These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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.
Cartman's multiple mental illnesses and hints of bisexuality is also subject to this.
Eric Cartman is the wayhe is either because he was spoiled rotten by his mother, thus completely depriving him of the discipline required to develop a moral compass, or because his lack of a father left him so traumatized and lonely growing up that he has since been lashing out at a world that abandoned him.
The 'very interesting article' of Cartman also notes that he has experienced sexual abuse — not just once but repeatedly and by different people, including his own mother. Furthermore, the fact that his mother is notorious as a whore that is frequently drugged out of her mind...what are the chances that the men she has entertained over the years never molested Cartman? It may be possible that his repugnant behavior is a combination of factors which includes an absent father, lack of discipline, and just plain relentless childhood abuse that just completely sent him over the edge mentally.
Kyle, Stan and Kenny themselves. Are they really good boys, but with some Anti-Hero traits? Or they are Enfant Terribles and sociopaths Not So Different compared to Cartman? The fact that they still are Cartman friends after he crossed the Moral Event Horizon in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" or the infamous attempted genocide in "Coon & Friends" support this interpretation.
"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 good majority of episodes are essentially Matt and Trey beating you over the head with either their libertarian beliefs or their hatred of Political Correctness Gone Mad (the latter of which most people can agree on, no matter what their political beliefs).
"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."
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?
Cartman. There are two types of fans; those who love him for his extreme Jerkass behavior, 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 (the second half via entire episodes dedicated to making Cartman suffer such as when Wendy beats the crap out of him in season 12).
Randy Marsh. Fans either love his wacky antics or see him as everything wrong with the later episodes.
Kyle is becoming this, mostly due to how annoying he has become with his overzealous moral preaching over every little thing that happens, especially when it involves Cartman.
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.
There are still plenty of these, but the Real Life-based ones really are very obvious.
Fans argue whether South Park was better as a lighthearted, yet vulgar Monty Python-esque sitcom, or the darker political satire of later episodes.
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.
The live-action sequence at the end of "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
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.
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 atttitude, 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 Of course, Pip survived, although earlier drafts of the episode him killed right off until Matt and Trey realized they had a limited amount of students to use for classroom scenes. They finally delivered on their intent by "201".
Randy has gone from a relatively minor character to a very common character. He's quickly become the go-to character to completely embody whatever aspect of American culture that the show wants to lampoon.
The Goth Kids are sure to steal any episode they're in.
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, and Kenny's first girlfriend Kelly. All one-shot characters (save for any later background cameos by Mark or Damien), but very beloved by their fans all the same note Although Kelly and Rebecca are more contested cases due to the overlap of Die for Our Ship in play.
Mysterion became one almost the moment he showed up. Even after being revealed as Kenny, 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.
The tertiary classmates can have their own fan followings, such as Kevin Stoley (the Star Wars-loving kid).
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.
Isaac Hayes' death in August 2008 makes his character Chef's hilariously over the top dropped bridge extremely disconcerting.
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.
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 gay, bi, and transsexual teen suicides that made the news in 2010.
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).
In "Die Hippie, Die," lots of jokes are made about Chef dying first on the dangerous mission because he's the black guy and (in a lot of horror and action movies) the black man is the first to die. He doesn't, but this was the last episode Issac Hayes recorded new dialogue for. The very next episode Chef plays a major role in is "The Return of Chef," where, sure enough, he ends up dead (made more horrible by the fact that Chef's voice actor, Isaac Hayes, did die in 2008).
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 (as even Family Guy knows where to draw the line), but it is a very happy coincidence.
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.
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 Seventies, and the nickname stuck.
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.
In-universe example- In the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" the boys are playing a board game called "Investigative Reports With Bill Kurtis." Cartman gives Kyle an AIDS card in the game and the other characters are horrified by this. Years later, the episode "Tonsil Trouble" had Cartman actually giving Kyle AIDS.
The part in "Christian Rock Hard" when the boys illegally download songs and a SWAT team comes bursting in. Before the raid of the Megaupload offices this was thought to be ridiculous.
If there was ever any humor to be gained from the opening of "Dances with Smurfs," it left after the 2012 Connecticut school massacre, in which the sounds of the shooting were broadcast to the entire school after someone activated the office intercom.
Chef parodying the Thriller video might come off as uncomfortably awkward since both Isaac Hayes and the guy they parodied off of were still alive.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", Cartman describes independent movies as being about "gay cowboys eating pudding". 7 years later, Brokeback Mountain fills 2/3rds of that criteria. Parker and Stone even said in an interview "if there's any pudding eating, we will sue".
In "The Passion of the Jew", Mel Gibson is portrayed as a raving lunatic who loves torture. The recent tapes to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva makes this exaggeration even funnier.
"At least it doesn't get all preachy and up its own ass with messages, you know?": Once a burn on South Park's descent into being more political than funny, it can now also be applied to South Park's biggest rival Family Guy as well.
The whole plot of "Cartoon Wars" was kicked off by Family Guy deciding to show the prophet Mohammed uncensored. Then South Park did it with the episode "201" and caught controversy because of it.
Osama Bin Laden being shot in the head by US soldiers on multiple occasions (namely the season five episode "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants" and the season 14 episode "It's A Jersey Thing") becomes funnier now that bin Laden's death (and how he died) has become a reality.
