The citizens of South Park, Colorado are always finding themselves involved in weird hijinx, but none fall victim to this more than Stan Marsh.
When Trey Parker and Matt Stone created South Park, they loosely based Stan on Parker, Kyle on Stone, and Cartman and Kenny on the “fat kid” and “poor kid” that would be in every friendship group in the average Colorado elementary school. Stan and Kyle are really the show’s main protagonists. They’re the ones who go on the story journeys and learn all the important lessons.
From being declared the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard to getting quite literally sucked into Facebook, Stan has been at the center of some of South Park’s funniest storylines over the course of its 23 seasons.
10 You Got F’d In The A
One day, a dance troupe approaches Stan on the street. They play a song on their boombox, dance to it, and tell Stan that he’s been “served.” Randy is outraged that he didn’t retaliate and teaches him how to line dance to Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart,” which he tries out the next time he sees the kids.
The episode is a spot-on spoof of the movie You Got Served, and it comes with a B-plot for Butters involving some of South Park’s darkest humor.
9 Cash For Gold
Stan traces a bejeweled bolo tie that his grandfather bought him as a gift to a smelting plant in India, where he realizes there’s a cycle in which random gold trinkets are being made with recycled gold from random gold trinkets that were given as gifts and immediately exchanged for cash.
The running joke in which Stan tells a J&G host to kill himself has been compared to Bill Hicks’ bit about people in advertising and marketing.
In season seven’s “Raisins,” Bebe tells Stan that Wendy wants to break up. His friends don’t think he’ll care since they haven’t even spoken in weeks, but Stan suddenly spirals into a deep depression set to the sounds of “All Out of Love” by Air Supply.
Throughout the episode, Stan tries to win Wendy back by getting other people to talk to her. When she starts dating Token, he joins the goth kids—in their first appearance—with a hilariously insufferable “woe is me” attitude.
7 My Future Self ‘N’ Me
Stan touches a joint that his friends find in the woods in “My Future Self ‘n’ Me,” and, that night, his future self arrives at the front door, and he’s a junkie. However, Stan does a little digging and finds out about a company that sends out actors to play the future selves of kids to scare them straight.
When Stan tries to call out his parents and pretends to cut off his hand, Randy impulsively grabs a cleaver from the dinner table and hacks off the “Future Stan” actor’s actual hand.
6 Guitar Queer-O
After breaking a record on Guitar Hero, Stan and Kyle follow the trajectory of a real rock band in “Guitar Queer-O.” They get signed to a major label and invited to parties filled with celebrities and drugs. Record executives break up the partnership and fame goes to Stan’s head.
He blows his first big gig because he’s gotten hooked on a game called Heroin Hero, and he eventually apologizes to Kyle in the bowling alley where he’s been playing the arcade version of Guitar Hero.
5 You’re Getting Old
“You’re Getting Old” is actually one of South Park’s saddest episodes. It reflects how Parker and Stone were feeling at the time, and some critics thought it might’ve been an impromptu series finale. When Stan turns 10, he suddenly becomes cynical and starts seeing everything—movies, fast food, all the things he used to love—as “s**t.”
4 You Have 0 Friends
Stan encapsulates every relatable frustration that came along with the dawn of Facebook in “You Have 0 Friends.” He wants to avoid the site, but his friends create a profile for him. Before too long, everyone in town is harassing him about replying to their messages and confirming their friend requests.
It drives him crazy. The episode builds to the perfect climax with a Tron parody in which Stan literally gets “sucked into Facebook.”
3 All About Mormons
When a Mormon kid named Gary joins South Park Elementary, his overbearing niceness prompts the guys to send Stan to kick his ass on the playground. However, Stan ends up accepting a dinner invitation to Gary’s house instead.
After meeting Gary’s parents, Randy decides to convert the Marshes to Mormonism. The “dum-dum-dum” interludes in this episode laid the groundwork for Parker and Stone’s immensely successful musical Book of Mormon.
2 Douche And Turd
When South Park Elementary is forced to change its mascot and a competing Kyle and Cartman narrow the candidates down to a “giant douche” and a “turd sandwich,” Stan refuses to vote and is promptly ostracized from the community. P. Diddy even threatens to kill him for not voting.
He’s eventually banished from the town. The townspeople strap him to a horse, spit on him, rip his clothes, and put a bucket on his head before sending him on his way. Stan eventually agrees to vote, as he realizes every election he’ll ever vote in will be between “some douche and some turd.”
1 Trapped In The Closet
Stan is given a personality test by the Church of Scientology in “Trapped in the Closet.” When his Thetan reading is off the charts, he’s deemed to be the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard. Tom Cruise hides in Stan’s closet while he takes on his new role as a religious leader.
The episode boldly alleges that the church is a front to scam people out of their money and ends with Stan daring the church’s leaders to sue him.
NEXT: 10 Ways South Park Has Changed Since Season 1
Friends: 10 Short-Term Love Interests Who Deserved More
About The Author