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The South Park Theory That Explains Why Cartman Knew About Kenny's Immortality

The early seasons of "South Park" made such a cultural impact that if you ask anybody what line follows "Oh my God, they killed Kenny," they could very easily say what comes next. For the first five seasons of Comedy Central's long-running animated series, the character of Kenny McCormick dies in nearly every episode, only to essentially re-spawn in every following episode. Kenny dies a bit more permanently in the penultimate episode of Season 5, which was aptly titled "Kenny Dies." Within it, Kenny is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and Eric Cartman has to make a defense to Congress in favor of stem cell research in order to save his best friend.

Kenny did not return until over a year later in the Season 6 finale entitled "Red Sleigh Down." Upon his arrival, his friends are barely fazed, simply saying, "Oh hey, Kenny," when he joins them. Kenny continued to occasionally die throughout the following seasons, but not nearly as much as before Season 6. This begs to question, in a show that does have continuity, why don't Kenny's friends ever remember him dying?

In the Season 14 three-part episodes, "Coon 2: Hindsight," "Mysterion Rises," and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends," it is revealed that Kenny is able to be reborn because his parents formerly attended Cthulhu cult meetings. Every time he dies in the show, his mother births him again and he rapidly grows back to the same age he was when he died. Kenny also confronts Kyle and Stan about never remembering him dying. After giving them an example, they immediately forget again, suggesting that this may be part of the Cthulhu pact. However, Cartman isn't present in the scene and seemed to be the only character who can remember that Kenny dies throughout the show.

Cartman and Kenny have been linked by death since the very beginning

In both the Season 2 episode "City on the Edge of Forever" and the Season 6 episode "Cartmanland," Eric Cartman pointed out to the residents of South Park the fact that Kenny dies all the time. The reason Cartman can see what Stan and Kyle can't see may be related to the Season 3 episode, "Succubus," where he gets an eye transplant using Kenny's eyes from his severed head. That might have given him the ability to literally see through Kenny's eyes. In a Season 6 episode, "A Ladder to Heaven," while Kenny was still officially dead in the show, Cartman drinks his ashes and begins to receive visions of Kenny's life also through his eyes via supernatural possession, thus further linking Cartman to his friend.

An eerie connection linking the two characters came from "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker's 1992 short film "The Spirit of Christmas." This short features Jesus fighting Frosty the Snowman and came before the second "Spirit of Christmas" short in which Jesus fights Santa Claus; this made Stone and Parker a VHS viral sensation leading to their hit series. In the short, four children resembling the four from the show watch on as the fight ensues. A character the others call Kenny actually resembles the series' version of Cartman. He is the first to be killed in the short by the killer snowman before the monster then kills an unnamed child who resembles Kenny. The corpses of the two children are thrown together and their blood pools in the show. Some fans think that this scene represents these two characters always being linked in death.