Eric Cartman is one of the most diabolically evil characters in television history. His Anti-Semitic jokes can sometimes feel like an afterthought since he’s planning so many horrible schemes from episode to episode. Today, we’re looking at five episodes in which Cartman’s behavior is particularly vile. You may want to watch a few episodes of My Little Pony after reading this one.
5. “Dances With Smurfs” – Original Air Date: November 11, 2009
Glenn Beck was inexplicably popular in 2009, and Matt and Trey found a clever way to poke fun at him: just turn Cartman into Glenn Beck for an entire episode. Oh, and give away the ending to Avatar while you’re at it. Anyway, Cartman’s rhetoric against Wendy is naturally horrible, and does a great job poking fun at Fox News’ tendency to frame horrible accusations as questions (“Wendy Testaburger has proven time and time again that she will do anything to pleasure her vagina. Whether it is the school football team or the janitors on their break, Wendy spends her time as president on her knees or on her back taking the old in-out for hours on end!…..Or does she?“) Cartman gets his in the end when Wendy steals his idea for Dances With Smurfs, but not before we get some classic Evil Cartman, and some relentless shots at Mr. Beck.
4. “Le Petit Tourette” – Original Air Date: October 3, 2007
Ok, the idea of an 8-year-old pretending he has Tourette’s so that he can swear in class actually isn’t that far-fetched. But boy, does Cartman take it to another level. Eventually, he realizes that not only can he swear whenever he wants, he can also say whatever he wants about Jews, and everyone just assumes it’s his Tourette’s. The plan nearly backfires when he seems to develop actual Tourette’s, losing the ability to filter out what he says. Naturally, Cartman avoids serious trouble, and everything goes back to normal. But not before Eric gets out some quality swears (“If I could say ‘tampon d–ks–t’ in class, I’d be soooooooooo happy”).
3. “Casa Bonita” – Original Air Date: November 12, 2003
This one might be the best example of just how far Cartman will go to get what he wants. When Kyle tells him he’s not invited to Casa Bonita for his birthday party, Eric is determined to find a way in. He sucks it up and acts nice to Kyle, to the point where Kyle actually thinks he’s changed. But that’s not enough, because there’s still no extra room at the party for him. He needs to eliminate someone from the group, and naturally, he sets his sights on poor, naive Butters, convincing him the world is ending and zombies are roaming the streets. Amusingly, Butters manages to create his own new town. Eventually Cartman gets found out, and has just one minute to play at Casa Bonita before he has to spend a week in juvie. Was it worth it? Totally.
2. “Scott Tenorman Must Die” – Original Air Date: July 11, 2001
I remember watching this episode when it originally aired. The ending to this one was so shocking when it originally aired that I basically froze in place for five minutes after it ended. What the hell did I just watch?! He made that poor kid eat his parents?! This was the episode that established just how horrible Cartman could be, and was the blueprint for several of the other episodes on this list. With that said, there is one episode that managed to top it….
1. “The Passion Of The Jew” – Original Air Date: March 31, 2004
Okay, here’s my case for picking this one over “Scott Tenorman Must Die”: in that episode, Cartman’s scheme is more successful, but in this one, Cartman’s evilness is a lot more far-reaching. Whereas in “Scott Tenorman,” he kills two people, in this one, he actually tries to exterminate the Jews! Honestly, it’s pretty stunning that this episode was even made. By the time 2004 rolled around, South Park wasn’t really shocking anymore. We had all gotten used to the idea of a cartoon where 8 year-olds said curse words and talked about sex, but this one reminded us that Matt and Trey could still absolutely blow our minds if they wanted to. When you think about it, Cartman is more evil in this one than any character in any other show ever. And that makes it an easy choice to top this list.