Common virtues: Well-dressed, well-spoken, charmin', suave and invariably polite to the opposite gender.
Habitat: Romance novels, westerns.
Notes: Subject to severe Values Dissonance for modern audiences, as, depending on time period, he is either a slaveholder or is nostalgic for the era of slavery (even if he doesn't harbor any actual racist views, the romanticism of the south's Golden Age is what matters).
- Trope Maker: Rhett Butler. The whole point of the character was that he wasn't exactly a gentleman, but he still fits the trope.
- Ashley fits as well.
- Buck Cantrell from the Bette Davis film Jezebel is a classic example.
- Hatfield from Stagecoach (was based on Doc Holliday, below).
- Lotso, the Lots-o-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. However...
- Doc Holliday from Tombstone.
- "The Captain" from Thank You for Smoking, right down to the mint julep on his coffin
- In a lot of black southern folk tales, especially from closer to the time of slavery, the Devil often takes the form of one of these guys. For obvious reasons, considering they were usually also the cruel masters under whom slaves suffered.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Dr Leonard McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series.
- Lucas Buck masquerades as one in American Gothic.
- Bill Compton from True Blood is a variation, he's probably the most polite vampire ever.
- The Sports Night episode 'Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee' includes two characters discussing that this trope as it relates to the Confederate flag and the history of the south. When Isaac points out to Danny that their CEO, Luther Sachs, is a southerner who likes to consider himself a Southern Gentleman. As Isaac puts it, "the difference, Danny, is all the difference"; the implication being that Sachs confuses his own wealth and elitism with the class and personal nobility that is associated with the trope.
- Occasionally, on Good Eats, if the recipe has definite Southern roots (fried catfish, for example), Alton Brown will dress and speak like one of these, an Affectionate Parody of Col. Sanders.
- Blanche's father, who was known as 'Big Daddy', on The Golden Girls.
- Satirised in Tom Lehrer's "I Wanna Go Back To Dixie", where the phrase refers to the Ku Klux Klan:
I wanna talk with southern gentlemen
And put that white sheet on again
Haven't seen me a good lynching in years!
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Sinclair from BioShock (series) 2, one of the Voices With An Internet Connection who helps you throughout the game.
- Clem from The Suffering.
- Arcturus Mengsk of StarCraft is portrayed as one, with him going so far as to wear clothes resembling a CSA general's outfit.
- John Marston of Red Dead Redemption, despite being a former outlaw, can actually fit into this trope, with the clothing being the only other concern (in which case, you could put him in the gambler outfit or the duster).
- Colonel Sanders cultivated a Southern Gentleman persona for the latter part of his life, and this image now adorns KFC materials all over the place.
- General George C. Marshal was this as well as being an Officer and a Gentleman. He was a more pleasant variety of this, coming as he did quite a ways after the Unfortunate Unpleasantness that this trope is associated with to some degree.