Characters / South Park Main Characters

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    Stanley "Stan" Marsh
"Dude, sometimes I think our parents are really stupid."
Voiced by: Trey Parker
Debut: "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"

The straight man out of the original four kids, he is often the one to give An Aesop at the end of each show. The closest thing to a main character of the show, who tends to be the protagonist of many episodes and is probably not coincidentally the most "normal" character.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In the episode "Guitar Queer-O". Becomes a regular character trait in later seasons where even when well intentioned, he ends up preferring glory and money over his original message.
  • The Alcoholic: Had intakes of whiskey in "Ass Burgers". The ending of the episode implies he may stay that way, though it hasn't been mentioned again since. One could argue this was foreshadowed in "Trapped in the Closet", when he asks, "What if I become an alcoholic, like Grandpa?"
  • Allergic to Love: He always barfed whenever Wendy got close to him in the early episodes. As of now, he no longer does this.
  • Angst: The closest thing to the series' poster boy. Parodied in "Raisins" (to the point where he becomes a Goth) and "You're Getting Old"/"Ass Burgers", played straight in other episodes.
  • Anti-Hero: Type 3 in the early episodes, turns into a Type 2 later on. "Ass Burgers" and onwards shows traits of a Type 4. Since the release of The Stick of Truth, he seems to be showing more heroic qualities, going back to being a Type 2.
  • Author Avatar: He's a stand-in for Trey Parker, which probably explains why he's the most prominent character.
  • Berserk Button: Do not swindle his grandfather. He will call your phone number and actually tell you to kill yourself.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Usually a friendly and pleasant boy, but the second you cross the line, you'll regret it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Butters, to an extent.
  • Big "OMG!": "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!"
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: At the end of "Raisins", Stan says "Screw you guys, I'm going home" (which was Cartman's old catchphrase) to the Goths.
  • Break the Cutie: It's pretty rare for him, but it happens. The most notable was when Wendy broke up with him and when he became cynical after his 10th birthday.
  • Butt Monkey: In the earlier episodes, he was constantly bullied by his older sister, and now has to deal with embarrassing moments from his father (and in earlier seasons, his mother too). Also, while not as much of a target as Kyle or Kenny, he isn't spared from being insulted by Cartman.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Without puking on them if he likes them. This trait has disappeared in recent seasons.
  • Catch Phrase: "Aw- awww!", "Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no!", and "God damn it!" In the earlier seasons, he had "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" and "Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here!" He also has the simpler "Dude."
  • Characterization Marches On: Was more childish and mean-spirited in earlier episodes. More the Only Sane Man in later seasons. Starting with seasons 15 and 16, he has started to ease back a bit, having more obnoxious or immature moments. He is still much more toned down from how he began however.
  • The Cutie: In the first season character commercials, Cartman was known for being fat, Kenny as lucky, and Kyle as smart. Stan was known for being cute.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the later episodes, Stan has a habit of pinching the bridge of his nose and sigh when another character does something stupid. He often exclaims "Dude, this is pretty fucked up right here", and in "Child Abduction is Not Funny", he remarks to Kyle, "Dude, sometimes I think our parents are really stupid", and as they rejoin their families at the conclusion of the episode, "Jesus Christ, dude, they've done some stupid crap before, but, Jesus Christ...".
  • Determinator: Once Stan sets his mind to something, it's pretty hard to get him to stop.
  • Dirty Coward: Happens often. When he, along with the rest of his friends, does something wrong (or even think that they did), he usually tries to frame it on Butters. The most notable instance was the Trent Boyett pre-school incident.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Often involuntarily throughout "Ass Burgers".
  • The Everyman: As the leader of the group, and the most "normal" character.
  • Extreme Doormat:
    • It's pretty subtle, but he can be seen as this to an extent in his relationship with Wendy. Any episodes with scenes that focus on their relationship show that Wendy is always the one to suggest an idea for a date, and Stan (even if he detested the idea at first) goes along without objection. Examples of this are in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", "Tom's Rhinoplasty", "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", and it is hinted near the end of "Ass Burgers". Other examples of hints for the trope include:
    • In "Elementary School Musical", rather than discussing how he felt about Wendy and Bridon, Stan simply tells her that she should be with him, and he doesn't want to hold her back.
    • In "Raisins", Wendy is the one to break up the relationship, and from then on Stan never once tries talking to her about wanting to get back together. Even in "The List", they don't get back together until Wendy mentions that she liked how Stan changed over time.
    • Wendy is also always the one to initiate their kisses, as shown in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", "Tom's Rhinoplasty", The Movie, and "The List".
    • The only time Stan averts this trope is if he sees somebody insulting his girlfriend, but in those instances Wendy doesn't seem bothered, except possibly for "Butters' Bottom Bitch". When Wendy does stand up for herself, Stan never intervenes and lets her take care of things on her own.
  • Facepalm: Pinching the bridge of his own nose (or the space where the bridge of his nose would be, as the kids don't have visible noses) isn't uncommon.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The other three start avoiding Stan after he becomes cynical.
  • Friend to All Living Things: A more jaded and snarky example, but he still qualifies. He refused to shoot a rabbit as early as Season 1, gave up entirely on meat for baby cows, and was the only one determined to stop the Japanese from killing whales and dolphins. The Stick of Truth calls back on this with his dog Sparky accompanying him in battle, and he feels guilty when he decapitates a zombified version of Princess Kenny's unicorn.
  • Goth: In "Raisins".
  • Growing Up Sucks: The show has "You're Getting Old", where Stan turns 10 and realizes how shitty things are progressively getting to the point of seeing and hearing nothing but shit, a disorder called by a doctor "Being a cynical asshole". This leads to an end of his friendships and with his mother divorcing Randy after not being able to take his shenanigans anymore, moving away from South Park. Of course humorously, Status Quo fixes everything by the next episodes end. Though Stan need a little "help" to get through the days now.
  • The Hero: Usually.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Stan's had two. The first one is when Wendy dumps him to the point that he becomes Goth. Butters' speech about loving life helps him out of it. The second starts in "You're Getting Old" and ends in "Ass Burgers" due to Status Quo Is God. One could argue that it's still going.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kyle.
  • Hey, You!: Shelly almost never calls him by name. Poor Stan. His grandpa always calls him Billy instead of his real name as well.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: In "A Very Crappy Christmas", when Butters draws the boys' cartoon forms for their short film, Kyle (who notes that he has a sharper nose) notes that Stan has blue eyes while explaining that their drawings kind of look like them.
  • It Runs in the Family: Some of his Catch Phrases are also used by his father.
  • Jerkass Ball: He and Kyle 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.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Although not as much as Cartman, Kenny or even Kyle.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Frequently hates doing the right thing because Being Good Sucks and he always gets screwed over, but he will still make the right choice every time... eventually.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
  • Nice Guy: While a bit cynical, he's a sensitive animal lover, and usually one of the most moral characters. On occasion, however, not so much....
  • Nice Hat: A blue one.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
  • No Respect Guy: Stan would usually get no respect from his father at the very least.
  • Not So Above It All: Every now and then.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Shelley and Wendy's Masculine Girl.
  • Only Sane Man: Most of the time, save for the episodes where he gets thrown the Idiot Ball, leaving the role to Kyle.
  • Out of Focus: He gets the short shift of the trio of him, Kyle, and Cartman.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: In "Whale Whores".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Kyle's Red.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: His tearful remorse in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" is induced by his inability to trade the 5th generation iPod Nano that he sold his friends out for.
  • Satellite Character: In Season 19. He gets very little screen time, and he's not used to advance the main plotlines. This is true to an even greater degree in Season 20, as despite the fact that he is directly affected by the girls' Lysistrata Gambit, he is completely absent from several episodes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Not quite as much as Cartman, but when something happens that he doesn't like or doesn't want to see the outcome of he's usually the first (second if Cartman goes first) to bail.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Cartman's Manly Man.
  • Sell Out: Several times in Season 16.
  • Straight Man: The Straight Man to the WHOLE town in later seasons.
  • Straw Nihilist: Played with in later seasons, particularly after "You're Getting Old". Of all the main boys, Stan's certainly the most cynical of them all. Lampshaded in "Member Berries".
  • Symbiotic Possession: Used as a vessel for Satan towards the end of "Freemium Isn't Free".
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: A subtle example. Subtle, because he's a piece of crappy cartoon. Stan is the calm, collected one in his group, has dark hair, and even joins the Goth kids in one episode. Plus, he's the only one who has had a stable girlfriend for a very long time. It helps that he is South Park's best example of an Adorably Precocious Child.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: In You're Getting Old.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Along with Took a Level in Jerkass below, his fears of becoming his father are beginning to catch up to him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Seasons 15 and 16.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Starting from Season 7, he becomes more level headed and sympathetic, his bratty moments less frequent. Oddly prior to Season 6 where he Took a Level in Jerkass, becoming as manipulative and apathetic as Cartman towards the gang's new fourth friend.
