Herbert Garrison, was also known as Janet Garrison after a sex change operation. He is the The 4th Grade teacher at South Park Elementary. Mr. Garrison was a man throughout the first eight seasons of South Park, but in "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina," he got a reverse sex change operation in "Eek, A Penis!" becoming male again.
BackgroundGarrison grew up in Arkansas where most of his problems originated. Even at a young age Garrison showed signs of homosexuality, when he felt unloved by his father when he wouldn't molest him. Garrison knew about many cases of child molestation and saw it as a form of love, not a disturbing crime. Garrison received a degree of mechanical engineering in college. It is unsure when, but instead of becoming an engineer like he was qualified to be Garrison then became the third grade teacher at South Park elementary, despite his lack of knowledge of his subjects. He was caught trying to molest a boy, Eric Cartman, who was looking to find an older and more mature person to hang out with. After Garrison was released from prison, he was fired from his job for what he tried to do and he left to the mountains to live in solitude. When Ms. Choksondik comes to see him in the mountain for advice on how to handle his class, he realized that he must admit his sexuality and gets a different job at South Park elementary teaching the Kindergarten class.
After Ms. Choksondik's death, Garrison was promoted as the Fourth Grade teacher and was reunited with his old class. He had started a new relationship with a man called Mr. Slave, who in the episode "The Death Camp of Tolerance" was used by Garrison to try and get himself fired for being gay, so that he could sue the school for millions of dollars. Unfortunately for him, his plan failed and he ended up having to go to the Tolerance camp because of his intolerance of homosexuals. Garrison then got a sex change operation, realizing he wasn't gay, but just a woman stuck in a man's body and changed her name to Janet. This led to the break up of her and Mr. Slave, who said he liked having sex with men, not women. It was at this point that Mrs. Garrison became homophobic once more and returned to her original beliefs on homosexuals. Ms. Garrison was very promiscuous with her sexuality, claiming to have let truckers 'do' her in their trucks.After she learned she could not have periods or get pregnant, Ms. Garrison realized she was not actually a woman, but it was too late to have the operation undone and she accepted what she was. When Ms. Garrison learned that Mr. Slave was going to marry Big Gay Al, he tried to stop the governor from passing the law for gay marriage, by having two of his male students (Stan & Kyle) take care of an egg. He expected the two to break the egg, thus proving gay couples were irresponsible and could not take care of a child. The egg though was still intact by the end of the project, letting gay couples marry. Ms. Garrison was morally opposed to teaching Evolution in "Go God Go" and was replaced by Richard Dawkins as the teacher. After initially fighting one another, the two form a relationship and Richard Dawkins convinces Ms. Garrison to give up Christianity and become and atheist like him. Dawkin's views on Atheism and Ms. Garrison's 'assertion' combined would apparently lead to the world becoming atheists. Their relationship ends though when Eric Cartman reveals that Ms. Garrison used to be a man.
Ms. Garrison explored her sexuality some more after mistakenly going into a Lesbian Bar and ending up having sex with a woman named Allison. She took to her new sexuality quickly, defending Lesbian rights and Les Bos, the bar where she became gay again. Yet in "Eek, A Penis!", after watching the famous show of Oprah about Thomas Beatie, a woman-to-man sex transsexual who was pregnant, Garrison realized that even though she had a sex change she is still basically a man. She pays to have her penis re-grown using her DNA and became a man once more. It is unknown if he is once more homosexual after his sexual encounter with women. In the episode the The Cissy where Cartman requests to use the girl's washroom becuase he is transgendered or as Cartman says "transginger" Mr. Garrison advises Principal Victoria to give in to avoid the scandal Cartman is almost certain to cause because he is transgendered himself.
Since returning to male gender, Mr. Garrison's behavior as of late has been shown to be less eccentric than before, having been involved in no acts of deviant sexual behavior, outrageous outbursts, or psychotic episodes. Instead, he's behaved more or less like a responsible and sane adult.
Mr. Garrison wears a green jacket and glasses and also has a bald spot on the top of his head with grey hair around the sides.
