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Series / Walker, Texas Ranger

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In the Eyes of a Ranger,
The unsuspectin' stranger
Had better know the truth of wrong from right.
'Cause the Eyes of a Ranger are upon you...
Any wrong you do, he's gonna see!
When you're in Texas, look behind you,
'Cause that's where the Ranger's gonna be!

Walker, Texas Ranger was a combination of martial arts and modern Western, starring Chuck Norris as Texas Ranger Cordell Walker. Other characters include Cordell's best friend and partner James "Jimmy" Trivette (Clarence Gilyard), Assistant District Attorney Alex Cahill (Sheree J. Wilson), who also serves as his love interest, and veteran Ranger C.D. Parker (the late Noble Willingham).

Subject to much Memetic Mutation in the 2000s. This is thanks, at least partially, to Conan O'Brien, who used to play unintentionally humorous clips from the series on his show by way of the "Walker Texas Ranger Lever". As well as the general Memetic Badassery of Chuck Norris.

On September 23, 2019 it was announced that a reboot was in development produced by and starring fellow Texan Jared Padalecki.


Features the following tropes:

  • All Just a Dream: The episode Blood Diamonds, most likely to actually make the audience wonder since it was one of the final episodes, has Trivette turn up murdered by the villains. Then, in the climax, Walker is gunned down after spoiling their victory. The final moments of the episode reveal it was all just Alex's dream, although Walker reveals to her that he's actually on the case from her dream.
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  • Always Murder: Most episodes revolve around a murder mystery, usually because some poor schmuck was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got capped for being nosy.
  • Amoral Attorney: Basically, anyone who isn't Alex. Even those working for the DA's office with her are often shown to be corrupt or at the very least, incompetent.
  • And This Is for...:
    • Walker does this to a known cop killer on death row as he beats him down in a mall.
    Walker: "This is for that ranger's family." (hits killer with a triple kick combo) "And this one's for me." (kicks him through a store window)
    • Happened again after taking down a thug who had earlier pounded on him as Walker was keeping up the facade of a lowly slave as his cover. Needless to say, Walker pays him back immensely now that he doesn't have to act helpless anymore.
    Walker: (punches thug down) "That was for hitting me in the head." (picks him up) "And this is for kicking me in the ribs." (punches him in the face, then picks him up again) "And this, is because I don't like you." (full strength punch to the face, knocking him out)
  • Anticlimax: Given the amount of law-breaking, cop-fighting kickboxers Texas seems to have, when a villain is arrested with relative ease, it can feel like this.
  • Anyone Can Die: Don't get attached to anyone in this show that isn't one of the main characters.
  • As the Good Book Says...: A few episodes cite actual Bible verses.
  • Attempted Rape: LaRue attempts this with Alex several times. And one of the Ramon brothers tries to do this to Sydney. Luckily, Walker and company show up Just in Time.
  • Babies Ever After: The series finale sees the birth of Walker and Alex's baby girl.
  • Backstab Backfire: The fate of those who try to do this on Walker.
  • Ballistic Discount: A milder version occurs in one episode where three survivalist brothers come into town to get supplies: merely threatening the gun shop clerk rather than killing him outright.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • A cop killer on death row about to be transported by Walker comments that he would like to have a chance to beat up Walker like the previous one he killed. Walker warns him this exact trope. At the end, the killer does get his wish when Walker corners him at a mall. He finds out the hard way that he SERIOUSLY underestimated Walker and systematically gets his ass handed to him.
    • Larue holds a courtroom hostage and demands for Walker, taunting that he's too scared to face him. He gets him, when Walker forcefully breaks down the doors and coldly shoots him dead, finally having been pushed too far.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Walker gets mauled by one in "Swan Song". Worse, there is a rabid bear in "The Bachelor Party" who easily shreds apart several innocent and not so innocent people. Gage is one of the people attacked by this bear from Hell.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Gage and Sydney. For all their bickering, they are clearly attracted to each other, though it never got to go anywhere before the finale.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Big Brother Is Watching: "When the eyes of the Ranger are upon you, any wrong you do he's gonna see; when you're in Texas, look behind you, 'cause that's where the Ranger's gonna be."
  • Billed Above the Title: Chuck Norris
  • Bloodless Carnage: When a man in cowboy boots kicks multiple criminals in the head, without drawing blood, this trope is active.
  • Boisterous Weakling: A criminal leader tries to force Walker to leave by attacking him, but gets easily shoved off, making him shout at the surrounding mooks to attack Walker en masse. Walker easily takes down the mooks as the leader shouts and shoves more mooks to get Walker, but no matter how many he pushed towards him, Walker would beat the crap out of them. When the leader tries forcing more mooks to attack Walker, the last mook then shoves HIM forward, telling the leader to get Walker himself. Walker dares him to try and make a move after being put on the spot, then gives a disgusted glare when the leader does nothing. He summed up what he thought of him in one word.
    Walker: "Wimp."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The cast wishes the audience a Merry Christmas at the end of "A Matter of Faith", C.D.'s last episode before leaving the show at the end of 2000.
  • Broken Aesop:
    • How many characters stood up to bullies and thugs, only to get cut down by said thugs a scene or two later? Sometimes, it's because they themselves have been guilty of being in the wrong and are having a change of heart, or they aren't wise enough to deal with their oppressor in an manipulative or calm, controlled manner. The intention is probably: Stand up to evil, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.
    • The worst part is what happens to characters around the person attempting to redeem themselves. In one episode, a kid is inspired to stand up against the corruption he's witnessed and tells an authority figure about it. All this ends up accomplishing is getting that person killed and solidifying the villain's control. The kid himself is only spared by the last second intervention by Walker. Ultimately, it makes the message feel more like "Only do the right thing if Chuck Norris is around, because otherwise you're just going to get people killed and make the bad guy stronger."
    • Many episodes end with Walker sparing a dangerous mastermind because it's up to the law to handle them, but many villains break out of prison, or are otherwise ex-cons that manage to kill a few of the people who helped put them away before they're stopped. One recurring villain even managed to take the court hostage and killed the judge (though at least Walker finally put him down after that). It's an aesop that generally works in real life, but in a series with villains who aren't generally stopped by anyone other than Walker, it tends to fall flat.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Mancini in "The Prodigal Son." A few of his Mooks, as well.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Played ridiculously straight in an episode with a young woman who has been taken hostage by her traitorous bodyguard and placed in front of a shotgun set to go off at a certain time. Walker finds the villain's hideout, beats him up, and drags him in front of the gun just in time to protect the girl and make the bad guy take the blast. Of a shotgun. True to form, only the bad guy is killed, when in real life, the shot probably would have gone through him, Walker, and the poor girl.
  • Bully Brutality: One episode had a kid who was bullied at school mercilessly, and the bullying was turned up to eleven at one point. The kid eventually walks to the roof of the school and tries to jump, and Walker makes a desperate attempt to talk him down. In the end, after taking care of the tormentors, Walker spearheads an anti-bullying campaign.
  • Bully Hunter: Walker to a T. He will not stand for anyone trying to intimidate or violently imposing their will on others who can't even defend themselves. Walker will then proceed to systematically beat the ever living crap out of any tormentors, proving they're nothing but stupid wimps when up against someone who can actually fight back.
  • Bus Crash: Noble Willingham left the show mid season 7, and in the series finale the Big Bad says that he killed his character.
    • Technically he was said to have died earlier (the tail end of the episode, "The Avenging Angel") seemingly from heart failure, and in the finale the villain claims the murder, prompting a second autopsy that confirms cause of death was due to poison.
  • Casting Gag/Celebrity Paradox: In "The Moscow Connection", at the very beginning, Trivette reads out a piece of literature describing in an almost poetic way of a stand off between two men. Walker questions what book this is, and Trivette says it is The Secret Power Within. Walker follows this question by asking who wrote it, and is told that Chuck Norris had. He simply shrugs and claims to have never heard of him, earning a track record telling by Trivette of Chuck's achievements in martial arts. Again, Walker says he never heard of him—yet corrects Trivette when the latter makes a mistake in listing Norris' accomplishments.
    • In Season 7's "Code of the West", the four main characters talk about who would play them in a movie. Trivette gets Denzel Washington, Alex gets Helen Hunt, C.D. gets Paul Newman and Walker gets...Chuck Norris. When Walker complains they got Oscar winners, Trivette points out that Chuck was a six time World Karate Champion, which pleases Walker. Good thing since, of course...
  • Catch and Return:
    • In the crossover with Martial Law, while Sammo Law was fighting a mook, another mook throws a metal thermos at him. Sammo turns and catches the thermos one-handed, then proceeds to beat the mook he was fighting with it before throwing him into the throwing mook. Then, Sammo flings the thermos back at the thrower, nailing him in the head.
    • A drug cartel leader, after getting his ass thoroughly stomped by Walker, tries to cheat by pulling out a knife and throwing it at him. Walker anticipated the dirty move and in one fluid motion catches the knife and throws it back right into the cartel leader's chest, killing him.
  • Clear My Name: Alex gets framed for a crime she didn't commit and was thrown in a womens' prison where many of the inmates hold a grudge against her. Walker and Trivette work together with Alex's father to find the real culprit.
  • Clint Squint: Could've easily been called "The Norris Squint."
  • Cowboy Cop: Taken literally, and a key element of the show's premise, though he isn't usually rebellious or rule-breaking.
  • Crapsack World: With how many criminals with the mindset that it's perfectly ok to assault law enforcement at a moments notice it's clearly not a good place. The fact that the Rangers (and sometimes even just Walker himself) tend to be the only ones who can stand up to the villains and not end up either dead or otherwise taken out of the game, make it look like a world that survives only by the presence of Walker. This also helps to make many of the messages in the series feel like Broken Aesops.
  • Crash Course Landing:
    • Played for Drama in the season 8 finale, when an assassin hijacks the plane that newlyweds Alex and Walker boarded to Paris and ends up not only killing both pilots, but destroys part of the controls with his high-caliber bullets smashing into the systems. Walker is forced to radio in a mayday to flight control, which prompts them to give him specific instructions to land the plane, with Alex's help, of course. Said landing is actually not clean; Walker creams a billboard, high-rise parking complex, and the cars inside on the way down to the airport runway because he flew too low. Fortunately, he lands that bird on the money in the end.
    • Later becomes a Call-Back and Chekhov's Skill for Walker during the Chairman 4-parter in season 9. Gage and Sydney badger an accountant for a rich scumbag into testifying against him and board a private flight back to Fort Worth. However, the Chairman's lackey, the "Wizard," has hacked into the plane's controls and proceeds to depressurize the cabins, knocking everyone out, while cutting off the radio contact and opening up the fuel tanks to help incite a horrific crash. Gabe is lucky enough to get an oxygen mask on, but has no clue on how to fly the plane. Luckily, he has a mobile phone on him that allows Walker to contact him at the first sign of trouble, and Walker has a splendid memory, telling Gabe exactly how to land the plane since his own brush with fate- which ends successfully.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • In one episode, Walker, in his pickup truck, is being chased by a bad guy in an attack helicopter. How does Walker deal with this? By pulling out an M72 LAW rocket launcher from the back of his truck. There's no explanation offered; he's just that kind of crazy.
    • It's pretty much implied the military supplied him with it, as they knew how to counter their own weapon.
  • Crossover: Cordell Walker had teamed up with Sammo Hung of Martial Law at least twice.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Despite the heavy Christian undertones of the show, there's also episodes that involve other types of spiritual and cultural magic and mythology.
