He hunted alligator for a livin; he just knocked 'em in the head with a stump!"
One of many ways to make a character more badass: Make him from New Orleans (or at least somewhere in Louisiana). Maybe he honed his skills wrestling alligators in the bayou like his counterpart from Down Under the Awesome Aussie does with crocodiles, maybe he has voodoo powers, but he's a native of The Big Easy and he's gonna let you know it.
This character is
guaranteed gerr-on-teed to have a thick accent, usually a mixture of Southern and French, even if the actual Cajun accent sounds nothing like this. A common expression is "Where y'at?" ("Where are you?"), which also lends its name to the native dialect of New Orleans, "Yat", characterized among other peculiarities by the vowel sounds "ur" and "oy" being swapped (yes, just like in the Brooklynese New York dialect).
Note that Cajun does not mean from New Orleans. In fact, New Orleans is specifically not Cajun, as the culture exists in the Acadiana region, whose urban center is Lafayette. The Big Easy's specific ethnic group is known as Creole. The word itself is a corruption of "Acadian", the term for the French-speaking settlers of Canada's Maritime Provinces, particularly New Brunswick and, in the 18th century, Nova Scotia. That's right — the Cajuns' ancestors are from regions that are part of Canada. They trekked down to Louisiana by several routes after the French and Indian War resulted in the transfer of Canada to British rule and the subsequent Acadian deportation. As a result, the Cajuns have a Southern U.S. culture with Acadian roots. Cajuns are also an ethnic group mainly living in southwestern Louisiana, but many creators can't tell the difference. See The Other Wiki for further details. Hint: New Orleans is more metropolitan/city, and Cajun is more pastoral/country (except the aforementioned Lafayette).
Of course, characters don't have to be Cajun — or even French — to qualify. All they have to do is be from Louisiana — or somewhere near Louisiana — and fit the stereotype. And they can be from any part of the Gulf Coast, which stretches from southeastern Texas to Florida. Many people don't realize this, but the Houston area has the largest number of Cajuns outside Louisiana,note especially after Hurricane Katrina (leading to some bitter irony when Harvey hit Houston), and there are significant Cajun and Louisiana Creole communities across much of Texas.
- For some, Gambit of the X-Men is nothing more than a collection of various stereotypes about thieves and Cajuns all rolled into one that has only recently been given any major Character Development. He was raised by your run-of-the-mill Cajun thieves' guild after being kidnapped at birth, and their leader was advised by a black Catholic voodoo priestess type! He has a Cajun accent so hardcore that even the writers of the X-Men books can't help parodying it now and then! Every time Gambit has a few issues in New Orleans, he will have scenes in the swamps, the French Quarter or both, and some mention of gumbo or jambalaya will be made, I gerr-on-tee it. One of his taunts in the game X-Men Legends even is "Watch out for ragin' Cajun!"
- In Monsters, Inc., the protagonists dispose of Randall by stranding him in a trailer in the Louisiana bayou, where he is beaten with a shovel by an old Cajun woman who thinks he's an alligator.
- Ray the Cajun firefly in The Princess and the Frog is usually just a big goofball, but proves to be a Pintsized Powerhouse when fighting Dr. Facilier's living shadow minions.
- The Rescuers has the Devil's Bayou-dwelling Funny Animals, led by the muskrat couple Ellie Mae and Luke, who are of great help to the protagonists against Medusa in the climax.
- There was a little-seen film from 1986 called Belizaire The Cajun, with Armand Assante in the title role. It's set just before the (American) Civil War, and shows Cajuns to be superstitious, crafty, and very, very dangerous if you discriminate against them too much.
- Many of the New Orleans natives in The Big Easy, particularly Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid).
- An authentic example can be found in the film version of The Blind Side, focusing on the high school and college career of future NFL offensive tackle Michael Oher. Ed Orgeron, a Cajun who was Oher's head coach at Ole Miss, played himself, complete with his very thick accent. (In the original book, only Oher's adoptive father Sean Tuohy, a New Orleans native, could understand him.)
- Desiree Thibodeau in Gator Bait is a rare female example.
- Goodnight Robicheaux in The Magnificent Seven (2016), known as the "Angel of Death" for his exploits as a sharpshooter in the Civil War. Even hardened gamblers turn horrified and submissive when they realize who they're talking to.
- One of the Mooks in John Cena's debut movie The Marine is from the Louisiana bayous, so he's more at home in the swamps of South Carolina (where the bad guys have fled with a kidnapped hostage in tow) than the rest of the gang. John Triton still manages to kill him with little trouble, though.
- The movie Southern Comfort is about a bunch of Southern city boy National Guardsmen who make the mistake of stealing some boats from some swamp-dwelling Cajuns.
- The Not Even Bothering with the Accent page notes that Action Hero Jean-Claude Van Damme has been given a Cajun background in several of his movies, such as Universal Soldier and Hard Target. Technically an example, even though it's just a Hand Wave for his Belgian accent?
- Likely so, since if you've only heard a Cajun accent on movies and TV, you probably wouldn't know what a real one sounds like anyhow. Most writers certainly don't.
- Now, sure, Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy may be a soft spoken mama's boy — but let's just say that when he gets mad, it ain't pretty.
- Edward S. Aarons' Assignment / Sam Durell series. Fictional CIA agent Sam Durell is the hero for all of the stories in this series. He has the nickname "The Cajun". He grew up in the swamps of Louisiana. Note that he was trained to have a "average" U.S. accent by the CIA, so he does not have the thick accent.
- Inverted with Doc Roe in Band of Brothers: he's one of the few non-action guys in the cast, and one of the quietest and gentlest characters. Then again, he's only half-Cajun.
- Paul 'Gumbo' Beausoleil from Key West. He's a bar owner and former circus clown who owns a pet alligator and refuses to allow his strippers to take off all their clothes.
- This is a given for officers Cobb and Boulet from Kville, as the show is set in post-Katrina New Orleans.
- On Lamb Chop's Play-Along, Lamb Chop's buddy Hush Puppy had an all-purpose Southern accent that could shade into the Cajun dialect whenever he got excited.
- Dwayne Pride from NCIS: New Orleans is a downplayed version. While he's not exactly hunting gators, his pride in his New Orleans heritage is matched only by his badassery and his willingness to protect the city. Notably, he does genuinely enjoy any chance he gets during his job to travel through the wetlands on the airboats.
- Snafu Shelton from The Pacific.
- Adam Sandler's Cajun Man character from Saturday Night Live fits this stereotype.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Meet Commander and later Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko! Born and raised in New Orleans, he is as good a gourmet Cajun / Creole chef as his restauranteur father Joseph. His badasserry is beyond reproach - he was the one captain who did more than most to defeat the Dominion. And when he is pissed off, he scares the crap out of Worf, stares down Picard and even punches out Q!
- Benny Lafitte in Season 8 of Supernatural.
- Gator hunter Troy Landry and his gang on Swamp People are this by default; hunting giant, carnivorous reptiles for a living will do that. They're also something of an annoyance to Louisianians who have a hard enough time convincing the rest of the country that the whole state population isn't like that.
- René on True Blood could count as an aversion, since he wasn't really Cajun but faked the accent.
- He was Cajun but "he let his heritage go."
- The late TV Chef and humorist Justin Wilson (or, as he pronounced it, Zhustehn Wihssohn) had the accent if not the attitude (he was authentically Cajun, but he played it up a good bit for the cameras). While he didn't fight alligators, he was known to cook them (and turtle, and crawfish), ah gahr-on-TEE.
- On Good Eats, in the gumbo episode, Alton is sharing a set with a Cajun chef (a parody of Justin Wilson's cooking show). At the end, it's revealed that the "Cajun" chef isn't Cajun, or even Southern, at all; he's from Boston.
- Lil Waynes music uniquely combines Gangsta Rap with references to life in Waynes native New Orleans. Waynes mentor, gangsta rapper Bryan Birdman Adams, is also a Louisiana native, but this doesnt really come up in his music.
- "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" by The Oak Ridge Boys.
Did you ever see a Cajun when he really got mad?
When he really got trouble like a daughter gone bad?
It gets real hot down in Louisiana.
- As featured in the page quote, Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses".
- Adalida, from the George Strait song of the same name, is what happens when this trope meets Spirited Young Lady.
- In the early '90s, there was a heel character by the name of Skinner who was (supposedly) renowned as an alligator hunter. He was from the Florida Everglades rather than Louisiana, but he still fit the trope.
- ZZ from the 2015 series of WWE Tough Enough was pretty much this is real life, being a Louisiana boy who worked on an alligator farm. He naturally played it up during the show and placed second out of the male contestants (largely due to his popularity with the fans).
- Champions adventure C.L.O.W.N.: A New Orleans based superhero team called the Bayou Brigade fought with the eponymous villain group. One of its members, the Cajun Commando, "gay-ron-teed" to bring C.L.O.W.N. to justice.
- The Adventures of Bayou Billy. A game this Nintendo Hard truly needs a badass like Bayou Billy.
- Brain Dead 13: If entered from the stairways, a cajun alligator cook is at work and they consider Lance a brilliant surprise ingredient. Lance can either escape or get his head chopped off with a meat cleaver.
- Crimson Skies has an entire gang from New Orleans, called the Ragin Cajuns.
- Left 4 Dead 2 has Virgil. The lone captain of a tugboat that marks your getaway in Swamp Fever and the beginning of The Parish. Though you never see his face, his cheery personality in the heat of a zombie apocalypse surely accounts for some points of badassery.
- The Big Bad of Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Emile Dufraisne, is from Louisiana and has both the name and thick Yat accent to prove it. He takes the 'ragin' part a great deal further than most examples on this page, though, considering his short temper, flagrant disregard for the lives of his own people, and his plan to blow up New York City with a Fantastic Nuke.
Emile: "Ah don't care if it wuhhhhs poyfict, it esn't woykin', which means you screw'd up!"
- The haiku-speaking fireflies from the Spyro: Year of the Dragon level Spooky Swamp all speak with a Cajun accent.
- Freddie from Valiant Hearts is a Louisiana Creole who is one of the playable protagonists. He's introduced when he launches a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Germans in retaliation for killing his fiancée when the church they were to be wedded in was bombed.
- Infamous 2 has Nix, a black Cajun woman with powers over napalm who serves as the Token Evil Teammate and voice for Evil Karma. Being a violent maniac, she often advocates for the most destructive actions and will even cheer Cole on the more his Karma Meter plummets.
- Siblings Serafine and Nicodeme Savoy from Lackadaisy, the Marigold gang's main thugs.
- Detective Martin of Below Board inverts this, since while Cajun, he's usually the quiet, reserved type.
- Killer Croc is this in The Batman.
- Darkwing Duck villain Jambalaya Jake.
- Gung Ho from G.I. Joe is probably the single most badass Joe of all. His real name's Etienne R. Lafitte and he loves him some gumbo.
- King of the Hill: Bill Dauterive comes from an upper-class Cajun family, can speak fluent Cajun French, and serves in the US Army. For the most part, he's a depressed sad-sack who's been beaten down by life and a total Butt-Monkey, but if anyone manages to really piss him off, it ain't gonna be pretty. Even Dale is wary about provoking him because of this.
- A villainous example from Samurai Jack. In the episode where Jack meets the Scotsman for the first time, the two men end up in a Louisiana-esque swamp and get chased by bounty hunters and/or deputies consisting of a hilbilly-looking humanoid and a bunch of robotic alligators piloting heavily armed airboats. They're leader is a pig sheriff who speaks in an incomprehensible Cajun inspired dialect courtesy of Kevin Michael Richardson. All while intense accordion music plays.
- The Simpsons: "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" satirically re-imagines Chief Wiggum and Principal Skinner as hard-living New Orleans private detectives. Wiggum is still from Springfield in this continuity (having fled town because of "massive corruption" on his part), but Skinner claims to have actually been born and raised in N'awlins. Their nemesis is the corpulent crime boss Big Daddy, who is voiced by Gailard Sartain — who with his French last name could possibly be a real-life Cajun, despite hailing from Oklahoma.
- Leatherhead from the 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Voice actor Jim Cummings based Leatherhead's accent on an old Cajun deckhand he met when working on the barges in New Orleans one summer.
- James Carville, a U.S. political pundit with an accent, temperament, and badass cueball to match, and is even called "the Ragin' Cajun".
- He didn't invent the Sublime Rhyme, but he's the most prominent example of it.
- Possible Trope Namer is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where it was a long time unofficial nickname and, since the early 70s, the official name of their sports teams.
- It's made even more amusing by the fact that its mascot is a Cayenne Pepper.
- Cool Old Guy Jerry Miculek was born in Texas but has spent most of his life in Southern Louisiana, and has the accent to prove it. He's also held to the greatest known sport shooter in the world.
- In the last few decades, Cajun has gone from being swept under the rug to being celebrated. Even in non-Cajun areas, like Baton Rouge (actually a generic Southern city) and New Orleans (has plenty of its own culture, despite "New Orleans" and "Cajun" being treated as synonymous in public consciousness). Not to say that there aren't plenty of Cajuns in those cities, mind you.
- An old joke:
- At one time in 2018, Lafayette natives Daniel Cormier and Dustin Poirier were simultaneously UFC champions in their respective weight classes. Poirier is Cajun and has his own brand of hot sauce.
- The publicity material for The Room used the term "ragin' Cajun" several times to describe Tommy Wiseau, who's actually a Polish immigrant who lived in Louisiana at some point in his past and referred to himself as a Cajun to obfuscate his past.
- Musician Doug Kershaw, who happens to be a Louisiana native, is also called the "Ragin' Cajun."
- LSU football coach Ed Orgeron, who has a thick accent, a Guttural Growler voice, and a fiery demeanor on the sideline, though in interviews he comes across fairly composed and polite.