The Best ‘South Park’ Episode for Each Main Character — And Butters
Despite its deep bench of characters, South Park will forever circle back to its core players: The children. From an animated Christmas card to a billion-dollar pop-culture phenomenon touching every imaginable medium, the guiding light has always been an eclectic group of foul-mouthed elementary school buddies.
With that in mind, we’re way past due in breaking down the best episodes for each of the four boys of South Park (and Butters) ...
Episode: “You’re Getting Old,” Season 15, Episode 7
Why It’s His Best: This episode helps define Stan (and most of us) as he goes through a transition period of growing up and realizing that mostly everything new sucks. Admittedly, Stan can be selfish at times, but his defiance and ability to dig in his heels and stand against what he believes to be wrong is second to none. While poignant in most episodes, this trait leads him down a troublesome path here as his cynicism and judginess take over until he finally finds the one thing that will help smooth over his rigid perspective — lots and lots of whiskey.
Episode: “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo,” Season 1, Episode 9
Why It’s His Best: Kyle is a true fighter for what’s right — noble, kind and without judgment — all while celebrating a talking, singing piece of poop whenever the holidays roll around. Speaking of which, this episode was an early hit. Revealing that he feels left out during Christmas due to his Jewish faith, Kyle shows that every person of every religion can embody the Christmas spirit. Moreover, he and Mr. Hankey prove that friendships can form in even the unlikeliest of scenarios and between the unlikeliest of “people.”
Episode: “South ParQ Vaccination Special,” Season 24 Episode 2
Why It’s His Best: “No one cares about your stupid broships!” is the anger-tinged sentence that causes Kenny’s tears to fall. Beyond the Mysterion saga, this episode stands alone for Kenny’s true-to-form reaction of trying his best to keep his closest friends together throughout our world’s most trying time: COVID. Coupled with the running gag that he is everyone’s child in the gang’s divorce, Kenny really does display his loyalty to his friends via numerous attempts to bring back that old “pack of rascals” feeling to the gang.
Episode: “Scott Tenorman Must Die,” Season 5, Episode 4
Why It’s His Best: Easily the darkest episode of the entire series and a horrifying look into the psyche of South Park’s favorite little round boy, Eric Cartman. With a terrorizing bully putting his back against the wall, Cartman unleashes the depths of darkness lurking inside of him, going full-on Shakespeare when he not only bests the evil Scott Tenorman but tricks him into eating a chili made from his parents. As Kyle says, “Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss off Cartman again.” Good advice Kyle, good advice.
Episode: “Awesome-o,” Season 8, Episode 5
Why It’s His Best: Just a beautiful, heartwarming episode of a boy and his toy robot becoming best friends on a road trip that creates a lifetime of memories, especially for Cartman. Posing as a fake robot to humiliate Butters, Cartman has to succumb to the sweet innocence that is Butters, who fully believes and trusts in Awesome-o and his unwavering support. Butters crushes this episode with his genuine childish charm, which places Cartman in some justifiably horrible positions, including helping insert Butter’s nightly suppository.