South Park, the long-running animated comedy series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is known for its satirical and often controversial take on current events, politics, celebrities and pop culture. The show follows the adventures of four foul-mouthed fourth-graders: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick, who live in a small town in Colorado.
What Happens in the South Park ‘Japanese Toilets’ Episode?
In its 26th season, which premiered on February 15th 2023 on Comedy Central, South Park has tackled topics such as COVID-19 vaccines, cryptocurrency scams, cancel culture and climate change. But one of the most talked-about episodes of this season was the third one, titled “Japanese Toilets”, which aired on March 1st 2023.
The episode revolves around Stan’s discovery of the wonders of Japanese toilets at Home Depot, where his father Randy works as a salesman for Tegridy Farms weed products. Stan becomes obsessed with these high-tech plumbing fixtures that offer features such as heated seats, bidets, deodorizers and music. He convinces his friends to join him in his quest to experience these toilets at various locations around town.
However, not everyone is happy with Stan’s newfound passion. His mother Sharon thinks he is wasting his time and money on something trivial and unnecessary. His sister Shelly thinks he is being weird and gross. And his rival Craig Tucker thinks he is being pretentious and snobbish.
Meanwhile, Randy faces a dilemma when he learns that Home Depot plans to stop selling Tegridy Farms products due to low demand and customer complaints. He decides to use his sales skills to persuade people to buy more weed by promoting its benefits along with Japanese toilets. He even goes as far as installing a Japanese toilet in every home he visits.
The episode culminates in a hilarious showdown between Stan’s group of toilet enthusiasts and Craig’s group of toilet haters at a local park where a giant Japanese toilet has been set up for public use. The two sides engage in a heated argument over whether Japanese toilets are superior or inferior to American toilets.
Why Some People Fell that South Park’s “Japanese Toilets” Episode is Racist
The episode also features several references to Japanese culture such as anime characters (including Naruto), sushi restaurants (including Nobu), karaoke bars (including Rock Box) and samurai warriors (including Tom Cruise). The episode also parodies some stereotypes about Japan such as its obsession with technology (especially robots), its politeness (especially bowing) and its cleanliness (especially bathing).
The episode received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Some praised it for its humor, creativity and social commentary while others criticized it for its crudeness, vulgarity and cultural insensitivity. Some also pointed out that the episode was inaccurate or outdated in its portrayal of Japanese toilets since they have become more common and accessible in other countries including the US.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the episode “Japanese Toilets”, it is undeniable that South Park has once again managed to spark a conversation about a topic that most people would not think about otherwise. Whether one loves or hates Japanese toilets after watching this episode may depend on one’s personal preference but one thing is certain: South Park has made us all aware of their existence.