South Park has become one of the most beloved animated television shows of all time. That’s pretty impressive considering many people dismissed it as a crudely drawn cartoon filled with bathroom humor. After all these years, the show has kept the low-brow gags but also has proven to have a lot more to say.
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The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have shown there is no situation or person they are afraid to go after. They are able to make thoughtful episodes about topical issues as well as hilarious episodes about the most outrageous things you can’t even imagine. While their genius has resulted in countless memorable episodes here are a few that top them all.
10 Trapped In The Closet
The fearlessness of South Park is unlike any other show on television. If there’s one target everyone else is afraid to go after, South Park will immediately put them in their crosshairs. The most infamous example was their take on the Church of Scientology and its most famous member.
This widely publicized episode explored the admittedly strange beliefs of the religion and it’s the questionable way it is run. Of course, it’s most remembered for its not-so-subtle suggestions about Tom Cruise’s sexuality. It served as a very clear statement that no one is safe from South Park.
9 Black Friday
When the show allows the South Park children to make-believe in their favorite fantasy worlds, it results in some of the most fun episodes. A perfect example is this Game of Thrones inspired adventure.
As the Black Friday holiday sales approach, the children form shaky alliances and choose sides in order to get the toys they want. The episode is able to poke fun at the HBO series while also being a lot of fun for fans of the show. A prime example of the epic kind of storytelling South Park does so well.
8 Woodland Critter Christmas
South Park has some many classic Christmas episodes, but this one is by far their greatest. Stan finds himself an unwilling participant in the Christmas celebration of some happy forest animals. But as he becomes more involved, he discovers the cute critters aren’t what they seem.
The episode is hilarious for just how dark it is willing to go with what seemed like a nice holiday tale. The episode proves, even on their Christmas episode, the show is willing to touch on some very taboo subjects. Along with the hilariously enthusiastic narration, this is a true Christmas classic.
7 All About The Mormons
The show seems to take a lot of pleasure in examining various religions, and Stone and Parker seem to have a specific interest in the Mormon religion. In this episode, the people of South Park are introduced to these new beliefs when a Mormon family moves to town.
This episode is especially brilliant for how even-handed it is, taking aim at Mormon beliefs as well as other people’s reaction to those beliefs. Yes, Mormons believe some strange things, but if they’re nice and polite, why do we really care what they believe?
6 The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
Similar to the “Black Friday” episode, this extremely entertaining adventure allows the show to play in the world of Middle Earth. The children, obsessed with all things Lord of the Rings, go on a quest to deliver a copy of the movie. Unfortunately, they mistakenly took Randy Marsh’s adult film instead.
The episode takes some moments straight from the Peter Jackson movie, especially with Butters’ version of Gollum. The episode makes the pretty mundane quest genuinely exciting and there are some hilarious moments centered on the parents terrified at the thought of the children watching that tape.
5 Casa Bonita
South Park seems to have its best moments when they focus their attention on Eric Cartman. As a mean-spirited, cruel and selfish young boy, Cartman is extremely entertaining to watch. This episode is a hilarious display of how far he’ll go to get what he wants.
Wanting to get an invite to Kyle’s birthday party at his favorite restaurant, Cartman devises a plan to have Butters removed from the guest list. What follows is one bad decision after another that snowballs out of control. The funniest part is that Cartman never even considers that he’s gone too far.
4 Good Times with Weapons
Despite the crude animation that the show is now famous for, they are willing to explore other forms of animation from time to time. Here, the show adopts a very cool anime style as the children have fun with their new ninja weapons.
The animation is actually quite impressive and it’s fun to see the show tell some of its story in this way. The episode is also another excuse to abuse poor Butters. Just wanting in on the fun, Butters is once again put in harm’s way in a laugh-out-loud moment.
Cartman and Butters are a combination that results in so many fun moments. Cartman is downright evil towards Butters, while Butters is oblivious to everything around him. This hilarious episode finds Cartman disguising himself as a robot to trick Butters only for it to backfire so badly.
This is another episode that shows Cartman’s plans getting way out of hand. It’s so fun to see Cartman get his comeuppance and this episode is filled with those moments. The mascaraed keeps getting bigger and bigger until it finally falls apart in the most South Park of ways.
2 Make Love, Not Warcraft
Another fun episode where the show tells its story through a different style of animation. Here, they explore the obsession over the World of Warcraft games with entertaining sequences taking part within the game.
The gamer world seems like an easy target for comedy and the show does have a lot of fun exploring that. Through very simple storytelling the show is able to say so much about a subject. Here, it deftly criticizes those who put so much energy into getting good at the game only to surrender every other aspect of their lives.
1 Scott Tenorman Must Die
This episode marks Eric Cartman’s finest moments and confirmed that he is indeed an evil genius. The whole episode involves Cartman’s quest to get revenge on an older boy who made a fool of him.
Much of the episode is Cartman’s failed attempts to have his justice. Again and again, this older boy gets the better of him, pushing Cartman to more and more absurd plots for revenge. But just when it seems like Cartman is defeated, he proves that there are no extremes he will not go to. The result is so hilariously over-the-top in its cruelty that you’re left speechless by the episode’s end.