5 Surprising Wyoming References in TV Shows
With a majority of TV shows and movies set in metropolitan locations like New York City and Los Angeles, it sometimes feels like Wyoming has been left in the dust. Once in a while though, Wyoming gets recognition. As a show of state pride, we have put together this list of Wyoming portrayals in TV shows, ranked from least accurate to most accurate.
Episodes: "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2" (Season 2, Episode 22), "Death Takes a Holiday" (Season 4, Episode 15), "On the Head of a Pin" (Season 4, Episode 16), "Frontierland" (Season 6, Episode 18), "What's Up, Tiger Mommy?" (Season 8, Episode 2)
With a whopping five visits, this show has the most episodes of the shows on this list to take place in the state, aside from Longmire (which is actually set in Wyoming). Wyoming locations "visited" by the Winchesters include: Laramie, Greybull, Cheyenne, and Sunrise. The most notable episode set in Wyoming though, is the season 1 finale, in which Dean and Sam try to prevent the Gates of Hell (conveniently located in the middle of the state) from opening.
4. Criminal Minds
Episode: "Risky Business" (Season 5, Episode 13)
The show has only one episode set in Wyoming, but hits on some hard issues. When several teenagers in the Evanston area have been found after committing suicide, the Behavioral Analysis Unit is called in to investigate the cause of the presumed suicides. Though the episode accurately mentions that Wyoming had one of the highest suicide rates in the nation at the time of broadcast, the lack of snow in a January-set episode lets viewers forget that the team is in Wyoming.
Episode: "Gentle Puppies" (Season 6, Episode 8)
While on the run after her son committed a felony, Nancy and the family stop in fictional Pioneer Town, Wyoming. Although the episode was filmed in California, the show did use a realistic Wyoming license plate one one of the vehicles seen in the episode. Unfortunately, the episode brushes the state with the "trailer trash" stereotype, but the license plate and the somewhat accurate recreation of a hot, dry Wyoming summer day place this depiction of the state in the middle of the list.
*Disclaimer-This episode contains adult content.
2. How I Met Your Mother
Episodes: "Single Stamina" (Season 2, Episode 10), "Lucky Penny" (Season 2, Episode 15), "No Tomorrow" (Season 3, Episode 12)
For a show that's never had an episode set in Wyoming, nor has any characters from the state, How I Met Your Mother has made a number of Wyoming references. Wyoming gets its first shout out in season 2, during a speech from Barney's brother encouraging the gang to go out for a night. In an effort to pull the gang off of their couch and down to the bar, Barney's brother James mentions a group of kids "in Nobody Cares, Wyoming wishing they could be here, but instead, they are sitting in someone's basement drinking bad malt liquor debating whether or not they are going to spend their Saturday night in the parking lot of the feed store or in some other dude's basement." The accuracy of that statement alone lends a refreshingly honest (and comedic) take on our great state. Other references include: Marshall wearing a University of Wyoming sweater and Barney calling someone "a 307" in reference to the state area code.
Though the long running show is filmed in New Mexico (which was also used as Wyoming in the film "Did You Hear About the Morgans?"), the show does a wonderful job of recreating Wyoming's wide open spaces and the steady popularity of Wranglers and cowboy boots as everyday attire. The pilot episode also saw the use of a belt buckle as a crucial clue in solving a murder. Since the show started airing in 2012, the city of Buffalo has held an annual Longmire Days celebration, and has gotten visits from Craig Johnson (author of the book series "Longmire" is based on), as well as the show's cast.
All of the shows mentioned in this article are available for streaming on Netflix.