Eric Cartman is the backbone of South Park’s humor. He is annoying, egotistical, spoilt, maniacal and most of all he revels at the misery of others.
Despite being primarily a caricature, a lot of his qualities will be familiar to most people; everybody knows an Eric Cartman.
Cartman occasionally redeems himself, which is one of the reasons why his friends Stan, Kyle and Kenny continue to stick around, but mostly the kids enjoy watching Cartman’s elaborate plans fall horribly apart.
Cartman usually gets what he deserves for his bad behavior and the show would not be the same without him. Here are his ten best moments:
10 Cartman’s Trapper Keeper
In Trapper Keeper (S4, Ep12) Cartman buys a super technologically advanced Dawson’s Creek trapper keeper to infuriate Kyle who just has a regular one.
The trapper keeper is designed to connect to any technology it comes into contact with.
In a parody of Terminator, a white man named Bill Cosby travels from the future to destroy the device, claiming that it will become sentient and destroys the world. Cartman refuses to destroy it.
It connects to his computer and then absorbs Cartman’s body.
This is a brilliant Cartman moment because of the genuine secret joy Cartman gets from his cheesy trapper keeper.
Locked in his room Cartman does a little dance and sings the DC theme tune.
9 Cartman’s Anal Probe
In the very first episode of South Park; Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, (S1, Ep1) we find out straight away what kind of kid Cartman is; with his smart mouth and his self-centred self-aggrandizement.
The episode revolves around Cartman discovering that he has been abducted by aliens and experimented on.
The funniest scene involves the Doctor examining Cartman’s rear to find out why he has been farting fire only to discover a giant alien satellite dish.
This first episode establishes the pattern that Cartman says and does some not very nice things but he usually gets his comeuppance in the end.
8 Cartman the Number 1 Food Critic
In You’re Not Yelping (S19, Ep4) Cartman enjoys all the benefits of being a Yelp reviewer, scamming free food off restaurants by threatening them with negative online reviews.
Unfortunately, the craze has caught on and the whole town thinks that they are super important food critics, selflessly providing recommendations to the town, while in actual fact abusing and ripping off small businesses.
Cartman tries to convince the town that he is the one true food critic.
It is a particularly amusing Cartman moment because although he is being incredibly rude and patronizing the role of food critic does feel like one that would naturally suit Cartman if the whole world wasn’t getting involved.
In Christian Hard Rock (S7, Ep9) the kids start a band called Moop but break up over creative differences.
Cartman makes a bet with Kyle that he will be the first of the pair to get a platinum record, and forms a new band to win the bet.
Catman realizes that Christian rock music is a consistently high selling genre and forms the band Faith+1. Catman writes all the songs and soon the group is a massive hit, touring rock stadiums.
It is amusing to see Catman put in so much hard work just to win a bet (he loses in the end) because if he did the same without an ulterior motive he might be a huge success.
6 Cartman Gets a Girlfriend
In season 20 Cartman becomes a reformed character and gets really into civil rights.
In Wieners Out (S20, Ep4) Kyle suspects that Cartman’s new attitude is a front to cover up trolling and ostracizes him from social media. With nothing else to do Cartman is forced to talk to Heidi Turner and the two quickly become a couple.
When Kyle realizes that Cartman actually does have a girlfriend (during a hilarious speech from Cartman about how Heidi has changed his outlook on life) Kyle’s shocked reaction is priceless.
We see that Cartman genuinely cares about another person. The message is that even somebody with the most extreme and fixed outlook on life should be given the opportunity to change.
5 Cartman and Phonics Monkey
In Hooked on Monkey Fonics (S3, Ep12) Cartman tricks his mom into letting him get home schooled.
She buys him a monkey phonics set to help him practice for the spelling bee, but it unexpectedly comes with a live monkey.
All of Cartman’s interactions with the monkey are hilarious. Cartman is too lazy to learn at home and the monkey is just as lazy.
At the spelling bee the monkey gets distracted and is no help. Catman’s word is ‘chair’; he has no idea how to spell it and repeatedly asks for a definition.
He is also less than concerned when the monkey goes wild and kills Kenny.
In Cartmanland (S5, Ep6) Cartman inherits a small fortune from his Grandmother and decided to use it to live out his fantasy of having an amusement park where he is the only guest.
In a hilarious Cartman moment, he commissions a TV advert to let everyone in the town know that only he can enjoy his fun theme park and that Kyle and Stan are especially unwelcome at the park.
Cartman hires a security guard to keep Kyle and Stan out but as the costs of running the park rise Cartman has to gradually let more and more guests into the park until eventually anyone can come in and the dream is over.
3 Ben Affleck Makes Out with Cartman’s Hand
At the height of ‘Bennifer’s’ fame (JLo and Ben Affleck) Cartman had a hilarious brush with stardom in Fat Butt and Pancake Head. (S7, Ep5)
Cartman does an offensive, stereotyped puppet show for a Latin American school report.
Surprisingly his Ms. Lopez hand puppet is a huge hit and soon the real Jennifer Lopez is dropped by her record company for ‘Ms. Lopez.’
Cartman goes to extremes to pretend that his hand puppet is a real person to irritate Kyle.
In classic Cartman style, when Ben Affleck falls in love with his hand puppet, Cartman even lets Ben make out with his hand and lets ‘Ms. Lopez’ pleasure him.
2 Cartman’s Makes Chili
Scott Tenorman Must Die (S5, Ep4) is a classic Cartman episode, showing the sadistic acts he is willing to perform for revenge.
Older kid Scott tricks Cartman into buying a bag of pubes under the pretense that it will show his friends he has reached puberty.
Humiliated, Cartman tries to get his money back but Scott constantly outsmarts him.
Eventually, the rivals come head to head at the town chili eating contest.
The kids are excitedly waiting for Cartman to eat his chili because Scott has laced it with pubes.
However, Cartman reveals a series of drastic actions he took that resulted in Scott’s parents being killed, made into chili and fed to him by Cartman. Brutal!
1 Casa Bonita
The best Cartman moment comes in Casa Bonita (S5, Ep11). For Kyle’s birthday he gets to take three friends to themed restaurant Casa Bonita.
Cartman is desperate to go but Kyle is sick of his attitude and invites Butters. Cartman starts a campaign of niceness and Kyle concedes that if Butters can’t go Cartman can be a backup.
Cartman convinces Butters that there has been a nuclear war and hides him at the dump. Butters parents think he has been kidnapped and his friends are worried but Cartman gets to go to Casa Bonita.
The police discover what Cartman has done, but before they can arrest him he runs around Casa Bonita briefly experiencing everything it has to offer, ending with jumping off a huge waterfall.