Banned South Park episodes: why are episodes including Super Best Friends controversial, can you watch online?

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Five episodes of South Park are unavailable to stream on Paramount+ due to the risk of death threats from groups offended by the controversial content

South Park has produced a whole host of controversial episodes since the show first launched 25 years ago - it has taken aim at celebrities including Tom Cruise, Kanye West, and most recently the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The show debuted with an episode titled ‘Cartman Gets an Anal Probe’ whilst other colourful episode names include ‘Cripple Fight’, ‘Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants’, ‘More Crap’, and ‘Eat, Pray, Queef’.

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Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are reluctant to shy away from controversy, preferring to lean into it as far as the network will allow, and then even further. Some episodes of the adult animation have seen the creators threatened with lawsuits, whilst others have prompted actual death threats.

As a result of the backlash to five episodes in particular, Paramount+ and other streaming services have removed certain episodes of the show. These are the banned episodes and where you can still watch them in the UK:

Super Best Friends is not available to watch online in the UKSuper Best Friends is not available to watch online in the UK
Super Best Friends is not available to watch online in the UK | YouTube

Which episodes of South Park have been banned?

Super Best Friends - season 5, episode 3

Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny learn that the magician David Blaine will perform in South Park and they join his cult, the Blaintologists. Stan believes that Blaine is brainwashing his fans and he teams up with Jesus and the Super Best Friends, among them Buddha, Moses, Muhammad, and Sea Man, to avert a mass suicide pact.

Cartoon Wars Part I - season 10, episode 3

The gang learn that Family Guy will air an episode featuring the prophet Muhammad as a character, in much the same way that South Park did in Super Best Friends. US residents are afraid of radical Islamic retaliation, and Cartman goes to Hollywood to try and get the episode pulled from broadcast.

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Cartoon Wars Part 2 - season 10, episode 4

Cartman continues to try and stop the Family Guy episode airing by exploiting fears of violent reprisals. Kyle however continues to pressure Fox to air the episode and make a stand for free speech.

Five South Park episodes are unavailable on Paramount+Five South Park episodes are unavailable on Paramount+
Five South Park episodes are unavailable on Paramount+ | YouTube

200 - season 14, episode 5

Tom Cruise leads a group of celebrities who have been the victim of South Park resident’s antics in the past as they file a class action lawsuit against the town. Cruise promises that he will withdraw the lawsuit if the town can arrange a meeting between him and Muhammad.

201 - season 14, episode 6

The angry celebrities continue to demand a meeting with Muhammad - the Super Best Friends reunite to save the town from Tom Cruise, his celeb pals, and Mecha-Streisand. Meanwhile, Cartman learns the true identity of his father.

Why were these South Park episodes banned?

Each of these episodes shares a common theme which you’ve probably guessed by now - they all feature depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (although in Cartoon Wars he is exaggeratedly censored).

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Following the response of fundamentalist Muslims to the release of episodes 200 and 201, which included death threats to the series creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Comedy Central stopped airing the above episodes, and they are unavailable on streaming platform Paramount+.

Where can you watch banned South Park episodes?

The episodes Super Best Friends, 200, and 201 are currently unavailable to watch online in the UK on any mainstream streaming platform. These episodes are listed on Amazon with the message ‘this epsode is currently unavailable’ but with no explanation as to why. On Paramount+ the episodes are not listed and all reference to them has been removed from the platform.

Cartoon Wars part 1 and 2, in which Muhammad doesn’t visually feature but is mentioned several times, are available to buy on Google Play for £1.99 in standard definition and £2.49 in HD for each episode. They are also available on Amazon for £1.89 in standard definition and £2.49 in HD for each episode.

The only way to watch full episodes of Super Best Friends is to buy the season five DVD which contains the episode. The episodes 200 and 201 (in which Muhammad features as a black bar with the word ‘censored’ written across) it are not even available on region 2 (UK and Europe) season 14 DVDs and therefore are not available to watch legally in the UK.

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