As he's died a ridiculous amount of times, narrowing down the best Kenny deaths on "South Park" was no small feat. For this list, we’ll be looking at the countless ways our favorite hoodie-wearing resident has bought the farm over the many seasons of this show. Our countdown includes death by Anatacid Tablets, by Ozzy Osbourne, by Laughter, by Giant Bird, and more! What’s your favorite Kenny death? Let us know in the comments.
#20: By Turkeys
In the early years of “South Park,” having Kenny die in every episode was simply part of the show’s mythos. With the creators having long abandoned that running gag years ago, it’s interesting to go back and see the creative ways they took Kenny from us. In a Mid-Season One episode, the town is being overrun by mutated turkeys created by Dr. Mephesto. In a send-up of the movie “Braveheart,” we get the famous William Wallace speech from both Chef and the turkeys themselves. But poor Kenny never stood a chance. Before he can fight himself, he’s mauled by a group of raging turkeys. Worst. Thanksgiving. Ever.
#19: By PSP / Ice Cream Truck
"Best Friends Forever"
Given how much Cartman loves to torture Kenny about being poor, we love how the Season Nine episode “Best Friends Forever” gave Kenny a break. Our favorite orange hoodie-wearing “South Park” resident is first in line to acquire the new PlayStation Portable gaming console. Although he beats Cartman to the punch, it comes with a bit of a heavy price tag. After finally making it to level 60 on his game, Kenny is crushed by an ice cream truck. The twist, however, is it’s only the beginning of his adventure. His PSP skills are put to work in the afterlife as he battles to save all humankind. It’s a great death followed by a great afterlife.
#18: By Brown Note
"World Wide Recorder Concert"
The “brown note” is a theory that a particular sound can trigger the involuntary loss of bowel control within an individual. It’s been around for ages, but has widely been debunked, particularly on an episode of “Mythbusters.” In a late Season Three episode, Cartman claims he has found the infamous note and the boys hatch a plan to unleash it at a world wide recorder concert they are participating in. Their prank works, and the world is left in an awful mess. Kenny however apparently didn’t have the constitution to survive such a blast. We last see him in a field having died from the incident. It’s hilarious, despite the fact the death occurs off-screen.
#17: By Giant Bird
"The Poor Kid"
It’s not too often that Kenny’s death is foreshadowed by the story. In the last episode of Season 15, Kenny and his siblings are taken away from their parents and put in the foster system. Their new caretakers posit the possibility that God is a giant bird which of course sets the stage for Kenny’s death. Shortly after returning to school, a massive avian creature smashes through the roof and eats Kenny. We love the idea that something so random was introduced early in the episode, just to give us a great payoff at the end.
#16: By Microwave
"An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig"
Until the recent COVID episodes, Dr. Mephesto had been largely absent from most of the show’s later episodes. He made his first appearance in Season One when Kyle wanted to cross-breed his elephant with a pig. When that can’t happen, Mephesto steals Stan’s blood and makes a not-so-perfect clone that becomes Kenny's downfall. As Stan’s mutant clone rampages through the house, Kenny is accidentally thrown into a microwave which of course, turns on and nukes the poor kid. It’s a far less gruesome death than some of the others on this list, but still highly entertaining.
#15: By Laughter
"Scott Tenorman Must Die"
You’ve heard of the saying “dying of laughter?” This was an instance where that came true for Kenny McCormick. After being picked on by Scott Tenorman, Cartman goes to extreme lengths to get back at him. During the ping-ponging back and forth, Scott gets a good one on Eric when he shows the town a video of Cartman making literal pig noises. It’s here we lose Kenny in a fit of uncontrollable laughter. To actually off a character using an old adage like this is incredibly clever and well played out. Plus, at least he got to see Eric embarrass himself.
#14: By Sniper Rifle / Flag Pole
"Weight Gain 4000"
With only one episode under their belt, audiences hadn’t yet learned that Kenny was going to die every week. Viewers who had caught the premiere may have been surprised to see him return unscathed. The pattern of Kenny’s deaths would be set in motion by the worst bad luck imaginable. An oversized Cartman breaks the stage sending a glass-covered Kathie Lee Gifford into orbit. Garrison’s assassination attempt goes awry, hitting Kenny instead. The gunshot alone doesn’t make this all that memorable. But having Kenny blasted into the air and fallen down a flagpole, that’s worthy of an entry on our list.
#13: By Bebe
Similar to our previous entry, this one too involves Kenny dying from a gunshot. It too was accidental but in all the best ways. Bebe pulls a gun on Wendy in an attempt to keep the details about a special girls “list” a secret. Much like countless movies, the two end up in a fight and the gun goes off and we’re left wondering who’s about to buy it. Unlike what we usually see, neither of them is harmed, and both are completely confused. That is until it cuts to Kenny taking a shot through the head while eating his cereal. The sheer randomness of this one is what makes it so memorable. Can’t the guy get a break and enjoy his breakfast for dinner?
#12: By Death
Stan’s grandpa is celebrating his 102nd birthday and all he wants is to rest in peace. The running joke is that grandpa wants to die and is trying anything and everything to accomplish that. So when death itself shows up, audiences think old man Marsh will finally get his wish. Not so quick. Upset that Terrance and Phillip are off the air, death touches Kenny, and it’s all over. We thoroughly enjoyed how the episode addresses the topic of death, and teases the audience the whole time. You think it’s coming for grandpa, when Kenny was his target all along.
#11: Death By UFO
"Cartman Gets an Anal Probe”
The pilot episode of “South Park” spent a lot more time on Kenny’s death than many of the subsequent outings. A UFO shoots him, then he’s attacked by cows, and finally run over by a cop car. Even then, the boys have to tear his body apart to prove to Cartman it’s not all some joke. This death is noteworthy simply because it was the first. Or was it? Actually, the Kenny we know and love was first killed off in the infamous “Spirit of Christmas” short that preceded the TV show. Either way, it was a first for mass audiences and still a memorable death.
#10: By Monkey
"Hooked on Monkey Fonics"
If you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, you undoubtedly saw the commercials for “Hooked on Phonics.” It was a unique way to teach reading skills. Cartman’s mom gets him “Hooked on Monkey Fonics” to help him learn how to spell. This set comes with a live monkey that plays the drums to help you. Cartman’s spelling may not have gotten any better, but the monkey certainly did teach Kenny a lesson. He attacks the kid, throwing him repeatedly around Cartman’s room until eventually, he’s left a bloody mess. It’s not often we get to see Kenny take a beating from an animal, but this one is certainly hilarious.
#9: By Syphilis
Kenny finally gets himself a girlfriend. So when he finds out she has a reputation with another boy in the school, he’s ironically overjoyed by the prospect of what being with Tammy means. The episode volleys back and forth around the subject of young people being sexually active. It’s here where we find our friend Kenny losing his life. Unlike many of the other entries on this list, we don’t actually see him die. Instead, we’re given his funeral where the perils of STI’s are made very clear. It’s a death that is far more subtle onscreen, but riddled with plenty of subtext.
#8: By Space Station
Unlike most episodes, this one gave us a Kenny death within the first few minutes. For “South Park’s” first Halloween episode, the boys are at the bus stop as per usual. Unbeknownst to them, the space station MIR has malfunctioned and is crashing towards the earth. And yes, it of course lands on Kenny, killing him. But it’s not just that death that makes this memorable. He becomes the first of many zombies within the town after being embalmed with worcestershire sauce. It’s not until Kyle saws him in half the terror ends. It’s a rarity to get two great deaths in one episode.
#7: By Giant Fan
"Sexual Harassment Panda"
It’s not the Island of Misfit Toys. No, it’s the Island of Misfit Mascots Commune. A commune indeed as we find it filled with countless rejected costumed individuals. And it’s there we meet Jimmy the Don’t Hold Onto a Large Magnet While Someone Else Uses A Fan Nearby Falcon. Cue the giant fan and Kenny holding onto a magnet, and we’re pretty sure you can figure out what happened next. We love the nod to the classic Rudolph story while still finding obscure ways to kill off Kenny. Who even has a fan that size?!
#6: By Antacid Tablets
"Chef Goes Nanners"
Ever drop an antacid tablet in water? It produces quite a bit of fizz, although not to the extremes of Diet Coke and Mentos. In a conference room at Kyle’s dad's office, Kenny mistakes a bowl of antacid pills for candy mints. After having consumed all 60 of them, he needs a drink. One glass of water later, and we’re treated to an explosion of Tums proportions. It’s the innocence of this one that we love. Kenny is just hungry and wants a sweet little treat. Thankfully, as always, he returns to his old self one episode later.
#5: By Autoerotic Asphyxiation
The start of Season 14 saw the show take aim at infidelity scandals among celebrities. This included Tiger Woods, who was going through a very public rough patch in his marriage at the time. Sexual addiction is blamed as the cause of all the problems. A ridiculous test sees several of the boys, including Kenny, as being afflicted. It’s clearly a misdiagnosis but that doesn’t stop Kenny from ultimately succumbing to what the doctor says is the final result of the disease. We can’t help but laugh at the end result, but also cringe thinking of how our hero Mysterion would be found.
#4: By Tampon
"Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus"
In Season Three, Cartman catches a stomach virus that causes bleeding in the colon. He mistakenly thinks he’s menstruating and has now hit puberty. Kenny soon catches it as well and joins Cartman in buying supplies to help with their newfound entrance into adulthood. Given the choices women usually have, Cartman uses a liner, while Kenny chooses something else. Here is where Kenny’s naivety gives us comedic gold. The audience knows he’s most definitely made a mistake and at some point, it’s going to pay out. In Eric’s clubhouse, the worst happens and Kenny’s stomach discomfort becomes fatal. It’s nowhere near as explicit as some of his other deaths, but that doesn’t make it any less funny.
#3: By Ozzy Osbourne
Even if you’re not a fan, you’ve undoubtedly heard at least a peripheral version of the Ozzy and the bat story. Someone threw a real bat on stage; Ozzy thought it was fake and bit the head off. It’s one of the most legendary tales in rock music history. So, when Chef needs help from all his former music pals, Ozzy of course plays Chef Aid and we get a “South Park” version of that tale. The animated version grabs Kenny from the crowd and bites his head clean off. It’s a fantastic nod to the original story, especially since Ozzy himself made a guest appearance on the show, and the album of the same name.
#2: By Seizure
Right in the middle of the Pokemon craze, “South Park” decided to do their own version of it with “Chinpokomon.” Much like little kids in the real world, everyone in town is obsessed with all things related to the Japanese characters. While playing the new video game, Kenny becomes so entrenched that he falls into a seizure and remains that way for much of the episode. The long blank gaze he keeps giving everyone is both funny and creepy. But eventually it’s too much and he merely explodes with rats eating him from the inside out. It’s a long play to a burst of death, but certainly notable.
#1: By Spontaneous Combustion
Picture it: you’re out for a nice walk with your friends. A quick little banter back and forth and POOF!; your friend blips into a pile of ambers like they were never there. No, it’s not a magic trick, and they haven’t been snapped by Thanos. It’s spontaneous combustion. Kenny ends up being the first of many in the town to instantly burst into nothing but ash with no warning. Not only is it the fastest way Kenny ever goes, but the cause of it is similar to what killed him in the movie. Turns out there really are no diminished returns on fart jokes.