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How 'Scott Tenorman Must Die' Changed The Course Of South Park Forever

While there certainly have been an assortment of moments on "South Park" that many people may have found unsettling, the most cringe-worthy endeavor the show has ever featured, without a doubt, involved Scott Tenorman in the most outrageous episode of the animated comedy's fifth season. But that entry ended up doing much more than just disgusting plenty of viewers.

Fans who have watched even a few episodes of "South Park" are aware of Eric Cartman's dark side. He has made it clear on various occasions that he is not to be toyed with, and if someone crosses him, the results can be downright horrifying. The episode "Scott Tenomran Must Die" is probably the best and most tragic example of Cartman's capacity for evil. After Tenorman plays an embarrassing prank on Cartman, Eric decides to get even by serving Scott chili, only to reveal it's made of his murdered parents. While there is no shortage of awful things Cartman has done over the years, it would be difficult to argue that serving up revenge in such a heinous manner would not qualify as a top contender for the worst possible thing any cartoon character could ever do on the small screen.

While the episode is one of the highest rated on IMDb, it also had a huge impact on the future of the Emmy-winning series that many long-time fans may not realize.

The epsiode changed the way the creators approached storytelling within the series

While talking about "Scott Tenorman Must Die," series co-creator Trey Parker revealed how much they learned from the fourth episode of Season 5. "I remember 'Scott Tenorman Must Die,' it was actually, for us it's a big milestone in 'South Park' only because it was the first time we realized, maybe we're trying to do too much in episodes," Parker said in an interview when discussing the episode (via YouTube). "And it was the first time that we're like, 'wow, there's really not a C story in this.' There's not. We've just got this one A story of Cartman versus this guy. And it turned out so good that we really, from then on, started saying, 'let's forget B stories, let's forget C stories, let's just do a really well told A story." The talented minds behind "South Park" realized less is best regarding how many storylines should be featured in an entry.

The episode has undeniably had a big influence on the series overall and not just on the creators. The fans have also made their voices heard on how they feel about what went down with Scott Tenorman. Many "South Park" fans want first-time watchers to see the episode with Tenorman before diving into the series. The episode showcases a hauntingly hilarious introduction to Eric Cartman. Also, it gives viewers a gruesomely gut-busting test run of what "South Park" truly has to offer in its extensive catalog of over 300 chapters.