Caley Thistle arrived in Perth leading the table on goal difference and with just one defeat all season, but Stevie McLean's second-half double set the seal on a thorough thrashing at the home side's hands.
Butcher, whose side now trail Celtic by three points, said: "It was the usual story of picking up 11 strangers on the A9. We were not at the races today.
"I have to say fair play to St Johnstone - they were absolutely brilliant. Tommy Wright must be buzzing because we felt last week that we were very, very good by beating Hibs 3-0.
"But we've had a smashing in reverse and know how Hibs must have felt. Phew, it hurt.
"But that is not like us. I said to John Docherty, our kitman, throw that result and performance in the hamper and chuck it off the Kessock Bridge and hopefully we will never see it again.
"Just as long as he doesn't throw himself off - or I do - then we will be fine."
Stevie May and Dave Mackay were also on target for Saints, whose manager Wright said: "To win and put in a performance like that is very pleasing.
"Especially as it was against a team that I rate very highly. They were not sitting at the top of the league for nothing.
"I said to the boys after the game that it had eclipsed our performances in Europe and the performance against Ross County because the quality of our play and the tempo which we performed at was the best we had done this season.
"I could not fault any of the players. They were excellent. And it was a really good performance from Stevie May. His link-up play is getting better and we are delighted with the partnership he has got with Stevie MacLean.
"But I'm pleased with them all today and I don't like singling any of them out."