YMMV / South Park


  • Acceptable Targets: Everyone and everything on the planet, at one point or another, has been lampooned on the show, even the show itself.
    • Amazingly, U.S. presidents usually get off fairly lightly, with most jokes about them either being too lighthearted or somewhat flattering (Matt Stone has said that this is because they're "too easy").
    • Hippies have gotten a lot of targeting.
    • Season 19 has been one giant Take That to the politically correct/"progressive" urban culture.
    • Season 20 has been targeting internet trolls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Also, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right.
    • Out of all the celebrities they've lampooned, Barbra Streisand was a frequent punching bag of theirs in the early seasons.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Cartman's complex personality, his multiple mental illnesses and just being messed up about sex in general thanks to the town whore being his mom sometimes leave people pitying him, even when he is showing his Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk nature.
      • Others believe Cartman's increasing cruelty is the result of him being aware that he's The Friend Nobody Likes and deciding Then Let Me Be Evil.
      • On another complex note, in "Cartman Finds Love", is he THAT hellbent on fixing Nicole up with Token due to both of them being black (he's racist of course) or is he THAT hellbent in having Kyle to himself once he finds out Nicole has a crush on him (this is the same kid who wanted Kyle to suck his balls)? Not even South Park FAQs can answer this one.
    • Stan's increasing Angst and Sanity Slippage is either due to an early onset of puberty or the gradual decay of his parents' marriage. Based on what we've seen with his father and grandfather, it might be hereditary.
    • Either The Movie didn't really happen and Sheila Broflovski has just naturally matured or it really did happen and Sheila has been atoning for her actions ever since.
    • Wendy has also been a recipient of this, especially after "The Hobbit" with feuding fan views going to bat: Was she in the right and is she actually a believer in feminism, or is she more of a Straw Feminist only using the cause as her excuse to call others ugly and act superior to them? Was she unfairly ostracized, or was the ending "putting her in her place"? The matter isn't helped by the fact that Parker and Stone's (and Bill Hader's) characterization of Wendy differs heavily depending on the season and episode, and that while they've sometimes had her as one of the few voices of reason in the South Park universe, they've also used her as a way to lampoon feminism and activists. Even the episodes that have her painted as more in the right are subject to dissection as to whether or not she truly is, such as "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset".
      • It seems that while she has good intentions, her approach can be very heavy-handed and she can screw that up like anyone else. Regarding "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" she approached adult figures who assisted and supported her, often learning an important moral in the process, as both Principal Victoria and Mr. Slave taught.
    • The abuse Butters receives from his parents makes more sense when you realize one of them has his grandmother as their mother.
    • Speaking of Butters' grandma, when Butters gave his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, she was completely silent. Was the frown on her face the product of a Heel Realization or a Villainous B.S.O.D.?
    • Gary Harrison (the minor Mormon character): As shown in this fic, is he a genuinely happy and kind-hearted kid who's proud of his family's values, or is he a secret life-hating douchebag who only pretends to be cheerful?
    • Kyle. Is he really The Conscience and Token Good Teammate, or is he a big case of He Who Fights Monsters? Episodes like "Douche And Turd" and "Ass Burgers" show he's quite willing to throw his "best friend" Stan under the bus, and other episodes like "Fatbeard" and "Good Times With Weapons" show he's willing to kill people if it suits his needs, just like Cartman.
    • Is Kenny's dad unemployed because he's an alcoholic? Or is it because he's simply too lazy to get a job? The show has implied both in the past.
    • In "Sponsored Content", was PC Principal's behavior towards Jimmy due to him being afraid of being labeled a bigot towards handicapped people? Or , considering he never actually interacted with Jimmy before this episode, is he legitimately uncomfortable around them?
    • Could Liane Cartman (Eric's mom) also be anti-Semitic? She never shows any qualms against her son's hatred of Jews and even made him a Hitler costume for Halloween. It would easily explain where Cartman gets his attitude towards Jews from...
      • However Liane has NEVER shown any sign of anti-semitism onscreen especially around Sheila whom she happens to be friendly towards... plus she did ground Cartman for his actions in "Passion of the Jew" according to "A.W.E.S.M.O"
    • Is Kyle incredibly selfish for protecting Gerald's ass from anyone knowing he is Skankhunt42 to prevent his parents from divorcing (or even worse)? And then there's the fact he COULD end the gender war by revealing Gerald's identity... but of course he doesn't do it, and thus the gender war has not been resolved as of right now.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: An odd example in that some South Park fans in France strongly dislike the original English version, due to the local dub largely being considered a Superlative Dubbing. This got to the point that French fans vocally complained on English-speaking forums about South Park: The Stick of Truth not having a French dub, resulting in befuddlement and apathy from non-French fans responding to their posts.
    • Same story with the Russian voiceover, which became iconic for Russian fans of the show. While the MTV/Paramount Comedy had the voices done only by two people, one of them happens to be Evgeny Rybov, a legendary and extremely charismatic voice actor.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: After a horrendous test screening, nobody expected this show to be as successful as it'd become! And even after its initial success, Trey and Matt assumed that it would be canceled by the end of season 2, which is why they handed the reigns to other writers and made Baseketball during it (and why nobody likes it).
  • Anvilicious:
    • "Eat, Pray, Queef". Talk about a 21-minute sledgehammer of male guilt. Ironic, considering the show's stance on Aesops.
    • Like everything else, they have fun with it. "...yeah, but at least Family Guy doesn't get all preachy and up its own ass with messages!"
    • "A Nightmare On Face Time" really beat you over the head with "Nobody rents movies anymore now that the Internet and Netflix have made it easy to get any film or TV show you want to see." Though that was the point: Randy is all too aware of the jokes, and spends the episode complaining about it.
    • "Go Fund Yourself", which has the boys start a start-up business called the Washington Redskins. When the Redskins football team's owner complains to the NFL about it, rather than provide a voice actor, they use actual soundbites from press conferences on the real life controversy surrounding the team's name.
    • The Black Friday trilogy: The war between Cartman and Princess Kenny was supposed to be between Xbox One and PS4 respectively. But in the end, the epic Game of Thrones between the Factions made video games completely boring in comparison, thus why the Xbox One was immediately abandoned even if its faction was the victor. The lesson is that video games do not have the enjoyment that is in actually going out to role-play with your friends.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Stan's parents getting back together at the end of "Ass Burgers".
    • The Crab People on "South Park is Gay", which becomes a discussed trope in a later episode.
    • Osama bin Laden was shot in the face by a US Marine in "Osama Bin Laden has Farty Pants" He returns in "It's a Jersey Thing" and gets shot again.
    • Saddam Hussein was in hell, then exiled to heaven after Satan got sick of dealing with him, where he's seen in one later episode. He then shows up suddenly as the prime minister of Canada. It stands to reason heaven got sick of him too, and where else was he gonna go, Detroit?
    • The mayor surviving her suicide attempt in 'Die Hippie Die'. There was no way she could have put a bullet through her head and be healed in a couple of days.
    • Mr. Garrison getting rid of Mr. Hat after "The Death Camp of Tolerance" offscreen. The show revealed many times that Mr. Hat was a split personality of Mr. Garrison's, and it seems odd that a mental disorder like that was cured so easily.
    • Kenny being a spawn of Cthulu has been contradicted a few times. For starters, in "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut", Kenny spawned from thin air at the beginning of the episode after he died in the previous one instead of literally being reborn from his mother. Another one is whenever Kenny's parents were surprised that he died when the "Coon and Friends" trilogy showed that they were aware Kenny kept dying and were more annoyed than distraught. The third is how the boys don't seem to remember when Kenny dies, even though there were moments where they did, like Cartman claiming he always dies in "Cartmanland".
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the Season 10 finale "Stanley's Cup" proved to be too cruel to be funny for a lot of viewers, Season 11's premier episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" picked its targets much more carefully. i.e. It's white men who get humiliated the most for using a racial slur and Cartman gets knocked out by a dwarf after laughing at him for the whole episode.
