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Characters / South Park: Eric Cartman

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

Kyle: "He's a fat, racist, self-centered, intolerant, manipulating sociopath."

Voiced by: Trey Parker

The fat kid of the group. Incredibly foul-mouthed, spoiled, 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, gingers, Wendy Testaburger's liberal views, people making fun of his weight, and the "random" humor of Family Guy. He also had a intense hatred towards the Jewish prior to Season 16's "Jewpacabra", where he ended up experiencing all the suffering the Jewish went through in his nightmares, which brought himself to accept and convert to Judaism... temporarily.

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.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Despite being a bully himself, Cartman was very often ostracized by the other kids in the first four seasons for his obesity. It's strongly implied that this is one of the many misfortunes of his that inspired his evil tendenices.
  • 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: Cartman is a sociopath who becomes violent and seeks nasty revenge over the pettiest of offenses, constantly insists that he's better than everyone else, desperately seeks attention, goes to disturbing lengths to prove others wrong or excuse his actions, acts like a victim of his own faults, commits appalling acts For the Evulz, is unrepentantly bigoted, and in general has an unhealthy propensity to disregard moral standards. Yet no one can quite pin down what exactly is wrong with him.
  • 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. 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. Season 17 onwards he starts alternating between anti-hero and Villain Protagonist.
  • Anti-Role Model: He is often made the voice of political views the creators disagree 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 two clash with each other the most due to Kyle's strong moral compass and Cartman's complete lack of such. Plus Kyle's usually on the receiving end of Cartman's Anti-Semitism.
  • Asshole Victim: Whenever bad things happen to Cartman, the audience can't help but derive amusement from his suffering, as he's a complete asshole who deserves to be punished for his actions.
  • 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: 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 People Abuse Animals: Despite his occasional fondness for them, Cartman has an often habit of antagonizing living things.
  • 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. In "Buddha Box", he claimed to suffer from anxiety, using it as an excuse to not interact with others. By the time of "Unfulfilled", he seemed to genuinely believe he suffered from the condition.
  • 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.
    • If you compare his sense of humour to Family Guy, he will react violently to such comparisons.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • He served as the Veronica to Stan's Betty to Wendy's Archie in the earlier seasons.
    • And also served as the Veronica to Kyle's Betty to Heidi's Archie in Season 21.
  • Big Bad: Has been this on many occasions
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Forms one with Cthulhu in the "Coon And Friends" trilogy.
    • Forms another one with the Record Producer in Season 18’s two-part finale.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With President Garrison in Season 21.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Of Seasons 19, 22, and 23. He's still a Jerkass during those times and tries to formulate several schemes, but events caused by him would automatically get rectified in the next episode, and there are bigger threats that appear in those seasons. (Leslie Meyers in Season 19; ManBearPig and Jeff Bezos in Season 22; Randy Marsh in Season 23)
  • 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. He also eats Cheesy Poofs like cereal, meaning he pours them into a bowl followed by milk.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Whenever paired with Butters, Cartman attempts to incorporate rationality in the former despite being almost as, if not equally, oblivious as him.
  • 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 hitting him, and at the end of "Christmas in Canada", he cries out for his mommy when Kyle gives him a tiny jab to his face. 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 (although it's not like one could blame him considering Mr. Garrison teaches his class about trivial matters 90% of the time). 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).
  • Break the Comedian: Loses his sense of humor when one of his pranks, namely submitting a photography of Kenny's butt to a milk company and reporting it as a missing person, makes a couple with actual butt-like faces believe that their missing child was seen recently. Cartman is so devastated over this that he no longer feels like he'll laugh or do pranks anymore. He finally recovers when the couple reunites with their missing "child" (now a grown adult: Ben Affleck). Cartman even laughs at Kenny's death at the end of the episode.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: The sadistic sociopath Cartman (bully) is quite frequently paired with the passive Extreme Doormat Butters (wimp).
