Marvin "Grampa" Marsh
|Occupation||Steel Mill Worker (retired) Army Air Force (retired)|
|Daughter In-Law||Sharon Marsh|
|Voiced by||Trey Parker|
- 1 About
- 2 Personality and Traits
- 3 Notable Skills
- 4 Memorable Quotes
- 5 Design and Outfits
- 6 Family
- 7 Affiliations
- 8 Residences
- 9 Favorite Locations
- 10 Appearances and Sightings
- 11 Video Games
- 12 Behind the Scenes
- 13 Bonus Factoids
Marvin Marsh, often just known as "Grampa" is one of South Park's oldest citizens and residents, playing an active role in the local community as a tireless advocate for seniors' rights, serving as an elite member of the Hare Club for Men, and of course, as the proud grandfather of "Billy" and Shelly Marsh. He also serves as the Town Historian, presiding over South Park's official Civil War re-enactment annually.
Marvin's advanced age has caused a number of health problems over the years that drove him often to suicide. His age has severely limited his mobility; he almost always uses a motorized wheelchair for movement, and occasionally a cane. He has been afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, most notably often referring to his grandson as 'Billy'. Though once driven to suicide by misery over his ailments, feeling he'd been alive "for too long" and often seeking his grandson's help to end his life prematurely, such as asking him to hold on to a rope while he tries to hang himself. These efforts have largely ceased, however.
Marvin's hobbies include drinking, gambling, driving dangerously, board games, and gross old people sex. He has addiction tendencies, particularly towards drinking and gambling, which have been passed on to his descendants, but he plays board games with his grandson to overcome them. Like many old people, he also collects vintage figurines, particularly Hummels. He also appeared on America's Stupidest Home Videos with Bob Saget when his video of a little boy being run over by a train won him a ten-thousand dollar cash prize.
Little is known about his early life, but at the age of eight, Marvin helped his own grandfather commit suicide. He later worked for fifty-five years in a steel mill, and flew in the United States Army Air Force in a Super marine Spitfire over Nazi Germany during World War II. He eventually retired to the town of South Park at the Marsh Residence, was married for some time, and had at least one child Randy Marsh, conceived accidentally. He once had a pet Border Collie named Patches whom he was also very fond of.
He lived with his son's family until sometime while his grandson was in the fourth grade, and was moved to Looming Sunset Assisted Living, where his family visited him occasionally, and he often bought over-priced jewelry and other gifts for his unsuspecting grandchildren. He has since been moved to Shady Acres Retirement Community where he appears to be happier, and currently has the best Hummel collection there.
Cheer up! You may be prone to getting down on yourself, but you should know that there are plenty of people out there who think the world of you. People with Marvin Marsh DNA may be forgetful, but they’re also unforgettable.
"Seniors of South Park, I don't know about you, but I am mad as hell!"
Personality and Traits
Feeling he and other old people are mistreated and disrespected by others, Marvin is remarkably stubborn and often refuses to budge when he is being patronized or controlled. Though he may sometimes express regret, when he is challenged he will quickly double down and defend his past actions, such as being involved in cutting a deal with Manbearpig.
Marvin suffers from Alzheimer's disease and has trouble remembering things, best exemplified by his tendency to refer to his grandson as "Billy." He also confuses his granddaughter's age that she may be a child, and mentions forgetting what his former dog Patches looked like.
In his capacity as the Town Historian, Marvin is depicted with a strong and respectful grasp of history. In his post officiating the war re-enactment, he finds the deviation from the historical record indefensible and is committed to helping end the insurrection once and for all.
- "Pull the trigger you little pussy!" (Quintuplets 2000)
- "I'll be God-damned if they think they can take my license away" (Grey Dawn)
- "Seniors of South Park, I don't know about you, but I am mad as hell!" (Grey Dawn)
- "You're supposed to listen to your dad, right?! Well I'm your dad's dad, and that means you get in this car before I tan all your hides! " (Grey Dawn)
- "Welcome to Wal-Mart." (Something Wall Mart This Way Comes)
- "Billy? That bolo tie you're wearing? ...it's fucking gay as fucking fuck." (Cash for Gold)
- "Kill me!" (debuted in "Death")
Design and Outfits
Grampa Marsh's design has undergone some changes over the years. His eyebrows were also originally gray in "Death", before becoming black in later episodes. A revised design with a completely new motorized wheelchair and a purple blanket debuted in "Cash for Gold", but he sometimes returns to his original design, shown below, particularly when at the dinner table with his family.
