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The Friendly Texan

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Texas is a big place. In fact, Everything Is Big in Texas, and that includes friendship.

Texas comes from the word "tejas", the Spanish spelling of the Caddo word "táyshaʼ" meaning "friendly". It is for this reason that Texas is known as "The Friendly State".

In fiction, if a Texan is portrayed in a positive light, expect them to be a combination of The Big Guy, Good Ol' Boy, True Companions, and Fire-Forged Friends. You can even expect them to reference the fact that Texas is "the friendly state." The clichéd depiction of a Texan also often shows them wearing cowboy hats and boots, obsessed with football, wanting everything to be bigger (pick-up trucks, BBQs, steaks, etc), and being fond of folksy maxims ("This ainít my first rodeo" or "Keep your saddle oiled and your gun greased").

Even though Texans are friendly, remember that Everyone Is Armed. Guns are seen as a wholesome part of family life and culture, with a normal family pastime after a church picnic being plinking bottles with a rifle.

If the Texan is from Austin, a mini enclave of Blue State/coastal elite lifestyles within Flyover Country, the Texans might be weirder. Maybe a cowboy hat with Delinquent Hair.

Compare genuinely nice examples of Minnesota Nice. Compare Sweet Home Alabama, Southern Gentleman, and Southern Belle. Contrast Deep South. Japanese equivalent is The Idiot from Osaka.


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Examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Terryman from Kinnikuman fits this image to a T as Kinnikuman's tag-team partner.
  • Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo gives us siblings Jack and Mary King, pilots of the robot Texas Mack. They're both on the side of good, and Jack is a Friendly Rival to Gou Ichimonji.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman gives us Etta Candy. She's been through many permutations over the years, but the Golden Age Etta was a Big Fun girl from Texas who was Wondy's bestie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Doctor Strangelove has Major: T.J. "King" Kong, who wears his cowboy hat proudly. He cements his status as the Friendly Texan after reading through the contents of the survival kit, after which he notes cheerfully:
    Major Kong: Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
  • Identity Thief: At one point, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy's characters are staying at a motel with a cheerful heavyset Texan called Big Chuck. McCarthy pretends that Bateman is her impotent husband who likes to be a voyeur as an excuse for a tryst with Big Chuck. Right before they have sex, Big Chuck becomes tearful and confesses that he's never made love to a woman ever since the day his wife died. Luckily, Big Chuck stays sympathetic due to the fact that Bateman's character is Happily Married and not interested in McCarthy's character sexually.
  • Midnight Cowboy: Joe leaves Texas and arrives in New York City with a wide-eyed innocence towards the city. He attempts to solicit himself to women by politely greeting them and tipping his cowboy hat, but none of them are interested. Whenever Joe is nice to a stranger, they tend to meet him with dull expressions and bizarre behaviour. After various mishaps with the city's locals, he begins to realise that niceties won't get him anywhere.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure has a scene where Pee Wee is at the Alamo and he calls his friend Dottie. In order to convince her that he's in Texas, he sings, "The Stars at night, are shining bright!" Cue the exuberant, friendly Texans all around him clapping the beat and singing the refrain, "Deep in the heart of Texas!"
  • The Brothers McCann from Secondhand Lions reveal themselves to be Friendly Texans as they take care of their great-nephew, Walter. Garth, in particular, is quick to show a friendly, sociable demeanor. His brother, Hub, takes a bit longer to reveal his true colors, but he's nursing some deep emotional sorrows that needed to be worked out, first. When fighting a group of hooligans, he's actually jovial and even gives them sincere advice on how to fight while fighting them. Then he gives them his "What Every Boy Needs to Know About Being a Man" speech.

    Literature 
  • Dracula: Quincey Morris is a cowboy from Texas who is friends with his rival suitors for Lucy's hand, even after he's been rejected, as well as Jonathan Harker, and helps kill the titular vampire. Jonathan and Mina name their son after their fallen friend.
  • In the James Bond novels, Bond's best friend and most trusted ally is Felix Leiter; a CIA agent (and later Pinkerton Detective) from Texas. (Where he is from in the movies is anyone's guess as he has been played by a multitude of actors with accents ranging from Massachusetts (David Hedison) to California (Rik Van Nutter)). On first meeting Leiter in Casino Royale, this is Bond's reaction:
    Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Space Cadet the protagonist, Matt, is on his way to enlist at the Space Academy as a candidate for the Space Patrol. "Tex" Jarman, another prospective space cadet, notices Mattís preliminary acceptance letter and immediately befriends him. Tex just as easily befriends two other cadets soon after, and the four become a tight-knit group at the academy.
  • The Stand gives us Stu Redman, an Everyman who is one of the friendliest people in story. He hails from East Texas and is there when Campion crashes his car. He comforts a dying Campion, telling him his wife and daughter will be okay, even though he's already been made aware that they're already dead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Mary Cooper is The Friendly Texan. Innocently Insensitive as she may be at times, she is much beloved by the core group, and her visits are never met with dread or foreboding. In fact, when Sheldon is acting particularly irritating, a phone call to her can be counted on to set him back to a more agreeable level of snark.
  • The titular character of The Lone Ranger was originally a Texas Marshal, and was a good man who was much beloved not only for his commitment to justice but also his friendly demeanor.
  • One episode of M*A*S*H has Colonel Potter quickly and correctly identify a patient as a Texan because, "I haven't met the Texan yet who didn't offer up his hand, no matter how many tubes were coming out of him."
  • Rizzoli & Isles Ep. 3.07, Maura is hosting a convention with other Medical Examiners, including Dr. Billy May Higgins, who we are told is from Texas. He's folksy, charming, and helpful, breaking up a fight between Maura's work nemesis Dr. Pike and another M.E. named Dr. Popov, as well as helping use a new technique to raise a fingerprint off of a shell casing.

    Video Games 
  • Tina Armstrong of Dead or Alive is noted for being a Nice Girl, and is a Texan through and through.
  • Fallout: New Vegas, although Texas no longer exists as we know it, still has the character type. In one military camp, you meet a squad of rejects and can try to form them into a proper team. While the others favor tactics like taking drugs or cheating on the exams, the big, gentle, soft-spoken guy with a clear rural South accent is the one who suggests helping everybody get along with each other. Taking his advice does lead to a good outcome for the group.
  • TJ Hoofburger from Psychonauts is a quintessential junior cowboy and easily among the most personable and friendly kids at camp, as well as a rare level head.
  • Dell Conagher, a.k.a The Engineer from Team Fortress 2 is shown to be an easy-going cordial Texan. With that said, you wouldn't want to stumble upon his Sentry.

    Western Animation 
  • The eponymous BraveStarr was a lawman on a planet named New Texas. Marshal BraveStarr served as much as a mediator as he did a lawman, seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts, and was loved and respected by the citizens of New Texas, sans the series villains. His ally and love interest, Judge J.B. McBride also qualified, as she was a Reasonable Authority Figure whose duties were just as much about deciding matters of law fairly as they were about dispensing justice to the series' villains.
  • Family Guy: Zig-zagged in "Boys Do Cry". When the Griffins flee to Texas, they are initially welcomed by their neighbors with open arms. This changes after they learn of Peter being mentally retarded (and that Stewie was pretending to be a girl). They promptly turn on the Griffins, forcing them to run for their lives.
  • Much of the cast of King of the Hill would be categorized as The Friendly Texan by default, to the point where it would be easier to list the characters who subvert it, like Cotton Hill.
  • Molly of Denali: Trini and her father are from Texas, and are both very kind. However, Trini has a Hair-Trigger Temper at times.
  • PAW Patrol: Aside from the trucker lingo, he speaks in a mildly Southern accent, with the "folks" and "y'alls", and loves helping people who ride the road.
  • Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown introduces Shaggy's distant cousin Tawny Rogers, resident of Sorghum City, Texas, and owner of the Crazy Q Ranch. She's amiable and was so delighted to learn of her family connection to Shaggy that she invited him to visit the ranch. Which, of course provides the perfect setting for Mystery Inc.'s latest mystery.
  • Sandy Cheeks from SpongeBob SquarePants is a proud Texan and one of the most consistently nice characters on the show, though she does have somewhat of a temper that is especially brought out if someone insults her home state (again, proud Texan).
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Clay, the American monk of the main heroes, is from Texas. He is the nicest and most peaceful among his peers, unless his hat is threatened.

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