The Boys are a group consisting of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman. Earlier episodes usually opened with an establishing shot of the boys standing at the Bus Stop. They are also referred to as "Children" by Chef.
After Kenny's death, Stan, Kyle, and Cartman first replaced him with Butters Stotch for the first five episodes of Season Six. In "Professor Chaos," the boys hold a contest spoofing The Bachelor, and settle on replacing him with Tweek Tweak until "Child Abduction is Not Funny." Kenny permanently reappears in "Red Sleigh Down." Other students in the 4th Grade (or the 3rd Grade, in the first three seasons) are usually included as part of the extended gang.
- Main article: Stan Marsh
Stan is mostly commonly shown wearing a brown jacket with a red collar, a blue hat with a red puffball and rim, and blue jeans. Under his jacket, he either wears a red and blue baseball shirt or a white T-shirt/v-neck. He also wears a blue Terrance and Phillip shirt to bed and a green suit for special occasions. He has black hair.
- Main article: Kyle Broflovski
Kyle wears a greenish lime ushanka, a bright orange jacket, midnight green pants, and lime-green mittens. He also wears a Dark Blue Terrance and Phillip shirt to bed. He has red hair.
- Main article: Kenny McCormick
Kenny wears an orange parka, orange pants and brown gloves. Almost all of the time, Kenny has his hood on so that only his eyes are seen. Underneath his parka, he has blond hair.
- Main article: Eric Cartman
Cartman is obese. He wears a red jacket, yellow gloves, an aqua blue hat with a yellow puffball on top, brown pants, black shoes, and white socks. He sometimes wears a green t-shirt with a bear picture on under his jacket, a white tank top, and occasionally a dark red t-shirt. He has medium-brown hair and a double-chin. He also has triangular-shaped eyebrows in contrast to the other main boys' rectangular ones.
- Main article: Stan Marsh
Stan is generally the most tender and sensitive of the four boys. Stan has showed various positive traits, heroism, empathy, altruism, and various other positive traits. He is usually the one who is unaffected by the many scams, cults, and mass influences that South Park has been subjected to, and has a knack for seeing through falsely glorified practices and celebrities. Stan has been shown to have an overwhelmingly clearer understanding of scams and corporate corruption than anyone else in South Park, and has an especially good grasp of the dangers of cults. It is notable that he has a tendency to ridicule, make enemies out of, and/or bring shame to a very large number of celebrities that are shown in a poor light within the show.
- Main article: Kyle Broflovski
Originally, Kyle's personality was extremely similar to Stan's - he had firm morals and generally was the "good boy" of the group, often being the one to deliver the "I learned something today" speech at the end of the episodes. After the abandoned plan to kill Kyle off in season 5 (that honor went, predictably, to Kenny) his personality was changed - most notably, his temper shortened considerably. Kyle has extremely strong beliefs, and when forced to question them, he becomes very upset and has somewhat of a short temper (especially when it comes to Cartman. This is has caused a lot of fights between the two boys). For the most part, Kyle bases his decisions on both his emotions and beliefs; therefore, he is easily coaxed into fights and manipulated by his feelings.
- Main article: Kenny McCormick
Kenny is the most sexually knowledgeable and experienced of the group. In earlier episodes, when an unknown term is introduced to Stan, Kyle and Cartman, Kenny will be called upon by his friends to clarify, although Kenny sometimes does not know the meaning of the term himself. His muffled responses are often met with laughter or further confusion.
- Main article: Eric Cartman
Cartman is described in various terms; in short, he is an evil, vicious, angry, selfish, greedy, spoiled, and insane child. He is the most foul-mouthed character in the show. He is also racist and stereotypes almost everyone he sees. The very dark, usually disturbing undertones to his personality often hint at an extreme mental imbalance. Apart from being portrayed as having a general lack of moral responsibility or social conscience, he also seems to take pleasure from others' misfortune and is generally unable to show empathy.
This is a list of episodes which did not feature all four boys in a prominent role.
