Created By: TerminusEst13 on July 2, 2010 Last Edited By: TerminusEst13 on July 2, 2010
Troped

Americans Are Cowboys

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You really can't get more American than that.

In foreign media, when you want your American, you've got your personality down pat--he could be the obnoxious tourist, the boisterous but well-meaning rogue, the patriotic man who can never do wrong, or any other spectrum in the Eaglelander rainbow.

But that still leaves your design. Personality is one thing, but looks? Hmmmmm...

Wait! Didn't North America have that Wild West thing sometime?

This is a case of Small Reference Pools, or when people want to absolutely hammer in that this character is AMERICAN. While several other countries had their own rural periods, the Wild West is distinctly American in the eyes of other coutries (except that it also heavily involved Mexico). Thus, putting a cowboy hat and a poncho on someone will instantly identify them as an American, much as how putting a qipao or cheongsam on a girl will instantly identify them as Chinese.

See Eaglelander when talking about personality. When talking about hair/eye colors, see Phenotype Stereotype. See also Foreign Fanservice, because tits demand seeing.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comics
  • Tintin in America had many Americans dressed as either Chicago mobsters or cowboys. Somewhat justified, as the cowboy era was not long dead.
  • In Camelot 3000, the American president dresses like a cowboy and packs a pair of six-shooters.

Film
  • The 60's Casino Royale depicts the American army as composed of cowboys and Indians.
  • Flushed Away features an obnoxious American tourist with a cowboy hat and Texas drawl.
  • Lampshaded in The Hunt for Red October.
    (Ramius notes Mancuso's sidearm and comments in Russian to Borodin that Mancuso is a "buckaroo". Ryan laughs)
    Capt. Bart Mancuso: What's so funny?
    Jack Ryan: Ah, the Captain seems to think you're some kind of...cowboy.
  • In the Mexican film Santa Claus (the one riffed by MST3K), the children from the USA are wearing cowboy outfits.
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. When Dr. Evil calls up the United Nations Secret Meeting Room to give his ultimatum, many of the occupants are dressed in costumes indicating their native countries (two Japanese are dressed as a geisha and a sumo wrestler, a British representative is wearing a Beefeater costume, a Spaniard is dressed as a matador, etc.). One of the characters (presumably an American) is dressed as a cowboy.

Literature
  • Conversational Troping in Agatha Christie's Partners In Crime, where Tuppence is describing her fantasy of meeting a dashing romantic American man who has lived in the wilds and can rope wild steer, and Tommy sarcastically asks if he's also wearing chaps and a ten-gallon hat.
  • In the novel Dracula the one American character, Quincey Morris, is a cowboy. In one moment, Morris leaves a meeting with other heroes where they're trying to figure out how to cope with vampires; a few seconds later, bullets come flying through the window.
    Quincey: I'm sorry, I thought I saw a bat out there.

Video Games
  • The American Bomberman in Super Bomberman 3 is dressed like a cowboy.
  • The one American character in the Sengoku game series is a cowboy.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of Danger Mouse set in America, the only American DM meets is a cowboy.
  • Clay from Xiaolin Showdown, which is odd in that it's an American cartoon...

Real Life
  • After 9/11, Saddam mentioned that the "American Cowboys were getting what they deserved".
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • June 25, 2010
    GeneralGoose
    Tintin in America had many Americans dressed as either Chicago mobsters or cowboys. Somewhat justified, as the cowboy era was not long dead.
  • June 25, 2010
    dotchan
    One of the girls in Sakura Wars V.
  • June 25, 2010
    TwinBird
    The 60's Casino Royale depicts the American army as composed of cowboys and Indians.
  • June 25, 2010
    Kayube
    Jack King and the Texas Mack from Getter Robo. Also his tribute in Gekiganger 3, Cowboy Johnny and the Texas Robo.
  • June 25, 2010
    foxley
    In Camelot 3000, the American president dresses like a cowboy and packs a pair of six-shooters.
  • June 26, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • In an episode of Danger Mouse set in America, the only American DM meets is a cowboy.
    • Flushed Away features an obnoxious American tourist with a cowboy hat and Texas drawl.
  • June 26, 2010
    DaibhidC
    • Conversational Troping in Agatha Christie's Partners In Crime, where Tuppence is describing her fantasy of meeting a dashing romantic American man who has lived in the wilds and can rope wild steer, and Tommy sarcastically asks if he's also wearing chaps and a ten-gallon hat.
  • June 26, 2010
    TBTabby
  • June 26, 2010
    JonnyB
    Lampshaded in The Hunt For Red October.
    (Ramius notes Mancuso's sidearm and comments in Russian to Borodin that Mancuso is a "buckaroo". Ryan laughs)
    Capt. Bart Mancuso: What's so funny?
    Jack Ryan: Ah, the Captain seems to think you're some kind of... cowboy.
  • June 26, 2010
    Farmelle
    • In Apartment 3 G, Luann's brother looks like an archetypical cowboy, and thus very out of place.
  • June 27, 2010
    Kellor
    On the Small World Ride in Eurodisney, America is represented by little animatronic cheerleaders and cowboys.
  • June 27, 2010
    JonnyB
    @TerminusEst13 - Edited your main copy slightly, if you don't mind: The Hunt For Red October reference was from the film (not sure if it was in the book that way or not, since I've never read it...). Great trope though, strange nobody ever thought of it before.
  • June 27, 2010
    JonnyB
    In the Mexican film Santa Claus (the one riffed by MST 3 K), the children from the USA are wearing cowboy outfits.
  • June 27, 2010
    Jordan
    It seems like it's reasonably common for Foreign Fanservice characters to wear cowboy hats- Cathy in Rah Xephon does, as does Reina Gorn in Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.
  • June 27, 2010
    DorianMode
    Clay from Xiaolin Showdown, which is odd in that it's an American cartoon...
  • June 27, 2010
    sgamer82
  • June 28, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    real cowboys, or 'all hat, no cattle' cowboys?
  • June 28, 2010
    JonnyB
    The look. Cowboy hat, pancho, chaps, gun... and sometimes the stupid accent...
  • June 29, 2010
    OmarKarindu
    • In the novel Dracula the one American character is a cowboy.

  • June 30, 2010
    TheChainMan
    The American Bomberman in Super Bomberman 3 was dressed like a cowboy.
  • June 30, 2010
    Glowsquid
    The one American character in the Sengoku game series is a cowboy.
  • July 1, 2010
    Arivne
    Film
    • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. When Dr. Evil calls up the United Nations Secret Meeting Room to give his ultimatum, many of the occupants are dressed in costumes indicating their native countries (two Japanese are dressed as a geisha and a sumo wrestler, a British representative is wearing a Beefeater costume, a Spaniard is dressed as a matador, etc.). One of the characters (presumably an American) is dressed as a cowboy.
  • July 1, 2010
    Rufusthedoofus
    In the book DRACULA, stereotype cowboy leaves a meeting with other good guys where they're trying to figure out how to cope with vampires. A few seconds later, bullets come flying through the window. "I'm sorry, I thought I saw a bat out here." Author Bram Stoker seems completely oblivious to the comedy potential of the scene.

    Another stereotype cowboy several decades later in the John Dickson Carr mystery PROBLEM OF THE WIRE CAGE. (man found strangled in tennis court with only his footprints)
  • July 2, 2010
    ayjazz1
    Real Life: After 9/11, Saddam mentioned that the American Cowboys were getting what they deserved.
  • July 2, 2010
    TerminusEst13
    Hmmm. Is this launchable yet?
  • July 2, 2010
    Fanra
    Real Life: Ronald Reagan and George W Bush promoted a cowboy image. Neither one ever really worked with cattle. Even so, you can find plenty of photo ops where they wear cowboy hats and act like they are ranch guys.
  • July 2, 2010
    JonnyB
    • Reagan, however, often played a cowboy in Westerns in film and TV, so that's at least partly justified. And Bush was from Texas, where cowboy hats are part of the standard uniform (even with business suits).
  • July 2, 2010
    Sackett
    Launchable

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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