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Five reasons why South Park is good for you

Updated on October 8, 2011

Five reasons why South Park is good for your emotional and intellectual development

Many people view South Park as a ‘bad show’. There’s a lot of cussing and adult content that scares people away. However, once you have watched an episode, and I mean really watched it, you will see there are actually things about South Park that might be good for your emotional and intellectual development. I have listed five of these reasons.

1. There is a message in every episode. That is, there is a message in every episode of the newest seasons. Somehow there are messages hidden in the storylines that are actually relevant for society. Take for instance the episode "Goobacks" from season eight. There is a definite message in this episode: take care of the earth for future generations. However, they still somehow find a way to ridicule it all in the end so it isn’t preachy. Instead, it just makes you think about yourself and society.

2. You can actually learn from this show. Of course you learn from the hidden messages in the episodes, but it’s more than that. Take for instance the episode "Margaritaville” from season thirteen. Never has a TV show made it more clear how the economic crisis has arisen.

South Park making fun of Apple.
South Park making fun of Apple.

3. The episodes pretty much always show you two sides to a story and ridicule them evenly. For such a little town, South Park is very diverse. There are Caucasians, African Americans, Jews, Christians, Mormons, hand puppets, homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, Christmas feces, rich people, poor people, talking towels, Santa Claus, Jesus, and so on and so forth. And there is not one category that isn’t ridiculed. In fact, it doesn’t stop there; they even ridicule the future and the past. One might say they do not respect anyone. I however prefer to say they respect everyone enough to ridicule them evenly. And if we’re no longer allowed to ridicule than how are we going to remain critical?

4. Kenny’s deaths*, although sporadically in the newer seasons, show us there is danger all around us. It teaches children not to cross the street without looking, it teaches grown-ups not to throw knives without looking, and overall it teaches everyone to think before you act. When you’re angry you might want to throw some plates around. But South Park teaches us that one of those plates may divert from its course and hit a child in the head. Which is something one might want to avoid.

*Kenny used to die every episode in the first few seasons. It became his trademark to die in the most absurd ways.

South Park Season Fourteen Intro

5. It teaches you about consequences. 'Pre-School' from season eight is an extreme example of this, but there are small things like this in every episode. A very simple example; every time Cartman calls Kyle a ‘stupid Jew’, Kyle replies with something along the lines of ‘shut up fat ass’. So the consequences of Cartman saying something offensive is something offensive being said back to Cartman. Furthermore, almost every episode has an event that makes things spiral out of control. It’s basic action-reaction.

South Park Parody; The Real South Park

So there you have it, five reasons why South Park is good for your development. Of course there are some parts that are a little less good for your development. The excessive cussing for instance. But once you learn to see through that upper layer, you will notice the deep structure and intriguing philosophic ideas the episodes have. And also: it’s just really, really funny!


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    • profile image

      joke123456789 14 months ago

      i like south park cause it is funny to watch

    • Scotty Davidson profile image

      Scott Davidson 22 months ago from Sydney, Australia

      South Park is incredible satirical. It's unfortunate that the comedy style is not really to my taste although I can see the appeal.

    • Maxine Pase profile image

      MP 3 years ago from West Virginia

      South Park points out the faults in our society while making you laugh. It uses humor to bring to light the deeper meaning and absurdness of current events. There are those who enjoy South Park simply for its crude humor, but for those who fully grasp the satirical nature and not-so-hidden meaning of each episode, it is a definite learning experience.

    • Kristina Pitts profile image

      Kristina Pitts 3 years ago from Greenville, SC, USA

      Excellent points.

    • profile image

      Jason Fenton 4 years ago

      I hate South Park before because I knew how crude the humor was and how racist and mean it can get. Still, I've been hearing good things from my favorite critics and people online so I gave episode one a chance. To be honest, a show ha never made me laugh so hard at the innocence and brutal honesty it has. This is coming from a Christian and they do make fun of Jesus and the like but it never actually destroyed the image in anyway. It shows how there are actual people are and there is a bit of us in there. It can successful make fun of everything we hate and everything we love and I think that's why South Park manages to get a total of 20 seasons.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      Hi HeadlyvonNoggin!

      You are absolutely right. It's amazing how the writers are able to step outside their own viewing frame and look at things objectively. It forces viewers to do the same, and that's a big thing to accomplish.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image

      Jeremy Christian 5 years ago from Texas

      Great Hub! I've had similar discussions where I'm trying to get across to somebody how South Park isn't just any animated show. It makes me cringe when I hear someone use South Park in the same sentence as Family Guy, unless of course they're talking about the fantastic Cartoon Wars two-parter which is a South Park episode about the manatees that write Family Guy.

      South Park fans in the know could have told anyone what Broadway just found out with The Book of Mormon. These guys are master storytellers. There's a reason why they have 4 Emmys out of 10 nominations and why they practically swept the 2011 Tony awards. Not to mention they've won a Grammy and have been nominated for an Oscar because they're incredible song writers as well.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 6 years ago

      Kenny really is the odd one out. I like how they've made episodes to explain how Kenny can die and yet still be there the next episode. Thanks for reading!

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Kenny is my favorite character because he is the only one who seems to know what is going on. Southpark rocks! My favorite episode is the one where Timmy and Jimmy join the Crips Denver Chapter. Voted up and interesting.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 6 years ago

      I do know a lot of people who feel offended by South Park. I guess you just have to make the realisation that they don't target specific groups or people, they make fun of everyone, and they (usually) have a point to make.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Robin, I really liked your hub. I think people write "South Park" off too quickly. Sometimes people do not like to see themselves or their beliefs parodied. However, the show brings to light very important issues, as you mentioned.