7 Times Other Shows Were Meaner Than ‘South Park’
South Park has a notorious reputation for being mean, nasty and downright vicious. But Virgin Mary and Steve Irwin controversies aside, it’s hardly the meanest show that’s graced our TV screens. Here are just a few times where South Park’s peers were much, much meaner…
The Time Dennis from ‘It’s Always Sunny…’ Told Sweet Dee Just How Useless She Is
Dee is the brunt of everyone’s disdain on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but no one is crueler to her than her twin brother Dennis. And he’s never crueler to her than in Season 10’s “Psycho Pete Returns,” when he tells her, “I swear you would be of more use to me if I skinned you and turned you into a lampshade.” The harshness didn’t end there either; the ideas kept flowing as he thought he could “fashion (her) into a piece of high-end luggage,” too. He says all of this, of course, with his signature nonchalant smile and general air of insanity.
The Time BoJack Horseman ‘Ruined’ His Mother
BoJack Horseman is generally a dark and cruel comedy, and the Season Two premiere is no exception. Offering some backstory to the root of our tragic hero’s insecurities, there’s a moment when BoJack’s mother Beatrice point-blank tells him that he’s “ruined” her. She says she was beautiful before she got pregnant and pressures him with the ultimatum, “You better grow up to be something great, to make up for all the damage you’ve done.” To lighten the mood, she exits the scene by announcing she’s going to go hide her husband’s heart medicine.
The Time Huey Freeman Took on the One Percent in ‘The Boondocks’
Both the pint-size misanthrope Huey Freeman and The Boondocks as a whole tell you exactly who they are in the series premiere. While it may not have been mean to Huey, it was harsh to the ears of wealthy white partygoers to hear him announce, “Jesus was Black, Ronald Reagan was the devil and the government is lying about 9/11. Thank you for your time and goodnight.”
The Time ‘American Dad’s Nathan Was Victim-Blamed
The landscape of primetime adult animation before 2010 was a little different. Case in point: One fairly quotable line from American Dad’s fourth season. When regular cameo character Nathan started dancing with Stan Smith, his father immediately reprimanded him with, “Nathan, this is why you keep getting molested.”
The Time Stewie from ‘Family Guy’ Slut-Shamed a Sex Worker
Just like its counterpart American Dad, there was a time when Family Guy’s humor was a bit more gauche than it is today. For instance, in the very questionably-titled 2005 episode “Petarded.” In it, Peter Griffin tries to frame Cleveland as being unfit to be a father by hiring a handful of sex workers. Peter’s son Stewie lays it on thick and asks one of the call girls, “So tell me, is there any tread left on the tires at all, or at this point would it be like throwing a hot dog down a hallway?”
The Time Omni-Man from ‘Invicible’ Knocked Some Sense Into His Son
Another case of tough parenting came from the dynamic superhero duo of Omni-Man (voiced brilliantly by J.K. Simmons) and Invincible. After beating his son to a pulp in the Season One episode “Where I Really Come From” — quite literally trying to knock sense into him and deter him from the “futile” desire to save humanity — Omni-Man delivers one of the show’s most memorable monologues: “Why did you make me do this? You’re fighting so you can watch everyone around you die! Think, Mark! You’ll outlast every fragile, insignificant being on this planet. You’ll live to see this world crumble to dust and blow away! Everyone and everything you know will be gone! What will you have after 500 years?”
The Time One Young Gay on ‘Big Mouth’ Got His Comeuppance
Matthew MacDeal is the primary queer character on Netflix’s Big Mouth and predominantly built around stereotypes for comedic effect. He meets his match, however, in the “Resident Queen of Guy Town” who very quickly tells him in Season Two that “being young, gay and mean is not a personality.” It was a shot heard ‘round the world, hitting Matthew and many real-life gay people incredibly hard.