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The Trope Kid

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In The Wild West, a man had to grow up fast if he wanted to survive. Quite a few gunslingers and outlaws made their reputation before they were even old enough to shave regularly. Thus, they got "Kid" as part of their nickname. Given the lethality of their professions, few lived long enough to have this become an embarrassing name.

The naming convention is referenced in settings outside The Wild West as well, particularly in boxing, and Professional Wrestling.

See also Young Gun and The Gunfighter Wannabe.


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Examples:

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    Westerns 
  • Alias Smith and Jones' Kid Curry.
  • In the film, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West—the title character originally imagines himself as a gun-slinging hero with an already known moniker: "Billy the Kid."
  • The babyfaced Audie Murphy played youthful outlaws and adventurers so often that he joked once that he'd "kidded his way through the movies." Relatively few of his thirty-plus western characters have The Trope Kid nicknames, though: Billy the Kid in The Kid From Texas, The Cimarron Kid in the film of the same name, The Silver Kid in Duel At Silver Creek, and The Utica Kid in Night Passage.
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: The harmonica-playing cowboy who challenges Buster Scruggs for the title of best musician and gunslinger in the West is called "the Kid" in the credits.
  • The Sundance Kid from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • The desperado that Yancey has to shoot in Cimarron is named, simply, "The Kid".
  • The titular character from The Durango Kid, played by Charles Starrett. Between 1940 and 1952, there were 64 movies made featuring the Durango Kid.
  • DC Comics character the Wyoming Kid.
  • The Frisco Kid: An Orthodox Jew played by Gene Wilder gets embroiled in Wild West shenanigans.
  • The protagonist of Gunless is Sean Lafferty, a.k.a. 'The Montana Kid'.
  • The leader of the outlaws in Johnny Guitar is the Dancin' Kid.
  • The Ysabel Kid from J.T. Edson's Floating Outfit series.
  • In Judge Colt #1, Mark Colt fights an outlaw called 'the Tattoo Kid' whose nickname derives from his habit of getting a tattoo to mark each man he has killed instead of carving a notch on his gun
  • In Little Big Man, Jack Crabb is known as the Soda Pop Kid during his "gunfighter period."
  • The Sundown Kid of Live A Live.
  • In The Magnificent Seven (2016), Earl has taken to calling to calling himself "the Two-Gun Kid." His brother thinks it's a stupid name. So does Faraday.
  • The O. Henry short story "The Caballero's Way", which introduced the world to the Cisco Kid. Then there was 1928 film adaptation In Old Arizona, starring Warner Baxter, which made the Kid a Mexican and more more of an Anti-Hero, rather than Henry's Anglo Villain Protagonist. That led to a B-Movie series starring Cisco and his comic sidekick Pancho, as well as a television series, The Cisco Kid, in which the Kid was played by Duncan Renaldo.
  • Fee "The Kid" Herod of The Quick and the Dead
  • Robert E. Howard's 'The Sonora Kid'.
  • Might count under Parodies as well, but in Shanghai Noon, Jackie Chan's character is listed on a wanted poster as "The Shanghai Kid." His partner notes, "That's a really cool nickname, too." Jackie's character immediately complains that he's not really from Shanghai.
  • Rawhide Kid, the Two Gun Kid, the Ringo Kid (not related to John Wayne's Ringo Kid in Stagecoach), the Apache Kid, The Outlaw Kid, the Arizona Kid, the Prairie Kid, the Texas Kid, the Western Kid, the Gunsmoke Kid, the Dakota Kid and inversions Kid Colt and Kid Cassidy, all from Marvel Comics. According to Stan Lee, Marvel publisher Martin Goodman loved Westerns, and was particularly fond of this trope for some reason.
  • The Time Wars book The Six-Gun Solution had a time-traveling character acquire the nickname "The Montana Kid".
  • The Schofield Kid in the movie Unforgiven.
  • Inverted in Karl May's westerns (Winnetou, etc.). Any time someone makes a name for themselves in the West, young or not, they get a moniker with "Old" slapped on. Old Shatterhand, Old Surehand, Old Firehand etc.
  • The Brimstone Kid from Youngblood: Judgment Day. He was a gunslinger who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for unbeatable gunslinging skills.
  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger: Real Life outlaws Billy the Kid, Kid Curry and the Sundance Kid all make appearances.
  • Bill Lowry, the Durango Kid, from the film of the same name.
  • In Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold, Yellow Hair's sidekick is The Pecos Kid.

    Non-Western 

    Parodies 
  • The Waco Kid from Blazing Saddles.
  • The Rumpo Kid in Carry On Cowboy.
  • 'Kid Shelleen', a gray-haired drunk (but still a gunfighter) played by Lee Marvin in the 1965 film Cat Ballou.
  • Detroit-based Faygo soda pop had a series of '50s commercials featuring "The Faygo Kid".
  • The FMV video game Prize Fighter for the Sega CD has the main player character referred to as simply "The Kid".
  • Gravity’s Rainbow features The Kenosha Kid, who may be a character, may be a hallucination by the protagonist, may be a Dance Sensation, or may not even exist at all.
  • Gravity Falls: "Dreamscaperers" had the Mystery Shack crew sitting down to watch "Grandpa the Kid", a Western about an elderly cowboy who "put the 'old' in 'Old West'."
    Grandpa the Kid: I'm tired during the day...
    Grunkle Stan: I can relate to this.
  • The very minor example of “the Piercings Kid” in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. This is an outworlder, a cross between a punk and a cowboy, who is described as having at least 10 facial piercings. His real name is unknown; the narrative simply refers to him that way. (After the Six Step Combo curb stomp him and his two companions, they clean fur, blood, and stray metal piercings off the stage.)
  • The "Toronto Kid", in a The Kids in the Hall sketch.
  • Lucky Luke's version of Billy the Kid is an actual kid or early teenager, who has a good chance to hold up candy stores along with banks and is not immune to a good spanking. Despite this, townspeople are still terrified of him.
  • The Myth Adventures novel Little Myth Marker, being a parody of gambler tropes, gives us the Sen-Sen Ante Kid (he always includes a breath mint in his stake for good luck). Subverted in that he's an old fat guy who got the nickname a loooooong time ago.
  • In a MAD parody of Fantasy Island, the Tattoo stand-in was supposed to spread the fame of a guest's character as "The Babyface Kid", but picked a lower body part to feature instead.
  • Nestle has a long-running series of ads for its white chocolate Milky Bar featuring 'the Milky Bar Kid'. The Milkybar Kid is strong and tough, and only the best is good enough... Usually a cowboy, although there was a period in the 80s where he was a space hero.
  • One of Hostess Snack Foods' mascots was an anthropomorphic Twinkie dressed as a gunslinger named "Twinkie the Kid".
  • The Penguins of Madagascar has the Amarillo Kid, an armadillo who hustles people at... miniature golf.
  • Post cereal Honeycomb featured a mascot named The Honeycomb Kid in its advertising. He was usually portrayed as a cowboy or an Adventurer Archaeologist.
  • Red Dwarf
    • Cat in the western episode: "They call me the Kid ... the Riviera Kid."
    • In the same episode Rimmer claims he knows how to talk cowboy, then orders a dry white wine and Perrier at the bar. Lister asks him if the western he'd seen was Butch Accountant And The Yuppie Kid.
  • Rugrats: "Showdown at Teeter-Totter Gluch" had Tommy and Chuckie facing a playground bully known as The Junk Food Kid her real name is Prudence, because she eats pretty much only junk food.
  • Fawcett Funny Animals, the Golden Age comic book best remembered for Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, also had a cowboy character named Billy the Kid. As both his names imply, he was a goat.
  • From The Simpsons, when Moe described to Homer his boxing career:
    Moe: They called me Kid Gorgeous. Later on, it was Kid Presentable. Then Kid Gruesome. And finally, Kid Moe.
  • "The Cisco Kid (Was a Friend of Mine)" by WAR, in 1972. The name is a reference to the title character of a TV show that ran from 1950-56 and a series of movies. (See the entry under "Westerns").
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? The names of "Weird Superheroes" often dip into this trope.
  • The long-running children's show Wonderama had a dance contest segment in the '70s that was introduced by "the Disco Kid," a boy in a Lone Ranger style Western costume.
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    Real Life 
  • Abe Reles, an infamous hitman for Murder Inc., was nicknamed after the original Kid Twist
  • The Apache Kid, an American outlaw of Native American descent.
  • Billy the Kid, the Trope Namer.
  • Kid Curry, part of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's gang.
  • "Kid Dynamite" Mike Tyson
  • Kid Poker, a Canadian professional poker player.
  • Kid Twist (Max Zwerback), a Jewish-American New York gangster who led the Eastman Gang in the 1900s
  • MMA fighter Uriah Faber, "the California Kid"
  • The Sundance Kid, part of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Willie Mays, an American baseball player. ("The Say Hey Kid")
  • The nom de plume of Robert James Ritchie

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