I think KJ Mackey is right. It's a thematic shift in the portrayal of a character. It's an act that causes a protagonist or sympathetic antagonist to become something else - namely written as something not to be screwed around with.
Applying it to a comedy setting is weird, because unless Cerebus Syndrome
is in effect, I don't know if you can have a true Moral Event Horizon
because a lot of western situational comedy relies on Negative Continuity
. In the case of Cartman in particular, there was a shift in how the character was written. Namely, Cartman went from being Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
into becoming the show's general antagonist in any episode where they needed one that wasn't a celebrity that Matt and Trey wanted to Take That
. However, again, as a comedy show it's much harder to pin down.
To take another example extremely similar to Cartman's is Porky from the Mother
games, who goes from minor fat kid who gets picked on to the Big Bad
. With a focus on "dramedy" or Black Comedy
(especially in Mother 3), a clearer but similar character arc with no snap-back is achieved.
This is a objective trope, but it is in the tone of how a character is portrayed being changed. Not what the viewer feels was their most evilist act.
edited 29th May '12 7:58:44 PM by Zeta