    • Mrs. Garrison managed to offend a lot of transgender people, yet her sexuality was toned down considerably. While Mr. Garrison commited bestiality and tried to solicit sex from both his father and Cartman (though he thought he was soliciting sex from a pedophile and was shocked and disgusted when it turned out to be Cartman), Mrs. Garrison only ever had sex with consenting adults. The show's more enlightened attitude towards transgenderism was also shown in "The Cissy", which made a point on the dilemma of public restrooms.
    • "Safe Space" was a risky episode, as it could easily be misread as condoning cyberbullying. Come Season 20 and the consequences of harassing undeserving targets are shown to be very real.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Cartman. There are two types of fans - those who love him for his Crosses the Line Twice behavior (and occasional Magnificent Bastard tendencies), who are responsible for turning him into the show's Breakout Character, and those who absolutely hate him for being a Jerkass who commits Moral Event Horizon grade evil acts at least once a season. The creators seem to be aware of this and try to cater to both (there are entire episodes dedicated to making Cartman suffer for his actions such as when Wendy beats the crap out of him in "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and getting hit by lightning in "HumanCentiPad").
      • In Season 20, Cartman began making an effort to improve himself and get past his former bigotry (although he was still doing it in an insensitive way at times). Some embraced the change, and praised it as an interesting new direction to take the character, while others were extremely negative towards this due We Want Our Jerk Back sentiments. Still others believed that Cartman was lying about his self-improvement, and had a plan for the groups that ruined him. In the end, the base was broken further because it turned out his attempt at redemption was indeed sincere and he had no plans for revenge... but he ended up suffering a perhaps inevitable relapse into Jerkassness, and is passive-aggressively hiding it from his girlfriend.
    • Randy Marsh. Fans either love his wacky antics or see him as everything wrong with the later episodes. A third camp think he's funny, but only when he plays a small role in an episode.
    • Wendy evolved from The Scrappy to this sometime after she beat up Cartman in "Breast Cancer Show Ever". While some fans are fond of her and think of her as the voice of reason among the child characters, there are still others that peg her as an obnoxious Soapbox Sadie and hysterical about her causes and that see her as the designated villain for her beating up Cartman, and think of her as hypocritical and cruel to fat people based off of that and her comments about Kim Kardashian in "The Hobbit" - an episode that split fans further between agreeing with Wendy's anti-Photoshopping stance, or hating her for the abrasive way she went about it.
    • Kyle and Stan. Either the only sane ones of the series or holier than thou designated heroes who are no better than Cartman? Becomes pretty glaring when those outside of the main group sees them as the latter.
    • No one is really sure what to make of PC Principal. Many fans like him for being funny, while others hate him for being annoying and viscous. Many anti SJW types Love to Hate him since he mocks everything their opponents stand for as part of an Intended Audience Reaction. Pro SJW types obviously view him as a poorly thought out straw man. Now that the season is over, people are even more confused since PC Principal turned out to be Good All Along and quite badass with a tolerable speech to boot. Now anti SJW types are conflict about him and SJW types have slightly upped their response to him, but only slightly. Those not involved in the drama simply found his actions in the end to be a fun change of pace.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Trey and Matt's live-action cameo in "Free Hat". Context won't help much.
    • The opening scene of "Spookyfish", where a scary alien touches down on South Park, and ends up getting squished by the school bus because it's very tiny.
    • The end of "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000": Kyle spends the entire episode questioning his existence after Cartman learns that the Tooth Fairy isn't real. Eventually, Kyle somehow manages to vanish, but seconds later he comes back in a Mushroom Samba and summons the Half-Chicken Half-Squirrel.
    • The ending of "Butterballs", while set up by a recurring line earlier in the episode, still makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in relation to the episode's plot.
    • Another Brick Joke who comes off as weird even in context is the giant reptilian-bird deity killing Kenny at the end of "The Poor Kid".
    • The live-action sequence at the end of "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
    • This is basically what starts off "You Got F'd In The A" when the Orange County kids show up and "serve" the main four for no reason given.
    • In "Weight Gain 4000" Clyde and Mr. Garrison get into a conversation discussing whether he's playing an Indian or pioneer that feels intentionally dragged out and serves no purpose in the plot.
    • Jesus' appearance in "Butterballs", where he copies the bathroom scene from said episode that has been repeating over and over again. He comes out of nowhere and leaves as if he was never apart of the episode.
    • Skank Hunt's B-Plot about Scott Malkinson constantly going to Mr. Mackey about quitting Twitter hasn't been talked about for the rest of the season, nor was it resolved in the episode.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show's increasing reliance on topical episodes. Some fans embrace this, while others miss the episodes that consisted of original plotlines that weren't Ripped from the Headlines.
    • Fans argue whether South Park was better as a lighthearted, yet vulgar Monty Python-esque sitcom, or the darker political satire of later episodes.
    • Season 17 has also caused this. Apart from the widely-loved Black Friday trilogy, some have pegged it as one of the worse seasons due to its shorter length and overly topical nature, while others cite it as an improvement over the last few seasons.
    • Season 18 in general can also be considered this with a few episode exceptions some Fans finding it more topical and less funny than season 17 and having a continuing story while others think the continuing story and more topical nature improved it.
    • Season 19 continues the previous season's more topical approach to comedy and fans are still divided as to whether or not it made the season smart and more focused or just draining. In particular the season's focus on "PC Culture" and modern social justice moments, proved to be a big divider. For some the season tackled the hypocritical and self-serving attitudes of modern progressivism (and neoliberalism) in a smart way that few other shows were able to. Others feel that it was a very arduous and Anvilicious diatribe against the people trying to fix the social inequalities inherent in America.
    • Season 20's jabs at the Alt-Right. Some feel they're a perfect counterpoint to Season 19's satire by hitting the flip side of the coin and tackling modern bigotry in a way that's seldom handled as well in other shows. Others feel that putting the objects of ridicule from Seasons 19 and 20 on equal ground is a Golden Mean Fallacy, with people on either side decrying their portrayal as inaccurate. Much like Season 19, Season 20's deliberate parallels to the extremely hot button issues surrounding their release is liable to set off quite a few arguments. Also not helping Season 20's point is the fact that the girls are blaming someone who hasn't done anything to them.
      • Then there's the way Season 20 is handled in general. Some people feel that dropping the episodic nature of the show in favor a serialized approach that focuses on a few set topics (i.e. the Alt-Right movement, the 2016 election, Internet trolling) is Trey and Matt continuing their evolution in terms of storytelling that started back in Season 18. Meanwhile, others felt that this approach results in a major lack in humor when compared to earlier years. Still, others feel that Season 20 started out strong, but that its dependence on the outcome of the 2016 election made the last few episodes horribly backfire.
    • On who is really the fourth member of Team Craig: Tweek or Jimmy? The South Park wiki states they are both members in some capacity and most fans just expand the group to five and include both characters. Still doesn't stop some fans from continuing the war, though.
    • "Timmy 2000"'s Take That towards Phil Collins. While making fun of celebrities is par for the course for this show, and Collins is a rather divisive figure in music, many felt their reason for targeting Phil Collins was far more petty than others, which was the fact that "You'll Be In My Heart" beat "Blame Canada" for best original song at the Oscars. Some pointed out if they really wanted somebody to blame for being snubbed, it should have been the Academy. Not helping matters is that they have another Take That towards Collins in South Park: The Stick of Truth, meaning that they're still bitter about it 14 years later. Some were okay with it, but others were accusing Trey and Matt of being sore losers.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Kenny has been compared to Rika Furude. Both of them suffer brutal deaths on a regular basis while nobody remembers except for themselves, leading them both to become rather jaded and unaffected by being killed, only avoiding death because it hurts. The Coon and Friends trilogy has established the similarities even further. South Park is also a small, unusual town like Hinamizawa.
  • Critical Research Failure: In the episode "Go, God, Go!", a Catholic family scolds Principal Victoria for teaching evolution at her school. The Catholic church supports evolution, and Catholic schools do indeed teach it.
