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Robert Jeffrey "Bobby" Hill is the only son of Hank and Peggy Hill. Bobby Hill's age changes gradually throughout the series. Up until "Shins of the Father", he is 11, then 12, then 13. He is best friends with his longest and closest neighbor, Joseph Gribble.

Appearance

Bobby Hill is 4'11", and weighs 135 lbs. His hair is a blond close buzzcut, similar to Cotton's. He is chubby and has a circular chin.

Bobby is typically seen wearing a dark cyan t-shirt, dark green shorts, white crew socks and black sneakers.

Personality

General: Bobby is a very kind, innocent, caring, lovable, gentle, and good-hearted character. While he has many admirable traits, some of Bobby's weaker points are that he is quite lazy, not too bright, clumsy, quick to tire/give up/run away, impatient, a heavy eater, and is very nervous around girls despite always trying to gain their romantic attention. At times, Bobby has been shown to be manipulative to work things to his advantage but quickly becomes overwhelmed by the situation or riddled with guilt and will admit to his mistakes, although it usually takes a while or until the last minute in most cases. He has also been shown to switch back and forth in wanting to stay a young child with his parents taking care of him and wanting to embrace his growth into a teenager able to make more choices for himself.

Comedy: Bobby's most well-known personality trait is his love of comedy and desire to become a professional comedian. He often goes through imitations, routines, and jokes at home, school, and even church. At times, Bobby's joking nature does not know when to stop which can often land him in trouble or heavily strain relationships with his friends and family. Bobby has stated at different points that one of the reasons he is so into comedy is because he is aware that he is not skilled in many areas and being a class clown was his best/easiest chance of being memorable. While he is usually successful in making his classmates laugh, his tendency to joke around too much often does not do too well with most girls as it causes them to believe he does not take anything seriously. Because of his love of comedy, Bobby believes with certainty that he knows what is or isn't funny. In "Just Another Manic Kahn-Day", Bobby felt the adults had poor taste in comedy simply because he felt Hank's album of Ray Johnson Jr wasn't funny as he wasn't able to understand why the joke of "You can call me..." made the adults laugh.

Lazy behavior: Another well-known trait of Bobby's is his immense sense of laziness. Because he does not like to do anything active, Bobby usually spends his time watching TV or playing video games while eating unhealthy snacks; his laziness being so great that if the remote is just barely out of his reach, he will resort to throwing things at the TV to change the channel rather than put in the effort to get the remote. He will often oppose participating in sports because he is so out of shape and is an easy target for the more athletic students to pick on and torment. He is also against any type of physical labor and will often voice his complaints about it while trying to get out of the work depending on who is watching.

Athleticism: Because Bobby does not like being active, he has poor athletic skills and is in bad shape for someone his age. While he has played youth softball, he at times forgets which hand he swings with and struggles with anything beyond batting. During times Hank has tried to get him interested in football, Bobby has shown himself to be too scared to catch the ball, not understanding the names of maneuvers, or be unwilling to snap the ball since he didn't want to fall over. In the episode "The Buck Stops Here", Bobby tried to run away from a bouncer trying to take his watch but was only able to get out of the alley and across the street before getting too tired and giving up and in "Bobby On Track" Bobby only jogged a few feet beyond the starting line when he became tired and winded and was later used as a means to shame the good track athletes who were slacking off. He has displayed that he is a natural and highly skilled marksman and only missed getting first place in a father and son tournament because of Hank's nerves. Despite being out of shape, Bobby is a skilled dancer although he is not able to do any kind of lift moves; usually he is the one being flipped by his dance partner.

