“Oh my god, they killed Kenny!”
The muffled-mouth fourth grader has been stabbed, blown up, run over, poisoned, beaten, torn apart, shot, lit on fire, and even pooped himself to death over his tenure on the long-running Comedy Central program. However, just like some kind of hoodie-wearing messiah, Kenny is seemingly resurrected in every new episode, only to continually meet his doom all over again.
Killing Kenny is one of the greatest running gags in any animated television show, and we feel the little guy deserves some recognition for dying so much for our entertainment. For this article, we will be looking at the funniest, strangest, and most iconic ways Kenny McCormick has bit the dust. As such, it should go without warning that there will be a few spoilers, not to mention some very mature content below.
Here are the 15 Best Kenny Deaths In South Park.
16 "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" – Death by Aliens
In our minds, the one that does it first always deserves some credit for being original. For Kenny’s untimely departures, that honor goes to the very first episode of South Park, “Cartman Gets An Anal Probe”. The pilot episode introduces the world to Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny, as the four boys deal with a mysterious alien device discovered up Cartman’s rectum.
After confronting an alien spaceship, Kyle throws a rock at the intergalactic invaders, who retaliate by blasting a ray gun at the boys. The blast propels Kenny back into the road, where he is then trampled over by a herd of cows.
Kenny manages to survive the stampede, but is then abruptly run over and killed by an ensuing police car. While this was the very first episode of the series, it was just a taste for what was to come for the rest of the Kenny massacres.
15 "Sexual Harassment Panda" – Death by Giant Fan
While searching for their old friend Petey the Sexual Harassment Panda, the boys stumble onto the Island of Misfit Mascots and encounter some bizarre looking mascots whose messages simply make no sense – hence the name of the retreat.
Among the many obscure mascots is Willy the “don’t stare directly at the sun” Worm, Oinky the “run around with scissors” Pig, and Hoppy the “don’t do stuff that might irritate your inner ear” Badger. Perhaps the craziest mascot of is Jimmy the “don’t hold onto a large magnet while someone else uses a fan nearby” Falcon.
Kenny finds out the hard way how the Falcon got his name, after agreeing to participate in a demonstration. After given a magnet to hold, the Falcon turns on a giant fan nearby that sucks Kenny up and then grinds him into itty bitty pieces. At least we know now that if you’re holding a magnet, you want to keep an eye out for giant fans.
14 "Hooked on Monkey Phonics" – Death by Monkey
In this classic season 3 episode, Cartman tries to get a leg up on the upcoming spelling bee with “Hooked on Monkey Phonics”, which is basically Hooked on Phonics with a live monkey playing the drums. Of course, when it comes time for the spelling bee, monkey ignores all of Cartman’s commands, and proceeds to masturbate instead.
After miserably failing the spelling bee, Cartman comes up with the brilliant idea of getting homeschooled. One day, while visiting his friend, Kenny tries taking a bite out of a cupcake that was being eaten by the Hooked on Phonics Money. This turns out to be a big mistake.
In a fit of rage, the monkey starts mercilessly beating down on poor Kenny, throwing him against walls and stomping on him until he’s left as a bloodied, lifeless mess. Word of advice: never try to take a monkey’s cupcake.
13 "Chef Goes Nanners" – Death by Antacids
It’s well known in South Park that the McCormick family doesn’t have a whole lot of money, and the boys (mostly Cartman) usually make fun of Kenny for being so poor. Being deprived means being hungry, and the usually-starving Kenny has eaten some of the grossest things imaginable over the course of the series.
In the episode “Chef Goes Nanners”, Kenny’s eyes are bigger than his stomach, gobbling up an entire bowl of what he believes to be mints. Only, the candies in the bowl aren’t mints, but antacids.
After pounding 50 tablets, the unsuspecting Kenny takes a drink of water, setting off the antacids in his stomach. The resulting reaction causes fizz to leak out of Kenny’s every pore until he blows up like a balloon and explodes in a bloody mess. At least Kenny didn't die on an empty stomach.
12 "Gnomes" – Death by Underpants Gnomes
While South Park has become known for its political and contemporary humor, the writers are not above being completely silly. Take the episode “Gnomes”, for example.
In it, Tweek becomes obsessed with finding out who is stealing his underpants every night. To Tweek’s and the others’ surprise, it turns out that it’s a collection of garment-obsessed Gnomes appropriately named the “Underpants Gnomes.”
After journeying to their secret cave, the boys ask the Gnomes why they're stealing people’s underpants. While explaining their confusing plan, one of the workers accidentally drops a kart full of underpants from up top.
It comes crashing down on Kenny’s head, squashing him, as one Gnome puts it, “just like a bug.” Unfortunately, the boys are so wrapped up in the Gnomes’ cockamamie plan that they barely notice Kenny is flattened like a pancake.
