|Hair||Short, dark brown|
|Religion||Uncertain; attends Catholic mass|
|Debut Episode/Fic||The Charlie Arc|
Charlie Pierzynski is an original character created by ThreadbareSP on FanFiction.Net and DeviantART. She is a central character in Project B's fanfiction series Threadbare South Park, debuting in the first instalment of The Charlie Arc. She has appeared in every Threadbare South Park episode since.
From the third instalment of The Charlie Arc and onward, she is fostered by the Marsh family. Partly due to her living circumstances, she becomes a peripheral member of the boys' group.
Charlie was first conceived in 2007 when Project B used her as a character in an unpublished fanfiction. She was developed more fully during the writing of The Charlie Arc in the fall of 2011. She continues to develop throughout the episodes of Threadbare South Park, although the core of her personality is well-established.
Charlie is not based on her creator. While certain superficial similarities exist (both Charlie and her creator are white, female, and American, for example), Charlie's personality is wildly different from the author's, and it is not at all idealized. Similarly, almost none of their hobbies, interests, and talents overlap.
The only intentional similarity between Charlie and Project B is their mutual dislike of country singer Taylor Swift and the television program Glee.
Mary Sue Prevention
Project B took great care in ensuring that Charlie would not develop into a Mary Sue. This character is not a self-insert (that is, she is not intended to be a fictionalization of the author), does not cause canon characters to act out-of-character, struggles to overcome obstacles, and is quite normal-looking. Although she does bear some Mary Sue characteristics (most notably, a past of physical abuse), these scattered traits do not make her a Mary Sue; almost all characters in fiction have at least a few Sue-ish characteristics.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Charlie's role in fanfiction that sets her apart from Mary Sues is the fact that canon characters treat her as they would anyone else. Obviously, this means that Cartman enjoys teasing her, but beyond this, friendlier characters like Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Craig also joke around at her expense, since this is typical behavior for the children of South Park. When Charlie is treated poorly by other characters, she does not lash out or obtain retribution; she responds realistically to teasing: with annoyance and, ultimately, acceptance.
Charlie has been put through several Mary Sue "tests", and while these tests are not definitive, she has passed them all easily.
Home and Family
Until she was five, Charlie had a relatively normal home life in Minneapolis, MN, with two parents (Joe and Jane Pierzynski) and a little sister, Becca.
When Charlie was five years old, her parents' marriage began to deteriorate. Against his wife's wishes, Joe quit his stable job as an auto mechanic to pursue a career in music, which, by all appearances, was never successful. The family's financial situation rapidly deteriorated. At around this time, Joe also became unfaithful to his wife; he was often away for extended periods of time. Although Joe and Jane never legally divorced, Joe gradually visited his family less frequently, and the children and their mother moved several times. Despite their tumultuous relationship, Jane became pregnant by Joe and gave birth to a son, Davy, when Charlie was seven.
When Charlie is eight and in third grade, Jane, Charlie, Becca, and Davy move to South Park, Colorado. According to Charlie, Jane never told Joe that the family was moving.
Charlie is shown to enjoy singing. She typically sings by herself for her own amusement, but she does not appear shy about singing in front of others; in "One of the Girls", Charlie plays the ukulele and sings for a talent show. Her singing voice is described as "childish", but tonally sound.
Charlie's taste in music is unusual for a nine-year-old girl; she likes old-time country and western music, as well as some of the off-beat rock legends of the '70s. It appears that she acquired her taste for these styles of music from her step-father. The artists she references include Johnny Cash (by all appearances her favorite musician), Warren Zevon, Alan Jackson, Steve Goodman, and Willie Nelson.
Charlie aspires to be a commercial airline pilot when she grows up. She frequently doodles airplanes, receives a model airplane construction set from Stan for Christmas, and considers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to be her favorite model of airplane.
Charlie plays video games (most frequently Xbox) with the boys on several occasions. However, she does not appear to be very good at them; Stan and Kyle comment that she "never wins" at any games (video or otherwise), although Charlie contends that she could "kick their asses" at MarioKart on several occasions. (Stan and Kyle deny this, and Charlie has yet to prove it.)
Girl ScoutsCharlie is briefly a member of the Girl Scouts of America in the episode "Girl Scout Cookies". She does not, however, display any interest in the club itself; she is merely a member so that she and Cartman can exploit a legal loophole in order to purchase and resell Girl Scout Cookies during the off-season. She is forced to quit the Girl Scouts after "breaking the Girl Scout law".
- Accessory to Murder - Charlie, along with the boys and Sharon Marsh, take Roland the headless Thompson gunner to a Taylor Swift concert in Denver, where Roland proceeds to murder the popular country singer.
