Jimmy.
- "Coon 2: Hindsight" - Is one of the "Coon and Friends".
- "Mysterion Rises" - As Iron Maiden.
- "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" - Tries to comment on how he got his superpowers, but only says Timmeh!
- "Funnybot" - Co-hosts South Park Elementary's first Comedy Awards.
- "T.M.I." - Seen in the hallway and in the classroom.
- "Crack Baby Athletic Association" - Seen playing with Stan and other boys in his backyard.
- "Reverse Cowgirl" - Seen in the background of Mr. Garrison's class.
- "Butterballs" - Seen in Stan's anti-bullying video.
- "Cartman Finds Love" - Seen in the background in Mr. Garrison's classroom.
- "A Scause For Applause" - Seen in the background in Mr. Garrison's class.
- "Obama Wins!" - Seen playing basketball with the other boys.
- "Taming Strange" - Seen in the background of Mr. Garrison's class.
- "Black Friday" - Timmy is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday.
- "A Song of Ass and Fire" - Timmy is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday.
- "Titties and Dragons" - Timmy is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday, but was apathetic when getting the Xbox One after watching Bill Gates kill the Sony President in the Red Robin.
- "The Hobbit" - A picture of Timmy is seen being Photoshopped toward the end of Lisa Berger's song.
- "Handicar" - Runs the Handicar transportation business and races in Wacky Races and wins.
- "Where My Country Gone?" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Sponsored Content" - Seen at the event for disabled people at the PC Frat House along with Jimmy and other disabled children.
- "Skank Hunt" - Cameo. Seen in Kyle's photo.
- "Douche and a Danish" - Seen in class.
- "Fort Collins" - Seen in a photograph on the wall of Heidi's bedroom.
- "Hummels & Heroin" - Rallies with Marcus Preston after witnessing his presentation in the school cafeteria.
- "Moss Piglets" - He and Jimmy study water bears as part of their science fair project.
- "SUPER HARD PCness" - Seen watching The Terrance and Phillip Show with his friends and in the gym during the bombing of Canada.
- "Dead Kids" - Seen in the classroom.
- "The Scoots" - Seen in the classroom wearing his Mecha Timmy costume.
- "Buddha Box" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Shots!!!" - Mentioned by Cartman as someone who may have been affected by vaccinations.
- "Let Them Eat Goo" - Seen in the classroom.
- "Basic Cable" - Tries to flirt with the new girl, Sophie, much to Scott Malkinson's dismay.
- "The Pandemic Special" - Helps the students escape the gym by ramming his wheelchair into the doors.
Timmy plays a small role in the storyline of South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! and appears at the end of the "Mountain Pass" level to inform the player to move on to Downtown South Park for the final battle, along with Randy Marsh. He is in the same "Medic"-type class as Kyle Broflovski, Tweek Tweak and Bebe Stevens, moving quickly but dealing minimal damage. His special ability causes Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld to play and as long as it plays, any enemy Timmy touches deals heavy damage or dies.
Timmy makes a small appearance in the game, where he serves as a fast travel system. He only appears in a cutscene when you arrive at the bus stop and does not make a further appearance. He adds your character on Facebook when you find every fast travel flag. His only post is "Timmy!"
Timmy is the appointed leader for Freedom Pals HQ. He has the ability to read peoples' minds, and has multiple speaking lines. During combat, he has the ability to brainwash characters to pit them against their own teammates. He develops a franchise plan intended to satisfy all members of Coon and Friends, as well as his team so all characters may have their own film.
He also re-appears in the DLC Bring the Crunch to assist Jimmy in looking for the counselors to help keep Lake Tardicaca open. However, he becomes brainwashed by the alien and assists him in defeating Mintberry Crunch and The New Kid during the final boss battle.
- "Who talks for Timmy??". South Park Studios (April 24, 2001).
- "Why does Timmy say "Living a Lie"? Is it just something random, or is there a deeper meaning that I'm missing?". South Park Studios (4 September 2001).
- "Has Timmy ever said anything but "Timmy" or "Gobbles."". South Park Studios (May 21, 2001).
- "Was Timmy dropped on his head as a child?". South Park Studios (November 23, 2005).
- Trey Parker, Matt Stone, 2002. "South Park" - The Complete Fourth Season. DVD. By Comedy Central (Mini-commentary for episode "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000")
- "Timmy of "South Park" challenges viewers' attitudes about people with disabilities". Shannon, Jeff (November 28, 2005). The Seattle Times (The Seattle Times Company).
- Iverson, Dan; Zoromski, Brian (2007-03-06). .http://tv.ign.com/articles/770/770593p3.html "Top 10 South Park Peripheral Characters".]IGN. IGN Entertainment. 3.
- Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!, By Douglas Pratt. Published by UNET 2 Corporation, 2005. ISBN 1932916016/ISBN 9781932916010 Page 1125.
- Drawn to television: prime-time animation from the Flintstones to Family guy By M. Keith Booker. Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ISBN 0275990192/ ISBN 9780275990190 Page 132.