  • Trash of the Titans: Apparently he has a hoarding problem. He gets over it, though. Or does he?!
  • Tuckerization: His surname is derived from the surname of Trey Parker's paternal step-grandfather.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Having Seen It All in the face of South Park's (and his dad's) Weirdness Magnet has made him immune to reacting to the craziness surrounding him.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Cartman's final revenge gambit in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" hinges on him and Kyle backstabbing him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: On a disturbingly frequent basis. "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", "Butterballs" and "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" for starters.

    Kyle Broflovski
"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.

  • 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".
  • Arch-Enemy: For Cartman (sometimes reaches The Only One Allowed to Defeat You levels).
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Briefly, in "The Tooth Fairy Tats 2000".
  • 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 try 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.
  • 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.
    Sheila: Kyle, if you don't do as you're told, I'm going to be very angry!
    Kyle: Well, you made me eat veal and didn't tell me what it was, so go ahead and be angry, you baby calf-killing bitch!
    Sharon: Very persuasive.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "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.
  • Celibate Hero: Well he's not actively celibate or anything (keep in mind he's only 10 years old) but, regardless, he pays the least amount of attention to girls out of the boys (even compared to Cartman). The only three girls that he had any interest in were Rebecca Cotswald (from Season 3), Nichole (from Season 16), and Leslie (from Season 19) yet nothing came out of it. There was also some Ship Tease with Bebe earlier in the show's run, but that hasn't been revisited.
  • 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 recent seasons, though the Season 18 episodes don't feature him often.
  • 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.
  • 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: Seldom gets what he wants despite trying to be a decent person. Often due to Cartman.
  • 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.
  • 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. Also, in keeping with his "hero" status, he is the only one out of the five main boys who doesn't have an extensive criminal record.
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Kyle: I've listened to Hip-Hop, I watch UPN, and I love playing basketball.
  • Unfortunate Names: You probably shouldn't name yourself "The Human Kite" when you're Jewish and Eric Cartman is around.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Cartman's final revenge gambit in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" hinges on him and Stan backstabbing him.
  • You Have to Have Jews: For Cartman to hate.

    Eric Theodore Cartman
"Screw you guys, I'm going home."

Kyle: "He's a fat, manipulative, bigoted, intolerant sociopath."

Voiced by: Trey Parker
Debut: "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"
The fat kid of the group. Incredibly selfish and mean, but the other boys keep him around because they know he won't get along well with anyone else. One of the most well-known and polarizing characters of the show. Among other things, he hates hippies, Jews, gingers, Wendy Testaburger's liberal views, people making fun of his weight, and the "random" humor of Family Guy.

See also his self-demonstrating page.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Just about every kid in town hates him, though not without good reason. It's to the extent that in one episode, they all flat-out tell Cartman that they don't like him and couldn't possibly have a lower opinion of him than they already do.
  • Acrofatic: While usually very out of shape, he proves to be surprisingly athletic as The Coon, scaling buildings and a half-destroyed roller coaster with apparently little effort. Then this trope is subverted majorly in "1%" when his atrocious fitness causes an otherwise average class (and the whole school) to fail a national fitness test, then inverted in "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer", in which he is unable to keep up with the rest of the gang as they run throughout the town.
  • Adorkable: He could be this in the first four seasons, surprisingly enough. Especially when playing with his dolls (ie. Clyde Frog, Peter Panda, etc.).
  • All Take and No Give: Cartman demands to have everything handed over to him whenever he wants something and he usually has his friends do the work for whatever he needs or wants done while he doesn't do any of the heavy duty stuff himself. Cartman never gives anyone anything unless it's part of a scheme he has planned and he hardly ever gives words of thanks when it's due, especially to his mother.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Depending on the needs of the episode, he can occasionally be found somewhere at the crossroads between ASPD/sociopathy, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Schizophrenia.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Although he's shown to have feelings for Wendy and Patty Nelson, he has also frequently shown heavily repressed attraction to men, among other strange tendencies. In various episodes, he's been known to dress like Britney Spears and dance with a Justin Timberlake stand-up, joins NAMBLA, takes a picture of Butters' penis in his mouth (then tries to take one of his penis in Butters' mouth), and in "Fat Butt and Pancake Head", his hand puppet Jennifer Lopez has sex with Ben Affleck. However, some of these instances, particularly NAMBLA and the pictures of him and Butters, can be chalked up to him simply being too naive and stupid to understand what he's really doing.
    • His hatred for Kyle often leads into sexual humiliation that carries these implications, including going to great lengths to force Kyle to suck his balls in "Imaginationland", his delights in forcing Kyle to stick his finger up his ass (to activate the probe stuck in there, mind you) in "Cancelled", forcing Kyle to literally kiss his ass (and then farting in his face when he gets close enough) in "Fun with Veal", and offering to suck Kyle's balls in "Go God Go". Then there's "Cartman Finds Love", in which he keeps telling people he and Kyle are gay lovers in order to keep Kyle from interfering with Cartman's plans to make Nicole hook up with Token.
    • In "Tweek x Craig", it's implied the imaginary Cupid version of himself represents his repressed attraction to guys... or his love for himself. Then, of course, a season after that he actually gets his first girlfriend.
  • Ambition Is Evil:
    • In "The Red Badge of Gayness", he bets Kyle and Stan that if the Confederacy wins in a Civil War reenactment, Kyle and Stan will have to be his slaves. Stan and Kyle know that this being a reenactment, the Confederacy has no chance of winning. What does Cartman do? He motivates them to fight for real, leads them across America, gets enough manpower to field an actual army along the way ("It's just like the million man march, except that there actually are a million people.") and then marches them to the White House.
    • Then there's the time he bets Stan and Kyle that he can produce a platinum album (1 million copies sold) by taking advantage of Christian rock and only fails in the end because they only give out myrrh albums instead of platinum ones.
  • Angrish: His hilariously unique vocal mannerisms lead to this being used a lot, with many instances being outright Crowning Moments of Funny. Hell, he'll use his rasped garbles for almost any occasion: one of his most memorable moments involved him delving into this out of dumbfounded jubilation in "Cartmanland".
  • Anti-Hero: Prior to his infamous plot to humiliate Scott Tenorman. He then becomes a Villain Protagonist until he goes back to being an Anti-Hero in the second half of Season 15.
  • Anti-Villain: Starting with Season 16, his racist intentions and jerkass tendencies are much lighter than in previous seasons. Most of his schemes veer down Well-Intentioned Extremist territory.
  • Anti-Role Model: He is often made the voice of political views the author disagrees with, and is also a fat, moronic, sociopathic, and all-around-awful person.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", Cartman denies that he was abducted by aliens and got an anal probe inserted inside him, even as he farts flames and has the probe protruding from his ass. When aliens blast Kenny into oncoming cattle, thus killing him, Cartman even denies that Kenny is dead, despite having (presumably) seen what happened right before his eyes.
  • Arch-Enemy: For Kyle.
  • The Atoner:
    • Became this in "The Death of Eric Cartman". Not because he felt remorse for his past actions or even cared that he might go to Hell for them, but so that he could stop being a ghost. He wasn't really a ghost, his friends were just ignoring him.
    • Of a somewhat self-preserving sort as of Season 20. As he recognizes Political Correctness is here to stay, he tries to integrate himself into it, with varying levels of sincerity and success. Getting together with Heidi has certainly helped.
  • Attention Whore: Interrupts class a lot just to get attention among other things.
  • Author Avatar: For Trey to a degree. He has mentioned in several communities and interviews that he shares some of the same views as Cartman. Most notably about Family Guy, and gingers.
  • Ax-Crazy: He is known for infamously chopping up the bodies of two dead parents and feeding them to their own son in the form of chili, in the infamous "Scott Tenorman Must Die" episode. He shows signs of full-blown psychosis at times, and generally has a narcissistic, psychopathic nature.
  • Badass Beard: As "The Dawg" in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy".
  • Bad Black Barf: In one of the creepier moments of the series, coming to the revelation that the world doesn't revolve around him in the episode "Tsst" causes him to literally puke out his evil in the form of black vomit, and he then goes on to start "glitching" and screaming in a supernatural fashion.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The infamous "Scott Tenorman Must Die". Also one of the biggest Karma Houdini moments ever. Aside from that episode, there are several moments over the show's 20 year run where he's come out on top. However, he loses just as often as he wins.
  • Bad Samaritan: "Crack Baby Basketball Athletic Association".
  • Bastard Bastard: He's the product of Jack Tenorman's affair with his slutty mother, and a Jerkass on his best days.
  • Batman Gambit: In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman exploits Unspoken Plan Guarantee by telling a fake plot to humiliate Scott to Stan and Kyle, correctly thinking they'd sabotage it.
  • Becoming the Mask: He becomes "Mr. Cartmenez" in "Eek, a Penis!" for his own personal gain, but by the end of the episode he becomes genuinely sincere in wanting to "reeeach these kiiiids" and teach them "the white person way of cheating".
  • Believing Their Own Lies: "Jewpacabra" in a form of self-administered karma. Subverted in "Fat Butt and Pancake Head", where it appears as if he legitimately believes that Jennifer Lopez is a living being residing on his left hand, however at the end of the episode, he reveals that the entire thing was a ploy to get Kyle and Stan to admit that he'd duped them, as Kyle had predicted he would do throughout the entire episode.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Wendy. Also Kyle, probably.
  • Berserk Button:
    • He usually just makes a quick rebuttal when he's called fat, but occasionally it falls into this.
    • Don't scam him out of his money and refuse to give it back.
    • Never, ever let him think his penis is smaller than any other fourth grader.
    • Speaking of penis, never shoot someone there.
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of a few episodes, if not a Villain Protagonist.
  • The Big Guy: When siding with his friends.
  • Big Eater: "Yeah, I want cheesy poofs!"
  • Big "NO!": Often combined with Little "No" whenever something is Serious Business.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Among his favorite dishes are "Powdered Donut Pancake Surprise", "Chocolate Chicken Pot Pie", and "Toaster Pastry Chocolate Mix Butter Bar". The last one consists of a stick of butter rolled in chocolate milk flavoring powder and sandwiched between two Pop-Tarts.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Almost any time Cartman does something that's (at least in his mind) purely unselfish in deed or intent, his reasoning can be a bit... out there.
  • Book Dumb: He refuses to care about anything that does not immediately help him, especially school. He never pays attention in school and remains ignorant. Despite this problem, he forms very detailed plans, considers complex issues and is a brilliant manipulator.
  • Boomerang Bigot: In "Ginger Kids", Cartman, after picking on and fearing gingers for half the episode, falls prey to a prank that convinces him that he is a ginger and forms a Nazi-like cult devoted to exterminating non-gingers. And in "201", it's revealed that he actually is half-ginger. Also, in a twisted way, it has been implied on numerous occasions that he is possibly a Child Hater.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: In "Clubhouses":
    Cartman: Oh my God, they killed Kenny!
    Kyle: (walking outside Cartman's yard, but suddenly stops and turns towards the clubhouse) You bastards! (continues walking past the yard like nothing happened)
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Up to Eleven.
  • Breakout Character: Cartman has become the most prominent, iconic and popular character on the show thanks to his sociopathic Jerkass tendencies (similar to Stewie Griffin and Bender).
  • The Bully: When not himself the victim of fat jokes, he is usually the most prominent in school. It is implied that he provoked a tirade of abuse on one student (for crapping his pants in public) so much that the student later committed suicide.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Despite his sociopathic and xenophobic traits, Cartman couldn't take a punch in earlier seasons as he would cry after the first punch or when he's in an unfavourable position, which was shown when Kyle pinned him against a tree after he made a comment in "It's a Jersey Thing". His lack of combat skills was also shown when he tried to back out of a fight against Wendy but it turning into a Curb-Stomp Battle with Wendy brutally defeating him. However, he was capable of holding his own against Dr. Nelson in "With Apologies to Jessie Jackson" and make him submit. (Granted, Mr. Nelson was a dwarf, but still a grown-assed man).
  • Butt Monkey: He's the character that the other boys make fun of the most. The pilot episode is literally about things going into and coming out of Cartman's ass. Of course he's still a Butt Monkey now, but he actually deserves a lot of the bad stuff that happens to him.
  • Cain and Abel: He's Scott Tenorman's half-brother, whom he fed his own parents.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: In a very twisted way, Cartman realized in "Smug Alert" that he needs Kyle around to rip on, otherwise his life just isn't the same.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
    • "Suck my balls."
    • "Kickass."
    • "Respect my authoritah."
    • "BET MEEEAAAHM..."
    • "AW, GODDAMMIT!", assisted by a head cock and facial grimace.
    • A Running Gag is his literal inability to say any other variation of the word "serious" other than "seriously".
      Cartman: You guys, I'm seriously!
    • "Stupid Jew", "Goddamn Jew", and everything that insults Jews.
    • "Yeah, I want Cheesy Poofs!" in earlier episodes.
    • "No kitty, this is my [food]", followed sometimes by a whined repetition of the phrase, and sometimes concluded with, "NO, KITTEH, THAT'S A BAD KITTEH!!!"
    • Lots and lots of swearing.
    • "Sweet."
    • "Tits."
    • "Hella."
    • "Whateva, I do what I want."
    • "I'll kick you in the nuts!" Sometimes, he'll also say "I'll kick you square (pronounced "squah") in the nuts."
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Word of God says that Cartman is heavily inspired by Archie Bunker, and the funny thing is that both are very similar both physically and psychologically in Jerkass tendencies.
  • Character Development: Cartman has generally gotten more intelligent over the years. Originally, his selfish, impulsive behaviour stemmed from his absolute inability to think beyond his momentary desires. Now, however, he's usually running mental circles around Stan and Kyle and his evilness is premeditated, revealing him as an absolute villain. His whining used to only sway his mother and leave everybody else absolutely unmoved, but now he's a master of manipulation and can play huge crowds like a fiddle.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the early seasons, his main antagonism was with Kenny, whom he constantly made fun of for being poor. From about Season 5 to 15, his anti-Semitism is far, far more prominent than it was previously, and he literally can't speak to Kyle without making fun of him for being Jewish. The poverty jokes come up now and then, but much more rarely.
  • The Chessmaster: In some episodes, he can be this. Specifically in "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
  • Child Prodigy: Only, and ONLY when motivated by evil.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Thanks to his over-the-top prejudice and steadfast belief that nothing is ever his fault, he believes some rather... odd things.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Describing all the ways and situations in which his mom "fucks" him in "HUMANCENTiPAD".
  • Comedic Sociopath: He freely manipulates and uses everybody around him according to whichever whim has him at the moment. As an example: In the episode "Ginger Kids", Cartman freely advocates denying all ginger kids basic human rights. After Stan and Kyle conspire to turn Cartman into a ginger with makeup, convinced that it is the only way he'll learn fairness, Cartman proceeds to instantly convert to the ginger cause and quickly advocates the total genocide of all non-gingers... especially the gingers who are "faking it" with makeup.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: (Supposedly) believes 9/11 was caused by Kyle. Also is the first one to believe that the new Muslim family in town are terrorists.
  • The Corrupter: He's good at getting others to go along with his schemes, usually Butters. Taken to extremes in "Crack Baby Athletic Association", where he manages to serve as this to Kyle of all people.
  • Creepy Child: Ever since the Scott Tenorman incident he's become increasingly psychotic throughout the years, going as far as attempting to kill his mother when he feels she doesn't love him anymore. Even Damien McSatan thinks there's something wrong with Cartman.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: He's worn women's clothing more than once. In his article on the South Park Archives, there is a detailed statement on what could be seen as gender identity issues.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's usually portrayed as being a wimp but even from early on he could be a badass if the situation called for it, such as by shooting multiple electric beams at Saddam Hussein (made even more impressive by the fact that it was with a chip designed to hurt him so he was probably in pain while doing it) or by creatively knocking out a whole bunch of Mexicans with a small taser and an oil truck.
  • Depraved Bisexual: He was attracted to Ben Affleck and Michael Jefferson; dressed as Britney Spears in one episode and makes out with a Justin Timberlake cardboard cutout; had a sexual affair with Leonardo DiCaprio whilst convinced he's a Vietnamese prostitute due to a head injury; is obsessed with and follows Kyle Broflovski around (even going on a cross-country quest just to make him suck his balls in "Imaginationland: The Trilogy"); blew Butters in his sleep after giving him cold medicine, then tried to convince Butters to do the same to him; and asked Clyde to sleep with him once (he was actually quoting "Lady Marmalade"; you know the lyric). But he also experienced attraction toward Wendy, Stan's girlfriend; mentioned that he had a crush on a girl named Patty Nelson; and had a crush on Bebe when she started developing breasts (along with the rest of the male 4th graders). And currently, Heidi Turner is his first girlfriend.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Can often convince the citizens of South Park of this.
  • Determinator: While usually very lazy and stupid, Cartman is capable of incredible things once he puts his mind to it. Although these things only really benefit him and tend to fall into "evil" territory.
  • Did You Just Have Tea With Cthulhu: Cartman managed to become friends with the dark lord, Cthulhu. The two of them then flew through the sky while singing to the tune of the My Neighbor Totoro theme song.
  • Dirty Coward: Of particular note is the episode where he fights Wendy. His grovelling begging to get out of the fight leads to this exchange:
    Wendy: I am going to make you eat your own underwear.
    Cartman: (scared shitless) There's no need, please! Look, I'm doing it now! (does so)
    Wendy: Jesus Christ, do you have no self-respect?
