It’s fair to say that Eric Cartman is the reason that South Park has lasted so long. He’s now got some rivalry for the funniest character on the show as he faces competition from Randy and Butters, but in the very earliest days of the series, it was Cartman who brought the show its popularity. People were quoting him on the street and wearing t-shirts with his face on them. A little fat (well, big boned) 8-year-old came along who was more bigoted than Archie Bunker.
Somehow Trey Parker and Matt Stone managed to spin a sociopathic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, racist child into one of the most beloved characters on television. The writers give him all the funniest lines and Parker gives the funniest performance as Cartman. So, here are the 15 greatest Eric Cartman quotes.
15. “Selling out is sweet.”
Stan and Kyle are always learning moral lessons from their adventures in the show, but Cartman never learns. He’s not the lesson-learning type. He’s more of the delusional, closed-minded bigot type. He’s never the one who says, “You know, I learned something today,” or tells the audience the moral of the story.
But in one episode, he was. However, he learned the exact opposite of the lesson he should’ve learned. “I’ve learned something, too. Selling out is sweet, because when you sell out, you get to make a lot of money, and when you have money, you don’t have to hang out with a bunch of poor asses like you guys. Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
That’s the wrong lesson, but it’s not untrue.
14. “She’s really smart and really funny.”
Last year’s season 20 of South Park sure a huge change in Cartman’s character. Suddenly he wasn’t ripping on Jews and black people and women.
He was wearing a “Token’s Life Matters” t-shirt and trying to bring peace between the boys and the girls because he feared an enslavement of all men by women in the caves of Mars where they would use men for their sperm and jokes. His idea of feminism is introducing his girlfriend to everyone as being “really smart and really funny.”
In the wake of all the media attention that Amy Schumer and the new Ghostbusters movie were getting, Cartman thought that that’s all feminism is, and even though he said the line so many times that it rivals “Oh, geez!” for the most spoken line in season 20, it still gets you every time. It’s just Cartman trying to be nice for once.
13. “Anything that’s fun costs at least $8.”
According to Cartman, this is “the first law of physics.” He’s referring to the Church of Scientology in the episode “Trapped in the Closet,” which really ticked off Tom Cruise. Scientology is a bad example, but Cartman knows all about having fun.
Just look at the time he ditched the lame historical re-enactment place, Pioneer Village, where all the actors are really committed to living in 1864 and creating the illusion of a historical setting, to go and play bumper cars and share milkshakes with Butters at Super Fun Time, although Butters didn’t think it was so fun.
To cheer Butters up, Cartman quotes Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast, Butters. If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.”
12. “Words cannot express how much I hate you guys.”
In the Civil War re-enactment episode “The Red Badge of Gayness,” Cartman transforms himself into General Cartman Lee, and of course, he’s a Confederate soldier on the side of pro-slavery. He writes a letter to the guys that’s at times eloquent and at other times not so much.
“Dear you guys. Words cannot express how much I hate you guys. As we fight our way northward into the great unknown, only that one thing remains certain: that I hate you guys with every tired muscle in my Confederate body. We have taken Topeka and I must rally the men onward to Missouri. Because I will not stop until we have won it all, and you guys are my slaves. Because I hate you guys. I hate you guys so very, very much. Yours, General Cartman Lee.”
11. “Sorry, I’m not interested in being friends with midgets.”
As an eight-year-old boy, Cartman’s understanding of sex is very limited. His limerick-y explanation of sex is this: “It’s a man’s obligation to stick his boneration in a woman’s separation. This sort of penetration will increase the population of the younger generation.” When he went online to find some new friends, obviously it was a huge red flag.
He went on a message board and wrote, “I am a young boy seeking an older male for good times.” Red flag! Red flag! He gets one reply that says, “I’m eight and a half inches.” That would be a red flag too, except Cartman doesn’t understand what this pervert is referring to, and shuts him down by writing back, “Sorry, I’m not interested in being friends with midgets.” Ah, Eric.
