"Going Native" is the eleventh episode of Season Sixteen, and the 234th overall episode of South Park. It aired on October 17, 2012.
Butters' outrageous behavior is a sign. It's time for him to begin a journey where he will follow in the path of his ancestors. When Butters starts acting out at school, his parents realize it's time to tell him why he's not like all of the other kids. He must travel to a foreign place to learn the ways of his people. It will be a difficult trip for a young boy to make alone so Butters chooses Kenny to travel with him to the distant and secluded island of Hawaii.
The episode starts at South Park Elementary, the boys are at lunch as Cartman runs in. He tells the boys Butters beat up Scott Malkinson, the boys get up in shock. They go over to the boy’s bathroom where Butters has locked himself inside of. Stan knocks on the door and Butters refuses to open the door. Kyle tells Butters he can’t go around beating up people and Butters charges out of the bathroom and starts yelling at Kyle. Butters says Kenny is the only person in the school with dignity, he then locks himself back into the bathroom.
Still at South Park Elementary, Principal Victoria has called in Linda and Steven Stotch and tells them that Butters’ behavior is not acceptable. He tells Stephen he is pissed off and tells him to shut up after he threatens to ground Butters. Stephen tells Principal Victoria that Butters must have an extended leave away from school.
At the Stotch Residence, Stephen and Linda are arguing about Butters leaving. Butters demands to know what’s going on, it is revealed he must go to his birthplace for his Hapa Noa. Stephen tells Butters that he is a native of Havaii (Hawaii), he pulls out a book and starts telling Butters the traditions of the Hawaiian people. Stephen gives Butters his Mahalo Rewards card and sends him on his way.
At the park, the boys are playing basketball as Cartman runs up once again to alert them about Butters leaving for Hawaii. The boys convince Kenny to go help Butters.
At the Airport, Kenny walks in to see Butters crying by the check in desk. It is revealed he isn’t allowed on the plane, Kenny tries to get Butters to go back home, but he refuses. He takes Butters to the check in desk where the airline employee says she can’t let anybody on the plane who is intoxicated. Butters goes into a rage as Kenny tries to convince her to let him on the plane. She says Kenny must go with him to be able to fly, Butters starts raging again, but Kenny cuts him off and agrees to go to Hawaii with Butters.
The plane is shown landing at Lihue Airport, Kenny and Butters step off and go over to the “Aloha Information Center”. Butters says he is a native Hawaiian, he is then approached by a group of people who welcome them. The group is now driving, they stop at a drive thru and order salmon. The driver hands the cashier his Mahalo Rewards card and drive off. The driver shows Butters and Kenny the attractions of Kaua’i. They drive into the Sheraton Residences. Butters and Kenny are introduced to the Protector and Chief.
A nighttime view of the beach is shown, Kenny is seen next to a candle writing a letter to the boys. He describes the experience he has had and how Butters is doing. The boys are seen reading the letter. Kenny is shown again writing it as the voice over continues and Kenny ends the letter talking about a girl’s boobs he saw on the beach.
People are helping themselves to food, while Butters is given a shark tooth necklace. A conch is played by somebody nearby and Butters drinks a chichi. The ceremony is stopped by a man who announces that the Mahalo Rewards card is being eliminated. The locals are in disbelief and they prepare to rebel against the Haoles (tourists).
A cruise ship approaches the island as the locals start hitting golf balls towards the ship. On board the ship, both passengers and crew are confused as to what is happening. Butters swings his golf club and a golf ball goes into the cockpit, the captain gets hit in the eye and falls backwards. He falls onto the steering stick and it breaks off, the cruise ship is seen sinking as Butters and Kenny watch the chaos ensuing.
A television report is shown on the incident, it cuts to two travelers who were thrown off the island. A picture of President Obama is shown as the news reporter says he has called the coast guard to reclaim the island.
