Walker, Texas Ranger

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
WalkerTexasRanger 5044.jpg

Walker, Texas Ranger was a combination of 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 Badassness of Chuck Norris.

Tropes used in Walker, Texas Ranger include:
  • Action Girl: Ranger Sydney Cooke from the last two seasons. She hits exactly as hard as her heavier-built male counterparts.
  • Action Series
  • All Just a Dream
  • Always Murder
  • 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.
  • Badass Beard: Guess who?
  • Badass Police Force: Texas Rangers.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Big Brother Is Watching: And the theme song says so; "When the eye of the Ranger is 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." An Inversion of course because Big Brother Is Your Friend in this show. But it is a creepy song.
    • It probably was supposed to be creepy. To the evildoers, yeah.
    • Of course, it's the titular Ranger (or at best the people behind him) who gets to say who is an evildoer in the first place. Really, the song's lyrics are a prime example for Unfortunate Implications -- the idea may well have been to paint the ranger as the inevitable long arm of the law who always gets the bad guys in the end, but the way it comes across is definitely more "stranger, if you don't like the idea of being stalked by our all-seeing rangers who know wrong from right better than you anyway, don't come to Texas because we don't want your kind 'round here".
    • It is the law code of the State of Texas which decides who the Ranger has his eye on as with the lawmen of any other state, and those can be read by any visitor willing to take the trouble to. Said law code is made by the Representatives of the Citizens of Texas, subject to it's own Constitution and that of the United States, and in any case in the most important particulars is not to different from anyone else's. Of course, if unfortunately you are affiliated with organized crime or perhaps contraband smuggling, extortion, or speeding on a public highway you really cannot help being nervous of the Eye of the Ranger.
  • Billed Above the Title: Chuck Norris
  • Broken Aesop: How many characters stood up to bullies and thugs, only to get cut down by said thugs a scene or two later?
    • Not so broken: Stand up to evil, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Played ridiculously straight in an episode with a young woman who has been taken hostage 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.
  • Bulletproof Vest
  • 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 beginning of the last season?) seemingly from natural causes, and in the finale the villain claims the murder, prompting a second autopsy that confirms cause of death was due to poison.
  • Butt Monkey: Trivette.
  • California Doubling: One of the most notable aversions, filmed on location in Texas.
  • Casting Gag: In one particular episode, 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 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 get 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 please Walker. Good thing since, of course...
  • Cast the Expert: TV reporter Clarice Tinsley plays a TV reporter.
  • Chuck Norris. What a surprise.
  • 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.
  • Crash-Course Landing
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cut and Paste Note
  • 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.
  • Damsel in Distress (Alex Cahill, nearly an example of Once an Episode)
  • Drowning Pit
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: His roundhouse kick is a vital part of the Chuck Norris jokes.
    • That's actually ... wait for it.. a spinning wheel kick. Roundhouse kicks involve no spinning at all. Chuck Norris studied Tang Soo Do.
    • Kind of an odd preference as a cop from professional pride if not humanity would in theory want a reasonable proportion of his collars to be alive when brought to the station.
  • Expy: All the characters in the initial Hayes Cooper story; later stories use the actors in different roles.
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Strangely applied even to cars.
  • Handy Cuffs
  • Hello, Attorney!: Alex Cahill
  • Hero of Another Story: There was an additional pair of Texas Rangers that showed up when the plot required more police be involved, but their names escape me.
    • Previously stated Action Girl Sydney Cooke and Francis Gage, whom, amazingly, after being added to the cast got just as many or more story lines as the Originals - Trivette, Alex and Walker.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: In the last season episode "Medieval Crimes," you'll spot Josh Holloway (aka Sawyer from Lost) as part of a cheesy Ren-Faire restaurant gang that robs jewelry stores. It was one of his first credited TV roles.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Cam Clarke is everywhere in this show. Usually he's just a background voice on the radio or TV, but occasionally he dubs over other characters when they're off screen. One time he actually dubbed a villain who was on screen, which created a huge dissonance the next time you hear the guy and he has a voice that actually looks like it would come out of him.
  • Holding Out for a Hero
  • Identical Grandson
  • Indian Burial Ground
  • 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.
  • It Never Gets Any Easier
  • Kick the Dog: The villains tend to do half a dozen of these before the episodes are over.
  • Kung Foley
  • Magical Native American
  • New Old West
  • Never Bring a Knife to A Fist Fight (all the damn time)
  • Oh, Mr. Grant!
  • Or Was It a Dream?
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: Sons of Thunder.
    • Averted and played straight. To elaborate, the two-parter Sons of Thunder spends an absorpent 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.
  • Ranger
  • Rapid-Fire Typing
  • 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?
  • 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 (Walker's famous finishing move)
  • Salt and Pepper: Walker and Trivette.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom ("A plane crashed here.")
  • Spy Catsuit
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer
  • Too Powerful to Live: The Chairman.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Trivette is temporarily suspended due to accidentally shooting a child but it turns out the shot came from the criminal.
  • Very Special Episode
  • 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.
  • World of Badass
  • 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 Have Failed Me...