The 25 Greatest Kenny Deaths for South Park’s 25 Seasons
South Park will forever be known as “that show where they kill Kenny in every episode,” even though they killed off that gag in 2001 and only occasionally bring it out of retirement, kind of like what The Simpsons did with funny episodes. To celebrate the fact that this show somehow hasn’t been sued out of existence by one of its many, many maligned celebrities, let’s look back at the most incredible ways that they killed Kenny, those bastards...
Frosty Kills “Kenny”
The first Kenny death ever was only technically a Kenny death. In the handmade 1992 Jesus vs. Frosty short that started it all, an evil lump of snow grows tentacles and throws the character who looks like Cartman to his death, at which point proto-Kyle yells out, “Oh my God, Frosty killed Kenny!” Later, Frosty does kill the character wearing the orange parka and some other random kids before being destroyed by the power of Jesus. A great way to set the tone for the series.
Getting Killed in Warcraft
Another memorable non-Kenny death was when his World of Warcraft character was pwned by a half-naked dancing troll, prompting Stan and Kyle to yell out their catchphrases over voice chat. Kenny never actually dies in this episode, although his cholesterol levels do get dangerously high due to excessive junk food consumption, so he probably knocked some years off his life expectancy.
Laughing Himself to Death
In the classic “Scott Tenorman Must Die,” Kenny laughs so hard at a video of Cartman dancing like a piggy that he drops dead. His spirit then continues laughing as it leaves his body. Aww, he missed out on meeting Radiohead.
Being Crushed by an Elevator
Right before the first mall concert by Fingerbang, the band formed by the boys (plus Wendy Testaburger pretending to be one), Kenny is crushed by a poorly designed elevator and his own lack of situational awareness. Cartman is devastated... that they can’t perform without a fifth member. Luckily Stan’s dad steps in to save the day.
The boys are just walking down the street when Kenny bursts into flames, making Kyle yell, “You bastards!” at no one in particular. It’s later determined that Kenny exploded from holding his farts for too long due to having a new girlfriend, which inspires the entire town to fart so much that they cause a hole in the ozone layer. Remember, kids: Always fart responsibly.
Mixing Antacid Tablets and Water
When Kenny mistakes the bowl of antacid tablets that Kyle’s dad keeps in his office for mints and drinks some water, the resulting gas buildup causes him to explode. By this point, Stan and Kyle are so used to their friend blowing up in front of them that they just laugh and say, “That was a good one.”
Being Thrown at the Ceiling by
Michael Jackson Mr. Jefferson
In an attempt to save their new neighbor, little Blanket, from his dangerously deluded dad, Stan and Kyle convince one of their friends to put on a mask and pose as the kid. Only once Blanket’s dad throws the impostor at the ceiling, killing him, do we realize it was actually Kenny without his parka on. Unfortunately, this was not Kenny’s only fateful encounter with a celebrity...
Killed by Jay Leno’s Chin
In a special Thanksgiving-themed short made for The Tonight Show, action star Jay Leno visits South Park Elementary. Leno’s plow-sized chin ends up knocking over a flagpole that falls on a shelf and launches a George Washington bust at Kenny’s head, killing him. Rather than facing responsibility, Leno deploys a helicopter mechanism from his chin and flies away.
Getting His Head Bitten Off by Ozzy Osbourne
In the “Chef Aid” episode, we find out that Ozzy only bit the head off a bat because he misheard Chef saying he should get a “pompadour hat.” It’s unclear what inspired Ozzy to bite the head of some random kid in the audience, but we’re guessing it rhymes with “brugs.”
Beaten to Death by a Monkey
Devoid of purpose after Cartman stopped using him to learn how to spell, the monkey included in his “Hooked on Monkey Fonics” set goes insane and kills Kenny. This did not prevent the monkey from later scoring a new job as the second drummer for the band Dio.
Pecked to Death by Mutant Turkeys
Kenny is one of the victims of the invasion of genetically-altered turkeys, which are basically regular turkeys except more murderous. Yes, even more murderous.
Carried Over by an Eagle
When human rights activist Gloria Allred thanks six brave little boys for “exposing” the Boy Scouts as gay bashers, some sort of giant eagle swoops over and snatches Kenny. Allred quickly corrects herself: “Five brave little boys.”
Eaten by a Giant Reptilian Bird
Confirming Kenny’s terrible luck with avian creatures, he’s suddenly eaten by a giant reptilian bird whose existence was earlier hypothesized by his agnostic foster father. Once again, the real victim here is Cartman, who, in Kenny’s absence, becomes the poorest kid in school.
Falling into a Vat of Lava
Kenny falls into lava while the boys attempt to retrieve their 2001 Okama Gamesphere from a secret lab, but, hey, at least the others saved the console and can still play four-player games with Towelie.
Chopped Up by a Giant Fan
Of all the lessons the boys have learned over the years, one of the most important was “never hold a magnet while standing near a giant metallic fan” because... well, duh.
Knocked Into a Microwave
Also, never stand next to a microwave.
Hanged to Death by a Tetherball
Or play tetherball.
Getting Stuck in Conveyor Belt and Crushed
In fact, never do anything, ever.
Getting Stuck in a Fishbowl and Eaten by a Goldfish
Proving that birds and monkeys aren’t the only animals that have it in for Kenny, our boy completes the land, air and sea creature trifecta with this one.
Getting Stuck in a Jigsaw Machine and Thrown into a Box of Rusty Nails
Okay, now that boy is just being clumsy.
Falling into a Grave, Knocking Over the Tombstone and Being Crushed by It
Note that Kyle is clearly sick of saying, “You bastards!” already, and it’s only Season Three.
Being Blasted by a UFO, Tramped by Cows then Run Over by a Police Cruiser
It’s amazing that the first Kenny death in the show itself already feels like they’re tired of the gag and doing an overly elaborate version of it as some sort of meta-joke. Speaking of self-aware deaths…
Getting Shot by Mysterion (aka Himself)
During the “Mysterion” storyline, we find out that Kenny is painfully aware of his cycle of death and rebirth and remembers what it feels like “to be shot, decapitated, torn apart, burned, ran over,” and so on. He ends up shooting himself in the head in a desperate attempt to make his friends remember his suffering. They don’t, but it was worth a shot.
Dying for Real
In a very special episode titled “Kenny Dies,” the boys discover that Kenny is suffering from a terminal illness and must come to terms with his loss before he passes away. Even Cartman seems to be taking it hard and becomes a stem-cell research activist to help his friend. Of course, it turns out that Cartman merely wanted to use those stem cells to replicate a Shakey’s Pizza and have free food, but at least his awfulness helps Stan cope with not being there for Kenny in the end.
Lighting a Fart on Fire and Having His Heart Replaced by a Potato (and Saving His Friends)
The greatest Kenny death happens in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, not just because it’s incredibly funny (George Clooney’s “It never gets... any... easier!” followed by whistling is his greatest performance), but because it leads to the franchise’s emotional high point: Kenny’s spirit willingly giving up his chance to come back to life to undo the effects of the USA/Canada war and save his friends, whom he leaves with a heartfelt, and actually intelligible, “Goodbye, you guys.”
As a reward for his sacrifice, he’s finally welcomed into Heaven by all those busty angels, who are probably the only reason why he did this in the first place, come to think of it.
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