As a woman, she tailored his jacket into a tank-top, wore lipstick and earrings as well as shorter pants and new white shoes.
After becoming male again in "Eek, A Penis!", Garrison wears an outfit identical to the original one, with the only exception being a belt added to the pants and a very minor change to his collar. Mr. Garrison is also left handed. His hair was brown as seen in "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", but in "Weight Gain 4000" as a kid his hair is grey. He could've dyed it for the party in "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", though. Ms. Garrison is highly renowned in the future as the symbol of Atheism, but this was prevented from happening by Cartman in Go God Go XII.
To see images of Garrison, visit Herbert Garrison/Gallery.
Herbert Garrison suffers from many psychological problems that are touched many times throughout the show, though it appears nothing is ever done about it. The most noticeable of his problems is multiple identity disorder, represented through various puppets. At the beginning of the series, while Mr. Garrison still taught Grade 3, he held a puppet on his hand known as Mr. Hat. Mr. Garrison used this puppet to show a second, more aggressive personality and to emote some of his most inner conflicts. One of these conflicts being the fact he was gay and his inability to come to terms with that. It was hinted many times that he was gay, but Mr. Garrison would take deep offense and insist he was straight. He would say Mr. Hat was gay and later admitted his second hand puppet, Mr. Twig, was also gay. Mr. Garrison denied the fact he was gay so much, that he even appeared homophobic and believed gay people were an abomination and weren't human. In one particular episode he tells Stan, "Gay people are evil. Their hearts pump not blood like yours and mine, but rather a thick, vomitous oil."Mr. Garrison is racist, first shown as a gag for "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo", where he proposes the town gets rid of all the Mexicans every Christmas, which he again suggests in "It's Christmas in Canada", to which the Mayor angrily replies "Mr. Garrison, every year you suggest that and every year we tell you NO!" When rich black people were moving to South Park, he was able to gather the town's men into getting rid of them, under the pretense that the rich people were taking over the town. He got people to dress up like "ghosts" to scare them away and burned lower case T's on the black peoples' lawns standing for "Time to Leave." Once the town was rid of the rich people, Mr. Garrison said they could all get rich by selling the houses. This confused the town folk, who replied that they would then become what they didn't want in the town. Mr. Garrison then exposed his true motive by saying "Well, at least we got rid of those damn nig-" (and the episode cuts to black and the credits roll). Mr. Garrison was also seen among a KKK group, but said he wasn't a member, but Mr. Hat was, again using his puppet to dispute the conflicts inside himself. Mr. Garrison appears to be on good terms with Chef though, a black man who works at the school and was even at his funeral.
Mr. Garrison is an incompetent teacher, who teaches his students useless things, such as why Chubby Checker left the Beatles and once spent a whole week of just showing his class old Barnaby Jones tapes. He has also taught his students a few times subjects far too advanced for them, like Stalin and Communism. There have only been a few instances, mostly in more recent episodes, when Mr. Garrison has been portrayed as more competent as of a teacher taught a normal subject for a Fourth Grade class (many instances being after his sex change to a woman and back to a man), mostly Times Tables. Yet he goes about it by insulting the kids when they get an answer wrong, which is often. It is possible that Mr. Garrison teaches the students more about pop culture because he himself does not know a lot about the school curriculum, or just doesn't pay attention to it.
One of Mr. Garrison's common personality traits since giving up Mr. Hat is how his aggressive behavior now causes him to take things to the extremes. When he came out as gay, he began performing extremely vulgar homosexual acts with Mr. Slave. Of course, part of this was most likely because of the fact he wanted to get fired in order to sue the school. However, after becoming a woman, he became obsessed with declaring how much of a woman he was in the loudest and again most vulgar way. For example, he once shouted loudly to other women about how wonderful it was to have a period. Later, when Mrs. Garrison begins a brief relationship with Richard Dawkins, she gives up her religious faith due to the fact the Dawkins found her attractive and then became obnoxiously vocal about Atheism to the point of being fanatical. The same held true for when Mrs. Garrison decided to be come a lesbian following a one-night stand with another woman. Following the encounter, Mrs. Garrison began to sexually harass all the women at the local lesbian bar and became obsessed with the idea of having random sex with women. These extreme shifts and stances of belief mixed with his already aggressive behavior makes it to where Garrison is often verbally abusive to any and all who disagree with him. All of this suggests that he is an extreme narcissist.
