Resolved: The Future-Telling Device episode is the most perfect South Park episode

My God, what a great episode. Wait, I mean the BEST episode. Every time I see it in reruns – like tonight – I appreciate it more.

No off-putting supernatural characters. The pacing and intersecting story lines are perfect. Ever scene is perfect. Hell, every word is perfect.

The future-telling device. Butter’s faked death. Butter’s mom’s unstoppable wailing. Margareen. The slumber party. The resurrection of Butters. It just never lets up!

IMO, this was the best episode. Ever.


I dunno if it was the BEST ep, but it was pretty gorram funny.

I think my favorite part of that whole episode was Cartmean’s reaction when Kenny blew it up. It really seemed to catch him off-guard, and made him seem more like a little kid than anything else they’ve had him say.

Damn Kenny!”

Nitpick: Cartman says " Damn Ken!" :wink: (at least I’m pretty sure this is the case…)

The Monkey’s Paw references. Brilliant!

Is this in season 9 or 10? Because I have the first 8 seasons on DVD, and (though I have not yet watched the entire 8th season) I don’t recall this one.

South Park has so many fantastic episodes, it’s hard to pick a favorite. For me, it would probably be “Are You There God It’s Me, Jesus”, but I could easily be convinced about some others.

It’s from Season 9. The title is “Marjorine.”

I’d have to say my favorite episode, or one I’d wish to watch today, September 11, is “Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants.” A perfect Looney Tunes tribute and wish-fulfillment fantasy all in one.

I’ve been watching the recently released Season 8 DVD set and they opened that season with a run of great episodes: “Good Times with Weapons”, “Up the Down Steroid”, “The Passion of the Jew”, “You Got F’d in the A”, “AWESOM-O” - every one a classic.

Hm. I might nominate “Scott Tenorman Must Die” or the J-Lo hand puppet episode instead. But I’ve only seen the Marjorine episode once, so I might just have to give it another go.

I loved this episode. Great mix of “kids go adventuring” plus “goddamn, Butters’ parents are fucked up” with a few different movie parodies tossed in for fun. Plus I had seriously mixed feelings about how (fleetingly) happy Butters was for a while as Marjorine. The first time my husband and I saw the episode, I pulled out a sheet of paper and replicated the future-telling device for him, just to show him the power of girls. :wink:

R, you have nominated two spectacularly funny and clever episodes, and I commend you for your choices. In fact, I would even say that those two shows contain scenes and gags that top the ones in the Marjorine * episode.

But, alas, they are not as “perfect,” IMO. They have dull spots and dialogue that just treads water waiting for the action to pick up. The Marjorine episode is tight as a drum and flawless. Not one wasted moment. It leaves me in awe every time I watch it.

  • This paragraph is best read with Cartman’s cool, let-me-explain-it-to-you salesman’s voice.

Two of the best. I also liked the show with the substitute teacher where the boys want to become lesbians. What I particularly liked was the last line: ‘Don’t f*ck with Wendy Testerberger!’

But the payoff in Scott Tenorman Must Die was brilliant.

:slight_smile: You’ve convinced me. I’ll keep an eye out for the next time it airs.


Meh. Trey and Stone are so over-the-top conservative that they completely lose their sense of comic pitch when they go bashing prominent lefties. Barbara Streisand, fearsome as she is, just isn’t represented well as a Mecha-godzilla type creature. And when they had Al Gore as the crazed Ahab type seeking out ManBearPig, it was funny, but it wasn’t really Al Gore.

They do much sharper work when they go after lefty causes, as in their “smug” episode about polluting cars.

Much as I love SP for it’s social, cultural and political commentary, I always find episodes centered around such issues less than perfect, because they are ineviably self-indulgent, regardless of how brilliant they are. I feel the same about episodes that invoke supernatural characters (Santa, the Devil, Towelie, aliens, etc.) or physically impossible scenarios (intergalactic travel, visits to heaven/hell, etc.), because they are relying on a crutch to make their point.

To me, SP is at its absolute best when the main players live in the real world and bring their (often misinformed or naive) little boy world views and actions to a grown-up situation. The situation can be improbable or even absurd, but the action that follows should not be impossible or irrational.

That’s why I think the Marjorine episode is so good. These are real life misinformed little boys trying so hard and earnestly to capture something so precious and potent to them – the “future-telling device” – but so laughable to everyone else, including us viewers. Because they are so (needlessly) driven, they (needlessly) take matters to the extreme: faking Butters death, and driving Butters’ parents over the edge. The rediculousness of their quest would make Butters’ parents horrible loss heartbreaking, if Butters were really dead. But he’s not, so their grief-driven desperation is hysterical.

Add to that the fact that each and every scene is, in itself, funny, tightly written and drives the plot to its conclusion, and you’ve got, IMO, the most perfect episode ever.

My favorite episode is “AWESOM-O” followed very closely by “The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers.”

I’m going home to tell my parents that I’m not dead!

My pick is the one where Butter’s follows his dad to the gay porn movie and bathhouse. Fisting Fireman 9 “I must have missed the first 8” :slight_smile:

Please ignore the apostrophe in Butters :smack: