A Crude Masterpiece: The 10 Best Moments of South Park

6. Randy Fears He Won’t Be Able to Fight the Bat Dad (S9E7 – “The Losing Edge”)

Call it a Rocky spoof. Call it a lament against the pains of Little League baseball. I call it the best episode in South Park history. Faced with an extended season, the South Park little league baseball team cannot seem to stop winning. Meanwhile, Randy Marsh faces his toughest test as a drunk dad fighting in the stands: the Bat Dad. In the scenes leading up to his big speech, Randy has fought his way through a slew of drunken parental foes (montage-style to the song “You’re the Best”, no less). But the Bat Dad, a mammoth caped man obsessed with his Denver squad, has Randy scared he might not have what he takes.

He confesses his fears to his wife Sharon, who tells him perhaps he should just not drink and go support his son. The ensuing climatic fight, with Randy entering late in the game with a tray of beers declaring “Let’s go South Park.” An epic fight ensues, and Randy goes down. Inspired by delusions of his wife and the coach from Rocky, Randy rises, stating “I didn’t hear a bell.” I almost can’t summarize this scene to someone without laughing. Randy’s complete and utter disconnect from the world is his defining character trait, and final fight is beautiful to behold.

7. Randy Marsh Succumbs to Alcoholism (S9E14 – “Bloody Mary”)

South Park has taken on some significant groups. The show has blasted Mormons, Scientology, and the media’s portrayal of Islam. But in “Bloody Mary,” they waged perhaps their most controversial war: attacking Alcoholics Anonymous. Randy uses his new knowledge that alcoholism is a disease beyond his control to relegate himself to a wheelchair, where he sucks down beers and laments his lot in life. At one point, he goes to visit a “sacred” statue of the Virgin Mary so that he may be granted freedom from his ailments.

I think “Bloody Mary” was a significant chapter for South Park because it committed to its premise without apology. One thing the show has always held true to is its label as an equal-opportunity offender. South Park earned the right to pick a fight with AA by battling so many smaller foes in earlier seasons. Of course, the episode is also another chapter in the legacy of Randy Marsh. His selfishness as a human and hilarity as a character continue to grow in “Bloody Mary.”

8. Cartman’s Bathroom Break (S10E8 – “Make Love, Not Warcraft”)

We’ve talked a lot about South Park for it’s higher-brow qualities, but part of the show is about how low it can go too. Case in point: the scene where Cartman takes a bathroom break during an epic session of World of Warcraft. It is, shall we say, graphic. Cartman is too busy to leave his computer, so he yells for his mother, who comes in with a bedpan. Cartman’s aim is less than perfect, and the scene is excruciatingly funny. South Park has always prided itself on keeping a consistent level of bathroom humor in their content. The scene is entirely unnecessary, but it’s the most memorable part of a great episode.

“Make Love, Not Warcraft” features scenes done in the style of the Warcraft game. In a sense, doing the bathroom scene provides a crude counterpoint to the technologically-advanced parts. Almost like Trey Parker and Matt Stone are giving a wink to viewers that says they know they’re doing something weird with the computer graphics, but don’t worry, because Cartman defecates on his mom too.

9. Gerald Broflovski Turns Into a Hobo (S11E7 – “Night of the Living Homeless”)

I used to live in Santa Cruz, CA. For those who’ve never had the pleasure, Santa Cruz is a beach town riddled with vagrants. I don’t say this to be unkind; it’s simply the way it is. Walking downtown, one couldn’t get a single block without being hit up for change. God forbid you light a cigarette. When my Santa Cruz brethren and I sat down to watch “Night of the Living Homeless,” we were convinced the show was based on our town. The premise is an homage to Dawn of the Dead, with poor people stepping in for zombies. In a pivotal scene, Kyle’s dad Gerald forges into the fray, where he finds himself without his wallet. Suddenly, he realizes he’ll need to take the bus, which requires….change!

This pick might be a bit biased, but the way the episode perfectly warps the Dawn of the Dead plot into something offensive and relevant is pretty impressive. Randy Marsh is great as the guy ready to put a bullet into anyone who appears to have “turned.” The episode is a departure from the more in-the-moment episodes South Park has adopted as its bread and butter, and yet it functions as a contemporary take on the issue of American poverty. Plus Randy with a shotgun.

10. The Cure for AIDS is Money (S12E1 – “Tonsil Trouble”)

Allow me to cheat a little on this one. “Tonsil Trouble” may not be a perfect episode, but it has three incredible moments. The first is when Jimmy Buffet sings Cartman a song entitled “AIDS Burger in Paradise.” The song is the epitome of stupid, but if I say it to any of my friends, they go catatonic from laughter for several moments. Moment two is Cartman asking Kyle, “Are you sure? Are you HIV positive?” Incredibly offensive yet, but also so stupid you kind of laugh out of default. The third is the cure to HIV discovered by Cartman, Kyle and Magic Johnson. Apparently all you have to do is get a direct infusion of cash straight into your veins. The obvious metaphor, that those with money are much better fighting HIV than those without, is delivered in typically abstract but astute fashion.

“Tonsil Trouble” is a excellent endcap to my summary of South Park moments. It has terrifically terrible aspects to it, but it also hits home with a message about the true state of health care. One may not turn on South Park to learn anything, but it’s hard not to something out of most episodes. Honestly, for all the awards and accolades South Park has received, I’m surprised they haven’t earned more. What other show so aptly toes the line between “I would never show that to my parents” and “This show is smarter than to my parents.” Here’s to more memorable moments to come.

