Since debuting in the late summer of 1997, South Park has become the second-longest running animated show in the US behind “The Simpsons,” and in the 15-plus years since aliens abducted Ike and stuck stuff up Cartman’s ass, longtime fans have been treated to more than 230 episodes and counting.
With so much to choose from, it is almost impossible to select the top 15 moments from the show’s lengthy history — but this list comes pretty damn close. And if we’ve omitted your favorite moment, let us know!
15. The 80-Foot Satellite (“Cartman Gets an Anal Probe,” Season 1)
In the very first episode that started it all, “South Park” was in top form. Not to be eased in gently, viewers were immediately introduced to the scatological humor, incredibly foul language, and bizarre plot lines and gags that the show is famous for.
14. Kyle Drinks the Pee (“Pee,” Season 13)
“South Park” is often too disgusting to watch, yet too funny to look away from. This entire episode is a perfect example.
13. Abraham Lincoln on Ugly People (“The List,” Season 11)
While many historical and religious figures have appeared on “South Park,” President Abraham Lincoln’s appearance in season 11 is perhaps the most memorable. In an homage to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the spirit of Lincoln takes Kyle around town to see that being ugly isn’t such a bad thing. The scene also sets up one of the show’s all-time best quotes: “Abe Lincoln was right. I don’t want to find out I’m good looking and become a total shithead when I grow up.”
12. But Mom… (“Chinpoko Mon,” Season 3)
Over the years, Eric Cartman’s character has evolved from a short-tempered dimwit to an evil mastermind. However, his relationship with his mother has remained largely unchanged, and it’s in his manipulative interactions with her (as seen here, about a minute into the clip) where Cartman is at his funniest.
11. Timmy vs. Jimmy (“Cripple Fight,” Season 5)
References to obscure shows and films are littered throughout “South Park,” but this is the most detailed — and certainly the longest. The brawl between Timmy and Jimmy in the fifth season recreates the fight scene between Roddy Piper and Keith David in John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live almost blow-for-blow. Really, the only flaw in this scene is that Kyle’s Jewish parents are inexplicably seated in a Catholic church when Cartman announces, “Cripple fight!”