The 10 Best 'South Park' Episodes From the Past 10 Years

Here are the 10 best South Park from the past 10 years worth watching, including ‘SHOTS!!!’, ‘Hummels and Heroin’, ‘The Hobbit’, ‘You’re Getting Old’ and more.

Best South Park Episodes of the Past Decade
Comedy Central

Image via Comedy Central

Best South Park Episodes of the Past Decade

In August 2021, Trey Parker and Matt Stone—the creators, writers, and voices behind Comedy Central’s infamous animated sitcom South Parksigned a new deal with ViacomCBS. Along with six more years of South Park (the show has been extended into 2027), Parker and Stone have also agreed to make 14 South Park films. The Paramount+ deal promises that two feature films released each year, two of which were released in 2021: South Park: Post Covid – The Return of Covid and South Park: Post Covid, while South Park: The Streaming Wars arrived this year.

The deal was worth $900 million—an insane amount, considering that the show has been on the air for nearly a quarter of a century. The number of fictional television shows that can claim this type of longevity is small. In most cases, way before the show even hits the five-year mark, the actors get restless or too expensive, or the original writers run short on ideas (or leave entirely). That South Park has managed to stick around and garner Emmy nominations and critical accolades is evidence of the show’s evolution and maturation. In fact, if you were to go back to 1997, when the show first debuted on Comedy Central, you’d be surprised that it lasted three years, let alone 25. The early episodes relied on shock more than quality, it was only in Seasons 4 and 5 that the show truly found its voice by expanding its cast of characters and sharpening its satire.

Instead of writing a typical South Park listicle, we’re going to try something different. Everyone knows the classic episodes—“Scott Tenorman Must Die,” “Good Times With Weapons,” “Cartman Gets An Anal Probe,” and “Awesome-o,” among others—but you may not have watched the show recently. Or maybe your life has gotten busier and you’re less consistent or you no longer watch it at all, but you would like to be brought up to speed. Here are the 10 best South Park from the past 10 years. If you don’t have it in you to binge-watch entire seasons on HBO Max, but still want to see the best from the recent past, this is a great place to start.

21. "SHOTS!!!" (Season 23, Episode 3)

South Park SHOTS!!! (Season 23)

Premiere date: October 9, 2019

Back in 2019, this was a very funny episode; maybe not Top 10 material, but funny nonetheless. But after the hell our world has been through over the past two years, there’s something very satisfying and hilarious about watching Cartman run around an arena, squealing like a pig, as multiple people try to lasso him and force him to take a shot. Unfortunately, there are people who are holding out on necessary vaccinations in real life—not for legitimate medical reasons or even misinformation, but out of plain, dumb stubbornness.


19. "Unfulfilled" (Season 22, Episode 9)

South Park Unfulfilled (Season 22)

Premiere date: December 5, 2018

Amazon puts its customers first—ahead of its workers, certainly. And eventually, when Amazon causes other businesses to go out of business in South Park, the customers become the workers, and… well, you see where they’re going with this. But South Park makes the eventual standoff so fun to get to, and the episode ends with an anti-capitalist message that’s only slightly tongue-in-cheek. Every now and then, Parker and Stone decry capitalism’s worst instincts. Their unqualified takedown of Cash for Gold in Season 16 was one. This is another.



17. "Tegridy Farms" (Season 22, Episode 4)

South Park Tegridy Farms (Season 22)

Premiere date: October 17, 2018

It was a joke that probably went on a bit too long, but the beginning of the Tegridy Farms arc still holds up as one of the dumbest, most selfish things that Randy has ever attempted or done. (And really, that’s saying something.) Over the course of 24 seasons, Randy Marsh has evolved into one of the funniest, most fleshed-out characters on the show. In this episode, which lampoons the vaping industry and the weed industry (and also features Towelie), Randy gets to shine.


15. "Hummels and Heroin" (Season 21, Episode 5)

South Park Hummels and Heroin (Season 21)

Premiere date: October 8, 2017

Grandpa Marsh has one of the best lines in Season 1, when he tells Cartman, “Your mom was over here earlier today, and I humped her like a little bitch!” It took 20 more years, but Grandpa finally got an episode where he could properly be the hero—one who flushes out the resident drug kingpin at the old folk’s home and becomes the top bitch. It goes fairly light on the political commentary in favor of some solid laughs, but it’s worth it for that final, Hummel-assisted ass-whupping.


13. "Put It Down" (Season 21, Episode 2)

South Park Put It Down (Season 21)

Premiere date: September 20, 2017

In this episode, Parker and Stone captured the existential angst of being trapped in a nuclear standoff between two madmen: in one corner, Mr. Garrison (a thinly veiled send-up of Donald Trump), and in the other, Kim Jong-Un. Elsewhere in the episode, Cartman stunts for attention by threatening to commit suicide. Like all excellent South Park episodes, “Put It Down” nails the ending, with a musical plea for everyone to take a moment to disconnect from the 24-7 news cycle, and for Trump specifically to disconnect from Twitter. No one ended up listening to it, but it was great advice.


11. "Tweek x Craig" (Season 19, Episode 6)

South Park Tweek x Craig (Season 19)

Premiere date: October 28, 2017

The episode is probably the reason many Americans know what yaoi is. Asian female students start shipping Tweek and Craig together. The whole town eventually gets in on the act, despite the boys insisting they’re straight. But something changes over the course of the episode, and they—and we—begin suspecting there’s more to their feelings by the end of it all even when they’re “pretending.” The majority of the episode is a sendup of what is “politically correct,” but it ironically ends up being an empathetic examination of LGBT and progressive issues. The same can be said for a lot of Season 19.


9. "Grounded Vindaloop" (Season 18, Episode 7)

South Park Grounded Vindaloop (Season 18)

Premiere date: November 12, 2014

A story about VR and the Oculus Rift has Cartman trick Butters into believing that the world he sees is a VR simulation. The episode eventually goes full sci-fi, engaging in time loops, their inherent paradoxes, and a Matrix-esque discussion about what is real and what is not. Sometimes South Park works best when, instead of doing something overtly political, they explore something small and eccentric. They just let the characters’ bounce off each other with a silly premise, like this one, and even include a last-minute twist that’s just clever enough to work.


7. "The Hobbit" (Season 17, Episode 10)

South Park The Hobbit (Season 17)

Premiere date: December 11, 2013

Parker and Stone make fun of everyone fairly equally, but they save their most external contempt and disdain for Hollywood celebrities, most notably limousine liberals who spout progressive talking points but don’t ever do anything real to back them up. This episode which parodies Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (as well as Ye’s “Bound 2” music video) is mean, below the belt, and funny in a way that only South Park can be. And the more serious, related storyline—where Wendy takes a stand against celebrities (like Kardashian) who set unrealistic beauty standards for young girls—also commits to its premise. The episode gets the reflective, sad ending it deserves.


5. "Reverse Cowgirl"

South Park Reverse Cowgirl (Season 16)

Premiere date: March 14, 2012

South Park likes to beat a dead horse, sometimes literally—in “Reverse Cowgirl,” South Park mined a battle of the sexes debate for all it was worth. Do men have to leave the toilet seat down? Or is it on women to look where they sit? The B-storyline is a sly commentary on invasive airport security, and somewhere in the midst of all this, the writers killed Clyde’s mom. In a show where Kenny used to die every episode, Parker and Stone can still make permadeath mean something. You’ll almost feel guilty for laughing. Almost.


3. "You're Getting Old" (Season 15, Episode 7)

South Park You're Getting Old (Season 15)

Premiere date: June 8, 2011

Every now and then, instead of trying to make us laugh one last time at the end of the episode, South Park commits, carrying its premise to its logical conclusion. At the end of “You’re Getting Older,” Stan succumbs to his condition of being a “cynical asshole,” and loses all his friends. His parents get the divorce that’s always been simmering but finally comes to a head when Randy tries to start a music career by farting into a mic on stage. This episode is funny, and the end took guts. Parker and Stone were straining against their “ripped from the headlines” production schedule, which foreshadowed the season-long narrative arcs of later seasons.


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