Sam Donaldson:Governor Clinton, let's be frank. You're running for president, yet your only experience has been as the governor of a small, backward state with a population of drunken hillbillies riding around in pickup trucks. The main streets of your capital city, Little Rock, are something out of Lil Abner, with buxom underage girls in their cutoff denims prancing around in front of Jethro and Billy Bob, while corncob-pipe-smoking, shotgun-toting grannies fire indiscriminately at runaway hogs. Bill Clinton:I'm sorry, Sam, do you have a question?
The Deep South: home of fat redneck sheriffs, hillbillies, moonshiners, The Klan, tobacco-chawin' Good Ol' Boys missing half their teeth, and all other manner of Corrupt Hicks, not to mention fire-and-brimstone preachers, iron-bound matriarchs, white-suited plantation owners, Southern Belles in flouncy gowns or short-shorts with crop tops, and possums. Some Kissing Cousins could also be in the mix somewhere.
Although the real mid-Southern and Southeastern United States has a far wider range of locales and settings, the Deep South as it appears on TV is usually one tiny rural town after another, separated by miles of farmland or steep, forested mountainsides. Its inhabitants always seem to be about fifty years behind the times, at least as far as social issues are concerned (or worse, stuck in the Wild West era and/or fighting the The Recent Un-Pleasantries). This trope has major Unfortunate Implications.
If you're a liberal urbanite from one of the coasts, then this is probably the last place on Earth you'd ever want to visit. Especially if you're an ethnic, religious, and/or sexual minority. In fact, it will be the last place on Earth you'll ever go to if you piss off the locals, since everyone — including the snarling, tobacco-chewing sheriff who glowered at you in the gas station — is quite happy to make your godless, yuppie ass disappear if they take a dislike to your demeanor. The only people in the Deep South who don't carry guns are the axe- or chainsaw-wieldingserial killers.
This scenario is also used to depict the cultural differences between the South and the North. Ironically, in the days when Puritanism was widespread in New England, the South would often be looked upon - usually by New Englanders, of course - as a land of moral laxity and even debauchery. It's worth noting, for example, that Christmas was celebrated as a public holiday in the South long before it was in New England, which the Puritans insisted had to be observed purely as a religious holiday because of the pagan origins of most secular Christmas traditions.
As an example; while pre-marital sexual encounters and casual one-night stands are common nowadays, sex is Serious Business down there, with Southerners still firmly believing on the golden rule of "marriage before sex"—or at least, "marriage before childbirth"—so do not try to knock up one of the local girls there, or you will be married to her for the rest of your life (Southerners are extremely averse to abortion and divorce). If the girl in question is a typical Southern Belle or a Daisy Duke, you are a really lucky guy; but if she is not any of these but a hillbilly as bucktoothed as the rest of their family (as in most of cases), you'll have to marry anyways; if you try to run away, they will stamp you out.
The highest figure of authority down there is the reverend of the local evangelical congregation (usually either Baptist or Pentecostal), leading to the zone being often called the "Bible belt"; And unlike the rest of the country, the Moral Guardians and the Culture Police are actually supported and respected. So don't complain about the military, don't admit that you think Queer as Folk was groundbreaking, don't try to explain how Paganism has nothing to do with devil worship, and don't go out to the secluded farm house when your car breaks down in the rain... Unless the Southern Hospitality is being played up, that is.
People will often have two names, with men having the second name Bob (Jim Bob, Joe Bob, Billy Bob) and girls will have Mae (Billie Mae, Bobbie Mae, Bettie Mae).
Any part of the region that is not rural, backwoods, mountains, or bayous shows up on TV as merely The City or Suburbia with an accent. The sprawling metropolises of Atlanta and Charlotte might as well not exist. And while Nashville and New Orleans do exist, they're not without stereotypes of their own: N'awlins being a party city with the occasional vampire, and Nashville only known for Country Music despite its diverse population, large healthcare industry, and Punk Rock scene that rivals the country one in size. As far as writers — largely based in Southern California — are concerned, the only true South is the Deep South. And any old state down there will do. Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Marylandnote Maryland was a slave state for much of its history and banned interracial marriages until well into the 1960s; but it was founded by Roman Catholics (who historically have been a minority in the South), stayed in the Union during the Civil War, and in more recent times has attracted a diverse immigrant population from many countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America thanks to the sprawl of Baltimore and most especially Washington, DC. For these reasons and others, it is often hard to determine whether it should be considered a Southern state or a Northern state; a Northerner will tell you it's Southern, a Southerner will tell you that it's Northern, and a Marylander will tell you that it's Maryland....what's the difference?
