Show's masterminds share their picks for their finest (half-)hours (Terrance and Phillip, R. Kelly, and Smurfs included!) -- and then 'fess up to a whole bunch they'd rather forget
1. Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus
Season 2, episode 1
At the end of season 1, viewers were promised that the identity of Cartman's father would be revealed. But instead Parker and Stone devoted the season 2 opener to flatulent Canadian comedians Terrance and Phillip.
Matt Stone: I love that episode. It’s so f---ing weird, and it's so different, and the fact that nobody else really liked it makes me like it more.
2. Good Times With Weapons
Season 8, episode 1
The show's deliberately crude animation was married to more sophisticated styles in the demented tales of this episode and the next two, featuring, respectively, ninja weapons, gaming, and hallucinogenic cat urine.
Stone: On ''Good Times'' we did anime...
3. Make Love, Not Warcraft
Season 10, episode 8
Stone: ...and on ''Warcraft'' we did a whole Warcraft theme.
4. Major Boobage
Season 12, episode 3
Stone: On ''Major Boobage'' we did a tribute to [the 1981 animated film] Heavy Metal. It adds this other level to see that animation style in with our crappy paper stuff.
Season 8, episode 2
In ''AWESOM-O,'' Cartman disguises himself as a robot and persuades gullible Butters to share his secrets.
Stone: ''AWESOM-O'' has one of my favorite scenes of any South Park: Cartman is starving and he eats toothpaste.
Parker: We were trying to think of a situation to put a kid in that felt really original. So Cartman is trying to f- - - Butters and he gets stuck in this robot costume. There are so many great Cartman/ Butters shows. That's definitely one of them. ''The Death of Eric Cartman'' [next slide] is another one.
6. The Death of Eric Cartman
Season 9, episode 6
In ''The Death,'' Stan, Kyle, and Kenny ignore Cartman, leading him to believe that he is dead and that the only person who can see him is Butters.
7. Woodland Critter Christmas
Season 8, episode 14
Stan helps a band of cute talking animals that turn out to be Satan worshippers. (''Blood orgy, yay!'')
Parker: The fact that it's written like a kids' book and it all rhymes: It's just like, ''Wow!'
8. Trapped in the Closet
Season 9, episode 12
One of the show's most controversial episodes: Stan becomes the leader of Scientology and provokes Tom Cruise to spend much of the episode in a closet after saying the Top Gun star is not as good as ''that guy that played Napoleon Dynamite.''
Parker: That's definitely one that you'd have to put in, in terms of what defines South Park.
Stone: It was an exercise in legally keeping something really cool.
9. With Apologies to Jesse Jackson
Season 11, episode 1
Stan's dad, Randy, is ostracized when he says the N-word on Wheel of Fortune, after being given the category ''People who annoy you.'' (Correct answer? ''Naggers.'')
Parker: The ''Naggers'' episode would be on both of our lists. Randy becomes ''the N- - -er Guy'' and the words ''N- - -er Guy'' get banned.
Stone: We used this word that's so horrendously awful and figured out how to do it in a cool way.
10-12. Imaginationland Trilogy
Season 11, episodes 10–12
The South Park crew won an Emmy for this three- episode tale, which finds Muslim terrorists attacking the public's imagination with results that include both the shooting of a live Care Bear and the raping of Kurt Russell.
Parker: If I had to narrow it down to one favorite thing we've done, for me it was ''Imaginationland.'' We started it as one episode, and it wasn't until the Monday before it aired that we were like, ''F- - - it, let's not end this. We'll do a two-parter.'' It aired, and I said, ''What if we did a trilogy?'' I remember that Thursday morning writing every beat of the show on the board. It was the first time on a Thursday I stepped back from the board and the whole show was there. It felt so good.
13. Eat, Pray, Queef
Season 13, episode 4
Actually, let's have Trey Parker explain this one...
Parker: It was just people farting and queefing at each other and talking about queefing versus farting and guys not thinking queefing is funny.