Romance: In terms of romance, Bobby has been shown to switch back and forth in attempting to gain the romantic attention of one or more girls or being terrified to be around them. He often uses jokes to get girls laughing to lessen the chance of being rejected but majority of the time he is turned down because he jokes around too much and/or because of his appearance. Despite this, Bobby has shown some shallow tendencies as he usually tries to date girls considered 'out of his league'; being that they are typically very pretty, smarter, or much cooler than himself. Although he will sometimes take advantage of certain situations in order to get a date, Bobby does show that he becomes overwhelmed when his plan does not work out like he hoped and will seek out help to remedy the situation. During times when he is desperate for a girlfriend, date, or girls attention, he will use sleazy or uncomfortable methods to speak to girls and will purposely ignore any aforementioned warnings; in "Talking Shop", he and Joseph stood outside the girls bathroom in an attempt to talk to girls and Bobby later joined peer counseling when he saw majority members and clients were girls he could potentially date despite being warned several times that he cannot have any kind of romantic relationship with counselors or clients. Besides joking around too much, most of the times that Bobby is rejected/dumped is mainly stemmed from the situations Bobby himself created and causes the girl he's trying to date to be scared off. On the occasion he is able to get a girlfriend, he usually does what he can to keep their attention and is very kind until he suffers a bout of jealousy or is convinced to change his perspective that often causes the relationship to fall apart. His longest known relationship was with Connie. While he was very loyal and loving to her, Bobby at times had rude, jealous, and selfish moments that caused a great rift in their relationship.

Intelligence: Bobby is shown to suffer low grades in majority of his classes from either or a combination of not paying attention, claiming the lessons are too hard, or joking around too much. He usually does his projects at the last minute and does as little work as possible when paired with a partner; even admitting to Joseph that he will try to pair up with someone smarter than himself so he has a chance at a better grade while doing minimal work. Because he often receives flunking grades, he will have to perform make-up work in an attempt to bring his grade up but often his second attempt is barely better than the first or he will resort to finding another way to do better, such as tricking Peggy to write an essay for him and stealing her musings to pass on as essay's other students wrote. His seemingly lower intelligence also shows at home and other areas as he appears to lack some levels common sense and obviousness; at one time asking Hank who would take care of him in the same manner as his parents when his parent's passed away, thinking junk food alone was the sole reason he is overweight and out of shape, believing Dale that a tornado could put an egg through a brick wall, not appearing to realize when some girls either want to be nothing more than friends or are using him for their own amusement, thinking Jimmy Carter was really Jesus because of the initials on his overalls, and believing that Hank wouldn't notice he took his credit card and spent several hundred/thousand dollars.

But as a typical teenager, Bobby is well aware of pop culture and events surrounding celebrities, this making him the pop culture expert of the school debate team, although he showed in Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do that he doesn't know the common nicknames for crack. Despite this, Bobby also was the first person to figure out that Leon Petard was potentially on drugs based on behavior traits he's heard former athletes describe during drug awareness assemblies.

Influential nature: Bobby has also shown numerous times throughout the series that he is very easily influenced by pop culture, celebrities, events, or new people he just met and starts to follow their nature almost to a fault. Characters he has been influenced by and mimicked his behavior after include Cotton Hill, Junie Harper, Cane Skretteburg, Gary Kasner, Roger "Booda" Sack, Rad Thibodeaux, John Redcorn, Tid Pao Souphanousinphone, Joseph Gribble. Pastor K, Ward Rackley, Joe Jack, Bill Dauterive, Gilbert Dauterive, Steve Green, Buck Strickland, and many, many more. He will often shape his behavior, speech, fashion, and room after the person he imitates. Often times, Bobby's influence from others causes problems and situations that overwhelm him or others and he will seek help to fix things. It wasn't until Hank pointed this behavior out to Bobby in Reborn to Be Wild that he finally saw how he tends to follow things or people he thinks is cool but will not put careful consideration into following his latest trend/person of interest and will eventually move onto something else while calling his recent interest "lame".

Pride: While his pride is far less severe than his mother's, Bobby has several moments where he becomes smug and cocky toward others during times when he is put in a spot where he is the center of attention or an expert of a certain topic such as pop culture on the school debate team. Because he knew this area better than anyone else on the team and helped them win numerous matches, Bobby became overconfident of himself until he gave a wrong answer during practice and, for the first time from being depended on, began to feel pressure and fearful of failing. During these times when Bobby is brought back down to Earth, he often becomes depressed at having failed and ashamed of his behavior but will usually figure out how to remedy things.

Scaredy cat behavior: Bobby often displays an easily intimidated behavior that can best describe him as a "Scaredy Cat". Majority of the time Bobby is faced with a possible fight from bullies or a scary situation, he will either run away or try to talk his way out of the situation although it often fails due to his timid and out of shape nature. During the time when he left home alone for the first time in "Phish and Wildlife", he became so scared that he called his parents' home from their date to be with him and asked if he could sleep with them in their bed that night. He is also implied to be scared of the dark as there have been comments from himself and others that he owns a night light and is not brave enough to be in dark areas without a source of light. Part of this behavior appears to stem from Peggy constantly treating Bobby as if he were still a young child as she has been willing to let him sleep with his parents when he's scared until Hank denies the request and she constantly coddles/prevents him from becoming more mature and independent, possibly so he has to keep depending on her for support and comfort.

Eating habits: Similar to Bill, Bobby is a heavy eater with poor impulse control and prefers unhealthy snacks and foods. He often tries to avoid vegetables and fruit unless he has no other choice. In the episode "Happy Hank's Giving", Bobby tried to talk Hank into letting him eat the turkey being saved for the dinner in Montana simply because he did not want to eat a salad and soon tossed it to the floor when Peggy lied about a cookie shop being open. Because of his eating habits and lazy behavior, Bobby is classified as being overweight for his height and age though he doesn't at all seem concerned about this and will often voice displeasure when being made to eat healthy food, as seen in "Dia-BILL-ic Shock" when Peggy began making him eat healthy foods from fear of Bobby becoming a diabetic like Bill and Bobby tried to gain sympathy from her and others so he wouldn't have to eat the healthy food and resume his usual eating habits. Throughout the series, Bobby often can be seen eating fruit pies of various flavors. At times, Bobby will shamelessly eat food meant for others; in "When Cotton Comes Marching Home" Bobby ate Peggy's meal when she was late getting home from a school meeting, he ate an entire tray of lutefisk fish meant for the entire congregation in "Revenge of the Lutefisk", and in "The Son That Got Away", he became nervous and scared about being lost in the caves that he ate all of the food that was supposed to be divided between him, Connie, and Joseph.

Assumptions: Bobby shows numerous times that he is quick to make assumptions about various things based on very little information. Times this is seen is when he believed Hank was an oil millionaire keeping his wealth a secret after overhearing Hank tell Peggy about his once-a-year bonus and automatically thought it was Hank's daily income, when he thought his parents were trying to replace him with a better child when he learned they wanted another baby, and when he believed Kerri Strug was his secret admirer sending him Valentine chocolates. His assumptions tendency also applies to his love life when he assumes he and a girl are automatically dating after just one date or an agreement to a date.

Manipulation: Similar to other characters, Bobby can be rather manipulative when he wants to with the goal of getting what he wants. During the episode "Master of Puppets", Hank and Peggy accidentally forgot to pick-up Bobby at the mall and began to shower him with affection like never before to make amends. Bobby quickly figured out what they were doing and purposely began to pit his parents against each other to get bigger and better things from them until it eventually backfired as well as in "Old Glory" when he used Peggy's narcissism against her to write an essay for him. While his antics usually pass for harmless laughs, there have been times when his comedy or manipulation can be near dangerous. In "The Miseducation of Bobby Hill", Bobby felt that learning the basics of propane was not useful or important and resorted to using smooth talk to get people to buy grills and propane while informing them they were able to do things that are actually very dangerous. This would quickly backfire when numerous customers became angry and demanded Bobby fix the problems he caused which made him run away in fear and seek Hank's help.

Only Child: Bobby greatly loves being an only child and uses it to his advantage as much as he can. He appears to know how easy and "pampered" he has it as an only child and will try to hang onto that as best he can. He enjoys it so much that he became incredibly upset when he learned that his parents wanted another baby and admitted that part of the reason he is the way he is like that is because he "has no competition to be compared to" and confesses he would have tried harder to be a better son and student if it meant he could stay an only child. He was so against this idea that he tried to talk Hank out of having another child.

Kind Heart: Although Bobby likes to do things the easy way or ways that will benefit him, he will often recognize when something is not right or when something is wrong with a person and will do what he can to bring this to the attention of someone older than himself. When he himself has caused a situation to get out of hand, he will own up to his mistake and carry out whatever punishment he is given without any complaints. At certain times, he can display rarely seen wisdom when he is able to help someone who is facing internal struggle, as seen when he helped Peggy to accept that her feet are larger than normal by acknowledging his weight problem but that they each had other positive things about themselves they should embrace.