  • Crusading Widow: Walker channeled his anger and grief over his fiancee's murder into being the best cop possible.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Often at the beginning of the show, or when C.D. Parker was a target, the bad guys would brutally beat up hapless individuals to try to impose their will, or to attempt to intimidate – always unsuccessfully – Walker and his Rangers. C.D.'s disadvantage is his old age and out of shape body. Powerfully subverted in the episode, "Hall of Fame," where C.D. proves he can still take down a wanted criminal.
    • In one episode where a delusional man kidnaps CD's niece and forces her into a Bonnie and Clyde fantasy of his, he goes around terrorizing people. When he finally gets cornered and disarmed by Walker, he tries a last ditch effort to stab him with a hidden knife. It doesn't work, and Walker takes him out with a single backfist to his face. Wimp.
  • The Dandy: Trivette, always concerned about his appearance and interested in the best clothing and technology available. Doesn't mean he can't kick ass, though.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Usually Walker is the undisputed hero. In "A Deadly Vision", he is almost absent and we see Trivette and CD run around solving the case together, along with a one-shot psychic. Also played painfully straight in the episode "Behind the Badge," where Walker is in the spotlight for a documentary show and Trivette wants to impress them. Too bad it happens to be the one day crime is in a dry spell.
  • Death by Materialism: Some jerkasses would willingly sell out their own to the villain of the week for cash. Usually they would get killed so the villain wouldn't have to bother paying up.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion:
  • Designated Victim: Alex Cahill, nearly an example of Once an Episode. Most other women too—even the far-tougher Sydney was eventually kidnapped right along with Alex.
  • Dirty Cop: Walker and company would sometimes deal with these.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • The Locos gang from "Jacob's Ladder" in Season 7.
    • The serial rapist from "Justice For All" enjoys beating on women before attempting to rape them. Against grown men, he's a complete wimp who gets his ass handed to him. Even more, it wasn't done by Walker. The first time he was beaten to within an inch of his life by the pursuing police officer, the second and final time was by the father of one of his victims.
  • Disneyfication: The series starting around "Brainchild" in Season 5. The episode with the kid and his supercomputer best friend, with a script that would have been more at home in a Disney flick. The show usually had grittier plots beforehand, but as it went on, the episodes began focusing on young kids or teens staying on the right path. CBS and the writers caught wind of the growing kid audience and wanted to reassure the parents the kids weren't watching flat, abhorrent violence.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "The Eye of the Ranger" is written and performed by Chuck Norris himself. The theme music is introduced in Season 3's "The Big Bingo Bamboozle" and used onwards afterwards.
  • Does Not Like Guns:
    • Villains shoot people. Walker may flash his gun to make an arrest, but he very rarely pulls the trigger. But if you shoot at him...
    • The only true subversion is Victor LaRue, who, after three consecutive murder/mayhem sprees, gets shot down by Walker himself when he attempts to train his gun on the Ranger. Trying to rape Alex three times and remorseless killings of innocent people left him beyond redemption.
    • Walker shot a couple of bad guys in season one. In "The Prodigal Son," he kills one of Mancini's Mooks during his epic motorcycle scene, and in the second part of "Something in the Shadows," he blows away a drug dealer. Both men were armed, though, and shooting at him.
  • Drowning Pit: "No Way Out" centers around this, as Trivette, and whoda guessed, Alex, get kidnapped and imprisoned by Caleb Hooks in a water tank at a sewage treatment facility, which gradually fills up and threatens to drown them, while they reminisce on happier times in hopes Walker will save them a la Clip Show style.
  • Dynamic Entry: Chuck Norris flying-kicks himself into so many scenes one would be forgiven for thinking this to be his primary mode of travel.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In the first season, Walker's main vehicle was a blue GMC Sierra pickup. From the second season onward, it becomes a gray Dodge Ram 1500.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After Trent and Carlos arrest a pedophile kidnapper, the inmates beat him to within an inch of his life once they found out why he was put in prison. In another episode, when a gang of criminals takes a group of nuns hostage, at least one of them is extremely uncomfortable with this. The leader tells him to shut up—and then two seconds later, himself displays this trope by smacking one of the other members who has started make sleazy advances to one of the postulates.
    • It's typical for one member of the villain's group to have second thoughts, only to be killed for them. One especially notable case is when a crook named Jackson learns his boss plans to sell a weapon they stole to some people who plan to use it for terrorism, he tries to stop it only to be killed.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Amusingly, once, after the villain flies through the back of a pickup truck carrying water cooler tanks, the WATER explodes.
  • Expy: All the characters in the initial Hayes Cooper story; later stories use the actors in different roles.
  • Fair Cop: Sydney and most of the other female cops who showed up from time to time. Gage too.
  • Fat Bastard: Some of the villains of the week consist of these, and are usually the ones who get taken down rather easily.
  • Glass Cannon: Most mooks are like this as they get taken out quite easily against those who can actually fight back. One situation in particular is a kid bully who repeatedly gets into fights with the son of a recently deceased police officer on the way home from school. However, once the son gets some lessons from his grandfather, when the bully attempts to beat on him again, the son easily took him down with only two hits , proving he's just a stupid little wimp.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Walker crushes a glass in his hand when he hears on the news that the man who killed his first fiancee had been let out of jail.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Walker and Trivette. Who plays which depends on the situation, or who's more pissed off at the time. When Gage and Sydney were introduced, they both played Bad Cop by hard-balling arrested baddies.
  • Groin Attack: It's even worse when it comes from Chuck's cowboy boots.
  • Gut Feeling: In one ep, Walker is dealing with another member of law enforcement accused of being corrupt. Knowing nothing about Walker's personal history, the man tells of his inspiration - a 19th Century lawman named Hayes Cooper. Walker must still investigate this man, and does due diligence, but you can tell that, from then on, in Walker's mind, the matter is settled. No man descended from and inspired by Hayes Cooper can be truly evil. Walker never tells the man they are distant kin.
  • Hate Sink: Pick any Villain of the Week. They’re so irredeemably evil that it’s oh so satisfying seeing Walker and crew beat the ever living shit out of them.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • There was an additional pair of Texas Rangers that showed up when the plot required more police be involved.
    • Action Girl Sydney Cooke and Francis Gage, who, amazingly, after being added to the cast got just as many or more story lines as the Originals - Trivette, Alex and Walker.
  • Hero Insurance: Walker and company never seen to care about the damage they cause with all the fights they get into, though Gage did compensate a restaurant owner at least once.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Walker gets these when in a fight he actually has to try in.
  • Hit Stop: It is guaranteed that Walker and Trivette will each dish out one of these per episode to the bad guys, and probably many more. Sometimes this effect goes all the way into Overcrank. Their fellow Rangers give out a few as well. You can tell who the bad guys are; they never hit hard enough to deliver a Hit Stop.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "A Father's Image," a mafia don who abuses his young son in order to "raise him into the family business" forces his son to climb to the top of a bookshelf ladder and orders him to jump, saying he'll catch him if he trusts him. When he jumped, the father immediately pulls away and lets his son painfully hit the floor. He then kicks his son to get him to get up before stating the "life lesson" is never to trust anybody. At the end of the episode once the Texas Rangers bust in and beat down the mooks, the mafia don loses his gun, which is picked up by his son. He immediately tries to get his son to give the gun to him, saying he can trust him. To his shock and anger, the son gives the gun to Walker, angrily shouting that he trusted his son and he betrayed it. The son simply called out that he trusted him, too, and look where that got him. The undercover ranger reminds the don that that was his own "life lesson" used against him.
  • Hypothetical Casting: In-Universe. In "Code of the West", the four main characters talk about who would play them in a movie. Trivette gets Denzel Washington, Alex gets Helen Hunt, C.D. gets Paul Newman and Walker gets...Chuck Norris.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!:
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The villain of "Swan Song" survived a plane crash after it was shot down and got lost in the mountains, going insane and strapping plane parts to his face, then ending up so feral that he began to eat humans and use their bones and skulls as furniture.
  • Indian Burial Ground: Focus of the episodes "On Sacred Ground" and "Evil in the Night", both involving burial ground desecration.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: The whole plot of "Stolen Lullaby," which involves a crooked adoption agency that kidnaps babies and puts them up for adoption for huge sums of money, forging the adoption papers and sending Mooks to bully (and even kill) the real parents if they find out and try to interfere.
  • Idiot Ball: To go along with their over-the-top capital-E Evil, most of the criminals in the series seem to lack common sense to a ridiculous degree. It gets to the point where it becomes hard to believe that these so-called evil masterminds were ever capable of accomplishing anything.
    • Walker gets one in Episode 7x14 when walking up to a man when he knows it's very likely they'll get into a fistfight. Instead of taking off his tie, he just shrugs his coat off and walks forward. He's very lucky that guy didn't garrotte him with the handy chokehold hanging right around his neck.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual:
    • Walker fights and beats up a corrupt racist sheriff who ruled a small town with an iron fist and Fantastic Racism. After Walker kicks the shit out of him, he rips the sheriff badge off his chest, signifying the bastard doesn't deserve to wear it.
    • Walker takes down a corrupt self-proclaimed "Texas Ranger" before tearing off the Texas ranger badge off of him.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The three pilot movies and the second season featured an instrumental theme tune. The first half of the third season featured a different instrumental theme, before being replaced by the more familiar tune with lyrics halfway through the season.
  • Invincible Hero: Most "fights" in the series are short, one-sided beatdowns, though this is partly due to most of the criminal population of Texas having "punch cop" as their default response to feeling threatened.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In "The Prodigal Son," crime boss Mancini manages to rather impressively hit Walker firing a handgun from a helicopter mid-flight.
  • Ironic Echo: A crime lord's lawyer informs him that since Alex is prosecuting and the witness is in protective custody, the best course of action is to settle a deal with Alex. The crime lord, after getting a call from his hitman that he's prepared to kill the witness and his family, he tells his lawyer that he and Alex can "stick their deal". Walker and the Rangers foil the plot, saving the witness. At the trial, the crime lord is shocked to see the witness still alive and tries to settle a deal with Alex. She tells him he can "stick his deal".
  • The Jinx: The subplot in "Medieval Crimes" concerns Trivette having to transport a prisoner back to headquarters, who is a living jinx that causes Trivette all sorts of bad luck (including food poisoning, tons of bee stings, and the car breaking down).
  • Jury and Witness Tampering: Several episodes involve this, from murder to intimidation. One episode had Trent set to testify against a mob boss, who hired an assassin to kill him, and the only witness to that attack was a Special Olympian he was escorting to running practice.
  • Kick Chick: Sydney Cooke from the last two seasons is this.
  • Kick the Dog: The villains tend to do half a dozen of these before the episodes are over.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: And Walker does this to said villains for the above trope, both figuratively and literally.
  • Killed Off for Real: CD in Season 9's "The Avenging Angel". Noble Willingham left the show after Season 8's "A Matter of Faith" to run for a seat on the United States House of Representatives.
  • Kung-Foley: Every blow delivered merits these. Earlier episodes had less copious usage of foley and the foley itself was not so over-the-top, but when the show hit its Camp years, the foley got exaggerated, full stop.
  • Large Ham: The episode's villains will raise your cholesterol. And the main cast. And the guest stars. Basically the whole series is a Large Ham and Cheese Sandwich.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: To basically all the villains who use force to terrorize their victims, Walker treats them to an equally if not more brutal ass-kicking on them.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • 9 seasons and even Walker's own girlfriend and eventual wife called him by his last name more often than she did his first.
    • This also applied to Trivette and Gage. You could count on one hand the number times either of them were referred to by their first name (Jimmy and Francis, respectively).
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: By its final seasons, it was still an action-adventure series based on Texas, but many odd episodes occured, including several Very Special Episodes with faith-based special guests, rampaging evil spirits, an All Just a Dream episode occurring on the Old West, people stealing super-weapons to use to take on Walker, an episode where Walker and friends must find a missing kid that is being helped by a stereotypical Robot Buddy, and the final episode featuring as a foe a genetically-engineered Implacable Man Super Soldier who's creation was funded by a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The last episode (not counting the Trial By Fire) is called "The Final Show/Down".
  • Leave No Witnesses: A staple of the show when dealing with the villains; expect to see them kill their mooks and victims to keep them from talking when Walker is hot on their trail.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Starting around Season 6. The "Brainchild" episode in particular seemed like it had been written for some '80s Disney flick. There were also more Very Special Episodes, such as a plot involving a mentally disabled child, school bullying, teens using drugs, and young kids getting swept up into the wily ways of bad street gangs. And "Thunderhawk", a late season episode, was a really fluff sci-fi story.
    • If one looked at the earlier seasons of Walker it resembles close to a gritty cop show than the later seasons which are more toned down and cartoony in comparison.
      • The later seasons also have their share of dark moments. For example, Halloween Episode "The Children of Halloween" dealt with satanic cult kidnapping young children and planning to kill them. "Lucas", a two-parter, is also rather dark, dealing with young boy with AIDS and it ends with him and his mother dying.
  • Local Hangout: CD's Bar and Grill, which is owned and operated by CD in his post-ranger years. It has been the regular hangout for the rangers up until Season 9's "The Avenging Angel", when they learn CD has died.
  • The Lost Lenore: Walker's backstory includes a fiancee who was murdered.
  • Mad at a Dream: In the episode "Silk Dreams", assistant district attorney Alex Cahill keeps having nightmares of Walker getting shot, eventually working up to his partner, Trivette, shooting him. At the end, when everything has been worked out, Walker makes a comment which Alex interprets to mean she looks terrible. She begins saying it was all his fault for getting shot in her dreams and worrying her, and when he points out it was Trivette who shot him in her dreams, she turns her irritation on him. Then Walker puts an end to it by pulling her onto the dance floor.
  • Motorcycle Fu: Walker tripped up a criminal in this fashion.

  • Multiple-Choice Past: The mythical accounts of Hayes Cooper's life don't add up, with the very first saying he died and his spirit emerging to help Walker out (or possibly a snake venom-induced hallucination, as Walker had been poisoned at the time he saw Cooper), while another account says he turned in his badge to raise a family, Retconning his so-called death.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The friend of Carlo's nephew Jesse in a bout of panic hides a gun his employer used to kill a cop in Jesse's room, therefore framing him for the crime. The friend soon realized the ramifications of his actions when not only was Jesse arrested for a crime he didn't do, but Jesse's mother also gets kidnapped and held for ransom to blackmail Jesse to take the rap for it.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Walker's martial arts is a bigger threat than any weapon an enemy brings to a fight.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: A group of masked rich guys take pleasure in beating up homeless people nearly to death for their own amusement. They even had the bright idea of recording their exploits to enjoy watching. Once Walker takes them down, the police also confiscate said recordings to be used as evidence against them. C.D. summed it up as who would be stupid enough to record their own crimes.
  • Obviously Evil: Some minor episode characters may make a Heel–Face Turn, but the episode's Big Bad or evil group is usually so over-the-top that there is no doubt from the first appearance who Walker's foe will be.
  • Oireland: Any episode featuring Irish people was usually also chock full of Irish stereotypes and terrible Irish Accents.
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers:
    • Played very often, even with frequent criminals who usually know to keep their mouths shut and ask for an attorney. It's so badly done that even Alex—a DA who is not allowed to lie to a suspect—is often seen telling suspects that if they ask for a lawyer, any chance of a deal is off. On the show, this always makes the criminal quickly agree to cooperate. In Real Life, this is flat-out unethical conduct that would result in her being​ reprimanded.
    • Another especially bad example involves a bratty kid demanding a lawyer before he talks to the cops. His father refuses and basically threatens to beat the crap out of him if he doesn't tell the cops what he knows. The Rangers stand there looking downright smug and amused at the whole thing. Never mind that they just violated the rights of someone who explicitly asked for an attorney.
    • In another episode, Sydney and Gage arrive at someone's home to ask if his brother (their murder suspect) is there. The man says no and tries to close the door on them, only for Gage to push it open and force his way into the apartment—without a warrant, and against the man's clearly expressed refusal to let them in.
    • Speaking of Alex, she apparently believes this so strongly that when she herself is a murder suspect, she talks to the cops and assistant DA without an attorney. Her own father practically gives her a Dope Slap over her stupidity.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Walker and the Rangers usually try to avert this, being proper authorities and all. Most of the kills they make were out of necessity/self-defense. Played straight by Walker in "Trial Of Larue" when Walker wordlessly guns the bastard down, killing him, putting him out of everyone else's miseries. CD and Trivette's comments in the aftermath says it all.
    CD: "You know, Jimmy, in all my years, I never enjoyed seeing a dead body. This time, I do."
    Trivette: "I hear that, Big Dog."
  • Playground Song: In "White Buffalo", a hoodlum who holds up a convenience store, and who's a little off his rocker, forces a woman to sing "99 Bottles of Beer" with him at gunpoint.
  • Police Are Useless: Often, anyone who isn't part of the main cast. An especially bad example is the federal agent who botches the rescue of Sydney and Alex when they're abducted by a drug cartel. First, the idiot sends the drug dealer's brother to him before the dealer returns the two women. When the dealer of course double-crosses them and keeps the women, the agent can only sputter about how they have to "negotiate". A thoroughly fed-up Walker nearly throttles him before storming off to rescue the women himself. Trivette and Gage spitefully apply this to themselves when said agent demanded disciplinary action on Walker for "assaulting a federal agent", they simply said they saw nothing.
  • Police Brutality: Everyone in the cast is shown beating up suspects on a regular basis. While this is usually justified by the fact that the suspects attacked them first, occasionally, criminals don't do anything more than make snide, nasty comments. While certainly rude and out of line, it's not illegal and does not warrant physical violence on the cops' part.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The hate groups Walker and company would go up against and soundly kick their asses. It was also revealed that Walker's parents were victims of this.
  • Politician Guest-Star: The Season 5 episode "The Winds of Change" sees Walker, who had started a boot camp for juvenile offenders, locking horns with a powerful Senator; with then-Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson making an appearance.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: Sons of Thunder.
    • Averted and played straight. To elaborate, the two-parter Sons of Thunder spends an exorbitant amount of time focusing on new characters Trent Malloy, a Mini-Walker expy that Doesn't Like Guns, his best friend Carlos, and Trent's troubled family. Despite the set up, Trent and Carlos continue to appear on the show afterwards to help the main characters. It wasn't until two years later that a spinoff did happen. It didn't last long, and the characters were never seen or mentioned again in spite of Walker lasting for several years after the fact.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Several by Walker.
    "You have the right..." (kicks thug in the face) "... to remain silent."
    "If I wanted your opinion, I'd beat it out of you." (kick thug through a door)
  • Product Placement: Chrysler had prominent product placement with their then-newly redesigned Dodge Ram 1500 as Walker's main vehicle.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: "The Avenging Angel" and "Crusader" both treat Pro Wrestling as if it were a genuine, high-stakes sport.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: In "Deadly Vision" where a pedophile kidnaps a little girl and basically forces her to play with him. He's also coupled with Spoiled Brat tendencies and planned to kill her mother so he'd have the girl to himself, but ultimately gets curbstomped by Walker before he could carry it out.
  • Real After All: In the episode about UFO sightings, turned out to be a secret government project. At the end of the episode, the cast view an old recording of the military base, which featured what looked like a stasis pod, with a non-human hand touching the glass from the inside...
  • Real Men Love Jesus: Besides Walker himself, there's Trent Malloy.
    Carlos: A lot of people out there need the martial arts.
    Trent: That's not the only thing they need. (holds up a Bible)
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Walker is clearly White, so why are they trying to get the audience to believe that he's half Native Am—wait, what do you mean Chuck Norris is half-Cherokee?
  • Redemption Rejection: Mad Dog in the "Mr. Justice" episode where a group of teens with known felonies were brought to Walker's Boot Camp in order to direct them on the just path as opposed to being thrown in jail. Mad Dog only tried to use it as an opportunity to run by stealing a gun and knocking Walker out. Fortunately, the other delinquents chose to help Walker and capture Mad Dog. They even call him out on his choice of actions. In the end, all the other delinquents came out better people, even became officers of Camp Justice, tasked with rehabilitating other teen felons. Mad Dog, however, is sent to real prison with no way out. Had he just accepted the rehabilitation, he would've been free as well.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The series finale revolves around a gang of criminals, that we had never seen before, breaking out of prison and taking revenge on Walker who supposedly arrested them around the time the first season would have taken place.
  • Repeat Cut: Walker's signature roundhouse kick, often in slow motion, no less.
  • Roundhouse Kick: His "roundhouse kick" is a vital part of the Chuck Norris jokes. Even though what he actually does is called a spinning wheel kick.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • In "Family Matters", where a guy acts out of control, believing himself to be over the law due to his sister being in the witness protection program by the FBI. When one of his stints goes too far holding a child hostage, he winds up accidentally shooting and killing his sister when she tried to stop him, and thus the FBI no longer have any reason to keep him out of prison. Walker could only give the asshole a hateful Death Glare as he gets carted away before coldly asking who’s going to protect him now.
    • Basically any of the corrupt politicians seen in the series falls under this.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The antagonists who are the arrogant offspring of rich families thinking they are entitled to do anything because of their money and social statuses. Special mentions in "Eyes of a Ranger", where the son of a rich man stalks and terrorizes a teenage girl, claiming her as his "soulmate", even going so far as to leave threatening messages on her answering machine. Thanks to his father, he was kept out of jail. However, a deal with the father by Walker took away his safety net and is put away for good.
  • Second Love: Alex to Walker. His backstory includes a fiancee who was killed.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: One episode dealt with a man and woman hitman pair who covered up their targets by killing 7 other random people alongside their target. Their current target being ADA Alex Cahill.
  • Sex Slave:
    • Implied with the drug baron's handmaid.
      "Senor Ortega came to my village. He saw me... and he wanted me."
    • Also implied when Alex is kidnapped by three survivalist brothers. When they bring her to their cabin, she's greeted by two other women who have also been held prisoner. It's not hard to imagine what they've gone through.
  • Shaming the Mob: A town accusing a mentally challenged man for killing an upstanding citizen of their community mob and burn down a shelter Walker and the local authorities were keeping the accused for protective custody. They survive it, then the true killer was revealed to be the accused's uncle. Walker calls out the mob on their actions and that they almost killed an innocent man before commanding them to leave.
  • Sidekick: Trivette, though he insists he's not. This was the joke of one commercial, where Trivette showed a clip of Walker kicking something and commented. "That's his side kick."
  • Sniff Sniff Nom ("A plane crashed here.")
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: It seems that a huge part of the reason Alex is kidnapped and assaulted so often is because she's attractive—in "Survival", one of the trio of crazed brothers who abduct her outright says to another, "Ain't she beautiful, Dwight? I want her."
  • Something We Forgot: In "Survival", Walker and company subdue a group of drug dealers and tied them to trees. At the end of the episode after rescuing Alex and the other two female hostages, they get the feeling they forgot something. Scene switches back to the drug dealer group still tied to the trees, and it was downpouring.
  • Spy Catsuit: Several, most notably Joan Jett's character in "Wedding Bells".
  • Sting: A few of them play in "Black Dragons" when Walker and Trivette react to a woman being thrown off a tall building to her death.
  • Stock Footage: The episode "The Deadliest Man Alive" mixes footage of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (the main plot involves Walker and an Interpol agent attempt to stop a would-be assassin from killing an Israeli ambassador at a Dallas Cowboys game) with stock footage of the short-lived United States Football League; which had folded over a decade prior.
  • Takes Ten to Hold: More than once, not even a small army of men would be able to stop Walker, as he always found a way to win ... even if multiple men were hanging on his arms and legs and completely subduing him (or trying to), leaving him prone to a brutal beating.
  • Talk to the Fist: Or to the foot, depending on Walker's mood. Usually accompanied by a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner.
    Thug: "Ranger! You screwed up! You forgot to read us our rights!"
    Walker: "You're right. You have the right..." (kicks thug in the face) "... to remain silent."
  • Technical Pacifist: Walker's primary goal is always to take the bad guys in alive, and he prides himself on rarely using his gun, but he's not afraid of using his fists to smack down the thug of the week.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In "The Principal", a corrupt drug-dealing high school teacher was about to throw a student off a rooftop for refusing to deal his drugs and threatening to expose him to the authorities. Walker comes in and stops him, the teacher then declares that he'll throw Walker and the kid off the building, too. Guess who winds up falling over the building instead? To be fair, Walker kicked him hard and he lost his balance near the edge.
    • In Mr. Justice, a group of men confront Walker and Trivette, demanding they and their group leave the woods as if they owned the place. Trivette tried to peacefully tell them to just leave if they had a problem with it, causing the leader to shove him away. Walker warns the guy not to do that again. The leader ignores the warning and does it, but this time, Trivette throws him and a fight ensues, with Walker and Trivette curbstomping the lot of them.
    • Basically anybody who starts a fight with any of the rangers. Aside from being highly stupid in the first place, as assaulting a police officer is a serious felony, it's even more so considering the martial arts skills that they all possess.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The conclusion to the 2005 TV movie Trial by Fire was never made, because CBS pulled the plug on their made-for-TV movie stint. Most fans of the original series will disown the movie as non-canon for straying too far from the roots of the original series.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Neo-Nazis appear in one episode, trying to drive minister Paul Winfield out of town.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
  • Torture Always Works:
    • Walker and others would utilize this method to interrogate mooks.
    • He and Trivette hung a guy upside down and threatened to put his head in a bag with a rattlesnake in it, scaring him into talking (he had a snake phobia). After getting the information they needed, Trivette gleefully reveals that it was just a toy snake with a tape recorder.
    • When a mook refused to tell Walker about the big bad's next plan, the undercover cop decides to take over. Ironically, the cop was being interrogated the same way by the same mook not long ago, but managed to resist. Once the tables have turned and the cop threatens to shock the mook with a cattle prod, the mook quickly caves in and spilled his guts. Pathetically, he didn't even get shocked yet.
    • Walker does this with an arsonist who had already gotten whacked around by the local sheriff and still wouldn't talk after that. He showed the arsonist exactly what would happen to him if he didn't talk by first casually breaking a table and punching a hole near his head. The arsonist was scared into submission.
  • Tranquil Fury: Walker whenever he beats the crap out of mooks and the villain of the week. Played straight when he straight up shoots and kills Larue in the third encounter with cold efficiency after finally having enough of his bullshit.
  • The Troubles: Flashpoint has Walker and Trivette track down a radical IRA faction after a violent attack on a peace conference.
  • Turn in Your Badge:
    • Trivette is temporarily suspended due to accidentally shooting a child but it turns out the shot came from the criminal.
    • Walker made a deal with a known stalker's father that he would do this if his son wasn't caught dealing with drugs in his building and if he is, the father will not try to bail him out this time.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Villains of the week and mooks do this with Walker all the damn time. They get rude awakenings once Walker deals with them. Also applies to Trivette, Trent, Carlos, Gage, and Sydney.
  • Unlucky Thirteen: The Viper, a high-profile assassin, has already killed twelve high-status marks and was going for his thirteenth. Walker stops him before he could carry it out.
  • Very Special Episode: Later seasons began preaching the classic moral ethics children should follow in response to the increasing number of kids tuning in to watch the show, which kept parents from citing the show was too violent.
  • Vigilante Injustice: Three cops who did this to criminals they feel didn't get the punishment they deserved. Their downfall begins when they kill a kid who was actually innocent; DNA evidence exonerated him, but the cops never checked.
  • Villain Has a Point: Occasionally. In particular, the loathsome LaRue, who finds Walker and Trivette ransacking his motel room and informs them that without a warrant, his permission, or the motel owner's permission, anything they find is useless, and in fact, he can charge THEM with breaking and entering. When Walker grabs him, he threatens to include assault charges as well.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Many of the villains of the week suffer this once the Texas Rangers get their hands on them. One in particular was a known stalker who terrorized a teenage girl and is never brought to justice due to being the son of a rich man who kept him out of jail as he adamantly doesn't believe his son would do that despite overwhelming evidence. However, after a deal with Walker to let the Rangers do their job if his son is personally caught in the act, that safety net was removed. The son began trying to play the "I'm your son!" card in order to make his father bail him out like usual, then gets angry when his father ignores him and lets him get arrested.
    • Another in particular was the final encounter with Larue. He takes a courtroom hostage and cruelly taunts everyone there, especially Alex.The bastard also taunts how Walker is "too scared to face him" when he isn't around, despite Trivette calling out how it was Walker who brutally kicked his ass both times (and like a pathetic brat, he denies it). Just as he was about to force Alex to strip at gunpoint, Walker forcefully kicks open the locked doors and wordlessly marches up to a shocked Larue. He was taken so off guard, he became frantic on what to do, then in a fit of insanity tries to shoot Walker, but Walker shoots first and kills the asshole without a word. Walker had finally had enough since beating the shit out of that fucker didn't stick, so decided to just outright kill him and end his reign of terror once and for all.
  • Visions of Another Self: The Series Finale has parallel stories of the modern day characters and a set of Old West counterparts.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • One episode where Cordell Walker was supposed to rescue a girl who was trapped in a Christian cult camp ended up having the last several minutes of it focused on Walker rescuing Alex Cahill from the cult camp, leaving the intended rescue target's status in question.
    • Another episode, a season finale, had a group of assassins stalking the members of a wedding party (a never-before-seen female Ranger and a never-before-seen assistant DA, along Walker and Alex, of course) who had previously put them in jail. Alex is shot in the ensuing chaos. The next episode opens with Alex being rushed to the hospital and there is never again any mention of the engaged couple, even though the dialogue in the previous episode implies that they were all good friends.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Walker generally doesn't have a problem dispatching everyone on the way to the main villain, only to spare the main villain themselves with a speech about how their fate is up to the law, not Walker. One episode has him grin as he intentionally causes a mook to trigger their own bomb, only to go out of his way to spare the mastermind, who was actually shown to be a monster. This is made all the worse by the fact that if a villain is ever shown doubting the mastermind or attempting to redeem themselves, they're usually killed, giving the impression that the average mook is only working for the episode's Big Bad because they have no other choice.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: In "The Final Show/Down", the villain, having previously lost to him as a criminal and with an ancestral grudge, plans to take some revenge that promises to be needlessly elaborate. One of his mooks asks why he doesn't just take grab a rifle and shoot him next chance he gets. Lavocat declares that contrary to being so simple, he will start killing Texas Rangers to build suspense and make Walker afraid of him. There are no objections to this, only anticipatory grins, and it goes as well as you'd think.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Walker and Trent in particular. Alex and her group of abused wives also became one when they were being stalked by an abusive husband of one of the group. Though he was stronger, they outnumbered him and eventually ganged up and beat him down.
  • Would Harm a Senior: This is often done to C.D. He is often targeted by the villains in a way to try to intimidate Walker. This tactic, of course, only makes Walker madder.
    • Played seriously straight in "Forgotten People", where a corrupt nursing home administrator and her staff of rogue doctors and ex-con orderlies were using the home as a front for an illegal testing facility where its elderly patients are the guinea pigs to create variants of an Alzheimer's drug originally banned by the FDA that they plan to sell to pharmaceutical companies to make a large profit since running a nursing home would throw off suspicion. Because of those experiments, nine patients had already died. However, when one patient, who was an old friend of Trivette's, is murdered by the doctors to prevent him from exposing their plot, an investigation into the nursing home is prompted with C.D. going undercover as a patient, where he makes a new friend who was also undercover for the same reason. With the corrupt doctors having killed two other patients— one who tried to escape the facility and another used in their experiments— C.D. and his new friend would have been next had Walker and Trivette not been alerted, thanks to a transmitter hidden in a bible connected to Walker's pager.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Walker may be chivalrous, but there are times when he is smart enough to make exceptions when the situation demands it, like when he double palm strikes an armed woman trying to shoot him, then the time he backfists another when she was trying to kill Alex and her friend with a time bomb.
    • The various villains, of course, as if to drive home just how evil they are.
    • Alex's own father slaps her in a drunken stupor. It spurs a Heel Realization for him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Many of the villains of the week have no qualms about attempting to kill children. Some do it for their sick amusement, others to eliminate witnesses no matter who they are. Let’s not get started on the cult from the Halloween Episode who kidnapped children to use as human sacrifices for their sick ritual. Anyone who hurts a child can expect Walker to beat them to a quivering pulp.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: There are rarely female villains presumably because of this, and if it comes to a fight, another woman has to do it. That said, the moments where Chuck does indulge in this showed up quite frequently on Conan, such as the third one in this segment.
    • However, this trope has not applied to villains, as there are many episodes where the bad guys freely and remorselessly strike women at will, only to get it from Walker and Trivette in the end.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Walker would make deadpan comments to those who arrogantly judge him before systematically getting their asses kicked.
    Thug: I'm gonna smash your face! I'm gonna break your head! I'm gonna hit you so hard your children will be born with it!
    Walker: Too bad you can't fight as well as you talk. (Casually beats thug down)
  • You Have Failed Me: Many crooks of the week will off their mooks if they screwed up the job. It also applied to those who became defiant or got cold feet during a crime spree and tried to bail out.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Walker did this to interrogate a tight-lipped arsonist, effectively getting his message across.
    Arsonist: "Forget it! I know the drill. Good cop, bad cop, he [the sheriff] threatens to bust my butt, then you come walking in here."
    Walker: "That's right. (Beat) But he was the good cop." *suddenly breaks the table in half with his fist, scaring the arsonist shitless, then pins him to the wall and punches a hole beside his head* "That would've taken out ALL your teeth."
    Arsonist: "OKAY OKAY! I'LL TALK!"
    • When a trio of men try to bully a kids group Walker and Alex were chaperoning by trying to kick them out of a diner for no reason, Walker warns that he will ask nicely once to let them be. If they refuse, then he will "ask them not so nicely". The men ignore the warning and attack Walker, who promptly kicks their asses.

When the eyes of the Ranger are upon you
Any wrong you do he's gonna see
When you're in Texas, look behind you
...'Cause that's where the Ranger's gonna be.