  • Bullying a Dragon: His frequent harassment of Kyle and Wendy, despite both of them being more than capable of kicking his ass. This is especially prominent in "Breast Cancer Show Ever", where he tries to weasel his way out of a fight with Wendy, but as soon as he thinks he's in the clear, he goes back to mocking her, resulting in Wendy fighting him and beating him up in front of the whole school.
    • This sometimes applies to Cartman himself. While most of the time, he's just a bratty, ignorant, whiny kid he's also capable of some seriously horrific feats or destruction, murder, and cruelty when sufficiently motivated. The first and most infamous example of this is in the episode Scott Tenerman Must Die when he sets up a bully's parents to be killed and then hacks them up to put into chili that the bully then eats. He did this over 12 dollars.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "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." (when ecstatic)
      • "Weak." (for reverse reaction)
    • "Tits."
    • "Hella."
    • "Whateva, I do what I want."
    • "I'll kick you in the nuts!" Sometimes, he'll also say "I'll kick you squah in the nuts."
  • Celebrity Resemblance: The creators say 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 first four seasons, he was a whiny spoiled brat with a high scratchy voice who begged his mother into getting whatever he wanted and picked on Kyle mainly because he didn't celebrate Christmas. Also, the others got along with him for the most part, and he had many catchphrases. From the Scott Tenorman episode onwards, he is more intelligent, conniving, manipulative, and psychopathic; his voice is lower and deeper; he rarely whines or cries; the other boys hate him and rarely gets along; and he rarely says any of his catchphrases anymore.
  • The Charmer: He's pretty damn charismatic, and can easily rally people to his cause. Just to name a few, creating a Christian band, mobilizing the Ginger kids to take vengeance to the world, rallying the mass for an anti-Jew pogrom (though to be fair, they misunderstood what he meant), taking over an actual pirate crew... the list goes on.
  • The Chessmaster: In some episodes, he can be this. Specifically in "Scott Tenorman Must Die".
  • The Chew Toy: Any time Cartman suffers, it's because he deserves it.
  • 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.
  • Coordinated Clothes: After Cartman entered a relationship with Heidi, the pair wore matching clothes throughout the rest of Season 20.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The de facto snarkiest character in the World of Snark that is South Park. Quite possibly the snarkiest cartoon character of all time.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Throughout "Moss Piglets", Cartman has been doing Heidi's bidding for fear of her.
  • Depending on the Writer:
  • 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 humiliating Kyle Broflovski (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.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: He does this literally in "Mysterion Rises" and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" as he actually scams Cthulhu into doing his bidding by acting sickeningly cute.
  • 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".
    • He does this again in "Buddha Box" where he claims to suffer from anxiety, just so he can ignore social interactions, go on his phone all day, and be inconsiderate to others.
  • 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 Abuse: 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."
  • The Dreaded: Both Played for Laughs and Played Straight. Cartman is a complete asshole and no one really likes him so people avoid dealing with him whenever possible. On a darker level, the people who know how monstrous he can be also never push him too far and avoid doing anything that might trigger his Disproportionate Retribution. Considering he made someone eat their own parents, this is understandable.
  • Dumbass No More: When the show began, Cartman started out as an ignorant Dirty Coward with about the same level of naivety as Butters, in addition to being Book Dumb. Following the infamous Scott Tenorman incident, while he still retains his gullible and childlike traits, he's definitely become more clever when it comes to plotting schemes and manipulating others, even bordering on a Child Prodigy at times.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: 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's still very manipulative 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 Can Be Loved:
    • Despite all the atrocious things Cartman has done over the years his mother will always dote and love him unconditionally
    • Likewise, Heidi stays by Cartman's side as his girlfriend despite knowing he's emotionally abusive until she realizes what his influence has turned her into, causing her to break up with him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Deconstructed. Cartman has shown that he does love his mother Liane and girlfriend Heidi. However, he is also so selfish and entitled that he is not above abusing, manipulating, and humiliating them to get his way.
