Marvin "Grampa" Marsh
|Occupation||Steel Mill Worker (retired) Army Air Force (retired)|
|Daughter In-Law||Sharon Marsh|
|Voiced by||Trey Parker|
|Last Appearance||PC Principal Final Justice|
Marvin Marsh, often just known as "Grampa" is one of South Park's oldest citizens and residents, and his bloodline can be traced all the way back to his grandfather, the the town's original founder. He continues to play an active role in the local senior community, advocating for seniors' rights, and is also the Town Historian, presiding over South Park's official Civil War re-enactment annually, as well as serving as an elite member of the Hare Club for Men, and of course, as the proud grandfather of Billy and Shelly Marsh.
Marvin's advanced age has caused a number of health problems over the years that, for a period, drove him to suicide. His age has severely limited his mobility and he almost always uses a motorized wheelchair for movement, and occasionally a cane. He has also become afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, most notably often referring to his grandson as 'Billy'. In early episodes, he was 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, such as by holding on to a rope while he tries to hang himself. These efforts seem to have ceased.
Marvin's hobbies include hunting, fishing, 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. 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 two children - sons Jimbo Kern and Randy Marsh. He once had a pet Border Collie named Patches whom he was very fond of.
He has since been moved to Looming Sunset Assisted Living, where his family visits him, and where he often buys over-priced jewelry and other gifts for his unsuspecting grandchildren.
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!"
- "Kill me!"
- "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)
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.
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.
While early episodes were ambiguous about the Marsh family tree, with both Randy and Sharon referring to him as "dad", it has since been confirmed that Marvin is Randy's father, and multiple episodes imply a genetic link between Marvin's addictions, Randy's drinking problem, and Stan's own addiction issues, most notably "Freemium isn't Free".
He has never been seen interacting directly with his ex-wife or his son, Jimbo.
In early seasons, Marvin was depicted as living in the Marsh Residence with his son's family, eating dinner with them every night, and he often seemed to have 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".
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.
- 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)
- Woodland Critter Christmas (s08e14; cameo)
- Trapped in the Closet (s09e12; cameo)
- Bloody Mary (s09e14; mentioned)
- Fantastic Easter Special (s11e05)
- Over Logging (s12e06; cameo)
- Pandemic (s12e10; mentioned)
- Pinewood Derby (s13e06; cameo)
- Cash for Gold (s16e02)
- Freemium Isn't Free (s18e06)
- #REHASH (s18e09; deleted scene)
- Naughty Ninjas (s19e07)
- PC Principal Final Justice (s19e10)
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."
- Stan's Uncle Jimbo Kern has mentioned fishing and hunting with his father in "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut"; it was confirmed in an interview with Matt Stone that Jimbo's father is Marvin, though with a different woman than Randy's mother.
- 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 at least 103.
- Randy is 45 as of "The Cissy" and Jimbo must be around 60 to have participated in the Vietnam War, meaning Randy must have been born while Marvin was in his sixties.
- He was last seen with his family at dinner in "Over Logging" and is mentioned living with them in "Pandemic" but is not seen eating with them as of "Margaritaville" and "Eat, Pray, Queef", meaning he likely moved out between Season Twelve and Season Thirteen.