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Looper Survey: South Park's Absolute Best Running Gag According To Fans

Come on down to "South Park" and see if you can unwind ... which of the show's recurring gags tend to make our readers laugh the most. After 25 seasons, a big screen adaption, and hundreds of memorable catchphrases launched, Eric Cartman (Trey Parker) and his gang of friends have a foothold on the American psyche in a way that is unique and indelible. If you grew up in the '90s or the '00s, you likely have very fond memories of the program. And it's probable that you still watch the series and share fond memories of it with those around you. After so many years on the air and so many seasons launched, it's indubitable that good times will roll.

But which of the show's repeated gags still gets to our readers? Do they still snicker when they remember Satan's (Parker again) long love affair with Saddam Hussein (Matt Stone) or Kyle Broflovski's (Stone again) tendency to punt his baby brother Ike (Betty Boogie Parker) while cheerfully piping "kick the baby"? Do they sometimes take the opportunity to shout loudly that someone, somewhere, "took their jobs"? With that in mind, Looper conducted a survey of 605 people around the country and asked them which "South Park" running gag still makes them laugh 25 seasons later.

Kenny's deaths still make audiences laugh

Oh my God — our fans picked Kenny (Matt Stone)! More specifically, they selected the character's many, many deaths — which have tapered off severely since the show's halcyon days, where the poor kid met his maker in gruesome ways during every single episode — as their favorite "South Park" running gag. It scooped up an enormous amount of our fans' votes, getting 42.15% of the poll. That means almost half of our respondents love to see Kenny die.

If the phrase "Screw you guys, I'm goin' home" means anything to you, then you probably agree with the fans who voted for Eric Cartman's (Trey Parker) signature sentence. 17.52% of our readers consider that sentence to be their favorite running gag.

14.88% of our readers find themselves humming a happy tune and singing nonsense ditties along with Butter Stotch (Matt Stone). Sometimes those song snippets are brief earworms that anchor portions of the show's narrative. Sometimes they sprout into full songs — consider "My Robot Friend" from the episode "AWESOM-O." But they always make a big chunk of our readership sing along.

Are there aliens among us? If you're a fan of "South Park," you know that extra-terrestrial visitors have been a big part of the show since "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe." In this case, we're talking about the "visitors" who often appear in the background of large crowd scenes — classic aliens with sharp features and large dark eyes. 13.55% of our readers love spotting these folks running from danger, attending PTA meetings, and a bunch of other surprising places.

Our readers miss Chef and have definitely learned something from Kyle

Do you miss getting down with Chef (Isaac Hayes) as he sings about his salty chocolate balls and simultaneous loving? Hayes contributed over 24 original ditties to the show before he split ways acrimoniously with Parker, Stone, and Comedy Central (per Billboard Magazine). 6.78% of viewers miss his random tunesmithery, which often happened suddenly whenever one of the kids asked him for some pertinent life advice. The end result was usually total bafflement due to Chef's experience and the kids' innocence.

Did you learn something from this poll? Are you hearing dramatic music swelling in the background as you read these words? Then you're probably fond of Kyle's tendency to end episodes with emotional — or sometimes simply rancorous — show-closing monologues. This tradition quickly spread along to other characters, with Stan Marsh (Parker again) often providing speeches of his own. Sometimes there's a serious kernel of truth hidden deep in the center of these musings. Sometimes, they just want to spit out some righteous anger at the authoritarians opposing them during the episode. But people love it when Kyle tries to explain the episode's message — or lack thereof. This running gag grabbed 5.12% of our reader's votes.