Eric Cartman

From Academic Kids

Eric Cartman on his
Eric Cartman on his Big Wheel

Eric Theodore Cartman, voiced by Trey Parker, is a fictional character in the animated series South Park. He is one of the four central characters, all of whom are eight-year old boys.

According to creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, when they were creating South Park, they were upset that "nowadays, it would be impossible to put a character like Archie Bunker on TV". But they thought that if he was an animated eight year old boy, it might just be allowed. Thus, Eric Cartman was born.

Eric, who is often only addressed by his last name, is a true described example of what a friend is NOT, as he is:

Perhaps his family life is to blame. A recurring joke throughout the series is that despite the sweetness and kindness of his mother, she is, in fact, a hermaphroditic porn queen. Later on, Ms. Cartman dotes on her son endlessly, beyond simply spoiling him. Cartman can almost always get what he wants simply by whining. Then again, his bad attitude may possibly be genetic, as all of his other relatives appear to have exactly the same temperament as Eric himself (except for his good counterpart from an evil parallel universe).

As the fat antihero of the four lads, he was never intended to be the focus of the series, but within the first season he captured the popular imagination more than his three friends Stan, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny. The more outrageous his behavior, the more audiences seem to love him (Compare Archie Bunker's original inspiration, Alf Garnett). Another reason for his apparent popularity is that Cartman tends to be the most pro-active of the four main characters. He is frequently the one to come up with new ideas and plans, usually told excitedly to his (often unimpressed) friends after running up to them and breathlessly shouting "You guys! You guys! Guess what?"

However, the show's writers do seem to be careful to treat the many unfavorable aspects of Cartman's behavior with contempt, and Cartman is often shown receiving the brunt of consequences generated by his behavior. For example, although Cartman frequently insults and taunts his "friends", especially Kenny and Butters, he appears to be much more cowardly than they are when it comes to physical confrontation. In one episode Kyle punches him and Cartman immediately bursts into tears. In another he provokes Token with racial jibes and Token easily beats him up. In several episodes he is not able to overpower Kenny. His peers also give as much as they take, constantly calling him "Fat Ass" and intimating that they like him the least.

It has been repeatedly hinted that Cartman has serious behavioral and emotional problems and/or gender issues; he exhibits several compulsive behaviors, including singing the Styx song 'Come Sail Away', and humming other prog-rock songs (such as one by Asia). He also seems to enjoy humming the Carson Era theme song to The Tonight Show and the Dawson's Creek theme when going about doing dull tasks. He also subconsciously mimics the line "they mostly come at night... mostly," from the 1986 Aliens movie. He occasionally has tea parties with stuffed dolls, and on one occasion was seen re-enacting a scene from The Silence of the Lambs as Buffalo Bill with a doll trapped down a well. Butters once videotaped him dressing up as and pretending to be Britney Spears by dancing round a cardboard cut-out of Justin Timberlake. During Season 4, episode #406, Cartman joins the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and becomes their poster boy, before he is rescued by the North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes (also NAMBLA).

Cartman wears a light blue and yellow ski cap, a red jacket, yellow gloves, and brown pants. He has brown hair, which has been regularly seen since late in Season 5 (his hair magically turns black whenever he wears his Adolf Hitler outfit).

He also has an evil habit of appearing in peoples' houses in the middle of the night, scaring the occupants silly. He frequently does this to Kyle (possibly entering via a hole in the ceiling he created in the episode Mecha Streisand), but has magically appeared in Butters' room (in the episode "The Death of Eric Cartman"), possibly after stealing the key to his house while disguised as Awesomo.

A defining character trait of Cartman is his single-mindedness when pursuing his life long goal of making $10 million. The schemes he has tried include starting a church and collecting donation money and starting a boy band called "Fingerbang" (Cartman doesn't realise the sexual innuendo - he says he overheard the term on HBO and assumed it descibed immitating a firearm with one's finger). He also appears to be driven by a desire to outdo Stan, Kyle, and Kenny, and often lays down challenges and bets to them, such as building a bigger tree house and recording a platinum album. In one episode Kyle deliberately congratulated Cartman on winning a bet, which of course ruined all of Cartman's egotistical satisfaction at having humiliated his peers.

