Classic character archetypes are universal; they appear in stories all throughout history and in cultures all around the world. They also appear in a wide range of media: film, television, plays, and written fiction. They can even appear in nonfiction.
Archetypes are often confused with stock characters. However, stock characters are defined by their personality, behavior, and appearance: the neighborhood gossip, the town drunk, or the school bully. Archetypes are defined by their purpose or role in a story.