"The Pandemic Special" is a 48-minute special episode of the American animated television series South Park. The 308th episode overall of the series, it premiered on Comedy Central in the United States on September 30, 2020, while also being simulcast for the first time on MTV and MTV2.As with the episode "South ParQ Vaccination Special", some sources, including Comedy Central's website, list the specials as part of Season 24, while other sources suggest that they are separate from the upcoming season.The special satirizes aspects of the United States' COVID-19 response, police brutality and racial unrest, including mental health, improper mask-wearing, education, Sinophobia and divestment from police. Critics praised the social commentary and humor, but criticized the plot and overall length of the episode, with Adam Beam of The Slate opining that the episode's running time was not sufficient to develop its various story threads.It was the highest-rated South Park episode in over seven years, drawing in over 4.05 million viewers and becoming the most-watched program of the night.After its Comedy Central debut, the episode was released on the South Park website for free, as well as on the Comedy Central app and website with TV Everywhere authentication. It was also released on HBO Max in the United States 24 hours after its premiere. It is the first new South Park episode released on HBO Max after the service obtained the rights for the show from ViacomCBS, ending the Hulu second window.A second pandemic-themed special episode, "South ParQ Vaccination Special", aired on March 10, 2021.