Eric Theodore Cartman, voiced by Trey Parker, one of the five central characters of South Park (Stan, Butters, Kyle, and Kenny). He is arguably the most popular and well-known South Park character, and has become an international celebrity. Most of the time, he is the show's primary antagonist, villain or anti-hero, but sometimes a protagonist or a hero. Unlike most of the characters, Eric has been shown many times without his hat, much more often than the other boys. His birthday is February 4th, though some fans claim his birthday is July 1st.
Eric Cartman wears a red jacket, yellow gloves and a blue hat with a yellow puff ball on top, brown pants, and black shoes. He sometimes wears a green T-shirt under his jacket, and other times a white tank top. He has medium-brown hair, which is always dyed black when he is dressed up like Hitler or as a sumo-wrestler, and has a double chin. Cartman has a weight problem, but always denies it by saying "I'm not fat. I'm just big boned.", or some variation thereof. However, as seen in the episode "Cartmanland", his weight problem may in truth be genetic and runs in the family as seen by the fact that with the exception of his mother, his entire family is extremely overweight. According to anime drawings of him, he has either brown or hazel eyes. However, according to actions taken in The Succubus, after getting an eye transplant from a dead Kenny, he should have Kenny's blue eyes, not brown ones. However, due to Kenny's constant resurrection, Cartman's eyes may be his own once again.
Concept and Creation
Cartman is the youngest of the four boys. According to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, they thought it would be impossible to put a character like Archie Bunker on late-20th century television. But then they came up with the idea that it might be allowed if the character were an animated nine-year-old boy living in the actual mountain town of South Park Colorado. Thus, Cartman was born.
Contrary to popular belief that Cartman's name is derived from German war-pilot Erich Hartmann, Trey and Matt confirmed in an online interview that Cartman's name is based on someone with the surname "Carpman". Trey Parker and Matt Stone have repeatedly stated that Cartman is their ultimate favorite of all the characters in the show. Although Cartman is initially modeled after Archie Bunker, Toni Johnson-Woods, author of Blame Canada: South Park and Contemporary Culture, says that she believes Cartman also draws parallels to Jackie Gleason of The Honeymooners, and Fred Flintstone.
Eric Cartman is a spoiled, foul-mouthed, ill-tempered, violent, insensitive, sociopathic, arrogant, greedy, racist, rude, hypercritical, insecure, sadistic, corrupt and manipulative, fat ass. The very dark, often disturbing undertones to his personality often hint at an extreme mental imbalance. Apart from being portrayed as having a general lack of moral responsibility or social conscience, he also seems to express schadenfreude, which means taking pleasure from others' misfortune, and is generally unable to show empathy, although there have been exceptions, such as in "How to Eat with Your Butt". This has been parodied as well, in the cliche of a typical villain becoming benevolent. In these episodes, he usually convinces Kyle that he has good intentions, such as in the "Cartoon Wars"' two-parter, where Cartman appears to Kyle that he is concerned about people's safety at the beginning, but it is later shown to only have been acting in his own interests. In "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" two-parter, Kyle, and many others, fall for Cartman's apparently "good intentions" for trying to prevent the children of South Park from going to hell, but as we find out later, he only did it so he could get money. And in "Kenny Dies", where he is distraught at Kenny's impending death, leading Kyle to console him, and later when his supposedly real motives were revealed, knowing how Cartman typically is, Kyle promptly beats him up in Kenny's defense (although Cartman was genuinely distraught over Kenny's illness before and after he learns that he can benefit from it and the end of the episode clearly shows that Cartman went through Congress for Kenny and that he just doesn't have a healthy way of dealing with the death of his friend).
In "The Death of Eric Cartman", Kyle brands him a "fat, racist, self-centered, intolerant, manipulative sociopath". Cartman, however, does not consider himself to be a bad fat ass who likes to pick on other people to pleasure his self person; in fact, he seems to disregard good or bad altogether and does whatever he feels necessary for him to get ahead. Cartman seems to be motivated not so much by personal gain as by asserting superiority over others. In "Red Hot Catholic Love", he won $20 in a bet with Kyle, but instead of using the money, he simply flaunted it in front of Kyle until Kyle conceded that Cartman was right, ruining his sense of victory and causing him to throw a tantrum (and apparently even abandon the money). The same thing happens in "Christian Rock Hard": Kyle makes a $10 bet that he can get a platinum album before Cartman, Cartman makes a successful album and makes millions of dollars and earning the album. But when Cartman discovers that the Christian companies do not give out platinum albums (Christ did not believe in such things, the albums stem from the gifts of the three wise men--they give out Gold, Frankincense and Myrhh), thus meaning he cannot win the bet, he angrily destroys the album, showing that he did not care how he just made millions of dollars, he just wanted to beat Kyle.
Cartman's much quoted line, "Respect my authority" (or as Cartman pronounces it, "authori-tah") highlights his power hungry and dictatorial characteristic. Cartman's friendships with the other kids are clearly existent, but just not shown as much because of his personality.
Ironically, despite (or perhaps because of) these qualities, Cartman also seems to be a natural leader, able to utilize overwhelming charisma and rhetoric to gain the obedience of large groups on a moment's notice (as in "The Passion of the Jew"), appearing to be innately aware of how to take advantage of "mob mentality" and direct it toward accomplishing his personal goals, as has been evidenced in countless episodes throughout the series' history. In situations where the other boys share his goals, Cartman is often the de facto leader (e.g, "Make Love, Not Warcraft" and "Marjorine"). Indeed, the others consistently show a willingness to follow him and trust in his leadership when he's using his abilities for "good."
Cartman also has an extremely strong dislike for Family Guy. This is paralleling Parker & Stone's own distaste for the show.
Antisemitism and other Forms of Bigotry
"If you had a chance to go back in time right now and stop Hitler, wouldn't you do it? I mean, I personally wouldn't stop him, because I think he was awesome, but you would, right?" - Cartman in "Make Love, Not Warcraft"
Cartman is extremely anti-Semitic, and a great many of his bigoted actions are directed towards Jews and especially toward his Jewish friend Kyle, who he openly hates and considers sub-human because of his faith. In the episode ."The Passion of the Jew", after seeing The Passion of the Christ, he believes the film was Mel Gibson's way of rallying people against the Jews, and idolizes him for it. He then dresses up as Hitler and manipulates people, who think that they are simply raising awareness for the movie and Christianity, to join him in an anti-Jew march while chanting in mispronounced German: "Es ist Zeit für Rache" (It is time for revenge) and "Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten" (We must exterminate the Jews).
When he tried to win the Special Olympics by feigning a disability, Kyle attempts to talk him out of it by telling him, regardless of their differences, that Cartman will surely go to Hell for such an act; Cartman replies that Kyle does not understand that Hell is reserved for the Jews, indicating once again his self-righteousness. He also has been shown to consider Judaism to be a disability and the title "Jew" to be an insult. He also believes Jews to be incapable of many professions, such as basketball player, singing, fireman, pirate or even so much as someone tough, however on some occasions his accusations have been proven true.
In the episode "Pinkeye", Cartman dresses up as Hitler for Halloween (A costume made by his mother even though Cartman himself did not know who Hitler was, showing that his antisemitism comes from his mother in some part). When shown a documentary to demonstrate why dressing like him isn't cool, Cartman is enthralled and imagines himself being the one commanding the Nazi troops in the video. Cartman's admiration for Hitler is further emphasized in episode "The Entity", after being offered $40 by Kyle not to tease Kyle's cousin, Kyle Schwartz. Since Cartman has trouble restraining himself from teasing Kyle about his Jewish heritage, when the class teacher (Ms. Choksondik) later tells Kyle's cousin to concentrate, Cartman impulsively blurts out: "Maybe we should send him to concentration camp!".
A contradiction of his idolization of Hitler is seen in "I'm a Little Bit Country" where in this episode Cartman is incapable of pronouncing "Nazi" correctly (pronouncing it "Nay-zee") upon seeing it written, as though he had never come upon the word before. Another contradiction occurs in "Tsst", when Cartman compares his mother who had been instructed how to treat her rampantly egocentric son by the Dog Whisperer, with Hitler, as a reason why she should be killed (although this is probably because Cartman is not being allowed to indulge in his personal desires).
In addition to taking regular jabs at racial, ethnic and religious minorities, as well as people of lower income, Cartman is also prejudicial against redhaired, light skinned and freckled. This particular prejudice most probably originated from the notorious incident with Scott Tenorman, who had red hair and freckles, although it may also be partially due to the fact that Kyle has red hair. During the episode "Ginger Kids", when the other three boys lead him to believe he has become a Ginger himself, he is horrified. Later, he organizes a cult of homicidal ginger children bent on world conquest known as the "Ginger Separatist Movement",
remarking: .I'm not going to live my life as a Goddamn minority!.
He was in jail for his "hate crime" on Token, even though he usually rips Token for being black, and he said he is gonna kill Token someday - "Christian Rock Hard".
