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Characters / Smokey and the Bandit

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    The Bandit 

Bo "The Bandit" Darville
Portrayed by: Burt Reynolds

"I used to go from place to place and do what I'd do best, show off."

A truck driver and daredevil, Bo Darville aka. the Bandit is a legendary figure in the South. He is offered $80,000 by Big and Little Enos Burdette to transport four hundred cases of Coors beer from Texarkana to Bandit's hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, to which he accepts. But on the way back, he picks up runaway bride Carrie, which makes him the target of the groom's father, Sheriff Buford T. Justice.

  • Anti-Hero: He is very charming, but he also has no regard for the law and breaks it left and right: Bootlegging, speeding, reckless driving, vandalism, attempted murder, etc.
  • Attention Whore: Especially in the second film as his fame is fading and he knows that he can't be the world's biggest show-off for much longer.
  • Badass Driver: Jumping bridges, dodging hundreds of police cars, driving through football fields, deserts, etc.
  • Badass Mustache: One of his trademarks. Doubles as a Porn Stache.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Does this twice. In the first film, he gives an Aside Glance and smiles to the camera as he successfully avoids an officer. In the second film, he reunites with Carrie after their breakup and she insists they keep things professional. He looks at the camera and says "She still loves me".
  • The Cameo: At the end of Part 3, when Buford confronts Cledus, who's taken on the Bandit role, and Buford hallucinates that he's the real Bandit.
  • The Casanova: He's handsome, famous and a favorite among the ladies (and Charlotte the elephant). Though his womanizing is one of the many things that caused Frog to break things off with him between the first two movies.
  • Cool Car: His black 1977 and 1980 Trans Ams, with a golden eagle on the hood as decal.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: At the beginning of II, after he has lost both Frog and his fame, he's living in a cheap motel and sold his Trans Am, spending most of his money on booze.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": At one point in the first film, he uses a faked funeral procession to get Buford off his tail.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It becomes apparent in II that Bo fears losing his fame and views his mission with Charlotte as his last chance to "be somebody", to the point where he loses any redeeming traits he has, which drives Carrie away (again). He also tries to fight Cledus, and puts the life of Charlotte and her baby in jeopardy. Carrie even points out that he no longer likes himself. He ultimately decides to forgo the mission and get back together with Carrie, claiming that he now likes himself again.
  • Jaded Washout: Happened between the first two films: Bandit broke up with Frog (and it's strongly hinted that he both abused her and cheated on her when they were together), he was trying way too hard to retain his fame (He released a record that failed miserably) and sold his Trans Am for booze money. He was living in a crappy motel and stayed drunk pretty much all the time. Then he gets another bet from the Burdettes and views this as his last chance for a comeback.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is a felon and an egotist, but he's also very charming and offered to sacrifice himself for Cledus' sake twice. The "Jerk" part is more obvious in II, where he is so hellbent on regaining his glory that he endangers a pregnant elephant for the sake of his $400,000 prize. Though he snaps out of it when he sees the elephant cry.
  • Lovable Rogue: Everywhere he goes, there are people lining up to help him out or at least cheer him on.
  • Never Bareheaded: He is only shown without his hat in one scene in the first film, as he only takes it off for "one thing" (sex). Subverted in the second film, as he is shown hatless much more often.
  • Nice Hat: His trademark tan cowboy hat.
  • The Nicknamer: Gives Carrie her handle "Frog".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His real name is Bo Darville, but this is scarcely mentioned.
  • Opposites Attract: Bandit and Frog have nothing in common and their attraction is mostly physical. Yet somehow, despite a nasty breakup, they somehow manage to make it work.
  • Poisonous Friend: He's not the most pleasant guy to be around sometimes and according to Cledus' wife Waynette, Bandit ended up getting Cledus put in jail once.
  • Red Is Heroic: He wears a red shirt in the first film and a red jacket in the second. Though Bandit is more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Cledus' blue, as he's shown to be impulsive, fame and money hungry and chaotic than Cledus' more levelheadedness.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Let's just say the Bandit and Snowman assume the roles of the Road Runner, managing to elude capture, while Sheriff Buford and the many policemen that pursue them collectively assume the role of the unfortunate Coyote.
  • Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond: Bandit almost beats up a gas station attendant in II for calling him one of the biggest assholes in America.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In II, Bo and Carrie had broken up due to Bo's ego getting out-of-control due to his fame drying up. He's so desperate to claim his $400,000 prize from the Enoses that he ends up threatening the life of Charlotte and her baby. Thankfuly he comes to his senses when Charlotte cries.
  • Worthy Opponent: Buford and the Bandit both admit a mutual respect for the other's tenacity at the end over the CB.
    Bandit: You must be part coon dog. 'Cause I've been chased by the best of 'em, but you make 'em all look like they're running in slow motion.
    Buford: May I just say as the pursuer, you're just about the Goddamndest pursue-ee I ever pursued!

    Sheriff Buford T. Justice 

Sheriff Buford T. Justice
Portrayed by: Jackie Gleason

"There's no way, no way that you could come from my loins. Soon as I get home, the first thing I'm gonna do is punch your mama in the mouth."

A nasty Texas Sheriff who is out for blood when his idiot son's bride left him at the altar and ran off with the Bandit. He continues chasing Bandit well past his jurisdiction and into several states. He eventually grows to see Bandit as a Worthy Opponent, which makes him want to apprehend Bandit even more.

  • Abusive Parents: He constantly insults Junior, tells him to shut up whenever he speaks, threatens him with violence and casually remarks that Junior can't possibly be his biological son. Though he clarifies in Part 3 that Junior "will always be my tick turd".
  • The Alleged Car: Buford's police cruiser becomes this as it gets smashed to hell. A Running Gag in the sequels, naturally:
    • In the second film, the cruiser gets folded nearly in half, but is still somewhat driveable.
    • In the third film, the cruiser's body is completely destroyed, leaving Buford to drive a bare frame on four wheels, with Junior holding the light bar over their heads.
  • Anti-Villain: While he is breaking the law by chasing Bandit far beyond his jurisdiction purely for personal reasons, the Bandit is committing multiple felonies at every beck and call and should face, forgive the pun, justice.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite constantly putting his son Junior down throughout the trilogy, Buford still loves his son through thick and thin.
    Buford: Junior... you are a brave little tick turd.
    Junior: Aw, thank you Daddy!
  • Catchphrase: "Sumbitch", an abbreviation of "son of a bitch".
  • Corrupt Hick: Buford has no idea that The Bandit is hauling illegal beer, which would have justified the pursuit at least within his jurisdiction—if not for the fact that he leaves said jurisdiction almost immediately. His pursuit is entirely for personal reasons and thus qualifies as being corrupt. Of course, the titular Bandit is breaking the law left and right, so neither party comes to the plot with clean hands.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Buford delivers a classic.
    Buford T. Justice: I'm gonna barbeque your ass in molasses!
  • A Day in the Limelight: Smokey and the Bandit: Part 3 makes Buford the main character.
  • Determinator: Nothing will stop this man from chasing Bandit. Nothing.
  • Dirty Cop: While not on the take, he abuses his power, has no respect for other officers and chases Bandit solely for personal reasons.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His rivalry with Bandit started because he picked up his son's Runaway Bride. Bandit was shipping large quantities of beer illegally, but Buford didn't know that.
  • Everyone Has Standards: For all his flaws, Buford has no respect for the Ku Klux Klan, and causes a truckful of Klansmen harassing an African-American group to get covered in tar and feathers.
    Buford: Here's how you handle the Klan, Junior.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Played with by Buford saying a black sheriff "sounded a little taller on radio." It's really an attempt to downplay racism.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He fails to notice the Snowman at any point in the three films. In fact, when he comes up to him face-to-face in Part 3, he hallucinates the real Bandit in his place.
  • Fat Bastard: He has a gut and is not a very pleasant man at all.
  • Fat Slob: He's a sloppy eater, as shown with his Diablo sandwich at the truck stop.
  • Hollywood Law: He is under the impression that being in 'hot pursuit' means that he has the authority to pursue the Bandit wherever he goes. That's not exactly how it works. That part of the hot pursuit doctrine does grant him the authority to chase Bandit over the county line (it was written so the police would not be hamstrung by red tape when dealing with criminals who immediately cross the border to another jurisdiction). He would not have the authority to continue chasing him all the way across that county and into the next, and the next, and the next, and the next, ultimately resulting in a chase across multiple states. There is a point where Buford would be obliged to turn over the chase to people with either local jurisdiction for that region (the other local sheriffs) or simply a wider jurisdiction (state police or the FBI). Though even that could cause some potential difficulties, as at the beginning of the chase Buford didn't even have any proof that Bandit was doing anything illegal (yes, he was hauling several hundred cases of beer that was illegal to ship in bulk to that part of the country at the time, but Buford didn't know that), he was chasing the man for purely personal reasons. Making the entire pursuit illegal even within Buford's own jurisdiction.
  • Hot Pursuit: Up to Eleven. Buford seems to be under the impression that declaring he's doing this will allow him to continue chasing Bandit all over the United States without being disturbed by other law enforcement.
  • Hypocrite: Buford has no love for the KKK, despite the fact that he is pretty racist himself, thinking it a disgrace that Sheriff Branford is African-American.
  • Inspector Javert: He's Right for the Wrong Reasons, though — Bandit is committing multiple felonies, but Sheriff Justice begins his pursuit out of Disproportionate Retribution, adds multiple made-up charges as he goes along (on top of any real ones) and tops it off by having complete disregard of jurisdiction.
  • Insult of Endearment:
    Buford: Son, you'll always be my tick turd.
  • Instant Convertible: In his wild pursuit of The Bandit, Buford's patrol car eventually loses its top, among other things.
  • Jabba Table Manners: He devours his Diablo sandwich and makes a mess everywhere, talking while chewing his food.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: At least one cop per film will question Sheriff Justice on what the hell he's doing so far away from his jurisdiction. Buford will insist that he's in "hot pursuit" and to get the hell out of his way. The plot will always prevent him from getting in deeper trouble (usually because said cop gets distracted by Bandit).
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Played with when Buford considers retirement following his attempt to capture the Bandit failing once again. Only to be subverted when Buford resumes his pursuit, now driving a Greyhound shuttle.
  • Large Ham: Jackie Gleason turns it up to eleven in nearly every scene, and is clearly enjoying himself while doing it.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: We never find out what the "T" stands for.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Buford: Nobody, nobody makes Sheriff Buford T. Justice look like a possum's pecker!
    Junior: Except for that-
    Buford: Shut your ass.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Buford swears a blue streak, but doesn't want people using foul language in front of his son.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: As seen with his reaction to finding out that Sheriff Branford is black. To say nothing of the casual sexism and homophobia.
    Buford: Hey boy! Where's Sheriff Branford?
    Branford: I am Sheriff Branford.
    Buford: Oh OK. Hell, for some reason or another you sounded a little taller on radio. [turns to Buford Jr.] What in the hell is the world coming to?
  • Precision F-Strike: Albeit censored by a convenient air horn to keep things PG.
    Buford: Apology accepted. Now, fuck off.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Let's just say the Bandit and Snowman assume the roles of the Road Runner, managing to elude capture, while Sheriff Buford and the many policemen that pursue them collectively assume the role of the unfortunate Coyote.
  • The Sheriff: Obviously.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Everyone swears a lot in these movies, but at least 60% of it comes from Buford alone.
  • Tempting Fate: After the Bandit crossed over the trucks, Buford attempted to do the same, until two trucks moved forward.
    Buford: The Bandit ain't the only dare devil.
    • An earlier example comes when Buford sees the Bandit and attempts to jump the bridge. The car gets wedged onto the bridge, before ultimately falling in the water.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Buford initially retires after 35 years of service, only to get back into the uniform and accept the bet after the opening credits in 3.
    Buford: Junior, retirement is cat shit.
  • Worthy Opponent: Buford and the Bandit both admit a mutual respect for the other's tenacity at the end over the CB.
    Bandit: You must be part coon dog. 'Cause I've been chased by the best of 'em, but you make 'em all look like they're running in slow motion.
    Buford: May I just say as the pursuer, you're just about the Goddamndest pursue-ee I ever pursued!
  • Your Mom: A version of Your Mom is a Running Gag with Buford and Junior—Buford insults Junior's mother, but she is of course Buford's wife. Then again, "There is no way - no WAY - that you could come from my loins."

     The Snowman 

Cledus "The Snowman" Snow
Portrayed by: Jerry Reed

"♫ Bandit you're reckless and you live much too hard. ♫ Oughta be in Nashville."

Cledus "Snowman" Snow is Bandit's best friend and a fellow trucker who helps him on his journey to haul 400 cases of bootleg beer to the Georgia Southern Classic, with Cledus driving Bandit's truck while Bandit and his Trans Am distract any cops from opening the back and seeing the illegal cargo. Cledus is usually accompanied by his basset hound, Fred.

  • Badass Mustache: Has one in Part III.
  • Bar Brawl:
    • Gets into a fight with a group of bikers at a truck stop after Fred supposedly bites one of them. He loses, but runs over their bikes with his rig as payback.
    • Gets into another in III, though he fairs much better that time.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's the nicest of the main characters, but when Bo wouldn't listen to Cledus about Charlotte's health, Cledus punched him out.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When talking to the Burdettes, or when Bandit's bad side gets the best of him. He also insults the food of a truck stop he visits regularly.
    Big Enos: Us Burdettes don't take too kindly to slurs on our family name.
    Cledus': I thought you two was a slur on your family name.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He only mildly objects to hauling bootleg beer, but he refuses to endanger a pregnant elephant, $400,000 be damned.
  • The Lancer: Serves as this to Bandit on his many journeys.
  • Nice Hat: A CAT cap in the first film, cowboy hats in the sequels.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Bandit's red, as he's the calmer, more sensible of the two.


Carrie (aka. "Frog")
Portrayed by: Sally Field

"Mr. Bandit, you have a lyrical way of cutting through the bullshit."

Carrie is a professional dancer who was supposed to marry Buford's son, Junior, but backed out at the last second and left him at the altar. Aware that Buford is on her trail, she jumps into a car with a stranger, who happens to be none other than the Bandit himself.

  • Absentee Actor: Doesn't appear in the third film.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The entirety of her attraction to the Bandit. Deconstructed as their relationship was not a stable one and they ended up breaking up between the first two films. Then they get back together once Bandit realizes fame and money isn't everything.
  • Buffy Speak: She's not good with CB radio slang.
    "I've got the medal to the pedal and the thing to the floor".
  • City Mouse: She's implied to be from the New England area and knows nothing about Southern culture or CB radio slang.
  • Easily Forgiven: Junior doesn't seem to bear any ill will against Frog for leaving him. They even say hi to each other when Buford has them at gunpoint. The same cannot be said for Buford himself.
  • Genki Girl: Bandit came up with the "Frog" handle because she's "always hoppin' around."
  • Motor Mouth: She really can rattle on about things when given a chance, like when she was talking about the wedding she walked away from.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As the main female character, she gets some prominent shots of her rear and cleavage.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Even more so than Bandit himself. After introducing herself in the first film, Bo only calls her "Carrie" twice in the sequel.
  • Only One Name: We know her first name is Carrie, but her last name is never mentioned.
  • Opposites Attract: She and Bandit have nothing in common and their attraction is purely physical. Naturally, problems arise from this.
  • Runaway Bride: Is set to marry Junior at the start of both films and escapes both times. The first time is what kick-started the entire Smokey and the Bandit rivalry.
  • Women Are Wiser: She loves Bo, but his ego gets in the way of their relationship. She's also spot on about how his confidence is tied to his fame and when his stardom started to fade, he became so obsessed with getting it back that it turned him into a massive jerk.


"Junior" Justice
Portrayed by: Mike Henry

"Y'know Daddy, I don't think the Bandit's really bad. He's just in with the wrong crowd."

Junior is the deputy and dimwitted son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. He was supposed to marry Carrie, but she left him at the altar. Twice.

  • Basement-Dweller: Still lives at home and told Buford he was never leaving. Buford tells Junior never to threaten his daddy like that again.
  • Butt-Monkey: His wife-to-be walked out on him twice. His father constantly insults him, tells him to shut up whenever he speaks and threatens him with violence. he also suffers a lot of slapstick abuse.
  • Manchild: He has a very child-like personality, such as asking Buford if they could stay and watch a football game while in the middle of a chase, wanting to move to Florida because of the gators and snakes and stuff, saying he has to "pee-pee", etc.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Described by Carrie as such, though he's dumb as a stump.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He's a police officer who doesn't even keep his gun loaded!
    "When I put bullets in it, Daddy, it gets too heavy."

     Big and Little Enos 

"Big" and "Little" Enos Burdette
Portrayed by: Pat Mc Cormick (Big) and Paul Williams (Little)

"See, son, old legends never die. They just lose weight."
"Seems like a legend and an out-of-work bum look a lot alike, Daddy."

A pair of wealthy Texans who frequently make bets with people in order to convince them to perform nigh-impossible, and often illegal, tasks for them. They seek out the Bandit at a truck rodeo in Atlanta and offer him $80,000 to pick up 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas and transport it to Atlanta in 28 hours.

  • Affably Evil: Big Enos is quite courteous, yet conniving. Little Enos, on the other hand, has no such manners.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In the third film, Little Enos has a son of his own, but its trying to remember the number of one of the men at the hotel.
  • Badass Mustache: Both have them, indicating that they are men of power.
  • Big Bad: Despite the presence of Buford, the Burdettes are actually the ones who provide the challenges for the main characters to overcome:
    • In the first film, the make a bet with Bandit to bootleg 400 cases of Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta. Though it turns out, this is a regular bet they make since the beginning of the film shows another trucker being arrested for doing the same. After Bandit makes it back without getting caught, they offer him a "double or nothing" challenge to bring them some authentic Boston clam chowder in 18 hours.
    • In the second film, Big Enos is running for governor of Texas, but he fails to get any endorsement due to his constant bickering with his opponent. Luckily, he overhears that the current governor needs a crate delivered from Miami to a Republican convention in Dallas and Enos decides to hire Bandit to get it there first in order to get the governor to endorse his campaign. He initially offers Bandit $100,000 dollars for the job, but they re-negotiate to $400,000. The package in question is an elephant that happens to be pregnant and due to deliver at any moment.
    • In the third film, they seek out Buford T. Justice and make a bet with him to transport a rubber fish from Miami to Dallas for $250,000. If Buford fails, he must retire from law enforcement. However, unlike their bets with Bandit (where they expect him to fail on his own in the first film, and actually want him to succeed in the second film), the Burdettes are personally trying to make Buford fail the challenge (possibly as payback for interfering with their dealings) by setting traps and then hiring the Bandit (actually Snowman posing as Bandit) to take the fish back from him.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Big Enos is, well, big. His son, Little Enos is the little guy.
  • Casual Car Giveaway: At the end of the first movie, Big Enos gives Bandit the keys to his convertible, so he can both evade the Georgia state police and get on the road to Boston. He mentions that leaves him with an even dozen.
  • Corrupt Hick: Being rich Southerners in suits and hats who gamble with others to carry out their misdeeds for them, they definitely qualify.
  • The Dandy: They both are always seen dressed in matching suits and cowboy hats.
  • Disguised in Drag: They do this in an adult hotel in Part 3. They didn't even bother in removing their moustaches, but that didn't stop the group of men, with Little Enos trying to remember one of the men's numbers.
  • For the Evulz: While their two bets (well, three) with the Bandit actually had reasons behind them, the one they foist onto Buford in the third film is purely to alleviate boredom. And possibly to get Buford to turn in his badge (which was Buford's end of the wager, should he not complete the run successfully) to remove his interference with future deals.
  • The Napoleon: Little Enos is played by 5'2" Paul Williams and is very aggressive and insolent, often stating how he wants to kick Bandit's ass just once.
  • Nice Hat: They both wear white cowboy hats, though Little Enos' hat is slightly larger than his father's.
  • Your Mom: Little Enos tries to bait Bandit into accepting the dare by hinting he's too cowardly to take up the challenge. An amused Bandit asks Little Enos why he doesn't just insult his mother while he's at it. Little Enos replies, "Your mama's so ugly..." before Big Enos cuts him off.

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