    • The correlation between the popularity of The Force Awakens and the rise of the alt-right. In reality, plenty of alt-right figures are critical of The Force Awakens over the fact that the two main protagonists are a white woman and a black man, especially the former who is considered a Mary Sue.
      • Granted, the show is likely interlocking these concepts in its lesson about the dangers of excessive nostalgia.
    • Oh, Jeez features a moment where Bill Clinton signs a duet with Bill Cosby. In June of 2016, Cosby lost his eyesight to keratoconus, months before the episode aired. However, during that scene, he looked like he could see just fine.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • The 14th season episode "It's a Jersey Thing," in which The Jersey Shore is pitted against Osama bin Laden.
    • After Jimmy labels Germans the least funny people of all, Cartman, of course, puts this trope into effect.
    Cartman: Do you know what happened to the last people to piss the Germans off? Tell him Kyle.
    • Honestly, this show deserves its own page for this.
    • Matt Stone and Trey Parker were once interviewed if there was any line they wouldn't cross. Their answer was a blunt no.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It's clear that the show is a Black Comedy Sadist Show where almost anyone and anything is a fair target for Trey and Matt, along with the entire cast full of obnoxious jerks, with the main characters being Good Is Not Nice at best and Sociopathic Enfantes Terrible at worst. The closest to a completely likable character is Leopold "Butters" Stotch, and even then, he's not a completely good role model. Cartman himself borderlines on the trope. He can be a complete jerk to everyone, including his own mother, but he rarely gets away with his actions. Cartman, however, never learns his lesson.
    • There are two episodes with In-Universe examples. "Douche and Turd" involves Stan Marsh suffering a case of this, refusing to vote in a school mascot election owing to the fact that one is (quite literally) a giant douche and the other is a turd sandwich. The lesson he learns from a member of PETA is that all elections involve either a douche or a turd of some sorts and one must simply choose the lesser evil. This happens again in "Butterballs" where he believes he's trying to do the right thing, but Kyle Broflovski argues that the real right thing to do is to let Butters find the courage to confront his grandmother himself. In the end, Butters tells his grandmother off, which means Kyle was in the right all along, while Stan is the one to learn his lesson the hard way.
  • Draco in Leather Pants
    • Cartman is this quite often with some groups of fans, particularly in some interpretations of the "Kyman" pairing. Because of his Freudian Excuse about his mother or feeling bad for him, he'll tend to be simplified into an innocent boy driven mad by Kyle's fat jokes and that really just wants to be loved. This tends to overlap with him growing up to be a slimmer, more conventionally attractive teenager. Of course, some also like Cartman precisely for his diabolical nature, and depict him as an attractive Magnificent Bastard type.
    • Mysterion tends to be pegged as an attractive hero. Although at the same time he's also Kenny, who's known for his infamous perversion and crude attitude, and his willingness to do anything for money or attention.
    • For being a brief character that's otherwise only appeared in cameos, Damien can easily be watered and simplified down into a tragic bad boy and anti-hero, and has quite the fans willing to overlook that he hated Pip and actually turned his "friend" into fireworks just so he could be considered cool to the other kids note .
    • Reality is often celebrated for calling out the corrupt charity participants on their gluttony, dependence on safe spaces, and driving Butters to attempted suicide by forcing him to handle their social media comments. Although he is given solid points and the creators of the show do intend the participants to come off negatively, Reality was the one who gave Butters the final push to insanity by showing up in his room and threatening him.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Randy Marsh: Once intended to be the rather background parent of Stan but due to his behaviour and nonsensical antics he has taken the Spotlight together with the Main Characters.
    • Craig's gang (which is considered by most of the fandom to be Craig, Tweek, Jimmy, Token, and Clyde) is so popular on tumblr that a new fan couldn't be blamed for thinking they are main characters. Their popularity rivals the Main Four plus Butters easily. One of the most commonly wished things for the show is to get an episode revolving around their group dynamics.
    • Marjorine and Professor Chaos, Butters' alter egos are very popular despite having little appearances.
    • The Goth Kids are sure to steal any episode they're in. The creators seem to have noticed this, as the characters have been appearing more frequently, and even got to star in their own episode. Twice!
    • Characters that only appear in The Movie, like Gregory and Christophe, have fanbases that are equal in size to those of reappearing characters.
      • Damien from season 1 is also comparable to Gregory and Christophe's following. Lesser examples (contested depending on part of the fanbase and the time period) also include Bradley from "Cartman Sucks", Thomas from "Le Petit Tourette", the Cotswolds siblings, Kenny's first girlfriend Kelly and his second girlfriend Tammy Warner. All one-shot characters (save for any later background cameos by Mark or Damien), but very beloved by their fans all the same note .
    • Mysterion became one almost the moment he showed up. Even after being revealed as Kennynote , he's STILL one of the most talked about characters. In fact, Mysterion, before he was revealed, was such a major thing, that the South Park creators put out a Who Is Mysterion? t-shirt.
    • As far as Kenny's alter-egos go, Princess Kenny is also well-loved for being a perfect parody of Moe in anime and for being adorable in ...her?... own right, inspiring tons of fanart, cosplay, and even a fake trope page for a Princess Kenny series on this wiki, despite only appearing as an anime character for about 2-3 minutes. While his appearance in The Stick of Truth tones down the anime elements, it also makes him into one of the main villains and the Final Boss via a Plot Twist, despite his super-girly princessy getup.
    • The tertiary classmates can have their own fan followings, such as Kevin Stoley (the Star Wars-loving kid) and Dog Poo.
    • The New Kid, naturally.
    • The Mole. For a character who appeared only in the movie, and for only about fifteen minutes, he's widely popular, and has practically an entire subgenre of fan-art, cosplays, and fan-fics devoted to him.
    • The little chicken McNuggets from "Cock Magic" was universally loved from fans being just an adorable young chicken that plays Magic: The Gathering and was considered the underdog.
    • Karen has gained her own massive fanbase ever since her first speaking appearance in "The Poor Kid". Many fans consider her and her relationship with her big brother Kenny to be among one of the show's most adorable and heartwarming elements, so much so that many fans absolutely gushed at her other speaking role and her redesign in "The City Part of Town", which many consider to be to be one of the best parts of the episode.
    • Despite appearing for only the second half of "Safe Space", Reality has amassed a colossal fan base for being the only one to point out how ridiculous safe spaces are and calling out Safe Spacers on how entitled and pathetic they are. Although he's also received a lot of flak for the notion that anti Social Justice Warriors also hide behind their own echo chambers and communities.
    • Nathan and Mimsy have a rather large fanbase. Nathan originally appeared as a minor character in a 2004 episode ("Up the Down Steroid"), before having a major role as the antagonist of the episode "Crippled Summer" years later. In this episode, he was presented as a sociopathic but ineffective Evil Counterpart to Jimmy, and was given a lackey named Mimsy who would always inadvertently ruin his schemes to defeat and/or kill Jimmy. Since then, Nathan and Mimsy have become incredibly well-received, and have been appearing more frequently in the show's recent seasons.
    • The old man who keeps yelling at Cartman for trespassing in his garden during the "Black Friday" trilogy was cited by critics and fans as one of the best parts of those three episodes.
    • After the events of "Skank Hunt" and "The Damned", Heidi Turner became extremely popular, especially after the latter gave hernote  Ship Tease with Eric Cartman himself, and eventually began dating between then and "Wieners Out."
    • Chef's Parents get a lot of love due to their banter and their stories about the Loch Ness Monster. Many were disappointed that they only appeared twice, not even appearing at Chef's funeral.
  • Fair for Its Day: The message of "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina" is that just because cosmetic surgery (i.e. sex change) makes you look like something doesn't mean you truly are what the surgery aimed for, and it compares being transgender to Kyle becoming black and his father becoming a dolphin. The episode came out at a time when the general public saw sex change as a joke; the much-later episode "The Cissy" is more sympathetic to the trans community.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: A staple of South Park, which makes sense given that it's a Family-Unfriendly Show.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of things get this treatment by fans, such as Chef's death and especially Mr. Garrison's sex change.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hooooo boy, Craig/Tweek. They have interacted in the show only once or twice and now they are the second most shipped characters after Stan and Kyle, who are the protagonists, anyway. Talking about ensemble darkhorses, huh?
  • Fridge Horror: In "Mysterion Rises" Kenny reveals that his superpower is immortality and that, no matter how many times he dies and catches glimpses of the afterlife, he'll always wake up in his bed the next morning. Not only that, but everyone who witnesses him dying gets their memory wiped the moment he comes back, leaving him as the only one who remembers the experience. Considering his dozens of deaths over the course of the series, you really have to wonder what kind of mental strain that would leave on a nine year old.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Every single one of Kenny's deaths throughout the run of the show become this when we find out that Kenny is immortal and hates feeling the pain of dying every time.
    • In the commentaries, Parker and Stone noted that of all the early episodes, the only one that's more edgy nowadays and which they probably wouldn't be able to get away with now is "Volcano" because it features children pointing guns and threatening to shoot each other...Though, since season 19 concluded with whole families point guns at each other, they presumably changed their minds about that.
    • Cartman Sucks had a running gag in the scenes of Butters at the Christian camp where all the sexually-confused boys kill themselves rather than live with trying to change their sexuality. Kinda hurts now, given the rash of LGBT teen suicides that made the news in 2010 (as well as the banning of "conversion therapy").
    • In "Clubhouses," Randy and Sharon briefly separate after a series of arguments. They get back together at the end of the episode. The episode itself is funny... but then along comes "You're Getting Old...," which is "Clubhouses," only more dramatic (and a two-part episode).
    • Remember the episode "Krazy Kripples", where at the end Christopher Reeve is sent into space in a 2D, parallelogram-shaped object into space á la "Superman"? Well, a year after this episode aired, the real Christopher Reeve had died.
    • The entire plot of "Cartoon Wars" (about people panicking over Family Guy broadcasting an episode that has Muhammad on it) became a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment thanks to the "201" debacle. In fact, this and the line about the truck driver liking Family Guy because it's not preachy and up its own ass in morals aren't so funny anymore now that South Park and Family Guy have had their Seasonal Rot blamed on being heavy on the morals. Also Hilarious in Hindsight as the show predicted that Family Guy would do an episode that has to do with Peter and Islam ("Turban Cowboy"). It didn't have any reference to Muhammad in it, but it is a very happy coincidence (or possibly intentional as the series creator has joked about the episode's jabs at him before).
    • At the end of "Professor Chaos", we are abruptly asked, "Which of these six South Park residents was killed, and will never be seen again?" Since this is a parody of cliffhanger endings, the answer is immediately given as Ms. Choksondik. Besides her, the suspects were the Mayor, Officer Barbrady, Jimbo, Mr. Garrison, and... Chef, which wouldn't be true until four years later.
    • As gross as the "stick food up your butt and shit out your mouth" concept in "Red Hot Catholic Love" was, it was at least ridiculous enough to be seen as impossible — until a video on Tosh.0 proved that vomiting up feces is physically possible.
    • "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", after the "Through the years we all will be together/If the fates allow" part of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", Kenny is killed by a chandelier.
    • In "Jared Has Aides" after a misunderstanding, people think Jared Fogle wants to give people AIDS, including children. Thirteen years after this episode premiered, Jared had his home searched by the FBI under suspicion of, and pled guilty of, possessing child pornography, and soliciting underage prostitutes.
      • What makes this even less funny was that Jared Has Aides was that Jared one of the few celebrities in the show that wasn't depicted in a negative light.
      • Of course, in a characteristic display of irreverence, Comedy Central aired this episode back to back for days after his confession, spitting in the very face of the trope.
    • In "Trapper Keeper" a man under the alias Bill Cosby comes to South Park pretends to want to be Cartman's friend (his real motives will take too long to explain). And Cartman responds "Nah, my mom says I'm not allowed to have male friends over thirty." This line becomes a lot less funny after the rape allegations against Bill Cosby.
    • In "The Cissy", Randy, who is Lorde in the show, is ask by his boss to not use the female bathroom as the other women aren't comfortable around "her". While Randy isn't actually transgender, the episode did deal with issues concerning the use of bathroom privileges. North Carolina then passed a bill that overturned a Charlotte city ordinance forcing businesses to provide people who claim to identify as the opposite gender legal access to the other sex's bathrooms. To compound the irony, North Carolina's laws still permit anyone who has had an actual sex change operation (and changed his/her birth certificate accordingly) to enter whichever bathroom matches the new genitals, so something like the scene in "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina" eleven years earlier in which "Mrs." Garrison enters a ladies' room (and drives all the women there out with "her" overly enthusiastic use of the facilities) could legally still happen in North Carolina.
    • In "City On the Edge of Forever" Cartman having a false flashback of the events of "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" where his father is John Elway is a bit more depressing after Season 14 when it turns out his father really was one of the Denver Broncos... as well as Scott Tenorman's father, whom Cartman got killed in Season 5.
    • After several episodes making fun of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Trump was sworn into office.
      • The episode "Douche and Turd" was about a battle over who would be the next South Park Elementary mascot, which ended with Stan finally (and reluctantly) voting for the Turd Sandwich, only for the Giant Douche to win by a landslide. Twelve years later, there was a Season 20 story arc of episodes that involved the battle over who gets to be president: Mr. Garrison (Giant Douche) or Hillary Clinton (Turd Sandwich). Guess who won in "Oh, Jeez"? That's right: it's Mr. Garrison, the Giant Douche! (Even crazier is that in another meta-example, Matt and Trey were opting for a Turd Sandwich win and originally had the episode (whose Working Title was "The Very First Gentleman") planned in case Hillary won; but thanks to Trump's winning upset on November 9, 2016, they were forced to remove the "Hillary Wins" clip and replace it with its new clip, along with reworking the episode and changing its name, which still works.)
  • Genius Bonus: One episode has Jimmy mistaking the Crips gang for a group of fellow "cripples." In reality, the Crips' name does refer to "cripple." They got the nickname for always appearing in public with pimp canes in The '70s, and the nickname stuck.
    • The leader of the Anti-Semitic sect of Judaism in the episode "Jewbilee" worships Haman aka the Big Bad of The Book Of Esther who was an infamous Anti-Semite himself
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • The German-speaking fandom is the second largest after the English-speaking fandom. It has become so popular that the channel it airs on has started to show the newest episode 10 days after their US debut in English with subtitles not only giving German viewers the chance to see it earlier (until it has been properly dubbed) but also get a chance to hear the original voices and untranslated jokes.
    • The considerable Latin American fandom.
    • And of course, the Japanese fanbase. It's not as big as it was around season 7, but it's still loyal and responsible for some of the anime-style fanart. Japanese South Park fans also tend to love Happy Tree Friends.
    • The show is also quite popular in France. Popular enough that when the video game got released without a French dub, there was a furious backlash, especially given how popular the French dub is. (Also the fact that many French fans prefer to listen to a French-dubbed work, read up more on the Americans Hate Tingle page.)
    • In an in-universe example: Terrance and Phillip, a Canadian show, is popular with American kids.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: The kids get paired with alot of other kids, slash,femslash or straight.The four main kids gets paired with about everyone, Wendy and Bebe gets to be paired with about everyone. even Red and the other girls gets their fair share of being paired with several kids. Harsher in Hindsight when it's revealed how many of the children were couples before the girls initiated a school-wide break up.
  • Growing the Beard: Trey Parker and Matt Stone consider season 4 to be the point where this happened, and absolutely hate the entirety of seasons 1-3 bar "Terrance and Phillip in Not Without my Anus". Ironically, seasons 1-3 were the highest rated in the history of the show, while season 4 was the lowest rated. Even still, the new shift toward Darker and Edgier social commentary and current events has seen the show through an unprecedented 17 seasons, with consistently high ratings for Comedy Central.