Due to the fact that Mr. Garrison has had both male and female relationships during the course of the series, it is now unclear whether or not he can or should still be considered gay, but rather pansexual. Since Garrison's last relationship was lesbian in nature prior to returning back to being a male, it has not been made clear what Garrison's current orientation is. It was once implied during earlier episodes that Garrison might have had sex with Cartman's pet pig 'Fluffy', meaning he may also enjoy bestiality. In addition, "Jakovasaurs" also suggests that same idea when the people are watching the Jakovasaur and Garrison suggests that they let him keep the Jakovasaur. They replied that he once found a bird that he kept at his house to keep it alive, but he ended up having sex with it, to which Garrison replies that the bird was a total slut and then he tells everyone who didn't have sex with the bird to raise their hands and everyone raises their hands (a reference to "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut").
Perhaps the most appropriate description of his orientation is in "The Death Camp of Tolerance", when Chef states that there is a big difference between being gay and being Mr. Garrison, suggesting that he believes Mr. Garrison is a pervert. Mr. Garrison may also be a pedophile, as he was shown attempting to "hook up" with young boys in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA".
Since returning to male gender in Season Twelve, Mr. Garrison's behavior as of late has been shown to be less eccentric than before, having been involved in no acts of deviant sexual behavior, outrageous outbursts, or psychotic episodes. Instead, he's behaved more or less like a responsible and sane teacher. The closest exceptions to this has been when he offered up his students as hostages in "Super Fun Time" and being afraid (along with all the other Republican members of South Park) that it was the end of the world after Barack Obama was elected president in "About Last Night..."
Mr. Hat, Mr. Twig and Mr. SlaveThroughout the seasons, Mr. Garrison has had three teaching assistants. The first of these was Mr. Hat. It was through this puppet that Mr. Garrison channeled deep emotions through him he was afraid to show, like the fact he was gay. Mr. Garrison would use Mr. Hat to voice things he himself would never have said at the beginning of the show. Mr. Hat was gay and racist, according to Mr. Garrison, who he himself denied being. Yet surprisingly, Mr. Hat was able to do things without the help of Mr. Garrison, which makes many people wonder if Mr. Hat does have a mind of his own. Some of those instances are when Mr. Hat drove a car through a prison wall to rescue Mr. Garrison and Chef (shocking Chef) and he has blinked and moved his eyes around a few times. Mr. Garrison had a debate with Mr. Hat about whether or not to go to a KKK meeting and when Mr. Garrison refused, Mr. Hat disappeared from the room. He has also shown he has had Mr. Hat since he was a young boy.
Mr. Garrison replaced Mr. Hat with a new hand puppet, Mr. Twig. Mr. Twig is a twig wearing the same shirt as Mr. Hat and spoke in the same voice until his final episode, where he spoke in a French accent (although since Mr. Twig's final speech to Mr. Garrison was romantic in nature, it may have been simply a joke). Mr. Garrison's students did not receive Mr. Twig well and wanted Mr. Hat back. Mr. Garrison insisted Mr. Hat would never be coming back. In the episode "Chef Aid", Mr. Twig kept on ending up in unfortunate accidents. Mr. Garrison soon discovered they were being caused by Mr. Hat, who wanted him to take him back. In the end of the episode, Mr. Twig helped Garrison realize that Mr. Hat was the best choice and Mr. Garrison discarded him and Mr. Twig has not been seen since.
Recently in the episode "200", Mr. Garrison is forced by Eric Cartman and his hand-turned-con-artist-puppet Mitch Conner to pull Mr. Hat out of storage, so as to reveal the truth about his father who until recently was believed to be Cartman's mother, Liane Cartman. Garrison is initially dismissive of using the old puppet, saying he no longer needed it. However Mitch greets Mr. Hat, claiming they are old friends and war buddies and as the conversation between Mr. Garrison, Cartman and Mitch progresses, Garrison seems to regress back to talk with and to Mr. Hat as if the puppet is alive.
