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The Expy With No Name

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The Man With No Name from the Dollars Trilogy, as portrayed by Clint Eastwood, is one of the most famous gunslingers in fiction, and an icon of the western genre. One could even argue that Joe/Manco/Blondie is the most iconic cowboy or character from a western in general, surpassing the likes of The Lone Ranger, Django, and Ethan Edwards.

What separates him from other similar characters though, is his aloof nature, questionable motives, and his Mysterious Past, which has led to many imitators or influences in the fifty-plus years since the last film in the Dollars Trilogy came out. That said, the basic traits of The Man With No Name originated from "Kuwabatake Sanjūrō", the main protagonist of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. This even extends to settings and genres beyond the western, though said imitators are more likely to appear in a western work of sorts. Said Expy can be identified by some or all of the following traits:

A Sub-Trope of A Fistful of Rehashes, Stock Parodies, Fountain of Expies, and No Celebrities Were Harmed.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders:
    • Jotaro Kujo, who is directly inspired by the Man With No Name. A stoic, Terse Talker whose longcoat and school uniform hat bring to mind the Man With No Name's poncho and cowboy hat, and who travels to desert land of Egypt during the course of Stardust Crusaders.
    • Hol Horse is a parody of The Man With No Name, as while he is a cowboy who is dressed similarly to the Man With No Name and is a gunslinger, he's also completely incompetent and a giant braggart on top of it all.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Neon Genesis EvangeléMon, Shinji's Sandslash talks and acts like this sort of character, right down to quoting lines from The Man With No Name.
  • A Fistful of Mammary Gland. Seven of Nine declares that names are irrelevant as she only has a number. Neelix promptly dubs her the Woman With No Name, followed by The Doctor who is The Man With No Mane, and a Red Shirt who challenges Seven whom he calls "The Man With No Brain." By that point Seven finally loses patience and kills him.

    Film - Animation 
  • In Rango, the Spirit of the West takes the appearance of an old gunslinger that speaks with a gravelly voice, wears an old cowboy hat, and also sports a brown poncho. He is even referred to as the Man With No Name, and is highly implied to be Clint Eastwood himself.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Parodied in Back to the Future Part III, where Marty McFly uses the alias "Clint Eastwood" when arriving in Hill Valley during 1885. He gets laughed at initially, but eventually plays some aspects of this straight when he uses a boiler plate to defend himself from a bullet.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West: Harmonica, one of the main protagonists of the film, neatly checks most of the boxes here. His real name is never once even mentioned, as his moniker is derived from the musical instrument he often plays when he wants to get someone's attention, is a skilled gunfighter, and his demeanor almost never changes from a hardened look of determination. The only bit of backstory that's ever alluded to, was his brother's murder at the hands of Frank, a sociopathic outlaw whom Harmonica spends the entirety of the film seeking revenge. Fittingly, the film was directed by Sergio Leone, the director of the Dollars trilogy, and was originally set to star Clint Eastwood himself as Harmonica.
  • Boba Fett from Star Wars is basically the Man With No Name, but in the Star Wars universe (again), being a stoic Bounty Hunter whose past remains shrouded, at first. His father, Jango Fett, also qualifies as this.
  • Clint Eastwood himself played with the archetype in some of his post-Dollars Westerns.
    • The Stranger in High Plains Drifter rides into a dusty town with the familiar beard, cigar and laconic personality, but is established upfront as being truly brutal, with almost supernatural gun skills. While his Mysterious Past is never fully explained, it's strongly hinted that he may be the ghost of a marshal murdered in the town, back to get revenge.
    • The Preacher from Pale Rider is another example. His real name is unknown, and he is a mysterious gunfighter who conveniently shows up to a town that needs his help. Like the aforementioned Stranger, he may or may not be a supernatural being, namely The Grim Reaper.
    • William Munny in Unforgiven is more or less an older and retired Man With No Name. In his youth he was a Bounty Hunter and an outlaw who was considered a deadly and ruthless gunslinger - at least, until he settled down with his wife on a farm.
  • Mad Max after the first movie. He's a drifter, an ex-MFP cop turned road warrior rather than an outlaw or bounty hunter. Several movies have him carrying a pistol-grip shotgun in a low-slung holster. He talks as little as possible and doesn't even give his name a lot of the time, being specifically referred to as "The Man With No Name" in Thunderdome.

  • The Dark Tower: Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger of Mid-World, is the dark fantasy version of TMWNN, a supernaturally skilled gunfighter trying to reverse the destruction of his world (and eventually the entire universe). Stoic, humorless, and quiet, Stephen King has specifically said that Clint Eastwood's performance in Sergio Leone's films was a direct inspiration in creating him.

