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

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

Voiced by: Trey Parker

The fat kid of the group. Incredibly sadistic, narcissistic, bigoted, and sociopathic 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.

His role in Coon and Friends is The Coon.

See also his self-demonstrating page.

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  • 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 seen as 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 was shown to have had 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, the pair 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. It started varying after that, with him exhibiting some anti-heroic and villainous qualities in Seasons 17-20 while in Season 21 he once again becomes an immoral and cruel Villain Protagonist.
  • 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.
    • Averted completely in season 21, as Cartman becomes abusive to Heidi, even trying to get her killed just because she made him late to a pumpkin patch. It is also implied towards the end of season 20 that he never really changed.
  • Attention Whore: And how. He interrupts class a lot just to get attention among other things. He stays in his relationship with Heidi precisely for the attention she gives him, despite how miserable it makes him.
  • 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 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.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Initially, he and Heidi are depicted as Sickening Sweethearts, but since it's Cartman in Season 21 he reverts to his true nature. He insults her both behind her back and to her face, acts like he's going to change whenever she tries to break up with him only to resume being an asshole, brainwashes her with his own bigoted views, and even tries to murder her for things like constantly being late.
  • 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 to admit that he'd duped him, 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: Has been this on occasion, the "Coon And Friends" trilogy being the most prominent.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With the Record Producer in Season 18’s two-part finale.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With President Garrison in Season 21.
  • The Big Guy: When siding with his friends.
  • Big Eater: No wonder he's so fat.
    Cartman: 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.
  • Boisterous Weakling: 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.
  • 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. He whines to his mother whenever she is unable to get him something and throws temper tantrums until she lets him have what he wants. One of his catchphrases in the earlier seasons was "But moooooooom..."
  • 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).
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Cartman's stupidity stems from his laziness, ignorance, childishness and refusal to apply himself. He's capable of accomplishing great things when he does, and Lord help you when he genuinely tries. This is most apparent in "My Future Self N' Me." While Cartman has shown the ability to become a millionaire multiple times in the series (e.g. "Christian Rock Hard", "Cartmanland"), this episode reveals that he ultimately ends up as a simple lower-middle class mechanic, and that if he wasn't that lazy, he would instead end up as a billionaire owner of a time travel company.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Served as the Brooding Boy to Heidi's Gentle Girl.
  • The Bully: When not himself the victim of fat jokes, he is usually the most prominent in school, and is especially prone to leading other students into bullying other kids. In "Bass to Mouth" is revealed that he provoked a tirade of abuse on one student (for crapping his pants in public) so much that they 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 the bad stuff that happens to him.
  • Cain and Abel: He's Scott Tenorman's half-brother, to 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. Not because he likes him, but life without his nemesis leaves him bored out of his mind.
  • Catch-Phrase:
  • 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. He also becomes one to Heidi starting in “Doubling Down”.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Dragon: After the events of "Doubling Down", Cartman has been doing Heidi's bidding for fear of her.
  • 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 Heidi Turner was 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!"
  • Domestic Abuser: Well on his way to being one, judging by the way he treats Heidi, as well as always blaming it on his "high blood sugar" (in a way meant to comedically draw parallels to alcoholics). When Heidi gives the reason for why she broke up with him, she blandly notes "[he] called me a whore and then pushed me in front of a car."
  • 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.
    • "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.
    • Despite the cruelty he inflicts on people, its implied that he never performs his cruel acts on cats and has even kept many safe and well-taken care of in "Major Boobage".
    • 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 he looks horrified by Captain Hindsight and the fire department letting 14 people die in a fire in "Coon 2: Hindsight".
    • While he was only using the Record producer for his own ends during Season 18's two-part finale, even he was horrified when he saw the Michael Jackson hologram kill him.
    • In some episodes, he has shown genuine remorse when Kenny dies. (Although these episodes were before his complete change into a sociopath.)
    • In "Ike's Wee Wee", he's horrified when Stan (incorrectly) tells him that Ike is going to get his wee-wee chopped off at his bris party.
    Cartman: Dude! That is not cool! Chopping off wee-wees is not cool!
    • He's disgusted at the things his girlfriend does during "Moss Piglets".
    • Even Cartman wants to put a stop to the notorious sexist internet Troll Skankhunt 42!
    • Even Cartman is intimidated by Trent Boyett.
    • Even Cartman finds the Super Adventure Club atrocious and hates that they turned Chef into a pedophile.
  • 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 Stan and Kyle.