Cartman's most passionate abhorrence is aimed at hippies, though he seems to use this term for liberals in general. In episode: "Die Hippie, Die", he believes that hippies will destroy the town, and while the rest of the townies are initially skeptical, his fears are eventually borne out. When too close to liberals, he suffers what could be called an allergic reaction. He also wore a bio-suit upon entering San Francisco.
Cartman's bigotry and antisemitism seem to come in second next to his personal needs, however; despite his hate for the Jews, Cartman saves Kyle in the episode "Smug Alert" because he can find no one else to pick on. In "Le Petit Tourette", he is not above thanking Kyle for stopping him from possible public humiliation. Also, he saved the life of Kyle, (who had been killed by Manbearpig) in the episode "Imaginationland Episode II"; while this was seemingly because Kyle would not be able to suck his balls if he died, he was shown to cry, and showed concern even before the military leader reminded him that "at least now he doesn't have to suck anyone's balls." Realizing this, Cartman screamed, "Noooooooooooooo!" and began performing CPR on his dying "friend".
It has been repeatedly shown that Cartman has serious behavioral and emotional problems. He has extremely exaggerated anger issues and violent tendencies when upset. Such as in the episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", when He ground the parents of a teen he was angry with into chili and fed them to him, causing a horrified Kyle to say that he and Stan should never piss off Cartman again (this has since been regarded as Cartman's defining moment and has been brought up again numerous times during the series)
He also has displayed traits of gender confusion, as he occasionally has tea parties with stuffed dolls (pretending they are talking about how cool he is), owns a (supposed) female cat named "Mr. Kitty", and in the episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", he was seen re-enacting a scene from The Silence of the Lambs as Buffalo Bill with a rag doll he named Polly Prissy-pants trapped down a well. In episode 601, "Freak Strike", Cartman goes on the Maury Povich Show to be a panelist during a discussion on out-of-control kids. In an attempt to win the assumed prize, he dresses up as a promiscuous teenage girl.
In the episode "AWESOM-O", Butters reveals to the residents of South Park a video of Cartman dressed as Britney Spears, while dancing around a cardboard cut-out of Justin Timberlake, which he apparently later had made out with. Cartman's possible gender confusion is most apparent in the episode "Cartman Sucks", in which Cartman takes pictures of himself with Butters' penis in his mouth to make Butters look gay. However, Kyle, Stan and Kenny explain that such actions actually make Cartman look gay, which results in Cartman trying to get a picture taken of his own penis in Butter's mouth. Another moment of this apparent confusion can been seen during the events in "Imaginationland", where he bet Kyle that Leprechauns were real, and if he won, Kyle would have to suck his balls. Although Cartman was proven to be right, Kyle refused, causing Cartman to become obsessed, and began going to extreme lengths to force Kyle to suck on his balls.
He also speaks with a very strange but geographically indeterminate accent, which has shown to be a dominant trait in the extended Cartman family. Aside from the sheer volume of expletives in his dialog, he also uses words in different (and often grammatically incorrect) context (e.g. instead of saying 'I'm serious" he will say "I'm seriously", instead of saying "here" he will say "heahre" and instead of saying "respect my authority", he'll say "respect mah authoritah." Which became a well known catchphrase around the world).
A defining arc during the show's fourth season was Cartman's single-minded quest to make 10 million dollars. The schemes he has tried include; becoming a part of the Denver "tooth racket" and stealing Tooth Fairy money from kids, starting a boy band called Fingerbang, and culminating in forming his own church and embezzling the church's collection money. He also tried at it in the episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons" when Kyle's kidneys were failing and Cartman, being the only one with Kyle's blood type, demanded a payment of 10 million dollars when Stan begged him to let Kyle have his kidney. He has also tried to sell a crashed truck-load of aborted fetuses to the highest-bidding stem cell research center, and even to a restaurant as food. In the episode "Up the Down Steroid", Cartman had also pretended he was retarded to compete in the Special Olympics and win $1000. The reasons for this are never fully explained, although in one episode "Cartmanland", after inheriting a million dollars from his grandmother, he reveals that he wishes to buy his own amusement park so he won't have to wait in lines for the rides. He also stated that it has been his dream to own a million dollars since he was two years old. In "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", he threatens Kyle with a gun for his "Jew gold". In "ManBearPig" Cartman stumbles upon a pile of treasure while the boys are trapped in a system of caves. Afraid that the others might find the treasure and demand a share, Cartman decides to swallow as much of the coins and jewels as he can, causing him to become extremely bloated and unable to walk or swim on his own. Later in the episode it is revealed, during the process of painfully crapping it out, that the treasure is fake and used for photographs for tourists at the caves. He is miserly, determined not to give up the slightest amount of money, such as refusing to give a dollar to Afghan children: "I'm not giving a dollar to those towel-heads!".
Although Cartman can at times be worldly, he is often wildly misinformed; he once believed that dolphins lived in igloos. Cartman also appears to know very little about the female anatomy. One time, he threatened a woman with, "Bitch I'll twist your nuts off". Also, in the episode "Chickenpox", when he was told that his mom sent him to Kenny's house so he would catch chickenpox, he claimed that he would "kick her in the nuts", which is an intriguing threat since Cartman's mother is a hermaphrodite.
Cartman's ignorance is best demonstrated in the episode "The List" when he made a plan to steal a list the girls made of who the cutest boys in the class were. The plan involved Butters kicking one of the girls in the balls, which failed of course, forcing Cartman (and the rest of the boys) to conclude that "Apparently girls have no balls". In "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy", it is shown that Cartman's idea of intercourse is to "Stick it inside her and pee. If you don't want to get her pregnant you pull it out and pee on her leg.". In the first episode. Cartman complains "Mom! Kitty's being a dildo!", showing ignorance of the context in which "dildo" is used and, possibly, what a dildo is. However, it is possible he is using it as a generic insult, such as calling someone a "dick".
Cartman also confuses English people with French people. In the early seasons, he often teased Pip and called him a "French piece of crap". On the other extreme, in the movie, he called The Mole a "'British piece of' shit", despite The Mole being supposedly French. Additionally, in "The Jeffersons", he alludes to despising Austrians, apparently failing to note the irony of this: he admires Hitler, who was an Austrian.
It is also worth noting that Cartman is completely oblivious to the fact the other kids hate him, and often assumes they're joking when they imply or even openly declare it .
Cartman shows a pathological degree of impatience when forced to do something he doesn't want to do or when he has to wait for something he wants. An example of the former is seen in "I'm a Little Bit Country", in which Cartman electrocutes himself in an attempt to create a flashback and avoid studying. In the episode "Go God Go", where Cartman freezes himself so that he won't have to wait three weeks for the Wii console to be released, which shows irony in the end, as Cartman eventually ends up two months before the Wii's release.
Although Cartman frequently insults and taunts his friends, he sometimes appears to be more cowardly than they are when it comes to physical confrontation. In "It's Christmas in Canada", after repeatedly threatening to beat Kyle up if they didn't get home in time for Christmas, Kyle punches Cartman and he immediately bursts into tears, a similar instance can be seen during "Cartman Sucks", although Kyle only punched Cartman in the arm.
In another episode, Cartman threatens Kyle and it leads to Kyle giving Cartman a bloody nose, in "Goobacks".In "Christian Rock Hard", Cartman is beaten up by Token after provoking him with racial jibes. In several episodes, he is seen able to overpower Kenny, but in some episodes he isn't capable of doing so. However, in such earlier episodes like "Damien" which he beat up Kyle. (Although Kyle beat up Cartman in the more recent "Tonsil Trouble" without hesitation.)
In "Tweek vs. Craig", Cartman has no problem with fighting the other boys back physically (and it is revealed that Sumo is his martial art of choice). In "I'm a Little Bit Country" he smiles and sings the Dawson's Creek theme while he kills the Official Messenger Boy with a piece of wood then drags the body off-screen, although this happens in what was essentially a fantasy of Cartman's and may, therefore, due to Cartman's inflated ego, not be representative of his actual abilities. Also in the episode "Cartoon Wars Part II", he and Kyle has a slapfight, which he won (though this was more through deceit than skill), and in the episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", he was dominant in a physical fight against a midget (who supposedly had a black belt in karate). Also in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" he threw a rock at Token and Token got hurt badly. Token even got a black eye.
In "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Cartman is shown to be quite nervous over fighting Wendy and is shown going to great lengths to avoid the confrontation. However, when Wendy decides to fight him regardless, he is quite spectacularly defeated.
Overall, Cartman is a decent fighter, although he can be a wuss and particularly enraged opponents can beat him with ease. His specialty lies more with weapons than his fists.
Cartman has a disturbing habit of appearing in other people's homes in the middle of the night. He has a preoccupation with becoming mature, or at least more so than his friends, which frequently ends in him doing something that is anything but mature. Cartman also appears to be driven by a desire to surpass Kyle (especially), Stan, and Kenny. Knowing that his satisfaction chiefly comes with seeing other people unhappy, Kyle once deliberately congratulated Cartman on winning a bet, this, of course, ruined Cartman's egotistical satisfaction at having humiliated him.
Cartman apparently sees scenes of sickening and/or disturbing imagery every time he closes his eyes, but thinks nothing of it. He also occasionally has milk come out of his nose when he laughs, even when he was not drinking any. This milk-sneezing problem is due to a malfunctioning kidney, which Cartman is tricked into donating for transplant, benefiting his friend Kyle, who receives the malfunctioning organ as seen in the episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons". Many of Cartman's mannerisms were revealed to be inherited in "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!", in which most of the Cartman family were depicted in a similar manner.
When South Park first premiered, Cartman's outrageous and shocking behavior made him instantly popular with viewers. Another reason Cartman tends to stand out is because he is generally the most pro-active of the four main characters. Cartman is frequently the one to come up with new ideas and plans, usually told excitedly to an often unimpressed Stan, Kyle, and Kenny. Cartman frequently comes up with ideas that are ridiculous or offensive, and while he may appear to have the upper hand, his antics tend to inevitably turn on him. He is often shown receiving the brunt of consequences generated by his behavior by the end of the episode, although on certain occasions, Cartman is shrewd enough to either earn himself a Pyrrhic victory ("Toilet Paper", for example), or allowing Stan and Kyle only such a gain.
There have been a few people, while never having heard of South Park before, had still heard of Cartman, or had seen his image somewhere.
In the episode "Weight Gain 4000", one of the main plots of the story revolves around Cartman getting "in shape" for the presentation with Kathie Lee Gifford. He sees an advertisement on the television for Weight Gain 4000, and he believes it will make him buff in time for the presentation. However, he merely gets fatter and for comical effect, his fat shoots up his height as well. At the end of the episode, he has gotten so obese that he can't even get out of his house; when he appeared on the Geraldo show, they had to interview him in his own house, and transmit the recording back to the studio. In a false memory in, "City on the Edge of Forever", he recalls that the formula actually worked, and he showed up at the presentation very tall and muscular.
It is normally shown that Cartman has no self-consciousness or even realization of his obesity. This may be in part due to the fact that Liane allowed him for the first few seasons to believe that he really was big-boned.
- Liane: "Now boys, Eric isn't fat, he's big-boned!"
- Kyle: "He must have a huge bone in his ass then!"
- "(Liane laughs, to Cartman's frustration.)"
He is almost shell-shocked during the intervention in "Fat Camp", when he looks to his mother for defense, saying that she always told him he was simply big-boned. She replies "Uh, sweetie, those were all lies. You're just fat."
In the first episode of the twelfth season, "Tonsil Trouble", it is revealed that Cartman has in the past needed a routine tonsil checkup. In this episode, however, his tonsils had to be removed.
Also in "Tonsil Trouble", Cartman was accidentally infected with blood contaminated with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. He was angered by this, and his anger worsened when Kyle laughed- out of irony, disbelief and thrill that something so horrible has happened to his worst enemy. He then snuck into Kyle's room and intentionally gave Kyle AIDS. Kyle figured it out and hunted Cartman down and beat him up in the schoolyard and broke many of his toys. (Including his favorite, his crown-jewel, the beloved Clyde Frog.) Cartman, in the meantime, researched the virus and found out that Magic Johnson had AIDS for decades and is still alive. Cartman and Kyle then found out, along with Mr. Johnson, that the actual cure for AIDS was heavy doses of cash, the point being the solution to any problem is to throw lots and lots of cold-hard cash at it. Cartman and Kyle have both since recovered from the disease. Kyle still made it a point to break his X-box after they come back from New York And LA curing AIDS.
- Kyle's mockery of Cartman's infection with HIV is ironic, since Cartman has wished on many occasions in past episodes for Kyle to have AIDS:
- In the episode "Casa Bonita", Cartman, Kenny, and Stan are all playing video games when Kyle enters and says that he has good news, to which Cartman hopefully replies "You have AIDS?"
- In the episode "Woodland Critter Christmas", Cartman ends his fictional Christmas story with the line, "And everyone lived happily ever after, except for Kyle who died of AIDS two weeks later." This similar closing line also used in the episode "Pip".
- In the episode "Red Man's Greed", Cartman suggests giving Kyle AIDS as a potential way to raise money.
- In the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", while playing a board game Cartman gives Kyle an AIDS card, giving him AIDS in the game. Stan then remarks to Cartman, "Dude, that's not cool. Don't give Kyle AIDS."
However, obesity, HIV, and tonsils may be the least of Cartman's health concerns; Cartman seems to have a very poor mental health. He shows signs of not only anti-social behavior, but also sadism, Schizophrenia, identity issues, gender confusion, psychosis, psychopathic nature, narcissism, and possibly even insanity. He apparently dreams of humiliating, beating, emotionally destroying or even killing Kyle. For example in "Fat Butt and Pancake Head", Cartman dreams of taunting Kyle ("I told ya so!") so much that the latter starts crying. In "South Park is Gay!", he seems to hope to kill Kyle without any reason. However, it was not until the season five "Scott Tenorman Must Die" incident that we see how deep his insanity goes, when he creates a highly elebaorate and sociopathic scheme, resulting in murder and cannibalism. Cartman also seems incapable to admit his own errors and history, and instead alters past events in his own mind to show himself in a better light, as seen in "City on the Edge of Forever" and "Fishsticks".
Cartman often shows less interest in sexuality than the other boys. This seems intentional on the writer's parts, and fits with his self-absorption, immaturity, and gender confusion. An example for this would be seen in the episode "Raisins", where the boys end up in an eponymous Hooters-like restaurant, and Cartman only shows interest in the food, rather than all the skimpily-dressed waitresses. The other boys, however, do show interest in them, except Stan, who was too depressed at the time because Wendy Testaburger broke up with him.
Cartman also displays a lack of knowledge about sex, despite the fact that his mom is frequently having sexual relations with other people in South Park. When Kyle says that Ike is too young to understand sex in the episode "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy", Cartman replies, "What's there to understand? You get a boner, slap her titties around some, then stick it inside her and pee". Cartman's lack of knowledge is also displayed in the episode "Sexual Harassment Panda", when he tells Mr. Garrison that sexual harassment is "trying to have intercourse with a lady friend, and some other guy comes up and tickles your balls from behind." However, the other children, except for Kenny and possibly Clyde, do not seem to have more knowledge of sex than Cartman, which is probably because they are only 9 years old.
In the episode "Imaginationland", Cartman makes a bet with Kyle, stating that if he can prove that leprechauns are real, then Kyle will suck his balls. Cartman wins the bet, and his single-minded quest to force Kyle to suck his balls subsequently becomes a significant subplot of the trilogy. Although he doesn't get Kyle to suck his balls in reality, he does imagine Kyle sucking the balls of an imaginary Cartman with much enthusiasm at the end of Imaginationland Episode III. Considering Cartman made the imaginary Kyle suck the balls of his imaginary self, this makes it appear that he wasn't interested in the sexual experience, but rather being for Kyle's humiliation. Of course, the means in which Cartman goes to humiliate Kyle.
In the episode Jared Has Aides, after listening to Butters get beaten by his parents, as Cartman was responsible for it by pretending to be Butters on the phone and insulting them, Cartman says, "If I were older I would totally start jacking off right now", hinting sexual sadism.
In Make Love, Not Warcraft, when Clyde Donovan tells Cartman he's going to stop playing World of Warcraft, Cartman says that the French also stopped playing when Hitler rose to power. He then taunts Clyde by asking him if he's French, and then says, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, Clyde?", meaning "Do you want to sleep with me, Clyde?" in French, although he could just be quoting the French lyric from the song Lady Marmalade without understanding the meaning, but he could have been taunting him by saying he's French and using the French stereotype as a way to taunt him.
There is evidence of a potential homosexual bond between Cartman and Butters. In the episode Cartman Sucks, Cartman seeks to humiliate Butters by taking a picture of himself with Butters' penis in his mouth. After being told by Kyle and Stan that being photographed that way is humiliating him rather than Butters (in other words, being photographed in such a way makes him gay), Cartman then seeks out Butters to make him put his penis in Butters' mouth, but this fails, as the both of them are caught by Butters' father, Chris Stotch.
In the episode Proper Condom Use, Butters is putting on a condom, when Cartman is caught by Kyle looking at Butters' penis; Cartman dismissively claims he was trying to see how to put on a condom, which Kyle doesn't believe.
In the episode Cancelled, Cartman once again finds himself the victim of getting an anal probe from aliens. When Chef and the boys take him to see a proctologist, the doctor sticks his finger and his entire hand in Cartman's rectum. Although initially surprised, Cartman lets out moans of pleasure, just before a fifty foot satellite dish shoots out of his rectum.
