Harrison "Harris" Yates
Sgt. Harrison "Harris" Yates
|Occupation||Sergeant Detective, Park County Police|
|Voiced by||Trey Parker|
|First Appearance||Christian Rock Hard|
- 1 About
- 2 Memorable Quotes
- 3 Life Lessons
- 4 Alter Egos
- 5 Spouses
- 6 Close Friends
- 7 Rivals
- 8 Featured Episodes
- 9 Behind The Scenes
- 10 Video Games
- 11 Bonus Factoids
- 12 Myths & Legends
Sgt. Harrison "Harris" Yates is the lead detective of South Park's County Police Department, where he works with other detectives and police officers to investigate crimes and solve cold cases throughout the town of South Park. Dedicated over-zealously to his work, Yates pulls long hours doing research, old-fashioned detective work, consulting psychics like Eric Cartman, framing rich black men and writing restaurant reviews, often staying past midnight. He is often focused on a single specific crime, such as prostitution or cock magic, and attempting it's complete and absolute elimination in the name of truth and justice. Yates often works with his protege and friend, Detective Murphey on cases such as that of the notorious Left Hand Killer.
While Yates is prone to incompetence, laziness and egomania, he is probably best-known for his racism and general usage of excessive force, often suggesting dealing with African-Americans by shooting them, choking them, or in wealthy cases, intentionally framing them for crimes they didn't commit, ordering his men to shoot at Gangnamstein despite the fact Officer Peterson had been in there, or creating a massive operation to 'contain' a protest of two children. His own officers generally fall in line to his orders, even when they may know better, and he has a habit of referring to multiple officers as 'Mitch'. No matter where his efforts are placed, Yates always believes at the end of the day his actions are fair and just... even if they aren't.
After a hard day doing field work, Yates will retire to his desk to write online restaurant reviews to keep the public informed about shitty dining experiences. Whenever he's in doubt about his role in the police force, he can always count on his wife, Maggie Yates, to give him a good pep talk and get him back out there.
- "FREEZE! I'm a cop!"
- "Jesus Christ Monkeyballs!"
- "We've got another rich black guy. I want him humiliated and dragged through the dirt, and I want it done by the books!" (The Jeffersons)
- "Twenty-five years I've been on the force. I've seen every kind of sick, depraved act known to humanity and still, when I see a black man walk by who has more money than me, I... want to vomit my gizzards right in the gutter." (The Jeffersons)
- "What are we becoming? We're supposed to... protect the people. Where have we lost our way?" (The Jeffersons)
- "The last thirteen hours we've been working on a case, trying to get a real scumbag off the streets. And when he walked up to the door... I could have sworn he was white." (The Jeffersons)
- "Nice..." (Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy)
- "You're right, we're sorry, this IS serious. We need to track this student down and - give him his luckiest boy in America Medal right away!" (Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy)
- "You really gave my little hole quite a... STRETCH!" (Butters' Bottom Bitch)
- "Hold on, that's my daddy." (Butters' Bottom Bitch)
- "We believe this is where the black people are! They're holograms, so we can't choke them or shoot them, so stand by till we figure out what the hell to do!" (#HappyHolograms)
- "I had a bad experience at Red Lobster and if the people don't know about it, they could too. Folks deserve to know where they can eat, Mitch." (You're Not Yelping)
- "I'm never gonna frame an innocent man again, unless I KNOW he's black for sure!!"
When deep undercover, a good cop sometimes needs aliases and secret identities to get the job done, and Sgt. Yates isn't above using them.
Harrison Yates has a supportive, devoted wife, Maggie, who's always there to give him a good pep talk... but when undercover as Yolanda, there's another man in his life... KeShawn, his pimp, his "daddy" and briefly, his husband.
Sergeant Yates is a career man and spends most of his time around his police colleagues, most of whom will defend him despite his incompetence. He's particularly close to Detective Murphey, and they've worked on a number of cases together for the Park County Police, particularly the Martin Jefferson and Indiana Jones cases.
In both "The Jeffersons" and "#HappyHolograms", Sgt. Yates and his team come into conflict with an identity of Michael Jackson, whom they can't defeat because they are unsure of his race and therefore whether or not to use excessive force.
