20 Times South Park Proved It Was The King Of Satire
Whenever another piece of bad news comes out, no matter how bad, there will always be a part of me that thinks, “I wonder what South Park is going to do with this.” Over the years South Park has become a voice of unbiased reason to poke fun at a chaotic world, so here are 15 episodes that impart satirical enlightenment.
You’re Not Yelping
“You’re Not Yelping” shines a light on the undeserved power entitled Yelp reviewers have over struggling businesses. If you’ve worked in the restaurant industry you know how picky some Yelpers can be for no reason at all, so it will hit home especially hard. A real middle finger to people who say things like, “I never give five stars!”
All About Mormons
Randy: “You can’t believe everything school tells you, Stan.”
Serving as the basis for Parker and Stone’s hit Broadway musical, The Book Of Mormon, South Park first tackled the topic of the Mormon faith in the season seven episode “All About Mormons.” The episode revolves around an uber-polite Mormon family that moves into South Park, then lampoons the bones of the Mormon religion with flashbacks to Joseph Smith.
This episode tackles the ridiculousness of keeping children in cages at the border, as the guards realize any one of those kids could indeed grow up to be Mexican Joker. When Kyle is put in the cell with the Mexican kids and reveals he’s Jewish, the guard says, “Oh boy we gotta get this kid out of here. People might think we’re racist.”
When immigrants from the future show up in a one-way time portal (which follows Terminator rules) to find work, South Park citizens uproar against them for “taking their jobs.” The episode was a brilliant skewing of America’s reaction to immigration, and how immigrants will often work for low unfair wages to support their families. “Dey turk err jerbs!”
South Park: Post Covid
The Paramount Plus exclusive South Park: Post Covid lampoons about everything possible that’s happened in the last three years from woke culture, to vaccines, and the quarantine. A personal favorite is when Clyde says he can’t get vaccinated to save the entire town, because he has a shellfish allergy, and the vaccine might have small traces of shellfish. Clyde said he won’t take the vaccine out of pure “shellfishness.”
Best Friends Forever
The episode “Best Friends Forever” puts a magnifying glass up to the media craze that surrounded the famous right-to-die case concerning Terry Schiavo. The episode revolves around Kenny being substituted for Schaivo so that he can die to fight Satan’s army. Kenny’s will states “If I should ever be in a vegetative state and kept alive on life support, please for the love of God don’t ever show me in that condition on national television.” This episode won an Emmy for its commentary on the situation.
Douche and Turd
South Park touches on our current political situation when Stan is forced to vote for a school mascot that will either be a giant douche or a turd sandwich. “Let's get out the vote! Let's make our voices heard! We've been given the right to choose between a douche and a turd. It's democracy in action! Put your freedom to the test. A big, fat turd or a stupid douche. Which do you like best?”
Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy
South Park points out the fact that people have very different reactions to teacher/ student relationships if the teacher is an attractive female and the student is male.
Cop: “Some young boy is having sex with miss Stevenson?”
Medicinal Fried Chicken
The episode “Medicinal Fried Chicken” satirizes the legalization of medical marijuana, with all the men of South Park giving themselves testicular cancer in order to get a medicinal marijuana card. The episode also touches on the commercialism of fast-food giants like KFC.
You Have 0 Friends
This episode focuses on the social media-obsessed culture of today. When everybody in South Park becomes infatuated with Facebook, Stan tries to delete his account only to be sucked into the computer Tron-style. The episode also shines a genuine light on the mental tolls social media can have on some all wrapped up in a little Tron package.
World War Zimmerman
This episode takes on the mountainous task of satirizing the George Zimmerman/ Trayvon Martin case. The plot touches on stand-your-ground laws, police brutality, the unwarranted murder of black citizens, and white guilt.
“Black Friday”, the first episode in the Game Of Thrones parody trilogy, lampoons the insanity behind Black Friday shoppers and how out of hand they can get. Randy joins the mall security team to prepare for the holiday, as the year before “26 people died and 461 were seriously injured.”
This episode does a fantastic job of satirizing protests, police brutality, and performative activism by hollow people with no real opinions. The citizens of South Park decide they no longer want a police force in the town, then change their minds once they need police to remove the rising homeless population. It's exactly like that episode of “The News” that plays every day on several channels.
Before Covid vaccines were a thing, some people just thought vaccines were evil, period. The episode “Shots!!!,” which happens to be South Park’s 300th episode, follows Cartman as he refuses to get a shot because he fears it will make him “artistic.” Cartman is usually whatever the opposite of “the voice of reason” is, which is pretty plain to see in this episode.
Stunning And Brave
The first introduction of PC Principal, “Stunning and Brave” represents all the letters from the easily offended that have obviously been sent to South Park over the years. The episode showcases PC Principal's tendency to beat the hell out of anyone who might offend, similar to that of the worst person you know on Instagram.
Trapped In The Closet
South Park is not afraid of going after religion, as seen several times before, but the Scientology episode “Trapped In The Closet” is certainly one for the books. Scientologist leaders recognize Stan as the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard, leading to a cutscene explanation of Scientology with the phrase, “This is what Scientologists actually believe."
Go God Go
After Cartman freezes himself in an attempt to skip time until the Wii is released, he accidentally wakes up hundreds of years in the future. While everyone is far more advanced as a result of giving up religion, three groups are still at war just because they can’t agree on what to name their non-religious group. The episode focuses on the fact that no matter what religion, laws or societal expectations exist, humans (and otters) will always find something to argue over.
Make Love Not Warcraft
A personal favorite, “Make Love Not Warcraft” turns the mirror (lovingly) on World Of Warcraft players, and the addiction MMO games can cause. Parker and Stone got the chance to work with WOW creator Blizzard Entertainment for the episode and won the show an Emmy in the process.
South Park: The Streaming Wars
Another Paramount Plus exclusive, South Park: The Streaming Wars, tackles the countless number of streaming services today, that spend no time on the quality of their content in order to just push out as many shows as possible. A bold move for a show that is literally a streaming exclusive, but hey, that’s kind of the point.
Douche And Danish
Mr. Garrison as Trump was a revelation. Mr. Garrison dons a spray tan and the “Make America Great Again” slogan, as he does sexist racist stand-up at his convention speech. Garrison even says, “It’s fixed. I was never gonna win in the first place. I knew it from the beginning, and on November 8th when I lose, I’ll be able to say ‘I told ya so.’” Just FYI, This episode came out in 2016.
For exclusive ComedyNerd content and more, subscribe to our spiffy newsletter:
Top Image: Comedy Central