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What Could Have Been / South Park

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Over the years, South Park has had a lot of ideas that never came to be:

  • Before ending up on Comedy Central, South Park was originally pitched to Fox. Fox rejected it since they didn't want to have a show with a talking piece of poop.
  • "The Coon" was intended to be more of a parody of Watchmen, with all the kids as superheroes. It also had a main plot of The Coon trying to fix the economy. However, Matt and Trey realized that Cartman was stealing the show, so they scaled it back and used the economy plotline in "Margaritaville". The original concept seems to have returned with "Coon and Friends" trying to fix another BP oil spill.
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  • In "The Wacky Molestation Adventure", Cartman was originally going to block out the sun. However, after learning that It's Been Done by The Simpsons, they scrapped the idea. Their frustration made its way into creating the episode "Simpsons Already Did It."
  • "A Million Little Fibers" was originally going to be about Towelie on Intervention. However, they couldn't fit it in right, so they ended up revamping it. The original idea was later used in "Crippled Summer".
  • "Pinewood Derby" was going to be an hour long special where Randy finds out that dinosaurs had killed themselves off after inventing guns, and convinces everyone to do away with them. After this, an alien would have arrived and taken over the world with a handgun, with no one able to stop him. The entire plot was torpedoed by, once again, The Simpsons having done it earlier in two different Treehouse of Horror vignettes.
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  • Kenny's semi-permanent death in season 5 was originally considered for Kyle, who Butters would then replace, allegedly because they felt that Stan and Kyle were too similar. This itself was built from an earlier idea of Kyle moving away in season 4. In the end, they decided they didn't want to kill Kyle (as they felt things would get too depressing without him), but Kenny, being an overused Running Gag, was expendable. (Stan and Kyle, meanwhile, eventually underwent enough Divergent Character Evolution to fix any problems.) The creators had also intended for Kenny's death to be permanent. When that idea fell through note , they simply considered dragging out Kenny's death even longer, with more characters besides Butters and Tweek replacing him.
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  • The Playstation 2 was going to be featured in "Towelie" (judging from this storyboard), but they couldn't get Sony's permission. As a result, they came up with the Okama Gamesphere, which was a parody of the current video game consoles of the time (the Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox).
  • Nancy Cartwright was the original choice for the female characters on the show, but she refused because of the vulgarity. Barry White was also considered for Chef, but declined because the show went against his Christian values.
    • Karri Turner was Parker and Stone's next choice and had recorded roles for the unaired version of the pilot, but was let go as they felt her voice wasn't distinct enough for the characters that they wanted her to voice (see "The Other Marty"). However, she did get to voice Kathie Lee Gifford in "Weight Gain 4000".
  • "Quintuplets 2000" had its plot heavily reworked: Originally titled "Rosie O'Donnell Eats Children", it would have involved the quintuplets moving to South Park and becoming a media frenzy due to Rosie O'Donnell promoting them. Kenny's mother would then wind up jealous of their fame and attempt to get pregnant with multiples, while Cartman would have a crush on one of the Quints. The Quints were also originally to be American, and the original broadcast promo for the episode featured them with different voices. After the Elian Gonzalez case happened, the entire episode was quickly reworked from the ground up to parody the story. Kenny and the Quints were also to be exchanged and return to their homes safely, but Parker and Stone decided it'd be funnier if it ended with Kenny dead and the Quints deciding to become celebrities. Other scrapped plot points from earlier drafts included Timmy making an appearance, and the Quints displaying the ability to multiply themselves.
  • An Iron Chef episode was slated for season 5, but never happened. An episode parodying Michael Jackson and one with the Easter Bunny were both slated for inclusion in early season 7, but the creators threw them aside. Two episodes with similar premises would be written for later seasons.
  • "The Lemmiwinks Easter Special"/"The Return of Lemmiwinks" was an episode scripted for season 8, but the crew quickly ran into trouble with animating it, as well as finding ways to make it seem funnier. "AWESOM-O" was aired in its place (with a joke referencing the original plot before the episode), and the story was put on hold, with the crew suggesting that it'd air later on in the run. Eventually, Trey Parker and Matt Stone decided to scrap the idea completely.
