Subject matter in South Park: Wikis

  
  

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South Park has attempted to cover and satirize a large number of topics over the course of its run. In more recent years, the use of computer animation has made it possible to edit episodes in days, quickly commenting on recent events (Elián González, 2000 U.S. presidential election, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the election of Barack Obama etc.). The creators also have engendered a mix of socially liberal and fiscally conservative viewpoints, espousing a libertarian ideology in both real life and on the show.

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Abortion

Abortion is heavily lampooned in South Park.

  • "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut": Cartman's Mom attempted to get her son a "42nd trimester" abortion, only to figure out later that she wanted him adopted instead. When Mrs. Cartman wants to abort her 8-year-old son, and finds out that such a late abortion is illegal, she says "Well, I think you need to keep your laws off of my body." Later in the episode, Mrs Cartman says "I should've thought of raising a child before having sex."
  • "Chef Goes Nanners" The substitute teacher shows that the class had participated in different debates, with one being "Pro-Choice vs. Cartman".
  • "Kenny Dies": Cartman attempts to get stem cell research (using aborted fetuses) legalized in a feigned attempt to save Kenny's life. It is revealed at the end of the episode he really wanted to use stem cells to clone his favorite pizza restaurant.
  • "A Ladder to Heaven": Upon realizing that Kenny's soul is inside his body, Cartman decides to go somewhere where they "remove living souls from inside" of him. He then proceeds to go to an abortion clinic where he gets into an argument with the lady at the counter, stating that he can't live this way and demanding that they just suck Kenny's soul out. A couple walk in and upon hearing Cartman's rant, the girlfriend states that she "can't do this" and runs out. At that point, the visibly angry boyfriend throws a rock at Cartman.
  • "Woodland Critter Christmas": The mountainlion cubs are taught at an abortion clinic how to stop the Antichrist porcupine from being born. During the episode's final confrontation, they give Kyle an "abortion", expelling the Antichrist from his body so that Santa can crush it with a sledgehammer.
  • "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina": The newly sex-changed Mrs. Garrison becomes convinced she is pregnant because she doesn't start menstruating. She asks the doctor whether he would "vacuum it (the fetus) out or scramble its brains" because "a woman can do whatever she wants with her body," only to find out at the abortion clinic that uteruses are not created in sex change operations; therefore she cannot get pregnant.
  • "Eek, a Penis!": Cartman spends most of the episode teaching inner-city kids that it is okay to cheat. In counseling a pregnant teenager, he says that "Abortion isn't wrong...abortion is the ultimate form of cheating. You're cheating nature itself. Why do rich white girls get ahead in life? Because they get abortions when they're young. They get pregnant, but they still want to go to college, so, whatever, they just cheat. They cheat that little critter in their belly out of a chance at life."

Celebrities

Censorship

The primary subject of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, censorship is a repeatedly cited concern in multiple episodes. Notable episodes involving censorship include "Death", "It Hits the Fan", "Cartoon Wars Part I", and "Cartoon Wars Part II".

Drugs

  • "Ike's Wee Wee": Mr. Mackey is forced out of his job for losing a marijuana joint in a drug-education class. Ironically, he goes through a cycle of experimentation (ending up in his adopting hippie ideology and happily marrying a woman he meets), before an enforced treatment (after being captured during his honeymoon in India by the A-Team, no less) and becoming a spokesman against drugs.
  • "My Future Self n' Me": Stan and Butters' parents find an indirect and strange way to try to prevent their children from using drugs. They hire representatives to act as though they were future versions of the children, who travel back in time to tell them how the use of drugs has made their lives miserable. While the episode does condemn the use of drugs, it parodies the tendency of people (especially parents) to over-react to the substances and deceive their children to ensure their safety.
  • "Towelie" and "A Million Little Fibers": Towlie is forced to confront his marijuana addiction in times of crisis, eventually coming to the "conclusion" that he should only partake in drug use when he accomplishes something good, not in order to.
  • "Up the Down Steroid": Jimmy Vulmer is chronicled through his use of steroids; combines the subject of the current 2006 Baseball steroids investigation with a Lifestories: Families in Crisis episode about steroid use.
  • "Die Hippie, Die": The hippies have their Jamfest in South Park to "Stop Corporations" and Kenny, Kyle and Stan join the hippies. In the end, the boys realize the hippies smoke way too much pot and are just as selfish as the corporations they complain about by trying to forget about their troubles when they don't have any.
  • "Major Boobage": Kids across the nation, particularly Kenny, have found a new way to get high. The episode references the glue-sniffing, paint snorting, and marker sniffing epidemics.
  • "Quest for Ratings" To get ideas for South Park Elementary's closed-circuit television system, the boys decide to get high on cough medicine. Remembering that they had seen Craig's program while high and thought it to be brilliant, they conclude that a majority of the school must be perpetually high on cough medicine, accounting for his ratings. They then decide to produce a special report that gets cough medicine banned from school.