However, during the episode "Chef Goes Nanners", Cartman briefly became an object of affection for Stan's girlfriend Wendy Testaburger. After being passionately kissed by Wendy at the end of the episode, he is disappointed at the end when she says that she no longer has any feelings for him. In "Tom's Rhinoplasty", Cartman, along with Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and the entire third-grade glass, were all attracted to the substitute teacher, Ms. Ellen. Although she was a lesbian, and the boys did not understand what it meant, they tried to become lesbians in order to try to win her.
Cartman has also had encounters with sexual abuse. In the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", his attempt to find older friends winds up with him almost being molested by members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association. In the episode "Simpsons Already Did It", after discovering that semen (which he confuses with "sea-men") will fertilize his sea-people, he goes to a sperm bank to collect "sea-men". At the sperm bank, he pretends to test a semen sample by smearing it on his fingers. When Cartman later empties a bowl of semen into the tank, he tells Stan and Kyle that he got some of it from a man named Ralph in an alley, who told him to "close his eyes and suck it out of a hose", meaning he performed fellatio on Ralph.
In "AWESOM-O", a movie producer asks Cartman, who is disguised as a robot, if he is a pleasure model. Cartman does not understand him until he takes his pants off, at which point, he runs out yelling in monotone fashion "Lame!" Also, in the episode "Fat Butt and Pancake Head", Cartman convinces Ben Affleck, among others, that his left hand is an actual woman named Jennifer Lopez; Affleck later has a sexual encounter with "Miss Lopez", leaving Cartman's hand covered with his semen.
In "Fun with Veal" Cartman is awoken by Kyle, Stan and Butters to help save some baby cows from slaughter. As the other boy's knock on his window Cartman gives a scream of "NO UNCLE JESSE, NO!" implying that one of his relatives may have abused him.
In "Cow Days", he recieves a concussion that makes him think he is a Chinese prostitute, frquently say "Sucky sucky, five dolla", to passing male carnival goers. He then "servives" Leonardo DiCaprio, much to his disgust after he reverts back to his normal self.
He has some Dutch and Irish descent, as in "Tom's Rhinoplasty", he mentions that his grandmother (Mabel) is Dutch-Irish.
Cartman is the only boy in the series who does not have a normal father. This is because of his hermaphroditic mother (Liane Cartman), who fathered him with another woman. This shocking twist is revealed at the end of the two-part story arc, "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" and "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut", though the identity of Cartmans biological mother is never revealed (but a few possibilities are given, in that episode and in later episodes).
A recurring joke throughout the series is that, despite his mother's sweetness and wholesome demeanor, Liane Cartman is in fact a promiscuous, oversexed, crack-smoking, scheisse porn queen and nymphomaniac.
Cartman's extended family is shown in the episode "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!", where he and the others go on a trip to Nebraska to visit them for Christmas. Most of his relatives appear to be similar in manner to him; all fat, with the same speech accent and catchphrases. The family is seen again in the episode "Cartmanland", at his grandmother's funeral . where she leaves her estate (valued at $1,000,000) to Eric, citing that all the other family members would have spent it all on crack.
In the original, unaired pilot episode, Cartman was shown to have a father and sister, but these characters were cut out in the official pilot. In "Le Petit Tourette", he accidentally revealed that he cries at night because he does not have a real father.
Possible Biological Mothers of Cartman
- Sheila Broflovski (Interestingly, Sheila being the mother would make Cartman Jewish by birth, as well as Kyle's half brother.)
- Veronica Crabtree (Could explain his mental behavior if she were his mother)
- In a later episode, upon someone questioning who hasn't had sex with Ms. Cartman, Mayor McDaniels and Principal Victoria give guilty looks to each other, indicating that the principal has also had sex with Liane.
Pets and Toys
Cartman has a cat named Mr. Kitty, and a pot-bellied pig named Fluffy (Mr. Kitty and Fluffy have never been seen together in the series thus far). He also has a stuffed frog toy named Clyde Frog. Other beloved stuffed animals include Wellington Bear (a take on Paddington Bear), Polly Prissypants the rag doll, purple lizard Rumpertumskin (a take on Rumpelstiltskin), and Peter Panda. Cartman nearly always plays with these toys by himself, perhaps out of embarrassment or (just as likely) mean-spiritedness. Occasionally others are allowed to play with him, such as Bebe in "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society". Not surprisingly, Cartman's games with these toys can demonstrate his vindictive and cruel nature; one of his games, as seen in aforementioned episode, is "Lambs", in which Cartman reenacts scenes from "The Silence of the Lambs" with his dolls, such as placing a doll in a pit in his basement and then voicing the doll begging to be released while the doll holding it prisoner threatens the pit-bound doll. Often Cartman's games involve the toys telling him how cool and smart he is, and he directs towards them an affection which is not seen towards any other person except his mom. Oddly enough, during one incident in which Cartman's toys were 'praising' him, one of the toys called him a 'fat piece of crap' which was a surprise to Cartman himself. Considering Cartman was voicing the toys, this could imply that a small part of a Cartman despises himself, and that the insult was a subconscious slip. In "Die Hippie, Die", when a group leaves to conduct a rescue mission, all the group members say goodbye to a person close to each of them, except Cartman who bids farewell to Clyde Frog.
- Cartman: "I... don't want you to worry about me.
- Clyde Frog: "(Clyde Frog just sits there)
- Cartman: "Hey, you're the best stuffed animal I ever had."
In the season twelve episode "Tonsil Trouble", although Cartman had given Kyle AIDS as punishment for Kyle laughing at him for having HIV, Kyle angrily breaks many of Cartman's toys in reaction. Among these toys, he rips off Clyde Frog's head. In "Dances With Smurfs" Cylde Frog is seen on the chalkboard in Cartman's morning announcements implying that Cartman has fixed him.
Cartman, though incapable of empathy towards people, exhibits a strong bond with cats. In the recent episode "Major Boobage", cats are made illegal because Kenny, along with other kids around the country, begins using male cat musk as a hallucinogenic drug. Cartman lies to the police, claiming that he had his cat put down when he really is hiding his cat in the attic. Throughout the episode he collects abandoned cats in his attic out of sympathy. His cat has been on the show since the series began, and his love for cats probably developed due to his lack of other family members besides his mother, as he has no father or siblings. This empathetic relationship is reserved for cats and not humans; he does not recognize a parallel between his cat safe-haven to the history of Jews hiding from Nazi soldiers during the Holocaust, which Kyle points out.
Relationship with Liane Cartman
Liane dotes on her son endlessly, beyond simply spoiling him. Cartman usually gets whatever he wants simply by whining in his signature style. He also frequently insults her in her presence, which she accepts without question. Although Liane possesses a social and moral conscience, Cartman is usually able to manipulate her into doing even morally reprehensible things for him. In "Up the Down Steroid", Cartman is able to have his mother sign him up for the Special Olympics, even though Cartman was not disabled. It appears that Liane appears convinced of her son's goodness and accepts any excuses or stories he makes up, no matter how improbable. The relationship between the two has shown a significant change in "Tsst". To manage Cartman's behavioral issues, she hires Cesar Millan. Cesar's methods work, and Cartman becomes a normal, good natured, well behaved boy. Liane tries to form a relationship with Cesar, but he turns her down as she is just a client, and she soon begins to spoil Cartman again.
Friendship/Conflict with Kyle Broflovski
The rivalry between Cartman and Kyle has been a recurring theme from the beginning, but has become significantly stronger since Season 4. Cartman appears to have a very strong hatred for Kyle, and shows that he has no tolerance for Kyle's Jewish faith. Kyle hates him in turn. However, neither one of them seem to realize the effects of their almost poisonous relationship, and continue to live in close contact with each other.
In season 5, Cartman and Kyle's relationship has met a turning point, going from a relationship of them constantly ripping on each other to hatred. However, it is seen they still have some of their friendship left. Since season 11, it can be certain that they lost all of what they called a "friendship".
However, in the "The Death of Eric Cartman", during the scene where Cartman has Butters apologize to all of his peers in his stead (as he believes he is a ghost), he seems to wish to recant some of his earlier misdeeds towards Kyle (and obtain his forgiveness), and seems genuinely moved upon seeing him. But since Cartman is largely self-interested, his apologies could just as well have been correspondingly selfish.
Kyle is often put in the shoes of the protagonist to Eric Cartman's antagonist. For Example, in "Cartoon Wars", the two of them work against each other; when Cartman tries to get Family Guy canceled, Kyle tries to stop him. The two of them often have arguments about morals, like in "Up The Down Steroid", where Cartman decides to pretend to be mentally handicapped so he can win the "Special Olympics".
In "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut", when they were facing certain death, Cartman tried to atone for all the times he called Kyle "A big dumb Jew", telling him "I didn't mean it. You're not a Jew". Bewildered, Kyle replies that he is indeed a Jew, and Cartman tells him not to be so hard on himself (implying that Jew was an insult rather than a religion).
Cartman also has attempted to murder Kyle more than once, the most significant incident being in a scene from "Toilet Paper" in which he lures Kyle into going rowing with him to the middle of Stark's Pond, and then, when Kyle's back is turned, attempts to bludgeon him to death with a wiffle bat, without comprehending the stupidity of the plan. When he learns someone has confessed to the crime he, Kyle, Stan and Kenny had conmmitted, thus eliminating the need to kill Kyle who was going to confess himself, Cartman asks Stan (in his usual trademark-pathetic way) if he can still kill Kyle. Cartman tries to murder Kyle again in "Fatbeard".
However, in Smug Alert Cartman saves Kyle and his family when a large storm is about to go towards their house in San Francisco. Cartman finds Butters as too boring a nemesis since he will simply accept anything Cartman directs at him, and realizes that in order to have someone with which to argue incessantly again he must get Kyle back. At the end of the episode he hides the fact that he was the savior of Kyle's whole family, opting to insult Kyle again instead; Kyle replies angrily and storms off, to Cartman's satisfaction. In the episode "Le Petit Tourette" when Kyle (unintentionally) saves Cartman from shouting out all his secrets on Live TV, Cartman hugs Kyle and thanks him, even saying "I love you, man." In the episode "Prehistoric Ice Man", when Kyle falls into a cavern and asks from the bottom, "Is Cartman there?" he responds with a sincere "I'm here, Kyle!". Of course this only occurs after Cartman suggests they leave Kyle for dead and continue to their search for crocodiles. In the episode "Lil' Crime Stoppers", Cartman defends Kyle saying, "Broflovski's a good cop!"
Cartman's obsessive hatred of Kyle above almost all others, has called into question Cartman's deeper feeling for Kyle. In the episode "Imaginationland", Cartman wins a bet with Kyle which requires Kyle to suck his balls, and goes to various extreme measures throughout the "Imaginationland" trilogy to make Kyle do so, including going to the Supreme Court and breaking into the Pentagon (twice). In the end of the trilogy's first part, Cartman is seen with a photo of an innocent looking Kyle. The scene ends with Cartman dragging his finger slowly across Kyle's mouth in the photo, which could be interpreted as an act of lust. At the end of the trilogy's third part, Cartman conjures up an imaginary Kyle to suck the balls of an imaginary Cartman.
Cartman also, in the episode "Go God Go XII", offers to suck Kyle's balls (after Kyle said "Suck my balls, Cartman"), in exchange for Kyle's help in getting Cartman back from the distant future. In the episode Fatbeard, Kyle encourages Cartman to run away to Somalia, hoping that he will die. Cartman also seems to have no qualms about seriously invading Kyle's personal space, as shown in a scene from "Manbearpig" wherein Cartman, while contemplating his hatred for Kyle, looms a mere inch or two from Kyle's face as he sleeps; soon Kyle wakes up and yells, "Dude, get away from me!"
However, the fact that Kyle challenges Cartman more than any other character in the series, may in fact be the core reason for Cartman's obsessive fixation on him. In "Fatbeard", he says that Kyle has "finally come to terms with his disability". As of "Dead Celebrities", he seems to be more passive toward Kyle, greeting him with only " 'Sup, Jew?".
Friendship with Butters Stotch
Butters has become Cartman's most frequent victim. Butters sees Cartman as his good friend and treats him as so but in later episodes he treats Cartman the same as everybody else. But, Cartman takes advantage of this and finds Butters extremely easy to manipulate and convert to his point of view, or get him to do what he wants. In "Douche and Turd" Cartman easily gets Butters to vote for his idea of a "turd sandwich" simply by describing the candidates in a certain way. In "Go God Go" he gets Butters to bury him in snow so that he can be unfrozen three weeks later in time for the release of the Wii video game console.
In many episodes entire plots are centered around Cartman's antics against Butters. In "Casa Bonita", Cartman faked an apocalypse so Butters would hide in a bomb shelter for over a week, so Cartman could go with Kyle, Stan, and Kenny to Casa Bonita instead of Butters. In "AWESOM-O" he dressed as a robot to trick Butters, but in the end this failed miserably and Butters happily showed a tape of Cartman dressed like Britney Spears in front of everyone for revenge. In the episode "Christian Rock Hard", Butters does another one at Cartman by farting on his face and giving him the finger for swearing Jesus's name in front of everybody and ruining their band. He also taunts Cartman for being the real 'ugliest' kid in their class and mocks his neo-Nazism in a deleted scene in the episode "The List". In "The Death of Eric Cartman" all of the people in South Park decide to ignore Cartman because they feel he is a "son of a bitch". Unlike the other boys, Butters isn't aware of the plan and Cartman believes that Butters is the only one who can see him, now that he is "dead". In "Cartman Sucks" he repeatedly invited Butters over to spend the night to play pranks on him, until it backfired on him and he made an inappropriate picture which featured him putting Butter's penis in his mouth, and which ended up being showed to the entire fourth grade class, humiliating Cartman instead of Butters. In the episode "Breast Cancer Show Ever", after Cartman gets brutalized by Wendy, Butters agreed with Craig that he always hated Cartman with everyone else. However, "Eat, Pray, Queef", Cartman shows as much compassion as the other boys towards Butters after he is queefed upon, and even gives him a present, as well as participating in a state-wide attempt to ban queefing with Butters as a mascot, suggesting some compassion for Butters although he, like the others, refuses to go near Butters after he was queefed on. Cartman also "punishes" Butters with the tetherball for not kissing another girl in "Butters' Bottom Bitch". In the episode Pee when everybody is rescued Butters is disapponted that Cartman didn't die.
Cartman has the tendency to pull pranks on Butters while he is asleep. This is most apparent in "Asspen" and "Cartman Sucks". One of which is to place a warm glass of water under Butter's hand and then urinate on him.
Friendship with Kenny McCormick
Because of Cartman's selfish personality, his best friendship with Kenny isn't as obvious as Stan and Kyle's, and it sometimes looks fake, but it is clearly just as strong and existent. They're also shown to share a sense of humor, as can be seen in the episode "How to Eat with Your Butt" when Kenny and Cartman continue an elaborate joke despite Stan and Kyle's objections.
However, Cartman has at times displayed a special dislike for Kenny, often without any reason; most often, he shows contempt for Kenny's family living in poverty. In two separate episodes, "Chickenpox" and "A Ladder to Heaven", Cartman is heard singing the song "In The Ghetto" in order to tease Kenny. In "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" Kenny and Cartman are alone in the scene, and Cartman blurts out "I hate you, Kenny" out of nowhere. In the episode, "Jakovasaurs". Cartman makes up a song called "I Hate You Guys" where he sings:
- "I hate you guys / you guys are assholes / especially Kenny / I hate him the most".
In the episode "Lice Capades" he attempts make Kenny a scapegoat for the class's lice problem, and upon "proving" Kenny's guilt with an elaborate, phony experiment, Cartman then organizes a cruel "sock bath" for Kenny.
It is possible that Kenny is Cartman's only real friend and he does not understand how to react to having such a friend, or the opposite since Stan and Kyle at some points have stated that Kenny isn't really their friend and that they don't give a crap about him. In the episode, "Kenny Dies", Cartman proclaims that Kenny is his best friend among the three boys, but at the end of the episode it is implied that Cartman is Kenny's "worst friend" since they assumed he exploited Kenny's illness for personal gain. However, he cried over Kenny's illness before discovering the possibility of making his own "Shakeys". Kenny has generally taken Cartman's side. Cartman is the only person who seems to take Kenny's deaths seriously.
In the episode "Best Friends Forever", Kenny states in his will that he felt sorry for Cartman because of his inability to feel compassion and empathy. Also, in the episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons", the two are shown playing with spaceships without Stan or Kyle. And in the episode, "A Ladder to Heaven", when Cartman drinks Kenny's ashes mistaking them for chocolate milk, leaving Kenny's soul trapped in his body, until the episode "The Biggest Douche in the Universe". Kenny also chooses to appear to Cartman as opposed to Stan or Kyle in "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" Cartman is the only one who is aware of Kenny's deaths telling the IRS that Kenny "dies all the time. Kenny was the only one out of the four main boys (excluding Butters) to enter his theme park. At the end of the episode "Pinkeye", Cartman was the only one sobbing over Kenny's death. In fact, in the "The Succubus", when Cartman was blinded by the bandages at the end of Chef's wedding ceremony, he was sincerely concerned asking "Is Kenny okay?" Cartman even showed concern for Kenny when he found out his new girlfriend was a whore. In the episode "Chinpokomon", after Kenny has a seizure and is rendered unresponsive after playing the Chinpokomon video game, Cartman was the only one of the three who seemed to notice that rats were swarming over Kenny and attempting to eat him, and the only one to detach them, telling them, "Bad rats, he isn't dead yet!", and unlike Stan and Kyle (who laughed), he was disgusted when it was discovered the rats had actually eaten him from the inside out. Also in episode "Butt Out", he noticed that Kenny was eating his own hands, whilst he did nothing he still mentioned it to the boys as if to say 'should we help him?'
