South Park: End Of Obesity Is The Healthcare Takedown Laugh We Need

By Robert Scucci | Published

Nearly 30 years into working on South Park, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone inject just as much venom into their satire as they did back in 1997. Their most recent Paramount+ special, South Park: The End of Obesity, single-handedly takes down the complex inner workings of the American healthcare system in a way that is heightened to extreme levels of absurdity yet sadly believable.

From their portrayal of incompetent low-level insurance agents to the desperate measures that people have to take to get their prescriptions filled, Parker and Stone continue to expose the plight of the American working class the only way they know how: putting Randy Marsh in a crop top as he abuses black-market Ozempic like a party drug.

Enemies Unite Against American Healthcare

Any diehard South Park fan will tell you how effortlessly each episode can push through several interweaving narratives and arrive at a sound conclusion that ties them all together, and The End of Obesity is no exception.

When Eric Cartman falls into a deep depression over the fact that he can’t afford an Ozempic prescription because he doesn’t suffer from diabetes (the qualifying chronic disease), he turns to Kyle, Stan, Kenny, and Butters for help. Kyle is so disgusted by the hoops that someone with insurance has to jump through to get affordable medication that he decides to help Cartman -his arch-rival in any other episode- navigate the American healthcare system.

Takes Aim At Ozempic

Meanwhile, South Park: The End of Obesity introduces us to its B story, centering on Randy Marsh.

When Randy realizes that a number of women in town are turning to the black market to get their hands on Ozempic in order to lose a few vanity pounds, he doesn’t realize that it’s a weight-loss drug, but rather thinks the women are using it for recreational purposes. Randy’s loss of appetite after a number of Ozempic binges informs his wife, Sharon, that he may be taking Ozempic, and she becomes interested in getting her own prescription.

Social Media As Doctors

The boys give up on getting Cartman his own prescription through the proper channels, which are impossible to navigate by design, and decide to teach themselves how to make an affordable version of the weight-loss drug through watching tutorials on YouTube and TikTok.

While the story is being laid out in its early acts, doctors try to push an affordable alternative to Ozempic on their patients, which comes in the form of listening to Lizzo all hours of the day so they feel more body-positive. South Park: The End of Obesity truly shows its teeth when Randy and his girlfriends run out of Ozempic and find out that the boys have a steady supply of semaglutide, the active ingredient in the drug.

It’s Funny Because It’s True

With a solid series of conflicts in motion, South Park: The End of Obesity introduces several antagonists, all of which are cereal mascots working in collusion with the insurance companies. Ever since everybody in town started taking Ozempic, they’ve seen a considerable drop in sales, which is hurting their bottom line in way that makes them want to take action.

Pointing out how being profitable always takes priority over everybody’s well-being, Parker and Stone systematically work their way through each separate narrative to show you how broken the healthcare system is by using Mad Max levels of violence to drive their point home.

Laugh Through The Pain

South Park effectively satirizes how far people will go when they feel like they’ve been wronged by their insurance providers in The End of Obesity. Between fits of laughter, you’ll find yourself saddened by how close to reality your own real-life situation may be as you constantly find yourself on hold trying to talk your way out of a $4,000 bill because your routine checkup was suddenly flagged as “out of network.”

South Park: The End of Obesity is Trey Parker and Matt Stone in top form because the topic of discussion is clearly something they’ve wanted to talk about for a long time.

Another Great Sout Park Special Streaming Now


While I can’t say I’m thrilled that we only get six-episode runs during the regular seasons these days, I’m willing to embrace the new long-format Paramount+ specials because they’ve been absolutely relentless in their criticism of how everyday people get exploited by the very companies that are supposed to be looking out for their best interests on a regular basis. You can see for yourself by watching South Park: The End of Obesity on Paramount+ right now.