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Cowboy Episode
When a series that isn't a Western temporarily becomes one.


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-06 10:05:14 sponsor: mdulwich (last reply: 2012-03-10 10:25:43)

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This is when a series in a genre other than The Western picks up a six-shooter, dons a Stetson and rides off into the sunset. In other words, a non-Western temporarily becomes a Western (or at least a pastiche thereof).

This can be done through Time Travel, virtual reality, a Dream Sequence or, for works set in the right period but wrong location, a trip out West. The effect can also be achieved with a Fantasy Counterpart Culture.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comics

Film

Live-Action TV

  • The Brady Bunch had a dude ranch episode.
  • The second paintball episode of Community starts off with a very western feel.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: Rob gets knocked out for a dental procedure while worried about a sketch Alan Brady wants for the show. He dreams he's a wild west sheriff and Alan is "Big Bad Brady," a local outlaw who calls him out for a Showdown At High Noon. After he wakes up he realizes it's perfect for the sketch, and asks his dentist to put him out for Just Five More Minutes so he can remember what he dreamt.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Gunfighters" The Doctor and his companions travel to the Old West shortly before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
  • Gilligan's Island had an episode where Gilligan dreamt he was prospector in the old west.
  • Happy Days had a dude ranch episode.
  • MacGyver: Has two Wild West dream episodes, "MacGyver's Women", when MacGyver dreams that he's in the Wild West and has to defend three women from outlaws , and "Serenity".
  • Matlock had an episode called "The Nightmare", in which the show's title character gets knocked out and finds himself in a Wild West setting.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had the episode "Wild West Rangers" where Kimberly is sent back to 1880 during Angel Grove's Wild West era.
  • Modern Family's third season opener was a dude ranch episode.
  • The Prisoner episode "Living in Harmony" takes place in a Wild West setting. Number Six is a sheriff who turns in his badge and gun and tries to leave town.
  • An episode of Psych had Shawn and Gus investigating a murder in an old-west theme park. They, of course, dress up in cowboy clothes and start playing Sheriff...the whole episode them because an exploration of various old-west tropes, even a By Wall That Is Holey example.
  • Red Dwarf: The episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse" involves the characters entering a virtual Western town that serves as a metaphor for Kryten's struggles with computer virus. the episode even end with Starbug flying off into the sunset.
  • Star Trek has several:

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Zuko Alone" has a very western feel, with the classic plot of a mysterious stranger helping a town in need.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, one episode is set on a school bus as homework bandits invade and rob the kids on board at (pop)gunpoint. The main characters are on this bus and have to stop the bandits before the bus reaches the school.
  • Timmy Turner in The Fairly OddParents goes back in time to the founding of the city of Dimmsdale. As Dimmsdale is located in southeastern California and the city was founded in the mid-19th century, Dimmsdale is depicted as a wild west town.
  • Futurama: The episode "Where the Buggalo Roam" is a Western parody set on Mars, including Martians who closely resemble Native-Americans.
  • Quite a number of Garfield and Friends shorts had Jon, Garfield, and Odie visit the local dude ranch Polecat Flats, run by their cowboy friend Cactus Jake.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has an episode about identical relatives of the main cast living in the the old west.
  • The newer episodes of The Jetsons had an episode entitled "Dude Planet."
  • Justice League Unlimited has one in which the trinity is sent back to the old west.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes episode "Unnatural Alliances".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic features the episode "Over a Barrel", in which the cast come to Appleloosa to deliver a tree, and end up resolving a conflict between the resident ponies and the buffalo tribe.
  • Phineas and Ferb don't go to the old west, but they go cowboy in more than one episode:
    • One episode involving a robot rodeo.
    • One episode involving a cattle drive at the mall.
  • The Powerpuff Girls has an episode that is basically a normal episode of the show, but in the old west. The girls become the Steamypuff Girls.
  • Episode XXIX of Samurai Jack is set on a train, with Jack being pursued by a (married) couple of bounty hunters.
  • The Simpsons has had a few, like "Dude, Where's My Ranch?"
  • The Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Pest of the West."
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