South Park is one of the longest running shows on television. Shows that run for a long time tend to stay safe, can get quite stale, hardly offend anyone, and don’t push the envelope. The opposite is true when it comes to South Park. The cartoon caused people to become heated about certain topics over the years. South Park always attacks a controversy head on, never straying away from the issues. These are some of the most controversial episodes from its storied history.
1.) Jared Has Aides
This episode sees Jared Fogle, famed Subway weight loss enthusiast, visiting South Park to inspire the kids to eat healthy and get into shape. He says his weight loss is attributed to eating right, exercising, and help from his aides. The children of South Park misinterpret his speech as saying he lost all that weight because he has AIDS. People weren’t outraged at the lampooning of AIDS, but rather about the subject of child abuse because one of the show’s characters, Butters, is abused by his parents.
2.) Proper Condom Use
This episode depicts teachers in South Park telling kids the proper use of a condom. In turn, the viewers are then educated on how to use a condom. People who promote abstinence-only education protested the episode because it subverted the way they believed their children should receive sex education.
3.) Scott Tenorman Must Die
Also known as, Cartman’s Revenge, this episode has Cartman devise an evil plan to get back at his enemy, Scott Tenorman. Cartman goes to such lengths for his revenge and feeds the titular character a chili made of his parent’s remains at the end of the episode.
4.) It Hits The Fan
The town of South Park is enthralled by the fictional TV show “Cop Drama” because they will use the word “sh*t” in their episode. This is a spoof of NYPD Blue, a show that frequently used graphic language and caused several controversies itself. South Park had “sh*t” said in its dialogue 162 times. It even included a counter in the lower left hand corner just so everyone knew how many times characters used the word.
5.) Bloody Mary
The town of South Park believes it holds a miracle when a statue of the Virgin Mary begins bleeding (spoofing the real life phenomenon that happens to many sacred statues). What’s unique about this “weeping” statue is that it bleeds from the rectum. Many Christians were outraged by the episode and protested its airing.
6.) The China Problem
Stereotyping aside, this controversial episode suggests that the movie Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is a raping of the franchise. How do they suggest it? They literally depict the film’s creator, George Lucas, raping Indiana Jones several times in the episode. People felt that it was exploitative of a sensitive topic.
7.) Trapped In A Closet
Isaac Hayes, who voiced the Chef character on the show, quit the show after this episode aired. It takes aim at pretty much everyone by suggesting Tom Cruise and John Travolta are gay, belittling Scientologists, and even poking fun at R. Kelly’s epic “Trapped In A Closet.”
The mother of all controversial episodes. South Park threatened to show a depiction of the prophet Mohammed, much to the chagrin of Muslims everywhere. They said that the depiction of their prophet would be blasphemous, and show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone received several thinly veiled death threats because of the episode. The broadcast was HEAVILY censored by Comedy Central.
Who could believe that one little cartoon could cause such a ruckus? Ask Trey Parker and Matt Stone, because I’m pretty certain they knew what they were doing since day one when they created the show.