During its 19 seasons on air (plus one incredible movie), South Park has given us dozens of brilliant songs that will stay in our heads forever. But which ones are the absolute best? It was a tough task, but I’ve compiled what I consider to be the 10 best songs in South Park history. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that, yes, there are some classics that didn’t make the cut. That’s what happens when a show is responsible for so many great musical moments. Hopefully, even if your favorite didn’t make the list, you’ll agree that these 10 are all hilarious, and great examples of why South Park has endured for so long as it heads into its 20th season.
10. “Getting Gay With Kids”
In which a group committed to saving the rainforest gives itself the dumbest name ever, and sings an even more infuriating song. At the episode’s end, after suffering an infinite number of misfortunes while traversing the rainforest, the group changes their tune, and sings a modified version of the song, this time calling for the rainforest to be torn to bits immediately, while deriding activists who claim to care about the rainforest even though they’ve never actually been there.
9. “Let’s Fighting Love”
A happily incoherent parody of an anime theme, in which the phrase “protect my balls” comes up without much explanation. There’s not much to say about this one. It’s just a spot-on spoof of some of the worst attempts to translate Japanese TV shows into English.
8. “What Would Brian Boitano Do”
The first of multiple entries from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut to make the top 10, this one really shows off the creativity of Matt and Trey as composers. Not only do they write a song presenting an Olympic figure skater as a source of inspiration, they turn him into an action hero, and give him a backstory in which he fights grizzly bears, seemingly with nothing but his skating talents. Myth-making at its finest!
7. “Push (Feelin’ Good On A Wednesday)”
When Randy Marsh transformed himself into Lorde — mostly through some heavy voice modification — he gave us this monumental ode to taking a comfortable poop in the girls bathroom. Of course, one can only assume that if the girls who looked up to Randy/Lorde knew what this song was actually about, they wouldn’t admire him quite as much. Then again, we all need to go once in awhile, and this song summed up that feeling perfectly.
6. “Chocolate Salty Balls”
There are multiple songs from Chef that were in contention here, but this is easily his finest moment, as he reveals the recipe for a certain chocolatey snack. This song gets an extra point for being great musically, as well as lyrically. I mean, that is a damn funky bassline!
5. Every Faith + 1 Song
Look, it’s way too hard to pick just one here. In an episode of The Simpsons, there was a joke that to write a Christian rock song, all you had to do was change “baby” to “Jesus.” Cartman follows that formula perfectly, giving us several essential faith-based hits. I’m partial to “The Body of Christ” myself, but if “I Wasn’t Born Again Yesterday” is more your style, that’s great, too.
4. “Gay Fish”
A spot-on parody of “Heartless” as Kanye West, unable to understand the meaning of the fishsticks joke, decides he must really be a gay fish, so he goes to frolic in the ocean where he truly belongs. The best part here has to be the line about those “lonely nights in the grocery store / in the frozen fish aisle feelin’ like a whore.” What young gay fish can’t relate to that?
3. “Blame Canada”
This song was nominated for an Oscar before inexplicably losing to Phil Collins and his contributions to the Tarzan soundtrack. Frankly, on the list of musical injustices, that should be right up there with Jethro Tull beating Metallica, or Macklemore beating Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys. This song perfectly describes the joy that comes from using anyone — particularly our neighbors to the north — as a scapegoat. Why look inward to find the roots of our problems when we can just blame Canada?
2. “Uncle F*cka”
Some may disagree with this going ahead of “Blame Canada,” but this one is just too perfect. It’s a glorious embodiment of the “as much cursing as possible attitude” that defined South Park‘s early years. Plus, it’s absolutely hilarious. Anyone who doesn’t crack up at “nobody f*cks uncles quite like you” needs to have their funny bone checked post haste.
1. “Kyle’s Mom’s A B*tch”
This song appeared in two separate places, the “Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo” episode, and South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, both of which have plotlines where Sheila Broflovski comes along and ruins everyone’s good time. Naturally, Kyle defends his mother’s honor, but the numbers seem to be against him because, in the movie version, children all around the world know the song, and sing it in their native languages. It was really hard picking a top song when this show has given us so many classics, but for its ubiquity and how fun it is to sing along to, “Kyle’s Mom’s a B*tch” gets the nod as the best South Park song ever.
(Editor’s note: This post originally ran on September 17, 2015)