    Cartman: No! Unless... will you forgive me if I do?
    • Also happens when he, along with the rest of his friends, does something wrong (or even thinks that they did). In that case, he usually tries to frame it on Butters.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery:
    • He fakes Tourette's in order to get away with swearing and saying racial slurs. He also tries this in "Ass Burgers", but fails due to a very basic misunderstanding of the disease.
    • He gains more weight so he can qualify for a mobility scooter in "Raising the Bar".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Frequently, and famously.
    Cartman: (sarcastically) Okay, I'm sorry I handcuffed Billy Turner's ankle to a flagpole and then gave him a hacksaw. And then told him I had poisoned his lunch milk and that the only way he could get to the antidote in time would be to saw through his leg.
    Ms. Cartman: Eric, that's very naughty.
    Cartman: Well, he called me "chubby!"
  • Does Not Like Spam: He led Cthulhu on a crusade against Whole Foods. "No more organic crap for America!"
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Cthulhu.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the 1992 Spirit of Christmas short (which South Park spawned from), he had Kenny's name and was the victim of his They Killed Kenny Again Running Gag.
  • Elimination Catch Phrase: "Get the fudge out!"
  • Enfant Terrible: A racist, bigoted, murderous, self-centered Villain Protagonist. While his attempts at being cute aren't always very successful, he is still without a doubt the most manipulative character in the show and is quite psychopathic.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Double-subverted, as when he tries to kill her, he suddenly finds he can't go through with it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: All things considered, he has quite a few — even if some of them are Played for Laughs and are more "petty" standards than anything:
    • Since he's evil, Cartman can deliver bits of social commentary that would seem less acceptable if it was Stan or Kyle saying it. Of particular note are his rants on hippies, Family Guy, and the Catholic Church.
    • In "Major Boobage", he shows a lot more love to cats than he ever has to a person.
    • "My Future Self N' Me" establishes that he hates it when parents don't respect their kids and lie to them, as kids should be able to trust their parents. Because of this, he starts a business where kids can pay him to smear poop on their parents' walls.
    • "The China Probrem" shows that of all the evil acts he's willing to do, he draws the line at one: shooting men in the genitals. Never.
    • In "Dances with Smurfs" he reacts with horror to Gordon Stolski's murder during the morning announcements.
    • By the end of the "Black Friday" trilogy, he seems genuinely horrified and haunted after watching Bill Gates murder the Sony President after he got his XBOX One.
    • Even Cartman was creeped out by Shelley's relationship with Skyler, a man ten years her senior.
    • "All right all right that does it! Screw you guys I'm going home! Talking Poo is where I draw the line."
    • Even Cartman was afraid of Trent Boyett in "Pre-School".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Cartman does not understand the difference between being nice and wearing a nice sweater, as seen in "Casa Bonita". "Toilet Paper" shows that he also cannot comprehend the idea of confessing to something because one feels guilty, thinking exclusively in terms of whether or not he'll be punished, and how badly, and he seemed to be in physical pain trying to process the concept of feeling bad for other people (i.e. Butters, who was falsely accused and arrested for the boys' T.P.'ing of their art teacher's house). Many attempts to berate him for his callousness have fallen flat since he genuinely doesn't seem to have a clue what empathy is. In Season 20 when he tries to be a better person (mostly due to fear of retribution) he doesn't come out as sincere and only has "women are funny, get over it" as an argument.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kyle and Butters (and, to a lesser extent, Stan).
  • Evil Genius: More and more in the later seasons. This is mainly introduced in "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
  • Evil Gloating:
    Cartman: *in sing-songy voice* Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I made you eat your parents.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He's known for being an extremely campy character.
  • Evil Is Petty: We all know just how large in scale Cartman's schemes can run, but he has no problem doing really petty crimes like toilet papering a teacher's house. And he tied a kid to a flagpole by his ankle and told the kid he poisoned his chocolate milk and then gave him a saw telling him he implanted the poison in the kid's leg, and he needed to cut his leg off to get it ("Well, he called me "chubby"!") Also, some of those elaborate schemes are for petty reasons. See the entire Scott Tenorman fiasco.
  • Evil Plan: Go to Somalia to gain massive profit: done. Tape crack babies fighting over drugs as an internet sensation to profit: done. Convince Cthulu to assist in mass slaughter and show up your friends: done. Cartman thrives on this trope.
  • Fat Bastard: During his family reunion, all of his family members, save for his mother and grandmother who are thin and caring, are fat annoying slobs. In another episode, Eric from the future, who lost weight and became a better person in general (and wealthy to boot), comes to the past to tell Eric to be a good human being. Eric (thinking it's a trick) delivers the generic "screw you" line and says he will stay the way he is. After the other characters are out of view, the future Eric transforms into a dirty obese mechanic as a result of his younger self not "changing for the better".
  • Fat Comic Relief: He is the butt of many jokes about his weight.
  • Fat Idiot: Though his hatred and spite occasionally give him moments of brilliance.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Cartman's willing to pretend to be nice to get what he wants — the gloves come off the second he doesn't. Sometimes he isn't even that good at being affable and rely on pity to manipulate. May or may not be subverted in Season 20, where it does appear as though he's trying to be a better person, but it's hard to tell because he still has a way of sounding sarcastic when he's being "nice".
  • Flanderization: In the early seasons, his anti-Semitic streak was relatively mild and was nothing more than making fun of Kyle not celebrating Christmas. Between Seasons 5 and 15, it is FAR more prominent, to the point where, in "The Passion Of The Jew", he tries to instigate his own Holocaust. After Season 15, it goes back the other way somewhat, with his anti-Semitism being much less pronounced. In fact, by Season 19, he no longer makes derogatory remarks about Jews when speaking to Kyle (though they still argue because they don't like each other regardless).
  • Fluffy Tamer: Nothing else qualifies for taming Cthulhu.
  • Freudian Excuse: Word of God confirms that because his mother almost never bothers to discipline him for his actions and constantly spoils him, Cartman just doesn't know right from wrong.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Not only do his three closest "friends" hate him, insult him behind his back, and actively question why they still hang out with him, but the entire fourth grade class hates him almost as much. Even Butters occasionally lets it slip that he doesn't truly like Cartman very much, being friendly to him presumably out of goodwill and fear. The boys are often divided on whatever keeps Cartman a part of their group; Kenny personally explains that he pities Cartman as an unfeeling, horrible person and so allows him to stay because he knows he'll have no other friends otherwise, while Stan and Kyle seem to have no idea. Either way, it's rare to see his friends actually genuinely enjoying his company.
  • Genius Bruiser: Yes, he's very aggressive, but he also has high enough intelligence to successfully plan and execute his revenge on Scott Tenorman in "Scott Tenorman Must Die". Also, he has several talents, among which the highlights are: electronics, music, and even multilingualism, such as fluency in German and Spanish. His strength and intelligence can vary from episode to episode however. His intelligence can be attributed to him being Brilliant, but Lazy, but his strength varies from strong enough to take down adults ("Chickenlover") to being beaten up by the students in his class (Wendy in "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Kyle in "Kenny Dies" among others, and Token in "Christian Rock Hard").
  • Genius Ditz: Can easily manipulate people and appears to be able to speak fluent Spanish and German at age 9, but otherwise completely clueless about a lot of things.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Whenever a problem gets too out of hand, he's usually brought in as a last resort to stop it.
  • Good Hurts Evil: In "Tsst", when his long-suppressed conscience starts to surface.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Moreso than any of the other main characters (save for Mr. Garrison), and one of his biggest draws.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In the first episode of Season 20 it's revealed that he's actually working on his behavior. However, in the second episode titled "Skank Hunt", the kids start to wrongfully suspect that he's skankhunt. That makes them destroy his computer, phone and tablet.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Cartman has gone from being one of the team to actually being the villain of the episode and back again so many times over the years, he may as well be labeled the poster boy for this trope.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: "Jewpacabra" induces this as Cartman proclaims to convert to Judaism. Not that Kyle will ever buy it.
  • Heel Realization: On occasion. It doesn't last, though.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Even though he is a psychopath, he has done some pretty heroic things, such as saving the world from Saddam's reign in the movie, demolishing Osama bin Laden's army and crippling him, and saving the town from hippies when they got out of control.
  • Hidden Depths: "Cartman Sucks" shows signs that Cartman is a rather talented photographer.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Cartman manipulates the actual Cthulhu via the Rule of Cute into trampling his enemies, namely the rest of the gang and anyone he suspects to be a hippie.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: In an attempt to get away with swearing whenever he wants, he faked Tourette's Syndrome. It backfires on him when not watching what he says causes him to blurt out personal secrets.
  • Hypocritical Humor: He makes a song about how Kyle's mom is a big fat bitch, yet he is an overweight jerkass as well. To hammer this even more, he rips on Kyle and all Jews for being greedy and manipulative when he himself is guilty of this all the time.
  • I Am Big Boned
    Stan: C'mon, fatass!
    Ms. Cartman: Now, now, he's not fat, he's big boned!
    Kyle: Then he must have a giant bone in his ass!
    Ms. Cartman: [hysterical laughter]
  • Identical Stranger: To Marlon Brando ("Cartman Joins NAMBLA") and a bit to Dakota Fanning (the sketch in "Free Willzyx").
  • Ignored Epiphany: In "Mysterion Rises".
    Should I just apologize to my friends and ask them to take me back? Tell them that I was being a selfish jerk? [...] Should I admit I was wrong? Ask for everyone's forgiveness and go back to my original team? Nah, screw that, I'm just gonna keep being a dick!
  • Innocent Bigot: Cartman doesn't think he's being racist in "Cartman Finds Love" by playing matchmaker between Nichole and Token, the only two black students in the school. He considers what he is doing as helping nature take its course. He spends the whole episode going to the extreme to uphold these views. A rare example of Cartman managing to fill a trope with the word "innocent".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Uses this a lot, memorably so in "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce", "Dances with Smurfs", and, to a lesser extent, "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining".
  • It's All About Me: He is willing to compromise world peace just so he can abuse Kyle for his own amusement. He is even shocked when Mysterion tells him that making the world a better place for oneself exclusively isn't heroic.
  • It Amused Me: Many of the awful things he does are motivated by boredom.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: Wendy, to be precise. This is Hilarious in Hindsight because he once stated that he would never let a woman kick his ass; if she tried anything Cartman would be like "HEY! You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!"
  • Jerkass: Cartman is one of television's most infamous examples. He currently provides the trope's page image.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the first four seasons. Since the latter half of Season 15, he has veered more towards this, even having moments with Kyle that don't involve arguing or foiling each other's schemes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Sometimes he does something that seems genuinely generous or selfless, but there's always a selfish reason to it. His friends expect this. His inability to understand what everyone else calls being "good" is brought to light a couple of times. For example, when called out by Mysterion, we get this:
    Cartman (as The Coon): I'm making the world a better place.
Kenny (as Mysterion): For you!Cartman (as The Coon): Right. That's what superheroes do.
  • Karma Houdini: While he usually does get some form of comeuppance for his actions, it's only temporary, and is usually (but not always) more of an inconvenience than any real punishment. He never suffers longer than it takes for the next episode to air.
  • Karmic Transformation: In the episode "Ginger Kids", after Cartman starts a crusade against gingers, the other boys try to stop him by dying his hair red and using makeup to turn his skin pale and freckly. But then Cartman just changes his tune, starts a "ginger power" movement, and tries to wipe out all non-gingers. He stops and begins preaching tolerance after Kyle explains to him that he's not really a ginger.
  • Kick the Dog: Many times. Beating Token with a rock, trying to kill his mother, and infecting Kyle with HIV just to name a few.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Cartman takes this trope Up to Eleven.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Surprisingly, in "Major Boobage", it's shown that he likes cats enough to start hiding strays in his attic and even begin taking in other people's cats for them (not even asking for anything in return) once cats are made illegal in South Park.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Yes, he's Played for Laughs all the time, but compared to the lighthearted standards the series had in the first few seasons, Cartman himself can be seen like this. Cartman's Character Development from a mostly harmless Bratty Half-Pint to a callous Enfant Terrible raised the bar for villainy in the series; his infamous (and dark, but played for laughs) crime in the episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was the single most sadistic act in the series up to that point (Stan: Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again. Kyle: Good call.). Basically, Cartman was the pioneer of the more awful villains that would come later in subsequent seasons. It's gotten to the point that most of the old episodes, which were once rated TV-MA, are now rated TV-14 since they appear downright tame compared to what's been allowed on the show. Cartman as The Coon is played much more seriously in the "Coon & Friends" trilogy.
  • Knight Templar: He genuinely believes Jews are evil, having apparently been convinced of it by Mel Gibson's films. Also subverted to a degree, as in a deleted scene from "The List" he seems to acknowledge he is a horrible person. This gets taken Up to Eleven in the "Coon Saga", where he leads Cthulhu on a mass murdering spree, massacring the entire burning man festival, Justin Bieber and most of his fans, and the whole city of San Francisco, all while thinking he's doing good.
    Cartman: [Coon and Friends] will continue to fight for good and justice!
    News Reporter: Good and justice? Justin Bieber and most of his fans have just been massacred!
    Cartman: Yes, Coon and Friends are glad to help! No need to thank me.
  • Lack of Empathy: The poster boy. He only cares about himself and getting whatever he wants, and is perfectly willing to lie, cheat, manipulate, and commit mass murder to do so. In one episode, when Kyle is in dire need of a kidney transplant and Cartman is the only match, Cartman blatantly refuses to do so unless he's paid $10 million for it, forcing Stan and the other people of South Park to resort to trickery to get said kidney.
  • Large Ham: He's known for being an extremely campy character and he disturbs class all the time.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He receives this on a semi-regular basis.
  • Last Name Basis: Oddly, all the characters (except Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Wendy) refer to him as Eric, whereas everyone in the real world refers to him as Cartman, including the title of the very first episode. In-universe, he may occasionally be called Cartman by minor characters, though these are probably slip-ups on the writers' parts and occasional leanings on the fourth wall (such as when Randy says "That's our Cartman!").
  • Laughably Evil: His antics can sometimes backfire and lead to his humiliation, but he shows that he's capable of this, for example being able to team up with Cthulhu.
  • Likable Villain: Everyone knows Cartman covers about half of the list of Evil Tropes, yet that hasn't stopped the viewing public from laughing at his antics for fifteen years. It helps that he's a bit more tolerable than most jerkass protagonists and that the writers have him lose as often as he wins.
  • Made of Iron: Occasionally played for laughs, but keep in mind, this kid has survived getting run over by cars, getting beaten to a pulp more than a few times, falling from buildings, and even survived getting struck by lightning!
  • Malicious Slander: When given the bully pulpit. For example, he writes an entire book dedicated to slandering Wendy.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Frequently. Apparently to the point where he can control the dark god Cthulhu. It's gotten to the point where Kyle can instantly tell that Cartman is up to no good and is only scheming to better himself should he start to act differently. Kyle is usually right.
  • The Matchmaker: Cartman and Cupid-Me ship same-race couples, and he actively works to get them together.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Cartman begins wailing over a punch in the arm by Kyle as if he was seriously hurt. Though it's implied that he purposefully exaggerates them to gain sympathy.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Happens a few times, mostly with Kyle or Butters.
  • Moral Myopia: In the "Coon and Friends" trilogy, he thinks the rest of Coon and Friends pulled a Face–Heel Turn because they kicked him out. He also states that being a superhero means you're making the world a better place for yourself, not others, and sees him himself as a superhero even though his "heroic" actions consist of having Cthulhu kill thousands of people for no reason other than the fact that he hates them.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • During the "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" song from the movie.
    • Also in "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut"; once he hears "Come Sail Away" he stops everything to finish it in order to finish in the fastest way possible.
    • Invoked when attempting to explain a very long string of fabricated events in "Toilet Paper".
      Cartman: Okay. Last night, all four of us were at the bowling alley until about 7:30, at which time we noticed Ally Sheedy, the goth chick from the Breakfast Club, was bowling in the lane next to us, and we asked her for her autograph, but she didn't have a pen, so we followed her out to her car, but on the way we were accosted by five Scientologists who wanted to give us all personality tests, which were administered at the Scientology Center in Denver until 10:45, at which time we accidentally boarded the wrong bus home and ended up in Rancho de Burritos Rojos, south of Castle Rock, and finally got a ride home with a man who was missing his left index finger, named Gary Bushwell, arriving home at 11:46.
  • The Mole: Attempted. He pretends to help the other boys take down Wal-mart so he can be The Millstone for them. He fools no one and they continually call him out on the fact that he's on Wal-Mart's side. He later reveals himself to be a mole.
  • Narcissist: One episode has him coming to the (rather short-lived) epiphany that maybe the world doesn't revolve around him; the mere thought almost causes him to Go Mad from the Revelation.
  • The Napoleon: "T.M.I." highlights this. Not regarding Cartman's height, but the length of his penis. In "Make Love, Not Warcraft", Cartman is the only character with a dwarf avatar.
  • Near Villain Victory: Often. Usually it is undone by his own doing.
  • Nice Hat: He's usually seen with his trademark blue beanie, although out of the four boys he is also the one most likely to ditch it for whatever reason.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: He's the freaking image for South Park's Nightmare Fuel page!
  • Noble Bigot: In "Cartman Finds Love", he seems to really believe that he is doing the right thing in setting Token up with Nichole despite his entire basis being his racism.
  • Noble Demon:
    • Cartman risks serious trouble or imprisonment to protect a load of cats in "Major Boobage". He is apparently unaware of the parallels when Kyle asks pointedly whether he noticed the obvious historical parallel, after Cartman had risked arrest by harboring felines in his attic, despite him earlier lampshading it by suggesting his cat could "write a diary" while in hiding. There have also have been other times where he did stuff without wanting anything in return. The show seems to be fond of leaving ambiguity as to whether he does potentially noble acts for hidden selfish reasons or out of genuine conscience; "Kenny Dies" and "Smug Alert" for example, either border him further into Jerkass territory or grant him Noble Demon qualities.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivers one to Mosquito (Clyde) because Mosquito wanted to help people in the Gulf instead of blackmailing fellow heroes.
  • Nominal Hero: He'll sometimes do good deeds like save the town from hippies or save some crack babies, or stop a terrorist threat. Don't expect his motivations to have anything in common with the rest of the team.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: His body and face shape is much more exaggerated compared to the rest of his peers (excluding disabled ones). He also has a notable double chin. Also, rather subtle, but Cartman's eyebrows are actually triangular, as opposed to other characters' more rectangular eyebrows.
  • Not Me This Time: In a case of Dramatic Irony, he is NOT Skankhunt 42.
  • Obfuscating Disability: In "Up the Down Steroid", he pretends to be retarded so that he can win the Special Olympics. Unfortunately, he doesn't take into account that while not disabled, he's by no means athletic like the other contestants are.
  • Obliviously Evil: In the "Coon" arc, he really thinks he is making the world a better place by disposing of the people he doesn't like. Mysterion calls him on this.
  • Official Couple: In Season 20, he gets with Heidi Turner, in an odd yet very sweet romantic relationship.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: "You're Getting Old" and "Ass Burgers" has Cartman acting nice towards Kyle and not doing it to manipulate him for anything. The niceness act is due to Stan being a cynical asshole and being unbearable to be around. Naturally, Status Quo Is God and Cartman resumes being a jerk to Kyle afterwards.
  • Patricide: Unknowingly killed his father and turned him into chili. When he finds out, he's horrified...that his father was ginger.
  • Paper Tiger: For all his shit-talking and threats to kick ass, he's a complete coward when threatened. This makes the occasions where he does get effective revenge on someone even more terrifying.
    • On at least two occasions, Kyle has made him cry from punching him in the arm and busted/broken his nose with a shovel with no retaliation when Cartman threatened him.
    • During one episode, he made several misogynistic comments about Stan's sister when it was revealed that she abuses Stan on a routine basis, and when she's within earshot of one of those comments, he's very quick to pin it on Kenny.
    • Stan made him hang up the phone and back away in terror after identifying him as the person trash-talking to him in "The Passion of the Jew".
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Jews, hippies, blacks, Asians, girls... They all get the hate from Cartman at least once.
  • Precision F-Strike: See Catch Phrase.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This. Is. Bullcrap!"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Kyle's Blue.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Cartman is so popular with the fans because of his extreme tendencies and over-the-top personality.
  • Rousseau Was Right: "Tsst" definitely puts this into perspective, suggesting there still is a core of innocence under all of that hate and bile building up in Cartman's psyche, but remains suppressed largely due to his upbringing. As Trey Parker puts it, Liane's ineffectual parenting skills molded Cartman into The Sociopath he is today, and so long as she's looking for a friend in her son, he has no hope of recovery.
    Parker: Cartman's basically doomed.
  • Running Gag: People have mistaken him for Bruce Vilanch multiple times.
  • Sadist: Just look at the ending for "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
  • Self-Made Orphan: Halfway there, having arranged the death of his father Jack Tenorman. Came close to fully becoming one in "Tsst".
  • Self-Serving Memory: Especially prominent in "Fishsticks" and the "Coon and Friends" trilogy.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Butters' and Stan's Sensitive Guy.
  • Serious Business: Anything involving food, stuffed animals, or cartoons. And that's just the more well-known examples...
  • Shipper on Deck: For Token/Nichole. He goes to ridiculous feats to get them together.
  • Shock and Awe: He temporarily gets the ability to shoot lightning out of his hands near the ending of Bigger, Longer, and Uncut using the V-Chip in his head.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Heidi Turner. Even the other students think it Tastes Like Diabetes.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: This trope applies to his friends as well, but to him more than anyone else.
  • Sissy Villain: Cartman likes to think he's imposing and dangerous but has basically no defense from being actually attacked. In "Something Wal-Mart This Way Comes", Kenny is able to easily stall him by lightly slapping at him, and at the end of "Christmas in Canada", he cries out for his mommy when Kyle gives him a tiny jab on the shoulder. In "Breast Cancer Show Ever", he's perfectly willing to antagonize Wendy right up until she'll fight him, then spends the entire episode trying to avoid the conflict he willfully spawned. Wendy quickly wipes the floor with him.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The walking personification of the trope. Cartman acts like he is better than everyone else and knows more than anyone else, but when people actually start fighting back by hitting him (even if it's a weak tap), he starts bawling like a baby. "Breast Cancer Show Ever" has the trope in spades where Cartman pushes Wendy's buttons too far and she vows to beat him up, causing Cartman to plead with her to not fight him while at the same time, he acts tough in front of the school to keep up his image.
  • Smug Snake: Usually alternates between this and Magnificent Bastard.
  • The Sociopath: In Seasons 1-4 he was just a Bratty Half-Pint. Then he became a perfect example of a sociopath with particularly poor impulse control. First of all, he displays zero empathy for any living person, nor has he ever shown any feelings of guilt for anything. His list of crimes is vast, but he has committed them frequently just to alleviate boredom, or for an immature personal gain.
  • Sociopathic Hero: When he is on the good side he'll still insult and suggest violent methods.
  • Son of a Whore: His mother had slept with the entire named adult population of South Park.
  • Spoiled Brat: Here's one of his milder examples:
    Cartman: Mom, can you get me some Weight Gain 4000?
    Cartman's Mom: Okay Eric. I'll get you some at the store tomorrow.
    Cartman: But mom, I need it for tomorrow!
    Cartman's Mom: But, tomorrow is grocery day, Eric.
    Cartman: Mooooooom! *whines incoherently*
    Cartman's Mom: Okay, okay. Well, I guess I'll be going to the store now, then.
    Cartman: *smiles* Sweet.
  • Sudden Name Change: The 1992 short The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Frosty made him to have Kenny's, but it would later be changed to his current name in the following short.
  • Teeny Weenie: Cartman has the smallest (presumably flaccid) penis in his class as revealed in "T.M.I.". He's very defensive and easily angered about it (it's 1.4 inches for the curious).
  • Tell Me About My Father: His mother is actually his father. OR NOT!
  • That's What I Would Do: Uses his skills in getting out of trouble by making up some huge lie to figure out that a kid teaching the parents of South Park how to play Minecraft is lying.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In the main group, because he's a sociopathic and racist bully. Even at their worst, his friends aren't as bad as him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As The Coon in the "Coon & Friends" trilogy. However, even in his normal persona, he does admittedly have moments where his cunning and manipulativeness come off as genuinely badass.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 5. He was a stupid Spoiled Brat Jerkass from the beginning, but on several occasions his friends came off even worse. However, from Season 5 onwards he's become a cold, calculating, sociopathic Jerkass.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He starts to show concern for others beginning with the second half of Season 15, even towards Kyle. Especially as of "1%" after he's told to "grow up" and some of his stuffed animals are killed, then he bids farewell to the last of them. Even Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Token watch as he shoots Polly Prissypants and cries while doing it. Even moreso in Season 20, where he makes some sincere effort to try being a better person (even if he's being an idiot about it) and is less antagonistic than before. He even gets a girlfriend.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pot Pie and Cheesy Poofs in the earlier seasons.
  • Troll: With a large degree of blur with Manipulative Bastard. He does seem to thoroughly and sadistically enjoy the suffering his actions cause. However, in Season 20, it's revealed that he is NOT Skankhunt 42.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: Parodied. His attempts at being this to Heidi consist entirely of repeating "You're smart and funny" over and over again. Sort of deconstructed now that we're getting more and more hints that he hasn't really changed.
  • Unexplained Recovery: His head explodes in "Medicinal Fried Chicken", however, later in the episode, he is shown to be okay.
  • The Unfettered: To comedic and sometimes horrific extents.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Whenever he wins a bet with Kyle (such as crapping out his mouth or getting a platinum album in a music band), he'll take every possible opportunity he can to rub it in Kyle's face. In fact, it's shown that he actually likes gloating about the win more than the reward itself; for example, in "Christian Rock Hard", when he discovers that Christian rock bands only give out myrrh albums and not platinum ones, thus meaning he won't be able to win the bet, he flies into a rage in public and ruins the band's success.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He is willing to do things like feed a kid his own parents or even cause the end of the world to get revenge for minor wrongdoings against him.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • "You guys... seriousleh..."
    • Lots of blithering Angrish.
  • Villain Ball: He probably would've been successful in getting the Family Guy episode pulled in "Cartoon Wars" if he hadn't confessed to Kyle (whom he had already managed to convince of his good intentions) that he was doing it to get the show cancelled.
  • Villainous Glutton: In one episode, it is shown that making him thin would actually make him a nicer person.
  • Villain Protagonist: He either serves as The Dragon for an even greater evil, or IS the Big Bad in most episodes. Occasionally though, he functions as a Nominal Hero.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With everyone, especially Kyle.
  • Vocal Evolution: He had a higher and more grating, raspy voice in earlier seasons.
  • With Friends Like These...: His relationship with the other kids.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In his fight with Wendy, not that it helps him that much. He also beats up a little girl for being a fan of The Coon and Friends (of which he is no longer a member) in "Mysterion Rises".
  • You Are Fat: No matter what absolutely atrocious things Cartman does, "fatass" or variations of which are nearly always the key insult dished at him.
  • You Are What You Hate: In the 200th episode, Cartman is agonized to learn that Scott Tenorman's dad, the guy he murdered and force-fed to Scott — is Cartman's own father... but not out of any guilt for what he did to him. Cartman's only upset because this means that he's "half-ginger".
  • You Say Tomato

    Kenneth "Kenny" McCormick
"All the time! I die all the time! And you assholes NEVER REMEMBER!"

Voiced by: Matt Stone (normal muffled voice, Mysterion, and Iron Man costume), Mike Judge (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut), Eric Stough (unhooded)
Debut: "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"

The one with the orange parka. Lives with a very poor family, and often has to struggle to survive. Used to get killed off Once per Episode, but that's not the case anymore... usually, since Parker and Stone were getting tired of killing him off in every episode and running out of original ways to kill him. Almost always speaks with a muffled voice, with various levels of intelligibility.

  • All Men Are Perverts: And Kenny is the worst.
  • And I Must Scream: Since Kenny dies again and again, only to wake up in bed absolutely fine. He remembers each and every one of his deaths, no matter how painful, and furthermore, no one remembers when he dies, so he could count as this.
  • Anti-Hero: Kenny arguably has the most heroic personality of the four main kids, as evidenced by his heroic sacrifices, though is also cynical to go with it. He has a lot of vices too, but not to the extremes of the others, and he doesn't deny it.
  • Archnemesis Dad: He's the spawn of Cthulhu, whom he called a pussy.
  • Back from the Dead: All the time. It's apparently his super power.
  • Badass Adorable: Mysterion is hardcore, and his entire story arc shows the true nature of Kenny's character. And he's only ten years old and wears his underwear over his costume!
  • Being Good Sucks: When it comes down to it, he will do the right thing, but due to his immortality, no one remembers his Heroic Sacrifices.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't suggest that immortality would be pretty cool. It fucking hurts.
    • Don't make NASCAR look like it's only for poor and stupid people, Kenny WILL try to kill you if he has to.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Kenny, who is normally both The Quiet One and The Unintelligible, certainly qualifies as of the "Mysterion" story arc. He says the most he ever does during these few episodes, and his Berserk Button is revealed; do NOT mess with his little sister.
  • Big Brother Instinct: You don't want to mess with Karen McCormick. Mysterion will come and kick your ass, even if you are a girl. In The City Part of Town, when his father screams at Karen to get a job if she wants stuff and she runs off in fear, he death stares his dad as he walks off to comfort her. At the end of the episode, Kenny gets her a new doll just to make her happy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Does this a couple of times, most notably in the Cthulhu trilogy and at the end of The Movie. As of "The Poor Kid", he is this to his little sister.
  • Big Good: As Mysterion, he's the unofficial leader of Coon And Friends, despite Cartman thinking that he's the leader.
  • Blessed with Suck: Either that or Cursed with Awesome. His super power is being unable to die, and people don't remember that he died. He does, however, and when Kyle remarks that being immortal would be cool, Kenny snaps that it's not cool, because he remembers every single one of his deaths.
  • Born Unlucky: His repeated, traumatic deaths are almost always Played for Laughs.
  • Broken Masquerade: He's the only one (besides his parents) who knows/can remember that he keeps dying, and is aware of (and remembers) some of the Eldritch Abominations that the cast encounters.
  • Butt Monkey: For the early seasons, this was passed on to Butters later on, though like the other four boys he is still made to suffer at times.
  • Catch Phrase: "Woo-hoo!", usually said after seeing or doing something sexual.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Season 14 reveals that all of his deaths are indeed canonical, nobody remembers them once he comes back, and that his deaths are all excruciatingly painful.
  • Character Development: He starts off as the most bland one of the four, and merely a prop. Nowadays he has a fully fleshed out character and even has a superhero alter-ego.
  • Characterization Marches On: In early seasons Kenny was nothing but a little pervert, a chew-toy of fate and a yes-man for many of Cartman's schemes. While he still does all that, since he's started dying less often he's become slightly more intelligible for regular viewers and will disagree with Cartman's more unpleasant schemes. Since we learned that his superpower is real and not just a continuity reset, he's become slightly more virtuous, more assertive, and more respected by the boys themselves. He still doesn't like dying, though.
  • Character Tics: Pulling on the drawstrings of his hood when he's scared.
  • The Chew Toy: He has been injured, beheaded, burned, shot, run over, etc. hundreds of times. Recent seasons have toned down Kenny's Chew Toy status and shifted it more towards Butters or even Kyle.
  • Cool Big Bro: This guy puts on his superhero alter-ego just to cheer his little sis up, and in "City Park of Town" used the money he's earned to buy Karen a new doll. Yeah, hard to get much cooler than that.
  • Cosmic Plaything: The universe really hates him. Taken to extremes in "The List": Wendy and Bebe are fighting over a gun, then it accidentally discharges. Everyone in the vicinity checks themselves, and none have been shot. Cut to Kenny in his house miles away, where the bullet suddenly comes through the window and strikes him in the head. It may be due to the universe not liking having the spawn of Cthulhu in it.
  • Creepy Child: As Mysterion. Also is this if you consider his usual obscured face and quietness a bit on the creepy side.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Underneath his hedonistic exterior, Kenny is hardcore as Mysterion.
  • Dark is Not Evil: As Mysterion. He wears black and talks in a (bad) Nolan Batman-like gravelly voice, but is a legitimate superhero - unlike the Coon. Notably, the Mysterion persona downplays Kenny's hedonistic and perverted qualities.
  • Death Seeker: Played With. He doesn't want to get killed because dying hurts, but he knows that he would always come back, so better him than anyone else.
  • Demoted to Extra: After a few years of resurgence (especially with the Mysterion arc), he eventually ends up as background decoration again, with only ONE LINE in Season 20, where even Annie and Red, living props in their own right, have more lines than him. He retains his spot in the opening credits over the much more prominent Butters and Randy, however. In fact, Kenny had more prominence in Season 6 (you know, the time when he stayed dead for a whole season) than he did in Season 20.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Pretty much literally. "Come on, Cthulhu! Kill me, you big pussy!"
  • Die Laughing: In "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
  • Dirty Coward: Happens often. When he, along with the rest of his friends, does something wrong (or even think that they did), he usually tries to frame it on Butters. He can also be rather cowardly in life-threatening situations, even though he can't actually die.
  • Dirty Kid: While the other kids suffer from Ping-Pong Naďveté, Kenny is dirty though and through!
  • Doom Magnet: In addition to inadvertently dooming others along with his friends, he also attracts doom to himself, of course.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: In the Big Damn Movie, he drops his hood to his friends and says goodbye before setting the world back to the way it was and reviving all the dead.
  • Expy: Becomes one for Batman in the Coon episodes.
  • Enfante Terrible: Becomes this in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" when he tries every method he can think of to stop his younger sibling from being born.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: As "anime" Princess Kenny, he can apparently make men fall in love with his cuteness just by being there, though it's debatable whether the Sony Princess Box turns him into an actual girl.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Was made a Japanese princess during the Console Wars. Also see Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Will eat anything for money.
  • The Faceless: Except for The Movie, "Good Times with Weapons", "The Losing Edge", "Meet the Jeffersons", and "Major Boobage". Also in "The Coon" and the "Coon and Friends" trilogy. His princess outfit in South Park: The Stick of Truth would apparently have been another example, but was scrapped for the current design that puts the costume over his parka (most likely because the linked design would have made him unrecognizable and, due to the art style, too much like an actual female).
  • Flanderization: Think about how poor he is or how he's ignored. His perverted nature has also been exaggerated, though granted this has arguably broadened his character as well.