  • I Am Not Shazam: "In this scene, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy." Nice one, Comedy Central.
  • Idiot Plot: "Freak Strike", "Jared Has Aides", "Toilet Paper", "Butt Out", "Douche and Turd", "Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow", "More Crap", "Tonsil Trouble"note , and "The China Probrem"note .
    • "Fat Camp", "Free Hat", and "Bass to Mouth" have the respective Idiot Subplots of Kenny becomes famous for doing nauseating acts, the adults wanting a baby killer named Hat McCullough freed from prison, claiming that "the babies were killed in self-defense", and the faculty of South Park Elementary poisoning the entire school just to keep anyone from committing suicide even though Eric (the one who gave them the idea) was the only one who was driving students to suicide.
    • "The Magic Bush" has Butters' father blindly believing his drone has a mind of its own and undergoing Sanity Slippage after his son flew the drone without his permission, and whenever someone suggest Butters flew it, he insists Butters couldn't have because "He's not allowed to fly it without my permission." This wouldn't have been as bad if this wasn't the same guy who grounds Butters for everything even things beyond his control
  • Internet Backdraft: Comedy Central received thousands of e-mail complaints from angry fans regarding the episode "Not Without My Anus", which was meant as an April Fools Joke on fans who were waiting for the reveal of Cartman's father following the cliffhanger at the end of the season 1 finale "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut".
    • Mr. Garrison telling people to vote against him in the 2016 election, and the clear disdain Matt and Trey express for Donald Trump in general, has led to some right-leaning fans accusing the creators of being Hillary Clinton shills.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Some fans say they liked the show better back in its early days when Moral Guardians condemned the show and concerned parents who had cable (or access to a VCR or a DVD player) banned it from their households. Now that it is Comedy Central's highest rated show and widely popular, some people don't like it anymore.
  • Jerkass Woobie: You could make this case for almost every character in the show, especially when they are not normal woobies. Scott Tenorman can count as such in particular. To start, after Cartman killed his parents and tricked him into eating them, one can't help but show sympathy for him. Even though he was a bully and became a psychotic villain afterwards as a result of this, he did care a lot about his parents.
    • Cartman does occasionally get subtle moments of sympathetic spotlight, usually under a Heel Realization of how lonely his monstrous behavior makes him. Every now and then the boys will do something cruel to him without his usual provocation as well. Naturally it comes off as somewhat petty compared to what he does in retaliation but still...
      • "The Death of Eric Cartman" is a good example of this. Everyone at school starts ignoring him to the point where believes he is dead and is now a ghost, all because he ate all the chicken breading off an order of KFC.
      • Though that was more the straw that broke the camel's back.
      • More conventionally in "Jewpacabra" as Cartman does it all to himself, but getting chained up and left as bait does given him a rare sympathetic moment.
      • "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" seems to imply that Cartman's behavior might have been caused by the other boys' bullying. With Cartman gone, they deem Clyde to be the new fat kid, and Clyde starts to gain Cartman-like attributes in response to their teasing.
      • Considering it was before his Moral Event Horizon, Cartman does deserve some sympathy in "Cartman's Mom Is A Dirty Slut", where it's revealed Cartman is very insecure about not having a father and at one point feels completely heartbroken when he realizes that he might never know who his dad is. To top it all off despite not doing anything too bad in the episode, he's humiliated on TV thanks to Stan & Kyle
    • Shelley qualified twice: in "Cat Orgy" when her much older boyfriend dumped her for not putting out and she tearfully admitted to Cartman that no guys her age would date her because of her looks and in "Broadway Bro Down" when her (age-appropriate this time around) boyfriend died.
    • Ms. Crabtree. It's possible that she's suffering extreme trauma and that might be leading to her yelling and screaming.
    • Kyle counts too when he's not a regular woobie, considering that a lot of horrible things happen to him over the course of the series.
    • Nathan. At least in the episode 'Handicar' where he seems to suffer far more abuse this time around while also acting far less cruel and evil than he did in his previous appearance. And it's learned that his parents are as bad to him as he is to others, maybe even worse.
    • In the Movie Satan is revealed to be this due to suffering constant abuse under Saddam Hussein.
  • Jumping the Shark: As with every long-running show, you'll find people who insist that it's not what it used to be and was funnier in the past than it is now. Of course, the fans all have their own ideas on what point this show started going downhill. Some prominent examples include:
    • After the movie
    • When Cartman became more violent and sociopathic (starting with "Scott Tenorman Must Die")
    • When Kenny was Killed Off for Real note 
    • After the backlash of "Trapped in the Closet" from the Church of Scientology.
    • After Chef was killed off on season ten's "The Return of Chef" and Isaac Hayes died in real life two years later.
    • After the "200/201" two-parter that caught controversy for visually depicted Muhammad (which, in the Islam religion, is highly taboo)
    • The Wangsty Stan two-parter episode "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers".
    • The serialization of the series, starting with Season 18. Remind you, South Park isn't afraid of hosting multiple-episode Story Arcs (Imaginationland, the Coon, Black Friday) but the past series always had some sort of Reset Button to start over.
    • Together with the serialization is how the show went from a lighthearted (though vulgar) Sitcom with fart jokes, bizarre storylines an episodic format that lacks continuity, to a full-blown Serial Dramedy mocking Politics and Current Events. Due to the recent focus on sociopolitical drama, the four main boys are being displaced as protagonists by background adults such as Randy and Mr. Garrison
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In "World War Zimmerman", Cartman shoots Token while invoking "Stand Your Ground". The next scene has him only injured in the arm.
  • Love It or Hate It: The tie-in pinball machine for pinball fans, released shortly after Season 1. Whether they find the machine fun or not lines up largely with whether they like the show or not.
    • "Terrance and Phillip in: Not Without My Anus" can seem like this. Even years after the fervor over it being a "prank" episode, people still debate over if the prank was funny or a low blow from Trey and Matt, and if the episode itself is a hilariously over-the-top bit of grossout humor or if it's just dumb. Most fans are at least glad that it introduced Saddam Hussein as a character, though.
    • Just about every recent Ripped from the Headlines episode is this, ESPECIALLY ones that revolve around hotly debated political topics.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Eric Cartman bringing his A game in "Scott Tenorman Must Die." He executed a flawless Batman Gambit to punish Scott for humiliating him and not giving him back his money.
    • Lennart Bedrager. He's actually an American who rose to power in Denmark and created Troll Trace in order to troll the entire world. He knew that when people had the power to look up anyone's internet history, everyone would become paranoid and everyone would hate each other when they see what they did online. And why did he do it? Because it's fucking hilarious!
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Parodied by a mascot known as Sexual Harassment Panda. Then In-Universe, the episode Red Hot Catholic Love led to all of South Park believing the Catholic Church as this.
    • Imaginationland turned Eric Cartman into this due to his obsession to make Kyle suck his balls. The sexual antics he does with Butters doesn't help either.
    • Mr. Garrison, due to his huge sexual dysfunction problem bordering on Depraved Bisexual. Started out a homophobe but became extremely gay, trans, lesbian, a gay lesbian at the same time, a BDSM freak, and generally any sexuality you could think of. Also, he solved Canada's problems by literally raping Canadian Trump to death. In his presidential campaign, his only national policy, in a parody of Trump's aggressive promises, was to literally FUCK THEM ALL TO DEATH!!!
    "I say let's round them up, pull down their pants, and fuck them until their spirits left their bodies" -Garrison answering a question from a reporter
  • Memetic Psychopath: There's Eric Cartman, but since the Movie Shiela Broflovski has turned into this due to Never Live It Down. Since then (even when if she has tolerant moments) most people will still know her as an insane fanatic.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: While "The Cissy" was viewed as good or average by the majority of viewers, it was EXTREMELY popular with trans (and trans supporting) fans of the show.