11 "Spontaneous Combustion" – Death by Farts
Strange things happen in the town of South Park, whether it’s being destroyed by a giant Barbra Streisand or by invaded by aliens. One of the more peculiar things to happen occurs in season 3, when random townspeople start to spontaneously combust.
Of course, one of the first people to go is Kenny. After getting a new girlfriend, Kenny starts to spend all of his time with her, to the chagrin of his friends. Unfortunately, having a girlfriend means that Kenny starts to bottle up his farts, which is later revealed to be the cause of the spontaneous combustions.
While casually talking with his friends, Kenny randomly ignites in flames, leaving behind nothing but a pile of smoldering ashes. Though Kenny is once again killed off, his death helps Randy Marsh solve the riddle of why everyone is spontaneously combusting, causing everyone to fart on a regular basis for fear of igniting like the unfortunate fourth-grader.
10 "The List" – Death by Gunshot
Usually when Kenny dies, it ties into the plot somehow, sudden and unexpected as it may be. When you see giant aliens invade South Park, you know it’s just a matter of time before Kenny meets his demise. However, in the season 11 episode "The List", Kenny’s death is completely random, and all the more hilarious.
When Kyle, Stan, and Wendy discover a hidden conspiracy involving a list that ranks all the boys of South Park by cuteness, it leads to a showdown on the roof of the school. As Wendy and classmate Bebe wrestle over a gun, a shot is fired off.
Surprisingly, Wendy and Bebe are unscathed, but the bullet still manages to find a target. It flies off and hits Kenny at his house as he’s just casually eating cereal, much to the shock of his family. It seems that no matter what poor Kenny does, he’s destined to die.
9 "Scott Tenorman Must Die" – Death by Laughter
Kenny has died in some of the most inhumane ways possible, being eaten alive, torn apart from limb-to-limb, or dropped into a pit of hot lava. Though, that doesn’t mean that his deaths are always gruesome. In the season 5 episode “Scott Tenorman Must Die”, Kenny goes out doing what he loves the most: laughing.
After being tricked into buying pubes, Cartman attempts to exact his revenge against eighth-grader Scott Tenorman by gathering up the townsfolk and playing a poorly dubbed video of the band Radiohead trash-talking Scott. The eighth-grader retaliates by cuing up another embarrassing video, which shows Cartman singing a piggy song in the pouring rain.
Everyone laughs at the humiliated Cartman, including Kenny, who chuckles so hard that he actually dies from it. In fact, the video is so funny, that Kenny’s ghost is seen immediately after, also laughing at the defeated Cartman.
8 "Best Friends Forever" – Death by PSP
Despite the power of resurrection, Kenny McCormick is just your average fourth-grade kid. He likes dirty jokes, hanging out with his friends, dirty magazines, and, of course, video games.
In the episode “Best Friends Forever”, Kenny is able to nab the very last Playstation Portable, much to the disappointment of Cartman who was next in line. However, Kenny’s prized video game is the very thing that leads to his demise.
Kenny starts to spend all his time playing his beloved PSP, so much so that he even wanders in the road without watching out for oncoming traffic. In a case of twisted fate, Kenny is run over by a truck driver, who, ironically, is distracted from the road by playing a PSP of his own.
Though essentially a vegetable, Kenny is kept alive by a breathing machine in the hospital. The machine is eventually shut off by his friend Eric Cartman, not out of sympathy, but because Kenny left his jealous friend his PSP in the event of his death.
7 "Weight Gain 4000" – Death by Flagpole
It's easy to forget because of the show's modern political agenda, but the early episodes of South Park were about as random and silly as you could get. Take the third episode in the series, "Weight Gain 4000", which has the townspeople eagerly await the arrival of celebrity Kathy Lee Gifford.
The only problem is that the kids' third-grade teacher, Mr. Garrison, plans to assassinate Gifford because of a deranged childhood vendetta. Garrison comes up with a plan to put a hole in Gifford's head with a high-powered riffle.
Of course, things do not go as planned, and the bullet ricochets off Giffords' protective casing and winds up in the head of everybody's favorite bullet-magnet, Kenny. However, a shot to the dome is the least of poor Kenny's problems as he goes flying through the air and gets impaled on top a flag pole.
The sheer overkill and hilarious circumstances make this one of the most iconic Kenny deaths in the entire series.
6 "Spookyfish" – Death by Goldfish
South Park pulls out all the stops when it comes to its Halloween specials. One of the show's most memorable is "Spookyfish", a second season offering that features Stan dealing with his new pet, a killer goldfish.
Unaware that his new aquatic pal comes from an evil alternate reality, Stan becomes horrified when he starts to find dead bodies appear in his room next to his fishbowl. Of course, when dead bodies start to show up, you know it's just a matter of time before Kenny becomes part of the kill count.