  • 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.
    • In "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo", Cartman is so disgusted by the titular character of the episode, he can't bring himself to stick around with the others, and for good reason too.
      Cartman: Okay, that does it. Screw you guys I'm going home. Talking Poo is where I draw the line.
    • In "Free Hat", even he's disturbed that the redneck denizens of South Park want to free a convicted child murderer, claiming he killed 23 babies "in self defense". He's also disturbed that he's set free.
    • 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, he looked horrified when he saw the Michael Jackson hologram kill him.
    • In some episodes, albeit generally before his sociopathic transformation in season 5, he has shown genuine remorse when Kenny dies.
    • In "Best Friends Forever" he ends up feeling guilty with everyone else when he discovers how he and the others' actions have contributed to Kenny's condition getting turned into a media frenzy.
    • 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 Skankhunt42!
    • Even Cartman is intimidated by Trent Boyett.
    • Even Cartman finds the Super Adventure Club atrocious and hates that they turned Chef into a pedophile.
    • In "Obama Wins!", Cartman voices his disgust with swingers, calling them perverts.
  • 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. He also seems to truly believe others think the same way he does; in "The Poor Kid", he quickly started researching his schoolmates' incomes after Kenny was put into a foster home in another state (so he could mock the new poor kid), thinking that every other student would be doing the same.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Kyle. Cartman is the complete opposite of him in terms of morality, political views, and attitude.
    • He's also one to Butters. Both are naive and ignorant dimwits who seek attention. However, they are polar opposites in that Butters is an incredibly sweet Cheerful Child and All-Loving Hero without a single mean bone in his body, while Cartman is a complete and utter Jerkass who couldn't care less about saving anyone other than himself.
  • 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 Cthulhu to assist in mass slaughter and show up your friends: done. Cartman thrives on this trope.

  • False Prophet: In the "Probably" episode, it turns out Cartman only started the church to con the other kids out of their money and make ten million dollars.
  • Farts on Fire: In the very first episode, his anal probe causes him to fart flames of fire in class.
  • Fat Bastard: During his family reunion, all of his family members, save for his loving, caring mother and grandmother, 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: Downplayed. 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: Cartman is generally ignorant and naive, though his hatred, prejudice, spite, and entitled opinion of himself 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: He began as a selfish, impulsive kid who could never think beyond his momentary desires, but became The Chessmaster whose evil was entirely premeditated. He began as a whiny brat who could only sway his mother, but became a master manipulator who can play huge crowds like a fiddle. He began as Kyle's friend (well, in the sense that he's The Friend Nobody Likes) and became his mortal enemy. He began as a mild anti-Semite, making fun of Kyle for not celebrating Christmas just to get a rise out of him, but became a full-on neo-Nazi who admires Hitler and tries to instigate his own Holocaust.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Nothing else qualifies for taming Cthulhu.
  • For the Evulz: Cartman's motive for committing atrocities and bullying people is solely for his own amusement.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied that his friends' constant cruelty towards him, the fact he has never met his dad, and his mother's (unintentional) abuse is what drove him to become the sociopath that he is today. 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!
    • After all, there's a reason the fourth grade class hates him:
    Kyle: Because he's a fat, racist, self-centered, intolerant, manipulating sociopath.
  • 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.
    • It's taken Up to Eleven in "Ginger Cow", where Kyle is forced to ingest Cartman's farts.
  • 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.
  • Greed: A defining arc during the show's fourth season was his single-minded quest to make 10 million dollars. The schemes he has tried include; becoming a part of the Denver "tooth racket"; and stealing Tooth Fairy money from kids, starting a boy band called Fingerbang, and forming his own church and embezzling its collection money. These all failed miserably for several reasons.
    • He also tried it in "Cherokee Hair Tampons" when Kyle's kidneys were failing and Cartman, being the only one with Kyle's blood type, demanded a payment of 10 million dollars when Stan begged him to let Kyle have his kidney. He has also tried to sell a crashed truck-load of aborted fetuses to the highest-bidding stem cell research center, and even to a restaurant as food.
