[[caption-width-right:290:From left to right: [[FatBastard Eric]] [[VillainProtagonist Cartman]], [[TheConscience Kyle]] [[FieryRedhead Broflovski]], [[KnightInSourArmor Stan]] [[OnlySaneMan Marsh]], and [[TheChewToy Kenny]] [[TheyKilledKennyAgain McCormick]]. [[labelnote:note]]Not pictured: [[TheSixthRanger Butters]] [[ButtMonkey Stotch]], [[TheChick Wendy]] [[BitchInSheepsClothing Testaburger]], [[BumblingDad Randy]] [[HiddenDepths Marsh]] and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters hundreds more.]][[/labelnote]]]]

[[AC:This page is for the show; for the ''South Park'' series as a whole, see ''Franchise/SouthPark''.]]

->''"Come on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine!"''
-->-- '''[[Music/{{Primus}} Les Claypool]]'''

''South Park'' is an [[[CrossesTheLineTwice in]]]famous [[LongRunners long-running]] AnimatedSeries by Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone on Creator/ComedyCentral. Airing from 1997 to the present, the show covers the misadventures of a group of fourth grade school kids in the titular mountain town of South Park, Colorado.

The central characters are Stan Marsh, the StraightMan of the group; Kyle Broflovski, a morally fixated Jew (and Stan's best friend); Eric Cartman, a fat, sociopathic bully; Kenny [=McCormick=], a young pervert who is usually rendered unintelligible by his tightly drawn orange parka; and Leopold "Butters" Stotch, a nervous, gentle boy with extreme naïveté and a tendency to grow a spine at the most unexpected of moments. These five main boys and their friends, family, and neighbors find themselves embroiled in all sorts of weirdness, ranging from cults, aliens, and monsters to exaggerated-for-comic-effect versions of {{ripped from the headlines}} problems to obvious parodies of action and family movies.

It initially relied on ToiletHumour (especially in the first season), but became more intelligent and satirical as time wore on [[note]]By Stone and Parker's own admission, this was done as a direct result of the UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} massacre, as Stone was raised in Littleton, and they felt the need to be a little more "responsible" with using their pulpit to satirize social wrongs, instead of just making burp and fart jokes[[/note]]. It even won a Peabody Award in 2006. [[BrokenBase Some of the show's early fanbase]] have long abandoned the show, shown by the fact that viewership dropped from 9.1 million viewers to about 3 million viewers after its second season (a number which the show has hovered around ever since). Still, it remains one of Comedy Central's highest-rated shows even today.

While the AuthorTract is very evident, Matt and Trey have earned a measure of respect (some of it begrudging) from various groups all over the world because the duo makes a point of targeting ''[[EqualOpportunityOffender everyone]]''. They've lampooned subjects near and dear to the hearts of social conservatives, [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad social activists]], socialists, liberals, religious {{fundamentalist}}s, [[HollywoodAtheist actively hostile atheists]], corporations and business interests, anarchists, hippies, trendy people, geeks, teenagers, the elderly -- seriously, you could name just about any kind of group and the show's probably done ''something'' to piss that group off.

An astonishingly short turn-around time helps keep the show topical with current events. The show is produced using the same graphics engine that helped create the dinosaurs in ''Film/JurassicPark'', which fostered comparisons to building a sandcastle with a bulldozer; only the early shorts and the pilot episode were done by hand via cut-outs and physical backdrops. In some cases, an episode can be produced a matter of days before it airs, allowing for current events to be parodied almost as soon as they happen. An episode on the capture of UsefulNotes/SaddamHussein aired just a few days after it happened, and excerpts from both UsefulNotes/BarackObama and John [=McCain=]'s post-election speeches were featured in the episode that aired ''less than 24 hours'' after the election results came in. The documentary ''6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park'' sheds light on this lightning-fast production schedule.

For its first sixteen seasons, individual seasons were split between two different "halves" (usually comprised of seven to eight episodes). Starting with Season 17, the show runs for a single ten-episode chunk in the fall; this is done to accommodate Matt and Trey due to the success of their Broadway show ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon'' (and the fact that they're not the young men they used to be when they made a paper-cutout animation about foul-mouthed third graders as a Christmas gag gift). From Season 18 and onwards, the show tends to follow a continuous plotline throughout each season. 2019 will mark the show's 23rd season, giving it [[LongRunners over 300 episodes]]. Trey and Matt have stated that they will continue to make ''South Park'' as long as Creator/ComedyCentral lets them.

!! We had to split ''South Park'' trope examples into pages because Cartman's fat ass got tired when he had to read them all in one go:

* SouthPark/TropesAToD
* SouthPark/TropesEToJ
* SouthPark/TropesKToQ
* SouthPark/TropesRToV
* SouthPark/TropesWToZ
-->'''Cartman:''' HEY! [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Screw you guys, I'm going home]].