Relationships

  • Hank Hill: Despite their many obvious differences, Bobby has a good relationship with Hank and considers his father to be his hero and someone he hopes to be like. He is aware that Hank wishes for him to be an athlete and has participated in several sports as a means of making his father proud until one or both of them realize that Bobby isn't cut out for the event. Bobby is shown on several occasions to want Hank's approval and acceptance more than anything else and has done several things in order to get it. Whenever Hank voices he is proud of his son, Bobby becomes incredibly happy but also shows great disappointment when the opposite occurs. Although Bobby wishes for Hank to accept him and his ways, he appears to accept that Hank does not accept certain things Bobby likes, such as his comedy acts or goal of wanting to be a professional comedian.
    Knowing that Hank is the wiser, more mature, and more responsible parent, Bobby will often go to him first when he is dealing with a difficult situation as he trusts his father's judgement and experience above everyone else's. However, there are times when Bobby believes his father is making the wrong call toward an event or person, especially when he thinks Hank is acting from not understanding and will actively rebel against Hank until he is shown that Hank was right and will then make amends.
    Towards life lessons, Bobby will most often go to Hank for guidance but, depending on the topic, will usually get brief answers or completely stonewalled as Hank will at times change the topic due to his own discomfort or thinking Bobby is curious about something he shouldn't be. At first, Bobby does not understand some of his father's lessons but eventually comes to understand what his father was trying to teach him.
  • Peggy Hill: As with Hank, Bobby has a close relationship with his mother. Though unlike Hank, Bobby finds more support and understanding from his mother concerning his emotions and various interests. Bobby at times appears to be aware that Peggy is the more fun and forgiving parent as he will sometimes go to her first concerning a problem he is facing. Like several others, Bobby does not feed her ego, such as when he did not believe her when she claimed to be beautiful, but Peggy believed he thought otherwise because he just sees her as a mother. However, he does help Peggy during certain moments of insecurity, such as when he helped her learn to accept her large feet.
  • Connie Souphanousinphone: Connie is Bobby's neighbor, close friend, and occasional girlfriend. Despite their on-again-off-again relationship, Bobby treats Connie kindly and has pointed out several times how he thinks she is the smartest person he knows. Although Bobby occasionally pairs with Connie to get a good grade, he still does whatever he can to make her happy. Bobby has also helped Connie to embrace new ideas and activities outside of what her parent's allow. While he typically is respectful towards many of Connie's situations, he at times carelessly mentions to others about Connie's menstruation cycle and doesn't see it as a sensitive and embarrassing manner; most likely because he may not know the difference between male and female puberty.
  • Joseph Gribble: Bobby's longest and closest friend, neighbor, and godbrother.[2] Bobby has a strong friendship with Joseph and is the person whom he often spends his time with. Similar to Hank's friendship with Dale, Bobby will often look out for and help Joseph during moments of uncertainty. However, Bobby has shown envious behavior toward Joseph, most notably when Joseph went through puberty.[3] Otherwise the two rarely quarrel and made up at the end of the episode.
  • Cotton Hill: Bobby is shown to have a good relationship with his grandfather as Cotton typically allows Bobby to do just about anything he wants. Bobby greatly enjoys being spoiled by Cotton and usually calls him Ging-Ging. Due to his easily influenced nature, Bobby at one point copied Cotton's personality which led to him getting in trouble at school and at home when he mimicked Cotton's sexist behavior.
  • Didi Hill: Bobby is shown to have an equally good relationship with Didi. Acknowledging she is his step-grandmother, Bobby is friendly to her and helps out when needed. In Revenge of the Lutefisk, it was their relationship and Didi's wise words that made Bobby realize that he needs to own up to his mistakes instead of running away.

Late Bloomer

While he is the same age as Connie and Joseph, Bobby is a classic example of a late bloomer. He hasn't yet experienced puberty although he mentions having "peach fuzz" in "Aisle 8A" and is jealous that Joseph is tall and sometimes mistaken for an adult. It's unknown if the writers ever let Bobby enter puberty or not, since the changes to the character would most likely cause Pamela Adlon to be replaced as the voice for Bobby for a newer, deeper voice (that is what led to the change of the voice actor for Joseph from Brittany Murphy to Breckin Meyer).

Throughout the series, there have been many times where Bobby attempts to gain the romantic attention of one or more girls for various reasons. While most of the girls admit that they like Bobby because he makes them laugh, they also admit that they don't find him suitable to be a boyfriend because of his appearance and that he typically jokes around too much. There have also been times when Bobby has excitedly gone through a "right of passage" moment that he claims will make him a man, yet he fails to start acting more mature afterwards.

Eating habits

Bobby has a penchant for eating unusual things and getting himself in trouble for doing so. Bobby once ate a 72-ounce steak in 37 minutes after a breakup with his vegetarian girlfriend Marie for the sake of spiting her, then later vomits it up while talking to Connie.

In another episode, "Love Hurts and So Does Art," Bobby became ill with gout after repeatedly consuming chicken liver sandwiches at a New York-style deli in the local mall. Although the gout eventually requires him to use a senior citizen-style electric scooter, he still rides it to the mall to eat more chicken livers. However, it is suggested he did this because he was nervous about attending the school dance and was using it as an excuse to get out of it.

Bobby also ate an entire dish of lutefisk, a very smelly fish dish, that was prepared by the town's new female Pastor. His over consumption and subsequent stomachache resulted in a fire that destroyed the church his family attends (albeit indirectly, as it was the matches he lit to cover the smell in the bathroom that burned the church).

In "Peggy's Turtle Song", Bobby eats too much sugar one morning and is mistakenly diagnosed with attention deficit disorder which resulted in him being put on medication. In "Westie Side Story," Bobby makes reference to eating Bible leather while chewing on a dog's leash. In "Hank's Choice," when the family discovers Bobby is allergic to Ladybird, the family dog, Bobby lives outside the house. He stays there even after he discovers his medication is alleviating his symptoms so he can stay outside and keep ordering pizza for dinner. In "Happy Hank's Giving," the family became trapped at the airport during the Thanksgiving travel rush and were limited to eating salad for the time being. Bobby was so unwilling to eat the salad that he and Peggy nearly forced Hank to ruin the Thanksgiving turkey he was saving for the big dinner in Montana. Bobby would soon toss the salad to the ground when Peggy lied to him about a cookie shop opening and he sprinted away to locate the store.

Bobby has also displayed talents for cooking and homemaking in general, to the chagrin of his mother Peggy as he surpasses her in all possible aspects. In the episode "Goodbye Normal Jeans," Bobby takes a shine to his new homemaking class where he learns, among other things, to become a culinary whiz. Peggy becomes jealous that Hank now prefers Bobby's cooking to her own and goes out of her way to sabotage Bobby's Thanksgiving turkey. While she succeeded in destroying Bobby's turkey, she failed in her overall plan.

One constant throughout the entire run of the show has been Bobby's affinity for fruit pies. In the episode entitled "Junkie Business," Hank tries to persuade Bobby to come to work with him by listing all the items in the vending machine. Bobby responds tearfully by saying, "You had me at 'fruit pies'." In the episode entitled "To Kill a Ladybird," Bobby befriends a raccoon and shares fruit pies with him on some house trash cans, but not before Peggy chides Bobby to eat them in the kitchen because she is sick of finding crumbs in the bathtub. In the episode, "Little Horrors of Shop," Peggy extracts information from Bobby by bribing him with a fruit pie. In the episode "The Son That Got Away," a fruit pie is used by Ladybird to track Bobby's scent. In the episode "Good Hill Hunting," before leaving on a hunting trip with Hank, Bobby is told by Peggy that she filled his rifle case with fruit pies and put his rifle in his sleeping bag. In yet another, Luanne replaces the filling in one of Bobby's fruit pies with dirt as part of a feud between the two, where Peggy stated to Luanne "you messed with his fruit pies, after that he had nothing to lose". In the episode "Jon Vitti Presents: Return to La Grunta," Bobby becomes infatuated with capers, only to discover that they went well with everything except fruit pies. He also once poured straight syrup on a paper plate and started lapping it up like a cat.

Because of Bobby's eating habits and the fact that he doesn't seem very concerned about how overweight he is, Hank and Peggy have made attempts to change his eating habits. In the episode "The Fat and the Furious," they both try to keep Bobby from following Bill in becoming a competitive eater. In "Dia-BILL-ic Shock," Bill suffers a sugar spike and is diagnosed to have diabetes. Because Bobby had been getting tips from Bill on how he can get better/unhealthier snacks at the fair, Peggy becomes so concerned about Bobby suffering the same fate that she changes his diet to near vegetarian/vegan levels in order for him to eat healthier; something that Bobby was greatly upset about.

Future

According to his voice actress Pamela Anderson, Bobby eventually becomes a chef in a fusion restaurant in Dallas when he grows up.

Episode Appearances

Bobby is one of three characters, the other two being Hank and Peggy, who appear in all 259 episodes of King of the Hill.

Trivia

  • Bobby is one of the few characters to appear in every episode, along with Hank and Peggy.
  • It is revealed in "I Don't Want to Wait..." that Bobby is a few months older than Joseph and that Bobby is a late bloomer since he has yet to hit puberty unlike his friends.
    • Episode commentary reveals that Bobby was never written to go through puberty because the cast and crew could not imagine anybody other than Pamela Adlon voicing him.
  • It is revealed in "Bobby Slam" by a drunk Peggy that she wanted to name Bobby "Jeffrey", which Hank refused. It was later revealed that Hank had planned to give Bobby the nickname "Butch" by pre-etching it onto a trophy shelf, which ultimate ended up unused after Bobby turned out deeply nonathletic.
  • He and Bill are named after the two members of The Righteous Brothers. He is named after Bobby Hattfield and Bill is named after Bill Medley.[citation needed]
  • Bobby often wears a top hat and cape when "performing" at home, which deeply displeases Hank, although Peggy encourages it.
  • Occasionally seen when scenes show the interior of Bobby's room, there is a Bart Simpson doll sitting on his shelf, a possible reference to the show's co-creator, who worked on The Simpsons before co-creating King of the Hill.
  • Bobby is possibly named after Bobby Beavis, someone from Mike Judge's youth who was also the namesake of one of the title characters on Beavis and Butt-Head.
  • Despite having such athletic parents, Bobby himself is completely un-athletic and does not enjoy sports at all. Despite this, he is gifted in both riflery and golf, though he openly dislikes the latter sport. He does, however, own a letterman's jacket for Track and Field. Despite being fully aware of Bobby's lack of athletic skill, Hank continuously forces him into playing them in an effort to turn this around. Despite this, Hank is well aware it is an uphill battle, and knows not to rely on Bobby in make-or-break situations during games.
  • Besides his father Hank and his mother Peggy, Bobby seems to interact with Bill the most out of all of the adults in the show. This unfortunately has a tendency to backfire on Bobby due to Bill's multiple personality flaws and poor luck in life, as well as his deep envy for Hank's life and Bobby's tendencies to mimic the behavior of others which often led to Hank and Peggy telling Bobby to stay away from and not talk to Bill on numerous occasions.
  • Bobby really enjoys rock and rap music, much to the dismay of his father.
  • In a family portrait in Hank and Peggy's bedroom, Bobby has brown hair.
  • Bobby lasted three days in solitary confinement at the military academy he was sent to. He did so after seeing his grandfather Cotton lasted only two days in the same situation.
  • The school which Bobby Hill attends, Tom Landry Middle School (named after the Dallas Cowboys football coach), is based on an elementary school that really does exist by the same name. It is located in Irving, Texas in the sub-division of Valley Ranch, just a few blocks down MacArthur Blvd. from the Dallas Cowboys' Office and Training Facility (most of the streets in the neighborhood are also named after Dallas Cowboy greats).
  • Bobby was taught to speak the Southern Dialect of the Laotian language taught to him by Minh but it is unknown if he still uses/knows the language.
  • Bobby appears to be a gamer and/or a Nintendo fan as he owns a Gameboy and a Nintendo 64.
  • Hank bought a 1978 Ford Falcon XC junker to restore with Bobby for his first car, although it was never seen again following the episode "Talking Shop".
  • It was shown in the episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do" that Bobby does not know the simple terms/nicknames used to describe methamphetamine despite his extensive pop culture knowledge.
  • Despite his heavier build, Bobby is a skilled dancer.
  • In King of the Ant Hill, Bobby indicates that he knows about the affair between Nancy and John Redcorn as he needed Joseph to verify that he was talking about Dale being his dad. However, it is never made clear if he truly knows or not.

Gallery

References

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