    • In "Up the Down Steroid", he also pretended he was retarded to compete in the Special Olympics and win $1000. The reasons for this are never fully explained, although in "Cartmanland", after inheriting a million dollars from his grandmother, he reveals that he wishes to buy his own amusement park so he won't have to wait in lines for the rides. He also stated that it has been his dream to own a million dollars since he was two years old.
    • In "Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow", he threatens Kyle with a gun for his "Jew Gold".
    • In "ManBearPig" Cartman stumbles upon a pile of treasure while the boys are trapped in a system of caves. Afraid that the others might find the treasure and demand a share, Cartman decides to swallow as many of the coins and jewels as he can, causing him to become extremely bloated and unable to walk or swim on his own. Later in the episode it is revealed, during the process of painfully crapping it out, that the treasure is fake and used for photographs for tourists at the caves.
  • Guile Hero: Though it's very overshadowed by his Manipulative Bastard status, Cartman in his "good days" can outsmart the Villain of the Week with ease.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: More so 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-semitic, 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 stole 16 bucks from him, and is not supposed to viewed as anything beyond that. It's 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, it's his relationship with Heidi that drive the season’s plot. Since the start of that season, he's 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 skankhunt42. 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 has been repeatedly shown to be a fairly talented photographer. He also takes in the cats of South Park when the town bans them, speaks conversational Spanish and German, has a knack for negotiation and deal-making, and is a decent violinist. He's actually shown to be highly intelligent, charismatic (if manipulative), creative, and hard-working when properly motivated, but what holds him back is his laziness, ignorance and general refusal to apply himself.
  • 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.
  • Humiliation Conga: In "Awesome-O", where Butters spends the entire episode getting revenge on Cartman (both intentionally and unintentionally). Considering the things that Cartman has done to Butters, it's hard to feel bad for him.
  • Hypocrite: Despite getting angry whenever anyone calls him "fat", Cartman tricked Heidi into gorging herself on fried chicken (claiming it was actually a healthy substitute), then mocked her for her weight change behind her back.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Cartman verbally abuses Mr. Kitty and even used him to scratch himself when he had chickenpox, but he threatens to blow off Kyle's nutsack when he jokingly suggests sticking a firecracker up Mr. Kitty's butt.
    • Sometimes shows this with Kyle as, while he hates Kyle he also can't stand not having Kyle around and has saved Kyle's life more than a few times like during Imagination Land and Smug Alert. He even vocalizes this during It's a Jersey Thing.
      Cartman: (to Kyle about his Jersey heritage) You may be a monster, but you're our monster.
  • 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.
    • In seasons 4 and 5, he would regularly claim to be "more mature" than his friends. Whenever something happened that seemed to prove his point, he would quickly descend into childish sing-song mockery.
  • I Am Big Boned: Believes this to near delusional, borderline body dysmorphia levels.
    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)
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: In Breast Cancer Show Ever Wendy Testaburger finally has it with Cartman's bigotry and challenges him to a fight, which he spends an entire episode trying to avoid, but ultimately gets the living shit kicked out of him while the whole school watches.
  • Identical Stranger: To Marlon Brando ("Cartman Joins NAMBLA"), Dakota Fanning (the sketch in "Free Willzyx"), Bruce Vilanch ("The Coon", "A Nightmare on Facetime"), and Honey Boo Boo ("A Nightmare on Facetime").
  • 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".
  • Insufferable Imbecile: He may be cunning when it comes to his evil schemes at times, but he's otherwise dimwitted and clueless, and sometimes his mean tricks only make him look like an idiot. A good example is "Cartman Sucks", where he tries to humiliate Butters in a very stupid way (which is actually more humiliating to Cartman himself than Butters), and then he's easily tricked by Kyle, actually believing his Blatant Lies about "gay polarity".