  • 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". He's also this somewhat literally, as he was born out of wedlock.
  • Fat Best Friend: Kinda subvertered. The other three boys don't view him as a friend at all, but accept him in their group because they know he won't get along with anyone else, and the four boys are viewed as each other's best friends by the town and school.
  • 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 relies on pity to manipulate.
  • 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 20, 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 reason for his mother spoiling him is because she's looking for a friend in her son, since she doesn't have any friends otherwise.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Not only do his "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 have no idea. Either way, it's rare to see his friends actually genuinely enjoying his company.
    Chef: Cartman is your friend, whether you like him or not!
  • Gasshole: He used to fart a lot in the older seasons. The episode "Cancelled" has him force Kyle to stick his finger up his ass a number of times to activate the alien anal probe, only for Cartman to fart on him upon each attempt for the lulz.
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: As much as he makes us laugh the writers made it clear that Cartman is a spoiled, anti-semist, racist, sociopathic jerkass who humiliated a teenager at one point by arranging his parents to be murdered, butchered into chili, and then tricking him into eating such chili, because he he stole 16 bucks from him, and is not supposed to viewed as anything beyond that. Its also shown that all the other kids in South Park hate him as well, especially Kyle.
    • He's definitely this in Season 21. While he still has his humorous moments, his portrayal as an emotionally abusive boyfriend towards Heidi is played realistically straight which resulted in her becoming his Distaff Counterpart. It makes watching Heidi break up with him for good all the more satisfying.
  • The Heavy: While he’s apart of the Big Bad Ensemble with Garrison in season 21 its his relationship with Heidi that drive the season’s plot. Since the start of this season he revealed himself to be an emotionally abusive boyfriend towards Heidi and has been manipulating Heidi into staying in this toxic relationship. This has led her to become his Distaff Counterpart, which causes Kyle who was revealed to like Heidi to go on a moral crusade against Canada, which in turn caused President Garrison to nuke the country.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In the first episode of Season 20 it's revealed that he's actually working on his behavior, for fear of a gender war between the boys and girls (yet he still manages to tease others and be extremely insincere regardless). 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. Which ever side suits him, he'll join instantly.
  • 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 manages to manipulate the actual Cthulhu via the Rule of Cute into working for him.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Cartman wakes from a dream shouting "No, Uncle Jesse, no!" (though that could have been a reference to Full House). However, Father Maxi is the only priest shown in the South Park universe who doesn't molest children, preferring carnal relations with temptresses his age. Cartman has been sexually abused by others, specifically noted in the episode "Simpsons Already Did It".
  • 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. When he at one point just briefly considers that maybe the world doesn't actually revolve around him, he almost ends up Going Mad from the Revelation.
  • 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: The first four seasons, until his sociopathic breakthrough. He veered ever so slightly toward this in You're Getting Old and Ass burgers (even being uncharacteristically friendly to Kyle during these episodes.) Of course, Cartman resumes being a genuine Jerkass at the end of this two-parter. However, he does seem to have a soft spot for cats, as seen in the episode "Major Boobage". He shelters several neighborhood cats in his attic from persecution, denying any historical parallels when Kyle questions him about the good deed. Cartman has in fact shown more kindness to cats than he has any human, oddly enough.
  • 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, there are several episodes where he gets away scot free.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: His exploitation, emotional abuse, and attempts to kill his girlfriend Heidi backfires in the Season 21’s finale when she breaks up with him for good.
  • 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, infecting Kyle with HIV, the whole run of "Ginger Cow", and abuse of his girlfriend 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 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 occasionally 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: Usually played for laughs, but keep in mind, this kid has survived getting run over by cars, getting beaten to a bloody 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 manipulates the other kids and especially the adults. Since all the adults are naturally stupid, Cartman constantly monopolizes on it to further any of his plans to get what he wants. Apparently he's gotten so good 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: In "Major Boobage", 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.
  • 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 Skankhunt42.
  • 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, which deceivingly starts off as a very sweet and romantic relationship to horrifically abusive and disturbing one in typical Cartman fashion that eventually ends in “Splatty Tomato”
  • 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.
  • Overarching Villain: While he is far from the only villain, he is certainly the most iconic one to appear throughout the entire series. He serves as the Big Bad for season 10's "Cartoon War's" two parter, season 14's "Coon Trilogy",and many one shot episodes. If he isn't the sole Big Bad he either apart of a Big Bad Ensemble, a Big Bad Duumvirate, The Dragon for the Big Bad, The Heavy a Plot-Irrelevant Villain, a Villain Protagonist, a Jerkass, or at the very least a Nominal Hero. One things is certain however he is staying wether his friends like him or not.

