Honorable Mention - Hell on Earth, 2006
In the first Halloween episode since Season 3, Satan decides to plan a big, epic, Halloween party on Earth. It's done so in a parody of the TV series 'My Super Sweet Sixteen', having him act like a bratty teenager the whole time. The thing he wants most for this party is a life-sized Ferrari cake. In a different parody of 'Three Stooges', he hires Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer to pick it up and deliver it. All the while, Stooge-like comedy of violent proportions takes place.
Meanwhile, the boys, along with Butters, Token and Tweek are playing what is essentially 'Bloody Mary', but using the name "Biggie Smalls". Surprisingly, Butters is successful in his attempt. But Biggie gets angry at his being summoned, because this now makes it very difficult to get back in time for Satan's party. The episode then becomes a buddy journey with Biggie and Butters, trying to get there.
It's a good Halloween episode for it's comedy, but definitely lacked the tone of it's predecessors. That could be because Satan is already a somewhat sympathetic character in the 'South Park' universe. The 'Bloody Mary' parody is hilarious, and has a bit of that tone to it. But for the most part the episode plays out as off-the-wall goofy instead of dark comedy. An enjoyable one for the upcoming Halloween season nevertheless.
Honorable Mention - Go God, Go / Go, God Go XII
This is a two-parter that seems to get a lot of attention, but for some reason, it never really captured me. That said, enough people out there like them that I feel it definitely warrants mentioning.
In the first half, Cartman is extremely anxious about having to wait three months for the release of Nintendo Wii. He therefore decides to freeze himself, with Butters' help. A freak avalanche then buries him, and he wakes up in the year 2546, where Atheism has completely taken over. Meanwhile, in the present, Mrs. Garrison has a severe problem with the curriculum making them teach evolution in school. That is until she meets the right man, who just might change her mind on the whole thing. This is the plot line that gives the episode it's namesake, but make no mistake, these episodes are mainly Cartman-based.
In 'XII', Cartman is still stuck in the future, dying to get his hands on a Nintendo Wii. As for Mrs. Garrison, to say much more spoils way too much. Regardless, check it out though. They are by no means bad episodes, and as mentioned before, my opinion here tends to differ from the masses. I personally find these a bit overrated, though still good enough.
#05 - The Return of Chef
After Isaac Hayes left the show, due to disagreements on the episode 'Trapped in the Closet', Trey and Matt decided it best Chef be killed off for good, knowing he wouldn't come back. This is the first episode of Season 10, and picks up where a supposed "lost episode" left off (and no, it's not an episode you can find anywhere, it was just written this way).
The recap covers Chef going away to join something called the "Super Adventure Club" in an effort to find himself. When he returns, the boys are happy about it, but notice his strange behavior. This comes from the fact that they had to dub older clips of his voice into the episode, making him make very little sense. His behavior eventually leads to Chef talking about his desire to have sex with the boys. They decide to check out this "Super Adventure Club" for themselves to see how they've affected Chef. Of course, they manage to find out that they're a corrupt group of child molesting explorers and have brainwashed Chef into thinking in the same way.
The highlight of this episode is how they took old dubs of Chef's voice, and worked it around to make him sound like a pervert. It's disturbing, but I gotta say, it's creative. As mentioned before, this is also the episode in which Chef gets killed off (so to speak), making 'South Park' lack a little something from then on. But they do give him a sendoff as only 'South Park' can - totally violent, gory and over the top.
#04 - Tsst
Liane Cartman (Eric Cartman's mother) decides she simply doesn't know what to do with him anymore. He's far too out of control at this point, and even as the viewing audience, we wonder if there's any controlling him at all. She therefore turns to several experts, coming from various reality TV shows like 'Nanny 911' and the similar. However, Eric just ends up manipulating their minds so they do anything from leave in a huff to literally go psychotic.
In one last effort, Liane calls Cesar Milan of 'The Dog Whisperer'. All the while, Eric tries his usual tactics to try to get rid of him, but Cesar simply treats him like he would any other dog - a vast part of it being ignorance and discipline. This whole process is extra funny to watch if you're anything like me and like to see Cartman get put in his place every now and then. There's even a scene in this where you basically watch him break and become docile and well-behaved.
I won't give away too much here, but the episode also involves Liane developing a sort of love interest for Cesar. The punchline to this at the end of the episode, though pretty predictable, is still pretty funny. This is easily one of the best episodes to watch if you love Cartman's off the wall reactions to things.
#03 - Manbearpig
When VP Al Gore pays a visit to South Park Elementary, he wanrs the kids about something called "Manbearpig", which he claims to be "half man, half bear, half pig". The assembly pretty much ignores what he has to say, though, and go on with their lives.
Through a couple of events and random visits, Gore is trying too hard to be friends with the boys. Eventually, Stan feels sorry for him in that he has no friends, and agrees to go to a Manbearpig meeting with the others. Here, Gore tells them that Manbearpig is hiding in the Cave of the Winds - a South Park tourist attraction. Reluctantly, the boys decide to help him on his futile Manbearpig hunt in order to humor him. This of course leads to a complete mess up on Gore's part, as he accidentally traps the boys in the cave by being an idiot. Much of the rest of the episode is the boys surviving, a rescue crew, and Gore's obsession with Manbearpig going on and on. This includes the running gag of "nobody takes me serial" (or cereal, however you wanna spell it), which became one of 'South Park's most quoted lines for a while afterward.
I think my favorite thing about this is how Gore is portrayed a particular type that most of us know. He's the guy who you don't really like altogether, but he's lonely and sad, so you hang out with him out of pity. Meanwhile, there are several reasons not to hang out with him, but he doesn't understand why. It's not even that he's a bad guy, he's just annoying, stupid and clumsy. He was a fun enough character to use that they even brought him back for a couple of later episodes as well as 'The Stick of Truth'.
#02 - Cartoon Wars, Parts I & II
In Part I, we see two sides to the same story. 'Family Guy' ends up being a source of fear to the town, as they want to take the risk of airing an image of Muhammad through a two-parter. On one hand, the townspeople want to literally bury their heads in the sand, so as to say they were never a part of the problem. On the other, Cartman becomes surprisingly passionate about having the episodes pulled due to their racial insensitivity. Kyle, unbelieving in Cartman's sensitivity at first, gives in after Cartman gives a heartfelt speech. He then decides Cartman's right, and agrees to head to Fox to have the episodes pulled. Of course, Cartman has ulterior motives, aiming to cancel 'Family Guy' once and for all.
In Part II, Cartman reaches the studio, where we are introduced to the 'Family Guy' writing staff. As much as I do enjoy 'Family Guy' for myself, I have to say that the gag they use for this is hilarious. Meanwhile, Kyle has been left behind after an altercation he has with Cartman at the end of Part I. He is, however, determined to stop Cartman from manipulating the studio executives, and getting the show pulled.
Perhaps the best part of the episode IS the retaliation the Islamic government does make. Of course, you'll have to get through each of these episodes to fully appreciate it, but it's great. We also meet a character who is pretty obviously Bart Simpson, and it's funny to hear the "bad boy" dialogue between him and Cartman. This is mostly due to the fact that 'South Park' was pretty much the cartoon to raise the bar after 'The Simpsons'. It's truly a great two-parter for the show, especially if you're at all familiar with 'Family Guy'.
#01 - Make Love, Not Warcraft
Somehow I get the feeling that if this wasn't my #1 for Season 10, I was "doing it wrong". This episode is one of the most talked about in general, let along for a single season. And with Blizzard's actual help, they managed to make one of their five Primetime Emmy Award winners as well as a pretty damn solid tribute to 'World of Warcraft'.
The boys are all playing 'WoW' when a "griefer" (someone who plays against you online just to mess with you) comes along and kills them off one by one. Blizzard gets a hold of the information about this player, and claim him to "have absolutely no life". In other words, he's the single strongest WoW player out there. In order to defeat him, they have to give the "Sword of a Thousand Truths" to another high level player, but unsure of who to turn to. That is until they notice reports of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and their leader Cartman secretly leveling up to face this griefer.
Meanwhile, this also acts as a great Randy episode. He comes into the episode as a noob, trying to get into the game, but treats it so seriously that things are "life or death" with him. Honestly though, whether you're into 'Warcraft' or not, this is easily one of the best, now classic, episodes of the show as a whole. If you DO love "Warcraft' on the other hand, then all that does is probably make the episode better. There are jokes in here for pretty much everyone.