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Wild Boys is a story about bushrangers, power and government corruption, set against the backdrop of an 1860s penal system. The wild colonial boys Jack, Dan, Conrad and Captain Gunpowder are determined to keep ahead of the troopers or wind up at the end of a noose.
Wild Boys contains examples of:
- Bad Habits: The bushranger Captain Moonlight masquerades as Preacher Scott.
- Bait and Switch Gunshot: The end of episode 1.3.
- Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Happens to Hogan in the first episode, although it was probably unintentional.
- Corrupt Hick: Fuller. He uses his power to frame a romantic rival as a horse thief, and then attempts to kill him during a staged escape attempt.
- Clear My Name: Jack has to do this after being accused of murdering the Ryans. He may be a bushranger, but he is no murderer.
- Dead Guy on Display: The corpse of bushranger ends up on display in Hopetoun, much to the disgust of the railway man who was visiting from Sydney.
- Ear Ache: 'Mad Dog' Morgan claimed he got his nickname because he once bit a man's ear off in a fight. Later in the episode, he actually does a bite a man's ear off, indicating that this may be a regular thing for him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Fuller has no time for cowards, especially those who hit women.
- Gentle Giant: Conrad
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Hogan smashes a bottle and uses it to attack Jack in the pub in the first episode.
- Gun Struggle: At the climax of the second episode.
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: "What part of 'Dead Man's Drop' do you not understand?"
- Is That What They're Calling It Now?:
"We've just been milking the goats."
- It Works Better with Bullets: Conrad does it to Mad Dog Morgan, unloading his gun while he is gone. Morgan has another pistol, but it does buy Conrad enough time to make a bolt for it.
- Karma Houdini: Fuller escapes scot free at the end of the series (probably as result of the series not being picked up for a second season so they wrapped up the plot lines and included a Heel Face Turn for Fuller).
- Knight Templar: Fuller will completely disregard the law in his quest to wipe out the bushrangers.
- Mad Bomber: Captain Gunpowder
- Miss Kitty: Mary Barrett
- Morally-Bankrupt Banker
- Outlaw: The heroes are all bushrangers.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Jack wakes up to find Mary's young son Tom pointing his gun at his (i.e. Jack's) head as a joke. Jack is understandably angry.
- Revealing Injury: Hogan is identified because of a wound he took to his hand during a robbery.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: The black tracker Fuller uses to pursue the bushrangers in the second episode. Despite the bushrangers uses every trick they know to lose him (riding along a creek, etc), he stays right on their tail. And he isn't fooled by the pig caracass they blow up in an attempt to fake their deaths either.
- Schoolmarm: Captain Gunpowder is sweet on the local school mistress.
- Shoot Out the Lock: In the first episode, Jack shoots the lock off the strongbox they steal from the stagecoach.
- Shoot the Rope: Captain Gunpowder does this to save Jack from being lynched in the miners camp.
- Shoot Your Mate: Jack attempts to infiltrate the Butler Gang only to find that Mick has been captured by them. Frank Butler thinks Jack might be there to free him, but Jack instead claims he followed Mick there in order to kill him. Butler gives Jack a gun with one bullet and tells him to shoot Mick. Jack does so, shooting Mick through the shoulder and Mick has enough nous to play dead.
- Showdown At High Noon: The final confrontation between jack Keenan and Frank Butler.
- Soiled Dove: Ruby
- Take Off Your Clothes: A female bushranger holds Jack and Dan at gunpoint and demands they take off their trousers.
- Taking Over the Town: The Butler Gang does this to Hopetoun in the final episode.
- Treasure Map: The Mad Dog Morgan episode centres around a map to a cache of stolen gold.
- Vehicle Vanish: Joe Butler vanishes during a gunfight with Jack, when the gold coach and its escort of troopers passes between them.