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10 Times Eric Cartman Wielded Authority In South Park

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South Park follows the antics of a small Colorado town and its characters. It primarily focuses on four friends, Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny. Although all four feature prominently throughout the series, it’s undeniable that fans have stuck around because of Cartman. The hateful yet hilarious fourth grader has terrorized the town and his friends since the popular comedy series first hit screens in 1997.


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Cartman has made a reputation out of his longing for authority, or “authoritah.” Even the most minuscule amount of authority turns Cartman into a pretty abrasive person. The running gag feeds in with the character’s undying narcissism and entitlement, fostered by his oblivious mother, who always gives in to him. Despite never deserving it, Cartman has wielded authority throughout the series, even to the point of danger to others.

The following article contains sensitive language, subject matter, and other highly problematic things that South Park is known for. Please proceed with caution.

10/10 Cartman Led A Cult Of Ginger Kids (That He Accidentally Created)

Eric Cartman ginger giving a speech

Cartman has always been an incredibly hateful character, but in “Ginger Kids,” he took it to a new level. After giving his infamous “gingers have no souls” speech, he divided the school. Shockingly, many of Cartman’s classmates actually agreed with his views and excluded ginger kids.

To teach him a lesson, Kyle and Stan snuck into Cartman’s room and dyed his hair ginger in his sleep. Cartman threw in with the ginger kids when the tables had turned, leading them into a violent cult. When he realized he wasn’t actually ginger, he was able to persuade the Ginger Separatist Movement to cease violence.

9/10 Cartman Became A Scandalous TV Pundit

Eric Cartman as a TV host

In the episode “Dances With Smurfs,” Cartman was given the coveted authority of doing the morning announcements in school. Where he was only supposed to read from a script, Cartman immediately started going on rants. When the school intervened, Cartman appealed to the ACLU.

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With legal protection to keep his gig, Cartman’s rants only got worse when he accused Wendy Testaburger of murdering smurfs. Defending his allegations with “I’m just asking questions,” Cartman showed that no matter how small the authority, he cannot be trusted.

8/10 The Town Turned To Cartman To Solve Their Hippie Problem

Cartman as a Hippie buster

In the episode “Die Hippie, Die,” Cartman affected a Ghostbuster-inspired persona, going around town to rid people of hippies. When he realized they were planning a music festival, he went to the mayor to get help. However, she refused, stating that the town could use the money.

Cartman later got locked up when he further terrorized hippies. However, when the townspeople got fed up with their new guests, they turned to the boy for help. After his demands were met, Cartman assembled a team to venture into the heart of the festival and shut it down.

7/10 Cartman Led A Merry Band Of Somali Pirates

Eric Cartman and friends with Somali pirates

In the episode “Fatbeard,” Cartman proves his idiocy when he recruits Ike, Butters, and others to head down to Somalia and live a life of piracy. The misinformed band of wannabe pirates bought tickets and made their way down. The Somali pirates initially believed they were idiots and held them to ransom.

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However, due to a language barrier, the kids had no idea. Instead, they seized the ship of their rescuers and returned to port, where they recruited the locals into their band of pirates. No matter the danger, Cartman led his crew against passing ships, eventually getting a response from the US Navy.

6/10 Hall Monitor Duties Turned Cartman Into A Bounty Hunter

Eric Cartman as hall monitor bounty hunter kicks a kid

In “Miss Teacher Bangs A Boy,” Cartman was unexpectedly appointed school hall monitor. Rather than go about his duties tactfully, Cartman went all in, with no offense too minor for him. He then donned the look of the infamous TV bounty hunter, Dog, from Dog & Beth: On the Hunt.

When Kyle’s brother, Ike, became involved in an illicit affair with his teacher, Cartman was hot on their trail. However, he had been such a menace to those around him that the police were as much after him as the criminal teacher.

5/10 Cartman Proved A Surprisingly Effective And Brutal Border Patrol Agent

Eric Cartman as border patrol agent

In “The Last of the Meheecans,” Cartman and his friends play a border patrol game where some kids are border patrol, and the others have to cross their wall. As expected, Cartman was incredibly overzealous even in the game, and took pride in his ability to protect the border.

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When Butters committed to the game too much, he wound up rallying the Mexican population of South Park into returning to their home country. Cartman became a legitimate border patrol agent and, when Butters returned, took the opportunity to finally prove himself.

4/10 Cartman Got Appointed As A Police Officer

Eric Cartman as a police officer

In the episode “Chickenlover,” the town discovered that Officer Barbrady couldn’t read. The mayor mandated the officer go to school to become literate. While there, Barbrady deputized Cartman to help in his policing efforts. It went as poorly as anyone would expect.

With his trusty tricycle and a baton, his first order of business was pulling over Randy Marsh and beating him for speeding. Cartman then landed a gig on Cops, where he was recorded in his exploits around town, including brutalizing the McCormacks.

3/10 Cartman Successfully Infiltrated The NSA

Eric Cartman as an NSA agent

In the episode “Let Go, Let Gov,” Cartman annoyed everyone when he insisted on having phone conversations as loudly as possible. However, he insisted on maintaining his privacy. He then hatched a scheme to infiltrate the NSA – while he had a device that announced his thoughts.

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When he got in with the NSA, he became a fully-fledged agent, using the agency’s access to people’s private information. He accompanied another agent on a number of cases to arrest people for making edgy comments and threats online, eventually discovering an imprisoned Santa at the NSA.

2/10 Cartman Was Put In Charge Of Fish And Wildlife

Eric Cartmen

Cartman’s encounter with a Jakovasaur – a mysterious creature – got the attention of the Department of the Interior. The government agents arrived in South Park to study the creatures, which proved very annoying. Cartman, however, loves them as they match his personality.

When the agents leave, they make Cartman head of the local department of Fish and Wildlife, anointing him with his beloved authority. Thrilled, he uses his newfound power to try and keep the Jakovasaurs in town when it’s decided that they be moved to a new home.

1/10 Cartman Led A Superhero Team And Then Befriended Cthulhu

Cartman and Cthulhu

In the infamous “Coon trilogy,” Cartman adopted the persona of a raccoon-inspired vigilante. He assembled a number of his friends, each dressed as a unique hero, and assembled the Coon & Friends superhero team. However, he was nothing short of a menace.

After the group kicked him out, Cartman befriended the Lovecraftian Elder God, Cthulhu. Cartman’s turn to villainy was completed when he ordered the dark lord to kill and banish everyone who inconvenienced him. Although it hinged on Cthulhu, this was Cartman’s most powerful moment.

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