Santa Claus, voiced by Trey Parker is world renowned holiday symbol and a reoccurring character in South Park. Santa is a friend and ally of the South Park boys, who usually appears during their numerous Christmas adventures. He is well known for his jolly demeanour and trademark red and white costume. Although Santa has appeared as a living being numerous times in the show, during the events of "Imaginationland Episode I" it's said that he's also an imaginary character, as is his friend/rival Jesus Christ.
Santa Claus in South Park is depicted very similarly to the version of Santa Clause in American culture; a jolly old man with a thick white beard and usually smiling. He wears a red coat and pants, lined with white fur, as well as a sleighing hat of red and white fur. He wears an oversized black belt around his heavy bellied waist, and black boots and gloves.
Santa is essentially a kindly father/grandfather figure, whose highest belief is that that there should be joy and good-will, particularly during Christmas time. Often laughing with his trademarked "Ho-Ho-Ho" and his unwavering desire to give gifts to all the good boys and girls of the world.
However, one should not assume that because Santa is consider a 'jolly old elf' that he does not have a dark side. Santa has become slightly bitter of the years, having to constantly compete with Jesus Christ for the spotlight during Christmas time. In fact, on two separate occasions the pair have argued and even fought physically over who is the more important Christmas figure. Santa can also hold a grudge against those who mistreat himself and others, as seen when he killed an Iraq soldier, who had spent Christmas eve torturing him, and shocking "Santa's Balls".
Despite his age and kindly nature, Santa is skilled in martial arts and weapons, as demonstrated in his epic battle against Jesus and more so during the events of "Imaginationland", during which he was one of the greatest fighters of all the imaginary characters.
Santa made his first official appearance in the South Park universe during in "The Spirit of Christmas", during which Jesus appears before the boys, stating that has a bone to pick with "Kringle". According to Jesus, Santa has diminishes the memory of Jesus' birthday with his presents. Santa is aware of the feud, and claims that "this time", they will "finish it". The pair then begin fighting Mortal Kombat-style, during which they inadvertently kill Kenny. The boys, uncertain who to root for, ask "What Would Brian Boitano do?" The figure skater miraculously appears and holds a speech about how Christmas should be about being good to each other. The boys transmit the message to the fighters, who ashamedly agree and decide to bury the hatchet over an orange smoothie.
Santa would later appear in a cameo during "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo", in which he is seen at the mall, listening to the children's present request. Later he swings by South Park to pick up Mr. Hankey who intends to help Santa deliver presents.
Santa and Jesus would then team-up again during "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", in which the duo are performing at a night club lounge, and singing jazzy versions of their Christmas Carols. As Jesus however begins becoming more selfish and arrogant during the performance, singing a larger variety of songs dedicated to him, Santa becoming obviously annoyed, hinting at their old rivalry from before. As Santa intends to storm off the stage however, Jesus calls him back the pair does a melody of songs as friends.
Santa is next seen in "Red Sleigh Down", during which Cartman in the hopes of overshadowing all his naughty behavior with one big good deed, convinces Santa to deliver Christmas to the Middle East. Santa's sleigh however is shot down over Baghdad, his legs are broken and his is taken prisoner. The Iraq Soldiers, assuming he's an American spy, begin to torture him, and shocking Santa's testicles in order to get information out of him. The boys, along with Jesus, Mr. Hankey and the Underpants Gnomes, launch a rescue operation. They manage to rescue Santa (Jesus heals his broke legs) and Santa murders the lead Iraq Soldier saying "I couldn't... I couldn't let him live! He shocked Santa's balls!" During their escape however, Jesus is killed and grieving Santa killed the remaining soldiers, before accomplishing his mission of bringing Christmas to Iraq. He later informs South Park the Christmas would from that day forward be a day to honor his fallen friend, Jesus Christ.
Santa would next appear in "Imaginationland", in which it is revealed that he is the greatest fighter of all the imaginary creatures. When the wall separate the evil imaginary characters from the good ones is destroyed during a terrorist attack, Santa was killed in the chaos. However, Butters after much effort was able to recreate Santa with his imagination, allowing for the good characters to get the upper-hand. At least until the US Government blew up Imaginationland, and Butters had to re-imagine everything.
- In "Imaginationland" Santa is said to be imaginary, but in other episodes he is seen to be an active living presence who interacts with other characters. It is likely that the version in Imaginationland represents an extra mythed-up version of the real deal living outside or it could imply his true origin.
Episode in Which He Appears
- "The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Santa"
- "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo"
- "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics"
- "A Very Crappy Christmas" (as cut-out animation)
- "Red Sleigh Down"
- "Woodland Critter Christmas"
- "Imaginationland Episode III"