Cartman is extremely anti-Semitic and racist. He frequently espouses stereotypes about African Americans and appears to be determined to eradicate Jews (though Kyle is, of course, Jewish). In one episode he sees The Passion of the Christ and thinks it is Mel Gibson's way to rally people against the Jews. He dresses up as Hitler and organizes people in his anti-Jew march (though they think it's something else).

Cartman's btes noires throughout the show have been hippies, whom he despises for a variety of reasons. The show drops frequent hints that Cartman gets many of his attitudes from his mother.

Cartman has two pets: Mister Kitty (who is actually female - possible reference to the transgendered Mrs. Cartman) and Fluffy the Pig. In the season one episode, An Elephant Has Sex With A Pig, Fluffy has sex with Kyle's pet elephant and is impregnated by Mister Garrison. Cartman also enjoys hitting things with sticks- particularly Fluffy and Mister Kitty, but also rainforest animals.

In one episode where Cartman finally got his hands on $1 million, he used it to buy his own amusement park (like Michael Jackson's never-never land), which he did not allow anyone else to enjoy. It went about as well as anyone would have expected. After this episode, Stone and Parker described Cartman as "the ONLY person who could have fun at an amusement park all by himself."

He also once painted his hand with lipstick and claimed it was Jennifer Lopez. At first it was just to annoy his friends, but soon the hand took on a life of its own, landing a record contract singing pop songs about tacos and burritos and wooing Ben Affleck, drawing the real Lopez's wrath. The episode further hints at Cartman's sexual confusion when 'the hand' masturbates Affleck. The episode ended on a soap opera-like note, with the hand revealing itself as an ex-convict in drag who wanted one last chance at love, who then kills himself with cyanide, returning Cartman's hand back to normal.

Cartman has some redeeming qualities: he has saved the boys, the town, and the entire world on a few occasions. In the episode, Rainforest Shmainforest, Cartman's hatred of the rainforest saves the boys and the choir group, Getting Gay With Kids, from the fictionalized violent native people of Costa Rica. In the full-length movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, his filthy mouth, coupled with the experimental V-chip implanted in his brain to stop him from swearing, saves the world from Saddam Hussein. More recently, in the episode "Die Hippie, Die", his intolerance of hippies saves South Park from a hippie music festival, and more recently, in Best Friends Forever, in an ironic twist, he saved the world from a gruesome Armageddon by going to the Supreme Court and accquiring the rights to pull out Kenny's feeding tube so that he cn get his hands on a Sony PSP (Right for the wrong reasons), whereas Kyle and Stan try to save him by bringing the media to save his life because they are TRUE friends of his (Wrong for the right reasons).

In many ways, Cartman is reminsicent of Daffy Duck: Both are unapologetically greedy and narcissistic, and both are often brought down by their hubris.

Cartman is the only boy in the series who does not have a father.

Favorite words and catchphrases

  • "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
  • "You're breaking my balls man, you're breaking my balls!"
  • "You will respect my authoritah! (sic)"
  • "I'm not fat, I'm big boned"
  • "This is all a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap!"
  • "No, kitty, that's a bad kitty!!"
  • "... or I'll kick you (square) in the nuts!" (Also "balls")
  • "Sweeeet!"
  • "You can go over nyahh, but I'm going over nyah!"
  • "Your family's poor, Kenny! YOUR FAMILY'S POOR!"
  • "I hate you, Kenny."
  • "Hippie!" (to any person he is displeased with)
  • "Jew!" (mostly to Kyle)
  • "Balls" (a word that somehow finds its way into Cartman's lines in nearly every episode)
  • "Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!" In Season 1, where he dresses up as Adolf Hitler and goes to school.
  • "Suck my balls!"
  • "But moooom!" (when whining)
  • "Oh Goddamit!!!!"
  • "This is awesome!!"
  • Hippieeees.... Hippieees all around me, they say they wanna save the world but all they do is smoke pot (when talking in his sleep, having nightmares)"
  • "You're breaking my balls."

A few catchphrases he tries to make cool:

  • Hella; as in "No way, that's Hella lame!" (in the "Cartman from a parallel universe" halloween episode)
  • Tits; as in "That is so Tits!" (in the toothfairy episode)
  • Meecrob (Cartman says this is a nasty Thai appetizer, and uses this to become a new swear word, after the word shit becomes normalized after being on TV)

External links

he:אריק קרטמן pl:Eric Cartman ro:Eric Cartman


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