Timmy Burch

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Template:South Park characterTemplate:Featured Winner Timmy Burch is a male fourth grader at South Park Elementary. He 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 handful of other phrases.

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.



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!" while performing as Timmy, after which the catchphrase stuck.[1]

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".[2] 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", "Booooooo" in "Butterballs".

In the South Park opening theme song for Season 6, 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[edit]

File:Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld.gif
Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld, performing.

It is said on South Park Studios.com that Timmy was born with a crippling condition,[3] described as being "a strange combination of palsy and Tourettes".

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.[4] 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.[4]

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.

Superhero Alter-Ego[edit]

Timmy as Iron Maiden.

In the second half of season 14, Timmy is shown to be a part of Coon and Friends super hero team under the name Iron Maiden. In the episode "Coon vs. Coon & Friends", it is revealed that his (imaginary) super power is indestructibility. Iron Maiden can only say "Timmy!", and introduces himself as such in "Mysterion Rises". The name Iron Maiden comes from the medieval torture device that resembles a sarcophagus filled with spikes.


Timmy wears a red sweater and black trousers. 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.



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. He appears to have hydrocephalus, as well as involuntary movements.


Jimmy Valmer[edit]

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 that made him look like Kenny McCormick). Eventually, the two make amends and are shown hanging out together.


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.


Richard and Helen.

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.


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[5]. 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."[6]. 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".[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[4]

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 can't understand their dialogue. Despite this decline, Timmy has made somewhat of a comeback and appeared in several episodes in the fourteenth and fifteenth seasons. According to some sources, he has lost considerable support from South Park fans as well.

Cultural Influence[edit]

  • 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 [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.


  • 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 "Make Love, Not Warcraft".
  • Although Timmy has an askew face, he isn't considered one of The Ugly Kids. The same is true for Jimmy Valmer.
  • In "T.M.I." he was given the last name Burch.
  • A creature in Resident Evil 4 shares the same name and has slight similarities to Timmy's superhero identity, Iron Maiden. Aside from sharing 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.
  • Timmy's Iron Maiden costume bear a slight resemblance to the historical torture 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.
  • His first line that wasn't his name, it was "Please help me!" in "Fourth Grade".


Video Games[edit]

South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play![edit]

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.

South Park: The Stick of Truth[edit]

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 doesn't make a further appearance. He adds your character on Facebook when you find every fast travel flag. His only post is "Timmy!"


  1. "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.).
  2. "Has Timmy ever said anything but "Timmy" or "Gobbles."". South Park Studios (May 21, 2001]).
  3. "Was Timmy dropped on his head as a child?". South Park Studios (November 23, 2005).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Trey Parker, Matt Stone, 2002. "South Park" - The Complete Fourth Season. DVD. By Comedy Central (Mini-commentary for episode "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000")
  5. [1]
  6. "Timmy of "South Park" challenges viewers' attitudes about people with disabilities". Shannon, Jeff (November 28, 2005). The Seattle Times (The Seattle Times Company).
  7. Iverson, Dan; Zoromski, Brian (2007-03-06). [2].http://tv.ign.com/articles/770/770593p3.html "Top 10 South Park Peripheral Characters".]IGN. IGN Entertainment. 3.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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