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: He had an occasional tendency to play with dolls and have tea parties in the earlier seasons. He also has crossdressed on multiple occasions; albeit usually for a scheme.
  • Irony: In the season eight episode "The Jeffersons," Cartman mentions despising Austrians, despite the fact that he admires Adolf Hitler, who was an Austrian.
  • 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. Very thoroughly to boot.
  • Jerkass: Cartman is one of television's most infamous examples. He currently provides the trope's page image.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sometimes he made valid points, like how the rainforest sucks, especially for a group of kids on a field trip set to do a choir performance, and how the influx of hippies will doom the town, both problems which he solves.
  • 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.
    • His status as this trope is a notable driving point on the storyline of the episode "Casa Bonita", where he fakes his maturity just to get Kyle to invite him to his birthday party: Cartman pulls off many miserably failed attempts at being a Nice Guy to prove himself friendly and mature enough to be invited to Kyle's birthday at the eponymous Mexican restaurant. After all of them fail, Cartman admits to Kyle's face, with a respectable attitude, that he accepts his consequence and wishes him, Stan, Kenny, and Butters the best time at the restaurant; Kyle admires Cartman's selflessness and tells him that if Butters is unavailable, he can take his place, which Cartman was prompting Kyle to offer him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Some of the early episodes portrayed him like this, such as “Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000”, but this was flung out the window after “Scott Tenorman Must Die.”

  • 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 hard near the end of Season 21 where she starts to abuse him and eventually 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 "Scott Tenorman Must Die", and abuse of his girlfriend just to name a few.
  • Kiddie Kid: Although not very open about it, Cartman was shown to have shades of this in the first four seasons, where he was occasionally seen playing with dolls in his free time and had his mother sing bedtime songs to him.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Cartman takes this trope Up to Eleven in that he's a sociopathic, insensitive, bigoted jerkass who becomes violent over the pettiest of offenses.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: He's incapable of empathy towards people, exhibits a strong bond with cats despite being a speciesist. In "Major Boobage", cats are made illegal because Kenny, along with several other kids around the country, begins using male cat musk as a hallucinogenic drug. Cartman lies to the police, claiming that he had his cat put down when he really is hiding his cat in the attic. Throughout the episode he collects abandoned cats in his attic out of sympathy. His cat has been on the show since the series began, and his love for cats could have developed from his lack of other family members besides his mother; he has no father or siblings. This empathetic relationship is reserved for cats and not humans; he does not (or more likely chooses not to) recognize a parallel between his cat safe-haven to the history of Jews hiding from Nazi soldiers during the Holocaust, which Kyle points out.
  • 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: 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: Most of the kids in town refer to him as Cartman (Butters and Jimmy are the exceptions). The adults in town either call him Eric, or by his full name (when he's in trouble). There is one instance when Randy says "That's our Cartman", however.
  • 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.
  • Lazy Bum: In the earlier seasons, Cartman spent much of his free time on the couch in his living room eating junk food and watching Terrence and Phillip, whenever he wasn't hanging with the boys.
  • 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.
  • Loving a Shadow: What his feelings for Heidi amount to. He hooks up with Heidi simply because he found someone who enjoyed being the victim as much as he does. Thus, when he Took a Level in Jerkass by Season 21 he decides to convince her to continue Playing the Victim Card and become more like him, rather than try to know her more.
  • 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.
  • Mocking Sing-Song: He used to mock others this way in the earlier seasons.
  • 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.
    • In "The Poor Kid", he had no problem mocking others for being the poorest kid in school (to the point of performing a twenty minute song and dance number directed at the poorest kid at his new school), but when he was revealed to be the poorest kid in South Park after Kenny left, he immediately started acting like such mockery was the lowest thing to do.
    • He is utterly convinced that Butters "deserves" all the torment he inflicts on him.
