For as infuriating as Eric Cartman can be, fans of South Park have to give the foul-mouthed, self-centered fourth grader some credit. Cartman's most evil moments prove he knows how to scheme and play the long game, like when he fed Scott Tenorman's own parents to him in a chili-making contest. But not all of Cartman's heinous acts are as openly horrific. Cartman has his low-key evil moments. These particular acts might seem arbitrary or even forgivable for a fourth grader, but Cartman is a master manipulator. These low-key evil things Cartman has done to the town of South Park are downright chilling.
He Rigged His Lice Test Specifically To Implicate Kenny Just Because He's Poor
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.Is this low-key evil?
He Repeatedly Gaslit Heidi
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.Is this low-key evil?
He Implicated Random, Innocent People In Serious Transgressions
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.Is this low-key evil?
He Accepted Support From ISIS For His Startup Company
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.Is this low-key evil?