In August 2021, Trey Parker and Matt Stone—the creators, writers, and voices behind Comedy Central’s infamous animated sitcom South Park—had signed 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, two of which are slated for release before the end of 2021.
The deal is 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 years. 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 no longer watch it consistently, but you would like to get 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.