  • A scrapped episode for the tenth season involved Sharon Marsh undergoing a mastectomy and having her breasts replaced by a pair of hooks.
  • Other more vague scrapped ideas noted by the creators included an episode parodying the 2011 tsunami in Japan, a season 13 episode with Saddam Hussein, and a story where Warren and Jimmy Buffett find out they're long-lost relatives and team up to take over the world.
  • In early planning of the show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone had the idea for the boys to be involved in more plots focusing around aliens and the supernatural. This was quickly scrapped, as they then decided it'd come off as too much of a ripoff of The X-Files. The random aliens placed in the background as easter eggs were a remnant of this concept.
  • Cartman was to have a father and younger sister (Click here for an image of how they looked), and both of these characters cameo in the longer (unaired) version of the pilot episode. They were both dropped, as it was decided that it'd be better if Cartman were only raised by his promiscuous mother. Kenny was to also have a younger toddler sister, who would resemble Ike note , but she never made it into the first season (she was originally to appear in "Starvin' Marvin") and only briefly appeared in one episode. However, the sister idea was eventually reused with Karen McCormick for later seasons, although Matt Stone initially regarded her first appearance as an oversight.
    • Matt and Trey considered letting the end to "You're Getting Old" stick, and having Stan spend the second half of the season growing to accept it. However, every plan they came up with involved more drama than comedy, so they decided to hit the Reset Button.
  • Jerry Seinfeld had shown interest in guest-starring on the show, but he changed his mind as Parker and Stone refused to give him a larger role than one of the turkeys in "Starvin' Marvin" (similar to George Clooney's role as Stan's dog in "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride"). They admit in the Season One commentaries that they weren't fans of Seinfeld anyway, so his absence from the episode wasn't seen as a huge loss to them.
    • Also, the ending for "Starvin' Marvin" was going to have the Ethiopians kill Sally Struthers and dine on the fat from her belly for Thanksgiving. Comedy Central deemed this too distasteful, so they instead ended the cartoon with the Ethiopians tying her up and then feasting on Dr. Maphesto's mutant turkeys; Struthers went on to appear in "Starvin Marvin in Space", the episode's sequel.
  • In "Cartman Sucks", Butters being sent to a gay camp was originally meant to be a joke of a bunch of Camp Gay kids who were stoked to be alone at camp. Chris would have walked in on several trying to gang bang Butters, leading to him trying several other ways to make him not gay. However, when they came up with the idea of a camper who was troubled by his homosexuality, they decided it was a much better story. Cartman's plot was originally going to just be him trying to not be gay. This was changed to Cartman simply wanting the photo back.
  • Season 20's post-Election Day 2016 episode was originally "The Very First Gentleman", in which Bill Clinton visits South Park Elementary after his wife Hillary is elected President of the United States, and ran promos during that night's live Daily Show and At Midnight installments....which revealed that Donald Trump was going to be elected instead. Parker and Stone hadn't prepared an alternate episode for a Trump victory even though the season's Member Berries Story Arc hinged on Mr. Garrison as a Trump Expy, so it was rewritten/reanimated within one day as "Oh Jeez".
    • Mr. Garrison would also have gone back to teaching by the end of the season, and the Gender War would likely have been covered in more detail in the last four episodes rather than pushed to the sideline in favor of the Trolling-arc.
  • The very first South Park game was under development by Crawfish Interactive in 1998 and was set to be released on the Game Boy Color. The upcoming game even had previews in Nintendo Power and other gaming magazines. When the game was ready to be released for manufacturing, it suddenly fell off the radar and was never heard of again. Trey and Matt requested that the game be cancelled since they felt it would be inappropriate to have a game based on a mature-rated cartoon on a handheld gaming system whose main demographic was mostly children. The codebase was later recycled for Maya the Bee and further recycled to into The New Adventures of Mary Kate & Ashley. A ROM of the original GBC game would later surface when a user named "Da Kool Dood" on the Lost Media Wiki Discord server managed to contact the head developer of the game.

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