10. “If you wanna find some quality friends, you gotta wade through all the dicks first.”
The South Park episode “You Have 0 Friends” is a classic of the show. It summarized the absurdity and the idiocy of the socializing that gets done on Facebook perfectly. We were also treated to a tragic portrait of a boy who loves Facebook and means well and yet has 0 friends.
However, for Good Samaritan Kyle who adds him out of pity, that is Facebook suicide. All of a sudden, Kyle’s friends all start to delete him. So, naturally, he turns to his old nemesis Cartman for help.
Cartman introduces him to 4chan and tells him a sad truth of the reality of building friendships online in this age of social media. He tells Kyle, “If you wanna find some quality friends, you gotta wade through all the dicks first.”
9. “I’m not just sure, I’m HIV positive.”
This quote is both wildly inappropriate and very, very funny. In fact, so is the episode “Tonsil Trouble” as a whole, as Cartman is accidentally infected with HIV and then gives it to Kyle when Kyle laughs at him. It’s the kind of corny joke that you can use in your everyday life – except it’s about AIDS and it’ll land you in a heap of trouble.
That’s the genius of it. And what makes it even funnier in the episode is that every time Cartman says it, Kyle keeps getting more and more angry, as he feels that Cartman is making light of them having the AIDS virus.
But Cartman continues to say it, despite Kyle’s growing fury, because he can’t resist. And we can’t resist laughing. In that sense, it’s a perfect and quintessential South Park joke.
8. “How should I know? I’m retarded! DUUUHH!!!”
In the episode where Jimmy takes steroids in order to compete in the Special Olympics, Cartman finds out what the Special Olympics are and gets an idea. He asks, “the Special Olympics? What’s so special about them?”
When it’s explained to him, he mistakenly thinks that disabled people are pitted against each other for our amusement. When he finally realizes what it actually is, he decides to pretend he’s mentally disabled and compete in the games. He figures he’ll be able to beat the disabled kids with his eyes closed and take the prize money without a problem.
Of course, the disabled athletes are far better than him and he loses every single event he’s in. During the application process, when Cartman is asked what specific disability he means when he says he’s “retarded,” Cartman replies, “how should I know? I’m retarded! DUUUHH!!!”
7. “How do I reeeach these kiiids?”
Occasionally in TV comedy, you’ll get one special moment where the stars align to give you one perfect episode, where both the main plot and the subplot are strong. Together, it’s like magic.
In the South Park episode “Eek, a Penis!” one storyline has Ms. Garrison chasing a mouse with a penis on its back around town. In the other plot, Cartman dresses up in Edward James Olmos garb and teaches inner city kids to cheat in school tests.
Some critics worried that some viewers wouldn’t get the Stand and Deliver reference. It’s absurdly funny either way!
6. “Love is like taking a dump, Butters.”
“Cartman Finds Love” is one of the greatest more recent episodes of South Park. The story is based around Cartman’s racist idea that black people should be with other black people. Of course our little Archie Bunker is against the concept of interracial romance.
But the wonderful thing about the episode is that, racist though his intentions are, Cartman’s heart is in the right place. He genuinely believes that Token and Nicole belong together and he and his hopeless romantic alter ego “Cupid me” will stop at nothing to make them fall in love with one another.
And as he explains to Butters, “Love is like taking a dump, Butters. Sometimes it works itself out, but sometimes you have to give it a nice, hard, slimy push.” It’s true, but also pretty revolting.
5. “I like to get lubed up before I get FUCKED!!”
Throughout the season 15 premiere “Human CentiPad,” Cartman has his own little story going on alongside Kyle’s tribulations being a sick experiment for Steve Jobs. Cartman gets angry at his mom when she refuses to buy him an Apple branded iPad.
She sees that the Samsung and Toshiba tablets are a lot cheaper and superior to the iPad. But Cartman won’t have it. He tells his mom, “Could we at least pull up here and get some dinner? I like to be wined and dined after I’ve been fucked!”
