Cartman originally came from South Park.

Eric Theodore Cartman is a fictional character on the American animated television series South Park. One of four main characters, along with Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and Kenny McCormick, he is often portrayed as the series' main antagonist and in opposition to his friends, who commonly refer to him by his last name. He debuted on television when South Park first aired on August 13, 1997; he had earlier appeared in The Spirit of Christmas shorts created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in 1992 (Jesus vs. Frosty) and 1995 (Jesus vs. Santa).

Voiced by Trey Parker, Cartman is an overweight, immature, spoiled, outspoken, lazy, foul-mouthed, mean-spirited, racist, sexist, anti-semitic, sociopathic, narcissistic, and ill-tempered third- then fourth-grader living with his mother in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado, where he routinely has extraordinary experiences not typical of conventional small-town life.

Cartman is one of the most popular characters on the show and has remained one of the most recognizable television characters ever since South Park became a hit during its first season. Parker and Stone describe the character as "a little Archie Bunker", and state that he is their favorite character, and the one with whom they most identify. During its fifteen seasons, South Park has received both praise and criticism for Cartman's tendency to be politically incorrect and shockingly profane. Prominent publications and television channels have included Cartman on their lists of the most iconic television and cartoon characters of all time.

Cartman attends South Park Elementary as part of Mr. Garrison's third grade class. During the show's first 58 episodes (1997 until the season four episode "4th Grade" in 2000), Cartman and the other main child characters are in the third grade. He is an only child being raised by Liane Cartman, a promiscuous single mother who in "Cartman's Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut" (1998) claims to be intersexual when she claims to be the father of Cartman. However, the season 14 (2010) episode "201" later reveals that Liane actually is his mother, and that his true biological father is Jack Tenorman, a fictional former player for the Denver Broncos whom Cartman arranges to be killed in the season five (2001) episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die," making Cartman and Scott Tenorman half-brothers and putting Liane's intersexual identity in question. In the unaired pilot of South Park, Cartman does have a father whose name is not revealed.

Among the show's main child characters, Cartman is distinguished as "the fat one", and his obesity is a continuing subject of insults from other characters throughout the show's run. Cartman is frequently portrayed as an antagonist or villain whose actions set in motion the events serving as the main plot of an episode. Other children and classmates are alienated by Cartman's insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, lazy, misogynistic, self-righteous, and wildly insecure behavior, but are occasionally influenced by his obtrusive, manipulative, and propagandist antics. Fearing for his reputation after losing a fight to Wendy Testaburger in the season 12 (2008) episode "Breast Cancer Show Ever", Cartman receives several assurances from numerous classmates that their opinion of him is already at the point where it cannot get any lower.

Kyle, who is Jewish, is often the target of Cartman's slander and anti-Semitic insults. The two have shared an enmity since the show's beginnings, and their rivalry has become significantly more pronounced as the series has progressed, with Cartman even routinely exposing Kyle to physical endangerment. Parker and Stone have compared the relationship to the one shared by Archie Bunker and Michael Stivic on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family. Kyle has a tendency to make what he thinks are safe bets with Cartman, and often loses these bets when the improbable actions promised by Cartman are accomplished. Cartman's motivation in this regard is not merely monetary gain, but an obsession with scoring a victory over Kyle, a fixation that ultimately plays a major part in a subplot to the three-part episode "Imaginationland" (season 11, 2007). In "You're Getting Old," the final episode of the first half of South Park's 15th season, it is hinted that Kyle and Cartman may be developing a genuine friendship, possibly due to the void left by Stan's apparent departure. Cartman's resentment of Stan is usually reserved for when Cartman proudly proclaims his hatred for both Stan and Kyle as a duo, and his contempt for Stan as an individual is usually limited to his annoyance with Stan's sensitivity, affection for animals, and the relationship Stan shares with Wendy.

Despite being intolerant of other cultures, Cartman displays an aptitude for learning foreign languages. In the episode My Future Self n' Me when he starts "Parental Revenge Corp", he speaks Spanish to his Latino workers, though he may have learned the language merely from a practical standpoint in order to better exploit a labor pool. Not surprisingly he knows German, probably due to Nazi and white supremacist sympathies. He speaks it while dressed up as Adolf Hitler while promoting the extermination of Jews to an oblivious audience that didn't speak German. Cartman can also be seen speaking German fluently in Season 15 Episode 2 "Funnybot".

Cartman constantly teases Kenny for being poor, and derides Kenny's family for being on welfare. He will also use an awkward pause during a conversation as an opportunity to casually remind Kenny that he hates him. Cartman's mischievous treatment of Butters Stotch, and the relationship the duo shares has received significant focus in the more recent seasons of the series. This reflects Parker's interest; the scenes between the two are the ones he most enjoys writing.

Several episodes center around Cartman's greed and his get-rich-quick schemes, although his numerous attempts to attain wealth generally fail. His extreme disdain for hippies serves to satirize the counterculture of the 1960s and its influence in contemporary society, reflecting Parker's real-life antipathy towards hippies. Though the role is customarily taken by Stan or Kyle, Cartman will occasionally be the one to reflect on the lessons learned during the course of an episode with a speech that often begins with "You know, I've learned something today...".

Cartman is foul-mouthed (as are his friends) as a means for Parker and Stone to portray how they believe young boys really talk when they are alone. According to Parker, Cartman does not possess the "underlying sweetness" of the show's other child characters. Cartman is amused by bodily functions and toilet humor, and his favorite television personalities are Terrance and Phillip, a Canadian duo whose comedy routines on their show-within-the-show revolve substantially around fart jokes.

Cartman is in denial about his obesity, often reasserting Liane's notion by exclaiming "I'm not fat, I'm big-boned!". He views himself as more mature than his fellow friends and classmates, and often grows impatient with their company. This often leads to loud arguments, which in earlier seasons typically end with Cartman peevishly saying "Screw you guys... I'm going home!" upon leaving. In an action King's College philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson describes as "directed either toward accomplishing his own happiness or the unhappiness of others", Cartman often feigns actual friendship with his fellow classmates when needing a favor. The lack of a true father figure in his life, and Liane's promiscuity and drug use have caused repressed psychological hardship in Cartman's life. As a parent, Liane spoils Cartman, and is largely ineffectual as a disciplinarian. Cartman sometimes commands his mom to do tasks for him, but more often resorts to pleading with her in an ingratiating tone. When neither method works, he resorts to excessive and indecipherable whining, with Liane usually succumbing. Parker has noted that this is the primary cause for Cartman's behavior, stating that Cartman is "just a product of his environment". We always had this thing where Cartman's mother was so sweet—she was always so sweet to him and giving him whatever he wanted. And I don't know if it's worse in L.A. than most places in the country—I hope so—but [we've met] so many parents who were just so desperately trying to be friends to their kids. And it was the thing we really picked up on. And it was just like, 'These [people] are making these really evil kids'. – Trey Parker, discussing Liane's role in shaping Cartman's personality in an interview with NPR[[|[6]]] Cartman thrives on achieving ascendancy over others, and exerts his will by demagogy and by demanding that others "Respect my authoritah!", accentuating the last syllable of "authority" and pronouncing it /ɔːˈθɒrɨteɪ/. Cartman has several times declared that his dream is getting "Ten million dollars". He has shown initiative in taking a businesslike approach to earning money, starting his own "hippie control" and "parental revenge" operations, as well as a boy-band and his own church.

Cartman's anti-Semitism, while mostly limited to mocking Kyle, culminates in the season eight (2004) episode "The Passion of the Jew". In the episode, Cartman, after watching The Passion of the Christ numerous times, deifies the film's director, Mel Gibson, and starts an official Gibson fan club, praising Gibson for "trying to express—through cinema—the horror and filthiness of the common Jew". Cartman's interpretation of the film influences him to dress up as Adolf Hitler and lead other fan club members (who are oblivious of Cartman's actual intentions) in a failed effort to engage in a systematic genocide of the Jews similar to that of the Final Solution. In the season 10 (2006) episode "Smug Alert!", Cartman anonymously saves Kyle's life in an effort to get him and his family to return to South Park from San Francisco, revealing that he craves the animosity shared between the two. And in "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" (season 14, 2010), Cartman directs the "evil god" Cthulhu to destroy "most of the synagogues".

Upon hearing his classmates tell him that they hold him in the lowest regard possible, a stubborn Cartman misinterprets this act as their attempt to make him feel better, and obstinately convinces himself that everyone thinks he is the "coolest kid in school". In the season 13 (2009) episode "Fishsticks", Cartman subconsciously believes that he solely created a joke that quickly becomes a nationwide sensation, despite the fact that the character Jimmy Valmer writes the joke without any assistance. Carlos Delgado of If Magazine noted this as "Cartman being so egotistical that he manipulates the past to serve his own purposes". In the season 14 saga that culminates with "Coon vs. Coon and Friends", Cartman joins forces with the dark lord Cthulhu (whom he insists upon crediting as merely "Coon's friend") and destroys everything he hates (synagogues, Whole Foods Market outlets, hippies at the Burning Man festival, and Justin Bieber) because he apparently believes he is making the world a better place.


Cartman made a cameo guest appearance on Survivor Fan Characters 3, visiting Alex. He participated in the Reward Challenge, giving the fact that Alex once went on a diet for three weeks before quitting (Everyone answered false on that question). Then Cartman actually visited Alex at camp, but, he was only here because he lost rock, paper, scissors to everyone else in South Park, indicating that either Alex is the most hated person around, or South Park wanted to be rid of Cartman for a few days. Montana, one of the contestants, insults Cartman by commenting on how fat Cartman is, which gives out Cartman's catchphrase, "I'M NOT FAT! I'M BIG BONED!" At the Immunity Challenge, all the family members participated in helping out the contestants to get Immunity. Alex did not get past the first round (Cartman never helped Alex, in fact, he never said anything).

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