Fanfic / Old West
Old West is a Rango fanfiction by DONOVAN94.

The story is set an year after the ending of the movie. The town of Dirt has prospered after it gained a permanent water source that created a lake next to it and is now known as Mud, with Rango being still the well-respected sheriff.

The peace of Mud is disturbed when the citizens are attacked by mercenaries for unknown reasons. Hearing from the mercenaries that they're looking for a snake, Rango recalls Rattlesnake Jake. He seeks Jake out and hires the outlaw to keep Mud safe from the mercenaries, the rattlesnake accepting the deal begrudgingly.

Soon another snake is involved: a glossy snake named Grace Glossy, a boar-farmer and single mother who lives close to Mud. When her farm seems to become another target of the mercenaries, Rango includes to Jake's job the protection of Grace, her son Teddy and their home. Neither the hired outlaw or the law-abiding civilian like the arrangement, but they're forced over time to trust each other in the face of the unfolding threats.

Now with a Character Sheet that Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Official Description: In the old west, there's only one law: survive. The citizens of Mud are being attacked by mercenaries. But if Rango's going to save his town again he'll need to call in an old enemy: Rattlesnake Jake. But the rattler is not so willing to cooperate, especially when a glossy snake named Grace is involved. Whether they like it or not they'll need to work together to save the town.

This story provides examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Jake doesn't take advantage of Grace when she's in a drunken state, despite her flirtation and the kiss she gives him before passing out.
  • Abusive Parents: Jake's father James Douglas was a drunk who beat Jake's mother Selena upon returning home every night. During their last night together, he forced little Jake to watch the final beating that sealed Selena's fate.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The movie's Rattlesnake Jake was portrayed as a Psycho for Hire with enough honor to qualify as a Noble Demon. The fanfic gives him a backstory with traumas and Pet the Dog moments.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Benjamin has "Gracie" for Grace, but she doesn't appreciate him calling her that these days. She has also stopped calling him "Bennie".
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Dufayel indulges in brandy in every scene in his office, apparently to cope with his frustration over the situation that's not improving in his favor.
    • Jake's father James Douglas always returned home under the influence, leading him to beat Jake's mother every night.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Jake's father James Douglas was one.
  • Almost Kiss: With Jake and Grace at the end of chapter 19.
  • Amoral Attorney: Averted with Catridge, Mud's attorney. Upon being asked, he gives an unbiased opinion about the documents concerning Dufayel's claim of the town. He also doesn't go blindly along with Benjamin Hares' attempt to sell Grace's home as her husband when it's clear she's against it and Benjamin hasn't a marriage certificate with him.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • Beans reacts several times this way toward Rango. After his first encounter with Tomson and his cohorts, Beans berates him for nearly getting himself shot. She does this again when Rango first brings Jake to the town and addresses the furiously distrustful crowd.
    • After Grace nearly dies while reopening Mud's blogged water source, Jake is furious with her for endangering her life like that and demands her not to do so again.
    • Jake reacts this way again after Grace is offered money for her lands by Dufayel in person and turns him down.
  • And Your Reward Is Edible:
    • Realizing she can't fix the damages caused by rustlers by herself, Grace swallows her pride and hires Jake to help her. After the day's work, she rewards him with a meal instead of money like he expected. He's not happy about this at first, but settles for the best meal he's had for ages.
    • After Jake teaches Teddy to overcome his visual impairment, a grateful Grace makes the rattlesnake another good meal.
  • As the Good Book Says: The mongoose bounty hunter Mon Hellsing has a habit to citing the Bible.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Amos, the previous sheriff of Dirt, was killed by Jake injecting venom into him and allowing it to kill him slowly. It's hard to feel sympathy for Amos because he openly showed contempt towards Jake's abused mother and killed her while she was dying due to one of her husband's domestic beatings.
    • Benjamin Hares is killed by Jake the same way he killed Amos after Benjamin lied to Grace, tried to sell her lands behind her back and battered her when she tried to throw him out.
  • Badass Boast: Jake gives one to Dufayel when the fox is done with his first meeting with Rango and the citizens of Mud.