South Park: The Movie (which depicts Saddam Hussein in Hell and as the Big Bad) was made prior to Saddam Hussein's death, interestingly enough.
The entire "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode seems to have become a prophecy for the future of World of Warcraft now that a hacker has started killing large groups of people in major cities.
"Medicinal Fried Chicken" counts as this, since the state of Colorado recently voted to allow marijuana for recreational use.
In "Fantastic Easter Special", we hear a news reporter say that "Pope Benedict has stepped down, ushering in a new era of... Pope Bill Donohue" (since Bill is an American of Irish descent). Nearly six years later, Benedict did indeed step down, and now we have a new American pope (a South American one, if you want to be pendantic, but it still works).
Although this can be applied to many adults of the late 90s, Chinpokomon seemed to imply that, like many other "fads," Pokemon would eventually fade into obscurity. Nope. The Pokemon series is still as popular now as it was back then, with Pokemon as a whole being Nintendo's second biggest Cash Cow Franchise (just after Mario), and the anime series actually rivals South Park in terms of longevity (both premiered in 1997 and are still going strong). Even better, recent statistics and sales data show that Pokemon is just as popular with adults today as it is with children. Granted most of those adults are probably people who got into the series as kids in the 90s, but hey it shows that there are adults out there who do understand Pokemon's wide appeal, unlike the adults in South Park.
YMMV on "hilarious", but Mr. Garrison being told that "most teachers don't carry a gun!", demonstrating what a Cloudcuckoolander he is. Some groups are pushing for teachers to be given guns in the wake of recent school shooting tragedies.
Hypocritical Fandom: Like other animated shows, South Park uses Stock Footage to save time and money, especially considering that this show is produced on a low, low budget. It is hilarious however when some South Park fans complain at other budget shows/movies when they also reuse animation cells for the same reasons.
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 Which has Cartman getting AIDS after a tonsillectomy due to the doctors' stupidity, and "The China Probrem"note Not just the main plot of Cartman terrorizing a Chinese restaurant without any good motivation, but for the Narm-tastic subplot where the other characters cry over Indiana Jones being "raped".
"Fat Camp" and "Free Hat" have the respective Idiot Subplots of Kenny becomes famous for doing nauseating acts and the adults wanting a baby killer named Hat McCullough freed from prison, claiming that "the babies were killed in self-defense".
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 realisation of how lonely his monsterous behavior makes him. Every now and then the boys will do something cruel to him without his usual provokation 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 heate all the chicken breading off an order of KFC.
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.
Shelley qualified in Broadway Bro Down when her 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, seeing how much crap he's been put up with from just about everyone in the show, especially Cartman.
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 "Poor and Stupid", Cartman goes to a drugstore and drinks Vagisil in order to become stupid enough to be a NASCAR racer.
The "creamy goo" from "Sarcastaball". It's Butters' ejaculate, which he bottles and saves in his closet — and everyone drinks it!
The "HUMANCENTiPAD" episode. It's one of South Parks most vulgar episodes. It's one thing to have a Christmas Turd as a speaking character. It's another to have the kid who's supposed to be your moral compass be the middle part of something that forces him to eat shit.
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: All video games thus far based on the series have been met with, shall we say, less-than-stellar reception. However, the upcoming South Park RPG for Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 (the first retail home console South Park game since the PS1 era) may yet buck this trend, given the involvement of respectable developer Obsidian Entertainment, relatively generous development time, and extensive supervision from Trey and Matt.
The Scrappy: Earlier on, Wendy wasn't that popular. Somewhere between the early seasons and "Breast Cancer Show Ever", that mostly changed, although some fans still throw potshots at her.
Seasonal Rot: As with every long-running show, you'll find people who insist that it's going downhill. Of course, they all have their own ideas on what point it started going downhill. Some prominent examples include:
After the movie
When Cartman became more violent and sociopathic (starting with "Scott Tenorman Must Die")
When the show became more like The Simpsons if it was still as good as it was in the 1990s and had a TV-MA rating, in terms of making fun of current events and trends (which would be around seasons seven or eight, depending on who you ask).
After the backlash of "Trapped in the Closet" from the Church of Scientology.
After Chef was killed off and Isaac Hayes died in real life 2 years later
After the "200/201" two-parter that caught controversy for visually depicted Muhammad (which, in the Islam religion, is highly taboo)
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.
Jimmy and Timmy exist to show that disabled people are human too, with all their ambitions and negative attributes displayed alongside their handicaps.
Butterballs showed that anyone can be a bully, even people trying to stop them, and how all that stereotypical advice is not quite so helpful when it's put into practice. The message, ultimately, is that "If a victim could stop it happening, they would, so quit acting like it's so easy to solve."
"My Future Self and Me": Be honest with your kids, especially when it comes to talking to them about why they shouldn't do drugs.
"Go, God, Go": Removing religion will not stop conflicts or end the world's problems, no matter how much atheism and anti-theism is revered over religion and spirituality. Why? Because, those problems would still be around, and people would use something else as a scapegoat.
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.
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 its being a TV rip means the bleeps are still in place.
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.
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 He says this in the banned episode "Super Best Friends"
In the Coon and Friends trilogy, Kenny/Mysterion has been revealed to be one.
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.