Toughest Cowboy

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Toughest Cowboy TV Poster Image
Reality rodeo show features wild rides, rough language.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Presents rodeos and extreme riding as a very male-dominated sport. The cowboys are expected to be "tough" but also to treat the sport with respect. A 35-year-old competitor is considered "old" by the other riders.


The riders fall often -- and hard. Blood is sometimes visible. Injuries range from broken legs to concussions; some cowboys ride with separated ribs and broken bones. Paramedics are shown administering aid to hurt riders.


The "Toughest Cowboy Rodeo Girls" entertain crowds and competitors with dancing and tight-fitting outfits. They often bare their midriffs.


Terms like "jackin' around" and "dang" are common. Words like "hell" are sometimes audible, while stronger curse words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped.


The series (and the Toughest Cowboy Tour) is sponsored by Jagermeister beer. Brand logos like Coca-Cola and Home Depot are also visible. The show also features music by the band Whisky Falls.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Visible beer drinking; some riders chew tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this reality series about extreme rodeo riders offers viewers a chance to learn about the sport and the culture that surrounds it, it also shows lots of people getting injured (concussions, broken bones, etc.). There's also some drinking, scantily clad "rodeo girls," and plenty of strong language, ranging from words like "hell" to bleeped-out choices like "f--k" and "s--t." Teens will probably be able to handle it, but it's an iffy choice for tweens.

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What's the story?

TOUGHEST COWBOY follows 12 tough rodeo riders as they compete in the Toughest Cowboy Extreme Rodeo -- a tournament that requires them to mount a bareback bronco, master a saddle bronco, and then ride a bull in a single round. The cowboys score points both for the length of time they can stay on their animal and their riding technique. Judges also note their mental toughness and their ability to recover from their wild last ride. Each week the two riders with the lowest scores face off in a head-to-head bull-riding match to stay in the game. The last rider standing wins money, the deed to a working ranch in Wyoming's Rocky Mountains, and the title of Toughest Cowboy Champion.

Is it any good?

The series showcases the talent, hard work, and mental discipline necessary to survive professional rough stock riding. And while the cowboys' wild rides and bone-crushing falls clearly show the real dangers associated with the sport, they also celebrate what these men consider to be a true test of a their raw physical strength and courage.

There's not a lot of stereotyping here, and viewers will learn a lot about the sport as well as the culture that surrounds it. But while the rough riding may be exciting for some, the action comes with a fair share of rough language and hard falls. Many teens will be able to handle it, but it's not really age-appropriate for tweens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the culture and folklore surrounding cowboys. How have cowboys been depicted in film, TV shows, and commercials over the years? Do you think these portrayals are accurate? Have cowboys been stereotyped by the media? Families can also discuss why people choose to become involved in stock riding and rodeos. Is this sport only for men? Are there female rough stock riders? If so, why don't we see them on television?

TV details

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