Friendship with Stan Marsh
Cartman and Stan's friendship is clearly existent but it is very tense. In fact, when Kyle and Kenny aren't around, he and Stan often show a close friendship with each other. In "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", Stan and Cartman hang out at the boating rack, and Cartman even comments that it is great that they are hanging out with each other without Kyle. In "Fat Butt and Pancake Head", while Kyle is immediately distrustful of Cartman's truthfulness in his claim that he cannot control the actions of his hand (which has seemed to take on a life of its own), Stan gives Cartman the benefit of the doubt and admits that, with all the stuff that happens in South Park, Cartman could be telling the truth.
In "Woodland Critter Christmas", Cartman made Stan the protagonist of his Christmas story (he is described as 'the boy in a red poof-ball hat'). Everyone but Kyle likes the story. To Kyle's disgust, Stan likes the story also. In "Douche and Turd", Stan votes for Cartman's mascot instead of Kyle's, much to Kyle's dismay. Also, in the episode "Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus", when Stan appears to be the only boy who hasn't gotten their period, Cartman reassures him that he will get it one day. However, in "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants", Cartman declares that he hates Stan because Stan loves animals. Even so, In the episode "Trapped in the Closet", all three boys de-friend Stan after he becomes the leader of Scientology. As the boys leave, Cartman turns to Stan and says, "I still hate Kyle more than you".
In some episodes Stan is shown having a strong hatred for Cartman even if Cartman isn't doing anything. In "Trapper Keeper" when the cyborg says he has to kill Cartman, Stan asks if he can do it, and prepares to shoot Cartman before the cyborg decides against the idea. In "Spooky Fish" Stan is fully for sending Cartman away forever. Although Stan is much more tolerant of Cartman than Kyle is, he often holds Cartman in very high contempt for his unacceptable behavior.
Relationship with Wendy Testaburger
Cartman is known to taunt Wendy for her liberal and environmentalist views, and often refers to her as a hippie or a tree hugger. However, In "Chef Goes Nanners", after they were working together on the flag debate, he entertained her by talking through two action figures. He and she then found out that they had a lot in common with each other. When Wendy kissed him at the presentation to get her emotions out of her system, he was pleased (albeit surprised) and facially bragged to Stan about it. He later seemed dejected when Wendy told him her feelings for him were gone. In "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society" after Wendy grows adult-sized breasts Cartman and the other boys laugh at her and Cartman calls her a "stupid bitch." In the episode "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Cartman treats Wendy's plea for breast cancer awareness as a joke, and subsequently she beats his ass, leaving him in his own pool of blood. Despite this, Cartman may still have a sexual attraction to Wendy seen in Cartman's inaccurate flashbacks and imaginations in "Fishsticks": when Cartman "killed a dragon" and "saved South Park from the Jew-Bots" as Wendy showers him in praise as he basks in it. Cartman seems to grow more hate and always assaults Wendy when he gets any chance in "Dances with Smurfs" after being beaten by Wendy in "Breast Cancer Show Ever".
Although Cartman doesn't generally like anyone in particular, he was very fond of Chef, as seen in "The Return of Chef" where Cartman was crying in front of Butters and even admitted that he was going to miss Chef, but didn't know how to tell him. He normally used to go to Chef with his problems, and Chef was always willing to help him. Chef even helped Cartman get Kenny's soul out of his body, before it killed him.
However, when Cartman was creating a crew to free the town from the hippies, he chose Chef as the black man to sacrifice himself later. It should be noted that before Cartman found out that Liane was his father, he had been told that Chef was his father. And despite Chef's willingness to help Cartman, he like everyone else in town, is more than willing to insult Cartman and call him fat.
Ever since "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", Clyde seems to show great respect for Cartman, since he went through everyone calling him a fat ass. Everyone seems to be shocked whenever Clyde stands up for Cartman, especially Cartman. Clyde joined Cartman's pirate crew in "Fatbeard".
Wendy's best friend, Bebe, often shows hatred for Cartman, as he does for her. In "Raisins", Bebe tells Stan that Wendy wants to break up with Stan, leading to a heated argument between Cartman and Bebe, Cartman calls Bebe a whore numerous times to which Bebe calls Cartman a fat ass. In "The Ungroundable" at the beginning of the episode, all of the kids are seen playing Call of Duty: World At War. Cartman is shot and killed by someone within the game and he says, "Ah! Who just shot me!", and Bebe leans away from her computer and flips Cartman off, saying that she killed him within the game, when Cartman's character respawns, he immediatly attacks Bebe and refers to her as a "bitch". Also, in "The List", Cartman says to Bebe: "Fuck you, Bebe! Fuck you, bitch!". In "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", Cartman role plays "Silence of the Lambs" with his dolls with Bebe and the two seemingly get on well together without anyone else around.
In "Dead Celebrities" Cartman shows surprising respect and loyalty to Billy Mays for introducing him to the product Chipotlaway, which allows him to continue eating at Chipotle despite the fact that it causes blood to stain his underwear. Throughout the entire episode, Cartman is motivated solely by his desire to put Billy Mays' soul to rest, never once expressing any intention to gain anything from this endeavor in the process. Even at the end of the episode, by which time Cartman usually reveals his ulterior motive(s), Cartman still focuses on the fact that Billy Mays is at peace.
Cartman seems to have formed a genuine friendship with his cell-mate while he was in prison in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" after Romper Stomper showed compassion to him when he was seen crying. Though Cartman seems to have held him little regard (as evidenced from when he attempted to run away from the prison while Romper-Stomper suffered an injury and stayed behind), he appears to have genuinely appreciated Romper-Stomper's help. After Cartman was released from prison, he visited Romper-Stomper again and pooped Disneyland (the place Romper-Stomper had always wanted to see) into the toilet for him with nothing to gain from it. In addition to his relationship with Billy Mays and Shelley Marsh, Romper-Stomper is one of the few people which Cartman has done a good deed for without being promised anything in return.
Manipulation and Leadership Ability
Although having his origins as little more than a comic foil, Cartman has evolved into a character of stunningly articulate manipulative talents. His abilities are deeply Machiavellian in nature, and his character follows closely in the footsteps of other famous manipulators such as the character Iago from William Shakespeare's Othello. In several episodes throughout the series, he employs this skill to get what he wants. His most frequent targets are adults in general, and "Butters Stotch", though he often targets other children for more personal purposes, including convincing Butters to "take one for the team" and be anally gang-raped by men from NAMBLA in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", and repeatedly convincing Kyle that he is doing good, only to exploit Kyle's help later on. He talked the ginger kids out of killing all non-gingers after Kyle told him that they had played a trick on him in "Ginger Kids". Earlier in that episode he rallied all the gingers to exterminate all non-gingers in a Hitler-esque way. Along the same line, in "The Passion of the Jew", he is able to rally all the members of the Mel Gibson fan club to march through the town while yelling, "Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!" (The Jews must be exterminated!). However it should probably be noted that they were ignorant of the true meaning of this phrase, mistaking it for Aramaic. In the episode "Tsst", Cartman was able to drive several nannies from his house with insults and insinuation (even causing one to be put in a mental hospital).
Cartman's perceived stupidity by his friends can be attributed to his sometimes naive behavior, however his uncanny skill at manipulation, bilingualism, and ability to create elaborate schemes which are often effective imply a surprisingly high intellect. Cartman seems to have no problem talking to people and speaking in general. He has an uncanny way with words and uses that to his advantage whenever he plots an idea. For example, in "Kenny Dies", Cartman delivers a speech to the United States House of Representatives convincing them to vote in favor of stem cell research. He also appears to be multilingual (though not very well). He claims to be able to speak Spanish in "Rainforest Schmainforest", when he tells a Costa Rican freedom fighter that he wants burritos, and in "My Future Self n' Me", he actually speaks Spanish to the Mexican workers hired to smear Butter's home with excrement. In "D-Yikes!" Cartman again demonstrates his proficiency in Spanish when hiring Mexicans to write an "essay" (which the immigrants mistake for the Spanish informal word for a friend, ese) on The Old Man and the Sea. In "The Passion of the Jew", Cartman speaks German (but most of his words are mispronounced).
In "Cartoon Wars", he exploited a controversy involving the appearance of Muhammad on Family Guy to try to get the show off the air; he pretended to be the hapless victim of an Islamic terrorist attack to try to discourage the FOX president and the Family Guy staff writers from airing the Muhammad episode. On another occasion he was able to convince the majority of the adults of South Park to nearly take over the U.S. via an out-of-hand re-enactment of the Civil War, as long as he kept them drunk so they wouldn't realize what they were doing.
Cartman is also a very good leader as a pirate captain, in "Fatbeard", when he convinces all the Somalian pirates to join his crew.
