South Park: 10 Most Controversial Moments

Who would've thought a cartoon could ruffle so many feathers?

South Park Bleeding Mary
Comedy Central

If there's something that's characterised Matt Stone and Trey Parker's notorious animated series, it's controversy. Due to the typical nature of animation, people never really expected that one of the crudest shows on TV would be a cartoon.

Yet, through all of the harsh reactions from critics, parents, and the celebrities that have fallen under Parker and Stone's mockery, the show continues to be consistently lauded by critics and maintains its audience to this day.

That said, it hasn't all been smooth-sailing for the show. Whether it's facing heavy protests from parent groups or even death threats from Middle Eastern groups, these showrunners have been called every name from every kind of person. This makes narrowing down their most controversial decisions and the show's most troubling moments extremely difficult, but let's give it a shot.

This list excludes the South Park video games (which could likely earn high-ranking spots on this list) and instead focuses strictly on the show, with the series' no-holds-barred comedy including 'too soon' jokes, sacrilegious plot lines, and even the occasional spot of racism over its 20+ year history.

10. Lorde Is A 40-Year Old Geologist

South Park Bleeding Mary
Comedy Central

A recent example of the media taking South Park a little too seriously is this moment from Season 18. Following the boys' promise of an appearance by Lorde at their party, they're expected to deliver. With no Lorde available, Randy decides to take it upon himself to perform.

What seemed to be just a throwaway gag became something more once a highly-shared article from Spin criticized the show for what they deemed to be an insulting gag. In response, the site actually unintentionally created a massive subplot running through the entirety of the season in which Randy Marsh became Lorde. And due to the new structuring of the episodes where each episode tells a part of a continuous story, this subplot became more relevant than anyone likely expected.

Spin were good sports after the situation, acknowledging that they likely overreacted to what was just a minor sight gag. However, it's not difficult to see how South Park dedicating an entire season to a single article from their site likely was a bit embarrassing, even though the plotline actually yielded plenty of quality (and surprisingly heartfelt) moments at certain points. If there's something to appreciate about SP, it's that strong unpredictability.

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