The 15 Most Outrageous 'South Park' Episodes Ever
by Kim Potts, posted Apr 27th 2011 2:30PM
Why 15? Because 'South Park's' 15th season is upon us (premieres Wednesday, April 27, 10PM ET on Comedy Central). Besides, if we included every outrageous episode, we'd pretty much have to count down all 209 installments that have aired so far.
15. 'The Passion of the Jew'
Original airdate: March 31, 2004
They did what?!: A spoof on Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ,' this installment found Eric Cartman inspired to start a Mel Gibson fan club ... and to don a Hitler-like costume and philosophy while yet again taunting pal Stan about being Jewish. Cartman, as usual, went way too far and even convinced some naive fellow 'Passion' fans to join his Nazi-esque march in support of what he thought the movie was about. But, in typical 'South Park' fashion, he and his POV got, uh, dumped on -- literally -- in the end.
14. 'Trapped in the Closet'
Original airdate: Nov. 16, 2005
They did what?!: Scientology, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, R. Kelly and various rumors surrounding celebs who may or may not be "in the closet" peppered this Emmy-nominated episode, in which a bored Stan was tested on a Scientology E-meter and deemed the reincarnation of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. In the end, Stan decided the church is "just a big fat global scam," which reportedly prompted Cruise to threaten to pull out of promoting 'Mission: Impossible III,' a Paramount movie, if Viacom didn't insure that Comedy Central (which, like Paramount, is a Viacom company) would not re-air the installment. The episode has aired on Comedy Central many times since and is available for free viewing at the South Park Studios Website.
13. 'Bloody Mary'
Original airdate: Dec. 7, 2005
They did what?!: Religious leaders all around the world were upset with this episode, in which Stan's dad Randy thought he'd been cured of his alcoholism by a statue of the Virgin Mary that seemed to be bleeding from its posterior. When a visit from the pope determined that the statue was bleeding out of its front instead, it was no longer considered a cure for disease, and Stan and Randy decided Randy just needed to learn to drink in moderation. The episode, which had premiered on the night before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic observance related directly to the Virgin Mary, which sparked rebukes from the Catholic League and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as religious leaders in New Zealand and Australia when 'Bloody Mary' was scheduled to air in those countries.
12. 'All About Mormons'
Original airdate: Nov. 19, 2003
They did what?!: The guys behind the movie 'Orgazmo' and the new hit Broadway musical 'The Book of Mormon' -- 'Park' creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- also gave us this episode, in which a family of Mormons moves into South Park. The fam, the Harrisons, are nice, friendly and very close as a family, which leads to a friendship with Stan Marsh and his family, and, eventually, a conversion to Mormonism by the Marshes. But when Stan begins to question some of the Mormon religion's teachings and casts his new friend, Gary Harrison, aside, Gary points out that, even if his religion is stupid, he's a nice guy who just wanted to be Stan's friend, and ends with a rude suggestion that has Cartman labeling Gary as a cool kid.
11. 'Red Hot Catholic Love'
Original airdate: July 3, 2002
They did what?!: Religious faith and ceremony, child molestation by priests and a new way of eating that was the literal opposite of the way we eat now came together in one big gross, but ultimately fair-minded plot in which the 'South Park' crew poked equal fun at conservatives and liberals and made the point that being a good person is more important than following the letter of a religious text or ceremony.
10. 'Britney's New Look'
Original airdate: March 19, 2008
They did what?!: In one of their least subtle plots ever, the 'South Park' crew made the point that celebrities in the midst of a meltdown can, but shouldn't be, pushed over the edge by paparazzi and obsessive fans. In this case, it was a scandal-plagued and emotionally fragile Britney Spears, who shot most of her head off (in a truly creepy scene) after Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Butters played a cruel joke on her. Britney survived, sorta, but when the guilt-ridden boys tried to spirit her away from the public eye, they're intercepted by a group of adults who tell them that a human sacrifice is sometimes necessary for a good corn crop, as they proceed to photograph Britney to death. Months later, the citizens of South Park are enjoying a good corn crop, and the boys see a news story about how Miley Cyrus is the next big thing ...
9. 'Krazy Kripples'
Original airdate: March 26, 2003
They did what?!: Handicapped kiddies Jimmy and Timmy, as well as actor Christopher Reeves, were at the center of this episode, in which Jimmy and Timmy formed their own club of "crips," unaware that an actual gang of the same name already existed. The "crips" and the "Crips" crossed paths, leading Jimmy and Timmy to accidentally cause the death of more than a dozen Bloods, the Crips rivals, while Reeve, in South Park to campaign for stem cell research for the handicapped, ended up becoming power mad after gaining superhero (like his movie alter ego, Superman) strength by sucking the life out of fetuses. All did not end well in one of the episode's plots, sparked, reportedly, by Matt Stone and Trey Parker's feeling that Reeve was trying to bully people into agreeing with his viewpoints.
8. 'A Million Little Fibers'
Original airdate: April 19, 2006
They did what?!: They plotted a conspiracy -- between Oprah Winfrey's vagina, named Mingee, and her butt, named Gary -- to get Oprah fired so she could spend more time with them and make Gary's dream of going to Paris come true. Little else about the plot, which also spoofed James Frey's 'A Million Little Pieces' debacle with Oprah, made sense or was particularly funny, but that the 'South Park' crew dared to get so down and dirty with The Big O is still pretty outrageous in our book.
