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South Park Theory: Cartman's Obsession With Kyle Might Just Be Love

For over 20 years, Eric Cartman (Trey Parker) has been making the life of Kyle Broflovski (Matt Stone) a living hell. Despite being in the same friend group, Cartman regularly hates on Kyle's Jewish heritage and puts him in some awful predicaments, such as when he purposefully gives him HIV. As such, some fans have wondered — is Cartman's obsession with Kyle actually a crush?

In a video explaining the theory that Cartman has a crush on Kyle, YouTuber Johnny 2 Cellos said, "When children have crushes on each other, they often will make fun of or bully the person they're crushing on. It's not only a trope we see in media, but it's something that stems from real life. Kids exert their confusing emotions in strange, sometimes aggressive, ways. I definitely think that this is what's happening with Cartman and Kyle in 'South Park.'"

Several instances on "South Park" leave fans wondering about Cartman's true feelings for Kyle. There's the Season 11 "Imaginationland" trilogy, which sees Cartman desperate for Kyle to perform a sexually intimate act on him after the latter lost a bet on whether or not leprechauns are real. Then, in Season 7, Episode 5 ("Fat Butt and Pancake Head"), Cartman makes advances toward Kyle with his Jennifer Lopez hand. In Season 16, Episode 7 ("Cartman Finds Love"), he actually pretends to be in a relationship with Kyle.

However, not all fans are convinced about Cartman's allegedly secret love for Kyle.

Fans think Kyman shippers are looking too deeply into Cartman's actions

There are a number of other minor instances that hint at Cartman's possible attraction toward Kyle. In fact, many fans have shipped them as "Kyman." However, not all "South Park" viewers agree that Cartman is subconsciously attracted to Kyle, and feel the shippers are looking into the situation a little too much.

On Reddit, u/PureGold07 brought up the fact that Cartman is a very narcissistic child who simply wants to embarrass Kyle in any way that he can ... even at the expense of making himself appear gay when he's not.

U/fryamtheiman isn't denouncing the idea that Cartman could be gay, or even bisexual, since he does date Heidi Turner (Jessica Makinson) in Seasons 20 and 21. However, this user just doesn't see Cartman and Kyle being endgame like Tweek Tweak and Craig Tucker (both voiced by Stone). "I would say the relationship between Cartman and Kyle is more akin to that of the Joker and Batman from 'The Dark Knight.' Cartman sees his ever combative relationship with Kyle as giving their lives purpose. There could also be the chance of attraction still existing, but I've always seen their relationship as being necessary enemies from Cartman's perspective."

Still, with "South Park" renewed through at least Season 30, anything is possible.