There is a reason why South Park is one of the longest running shows in TV history. The success of the Comedy Central series comes from its unique mixture of toilet humor and brilliant wisdom, making South Park revolutionary television in more ways than one. Matt Stone and Trey Parker have managed to create a show that is hilarious, controversial, heart-warming, and epic. In the words of The Lucas Brother's in The History of Comedy, "The Simpsons opened the door and South Park knocked the door down." This is the perfect way to describe the rebellious series about four young boys just trying to survive the day to day shenanigans in their quiet mountain town.
The popularity of South Park has sprung upon several pop culture references throughout the years. We all are familiar with the classics such as "Oh my god, they killed Kenny!" and "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" But what about some of the other phrases?
To honor the show, here is a list of the 10 most iconic pop culture references in South Park.
10 I'm super cereal
This phrase, meant to mean "I'm super serious," comes from the 2006 episode "Manbearpig." In the episode, Al Gore visits South Park to warn everyone in town about the dangers of "Manbearpig," a made-up creator that is half man/half bear/half pig. Or half man/half bearpig, according to Kyle. The boys take Manbearpig as a joke because they automatically assume there is no way this mythical creature could possibly exist. Despite their disbelief, Gore insists that Manpearpig is out there and he's super cereal about it!
Matt Stone and Trey Parker recently released an episode in 2018 called "Time To Get Cereal" where Manbearpig comes to destroy the town of South Park. The boys then have to apologize to Al Gore for not believing in Manbearpig back in '06. Since the release of the episode, the phrase "I'm super cereal" has become a common thing for people to say when they are "super serious" about something.
Next time, they should listen to Gore when he says he's cereal!
9 They took our jobs!
"Dey took er jerbs!"
This phrase originated in the season 8 episode "Goobacks" and has been used for over a decade to mock xenophobic attitudes. In the episode, immigrants from the future travel to South Park and the town members begin to accuse them of "taking their jobs."
South Park continues to use this phrase throughout the show because it's such a fan favorite, making their clucking of words more and more ridiculous over time.
8 I'm not your guy, friend! I'm not your friend, buddy!
"I'm not your buddy, guy!"
This quote comes from the season 12 episode titled "Canada on Strike." The saying of "I'm not your buddy, guy" etc. is meant to comment on Canadian politeness. The exchange of these words are meant to be said by Canadians in the midst of an argument, yet even in the heated exchange of "insults," Canadians are too polite not to refer to their enemy as friend/buddy/guy.
The saying has become wildly popular on message board as well as real-life conversations. In fact, it has become such a popular phrase that rapper Drake even added the South Park reference into one of his hit songs. He's Canadian, so it's no wonder he did!
7 If you french fry when you pizza, you're gonna have a bad time...
Perhaps one of the most commonly known memes of all time comes from the South Park season 6 episode, "Asspen." In this episode, Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Butters take a trip to Aspen Colorado with their families. The boys meet their ski instructor whose name is Thumper.
In skiing terms, to "french fry" is to have your skis face forward on your feet in an attempt to excel forward and to "pizza" is to turn your skis inward in order to brake. Thus, Thumper tells the kids "If you french fry when you pizza, you're gonna have a bad time." The meme that has evolved from this episode involves a phrase along the lines of "If you *blank* when you *blank* you're gonna have a bad time..."
The term "Daywalker" was sprung to life from the season 9 episode titled "Ginger Kids". In the episode, Cartman gives a class presentation that is just an excuse to spout his hatred towards people with red hair and freckles. Cartman remarks on how gingers are like vampires because they have to avoid the sun. Kyle, furious at Cartman's daily dose of bigotry, retorts back that he has red hair but doesn't have to avoid sunlight. Cartman says Kyle isn't a ginger because he doesn't have light skin or freckles. Instead, Cartman claims Kyle is a "Daywalker" which is basically "half ginger."
In an effort to teach Cartman a lesson, the boys sneak into his room in the middle of the night and dye his hair red while painting his skin white with freckles. The episode became so popular that it was the subject of the 2010 viral youtube video with over 44 million views, titled "GINGERS DO HAVE SOULS." Remember that guy?
The popularity of the episode made "Daywalker" a common term used to describe people with red hair and no freckles.
5 But Meeem!
This is an older one, but a classic. The phrase is meant to mean "But Mom!" yet it is said in a drawn-out Eric Cartman voice. Cartman has been using this phrase since the beginning of the series back in the late 90s, yet it has still remained popular over 20 years later.
Unlike much of the running gags and catchphrases in South Park that stopped being used decades ago, this one has pretty much remained throughout the entire series.
4 Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this was America!
This quote is uttered by Randy Marsh in the episode titled "The Losing Edge." In the episode, the boys join a baseball team and Randy gets way too into the game. He cheers on his son's team while he trash-talks the other team despite the fact that they're children. Randy gets arrested when he beats up another parent during the game. As he is getting arrested he says in a drunken slur, "I'm sorry, I thought this was America!"
After the South Park episode, people use this phrase often when in response to backlash or criticism. It is done in an attempt to satirize certain Americans who feel as though they can get away with anything because it's a free country.
3 Ya Ya Ya I am Lorde
The phrase "Ya Ya Ya I am Lorde" refers to an extended South Park plotline in which Randy Marsh is secretly the indie pop artist, Lorde. One of the songs that Randy a.k.a Lorde sings is called "Push," which has been recorded and sung by Sia in real life. The saying got so popular that it eventually reached Lorde, who then became obsessed with saying the phrase. South Park praised Lorde for being a true artist who hasn't sold out from the fame.
A South Park episode that praises a celebrity (and a pop star no less)? We thought the day would never come which is what makes it all the more heartwarming.
2 BUCKLE UP BUCKAROO
This is said by the animated version of Caitlyn Jenner on South Park. It is first uttered in the 2015 episode "Where My Country Gone?" In the scene, Caitlyn Jenner says this catchphrase while in her car, before she runs over a person.
This is derived from Caitlyn Jenner's real-life car crash that had fatal results. BUCKLE UP BUCKAROO has become a running gag for her character on the show and has been used by many South Park fans to mean "get ready because things are about to get crazy!"
1 You know, I learned something today.
Would you believe this quote has been around since 1992? It all started nearly 30 years ago while Matt and Trey were both students at The University of Colorado. They decided to make an animated short film together called "The Spirit of Christmas" which features four boys who we know today as Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny. The phrase is used at the end of most of episodes by either Stan or Kyle, followed by a unique stance on the main topic at hand.
The saying is so iconic that it has been used in the title of Robert Arp's book, South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today. This phrase alone has continuously been able to follow through with words of wisdom that have rarely been explored before, making South Park perhaps the most revolutionary show of all time.