  • The Generic Guy: Had little character outside dying once per episode; when this recurring gag ended, he had even less involvement in the show. He has gained more development in later episodes, but still has the least involvement of the other four main boys.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: 'The Most Offensive Song Ever', good lord. In the opening credits for the first five seasons, Kenny's muffled dialogue is "I like girls with big vaginas, I like girls with big fat titties". This remains intact in all reruns, because you can't really hear it.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He may be ready to pull out all the stops to get high or get laid, but he's an honestly nice guy who cares about his friends (well... Stan and Kyle anyway), and when it comes to other people, he will do the right thing (including being willing to die for people, and has executed a Heroic Sacrifice on more than one occasion), even if he hates having to do it. But if he gets the chance to take revenge on some bastard who pissed him off or did the wrong thing (mostly Cartman), he will take it.
  • Guttural Growler: As Mysterion.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted; see Good Is Not Soft above. As Princess Kenny he even parodies this trope by using a blonde wig for the outfit, with golden-haired princesses being the most significant examples.
  • The Hedonist: Kenny's far too interested in sex and drugs for his own good and will do anything to get high. However, it's most likely to cope with the memories of all his painful deaths and the knowledge that he could face more. It's not the healthiest way of coping, but since he often comes back from the dead regardless of how he actually dies, he probably wouldn't worry about the "healthy" part at all. It's arguably reached the point that he's so jaded about dying and the pain associated with it that he honestly doesn't care about it any more. Without the fear of pain or death, there is only the pursuit of (momentary) pleasure left in his life.
  • Hero Antagonist: In "Poor & Stupid". The episode focuses on Cartman trying to become a NASCAR driver and, in the process, starting to ruin the business's reputation. Kenny goes as far as to risk his own life to end this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He has died this way a few times, including at the end of The Movie. Subverted in that he is aware of his revivals, so it isn't too big of a sacrifice for him on those occasions, other than that it "really fucking hurts". Unfortunately, no one else remembers his sacrifices.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The source of his immortality has something to do with the Cult of Cthulhu and R'lyeh.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Dark blue eyes, actually. In "Starvin' Marvin", a turkey clan attacks him and rips one of his eyes out, with a close-up revealing a dark blue iris.
  • In the Hood: A defining example. Not counting his time as Mysterion, he's dropped his hood on less than 10 occasions, and when asked by a nurse while he was dying this one time why he insisted on wearing it, he only shrugged. His hood has also been suggested to attract bad luck to him, and although he has died without it, you really have to wonder why he's insistent on keeping it on. Also, for those who are new to the show and may be wondering, he has blond Shonen Hair underneath it.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: His dialogue in early seasons is made up of muffled grunts, but the other characters respond as if they understand.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Zigzagged. Despite often being as cynical and profane as the other boys, his heroism has not gone unnoticed — by the audience at least. The characters are another story, which may well explains his "less-than-heroic" traits.
  • Killed Off for Real: Subverted. In the episode "Kenny Dies" he is hospitalized, and nearly the entire episode is taken seriously (at least as seriously as South Park can be taken). He dies at the end of the episode and remains dead throughout the entire next season, showing up only as a ghost or in flashbacks.
  • Kill the Cutie: The universe loves to break or kill him. And then bring him back again.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Don't mess with his little sister Karen, or you WILL face the consequences.
  • Kawaisa: He becomes a parody of this trope when he, as Princess Kenny, gets "anime-fied" by the Sony Princess Box.
  • Kawaiiko: Again as anime Princess Kenny. Apparently he's so cute that his cuteness is his superpower.
  • Living Prop: One of the reasons for his eventual replacement. He came back, though.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Debatable on the lovable part, but he's pretty well received amongst the fandom and he is definitely a sex maniac. As a matter of fact, one episode even medically diagnosed him as a "Sex Addict".
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Played so straight that Kenny, aka Mysterion, may as well be the first "Lovecraftian superhero".
  • Made of Plasticine:
    • He once died when Cartman hit him in the face with a frying pan (though in real life getting hit in the head with a frying pan is lot more dangerous than you might think).
    • Another time Bebe threw a boomerang at him that lodged itself in his face.
    • And another time, he literally died of boredom.
  • Mauve Shirt: Nowadays he tends to only get killed off once a season or so.
  • Meaningful Name: Kenny means "born of fire". What do young Mr. McCormick and the mythological phoenix have in common?
  • Mundane Utility: If Kenny ever feels tired, he can just kill himself and wake up after a night of sleep.
  • Never Bareheaded: Until the movie.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: His "superpower" might've made him a borderline case; see his whole Hedonist entry for more details.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Since he knows he will come back. He's afraid of the actual pain involved.
  • Only Sane Man: In his family. He is also this in "The Coon Trilogy".
  • Out of Focus: He gets the least amount of individual spotlight out of all of the four boys (and even some other regulars), especially after his Running Gag deaths were omitted. He tends to get A Day in the Limelight at least Once a Season to moderate it, however, and generally does a lot more from the "Coon and Friends" trilogy onwards.
  • Put On The Bus: His death in "Kenny Dies" had a permanent effect for the remainder of Season 5 and Season 6. He was "revived" and resumed his role in "Red Sleigh Down" onwards.
  • The Quiet One: He doesn't speak in several later episodes.
  • Running Gag: His deaths. Originally Once per Episode, but have been downplayed more and more post Season 7. Many later episodes also tend to make elaborate gags about his voice.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Possessed Cartman's body after his ashes were consumed towards the end of the sixth season.
  • Shonen Hair: Under the hood.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: One of the most obscene kids. Just about a majority of his sentences include some form of swearing. It's barely audible due to his muffled voice, so this is a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar. Interestingly enough, due to the fact that the word's use of hard consonants means it's more intelligible than most in Kenny's muffled voice and that he says it so much long-time viewers are used to hearing it, "fuck" is one of his most intelligible words.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": At one point, his surname was spelled with a "K".
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Kenny is a master of this when he's dressed as Mysterion.
  • The Stoner: He doesn't have the "surfer accent", but Kenny has had an entire episode dedicated to him getting high on cat piss, and Cartman once mentioned that he enjoys getting high by paint-sniffing.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: It's mentioned in one episode that he's only friends with Cartman out of pity.
  • Take That, Audience!: You know how South Park fangirls often draw the characters in "kawaii" anime styles? Well, in the "Black Friday" trilogy, Kenny actually becomes a character of that type. And he's a super-prissy Magical Girl too.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Trope Namer. Though this was toned down during Season 7 onward and usually only occurs as a throwback, the reason being that Matt and Trey were tired of killing him every episode and thus decided to abandon that Running Gag.
    • Subverted in "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" and "Rainforest Schmainforest", one of the many few early episodes where he manages to survive.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Usually Kenny's speech is muffled by his parka, allowing his dialogue to be far more profane than the other characters' at times. However, there have been a few occasions where he has taken off the hood and been able to speak intelligibly, such as the end of the movie, "The Jeffersons", and whenever he appears as Mysterion. Later episodes tend to get rather creative in using Kenny's voice unmuffled while still maintaining his ambiguity.
    • A couple of episodes have people who've known Kenny for a while, such as Kyle, translating Kenny's mumblings for people who've just met him. People who've known Kenny for a long time can often learn to understand what he's saying, even including longtime viewers.
    • Oddly enough, even though Kenny still wears his hood as "anime" Princess Kenny (complete with female wig), he can speak intelligible (but purposely mangled) Gratuitous Japanese. "PURINSESU KENNI ASSISUTO!" Additionally, when Kenny dressed up as Iron Man for Halloween, the mask simply added a metallic reverb to his voice rather than muffling it completely (the voice was provided by Matt Stone himself).
    • If you watch certain episodes on DVD however, turning on English subtitles can provide translations to most of his dialogue.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As Mysterion he went from one of fiction's most (in)famous Butt Monkies to the show's equivalent of Batman. Even further, while his fight with Cartman (as The Coon) was a slap fight, he kicks some serious bully ass later on.
  • True Companions: With Butters in "Going Native".
  • Tuckerization: Kenny is named after a childhood friend of Trey Parker's, who was the poorest kid in the neighborhood, always wore an orange hoodie that muffled his speech, and would sometimes disappear for days at a time, leading the other kids to speculate that he'd died.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his friends and his sister.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Several episodes indicate that other characters are in fact aware of Kenny constantly dying and coming back, but it's happened so many times that they don't see it as unusual. In "Cartman's Mom Is Still A Dirty Slut", Kenny magically appears out of nowhere. The only character to react is Stan, and he simply greets Kenny as if Kenny had just walked into the room. "Cartmanland", when Kenny is killed at Cartman's amusement park, Cartman protests a lawsuit that Kenny's family files against him by pointing out that Kenny "dies all the time!".
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Decides to be a princess in the Game of Thrones episode trilogy and the game "The Stick of Truth". Not so wholesome in the latter though, considering he betrays the group and ends up being the Final Boss.
  • With Friends Like These...: While Cartman has always mocked Kenny for how poor he is, in earlier seasons, Kyle and Stan were just as guilty of this. All three were also very dismissive of his well-being at times. This changed in the later seasons.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If you mess with Karen McCormick, Kenny will invoke this one. He's also seen beating on two girls in "Faith Hilling".