Why Eric Cartman is overrated

This month, I’ve already ripped into the flaws of Family Guy and the Simpsons. Now I want to cast my gaze at South Park, the last of the big three American animated sitcoms (a.k.a. three of the biggest prostitutes of known fiction).

But rather than simply ripping on the show, I want to focus on one character, one so overrated that he deserves a mention: Eric Cartman.

We all know the story: Eric Cartman is the fat, racist member of the four-man ensemble that is the main cast of South Park. He’s supposed to be the devil tapping on Stan’s shoulders (as opposed to Kyle being the angel), and he consistently makes fun of Kyle for because of his Jewish faith, and also Kenny for being poor, and Stan for being in love with Wendy. Or at least it was just that in the seasons before the year 2000.

As of 2005 (though it may have started in 2001), Cartman is basically a miniscule version of Adolf Hitler, who hates Kyle for being Jewish, and is a complete idiot.

Don’t get me wrong, he can be funny, but mainly in the older episodes. But I can’t understand his popularity. After all, he is the most vile, vindictive, sadistic, evil, jealous character in all fiction (behind God of course). The episode Scott Tenorman Must Die (season 5, episode 4) is dedicated to Cartman wanting to get a measly $16.20 from the eponymous teenager Scott Tenorman. The way he ultimately gained revenge is not only unfunny, but truly sickening as well. He leads Scott’s parents to be shot be a redneck farmer, and then steals the bodies for him to make into chili using a hacksaw. And then, he gives the chili to Scott for him to eat, and wither in sadness. To top it all off, he clinches the fact that he’s a sadist by licking the grieving Tenorman’s tears from his face.

The only punishment he gets for it is in the episode 201 (season 14, episode 6), where Scott Tenorman’s father (back from the dead!?) is inexplicably revealed to be Eric Cartman’s father, making Scott Tenorman his half-brother. That would have been awesome, except for the fact that it was banned because of some Islamic nutjob pretending to be a terrorist. Because of that, we will never be able to see it ever again until maybe this whole terrorism thing blows over. Nice going guys!

He does plenty of other evil things throughout the new series, where he’s also shown to be a complete egomaniac who opposes things simply because he doesn’t like them, and takes people down simply because they hate him, and he, by proxy, hates them. He wasn’t this bad in the older episodes, where he was simply a caricature of an old man trapped in an 8-year-old’s body, played cleverly no less. What happened? Now he’s dumber than Peter Griffin, and eviler than Evil Stewie.

evil stewie

Much worse because Evil Stewie was only in one episode of Family Guy.

Then why is he so popular? Is it because the creators identify themselves with him the most (something Parker and Stone confirmed themselves)? Maybe it’s because he says the things that deep down we all want to say. Maybe it’s because he’s considered a ball of unadulterated evil, humanity’s dark side summed up in one fat little boy (maybe the evil is why he’s so fat). But regardless, I have had enough of him. I’ll tolerate him in older episodes, but not in newer episodes. Maybe one day I’ll talk about South Park in general, but I’ll save it for later.


12 thoughts on “Why Eric Cartman is overrated

  1. I don’t like Cartman in the later seasons is because his voice is very annoying and irritating. I like him in the earlier seasons (seasons 1-3) and his voice sounds a lot better in the earlier seasons, even though he is played by Trey Parker (who also plays Stan).

  2. Eric Cartman is funny and probably always will be South Park is probably one of the smartest and most satyrical shows ever created and you people are the only 1% minority who will ever find south park and eric cartman in general not funny

    • You may only be right in one sense. South Park used to be one of the smartest and satirical shows ever created. During the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, South Park was a relentlessly confrontational alternative to The Simpsons. The problem, however, is that it suffers from a classic case of seasonal rot. The characters have completely degenerated, and Cartman is perhaps the worst example of this in the show. He went from being a child-size caricature/deconstruction of Archie Bunker to being a sickening, megalomaniacal villain in a show that has already descended to the level of embarrassingly campy cartoon. My main problem with the show is that the characters in it aren’t even real anymore, but the writers pretend that it’s based on the real world, and so it’s suffering the same problem as The Simpsons and Family Guy. I know the fans will still defend it to the death, but for me, the fact is that South Park kept going past its prime, and its age is showing in the most terrible ways, mainly that it has become so crass that it obscures whatever message it hoped to deliver.

  3. Remember according to the episode titled “T.M.I” the reason for Cartman’s anger problems stem from the fact that he has the smallest dick in town! Cartman is the character representation of the entire series. Pushing the boundaries beyond what is considered acceptable in society. I can’t stand the the character either and wish something truly horrific would happen to him, forcing him to revert back to the way he was prior to the Scott Tennorman incident. Like for example, the gruesome death of his mother. He was a fat little bastard then but was not evil and cruel for his own sick pleasure. For me, my favorite character is Butters. He’s the only good person in a town of bastards and retards. But is also so gullible it’s hilarious!!!

  4. He just got the beating he deserved from PC Principal. Too bad he survived the attack, and too bad it wasn’t Kyle who did it to him. As a Jew, I am sick and tired of having to tolerate anti-semitic hate speech from anyone for any reason, and it makes me want to hurt them for saying it.

  5. How is he as dumb as Peter Griffin exactly? Peter is basically mentally retarded, Cartman comes up with brilliant plans and schemes even though they’re for selfish and evil reasons

    • His plans aren’t brilliant, and they are based on his lack of understanding of the world around him, and his sociopathic tendencies. They only work because everyone else in the show is dumb. Just because you can come up with complicated plans and schemes doesn’t make you smart or intelligent. In this case, Cartman isn’t smart or intelligent. He’s merely a megalomaniacal sociopath who’s dumber even than Rimmer from Red Dwarf, but at least Rimmer was hilarious.

  6. Kyle, an angel? LOL that’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve ever heard. Kyle’s just as much an asshole as the other kids, he can be selfish, manipulative, and can even stoop as low as Cartman sometimes, (ex: “Crack Baby Athletic Association”.) But all the kids are like that. They all are extremely faulted and it makes them different from most shows in that they are more like real people. If you watch some of the earlier episodes it’s not hard to tell that Stan and Kyle themselves have done pretty bad things. They aren’t perfect little angels free of flaws. Cartman himself on the other hand. I think what I, and so many other people find so interesting about Eric Cartman is that he- to put it bluntly -is an asshole. He’s selfish, immature, and downright psychotic, but that’s why we love him. He’s probably the most satirical character on the show what with his undoubtably sarcastic undertones and plot antagonist ways, and that’s why he’s so special, he’s not just a jerk like the other kids, he’s THE jerk. The king of jerks, if you will. And I’d say that makes him pretty important in that respect. If you get rid of the antagonist you kill the whole show, his terrible antics and mischief are very important to the plot.

    • When I said Kyle was “the angel on Stan’s shoulders”, I meant that he was usually trying to get Stan or other characters to “do the right thing”. Also, Cartman may have been “the king of jerks”, but his antics have just gotten old recently, and he’s now more like a cancerous tumour who only exists make everything frustrating for everyone except him, and this includes the viewer. The kids all being flawed was effective, until they all started to act like how adults act in movies, and that completely takes away from the charm of older episodes. Really, I hate Cartman because he’s usually given a free pass, and he never learns from any of his mistakes, due to the writers always restoring the status quo in every episode. Even the “king of the jerks” should get his comeuppance at some point, but whenever Cartman does, later episodes continue as though he never did.

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