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Good Ol' Boy

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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 or a farmer, 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 Bourgeois Bohemian urban liberals with their bleeding hearts and electric cars telling him what to do. (It should be noted that, until the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, many of these guys voted for liberal politicians, as the Democratic Party in the postwar era was a coalition of conservative white Southerners, blue-collar unionized workers, and social liberals for a variety of complicated reasons, like ensuring that modern-day Democrats aren't tarred with the racist brush...).

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.

You'd better think twice about trying to rob him in his country homestead: his hobbies include collecting old rifles, shotguns and pistols and he can hit a flea off a dog's back with his grandpa's hunting rifle. He has a shotgun in the rifle rack of his pickup truck and a revolver in the glove box. Oh, and sis, ma and grandma at the cabin are also packin'.

While politically conservative and against drugs, he still enjoys a swig of backwoods moonshine. He may even have a still or two out in the woods. As well, a cigar is a favorite evening relaxation.

Also see Southern-Fried Private, Southern-Fried Genius, and The Friendly Texan.


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    Comic Books 
  • Supergirl's adoptive father Jeremiah Danvers in Supergirl: Being Super is of the sympathetic variety. He's a government-wary, somewhat eccentric (he doesn't believe in birthdays or sickness) gruffy man who doesn't know how to handle emotionally-sensitive matters and thinks his country would be better off if "people worried less about revolution and more about getting stuff done". He is also visibly a devout husband and father.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The titular Forrest Gump is from Greenbow, Alabama and is an all around sweetheart despite his lack of traditional smarts. The other characters who come from the same place vary in terms of niceness. While Forrest's mother was an example of Good Parents who steered him right, he was also a victim of bullying during his time in school, and his childhood friend and crush Jenny ended up living a tumultuous life due to her abusive upbringing.
  • 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.
  • The titular Tucker and Dale from Tucker & Dale vs. Evil are well-meaning if socially awkward rednecks, which makes the fact that they keep getting mistaken for villains in a Hillbilly Horrors movie all the more hilarious.
  • In Wendigo, Otis is a creepy good ol' boy hunter who takes an instant dislike to city-dweller George and goes out of his way to antagonize and threaten him.

  • 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.
  • Captain Leroy from Sharpe's Eagle is a subversion. While he is a conservative, cigar chompin' military man from rural Virginia, "conservative" in this context means he has no patience with namby-pamby liberals like the Founding Fathers and their crazy-talk about "equality" and "justice". In fact, he considers the US to be built on hypocrisy of the worst kind; money and class are just as important in the US as in Britain, but everyone pretends that isn't the case. Furthermore, his family were plantation owners who made their fortune in "slaves, molasses and cotton" before being forced to flee to Canada after the Revolution, and the army he is serving in is the British one.
  • In the thriller Victoria, Bill McMoster is more or less a straight example, though perhaps a little more "upper" middle class than most, with belligerent conservative views and a love for toughening outdoor sports and Confederate history. He is also slightly unusual in being a completely heroic figure in spite of this characterization.

    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.
  • Dwight Hendricks from Memphis Beat (of the "Aw shucks, Ma'am" variety).
  • The main characters in Letterkenny are very proud to be Good ol' Boys, although they are of the Canadian variety, which generally means that they will leave the politics part of it aside.
  • Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation veers between being an exaggerated parody and playing this type straight.
  • On Survivor, this term is used throughout the show's history to refer to a specific male casting/character archetype. Tom Buchanan was the first to be called this in Survivor: Africa (season 3). Coach called J.T. a Good Ol' Boy in Survivor: Tocantins (season 18), a man clearly cast for that trope. J.T. would continued to be referred to as one on Heroes vs. Villains by other castaways. Coach also called Rick Nelson a Good Ol' Boy in Survivor: South Pacific (season 23). Ben Driebergen referred to himself as a Good Ol' Boy on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers (season 35). Various other male contestants have either referred to themselves as or been referred to by Jeff Probst or other contestants as "Good Ol' Boys" or similar names over the show's 40 seasons: Rodger Bingham (S2 - Australian Outback), Travis 'Bubba' Sampson (S9 - Vanuatu), James Miller (S10 - Palau), Brandon Bellinger (S11 - Guatemala), Boo Bernis (S14 - Fiji), Chicken Morris (S15 - China), Ralph Kiser (S22 - Redemption Island), Jeff Kent (S25 - Philippines), Caleb Bankston (S27 - Palau), Jeremiah Wood (S28 - Cagayan), Keith Nale (S29 - San Juan del Sur), Mike Holloway (S30 - Worlds Apart), Caleb Reynolds (S32 - Kaoh Rong) and Carl Boudreaux (S37 - David vs. Goliath).
  • The Horror Host Joe Bob Briggs uses this persona, combining it with an Unabashed B-Movie Fan. A Texan with the requisite accent who lives in a trailer, he's presented as unapologetically lowbrow, ranking movies for their violence and sex scenes, yet also extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his interests, having multiple horror filmmakers, writers, and actors on his show for interviews.

  • 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.
  • A Real Good Man by Tim McGraw. The lyrics admit that he's a rough and rowdy individual, but still maintains an attitude of respect where it counts.
    I may drink too much and play too loud
    Hang out with a rough and rowdy crowd
    That don't mean I don't respect
    My mama or my Uncle Sam
    Yes sir, yes ma'am
    I may be a real bad boy
    But baby, I'm a real good man
  • Jerry Jeff Walker song "Redneck Mothers" is about this type.


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

    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 

    Visual Novels 
  • Downplayed with both the protagonist and Mortelli in Daughter for Dessert. They both believe in laws, but have their own morals that are independent of the law. They are also both implied to be politically conservative. However, none of this is mentioned all that much.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

  • John Lee Pettimore IV from Pretending to Be People is a southern-accented Missouri cop from an extensive, hard-drinking backwoods family that is close-knit, possibly-inbred, and rambunctious to the point of criminality. Tying up a belligerent drunk family member is jokingly referred to as a common chore for Pettimore children at family gatherings. John Lee IV leans towards the libertarian end of the Good Ol' Boy spectrum, with a fondness for conspiracy theories and drugs of varying stripes.

    Web Video 
  • Nightmare Time: Duke Keane plays with this. With his Texan accent, beat-up station wagon, mullet, and casual dress sense, he looks like a classic Good Ol' Boy, but rather than being a conservative blue collar worker, he's an incredibly dedicated social worker who does everything in his power to help people who can't help themselves, and he's a Reasonable Authority Figure and one of the few Muggles who's in on Hatchetfield's supernatural happenings.

    Western Animation 
  • King of the Hill:
    • Hank Hill is a sympathetic version. His very straitlaced and conservative views are often played for humor, but even when he's in the wrong, they aren't presented as villainous traits.
    • Now, his father Cotton on the other hand? Yeesh. Imagine being such an unsympathetic piece of garbage that you manage to be a complete Hate Sink even in spite of being a war hero who lost his legs fighting the Axis in World War II and genuinely loving your grandson. He's basically what you get when someone completely stomps on the gas of every negative stereotype about Good Ol' Boys imaginable, being a loud, cantankerous, obstreperous, sexist, racist, homophobic, judgmental, violent, miserable old man who treats everyone except Bobby with complete and utter contempt, despises his son to the point he names his newborn "Good Hank", refuses to even acknowledge Peggy and refers to her as "Hank's Wife", and who's most noble action was deciding at the last minute not to spit in the face of the Emperor of Japan. Even his love of Bobby is a terrible thing, as he's such an awful influence on the young boy.
  • Tom Anderson from Beavis and Butt-Head, on whom Hank Hill is based (and with whom he shares a voice). He's portrayed as more buffoonish and not quite as likable compared to Hank, but he remains sympathetic due how often he undeservedly suffers from the titular duo's stupidity.
  • Various locals in South Park, particularly Skeeter, Jimbo, and Ned. Zig-zagged, in that they serve as a voice of reason nearly as often at they contribute to whatever ridiculous ideas the town's adults have gotten swept up in.
  • 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 
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Good Old Boy