SOUTH PARK March Madness: Sweet 16!
Two weeks ago, our staff of South Park experts whittled 64 of the best South Parks down to just 32. And last week, you, the fans, got us down to our Sweet 16! Now, it’s time to determine our Elite 8! Check out the updated bracket below, and after that, our writer’s make their varied arguments. Just like last week, voting will stay open from now until next Tuesday, March 19th, at 5 PM Eastern Time. Keep the votes coming guys! We want to know what you think the best South Park is! You can check out how the voting broke down in the Round of 32 here!
Upper Left Bracket
Scott Tenorman Must Die- Considered the “tipping point” by many fans, this is the episode that turned Cartman from an annoying fat slob into a being of pure evil. Oddly, the viewer actually feel kind of bad for Cartman being bullied by Scott Tenorman until he finally turns the tides in a terrible, terrible way- Daniel Johnson
Imaginationland- This episode (or series of episodes) was a game changer. The season before, Matt Stone and Trey Parker tried out their first two part episode since Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut in the beginning of the season, when they did the Go God Go series. However, this was the first three parter, and it brought many of our favorite characters back from previous episodes. Add on the amazing visuals, and of course, awesome humor, and this will be an episode remember for years in South Park History. – Kevin Taylor
Child Abduction is Not Funny- It really isn’t funny. Except that it is the able hands of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. A Tweek-centric episode, reports pile in warning that children aren’t safe outside, in their homes, or even around their own parents. The Ghost of Human Kindness, who in actuality is a child abductor, attempts to take Tweek. A solid “Rabble Rabble” scene later and the town of South Park hires Mr. Lu Kim to build a “shitty wall”. An episode chock full of Monty Python-esque humor involving Mongolians, this will be a tough one to beat- Michael O’Brien
It Hits the Fan- A legendary breakthrough episode that is not only hilarious, but also explores the very meaning (or lack of meaning) behind censorship, as word “shit” is said 162 times, an average of once every eight seconds. A relatively early episode that proved South Park could be both crude, creative, and insightful all at the same time- Daniel Johnson
Lower Left Bracket
Lord of the Rings- Butters is Gollum. Classic. After seeing the most vile porno of all time, Back Door Sluts 9, Butters loses his mind, begging to see his precious. But the Fellowship take it away to return it to the video store which sets off an epic adventure as the boys are chased by their parents, the sixth graders, and of course, Butters. A tale as old as…2002…this is a strong entry in the tournament- Michael O’Brien
Butters’ Own Episode- Capitalizing on the once-ancillary Butters’ rising popularity, this episode is interspersed with a legendary hippy-dippy Butters theme that sharply contrasts the jaw-dropping wrongness of the plot. Upon hearing that her husband has been visiting gay bath houses by an investigating (yet utterly clueless) Butters, his unhinged mother unsuccessfully attempts to drown him by driving the family car into a river. Butters eventually makes his way back home, while his disappearance at the supposed hands of “some Puerto Rican guy” has South Park media in a frenzy. The Ramsays, O.J. Simpson, and disgraced politician Gary Condit guest star in this classic.- Gabriel Ruzin
All About the Mormons- There’s a new kid in town. He’s super nice and his family is fantastic. There’s just one problem…he’s a Mormon. And Stan has committed social suicide by not kicking his ass. Randy, in classic Randy fashion, takes to Mormonism and turns his whole family to the religion. A searing indictment of false prophets and blind faith is actually one of the kindest episodes you’ll find. Despite it’s biting satire, even Cartman says, “Damn, that kid is cool, huh?”- Michael O’Brien
Awesom-O- A personal favorite, this episode features Cartman dressing as a robot and ‘mailing’ himself to Butters in order to dig up his juicy secrets to spread at school. Instead, a desperate Cartman is forced to search for a videotape in Butters’ possession that shows Eric dressed as Britney Spears. The plan snowballs out of control in typical South Park fashion, as Cartman almost dies of starvation (because robots don’t eat, silly), is almost shot by government agents, and is once again accidentally outsmarted at every turn by an oblivious Butters.- Gabriel Ruzin
Upper Right Bracket
Finger Bang- Ever wonder what Fingerbang meant? It’s where you make a gun with your hand and make a bang sound. Cartman heard it on HBO. Stan announces at dinner that he plans to join a boy band. Randy reveals later that he has a lot up his ass…meaning that he has a sordid past as the lead singer in a boy band. Lucky for this episode, the boy band fad will never die. It’s been around since way before South Park and that makes this episode timeless. – Michael O’Brien
Casa Bonita- Cartman yet again shows he will stop at nothing to get what he wants when he allows Butters to go missing in a city dump (becoming a fun spoof of I Am Legend) in order to get invited to a birthday party at Casa Bonita. Fun fact: Casa Bonita is actually a real restaurant in Colorado, now on my “crappy places I must eat at before I die” list- Daniel Johnson
Make Love, Not Warcraft- When you think of iconic South Park episodes, this one has to be at the top of the list. Taking place half in South Park, and half in the World of Warcraft, the episode provides incredible humor in both settings. Seeing the boys get really fat and ugly is fantastic to watch, and I think we all remember what happened when Cartman needed to use the bathroom.- Kevin Taylor
F’d in the A- The kids are playing outside and minding their own business when a group of out-of-town kids brutally serve them. On the verge of being served again the next day, Stan instead dances back, thanks to some Achy Breaky line-dancing moves taught to him by Randy. And just like that, “it’s on!” Stan is forced to recruit dancers from across South Park to defend himself in the upcoming dance-off, including his secret weapon: accidental tap-dancing shoe mass murderer Butters. Gruesome, gut-busting, and giddily inappropriate.- Gabriel Ruzin
Lower Right Bracket
Good Times with Weapons- It’s always fun when South Park throws out its crude animation style and undergoes another look for parts of an episode, and here Parker and Stone nail it in their spoof of anime (the faux Japanese theme song “Let’s Fighting Love” is pretty catchy). The moment where anime Butters in Professor Chaos garb gets a shuriken to the eye and the image snaps back to “reality” may be the single best cut in the show’s history – Daniel Johnson
Asspen- The boys and their parents ‘win’ a free mini-vacation in Aspen. The only catch is that the adults have to attend a time sharing sales pitch… from which there is no escape. Meanwhile, Stan is thrust into a nightmarishly-cliched 1980s teen film, complete with idiotic ski bully, stand-in girlfriend, a ski slope in crisis, and one of the most epic SP montages ever. Vote against Asspen and you’re no better than Staaaaan DARSH!- Gabriel Ruzin
Death of Eric Cartman- This episode has one of the top 5 opening scenes in South Park history. The boys, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Kyle’s mom bringing home KFC, have to help her unload the groceries first. But then Cartman sneaks away, and eats all the skin off the chicken, the promptly leaves. Amazing. Oh yeah, and Scott Tenorman makes an appearance too! – Kevin Taylor
Here Comes the Neighborhood- What did we learn from this episode? We learned that Will Smith calls Snoop Dogg “Snoo Snoo”. We also learned that Lion’s love playing jokes on people. And lastly, we learned that Token is rich. Like, really rich. This epsiode flips racial stereotypes on it’s head, and does it in the best, most hilarious way possible. One of the best episodes ever. Period. – Kristal Bailey
It’s up to you guys again! Want to make sure your favorite episode moves on? You gotta vote! Check back next Tuesday to find out what episodes move on to the Elite 8!