"I'm Jewish. I've got some hang-ups about killing Jesus."
Voiced by: Matt Stone
Debut: "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"Stan's closest friend. He and his parents are Jewish, but his younger brother Ike is actually from Canada. He appears to be the smartest, at least academically, of the original four, but has a tendency to get sucked into the latest fads/problems/social issues sweeping South Park. Kyle is also known as the moral compass of the otherwise chaotic town - although has a nasty temper to go along with it. His role in Coon and Friends is The Human Kite.
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- Academic Athlete: A young version. He's noted in-series as loving football and basketball while also demonstrating high intelligence (his wimpy cousin Kyle even calls him a "redneck jock stereotype" in one episode).
- Adorkable: A number of fans see him as this.
- All of the Other Reindeer: In earlier seasons, Kyle would often feel left out by his friends around the holidays, him being a Jew and all. He even gets an Anti-Christmas Song, "The Lonely Jew at Christmas".
- Anti-Villain: After getting dumped by Heidi in favor for Cartman and becoming like the latter, Kyle becomes one of Type II and III during the episode "Super Hard P Cness". He believes that all the abuse he had to endure and the meanness appearing in South Park were a result of the vulgarness of Terrence and Phillip and Canadian media in general and tries to an end to their shows so they can no longer corrupt the morals of people in other countries It leads to Canada getting nuked by the President much to Kyle's horror.
- Arch-Enemy: For Cartman (sometimes reaches The Only One Allowed to Defeat You levels).
- Armor-Piercing Response: Gives one to Heidi Turner that it makes her realize how far she has sunk ever since she dated Cartman. Doubles as a brief "The Reason You Suck" Speech.Heidi: Oh, what's the matter Kyle? You don't want me around 'cause you had the hots for me and I shot you down?Kyle: I would never have the hots for the person you are now. (Heidi is stunned by Kyle's answer)
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Briefly, in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000".
- Atrocious Alias: You probably shouldn't name yourself "The Human Kite" when you're Jewish and Eric Cartman is around.
- Author Avatar: He's a stand-in for Matt Stone.
- Back from the Dead: In "Imaginationland", he is choked to death by ManBearPig, only for Cartman to resuscitate him.
- Badass Bookworm: On the outside, a potty-mouth, angry nine-year old who's also the smart one of the group, but the movie demonstrated that he can hack into top secret military databases. He has also been shown to be fairly athletic at points of the show and fully capable of kicking Cartman's ass when necessary.
- Being Good Sucks: Kyle always tries to do the right thing, even if it doesn't get him rewarded or gain happiness. It becomes more apparent when Cartman, a sociopath at the age of 10, is involved because despite Kyle hating him with all his heart, he could never let Cartman suffer from his own stupid actions and wants to at least see him do the right thing once in his life.
- Berserk Button: Don't call his mom a bitch. Or make fun of his Jewish heritage. Or be Eric Cartman and do pretty much anything. At this point in the series, it's more the third thing than the first two.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kyle is usually very kind, but you might not want to anger him if you know what's good for you. See Berserk Button above.
- Big Brother Bully: To Ike in the first season. "Kick the baby!"
- Big Brother Instinct:
- Ike has become one of Kyle's highest priorities sometime after "Ike's Wee Wee", from following him to Somalia and getting him home safe to worrying about Ike getting circumcised or keeping him from running off with his teacher to Milan. Could arguably be Kyle's biggest drive after his antagonism towards Cartman.
- He briefly played this role to Blanket in "Jeffersons" due to his father neglecting him. He goes from giving him a band-aid to trying to take away Jefferson's custody of him.
- Break the Cutie: Most notably in "Cartmanland". It's one thing being pushed into denouncing the existence of a God (or in this case a righteous God). It's another to be pushed to the point of giving up on life due to Cartman's constant Karma Houdini instances. It takes one major case of divine intervention to rectify.
