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TV Legends Revealed | Are Aliens Hidden in Every South Park Episode?

visitorsTV URBAN LEGEND: Are There Really Aliens Hidden In Every Episode of South Park?

The first episode of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated television series South Park debuted Aug. 13, 1997. (it followed two short films by Parker and Stone, both titled “The Spirit of Christmas,” made in 1992 and 1995. The latter one was made into a Christmas video card, of sorts, that was passed around so much it attracted the attention of Comedy Central, leading to Parker and Stone getting a chance to make a pilot for the network, which led to them getting their own series.) This first episode was titled “Cartman Gets an Anal Probe” (Parker and Stone were definitely trying to push the boundaries of good taste right off the bat) and told the story of how a group of aliens were visiting the small town of South Park, Colorado, and performing anal probes on the citizens, including foul-mouthed fourth-grader Eric Cartman. The visitors abduct the younger brother of one of Cartman’s classmates, Kyle Broflovski, and Kyle, Cartman and their two other friends Stan and Kenny must rescue Kyle’s brother Ike. Eventually, the boys use the anal probe tthe visitors left in Cartman’s ass to lure them back to Earth in time to rescue Ike. The visitors then leave … or DO they?

You see, while the visitors left, they did not leave for good, as they began popping up in the backgrounds of subsequent episodes, leading to the very popular claim that aliens have appeared hidden in every episode of South Park since. A quick Google check will bring you many references to this fact, like here from OMG Facts. Have they really appeared in every episode of South Park, though?

No, no they have not.

hiddenvistors2Essentially, what we have here is something very similar to what happens with the urban legend about every episode of Seinfeld containing a reference to Superman (something I addressed in a Comic Book Legends Revealed years ago). People can’t seem to be happy with something cool like this happening occasionally. Instead, it has to be exaggerated to be happening all the time.

The alien sightings were never in every episode, but they did appear with a great deal more frequency in the early seasons, including in the opening credits. As time went by, it seems as though the animators found the joke not as interesting, as the appearances became more sporadic. They picked up again in 2008’s Season 12, however, as Comedy Central had a contest in which fans could win stuff by finding the hidden visitors in each of the first seven episodes of the season.

South Park Studios has addressed this legend a few times over the years in the Frequently Asked Questions section on its website. In 2002

How many episodes have “hidden visitors” in them?
Over half of them. Eric Stough, our Director of Animation, usually puts them in at the last minute. That is … if he remembers to. Unfortunately, he doesn’t keep track of them, so we don’t have exact numbers.

hiddenvistors4and in 2010 …

I’m sure you’ve answered this a thousand times but I cannot find the answer: Is it true there is an alien in every episode?
In EVERY episode?? No way. But the Visitors are there quite a bit — sometimes right in plain sight, sometimes with something as hidden as a little Visitor doodle.

So, no, the visitors don’t appear in every episode, but they’re still in enough episodes for it to be a really cool easter egg by the South Park crew.

The legend is …


Check out this list of a BUNCH of examples of hidden Visitors on

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is


  • RapMexic0

    Nice Artic.

  • Andy E. Nystrom

    Parker & Stone also hid them in Cannibal! The Musical, aka Alferd Packer: The Musical. Not sure about their other movies.

  • MasterPhW

    Cartman wasn’t in 4th grade as he got his anal probe.
    He was just a foul-mouthed 3rd grader. ;)
    To be precise: the boys were in the third grade in the show’s first 58 episodes. In the season four episode “4th Grade” (2000), they entered the fourth grade, where they have remained ever since… :)

    I know: nobody likes smartasses. But I just had to say that. ^^

  • Willie Westwood

    In BASEketball they were not hidden, but one of the fan appreciation nights was an Alien Anal Probe night.

  • ChopChop

    This is similar to Family Guy where every episode someone says “Son of a B!7(H”. Again it’s supposedly EVERY episode. Look into it… chop chop!

  • demoncat_4

    unlike the standard joke of whacking kenny all the time the visitors being in the back ground of every episode think matt and trey got tired of the joke fast and such no more visitors any more now with south park. for the visitors proably are second to asking matt and trey how many times they have whacked kenny

  • Tim Green

    i don’t like you…. u are right.

  • STaylor21

    You need to work on grammar and fucking punctuation. Actually just English in general.

  • clypto

    There is also one in cannibal the movie during the snowman song.

  • Bump

    Some are extremely hard to see. I found a floating green alien head in the green school bleachers, awhile back. Hard to spot.

  • Daniel Revupthosefryers Quwqwr

    Chef goes nanners, right when they are in their KKK uniforms and they run into chef, there is one behind the tree

  • Hank Hill

    Most people didn’t notice him during a short part in the episode with Charles Manson when he changes his tattoo to a smiley face later when they are in the car it is a visitor then once they get out it is back to the smiley face.