13 Evil Things Cartman Did In ‘South Park’ That Were Far More Low-Key Than Tenorman Chili

Eric Cartman Is known to have done many terrible things throughout the 26 Seasons of South Park. In fact, his most terrible acts tend to define him as a character. If you ask any fan of the show to name the most memorable things Cartman has done they would probably mention the time he lead a movement to murder all non-ginger children or perhaps the time he fed Scott Tenorman his own parents.

Not everything Cartman does, however, is on that same level of blatant, chaotic evil. More often than not his evil acts are subtle. He swindles people out of their money with Cash 4 Gold schemes, he sells candy to vulnerable children who are already struggling with their weight, and he makes convoluted plans to manipulate others for his own personal benefit – Yes, he is evil. Yes, he is abhorrent. And yes, we still love him. While his most evil schemes are terrifying, they will not be covered in this list. And it’s for the better, because it’s these far more understated acts of evil that tend to show the complexity of his character.

Ranker voters have looked at the low-key evil things Cartman has done and have decided these were the most evil of them.

1. He Implicates Kenny Of A Lice Infestation By Rigging His Own

 He Rigged His Lice Test Specifically To Implicate Kenny Just Because He's Poor

Photo: Comedy Central

In Season 11, episode 3 (“Lice Capades”), Mr. Garrison informs his class they will be undergoing a head lice check. All the kids are mortified at the thought of being labeled as someone infested with lice, and Cartman quickly points a finger:

Uh th-that is completely unnecessary. Everyone knows that only poor people can get lice. The only person that can spread it here is Kenny.

When Clyde is informed he has lice, he is humiliated and quickly takes care of the issue (much to the chagrin of the lice world living on his head). Cartman is so terrified of this Scarlet Letter that he makes up a test he copied from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Instead of testing his classmates’ blood for shape-shifting abilities, however, he claims to test it for “lice” and makes Kenny’s plate jump when he puts in a hot wire. “Of course I was right! I told you only poor people get lice!” Cartman screams as Kenny runs out mortified. Cartman manages to lie (he, and everyone else in the class, has lice) and dehumanize a friend for their economic status all at once. 

2. He Gaslights Heidi During Their Relationship

He Repeatedly Gaslit Heidi

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Throughout Season 20, the students of South Park learn a lot about cyberbullying. Fourth grader Heidi decides she is going to get rid of social media once and for all. So does Cartman, who was (for once) wrongfully accused of being an online menace by his friends. For brief moments throughout the season, it looks as if Heidi is helping Cartman grow, even if he hits a few speed bumps along the way. 

By the Season 21 premiere, however, Cartman is over Heidi. Instead of communicating frustrations with her (outside of telling her she is the reason behind his unhappiness), he vents about her to his friends and lets his anger fester. Confused, Heidi attempts to make amends with a clearly frustrated Cartman, and the two begin a toxic on-again, off-again co-dependent relationship. Cartman claims he will self-harm when Heidi initially breaks things off, and the two spiral from there.

By episode 8 (“Moss Piglets”), Heidi is so lost from her authentic, thoughtful self that she has taken on the aggressive, self-centered actions of Cartman. It takes a lot to break a person piece by piece, but Cartman manages to do it without even trying. 

3. He Pretends To Be Psychic And Accuses Innocent People Of Heinous Crimes

He Implicated Random, Innocent People In Serious Transgressions

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In Season 8, the episode titled “Cartman’s Incredible Gift,” starts off with Cartman being a typical fourth grader, AKA doing something wreckless: he tries to fly off his roof with cardboard wings and wakes up in the hospital.

Cartman’s bed is next to the victim of a serial assailant, and gullible Sergeant Yates, who is questioning them, believes Cartman has psychic powers after he correctly predicts a few obvious routines in the hospital. Cartman goes along with it and randomly names people as the perpetrator of heinous transgressions, all in the name of cash. And Yates, being as gullible as he is, locks these innocent people up without question. 

4. He Trivializes Self-Harm

He Trivialized Self-Harm

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In the second episode of Season 21, Tweek is freaking out about the state of the world. Between international political tensions fueled by a president’s irresponsible tweets and the aftermath of climate change, Tweek has a bit of a breakdown trying to focus on his daily life. 

Embarrassed after a teary voicemail he left Heidi is leaked, Cartman doubles down on his warning and takes every opportunity to claim he might take his own life. He completely disregards the very real terror and isolation that people like Tweek feel (and could act on). Cartman even butts into a well-meaning song meant to end texting and driving with an emo-rap verse:

Give a standing ovation for suicide in our nation

Or I will rip my own guts out without one hesitation

Dedication, that’s what it’s taken to awaken people to care

And yet my future’s so hazy, my girlfriend’s makin’ me crazy

But still I’m workin’ so hard. You know, just tryin’ to hold on,

‘Cause I know that you don’t miss me so much if I was gone.

And all the voices start solo, but every day I hear them grow.

Sayin’ “Eric, don’t do it! Don’t do it! Noooo.”

5. He Accepts ISIS Support For His Startup Company, The Washington Redskins

He Accepted Support From ISIS For His Startup Company

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In South Park’s Season 18 premiere, the boys decide they are never going to work a day in their lives and instead form a startup company with funds from Kickstarter. As they are brainstorming a catchy name, they realize the Washington Redskins’ trademark is up, and they buy the highly contested name.

Their startup takes off and is known for its do-nothing attitude. In fact, the Washington Redskins is such a booming startup that even ISIS has heard of them – and they want in. Cartman happily takes the money from the terror group, much to the horror of some of his startup partners. 

6. He Forces Butters To Screen His Negative Messages On Social Media

He Forced Butters To Screen All His Negative Messages On Social Media

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“Safe Space” (Season 19, episode 5) puts Butters on the receiving end of Cartman’s cruelty. After Cartman receives some less-than-kind comments from his peers on a photo he posted of himself working out in his underwear, Mr. Mackey suggests that Cartman have people filter his social media for negative comments.

Cartman and Mr. Mackey pick three people – Wendy, Kyle, and Butters – but only Butters goes through with it. Slowly but surely, more and more people, including celebrities, ask Butters to filter for negative comments. Cartman, who dishes negativity but can’t take it, inadvertently breaks Butters by getting him on a dicey path. 

7. He Sells Candy To Kids At Fat Camp Who Are Already Struggling With Their Weight

He Sold Candy To Kids At Fat Camp

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In Season 4, Cartman is sent to fat camp after the citizens of South Park mention they are concerned about his weight. When he meets the other kids at the camp, he comes up with a brilliant idea to help them rebel: sneak in candy. Cartman gets a kid out of the camp to bring him candy and throw it over the fence, which Cartman then sells to the other campers. One boy feels apprehensive about his decision to purchase, saying he simply can’t control himself, and it would be nice to lose some weight to avoid ridicule from friends and family. Cartman then says to the child:

Hey Chad, do you know what you need? You need a friend. Yes a chocolate friend. Mr. Candybar doesn’t judge you, Chad. Mr. Candybar likes you just the way you are. Look how yummy and sweet he is. That will be four dollars. There you go. 

Just like that, Cartman has reaffirmed some of this child’s worst fears – and for the low price of $4.

8. He Endangers World Peace By Threatening To Tell The Truth About The ‘Ginger Cow Prophecy’

He Refused To Corroborate The 'Ginger Cow Prophecy'

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In an effort to humiliate Kyle in Season 17, Cartman dresses up a cow as a ginger. Kyle sees through the forgery, but news of this alleged ginger cow spreads fast. The “Ginger Cow Prophecy” plays off the idea that three major religions – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – each have texts that speak of a “red heifer,” and in South Park, it signals the end of days. 

Except it doesn’t. The ginger cow brings peace in the Middle East, and just as the world is celebrating its newfound tranquility, Cartman tells Kyle he is going to admit to the world that he made up the ginger cow. Kyle begs him not to, and Cartman agrees to do so as long as Kyle lets him fart in his face and laugh about it whenever he wants.

Stan tries to make up a lie that frees Kyle from Cartman’s sadistic ways and keeps the peace afloat but is unsuccessful. In a horrific power move toward an alleged friend, Cartman explicitly threatens to end world peace unless he’s allowed to fart in Kyle’s face. 

9. He Threatens To Leave Bad Yelp Reviews In Exchange For Free Food

He Threatened Poor Yelp Reviews In Exchange For Free Food

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In “You’re Not Yelping” (Season 19, episode 4) Cartman hops on the trend of becoming a Yelp reviewer. And, in typical Cartman fashion, he attempts to wield this power in unethical ways. He constantly poses a risk to the owner of a small Mexican restaurant, saying he will leave them bad reviews if he doesn’t get free tacos.

He eventually browbeats several restaurants into doing this. Fearful that his negative review could impact their business, they acquiesce  – even though giving him free food doesn’t exactly help. Some restaurants have to shut down because Cartman wanted a free meal – which, as a fourth grader, he gets at home regularly. 

10. He Makes A Con Business Based Of Shopping Network Tactics

He Started His Own Con Business After Seeing How Shopping Networks Do It

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Cartman has always been interested in a quick buck, no matter the ethical dilemma. In “Cash for Gold” (Season 16, episode 8) Stan tells Cartman about all the junk his grandfather purchases from J&G (Jewelry & Gold) Shopping Network, lamenting how the network takes advantage of vulnerable seniors.

Instead of being disgusted like Stan, Cartman decides to start his own “Cash for Gold” infomercial empire with Butters. He even goes to India, where a bulk of the bunk jewelry is made. A worker tells Cartman that it is all part of a wasteful cycle, but that doesn’t faze Cartman in the least.

11. He Plays Into Negative Stereotypes To Become NASCAR Driver

He Played Into Negative Stereotypes About Low-Income Fans Of NASCAR

Photo: Comedy Central

In “Poor and Stupid” (Season 14, episode 8), all Cartman wants to do is become a NASCAR driver. Unfortunately, Cartman believes he isn’t “poor and stupid enough” to be a driver. In an attempt to show him the error of his ways, the boys convince Cartman he can easily be as poor and stupid as all other NASCAR drivers.

While watching mind-numbing TV, Cartman sees a commercial for Vagisil that states a side effect is memory loss, so he does what anyone would do – starts eating Vagisil. In his first race, his lack of driving knowledge causes him to collide with multiple cars, which to Cartman proves his insulting point about NASCAR fans and drivers, personally insulting Kenny, who loves NASCAR.

12. He Convinces His Friends To Prioritize ‘World Of Warcraft’ Over Their Own Health

He Convinced His Friends To Completely Disregard Their Lives For 'World Of Warcraft'

Photo: Comedy Central

“Make Love, Not Warcraft” (Season 10, episode 8) lays into gaming culture. Cartman and the rest of the boys are fed up with a gamer troll who repeatedly wipes out the boys’ characters on purpose. They repeatedly try to defeat him, but realize they simply don’t have enough experience points.

Most are ready to give up, but not Cartman. He convinces his friends to live in his basement and play the game 21 hours a day. The boys’ physical and mental states quickly disintegrate, all because Cartman’s pride was shattered by another player.

13. He Disillusions His Classmates About Meat Replacements So He Can Eat More Junk Food

He Wiped Out His Classmates' Enthusiasm For Meat Replacements

Photo: Comedy Central

In Season 23, episode 4 (“Let Them Eat Goo”), students of South Park Elementary decide to make a push for healthier meals in the cafeteria. When Cartman discovers his usual red-meat-based lunch is now fish, he throws a fit and suffers a cardiac event. Mr. Mackey tells Cartman the menu will stay the same, and anytime Wendy or one of the other girls ask for change, Cartman threatens to have another cardiac event. 

While Cartman is in the hospital, PC Principal announces that the school will be using “Incredible Meat,” a meat substitute made by self-proclaimed “Goo Man.” When Cartman returns, the entire school anxiously watches to see if he notices a difference in his tacos. Cartman happily munches along, but it’s not because he is blissfully unaware.

At the end of the episode, Cartman spells out the unfortunate but real truth about plant-based meats: They may be better for the environment, but they aren’t much healthier than the red meat of cafeteria meals’ past. At the end of the day, Cartman is completely fine eating junk and disillusioning an entire school of young people trying to make healthy choices for themselves and the Earth.