Eric Cartman—the foul-mouthed fat kid in the "South Park" foursome of misfit boys—has ridden his ability to do the unthinkable to No. 10 on TV Guide's top 50 cartoon characters of all time. What's the appeal, exactly, of a malicious, mean, lying, selfish 8-year-old? "I'd say within the first season, we kind of realized Cartman's like a little Archie Bunker," creator Trey Parker told NPR.
"South Park" scholar Toni Johnson-Woods agrees that Cartman taps a rich tradition: "He's not the first overweight, problematic, money-chasing, bigoted male to be on television—not even the first cartoon one." While Bart Simpson (and Lisa) are No. 11 and Bugs Bunny is No. 1, Cartman arguably might not be the worst of the worst on the leaderboard: Beavis and Butthead weigh in at 4th.