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Series / The Magnificent Seven (1998)

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The Magnificent Seven was a short-lived Western action-adventure series that ran on CBS from 1998-2000. Like its film namesake (and origin in Seven Samurai), it was a story about seven unlikely men (and ultimately heroes) who band together to save a unprotected town (in this case, a isolated village made up of freed slaves and displaced American Indians) who end up sticking around to protect the local town. Unlike the movie, all seven of the main characters survive the pilot episode and are joined by various townspeople for further adventures.

This series provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: In "The New Law" the Seven are relieved of duty and go their separate ways, only to come rushing back when all hell breaks loose.
  • Abandoned Mine: In the pilot, the village has an abandoned gold mine. Ezra learns about it from the village children, but they don't tell him that a cave-in sealed it off a decade ago.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: In the episode "The Trial", Ezra's mother fends off the advances of a love-sick man who won't stop spouting poetry and frames her for theft in order to force her to marry him.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills:
    • After Ezra shoots a man from a mirror's reflection.
      Vin: Nice shot, pard.
      Ezra: Dreadful. I was aiming to kill him but the mirror was cracked.
    • And later:
      Vin: You shoot a cannon pretty well, pard.
      Ezra: Dreadful. I was trying to hit Anderson.
  • The Alcoholic: Most of the Seven are drinkers.
    • Chris tends to go overboard and kick up a ruckus when he's thinking about his murdered family.
    • In "Penance", Josiah drinks heavily after visiting his institutionalized sister, rants about God, and gets violent.
  • Action Mom: Occasionally Mary Travis
  • Always on Duty: The Seven are the only law in the town and surrounding countryside.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Maude Standish makes up outlandish stories about Ezra to embarrass him in front of his friends.... and to distract them while she hustles them at poker.
  • And Starring: Laurie Holden appears in almost every episode, and is always listed as "Also Starring".
  • Anti-Hero: Chris, Buck, and Ezra are all initially anti-heroes, but eventually come to the aid of their friends.
  • Artistic License – Law: In "The Trial", Oren agrees to have some of the men that tried to lynch Obediah, serve on Obediah's jury when the venue is moved from Eagle Bend to Four Corners. The men would be automatically disqualified for having bias. It's a moot point, when Oren makes a ruling from the bench when Obediah confesses in court. The jury never gives a verdict on the case.
  • Attempted Rape: In "Wagon Train Pt 2" three of O'Shea's reinforcements attempt to rape Charlotte. Vin stops them.
  • Avengers Assemble: The pilot gives each character an introductory scene that allows them show off their primary character traits and combat skills.
    • The season two premiere, "The New Law", does the same thing in a condensed fashion. In the pre-credits battle, Nathan throws knives, Ezra uses his holdoout derringer, Buck whoops and hollers, and flirts with a local woman in the middle of a gun fight, etc.
  • Badass Longcoat: Chris Larabee. Winked at in the Pilot where our first scene of Larabee frames him coming out of the swinging bat-wing doors in afternoon sunlight, wind kicking up his black duster. Oh, and he's also smoking. Almost qualifies as a small Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Badass Preacher: Josiah Sanchez, big-time. Up the badass ante by having him played by Ron Perlman.
  • Band of Brothers
  • Bar Slide
  • Big Damn Heroes: Pretty much every episode, whether the move ends out working out for them or not.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In "Manhunt", Chris shoots a gun out of Owen Mosely's hand.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Blood is usually only seen when Nathan is attempting to patch someone up.
  • Bounty Hunter: Vin Tanner used to be one of these.
  • Boxed Crook: How Ezra gets roped into staying.
  • Brats with Slingshots: In "Wagon Train 1", the boy that Buck and Ezra both try to get close to, Eugene, to get to his mother, has one. Ezra apparently pockets it, because in part 2, he loans it to Buck to shoot lit sticks of dynamite at the bad guys.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: in "Wagon Train", the Widow's son is a brat. He doesn't get along with Buck and Ezra, but Josiah wins him over.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "The Collector", Josiah is reunited with Emma, the showgirl that he abandoned two years ago. He's been pining for her ever since, and is shocked when he discovers that she's essentially a prostitute, and doesn't remember him or their time together
  • CallBack: "Penance" brings Rain back from "Ghosts of the Confederacy", and has several call-backs to how she and Nathan first me.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Ezra to his mother Maude pretty much every time they meet.