- That case of divine intervention was Cartman needing to staff a fully operating amusement park, selling it back to the original owners, and seeing Cartman lose his cash because he was liable for Kenny's death since it took place while he was still owner.
- Brutal Honesty: Can do this at times.
- Butt-Monkey: Mostly having to do with being the center of Cartman's torment around him being a Jew.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Kyle does this to his mom in "Fun with Veal" and in The Movie.
- "You bastards!", after Stan's "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!".
- "You know, I've learned something today," although this is sometimes said by Stan, and other characters as well.
- "Fatass" is something he says to Cartman every episode they interact in. Stan sometimes calls him that, too.
- Characterization Marches On: Early in the show's run, his personality was more similar to Stan's; he was more childish, bratty, indifferent and a Big Brother Bully to Ike on a larger scale. As the series went on, his character got more fleshed out and unique to Stan's, and he also became much more kind-hearted (if you aren't Cartman, that is), and his love for Ike is a lot more manifested. On the other hand, he can be more overly-dramatic about social values (almost bordering on Soapbox Sadie in seasons 19-20) and will move mountains to prove Cartman wrong about the silliest of things, something his earlier self wouldn't have done due to apathy.
- The Chew Toy: In later seasons, though Seasons 18 and 20 don't feature him as one.
- Child Prodigy: He's regularly portrayed as the top student in his class, has the highest capabilities with the computer, including photoshopping a photo to fool the Japanese government to stop whaling and get his best friend out of trouble and single-handedly thwarting a terrorist attack with some inspired Google-fu. He's also shown more than a slight capability with philosophy and managed to remove himself from reality.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: This is available only when Cartman has a new, evil plan.
- Compressed Hair: He easily gets a Jewfro that's larger than his head into a small hat. Justified since it's just the art style exaggerating the size of it.
- The Conscience: Over the course of the show, he's evolved into this, as he's often stuck playing the voice of reason as well as the conscience in a show featuring Eric Cartman.
- Cool Big Bro: Tries to be this for Ike.
- Department of Redundancy Department: He never stops reminding everyone that Cartman's fat.
- Deuteragonist: Strictly speaking, though he and Stan can switch roles from time to time.
- Dirty Coward: Happens often. When he, along with the rest of his friends, does something wrong (or even thinks that they did), he usually tries to frame it on Butters.
- Disney Death: In "Imaginationland Part II", during a scene parodying The Abyss.
- Dogged Nice Guy: During "Cartman Finds Love" and "Doubling Down" all thanks to Cartman, the latter of which seemed to have mentally broke him.
- Everyone Has Standards: While he really was becoming like his mom, in his defense, he's actually a bit less of an extremist than she is. While she didn't regret being A Nazi by Any Other Name for the most part, it taking the coming of the apocalypse to have her regret her actions, Kyle couldn't bear to see that he caused Canada to be nuked (which, while horrible, is a bit less horrible than The End of the World as We Know It).
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Parodied. After realizing that Terrence and Philip didn't make him laugh anymore and becoming disillusioned with them, he shaves his hair to a smaller style (along with a new non-Terrence and Phillip shirt). Then he immediately puts his hat and jacket back on before admiring his "new" look in the mirror. The hat remains on the rest of the episode.
- Fiery Redhead: Mixed with his Hot-Blooded tendencies whenever his Chronic Hero Syndrome personality kicks in.
- The Finicky One: He has shades of this at times, though his foil, and more or less the entire world he lives in, is so immoral he doesn't really need that high standards to get wound up over it.
- Flanderization: His obsession with beating Cartman, to the point of occasionally leaning into Knight Templar territory.
- Reaches the point in season 21 where his anger that a girl he liked rejected him for Cartman and basically turned into a female Cartman enraged him so much that he indirectly got Toronto nuked.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: The voice of morality and plays the "good angel" on Stan's shoulder, prodding him to do the right thing, in direct opposition to Cartman's "bad angel" who will do the wrong thing and take Stan along for the ride.