    "Yer damned lucky the Sheriff's so soft. What's the matter, boy? Yer shakin' a little. How's it feel to be so helpless? In the face of death, it don't matter whether yer rich or poor, we all die in the end. Don't you ever forget that, 'cause one day I'm gonna be the one who comes callin' to claim yer soul. Now look into my eyes... I want you to remember them for the rest of yer life. 'Cause next time you see them this close, it'll be the last thing you ever see."
  • Bald of Evil: Tomson is balding.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jake and Grace immediately start hating each other and continue fighting over things even as they get to know each other, but their slowly developing attraction for each other is obvious to the reader.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't hurt Teddy in front of Grace.
    • Jake really hates liars, which is why he's constantly annoyed at Rango's habitual pretentiousness. However, he's livid with Grace when she nearly kills Bad Bill's gang: the woman who has harped on about upholding the law for the entire time he has known her turns out to be capable of killing as mercilessly as him and has actually killed a group of outlaws.
    • The sight of Grace being battered by Benjamin drives Jake into murderous rage, partly because it reminds him of his mother suffering the same way because of his father.
  • Beta Couple: Rango and Beans serve as this to Jake and Grace's main pairing.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Rango quotes this trope in the first chapter when Jake notes that the chameleon's act of hiring the rattlesnake is a Deal with the Devil. The chapter's title is named by this trope.
  • Big Bad: Dufayel, a wealthy fox and the former investor of the late Tortoise John. The plot is driven with him doing anything in his power to make the people of Mud and anyone else in the area (like Grace and Beans) to leave so that he can harvest the great gold deposit situated under Mud.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Beans shrieks this when Rango confesses that he's going to seek out Rattlesnake Jake, prompting her broken defense reflex to kick in.
    • This is used twice by several of Mud's townsfolk when Dufayel first appears to make his intentions clear to them, Rango and Jake. The first one is exclaimed when Rango speaks out loud his realization that Dufayel owns the gold mine underneath Mud. The second (and louder) one comes when Dufayel claims himself to be the legal owner of the town.
    • Rango lets out one when Angeligue announces her intention to leave Mud with her children before Dufayel returns to end the town.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Grace's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Bad Bill makes him spit blood.
  • Boom, Headshot: Jake kills one of Tomson's cronies this way. Later Tomson himself gets his ending this way at the hands of Dufayel.
  • Breath Weapon: The outlaw Irvin Worst is known as the fire breather because of his ability to set on fire the air he's about to spit out.
  • Calling Card: Reth "the Carpenter" is a desert iguana who's known for leaving a little wooden figure for everything he steals. Jake regards him stupid for that.
    • Every murder victim of Delilah Rangler "the Scarlet Kiss" gets a bright red lipstick-kiss on their cheeks.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Beans says Rango to be a lightweight because he had his first drink only after he was freed from his tank.
  • Cats Are Mean: The female outlaw Delilah Rangler "the Scarlet Kiss" is a bobcat.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: As soon as she first appears, Delilah the bobcat shows herself to be habitually sarcastic.
    Delilah: Surprised you don't know me, honey... and here I thought I was quite infamous. Well, I was until this new Sheriff stole my thunder.
    Beans: Stole your—?
    Delilah: Don't worry, sweet-eyes, it went over your head.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Back to Dirt (Chapter 10) — While investigating the tunnels beneath the drowned lake of Mud, Grace discovers something breathtaking.
    • The Lawman (Chapter 20) — Dufayel hires Mon Hellsing to hunt down and bring alive back to him Benjamin Hares.
    • After Glow (Chapter 24) — Benjamin Hares is brought before Dufayel who has an offer to make.
    • Surprise (Chapter 25) — The heroes are approached by Benjamin Hares.
    • A Very Bad Day (Chapter 27) — After Jake kills Benjamin for beating Grace, the battered and hysterical Grace throws him out.
    • Missing You Chapter 28) — Jake passes out due to his injuries, faintly aware of someone calling out for him.
    • Something's Still There Chapter 29) — Upon being informed of the turmoil with the Gunslinger Court, Jake orders Delilah and Reth to prepare for a run-in.
  • Come Alone: Dufayel invites Rango to a private meeting in the 26th chapter.
  • Con Man: Benjamin Hares' tendency to sell things caused him to sell everything he owned with his wife and leave her to escape his debts.
  • Continuity Nod: Naturally there's a lot of references to the events of the movie. For example, when Jake and Beans first meet an year after the movie, he says that it's nice to see her "pretty brown eyes" again, on purpose referring to how he threatened to squeeze those eyes out of her skull.
  • Creepy Child: The canonical Priscilla. However, it is actually advantageous in getting Teddy a playmate, because such a morbid girl is the most likely candidate to get along with a snake.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Ramirez keeps teeth and claws hanging from his belt.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rango is still a seemingly ditzy oddball who talks himself into trouble and gets out by bluffing, but he still shows occasionally how he is the one who defeated Rattlesnake Jake an year earlier.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: After rustles storm Grace's farm and steal half of her livestock, Rango believes them to be the same mercenaries whom he has Jake to keep away from Mud and adds to Jake's duties protection over Grace, Teddy and their home. While Grace thinks the sheriff has too many screws loose to not consider it to be a coincidence, Rango is right.
  • Cucumber Facial: Rango is napping with cucumbers over his eyes and a facial cleanser on his scales when the panicked citizens rush to inform him that the lake's water supply has suddenly stopped.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: The Big Bad Dufayel.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Jake is early on implied to have experienced this. He lost his rattle as a child when a hawk tried to eat him, and he gained his tail gun in its place through an operation that might have killed him. He's then revealed to have been raised by a drunkard father who beat his mother every night. One night he was forced to watch one of those beatings. It led to his father being driven out of town, and his dying mother was "put out of her misery" by an unsympathetic deputy. Jake was left on his own, and he lost his rattle only a day after.
    • Grace was head over heels in love with Benjamin Hares and practically rushed to the altar. A year later after their marriage, he suddenly left without a word, leaving Grace pregnant with his eggs, penniless and homeless. Since then, she hasn't tried anything serious with another man. After she laid her ten eggs, robbers smashed nine of them while trying to rob her, leading her to kill them in blind fury. That incident left her prejudiced against outlaws like Jake.
  • Deal with the Devil: When Rango hires Jake, the rattlesnake says that the act is pretty much this trope.
  • Destination Defenestration: This is done to Henry when Dufayel decides he's too unreliable, though he survives.
  • Determined Homesteader: Both Grace and Beans.
  • Dirty Coward: Benjamin Hares proves himself to be this before his death.
  • Disappeared Dad: Teddy has never met his father because Benjamin suddenly left Grace on her own before Teddy was even born.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Jake does this when Johan Quall is firing at him with his two revolvers. It's a justified trope because Jake has memorized Quall's firing pattern in case of betrayal.
  • Domestic Abuser:
    • Jake's father James Douglas used to beat his wife Selena every night as soon as he returned home under the influence.
    • When Grace has had enough with Benjamin's lies and tries to throw him out, he gets violent and batters her.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jake says this to Grace after revealing more about his dark and troubled past.
  • The Dragon: Ramirez Arvenga, the Mexican coyote leader of the Hellhounds, acts as Dufayel's right hand.
  • Dramatic Drop: When Rango mentions Dufayel's name to the fox's niece Angelique, she drops her glass of water.
  • Ear Notch: Ramirez Arvenga's left ear has a tear that resembles a bullet hole.
  • Epigraph: Every chapter starts with little pieces borrowed from various country songs.
  • Evil Uncle: Dufayel is Angelique's uncle.
  • Expy: Henry is based on Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • Fan Art: In addtion to the cover, the author has posted in her DeviantArt page pictures of Grace and Teddy among other things.
  • Fantastic Racism: Snakes are in general feared and despised by other animals.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Dufayel acts polite and sophisticated in addition to preferring to handle things in a "civilized" way, but he also makes it clear that should his charm fail, he'll show how dastardly he can be.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: After Grace's husband Benjamin Hares suddenly left her before Teddy was born — and high and dry no less —, she hasn't tried her luck with other men, even if she'd sometimes like to have another child or two.
  • Foreshadowing: Grace has only one child, but her thoughts reveal early on that she has laid ten eggs...
  • French Jerk: The Big Bad Dufayel speaks with a heavy French accent.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Beans has to slap Rango when he's hyperventilating over the upcoming court at the beginning of the 21st chapter.
  • Get Out: Jake's act of killing Benjamin makes the battered Grace so hysterical that she throws Jake out.
  • Give My Regards in the Next World: Before Jake shoots one of Tomson's mercenaries, he tells him to say hi to the Devil for him.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Dufayel enjoys glasses of brandy in his office. A lot, in fact.
  • Grudging "Thank You": Grace gives one to Jake after he shows up to deal with the rustlers who came for her livestock.
  • Guns Akimbo: Johan Quall is armed with two revolvers.
  • A Handful for an Eye: During his confrontation with Irvin Worst, Johan Quall and Kepper, Jake throws sand over them and gains the upper hand.
  • Handicapped Badass: When Jake was a child, he lost his rattle due to a hawk that almost caught him. Reth "the Carpenter" operated his gatling gun onto his tail. Grace finds it admirable for Jake to have overcome his loss.
  • Happily Married: Charles/Chuck with Angelique.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Teddy starts idolizing Jake after the rattlesnake outlaw chases away the rustles from their farm. This concerns Teddy's law-abiding mother before she gets to know Jake better.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Grace has this after she's assaulted by Benjamin and witnesses his death at Jake's fangs, resulting in her isolating herself and Teddy for weeks.
  • Heroic Fire Rescue: When the Convenient Store of Mud is set ablaze by the Hellhounds, the store owner's wife and baby are trapped inside. Her maternal instincts setting in, Grace rushes inside and saves them. This act of bravery makes most of Mud's residents become less hostile towards her and Jake's esteem towards her grow.
  • Hidden Villain: Dufayel doesn't appear until the 13th chapter.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jake and Grace.
  • Hypocrite:
    • When Grace and Teddy come to Mud and face distrust from most of the townsfolk, she's angry at them for scorning them just for being snakes and having the audacity to consider themselves to be without sin. That being said, Grace herself is very prejudiced towards Jake and other outlaws. Later she's revealed to have killed a group of outlaws in blind fury for smashing nearly all her unhatched eggs and covering it up. This makes Jake disgusted with her for acting like a law-abiding citizen who's above the outlaws like himself.
    • Benjamin Hares acts all righteous while slagging his wife of adultery, ignoring the fact that he betrayed her first by abandoning her for ten years.
  • I Am Not My Father: The reason Jake's not a fan of drinking is his Alcoholic Parent Domestic Abuser James.
  • I Gave My Word: Jake doesn't go back on his contracts, at least not as the first one.
  • I Own This Town: When he first appears, Dufayel says that since he was Tortoise John's business partner, all the business assets of the late Mayor now belong to him, including Mud. Angelique confirms this later, and even later, a lawyer arrives on Dufayel's behalf. In response, Rango challenges the issue to be dealt in court.
  • I Want Them Alive: When Dufayel hires Mon Hellsing to hunt down Benjamin Hares, the mongoose is upset that he has to keep the target alive instead of killing them like he'd usually do, yet agrees to do it only for a raise.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: While being introduced with Teddy, Priscilla asks if she can have his skin should he die.
  • Interspecies Romance: Jake (rattlesnake) and Grace (glossy snake) in the same way as Rango (chameleon) and Beans (desert iguana); same type of reptiles, but quite different species. Grace also used to have this with Benjamin Hares (gopher snake).
  • Intimate Healing: After Jake rescues Grace from drowning, he's forced to hold her in his coils and keep her from freezing until she recovers consciousness and can be warmed properly.
  • Ironic Echo: The Pre-Asskicking One-Liner Grace gives to Bad Bill's gang for beating up Teddy is similar to what Jake said to Tomson's mercenaries in the beginning of the story.
    Chapter 2:
    Tomson: You're outnumbered Sheriff, and you're outgunned. We ain't afraid of you no more.
    Jake: It ain't him ya gotta worry about...
    Chapter 18:
    One of Bad Bill's cohorts: The Grim Reaper...
    Grace: It's not him you should be afraid of...
  • Is That a Threat?: Rango and Dufayel have this exchange during their private meeting in the 26th chapter.
    Rango: For your own sake, I'm asking you to leave us be.
    Dufayel: Is that a threat, Monsieur Rango?
    Rango: You don't wanna corner a wild animal.
    Dufayel: And you had best not attempt to outfox a fox. It goes badly for you in your cause.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jake proves himself to be this over time.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Grace's estranged husband Benjamin Hares left his pregnant wife penniless ten years earlier, then suddenly appears again in order to "make everything up". He then shows his true colors by unsuccessfully trying to sell Grace's lands and getting violent with her.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Grace first kisses Jake after getting drunk in Mud's saloon.
  • Knife Nut: Both Ramirez Arvenga and Kepper prefer fighting with knives. The former is fond of collecting Creepy Souvenirs, while the latter is known by the trope name.
  • Look Behind You: When Tomson's gang threatens Rango with guns, he points at the sky and shouts "Hawk!". The mercs immediately cover themselves before they realize that Rango's making a run for it and chase after him.
  • Make Up Is Evil: Delilah Rangler, the third highest in the pecking order of the Gunslinger Court, wears bright red lipstick and with it leaves a red kiss on the cheek of her every murder victim, earning her nickname "the Scarlet Kiss".
  • Mama Bear: Grace won't let anyone mess with Teddy. The only reason she accepts Rango's suggestion to have Jake protect her farm is the possibility that mercenaries will target her son. When Bad Bill's gang beats up Teddy, she reacts very violently and beats them all by herself. Her backstory plays this to traumatic extent; robbers killed nine of her ten unhatched children and she killed them all in response.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Dufayel is sophisticated and rich, dresses immaculately even under the desert's hot sun and dislikes uncivilization.
  • Mexican Standoff:
    • While escaping Tomson and his two mercenaries, Rango jumps in a barrel. As Tomson is about to yank him out, the sheriff points his gun at the rat's face while the other two mercs point theirs at the chameleon. The stalemate is broken by the townsfolk coming to Rango's rescue.
    • During Grace's introduction scene, Jake attacks her and pins her to the ground with his coils. When she struggles, Jake attempts to strangle her, but then Rango points his gun at Jake's head with deadly seriousness and tells him to release Grace. After a long moment of glaring contesting, Jake admits his precarious position and backs off.
    • When Delilah first comes to Grace's property and Beans points her gun at her, the bobcat whips out her revolver and points it at Beans until Jake arrives.
    • In his first appearance, Irvin Worst places his ax against Dufayel's throat, but Dufayel is unconcerned because he has placed his revolver against the lizard's gut. Before the stalemate can get messy, the fox starts talking business, prompting Worst to back off.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Teddy is half a glossy snake and half a gopher snake.
  • Momma's Boy: Teddy loves his mother above everything else and would do anything for her, as Grace has been his sole care-giver for his entire life.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Teddy is quite a friendly and excited boy.
    • Charles/Chuck. He's one of the few people who can act in a civilized way towards Grace and ignore her species.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Grace delivers one to Bad Bill's gang for hurting Teddy. She loses herself to attacking them so much that only Teddy calling out for her snaps her out of it.
  • No True Scotsman: Jake hasn't allowed Ramirez Arvenga to join the Gunslinger Court because he thinks that like the Jenkins Brothers, the coyote hasn't the credibility to be a true outlaw.
  • Not So Different: Both Jake and Grace have past traumas that make them guard themselves in order to prevent themselves from being hurt by others. Grace admits this to Jake when she finally confesses her feelings toward him. Also, they can also be utterly terrifying when provoked, with Grace admitting that as much as she hides it, she has the same capacity to take a life in utter fury as Jake has.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Anyone who ends up being at loggerheads with Jake has this reaction.
    • Angelique becomes spitless scared the moment she's informed that her uncle Dufayel is the one behind everything.
    • Benjamin Hares realizes how up the creek he is when Jake attacks him in murderous rage for hitting Grace.
    • Jake himself reacts this way when he realizes that the bad guys have brought a hawk.
  • Only in It for the Money: Jake accepts Rango's request to protect Mud only because he's been between jobs lately and is offered the belongings of Tortoise John as the reward.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: The cover picture features an orange sunsetting sky over Mud, the blue lake next to it and a dark cave.
  • Original Characters: Some are the author's own creations, others are borrowed from other writers. Her own characters include Grace Glossy, Teddy, Dufayel and Delilah Rangler. The borrowed ones include Charles/Chuck, Ramirez Arvenga and Henry.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Jake avenges Grace's battering by murdering Benjamin Hares.
  • Pet the Dog: When Jake discovers that Teddy has an impairment in visual perception that causes him to stumble, he feels familiarity despite himself and teaches the boy to use the scents gained from his environment with his tongue in order to navigate.
  • Poker: When Grace's planned night at Mud's saloon becomes withcalled due to Teddy getting a cold, she instead engages in a poker match with Jake. They play with secrets instead of money; the winner of a round asks one question and the loser has to answer truthfully.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Jake gives one to Tomson and his mercenaries when he first meets them.
    "Ya boys was real stupid in thinkin' you could claim hell without payin' the devil his due. I don't like sloppy work... and you boys just made one hell've'a mess."
    • When Bad Bill's gang is caught in the act of beating up Teddy, they are scared at the sight of Jake. Both to their and Jake's surprise, Grace gives them this line before she beats the crap out of them all by herself.
    One of the thugs: The Grim Reaper...
    Grace: It's not him you should be afraid of...
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Jake gives one to Benjamin Hares before injecting venom into him.
    "Burn, asshole."
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • Dufayel has one in the 18th chapter; upon being informed of Bad Bill's failure by Tomson, the fox cannot hold back his anger, prompting him to shoot the rat.
    • Dufayel's Villainous Breakdown in the 28th chapter is caused by Ramirez telling him to stop drinking.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Dufayel uses his legal claim to Mud and calls a lawman and a lawyer to tell Mud's residents to leave peacefully. When Rango blurts out in desperation that they want to challenge Dufayel's claim in a legal court, both men accept it and excuse themselves.
    • When Benjamin tries to use his status as Grace's husband to sell the lands left to her by her father, a representative of the bank becomes suspicious of him and fetches Grace. Catridge the attorney then hinders Benjamin's efforts by saying that the case is postponed until he's provided the required legal documents.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Jake is hired by Rango to protect Mud from Dufayel's mercenaries. Jake in turn has Delilah Rangler to seek out the Hellhounds' hiding place while he has to keep an eye out for Grace's property.
  • Red Baron: Ramirez Arvenga prefers himself being called "El Azote Negro" or "The Black Scourge". Jake regards him too spineless to live up to the title.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: In the first scene portrayed from his POV, Jake remembers with sadistic satisfaction the way he killed Tortoise John.
  • Roll in the Hay: When Grace finally dares to admit her feelings towards Jake, it leads to lovemaking in her barn.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • When Angelique is informed that Dufayel is the one trying to make Mud's townsfolk to leave, she decides to take her children away from Mud, fearing that her evil uncle will start an open war to get what he wants. She also convinces her husband Chuck to come with her.
    • After Bad Bill and his gang fail to fulfill their assignment with Dufayel and end up being battered badly by Grace and then Jake, they disappear. It's stated by the author that as soon as they were healed, they decided this all to be way over their heads and skipped town.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: The narration of Jake and Grace's first lovemaking is abbreviated when they lay down in hays.
  • Shadow Archetype: After Grace witnesses Jake remorselessly killing Benjamin in righteous fury, she's terrified of a small part of her relishing in it and her own hidden capacity for doing the same (which the deceased robbers who killed nearly all of her babies can attest to).
    "Teddy watched as Jake beat the life out of his father. Jake didn't care that I saw the killer in him set to work. No matter the fact I'm glad the piece of shit is dead, he murdered someone right in front of me and my son. He showed us how easy it was. How good it felt... He showed me what I could easily become..."
    An uneven silence fell over the room. Of course, Beans knew nothing of the darker aspects of Grace's life, and so the whispered comment was more for Grace's own benefit. The confession made her feel lighter somehow, to speak the realised words and know they were true. The bulk of the reason she now kept Jake out. He didn't terrify her. She terrified herself. She'd seen him murder someone with absolute conviction and sense of righteousness. Hell, a small coherent part of her had even relished it... and that had frightened her.
  • Shipper on Deck: When Priscilla asks Teddy if his mother and Jake are going to be married, the boy suddenly gets excited with the idea and gets ideas on how to make that happen.
  • Shoot the Dangerous Minion: Dufayel decides eventually that Henry is too volatile to be kept around and injures the kingsnake with help from Ramirez, sending Henry down a window several storeys. While they believe the kingsnake to have died, Henry survives and flees to have his revenge another day.
  • Shoot the Messenger: After Bad Bill's gang fails to fulfill Dufayel's orders and intimidate Grace to relinquish her lands, Tomson returns to report it. Anger becomes too much to bear for Dufayel and he shoots Tomson in the head.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: When Rango returns to Mud with Jake after recruiting him, the townsfolk panic upon seeing the rattlesnake. Rango fires a shot in the air to make them listen to him.
    • Later Rango does this again when the panicked townsfolk rush to his office to inform him of the sudden stop of the lake's water flow. While the trick works again, the shot makes a hole in the sheriff's ceiling.
  • Side Bet: Priscilla makes one with some other kid whether or not Jake and Grace would become a couple. Instead of cash, the loser owes two bug's winds.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Averted because snakes have different individuals as much as any other species, though unfortunately the snakes on average suffer from prejudices because of the bad apples. Grace and Teddy are both pretty nice, while Jake is an Anti-Hero. The villainous side includes a kingsnake named Henry who's a Psycho for Hire and Benjamin Hares, Grace's cowardly con artist husband.
  • The Social Darwinist: Jake has traits of being this with the way he thinks little of the townsfolk of Mud for being merely "good people" who resign themselves to pack mentality.
  • Something Else Also Rises: When Grace first kisses Jake, his excitement is empathized by the rattling of his tail.
  • Species Surname: Grace Glossy; a glossy snake. Teddy Glossy fits only by half because he's half a glossy snake and half a gopher snake.
  • Tail Slap: Grace does this off-screen to a rustler who believed he would get away with slapping her around, sending him flying through the air. She later uses this technique against Bad Bill and his gang.
  • Teeth Flying: This happens to Benjamin when Jake is beating him up.
  • The Teetotaler: Jake is a downplayed example; he does indulge in alcohol once in a while, but never enough to get drunk. His alcoholic father's actions in Jake's childhood made sure of that.
  • Tempting Fate: Rango does this when he spends some alone time with Beans in chapter 20, figuring that he won't be needed at Mud. They hear loud knocks on Beans' door and someone calling out for Sheriff Rango immediately.
    Beans: You were sayin'?
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Every chapter is initiated with short verses from various country songs in order to either capture the chapter's mood or describe certain characters. The author has chosen as the main theme "Bad Company" by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Gunslinger Court is sort of a hierarchy among outlaws that keep themselves from tearing each other apart. Through this hierarchy they can contact each other for special jobs when needed. Only those outlaws who are best at what they do are allowed in. Jake ("the Grim Reaper") is the highest in the pecking order. Other known members are his Number Two Reth ("the Carpenter"), the third in command Delilah Rangler ("the Scarlet Kiss"), Irvin Worst ("the fire breather"), Johan Quall ("the fickle thief") and Kepper ("the knife nut"). In the latter half of the story, Dufayel helps Worst, Quall and Kepper in injuring Jake, allowing Worst to try and claim the leadership position and Ramirez Arvenga to try to claim membership.
  • This Means War!: After Jake's been injured with the help from Dufayel's hawk, Worst and Ramirez Arvenga use his disposal to try and claim leadership/membership of the Gunslinger Court, respectively. Upon hearing about this from Reth and Delilah, Jake decides to have hard payback when he's ready.
  • Those Wily Coyotes: Ramirez Arvenga, the Mexican coyote leader of the Hellhounds.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Jake to Rango and his friends.
  • Undying Loyalty: When Irvin Worst tries to assume the leadership position of the Gunslinger Court by claiming that Jake was killed by a hawk, Reth and Delilah Rangler don't believe him and bolt to find Jake.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Jake hasn't changed since the movie's ending, being his old ruthless self. He doesn't like his contract with Rango, accepting it only because he's been lately between jobs. He also makes it clear that he should just be allowed to do what he's been hired for; getting rid of the offenders. However, he does honor his contract and has enough Pet the Dog moments to keep him from being a Nominal Hero.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Grace reacts this way when she finds her son being beaten up by Bad Bill's gang. If Teddy had not called out for her, she might have killed them.
    • Grace reacted this way when outlaw robbers killed nine for her ten unhatched babies years ago, leading her to kill all of them and realizing it only afterwards.
    • This is Jake's reaction to seeing Grace battered by Benjamin. He ends up killing Benjamin.
    The coldness of death had come over Jake, the unfeeling pit he delved into when a kill such as this overcame him. It was why he was named the Grimm Reaper, it was why he was the devil incarnate of earth. It robbed him of morality, of mercy, it was the ultimate point of no return for him. It was the place that could not be surfaced from until the addiction for blood and violence and death was sated. Years of anger, days of frustration, endless torment and a lifetime of loathing all focused into his entire being, the point of the sword that drove him to it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The continuous failures stretch Dufayel's patience bit by bit, with the demise of Benjamin Hares culminating in the fox smashing objects in his office with his cane.
  • Villainous Legacy: While Tortoise John was killed by Jake in the movie, he still influences the plot by the virtue of having his Evil Plan invested by Dufayel in exchange for giving the fox the right to the gold beneath the town.
  • Visionary Villain: Dufayel claims himself to be following the same path as the late Tortoise John in modernizing the West, only with gold instead of water.
  • Weight Woe: This trope gets a reference when Grace feels self-conscious for not fitting into Mud's doctor's office. While she knows that to be irrational (Mud usually hasn't patients as big as adult snakes), her womanly vanity still makes her feel that she needs to lose some weight.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 20 ends with Dufayel telling that Mon Hellsing has to hunt down and bring him alive Benjamin Hares.
  • Wicked Cultured: The snake-hunter Mon Hellsing often quotes the Bible, naming the exact sections accurately.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • When Dufayel hires Bad Bill's gang to intimidate Grace to sell her lands, they run into Teddy and start beating him up. Unfortunately for them, the act makes Grace royally ticked off to the point that she doesn't need Jake's help to beat them up.
    • Before Teddy or his nine siblings had hatched, their eggs were attacked by outlaw robbers. Only Teddy's egg was left after Grace killed the ruffians.
  • Would Rather Suffer: The Scarlet Kiss states that she'd prefer screwing an exhaust-pipe over taking a bribe from Irvin Worst and enduring Male Gazes from his part.
  • You're Not My Father: Teddy outright tells this to Benjamin when the disappeared dad first shows up in the boy's life.
    Teddy: I want what's good for my momma and me.
    Benjamin: So do I.
    Teddy: No. You don't. That's why I'm not your son. Momma always said I was a gift from God. I'm gonna believe that instead.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Tomson, one of Dufayel's hired mercenaries, is a rat.
  • You Killed My Father: A villainous example; Henry's brother was killed by Jake and Henry wants to kill Jake for that.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When Rango holds Ramirez at gunpoint in the 20th chapter, the coyote questions if the sheriff can live with having killed him. Rango sees the point, but doesn't retreat.
    Ramirez: Poor lizard. You are loco, aren't you? You know how to kill a man, si? But could you really stomach it? Go on. Find out. It's one thing to pull the trigger. It's another to watch your kill die.