South Park: All the Times We Saw Kenny’s Face, Explained (2024)

South Park is an animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone that debuted in 1997 and has since had 26 seasons. The show mainly follows four boys: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick and their adventures they have throughout the titular town in Colorado. The show is well-known for its profanity and dark, satirical subject matter.

Kenny McCormick is one of the four protagonists of South Park, who appears as a third and later fourth-grade student that lives in the titular town with his poverty-stricken family. Kenny wears an orange parka that covers most of his face, so whenever he talks, it is usually muffled and incomprehensible. Kenny was originally based on a school friend of Parker and Stone, who wore an orange hoodie that covered his face.

Viewers have seldom seen Kenny's full face in South Park — with only 12 instances in which his parka hood is not obscuring his face. Parker and Stone do not reveal his face often, which contributes to the character's enigmatic appeal and popularity with the fanbase. So, when was Kenny's face revealed, and why?

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

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In 1999, the first South Park movie was released, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. In the film, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny sneak into an R-rated film starring the fictional Canadian comedy duo, Terrance and Phillip, where they are swearing. The movie causes moral panic that leads to the United States declaring war on Canada. The boys decide it's up to them to save Terrance and Phillip from execution, while Kenny attempts to stop a prophecy where Satan and Saddam Hussein intend to conquer the world.

The movie led to the first and best view of Kenny's face in the South Park franchise. During the climax, Kenny's face is revealed to be a nondescript young boy with blond hair. The reason Kenny's face is revealed at this moment is because, after saving the world from eternal damnation, he removes his hood to say goodbye to his friends before entering the afterlife. However, like with most of the gags where Kenny dies, he returns to the television series like nothing happened.

Related: South Park: Kenny's Most Iconic Death Scenes

Season 4, Episode 1: The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000

Season 4 premiered in 2000 with the episode "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000." The South Park episode follows the boys as they decide to use other children's teeth to make money from the tooth fairy, which naturally means they become involved with organized crime. Early in the episode, it is determined that Kenny still has his baby teeth, so they enlist the help of Timmy Burch to pull his teeth out. It doesn't quite go as intended, as instead of his teeth being pulled out, Kenny is entirely pulled out of his parka. He flies naked through the air before landing in front of Cartman, groaning in pain.

Season 5, Episode 3: Super Best Friends

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"Super Best Friends" is the third episode of the fifth season of South Park and the next episode that shows Kenny's face. The episode revolves around David Blaine performing in South Park and the boys become a part of his cult, the Blaintologists. Upon discovering that Blaine and his followers are actually insane, Stan teams up with Jesus and the Super Best Friends to take them down. To join the Blaintologists, all members had to have completely shaven heads and wear the same clothes. While it's not easy to determine exactly which one is Kenny without his signature parka or messing blond hair, his face is shown while they're at magic "camp."

Season 7, Episode 6: Lil' Crime Stoppers

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Without any reveals in season six, season seven does provide one example. The sixth episode, "Lil' Crime Stoppers," features the boys playing detectives only for their game to get involved in serious real-life crime. After getting chewed out by Lieutenant Dawson for getting careless, the boys go to the police department's locker room to shower and change clothes. While being mocked by other detectives, Kenny, along with the other boys, is seen taking off his clothes and standing naked. He's really only seen from the back, but it still counts as one of the few times we've seen Kenny without his hood up.

Season 8, Episode 7: The Jeffersons

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"The Jeffersons" is the seventh episode of the eighth season of South Park. The episode features Michael Jackson, under the alias of Michael Jefferson, who moves to South Park with his sheltered son to escape his fame and popularity. His arrival soon sparks fears that he is an unfit parent, while the police try to frame him for crimes he did not commit. While trying to protect Blanket from Mr. Jefferson, Kyle and Stan take Blanket out of his home and replace him with Kenny wearing Blanket's mask. There are a few frames showing Kenny's face — albeit partially covered by the mask.

Season 9, Episode 5: The Losing Edge

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Season nine, episode five "The Losing Edge" follows the boys as they try to purposefully lose their baseball games, so they are free to play video games all summer long. Kenny's face is seen in the beginning while they are all playing baseball — he's one of the blond kids wearing a baseball uniform. Later, at Whistlin' Willies, Kenny is again seen without his hood up next to Stan, Kyle, and Butters. He's not wearing his parka in these scenes since no one else is wearing their typical outfits.

Season 11, Episode 3: Lice Capades

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South Park's third episode of the 11th season, "Lice Capades," is the next episode the features a Kenny face reveal. After a head lice breakout at school, Mrs. Garrison refuses to name the child who caused the breakout. Cartman, of course, takes it upon himself to figure out the culprit so that he and the other kids can make fun of them. Cartman manages to convince everyone that Kenny caused the outbreak, so the kids all corner him at the park, strip him, and use a bar of soap in a sock as a weapon against him.

Related: South Park: Should Season 27 Go Back to Seasonal Plotlines?

Season 13, Episode 2: The Coon

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In the second episode of the 13th season, "The Coon," Cartman becomes a comic book vigilante called The Coon to fight crime, but becomes jealous of the popularity and success of his rival superhero, Mysterion, who has the ability to be unable to die. Mysterion is none other than Kenny, shedding light on the running gag in the earlier seasons where Kenny would consistently die, only to return alive and well the next episode without anyone noticing. At the end of the episode, Mysterion's face is revealed, meaning that Kenny's face is revealed.

Season 15, Episode 7: You're Getting Old

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South Park's season 15, episode seven, "You're Getting Old" is the next episode to feature Kenny's face. Following Stan's 10th birthday, he begins to develop a strong sense of cynicism, where he begins seeing everything as literal crap. In the beginning of the episode, Stan's family and friends are celebrating his birthday. Everyone is sitting around a table with pizza, cake, and presents while wearing party hats. As everyone is wearing party hats, no one is wearing their trademark hats — which means Kenny is not wearing his obscuring hood, giving viewers a glance at his face yet again.

Season 15, Episode 11: Broadway Bro Down

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Following the success of Book of Mormon, South Park's co-creators mocked Broadway with the 11th episode of the 15th season, "Broadway Bro Down." In the episode, Stan's father, Randy, learns that Broadway musicals contain subliminal messages aimed at women. While the episode is largely a Randy-focused one, viewers will notice a quick look at Kenny's face as he lines up on the diving board with the other students.

Season 16, Episode 8: Sarcastiball

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In South Park season 16, episode eight, "Sarcastiball," Butters became a sports star overnight after Randy inadvertently invents a new version of football. Fans get a look at Kenny's face while he stands beside Butters in the locker room, donning a Sarcastiball jersey and aluminum hat. This short scene would be the last glimpse that viewers got of Kenny until a decade later.

Season 26, Episode 5: DikinBaus Hot Dogs

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It would take 10 more years after "Sarcastiball" for South Park to reveal Kenny's face to viewers again. In season 26, episode five, "DikinBaus Hot Dogs," Kenny's face can be seen during a montage where he and Cartman dream of opening a restaurant. In the montage, Kenny tosses aside his hoodie in favor of a T-shirt with "restaurant owner" printed on it, with sunglasses.

South Park: All the Times We Saw Kenny’s Face, Explained (2024)
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