Timmy is a character from South Park, voiced by Trey Parker. He is handicapped, and uses a wheelchair to get around, although it is shown in "Probably" and "Cripple Fight" that he can actually stand and walk for a few seconds.
Timmy wears a red sweater and black trousers. His head is deformed at the top, and he has reddish-blond 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, he wears a light blue unbuttoned shirt, gelled hair, brown work shoes and a purple-and-pink wheelchair with a rainbow band.
One of Timmy's most notable traits, together with being the only wheelchair-bound child 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!" by chance 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", In the South Park intro for all of season 6, he says "Timmy timmy timmy timmy, timmy timmy livin' a lie timmy,"and he successfully yells "Please help me!" a few times as he rolls down the highway in "4th 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", and cries out "Go Timmy, go!", before riding off. He also says "shit" in "It Hits the Fan" and "Bebe" in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society". However each time he is shown to struggle to say any word besides his name. In "Coon 2: Hindsight' his superhero identity is known as Iron Maiden but he is unable to say Iron Maiden so he just says Timmeh for when he is introduced in "Mysterion Rises".
Creation and development
Adrien Beard revealed in an interview that the character was based on a boy he knew in elementary school. It is said on South Park Studios.com that Timmy was born with a crippling condition, described as being "a strange combination of palsy and Tourette's". The character first appears in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000"; his three scenes in the episode have little relevance to the central plot, and Comedy Central originally wanted to remove him from the episode, in fear of potential controversy over the inclusion of a mentally retarded 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 singing lead 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.
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", "The Ungroundable", and "Make Love, Not Warcraft", he appears to have no trouble operating a computer. He appears to have hydrocephalus, as well as involuntary movements.
Timmy is friends with South Park's other disabled character, Jimmy, who can actually 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 that made him look like Kenny McCormick). Eventually, the two make amends are shown as hanging out together..
In the second half of season 14, Timmy is shown to be a part of Coon and Friends under the name Iron Maiden. In the episode "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" it is revealed that his "super power" is invincibility.
Timmy has parents named Richard and Helen. Their surname is rumored to be Burch, and they have the same syndrome as Timmy, in that they can mainly only say their own names, and they are confined to wheelchairs. They also have swollen heads. All of 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.
A highly popular character, Timmy was voted "The Greatest Disabled TV Character" in a poll conducted by a BBC-sponsored webzine named Ouch!. Timmy was more popular among disabled voters than among non-disabled voters. Commenting on the poll and on Timmy and South Park in general, Jeff Shannon wrote 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." 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.
- 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 center 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 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 bound to wheelchairs, 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 also created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker features celebrity Matt Damon who is portrayed as being mentally retarded and capable of only saying his name the way he says it differed on his mood, this was done because his puppet came out as looking retarded so they went with it.
- Timmy appears not to need his wheelchair as in the episode Cripple Fight he is shown to be absolutely capable of standing without support.
- 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, may be 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 the World of Warcraft episode.
- Although Timmy has an askew face, he isn't considered one of The Ugly Kids. Same concept for Jimmy Valmer.
- He - along with Francis - are the only male classroom regulars to lack a last name.
- A creature in Resident Evil 4 shares the same name and has slight similarities to Timmy's superhero identity, Iron Maiden. Both (as stated) have the same name, both have spikes coming out of their bodies, both are a grey color, and Timmy's "super power" is indestructibility while the Iron Maiden (Resident Evil) is close to being indestructible.
- Also, Timmy's Iron Maiden costume slightly resembles what the torture device, Iron Maiden, looks like.
Episodes in which he is prominent
- 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.
- Fingerbang - 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 can't confess his sins.
- Probably - Is "healed" by Cartman.
- 4th 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 Jimmys head atop a nude mans body, embracing another nude man. This causes Jimmy to be kicked out of the scouts due to it's 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.
- Professor Chaos - Auditions to be the new "fourth kid". He is suggested by Kyle because he doesn't 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.
- South Park is Gay - Timmy becomes metrosexual.
- Up the Down Steroid - Participates in the Special Olympics and is hurt when Jimmy uses steroids.
- Goobacks - Tries learning the futurespeak.
- Follow that Egg! -Paired with Annie
- Free Willzyx - One of the boys trying to put the whale on the moon.
- Make Love, Not Warcraft - Part of the army of World of Warcraft players that tries to bring down the high level player
- Crippled Summer - Goes to the summer camp with Jimmy
- Coon 2: Rise of Captain Hindsight - Is one of the "Coon and Friends".
- Mysterion Rises - As Iron Maiden
- Coon vs. Coon and Friends - Tries to comment on how he got his superpowers, but only says Timmeh!
- ↑ FAQ Archives: Who does the voices for the characters on South Park? Staff (2002-04-23)
- ↑ South Park Studios.com.
- ↑ 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, Staff (2001-09-04).
- ↑ Has Timmy ever said anything but "Timmy" or "Gobbles." South Park Studios, Staff (2001-05-21).
- ↑ An interview with Adrien Beard. South Park Studios.com.
- ↑ How did Timmy become wheelchair bound? South Park Studios Staff, (2005-11-23).
- ↑ "FAQ" South Park Studios.com
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Trey Parker, Matt Stone, 2002. "South Park" - The Complete Fourth Season. DVD. By Comedy Central (Mini-commentary for episode "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000")
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 "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.