  • Card Sharp: It is frequently implied that Ezra is a cheater and a thief, but we never actually see him cheat at cards. We do, however, see him cheat at a shooting match in his introductory scene.
    • In "Safecracker", Ezra does admit to cheating, but only to cheat a cheater.
    • In "Vendetta", Chris, Buck, and Nathan are comfortable enough with Ezra to play poker with him. Although Nathan does ask Ezra how they can know he's not cheating. He points out that they can't.
    • In "Achilles", Ezra takes great offense at being accused of cheating, and seems sincere in his protests.
  • CallBack: It's subtle, but in "The Collector", Buck and Ezra have trouble using dynamite as a distraction. In "Wagon Train 2" the next season, Ezra loans Buck a slingshot he took from a child so that Buck could easily shoot dynamite at the bad guys.
  • Cattle Baron: Stuart James in "One Day Out West" is this, and is the Big Bad of the episode. His nephew Lucas runs roughshod over the town, and Stuart clearly doesn't object.
  • The Charmer: Ezra can talk his way into and out of most situations, a fact which the Seven use to their advantage.
    • Ezra presumably learned it from his mother Maude, who is even smoother than he is. She even has most of the Seven wrapped around her little finger.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Manhunt" Vin breaks Chanu's wrist when Chanu struggles with Vin. This doesn't impede Chanu for the rest of the episode, but it does provide Vin with a clue in the final act that Chanu couldn't have strangled Claire two-handed and someone else is the killer.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Buck Wilmington.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: Ezra does this in the pilot.
  • Circuit Judge: Oren Travis.
  • City with No Name: The Seven's town is never named onscreen, though the fandom has universally adopted "Four Corners".
  • Clear My Name: Vin is wanted in Texas for a murder he didn't commit, a problem which comes up periodically but is never actually resolved.
  • *Click* Hello
  • Coat Full of Contraband: Ezra, in "Serpents". Becomes a Pocket Protector in the final shootout.
  • Combat Medic: Nathan Jackson.
  • Confessional: In "Vendetta", Ma Nichols confesses to Josiah that she plans to kill Hank Conley. Although Josiah isn't a priest, he sits Ma at a table, strings up a flag between them, and hears her confession anyway. Since she hasn't committed a sin yet, Josiah tells her that he can't absolve her.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Ezra in the pilot.
  • Cool Old Lady: Nettie Wells of "The Collector".
  • Courtroom Episode: In "The Trial", Josiah steps up as Obediah's lawyer. He gives a moving closing speech, and while much of the episode doesn't revolve around the trial, it gets a lot of screntime.
  • Crapsack World: The town is often shown as this before the Seven bring law-and-order there. Mary says as much in "One Day Out West".
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Despite the fact he abuses his wife, Will Richmond in "Wagon Train" is jealous of Vin when he thinks the bounty hunter is having an affair with Charlotte. Later, Vin and Charlotte do have an affair. It's implied that Will's jealousy drove them into the affair.
  • Crossdresser: At least initially, Casey is portrayed as this kind of Tomboy in "The Collector". When Buck convinces her to wear a dress, she trips over the hem and rips off the dress, revealing her pantaloons.
    • Later in "Vendetta", she wears a dress after a visiting gunman compliments her.
  • Cycle of Revenge: "Vendetta" There's a whole family of crazies from Kansas City complete with suitable black costuming and scary Mom, who have come to kill Chris' father-in-law after he killed the man suspected of killing his daughter.
  • The Dandy: Ezra is fond of ruffled shirts, brocade waistcoats, and brightly colored jackets.
    • Cletus in "Nemesis" is one, wearing fancy clothing and a glove to cover his withered hand. A bartender describes him as impeccably clean. Cletus' fashion sense makes him easily identifiable when Chris tracks him down.
  • Dangerously Close Shave: Chris gives Buck one of these after he learns that Buck has gossiped about his past.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Inez is often this, particularly to Buck who keeps hitting on her.
    Inez: In a battle of wits, Senor Buck, I think you'd be unarmed.
    • Ezra is often this, with both his teammates and his mother Maude:
    Ezra: (after an unwanted admirer declares his love for Maude) My, my, I don't know how you manage to resist such a display of ardor.
  • Disguised in Drag: In "Working Girls", Ezra winds up as this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Nathan's mother, as revealed in "The Trial". In order to prevent the slave master from selling 7-year old Nathan away from his family, she allowed the man to repeatedly rape her. When she discovered that she might be pregnant with his baby, she went insane and drowned herself. The slave master sold the family anyway.
