Here are the 4 things we learned from this episode about friendship, gift giving and life in general.
True friends should always tell you the truth even when it hurts
When Stan wears his bolo tie for the first time in front of his friends, they all try passing it off as cool. Stan tries bragging about how much it costs and then tries to claim that it was worn by King Henry the 5th, until Cartmen says, "it's gay as f*ck" and then Stan says "I know" and breaks down.
True friends always tell each other the truth, because in the end that's all your friend really gains from you. You should own that. Where else are they going to hear the truth. Even if you're opinion is "wrong" to them or hurts, they should hear it. That's what friends are for.
Always accept gifts from friends even when they're ugly
Stan's grandpa spends a lot of his money, $6000 of it, to buy a gift for Stan. Stan's dad even tells him that he shouldn't have taken from his retirement money, but all grandpa wants to do is make his grandson happy. Despite this, Stan thought the bolo tie gift was the ugliest thing ever. He accepted and wore it to school even when his friends laughed at him for it.
It's part of grace to accept gifts. So the next time someone offers you something, whether you want it or not, thank them, accept it and be proud. Don't be all shy like "you shouldn't have" and crap like that. It makes the other person feel appreciated for going through all the trouble when you just say "hey, thank you so much". If you reject it, next time, they may never go out of their way for you to get something you might even like.
Buy friends gifts that they like -- even if you don't
Even though Stan hates things like bolo ties his grandpa spends a lot of money for it. But then an entire episode is created around how to get rid of this Bolo Tie in exchange for something Stan really wants -- cash. It turns out most cash 4 gold places take jewelry from people who devalue the the jewelry but were given it as gifts.
Then at the end of the episode, Stan gives his grandpa a picture frame with a picture of his grandpa and his late dog which he forgot how he looked. You see, everyone values things on a different level so the next time you go to buy a gift, think about what that person really gets happy about and go in that direction.
Kids probably want technology, old people, sentimental things, but this is also not carved in stone. Guys don't necessarily want ties and socks. I don't think any guy does actually! Maybe some guys even want a book or maybe an ipad.
Go the extra mile and find out. Don't wait until the birthday comes. Ask spontaneously, "hey what's your favorite kind of ..." whatever. And remember it for the next birthday.
Don't always believe every thing you hear
Stan's grandpa gets duped into buying a piece of crap piece of jewelry for $6k because of how good the host sells it. The home shopping networks on television spend a lot of time writing material in a way that psychologically sounds good but is flat out -- not true. In this episode, the slick host of the shopping network says things like:
"These normally go for $6 million dollars, but we're gonna sell these today for $320."
Haha. What a joke. The sad thing is this happens all the time until today and it'll probably never stop. Sales text is written in a way to make you feel like you're getting so much more than what you paid for, in many cases, even when it's not true.
So the next time you see a product that claims it has X feature or Z feature, just pause, and ask yourself: do I really even want this? Is it really worth the hard earned money I'm about to give away?
And the next time someone tries talking smack about someone you know, hey that person may be trying to trick you for their own selfish reasons.
Here's a hilarious clip from South Park from the host of the shopping network.
Not sure if this will still be up by the time you read this article because it looks like someone recorded it from the TV but obviously this person has taste because it's the funniest clip in the episode.
It's the host of the home shopping network describing a product as Stan's grandpa watches: