Costa Rica steamed over South Park episode

5:30 pm By Jennifer Woodard Maderazo · Controversia|Costa Rica|TV

21 Feb 2007

cartman_ass.jpgCosta Rican government officials don’t think South Park is one bit funny. Why? Because a recent episode places the characters in the Carribean country declaring, among other things, that it smells…”like ass”:

The main characters, a group of children, are on a trip to San San José, capital of the Central American country, aboard a bus from which a teacher shows them the city.

The woman explains that Costa Rica is a third world country, as the children observe through the windows prostitutes, shantytowns and trash, and they complain of the smell “of ass” that they detect in an unidentified government building.

Government officials are not amused. According to Spain’s 20 Minutos, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, Carlos Benavides, put it like this:

“We should look at it as the trash that it is. It’s a program of that nature on a network designed for people with a lowly upbringing and bad customs.

Via / 20 Minutos

13 Responses to Costa Rica steamed over South Park episode


Erwin C.

February 22nd, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Nice to see the Costa Rican government concerned over the things that really matter.

All sarcasm aside, their complaint is several years too late since that episode first aired in 1999


Scott Hughes

February 26th, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Well, Costa Rica is a beautiful place. There’s a lot of tourism going on. To call it a third-world country is absurd.



March 2nd, 2007 at 12:11 pm

To some people Patriotism matters even if it’s years after this episode aired….. As a Costa Rican I am too apalled at such lack of respect to a foreign goverment. At what point do we let entertainment become insensitive to other cultures. Costa Ricans and all other Latinos are just as proud of their heritage.


Erwin C.

March 2nd, 2007 at 4:26 pm

You bring up a very solid point Melissa on the limits of entertainment. Does satire go to far or is it immune from the subject it criticizes?



March 5th, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Costa Rica does smell like ass. But, what country doesn’t? Most countries actually smell like shit, starting with the US. No big deal. We are all full of it, so what’s the big fuzz??? Costa Rican’s should be proud because when I was there, it actually smelled like prostitution all over.



March 11th, 2007 at 12:36 am

South Park should be permanently banned from television. There is not a more vile show on TV. This episode bothers me as I have visited Costa Rica multiple times and my wife is Costa Rican, but it is par for the course, this whole show is unacceptable and reprehensable.

An educated person will not watch that crap, but the show is popular amongst young people and unfortunately influences a lot of young people. This culture of ignorance and indecency is magnified by this show. I believe that the Costa Rican government could sue South Park and comedy central over this because of the potential loss in tourism revenue.


Jose Miguel

October 26th, 2007 at 7:43 pm

Costa Rica is not a bad country . San Jose is not a trash-filled city . We Costarricans are not prostitutes , and we are very ecologicals . We are very disappointed with people from the U.S.A , they should respect more and be a little more respectful .



February 28th, 2008 at 3:13 pm


It’s quite hilarious that in the midst of your blind patriotic tirade, you denounce blind patriotism….




March 7th, 2008 at 7:23 pm

For the people who say South Park is bad:

Have you watched the show? South Park is one of the most intelligent shows on T.V. You don’t have to agree with eveything. But at least they give a different look at problems that we face everyday.


John Smith

March 25th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

south park kicks ass!!!



March 26th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

i understand why costa ricans are hurt over this. but you also have to realize that nobody takes south park seriously. people aren’t going to think that costa rica smells like as in real life just by watching it. it’s a smart and funny show, all right. but everyone knows they lampoon everybody. that’s what the show is about. if you get worked up over that episode, there must be something profoundly retarded about you.



May 17th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

this is one of the funniest threads I´ve ever seen. First of all, Southpark makes fun of everyone, regardless of socioeconomics, race, gender, sexual disposition. The biggest buffoons in the costa rican episode are the gringos! The whole point is that the eco-teacher wants to save the rainforest for the pretty flowers, yet the U.S. is the most wasteful country on the planet. Get it Ticos? See the irony? I don´t think any of these Costa Ricans even watched the show, or the Southpark message was a bit over their head. (I think the latter)

I have lived in Costa Rica for 2 years now, and I can tell you that respect is not a big part of the local culture. For starters, very few respect the law nor the law enforcement. And, yes it is true, San Jose has a serious trash issue. They generate 80 tons of trash per day, and right now they don´t have the infrastructure to collect all of it. The countryside is stunningly beautiful, but San Jose is filthy. It´s the “Detroit” of central american capitals (sorry Motown).

Southpark is too witty and clever for thin-skinned Ticos. Super freaking weak.



June 4th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I live where this episode took place. San Jose has its awful areas, with trash,and prostitues. My wife is a tica and I live in San Jose. The thing is EVERY MAJOR US city has these parts this just got pointed out in San Jose. I guarantee that Costa Ricians would not even care if this episode was portrayed in Nicaragua, they would probably think its funny.
And also please do not think the US really thinks like this. Like people are really saying¨I am not going to costa rica because it looked bad on South Park¨ come on.

But honestly i wish they would clean this city. For a country with so much beauty there really should be a better waste management system. So lets stop worrying about a 10 year old southpark episode and get some trash trucks and trash cans, its pretty simple people.

Estupido Gringo


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