    • There are a number of episodes that poke fun at Canada (like one that paints it like it's Oz). That said, it has a surprisingly-plentiful fanbase among Canadians. Hell, it's to the point where at least one Youtube comment jokingly said that this clip is 100% accurate.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Yeah, there are people out there who actually agree that "gingers have no souls." And act on it.
    • Like his spiritual forebear Archie Bunker, there is a Vocal Minority of Cartman's fanbase who completely miss the satire inherent in his racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic rants.
    • Likewise, there are those who fail to recognize that the show employs stereotypes (racial, sexual, regional, national, religious, etc.) for the purpose of mocking them, rather than endorsing them.
    • The "Nice" Meme. It was meant to mock society's Double Standard on statutory rape, but there are now guys who use it completely unironically.
    • In the Season 19 Episode "Where My Country Cone?", the song of the same name where Mr. Garrison rants about immigration in changing up South Park was taken seriously by far-right fans of the show who did not understand the blatant satire.
    • Unfortunately, the phrase "stunning and brave" has been hijacked by transphobic radical feminist communities to sarcastically demean ANY trans women, not just Caitlyn Jenner, who was the only one the joke was actually referring to.
  • Moe: Butters, at least for the first half of the series' seasons.
    • The "anime" version of Princess Kenny parodies Moe Magical Girl Series.
    • Some fans view Cartman's Mom's Doormat behavior as this.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Most people label "Scott Tenorman Must Die" as either Cartman's Moment of Awesome or this trope. Sometimes both.
      • Cartman crossed it even sooner in "Cherokee Hair Tampons" where he refused to donate his kidney to Kyle unless he got paid ten million dollars. Stan even responds by telling him that he is going to hell when he dies.
    • Wendy crossed this earlier than Cartman when in "Tom's Rhinoplasty", she had Miss Ellen kidnapped by Iraqis who then sent her spiraling into the sun... all because Stan had a crush on her.
    • Butters' parents. A few contenders are his mother trying to drown him in "Butters Very Own Episode", both of them beating him in "Jared Has Aides", (and from the sounds of it, the event was pretty savage), and "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset", in which they not only sell Butters to Paris Hilton for $250 Million, but scold him when he begs not to be sold to a Spoiled Brat who treats her pets so poorly, they get Driven to Suicide.
    • Saddam Hussein crosses this territory when he takes the power of Canada as a tyrannical Prime Minister, forcing the family Broflovski to almost lose Ike, and later he kills Kenny for no reason. All this to prove how evil he is.
    • The Evil characters of the Imaginationland Trilogy were no less pawns to the terrorists' plot to destroy collective Imagination by starting a war than the Good characters, but their brutal torture of Strawberry Shortcake and leaving her for the Woodland Creatures to finish off officially destroyed any excuse of the Evil characters being the terrorists' pawns like the Good characters. Before the war, both sides had separate territories and keeping their distance, and the Evil characters wouldn't allow Good characters on their turf or else they'd kill those Good characters. Of course, the Evil characters, despite not knowing that the terrorists attacked them, not the Good characters, they'd stop at nothing to get back at the Good characters for supposedly vandalizing their turf. Unfortunately for the Evil characters, she and the other Good character casualties are all resurrected when they win the war.
    • Two characters cross this in "Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy. First, if Miss Stevenson repeatedly having sex with Ike (who's underage and prepubescent AND could technically count as a baby) wasn't bad enough, trying to flee to Milan with him, and trying to talk him into a suicide pact definitely was. Then Officer Yates crossed this by not taking the statutory rape case seriously and even laughing at Sheila for wanting Miss Stevenson arrested. Sadly this is Truth in Television as most people don't take it seriously when there's a male victim with a female perpetrator.
    • Randy Marsh crosses this when he tells Officer Barbrady to kill kids who he thinks are a part of ISIS and when he accidentally shoots a minority child, Randy turns on him and lies about his involvement to get Barbrady to take the fall for him.
    • Dean, a shopping network host from "Cash for Gold", crosses this by selling overpriced jewelry to people with Alzheimer's disease, exploiting them out of their life savings. Stan is so outraged by this that he calls up on his show to chew him out, and tells him with complete sincerity to kill himself.
    • Kyle crossed in the very first episode when we learn he plays a game called 'Kick the Baby', where he kicked Ike like a football. Every time Ike said don't kick me, he just did it anyway. This was a running gag earlier in the show and was brought up one more time in Season 7 and Season 17.
    • Skankhunt42 (real identity: Kyle's dad, Gerald) crossed it by cyberbullying every single woman he could find on social media, including a support group for breast cancer victims. This drives all the girls to take it out on the boys - who were just as outraged as they were - by permanently breaking up with them. "The Damned" well and truly throws him past the horizon when he harasses someone online to the point where they end up committing suicide, and despite a moment of My God, What Have I Done?, he just goes right back to trolling again. And why he was being a cyberbully in the first place? HE DID IT FOR FUN!!!! Even the other trolls (who at least have some Freudian Excuse to explain why they're lashing out at society through trolling) find him disgusting and feel he goes too far with his actions.
      • And in "Members Only", any chance he could have had at redeeming himself is automatically destroyed when he frames Ike for all of his trolling.
    • All of Denmark crosses this when they willingly reveal everyone's internet history even after exposing one town's internet history resulted in multiple deaths and destruction of the town.
      • Denmark's leader, Lennart Bedrager, crosses it when he reveals that he plans to cause World War III and allow the people of Denmark to die just because he thinks it'll be funny.
  • Narm Charm: Mr. Adler reminiscing about his dead fiancee. The flashbacks are funny, but his pain sure isn't.
  • Nausea Fuel: The opening scene in "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina". Right before Mr. Garrison's operation begins, the doctor says, "I think if more people could just see a sex-change operation, they would know how perfectly natural it is." That tells you right there that Discretion Shots will not be used at all. The rest of the sequence has the process described — and shown — in detail, complete with Art Shifts to live action. (in actuality, the live-action shots are of a dog neutering rather than a sex change, but that doesn't make it any better for the viewer.)
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Sheila Broflovski has mellowed out considerably over the years, becoming one of the saner, more rational parents in South Park. Yet most fans still see her as the villainous Knight Templar Parent she was in The Movie.
    • Although it only happened over the course of the first five seasons, the show was and still is best known for Kenny dying on almost every episode.
    • Everytime Cartman showed signs of Ho Yay, especially towards Kyle and Butters. This was toned down in season 20 because of his relationship with Heidi Turner, though it resurfaced with Butters in the finale.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
    • The 2014 RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth, was widely received as not only the best South Park game to date, but a decent game in its own right, though it's fairly short.
    • 2009's South Park Let's Go! Tower Defense was also generally well received.
    • In contrast to the 1999 physical table, the two South Park tables featured in Zen Pinball are considered to be excellent.
  • Older Than They Think: Chef was fighting zombies with dual-wielded chainsaws over a decade before Zombieland.
    • Seasons 18 and 19 have received praise for their season-long story-arcs and tighter continuity. However, this wasn't the first time the show did that. Season 2 had a brief arc about Mr. Garrison replacing Mr. Hat with Mr. Twig, the first half of Season 4 had a subplot of Cartman trying to obtain ten million dollars and Mr. Garrison coming to terms with his sexuality, and Season 6 focused on the reprecussions of Kenny's death from the season prior.
    • While children wrestling was something that people thought South Park made up, there actually was a wrestling federation for children.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Patty Nelson from "Le Petit Tourette" is the only other girl besides Wendy and Heidi Turner who Cartman has ever shown attraction to.note  She only appeared in one brief scene, but she's got a good amount of fanart and the third most popular straight pairing involving Cartman after Cartman/Wendy and Cartman/Heidi.
  • Periphery Demographic: The show is extremely popular with Yaoi Fangirls on Fanfiction Dot Net and Deviant ART. Blame all the ambiguous (and obvious) Ho Yay and interesting character interactions.
    • Quite a few conservative Christians (who would normally condemn this show for its vulgarity) have come around to being fans of the show, due to its unabashed liberal bashing.
