Here are all the Christmas episodes of ‘South Park’
The appeal of holiday programming for many entertainment fans is the feel-good aspect of the movies and shows we love to watch. They break us out of our mundane routines and transport us to a happy holiday realm filled with romance and often corny storytelling.
One series that consistently delivers on humor, sarcasm, and over-the-top storylines is South Park. It’s not a show that decides to take it easy for the holiday season ⏤ on the contrary, it tends to kick things up a notch. Why drop the sarcasm and raunchy humor when you can simply throw a bow on it and make it festive? That’s the approach South Park takes, and it works.
If you’re looking for some off-kilter humor to get you through the holiday season, here are the nine Christmas episodes South Park has given us over the years, in chronological order for your viewing pleasure.
“Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” (Season 1, Episode 9)
When Kyle is cast as Saint Joseph in a play, his mother isn’t excited about the role given that their family is Jewish and the play is Nativity-themed. The Mayor of South Park soon decides that the holiday season must be celebrated without anything that could offend anyone. Kyle quickly thinks he’s found a solution to the problem: Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo. However, no one else seems to be on board with celebrating a piece of feces, and they certainly don’t believe that one has come to life.
Kyle spends the episode trying to convince those around him that Mr. Hankey is real; however, it appears to everyone else that Kyle is slowly losing his mind, throwing and placing feces in unnatural places. Will anyone believe Kyle by the end of the episode, or will he begin to question what’s happening around him? You’ll have to watch this hilarious episode to find out.
“Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson” (Season 2, Episode 16)
In the next Christmas installment of South Park, fans were happy to realize that Mr. Hankey was now a staple of the holiday. In this episode, Stan is forbidden to visit Cartman’s grandmother for the holidays, as his family wishes for him to spend Christmas with them. An argument ensues and Stan is sent to his room, but of course he doesn’t plan on staying there. Instead, Stan breaks out to meet up with his friends and head to Nebraska to visit Cartman’s relatives.
Upon their arrival, they meet Cartman’s uncle via a video chat from a prison where he introduces them to his friend and fellow inmate Charlie Manson. Within hours, Manson and Cartman’s uncle have managed to escape the prison and break into the home the boys are staying at. At first, this seems like fun for the boys as Manson agrees to do things with them that Cartman’s other relatives will not. However, it soon becomes obvious that he’s not exactly a stand-up guy.
“Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics” (Season 3, Episode 15)
This episode was a variety-style Christmas event hosted by none other than Mr. Hankey himself. Mr. Hankey invited viewers into his unique home to introduce shorts and songs unlike our usual Christmas carols and experiences. While the episode is full of laughs and moments that might make you a bit queasy, it’s also an episode with sentimental value. A montage of characters appears on screen during a Christmas song that viewers are familiar with. The characters were all voiced by Mary Kay Bergman, who passed away before the episode was crafted. The song honors her in a very South Park way.
Of course, there’s also a moment where Satan himself joins in to celebrate Christmas, with several infamous names spending eternity in damnation. It wouldn’t be a Christmas without that, right?
“A Very Crappy Christmas” (Season 4, Episode 17)
If the name of this one didn’t immediately give it away, this episode also brings Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, to the forefront of the holiday. However, it takes some investigating to find him. Mr. Hankey doesn’t show up for Hanukkah, and Kyle is immediately concerned. He gathers up the boys and they go into the sewers to find him. They discover that Mr. Hankey is having some family troubles and that everything isn’t holly and jolly for him this season.
It’s up to Kyle, Cartman, Stan, and Kenny to save Christmas, alongside Mr. Hankey’s kids, and together they try to recruit everyone possible to help them on their mission. They attempt to bring the spirit back to the holiday season with carols and cartoons. Will they succeed with their attempt, or will Christmas be canceled across South Park this year?
“Red Sleigh Down” (Season 6, Episode 17)
When Cartman has Kyle’s cousin take a tally of his good and bad deeds, he realizes that he might not be making it onto Santa’s nice list this year. To redeem himself and get his coveted toy for the holidays, he goes to Iraq to spread cheer to those he feels need it most.
Back at South Park, Jimmy takes on the honor of singing and lighting the Christmas tree, but that isn’t an easy task as he struggles with his speech, a continued theme throughout the episode. Cartman and the rest of the boys, alongside Mr. Hankey’s special train, try to reach Santa to tell him about the kids who need a holiday in Iraq, but things soon go awry.
“It’s Christmas in Canada” (Season 7, Episode 15)
The Brovlofski family is stunned when Ike’s birth parents venture to South Park to take their son back to Canada. Heartbroken, they turn to the citizens of South Park, who immediately gather together to help them get Ike back. This means no money for Christmas presents this year, and the boys are convinced that there’s no holiday without gifts.
As Kyle’s family suffers without Ike, the boys realize that they’ve got to get him back, and they travel to Canada to see what they can do. Selfishly, they also hope that this will ensure that they get gifts for Christmas. What happens next is more than even South Park fans could have imagined, and between meeting Canadians struggling with their set of new laws to Saddam Hussein, there’s a lot to unpack in this episode.
“Woodland Critter Christmas” (Season 8, Episode 14)
It’s up to Stan to help woodland creatures this Christmas as they anxiously anticipate the arrival of their savior, which seems like a no harm no foul, right? This is South Park we’re talking about, so clearly there’s a little more to the story than that. The creatures summon Stan first to help them place a star upon their tree, then they find their way into his room at night and convince him to help them build a manger for the baby to be born.
What happens next leads to Stan killing an innocent animal and becoming responsible for the cubs. Around this time, he discovers that the sweet woodland creatures aren’t so sweet after all. They’re Satanists, and their savior is the Antichrist. So, you know, that complicates things.
“#HappyHolograms” (Season 18, Episode 10)
“#HappyHolograms” is quite the Christmas special, and it’s fueled by Ike calling Kyle a grandpa. It seems that the boys of South Park are out of touch with what’s popular and “in” these days. The episode touches on everything from various trending topics on social media to real-life issues that were the talk of both social and news media at the time, including the death of Michael Brown and the allegations against Bill Cosby.
This episode covers a lot, from holograms and betrayal to miscommunication and a lack of understanding between generations. Still, the boys learn an important lesson when all is said and done.
“Bike Parade” (Season 22, Episode 10)
In an episode that hits a little close to home, Amazon fulfillment centers are having trouble around the holidays and someone must find a different means of transportation for the gifts to be delivered. Ex-mall workers are soon found to be working at the Amazon center and the boys of South Park are happy, as this means they can partake in their bike parade and hopefully win first prize. Kenny soon joins forces with those on strike against the commercialism of the holidays in solidarity with his father, who was initially upset that Kenny didn’t understand what was at stake.
With his friends angered about his lack of concern regarding the bike parade, will Kenny join forces with the boys again or stand up for what he believes in? What happens next is a complicated tale that leads the town away from the holiday spirit altogether. Will they find their way back to what Christmas truly means, or are they too far gone? You know what you have to do to find out.
What are your favorite South Park Christmas episodes? Are there any you absolutely have to watch each year? Let us know in a comment below!