5. "Smug Alert!" (season 10, episode 2)
Determined not to sit back and watch people destroy the world (his words, not ours), Kyle's dad Gerald coughs up for a new hybrid car, embracing a new, greener lifestyle. 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. Surely, this episode is worth a watch for that wordplay alone?
4. "Black Friday" (season 17, episode 7)
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 the best Black Friday bargain (which is taking up a temporary job in the mall in Randy Marsh's case).
Split into two familiar factions – Xbox One fans and PlayStation 4 fans – the children of South Park attempt 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" (season 11, episode 7)
According to South Park County's resident "expert" on homelessness, the best way to eradicate homelessness is toot give any money away, therefore you force the unfortunate souls to move on. Kyle struggles with this ethical dilemma, though, and inadvertently makes everything worse by graciously donating twenty bucks to a homeless man. So begins a struggle that sees dozens of homeless people shuffling, zombie-like, through the town in hopes of getting a similar donation. Kyle's dad Gerald eventually donates all his money and becomes a homeless zombie too, while Cartman inexplicably jumps the homeless on his skateboard.
"Night of the Living Homeless" not only parodies zombie movies, it also offers a steaming dose of satirical social commentary. Sublime.
2. "Good Times with Weapons" (season 8, episode 1)
Remember when your parents told you not to play with sharp things or you'll take your eye out? "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, episode 6)
Would South Park be the same without Cartman? If our number one 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' parents put him through a series of traumatising, anal-probing tests while Cartman decides to atone for his sins with gift baskets. He then has to deal with a hostage situation. Plus, we get another rendition of "Lou, lou, lou, I've got some apples". We could watch this episode, the best of the best South Park episodes, over and over again.
Enjoyed our ranking of the best South Park episodes? Why not check out our ranking of the best It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episodes, too?