Popular culture

Within popular culture, New Mexicans are often depicted as two separate tough-and-rugged archetypes; leaning toward being either intellectually or spiritually inclined. Example fictional characters that exemplify the first archetype are Bruce Banner/The Hulk and Walter White/Heisenberg with the second archetype is exemplified in Firebird and Spirit.

Appearances in popular culture


  • The 1945 cartoon Herr Meets Hare was the first time that Bugs Bunny makes reference that he “should have made a left turn at Albuquerque”.
  • In the first episode of Dan Vs. the main character, Dan, sets out to “hurt New Mexico”, in the episode he takes a U.F.O. and destroys Santa Fe. Despite the fact that the city in the show looks nothing like real-world Santa Fe.


  • “Amarillo by Morning” by Terry Stafford and Paul Fraser, popularized by George Strait, has the line ‘broke my leg in Santa Fe’.
  • “Clovis, New Mexico” by Hank Williams, Jr.
  • “El Paso” trilogy including “El Paso”, “Faleena”, and “El Paso City” tells the story a girl from New Mexico and a cowboy.
  • “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque” by The Partridge Family
  • “The Lights of Albuquerque” by Jim Glaser


  • The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly was set in New Mexico during the New Mexico Campaign of the American Civil War, but was filmed in Italy.


  • The High School Musical trilogy was set in Albuquerque, but was recorded in East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Breaking Bad was primarily recorded and set in Albuquerque.
  • In the Star Trek universe several New Mexico related historical events were referenced, including one of captain Jean-Luc Picard’s ancestors being revealed as the fictional Javier Maribona-Picard, a Hispano during the reconquest of Nuevo México after the Pueblo Revolt. Other events mentioned include; a spear/arrow head from the Folsom prehistoric culture, the Roswell incident was explained as Rom, Nog, Odo, and Quark crash landing a Ferengi shuttle near Roswell, the atomic bomb test near White Sands was shown, and in an alternate reality Nazi Germany invaded the US and Albuquerque was shown as continuing to be under American control.

Video Games

  • Civilization VI features Albuquerque as one of the cities for the American civilization.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun in the game the region of New Mexico is a contention point for the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod.
  • Atari video game burial of the E.T. video game occurred in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
  • Mickey’s Speedway USA has a level based on New Mexico, it features the forests, mountains, and deserts, of the New Mexico high desert.
  • In the Shadowrun fictional universe New Mexico is now the Pueblo Corporate Council, lead by Emilio Cajeme and Miguel Lusie’dzil, with its capital still being Santa Fe. Arizona and parts of Utah, Southern Nevada, and Southern California were annexed by the Pueblo Corporate Council.