- "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus" - Everyone but Kenny made a brief appearance on the TV.
- "Cat Orgy" - Only Cartman featured in full.
- "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub" - Only Stan appeared fully, Kyle made a brief appearance and was mentioned once.
- "Jewbilee" - Only Kyle and Kenny featured.
- "Pip" - None of the boys appeared.
- "Cripple Fight" - Everyone except Kyle.
- Season Six - Kenny died in the Season Five episode "Kenny Dies"; he is mentioned a lot through out the season. His soul was inside Cartman's body from "A Ladder to Heaven" until "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", after that he reappeared at the end of "Red Sleigh Down", making his first return in 13 episodes.
- "Butters' Very Own Episode" - Stan, Kyle and Cartman briefly appear but Kyle has no lines.
- "My Future Self n' Me" - Only Stan, Cartman and briefly Kyle featured and was mentioned one.
- "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" - Everyone except Kenny.
- "Smug Alert!" - Everyone except Kenny.
- "Cartoon Wars Part II" - Only Cartman and Kyle appeared; Stan and Kenny appeared in the recap of the first part.
- "A Million Little Fibers" - None of the boys appeared.
- "Hell on Earth 2006" - Everyone except Kenny.
- "Go God Go XII" Only Cartman and Kyle appeared.
- "Stanley's Cup" - Only Stan and briefly Kyle featured.
- "The Snuke" - Only Stan, Cartman and Kyle; Kenny appeared in a few shots, but with no lines.
- "Fantastic Easter Special" Cartman appeared briefly and Kenny didn't appear at all.
- "Le Petit Tourette" - Only Cartman and Kyle; Stan and Kenny appeared in a few shots but with no lines.
- "More Crap" - Only Stan featured.
- "Britney's New Look" - Everyone except Kenny.
- "Canada on Strike" - Kenny appears briefly at the school assembly.
- "About Last Night..." - Only Stan, Kyle and briefly Cartman appeared.
- "Pinewood Derby" - Only Stan, and briefly Cartman and Kenny featured.
- "Crack Baby Athletic Association" - Everyone except Kenny.
- "City Sushi" - Only Butters featured, the four boys were seen briefly in the crowd.
- "Broadway Bro Down" - Stan has a small role in the beginning, Cartman and Kenny appear briefly, and Kyle is absent.
- "Jewpacabra" - Only Kyle and Cartman; Kenny has a small role and Stan doesn't speak.
- "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" - All four can be seen briefly during the Goth styled intro and later Stan, Kyle and Kenny are briefly seen in the Gymnasium, none of the boys have speaking roles.
- "Handicar" - None of the boys appeared.
- "You're Not Yelping"- Kenny doesn't appear.
- "Sponsored Content"- Cartman and Kenny do not have speaking roles.
- "Member Berries"- Kenny can be seen briefly at the beginning, and doesn't have a speaking role.
- "Skank Hunt"- Kenny doesn't have a speaking role, but is seen during Heidi Turner's funeral and crying when his girlfriend breaks up with him.
- "The Damned" - Kenny is absent throughout the entire episode.
Occasionally, other classmates, both male and female, are considered a part of the group or replace a regular member. Some episodes, such as "Marjorine" and "Make Love, Not Warcraft," feature most or all of the 4th Grade boys (and Bridon in "T.M.I.") acting as a group, with Cartman usually portrayed as the leader.
