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->''"The graveyards are full of boys who were very young...and very proud."''
-->--'''Vin''', ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''

The Young Gun is the Western equivalent of the KidSamurai: a younger, less-awesome version of TheGunslinger, looking to make a name for himself. Expect him to be [[HotBlooded hot-headed]] and [[LeastIsFirst impetuous]]. He will probably attach himself to an older, more experienced character, looking up to him as a mentor figure, only to be told that [[AdventureRebuff this is no kind of life for anyone and that he should get out while he still can]].

The Young Gun differs from his counterpart TheGunfighterWannabe in that he actually ''has'' what it takes to be a gunslinger, but just needs a little training/experience/maturity in order to get up to speed. TheGunfighterWannabe, by contrast, lacks the talent or temperament to make it as a gunslinger and his attempt to try to make a name for himself despite the warnings of his elders generally doesn't end well.

Outside the realm of Westerns, this trope all too often overlaps with ChildSoldier.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Subverted in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' with the titular character, since he [[spoiler:was an adult that was cursed and turned into an infant. He ''is'' the mentor, even in his infant state.]]
** Played straight with Lambo, the 5-year old hitman with an arsenal of weapons stored in his afro. His target Reborn does not even care enough to not be amused.
* Colt from ''Anime/SaberRiderAndTheStarSheriffs''.
* Hot Shot from ''TransformersArmada''.
* Yuna of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', who proved herself to be very talented at fighting with GunsAkimbo during the Mages vs Martians game and has continued to wield the guns she used then even after the Mahora Festival. However, she still has a long way to go before she reaches the likes of [[TheGunslinger Mana]] or even the [[ShootTheBullet gun-using mage teacher]].
* Teana at the start of ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS''. It took some time and [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan a few knocks to the head]] for her to grow out of her hot-headed recklessness and [[TookALevelInBadass mature]] to a truly effective Gunslinger.
* ''{{Doraemon}}'' (yeah): This is, out of all people in the world, ''[[ThisLoserIsYou Nobita]]'' whenever the cast travel to a Western-y age/planet/dimension/whatever. Boy might be a total loser in other aspects of life, but when the plot requires that someone be shot, he does the shooting competently.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the MarvelUniverse there was Jeff Packard a.k.a. Understudy, one-time sidekick to the Rawhide Kid.
* The Kid, one of the Alamo Renegades in MarvelComics ''Western Gunfighters''.
* Kit Willer from the Italian comic ''TexWiller''.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Chico from the movie ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven'', the Western version of [[KidSamurai Katsushiro]] from ''Film/SevenSamurai''.
* Fee "The Kid" Herrod in ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead''
* The Schofield Kid in ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}''
* Hunt Bromley in the movie ''TheGunfighter''
* Morgan Earp as he is portrayed in movies like ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'' and ''Film/WyattEarp''.
* Marty [=McFly=] in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part III]]'' with the [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] that he ''does'' get out while he still can.
* Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson) from ''RioBravo''. A slight subversion in that Wayne says about him: "It's nice to see a smart kid for a change." and Stumpy agrees. "Yeah, he's not like the usual kid with a gun."
* More of a Midwestern example (since the character is from Missouri): Tom Sawyer in ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''
* UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid was portrayed this way in Film/TheThreeStooges film ''The Outlaws Is Coming''.
* ''TheElusiveAvengers'' from the titular Russian ostern.
* Scott in ''Day of Anger''.
* ''Film/YoungGuns'' and ''YoungGunsII'' have Billy the Kid as the personification of this trope.
* Cotton and his gang from ''Film/OnceUponATexasTrain''.
* Jake in ''Film/{{Silverado}}''.
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''ColdMountain'':
-->'''Inman:''' I will not shoot you, but nor am I walking down that mountain looking over my shoulder for you.
-->'''Bosie:''' That's what you call a conundrum. I tell you what I've got on my side.
-->'''Inman:''' What have you got on your side?
-->'''Bosie:''' The confidence of youth.
* "Turkey", one of the Dancing Kid's gang in ''JohnnyGuitar''. When Vienna(JoanCrawford) tells him he's still a boy, he tries to prove he's a man by shooting at saltshakers off a table. Johnny Guitar(Sterling Hayden) rushes in and shoots the gun out of his hand.
* Parodied in the backstory of the "[[FastestGunInTheWest Waco Kid]]" in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'': TheGunfighterWannabe that finally managed to defeat him (and humiliated him by [[ShotInTheAss shooting him in the ass]], turning him into TheAlcoholic), was a ''[[EnfanteTerrible six-year-old kid with a gun]]'' (in his defense, the Waco Kid WouldntHurtAChild-the other (literal) kid just happened to exploit that).

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Ironically, in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, kid gunslinger Jake is ''not'' the YoungGun. That role falls to the older (twenty-something) Eddie, who otherwise fits the part to a T.
** However, it is arguable that [[spoiler: Jake becomes this with training (In book 6 he out-draws a cop), and Roland laments that Eddie and Susan are too old for them to ever become as good as the real [[TheGunslinger Gunslingers]] of old.]]
** Also, Roland and his ''ka-tet'' in the flashback parts of ''Wizard and Glass'' approach this trope, although due to their exceptional training they are more self-controled and self-reliant than the norm.
* The JTEdson character Waco is a hard-eyed youngster of about sixteen when he is first encountered, and already has several notches on his gunbelt, all of them nominally "fair fights" but several, as he later admits, for no good reason at all. He reforms after being pulled out from in front of a cattle stampede.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* John "J.D." Dunne from ''Series/TheMagnificentSeven'' [[RecycledTheSeries series]].
* "Whip" Morgan from ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr''.
* ''Series/TheYoungRiders'' had a young James (AKA Wild Bill) Hickok, and a young Jesse James.
* Deputy Johnny [=McKay=] is this in early seasons of ''Series/{{Lawman}}''. He gains maturity as the show goes on.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/{{Gorillaz}} has a song ''Kids With Guns'', from ''Music/DemonDays'', which is about the dangers of children and teenagers with guns in RealLife.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* [[Franchise/MetalGear Major Ocelot]] matches up to this in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3''. In the other games [[MagnificentBastard however...]]
* [[TheScrappy Axl]] of the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series fits this trope to a T.
* Hoopz Barkley, the [[ItMakesSenseInContext Chosen One 12-year-old son of Charles Barkley]], in ''BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden''.

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[[folder: Visual Novel ]]

* The Wandering Dogs, Oliver, Charles and Nina in ''RoseGunsDays''. They work for the mafia organisation Primavera and dream of becoming legends like their mentor Wayne Uedera. While they rarely actually use guns, they prove to be very talented in their own fields and succeed in several dangerous missions. [[spoiler:[[KilledOffForReal It doesn't end well for Oliver.]]]]

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Gordito in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' subverts or parodies this trope, being very capable and BadAss as the KidSidekick to a [[BunnyEarsLawyer ninja-doctor]] and occasionally fighting alongside said doctor's CrazyPrepared ninja family.
** [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/17p86 He pulls off things like picking off each and every member of a SkyPirate crew one by one when the [=McNinjas=] accidentally forget and leave him behind during a mission. He flies the ship back to base on his own, arriving just as the realize they forgot him.]]

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Fievel daydreams about being a Young Gun at the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail: Fievel Goes West'', complete with his hero Wylie Burp telling him to get out while he still can, and Fievel blatantly disobeying him and shooting out a gang of villainous cats.
* Boba Fett in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' ''oh so very much''. Eventually he [[YoungAndInCharge becomes a leader of a group of older bounty hunters]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Unfortunately TruthInTelevision sometimes.
** UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid: The infamous outlaw have been the first infamous example of this trope. From age 17 on he committed a few murders and was shot dead himself at age 21.
** Lyle and Erik Menendez, two 21 and 18 year old brothers from a rich family, who murdered their own parents in 1989. They are still in prison as of this day.
** Every year there's a high school massacre somewhere on Earth. Usually in the USA, but there have been reports in other countries too.

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