Comedy Central ranked the best moments of South Park‘s most beloved sociopath, Eric Cartman, and shot it over to us—which I’ll take as an opportunity to critique their list. Because I have issues.
When you’re making a list of Cartman’s best moments, you gotta remember that he’s South Park‘s most evolved character. He began as a fat little asshole. He remains a fat little asshole—but he’s also become addition this avatar for selfishness and barely disguised psychopathy.
Think of “Scott Tenorman Must Die,” which at the time was the most divisive episode in the show’s history. It transformed Cartman from that twerp you grew up with into a kid who would have his enemy’s parents killed and made into chili. It’s the reason why Parker and Stone were able to have Cartman essentially start a race war last season, and no one batted an eye.
This sounds like dark stuff when you write it down, but South Park was able to make the transition work because Cartman was always a kid who’d do literally anything to get what he wanted—now how far could they take him? Does he have any limits to his increasingly hilarious selfishness? Which is why any list of the guy’s funniest moments has to include what makes Cartman… Cartman.
So: his final run through Casa Bonita has to go in here (“Was it worth it, kid?” “Totally.”). And some scene showing the depths he went into tricking Butters he was the robot Awesome-0. I’m also partial to the image of him dressed as Hitler in “Passion of the Jew”—after taking critiques of the Passion to the logical extent—and spending an entire episode talking out of his hand as Hennifer Lopez. None unfortunately make it.
But maybe this is over-thinking Cartman. After all, the ultimate purpose of South Park is to just make you laugh—and no. 1 on the list, a scene of Cartman squatting on Mr. Garrison’s desk and taking a shit—delivers. In spades.
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