The 15 best Texan characters of all time, ranked
There are plenty of films and television shows set in the great Lone Star State. Unsurprisingly, most of them involve a cast of oil tycoons, football players, and cowboys. And also albino dudes with superpowers. So we did what any right-minded individuals would do, and we narrowed the list of fictional characters down to the top 15, then ranked them on how awesomely Texan they are.
15. Jeremy "Powder" Reed
It’s hard to be a super-white guy with no hair and telepathic powers living out in the plains of Texas, but Powder pulled it off like a champ. That is if you consider running straight into a lightening bolt, turning into a blinding flash of light, and (spoiler alert!) quite possibly transcending earthly limitations to become pure energy to be "pulling it off like a champ". We do.
14. David Wooderson
Dazed and Confused
Alright alright alright. This urban cowboy is the perfect example of what happens when you stay past your prime in small-town Texas. Yet the party-seeking man-child still manages to walk that thin line between creepy and cool while delivering one of the truest, statutoriest statements about high school girls of all time.
13. Darcy Sears
Sex and football -- that’s all there is in small-town Texas, as accurately depicted by Darcy Sears (Ali Larter), the bored, kinda-slutty cheerleader who will do anything to marry a star football player and escape small-town life. She also brought us one of the best whipped cream bikini scenes ever to grace the big screen, so points for that.
12. Jerry Jones
Fine, maybe not fictional, but definitely a parody of himself at this point.
11. Team Dædalus (Jerry, Hawk, Tank, and Corvin)
They were around when rockets were born. Now, the four geriatric retired Air Force test pilots need to train hard to capture a nuclear missile-armed Soviet satellite and save the world, all while trying to keep their dentures in. In the end, the space cowboys succeed and show Texas grit, with Hawk even going so far as to sacrifice himself for the sake of mankind.
10. Old Yeller
If there was ever a character that could make a grown man cry, it’s this golden, big-eyed Mastador from the plains of Texas. Sure he steals meat from the family’s smokehouse and grabs hens right out of the the nest, but he’ll also protect you from rabid wolves and he’ll be the best dog-garn friend you’ll ever have (that is, before you have to kill him).
9. Coach Taylor
Friday Night Lights
If you grew up in a small town where football ruled everything, this series will look familiar (okay, maybe your high school wasn't QUITE this attractive). There’s no shortage of great characters, but the stop-at-nothing varsity coach (coach Eric Taylor), armed with a hot, devoted wife and killer inspirational speeches, has to be the choice. Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The ultimate horror movie villain. He carries a giant chainsaw and runs around Texas slaughtering people (giving the cleverly named film its title) while wearing a mask made of human skin. Frankly, we were just too afraid not to include him.
7. Bo "Bandit" Darville
Smokey and the Bandit
Is it Burt Reynolds or his mustache who plays this legendary Texas truck driver? Either way, this Bandit is the epitome of Texas style. After agreeing to illegally haul a truckload of Coors Light from a dry county in East Texas to Georgia, he buys a sweet black Pontiac Trans Am and engages in a high-speed chase with a local law enforcement agent (Sheriff Justice, aka Smokey Bear) that somehow lasts for two more films.
6. J.R. Ewing
Power struggles. Intrigue. Sex. Oil money. If this doesn’t describe '70s Texas, we don’t know what does. This scandalous Ewing family, out on Southfork Ranch, put Dallas on the map. But it was the amoral and money-hungry oil tycoon J.R. who really stole the show. He was once described as a manipulative oil baron with "psychopathic tendencies, who is constantly plotting subterfuges to plunder his foes and their wealth." Sounds like a lot of guys we know from Dallas.
5. Rust Cohle/Crash
Grab a Lone Star, fellas. Now turn it into a creepy beer can man and smoke like three packs of cigarettes. McConaughey makes this list twice, once as the aforementioned old guy still hanging around his sleepy hometown, and now in his way-more-badass form as the troubled, but undeniably cool Detective Rust Cohle. (Spoiler alerts for all you procrastinators out there!) Before he partnered up with Marty in the swamp, plowed Marty’s wife, and solved a 17yr-old serial killing spree by figuring out whatever the hell Carcosa means, Cohle spent his time as po-po in the Lone Star State. If possible, he was even more badass in Texas. First, he straight-up killed a drug addict that had injected his daughter with crystal meth. Then, he went as a deep undercover narcotics agent named Crash -- possibly the greatest character to ever grace our television screens -- where he infiltrated the Iron Crusaders motorcycle gang in the Port of Houston and killed three cartel members in a gun fight. Even four months at that psycho joint in Lubbock couldn’t stop him from being cool. And it was in Lubbock!
4. Hank Hill
King of the Hill
Whether it's a neighbor, coworker, or your ridiculously stereotypical father-in-law, every Texan has a Hank Hill in their life. In high school, he was a star running back until he snapped his ankle, ending his promising career as an athlete. Now, the straight-talking husband and father is a hardworking propane salesman who shows little emotion, drives a pickup truck, and spends his free time guzzling Alamos with his buddies on the side of his house. Mmhmmm.
3. The Lone Ranger
The Lone Ranger
The only survivor of a group of Texas rangers, this masked crusader will stop at nothing to catch a band of outlaws and avenge his brother’s death. Let’s count the reasons he’s one of the coolest Texans to exist. First, he has both a sweet theme song and a catchline for his horse ("Hi-Yo, Silver!"). Second, he chases bandits for a living but doesn’t shoot to kill because he has a strict moral code and he’s a good guy. And finally, his best friend is a Native American named Tonto, who is possibly the coolest BFF a guy could have.
2. Ethan Edwards
Probably could have just put "pick a John Wayne movie" here since so many of them are set in Texas. But not all of them are routinely found on the short list of the greatest American films of all time, and Wayne's Edwards is its vengeful, obsessed, undeniably badass centerpiece.
1. Sergeant Cordell Walker
Walker, Texas Ranger
Chuck Norris. Was there ever really any other choice? Not only is this renegade a total boss, but he also has one helluva ninja kick, which seems oddly out of place for a Dallas/Fort Worth-based law enforcement officer, yet somehow fits his character. So do his hat, guns, pickup truck, and punch-packing sidekick -- former Dallas Cowboys player Jimmy Trivette. And truth be told, there’s not a character out there, Texan or not, that delivers a better one liner than Cordell Walker.