Ever since the airing of the pilot episode in 1997, South Park has been constantly taking satire to the next level. Their spice and pepper was represented by the tastefully offensive edge to it combined with a humor so well developed that you’ll end up laughing at the most shocking of things. Needless to say, nobody goes to watch South Park expecting not to be offended and, hopefully, we’ve all learned that during the astounding 19 seasons of airtime. So, with over 260 episodes to pick from, which are the South Park episodes that truly stand out?
#1 Scott Tenorman Must Die
Season 5, Episode 4
Arguably one of the greatest things to ever come out of South Park was Eric Cartman. He managed to incorporate insanely offensive cruelty with the shenanigans and often innocent behavior of a child. Many people consider this episode to be the ultimate Cartman episode, not in the sense that it showcased some sort of unexpected layer to his character, but because it was simply Cartman in all his awful glory.
#2 Make Love, Not Warcraft
Season 10, Episode 8
One of the many things that South Park manages to do brilliantly is to poke fun at pop culture. Combine one of the greatest seasons the show has ever had with one of the most popular games ever and you’ve got yourself an episode filled with relatable references and moments of genuine authenticity. The use of actual gameplay footage only manages to compliment the ever so cringeworthy WoW slang, all of which make this one of the top South Park episodes.
#3 Woodland Critters Christmas
Season 8, Episode 14
This Christmas special was just about as South Park-esque as you’d expect and even more. A group of abominable creatures with gag-inducing shenanigans and behavior masked by their apparent cuteness are the perfect symbolism for the show overall. Don’t be fooled by the minimalist design of the characters or they will likely negatively surprise you with their crudeness.
#4 Butters’ Very Own Episode
Season 5, Episode 14
South Park episodes that temporary steal the spotlight from the main characters they typically focus on tend to be pretty successful. This was the case with this episode, which allowed us to peek into the life of Butters, the ever so innocent character who captured our hearts by being the complete opposite of the likes of Cartman.
#5 The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers
Season 6, Episode 13
The really funny thing about this episode is just how mundane it is at heart despite our protagonists’ quest of apparent proportions. All of the young boys of South Park gather and start a journey of Tolkien inspiration, something that’s very similar to the premise of The Stick of Truth. South Park episodes are very strongly tied with other forms of media.
#6 Imaginationland, Episode III
Season 11, Episode 12
The more time you have to tell a story, the better developed it this. This is one of the main reasons why South Park three-part episodes tended to be successful. The Imaginationland saga was wild from start to finish, but the last part, in particular, was sufficiently thrilling. What’s more, it was another moment for the ever so pure Butters to shine as a supreme savior.
#7 Trapped in the Closet
Season 9, Episode 12
We already know how South Park isn’t afraid to go all-in with its satire, even if it involves completely tarnishing the reputation of famous people. After all, satirized truth always hurts. In this episode, we see Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and R. Kelly get thrown into the closet in what is one of the greatest movements against scientology. And one of the greatest South Park episodes, of course.
#8 Breast Cancer Show Ever
Season 12, Episode 9
Speaking of episodes that steer the spotlight away from the main characters, here is another example. We may not think much of Wendy during normal South Park runs, but once she is given a time to shine on her own, she is proven to be a pretty compelling character whose underestimated wits surpass even those of Stan and Kyle.
Season 5, Episode 8
Sometimes South Park decides to just come up with a walking and talking towel. Sometimes it decides to throw the boys in the middle of a towel conspiracy that keeps them from playing their favorite game. Either way, this episode is so insane simply by the sound of it that it managed to spawn Towlie, a character with an impact more than significant.
#10 Christian Hard Rock
Season 7, Episode 9
They’ve already picked on scientology and cancer, what’s to think they’d steer away from religion? In this episode, Cartman somehow manages to convince Token to be a part of his Christian rock band, founded simply because they bring in a lot of money. If you look past the offensive lyrics, the tunes are actually kind of catchy.