South Park is a unique show. It has it's crude drawings and foul language but underneath the show has a lot of black comedy and witty social commentary. Lets look at my 10 best and 5 worst picks
Ten Best South Park Episodes
10. Christmas in Canada (Season 7): The new Canadian Prime Minister has decreed that all adopted Canadian children must be returned to their Canadian parents. Kyle's brother Ike is one of these children that must return. The town decides to give all their Christmas presents to Kyle's family to get them through this difficult time. Of course Cartman is really pissed off at this so Kyle and the boys head to Canada to get Ike back. The episode is a hilarious parody of the Wizard of Oz. The boys meet Rick the Mountie, who is forced to ride a sheep due to budget cuts, a French Canadian mime who can't drink wine, and Steve the Newfoundlander who's had his sodomy taken away by the new Prime Minister. The boys eventually get to Ottawa on time and meet the new PM who turns out to be Saddam Hussain. All his new laws are null and void and kyle gets Ike back, but not before missing Christmas. Cartman challenges Kyle to a fist fight and gets his nose broken.
9. Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy (Season 10): Season 10 had so many great episodes. In this one, the kindergarten teacher Ms Stephenson is having an ilicit relationship with Kyle's toddler brother Ike. Meanwhile, Cartman gets a job as hall monitor, where he takes up the persona of Dog the Bounty Hunter. Dawg Cartman isn't taking crap from anyone in his hallways. He eventually catches Ike and Ms Stephenson's affair and teams up with Kyle (Jew) to split them up. Cartman has a crack team of Beth (his bitch, a female Cartman with huge breasts covering her face), Earl (Dawg's redneck driver) and Leroy (Dawg's assistant). Armed with bear mace, Dawg Cartman races to hunt Ms Stephens down before they can fly off to Milan. (Which Ike mistakes for Mulan, a Disney cartoon) In the end, Ike learns that there are plenty of fish in the sea. The episode parodies how hot woman teachers have gotten off charges of having sex with minors while ugly ones or men haven't. "Nice".
8. Cartman Joins NAMBLA (Season 4): Many people don't realize that the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a real group. Cartman decides that Stan, Kyle, and Kenny aren't mature enough for him so he decides to find older friends. He gets on chat rooms for "older men who like young boys" and gets propositioned by several perverts, including Mr Garison who's shocked to find he's been coming on to Cartman. Cartman talks to Mafesto because he wants to clone older friends and Mafesto tells him to try NAMBLA, a group that would be perfect for him. Cartman goes to the meeting and quickly becomes the poster boy for the dirty old men. They send him off to recruit more young boys. When the Mafesto catches wind of this, he finds out that Cartman went to the wrong NAMBLA. Mafesto had originally directed him to the National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes. Cartman and the boys are trapped in a hotel with the men who want to have sex with them, and they need to escape fast. Cartman suggests that in all fairness, Butters should be offered to "take one for the team" since the old men will leave once they have sex with one boy. The sub plot of the episode involves Kenny's parents trying to have another baby, which Kenny is desperate to stop. We find out where the replacement Kennys keep coming from each time Kenny dies.
7. The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers (Season 6): The boys have just watched Lord of the Rings and are playing as their favourite characters when they are given a quest: return the video to the video store. Randy and Sharon are about to watch a porno when they discover they've given the boys the wrong video. The video, Backdoor Sluts 9, becomes the One Video for the boys. Butters manages to get a hold of the porn, and becomes obsessed with it; becoming a Gollum like creature. The boys take the video to Token's house to decide what to do with it. Token volunteers to watch the video to observe its evil power. When finished, he declares he's not playing anymore. The parents eventually catch up to Token and try to explain to him what he saw. (Backdoor Sluts 9 apparently has DP and scatological scenes.) On the way to the store, the boys meet up with the 6th graders who want the porn for themselves. Butters follows them from the shadows and the parents race to get the tape back. A great send up of Lord of the Rings, it's one of those great episodes of the boys just being boys.
6. Casa Bonita (Season 7): Casa Bonita is a real restaurant in Colorado and according to Matt and Trey is pretty much exactly how it's depicted in this episode. It's like a Mexican Chucky Cheese. Kyle is going there on his birthday and doesn't invite Cartman. Of course he's upset by that since Casa Bonita is his favourite restaurant. Kyle says he's going with Butters instead, but caves and says if Butters can't go, then maybe Cartman can take his place. Of course Cartman will do anything to go. He tells Butters there's an asteroid coming to hit South Park and the only way he can survive is if he hides in Jimbo's bomb shelter. Cartman has to keep Butters hidden for seven days but runs into problems when his parents notice Butters missing. This episode is hilarious because it's just pure Cartman and is another great example that shows how far he'll go to get his way.