Cartman's shining accomplishment (according to Comedy Central's list of "Cartman's 25 Greatest Moments") came in the episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", a testimony to Cartman's hidden ingenuity and cunning, as well as the full extent of his evilness. Scott Tenorman continually defeats Cartman's attempts at retrieving a sum of money Scott tricked him out of throughout the episode, humiliating Cartman and elevating his hatred and desire for revenge. Finally, Cartman gets the last laugh, as he indirectly coerces Scott's parents into a situation where they are trespassing, and are consequently shot and killed. Cartman then steals the bodies and makes them into chili which he promptly feeds to Scott. Cartman then coolly tells Scott how his parents died, hints at what happened to their remains, and inquires about his chili: "Do you like it? Do you like it Scott?". Scott is traumatized and horror-stricken, and Cartman gloats and laughs hysterically at the inconsolable Tenorman, while licking Scott's "tears of unfathomable sadness" off his face with intense pleasure.
Throughout the entire run of the South Park series, there have been a few instances where Cartman spoke languages other than English quite fluenty. For example, in "Passion Of The Jew" (Season 8, Episode 4), when Cartman dressed as Hitler, while rallying outside the theater presenting "The Passion" with a group of German followers, he began chanting hateful comments to jews in German such as "Es Ist Zeit zu säubern" ("It's time to cleanse), while the crowd replies ""Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!" ("We must exterminate the Jews!"). Next, Cartman exclaimed "Es ist Zeit für Rache!" ("It is time for revenge") and the crowd replies "Wir müssen die Juden ausrotten!" ("We must exterminate the Jews!"). While Cartman didn't necessarily pronounce the german words correctly, it was pretty clear that he understood what they meant in English and his followers also understood what he said. However, in "Pandemic" (Season 12, Episode 10), the boys decided to start heir own peruvian band to earn some spending money. When they spotted a real Peruvian band "stealing their spotliight", after the other boys first confronted them in English and the band members continued to play as if they didn't hear them (since they didn't speak English), Cartman began yelling at them in Spanish, generally telling them to stop playing in their area. The band paused for a long second in confusion, then continued to play. This then prompted Cartman to repeat what he originally told them in Spanish and out of anger he even snatched one of their instruments away and threw it off into the distance. Granted, there really hasn't been much focus on this particular talent of Cartman's (since most of the story plots don't focus on it) so there's virtually very little known as to how he learned these other languages so well at such a young age. It's possible that his mom Liane Cartman may have personally taught him the other languages, as was revealed in Hooked On Monkey Phonics when she purchased a educational game that helped Cartman to improve his spelling skills.
Cartman appears to be very musically talented. He plays the piano quite well in the episode "Christian Rock Hard" (although the piano plays by itself whilst he is singing), the violin in "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", the French horn in "Summer Sucks", the drums in "The Red Badge of Gayness", the harmonica in "Jakovasaurs" and "Whale Whores", the recorder in "World Wide Recorder Concert", the acoustic guitar in "Chinpokomon", and pan flute in "Pandemic".
His Christian rock group "Faith + 1" sold 1,000,000 copies of its album in the episode "Christian Rock Hard". In the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Cartman is shown singing in mock versions of Chinese, French, Dutch and an unidentified African language by singing "Kyle's mom is a Bitch". In "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", Cartman sings, "O, Holy Night" (despite several interruptions). In Chef Aid, he sings and does a German dance to raise money for Chef's legal fees. He also leads a boy band in the episode "Something You Can Do With Your Finger".
Cartman's musical tastes run toward progressive and arena rock in general and maudlin power ballads in particular. "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut" shows for the first time that Cartman has the uncontrollable urge to finish singing Styx's "Come Sail Away" whenever he hears any part of the song, which he can do, under pressure, in 27 seconds (possibly a sign that he has a very minor case of OCD based on the fact that he mentioned it was not only songs he had to finish). In "Kenny Dies", Cartman sings "Heat of the Moment" to the United States House of Representatives convincing them to vote in favor of stem cell research. Cartman also appears to enjoy teen pop, as demonstrated in his Britney Spears dance sequence in "AWESOM-O". He also quotes, "Haha charade you are" from Pink Floyd's song, Pigs (Three Different Ones).
Cartman frequently bursts into song spontaneously, sometimes with melodies and topical lyrics of his own devising. He often uses this skill in order to persuade others by using the song to manipulate their thoughts and emotions. This penchant for ad hoc songs was specifically mentioned in "Ginger Kids". This also happened in the episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons" when Stan asks Cartman to donate a kidney to a very sickly Kyle, Cartman replies by singing "No no no no no no no no no no!" to the tune of "Comedy tonight" from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
In a mean-spirited feeling, Cartman begins singing an Elvis version of "In The Ghetto" When in Kenny's neighborhood, namely, the ghetto.
For Rush's Snakes and Arrows tour, a short animated clip was made to introduce the song "Tom Sawyer," featuring the boys from South Park as a band attempting to perform the song. Cartman is featured as the lead singer. In Mr. Hankey the Christmas poo, he bursts into song, singing "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" he also did this in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, despite Kyle's repeated warnings.
Cartman has also been featured on several tracks on all three South Park albums.
Cartman knows a lot about Photography, as shown in a few episodes. In "Christian Rock Hard", he demonstrates his knowledge of the nature of music artist's album covers, such as how the members of a band are mostly in random places looking in other directions and never smile. Also, in "Cartman Sucks", Cartman takes up his hobby of inviting Butters over, just to take embarrassing photos of him. He is also shown presenting a slideshow in class, and comments about them skillfully. Also, in "Imaginationland Episode II" and "Imaginationland Episode III", he is talking about how he should take his picture of Kyle sucking his balls. He even has professional help with his photo shoot in Part III. Also he is good at photoshop, (though his art skills are very first grade like) as we can see from "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", when he is framing Kyle.
Cartman has good sporting abilities, he has been seen on the dodge ball team in the episode "Conjoined Fetus Lady" and playing center in "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride". He also plays catcher on the baseball team, as seen in "The Losing Edge". In later episodes ("ManBearPig" and "Guitar Queer-o" Cartman is seen to be playing basketball with the other boys, however he isn't nearly as talented as he seems to think. He often cries out 'Stop cheating you black asshole!' when an opponent beats him, or 'You tricked me!' as if this was illegal. However, Cartman seems to have a grasp of cheating strategies (as seen in "Eek, A Penis!".) Cartman tries out for the wrestling team in W.T.F, but leaves after he is put into a "gay" move by Butters, who was told by the teacher to do so. In the same episode he formed a wrestling league along with some of the other boys. However, the wrestling in which they performed was more dramatic theater in which they created complicated in depth story lines for their wrestling personas, rather than actual athletic prowess.
However, at the Special Olympics he lost all sports, while being the only participant who wasn't handicapped.
- "You guys, I'm seriously!"
- "I hate you Kenny."
- "I'm gonna buy her a vaccum cleaner, chicks love vaccum cleaners."
- "Shut up Kenny you poor piece of crap!"
- "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
- "Respect mah authoritah (authority)!"
- "I'm not fat, I'm big boned."
- "Nah nah nah nah naaaaaaah nah, I made you eat your parents."
- "Ha, ha charade you are! (from Pink Floyd's Animals)"
- "No kitty this is my pot pie!"
- "Mom, Kitty's being a dildo!"
- "OK, that does it! Why has everything today involved things either going in or coming out of my ass?"
- "Kenny's family is so poor that yesterday they had to put their cardboard box up for a second mortgage."
- "Yeah I want Cheesy Poofs!"
- "French people piss me off."
- "You're breaking my balls."
- "Kyle, you're being a Negative Nancy. Stop it."
- "Okay, old people need to be quiet now."
- "You seem a little irritable Kyle, whats the matter, you got a little sand in your vagina?"
- "Seriously, I'm getting pissed off right nah (now)!"
- "I hate you guys so very, very much."
- "Sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm Jesus, and you aren't."
- "Nya, nya, nya, nya, nya, nya! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
- "Too bad drinking Scotch isn't a paying job or Kenny's dad would be a Millionaire!"
- "Remind me to cut your balls off when we get back."
- "I'll roshambo you for it."
- "I'm not fat! I'm festively plump!"
- "Naw dude, Independent films are those black and white Hippie movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding."
- "I was just layin' down some rhymes, with the G-folk, you know, kickin' it on the west siy-eede."
- "Anyway Kenny, Yellow MegaMan is only $8.95, so maybe your mom can put it on layaway and make payments for a year or two."
- "Yeah, if some girl tried to kick my ass, I'd be like, 'Hey, why don't you stop dressin' me up like a mailman, and making me dance for you while you go and smoke crack in your bedroom and have sex with some guy I don't even know, on my dad's bed'!"
- "My mom says if you want to become a lesbian, you have to lick carpet."
- "It's a man's obligation to stick his boneration in a women's separation; this sort of penetration will increase the population of the younger generation."
- "Kyle's mom is a big fat fucking bitch!"
- "Yeah, well I sneaked around my mom's closet too and saw what I'm getting. The Ultravibe Pleasure 2000."
- "I don't want to be friends with midgets. Midgets piss me off."
- "Suck my asshole, Taco Bender!"
- "Kenny said in Hell people speak Spanish and there is water there, but if you drink it you pee blood for 32 hours."
