Joffrey Baratheon, Francis Underwood, Skeletor – When it comes to TV villains (animated or otherwise), Eric Cartman easily gives this bunch a run for their money, and then some. He may only be 10 years old, but this nightmarish little 4th grader has been capable of some unimaginable and inhuman acts in his time. From manipulation and kidnapping to murder and attempted genocide, there are no depths Cartman won’t sink to if it means getting his own way.
One of the greatest things about Cartman’s character is that he sometimes comes across as more of an evil idiot than an evil genius – as shown by his many moments of ignorance. Yes, he is manipulative, but his pig-headedness and small-minded views tend to defeat him in the end – and don’t you just love it when that happens?
Eric Cartman may be the best ever character we all love to hate. Any South Park fan revels in watching Cartman’s many psychotic plots and schemes fail miserably and when they don’t, we’re in awe as to how one character (and one child at that!) can be so utterly and hilariously selfish. Hats off to creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker for creating a cartoon ten-year-old that we would all gladly punch if we had the chance. The show definitely wouldn’t be the same without him, though!
As a tribute to perhaps THE worst fictional character in history, here’s a reminder of the 15 most pathetic, twisted and horrendously despicable acts Eric Cartman has ever committed…
15. Faked Tourette’s
When Cartman first discovers what Tourette’s Syndrome is in the episode “Le Petit Tourette,” he can’t believe his luck. Realizing that some people with Tourette’s swear out loud and can’t be blamed for it, Cartman sees a golden opportunity to shout whatever he wants in public.
To make sure his “Tourette’s” is made official in the eyes of his teachers and everyone at school, Cartman somehow convinces a doctor to diagnose him with the syndrome. Not content with the ability to insult everyone in his home town without consequence, Cartman soon gets the attention of the nation – and this is when things start to unravel.
When a Tourette’s awareness event is held in Cartman’s honour, his deliberate swearing is quickly replaced by genuine tics that reveal some pretty painful and embarrassing truths about himself. Justice has never been funnier!
14. Manipulated Everyone For A Party Invitation
When Cartman learns that Kyle’s birthday party is to be held at his favourite restaurant, Casa Bonita, he hatches a plan to get himself on the invite list. Less evil people would just bribe their friends with presents, but Cartman needs a guaranteed invite. How does he do this? By kidnapping one of the guests and convincing them the apocalypse is on its way.
Sweet, naïve Butters is Cartman’s kidnappee of choice and he wastes no time in putting his plan to action. He promptly hides Butters in a bomb shelter and once the town gets wind of his absence, Kyle’s party is postponed, forcing Cartman to hold out until he can go to Casa Bonita. To sum it up, Cartman traumatizes a sweet-natured boy, panics his parents and fools an entire town…to eat tacos. Psycho.
13. Faked A Disability
In “Up the Down Steroid,” the Special Olympics are in town and Jimmy and Timmy ask the boys to show their support for them. Cartman learns that the winner of the Special Olympics competition will be awarded $1,000 and excited in the belief that he will easily be able to beat the other contestants, quickly starts preparing himself for the games (even managing to enlist his mother’s help).
In beautifully ironic fashion, Cartman discovers he is actually the worst contender in the Special Olympics – coming last in every single event. To save his pride, he tells the others that he lost on purpose to make athletes think twice before cheating with performance-enhancing drugs. A valuable lesson for everyone. Thanks, Cartman.
12. Bought A Theme Park (And Kept It To Himself)
When Cartman inherits one million dollars from his grandmother, he has the chance to fulfil his dream of owning an amusement park all to himself. What he doesn’t realize is that it costs money to maintain the rides and pay the staff at ‘Cartmanland,’ and that comes at a price – sharing it with others.
Cartman’s ridiculous good fortune leads Kyle to doubt the existence of God – baffled as to why God would reward someone like Cartman. Thankfully, Kyle’s religious faith (and our faith in humanity) is eventually restored when Cartman’s dream turns sour. He is forced to start letting people in to pay for the park’s upkeep and, miserable with the prospect of sharing his park, tries (and fails) to sell it back. Glorious!
11. Impersonated Hitler
This one may have been harmless and frowned upon if he only dressed as Hitler, but Cartman doesn’t do anything by halves, as evidenced by his shocking turn in “The Passion of the Jew.” Having become obsessed with Mel Gibson’s film The Passion Of The Christ, Cartman is inspired to launch a campaign to wipe out the Jewish population.
Cartman marches the streets with a rallying crowd (who believe him to be championing Christianity) and repeatedly chants “The time for revenge has come. We must exterminate the Jews!” Sooner or later, the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan with Cartman feeling the full force of Mel Gibson’s disgust. He’s later grounded for his horrific actions during this episode. Fair punishment, wouldn’t you agree?
10. Created The “Crack Baby Athletic Association”
We know, there is so much wrong with the title of this entry that it’s hard to know where to begin. But begin we must.
In this episode, Cartman begins volunteering at a hospital (nothing suspicious so far, then). We of course learn that his motives are far from savoury and that his time spent among crack-addicted babies gives him a lightbulb moment – get the babies to fight over crack and post the footage online.
If this wasn’t high enough on the despicable scale, Cartman begins to view the crack babies as his slaves. He follows this through by taking on the guise of a Southern slave owner and enquires to the head of a basketball association about their tactics for slave management (believing the all-black team of players to be slaves). Wow.
9. Destroyed Supernanny
When Cartman’s mom can’t tolerate him any longer, she enlists the help of Nanny Stella from the show Nanny 911. Unfortunately, no one told her that she’d be working with the most satanic and poisonous child in existence. One who would push her to her limits like no other child she has ever worked with.
It isn’t what Cartman does to Nanny Stella that is so deplorable, but what he says to her. He asks why she became a nanny if she never had any children of her own. When she nervously tries to sidestep the issue, he concludes that no one ever wanted her and never will thanks to her “dried-up ovaries.” In one sentence, he manages to completely destroy her self-worth and it’s all in retaliation for having his Xbox confiscated.
8. Humiliated Butters
You may have noticed a recurring theme here – Cartman likes to play on Butters’ sweet naivety for his own selfish gain. In the episode “Cartman Sucks,” Cartman pranks Butters by putting him in a…compromising position. Poor trusting and innocent Butters is made to wear a blindfold the whole time, so when his dad catches him in the act he innocently explains that he is waiting for Cartman’s “surprise.” What he thought that surprise was going to be, we have no idea.
Horrified that his son is bi-curious, Butters’ dad sends him to a gay conversion camp – all because of Cartman’s sick prank. Unluckily for Cartman, he made sure to take photographic evidence of his prank and it only comes back to bite him in the butt!
7. Used Stem Cells To Recreate A Food Outlet
Stem cells have the incredible potential to repair and regrow certain cells in the body and may well revolutionize the way we treat diseases. What does Cartman plan to do with the stuff? Use it to clone his favourite fast food place. Of course.
To Kyle’s amazement and even admiration, Cartman makes it his mission to legalize stem cell research. On the surface, he appears to be doing it to help a dying (again) Kenny. In reality, his goal from the start was to lift the ban so he could sell a truckload of fetuses he found at a crash site. What is even more hilariously despicable is that he uses some of the fetuses to grow an exact copy of a Shakey’s Pizza establishment. He gets off lightly with a punch from Kyle.
6. Massacres His Most Hated Minorities
Only Eric Cartman could win the favour of Cthulhu – HP Lovecraft’s terrifying sea monster – and use his powers to act out his long-held hatred upon certain communities. In the second half of the “Coon and Friends” trilogy of season 14, Cartman orders Cthulhu to wreak havoc on synagogues, massacre hippies at the Burning Man festival and destroy San Francisco. Classy move.