- "Failure to respect the patriarchal order" - As a gag in "Girl Scout Cookies", Charlie is arrested by several heavily-armed SWAT team members for failing to respect Cartman's "authority" in compliance with the Girl Scout Law. While such an act has no true legal repercussions, she is forced to quit the Girl Scouts.
- Fraud - In "Elephant Balls", Charlie solicits donations from townspeople to pay for Mr. Garrison's scrotal surgery, but tells the donors that Mr. Garrison is receiving brain surgery.
- Withholding medical treatment in an emergency - Charlie pressures Tweek into keeping quiet about being bit by her potentially rabid hedgehog.
- Unauthorized possession of a deadly weapon - In "Hedgehog", Charlie, Stan, and Kyle use a hand grenade to kill Binky the hedgehog.
Charlie was not raised to be religious. When she lives with the Marsh family, she goes with them to mass, but is often confused by rituals and rites. She is also confused as to why Jews can't celebrate Christmas (which she doesn't realize is a religious holiday).
StethoscopeIn "Mysterion Has TittyVision", Charlie becomes the Coon & Friends' "secretary" in the guise of "Stethoscope". While Charlie does not have any real superpowers (or crime-fighting abilities), she pretends that Stethoscope has superhuman hearing (an ability given by a large, cumbersome "stethoscope" attacked to her head) and the ability to communicate with sea creatures (as an Aqua-Man reference).
As secretary, Stethoscope takes the minutes at Coon & Friends meetings and files their tax reports, but is not an "official" member, nor is she permitted to join them on crime-stopping missions.
Stethoscope was created by Project B as a parody of the many serious OC superhero alter-egos created in response to the Superhero Arc.
AppearanceCharlie is a white nine-year-old girl with dark brown hair. Since all artwork of Charlie is done in a style emulating the canon animation, her eye color is never seen, but she mentions at one point that her eyes are blue. Her hair is very short and cut in a boyish style. Over the time she lives in South Park, her hair grows somewhat longer, but it remains shorter than shoulder-length.
Charlie typically wears a dark blue jacket with a hood, khaki-colored cargo pants, grey sneakers and gloves, and a blue-green stocking cap. During the summer, she wears a green T-shirt. Her sleepwear includes a long-sleeved purple shirt and grey sweatpants.
Charlie is average-looking in terms of attractiveness. (Partly due to her unpopularity and boyish appearance, she is actually voted the least attractive girl in the fourth grade in "One of the Girls"). Because of her short hair and gender-ambiguous clothes, she is often mistaken for a boy (much to her annoyance).
Although she is not shy, Charlie isn't skilled in making good first impressions. She is not a good conversationalist with acquaintances, although she is more relaxed when speaking to friends. She can be somewhat blunt in casual conversations. She doesn't fit in well with other girls (or most boys, for that matter) but she cares deeply for the friends she has.
Charlie is generally good-natured. Sensitive and sympathetic, she doesn't like singling out people to tease, and she does her best to cheer her friends up when they're down.
Although she isn't as smart as Kyle, Charlie occasionally reveals a mature and intelligent side. She is good at explaining things, and she appears to be a reasonably good student. However, she still has plenty of childlike naivety. She doesn't know what a scrotum is in "Elephant Balls", and she still finds toilet-humor amusing; Terrance and Phillip is her favorite TV show.. And while she isn't exactly gullible, she does fall victim to Cartman's manipulative powers in The Charlie Arc and "Girl Scout Cookies".
Even though she's a pretty decent kid, she's not above arguing with or yelling at her friends when they upset or annoy her. She can also be a schemer, willing to act on morally questionable plans if will benefit her (as seen in "Elephant Balls" and "Girl Scout Cookies"). She is also capable of being manipulative; for example, she takes advantage of Tweek's nervous personality in "Hedgehog" when she coaxes him out of telling the truth about being bitten by the hedgehog, and she cajoles a large group of townspeople to donate to Mr. Garrison's surgery by crying (and claiming he is dying of brain cancer). At one point, she blackmails Cartman and Kenny with footage she obtains of them acting "gay" during the metrosexual fad.
Perhaps due to her past abuse, Charlie has a nervous streak. She becomes tense and nervous in even minorly stressful situations. When she is in such situations, she often rubs her hands or raps her knuckles together at upper-chest level. Compared to most of the other fourth grade children, she cries easily, and while she is not cowardly, she worries a lot when she is in uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations. She is also easily upset by physical and verbal conflict.
Charlie is usually very respectful towards authority figures. Unlike the boys, she does not talk back to Mr. Garrison or Mr. Mackey. She is also very polite, even somewhat shy, around Randy and Sharon, her foster parents.