Mr. Garrison starting dating Mr. Slave in "The Death Camp of Tolerance", this relationship lasted until his sex change operation. They had a falling out in "Follow That Egg!", where Mr. (at the time, Ms.) Garrison tried to sabotage Mr. Slave's and Big Gay Al's wedding.
- It's still unclear whether Mr. Garrison is now heterosexual or gay, since he became lesbian in "D-Yikes" and then turns back to a male in "Eek, A Penis!". However, since he has had relationships with both men and women before (during and after his sex change), it is likely that he is bisexual.
- He is probably fond of bestiality, as it was implied in "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig " and "Jakovasaurs", that he has had sex with a pigeon and Cartman's pet pig.
- Mr. Garrison appears to be quite fond of Kenny, as in the episode "Best Friends Forever" he is seen trying to bring food to Kenny in the hospital but gets arrested.
- Mr. Hat is known to be a racist, member of KKK, in "Chef Goes Nanners" and Mr. Garrison stays out of the KKK and apologizes to an irate Chef for Mr Hat's involvement. However, in "Here Comes the Neighborhood" Garrison seems to be racist as well. He is also spotted during town meetings suggesting to get rid of all the Mexicans.
- When Mr. Garrison shows off his new boobs in "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina", while grotesque looking, they are more or less equal in shape and size. However in "Go God Go", when his reveals them again, they are even more misshapen, with one being notably smaller than the other. This may be due to one of them being damaged in "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow".
- Mr. Garrison carries a gun with him to class, it is unknown why and it also unknown why he didn't use it when his whole class was held hostage in Pioneer Village in "Super Fun Time", although it could have been confiscated by the staff at school, the robbers, or he may have simply forgot to bring it.
- Despite his sex-change and several seasons as a woman, Garrison was often addressed as "Mr." rather "Mrs." by many of the students and even his colleagues in class.
- Mr. Garrison is also one of only two teachers at South Park Elementary (the other being Mr. Mackey) who have been fired from the school, but later returned.
- In the episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons", his name that appears on the cover of his best-selling book is Ethan P. Garrison, a possible pen-name.
- Mr. Garrison seems to get some of his more bizarre world views from his mother. When he returns home in "World Wide Recorder Concert", his mother encourages his father to molest him (both she and her son see it as a sign of love) and is distraught upon hearing from Garrison that her husband never molested Garrison as a child. Mr. Garrison also seems to have inherited his mother's appearance more than his father's.
- Before being a teacher, he was going to be an engineer. He studied mechanical engineering at university and in "World Wide Recorder Concert" his father's gas station sign reads "Garrison and
Son". How he came to leave his father's business and teach in Colorado has not yet been revealed. This also implies that he is an only child.
- Mr. Garrison invented IT, a high speed vehicle that he built to put airplane companies out of business, but his business was shut down by the government due to airports losing money.
- There has yet to be an episode focusing on Mr. Garrison since reverting back to a man and his overall presence in the series has greatly diminished, seemingly in favor of Mr. Mackey. However, he continues to have multiple speaking appearances per season.
- As of Season Seventeen, Garrison has had a speaking role in 134 episodes, more than any other character aside from the main five boys.
- It is revealed in "The Entity" that Mr. Garrison is left handed.
|South Park Elementary Staff|
|Richard Adler | Ms. Claridge | Mr. Derp | Mrs. Streibel | Mr. Garrett | Herbert Garrison | Mr. Mackey | Mr. Meryl | Mr. Venezuela | Mr. Wyland | Pearl | Principal Victoria | Recess Supervisor | Girl's Volleyball Coach|
|Chef | Mr. Conners | Ms. Choksondik | Ms. Crabtree | Ms. Ellen | Mr. Marsh | Mr. Slave | Ms. Stevenson|