The group of locals meet again and announce that most of the tourist are off the island, one of the locals asks about Kenny, who is standing next to Butters. One of the tourists suggests killing Kenny, but Butters defends him. The locals worry Kenny will betray them and that he must prove himself to be a Hawaiian, through the trial by opaekaka. A bystander plays a conch once again.
Kenny is in the water on a surf board using a paddle to turn around a ball in the water. He does so without incident, but then falls off. The locals walk away in disappointment, Kenny is seen drifting away as he falls down the waterfall and hits his head on the way down.
The locals are meeting to try to come together, but they refuse to join with members of the Hyatt Grand Vacation club. As they struggle to come up with a plan, Butters is asked to come up and speak. Butters says the tourists ruin everything and the Grand Vacation club members start to agree with him. They attempt to celebrate with chi-chis but realize they have ran out because they closed the ports. The locals are in disbelief.
On a beach, Kenny crawls over and finds the Coco Palms, he approaches it as a swarm of bats fly out. He goes inside.
The US Coast Guard is now at the island and tell the locals they will take them by force. The locals fire off golf balls, which miss the ships. A Coast Guard captain is looking over with his binoculars and tells everybody to fire. The ships fire and decimate many of the locals. They start to launch bocce balls at the ships, which does nothing. Butters keeps firing golf balls at the ship.
Cobwebs and spiders are shown in the Coco Palms as Kenny walks thru it. A voice is heard and Kenny goes to investigate, as he does, he falls through the floor. The ghost of Elvis Presley approaches Kenny, he starts mumbling songs. As he keeps doing that, he goes over and pulls a lever, opening a stone wall, revealing a huge supply of absolute vodka, pineapple juice, coconut milk, and macadamia nut liqueur, all the ingredients needed for chi-chis.
The chief addresses the locals, telling them that they must surrender to the American Government. Butters goes on a tirade about Ben Affleck. A local gets everybody’s attention and Kenny is seen with a raft full of the chi-chi ingredients.
It cuts back to the boys reading another letter from Kenny, the locals are shown not giving in to the demands of the Coast Guard and it is revealed that the US Government has surrendered and that the Mahalo Rewards has been reinstated. The locals are seen celebrating as Kenny finishes his letter.
Butters and Kenny are given their Hapa Noa and they both receive a Mahalo Rewards card. Butters reveals his anger has subsided. He still expresses his disappointment in Ben Affleck being married to Jennifer Lopez, until a local tells him that he is married to Jennifer Garner. Butters says he likes Ben Affleck as him and Kenny walk off into the sunset on the beach.
AV Club gave "Going Native" a "B-" rating saying: "It’s almost as if the writers challenged themselves to push away from those characters as much as possible for a stretch, and with the way this episode unravels, it feels like they reached their limit. Without the central four there, it feels like the threads of a promising episode were lost; all the great previous episodes with Butters at the center were still tied back to the core characters in some context. Even Kenny’s presence here is largely trivial until the end, and even then, it could have been anyone “saving” the day.
Again, this wasn’t even a “bad” episode by South Park standards, but it was a disappointing one, and sometimes, that’s worse than being just plain bad."
IGN gave "Going Native" a "6.3" rating saying: "Kenny's subplot, meanwhile, also had its moments, but ultimately didn't deliver the impact that was needed. The central focus on the Chi-Chi was mildly grounded at best, and it certainly didn't have the comedic stamina to act as the crux of the entire storyline. However, Trey Parker's impersonation of Elvis Presley was undeniably hilarious, so bonus points for that.
I think what ended up redeeming this episode, though, was Butters' own personal journey. Once you realized that his deep-seeded emotional swing stemmed from Ben Affleck's recent success with Argo, that's when the story came back around to feeling like a quintessential episode of the show -- because usually, at the end of the day, the source of the problem is typically a trivial one for the boys. The Affleck punchline also felt rather fitting, considering how much flack Matt and Trey have given him over the years."