7. 'Cartoon Wars Part II'
Original airdate: April 12, 2006
They did what?!: A discussion between Cartman and a Bart Simpson-like character about whose misdeeds were ornerier and a hilarious 'South Park' supposition about how 'Family Guy' cutaway scenes are written -- revolving around a tank of manatees and a pile of "idea balls' -- were the best parts of this memorable episode. But controversy, no stranger to the 'Park' crew, came from a censored depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, which, while part of the episode's plot, also became a reality when Comedy Central replaced a shot of Muhammad with a black screen that read, "In this shot, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy. Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network." This, despite the fact that 'South Park' had shown an image of Muhammad in an earlier episode, and, even more recently, in a cheeky image during the show's opening sequence.
6. 'Butters Very Own Episode'
Original airdate: Dec. 12, 2001
They did what?!: The season five finale featured 'South Park's' favorite whipping boy, Butters Stotch, who, while doing a favor for his mom, stumbled upon his father going into a gay porn theater and then a bathhouse, where Butters then saw Mr. Stotch "wrestling" with other men. He innocently relayed what he'd seen to his mother, who went insane and tried to kill Butters -- to protect him -- and then made up a story about Butters being kidnapped by "some Puerto Rican guy" to cover up her crime. O.J. Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey's parents figured into the plot, too, and the end, Butters returned home, having survived his mother's murder attempt, but so traumatized by the truth about both of his parents that even his favorite restaurant, Bennigan's, couldn't cheer him up.
Original airdate: April 14 and 21, 2010
They did what?!: 'South Park' again revisited the Muhammad controversy in this installment, which marked the show's 200th (and 201st) episodes and found many of the celebs mocked throughout the seasons returning to file a class action suit against the town. Tom Cruise started the lawsuit when Kyle referred to Cruise's job -- he was packing boxes in a fudge factory at the time -- and dozens of other celebs joined in. What did they want from the town? Access to Muhammad, whose "goo," according to the celebs, would mean they, too, could not be ridiculed. A clever revisiting of an old controversy by the show's creators, but one that led to a threat against Trey Parker and Matt Stone by a radical Muslim group. Comedy Central was so spooked by the threat, in fact, that episode '201' included not only censorship of images of Muhammad, but bleeps substituting for mentions of him, as well.
And, we'd provide a clip of the episode here, but even SouthParkStudios.com, the series creators' official Website, does not provide the full episode or preview clips for episodes '200' and '201.' Both episodes are included on the new 'South Park' season 14 DVD box set, though episode '201' is in its broadcast version, meaning, yes, it's censored.
4. 'Crème Fraiche'
Original airdate: Nov. 17, 2010
They did what?!: We've all seen those Shake Weight commercials and had the same naughty thoughts. So did the 'South Park' crew, and they put them all in this episode, which also spoofs the Food Network and how addictive cooking shows are, and, in their own weird 'South Park' way, comments on marriage and fidelity.
3. 'Hell on Earth 2006'
Original airdate: Oct. 25, 2006
They did what?!: Satan decided that Halloween was his holiday, and, to celebrate it, he was going to throw a huge costume party in Los Angeles. Funny enough premise, especially since Satan's ego spiraled out of control and made him realize he'd become as bad as the spoiled teens on 'My Super Sweet 16' (even though his minions assured him he wasn't that bad). The controversy: Among Satan's costumed guests was Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter," who arrived in his usual outfit, with a stingray sticking out of his chest. Satan approached the guest and told him he thought the costume was in poor taste, only to find out it was the real Steve Irwin, with the stingray that had killed him, in his chest. Some media watchers, and Irwin's family and friends, thought the joke was in poor taste, too, especially since it came about six weeks after the TV personality's death.
2. 'It Hits the Fan'
Original airdate: June 20, 2001
They did what?!: In a jab at shows like 'NYPD Blue,' which were deemed groundbreaking for using profanity, this episode featured the S-word being uttered 162 times. Outrageous, yes, but there was little controversial fallout. When the 'South Park' gang proposed the episode, and that they would use the profanity a few times throughout, Comedy Central rejected the idea. But when they decided to take it over the top and add in dozens more instances of the word, the network signed off on it.
1. 'Scott Tenorman Must Die'
Original airdate: July 11, 2001
They did what?!: It's routinely cited as a fan favorite episode, but, even with a guest appearance by Radiohead, Kenny's death via laughter and a Shakespeare tragedy ('Titus Andronicus') as an inspiration, it also has to go down as one of the grossest, most undeniably outrageous episodes of 'South Park,' too. Cartman, after being one-upped and humiliated by titular ninth grader Scott Tenorman, plotted a vicious revenge: He had Scott's parents killed, ground up and cooked into chili, which he then had Scott eat! And adding insult to really heinous chili, he then had Scott's favorite band, Radiohead, show up and laugh at a crying Scott, while Cartman licked away his tears.
The episode does have a karmic postscript, though. In season 14's '201,' Scott Tenorman returned with a plot for vengeance of his own. He informed Cartman that his real dad was actually Jack Tenorman, meaning Cartman had his own father killed and fed to his half-sibling.
Did we forget your favorite outrageous episode? Share them in the comments.