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Western Animation / South Park

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This page is for the show; for the South Park franchise as a whole, see South Park.
Pictured: Pretty much everyone.note 
I'm goin' down to South Park, gonna have myself a time!
(Stan and Kyle: Friendly faces everywhere, humble folks without temptation!)
Goin' down to South Park, gonna leave my woes behind!
(Cartman: Ample parking day or night, people spouting "HOWDY, NEIGHBOR!")
Headin' on up to South Park, gonna see if I can't unwind!
(Kenny: *mumbles something perverted**)
So come on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine!
— The theme song, sung by Les Claypool

South Park is an [in]famous long-running Animated Sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone on Comedy Central. Arguably the defining Subverted Kids' Show, it debuted in 1997 and follows the misadventures of a group of elementary school kids in the titular mountain town of South Park, Colorado.

The central characters are Stan Marsh, the group's passive, animal-loving Straight Man, Kyle Broflovski, the passionate moral compass and one of the town's few Jewish kids, Eric Cartman, a spoiled, bigoted and sociopathic bully, and Kenny McCormick, a perverted hedonist and one of the show's biggest punching bags.

These four main boys and their friends, family, and neighbors find themselves embroiled in all sorts of weirdness, ranging from cults, aliens, and monsters to exaggerated-for-comic-effect versions of Ripped from the Headlines problems to obvious parodies of action and family movies. It's also well-known for containing loads of swearing, violence, and toilet humor (at least early on).

While the Author Tract is very evident, Matt and Trey make a point of targeting everyone. They've lampooned subjects near and dear to the hearts of social conservatives, social activists, socialists, liberals, religious fundamentalists, actively hostile atheists, corporations and business interests, anarchists, dictators, hippies, trendy people, geeks, teenagers, the elderly, themselves and sometimes even their own audience — seriously, you could name just about any kind of group and the show's probably done something to piss that group off.

An astonishingly short turn-around time helps keep the show topical with current events. The show is produced using the same graphics engine that helped create the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (1993), which fostered comparisons to building a sandcastle with a bulldozer; only the early shorts and the pilot episode were done by hand via cut-outs and physical backdrops. In some cases, an episode can be produced a matter of days before it airs, allowing for current events to be parodied almost as soon as they happen. An episode on the capture of Saddam Hussein aired just a few days after it happened, and excerpts from both Barack Obama and John McCain's post-election speeches were featured in the episode that aired less than 24 hours after the election results came in. While different seasons, episodes and movies have different timetables, they have proven capable of regularly completing episodes in less than a week's time before being submitted to Comedy Central; the show has only missed its deadline once, due to a power outage. The documentary 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park sheds light on this lightning-fast production schedule.

For its first sixteen seasons, episodes were split between two different batches between spring and fall releases, usually comprised of seven to eight episodes each. Season 17 the show started running for a single ten-episode chunk in the fall; done to accommodate Matt and Trey on other projects (such as The Book of Mormon) and the fact that they're not the young men they used to be when they made a paper-cutout animation about foul-mouthed third graders as a Christmas gag gift. Season 18 introduced them experimenting with a continuous plotline, though that has had issues with their quick production turnover. In 2021 it was announced the show was renewed through Season 30 and that 14 hour-long movies would be made for Paramount+ separate from the TV show episodes, beginning with South Park: Post Covidnote . Trey and Matt have stated that they will continue to make South Park as long as Comedy Central lets them.

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


Cartman's Courtesy Lick

There's your courtesy lick you little bastard!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BoltOfDivineRetribution

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