5. Tsst (Season 10): Another Cartman episode, his mother is distraught by his bad behaviour. Mr Macky suggests she try Nanny 911 and other nanny reality shows to put Cartman on the strait and narrow. Cartman uses his Hanibal Lecter psychology to piss the first nanny off because she bogarted his Xbox. The next nanny claims she can straiten any kid when others fail, but she is driven insane by Cartman's antics. At a loss, Lianne is told to try Caesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer. He tells Lianne that she has to be dominant over her son. She does this by treating him like a dog and pinching him on the neck. Cartman of course doesn't like being treated like an animal but soon discovers the treatment is actually working. He's listening to his mom and he doesn't like it one bit. Cartman resolves to have his Mom killed. It involved having Kenny on lookout, Stan covering her with a pillow, and Kyle shooting her in the face, with Token being framed for the crime. Of course Cartman can't do it himself because he's too obvious a suspect. The boys refuse to play along. He eventually decides to go it alone by stabbing her but goes through a whole Altered States thing as his evil side and his new good side conflict. He eventually wakes up as a good kid but is put back on the the bad track when his mom starts spoiling him again. This episode is great because it explains why Cartman is the way he is.
4. Trapped in the Closet (Season 9): Stan takes a personality test and soon turns into the reincarnation of Scientology's L Ron Hubbard. (Hubbard was a sci-fi writer the founder of Scientology. It was created to "make money" apparently.) He finds his new fame difficult to deal with. Tom Cruise comes to meet him and Stan tells him he's not a good actor. Tom promptly locks himself in Stan's closet. First Nicole Kidman tries to get him out with no luck. Then John Travolta tries but locks himself in the closet too. Finally, R Kelly tries and gets locked in the closet with them. In the mean time, Stan is trying to write new scriptures for Scientology and learns the religion's terrible secret. He decides to make it free for everyone. In response, the group threatens to sue him, in England. (A poke at Scientology's litigatious nature) This episode is a hilarious sent up of the Scientology controversy, and for that reason it has become one of the most controversial South Park episodes. It is believed this is why Isacc Hayes left the show, since he is a Scientologist. (Other reports point to him suffering a medical problem as the real reason) It also pokes fun at the rumors that Cruise and Travolta are gay, and thus in the closet about it.
3. Cartoon Wars (Season 10): Family Guy is going to show Muhammad, uncensored, on national TV. Muslims around the globe are threatening to launch a massive terror attack if the FOX network doesn't censor the image. Cartman decides he can't let this happen and vows to go to Los Angeles to get the episoded pulled. Kyle comes with him after having nightmares about getting nuked. While riding on their big wheels to LA, Cartman tells Kyle the real meat of his plan. Get one episode pulled, then another group can demand to get another episode pulled, and so on so the show gets canceled. He hates Family Guy. Cartman is sick of having it's humor compared to his and wants it of the air for good. Kyle, who likes the show, must race to LA to stop Cartman before he can do it. While in LA, we learn that Family guy is written by Manatees who put jokes together with idea balls. Take one ball out of the tank and they stop working. Cartman recruits Bart Simpson (just referred to as "Kid") to help him with his plan. The episode ends with a an epic showdown between Kyle and Cartman. In the end, Muhammad is aired uncensored, but Comedy Central pusses out and doesn't show him. This episode obviously take a lot of pokes at Family Guy for being a ripoff of the Simpsons and South Park. However, it's underlying theme was how American media treated the Danish Mohammed Cartoon controversy. Mohammad was shown on South Park uncensored in Super Best Friends, where he is depicted as a super hero.
2. Scott Tenorman Must Die (Season 5): Cartman buys pubes (pubic hair) off eigth grader Scott Tenorman for $10. He reasons that simple having pubes makes him a man. The boys tell him that Scott ripped him off so Cartman goes to get his $10 back. In the process of his crazy schemes to get the money back (including pretending to be an IRS agent collecting a Pubes tax), Cartman ends up losing an additonal $6.12. When he finds out he's been had, Scott makes him grovel by making him sing "I'm a little piggie", which Scott later airs a video of on TV. An irate Cartman gathers the fourth graders to get back at Scott since "he may take our lives, but he'll never take my GOD DAMN $16.12!" The boys don't play along so Cartman is on his own. He decides to train a pony to bite off Scott's wiener in front of his favourite band Radiohead. When the boys tip off Scott, Cartman changes his plan, he'll set up a fake Chili Con Carnival. Scott tells his parents that Farmer Denkins is abusing the pony. Cartman in turn tells Denkins there are dangerous pony rustlers in the area. Scott takes the pubes from every kid in town and puts them in his chili. Cartman makes his own special recipe. At the carnival, Cartman and Scott have a chili tasting contest. Unbeknownst to Scott, Cartman switched the pube chili with Chef's. He then informs Scott that his parents were shot on sight by Denkins. Cartman made off with the bodies and spent the night with a hacksaw to be ready for his Chilli Con Carnival. Cartman informs Scott that he's been eating his own parents. Scott bursts into tears, and Radiohead labels him as a cry baby. This episode is great because it marks Cartman's transition form being just an asshole to the most evil kid in the world. All that for $16.12. The boys learn that it's wise never to piss Cartman off.