And then he goes on TV to accuse his mother of fucking him at Best Buy. And then, at the end of the episode when nothing has worked out for him, he yells at God, “I like to get lubed up before I get FUCKED!!” Don’t we all want to say that to God sometimes?
4. “Ooh, you’re breaking my balls!”
This is Cartman’s business negotiation tactic. There was the time he and the other boys started their own little snow shoveling business in the episode “Goobacks” and he told the sweet woman whose drive they were offering to clear that she was breaking his balls by not forking over thousands of dollars for their services.
Then he sat on his ass while Stan, Kyle, and Kenny did all the work. He tried the same tactic when he stole a bunch of fetuses from a stem cell research truck that slid off the side of the road. He tried to sell them to various different research centers.
Every time he’s on the phone with someone he’s trying to do business with, he says it. And every time he does, it’s absolutely hilarious. Cartman has many catchphrases, and this is one of the funniest — and it’s applicable in real life negotiations.
3. “Respect mah authoritah!”
This is Eric Cartman’s best remembered, most quoted classic line. It’s from way, way back in season 2, in the show’s infancy, in the episode “Chickenlover.” It is discovered that Officer Barbrady can’t read when he fails to decipher a ransom note left by a pervert who’d been routinely molesting chickens in the area.
So, he has to join the fourth grade, and in his place, Cartman is made an honorary police officer. He makes full use of his new power as he rides around on his tricycle, pulling people over, and beating them with his nightstick, telling them to “respect mah authoritah!” It’s a line that’s often repeated and has an everyday use.
It’s also become a meme that gets passed around the internet, oh, once every five minutes or so.
2. “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
Who among us hasn’t used this quote in real life? Cartman has been saying this line ever since the series first began two decades ago, and it’s still applicable in our everyday lives. If you’re with your friends and they’re ripping on you for something you’ve done recently and you’re getting sick, then just say, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”
Or if they’re all playing a video game or watching a sport that you don’t like, then just say, “Screw you guys, I’m going home,” and head off. Follow the example of the great Eric Cartman by rising above it and simply going home. Screw those guys, you’re going home. It’s a great mantra to live by.
1. “Nyahnyahnyahnyah nyah nyah! I made you eat your parents!”
It’s fair to say that “Scott Tenorman Must Die” is the greatest South Park episode there ever was — it’s certainly the most twisted (and that’s saying something). It was the moment when audiences worldwide realized that you should never, ever cross Eric Cartman.
He revealed his diabolical plan to get back at Scott Tenorman, the kid who tricked him into buying pubes.
“I’m afraid this isn’t your chilli, Scott. I switched it with Chef’s. It’s delicious, Chef. I hadn’t planned on that. What I did plan on, however, was that my friends, Stan and Kyle, would betray me and warn you that the Chilli Con Carnival was a trap. I assumed that they would tell you that I had trained Denkins’ pony to bite off your weiner. What they didn’t tell you was that Denkins is a crazy redneck who shoots trespassers on sight. Knowing that you would try and do something to the pony, I warned Mr. Denkins that violent pony killers were in the area. I also knew that you wouldn’t go yourself, for fear of having your weiner bitten off. You would most likely send your parents. And, I’m afraid that when Mr. Denkins spotted them on his property, he shot and killed both your parents. I came just in time to see Mr. Denkins giving his report to Officer Barbrady. And, of course, to steal the bodies. After a night with the hacksaw, I was all ready to put on my Chilli Con Carnival, so that I could tell you personally about your parents’ demise! And of course, feed you your chilli. Do you like it? Do you like it, Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tenorman Chilli.”
As Scott realizes he’s eating his parents, who are indeed dead, he throws up and starts crying, and then Cartman starts dancing and chanting, “Nyahnyahnyahnyah nyah nyah! I made you eat your parents! Nyahnyahnyahnyah nyah nyah!” It’s a horrific moment, but it’s so, so funny.