While South Park has always been a controversial series, there are only a small handful of banned South Park episodes in the show’s 300+ catalogue. Since its inception, South Park has gone out of its way to push the boundaries of what can be shown on television. The long-running satirical comedy began life as an e-card depicting Jesus and Santa Claus in a bloody battle to the death, and when South Park later became a primetime TV show, the cartoon series took full advantage of the creative freedom its co-creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, were afforded.

Even the South Park pilot episode centered around one of the main characters being anally probed by aliens – an early warning that the coming content would not be for the faint of heart. Given how unapologetically gross South Park’s early seasons were, it comes as a surprise there are only six banned South Park episodes. The few South Park episodes that were banned, however, each earned this dubious honor thanks to some truly controversial content.



4 “Super Best Friends” (South Park Season 5)

The Super Best Friends episode of South Park.

South Park season 5, episode 3, “Super Best Friends,” is a classic early season episode of the series. Like the South Park Children of the Corn spoof, “Super Best Friends” parodied groupthink as Stan attempted to convince his friends they had been taken in by magician David Blaine’s cult. To this end, Stan enlisted the help of the eponymous group of Super Best Friends – a parody of the DC Super Friends – that included Jesus, Buddha, Moses, and the Prophet Muhammad, among others. Interestingly, among the banned South Park episodes, this caused almost no uproar upon its initial release back in July 2001.

When South Park season 14, episode 5, “200,” saw the series satirize Comedy Central’s refusal to depict the Prophet Muhammad, this led to the fundamentalist organization Revolution Muslim warning that Stone and Parker risked murder for their depiction of the figure. When South Park episodes “200” and “201” were banned, this also led to “Super Best Friends” being retroactively pulled from streaming services and reruns. “Super Best Friends” still cannot be viewed in its uncensored entirety online, although the episode originally aired without complaint numerous times before the threats of violence surrounding the release of “200.”

3 “Cartoon Wars Part 1” and “Cartoon Wars Part 2” (South Park Season 10)

Family Guy characters on South Park.

South Park‘s struggles with censorship began in earnest with South Park season 10, episode 3, “Cartoon Wars Part 1.” Ironically, these banned South Park episodes centered around a fictional episode of Family Guy that depicted the Prophet Muhammad. In the story of “Cartoon Wars Part 1” and its closing chapter, “Cartoon Wars Part 2,” odious South Park antihero Cartman claimed that this episode was offensive to Muslims and petitioned to have the outing banned, only for this campaign to turn out to be a convoluted scheme to get his least favorite TV show taken off the air.

The story of “Cartoon Wars Part 1” found its genesis in the Jyllands-Posten cartoons controversy. This involved publishing numerous satirical cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad despite religious objections to this practice. The creators of South Park addressed this incident with a plot line that not only involved depicting the figure but also discussed the public debate around this issue. To this day, viewers hoping to stream the uncensored two-part special will not be able to find “Cartoon Wars Part 1” and “Cartoon Wars Part 2” among the South Park episodes on HBO Max.

2 “200” and “201” (South Park Season 14)

The characters of South Park

While “Cartoon Wars Part 1” satirized the premise of cartoonists being censored over depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, the episode “200” and its follow-up, “201,” inadvertently turned that fictional plot into a reality. In this two-part special, South Park’s parody of Tom Cruise decided to take up a class action lawsuit against the town of South Park after its residents did so much damage to his reputation and public image. In a clever meta gag, dozens of similarly aggrieved celebrities then come forward and joined Cruise’s crusade.

This conveniently allowed the creators of South Park to revive their best-known celebrity parodies for a landmark special. Unlike the South Park streaming wars special and other two-part stories, however, “200” and “201” were never released in full. While “200” and “201” brought the likes of Kanye West, Mel Gibson, and Cruise back to South Park, the show’s creators jeopardized the episode’s broadcast with one twist.

Cruise was willing to drop his lawsuit against South Park provided the town helped him realize his dream of meeting the Prophet Muhammad, prompting the long-running series to once again flirt with depicting the religious figure. Comedy Central broadcast a heavily cut version of the episodes that contradicted its message thanks to confusing censorship. In a clever chalkboard gag, The Simpsons commended South Park upon these banned South Park episodes.

1 “An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig” (South Park Season 1)

The South Park kids in An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig

The only episode of South Park to be banned for reasons that are not related to freedom of religious expression, South Park season 1, episode 5, “An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig” was cut for more practical reasons. The episode’s subplot sees Stan repeatedly beaten up by his irritable sister, Shelley, with Shelley even setting Stan on fire at one point. After a tragic real-world house fire was blamed on a child copying behavior they saw in an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, this South Park scene was edited in case of copycat violence.

This instance of censorship was not as controversial as South Park’s various scandals related to its depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. “An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig” is also not banned from release, and can be viewed online. In fact, along with several early South Park episodes, the outing was made available for paid download back in 2000. As such, “An Elephant Makes Love To A Pig” was, ironically, one of the first episodes to be available online and is still available to stream on HBO Max with the rest of the series, while the rest of the banned South Park episodes remain unavailable to this day.

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