There are many good things to say about South Park. It's unique, it's layered, and it often uses shock-value as a way to bring awareness to topics that should be at the forefront of society's discussions. Plus, as a show that's been airing since 1997 (that's 22 years, in case you don't feel like doing the math), it hasn't lost its ability to shake viewers to their core.
However, being such a controversial show that relies so heavily on graphic violence and milking sensitive issues for the sake of the storyline, you're bound to anger some people. And while it's obvious that most of the things aren't done with extreme malice (or at least we hope), sometimes there is such a thing as going too far. Let's dive deeper into the world of South Park and take a look at 10 jokes from the show that have already aged poorly.
10 Virgin Mary's Period
Episode "Bloody Mary" caused mass hysteria in the South Park universe. This happened because a statue of the Virgin Mary was oozing blood, insinuating menstruation. However, it was declared a miracle when the characters believed it was actually coming from her backside.
Top everything up the Pope carefully inspecting the Virgin Mary's nether regions, and you have the perfect recipe to piss off an entire religious community and everything they hold most dear.
9 Paris Hilton's Portrayal
Because of their public image and several scandals, some celebrities are prone to receiving the worst treatment from shows like South Park. Socialite and Hilton empire heiress Paris Hilton is an easy target, and the show was quick to pick up on that by making fun of the image she displays in the worst possible way.
The 12th episode of season 8 is dedicated in its entirety to diss Paris. This includes showing her consistently plastered, vomiting semen, and taking part in a contest where Mr. Slave practically swallows Hilton through his backside. We get the point that celebrities can be horrible examples for impressionable children, but this is taking it to the extreme.
8 Christopher Reeve's Disability
When you think there has to be a topic that not even South Park will dare to touch, you'll quickly be surprised at how much the show simply doesn't care. They will poke fun at even the most sensitive of issues, including serious disability. The show has done this several times, but nothing has been quite as horrible as "Krazy Kripples."
Christopher Reeve makes an appearance that is supposed to raise awareness of Stem Cell research. The horrible part here is that the show portrayed Reeve as a villain that was killing and feeding off of fetuses in order to be able to move again. The point? we're not exactly sure.
7 Britney's Suicide
Yet another celebrity that the show decided to mercilessly destroy was Britney Spears, who got an even worst treatment than socialite Paris Hilton. When the boys decide to chase after the singer in order to take a picture and make money, they pretend to be her children. Devastated once she finds out her actual children don't care, Britney shoots herself in the head.
This portrayal of suicide and a character's obvious deep mental issues was poorly thought out, and the addition of her being used as human sacrifice was nonsensical and insensitive. Celebrities very often deal with very real problems that lead them down horrible paths, more and more as time passes. It's not cool to make fun of this.
6 Steve Irwin In Hell
Too soon would probably be the best possible description for this episode. "Hell on Earth 2006" was a slap in the face from start to finish. We would be willing to forgive the friendly depiction of Satan, and even the appearance of three notoriously vicious serial killers. Hey, it's South Park, after all!
What we can't really get over is the inclusion of Steve Irwin in Satan's party, which includes details of his untimely death. He even ends up being kicked from the party for not wearing a costume. But featuring beloved Irwin in Hell only two months after he passed? Sad, sad, and very uncool.
5 Jersey Shore Bombing
Look, Jersey Shore is an easy target. We get it since the reality television series already looks like a parody of itself. So, it's no wonder Sout Park would find a way to bring it to their universe... and make it extra offensive. Poking fun at the reality show is quite okay, but involving terrorism? Not so much.
The people of South Park actually enlist Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to help them get rid of the infestation. And obviously, they show up in planes and bomb the whole thing. This strikes a deep chord with many viewers and is yet another example of perhaps taking it too far.
4 Racial Slurs
In the episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson," we witness Randy Marsh participating in a game show. Here is where things get tricky: as the answer to a question, Randy uses a racial slur. Not only does he use it as the answer, but he also goes on to repeat it over forty times throughout the entire episode.
In a world and era where racism is still far from being defeated, using a word that brings with so many horrible connotations from a shameful past is, at the very least, in poor taste, and at the very worst, extremely offensive.
3 Indiana Jones Rape
We don't even know where to begin with this episode. The racist portrayal of Chinese people alone would be enough to land it a spot on this list. And yet, it's far from being the worst thing about it. The whole thing completely escalates when Indiana Jones is sexually assaulted by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
And because once is not enough, South Park made sure to feature three scenes of Jones being raped. What exactly was the point here? We're not sure. But playing out sexual assault and rape as if they are nothing is problematic.
2 Penn State
Much like the previous entry on this list, the episode titled "Poor Kid" already had a pretty horrible start when the kids are taken into foster care because their parents went to jail on the basis of running a meth lab. Yikes doesn't even begin to cover it, but of course, South Park took it even further.
Referring to the shocking scandal at Penn State University regarding sexual abuse charges, the show brings in a very inappropriate caseworker with poor taste in jokes. Including asking the kids if they "would like to go to Neverland Ranch, the Catholic Church or Penn State University." Wow, three birds, one stone!
1 The Syrian Refugees Treatment
Because South Park is South Park, it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that the show would offer its own take on the Presidential race. It never shied away from politics, so why even start now? But when Mr. Garrison offered an answer to a debate question, things were quick to escalate.
In response to the best way to handle the Syrian refugee crisis, he said: "F***k them all to death". It's cringeworthy on its own, but once we remember it was aired shortly after the Paris attacks, it takes on a whole other, very offensive, dimension.