Top 25 Episodes of South Park

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  1. Scott Tenorman Must Die (5) (Not only is this an dark, absurd masterpiece with the greatest ending ever, I think it really changed the course of the show for the better. Before this episode, the characters tended to be more childlike and focused on kid pursuits. After this episode, the characters could do anything.)
  2. Fat Butt and Pancake Head (7) (Quite possibly the most hilarious plotline of any episode, this is the one where Cartman creates a Latino pop star with his hand.)
  3. Douche and Turd (8) (This episode has it all - it makes fun of celebrities, politicians, voting fever, and animal rights activists, and it does everything while focused on a giant douche and a turd sandwich. I'm not sure why no one else seems to like this episode as much as I do; this is South Park's thinly veiled political satire at its finest.)
  4. Towelie (5) (A twist on the traditional thriller where the kids are caught up in it all but just want to play video games. Of course, this is also the show that introduces Towelie, a character who is so intentionally lame that he becomes one of my favorite supporting characters largely due to his lameness.)
  5. The Biggest Douche in the Universe (6) (The resolution of a multi-episode arc about Kenny's soul is quite satisfying, the main John Edward plot is excellent, but it's the Rob Schneider parodies that are truly uproarious.)
  6. Cartman Joins NAMBLA (4) (The lighter side of child molestation. And Marlon Brando.)
  7. Christian Rock Hard (7) (South Park tends to come up with great episode endings, but this one may be the second-best after Scott Tenorman. The satire of Christian rock bands and file-sharing is hilarious throughout the episode.)
  8. It Hits the Fan (5) (Which you may know as the episode where they say "shit" 162 times. A very creative story/commentary on censorship.)
  9. Good Times With Weapons (8) (Again, in part a commentary on censorship, but also a very inventive storyline that parodies anime.)
  10. Cartman’s Mom Is a Dirty Slut / Cartman’s Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut (1/2) (The first two seasons had a lot of silliness that didn't quite work, but this two-parter is where it really came together in my opinion. It makes us actually care about finding out the truth about these characters' lives, it pokes fun at two-part episodes, and Kenny's task in the second episode is one of the funniest things South Park has ever done.)
  11. The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers (6) (Some of the best South Park episodes are just really well-done film parodies, and this is one of the best.)
  12. Korn’s Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery (3) (Again, no one seems to like this as much as I do, but this Scooby-Doo spoof is one of the highlights of the first three seasons for me.)
  13. The Death of Eric Cartman (9) (One of the best episodes that purely exists for the storyline, rather than to poke fun. Possibly the most emotionally interesting episode of South Park, although that's not saying much.)
  14. Casa Bonita (7) (Evidently when it comes to episodes that are just great stories rather than existing largely to satire, I prefer the Cartman/Butters dynamic most of all. I didn't realize that until just now.)
  15. Rainforest Schmainforest (3) (How can you not like an episode that gradually convinces an environmentalist that the rainforest "truly sucks ass"?)
  16. Timmy! 2000 (4) (The main plot with Timmy is awesome, but what makes this episode really funny is the ripping on Phil Collins.)
  17. Apologies to Jesse Jackson (11) (An underrated episode that provides a hilarious parody of, as well as an interesting commentary on, race relations.)
  18. AWESOM-O (8) (Wow, another great Cartman/Butters episode! They do complement each other well.)
  19. Trapped in the Closet (9) (Their most controversial episode is also pretty damn funny.)
  20. City on the Edge of Forever (2) (Starts off seeming like a normal episode, but ends up sending up every TV convention imaginable in an absurd whirlwind of spoofery.)
  21. I’m a Little Bit Country (7) (The "I learned something today" moment is one of the cleverest the show has ever done.)
  22. Here Comes the Neighborhood (5) (Hysterical send-up of racism. It would be higher on the list if not for the dumb lion scenes.)
  23. Cartoon Wars (both parts) (10) (The 10th season is not my favorite, but the explanation of how Family Guy is written alone is enough to get this terrific two-parter on here.)
  24. The Tooth Fairy’s Tats 2000 (4) (As kids, we all thought about how to make more money off the tooth fairy, but probably few of us ended up in the absurd predicament you have here. Just a terrific episode, and one that pokes fun at their own "I learned something today" structure so early into the series.)
  25. D-Yikes! (11) (I wasn't sure about putting an episode focused on Mrs. Garrison on here, but the sequences with the Mexicans in this episode are some of the funniest scenes in all of South Park. And when you get right down to it, the 300 parody is pretty clever too.)

  26. Runners-up: The Wacky Molestation Adventure (4), Free Hat (6), Red Hot Catholic Love (6), Krazy Kripples (7), Red Man’s Greed (7), The Passion of the Jew (8), The Snuke (11). The hardest cuts were Krazy Kripples and Passion of the Jew.

  27. Episodes I haven't seen: Ike's Wee Wee (2), Chickenlover (2), Merry Christmas Charlie Manson! (2), Child Abduction Is Not Funny (6), Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy (10)

  28. Overrated (IMHO): Gnomes (2), Do the Handicapped Go To Hell? / Probably (two parts) (4), Butters' Very Own Episode (5), The Death Camp of Tolerance (6), Make Love Not Warcraft (10), Imaginationland (three parts) (11). Make Love Not Warcraft is, I think, the most overrated episode of all.
Author Comments: 

The numbers in parentheses represent the season each episode comes from. I think the best years for South Park were seasons 4 through 8, with the first few seasons and the last few seasons being more disappointing.

Brilliant list. I'm in complete agreement with your #1, but all those I've seen from this list are classics.

Thanks! Glad you agree!

Scott Tenorman is just so shockingly ingenious it's hard not to put it on top. Of course, before the ending, it seems like a pretty humdrum episode.

It occurred to me that I should put up the episodes I haven't seen...

Which I see you have done now. There aren't any there I think are top-25 worthy material, with the exception of "Jared Has Aides", which I'm a big fan of.

I've only seen S1-7 myself, with occasional episodes from later seasons (such as those included on the "South Park: The Hits" DVD collection). S8 is released over here next month though (I know, quite a way behind the US) so it looks like I've got some classics to see.

Yep, "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was always going to live or die on its ending.. the whole episode was a lot of back-and-forthing and buildup. Thankfully, it delivered in spades; I'm always overcome with laughter and dumbstruck with shock that they got away with it every time I see it.

Jared Has Aides never gets shown in syndication, probably because of its particularly controversial nature. I might have to watch it on DVD or on comedycentral.com (which I think has all the full episodes now).

Enjoy season 8, that's a great one. Seasons 9 and 10 are weaker, though, in my opinion.

I've just watched season 8 this weekend. Definitely one of the best of the show's history. "AWESOM-O", "The Passion of the Jew" and "Douche and Turd" were the highlights. I'm not sure why the latter doesn't seem highly-regarded either - it's one of the show's best political episodes.

Yeah, it's an awesome season. Glad you enjoyed it! Also glad you agree with me on Douche and Turd. That's a real classic in my book.

Child Abduction deserves a slot on this list. I don't know why, but I was on the ground laughing my ass off the entire time. Very nice list, though, I definitely agree with your first choice!

As you can see, that's one of the few South Park episodes I haven't seen.

The Warcraft Episode has to be one of the top for sure, Its such a great portrayal of how that game is played and seen by some people
I recommend South Park Episodes to check these top 25

Great list except I disagree with all but one of the episodes you say are overrated. Cartman's tireless journey to get Kyle to suck his balls and his preaching damnation make the great episodes. I mean I don't think anything beats Cartman asking to ride the intolerance tunnel again.