Top 5 ‘South Park’ Business Lessons

South Park Studios

Can you even believe it’s been 16 years since we watched the first episode of South Park and laughed our asses off as an anal probe sprung from Cartman’s ass? Over the years we’ve learned many life lessons from Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and the gang. We’ve laughed as Mr. Garrison struggled to understand his sexual identity, and as Mr. Mackey realized he was nothing but a stoner, and we’ve cried as Kenny and Chef were killed. And throughout it all, somehow the show has even managed to teach us a thing or two about business. Here are WallStreetInsanity’s top five business lessons from South Park:

If You Drink Too Much Espresso, You’re Likely To Lose Your Panties

Remember the episode “Gnomes,” from season two? The episode paired the neurotic Tweek—in his first appearance—with the gang to complete a report on a current event for the town committee. As it turned out Tweek’s parents owned a coffee shop—surprise, surprise—and all the boys get totally hopped up on caffeine all night while working on their paper. Like, completely climbing the walls buzzed. Anyway, Kenny dies and the moral of the story is that corporations are actually good because they give people jobs and they get big because they have good products—“Harbucks,” for example. What it has to with panty-stealing gnomes I still don’t know…

A Little T&A Will Sell Anything To Anybody

This lesson can be learned from “Raisins” in season seven. Remember when Wendy dumped Stan for Token? He was so bummed, and Jimmy just made matters worse when he called her a “cunt-cunt-cunt-inuing source of inspiration.” So the boys head off to Raisins. There, some disturbingly young girls in hot orange shorts and tight white tanks shake their lack of assets for tips. Anyway, Stan doesn’t feel better, but Butters totally falls for one of the little hussies and blows his wad on her. And so do a lot of other guys. Moral of this story? If it walks like a slut and talks like a slut… it’s probably a money-maker…

There’s No Money In The Internet

Advertising aside, the most viral video of all time won’t make a single cent of cold, hard cash… but theoretical money is something different. In season 12’s “Canada on Strike” the boys are desperate to raise money for Canada after the nation goes on strike and “Terrance and Phillip” starts airing reruns. We all remember the ingenious plan to raise funds from the Internet by creating the video starring Butters, “What What In the Butt.” And it quickly goes viral on YouTube. But when they get in line at the Colorado Department of Internet Money, they quickly learn from other Web stars—including Sneezing Panda, Dramatic Chipmunk, Laughing Baby and Star Wars Kid—that Internet popularity doesn’t pay shit. After the Internet stars tear each other to a bunch of bloody pulps in a battle over who is more famous, the South Park gang actually gets their “theoretical dollars” in the form of a clear plastic check worth jack shit. But the head of the Canadian strike accepts the check, along with some gumballs, as a settlement. What a dumbass. Rumor has it the episode was written to criticize the 2007-08 Writer’s Guild of America strike. Another bunch of dumbasses that went on strike for no particularly good reason and settled for nothing in particular. But aren’t most strikes like that nowadays? Of course most people just remember the episode for Butters’ “What What in the Butt…”

Originally Airing At The Height Of The Recession, Season 13’s “Margaritaville” Is A Hilarious Commentary On Global Economic Issues

The writing in this episode is pure genius, truly. From Stan’s birthday money disappearing as soon as he invests it in the bank because the banker reinvests it in a “money-market mutual fund;” to Cartman blaming the recession on Jews hiding everyone’s money in the “Jew Cave,” the episode depicts the then-financial crisis better Twain or Dickens ever could have tried. Contrary to Cartman’s belief of Jews, Kyle actually decides to personally pay off everyone’s debts—much to his mother’s chagrin. And his plan works—the economy improves. But does Kyle get credit? Hell no! Obama does! Then of course Stan tries to return his dad’s margarita maker because they just can’t afford the damn thing. But it was financed, and the loan was sold. And that loan was sold. And so on and so forth. He eventually ended up at the US Treasury. And the grand total of the loan owed for the appliance that probably cost maybe $75 to start with? Only $90 trillion! That’s not a reference to mortgage-backed securities or anything…

Don’t Believe What You See On TV—Or Any Advertisement For That Matter

You know why? Because “Jared has Aides!” Yes, in season six, Subway spokesman Jared Fogle visits South Park to promote the fast-food sandwich shop. Jared claims he lost 180 pounds on a diet consisting of Subway sandwiches, but admits to Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny that he had some help—his personal trainers, which he refers to as his aides. The boys tell Jared that he needs to own up to using the trainers, so the next day he announces he has “aides.” Of course the town thinks he means AIDS and everyone starts avoiding him. Anyway, while Jared is offering to give everyone in town aides, and gets chased down with pitchforks, Cartman and Butters team up to show that City Wok (pronounced “Shitty Wok”) can make people lose weight just like Subway. It all ends up getting straightened out and everyone gets a good laugh out of the mixup, except for Butters, who gets his ass beat. The moral? Don’t believe claims of dudes on TV… and since it’s been 33 years it’s OK to laugh about AIDS.