- Threadbare South Park
- "Mysterion Saves the Day"
- Sing a Song of South Park
Jane is Charlie's abusive mother. Charlie was subjected to physical and emotional abuse at Jane's hands, which ultimately nearly kills her. After years of defending her mother's behavior, Charlie is forced to confront and acknowledge the truth when she testifies against Jane in court in the third episode of The Charlie Arc. She is ultimately sentenced to 44 years imprisonment with the possibility of parole for child abuse and attempted murder.
Joseph PierzyskiDespite his instability, absenteeism, and infidelity toward Jane, Charlie always greatly admired and loved Joe. Throughout the second, third, and fourth chapters of The Charlie Arc, Child Protective Services are unable to locate Joe. Charlie writes (but doesn't send) him a note in chapter three. At the end of chapter four, it is revealed that Joseph is not Charlie's biological father (although he is the father of her two younger siblings)
In The Arc, it is also revealed that Joe is serving a ten-year prison sentence in Tennessee for armed robbery.
Becca is Charlie's five-year-old half-sister who is fostered by Cartman and his mother after Jane's arrest. Charlie cares deeply for Becca and her well-being, and Becca looks up to Charlie. When Cartman swears, Charlie often warns him "not to talk like that" in front of Becca.
Davy is Charlie's one-year-old half-brother. As with Becca, Charlie is very protective of and loving towards Davy. After Jane's arrest, Davy briefly lives with Kyle's family. He is relocated to a foster home in Denver in The Charlie Arc, which devastates Charlie.
Charlie lives with the Marsh family after her mother is arrested, so she and Stan spend a lot of time together. Over time, the two come to act like somewhat like siblings.
When they first meet, Stan and Charlie are somewhat indifferent towards each other. However, after living together for a few weeks, they become good friends. They enjoy tormenting Shelly and watching T.V. together, and Stan gradually allows Charlie to become part of the group.
Stan is furious when he has to give Charlie his room and share with Shelly. He becomes even angrier when he is grounded for yelling at Charlie about this issue. Ultimately, Charlie is switched to Shelly's room and Stan gets his old room back. After this conflict is resolved, the pair get along much better, although they do occasionally bicker.
Kyle is Charlie's first friend in South Park. He discovers that Jane is abusive and tells Mr. Mackey (against Charlie's wishes), who contacts Jane. Kyle finds Charlie unconscious after Jane feeds her bleach, and he contacts the authorities. The Broflovskis briefly foster Charlie's brother Davy.
Kyle is very defensive, even protective, of Charlie. In the first chapter of The Charlie Arc, he stands up for her against Cartman's teasing and makes an effort to make her feel welcome. He does the same thing in the third chapter when Wendy calls her names. In the fourth chapter, Kyle tries to convince his mother to allow Davy to stay with their family, knowing that Charlie would be devastated if she lost her little brother. When this fails, he tries to hide the truth from Charlie for as long as possible. Later, in "One of the Girls", he loudly and angrily confronts the group of girls that pretended to be Charlie's friend only to ridicule her later, calling it "the bitchiest thing you've ever done."
There are several hints throughout Charlie's appearances that Kyle might have a crush on her. Cartman torments Kyle for this from her very first appearance (although Cartman's taunting is mostly unsubstantiated). However, there are two scenes in "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" where Kyle is excited to twice able to hold her hand (although Charlie doesn't seem to realize this).
In "One of the Girls", Kyle makes a comment implying that he thinks she is pretty, and Charlie kisses him quickly on the lips. While Charlie seems surprised with herself, even apologizing, the two both begin to act happier after the event. Later, they hold hands as they walk to Kyle's house.
Kyle and Charlie officially become "boyfriend and girlfriend" in "Dating: It's a Process", over a year after her arrival in South Park. However, this episode concludes with a scene that suggests that the "relationship" will not change the friend-dynamic of the group.
Partly due to her personality, Charlie is usually more upset by Kenny's deaths than the boys. In "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", she cries over his trampled body, vomits when rats eat his corpse, and wears black the next day out of respect for his (and Warren Zevon's) death.
Charlie can relate to Kenny's home life more than the other boys. She came from an abusive, poor household, so she tends not to tease him about it as much as the other boys. In "Girl Scout Cookies", Charlie buys Kenny a new coat and hides thirty dollars in the pocket. (While this is clearly a gesture of goodwill on Charlie's part, it backfires when Kenny runs into a burning building to retrieve the coat and money and it collapses on him.)
In "Mysterion Has TittyVision", Charlie is oblivious to Kenny's temporary obsession with her newly-developing breasts. She is, however, confused about why he begins to act differently around her, and she tells Sharon that she wishes that they could "just be friends again like [they] always were."
