The 5 episodes of South Park missing from HBO Max (and why) | Pretty Reel

South Park by Trey Parker and Matt Stone is notorious for being crude and controversial, and 5 episodes are missing from the HBO Max lineup. South Park began in 1997, and despite being completely banned in several countries, the series is now 25 seasons old and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Controversy aside, the adult animation program is critically acclaimed and has received 5 Primetime Emmy Awards and even a Peabody Award. There’s no doubt that Parker and Stone’s irreverent comedy exceeded all expectations and became a massive hit.

South Park is still streaming on its original Comedy Central dock, but the series’ extensive collection of episodes also hit HBO Max in 2019, though South Park will eventually move to Paramount+ in 2025. However, audiences noticed that there were five episodes missing from the HBO Max lineup: “Super Best Friends”, “Cartoon Wars Part I & II”, and “200 & 201”. Not only are they missing on the streaming service, but the episodes also don’t appear on the South Park Studios website, with each episode slapped with a “currently unavailable.”

super best friends

South Park season 5, episode 3, “Super Best Friends,” aired on Comedy Central in 2001 and flew largely under the radar for quite a while. In the episode, famed magician David Blaine arrives in the small Colorado town and starts a cult known as “Blainetology,” a very clear dig at Scientology that leads to Chef leaving South Park. After Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman join the rest of the “Blainetologists”, Stan begins to realize that the cult isn’t all it’s made out to be.

After unsuccessfully trying to convince his friends that they’ve been brainwashed, Stan enlists a parody of Justice League superheroes known as “Super Best Friends”, to help free the city. of Blaine’s planned mass suicide. The kicker is that the Super Best Friends are just the leaders of the world’s most popular religions (and Aquaman, or rather “Sea Man”). The team consists of Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Joseph Smith, Laozi and the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

When the episode aired, the creators of South Park surprisingly received little to no backlash. That is, however, until episodes “200” and “201” come out. One of many properties removed from HBO Max, the episode is absent because it depicts Muhammed. Although nothing in the Quran explicitly states that the Prophet cannot be imaged, additional hadith texts prohibit drawing his image. Therefore, most Muslims simply avoid depicting prophets. Although “Super Best Friends” got away with it in the early 2000s, the episode was retroactively pulled from streaming.

Cartoon Wars Part I and II

A key event in 2005 caused South Park to come under greater scrutiny. South Park season 10, episodes 3 & 4, “Cartoon Wars Part I & II”, sees the town panicked after Family Guy announces they will be showing the Prophet Muhammad on the show. Cartman decides that broadcasting Muhammed as a character is offensive to Muslims and sets off on a trip to Hollywood to stop them, continuing South Park’s longstanding feud with Family Guy. Kyle follows him there and tries to urge the Fox chief to air the episode of Family Guy as an exercise in free speech.

“Cartoon Wars Part I & II” is inspired by the Jyllands-Posten Muhammed cartoon controversy, in which a Danish newspaper published cartoons featuring Muhammed in 2005, sparking protests across the world and even violence and riots in places like Benghazi. The episode, which aired in 2006, was originally slated to be the season premiere. However, the creators of South Park argued with Comedy Central over portraying Muhammed, so they pushed the episode back.

While one of South Park’s many controversial episodes was in production, Comedy Central still hadn’t approved large portions of “Cartoon Wars Part I & II.” Consequently, upon release, Comedy Central aired the episode with a black title card over the Muhammed sequence. The episode was later removed from streaming when the show moved to HBO Max. “Cartoon Wars Part I & II” drew a lot of attention for its censorship. That being said, he was best known for ridiculing Family Guy. Parker and Stone were unhappy with the censorship, saying the network was hypocritical because most other religions were considered fair game, but not Islam.

200 & 201

Stone and Parker found themselves in a whirlwind of trouble after South Park episodes “200” and “201” aired, and they’re also absent from HBO Max. Like the other three episodes, Season 14’s “200” and “201” are still airing on Comedy Central but have been heavily censored. “200” and “201” saw celebrities the show had previously poked fun at returning to town, including Tom Cruise, Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg, Kanye West, Paris Hilton, George Lucas, Mel Gibson and Barbra Streisand.

Cruise recruits 200 celebrities to file a class action lawsuit against South Park for defamation. Cruise agrees to drop the suit, but only if he can meet the Prophet Muhammad. The two-part arc sees Cartman’s super best friends Mecha-Streisand and Mitch Conner again, as well as another depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. One of South Park’s biggest mistakes was deciding to air out all of the controversy they had stirred up over the years in a two-part film, and it had repercussions.

Kyle’s closing speech is censored with a very long audio beep, Muhammed is covered with a large black box, Muhammed’s name is covered in audio beeps, and the episodes cannot be streamed on HBO Max. All that censorship aside, the episodes have caught the attention of several extremist groups, who have issued very real death threats to both the creators of South Park and Comedy Central. When “201” aired, the New York State Police even tightened security around the studio because they feared extremist attacks. “201”, in particular, was never re-aired in the United States.

Where can you watch the missing episodes of South Park

Nowhere. Not only did HBO Max pull all five episodes of Stone and Parker’s South Park, but they’re also missing from the South Park Studios website. Whenever an episode is uploaded through non-legal means, it is deleted almost immediately. There is no way to watch these five “banned” episodes.

DVD box sets of the seasons can be purchased, but the episodes are still subject to the same censorship as when they aired. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are probably used to threats by this point, but the outcry over “200” and “201,” in particular, was too much for Comedy Central to handle. Therefore, these five episodes of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park have never been released on streaming services due to public safety concerns.

The 5 episodes of South Park missing from HBO Max (and why) | Pretty Reel