  • Duel to the Death: In "Love and Honor", Buck has to fight a duel with swords against Don Paolo, to defend Inez's honor and keep Paolo from taking her.
  • Eager Rookie: J.D. is this, to the point where in "Pilot" Chris tells him that it's too dangerous to accompany them.
  • Ensemble Cast: All seven main characters get about the same screentime throughout the series, and there's no one "main character". Except for Chris, who is The Leader. And even he takes a backseat in episodes like "Manhunt".
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • O'Shea in "Wagon Train Pt 1." tells Powder Man not to kill anyone, and is upset when one of the homesteaders is anyway. O'Shea claims in front of his men that he's trying to avoid a murder charge, but he would know there's no way the law could connect him to Powder Man's attack on the camp. In Pt. 2, with different writers, O'Shea is much more vicious, telling Powder Man to kill the homesteaders if that's faster than scaring them.
    • Ezra is a scoundrel and knows it, but even he won't take a woman without her willing consent.
    Ezra: Madam, among my many misdeeds, taking advantage of a woman has never been one of them.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: When the wagon goes off the cliff in "Working Girls", it belches smoke or dust from its back... even though there's no reason to. It's not filled with dust, and it's not on fire.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In "The Ghosts of the Confederacy", the leader of the soldiers, Colonel Anderson, is positively unhinged.
  • Exposition Diagram: Chris and the Indian chief draw one to plan their defense of the village in the pilot.
  • Expy
    • Chris Larabee and Vin Tanner are basically the same characters they are in the original Western movie.
    • J.D. for Chico.
    • Nathan and Josiah together make Levi from Guns Of The Magnifcent Seven. Nathan throws knives, and Josiah is religious.
    • The initial Southern/slave rivalry between Nathan and Ezra, echoes that of Cassie and Slater.
  • Friendly Sniper: Vin is a skilled sharpshooter, and is probably the only one of the Seven besides JD who gets along with everyone else.
  • Frameup: Josiah is framed as a serial killer in "Penance". The framer, Cyrus Poplar, not only has the means to plant evidence incriminating Josiah, but also somehow knows that Josiah is having a crisis of conscience over his sister and will conveniently act guilty.
  • Friend to All Children: Surprisingly, Ezra. He befriends the village children in "Pilot", and Olivia in "Safecracker".
    • He fails miserably with Eugene in "Wagon Train 1".
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Inmate 78", Buck says that Chris is having a real good time. Cut to Chris being brought out of a prison solitary "hole".
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: In "Inmate 78", Buck plays bad cop to Josiah's good cop, to get Jessie to tell them what happened to Chris.
  • Got Volunteered: Ezra, frequently. The judge orders him to join the others in guarding the town, he frequently foots the bill for his friends' altruism, and ends up Disguised in Drag at one point.
  • Guns Akimbo: Let's face it, with the exception of possibly Nathan, each of the Seven is armed to the teeth with not just a signature character gun, but a backup one too. JD is notable for having matching pistols which he frequently fires simultaneously. (Sometimes while flying through the air ala "Hot Fuzz").
  • Gunpoint Banter
  • The Gunfighter Wannabe: JD.
  • The Gunslinger: Chris, though all of the seven qualify at some point.
  • Gun Twirling: Frequent throughout the series- as it is a Western:
    • JD displays some fancy gun work in the pilot to show he's good enough to join the seven. Totally backfires when he falls off his horse as a result.
      JD: Whoa. I hear you fellas are headed for a fight. My name is JD Dunne, and I can ride. Whoa. And I can shoot.
    • This later turns into a wink at Juggling Loaded Guns when JD takes the position of Sheriff:
      JD: I'll be fine, Buck. Look what I found. Navy colt .44! [spins the chamber dramatically]
      Buck: Don't do that, okay? It can come loose and then it could come out. Put the gun down. You're going to be sheriff?
      [Buck ends up being right when the gun falls to pieces just when JD needs it]
    • JD twirls his guns for a local girl, Virginia, in "Witness" to try and impress her. She's drawn to Buck's "animal maggotism" instead.
    • Nathan is good at this, too. In "Wagon Train 2", Ezra approaches Nathan while Nathan is practicing his gun spinning.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: In "Working Girls" Buck takes JD to a brothel for his first time. JD, offended, claims that he's had "a gaggle" of women.
    JD: You must have wax in your ears. This ain't my first. I've had a whole gaggle of women.
    Buck: Sure you have, JD. Just trying to make sure that gaggle of yours didn't miss a spot.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Chris, due to the deaths of his wife and son.
  • Hellhole Prison: The labor prison in "Inmate 78" is not a nice place: Sheriff Quince picks out rich-looking travelers, accuses them of false crimes, and turns them over to the Warden who gets a share of the bail/ransom that is subsequently paid by the families.
  • Helicopter Parents: Every time Maude shows up. she essentially pulls Ezra around by his ear scolding him for wasting his talents and the skills she taught him by becoming a common lawman. She interferes with his plans to run the saloon by purchasing the local hotel and running him out of business, in an attempt to teach him a vague lesson about staying on his toes.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: In "Working Girls", all of Wickes' prostitutes turn out to be this. One even claims she won't charge JD for her services. Buck and Josiah know better.
  • Human Shield: In "Inmate 78", Quince uses Phillips as such when Vin tries to shoot him.
  • Hustling the Mark: In his introductory scene, Ezra pretends to be drunk and challenges a man to a shooting contest. He also pretends to shoot a hole in a card six times, but bullets 2-6 are blank.
  • I Am Not My Father: In "Manhunt", Josiah asks Rafe if he wants to become like his father Owen by shooting Owen dead after everyone discovers that Owen strangled his daughter. Rafe doesn't.
  • I Am What I Am: In "Serpents" Ezra plans to abscond with the money entrusted to him, but after managing to save Mary Travis and stop her would-be assassin he acknowledges that the Seven should, in the future, not burden him with such temptation.
    • In "Wagon Train 2", Ezra admits that he's greedy. It's part of a con to make himself look humble, to get Nathan to make him partners in valuable inherited land, after Nathan calls Ezra out on his greed.
    Ezra: My, uh, pecuniary interests do shame me.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: In "Manhunt", Josiah asks Rafe if he wants to become like his murderous father Owen by killing Owen. Rafe doesn't.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ezra gives Lei Pan money to go back to her family in San Fransisco, even though he wants her to stay with him.
  • Internalized Categorism: Ezra knows all too well that he's a conman and a thief. In "Witness" he tells his mother that the townsfolk trust him to protect them from people like her, and himself. Later, he faces a crisis of conscience in "Serpents" when everyone expects him to steal a bag of money, and ultimately is unable to stand up to himself or his friends.
    • In "Wagon Train 2", Ezra keeps trying to con Nathan to partner with him after Nathan inherits some valuable land. Nathan calls him out on it, Ezra admits that his greed sometimes shames him... and goes right back to trying to con Nathan.
  • In the Back: Chris to JD, "You don't shoot nobody in the back."
    • In "Inmate 78", Chris says the same thing to a deputy.
  • Involuntary Group Split: In "The New Law".
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Vin, in "The New Law" gets the drop on a thief and takes the bullets out of his gun before "arresting" him.
  • Just a Kid: JD, until he proves himself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ezra, especially in the episode "Chinatown".
  • Kavorka Man: Buck borders this. He is the womanizer of the group, but comes across as a sleaze. This is particularly apparent in "Love and Honor", where he initially acts like a stalker toward Inez. Inez and other women throughout the series come around to Buck eventually: in Inez's case, after Buck almost dies defending her honor. However, he seems to view the challenge as much to his pride as to Inez. He becomes much more of a sleaze in the second season, trying to give Inez the equivalent of a roofie so she'll have sex with him. This is played for laughs.
    • However, Buck displays signs of depth when he talks with Kate in "Lady Killers".
  • Large Ham: Josiah (Ron Perlman) is often this, particularly in "Working Girls" when he gives an over-the-top fire-and-brimstone speech to Wilkes' men to get them out of his church... and then asks Emily, hiding in the pulpit, how he was.
    • Buck (Dale Midkiff), as the most boisterous of the Seven and the group's designated womanizer, often goes over the top.
    • Wickes (Barry Corbin) in "Working Girls" is a large piece of ham, bellowing loudly when he's shot twice, and playing the part of the Big Bad to a very large T.
  • The Leader: Chris is this, bringing the Seven together and typically making the final decisions.
  • Lovable Coward: In "The Ghosts of the Confederacy", Ezra admits to himself that he's a coward and abandons the other gunmen to the Ghosts. But he comes back and rescues them eventually.
  • Love Potion: In "Chinatown", Buck buys one from a Chinese apothecary and tries to spike Inez's drink with it. Both attempts fail: first J.D. accidentally drinks it and flirts with Buck, and then Inez drinks it and falls in love with J.D. rather than Buck. The potion doesn't work, and J.D. and Inez are hoaxing Buck.
  • Mad Bomber: Powder Man in "Wagon Train" is this. He sings "Camptown Races" and dances while setting off explosives. Every time.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai
  • Mangst: So, so much.
  • Manly Tears: In "Nemesis", Chris blinks back a few when he returns to his family homestead and remembers his dead family.
    • In "The Collector", Josiah sheds a single tear as he listens to his lost love, Emma, sing.
  • Must State If You're a Cop: The Seven frequently have to admit that they are not official lawmen.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Oh, JD. In "One Day Out West" he reveals his Hidden Depths, in that he is son of a poor chambermaid rather than the rich Easterner that he appears to be.
  • Never Learned to Read: Vin; he's learning later on however.
  • Never Mess with Granny: In "The Collector", Nettie Wells is one, wielding a carbine and cheerfully threatening to shoot anyone who attacks her. Sadly, she disappears in future episode even though her niece, Casey, is a recurring character and we sometimes see Casey at the home she shares with Nettie.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: In "Achilles", Achilles believes he's invulnerable like his Greek namesake. He says that he's been shot 11 times, and once saw a bullet swerve when heading for his face, He seems to be the beneficiary of Impossibly Good Luck, and his invulnerability doesn't protect him from dying at the end of the episode.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Explosions don't kill anyone who isn't standing directly on top of a pile of dynamite, and even then it's not a sure thing.
  • The Notable Numeral: Seven, of course.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Ezra Standish.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Ezra has to defend himself to Nathan after he is caught in a compromising position with Lee Pon.
  • Old-School Chivalry: In "Working Girls", Buck is offended at how Wickes (basically a pimp) beats one of his "girls", even though Buck is the Seven's womanizer. None of the Seven are big on Wickes' practices.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: No one ever lets Ezra forget that he's a conman and a thief.
  • Outside Ride: JD has to climb on top of a stagecoach after the driver is killed.
  • Parental Abandonment: Maude always dumped Ezra at any relative's house when he was a child, only coming back to get him when she needed his help in a con.
  • Parental Issues: In "Manhunt" it is revealed that Josiah didn't get along well with his father, who was a preacher.
  • Pistol-Whipping: JD does this in the first episode, only to get chewed out by Buck, who tells him that doing so is a good way to break his gun.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: In "Achilles", Glynn Turman plays both Achilles Thompson and his twin brother Hector, before Hector is killed. The two are never seen on-screen together.
  • Pocket Protector:
    • Ezra gets shot, but it turns out the large sums of money he was thinking of making off with stopped the bullet. Played for laughs when he decides it's best his friends don't trust him with holding the finances in the future - despite its life-saving capabilities.
    • It happens again in "Obsession", when a diamond brooch he won at poker deflects a bullet. This is also played for laughs, as Ezra is more concerned about the brooch than the fact he was shot.
  • Police Are Useless: Marshal Bryce in "The New Law" puts up a lot of regulations about what people can't do, and drives most of the Seven out of Four Corners. Despite the fact that it's said he's cleaned up several Kansas towns, one wonders how since all he does in Four Corners is put up some regulations. When ranchers Royal and James's hired guns attack the town, their leader Earl shoots Bryce when Bryce orders him and his men to surrender their guns.
  • Preacher Man: Owen Mosely in "Manhunt" is originally presented as this. At the end, it is revealed he is a Sinister Minister, having murdered his own daughter when he found out she was pregnant with an Indian's child, and claiming the murder was God's will.
  • Prison Episode: "Inmate 78" is this, as it focuses on Chris ending up in a prison on false charges.
  • Professional Gambler: Ezra and Maude Standish.
  • Punishment Box: The prison in "Inmate 78" has a "hole" where stubborn prisoners are placed.
  • Quick Draw: Being a western, this happens often.
    • By the end it becomes JD's signature move, as he's managed to perfect a wicked fast draw, and even uses it in a classic quick draw duel against a mook.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The entire premise of the pilot rests on said misfits becoming the The Magnificent Seven Samurai. Hence the name of the show.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: What a group of evil ranchers and their minions plan to do to the town in "The New Law".
    • In "The Collector", Guy Royal and his men, and his hired gun Spikes, do the same so Guy can buy the land a railroad is going through.
    • In "The New Law", ranchers James and Royal hire Earl and 25 guns to burn down Four Corners. They go on a 24-hour pillaging spree before they do so.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Chris offers Ezra a spot after seeing him run a scam.
    Nathan: Why would we want to use a cheater?
    Chris: Might need one.
  • Remake Cameo: Robert Vaughn, who played Lee in the film, has a recurring role as Judge Oren Travis.
  • The Remnant: The antagonists for "Ghosts of the Confederacy" are, as the title indicates, still fighting for the Confederacy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In "Vendetta", the Nichols family dressed all in black come to Four Corners looking for the man (Chris' father-in-law Hank) who killed one of theirs. They terrorize the townspeople, let nothing stop them, and there's a big shootout at the end.
  • Romancing the Widow: Buck and Ezra make a bet on which one of them can get close to a widowed woman on a wagon train, by making nice with the woman's bratty son, Eugene. Josiah ends up winning, by lecturing Eugene about how the boy is going to Hell.
  • Scenery Censor: In "Achilles", Ezra and Banks play poker nude to avoid any accusations of cheating. Only a few men's hats strategically placed prevent the viewer from seeing the gamblers' private parts.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Ezra, twice. In the pilot he briefly leaves after discovering there's no gold in the village, and in "Serpents" he plans to run away after learning that none of his companions really trust him.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Ezra, who likes using big words just to show off.
    Ezra: Well, sir, now that we are rid of that loathsome curmudgeon, you may effect my emancipation.
    JD: Huh?
    Ezra: Let me out.
And in the second season:
Ezra: My, uh, pecuniary interests do shame me.
  • In "Nemesis", Chris lures Cletus Fowler into a trap, and then tells him that even though he uses a lot of big words, Cletus is stupid.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Casey Wells (JD's crush) with a little help from some of the guys. Due to her Tomboy nature, JD has thought of her more in terms of competition until she shows up in a dress. Backfires when she loses the skirt while tripping in public.
    • In "Vendetta", Casey wears a dress after a visiting gunman compliments her on her looks, and it's implied to make JD jealous.
  • The Sheriff: Sheriff Quince in "Inmate 78" is corrupt, picking out men who look like they can pay his $500 "bail", sending them to the local prison, and telling the families of the prisoners to send him "bail".
    • In "The Trial", Sheriff Stone incites and leads a lynch mob against Obediah, Nathan's father. Stone later tells Chris that slaves took over his family's plantation after the War. So Stone kind of had reasons, but not against Obediah personally.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker
  • Shoot the Rope: Vin does this to save Nathan from a lynching in the pilot.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: In "Manhunt" JD barges into a sweat lodge and finds elderly Indian men, naked but only shown from the chests up. There is a later scene with Josiah among the elderly men.
  • Shout-Out: When Chris tells Ezra they get paid $5/day, Ezra says "That wouldn't even pay for my bullets." Which is the same thing Vin said in the movie when he received the same offer.
  • Sinister Shiv: In "Inmate 78", one of the Lawless brothers comes at Chris with a shiv. Chris disarms him, hides the shiv up his sleeve, and later uses it to threaten an obnoxious cook. Later still, Chris uses the shiv to kill Quince.
  • Son of a Whore: Buck.
  • Southern Belle: Maude Standish, or at least she does a good impression.
  • Southern Gentleman: Ezra Standish.
  • South of the Border: Purgatorio.
  • Spit Take: In "Sins of the Past", Buck does one on Josiah when Lucy tells him that she's pregnant with his child.
  • Staged Shooting: Chris and Buck plan one so Chris can simultaneously rescue Buck and get into the bad guy's good graces.
  • Stealing from the Till: In "Chinatown", Brauner is skimming the Chinese workers' wages. Somehow, some of them realize this and Brauner has his men kill them to cover his initial crime.
  • Stern Old Judge: Oren in "One Day Out West" is this, grabbing a shotgun when he arrives in town and arresting a murderer. Since Oren is a Circuit Judge, he leaves town eventually, and hires the Seven to protect the place in his absence.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: Col. Emmett Anderson in the pilot episode "Ghosts of the Confederacy" leads a group of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the west preying on isolated towns. All of them are still dressed in the now tattered remains of their Confederate uniforms.
  • Take Up My Sword
  • Tar and Feathers:
    • Ezra narrowly escapes this in "The New Law" after gambling with an entire clan. Possibly lampshaded earlier in the episode by Vin:
      Ezra: As for myself, I'm a few well-played poker games away from owning this saloon. And with no guns in town, there should be fewer ways for disgruntled losers to seek reprisal.
      Vin: There's always tar and feathers.
    • And then later that week:
      Nathan: Is that tar on your face?
      Ezra: Look, we really need to leave this municipality now.
      Vin: Make some new friends back there, Ezra?
      Ezra: Uh, I neglected to abide by a fundamental tenet in my line of work. Never gamble with an entire clan. Hyah!
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: In "Serpents", nearly everyone expects Ezra to steal the money they're guarding, and tells him so. After Josiah forces him to take possession of the money, Ezra decides he might as well live down to their expectations.
  • The One That Got Away: Emma, to Josiah, in "The Collector". Hilariously, Emma doesn't even remember Josiah or their time together.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: In "The Collector", Top Hat Bob Spikes is obsessed with Chris for an incident when Chris accidentally put out Bob's eye during a rail-splitting contest. Spikes spends decades pursuing Chris for vengeance, and Chris doesn't even remember Spikes for most of the episode.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In "The Trial", Chris received a telegram that Obediah Jackson is being lynched. He fails to make any connection between Obediah and Chris' teammate, Nathan Jackson.
  • Token Minority: Nathan borders on this. He rarely gets to shoot a gun like the other members of the Seven, typically throwing knives in a relatively limited fashion. He is often sidelined to a supporting role to the others.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In "Nemesis", Jock stands in the middle of the street during a firefight, confident that the enemy gunmen won't shoot him. He's wrong.
    • In "The New Law", Bryce single-handedly confronts twenty-five armed criminals. It doesn't go well for him. They gun him down, thoughtfully make him comfortable in a jail cell, and he dies of his wounds.
  • Tsundere: Casey Wells, JD's sort-of crush. When he actually notices she's female, at least.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Happens to pretty much all of the Seven at least once.
  • Unflinching Walk: In "Safecracker", Coltrane and his men walk away as the dynamite they ignited blows up behind them, killing their powder man Lunden.
  • Unwanted Spouse: In "Wagon Train", Will Richmond treats his wife Charlotte like this, which drives her into Vin's arms, and they run off together. Will and Charlotte resolve their differences by the end, after Will is wounded and apologizes to Charlotte for his early treatment of her.
  • Wardens Are Evil: The unnamed Warden in "Inmate 78" is corrupt and heartless, and in cahoots with the local sheriff to demand "bail' from the families of people he locks up.
  • We Need a Distraction: In "The Collector", Ezra and Buck try and fail to light a stick of dynamite in order to cause a distraction. A drunken Josiah eventually creates enough of an uproar that the plan works out anyway.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Ranchers James and Royal are presented as the recurring villains in "The New Law" at the beginning of season 2, but disappear without a mention for the rest of the series.
    • In "Serpents", Stutz Sr. dies of unexplained reasons. it's implied that he died of natural causes, but he was presumably a healthy man, being an active professional hitman, but it's never stated how he died.
    • in "Serpents", Buck has fallen hard for Louisa and she suggests he go on the road with her. However, in the next episode, "Obsession", there's no mention of Louisa and Buck falls hard for another woman, Hilda.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It's never specified what state the Seven's town is in, aside from it not being Texas (as that's where Vin is wanted for murder). It is within a day's ride of Mexico, as shown several times when the Seven ride to Purgatorio.
    • It's also not Kansas, since in "The New Law" Bryce is said to have cleaned up several Kansas towns. Chris says in response, "This ain't Kansas."
  • Will They or Won't They?: Chris and Mary have this going on, but never hook up. It is often Belligerent Sexual Tension, since both of their spouses were murdered and Chris resents anyone trying to get close to him.
  • Yandere: Ella Gaines: Chris's ex-girlfriend, who is revealed to be the one who murdered his pregnant wife, Sarah and young son Adam and burned down his ranch because they were impeding her future happiness with him.
  • Young Gun: JD Dunne. He's shown in "Inmate 78" drinking milk in a saloon, from a beer mug. This becomes a recurring gag throughout the second season.

Alternative Title(s): The Magnificent Seven