While early episodes were ambiguous about the Marsh family tree, with both Randy and Sharon referring to him as "dad" or as their father, it has since been confirmed that Marvin is Randy's father, first by implying a genetic link between Marvin's addictions, Randy's drinking problem, and Stan's own addiction issues in notably "Freemium isn't Free", and later by Marvin describing his son's conception in "Nobody Got Cereal?".
He has never been seen interacting directly with his ex-wife, though they appear to have had an active sex life. He has never interacted with Jimbo Kern, who is currently believed to be his wife's son with a different man.
Marvin is a prestigious member of the Hare Club for Men, a group that maintains the true Pope is supposed to be a rabbit, and his son and grandson are also members.
In early seasons, Marvin was depicted as living in the Marsh Residence with his son's family, eating dinner with them every night, and occasionally was seen with his own bedroom in the home, but after the eleventh season, his appearances with his family began to decline, and they were often seen eating without him.
After being reduced to cameos for five seasons, Marvin reappeared in "Cash for Gold", where he was shown to now be living in a small room at Looming Sunset Assisted Living, where the Marsh family visits him. He has since appeared at family dinners again on some occasions, particularly in "Naughty Ninjas".
In the season 21 episode, "Hummels and Heroin", he was seen living at the more familiar Shady Acres Retirement Community in a different building and room alongside other old people, and was still seen living in this retirement home later in "Nobody Got Cereal?".
He is one of the only characters in the series to be depicted living in unambiguously separate residences.
Marvin has been seen spending time with his grandson or reading the newspaper at the neighborhood park. He also spends a lot of time gambling at the Three Feathers Indian Casino and using his money irresponsibly, according to Randy.
Appearances and Sightings
- Death (s01e06)
- Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut (s01e13)
- The Red Badge of Gayness (s03e14)
- Quintuplets 2000 (s04e03)
- A Very Crappy Christmas (s04e17)
- Grey Dawn (s07e10)
- Something Wall Mart This Way Comes (s08e09)
- Trapped in the Closet (s09e12; speaking cameo)
- Bloody Mary (s09e14; mentioned)
- Fantastic Easter Special (s11e05)
- Cash for Gold (s16e02)
- Freemium Isn't Free (s18e06)
- Naughty Ninjas (s19e07)
- PC Principal Final Justice (s19e10; non-speaking)
- Hummels and Heroin (s21e05)
- Time to Get Cereal (s22e06)
- Nobody Got Cereal? (s22e07)
- Woodland Critter Christmas (s08e14)
- Over Logging (s12e06)
- Pandemic (s12e10; mentioned)
- Pinewood Derby (s13e06)
- #REHASH (s18e09; deleted scene)
- The End of Serialization As We Know It (s20e10)
- Band in China (s23e02)
He is not seen in the game at any point, and thus cannot be befriended, but Stan does mention him sometimes after defeating enemies, proclaiming, "You fight like my grandpa."
He can be found in the Marsh Residence at any point in the game's storyline, eager for an upcoming date with an elderly woman, offering the player a small quest to obtain condoms for him in exchange for a selfie and a Coonstagram follow.
Behind the Scenes
Marvin Marsh's voice is provided, like his son and grandson, by series co-creator Trey Parker.
During recent seasons, Trey has joked he and Matt will eventually write more episodes about the character as they grow older, in response to the fact he and Matt have focused more on Randy Marsh in later seasons as they have aged.
Matt Stone has stated in two interviews that he believes Marvin is not Jimbo Kern's father, and that Randy and Jimbo share the same mother but different fathers. This appears to be an off-handed explanation for the discrepancy between their surnames; the characters have not interacted.
- Thought he turned 102 on-screen in "Death", around two years have passed since the episode in-universe, as Stan has gone from eight years old to ten (in "You're Getting Old"), and Shelly has age from twelve to thirteen, meaning he is currently at least 103.
- Randy is 45 as of "The Cissy", meaning Randy must have been born while Marvin was in his sixties.
- He was last depicted living his family for certain in "Over Logging" and via mention in "Pandemic", but is not seen eating dinner with them as of "Margaritaville" and "Eat, Pray, Queef", meaning he likely moved out between Season Twelve and Season Thirteen.