1. Imagination Land (Season 12): A brilliant three story arc which sees the boys transported into the imagination, which is promptly attacked by terrorists who unleash the imprisoned evil imaginary characters. The episode begins with Kyle making a bet with Cartman that there is no such thing as leprechauns. The prize if Carman wins? Kyle has to literally suck his balls. Cartman eventually finds the leprechaun and shows it to Kyle, who tries to weasel out of the bet. Cartman eventually gets a court order forcing Kyle to do it. In the mean time, Butters gets stuck in Imagination Land trying to flee from the evil imaginary characters, including Al Gore's ManBearPig (a reference to global warming) and Cartman's satanic Christmas Critters. Jason Vorhees notes that he wouldn't want to meet the twisted kid for dreamt up the Critters. (The Critters were made up by Cartman back in Season 8's Woodland Critter Christmas to demonize Kyle.) While meeting with characters such as Aslan, Popeye, Glinda, and Luke Skywalker (the rulers of Imagination Land), Butters learns he has a special power to create and change things in Imagination Land. He uses this power to help the good characters fight the evil ones. Stan and Kyle go to rescue Butters while Cartman tries to hunt Kyle down and force him to suck his balls. In the end, Cartman uses Butters' power to make an imaginary Kyle suck an imaginary Cartman's balls. According to Cartman, Kyle is a "dirty girl". This episode is great on so many levels. It pokes at how our post-9/11 society has lost it's imagination, it pokes fun at Al Gore and global warming, and it's yet another example of how far Cartman will go to get his way.
Five Worst Episodes
5. Pip (Season 4): This episode is a very loose retelling of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, starring Pip Purrup, who is the main character from the book. Pip has been in past South Park episodes as the third grade's British kid. The episode features (part live action) and is narrated by Malcom McDowell, who played Alex in A Clockwork Orange. He simply identifies himself as "A British Person". The episode is considered too esoteric and is not shown often on Comedy Central in the US due to it being unpopular with the fans. The Comedy Network in Canada runs every episode from the beginning to the end so it is shown more frequently here. It doesn't feature any of the boys or any other South Park characters except Pip. It's not really that bad an episode but I can see how some would find it too off beat for South Park. Pip seems to have disappeared from the show since "Professor Chaos" with the exception of being used as a non-speaking background character. He has not been seen at all since "D-Yikes".
4. Mr Garison's Fancy New Vagina (Season 9): Garison is the ultimate perv. He's been strait, gay, a zoophile, a pedophile, and tried to engage in incest with his own Dad. (Though he ended up having sex with Kenny G instead, thinking it was his dad) Now he decides he wants to be transgendered and gets a sex change operation to become a woman. The doctor also gives Kyle a "negroplasty" to make him black and therefore better at basket ball. He uses Garison's balls for knee implants. Gerald is turned into a dolphin using Garison's scrotum to make the dorsal fin. When finding out he can't menstruate, Garison decides he's not a full woman and wants to be changed back. His balls are eventually destroyed when kyle lands hard and crushes them. Garison in the end decides to keep being a "woman" for the time being. I never liked the idea of Garison as a woman. He's a lot funnier as a guy. Thank god they changed him back in "Eek, a Penis".
3. Woodland Critter Christmas (Season 8): A Christmas story staring Stan who's encountered some cute woodland critters while walking through the forest. At first appearing to be a retelling of the birth of Jesus, Stan learns that one of the critters is about to give birth to the spawn of Satan. In celebration, the critters have a blood orgy. During the episode, Kyle craves the evil power and is possessed by the devil spawn before the satanic fetus can be aborted from him by a group of mountain lion cubs. In the end, Kyle dies of AIDS. (He almost really did in Tonsil Trouble, which also could have made this list.) The whole episode turns out to be a story written by Cartman for a class presentation. Critter Christmas is one of the weakest Christmas episodes. It's a gorey and horrifying episode even for South Park, but also it's just not very entertaining or laugh out loud funny either. This episode clearly suggests that Cartman might be mentally ill, which has been hinted at before but in much funnier ways.
2. Lice Capades (Season 11): Clyde has lice and he doesn't want anybody to know. That would have been a great premise had they not followed the lice's point of view. The whole point of the episode seems to be we should not abuse our environment, though Matt and Trey have mocked the environmental movement in the past several times. (Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow, ManBearPig) This episode has it's moments but it's just too bizarre and corny, even for South Park, though the last scene with them settling in Angelina Jolee's pubic hair was funny. (It's rumored Angelina doesn't like to be touched, therefore her pubic hair would he a safe haven.)
1. A Million Little Fibers (Season 10): Both Matt and Trey have admitted this is a weak episode. It pokes fun at the Million Little Pieces controversy on Oprah. (An issue that's really difficult to parody since it was basically just a guy claiming a work of fiction he wrote was his real life story.) The episode features Towlie McTowel who has written a book about his life. (Towlie is an anthropomorphic beach towel who likes to get high on marijuana. Last seen in the episode "Towlie", I always though of him as a weak character) He pretends to be a human since towels can't get books published, and hence there is controversy when Oprah finds out he's really a towel. In the mean time Oprah's vagina Mingy decides to hold a coup with her anus Gary due to both having a lack of attention from their owner. The episode doesn't feature the boys at all and the story is weak, making it the worst South Park episode yet.