    • The show also has a small but dedicated Japanese audience because of how very bizarre and surreal the show frequently becomes.
    • The show is popular with the geekdom in general due to its willingness to venture outside the Geek Reference Pool, which is quite unlike many other sitcoms (animated or otherwise).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Style (Stan/Kyle), Creek (Craig/Tweek), Kyman (Kyle/Cartman), K2 (Kyle/Kenny), Crenny (Craig/Kenny), Bunny (Butters/Kenny), Candy (Cartman/Wendy) and many, many more.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games::
    • The Acclaim published video games based on the series - South Park, South Park: Chef's Love Shack, and South Park Rally - received a less-than-stellar reception upon release, with the experience of having little control in the game's direction & the generally poor representation of the show making Matt Stone & Trey Parker more protective of what they licensed the series out for.
    • The pinball machine, at least at first. See Vindicated by History below.
    • South Park: Tennorman's Revenge, a time travel themed platformer exclusive to Xbox Live, received a mediocre reception upon release.
  • Recycled Script:
    • "Quest for Ratings" has many similarities to "The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka", as both are satires on how far shows will go for ratings, with characters going extreme lengths for ratings.
    • The movie is basically "Death" made for feature length.
    • Season 19's arc of ironically treating Political Correctness like a dictatorship is basically a season-long retread of Death Camp of Tolerance.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Tweek was regarded by some fans as one for Kenny and, to a lesser extent, Butters. A number of fans resent Sergeant Yates for usurping Officer Barbrady's role.
    • Generally averted with Jimmy, instead. He supplanted the wildly popular Timmy (TIMMEH!!!), but his very nice and bright personality gained him much respect.
    • After "Stunning and Brave", where Principal Victoria got Put on a Bus, PC Principal has quickly earned this status, being viewed as a Hot-Blooded Knight Templar with little (if any) likability to him, who by the end of the episode essentially gets away with bullying both students and parents alike. though time will tell if he actually stays or not. Now that the season is over, PC Principal is here to stay, but his badass actions and speech in the end of the season have genreally gotten him Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: PC Principal won a lot of his detractors over as the season progressed, but cemented his status as being rescued when he pulls a Heel–Face Turn in the season 19 finale and kills Leslie. It continues in season 20 where he's much more of a Reasonable Authority Figure and less of a Jerkass to the students.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of Kenny's scenes take on new meaning after he reveals the nature of his condition.
  • The Scrappy: The goth kids have become this for a lot of people, as many believe their decidedly one-note schtick (while funny in the Season Seven episode "Raisins") has gotten old.
    • Stephen and Linda Stotch because of their tendency to punish Butters for every minor offense, beating him in Jared Has Aides, and selling him to Paris Hilton. Their abuse towards him has gotten so bad that he imagines his father as a monster and clearly has pent-up aggression towards him as shown in Grounded Vindaloop.
    • Officer Yates for replacing Barbrady and for being a one-note critique of the police force.
    • Lisa Berger, particularly in "The Hobbit." She might have been The Woobie for her one-sided crush on Butters, but after she gets Photoshopped, she turns into an abrasive bitch. The fandom feuds about how Wendy handled the episode, but they're pretty much in agreement that Lisa was terrible.
    • A large portion of the fanbase view Mr. Garrison as this. While at times he could be rather hilarious, the writers seemed to be heaping more and more unlikable traits onto him. The tipping point is when he became transgender, it was unsympathetic. The writers then can't decide whether he likes men or women, even having him become a 'lesbian' (which, as Fridge Logic dictates, somehow he always had an attraction to women...which from the early seasons is non-existant). Another problem was that most of Mr. Garrison's humor came from his dependence on Mr. Hat, so him getting dropped and replaced with Mr. Slave didn't do go over well.
    • Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo — first appearing in Season 1's Christmas Episode—was originally intended to be an Ensemble Darkhorse Breakout Character à la Slimer (although... see Ghostbusters for how that turned out), and was heavily marketed and designed to be quite Merchandise-Driven. However, his shrill annoying voice, general lack of personality, and role as a pointless gross-out prop led to unpopularity with fans. He has been entirely phased out of later seasons and he only appeared once in a "Hey, remember me?" kind of gag.
    • The Member Berries, what should have been a one-episode gag, got beaten into the ground throughout season 20.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 17 is considered this due to its short length and large amount of lackluster topical episodes (though many fans love the "Black Friday" trilogy).
    • Season 20 fell into this when its unusually complex Story Arc was abruptly altered by real world events. Parker and Stone hadn't prepared for the possibility that Donald Trump, whom Mr. Garrison was serving as an Expy of, would be elected President of the United States over Hillary Clinton (who was being used straight up), so the final four episodes had to be substantially rethought in a very short span of time — in the case of the post-Election Day episode within less than 24 hours — or risk coming off as completely irrelevant, which could have derailed the show permanently. The results were that several significant characters, in particular the Member Berries, fell Out of Focus while most of the plot threads were not brought to satisfying conclusions. It remains to be seen how Season 21 will — or will not — pick up the pieces.
  • Self-Fanservice: Well, fan art usually portrays South Park characters rather differently. Possibly parodied in the show itself with "Princess Kenny".
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Discussed in the commentaries: The first few episodes of the show were very controversial when they first aired, but look rather tame nowadays. Even the foul language is more heavily bleeped than it would need to be today.
  • Shallow Parody: Parodied mercilessly in "Cartoon Wars", specifically as relating to how pop culture jokes and references are written on Family Guy.
    • Played straight again in "Insheeption," which parodies Inception using College Humor as research instead of the film itself.
    • And yet again in "You're Getting Old", in which Stan and his friends watch the trailer for Jack and Jill. The actual trailer hadn't even came out yet at the time the episode aired, so all Matt and Trey had to go by were the title and the fact that Adam Sandler stars as both characters.
    • The Game of Thrones parody had many jokes rely on the series having a lot of dicks everywhere. The show rarely depicts full male nudity, with the appearances of nude women far outnumbering the appearances of nude men throughout its run.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: In SPADES. Usually, Stan/Kyle fans fight against Cartman/Kyle and Stan/Wendy fans, who fight against Cartman/Wendy fans, who fight against Cartman/Heidi fans alongside Cartman/Kyle fans, and they also fight against Cartman/Butters fans, who fight against Kenny/Butters fans, who fight against... you get the drill.
  • Squick: Happens a lot. Mr. Garrison's sex-change operation is probably the most disgusting thing they've ever shown.
    • Followed immediately by Mr(s) Garrison having anal sex with Richard Dawkins.
    • Stan's grandfather having sex with an elderly ex-contortionist will give you nightmares.
    • Kenny's antics in "Fat Camp".
    • In "Rainforest Schmainforest", a man is swallowed whole by a python and immediately crapped out.
    • Cartman smelling Butters' used underwear in "Stunning and Brave".
    • In "Wieners Out", we are graphically treated to Gerald and Sheila engaging in piss porn. With Ike and Kyle witnessing it. Poor boys need a ton of therapy after that.
  • Strawman Has a Point: You'd pretty much have to agree with Cartman's thoughts about today's music videos in "Butterballs". Hell, Cartman sometimes says things that, believe it or not, are true in some way.
    • While PC Principal is rather extreme with his methods, his heart's in the right place. The only person he ever assaulted for being Politically Incorrect was Cartman, and Cartman is an extreme bigot.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • In "Christian Rock Hard", Cartman plays one song that is kinda similar to the Delfonics' "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)".
      • Considering that Cartman openly stated that his songwriting technique was plagiarizing other songs and throwing "Jesus" into the lyrics, this probably applies to most of their other songs.
