South Park is not a show that you associate with the same things as you associate with Christmas. Peace, love, warmth and acceptance, yet the show’s creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone have explored the themes of Christmas on more than one occasion.
As you might imagine, these take some… different turns to what you might expect from a classic holiday special. While they haven’t produced a Christmas episode in a very long time, the earlier seasons of South Park were rife with festive mirth.
For anyone looking for a different take on the Christmas experience, Two Honest Guys have put together a list of the best South Park Christmas episodes that ever made it to air. Keep in mind, that while these are seasonal episodes, they probably won’t be helping get you much into the festive spirit. Still, it’s Christmas time and these are Christmas episodes, so here’s what made it to the THG top spots.
Before we get started, if you want to listen instead of read, then all the things we talk about in this article are also spoken about in the podcast embed at the top of this article!
3. Red Sleigh Down
After realising his lack of good deeds throughout the year mean he’ll probably be getting a lump of coal for Christmas, Cartman sets out to perform the nicest thing he can think of to bump up his niceness levels. What’s that? Bring Christmas cheer to Iraq, of course!
Enlisting the help of Mr Hanky and eventually Santa, Cartman plans to have presents delivered to all the girls and boys of the country. Santa gets on board with the idea, and is having a great time, until his sleigh is shot down with an RPG. Captured and tortured, Santa is in a bad way. The boys need help, so where do they go? Jesus Christ. In a totally non-Christmassy action-adventure, the gang embark on a mission to save Christmas.
This episode is utterly hilarious, off-the-wall and completely goes against all you know about Christmas specials. Jesus wields M-16s, Santa has his balls tasered and the underpants gnomes put in a second appearance. It’s crazy, it’s bizarre and it’s damn brilliant.
2. Mr Hanky’s Christmas Classics
The creators of South Park are known for their love of theatrics and song. It was a major part of the South Park movie and carried over into their hugely successful West End Show, the Book of Mormon. Now, in this, one of the best South Park Christmas episodes, you find no plot or story in sight, just a bunch of rude, offensive and wacky Christmas songs.
Mr Hanky’s Christmas Classics is like a little musical, featuring songs you’d never hear aired in today’s PC culture. Complete with bigotry, hate-speech, Hitter and some up-beat festive numbers, the songs of this episode will have you both laughing in hysterics and wondering how they managed to getaway with this stuff.
1. Woodland Christmas Critters
Watching this episode is, quite frankly, an ordeal.
It starts innocently enough, with some cute little Disney-esque critters asking Stan for help to vanquish a dangerous mountain lion. It’s only after the lion is dead, and its cubs are revealed, that we realise these cute little critters are demonic creatures looking to summon the antichrist. The episode is pure genius and hilarious, as well as shocking and disturbing in equal measure. The Christmas critters are perhaps Parker and Stone’s most vicious creations, and that includes Eric Cartman.
So how is this episode in any way Christmassy, and why is it the best South Park Christmas episode to watch this holiday season? Well… It features a manger scene, putting up the Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Does it get much more festive than that?
Prepare yourself for this one.
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