Like Cartman and Kyle (but to a lesser extent), they are friends who like to fight. Although they rarely get along, Cartman and Charlie continue to hang out with the same social group. It is uncertain whether or not they truly consider themselves "friends." In "Girl Scout Cookies", after her alliance with Cartman comes to an end, Charlie tells Stan and Kyle that she's glad that she can now spend time with her "real friends." This assertion is later contradicted in "One of the Girls", when Charlie names Cartman when she lists the friends she has made since moving to South Park. In the same story, Charlie defends Cartman against Kyle, telling Kyle not to make fun of Cartman's weight (although this was probably due to her insecurity about her own appearance at that point in the story). It seems most likely that Charlie considers the two to be at least superficial friends, while Cartman sees Charlie as more of a nuisance.
Cartman continues to fight against Charlie's fusion into the group, although he is typically overruled. When left alone, as seen in the fourth chapter of The Charlie Arc and Girl Scout Cookies, they fight much more than they do in the group.
Cartman often uses sexist terms ("Titty Long-Stocking" and "a giant talking uterus", for example) when referring to Charlie. However, despite her somewhat sensitive nature, Charlie tends to brush off these comments, accepting that it's just part of how Cartman is.
On several occasions, Cartman and Charlie (sometimes along with other characters) have teamed up for something mutually beneficial, as in "Girl Scout Cookies" and "Elephant Balls".
The two are officially "allies" in "Mysterion Has TittyVision", when Charlie (as Stethoscope) works as Coon & Friends' secretary.
Despite his desire to hate her, Cartman is actually a decent foster brother to Becca. Becca considers him her "big brother," and Charlie appreciates his (relatively) good behavior towards her. This seems to reduce her animosity towards him.
Sharon acts as Charlie's foster mother when Charlie lives with the Marshes. Sharon treats Charlie in a very caring and maternal way. Charlie goes to Sharon for advice on several occasions. In several Threadbare South Park episodes, the two share an exchange in which Charlie curses, Sharon admonishes her with, "Young lady! Language!", and Charlie covers her mouth in embarrassment and says, "Sorry."
Randy is Charlie's foster father when Charlie lives with the Marshes. They do not interact much one-on-one, and Charlie acts somewhat shy around him.
Shelly becomes Charlie's foster sister. They are forced to share a room, and Shelly treats Charlie similarly to how she treats Stan: like a turd.
Gerald is Charlie's lawyer, representing her in court. He prosecutes the case against Jane Pierzynski pro-bono in the third episode of The Charlie Arc.
- Charlie and her story were first conceived in 2007, then abandoned until 2011. "Charlie," "Brainwashing," and "Sisters Suck" (the first three episodes of The Charlie Arc) are consistent with the original plot.
- Her legal name is Charlie May Pierzynski. She is sometimes mistakenly called "Charlotte", usually by adults.
- In The Charlie Arc, she is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. (She is also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, but this diagnosis is later proven false.)
- Charlie's taste in music is unorthodox for a girl her age; Joseph Pierzynski drew her toward such artists as Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon, Willie Nelson, and John Prine.
- In "Hedgehog", Charlie adopts a hedgehog as a pet and names him Binky.
- Charlie wants to be a pilot when she grows up, and her favorite model of airplane is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
- Charlie has an "ask account" on deviantART (operated by Project B) called AskCharlie.
- Charlie: Hey, you'd better not use that kind of language in front of my little sister, or I'll kick you in the nuts!
- Charlie: What's up? You guys have been acting really naked—I mean, weird! Weird! Weird!
- Charlie: Damn it! They're starting to play the "no girls" card!
- Charlie: I just found out I was a bastard, and now I'm gonna be a bisexual chain-smoking cutter. (The Charlie Arc)
- Charlie: [After Roland murders Taylor Swift] Wow. I guess, even after all those years of looking for revenge, Roland finally decided to do something to just make the world a better place. ("Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner")
- Charlie: So I guess we learned that lying is okay, because it all works out in the end. ("Elephant Balls")
- Charlie: Gah! No wonder we aren't turning the profit we expected! You fatass! Do you know what you're doing? You're eating money, Cartman! You're eating my money! Jesus Christ!
- Charlie: I broke the Girl Scout Law. I broke the Girl Scout Law and I got tackled to the ground by three heavily-armed 200-lb SWAT team men. ("Girl Scout Cookies")
- Charlie: God damn this hideous face! Why can't I be pretty?! ("One of the Girls")
- Charlie as "Stethoscope": Greetings, fellow superheroes! I am... STETHOSCOPE! ... With my superhuman hearing and my ability to communicate with the creatures of the ocean, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your alliance!
- Charlie as "Stethoscope": ...And Batman's some pissed-off rich guy whose parents got killed. All superheroes have origin stories. ("Mysterion Has TittyVision")
- Charlie: Do you ever get kind of sick to your stomach, but in a good way? Where you feel kind of… kind of fizzy, like you've got a million bubbles inside you? And they're just going to lift you up to the sky? ...Sometimes I do. I think it's the best feeling in the world. ("Dating: It's a Process")