  • 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".
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When Skyler mistreated Shelley, Cartman helps Shelley exact revenge on Skyler, due to both discovering a mutual bond for making those they hate suffer.
    • In "Major Boobage", he shows a lot more love to cats than he ever has to a person.
    • In spite of his racist tendencies, Cartman actually looked up to Chef as one of the only trustworthy adults in town and never discriminated against him for being black. However this could perhaps be justified by the fact that Cartman loves food, and calling Chef a racial slur would likely lead him to spitting in his lunch.
    • In the Video Games, The New Kid is perhaps the only person in South Park that Cartman has consistently treated with at least some level of respect and kindness, regarding the New Kid as a good friend and his protege rather than a mere pawn. Cartman even (mostly) puts aside his bigoted viewpoints and disregards whatever player-chosen demographics (race, ethnicity, etc) the New Kid is given when addressing them. It's implied the New Kid acknowledges this and sees giving Cartman their loyalty as their way of returning the favor.
    • In Season 20, he is shown to a surprisingly sweet boyfriend to Heidi Turner and treats her far better than any other human being. Sadly this does not last, and by Season 21 he becomes an emotionally abusive one to her.
    • Subverted in regards to Kyle- Cartman will seemingly perform a good deed for him, but it's always for a personal gain of sorts. He helped Kyle save his brother from being in a relationship with his teacher, but only because the two didn't have a hall pass (therefore not listening to Cartman's authority, who was the hall monitor at the time). He also attempts to help Kyle get more Facebook friends, but a few scenes before shows him deliberately trying to get his followers to dump Kyle as a friend.
    Cartman: That's all the time I have for today. Remember, update that profile, and steer clear of Kyle! *smiles*
    • That said he does have one genuine Pet the Dog moment, as well as being extremely out of character with Kyle at the end of "You're Getting Old". The two smile at one another while playing video games, no ulterior motive to be found. Unfortunately, Status Quo Is God, and this is quickly reverted back to the usual dynamic at the end of "Ass Burgers."
  • Playing the Victim Card: No matter what awful things Cartman has done, he will always try to twist the situation around so that he is the one who suffered from it. This becomes a recurring plot point in season 21; He sees himself as the victim in his and Heidi's relationship, in spite of the fact that he is distant, emotionally abusive, and at one point, even tried to get Heidi killed by a witch. By the end of the season, Heidi finally sees this, and calls him out on it.
    Heidi: You were hurt! You were the victim!
    Cartman: Yes. I'm glad you understand that.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: His only role in the "Imaginationland" trilogy is to make Kyle suck his balls but otherwise contributes nothing to the ongoing plot.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Jews, hippies, blacks, Asians, poor people, girls... They all get the hate from Cartman at least once.
  • Precision F-Strike: See Catch-Phrase.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "This. Is. Bullcrap!"
  • Real Men Love Jesus: As the Dawg in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy".
    Cartman: Go with Christ, brah.
  • 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.
  • The Rival: Alternates between this and Arch-Enemy with Kyle.
  • 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".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
  • 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.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Cartman consistently views his relationship with The New Kid to be this trope with Cartman viewing himself as the Sempai, and the second game heavily implies that the New Kid agrees.
  • 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...
  • Seven Deadly Sins: His Greed and Gluttony are the most obvious, but he's a pretty nasty cocktail of all seven; he's bigoted, short tempered and never hesitates to tell people he hates them (Wrath), a sadist with rather...disturbing hobbies (Lust), loafs around the house and has his mother do everything for him (Sloth), has a Self-Serving Memory and a tendency to shift blame (Pride) and loves watching other peoples' misfortune, especially Kyle's (Envy).
  • 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.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Cartman learns that his Half father is Jack Tenorman, he cares more about the fact that he's half ginger than the fact that he Murdered his own father.
  • 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: While Cartman is capable of accomplish many complex plans, his own arrogance usually serves as his own undoing.
  • 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. He seems to be the default leader of the fourth grade boys in the case of a crisis, e.g. "Make Love Not Warcraft", "Marjorine", "The List".
  • 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.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: His fighting prowess is pretty inconsistent. He varies from so frail/whiny that he's reduced to tears after a punch or two from someone else his age ("It's Christmas In Canada", "Doubling Down", "Christian Rock Hard"), to roughly fighting on par with the other boys ("Cartoon Wars", "W.T.F."), to being able to easily beat up Kyle ("Damien"), Clyde ("Coon II: Hindsight"), and Craig ("Tweek vs Craig"), to being able to beat up adults ("Chickenlover", "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" albeit the latter was a dwarf, though still one with a black belt), all the way up to being nearly superhumanly strong for a nine year old (kicking a kid clear across a room in "Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy"). It's also shown in "It's A Jersey Thing" that he often whines and exaggerates his injuries so he can avoid as many physical confrontations as possible.
  • 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 temporarily acts kinder towards others beginning with the episode Your Getting Old, even towards Kyle. This is quickly reverted during the episode Ass Burgers and Cartman resumes his former mentality. "1%" shows a more affectionate side rather than kind 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. Though this is more about his sanity finally breaking than anything...
    • In Season 20, he makes some sincere effort to try being a better person (the sincere part begins after his revelation of looking upon Heidi's vagina- originally, it was to preserve his bullying ways under a PC radar) and is less antagonistic than before. He even gets a girlfriend. Subverted in season 21. It's also implied towards the end of season 20 that he never really changed.
  • 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 Skankhunt42.

  • 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 Accent: His voice has a vaguely southern twinge that shows up in certain lines ("Respect my AUTHOR-ITAH", "Fuck you KAHL!", etc.). His mom doesn't have such an accent, nor do any of his friends, though in one episode it's shown that his extended family talks the same way.
  • 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.
  • Villain Decay: Starting with Season 16, his overall intentions, while still greedy and sociopathic, are less frequently played against the rest of the boys (although there are exceptions). It gets exaggerated beyond belief in season 20, where he doesn't commit any schemes nor does he behave like his usual evil self.
    • Subverted in season 21 where not only does he revert back to his old self, but his abuse towards his girlfriend Heidi Turner has brought in a whole new more realistic level of evil.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Tends to fly into a ballistic rage or burst into tears whenever things don't go his way. The most notable of these include "Cartmanland", "HUMANCENTiPAD", "Christian Rock Hard", and "Splatty Tomato".
  • Villainous Glutton: In one episode, it is shown that making him thin would actually make him a nicer person.
  • Villain Protagonist: If he isn't this, he functions as a Nominal Hero.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With everyone, especially Kyle. Although in later seasons the two are rather arch rivals than friends.
  • Vocal Evolution: He had a higher and more grating, raspy voice in earlier seasons.
  • With Friends Like These...: His relationship with the other kids.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's strongly implied that the cruel treatment Eric Cartman receives from his schoolmates for being fat, his Butt-Monkey status in previous seasons (abducted by aliens and being teased by Scott Tenorman), and the fact he never met nor knew his father made him the sadistic Ax-Crazy psycho we know today.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He beats up Wendy in "Breast Cancer Show Ever", however, Wendy quickly turns the tide of the fight. 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".