While visiting Stan, Kenny is grabbed by the goldfish and thrust into the bowl. While both Stan and Kyle are completely distracted, Kenny is then torn to shreds by the spooky fish until nothing remains but a bloodied fishbowl.
There's no shame in getting eaten by a great white shark, but a possessed goldfish? Even we feel a little embarrassed for Kenny in this episode.
5 "World Wide Recorder Concert" – Death by Defecation
Despite having over 200 episodes, the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, keep coming up with unique ways for Kenny to die. There have been tons of bizarre incidents where the unsuspecting kid has met his gruesome demise, but nothing quite like the way he bites the dust in "Worldwide Recorder Concert"-- Kenny McCormick poops himself to death.
During a concert where every third-grader in the world is set to play "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" on their recorders, Cartman and Kenny finally find the "brown note" on their instruments. The "brown note" is a low frequency sound that makes anyone who listens to it instantly defecate themselves.
As a prank, the boys switch the sheet music for the big concert so everyone plays the fateful note. The plan turns out worse than they thought, as the entire world poop their pants, and Kenny sadly defecates himself to death.
4 "Chinpokomon" – Death by Seizure
Determined to poke fun at anything nonsensical and popular, the third season episode "Chinpokomon" takes a stab at Pokémon, which was the latest craze at the time the episode was aired in 1999.
In it, the boys become obsessed with the newest fad: a fictional Japanese anime named "Chinpokomon." They become so fascinated with the latest craze that they quickly buy up the toys, collectables, shows, and even seizure-inducing video games.
While playing the official Chinpokomon video game (which has players bomb Pearl Harbor), Kenny starts have a seizure due to the quick cutting lights. This, again, was a riff on Pokémon, as one of the episodes actually caused a child to have a seizure in real life.
Kenny suffers the same fate, and remains in a vegetative state until the end of the episode, when a collection of rats burst out of his stomach. Let it be known that strange Japanese video games should come with a warning label.
3 "Chef Aid" – Death by Ozzy Osbourne
After Chef is sued by a big record label, the boys set off to see if Chef's many friends in the music industry can help raise money to clear his name. To Chef and the boys' surprise, several icons come together for "Chef Aid", a benefit concert to help the beloved South Park cafeteria worker.
Among the many musical acts that show up are Elton John, Joe Strummer, Meatloaf, Primus, and the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Taking the stage, Ozzy shares a story about when he was just starting out in the music business. Chef suggested that the former Black Sabbath singer buy himself a pompadour hat, which Ozzy mistakenly interrupted as "bite the head off a bat."
Since there are no bats around while Ozzy is playing his set, he bites the head off of the next best thing: Kenny McCormick. The Prince of Darkness lifts Kenny out of the crowd and proceeds to chow down on his noggin, at which point the crowd erupts in applause. At least Kenny goes out like a rock star this time.
2 "The Jeffersons" – Death by Michael Jackson
It's rare that we ever see Kenny without his fabled orange hoodie. Fans of South Park were treated to their first look at Kenny unmasked in the movie, Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and, since that time, have only seen Kenny's full face on a handful of occasions.
One of those occasions is in the episode "Meet the Jeffersons," which has Michael Jackson and his estranged son, Blanket, move into the neighborhood.
After hatching a scheme to get Blanket away from his deranged father, Kenny volunteers to dress up like the child so Jackson won't be suspicious. The plan works a little too well, as the King of Pop starts to throw Kenny into the air, playing with his son.
Jackson lets his strength get the better of him, however, and eventually tosses Kenny into the ceiling, crushing his head and ending his life. It's another horrific death for Kenny, but as Stan puts it, at least he gets to do something this episode.
1 "Pinkeye" – Death by Space Station/Chainsaw
With kills that involve defecation, explosions, and aliens, it wasn't easy picking the best Kenny kill of all time. After all, killing Kenny is one of the longest gags in South Park.
After considering all of our gruesome options, we had to give the title to the episode "Pinkeye", as it doesn't have just one fantastic Kenny death, but two.
While waiting by the bus stop, Kenny is randomly killed when a giant space station falls on his head. After quickly shrugging off the incident, the boys debate who has the best Halloween costume. Meanwhile, Kenny's body is trucked off to the morgue, where he is reanimated into a zombie after one of the morticians replaces his blood with Worcestershire sauce.
After a major zombie outbreak, it becomes clear that the epidemic will only stop if the original zombie is killed, which happens to be Kenny. Knowing this, Kyle takes a chainsaw and slices right through his former friend, cutting him clean in half.
It's an over-the-top kill that we've come to expect from South Park, and, coupled with getting flattened by a space station, gets our vote as the best Kenny death ever.
What is your favorite South Park Kenny death? Let us know in the comments!