Leopold "Butters" Stotch is a major character in the series. He is a fourth grader in South Park Elementary. Butters' role gradually began to increase after he replaced Kenny during his temporary removal in Season Six. This allowed Butters to gain more screen time and further develop his character. He is the "innocent child" in the group and Cartman's most exploited and possibly best "friend". Butters is loosely based on Eric Stough, an animation director/producer that works on the show.