    • In "Mexican Joker", he demanded that Kyle apologize for "always being a dick" to him, disregarding the many, many more times Cartman has gone out of his way to insult and/or humiliate Kyle.
  • 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 the Wall-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 the Wall-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.
  • Never My Fault: In true sociopathic behavior, Cartman refuses to take any responsibility for anything bad that happens, even when it bites him in the ass. He drove a student to commit suicide after humiliating him over pooping his own pants, and his response is that it was the student’s own fault. He was kicked out of his own superhero team because he was being, in their words, “a dick”, and believes they had turned evil.
  • 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: Even serving as the page image for the show'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 the town's cats. 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. Cartman's body type would not be used for another character in the series until the Season 7 episode "Raisins" which introduced the overweight goth girl Henrietta.
  • Not Me This Time:
    • In a case of Dramatic Irony, he is NOT Skankhunt42.
    • He's also not responsible for the school shootings and Manbearpig's rampage as Yates claims he is (along with Kenny).
  • Not So Different: Despite his immense contempt for him, Cartman actually has a lot in common with Butters. Both of them come from troubled family backgrounds, seek attention from their peers, aren't taken so seriously by the more superior, are rather naive and ignorant unless they set their minds to it, and have both exhibited Ambiguously Bi moments.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: While often appearing as nothing more than an ignorant, lazy, gullible jerkass, he sometimes shows to be much more dangerous and manipulative than he first seems. The most notable example is the episode ”Scott Tenorman Must Die”.
  • 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, resulting in him getting last place in every event.
  • 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. Aside from being the Big Bad in many episodes he's would be apart of a Big Bad Ensemble, a Big Bad Duumvirate, and if not a Big Bad he would be The Dragon, 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 here to stay whether 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".
    • And, of course, there was the epic fight he had with Wendy, in which Wendy pretty much busted his head open.
  • Phrase Catcher: "GODDAMNIT CARTMAN!"
  • Pet the Dog:
    • When Skyler mistreated Shelly, Cartman helps Shelly 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 any human.
    • 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 sees Cartman as their best friend as well and gives him their loyalty and trust 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.
    • He carries Kenny's coffin during the bike parade in the Season 22 finale, with a sign saying "Remember Kenny".
    • 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."
    • In another surprisingly genuine moment, during the "Pandemic Special", he is willing to kill an animal who might provide the vaccine for COVID-19 just so that he wouldn't have to go back to school, but after seeing Stan crying over his uncertainty surrounding the future and wanting for things to go back to normal so he and the other kids can enjoy life and have fun again, he relents and doesn't go through with it.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Initially served as the blue boy to Heidi's pink girl. Cartman regularly wears a blue hat, while Heidi dons a pink one as of Season 20.
  • 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. Of course, in the video games, he plays the Politically Incorrect Hero due to his Adaptational Heroism. One example is when he's attacked by Butters' Mexican Chaos Minions:
    Cartman: (As the Coon) Their Chaos Powers are preventing me from understanding their speech!
  • Precision F-Strike: See Catchphrase.
  • 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: The Red Oni to Butters' and Kyle's Blue Oni whenever Kyle isn't playing the Red Oni to Stan's Blue Oni.
  • 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".
  • Satanic Archetype: While the series does have an actual Satan character, Eric is the closest equivalent of the Devil. For starters, Eric is a Machiavellian who is motivated by his selfish desires, and makes deals that ultimately only benefit him and screw everyone else involved over. Last but not least, Cartman's personality embodies all the Seven Deadly Sins, further enhancing his Satanic qualities.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
  • The Scrooge: He is miserably and completely scrooged, determined not to give up the slightest amount of money, such as refusing to give a dollar to Afghan children in "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants", "I'm not giving a dollar to those towel-heads!" Craig Tucker observed in "Fishsticks" that Jimmy was lucky Cartman was only asking for half the money that would be made from patenting a joke that Jimmy had come up with, and Cartman was intent on taking credit for (he had actually lied on the couch eating chips, offering no input).