- Good Is Not Nice: Seeing some of the conflicts between him and Cartman out of context wouldn't make all that clear that Kyle's supposed to be the good guy. One example is in "Le Petit Tourette", though, in the perspective of the adults. Cartman fakes Tourette's Syndrome to get what he wants, and Kyle, who's known Cartman all his life, gets annoyed and says that he doesn't have Tourette's, and an authority figure that has it accuses Kyle of being a bully and he is taken to observe various kids with Tourette's (with lack of swearing). He is then forced to apologize to Cartman. However, when Cartman plans to bad-mouth Jews, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back, so Kyle devises an elaborate plan that actually saves Cartman from going in too deep. His method involved having tons of pedophiles committing suicide to stop the show and is angry when Cartman thanks him for it.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He is quite easily pissed off, usually because of something Cartman says or does.
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: After Cartman starts a rumor in "Cartman Finds Love" that he and Kyle are together, Kyle tries his damnedest to express that he is not gay and not gay for Cartman. He really does not like the idea of drinking pee or eating bananas.
- The Hero: Either swaps this role with Stan semi-frequently or works with Stan (and sometimes the other boys) as a duo/team of sorts in undermining the numerous insane and evil plots they often (unwillingly) discover.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Without death involved. "Margaritaville" has Kyle use his new credit card without a spending limit to pay for the town's debts, even if it means he will be in debt himself for the rest of his life.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Stan.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Has shades of this due to his antagonism toward Cartman. In some episodes he thinks nothing of having him dead. Although this also depends on how far Cartman has spent in monster territory in previous episodes.
- Hot-Blooded: At least when Cartman's involved.
- In Tonsil Trouble he complains about Cartman making fun of HIV despite laughing at his condition earlier. Even if he was laughing at the irony of the situation based on previous episodes, this episode alone frames him as this trope.
- In The Stick of Truth, he requests a group of elves to kidnap your character and threatens to blackmail your character, even though you're already a member of Kupa Keep. Ironically, Cartman recruited your character in a much more polite manner. This example is more benign than the former though as the characters were playing a game and he puts his grudge towards Cartman aside to stop Clyde.
- The Idealist: Very much so in the later seasons, and serves as a good counterbalance to Stan's later cynicism.
- Ill Boy: Not too blatant, but Kyle gets sick much more often than the others boys (unless you count Kenny's constant dying). Suffered kidney failure and mentioned to have Type 1 Diabetes in "Cherokee Hair Tampons", got infected with a hemorrhoid in "Cartmanland" (which turned fatal), was sick throughout the entirety of "The Snuke" and had a quick cold in "Guitar Queer-O". Well, it's either this or plot convenience or for other reasons.
- Informed Judaism: For all the mentioning of his family's faith, Kyle rarely goes to temple or prays, or even wears a kippah. Plus, his family eats pork products (they had pork for dinner in "Conjoined Fetus Lady" and Kyle threw up bean with bacon soup in "Cherokee Hair Tampons"), which isn't kosher. Partial justification: early on, Kyle's family was the only Jewish family in town, and they're probably not very religious to begin with (as we've mentioned, he's a stand-in for Matt Stone, who is ethnically Jewish but was raised agnostic and is an atheist). Plus, that's part of the joke.
- Insufferable Genius: Sort of. Kyle, being The Smart Guy, is very intelligent, and when this is combined with Hot-Blooded and Snark Knight, it becomes something of a subtle version of this trope. He believes himself to be on a moral ground high above others, especially Cartman.
- Jerkass Ball: He and Stan are usually Only Sane Men to the craziness of the world around them, and act as more moralistic foils to Cartman. At times however, often when Cartman is not in a starring role, they can act rather selfish or immoral, having nothing against using similar bullying or conniving tactics to Cartman to get what they want. This is more toned down in later seasons, though still pops up every now and then.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be Hot-Blooded on occasion, mostly due to Cartman's behavior, and in earlier seasons he wasn't much better than Cartman himself. However, despite his intense hatred and resentment towards Cartman he's still a Nice Jewish Boy, especially in later episodes.
