The Comedy Central show South Park, has been on the air for over two decades, and is considered to be one of the most controversial shows ever made. Ever since its inception, it has riled up countless sensitive viewers. The show is notorious for parodying countless celebrities such as Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise, the cast of Jersey Shore and even religious figures such as Jesus Christ and Satan.
In one episode, they even portray Scientology as a cult, which made one of the show's voice actors, Isaac Hayes, depart the show. On a couple of occasions, they threatened to show an image of Muhammad that drew the ire of Muslim extremists. In fact, one episode infuriated so many people that it is banned from the South Park website. Not to mention, the show also portrays certain ethnic groups in a stereotypical fashion. Without further ado, here are the 10 most controversial South Park episodes ever made.
10 The China Probrem
In this particular episode, Kyle wants to tell directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to stop “r*ping” Indiana Jones. The boys are upset because they did nothing about it. By this I mean that the two directors created a poor Indiana Jones film.
The other plot involves Cartman and Butters thinking that China is taking over the United States. The episode is controversial because of the stereotypes of Chinese people. Another scene involves Spielberg and Lucas literally sexually assaulting a storm trooper. Many people considered that particular part of the episode to be controversial even by South Park standards.
9 It Hits The Fan
In this season 5 episode, the South Park children are watching a television show, and they are going to say the word “shit” for the first time ever on television. After the show aired, virtually all of the people in South Park incessantly utter the word “shit” or other variants of the word.
Throughout the episode, the word is uttered 162 times, and there is actually a tally keeping track of how many times the word was said. After the episode aired, Comedy Central got thousands of complaints about the episode. Believe it or not, this episode is pretty tame compared to other notorious episodes.
8 Hell On Earth
In the 150th episode of South Park, Satan decides to throw a party in Los Angeles, California. This episode lampoons the popular MTV television show, My Super Sweet 16. However, that is not why this episode spurred controversy.
The episode made a joke about Steve Irvin, and it was criticized by his family. This episode aired around the time Steve Irwin passed away, so that was why it stung his family. It is important to note that an earlier South Park episode also parodied Steve Irwin, but did not spark controversy. This episode also features notorious serial killers Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.
7 Scott Tenorman Must Die
Yet another controversial episode from season 5. The plot is about a conflict between Eric Cartman and a ninth grader named Scott Tenorman. This episode is beloved by both the creators and fans alike, and is considered to be one of the most iconic episodes of South Park.
Eric Cartman devises a plan to have Tenorman’s parents murdered. If that wasn't enough, he has Scott Tenorman unknowingly eat his parents. In the earlier seasons of the show, Cartman wasn't as evil as he is in more modern episodes, which made the episode more shocking. Scott Tenorman reappears in the season 14 episode, 201.
6 Proper Condom Use
This season five episode is mainly about the children of South Park being taught about sex. That said, this very concept alone was going to stir up a riot. This episode was mostly criticized by parents and religious people.
In the show, the male teacher Mr Mackey, attempts to teach the boys about sex, but he is unable to due to his inexperience. The female teacher, Ms. Choksondik, teaches the girls about sex education, but she spreads lies about it to them. Eventually, due to the lies they were told about sex education, the two genders turn against each other. In the end, Chef chastises the South Park parents because they are forcing their children to learn about sex too early.
5 Bloody Mary
In this season nine episode, Stan Marsh is constantly getting embarrassed with his father’s public drunkenness. For the record, the show portrays alcoholism as a disease, and Randy Marsh feels it is one of the worst diseases known to man.
Stan’s father, Randy Marsh feels the only way he can cure his alcoholism is a “bleeding statue of the Virgin Mary.” Anytime a show parodies religion, it is going to spark major controversy. Many religious folks were offended by this episode. Many people wanted this pulled off the air, and eventually it was. However it did come back after a few months.
4 Cartoon Wars Part 1 and 2
In this episode, the citizens of South Park are panicking because a cartoon show is going to feature Muhammad. The show that featured Mohammed was Family Guy, which is a parody of a real life show with the same name.
They are panicking because they feel Islamic extremists are going to be offended by it. When the four boys watched the episode, they see that Mohammed was censored. However, in the next Family Guy episode, they find out that Mohammed would not be censored. One of the shows main characters, Eric Cartman wants the show cancelled, not because of the depiction of Mohammed, but because he despises the show, as he finds it completely pointless. Meanwhile, Muslim terrorists threaten to take action if Mohammed is not censored in the next Family Guy episode.
Despite threats of retaliation from terrorists, Mohammed is seen without censorship. Eventually, the Muslims send America a video of Jesus Christ, Tom Cruise and George Bush, defecating on the American flag.
3 With Apologies To Jesse Jackson
This episode parodies the Michael Richards incident when he called an African American audience member the N word. Unfortunately, someone was recording it, and it became national news.
In the episode, one of the South Park characters, Randy Marsh, was on Wheel of Fortune, and attempted to solve the final puzzle. The clue was “people who annoy you”, and he was just one letter shy of the solving the puzzle. On the puzzle, it said “N-GGERS”, and stupidly, Randy blurted out the N word. For the record, the answer was “Naggers.” Eventually, he apologizes to reverend Jesse Jackson. Ironically, the African American people and the NAACP reacted positively to the episode.
2 Trapped In The Closet
This episode lampoons Scientology, and is one of the most notorious episodes of South Park. In the episode, the show’s main protagonist Stan Marsh, takes a “personality test.” His test results say that he is extremely depressed, and eventually a Scientologist is asked to read his “thetan levels.” His thetan levels are so high, people within the religion consider him to be the reincarnation of Ron Hubbard.
The next day, celebrities such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise visit his house. When Stan insults Cruise, he locks himself in Stan’s closet. The episode is controversial because the episode treats Scientology as if it was a cult rather than a religion. Not to mention, Isaac Hayes, a voice actor on South Park departed the show because of this episode. This episode also takes jabs at Tom Cruise’s alleged homosexuality.
This is the second two parter on this list and the most controversial South Park episode of all time. In this episode, multiple celebrities that have been lampooned on the show come to the town, and demand Mohammed be shown.
Many Islamic extremists were highly offended by the episode. In fact, this episode was so notorious, it was actually banned from digital distribution. However, the episode was eventually released on DVD. Lastly, some of the celebrities that were parodied include: Tom Cruise, Bill Cosby, Russell Crowe, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson, John Travolta, Kanye West and Paris Hilton. While there were countless celebrities featured in this episode, Tom Cruise seemed to be the main celebrity getting made fun of.