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|“||Screw you guys! I'm a-going home!||„|
|~ Cartman's famous catchphrase.|
|“||Respect my authoritah!||„|
|~ Cartman's other famous catchphrase.|
Eric Theodore Cartman, better known by his surname Cartman, is one of the main protagonists, as well as the on and off main antagonist and sometimes an anti-hero of the highly popular adult animated sitcom, South Park.
He is voiced by the series' co-creator Trey Parker, who also voices Stan Marsh and many other characters.
Cartman wears a red jacket, yellow mittens, a blue hat with a yellow puff ball on top, brown pants, black shoes, and white socks (as seen in "Super Fun Time"). He sometimes wears a green t-shirt with a bear picture on under his jacket, a white tank top, and occasionally a dark red t-shirt. He has medium-brown hair and a double-chin. He also has triangular-shaped eyebrows, in contrast to the other main boys' rectangular ones. Even though Cartman is overweight, he always denies it (especially in the earlier seasons) by saying, "I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned", or some variation thereof. However, as seen in "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!" and "Cartmanland", his weight problem may be, in truth, be genetic and runs in the family, as seen by the fact that, with the exception of his mother an aunt, and a cousin, his entire family is extremely overweight. But in "Fat Camp", when he tells his mother to talk about how he's big boned and such, she instead says, "Those were all lies, sweetie, you're just fat." In "Tsst", he is slightly thinner, although in later episodes, he was shown to have regained the lost weight. Cartman likely has blue irises, as, due to the events of "The Succubus", he has Kenny's eyes, which were shown with blue in "Starvin' Marvin". In Season Twenty, he wears a t-shirt with the words "Token's life matters".
Despite being one of the five main characters on the show, and arguably the most popular and mascot, Cartman is arrogant, sociopathic, foul-mouthed (the most foul-mouthed on the show), argumentative, spoiled, greedy and openly prejudiced against anyone who is not a heterosexual Caucasian male. Cartman usually does and says despicable things for fun or a higher self-serving purpose, such as theft, lying, slander, even torture and murder. He once calmly said that other peoples pain and suffering amuses him, seemingly not realizing that this was a bad thing. On occasions, he embraces the negative side of life, such as willingly and knowingly being a fear monger for petty and avaricious reasons. He is constantly making nasty remarks at the expense of Hebrews, African Americans and flatly thinks females are automatically inferior to males in everything. He also stereotypes every race and religion (positively and negatively) without hesitation or shame. Due to the messed up nature of South Park, his stereotyping usually turns out right.
Possibly due to being spoiled rotten by his mother, Cartman has a ridiculously excessive condition of superiority complex. He knows in his heart of hearts that he is a cruel, overindulged, obese beast of a child but it seems no human discovered method will make him actually see it. He constantly denies being fat except once when he used his weight to abuse the rights of mobility scooter riders and never seems to realize that just about everyone hates him (no matter how obvious they make it). Cartman's ego also makes up preposterous and nonsensical alternatives to things that happen so he always sees himself as an awesome hero who everyone loves. This also causes him to think that he is indeed humble and that everyone who challenges this delusion are the ones with the ego problems.
There are more episodes that focus on Cartman than any other character but he is never presented as a hero in these cases (at least not a hero with nothing to repent for). When an episode focuses on Cartman it is usually because he has or is about to do something terrible for personal gain and the other boys attempt to stop him or resolve it. Even when Cartman is fighting alongside his friends for what is right, he goes about it in a morally dubious way.
Though Cartman seems generally stupid academically, this could just be a lack of regard for academics. He has demonstrated exceptional cunning and intelligence for his age in all other situations. He seems to know how to speak Spanish and German and understands enough about economics, politics and religion to manipulate them with little effort. Cartman is also a powerful leader and has easily rallied his classmates and even large groups of adults to follow him in missions. Despite seeming to be rather lazy in most cases, Cartman has demonstrated a great passion for method acting. When he thought he was of Native American and then African American heritage, he flawlessly took on the stereotype of both cultures, adopting their mannerisms, attire and gestures perfectly. He also showed this talent whilst temporarily acting as a police officer, Adolf Hitler, a mentally handicapped child, a Christian Rock Musician and Gandalf the Wizard among many others.
Cartman has an uncanny habit of sneaking into peoples houses at night and spontaneously bursting into song to express his deepest feelings. His racism stems from an obsessive paranoia that all other ethnic groups are xenophobic towards the Caucasian race and will attempt an uprising as revenge for years of oppression. Another interesting note about Cartman is the one of the few South Park residents with a Southern accent. Due to this, he mispronounces several words in the first few seasons: Mum as "Myem" or "Meeeem", guys as "Geyz", hey as simply "I" or "A", here as "Myau" and most words that end in "ity" as "itah". One prime example of the final one is Cartman's famous catchphrase of "Respect my authoritah!".
Cartman's sanity is a thing of question too. In addition to obviously being a psychotic child, Cartman has a split personality. This is demonstrated when he was doing the voices of his stuffed animals, making them all compliment him immensely but then having one of them insult him. He also thinks that his make-up hand puppet, Mitch Conner, is another person entirely. Despite doing Conner's voice, Cartman seems to be oblivious to the fact that is just his hand.
There are instances where Cartman's long-suppressed ethics manage to surface, such as:
- When he fully redeemed for a few hours at the end of 'Tsst'.
- When he made up for everything he had done wrong in "The Death of Eric Cartman" (though this was for self-serving reasons).
- When he attempted to help the other boys stop everyone from playing the brown noise in Word Wide Recorder Concert.
- When he saved Terrence and Philip from execution in the movie and even single-handedly fought of Saddam Hussein, surprisingly saving the world.
While being simply tendentious and nasty in the earlier seasons, Cartman has gotten considerably worse as the show has progressed, but occasionally becomes more laid-back and then goes right back to being a villain throughout the episodes. Cartman also can not seem to make up his mind if he likes Stan, Kyle and Kenny or not, as he is always saying he hates them, sometimes even singing about it, but occasionally says he loves them and is always hanging out with them. In addition he usually seems horrified when Kenny dies, though later takes advantage of it. It is important to note, however, that these instances have been before season 5, (before Cartman's infamous sociopathic breakthrough with Scott Tenermon) and Cartman since then has attempted to both kill his friends and remain indifferent to their well-being overall.
- Perhaps the most heroic act of Cartman is in the film, "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut", his frequent use of vulgarity, after getting electrocuted by a power box, coupled with the experimental V-chip implanted in his brain to stop him from swearing (which gave him temporary electrostatic powers), deliberately helps save the world from Saddam Hussein.
- In "Major Boobage", he hides his pet cat and other cats in his attic so they won't get taken away, at first he refuses to hide them because he didn't want to get in trouble, but his love for cats got the better of him and decides to hide them.
- In "Follow That Egg", he and Hedi are paired for a project. They had to raise an egg like it was their child, Cartman went up to Garrison, brought her a broken egg, and said that he broke it and Heidi didn't, and told Garrison to give him an F and Heidi an A, that way the grade will be C-, he was taking full responsibility for breaking the egg.
- In "Fishsticks", when Kanye West and his friends confronted Cartman and Jimmy because he thinks that they say he's a gay fish even though it was quotes to a joke, Cartman tells Kanye and his friends to let Jimmy go and that he was the one who came up with the joke. He knew Kayne wanted to hurt and/or kill the person who came up with it. He was trying to take Jimmy's place so that Jimmy would be alive and well.
- In "Rainforest Shmainforest", Cartman asks the construction workers to save Miss Stevens and the remaining children from the tribe of natives called the Yamagapa.
- In "Die Hippie, Die", his intolerance of hippies saves South Park from a drug-filled hippie music festival.
- In "I'm a Little Bit Country", by filling his TiVo with the history channel and dropping it and himself into a pool, he able to travel back in time to 1776, where he is able to institute the American tradition of Ice Cream Thursdays and return to South Park with a special 100th episode message about war and peace.
- In "The Snuke", Cartman's intolerance against Muslims and his use of racial profiling save the day.