    • DVDA's "Now You're a Man" is basically "You Give Love a Bad Name" with different lyrics.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Watching Butters punch his father in the nuts in Grounded Vindaloop was definitely satisfying.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Since 2008, all of the show's episodes were able to be streamed for free on southparkstudios.com. Needless to say, fans were NOT happy when the website switched to Hulu for streaming.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The new intro for Season 17 takes a more 3D/clay animation style compared to the past seasons, but it's been received rather negatively compared to the previous ones that utilized clips from past episodes and such.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Damien. Considering how many possible avenues the character could have traveled down (including ones with his father, and/or the other schoolchildren), his being written out after his only episode is something of a letdown.
    • Terrance. The antagonistic son of the town Mad Scientist, with his own Co-Dragons? Yes, please.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Played deliberately in the "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers", after an enormous number of life changes occur as a result of him maturing (including his parents divorcing and Kyle and Cartman becoming friends and business partners), Stan is just coming to appreciate the new directions in his life and new possibilities there are. Cue a stack of Reset Buttons reverting everything back to normal, much to his despair.
    • "Cartman Finds Love" ends with the entire school believing that Cartman and Kyle are a couple. This is never brought up again despite the vast amount of comedic potential.
    • No one ever mentions the Wii U in the "Black Friday" three-part saga. Not once, is it ever referred to as being a third choice. Same applies to PC gaming.
    • After "The Cissy" a lot of people were disappointed to find out that Wendy was just faking transgenderism like Cartman was.
    • Cartman replaces Wendy as the student body president in Dances With Smurfs. Like most changes to the status quo in the show, it's never mentioned again.
    • Some were disappointed that Professor Chaos or the boys Ninja alter egos from Good Times With Weapons didn't appear in Imagionationland.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Muhammad. Parker and Stone went for lampooning the fact that he's not an acceptable target, instead — particularly because 5 years before the Muhammad taboo entered the limelight, he had been depicted with no repercussion. "201", the second episode of their 200th anniversary two-parter, had all mentions of Muhammad's name censored by the network, along with the "I learned something today" speeches at the end (which didn't even mention Muhammad). Comedy Central went so far as pulling it from ever airing again - they won't even let it be streamed on the show's official website. You can find it here, but it being a TV rip means the bleeps are still in place.
    • Subverted in Latin America, where the dub kept the mentions of Muhammad.
  • Uncanny Valley: Kenny inverts this for some viewers. His face-hugging hood and muffled speech make him seem a bit less human than the other characters, which gives him some mascot-like "cute" appeal that's only helped by his nature as The Woobie and in spite of (or maybe also helped by) his hedonistic tendencies. Coincidentally, he's indeed a Humanoid Abomination.
    • Some viewers might feel this way about when the characters ACTUALLY move their legs when walking. In the early seasons this doesn't happen but in the recent ones it does and it's a bit jarring to see.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In "The City Part of Town", we're supposed to feel bad for the South Park citizens for feeling insulted by Jimmy Fallon's jokes about them. Considering they do the same on a regular basis to celebrities, their reaction comes off as more hypocritical than sympathetic
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Butters practically defines the tropes
    • Pip was on the butt end of harassment till his death, fans however, love him.
    • Not so much a character, but show. "Fighting Around The World" was given poor reception by all the characters in "New Terrance & Phillip Movie Trailer". A majority of the fandom, including Russell Crowe, found it the funniest part of the episode and have even said they would watch it if it was a real show
  • Vindicated by History: The pinball machine initially got a lot of complaints, both because of its offensive content and because of its layout and rules, so much so that SEGA, the company that made it, quit the pinball business. However, if the reviews at the Internet Pinball Database is anything to go by, the South Park pinball machine now brings in good money when out in public, is one of the more sought-after South Park items for collectors, and is genuinely liked by pinball fans who are also South Park fans.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The updated title sequence (mentioned above), which was made by acclaimed titling house Imaginary Forces.
    • "Make Love, Not Warcraft" was really raised up by the in-game segments, which were animated by Blizzard themselves.
  • Wangst: Kyle in Cartmanland, he loses the will to live because Cartman inherited a million dollars and bought a theme park.
    • And Mr. Mackey in "Royal Pudding." While he does a Freudian Excuse about him wanting to do a play about Tooth Decay (since Tooth Decay killed his father), he does go too far in his abuse of the kindergarten students and Kyle for messing up his play, with Kyle receiving most of the abuse.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Most cartoons take too long to make to be truly topical, while this show takes days, making it a major aversion to this trope. The one time they were beaten to the punch (regarding Glenn Beck's challenges to the White House) was because just days before the episode aired Jon Stewart on The Daily Show had done a similar razing, which some people argued was more vicious and/or funny. However, this also causes the episode subjects to become dated in a few years when their subject matters are no longer relevant.
    • The Facebook episode "You Have 0 Friends" comes off as this, as a result of Trey Parker's reluctance to get into Facebook.
    • "Faith Hilling" pokes fun at this, though even that episode may not age as well as others given the subject matter.
    • "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers", which talked about emo kids five years too late.
    • The episode "The Snuke", which had Hillary Clinton's first attempt at presidency, a parody of 24, and a few mentions of MySpace. That episode just reeked of 2007.
    • "Something You Do With Your Finger", which poked fun at the Boy Band craze during the turn of the millennium, seems incredibly dated now.
    • "The Ring" lampooned The Jonas Brothers when they were at the height of their popularity in 2009.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Yes, the animation looks childish and crude, and yes, the protagonists are children. But it contains way too much graphic violence, raunchy language, sex, swearing, and other mature content to be seen by young kids.´ Which hasn't stopped it from finding a huge and adoring audience among teens and preteens. In fact, that's probably a large part of why it has.
  • The Woobie: Butters' personality is enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. The fact that his parents take all of their problems out on him makes him this.
    Butters: I don't think I'm a happy person. Every night I fall asleep to the sounds of my own screams... And every morning I wake up to the sounds of my own screams. Do you think I'm a happy person?note 
    • Kip Drordy.
    • In the Coon and Friends trilogy, Kenny/Mysterion has been revealed to be an Iron Woobie.
    • Stan can be seen as this or a Jerkass Woobie, but he certainly qualifies as this in You're Getting Old given the fact it was his friends abandoning him after he was diagnosed with cynicism.
    • Kenny's sister Karen. "The Poor Kid" can attest to that.
    • Mr. Mackey in "Ike's Wee Wee".
    • Britney Spears in "Britney's New Look". The writers were apparently sick of people being mean about Britney for no good reason.
    • Satan is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in The Movie.
    • Wendy might be considered The Scrappy or at least a Base-Breaking Character, but after the end of "The Hobbit" you will want to give her a great big hug.
    • Pip. He's bullied mercilessly by EVERYONEnote (even moreso than his eventual replacements Butters or Scott Malkinson who at least get SOME social accecptance), he lost both his parents, any and all of his accomplishments are ignored by kids and adults alike. How he managed to keep that cheerful demeanor up to his death remains a mystery.
    • Kyle himself qualifies as this on occasions, when he isn't a Jerkass Woobie, the episode "Ginger Cow" is a crowning example of this. By the time the episode ends, you will end up feeling very sorry for Kyle.
    • Tweek is this to some, especially those who have suffered from anxiety or the like and can relate.
    • Cartman's mother in "Tsst".
    • Clyde in "Reverse Cowgirl". His mom was a complete asshole to him and then he accidentally killed her when he forgot to put the toilet seat down. The funeral wasn't any better for him.
    • Officer Barbrady in "Naughty Ninjas". The entire episode is basically a Trauma Conga Line for him. To elaborate: he loses his job despite being the original cop because PC Principal told the police there was a Code Red at the school (which was actually just Leslie talking) and he accidentally shot someone. And then, he gets home to his apartment where he promises to get another job so he can care for his sick and elderly dog, with his wife implied to be dead. But due to the cop hatred, he cannot find a new job and ends up homeless. He receives a cruel Hope Spot when the mayor and everyone ask him to save the town from ISIS, actually the gang playing Ninja, and he accidentally shoots them when Randy knocks his arm trying to stop him after finding out the truth. And then he's thrown under the bus by Randy and fired again. Though things do get better for him at the end of the season when he helps to save the world from the ads.

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