14. Dances With Smurfs
Season 13, episode 13
In an episode that satirized both Glenn Beck-style demagoguery and James Cameron's Avatar, Cartman is named the elementary school announcer and accuses Wendy Testaburger of killing Smurfs.
Parker: Sometimes we'll get through two weeks and we're like, ''F- - -, this whole story was a worldwide crisis and then there's another big worldwide crisis.'' South Park got blown up again, or whatever. And you'll finally get to one like ''Dances With Smurfs,'' and it's just Cartman and Wendy, and a very intimate, tightly written story. That's fun when that happens.
15. You're Getting Old
Season 15, episode 7
Stan thinks that everything is ''crap,'' including a fake ad for a movie about a duck that becomes president.
Parker: Our favorite shot in any South Park episode was the duck president rising up and quacking and s- - - coming out its mouth. It made us laugh so goddamn hard.
1–48. Every Episode From the First Three Seasons
While Stone has fond memories of the early days (see: ''Best'' list), his co-creator says he wouldn't cry too hard if the show's first 48 episodes, starting with ''Cartman Gets an Anal Probe,'' were wiped from history.
Parker: If I had to permanently erase anything from the library, it would basically be anything before season 4. It's just embarrassing to watch. Okay, we were, like, 26, 27. But it's like, ''Really? We thought that was funny? We thought that was well-written? Oh my God, this is terrible.''
Season 4, episode 5
Charles Dickens' classic novel Great Expectations gets the South Park parody treatment as Parker and Stone relate the origin story of the show's British character, Pip. Not a fan favorite.
Parker: Everyone, including us, hates ''Pip.''
Stone: I don't hate it. But it was like, ''Why did you guys do that?''
50. Chef Goes Nanners
Season 4, episode 8
The Isaac Hayes-voiced Chef launches a campaign to change the South Park flag, which depicts four white figures hanging a black one.
Stone: ''Chef Goes Nanners'' was kind of half-baked. I remember we wanted to leave the office early. We were like, ''It's July 4... ''
Parker: '' ...ah, yeah, f- - - it.''
51. South Park Is Gay
Season 7, episode 8
Under the influence of shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the young men of South Park embrace metrosexuality. But in a bizarre third-act twist, the Queer Eye team reveal themselves to be subterranean-dwelling ''crab people'' hell-bent on taking over the world.
Stone: Trey said ''crab people,'' and we joked about how dumb it was. But we couldn't figure out anything better.
Parker: We talked for hours, and eventually we came back to ''What about those crab people?”''
Stone: [South Park exec producer] Anne Garefino was like, ''Oh my God, don't do crab people. It's f- - -ing stupid.''
Parker: But then we went and wrote the crab-people song: ''Taste like crab/Talk like people...'' I love the crab-people song. But ''crab people'' became this thing [in the writers' room]. It's like, you just know there's something better, but you can't think of it, and now you've just got to go with crab people.
52. A Million Little Fibers
Season 10, episode 5
After stoner towel Towelie apologizes to Oprah for fabricating his memoirs, the TV host is held hostage at gunpoint by her own vagina.
Parker: That did not turn out well. I had higher hopes for that. If we were going to have Oprah's butthole and vagina and the gun and everything, it should have been in a show with the boys, not the towel.
Stone: It was weird on top of weird with weird in the middle. I'd erase that one. I think you could take that show and split it into two different shows. But putting it together, it just feels like, ''What the f--- is this crap? Why am I watching this? I tuned in to watch South Park. I did not tune in to watch Oprah's vagina talk to her butthole and a towel.''
53. Stanley's Cup
Season 10, episode 14
In this spoof of pretty much every sports movie ever made, Stan coaches a ragtag peewee hockey team to... unexpectedly violent and bloody defeat.
Parker: A lot of people didn't get that one. We thought the ending was really sweet and weird, but nobody really got it.
Stone: The hockey one is like three-quarters of a show, but the ending is f---ing sweet.