Environmentalism and global warming

  • "Rainforest Schmainforest" parodies environmental activism and portrays celebrity environmental activism as motivated by a desire to feel better about themselves.
  • "Spontaneous Combustion" uses global warming as a source of trouble for the townspeople, caused by their own flatuence.
  • "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow" and "ManBearPig" making fun of concerns, over-reactions and doomsday predictions concerning global warming. ManBearPig is also more specifically a mockery of Al Gore.
  • "Smug Alert!": Hybrid automobiles, while praised, nonetheless have owners who are touted as a source of "smug" (caused by the incredible selfish and self-centered behavior of their owners); San Francisco is considered as the "smug" capital, destroyed in a "smugstorm" à la The Perfect Storm.
  • In "Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow" Earth Day people come to South Park. The Earth Day people utilize a form a hypnosis to make the townspeople not only believe that all they say is correct, while that which conservatives say is slander, but to also build for them a massive Earth Day celebration. When Clyde says "My dad is a geologist and he says there actually isn't any concrete evidence of global warming", they answer "That's not true, global warming is going to kill us all. The Republicans are responsible".

Nazis

  • In "Pinkeye" Cartman dresses up as Hitler for Halloween.
  • Hitler is seen multiple times and is Cartman's idol.
  • In "The Passion of the Jew", Cartman rallies a neo-Nazi Mel Gibson fan club, but all of its members except Cartman are unaware of the fact that it has a neo-Nazi focus.
  • In "The Death Camp of Tolerance", the children are sent to a concentration camp parodying Schindler's List for their disapproval of Mr. Garrison's outrageous behavior. The camp is run by militant liberal Nazis.
  • In "Ginger Kids", Cartman tries to orchestrate a genocide against any "non-Gingers" (similar to Nazi persecution of many non-Aryans).

Homosexuality and gay marriage

Big Gay Al is used in several episodes (and the movie) to promote tolerance and acceptance for homosexuals. Mr. Garrison later comes out as gay for several seasons, and lives with Mr. Slave until he undergoes a sex change operation. Big Gay Al and Mr. Slave are later married in "Follow That Egg!". A solution to the conflict regarding gay marriages is proposed by a character, who stated that although gay couples should be able to have the same legal benefits that marriage brings, their union should be called something else and treated differently so as not to offend people who think marriage is a sacred union between man and woman. South Park parodies the real-life "civil union" compromise by proposing gay couples be allowed to have the same rights as married groups, but be called "Butt buddies".

The 2007 episode "Cartman Sucks" parodied and criticized the Ex Gay Movement, focusing on children whose parents force them to attend such therapy.

Religion

  • "Starvin' Marvin in Space": Christian missionaries and Pat Robertson attempt to cajole Starvin Marvin's people and the Marklar into accepting their faith. This episode in general portrays missionaries in a rather unfavorable manner, as when the missionary character attempts to get the Africans to read the Bible. "Remember, reading the Bible plus accepting Jesus equals FOOD", suggesting that the Christians would have let the emaciated Africans starve if they did not convert.
  • "Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus" addresses the Year 2000 hype/hysteria and introduces God (in a non-stereotypical visage) to the series.
  • "Super Best Friends" has the key members of the world's faiths join together to fight a cult.
  • Christian rock music is the subject of "Christian Rock Hard": Cartman attempts to start a Christian Rock band as a scheme to get an award.
  • "Red Hot Catholic Love" parodies the Catholic sex abuse scandal (the town's pastor is seen trying to convert other Catholic priests from molestation) and the separation of church and state as demanded by atheists.
  • "All About the Mormons?" chronicles the arrival of a Mormon family in South Park, and lampoons the story of Joseph Smith.
  • "Bloody Mary" was criticized for its portrayal of a Virgin Mary statue as bleeding from her anus (later found out to be from her vagina, as declared by Pope Benedict XVI in the episode). It also addressed the religious origins of Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" and "Probably" depicts Stan, Cartman, and Kenny being frightened by the town Priest's descriptions of hell and those who are headed there. Determined to save their souls and those of their friends, including Kyle, a Jew and Timmy, who is mentally handicapped, they seek out advice from the local clergy. When the boys find the priest having sex in the confessional, they decide to make their own church aimed at salvation. They continue this course until it is revealed that Cartman, in an obvious nod to televangelism, only did it to make ten million dollars, and Jesus shows up to bring an end to Cartman's prosperity gospel church. The episode pokes fun at charismatic evangelicals.
  • Scientology is the subject of "Trapped in the Closet" where Stan is declared the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard.
  • "Go God Go" and sequel, "Go God Go XII" attempt to show that atheism can be just as radical as religion. In the future, all religion has been destroyed by Richard Dawkins and Mrs. Garrison and everyone is atheist in hopes that reason will prevent war. However, fanaticism nonetheless grows and there are several warring factions trying to decide whose logic is correct in determining their name. They also use 'Science' as an alternative to 'God' as a curse, e.g. 'Science Damn You', 'Science H Logic!'.
  • In "Fantastic Easter Special", the episode suggested (lampooning The Da Vinci Code) that Saint Peter was a rabbit and that God wanted all the popes to be rabbits so they'd keep their mouths shut.

Politics

Saddam Hussein, the War on Terror, and the Iraq War

Other

References








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