Ok, what did I miss?


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  1. The Paris Hilton and Jersey Shore episodes both perfectly sum up pretty much every thing I hate about modern pop culture, in such a ridiculously sublime way even people I know who are fans of the two are in stiches watching them- “Snooki want smoosh-smoosh!!”

    Also, I could listen to John Travolta say “Oh My God” (Trapped in the Closet) over and over again and still laugh as hard as I did when I first saw it.

  2. By limiting yourself to only 10 moments naturally couldn’t include every great moment but this list is pretty solid.

    I personally love the South Park movie, the musical numbers in themselves are brilliant and actually seeing Kenny’s face and hearing his voice was also good.

    The Coon and all episodes involving Cartman as The Coon are also great episodes. I’m not sure which I loved more Cartman and Cthulhu’s rampage of terror leading to Justin Bieber’s death or finding out Mint Berry Crunch (Bradley) actually had superpowers all along.

    The Freddy Krueger Cameo in “Insheeption” is probably one of my all time favourite South Park moments and most recently I loved Cartman’s strange relationship with his cupid counterpart in “Cartman Finds Love”

  3. The Losing Edge is a favorite of mine because it spoofs just about every Rocky movie. Randy yelling “I’m scared!!” from the beach scene in Rocky 3 is my favorite. I just wished they had chosen a different song for the “You’re the best’ montage and put in a Rocky 4 song instead. I also loved how in “Up the Down Steroid” they used “Push it to the Limit” from Scarface. What I loved about the Russell Crow episode was how the tv transformed into ED-209 (H.E.M – Human Eradication Mode). Not the first time South Park referenced ol’ Ed either.

    As for my favorite episode, it’s actually more recent, AND one a lot of people hated. “You’re Getting Older”. Yes the episode was very sad, and had A LOT of us convinced that the show was going to end, but seeing Stan knock on everything really made me do some self reflecting on how much of a bummer I was, and thus made me change a lot of aspects of my personality.

    And of course, those fake movie trailers in that episode is the funniest South Park moment EVER.

  4. Woodland Critter Christmas is my favorite Christmas episode. I was upset at the end of season 9 when there wasn’t another Christmas episode (probably the only reason I don’t like the Randy/alcohol episode. It was the last episode of the season and the season ALWAYS ended with a Christmas episode). However, I eventually figured that the reason they stopped after the Woodland Critter episode was because they knew there was no way they’d top it.

  5. Deff a great list of memorable yet completly offensive episodes to the say the least. A few other great episodes are when stan sucumbs to cynicism while it still has some hilarious moments it pulls at the heart strings, helping the viewers take into affect that while cartoons these characters seem to be actual people after watching the episode i was sad, i thought maybe this is the end of south park. Guitar-queer-o is also a very hilarious yet accurate episode showing how kids take to guitar hero and the thoughts and dreams they concieve in your mind. And also just to clarify all girlfriends love butters, they think hes cute and adorable and create the puppy dog face whenever hes on the screen. Hilarious.

  6. Great stuff everyone. I know, ten moments is hardly enough. I started with a list of like fifty. A few I almost included:

    *Cartman hitting Token with the rock/him choosing whether he likes Animaniacs (“Cartman’s Silly Hate Crime”)

    *The entire ASSSPEN episode, namely the guy who calls Stan “Darsh” and all the scenes about the time share

    *When Randy finally gets to some internet and sees a “ghost” (“Over Logging”)

    @eLTeezy I am ashamed. Of course it’s Sharon. I was thinking of Kyle’s mom. I will never forgive myself.

  7. So many great eps. Does anyone remember the OG Days of South Park when Penn or Teller (the one who normally talks) was doing the voice work for comedy central in between breaks? Damn those were the days when I could watch CC for much of the night.

    One of my faves was “Good Time with Weapons”. Reminds me of how we played when we were younger and also how someone’s overprotective parent(s) had to ruin the fun. Without risk of danger where would the fun come from?

  8. How could the ep “Return of Chef” be left off? Or where the parents tried to get the SP kids to catch chicken pox. I swear I haven’t lol’d that hard in my adult life than I did at those episodes.

  9. I love The Wacky Molestation Adventure. SO MUCH. Good Times with Weapons is awesome too. Cartman joins NAMBLA is also one of my longtime favorites.

  10. Omg there’s so much episodes I love: Tom’s Rhinoplasty, Scott Tenorman Must Die, The List, Raisins, The Wacky Molestation Adventure, Chinpokomon, The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring Two Towers, Good Times with Weapons, The Death of Eric Cartman, Breast Cancer Show Ever, You’re Getting Old, Asspen, Trapped in the Closet, Marjorine, You got F’d in the A, Elementary School Musical, Casa Bonita, Christian Rock Band, Cartman Finds Love, and Make Love not Warcraft. I’ve probably missed heaps of episodes South Park is pure gold comedic genius at it’s pinnacle, South Park is simultaneously insanely juvenile and very sophisticated. Very few shows littlelone cartoons are this relevant, socially insightful, and consistently good longevity wise. My favorite characters are: Stan, Cartman, Mr Garrison, Randy, Butters, and Wendy. IMO Wendy is by far the most underrated character of all of South Park she got her role stolen by Kyle and lost more screen time and hasn’t been seen as much I’d love more episodes with her in as a main character since she’s a well defined character. In all regards though South Park is awesome

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