The 25 best South Park episodes (so far)

5. Smug Alert!

Season: 10

Determined not to sit back and watch people destroy the world (his own words, not mine), Kyle's dad Gerald coughs up for a new hybrid car, embracing a new, greener lifestyle for he and his family. Trouble is, while using the more environmentally-friendly vehicle cuts down on smog levels, it comes with an unintended side-effect of Smug. Eventually, Gerald's unable to cope with the small minds of the simple folk of South Park, and relocates the family to the sunny San Francisco, the only place in the country more Smug than South Park.

I mean, this is worth a watch for the play on words alone, right?

4. Black Friday

Season: 17

Just in case you were in any doubt of what Parker and Stone make of the consumer madness of Black Friday, the seventh episode of the 17th season marks the first of a three-episode arc which homages Game of Thrones and reflects exactly what we'll do for a Black Friday bargain (which is taking up a temporary job in the mall in Randy Marsh's case).

Split into two likely familiar factions - Xbox One fans and PlayStation 4 fans - the children of South Park fight it out to recruit the undecided to their cause and secure the console of their dreams. “Winter is coming… and the next-gen gaming systems are hitting the shelves!”

3. Night of the Living Homeless

According to South Park County's resident "expert" on homelessness, the best way to eradicate homeless people from the town is to refuse to give any money, forcing the unfortunate souls to move on. Kyle struggles with the ethical dilemma, though, and inadvertently makes everything worse by graciously donating twenty bucks to a homeless man. And so begins a struggle that sees dozens of homeless people shuffling zombie-like through the town, Kyle's dad Gerald accidentally donating his money and becoming a homeless zombie too, and Cartman inexplicably jumping the homeless on his skateboard.

Night of the Living Homeless not only parodies every zombie movie you've ever seen, it also offers a steaming dose of satirical social commentary. Sublime.

2. Good Times with Weapons

Season: 8

Remember when your parents told you not to play with sharp things or you'll take your eye out? Yeah, well, Good Times with Weapons is a living, breathing reminder of this... especially if the sharp things in question are "authentic" weapons from the Far East and your name is Butters (poor, poor Butters).

Pretending to be orphans to side-step parental permission rules, the boys stock up on a selection of horrifyingly violent weapons to role-play ninjas and get into a scrap with Professor Chaos. Cue Kenny throwing a shuriken in an attempt to defeat the Prof and then laugh-out-loud efforts to get Butters treated without getting busted. 

1. The Death of Eric Cartman

Season: 9

Would South Park be the same without Cartman? If our number one favourite episode is anything to go by the answer is definitely no. The Death of Eric Cartman combines everything this show does best; the bully's malicious insanity, Kyle and Stan getting their own back, and Cartman's laugh-out-loud relationship with Butters. When Eric eats all the crispy skin off the KFC chicken before the other boys get a taste, the gang team up to ignore him completely. Failing to comprehend why anyone would simple ignore him, Cartman comes to the obvious conclusion that he is dead.

Of course, poor Butters is five steps behind and believes if Cartman is dead he must be able to see ghosts. If that wasn't funny enough, Butters's parents put him through a series of traumatising tests (anal probe, anyone?), Cartman decides to atone for his sins with gift baskets, and then he has to deal with a hostage situation. Plus, we get another rendition of "Lou, lou, lou, I've got some apples". We could watch it over and over again.