- Jewish and Nerdy: Subverted. He's Jewish and the smartest kid in the group, but he's cool enough to avert the trope. He also hates his cousin's stereotypical nerdiness.
- Kids Are Cruel: In earlier episodes, despite viewing himself as having much higher moral ground than Cartman, Kyle was essentially a lower-scale bully. It was actually him that tormented Pip to the point of earning a broken nose and joined in exploiting and disregarding Butters and Kenny on numerous occasions. There are also subtle hints that his bullying turned Cartman into the anti-Semitic monster he is today. This is toned down in later episodes, though he can still act self righteous or show Jerkass traits on occasion. He often calls Cartman "fatass" even when Cartman hasn't done anything wrong in that episode towards anyone.
- Knight Templar: He is gradually leaning towards this trope in his rivalry with Cartman; some of their conflicts have shown his willingness to outright kill him. In "Fatbeard" for example, he attempts to convince Cartman to travel to Somalia in his ill-defined plan to become a pirate, and he is later seen gloating about assisting in Cartman's supposed death, unfazed by the fact that Butters, Clyde and Kevin went along with him. Ike joining, however, is enough to change his mind.
- The Lancer: Often, to Stan's The Hero.
- Messianic Archetype: Blatantly so in Margaritaville.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: While Kyle wanted Canada to pay for their influence its media has on children, he never expected his actions to start a nuclear war between Canada and the USA.
- Misplaced Retribution: After getting dumped by Heidi for Cartman, he decides to take his frustrations on Canada blaming their show Terrence & Philip for corrupting the youth. While children of South Park like their show for its crude humor its simply a show trying to get viewers and children aren't their designated audience.note
- Mistaken for Gay:
- With Cartman in "Tonsil Trouble", whenever he exclaims that he's the one who gave him AIDS.
- In "Cartman Finds Love" only perpetuated by Cartman.
- My Beloved Smother: Kyle on frequent occasions is shown to be submissive if not outright terrified of his overbearing mother. He has been shown to betray every moral ethic he has in fear of provoking her wrath.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His face screams this at the end of "Super Hard PCness" after he gets Garrison to nuke Montreal in a fit of anger.
- Mommy Issues: In earlier seasons, especially in The Movie.
- Morality Chain: Tries to be this to Cartman.
- Nice Guy: Kyle is one of the nicest characters you'll ever meet. He becomes one of the nicest characters later on in the series.
- Nice Hat: He even made a big deal out of it when getting his school picture taken:Photographer: Take off your hat, please?
Kyle: But I never take off my hat.
Photographer: Come on now, I bet your parents want a picture of you lookin' natural.
Kyle: This is how I look natural.
Ms. Choksondik: Kyle, we're taking pictures without hats today!
Kyle: (taking off hat) Crap!
- Nice Jewish Boy: Probably the best modern version of the stereotype. Although he borders on Jerk with a Heart of Gold at times due to his short temper, he is well known for being a moral and compassionate boy who tries to do the right thing.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Near the end of "Stunning and Brave", Cartman utilizes a plan for getting rid of PC Principal and his friends (and shockingly doing so for Kyle's benefit no less!), so what does Kyle do? He intervenes by saying he changed his mind about Caitlyn Jenner, which foiled the plan and allowed the PC Frats to be able to stay. Subverted when you realize that if Kyle hadn't done that, PC Principal would've never gone through a Heel–Face Turn.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Kyle tries to help Heidi get out of an emotionally abusive with Cartman, only for Cartman to use Kyle's interference to make Heidi reject Kyle and become Anti-Semetic. Though this later gets Subverted in that while Kyle's interference does speed up Heidi's transition to becoming a female Cartman it does make her realize the follies of her relationship with Cartman and permanently break up with him much sooner. Hadn't Kyle interfered Cartman would have still turned Heidi into his Distaff Counterpart, but a slower rate, and with no one to help her, it would have been far too late to turn back.
