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definition - tsst

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South Park episode
SP Tsst.jpg
Cesar Millan and Liane taking Cartman for a walk around the neighborhood.
Episode no. Season 10
Episode 7
Written by Trey Parker
Original air date May 3, 2006
Episode chronology
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South Park (season 10)
List of South Park episodes

"Tsst" (also known as "The Dog Whisperer") is the seventh episode and mid-season finale of the tenth season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on May 3, 2006. In the episode, Liane cannot control her son anymore, and decides to use the help of several reality TV shows to show that Cartman's behavior can be controlled.

The episode was written and directed by series co-creator Trey Parker and is rated TV-MA in the United States. It focuses primarily on Eric Cartman, his mother, and "The Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan.



Cartman is in Mr. Mackey's office with his mother, Liane, where he is forced to explain why he told Billy Turner that he poisoned his milk, handcuffed him to a flagpole and gave him a hacksaw, telling him that he had to saw off his foot to get the antidote, all because Billy made fun of Cartman's weight problem. When Liane realizes she cannot control her son anymore, she attempts to get help from an expert. At first, she tries to enlist the aid of the nanny from the reality TV program Nanny 911 after Mr. Mackey recommended it to her, but to no avail; Cartman rebels against Nanny Stella before playing mind games with her by speculating about why she is a nanny but with no children of her own. Her second attempt is with Jo Frost from Supernanny, who ends up in an psychiatric hospital three days later eating her own feces and repeating the phrase "It's from hell!" Liane ultimately recruits Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer", from the show of the same name.

Millan doesn't treat Cartman as a real child, but instead consistently uses dog-training methods on him. He evaluates Cartman as dominant, aggressive, and obese (like a dog who is given too many treats and not enough exercise). He neglects to acknowledge Cartman's attention-seeking at all, and refuses to even address him by name, calling him "the child" or "it". He teaches Liane to show Cartman she is the "pack leader", while treating Cartman as one would a dog. Millan teaches Liane that dogs nip each other in the neck to show dominance, and in this extreme case, it also works well with children. He, and later Liane, uses two fingers to nip at Cartman's neck to show that they are dominant whenever he shows aggressive or undesirable behavior, and otherwise totally ignores him unless he acts in a submissive or socially-acceptable fashion. This at first predictably angers Cartman and makes him try to run away from home. Millan however convinces Liane that Cartman will be just fine and will return soon enough.

Cartman tries to seek help from his classmates, but none of them are sympathetic to his problem. He ends up sitting in the rain for four hours before he decides to return home. In Cartman's absence, Liane has taken up her favorite hobby of Japanese sumi-e paintings, and Millan is still there. When he returns, Liane continues disciplining Cartman in the way Millan teaches her, showing dominance by eating before he does. Cartman tries to trick her into believing he has given in, but Millan spots the lie in his stance. Cartman is then given a completely healthy dinner and he threatens to call Social Services. After being "nipped" several times by his mother he reaches a relaxed and submissive state in which he behaves much like a submissive dog. Cartman brushes his teeth when his mother commands him to, and suddenly realises that he's changing - as he sees it, he is becoming weak and losing control. This shocks him.

In an attempt to regain dominance, he denounces the healthy dinner as "just like Auschwitz", and attempts to persuade his friends to help him kill Liane, comparing her dominance to Hitler and claiming that, having lost almost 10 pounds, he now knows how the Jews felt during the Holocaust. When his friends flat out refuse to help him murder his mother, he is so insistent that he decides to carry out his plan alone. Cartman sneaks into the sleeping Liane's bedroom at night, knife in hand, and goes right up to her with it, but has an unexpected struggle in his mind between his long-suppressed conscience and his 'demonic' side. Finally, he vomits up black bile, drops the knife, and goes through a bizarre static-like inner conflict sequence in the hallway, where he transforms shape as well, bulging and changing color and shape, similar to the ending of the movie Altered States, almost as if a real demon is being dragged out of him. Finally he passes out.

In the morning, a surprised Liane finds the knife, but also sees that Cartman is already awake, dressed, and ready for school. He has even made his own healthy breakfast and is studying before school starts, which astounds her. At the same time, Millan comes to have a final check. Liane thanks him for converting her son into a good child and being her new friend, and tells him she has tickets for the two of them to see Madame Butterfly together. Cesar politely informs Liane that he only sees her as a client, and now that his work is done, he must leave. Losing her only friend, a desperate Liane promises to take Cartman to KFC and get him a Mega Ranger from Target, as long as he spends time with her. Cartman asks if he could have two Mega Rangers and Liane quickly agrees, going so far as to tell him "you can have whatever you want".

In the final scene they hug, but Cartman smiles triumphantly and malevolently into the camera, while a choir of terror sings the theme "Ave Satani" from "The Omen."

  Cultural references

  • After Cartman is leaving his mother's room, he stumbles around the hallway and appears to take on different physical appearances. The transformations closely resemble the final scene in Ken Russell's feature film Altered States. The scene involves Dr. Jessup (William Hurt) fighting off an "altered state" of physical being. During this struggle, he repeatedly throws himself back and forth between the walls of a hallway while his physical shape changes. Both Cartman and Dr. Jessup appear to have complexions that sporadically change to something that resembles the static from a TV without a signal. At the end when Eric smiles victoriously, the theme "Ave Satani" from "The Omen" plays.[1]


IGN rated this episode an 8 for impressive and said "While not among the terrific episodes that began the season, this was a very fun installment of the show, and a nice spotlight on Cartman and what it might take to finally make him obey."[2]


  External links

  • Tsst Full episode at South Park Studios
  • Tsst Episode guide at South Park Studios

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