This is where the Southern-Fried Private comes from; the Southern-Fried Genius is from here as well, although the South they know and grew up in is very often the "city/suburbia with an accent" flavor. Bordering Texas has plenty of cultural overlap with the region, but is distinct enough to warrant its own page. Florida is similarly complicated. Its rural areas are as Deep South as the rest of the region, but the major cities have their own quirks due to the influx of Northerners and Latin immigrants.
Outside southern Louisiana, the region usually averts Christianity is Catholic. Whether white or black, the churches are usually either Baptist or Pentecostal.
Compare Flyover Country, as both regions might as well be Jupiter for screenwriters from the coasts, and Oop North, which often receives similar stereotypes in British media (though most of the "hick" sterotypes are associated with any rural setting in the UK. Generally, The West Country or Norfolk will have the greatest amount of them). Contrast Sweet Home Alabama. For the vicious horror-themed version, try The Savage South or Southern Gothic.
Doug TenNapel's Creature Tech thoroughly subverts this with the town of Turlock. First, the town's sub-literate rednecks turn out to be more accepting of a giant insect-man than the protagonist is. Second, several townspeople are revealed to be quite intelligent: the pastor was formerly a biologist, and another man taught himself quantum mechanics. Third, Turlock is actually in rural California.
Seth from The Authority is pretty much the worst of Southern stereotypes blatantly distilled into a genetic freak of nature.
In the 1980s, Drew Friedman did a comic parody of The Andy Griffith Show where Andy, Barney, and the good citizens of Mayberry take Klan vengeance on a black motorist with the temerity to stop in town. A good deal more caustic than most of Friedman's work.
Friedman obviously never took into account the true story of Mount Airy, the North Carolina town after which Mayberry was modeled. Besides being the hometown of Andy Griffith, it was also the retirement spot for Chang and Eng, two conjoined Thai brothers and circus performers who were the original "Siamese twins." By all accounts, Chang and Eng enjoyed a pleasant retirement and were never persecuted either for being Asian or being "freaks."
That doesn't really refute Friedman's logic, because Chang and Eng weren't black. Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans (who were considered white throughout most of American history anyway), and Native Americans were often given a pass in the South, probably because their numbers were so low compared to those of African-Americans.
It may have helped that Chang and Eng were quite wealthy (at least until after the Civil War), as well as being slaveowners whose sons fought for the Confederacy.
Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! features team member Fastback, whose real name is "Timmy Joe Terrapin" and hails from the "Okey-Dokey" swamp in Earth-C's American south. Timmy Joe usually is shown (when not in superhero action) as perpetually-unemployed or between-jobs, and has a hayseed personality/speaking voice. The trope is partially averted in the 2007 miniseries (where he starts his own express delivery service company), as well as perhaps fully averted by fellow southern teammate Alley-Kat-Abra (who hails from "Mew Orleans").
The series also mentions several Earth-C southern cities, including "Memfish" (Memphis) and "Tallahatchee" (Tallahassee, Florida), along with Mew Orleans.
In Bitchy Bitch, Marcie surely comes from the deep south. She's a stupid and extremely prejudiced (but cute) Southern Belle type with a heavy accent.
Scare Tactics: Fang comes from a clan of hillbilly werewolves somewhere in the Appalachians. When the band unwittingly returns there, he is captured by his family.
Averted in Gold Digger. The Diggers family lives in Atlanta, but it's treated pretty much like any other big American city.
The movie Deliverance is the uber example of this trope. Outsiders would be wise not to mention it to real Southerners for any reason but to mock it.
However, many people seem to forget that the film is based off of a book written by an author from Atlanta, James Dickey. The protagonists themselves are also Southerners, though from the city. Dickey himself is possibly one of the most esteemed authors and poets Georgia has ever produced.
The movie My Cousin Vinny. As it happens, Vinny (Joe Pesci) would've lost the case if he hadn't familiarized himself with some of the local culture. Overall, it was portrayed as unfriendly only when (and only because) Vinny (and sometimes Bill) was being, to them, outrageously condescending or irreverent. The townspeople, to their credit, don't seem to be offended by the fact that Vinny and his cousin are Italian-American, or even mention it; and, at worst, they are Innocently Insensitive toward the African-Americans in their midst.
The stereotyped cruelty of the Deep South is used as both plot device and major driving force in the award-winning film Lawn Dogs. Many people in the gated community there are cruel, quick to judge, and look down upon hard-working lower-classman Trent. He is even beaten, twice, for things he didn't do. What's more, the screenwriter, who created the story, is from the Deep South herself.
Subverted in the documentary con fiction film Borat, when the titular character dines with a family in the South. They are very courteous of this odd foreigner and patient with his rude and boorish behavior... that is, until his dinner guest, a transvestite prostitute, arrives, at which point they kick him out.
The film also clashes at points with the common stereotype that the South is anti-Semitic. A cut scene (available on the DVD) has Borat visiting a dog kennel and asking if he can buy their most vicious dog, because he thinks he needs to defend himself against Jews. The kennel owner admonishes him not to think about Jewish people that way. And in another scene - which actually is in the movie proper - we are introduced to an elderly South Carolina couple who actually are Jewish!
Apparently, lots of people have never heard of Judah P. Benjamin.
The Devil's Advocate: The real Gainesville, Florida is a modern college town with several hundred thousand permanent residents and whose courthouses are all modern multi-level buildings made of concrete and steel located in a busy downtown. What do we see in the film? A Civil War-era whitewashed courthouse on an isolated dirt road, more fitting of Black-Belt Mississippi or Alabama (even there it's unlikely unless the county seat moved) than anywhere in Florida.
The 2011 remake of Straw Dogs moves the setting from England to Mississippi. And the antagonists are a group of pickup truck driving redneck rapists.
Requiem for a Dream: The boys end up in a Southern prison, which doesn't take kindly to drug-addicted New Yorkers.
Southern Comfort pits a bunch of Nation Guardsmen against a gang of local Ragin' Cajun s who don't take too kindly to outsiders invading their territory and stealing their boats.
The screenwriter of the Cape Fear remake directed by Martin Scorsese admits as a "New York Jew", he wrote Max Cady to be a "Monster of the South" speaking in tongues like something out of a tent show revival.
No Country for Old Men, following in the tradition of Flannery O Connor, portrays a South that's barren, lawless and ridden at the seams with uncontrollable violence (or rather, it uses the South as a means to portray the entire world this way). The actual non-criminal characters, however, are mainly Good Ol Boys (and girls).
Played cheerfully and for humor in Joan Hess's Maggody mysteries.
William Faulkner, himself a Mississippian, loved to play around with this trope.
For example, his short story A Rose for Emily is set in this fair land, and at first it seems quite idealized, with social classes firmly in place, black servants that keep their masters' secrets, and gorgeous, stately mansions... that are riddled with decay, and years past the times.
Subverted in Sharyn McCrumb'sZombies of the Gene Pool, which is set in Tennessee. Jay Omega worries that he and his fellow professor-slash-girlfriend Marion have stumbled upon a diner like this. Then a big bearded man comes up to the table and starts intimidating Jay...until Marion tells him to knock it off. It turns out, the "redneck" is a Joyce scholar professor and a friend of Marion's who wanted to have a little fun at the expense of yet another "Deliverance sucker" as he puts it.
Mosly averted in her Ballad series, set in the area where Kentucky, Tennesee and North Carolina all meet. Subverted however in "The Devil Amongst The Lawyers'' where northern journalists, visiting for a murder trial in the 30s deliberately project the stereotypical image because they know that it's what their readers want to see.
In Kim Newman's Demon Download series, the main Op Agency in the the Southern States is called 'The Good Ole Boys,' and the most prevalent gangcults are the Klu Klux Klan and The Knights of The White Magnolia. The G.O.B are portrayed as being pretty much an entire organization of J.W Peppers and Boss Hoggs, chewing tobacco, lording it over "the coloured folks" and generally being a bunch of bigoted rednecks. With guns. And the legal power to arrest you and sell you into slavery.
Deliverance, by James Dickey. Southerners will complain at length about the movie and the novel and the horrible stereotypes it represents. It's worth noting Dickey was born and raised in Atlanta, living and working in the Southeast for most of his life.
The much-beloved To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee focuses partially on racism revolving around a falsely-accused black man.
The Beverly Hillbillies: The early seasons featured Mr. Drysdale and Miss Hathaway as the straight men, looking on at those wacky hillbillies and how unfamiliar they were with the big city. They eventually shifted to Jed being the straight man, solving problems because his homespun wisdom made him smarter than city folk, with Mr. Drysdale being a comic character. Later on, much of the humor of the Clampetts' unfamiliarity with the modern world came from making fun of the stranger aspects of the modern world, like when the Clampetts meet a bunch of hippies.
Of course, as the title of the series states, the Clampetts are, specifically, "Hillbillies". That is, rural Appalachian hillfolk rather than just generic Southerners. The Clampetts were from Tennessee (The Movie incorrectly says Arkansas - whose hillfolk instead come from the Ozarks, which also stretch into Missouri), but Appalachian culture goes as far north as Ohio and Pennsylvania, so it's not even an exclusively "Southern" stereotype.
In the vein: while many people not from the South are familiar with (and make fun of) the Southern use of the plural second-person pronoun "y'all" (a contraction of 'you all'), far fewer know of the much less common "you'uns (a contraction of 'you ones'). The second is used by people from Knoxville, Tennessee in the Cumberland and Great Smoky Mountains to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the Allegheny Mountains, all part of the Appalachian Range.
Seen in several Murder, She Wrote episodes, except that garrulous New Englanders who interfere in everyone's business don't come to horrible ends.
Mystery Science Theater 3000—Joel, Mike and the Bots would take jabs at the Deep South anytime a movie featuring the stereotypes was screened. Since absolutely everyone—fat or thin, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, smart or dumb—gets lampooned equally on the show, it's not worth getting worked up about.
Although the trope is based on an exaggerated stereotype, the Top Gear team proved that it's still not a good idea to drive around in Alabama with cars sporting such slogans as "NASCAR sucks" and "Manlove rules OK", to say nothing of "Hillary 4 President". They pulled in for gasoline and eventually had to flee while rocks were chucked at them. The jury's out on whether the locals kicked off as a result of being offended by what was written, or at being trolled with the stereotype...
Arguably an (unintentional) subversion since it appears no attack took place. There is no footage whatsoever of any of the supposed attackers throwing a single rock (or doing anything threatening at all), despite the fact that the show had multiple cameras focused at the gas station.
It was real the lack of footage was due to them packing up their cameras and running for their lives.
Matlock is set in a version of Atlanta which apparently neglects to include the sports teams, the multiple Fortune 500 companies, the obscene traffic and overflowing interstate system, and focuses primarily on plantation style houses, small town streetscapes, and a sense of general Suburbia (which, to be fair, Atlanta has a lot of, especially to its north).
Somebody in the crew making True Blood must have been reading TV Tropes, because the opening credits show all cliches from the main entry, pretty much in the order they are listed. The Sookie Stackhouse novels - upon which True Blood is based - explores this trope as well, but with a far more balanced perspective.
Though the show itself is more mixed. The small town of Bon Temps is up to date in technology and current events, the sheriff and the assistant sheriff are basically decent people, and you can count the number of episodes where people have a problem with the Camp Gay black guy in the kitchen on one hand. It's just that whole vampire thing that brings out the populous' more bigoted side.
Hannah Montana never lets you forget the main character's Southern roots (specifically, Tennessee). Taken to extremes when a snooty set of parents spent the entire episode mocking The Deep South.
Interestingly enough, Disney apparently originally tried to make Miley Cyrus speak in that standard bland SoCal dialect that all their other personalities use, but even the most rigorous dialog coaching failed to erase her accent, so they just gave up.
Miley herself in interviews and in Real Life will self-deprecatedly refer to her accent or Southern culture as "hillbilly" (though she certainly is proud of her roots). Accounts on her Twitter feed that she follows and YouTube videos she favorites show a fascination with the South (serious or tongue-in-cheek).
Dr. Leonard Mc Coy of Star Trek examplifies mostly good aspects of Southern stereotypes: humane, passionate, polite, and a great cook, although with a mild streak of racism directed against Vulcans and androids.
Justified does this, although it's much more nuanced than many other TV shows.
ER brought Dr. Benton to the backwater town of Pascagoula, MS, where minorities were looked upon with suspicion and residents were wary of treatment from him. When this episode aired, it caused residents of the real Pascagoula (a medium-sized city), to protest its portrayal.
["Scenes from a Hat" suggestion: "Visions of Hell other than fire and brimstone."]
Colin: (miming driving) Mississippi... I'm still in Mississippi...
Wayne: Mississippi... I'm still in Mississippi!
[From a different session: "Unlikely state songs"]
Wayne: (singing) Oh, you won't find me in Alabamaaaa...
True Life had an episode called "The Theriot Family: The Riot in the Bayou" about a large Louisiana family that likes to have fun. They fall into most of the stereotypes of the South as well as some New Orleans stereotypes.
The ABC show GCB is about a single mother and widow who moves from Santa Barbara, California to her hometown of Dallas, Texas. The show pretty much plays up all of the stereotypes of the South and Texas.
CMT has a tendency for these types of show, most of them were reality shows.
Lynyrd Skynyrd. Especially "Sweet Home Alabama", Trope Namer for more positive portrayals of the Deep South. As the quintessential Southern Rock band, their entire sound is pretty much synonymous with stereotypical "Southernness" nowadays, though whether you regard this as good or bad is a matter of opinion.
Neil Young's Protest Song "Southern Man", against which "Sweet Home Alabama" is partly a Take That, is an opposing example, graphically portraying and condemning the abuses of slavery and racism.
For a Take That at "Sweet Home Alabama" itself, see Warren Zevon's "Play it All Night Long." The first line is "Grandpa pissed his pants again" and that sort of sets the tone.
"Sweet home Alabama / Play that dead band's song..." Ironically, Lynyrd Skynyrd is still touring, while Warren Zevon has been dead for years.
Depends what you consider Lynyrd Skynyrd to be. Many long-time fans will tell you the real Skynyrd died in 1977.note ...in a tragic plane crash that killed three members including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. Of the current band touring as Lynyrd Skynyrd, only guitarist Gary Rossington is an original member.
"The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" by written by Bobby Russell and sung in 1972 by his then-wife Vicki Lawrence recounts a sad tale of poverty, adultery, murder, and corrupt public officials in the Deep South. (World-famous professional wrestler John Cena has included the famous four-note piano melody from this song's chorus as a sample - now played on horns - in his entrance theme, "The Time is Now", since 2005.)
Anthony and Those Other Guys Sunburn which is loosely based on a real person.
Tends to be a favorite setting for Randy Newman, especially his controversial hit "Rednecks" and the more subtle, but just as pointed, "Birmingham".
Ray Stevens' song "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" invokes this trope.
The musical Finian's Rainbow is set in the fictitious state of Missitucky. What undoubtedly will help carry this Southern state "forward to yesterday" (to quote the stirring words of Senator Billboard Rawkins) are its poll tax, restrictive covenants and black servants carrying mint juleps (the traditional minstrel shuffling and "yawk, yawk" accents, however, are evidently not taught at Tuskegee).
Larry Shue's The Foreigner takes place in rural Georgia, featuring KKK members as the villains.
Oklahoma!note Its twangy dialect aside, the "Southern-ness" of the actual state is debatable, due to it being settled largely from non-southern Kansas.
StarCraft - the Terrans are the Deep South IN SPACE!! Nearly all the Terrans are apparently from the Deep South; many of the heroic and the villainous Terrans use syntax and expressions stereotypically attributed to Deep Southerners. In the expansion pack, the non-Terran humans are European, specifically Russian and German—and are almost universally evil. The United Earth Directorate is, more or less, a mish-mash of Commie Land and Nazi Germany. Not every Terran has a Southern accent though: Sarah Kerrigan does not, and Jim Raynor's is debatable, as his accent is a sort of "Generic Rural" that can sound vaguely Southern at times (listen to him say "right on"). Tell you what, it's an Indiana accent. Southern Indiana. Basically Midwestern, but with a few traces of Southern from the dialect of Indiana's original Virginian settlers. If the Battlecruiser voices are any indication, there are also some Russians lumped in with them as well. The wiki even mentions traces of Japanese culture. Still, it seems that much of Terran civilization is dominated by heavy American (i.e. Southern) influences.
The Terran Confederacy were originally comprised of prisoners who crash landed in the Korprulu Sector. It is pointed out that the Terran Confederacy (using a modified Confederate States Army naval Jack as their flag) is considered corrupt, is plagued by several rebel groups, has nuked a rebelling planet (Korhal) and is eventually overthrown by the even worseTerran Dominion. Actually, most of the human factions are shown as more or less evil, except Raynor's Raiders.
The villains in inFamous 2 are Anti Mutant Rednecks.
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is set in an alien version of this, populated by hillbilly chicken people and toadlike outlaws.
Left 4 Dead 2 chronicles the journey of four survivors of a Zombie Apocalypse making their way from Savannah, Georgia to New Orleans. Two of the characters are Southerners: Ellis, an overly energetic mechanic who loves guns, rambles at length about "mah buddy Keith", and is generally too good-natured to be a Good Ol' Boy, and Coach, an African-American high school football coach who loves food and plays the role of Team Dad. They are joined by two Northerners, Rochelle, a reporter from Cleveland, Ohio who takes on the dual roles of The Chick and Team Mom, and Nick, a Vegas con-artist and borderline Guido Deadpan Snarker. Much of the humor in the game is based on Rochelle and Nick's observations of the Rochelle and Nick's Deep South views vs. Ellis and Coach's Sweet Home Alabama views. The two share a somewhat stereotypical love for NASCAR and southern music, Ellis going so far as to wish he were a woman so he could have his favorite racer's children. Nick makes fun of a more repulsive southern stereotype in the "tunnel of love" section of the Dark Carnival campaign by saying that the tunnel was created for hillbillies and noting that it used to give discounts for cousins.
In the second level of the game, one possible dialog has Ellis say he knows of a gun store where they can get better equipped. Nick snarks "Looks like living in this place is finally paying off", and Coach gravely responds "Mister, I don't like your attitude."
Destroy All Humans!—Although most if not all the humans your alien protagonist vaporizes are appropriately stupid, with most of them carrying around pretty vapid thoughts ("I Like Ike!") in their heads, your first mission takes place in an area called Turnipseed Farm, where you encounter incompetent mayors, violent farmers, ignorant housewives, ditzy teens, corrupt cops, and easy to fool cowboys. Slightly inverted because the area is located in the midwest instead of the Deep South.
And, in light of the "I Like Ike!" snippet described above, it's worth pointing out that the South was one of the few places where Dwight Eisenhower was not popular during the 1950s.
Death on the Mississippi and Till Death Do Us Part missions in Hitman: Blood Money.
Fallout 3's Colonel Augustus Autumn has a reasonable, and at times quite good, Virginia plantation accent. Somewhat strangely for a game set partly in the ruins of northern Virginia, no other character has an accent remotely like his.
Something of a Truth in Television, as DC and the associated metro areas in Maryland and northern Virginia (NoVa, as the locals call it) consists almost entirely of standard urbanized populations drawn from throughout the country to take jobs in the Federal government. Once you leave the DC metro area and head further south, there's a marked change in culture. In a map showing election results by county in Virginia, you'll see two blue sections in a sea of red - the suburbs of DC and Blacksburg.
The Point Lookout DLC is a straighter example, with its moonshining and subhuman "swampfolk" who tote double-barreled shotguns. However, it's based on a real-life location (Point Lookout State Park, MD) that remained Union territory during the Civil War, and arguably, like most subcultures in the Fallout universe, it has more to do with 200 years of isolation.
Early in Questionable Content an interesting aversion is set up; Faye's sister is a lesbian who continues to live in her native Georgia rather than move to Massachusetts where Faye now lives. Nothing much is ever made of this. All the more notable considering that QC is set in Northampton, which is one of the most famously lesbian-friendly towns in the US (think of a gender-bent San Francisco). Fans of the strip will notice that the local "Smiff College" appears to have one or two gay women in the student body.
Subverted in Nip and Tuck. The titular redneck foxes are erudite, intelligent, and informed, the local political zealot is a Democrat, no one much seems to mind people from different walks of life, and visitors get Southern Hospitality in spades. In other words, it's probably a better reflection of the South than you'll get anyplace else (except, you know...the actual South). On the other end of the spectrum, look no further than Gus Guthrie. As you might expect, the brothers' disdain for him stems as much from the fact that he's exactly what comes to mind when someone says "Deep South," as from the fact that this makes him a pain in the ass to rival casaba-sized hemorrhoids.
Subverted in Survival of the Fittest with Margaret Tweedy, who was a favourite target of bullies at school largely because of her Southern roots, despite being neither stupid nor behind the times. Said bullying did, however, make her bitter and perpetually angry.
Diabetus of Let's Play and Retsupurae fame is from Alabama, and will occasionally exaggerate his accent for the sake of a joke.
Death Battle co-host Boomstick harbors a few of these traits, his accent and love of guns being the most noticeable.
Family Guy, set in Rhode Island but written by a bunch of Southern Californians. God, where to even start with this one:
The show visits one of these locales in an episode entitled "To Live and Die in Dixie". The South is one of the series' favorite punching bags, and it receives a lot of low blows from the show. According to the show, the people in the South are still bitter about losing the The American Civil War, and are behind about a hundred years in terms of culture and technology. The neighborhood schoolkids, who go to class in a one-room schoolhouse note reality check: there are none in operation anywhere in the real South and haven't been in at least half a century, can be easily outsmarted by a pig, and their personal standards are so incredibly low that they think Meg is a goddess.
That particular episode, though, also ended showing some of the South's positive qualities ("We look after our own!"), so it wasn't quite as low a blow as... some other episodes (see below).
The episode "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows" has a (Emmy-winning) musical number that contains the throwaway line "The country's changed, that is, except the South", accompanied by a shot that looks like it belongs in "To Live and Die in Dixie".
Despite not even going to the South this time, the episode "Airport '07" starts with Peter becoming a redneck, making fun of said stereotype.
It comes up yet again in "Lois Kills Stewie", this time targeting North Carolina with a sign reading "First in Flight, 48th in Education" (note that this information was very out of date - at the time of the episode's 2007 airing, N.C. was ranked 24th in education). An amnesiac Lois is lost in North Carolina, but finds work at a fat camp for obese kids who keep trying to eat each other. She soon makes a friend at the local small-town diner, who turns out to be a white supremacist, and is assaulted with a blunt object after an anti-Semitic joke when she tries to point out that same train of thought started the Holocaust. This might be barely justified as part of Stewie's virtual-reality simulation of what'd happen if he tried to kill Lois, but it's never treated as an inaccuracy. It certainly fits in with the rest of the show's treatment of the South, and, if anything, is even meaner-spirited than those earlier portrayals. There are no ridiculous accents this time, at least. note In reality, there are Klan chapters in every single state in the country, not just the South; the Klan reached the pinnacle of their power in Indiana in the 1920's, not Mississippi in the 1960's; those blonde twin girls who sing White Power songs are from California.
The episode "Boys Do Cry" is set in Texas. You can tell the writers had a fun time with that one.
"Back to the Pilot" hits two of the writers' favorite targets, the South and George W. Bush, at the same time. Brian manages to prevent 9/11 by warning himself in 1999; this causes Bush to lose the 2004 election because he didn't have the threat of terrorism with which to scare people, so he turns the Deep South into a new Confederacy and enters a nuclear war with the United States that ruins the country.
If that wasn't enough, they've been doing it from the very first episode!
Brian: It's amazing; you can barely drive a car and yet they allow you to fly a blimp.
Pays a visit to the submerged, forgotten city of... Atlanta. Yes, Atlanta, largest city in Georgia and a major metropolitan area. Apparently the 1000-year timeskip has regressed this city back into a municipality inhabited by southern dandies, as all the "quality" people (and Jane Fonda) left when they airlifted the entire city out to float the ocean, built too much on it, and it sank. Appropriately, the episode this is from is called "The Deep South".
Another big example in Futurama: the backwards redneck farmer... on the Moon. There is even a Confederate jack painted over his lunar car. The Moon will rise again!
Mostly subverted in Stroker and Hoop. For example when Hoop tries a pair of fake gross teeth to "fit in" his cousin that lives there is offended and even gets out a phone book to show they have plenty of dentists.
The Flintstones featured two episodes revealing Fred's paternal ancestors were hillbillies from the state of "Arkanstone", and that they were all wiped out in a long-running feud with the Hatrock family. Said feud was revived when the Flintstones and Rubbles visit Arkanstone to claim an estate Fred had inherited.
Although "Arkanstone" works as a typical Flintstones Punny Name, it's also a case of geographical artistic license (or Rule of Funny) since the Hatfield/McCoy feud occurred along the Tug River, which forms part of the border between Kentucky and West Virginia (both culturally very Southern but historically ambiguous), nowhere near Arkansas.
In the episode "Inherit the Judgement-The Dope's Trial," Duckman heads to the Deep South where he is put on trial for being an "eggolutionist."
Squidbillies This is one of the biggest offenders. Every single character, with the exception of the very smart, business-good, but arrogant and petty Dan Halen, is either inbred, a moron, a criminal, or as politically incorrect as can possibly be, and combinations of any of these are hardly uncommon.
Alabama Man from the South Park episode "Chinpokomon".note "Not all people from Alabama are wife-beaters."
They did it again in "Worldwide Recorder Concert" where the class all travels to Arkansas, and Mr Garrison is forced to confront his father about molestation, specifically, why his dad didn't molest him. The episode goes on to insinuate that Arkansans other than Mr Garrison, Sr. are a bunch of child molesters.
David Banner's That Crook'd Sipp was a One-Episode Wonder about the Beauregards, a dysfunctional family whose members embodied just about every unflattering Southern stereotype imaginable, from stuffy Old South plantation owners to unwashed rednecks.
Wally Gator has various characters like this, due to where some of the episodes were set. The main offender was a redneck turnip grower called Mr. Swampywater who was trigger-happy and angry, but there was also Harmony (a Southern Belle alligator with no other real defining traits) and Beauregard (a beefy male alligator with tints of Southern-Fried Private who still wore the confederate symbol on his cap, although he wasn't exactly stupid). Wally himself is portrayed more at home in the Deep South outside of his title series, often being found in swamps in crossovers (like Yogi's Great Escape, which also showed him to be good at cooking things like gumbo) and excelling at events set in and around water, especially marshes (in Laff-A-Lympics).
Avatar: The Last Airbender believe it or not, featured the Foggy Swamp Tribe, a distant cousin of the Water Tribes. But when one of them reveals this fact, the Water Tribe siblings (mostly Katara) look a bit disturbed.
When the Olympics were held in Atlanta, the New Yorker had a cartoon ("Too Busy City") on the cover in sepia (like an old photo), with a hayseed with straw in his mouth at the Olympics, and at least one chicken. It received some very angry letters.
Many Atlantans DO, however, credit the Olympics for making them a modern city. Even Foxworthy himself admits Atlanta was "just a town" when he was growing up there.
Partly as a response to the criticism of Atlanta hosting the Olympics, the rural community of East Dublin, Georgia, located about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta, hosted the "Redneck Games" annually from 1996 to 2012 in celebration of the trope, with events such as "bobbing for pig's feet" and the "mud-pit belly flop". The concept has been since copied in other places, including those north of the Mason-Dixon line, such as Malone, New York and Minto, Ontario.
In A Walk Across America, Peter Jenkins described how he did just that, from New York to Louisiana. In the picture he paints of the South in the 1970s, certain parts play this trope straight; others avert it. In one town, a small contingency of police basically ordered him to leave and vaguely threatened to hang him if he didn't. In the next town, however, a hospitable family actually "adopted" him for a few months as he worked at a local factory to replenish his cash. In an Alabama town, he was threatened by a group of men, but when he explained to them that they were confirming this trope's stereotypes, they backed off. One of the men felt so bad about the incident he invited Jenkins to come eat with his family.
The portrayal of churches as Baptist is pretty well justified. The only states in the country that are majority-Baptist are in the South, except Missouri (which is itself sometimes counted as part of the South, or at least parts of it are). Louisiana and Texas have long had large native Catholic populations that the rest of the South lacks. Florida is majority Catholic (due to the massive influx of Cubans and Northern retirees). Texas is split geographically: East Texas outside the major cities is overwhelmingly Baptist; Hill Country, most of the cities, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley are all staunchly Catholic.
In almost all mentions above, 'Southern Baptist' should be substituted for 'Baptist'. Yes Virginia, there is a difference. (For one thing, the first Baptist church in America was in Rhode Island, which is nowhere near the South.)
Specifically, the Southern Baptists seceded with the onset of the American Civil War.
This article talks about the portrayal of the South in fiction and compares it to reality.
Some countries have a local version of this stereotype:
In Mexico, this could be inverted as the Deep North, as Mexican Northerners has similar stereotypes as their American peers, except they tend to be more outspoken than their countrymen from the rest of the country. Curiously, the Mexican Deep South, while it has some points in common with the American one, tends to be more the opposite version of the Northern one, not to mention, while the Mexican North, West and Central parts of the country are staunchly Catholic, on the other hand in the Mexican South, Protestant sects and sometimes even the Islam tends to be the most notorious churches in that region.
Australia also has the Deep North. The term is sometimes used for Queensland, which actually has a history of plantations (sugarcane rather than cotton) staffed by labourers some of whom were forcibly abducted from across the sea (the South Sea Islanders), as well as the second most rural population of any Australian state. In this sense, it is somewhat similar to Alabama. Its education system has been described as "the least secular in the country". Pauline Hanson, a politician whose short career was based on campaigning on such issues as the 'danger' Australia would be 'swamped by Asians', was more popular in Queensland than anywhere else. For these reasons and others, Queensland is often stereotyped as redneck.