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South Park Theory: Everything Supernatural Is A Coping Mechanism

While "South Park" often deals with real-world issues, it tends to incorporate fantastical elements into them. This was particularly prevalent during the show's earlier seasons when the main four boys would encounter all sorts of incredible creatures, from aliens to Scuzzlebutt. They've also had to contend with a giant, mechanized Barbra Streisand and ventured into Imaginationland, where all imaginary characters exist. These are the kind of plots that could only exist within the confines of an animated satire, but some fans believe not everything is how it appears. 

Redditor u/ninjatofu1014 provided a fan theory of how everything out-of-this-world in "South Park" is really just the boys trying to cope with the horrors of reality. The boys are only supposed to be about 10 years old, so there's a lot they may not understand. Or they may not know why their parents are behaving the way they are. As an example, u/ninjatofu1014 uses "About Last Night," which was about the 2008 presidential election. The boys couldn't understand why the adults reacted so harshly to the results, so they made up storylines about them partying in the streets. Additionally, they would naturally think politicians are boring, so they invented the plot of Barack Obama and John McCain working together for a heist.

 The theory states these things aren't actually happening, but they're the result of boys with overactive imaginations trying to make sense of what's going on around them. It also explains why many "South Park" episodes borrow from movie plots, like "Thor." The boys are taking what they've seen and imagining a more exciting world. 

It also explains why Kenny always dies

This theory would also help explain why Kenny always died in the earlier seasons of "South Park." While the gimmick isn't used as often anymore, Kenny frequently perished in numerous episodes, and u/ninjatofu1014 suggests this is due to Kenny having already died for real, and his friends just can't let him go. When they imagine playing, they have Kenny there with him, but eventually, they realize he's actually gone, so that's when Kenny dies. The other boys even come up with an in-canon explanation for Kenny's constant deaths in the "Mysterion Rises" arc, where he's an eternal god who can always come back to life.

Other Redditors agree that theory has some merits, with u/BigJoe1983 writing, "This is a pretty good one! I always figured the show was told from the kids's perspective and the Kenny explanation seems dead on, no pun intended." Even though the theory doesn't go this far, it could explain why "South Park" has relied less on fantastical elements in the most recent seasons. While things are still silly and offbeat, "South Park" has kept things more grounded. This could be due to the fact that the boys have gotten more mature. They're starting to let go of childish things and have begun understanding the world a bit more, so they don't feel as compelled to come up with wacky explanations for everything. Of course, that still doesn't stop the occasional monarch from stopping by their small mountain town. 

"South Park" is flexible enough to handle almost any storyline. And if things become more ridiculous in the coming seasons, no doubt fans would welcome it with open arms.