All the Times ‘South Park’ Spilled into Real Life
Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s silly little cartoon about kids who never age and the glorification of yuletide turds has had quite an influence on the world at large. Not only did South Park ignite the shock animation renaissance, but media outlets far and wide found themselves increasingly commenting on the latest controversy of every other episode.
This has also led folks to argue that South Park helped raise a generation of trolls, along with others suggesting that it accidentally created the alt-right. While the show has both done some things right and clearly some wrong, there is no denying the impact Colorado’s animated residents have had on culture over the last quarter century, especially considering that…
‘South Park’ Has Influenced the Law
In the second season episode, “Chef’s Aid,” Chef sues Alanis Morissette for allegedly plagiarizing him. Johnnie Cochran acts as Morissette’s lawyer and uses the “Chewbacca defense,” which goes like this:
Since its debut, the Chewbacca defense has been used to describe any attempt by a criminal defense lawyer to confuse a trial jury instead of arguing against the prosecutor. It’s also been used in reference to political commentary because no one loves talking nonsense like a politician. In 2022, a prosecutor made headlines during a federal tax fraud case for supposedly “defeating” the Chewbacca defense by bringing it up to prove that the defense lawyer was, basically, full of crap.
‘South Park’ Led to Brian Boitano’s Cooking Show
Boitano went from Olympic figure-skating champion to semi-recurring superhero character on South Park. Must be nice. He also gets a major shoutout in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut’s musical number, “What Would Brian Boitano Do?”
In 2009, the Food Network decided to capitalize on Boitano’s cartoon fame by having him host a cooking show slyly named, What Would Brian Boitano Make? The show enjoyed two seasons of Boitano coming up with recipes for his friends on-screen.
‘South Park’ Has Inspired College Courses
Back in 2008, Brooklyn College became the first institute on record to teach a course in Television and Radio Studies about South Park and the theory of political correctness. Others have followed with similar courses, and many universities have published papers discussing various aspects of the show.
‘South Park’ Provided Cover for the Coinye Cryptocurrency
In 2014, a script-based cryptocurrency named Coinye West was released, blatantly drawing on the likeness of Kanye West. When the rapper and disgraced South Park character sent the developers a cease-and-desist order, they responded by removing “West” from the title and stating that it wasn’t based on Kanye but rather on a “half-man, half-fish hybrid.”
‘South Park’ Gave Birth to Actual Cheesy Poofs
Yep, Cartman’s favorite cheese-flavored snack went from fictional to the real thing. Mentioned in South Park’s very first episode and sporadically throughout its first two seasons, Cheesy Poofs disappeared for a while but made a comeback in Season 10 when Cartman poured a box onto the road to thwart Kyle during a tricycle chase scene. More important, however, is the time when Cartman did a commercial dressed as one of his favorite chips.
Comedy Central first released a limited edition of the cheesy chips in 1998 via their website, all packaged in the box as seen on the show. Meanwhile, in 2011, they teamed up with Frito-Lay to celebrate the show’s 15th season and bring Cheesy Poofs to Walmarts across the country.
‘South Park’ Got the ‘Game of Thrones’ Creators to Shake Things Up
Hey, remember when South Park did those Game of Thrones episodes? Here’s a quick refresher:
Parker and Stone lampooned everything from the HBO show’s slow pace, its repetitive sequences and even the iconic intro theme by using a version of it with “wiener” dubbed over the tune. Still, it was the mockery of characters forever walking and plotting in some garden that hit the Game of Thrones creators hardest. In the DVD commentary of Season Four, they revealed that the episode about the boys being hung up on PlayStations and Xboxes convinced them to quit all those leisurely strolls through manicured gardens while characters plot a murder.
‘South Park’ Has Become a Genetic Marvel
In 2002, a scientist at the University of Strasbourg discovered a gene that causes fruit flies to die a mere two days after contracting a specific bacteria. She aptly named the gene kep1 in honor of the little dude who has died at the end of just so many episodes.