South Park divides each season into two halves, airing seven episodes in the spring and seven in the fall. While the series is known to start each half season with a bang, the finales usually aren’t the strongest episodes in the scope of the entire series. Letting go of a show when the season ends is tough, we understand. Don’t be sad. Fire up the Netflix because Den of Geek narrowed down the Top 10 South Park season finales for your viewing pleasure.
#10 – World Wide Recorder Concert, Season 3 – aired January 12, 2000.
Mr. Garrison was a twisted, sexually confused character from early on and we get a glimpse of his homoerotic nature in World Wide Recorder Concert. His class is summoned to Oklahoma City where they will join 4 million third grade students in playing My Country Tis’ of Thee on the recorder, a cheap plastic musical instrument. When the concert is moved to Arkansas, he faces the demons of returning home and confronting his past sexual abuse. Turns out, Garrison is upset with his father because he didn’t sexually abuse him as a child. After making his father feel bad, Garrison gets what he wants or so he thinks – his father pays Kenny G to do the deed. For what it’s worth, in this episode Cartman figures out the “brown noise” and is able to make the entire world crap their pants.
Memorable Quote: “If a killer put a knife to my throat and said, ‘Have sex with your father or else I’m gonna kill your mother while havin’ sex with you!’ I would have sex with myself.” – Bartender
#9 – Woodland Critters Christmas, Season 8 – aired December 15, 2004.
The episode starts out as a heart wrenching Christmas special with adorable woodland critters roaming a forest and befriending Stan. He helps the critters out by killing off a mountain lion that has prevented the critters from giving birth to their savior. Stan thinks he’s doing the right thing until the critters tell him they want to give birth to the son of Satan. Woodland Critters Christmas is one of the more disturbing episodes of South Park, with a cheerful Trey Parker narrating throughout despite the graphic nature of the story. What it lacks in pop-culture references and slapstick humor it makes up for in dark humor and animal blood orgies.
Woodland critters: “What special time, what special place! It’s Woodland Critter Christmas!”
Squirrely the Squirrel: “Hail, Satan!”
#8 – Crippled Summer, Season 14 mid-season finale – aired April 28, 2010.
The controversial mid-season finale of Season 14 lands on this list because of mixed reviews that generally regard Crippled Summer as a hate it or love it episode. The basis of the episode revolves around the drug problems of fan-favorite Towelie as documented in the format of the popular TV show Intervention. When the boys get pissed at Towelie for wasting his life away, they get him a job at a summer camp for children with physical and mental disabilities. Some of the characters at the camp are parodies of various Looney Tunes, hence the controversy. The Intervention format with facts that flash on screen is enough to carry the episode and Towelie walking on the sunshine puts it over the top.
Memorable Quote: “Over the past few months, I have watched you go from an ancillary character with a few amusing catch phrases, to a dried out splooge rag covered in the jizz of a thousand older men.” – Kyle
#7 – The Poor Kid, Season 15 – aired November 16, 2011.
There’s enough slapstick humor, Pabst Blue Ribbon and recyclable “yo momma” jokes to propel this episode onto our list. When Kenny and his brother and sister are taken into foster care, they are introduced to Mr. Adams the headshot-pedaling social worker who constantly jokes about Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex-scandal. We all knew South Park would comment on the scandal, but they didn’t take it too far, instead they refurbished a couple of Catholic jokes and let it be. The agnostic storyline has its moments and Cartman isn’t at his best but overall this is an episode that will keep you giggling from start to finish.
Memorable Quote: “Two Penn State administrators walk into a butt” – Mr. Adams
#6 – Tsst, Season 10 mid-season finale– aired May 3, 2006.
When Cartman’s awful behavior can’t go unchallenged anymore, Liane Cartman calls on Super Nanny and Nanny 911 to fix her troubled child. After Nanny 911 quits, the Super Nanny is institutionalized a few days later and spends her days crying and eating her own fecal matter. The only reality show that will take on Cartman is The Dog Whisperer and Cesar Milan. Cartman’s demonic behavior, including trying to kill his mom, further develop South Park’s fattest little boy but the episode hits its mark when Cartman is treated like a dog and repeatedly ‘nipped’ on the neck by Cesar to the point where he doesn’t even want KFC anymore.
Memorable Quote: “What the hell is this? Skinless chicken, boiled vegetables and salad? This is just like Auschwitz” – Cartman
#5 – Towelie, Season 5 – aired August 8, 2001.
After the boys get their Okama Gamesphere stolen, they go on a mission to return Towelie to the military and get back their beloved Nintendo GameCube knockoff. The importance of this episode is simple: we are introduced to Towlie. Trey Parker and Matt Stone created Towlie to mock the intense merchandising that the popular first four seasons of South Park had warranted. They even created a fake commercial for the episode.
Cartman: “You’re the worst character ever, Towelie.”
Towelie: “I know.”
#4 – Crème Fraiche, Season 14 – aired November 17, 2010.
The first Randy Marsh episode to make our list is a winner. Sharron can’t stand her husband’s erotic obsession with the Food Network and finds a hobby herself in the physically needy, voice activated shake weight. Sexual references run rampant and climax with Sharron giving Randy an “old fashioned” to end the Food Network madness. The episode continued the trend of Randy episodes, as he’s becoming one of the most beloved characters in the series.
Memorable Quote: “You gonna deglaze that f**king pan? I’d deglaze the f**k out of that pan.” – Randy
#3 – Goobacks, Season 8 mid-season finale – aired April 28, 2004.
Goobacks is one of many shots South Park has taken at illegal immigration but it could be considered one of the best episodes of the series. We meet the Rednecks who hate people who take their jobs and to destroy the future, the men of the town have a giant orgy…
Memorable Quote: “They took our jobs!”
#2 – Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut, Season 1 – aired February 25, 1998.
The series’ best cliffhanger episode comes in at #2 on our list. Cartman goes on a wild goose chase to figure out who his real father is and finds out that his mother has been passed around town like, well, a dirty slut. Cartman puts his faith in Dr. Mephesto’s DNA test and the narrator announces that the answer to who the father is will be revealed in the next episode. This is a key episode in understanding why Cartman acts like a little terror in the ensuing 15 seasons.
Memorable Quote: “Dude, I knew Cartman’s mother was a tramp, but COME ON!” – Kyle
#1 – Butters’ Very Own Episode, Season 5 – aired December 12, 2001.
Where do we start with this episode? Butters, rarely used before this episode, becomes the star, including his very own title sequence. Before his parents’ anniversary, Butters’ mom, wanting to know what present she is getting, asks Butters to spy on his dad. Butters follows his dad and watches him enter a Gay movie theater then a Gay bathhouse. After telling his mother the horrible details of his father’s whereabouts, she unsuccessfully attempts to drown Butters, although she believes it worked. His parents stick together and claim “some Puerto Rican guy,” abducted Butters. Famous accused murderers, Gary Condit, O.J. Simpson and John and Patricia Ramsey, support them, also claiming their loved ones where killed by “some Puerto Rican guy.”
Maybe the darkest episode in the series, Butters debut as a protagonist is one episode that no one will ever forget.
Memorable Quote: “Son, sometimes it’s OK to tell a little white lie. Like when you catch your father jacking off in a Gay men’s bath house.” – Mr. Stotch