- "Weight Gain 4000" - Wendy Testaburger
- "Gnomes" - Tweek
- "Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus"- Butters replaces Kenny
- "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" - Token replaces Kenny; Clyde briefly replaces Cartman
- "Something You Can Do with Your Finger" - Wendy; Randy replaces Kenny
- "Cripple Fight" - Timmy, Jimmy; Butters replaces Kyle
- "The Entity" - Kyle Schwartz, but they didn't like him
- "Jared Has Aides" through "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer" - Butters replaces Kenny
- "The Simpsons Already Did It" through "Child Abduction is Not Funny" - Tweek replaces Kenny; Bebe briefly replaces Cartman in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society"
- "The Death Camp of Tolerance" - Butters, Tweek; Kenny is still dead but trapped in Cartman's body
- "Casa Bonita" - Kyle invites Butters over Cartman
- "Raisins" - Butters, Jimmy; Stan is with the Goth Kids
- "Quest for Ratings" - Butters, Jimmy, Token; Cartman does not allow Kenny to join
- "Marjorine" - Token, Clyde, Francis, Bradley, Kevin, Jason, Craig, Tweek, Jimmy, Timmy, Blue Cap, Butters
- "Smug Alert!" - Butters replaces Kyle; Kenny is not present
- "Tsst" - Butters replaces Cartman
- "Hell on Earth 2006" - Butters, Token, Tweek, Jimmy; Kenny is not present
- "Imaginationland" - Butters, Jimmy; Cartman is not present
- "Canada on Strike" - Butters; Kenny is not featured
- "The China Probrem" - Jimmy, Clyde; Cartman is not present
- "Pandemic" and "Pandemic 2: The Startling" - Craig
- "Elementary School Musical" - Scott Malkinson; Stan is not with the boys for part of the episode
- "W.T.F." - Butters, Jimmy, Token
- "The F Word" - Butters, Jimmy, Clyde, Token
- "Pee" - Butters, Jimmy; Cartman is not with them and Kenny dies early on
- "Crippled Summer" - Butters, Clyde
- "Coon 2: Hindsight", "Mysterion Rises", "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" - Bradley, Clyde, Token, Timmy; Cartman is kicked out.
- "Funnybot" - Jimmy; Kenny is not present
- "Crack Baby Athletic Association" - Butters, Clyde, Craig; Stan does not join them and Kenny is not present
- "You're Getting Old" - Butters, Jimmy, Clyde, Craig, Timmy, Tweek
- "Ass Burgers" - Butters; Stan is not present
- "The Last of the Meheecans - Texans: Cartman, Clyde, Craig, Timmy, DogPoo, Jason; Mexicans: Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Butters, Jimmy, Token
- "Bass to Mouth" - Butters, Wendy, Craig, Token, Bebe, Red; Cartman is not present
- "1%" - Token
- "Reverse Cowgirl" - Clyde and Jimmy; Cartman and Kenny are not present.
- "Faith Hilling" - Butters
- "Obama Wins!" - Jimmy, Craig, Token; Cartman is not present.
- "Naughty Ninjas" - Jimmy, Token, Clyde, Butters and David Rodriguez.
- "Sponsored Content", "Truth and Advertising" and "PC Principal Final Justice" - Butters
- "Skank Hunt" - Jimmy, Craig, Token, Clyde, Butters; Kenny is not present.
- Main article: Butters Stotch
Butters is seen frequently seen with The Boys and ever since Kenny's temporary death in Season Six, he has become more and more popular. Over time, his role in the show has grown and has become a fan favorite.
- The Boys have the four main hair colors: black (Stan), red (Kyle), blonde (Kenny), and brown (Cartman). Even when Butters or Tweek replace Kenny, this remains the case.
- The Boys have Afghan counterparts known as The Afghan Boys.
- According to the commentary for "Professor Chaos", they planned on changing the fourth friend every run, but after Tweek they ultimately decided to bring back Kenny.
- Although there seems to be an ongoing rivalry between the Boys and Craig's Gang (as seen in the episodes "South Park is Gay!", "Good Times with Weapons" and "Quest for Ratings") the two groups often put aside their differences and coalesce into one group to pursue a greater cause ("Free Willzyx", "Marjorine", and "Make Love, Not Warcraft", among others). In later seasons, Jimmy, Token, Clyde, and Craig are frequently seen hanging out with the Boys and Butters.
- Season Seventeen marks the first season in which the Boys were never seen functioning as a quartet. Every episode generally focused on 1 or 2 of the Boys, the kids as a whole, or supporting characters.
- Kenny is the only one out of 4 of the boys to never get grounded.
- All of the boys' homes are different colors of green.