Wait, Did South Park Really Predict Brokeback Mountain In 1998?!

The long-running adult animated series South Park is said to have revealed the future many times, and one of the most impressive examples is when it predicted Brokeback Mountain - in 1998! Brokeback Mountain didn't release until 2005, but South Park shockingly predicted the award-winning film all the way back in season 2, episode 9, "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls." This episode of South Park described Brokeback Mountain to a T, making it one of the show's most accurate predictions - but there may be more to the story.


South Park's "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" starts with Robert Redford deciding to move the Sundance Film Festival to South Park, Colorado, the titular setting of the Comedy Central series. The episode follows the town's residents attempting to deal with the influx of Hollywood elites due to the festival, with some attempting to profit off the tourism. South Park is no stranger to movie parodies, and this episode definitely pokes fun at film festivals when the boys decide to go to some of Sundance's screenings. The episode mocks several pretentious art films, with the fake movies the episode creates being parodies of tropes often seen at film festivals. One of the fake films that the boys watch involves two cowboys eating pudding before they decide to explore their sexuality. While this may have seemed like a non-sequitur at the time, just a few years later the release of Brokeback Mountain would make "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" even more significant.

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Although there are some differences, South Park's prestige film about two gay cowboys seems too close to Brokeback Mountain to be a coincidence. As it turns out, it might not be. While "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls" came out seven years before Brokeback Mountain, the episode actually came out a year after the release of Annie Proulx's short story that the film was based on. Just days after the story was released screenwriters were attempting to adapt the story into a film, meaning that news of a Brokeback Mountain movie was out before the South Park episode was made. While not confirmed, it is entirely possible that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker heard about the potential adaptation and decided to make mock it before the movie was even released. When asked if they were prophets by the AP, Stone responded in a predictably off-color way, saying "No, but Cartman is. [Laughs] We went to Sundance a lot in the mid-to-late ’90s, and you could just tell it was going toward gay cowboydom."

How South Park Is Able To "Predict" The Future

South Park Season 25

Long-running shows like South Park and The Simpsons are able to "predict the future" simply due to the sheer number of episodes that are produced. South Park has over 300 episodes, and when a writer is coming up with satirical jokes that frequently, some are bound to come true. Furthermore, many select only the elements of these jokes that fit into their story while ignoring others. While it may seem incredible, instances of these so-called "predictions" are simply a statistical inevitability.

While South Park may have predicted the future before, it doesn't seem like "Chef's Big Salty Balls" is a true example. Brokeback Mountain's story has been around since 1997, meaning that one of South Park's writers may have heard the short story's premise and subconsciously put it into their work. While the origin of this joke may never be known, the relationship between South Park and Brokeback Mountain will always be hilarious.