- Not So Different: Kyle on occasion can show similar moments of greed or callousness as Cartman. This is highlighted in "Crack Baby Athletic Association", where Kyle agrees to exploiting crack-addicted babies for profit, and spends the entire episode obsessively trying to justify himself, beginning to sound more and more like Cartman as Stan nonchalantly points out.
- No Respect Guy: He usually gets this treatment from Cartman.
- Only Sane Man: Often trades this role with Stan.
- Out-of-Character Moment:
- In "Woodland Critter Christmas", he willingly becomes the human host of the Antichrist, just so that the Jews could "take control of Christmas once and for all". He comes to his senses soon after when he feels his soul burning. Of course, it's only a story Cartman wrote.
- In "South Park is Gay", he gets so upset about his classmates making fun of him for not being metrosexual that he takes a train to New York City with intent to kill the cast of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. This is before it's revealed that the show is actually a plot by the Crab People to destroy humanity, so that does not excuse him.
- The Paragon: ...Or at least he tries to invoke it. He would succeed... if the town wasn't so stupid.
- Please Keep Your Hat On: Considers wearing his hat to be how he "looks natural" rather than showing off his very large Jewfro.
- Pragmatic Hero: How he deals with Cartman's schemes most of the time. In some cases however, he is fueled more out of personal hatred for Cartman, making him more a case of He Who Fights Monsters.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Weirdly enough both. He's the Red Oni to Stan's Blue and the Blue Oni to Cartman's Red.
- The Rival: Alternates between this and Arch-Enemy with Cartman.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Kyle would like you to know that he and Eric Cartman are not a gay couple, no matter what Cartman says.
- The Smart Guy: The smartest of the group, at least academically.
- The Snark Knight: One of the most sarcastic characters this series has.
- Straight Man: When Stan is the designated holder of the Idiot Ball. Has become a regular occurrence from Season 15 on.
- Superpowered Evil Side: His Jersey self is treated as this. While it's not explicitly superpowered, it is the only way to take on people from Jersey on their own terms.
- Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: Kyle's given many variations of this over the years, usually in response to something Cartman says.
- Third Wheel: serves as one for Stan and Wendy especially during the earlier seasons.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Occasionally. Particularly in the episode "Tonsil Trouble" when he makes fun of Cartman when he contracts HIV. This happens in the later seasons a lot more frequently.
- Took a Level in Kindness: More or less the same evolution as Stan. He still has occasional self-righteous moments, though they are much more rare. Subverted in Season 16 from time to time.
- Tragic Hero: Kyle wants to do the right thing and convince others to do the same. However his antagonism towards Cartman and obsession in beating him tends to override this and put his own morals into question. It reaches its climax in season 21 when a girl he likes dumps him for his rival and become his Distaff Counterpart, so he goes on a moral crusade against Canada so no one else will become like Cartman only to get the country nuked.
- Tragic Mistake: Convincing President Garrison to nuke Canada.
- Trans Nature: According to "Mr. Garrison's Fancy New Vagina", Kyle felt he was black all his life. However, this was never mentioned again. Kyle apparently accepted the way he was born.
- The Unfavorite: Its implied to be this, especially towards his father who mockingly tells Ike that he doesn't want to be like Kyle.
- Unwitting Pawn: Cartman's final revenge gambit in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" hinges on him and Stan backstabbing him.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Implied to be one to his father, Gerald.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Even compared to his more observant peers, he is very intelligent.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: After all the shit he had to endure in South Park it seems that he has finally reached his breaking point after Heidi breaks up with for Anit-Semitic reasons, goes back to Cartman and becomes a more extreme version of the latter, as well as the subsequent bullying that he faced afterwards. He blames Canada for all his suffering and the meanness of South Park which leads to him to getting the country nuked.
- You Have to Have Jews: For Cartman to hate.