Good Ol' Boy

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hankhill.jpg
(sigh) Yep.

That conservative, strong-willed guy from the Deep South or Sweet Home Alabama (or maybe Texas). Often in a position of authority or government, or sometimes a Corrupt Corporate Executive (Oil Tycoons in particular) or a Simple Country Lawyer, or even a seller of propane and propane accessories, but in any case a Good Ol' Boy is a staunch Republican (or a staunch Democrat if set prior to 1964), pro-life (1970s and later), for the war in Iraq (or Vietnam, depending on the time period), and doesn't have much tolerance for anything he considers anti-American. He also knows what's best for his country, or at least he thinks he does, and doesn't need no nancy liberals with their bleeding hearts telling him what to do (though it should be noted that many of these guys were moderately liberal prior to the '60s, if only out of political expediency).

Can either be a very sympathetic or very unlikable character depending on the political persuasion of the writer. Portrayal can also differ widely from wise, uncompromising leader to lovable, simple buffoon to racist, homophobic, oil-loving bastard. Sympathetic characters may have a personal code of honor and invoke one or more positive Morality Tropes.

Also see Southern-Fried Private and Southern-Fried Genius.


Examples

Film
  • Most of the Southern officials in My Cousin Vinny. The civilians and the police are a bit dim and slow but otherwise are nice and quiet, while the prosecutor is just doing his job and drops the charges once evidence proving the innocence of the boys comes forth. The judge is a Jerkass, but only because he's suspicious of Vinny's credentials and dislikes his manner in the courtroom, and rightfully so on both counts.

Literature
  • The cowboys from Hank the Cowdog, but especially Slim. Rip and Snort are described by Hank as "good 'ol boy coyotes" who love nothing more than fighting, eating, and singing (in that order).
  • In Anita Blake, narrator Anita refers to one of Edward's methods of disguising himself as his "good ol' boy" manner. He fits the trope to a tee...when he's playing the part, anyway. The man himself is Death to Anita's Boogeyman. Not that this stops him from Becoming the Mask.
  • Stud Redman of Stephen King's The Stand is a typical east Texas good ol' boy who played football in high school, dropped out of college to support his siblings, lost a wife and mother to cancer, puts in time at a calculator factory and doesn't quite get enough hours to make ends meet, and has never lived more than fifty miles from where he was born. The character himself is treated sympathetically, but his circumstances as of the novel's beginning are played as quietly tragic.

Live-Action TV
  • District Attorney Arthur Branch from Law & Order and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. (Actor Fred Dalton Thompson is a pretty good real life example of this as well.)
    • Numerous defense attorneys over the years as well.

Music
  • Don Williams' 1980 hit "Good Ole Boys Like Me" is about a good ol' boy who feels out of place in society.
  • Good Old Boys is the name of Randy Newman's fifth album, and it's song "Rednecks" is a vicious mockery of this type of person.

Radio
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Four Fiancés", the Texan to whom Miss Brooks finds herself unwittingly engaged. The gentleman is portrayed sympathetically.

Stand-Up Comedy

Tabletop Games
  • Spirit of '77: Players can create one of these as a character via the role of the same name. Since the game is set in The '70s, it's an obvious call to Dukes of Hazzard, but can also extend to Convoy-type truckers and Evel Knievel-type daredevils.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Buck Tuddrussel in Time Squad. He's full of pride towards his homeland (Texas) and his family name- and wishes for a simpler time similar to the American Old West.

Real Life
  • It's not uncommon for American politicians in both political parties to present themselves as this trope to appeal to blue collar workers. Many times, they are not originally from the South, nor do they necessarily have any kind of blue collar background.
  • Lyndon Johnson, although a liberal, was about as close to this trope's ideal as a human being could possibly be. Texan, friendly, delightfully quirky...and also a bit of a sycophant.
  • The entire state of Texas is often portrayed as this trope writ large, among the men and (to a lesser extent) women alike. Southern gentility crossed with Western toughness and integrity.

Alternative Title(s): Good Old Boy

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoodOlBoy