Marvin "Grandpa" Marsh is Stan Marsh's grandfather and is voiced by Trey Parker, who also provides the voices for both his son, and his grandson. He is a member of the Hare Club for Men and tries to persuade Stan to kill him on a regular basis. He made his first appearance in the, Season One episode, "Death".
He suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, which is characterized primarily by memory loss and refers to Stan as 'Billy' as a result.
Despite generally being seen living with his family, Marvin has seldom spoken in episodes in which he is not a prominent character, usually remaining quiet. His presence with the family was maintained, however, with mentions of his extra wheelchair in "Bloody Mary" and of him being in the bathtub in "Pandemic". He also still appeared at family dinners into Season Twelve, after which he disappeared from the home. In "Cash For Gold", we see he has been moved into Looming Sunset Assisted Living retirement center, explaining his recent absences.
Though he is a member of the Marsh family, who have seen increasing use in recent seasons, he has virtually disappeared from the show in recent years, appearing briefly in "Fantastic Easter Special" in Season Eleven, before finally having a major role in "Cash For Gold".
In the episode "Grey Dawn", Marvin Marsh revealed that he worked 55 years in a steel mill. In World War II, he flew a Spitfire over Nazi Germany, a reference to one of the four groups of United States Army Air Forces stationed in the United Kingdom and the Mediterranean equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire, a British single-seat fighter. Alternatively, Marvin might be referring to the Eagle Squadrons: Royal Air Force squadrons made up of American volunteers prior the US's entry into the Second World War that also operated the Spitfire.
In his first appearance, "Death", Marvin Marsh desperately wants to die simply because he is bored with life. After his own failed attempt at suicide, he turns to Stan to do the job for him. Stan approaches various people for advice on the matter but all are unwilling to answer. When Grampa Marsh eventually does convince Stan to kill him, Death's sudden appearance foils the plan because he was actually looking for Kenny, not Marvin. Death points into the light where Grampa Marsh's own grandfather, who refers to Marvin as "Billy", whom Marvin had killed when he was a boy, convinces him to wait for death by natural causes.
For several following episodes such as "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", Grampa Marsh carries a noose or on one occasion, encouraged a soldier to shoot him, but the gag ended in Season Four after "Quintuplets 2000" and he has made no suicide attempts since.
In "Cash For Gold", Marvin no longer has a suicidal attitude but rather is reminiscing about the past, such as his border collie dog, named Patches.
In the episode "Grey Dawn", Grampa and the rest of South Park's elderly residents were angered when their driving licenses are taken away after their bad driving had killed a number of people. He started a movement to let the elderly keep their licenses, but it ultimately failed. He was later caught driving without his license, which had been previously taken away, and he was arrested. However, he was soon rescued by the AARP, whom he teamed up with to regain rights for senior citizens, who start randomly killing any non-senior citizen they came across. After a brief period of complete control of South Park, and plans to overtake the entire country, his group was thwarted when the four boys locked them out of the Country Kitchen Buffet, their only source of food. The group eventually surrendered and life returned to normal.
- Driving Without a License: In "Grey Dawn", he lost his license and drove without one and was arrested by Officer Barbrady.
- Escaping Jail: In "Grey Dawn", he escaped jail with help from his friends from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
- Murder: In "Death", it is revealed that he killed his grandfather because he told him to do it.
Marvin wears a dark red sweater and black trousers. He has wrinkles on his face, has age spots, and has gray hair. He is also confined to a wheel-chair, although this may just be because he is lazy, he sometimes has a purple blanket on his legs . In the episodes "Quintuplets 2000", "Grey Dawn" and "Hummels & Heroin", he is able to stand up and walk unaided.
Inconsistently, he has been referred to as both Stan's maternal and paternal grandfather. As the series progressed, though, he was more heavily implied to be Randy's father, sharing his surname as well. This is backed up even further in "Fantastic Easter Special", where Randy states his family has been in a society which has guarded the secret about Easter for generations. Grampa Marsh is shown to be a member of this exclusive club.
However, in the episode, "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", Sheila asks Sharon, looking at Marvin, who is an employee at the store, "Sharon, isn't that your father?", to which Sharon replies "Yes." This could be a simple continuity error, or it could mean that Sharon see's Marvin to be as close to her as her own father.
He often addresses Stan as "Billy", to which Stan will angrily tell him that he is not named "Billy". This name confusion appears to be genetic, as the ghost of Stan's great-great-grandfather called his grandson "Billy" instead of "Marvin" in the episode "Death". He also has been shown on multiple occasions calling people a "pompous son-of-a-whore" in various situations.
In episode "Death", he is revealed to have just turned 102 years of age. If Randy is only 38 years old, as has been mentioned, then this would have made Grandpa 63-64 years old when Randy was born. Later, in "You're Getting Old", however, Randy's age is confirmed to be 42, meaning Grampa would have been sixty at his birth.
Grandma Marsh was introduced in "You Have 0 Friends". Due to the fact that Grandpa Marsh does not live with his wife and because he once had a sexual encounter with a contortionist in "Quintuplets 2000", this would imply that he and his wife are divorced.
In "Cash For Gold", Marvin was shown to be living in a retirement home when he was visited by Randy and his family. This implies that sometime between "Pandemic" and "Cash For Gold", Marvin moved out of the Marsh Residence. In this episode, his love for his family, especially his grandchildren is greatly reinforced. It is also shown that he once had a border collie dog named Patches, which he is shown to reminisce about often.
- "Death" - Marvin's first appearance. He tries in various ways to get Stan to kill him because he is too old to do it himself.
- "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" - Wins first prize at America's Funniest Home Videos with his video of Kenny's death.
- "City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)" - Seen in a flashback.
- "The Red Badge of Gayness" - Marvin participates in the war reenactment and helps Stan and Kyle foil Cartman's plans. He also says Kyle's usual line after Kenny gets killed.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
- "Quintuplets 2000" - Marvin disapproves of the boys going to the Cirque de Cheville. Later, he has a one-night-stand with the grandmother of the quintuplets (which is, ironically, her last-night-stand). Marvin also tries to get one of the soldiers to kill him.
- "A Very Crappy Christmas" - He says he wants to die.
- "Grey Dawn" - Marvin has his driving license taken away as part of a program to strip senior citizens of their driver's licenses. Marvin later participates in the revolt of senior citizens being led by the AARP.
- "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes" - Marvin is employed as a greeter at Wall-Mart.
- "Trapped in the Closet" - Seen at dinner with the Marshes where it is mentioned that he is an alcoholic, at least at this time and in the opinion of Randy.
- "Fantastic Easter Special" - Marvin is shown to be a member of the Hare Club for Men, as all the male members of the Marsh family have been for generations.
- "Cash For Gold" - He, like many other senior citizens, is tricked by J&G Shopping Network into thinking that the jewelry he buys for Stan is worth thousands (when really the price is in single digits to a little over 10 dollars).
- "Freemium Isn't Free" - He is shown to have a gambling problem, he is later seen playing board games with Stan.
- "Truth and Advertising"- Seen sitting at the table with the Marsh family eating dinner.
- "PC Principal Final Justice"- Seen eating with the family.
- "Member Berries" - Seen eating with the family.
- "The End of Serialization as We Know It" - Seen watching the news with his family.
- "Hummels & Heroin" - He was supplying his grandson, Stan, drugs to smuggle in cushions (unknowingly to the latter) for birthday entertainers in exchange for German Hummels, so he'd be the "top bitch" in Shady Acres. At the end of the episode, he successfully becomes head bitch.
|South Park families|
Other Characters' Families
|Kern / Kimble / Marsh Family|