- Christian Rock Hard (s07e09; debut)
- Casa Bonita (s07e11)
- The Jeffersons (s08e07; first identified as Sgt. Harrison Yates)
- Cartman's Incredible Gift (s08e14)
- Free Willzyx (s09e13)
- Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy (s10e10)
- Cartman Sucks (s11e02)
- Eek, a Penis! (s12e05)
- The China Probrem (s12e08)
- The Coon (s13e02)
- Butters' Bottom Bitch (s13e09)
- Medicinal Fried Chicken (s14e03; cameo)
- 200 (s14e05)
- City Sushi (s15e06)
- 1% (s15e12)
- A Nightmare on Face Time (s16e12)
- Informative Murder Porn (s17e02)
- The Magic Bush (s18e05)
- Cock Magic (s18e08; first identified as Detective Harris)
- #HappyHolograms (s18e10)
- The City Part of Town (s19e03; cameo)
- You're Not Yelping (s19e04; re-identified as Harrison Yates)
Behind The Scenes
"Butters' Bottom Bitch" (1309)
1st Scene Written
This was the first scene that was written for "Butters' Bottom Bitch". You'll notice here that -- despite being called Sergeant Yates forever -- Trey usually uses the character name "Detective Harris" when writing.
Using Yates to Create Scale
If you look at this production art used while designing the fraternity cake prop, you'll notice Yates (aka Yolanda) next to the cake. He's there to show scale.
At the Park County Police Department, Sgt. Yates can be found at his desk at any time in gameplay, reading through his notebook - but he's too busy to talk to the new kid unless the Nazi Zombies are already about -- he'll offer you a junior detective badge if you can collect five Nazi Zombie rings by defeating them in battle.
He was originally slated to have a larger role, as seen in trailers, but it was cut.
- Despite claiming to have been on the force for twenty-five years, Officer Barbrady is said to be the town's only police officer in season 2's "Chickenlover", and later in "Naughty Ninjas" it is reinforced that Barbrady was long the only policeman in town.
- If the Park County Police covers a county with multiple towns, it's possible Yates previously worked in another branch and transferred over.
- Sergeant Yates debuted way back in Season 7's "Christian Rock Hard" as member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Despite his initial obsession with framing black men for crimes, he's never seen interfering with Steve Black or his family.
- Yates has mentioned having a son in "Cartman's Incredible Gift" but he's never been seen.
Sergeant Yate's Wife
Despite his relatively long stint as a prostitute "Yolanda", yes -- Sergeant Yates is married. His wife, Maggie, debuted back in Season 8's "The Jeffersons".
Myths & Legends
What's in a Name?
Initially merely a nameless red-haired detective in his debut, the character has rarely been identified by name on-screen. Three names were offfered:
- He was first known as Sergeant Harrison Yates in season 8's "The Jeffersons".
- He was referred to as Lou a few months later in season 8's "Cartman's Incredible Gift".
- In South Park: The Stick of Truth, he was identified as Sgt. Yates, though only in text.
- The name Detective Harris had been used by Trey in scripts for several years, but was never used on-screen until season 18's "Cock Magic" and later, "#HappyHolograms".
In season 19's "You're Not Yelping", he was again referred to as Harrison Yates - and seen alongside his same wife from "The Jeffersons" - seeming to confirm that 'Harris' is a shortened form of Harrison, compromising the two main names.
Barbrady and Yates
For years, Officer Barbrady and Sergeant Yates very rarely, if ever appeared in the same episode, leading to confusion over their relationship and positions. While Yates is known as a Sergeant, "Fun With Veal" suggested Barbrady was South Park's Chief-of-Police, which would place him above Yates... however, episodes and games have contradicted the relationship between Barbrady's South Park Police and Yates' Park County Police. In South Park: The Stick of Truth, they seem to be a single 'South Park County Police' unit, or SPCD, but for many years, Barbrady and Yates seemed to be in separate stations and departments.
Barbrady has also never been seen inside the new Park County Police Station, only ever appearing in the old South Park Police Station, last seen in "The Snuke".
Barbrady and Yates are seen together in "Casa Bonita", "The Coon", "Medicinal Fried Chicken", "200" and "201", but do not interact in these episodes -- the two are finally seen together properly in season 19's "The City Part of Town", dining together in SoDoSoPa, and are first seen working in the field together a few episodes later in "Naughty Ninjas". It's also shown that Barbrady has a photo of himself and Detective Yates in his apartment, although Yates does not allude to Barbrady's absence directly.