Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Scientology Episode Of South Park Drastically Changed Up The Show's End Credits

Despite the fact that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have said they don't actually enjoy offending their audience, their iconic adult animated series, "South Park," has still been at the center of some pretty significant controversies. During its 20-plus years on air, there have been countless offensive episodes that some feel go a bit too far, with perhaps the most controversial in the entire series being Season 9's "Trapped in the Closet."

The episode in question shamelessly lampoons the beliefs of the Church of Scientology and pokes fun at the sexuality of famous Scientologist and Hollywood star, Tom Cruise. Not only did it directly lead to the exit of Scientologist and voice actor Isaac Hayes (the voice of Chef) from the series, but Cruise himself allegedly succeeded in getting the episode temporarily removed from the air, reportedly getting a repeat airing of "Trapped in the Closet" pulled by threatening to leave "Mission: Impossible III" (via Esquire).

In spite of their promises that they never set out to offend people when making "South Park," it seems like Parker and Stone knew that this particular episode would garner some significant backlash as they made some telling changes to the credits of "Trapped in the Closet" to avoid legal ramifications.

Parker and Stone changed all the credits to Jane and John Smith

During an interview at MCM Comic Con London in 2018, April Stewart — who voices Wendy Testaburger, Sharon Marsh, and many more characters in "South Park" — recalled her fondness for "Trapped in the Closet," though pointed out that the credits were altered because of the episode's controversial subject matter.

"If you look at the credits on that one, we're all Jane and John Smith," Stewart said. "They changed it." Indeed, viewers can see for themselves that the end credits of "Trapped in the Closet" does not actually list any of the people involved with the episode, and only uses bland pseudonyms. Although Stewart didn't clarify why the creators made these changes to the credits, one can assume that they were made preemptively to prevent any legal action the Church of Scientology might have made against the show itself.

This is also implied by the final line of the episode itself, which is Stan Marsh (Parker) screaming, "Go ahead, sue me! I dare you!" — further emphasizing that Stone and Parker were expecting some kind of legal response after the episode's release. In the end, no legal action ever came from the Church, though this extreme shift in the end credits makes it clear that the showrunners took every precaution to safeguard their team before the episode was released.