Cartman a.k.a ‘The Coon’ declares in rather Hitler-esque fashion that his actions will “make the world a better place.” Ethnic cleansing and city-burning aside, Cartman is not all bad as his superhero alter-ego – he does after all command Cthulhu to kill Justin Bieber.
5. Attempted To Kill All “Non-Ginger” Children
Sick of Cartman’s hateful rhetoric towards ginger people, Stan and Kyle decide to dye his hair red, bleach his skin and draw freckles onto his face. As usual in Cartman’s world, no-one other than himself is above criticism or hate. So when he unexpectedly becomes part of a group he previously discriminated against and gets a taste of prejudice, he naturally starts to attack the haters.
Cartman soon forms the Ginger Separatist Movement, which quickly sets out a plan to kill all non-ginger people in South Park in a pool of lava. In a particularly pathetic move, Cartman decides that Kyle should be the first to die since he is not a true ginger (he has red hair but no freckles). When Kyle lets Cartman in on his little prank, however, Cartman quickly changes his mind about the whole plan to save himself.
4. Demanded Money In Exchange For Donating His Kidney
When one of your best friends is close to death and in need of a kidney transplant, you do all you can to save them, right? Not if you’re Eric Cartman. He is the only suitable donor in South Park and naturally, he spots an opportunity for blackmail. Cartman agrees to part with his kidney on one teensy weensy condition – that he’s paid ten million dollars. Seems like a fair price, right?
When it comes to despicable and selfish behaviour, this is pretty high on the list. Fortunately, his demands aren’t met and good triumphs over Cartman (since he’s eventually tricked into signing a kidney donor agreement!).
3. Killed His Friend For A PSP
Since Cartman once froze himself until the Wii console was released, it’s evident that he can become kind of obsessed with having the latest gadgets and the episode “Best Friends Forever” was no exception, this time involving a PSP.
When Kenny is hit by an ice cram truck, his will is read out, revealing his surprising intention to pass on his PSP console to Cartman. Needless to say, Cartman was stoked and got over his friend’s death pretty quickly. Soon after the will is discussed, Kenny comes back to life, albeit in a vegetative state – prompting Cartman to take matters into his own hands. Impatient to get his hands on the PSP he was promised, Cartman makes it his mission to have Kenny’s feeding tube removed and succeeds.
2. Infected Kyle With AIDS
The one’s pretty self-explanatory as to why it justifies such a high “despicable” ranking. It all starts when Cartman is accidentally infected with AIDS when he has his tonsils removed. Once the other boys learn this, no one is more stoked to hear the news than Kyle, as he sees it as the ultimate payback for a lifetime devoted to cruel behaviour. Judging by the rest of Cartman’s actions on this list, it’s hard to argue with that one.
Tormented by Kyle’s mockery of him, Cartman breaks into Kyle’s home and infects him with the AIDS virus in his sleep. They are later both cured of AIDS but it doesn’t change the fact that Cartman wasn’t at all phased by sharing the disease with one of his oldest friends.
1. Fed Scott Tenorman Chilli (Containing Scott’s Parents)
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Well, the dish Cartman serves up to local kid Scott Tenorman surpasses cold into downright psychopathic. Many South Park fans deem this the single most evil Cartman act ever – and with good reason. Even creators Stone and Parker consider this the yardstick against which all future Cartman atrocities are measured.
When Tenorman tricks Cartman out of a few dollars (and later into eating chilli containing pubic hair), a deeply-humiliated Cartman can’t let it go and forms a revenge plot that could even make Dexter wince. On the day of the South Park chilli festival, Cartman brings along his homemade chilli for Scott to taste. Believing this gesture to be a sign of truce, Scott accepts his offering, while Cartman watches on.
Once Scott begins eating, Cartman reveals to him that his parents were killed and ground up to make the chilli. On top of this, Cartman ensures Scott’s favourite band (Radiohead) are there to mock him for crying over his dead, ground-up parents. The sadistic cherry on top is the moment Cartman climbs on to the table to begin licking Scott’s tears, joyfully proclaiming “Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! Yummy, you guys!” Messed up.