South Park‘s Eric Cartman is one of my favorite television characters, animated or otherwise. Don’t get me wrong. I am not intolerant, foul-mouthed, bigoted, obese, selfish, and fond of hitting little stuff, such as gnomes, aliens, and little critters, with a stick. Apparently, though, I’m not the only one who likes the little fat kid. He was 10th on TV Guide’s 2002 list of the “Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters” and the only South Park character to make it to the list (if you’re curious, Bugs Bunny topped the list, followed by Homer Simpson, Rocky, and Bullwinkle, Beavis and Butthead, and the Grinch).
True enough, a lot of South Park fans believe that for an episode to be good, it has to have good Cartman moments, and, in turn, a good Cartman moment more often than not means a good episode. For those who are true blue South Park fans, when we think of Eric Cartman, we usually see his plump little round body and hear his southern accent saying either, “I hate you guys,” or “That’s so lame,” You’re breaking my balls man,” or simply a very curt and high-pitched, “Hey!”
I’m sure most of you have your very own favorite Cartman moments. I’ve listed my top 5. Feel free to add your bets in the comments below!
5. Cartman spitting in the nanny’s mouth on “Tsst”
Here, Cartman’s cussing, bigotry, and insensitivity towards other people’s feelings have become so harsh that his mom started hiring people to control his son. At one point, he spit in his nanny’s mouth when the latter wouldn’t give back his 360. The nanny was just trying to go down “to his level” which proved to be a horrible idea.
4. Cartman snapping at the hotel person on “Ginger Kids”
In the episode, Cartman launched a campaign to rid the world of non-ginger kids, i.e., red hair, pale skin, freckles, when he woke up one day as a “ginger kid.” Near the end, he and his legion of followers were ready to lower the kids in cages into pots of molten lava when the hotel person interrupted the ceremony to ask if they needed more lava. Cartman didn’t really do anything here, but I swear, I can hear his voice snapping, “You’re welcome now leave us alone!” Doesn’t sound as funny on paper. Watch the episode.
3. Cartman showing an incriminating photo in class on “Cartman sucks”
Definitely not one of Cartman’s shining moments. With some incriminating photos showing himself with Butter’s penis on his mouth and determined to not let Kyle have the pleasure of tormenting him, he shows the picture himself in class.
2. Cartman feeding someone his dead parents on “Scott Ternorman Must Die”
Hailed as one of Cartman’s most dastardly, borderline psycho moments, Cartman sowed a plot against ninth-grader Scott Tenorman for swindling him of $16.12. No one expected the length the scheming Cartman would go to, until late in the episode, when Cartman revealed to Scott Tenorman that he killed Tenorman’s parents and put them on the chili he was eating. Trivia: there were debates among the showrunners on whether they had gone too far with this episode. The nays apparently won, as the episode was aired in one piece.
1. Cartman hitting everyone, admonishing them to “Respect my authoritah!” on “Chicken Lover”
Because Cartman is just the type to abuse a little authority that is entrusted to him, his arguably most popular catchphrase came when he was made deputy police chief for a few hours. In a nutshell, he would start hitting everyone with his stick, while telling them to “Respect my authoritah!”
The runner-ups include the time when Cartman thought he was dead for eating a lot of chicken skin, when he organized a Christian rock band, when he pretended to have Tourette syndrome, and when he tried to redo the whole civil war.
What’s your favorite Cartman moment?
-Glenn L. Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of Comedy Central)