- The Gunslinger. Most ranches were staffed by working cowboys, but usually at least a few were "good with a gun" despite not being professional gunfighters. All of them were expected to wield a gun if the ranch was attacked (known as "riding for the brand"), loyalty was highly prized, and drifter cowboys were often suspect for this reason. If a fight was expected the boss might go ahead and hire him some gunfighters.
- The Drifter. A fair amount of ranch work is seasonal, and a cowboy without a solid reputation often had to go where they needed extra hands, rather than hold down a steady position. And not a few had the wanderlust.
- Outlaw. The Evil Counterpart of the Cowboy is The Rustler, who uses the same skills to steal cattle and horses.
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- When Philip Morris decided to rebrand its Marlboro cigarettes from a hoity-toity "ladies' smoke" to a man's cigarette, they could think of no better symbol of rugged American manliness than the cowboy. This ad campaign was wildly successful, and the Marlboro Man ads ran for decades. And yes, "he" died of lung cancer.
Anime and Manga
- Being a Western, the manga Miriam has its share. Douglas and Miriam both work on a ranch, as do Douglas' friends Card and Joel.
- Ippei from Voltes V got his experience from being a cowboy. He even lived in a covered wagon as a kid.
- "Calico" Yorki of One Piece plays on the singing cowboy trope as the leader of a band of adventurous musical pirates.
- Richie Merced from the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga uses a deck with this theme.
- Anpanman has a Western town in the desert, which is where the cowboy characters live and protect. These characters include Hamburger Kid, Yakisobapanman, and Croquette Kid, along with their horses (Pickles, White Sauce, and Ketchup, respectively). Outside of the Western town is Arinkokiddo, an ant cowboy with shrink and growth pistols that rides a grasshopper for his steed.
- Cowboy Andy from Cowboy Bebop is a bounty hunter (called "Space Cowboys" In-Universe) with a cowboy theme, including using a horse for locomotion and carrying a six-shooter. This is really out of place in the 23rd century and the crew of the Bebop at first refuse to believe Spike after he runs into him.
- There have been numerous Western comic books over the years, naturally.
- "Le Cowboy" of Le Heroes des Paris in the Marvel Universe is a French appropriation of American stereotypes, in homage to The Wild West.
- Greg Saunders, the first Vigilante from The DCU, was a singing cowboy turned masked crimefighter.
- Terra-Man, a Superman villain, had a cowboy theme, but all of his equipment was actually extremely high-tech alien gear, and his (flying) horse had wings.
- The first black character who headlined his own (short-lived) series was Lobo, a post-civil war cowboy who became a drifter.
- The Old Cowboy from Red Meat is the Ranch Owner type.
- Lucky Luke fits Rodeo Rider type (and being The Ace, rides horses for whole minutes and ties up calves in seconds).
- The Astro City story "Confessions" features a cowboy-themed supervillain named "The Gunslinger", though interestingly he is half-American and half-Vietnamese, his father having been a soldier during the Vietnam War whose murder the Gunslinger is avenging by killing the corrupt unit who had killed him. In addition to the cowboy-themed outfit he also has a pair of laser pistols and rocket cowboy boots.
- In The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the titular Anti-Hero works as a regular Working Cowboy for a few years in his late teens under the alias "Buck Mcduck". While he's late to really cash in on the cowdriving industry in the middle west, he manages to Take a Level in Badass during his stay and decides to go north to begin creating his own wealth as his own boss as a result of this.
- Marvel comics has the Two-Gun Kid. He stands out from the other Western characters Marvel has featured (Rawhide Kid, Gunhawk, etc.) in that he wore a mask and had a secret identity rather than a colorful nickname. He also had a far wider scope of adventures: he has time-traveled to the modern era twice, and was a reserve Avenger. He was retconned as being the inspiration for The Angel (he told Dr. Halloway, who he knew would become the Angel, about the coming age of superheroes). The Angel was the first Golden Age Marvel character, so the Two-Gun Kid was by extension the first masked hero and the foundation of the era of superheroes with secret identities. Since he was a lawyer by profession, and took on a cowboy persona to fight crime, he would fall mostly into the category of the Philosopher Cowboy (though more likely to quote Jefferson or Washington than Plutarch or Aristotle).
- The Black Wrangler of the Bleach fic of the same name dresses like one, complete with a Stetson cowboy hat, spurred boots, and a Scarf Of Asskicking. She even carries a pair of revolvers.
- Houston from the Kantai Collection fic Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls dresses as a cowgirl, complete with stereotypical Southern accent, Hand Cannon revolver, and Texas-themed cowboy boots.
- No two men are more iconic as Cowboys than John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Although they were never in a film together.
- Brokeback Mountain is about a doomed romance between a working cowboy and a rodeo rider—though they both started as sheepherders.
- Several characters in The Magnificent Seven are gunslingers working as drifter cowboys at the start of the movie.
- Toy Story has Woody, and Toy Story 2 introduces his Distaff Counterpart Jessie, the Yodeling Cowgirl.
- Joe in A Town Like Alice
- Hud, being a film about a cattle ranch in the New Old West, has actual working cowboys who actually herd cattle.
- Roy Rogers was the archetypal singing cowboy, starting with Under Western Stars and going through over a hundred more B-Movies.
Live Action TV
- The Lone Ranger and The Rifleman are two early examples.
- Rick from The Walking Dead, despite being a modern day police officer, wears the hat, carries a revolver and even rides a horse for a while after the Zombie Apocalypse kicks off the plot.
- Many characters in Hell on Wheels are these.
- On Malcolm in the Middle Francis worked as a dude ranch cowboy for a while. One episode had Francis and Otto (the ranch's German owner) run afoul of a pair of working cowboys who kept tearing down the Grotto's fence to let their cattle through.
- Iron King, an Ultraman ripoff from the 1970s, has a singing cowboy as one of the characters.
- Nickelodeon show, Hey Dude!, was set on a dude ranch.
- Horrible Histories had a musical number describing what the life of a working cowboy was actually like.
- One episode of Firefly has Mal meeting some cattle buyers. Who are also apparently cattle rustlers when they feel the urge. Cue gunfight at the corral ...
- The sixth season of My Kitchen Rules feature a working cowboy from Texas: Robert, who consistently brighten the mood of the table with stories of his past experience with bulls, cattles, and other animals.
- Have Gun – Will Travel often featured cowboys as guest characters. In one particularly memorable episode, Paladin befriends a lone cowboy who happens to be Native American—then accepts a fee from a big spread rancher to force the small rancher to sell his land. Paladin had spotted that metal deposits on the land were slowly poisoning the cattle, making the spread worthless for ranching.
- There is an entire subgenre of "cowboy songs", many of which were created and sung by actual cowboys (some lost forever, now) while others have been made up from whole cloth in more recent times.
- Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy" compares his attempts to become famous via his music to a rodeo rider.
- Amarillo by Morning' is a song about the Rodeo Rider and his lifestyle. 'Everything that I've got is just what I've got on ... '
- All of the characters in Eight Ball Deluxe. Justified as the game takes place in a cowboy bar.
- The Spiritual Successor, Sharkey's Shootout, has "Tex", complete with large black hat and bolo tie.
- As a Shout-Out to Eight Ball Deluxe, Cue Ball Wizard is full of them, complete with a cowboy wearing a white hat as the main opponent.
- El Texano, an evil cowboy in Lucha Libre Internacional/Universal Wrestling Association later revealed to be a Fallen Angel sent to Earth to rid it of El Santo. His son, El Texano Jr. continues the evil cowboy tradition by illegally whipping his opponents with bull ropes but not too sure about the other part.
- Stan Hansen is a trope codifier for cowboy gimmicks in the USA and Japan, particularly for a violent swinging clothesline which would come to be known as a lariat, or LARIOTO!
- CMLL has Yuca La Potranquita, a masked cowgirl from Mexico city and AAA's La Legión Extranjera employed Virginian cowgirl Lorelei Lee.
- Our Miss Brooks: Tex Barton, a stereotypical teenaged cowboy, is a Madison High School student in a few episodes i.e. "School T.V. Set", "Bargain Hats for Mother's Day," "Tex Barton Basketball Star."
- The Six-Shooter starred Jimmy Stewart as a drifter cowboy with superior shooting skills.
- Riders Radio Theater stars three Singing Cowboys.
- It's called "the Weird West", so of course you can expect to see pretty much every version of the Cowboy on the list in Deadlands... well, except for the Singing Cowboy; guys like that are likely to get mugged, shot, and then shot again for good measure.
- A common character type in the All Flesh Must Be Eaten supplement Fistful o' Zombies. The singing cowboys get their own gameworld.
- The Link in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a Working Cowboy who works on the Mayor's ranch herding goats.
- Cassidy of Video Game/Brawlhalla is a Cowgirl.
- Some of these are around in Fallout: New Vegas, given its Western theme. It even includes a Singing Cowboy that you can hire for a casino looking for entertainment acts! The perk named 'Cowboy' works with the stereotypical weapons a cowpoke would use, too. Who needs assault or laser rifles when you can use a .45-70 lever-action?
- The Maid Of Fairewell Heights: The Cowgirl variation. There's a Cowgirl costume when entering the landscape picture world in Artie's room.
- A cowboy appeared as a villain in the lonelygirl15 episode "The Cowboy". He did not appear again, most likely because the rights to the character are owned by Glenn Rubenstein.
- Applejack from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic lassos wayward critters, herds stampeding cattle, eagerly gets into fights, runs the family farm, enters into rodeos, and is almost never caught without her hat. The only thing she doesn't do is ride horses, for obvious reasons. Overall, she's probably the Working Cowgirl.
- Braeburn, her cousin, acts like a good old-fashioned eager cowpoke. Aside from being a farmer, what with the cows probably not appreciating getting poked.
- Cowboy Stackhouse from Jimmy Two-Shoes
- Quickstrike from Beast Wars, a villainous metal scorpion/cobra hybrid has the personality if not the looks, with a generous helping of Redneck added to the mix.
- Shocker/Montana from The Spectacular Spider Man, the cowboy thing obviously stemming from the Montana part of his character.