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The Duttons have had their fair share of enemies throughout Yellowstone. As they strive to keep their generational family ranch, the Duttons often resort to violence and corruption to protect their land.
One of the oldest rivalries in the show is that of John Dutton and Wade Morrow. While Wade once worked for John, they became arch-enemies over the years leading to a bitter feud that ends poorly for Wade.
At one point, Wade and John actually used to be friends. However, according to John, their friendship was destroyed when Wade “stole the one thing a cowboy doesn’t steal.”
Given that there was no context at the time as to what John was referring to, many Yellowstone fans were left wondering what Wade could have possibly stolen. Plenty of fan theories arose as to the context of the stolen matter.
It hasn’t been made completely clear what Wade stole from John Dutton. However, many people agree that John was referring to the Yellowstone brand Wade was given.
When Wade used to work with John, he was given the Yellowstone brand, which means he is a part of the ranch forever. However, John and Wade had some major falling out that caused Wade to leave the ranch.
Wade could have stolen honor from John Dutton by leaving the ranch as a Yellowstone branded man. A branded man is never supposed to leave the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch alive so Wade’s departure could have caused tension with John.
Later in season 3, John tells Wade: “You have something that belongs to me.” Wade responds to this statement by saying “Come and get it.”
In the episode “Meaner Than Evil” John instructs Rip to cut Wade’s brand off. This could further imply that John was indeed referring to the Yellowstone brand and his honor being the thing that Wade stole.
Originally, some fans theorized that Wade had an affair with John’s wife resulting in the birth of his son Clint. However, it seemed unlikely that this theory would be true as there are no other indications throughout the show that Evelyn Dutton cheated on her husband.
Some also thought that Wade could have stolen cattle or horses from John. However, it became obvious that whatever Wade stole from John was more precious to him than livestock.
Wade and his son Clint are neighboring ranchers to the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Wade goes way back with the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch as he is a branded man.
Trouble arises when Roarke Morris hires Wade and Clint to harass John Dutton. Roarke Morris worked for Market Equities, a company that has tirelessly been trying to get ahold of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.
After causing trouble for some of the ranch hands, John sends Rip and some of the ranch hands after the father-son duo. Wade and Clint almost beat ranch hands Colby and Teeter to death, something they were not going to get away with.
After Rip orders Walker to cut Wade’s brand out with a knife, he lynches the cowboy as no one is allowed to harm the ranch hands and get away with it.
While Clint also met his demise, it was not at the hands of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. While fleeing from the ranch hands, Clint fell off his horse and hit his head on a rock, dying instantly.
Rip and the ranch hands take Wade and Clint’s bodies to the train station where they dispose of them.
Wade and Clint made the mistake of messing with the Duttons, which cost them their lives. Wade was already on John’s bad side and made matters worse by working for his enemy.