Bobby Hill (King of the Hill)
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Robert Hill, nicknamed Bobby (originally to be named "Butch") was born on September 29, 1986, as revealed in Shins of the Father. He is 4 feet 11 inches tall (Bobby once commented on the fact that he was short for his age, stating he had not yet had his growth spurt) and overweight. Bobby is a school-aged boy who enjoys comedy, music, dance and socializing with his friends, Joseph Gribble and Connie Souphanousinphone. Although at times Bobby is seen as odd by his father and peers, he maintains a remarkable talent with people, particularly with girls, who find him cute and entertaining. Using these talents, Bobby aspires to be a prop comic like his comedic hero "Celery Head" (a parody of Carrot Top) and a "ladies man". Bobby displays a natural talent as a marksman, shown in How to Fire a Rifle Without Really Trying and "To Kill a Ladybird". Bobby is generally very passive and is occasionally a victim of bullies. However, Bobby speaks out on issues concerning love.
Father-son relationship theme
Many episodes focus on the development of the relationship between Bobby and Hank, a double act. Bobby is not talented as an athlete or a craftsman like his father is (although he shows signs of being a talented golfer). As a result, Hank doubts his masculine identity and normalcy, tacitly and with side-of-the-mouth remarks, often lamenting "That boy ain't right." Apparently outside of Hank's knowledge, Bobby does have the capability of physical anger, as when he twice punched the taller and stronger Joseph for kissing Connie. Bobby is saddened by his father's lack of appreciation for the arts and his comedy routines. The two struggle to find common interests. However, Hank and Bobby find common interest in Texas, meat, propane, target shooting, hunting and golfing, among other things as the show progresses. Despite differences, Hank and Bobby have a close relationship. Bobby considers his father his hero.
During the second episode of the show's first season ("Square Peg"), Hank says that Bobby is 11 years old ("My boy is not going to look at the inside of a womb. He's only been out of yours for 11 years!"). In the eighth episode of that season ("Shins of the Father"), Bobby has a birthday party. It can be assumed that Bobby turns 12 on this occasion since his next birthday, shown in the fifth season ("I Don't Want to Wait for Our Lives to Be Over..."), has him turning 13. Despite him being a teenager, as well as his friends and classmates experiencing puberty (all of whom he is older than), Bobby never reached puberty during the show's run. Bobby remains 13 for the duration of the series, despite the fact that several Christmas episodes air and his cousin Luanne Platter gives birth to a child of her own. In a coincidental matter, the show technically ran for 13 years (the last episode, "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day", aired in 2010); Bobby was 13 when the series ended; there was a statement in the episode To Sirloin with Love from Hank saying "I've been waiting 13 years for [a common interest]" - an inadvertent fourth wall joke. In one episode from the show's penultimate season, "Lady and Gentrification", Bobby mentions his upcoming 14th birthday, having still not hit puberty.
Reception and analysis
In their book Abnormal Child Psychology, authors Eric J. Mash and David Allen Wolfe discussed the misconception that eating sugar contributes to ADHD. Certain media portrayals, including the events surrounding Bobby in the episode "Peggy's Turtle Song", are noted. In the book "People of the Century" by CBS News, they described Bobby as the "anti-Bart" (referring to Bart Simpson) while discussing how other characters have tried to "claim Bart's place of honor."
Voice actress Pamela Adlon received positive reception for her portrayal of Bobby. She received an Emmy for her role in the episode "Bobby Goes Nuts", the only actor in the series to have won one. IGN editor Talmadge Blevins quotes a line spoken by Bobby, "That's my purse! I don't know you!", describing it as one of the "most memorable lines ever uttered on television."
- http://www.lfpress.com/entertainment/tv/2011/09/20/18713216.html. "'Modern' Manny real, complex". lfpress.com. Retrieved 2011-9-20.
- Mash, Eric J.; Wolfe, David A. (2008-10-30). Abnormal Child Psychology. Cengage Learning. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-495-50627-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=hhvjIBUVDeYC&pg=PT159&dq=Bobby+Hill+%22King+of+the+Hill%22#v=onepage&q=Bobby%20Hill%20%22King%20of%20the%20Hill%22&f=false. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- News, CBS (1999-11-16). People of the century. Simon and Schuster. p. 428. ISBN 978-0-684-87093-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=wO3qlZr7s3MC&pg=PA428&dq=Bobby+Hill+%22King+of+the+Hill%22#v=onepage&q=Bobby%20Hill%20%22King%20of%20the%20Hill%22&f=false. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Top 10 Reasons I'll Miss King of the Hill - King of the Hill Cancelled". Animatedtv.about.com. http://animatedtv.about.com/od/kingofthehill/tp/kohtop10.htm. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- "King of the Hill: The Complete Sixth Season - IGN". Dvd.ign.com. 2006-05-30. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/710/710483p1.html. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- TV Guide Book of lists. Running Press. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
http://www.lfpress.com/entertainment/tv/2011/09/20/18713216.html. "'Modern' Manny real, complex". lfpress.com. Retrieved 2011-9-20.