- "Do British people count as an ethnicity for hate crimes?"
- "Hmm. Work for you, have my penis cut off. Work for you, have my penis cut off. Hmm, let's see."
- "Jesus was made... of crackers?"
- "When I get down from here, I'm gonna kick you square in the nuts!"
- "Whateva! Whateva! I do what I want!"
- "I'm telling my mom I'm staying at Stan's house. Stan's telling his mom he's staying at Kenny's house, and Kenny isn't telling his parents anything because they're both alcoholics and they don't care."
- "Eew, this place smells like Kenny's house!"
- "Shut up hippies! I kill you!"
- "He's a Jewish dolphin. A Jewphin.
- I don't like Kenny anymore.
- Get the fudge OUT!
- A famous moment from the movie where the boys get in trouble
- Kyle: I think I know the answer Mr. Garrison!
- Cartman: (mocks Kyle)
- Kyle: "Shut up, fat boy! "
- Cartman: "Hey, don't call me fat you fucking Jew!"
- Mr. Garrison: "Eric! Did you just say the F-word?"
- Cartman: "Jew?"
- Kyle: "No he's talking about "fuck". You can't say "fuck" in school you fucking fatass."
- Mr. Garrison: "Kyle!"
- Cartman: "Why the fuck not?"
- Mr. Garrison: "Eric!"
- Stan: "Dude, you just said fuck again!"
- Mr. Garrison: "Stanley!"
- Kenny: (muffled) "Fuck."
- Mr. Garrison: "Kenny!"
- Cartman: "What's the big deal? It doesn't hurt anybody. Fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck."
- Mr. Garrison: "How would you like to go see the school counselor?!?"
- Cartman: "How would you like to suck my balls?"
- Class: (gasp)
- Mr. Garrison: "WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
- Cartman: "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Actually, what I said was... (clears throat and takes a megaphone out of nowhere) "HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUCK MY BALLS, Mr. Garrison?"
- Stan: "Holy shit, dude."
- Kitty: "meow"
- Cartman: "No kitty, this is my pot pie!"
- Kitty: "meow"
- Cartman: "No kitty, that's a bad kitty!"
- Kitty: "meow"
- Cartman: "NO KITTY, THIS IS MY POT PIE! BAD KITTY!(FART!) s'cuse me kitty!"
- Kitty: "meow"
- Cartman: "MOM! KITTY'S BEING A DOUCHEBAG!
- "I'm not just sure, I'm HIV positive."
- "How do I reeeach theeese kids?"
- "Fuck you Millie, fuck you Annie, fuck you Bebe, fuck you whatever-your-name-is and FUCK YOU, bitch!"
- "(singing) I hate you guys, You guys are assholes, Especially Kenny, i hate him the most"
- "Guys, don't laugh. It makes me feel insecure about my illness"
- "But now my mom has given us so much money that she's bankrupt, and we're poor, like Kenny. [Kenny approaches him and reaches out, but Cartman bushes him off] Don't touch me, Kenny. [Kenny steps back]"
- Cartman: You seem a little irritable, Kyle. You got some sand in your vagina?
Kyle: There's no sand in my vagina!
In the episode "Jakovasaurs", Cartman's backpack is shown with a tag that reads:
- E. Cartman
- 28201 E Bonanza St
- South Park, CO.
- E. Cartman
- In "Weight Gain 4000", Cartman got so fat that he saved Kathie Lee Gifford from being shot by a bullet.
- In "Die Hippie, Die", his intolerance of hippies saves South Park from a drug-filled hippie music festival.
- In "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut", his frequent use of vulgarity, after getting electrocuted by a power box, coupled with the experimental V-chip implanted in his brain to stop him from swearing (which gave him temporary electrostatic powers), deliberately helps save the world from Saddam Hussein.
- In "I'm a Little Bit Country" by filling his Tivo with the history channel and dropping it and himself into a pool he able to travel back in time to 1776, where he is able to institute the American tradition of Ice Cream Thursdays and return to South Park with a special 100th episode message about war and peace.
- In "The Snuke", Cartman's intolerance against Muslims and his use of racial profiling save the day.
- In "Grey Dawn", Cartman is the boy that figures out that by shutting down Country Kitchen Buffet, the Elderly won't have anywhere to get food, this being one of the few occasions where the boys rely on Cartman's leadership.
- In "The Death of Eric Cartman", Cartman is under the belief that he was a ghost trapped on Earth until things where made right. He distracts three escaped convicts who were holding ten people hostage at the Red Cross while Butters lets them escape.
- In "Smug Alert!", he saves Kyle's family from a smug storm (however, this is due to the fact that Cartman had no one else to taunt and insult).
- In "Make Love, Not Warcraft", Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny logged into World of Warcraft together to kill the player killer Jenkins' character. First, Stan retrieves the Sword of a Thousand Truths from his dad. Second Kenny shoots his arrow and Kyle uses magic to paralyze Jenkins' character. And finally, after Cartman says, "Looks like you're about to get pwned", he crushes the player killer's head with his war hammer.
- In "The Succubus", Cartman helps his friends to save Chef from unknowingly marrying a Succubus. Unfortunately, he doesn't prove to be very useful because at the time he was recovering from laser corrective surgery for his eyes.
- In "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy", Cartman helps Kyle to save his brother Ike from his Kindergarten teacher Ms. Stevenson, whom Ike was having an unhealthy sexual relationship with. Although Cartman was doing it mainly because the two were making out in the school hallways while he was the hall monitor (A job he took very seriously), he proves extraordinarily helpful.
Over the course of the series, Cartman managed to accomplish a wide range of achievements more than any other character of South Park. Some of them are a success or failure:
- "Scott Tenorman Must Die" - Had Scott Tenorman's parents killed, grounded them up into chili, and fed it to their son. (Success)
- "Cartmanland" - Bought the theme park with one million dollars he inherited from his grandmother. After selling it back to the original owner, he blew all his money. (Failure)
- "Red Hot Catholic Love" - Proved to Kyle that it is possible to defecate out of the mouth after putting food up the anus. (Successful Failure, although he proved Kyle that his theory worked, Kyle congratulated Cartman which ruined his true intentions: Humiliating Kyle by flaunting the money he lost.)
- "The Passion of the Jew" - Attempts to start a second Holocaust. (Failure) But, succeeds in tricking a big crowd on his side for a while.
- "Christian Rock Hard" - Forms a band to make a platinum album, but only gets "myrrh". (Failure)
- "The Red Badge of Gayness" - Tries to win a bet over Stan and Kyle, so that they have to be his slaves for a month. (Failure)
- "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes" - Bets Kyle that when you die you release your bowels. (Success)
- "Imaginationland Episode III" - Tells Kyle, that Kyle will suck his balls before the day is over. Technically because Kyle said all things imaginary are real. (Success)
- He first died in "The Spirit of Christmas", in which he is thrown and killed by Frosty. However, he was named Kenny instead of Cartman.
- Cartman also is killed in "Imaginationland Episode III" when Al Gore, breaks the Imagination door way, and sends him, Kyle and every one into Imaginationland along with a nuclear bomb killing Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Jesus and everyone still alive in Imaginationland after the large battle between the good and evil characters. He and everyone else is revived by Butters.
- Cartman has nearly been killed on numerous occasions, and nearly kills himself a few times. He originally dies in "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" by a fatal electrical shock, but it was removed from the film.
In popular culture
- Cartman was placed tenth on TV Guide's 2002 list of the "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time". 
- In 2003, he was chosen as one of "VH1's 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons", at number 198.
- Also, in 2005, Cartman was ranked number nineteen on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters.
- In the Powerpuff Girls episode "Imaginary Friend", when Blossom was tripped and landed in the coat rack, she ended up dressed like Cartman. She also said "Uh he tripped me seriously"; a similar way Cartman says his lines.
- Cartman's "You Will Respect My Authoritah!" in the "Chickenlover" episode May 20, 1998. is covered by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
- Cartman's head can be seen in the ACT Easts picture under the name Adam Doyle.25 "Greatest" Moments (October 2005)
- ABC used Cartman to introduce the lineups of a Colorado Buffaloes game.
- Cartman also appears on screen between play at Los Angeles Kings games.
- In "Futurama: Bender's Big Score", he has a small cameo as a head in a jar.
- In the late 90's, there was a pro wrestler in the WWF (Now WWE) named Golga (John Tenta), who had a gimmick that had an obsession for Cartman holding a doll and wearing a t-shirt.
- ↑ www.firstamendmentcenter.org/about
- ↑ treyparker.info
- ↑ www.npr.org Retrieved on April 30th, 2008.
- ↑ www.npr.org Retrieved on April 30th, 2008.
- ↑ A discussion comment from an Indian user in Wikipedia, who knew of Cartman before he knew of the series 
- ↑ Cartoon characters list archives.cnn.com/2002/
- ↑ books.google.com
- ↑ [http://www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=3843&SPID=255&DB_OEM_ID=600&ATCLID=1325380 www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml]