A stock character in The Western. This is the guy who will take a tape measure to you in the street, right before your big gunfight. He'd be fairly nondescript, if it weren't for that morbid cheerfulness with which he goes about his business.
Usually he's got a somber air befitting a man of his line of work. That doesn't stop him from occasionally showing a grim smile and sharing a bit of dark humor with those he considers the Soon-To-Be-Deceased. In the West, death is a part of life and the Undertaker may have a variety of coffins and "last suit you'll ever wear"s in stock. The scary "keep off the grass" Undertaker is used mainly in children's dramas where sneaking into the graveyard at night is required.
Keep in mind that most of these interactions will be with The Hero alone as most of the townfolk have learned to avoid him.
Occasionally though, both he and the town doctor will rush out side by side after a gun fight since neither of them can load up the loser alone.
- Done both cheerfully and creepily in Black Butler where the undertaker is an important source of information on the bodies of murder victims. This ties the archetype in to the many coroners seen in crime dramas where the professionals involved are either cheery eccentrics.
- Undertakers in the Lucky Luke comics usually sport yellow or pale-greenish skin and are very cheerful at work, only sometimes miffed when some of their prospective clients are lacking professionality and shoo them away when they break out their tape measure. Some of them even keep pet vultures. Lucky Luke's first illustrator, Morris, also had the habit of using drawings of people he didn't like (especially teachers) for those roles. The most used one is named Matthias Bones, has very pale-greenish skin and is said to be a caricature of Boris Karloff. Though often neutral he is not above giving instructions to the desperados and other villains about whom to kill, as he put straight a workaholic.
- An undertaker was shown in Balto, making tiny caskets for the sick children that everyone thought were going to die. It was used to convey the tragedy of the situation, as the undertaker himself seems very mournful.
- An undertaker is seen measuring and hammering a coffin together for Rango in Rango. For extra creepy, it's a spider.
- The only character who earns an honest living in the Clint Eastwood film A Fistful of Dollars is the the undertaker. And he's pretty cheery too, until Clint's character wipes out the remaining gang members. (Upset about running out of business?)
Joe: Get three coffins ready.
[later, after gunning down four men]
Joe: My mistake. Four coffins...
- Also the cooper in Yojimbo, the film Dollars was based on.
- One briefly appears in Back to the Future Part III when Marty is headed for a gunfight with Buford Tannen, measuring Marty for his coffin while the latter is still upright and breathing.
- The Quick and the Dead has an undertaker who can tell the height of newcomers just by looking at them. While they're on horseback.
- Marshall (that's his name) in Carry On Cowboy is mistaken for dead early on and measured up by the undertaker. Later, when he is off to heroically save the town, the undertaker gives him a reassuring grin and tells him not to worry, he kept the measurements just in case.
- High Noon. On hearing Marshall Kane is going to stay and fight Frank Miller and his men, a store owner eagerly tells his carpenter to start making up several coffins, as no matter who wins there will be a demand. He's embarrassed when Kane comes round as the carpenter is banging away in the back, and discretely tries to get him to stop. Kane is unimpressed, and sarcastically says he'll leave them to get on with their coffin-making.
- From a movie parodying every western trope under the sun, Lemonade Joe's undertaker is exactly as expected. He's pleased whenever there is shooting and a body.
- Knife for the Ladies: Orville is the town's undertaker (and barber). He has a very morbid (and mercenary) attitude on life.
- The Tall Man in Film/Phantasm started out as a mortician during the American Civil War.
- The Undertaker, while well known as a wrestler, no longer fits the Western Character. He began as a mortician character before evolving as a guy has gone from using death to intimidate his opponents to a zombie to the Grim Reaper to a Dark Messiah Cult leader to a Badass Biker and back again as The Artifact. These days he's regarded as the best in the business, the guy who rolls around a few times a year for WrestleMania or to take part in a hot angle.
- The Backwater Gospel focuses on a mysterious, silent undertaker who travels from town to town, and is said to never leave until he claims a body. Despite how ominious he is, the undertaker never actually does anything—every death that happens in story occurs either because of accidents, or from the townsfolks own paranoia.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Drip Along Daffy", the undertakers have the tallest building in town.
- On a The Flintstones episode where Fred is made sheriff of a western town, he initially mistakes the undertaker as a tailor measuring him for a suit.
- Spoofed in an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy where the discovery of a crate of "squirt guns" (turkey basters) inspires the cul-de-sac to get swept up in Old West flavor. On their way to a gunfight with the Kankers, Sheriff Eddy and his deputies spot three plots in the ground big enough to hold them. After getting spooked and running, we find out Farm Boy Rolf made them to give his pigs a mud bath.
- In the Goofy cartoon "Two-Gun Goofy", as outlaw Pete is shooting up the town, the undertaker is clapping for the carnage and making tally marks of the deceased. When Goofy is made sheriff, the undertaker is seen measuring him.
- In "Dumb Hounded", the Wolf jumps off a building in an attempt to escape Droopy. An undertaker jumps after the Wolf, measures him, and then goes back up to his office.