‘South Park’ Fans Debate Whether the Generation Raised By ‘South Park’ Is Too Easily Offended

Did ‘South Park’ fail to raise kids to take jokes, or did the older fans miss the point of the show?
‘South Park’ Fans Debate Whether the Generation Raised By ‘South Park’ Is Too Easily Offended

Are the generations who grew up with South Park on TV too sensitive, or are people who post memes about triggering young people on Facebook too stupid to see that South Park is making fun of them, too?

Stereotypical South Park fans like to think of themselves as thick-skinned compared to today’s safe space-dwellers and PC frat bros. Trey Parker and Matt Stone make it a point to cross lines on their Comedy Central megahit that other shows on cable won’t even approach, gleefully mocking every race, religion and nationality under the construction paper sun. As such, die-hard South Park fans typically have strong feelings on topics such as censorship and political correctness as it relates to comedy, seeing as their favorite show has been at the forefront of those debates since Christian parents’ groups first started going after the cartoon back in the 1990s. However, despite South Park’s soaring popularity over the last quarter century, some of its fans feel that the children whom conservative action groups feared would be driven to sin by the show grew up to be even more sensitive and humorless than their pearl-clutching parents.

Over in the South Park subreddit, fans recently debated the accuracy of a Facebook meme that reads, “How the FUCK did a generation raised on South Park and Family Guy become so offended by everything?” Responses were split, as some fans insisted that the first wave of young South Park fans weren’t responsible for the current social climate while others wondered what kind of Cartman-profile-picture-having, “Put a chick in it, make her gay”-tweeting mouth breather would even think to ask such an inane question.

“It was the generation that came after,” the most popular response to the thread reads, with a horde of elder Millennial South Park fans chiming in to concur. Or as one replier put it, “Agreed. People who grew up with family guy and south park are like 30+. In my experience it’s usually anyone younger than that who are alot (sic) more sensitive.”

However, younger South Park fans showed up to plead their case to the “kids these days” crowd, with one such Redditor arguing, “Lol this is such a misunderstanding. We are not easily offended we just have a high threshold for funny. You can say whatever you want as long as its funny. If it’s not, you’re just saying mean ass shit. Be funny and you’re fine.” 

“offensive shit for shock value is not funny. offensive shit done in a smart way for actual humor is great. if you’re gonna say some fuckshit for a joke, you better be funny,” a more poetic user agreed.

Interestingly enough, despite so many South Park fans insisting that the show should have hardened younger viewers to offensive humor, South Park itself hasn’t really been a target of the so-called “snowflakes” despite regularly (and almost exclusively) tackling subjects that create controversy elsewhere in the comedy community. Instead, South Park continues to work the formula laid out by many fans in this thread — the sum of wit plus humor must be greater than offensiveness for a joke to work. 

For that reason, the meme in question fails the test. Zero is not greater than zero.

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