  • 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 and causing 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. Much to the annoyance of the other students.
  • 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.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: The smart jerk to Butters' nice moron. Although nearly as ignorant, Cartman is a Manipulative Bastard of a jerkass who often exploits the latter for his many schemes; Butters is a naive Wide-Eyed Idealist whose overly nice demeanor makes him gullible to those using him.
  • Smug Snake: While Cartman is capable of forming many complex plans, his own arrogance usually serves as his own undoing.
  • The Sociopath: Cartman is an interesting case that's simultaneously Played Straight and Subverted.In Seasons 1-4 he was just a Bratty Half-Pint. While selfish his behavior was no worse than a bratty child. After the Scott Tenorman episode, he seemed to become a perfect example of a sociopath with particularly poor impulse control. However, unlike most examples of this trope Cartman is still a child and even well behaved children exhibit It's All About Me attitudes. Developmentally, children don't start to really develop a sense of moral agency and feeling of obligation to others until they start to reach about the age Cartman is at now. The problem is that his relationship with his mom and home life have left him developmentally stunted. What results is a child committing extreme acts of sociopathy but without any understanding of morality at all. Cartman literally can't comprehend moral obligation to others and can't see how what he's doing is wrong were a true sociopath does understand morality conceptually but they just don't care.
  • 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". That said, his Character Development has made him an Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
  • 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 inhumanly 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: In "T.M.I.", it is revealed that he has an exceptionally tiny penis (even for a boy of 9 years old), and the insecurity of that seems to a leading or at least additional factor driving his psychotic rages. When the school posts height measurements in the hallway for the boys, Cartman assumes it to be penis sizes and demands all the boys measure their sizes to disprove the original measurements. His rage in this particularly incident leads him to getting Anger Management, during which his doctor attempts to insult him to produce an angry reaction. Cartman oddly enough does not demonstrate his rage vocally, in a coldly sadistic manner by manipulating the doctor's wife into killing herself through a simple set of text messages. Cartman is then put in a group anger management session, during which he several like-minded individuals with small penises go on a rage driven rampage.
  • Tell Me About My Father: His mother is actually his father. OR NOT!
  • Thin-Skinned Bully: As stated under Paper Tiger above, Eric is an incredibly sociopathic case of a bully for comedic media, but still routinely presented as an utter wimp in the face of physical assault. In one episode, he repeatedly threatens to beat up Kyle. After Kyle relents to a fight and reluctantly taps him on the cheek, he's left bawling indignantly for a lengthy amount of time.
  • 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. This really applies in season 5 onward. While sometimes his friends were worse than him in the earlier seasons, in later seasons, 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 manipulation come off as genuinely badass.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Up to Eleven In Season 5. He was at worst a stupid Spoiled Brat Jerkass from the beginning, but on several occasions his friends came off even worse as the would occasionally bully him when he hadn't even bothered them and was for the most part came off as an Anti-Hero or Jerk with a Heart of Gold. However, from Season 5 (more specifically the Scott Tenorman episode) onwards he's become a cold, calculating, sociopathic Jerkass, his friend can never reach his cruelty, and he's normally a Villain Protagonist.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • He temporarily acts kinder towards Kyle beginning with the episode "You're Getting Old". This is quickly reverted during the episode "Ass Burgers" and Cartman resumes his former behavior to his rival. "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.
    • It's played straight in both Seasons 22 and 23, when Cartman has undergone a more significant amount of Villain Decay along with more prominent Pet the Dog moments, such as backing up Clyde when the latter demands Kyle to get Father Maxi out of his birthday party and in the last two episodes of the season, where Cartman actually laments that he, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny never do anything together anymore, prompting all of them to participate in the bike parade, and when they do at the end of the season finale, Cartman is seen carrying Kenny's coffin after he is killed by Amazon Alexa. It's subverted in the Season 23 premiere episode, "Mexican Joker", when he gets Kyle and his family detained by I.C.E. just because Kyle insulted him in front of a girl whose bra he was going to snap, and threatens to do the same to Jimmy for telling the teacher he was texting in class. It's double subverted and played straight once again from every episode afterwards when Cartman is detained by I.C.E. himself after Stan heard about what he did to Kyle and did it to get revenge for him, with more Pet the Dog moments, such as expressing his condolences to the Whites when their son, Jason White, was run over and Killed Off for Real in "Season Finale", and working with Stan and Kenny to steal a sample of Sheila's feces for a copy of "Jedi Fallen Order" in "Turd Burglars".