    Live-Action Television 
  • In the Community episode "A Fistful of Paintballs", each member of the study group is dressed as a famous western character. Abed is (naturally, given the title of the episode) dressed as The Man With No Name including his signature poncho, copies his voice and manner of speaking, and is the most aloof member of the group during the paintball game.
  • Some incarnations of The Doctor (specifically, the War, Ninth, and Twelfth Doctors) from Doctor Who could qualify, even if the series itself predates the Dollars Trilogy by one year. No Name Given? Check. Mysterious Past? Check. Morally grey motives? Check.
  • The Mandalorian/Din Djarin from The Mandalorian, being a stoic Bounty Hunter with a mysterious past (initially) and a ruthless gunslinger who wanders from place to place, and whose Beskar armor can protect him from blaster shots. Fittingly, his name doesn't get revealed until the very end of Season 1. He even gets to meet Boba Fett in Season 2. Din however undergoes Character Development by becoming a Papa Wolf to The Child/Grogu and having a more altruistic personality.
  • Supernatural: Parodied in the episode "Frontierland" where Dean travels back in time to the Wild West and attempts to live his Clint Eastwood fantasies only to be disappointed in the grim reality. The episode is also a Whole-Plot Reference to Back to the Future: Part III.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted there is a Plasma Tongue Repeater wielding Solar exalted wandering the south. Noone knows his name and only the only consistent name he called is the Righteous Devil, after the Martial Art he uses.

    Video Games 
  • The Sundown Kid in Live A Live the protagonist of The Wild West chapter is a clear Expy: The Stoic, The Drifter, and poncho-wearing gunslinger.
  • Cole Cassidy from Overwatch is modeled after the Man With No Name, with a very similar outfit, a revolver he shoots with near-superhuman accuracy, the (former) withholding of his real namenote , and a deep voice. Big parts of his past continue to be a mystery over the game's run, such as his life before joining the Deadlock Gang, and how he lost his arm. He also initially refused to join the reformed Overwatch, preferring to work alone as a drifter.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Poncho Zombie, who is found in the Wild West period and is styled after the Man with No Name from a visual standpoint, wearing a poncho, cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. The references don't stop there, as on occasion, he may be wearing a metal grate beneath his poncho like the Man with No Name did in A Fistful of Dollars, turning him into a Heavily Armored Mook.
  • The Town with No Name, a parody of Western films, has another Man With No Name as its protagonist. He's a drifter who comes to the titular town to find his sister, and ends up killing several outlaws. Ironically, it's a side character, not the Man With No Name himself, who is drawn to look like Clint Eastwood.
  • Mortal Kombat has Erron Black, a cowboy gun-for-hire who fights via gunslinging and typically serves as an antagonist.
  • Wild Guns has Clint as one of the two playable characters who sports the hat and poncho, though carries a BFG as opposed to a revolver.
  • Doc from Boot Hill Heroes is the Bounty Hunter archetype with the attire to match.
  • Red Harlow is a laconic Bounty Hunter who is a skilled gunslinger. Unlike most examples, his cynical outlook is actually explained by his backstory in the game's tutorial; His parents were murdered when he was young and he ends up Walking the Earth until he arrives in Brimstone, whereupon he discovers his parents' killers.
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath has the titular Stranger, a mysterious bounty hunter in a poncho and hat who speaks in a gravelly voice. Unlike most examples however, he doesn't use guns (and even explicitly states that he doesn't like them), instead using an arm-mounted crossbow that shoots critters.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: The episode "For a Few Sovereigns More" has Duke Igthorne hire bounty hunter Flint Shrubwood to capture a Gummi Bear. Shrubwood is obviously patterned on Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name, (while Shrubwood is given a name, it's only used once in the episode, when he's introduced) from his voice and appearance to his theme music (which he plays himself on a reed whistle; it's not quite the iconic "whipporwhill" of A Fistfull of Dollars but it's close). He's easily the most fearsomely capable and implacable antagonist to appear in Gummi Bears, as he subdues Grammi and captures Cubbi with no trouble (he only takes Cubbi, because the Duke was only paying him for one Gummi Bear) and, when betrayed by the Duke, captures him with equal ease. He has no trouble subduing Igthorne's ogres, either. Ultimately, the only thing that stops him is Cubbi's convincing the Duke to let him have the money he's owed.
  • Bounty Hamster: Recurring character The Horse With No Name is an anthropomorphic animal parody of the Clint Eastwood character.
    Cassie: If you're called The Horse With No Name then that is your name!
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Deadly Force", Broadway watches a western called Showdown that features a character who looks like Clint Eastwood with his cowboy hat and poncho. Said character wins a gunfight with a character bearing a resemblance to Kenny Rogers.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In Cheese Sandwich's debut episode "Pinkie Pride", he's initially introduced as a Horse With No Name: he's a gruff-voiced loner clad in a poncho and cowboy hat, and he drifts from town to town helping the downtrodden. The very first scene has him in the desert town of Appleloosa. He even has an Ennio Morricone Pastiche as his personal leitmotif. And all of this is deliberately misleading: upon arriving in Ponyville, Cheese reveals he's actually a goofball party planner based heavily on his voice actor, "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • The titular character of Samurai Jack shares some elements of The Man With No Name such as being a lone warrior of few words, known only by their nickname, passes quietly through various places with no permanent residence, defeats the bad guy and then moves along. Phil LaMarr even described his voice for Jack as being a Japanese version of Clint Eastwood. Jack even fights two Western bounty hunters in one episode named after The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  • Time Squad: The episode Billy The Baby features the Time Squad visiting the Old West while trying to help Billy the Kid become the outlaw history has written him to be. But their outlaw antics attract the Sheriff's attention, who is also known as the Man With No Name to them. The Sheriff looks, and sounds like Clint Eastwood, and challenges Tuddrussel to a duel at high noon.