The lights are on
As any fan of South Park expects, The Stick of Truth is filled with references to the show's 17 years on the air. If you're a casual fan or haven't seen the show at all, some of the more substantial references may be lost on you. Here's a list of five episodes to watch, and how they fit into the game.
Note: Click the air date of any of these episodes to watch them for free on southparkstudios.com
Cartman Gets An Anal Probe (August 13, 1997)South Park's very first episode set the tone for the show going forward, as Cartman is abducted by aliens and anally probed. Later in the episode, it's revealed that Cartman has a giant satellite dish inside of him, and it bursts out to send communications to the mothership. A similar event occurs early in The Stick of Truth, and you'll leave this section with a new ability tied to your unfortunate abduction.
Gnomes (December 16, 1998)The children of South Park assumed that Tweek was lying when he first told them about the Underpants Gnomes, but their existence becomes apparent during this 1998 episode. You'll run into them at one point in The Stick of Truth, and they task you with collecting underpants from the town in addition to granting you with a new ability that opens up previously inaccessible areas.
Chinpokomon (November 3, 1999)This 1999 episode was the first of many gaming-themed episodes, and it's still highly regarded among hardcore fans of the series. While no larger quest revolves around these popular toys, thirty of them are scattered around the town for completionists to find.
Ginger Kids (November 9, 2005)Cartman's abrasive personality has earned him many foes, but there are few groups he hates more than the pale, red-haired children that he refers to as ginger kids. The Stick of Truth's new kid character has to team up with Cartman and other buddies to battle many members of this group in an early section that takes place at the school.
ManBearPig (April 26, 2006)In this episode, Al Gore shifts his attention from global warming to the ever-growing threat of a creature known as ManBearPig. His quest continues in The Stick of Truth, and he enlists the new kid to help him get to the bottom of it. You'll help the former Vice President track down the creature, and have to deal with him spamming your Facebook wall while you do it.
When you're done with those, you'll want to watch these three episodes that lead directly into the events of South Park: The Stick of Truth. Once you've studied up on the episodes in this article, you'll be ready to enjoy the game with a solid understanding of what many of its weird moments are all about.