    • Perhaps his most defining moment of his newfound level in kindness is during the "Pandemic Special", when he is willing to kill a pangolin who might provide the vaccine for COVID-19 just so that he wouldn't have to go back to school, but after seeing Stan crying over his uncertainty surrounding the future and wanting for things to go back to normal so he and the other kids can enjoy life and have fun again, he relents and decides to give the pangolin back to the scientist, raising hopes for a vaccine that will end COVID-19, even though President Garrison comes out of nowhere to burn the pangolin and the scientist just so he can take advantage of the pandemic to kill off all the Mexicans.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Cartman's influence essentially turns Heidi into a female version of himself. She ends up an obese, racist, and selfish Jerkass towards everyone. While the transformation was initially intentional on Cartman's part, he quickly realizes how awful it is to be around someone like himself. Likewise, Heidi doesn't like what Cartman's influence turned her into and breaks up with him for good because of it, and without his influence in Season 22, she goes back to her old self.
  • 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.
  • Tuckerization: His name is based off of someone named 'Eric Carpman'.

  • 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. Despite his Up to Eleven Jerkass tendencies, Cartman is clearly meant to be entertaining and funny.
  • 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.
    • Double Subverted and played straight once again in Season 22 where he still acts like a Jerkass and comes up with various schemes to improve his own life, but they don't come across as particularly vile compared to his role as an abusive boyfriend last season, with the worst of them being that he and Butters sold vape pens to kindergartners and convinces the townsfolk to wear Buddha Boxes. It's also shown that he's acting much nicer than in other seasons, such as when he backs up Clyde when the latter demands Kyle to get Father Maxi out of his birthday party and in the last two episodes of the season, where Cartman actually laments that he, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny never do anything together anymore, prompting all of them to participate in the bike parade, and when they do at the end of the season finale, Cartman is seen carrying Kenny's coffin after he is killed by Amazon Alexa.
    • Subverted once more in the season 23 premiere, where he gets Kyle and his family detained by I.C.E. just because Kyle insulted him in front of a girl whose bra he was going to snap, and threatens to do the same to Jimmy for telling the teacher he was texting in class. It's double subverted and played straight once again from every episode afterwards when Cartman is detained by I.C.E. himself after Stan heard about what he did to Kyle and did it to get revenge for him. His actions afterwards are far less evil, since he's merely protesting against the school lunches switching to more sustainable foods, trying to avoid getting his shots however he can, and protesting against having girls in the boys' board game club, as his sexism in season 23 stem from his failed relationship with Heidi in the season 21 finale, leading him to stand against the girls and rallying any other boys who feel the same. Still, the rest of Cartman's actions after the season 23 premiere are much more toned down than what he did during then.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Rescue: Rescued Kyle from the smug-covered city of San Francisco, the "Getting Gay with Kids" choir from the rainforest, the whole town from a Hippie Jam Festival... the list goes on.
  • 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 archrivals 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", and would trade blows with Heidi after her Took a Level in Jerkass.
  • 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".
  • Your Mom: In "The Poor Kid", he would throw out countless "Yo Mama so poor" jokes - including towards himself.


Video Example(s):


South Park - Hall Monitor

Eric gets a little carried away when given the responsibility of 'Hall Monitor'.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / YellowSashOfPower

Media sources:

Main / YellowSashOfPower