- In "Grey Dawn", Cartman is the boy that figures out that by shutting down Country Kitchen Buffet, the Elderly won't have anywhere to get food, this being one of the few occasions where the boys rely on Cartman's planning (but only to an extent; Cartman wanted Kyle to suicide bomb the Buffet, but Stan over-ruled that and said they would only lock the doors.)
- In "The Death of Eric Cartman", Cartman is under the belief that he was a ghost trapped on Earth until things were made right. He distracts three escaped convicts who were holding ten people hostage at the Red Cross while Butters lets them escape. Also in this episode Cartman makes up for all his previous wrongs such as the Sally Struthers incident ("Starvin' Marvin"), feeding parents to their child ("Scott Tenorman Must Die"), and crapping in the Principal Victoria's purse (seven times), however this was only to get in to the afterlife (Even though he wasn't dead), he didn't feel that way, and was not sorry to any of them at all.
- In "Smug Alert!", he saves Kyle's family from a smug storm (however, this is due to the fact that Cartman had no one else to taunt and insult).
- In "Make Love, Not Warcraft", Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny logged into World of Warcraft together to kill the player killer Jenkins' character. First, Stan retrieves the Sword of a Thousand Truths from his dad. Second Kenny shoots his arrow and Kyle uses magic to paralyze Jenkins' character. And finally, after Cartman says, "Looks like you're about to get pwned", he crushes the player killer's head with his war hammer.
- In "The Succubus", Cartman helps his friends to save Chef from unknowingly marrying a Succubus. Unfortunately, he doesn't prove to be very useful because at the time he was recovering from laser corrective surgery for his eyes.
- In "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy", Cartman helps Kyle to save his brother Ike from his Kindergarten teacher Ms. Stevenson, whom Ike was having an unhealthy sexual relationship with. Although Cartman was doing it because the two were making out in the school hallways while he was the hall monitor (A job he took very seriously), he proves extraordinarily helpful and Kyle thanks him.
- In "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods", Cartman, angry at the other boys for missing his commercial debut, kicks the star projector, sending the full blast of the mind control machine into Dr. Adams' brain, saving the kids, Mr. Mackey, and Nurse Gollum from being put under mind control.
- In "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants", Cartman repeatedly outsmarts, injures, and humiliates Osama Bin Laden until he is executed by a US soldier.
- In "Cat Orgy", Cartman helps Shelly get back at Skyler for dumping her. When Skyler tries to get his revenge towards them as well, Cartman throws the box of catnip at his face, making the cats try to rape him and rip his pants off in the process.
- In "The Poor Kid", Cartman told on the abusive foster parents to his councillor. If he didn't tell on the foster parents, Mysterion wouldn't have been able to save Karen and the foster kids as easily.
- In "Imaginationland" ManBearPig kills Kyle and Cartman is devastated. Cartman then starts to punch the chest of Kyle's dead body in an effort to revive him, to which Kyle begins to breathe after coughing. (Although, Cartman did this to get Kyle to suck his balls rather than genuine care.)
|“||You're right, guys. I'm gonna Tom Brady this thing!||„|
|~ Cartman after his friends convinced him to form a scheme to resolve the problem of PC Principal in "Stunning and Brave"|
|“||I'm gonna say, I'm gonna say "You're not giving me four day of detention! You're only giving me one!"||„|
|~ Cartman in "Stunning and Brave"|
|“||NO! No, to hell with that! "You're giving me NO days detention! And then I'm gonna go home and f%$k my hot wife! Who's not even that hot, kinda looks like a dude!"||„|
|~ Cartman in "Stunning and Brave"|
- Cartman along with his own namesake theme park Cartmanland from the titular Season 5 episode of South Park, share similarities with the sinister monarch King Bowser (with World Bowser and Bowser Land) from the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the mad scientist Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik (with Eggmanland and Robotnikland) from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe.
- Cartman is only one of the protagonists, but is also generally antagonist and anti-hero.
- He is similar acts like Helga G. Pataki which she is acted like a villain in depends of the episodes and usually the main antagonist of the series (except Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie).