Robert Jeffrey "Bobby" Hill (born August 13, 1985) 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.
Bobby Hill is 4'11", and weighs 135 lbs. His hair is a blonde 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.
Bobby is a very kind, innocent, caring, lovable, gentle and a good-hearted character. Although his softy personality disappoints Hank at times, Bobby is at the same time a crack rifle shot, is a professional-level golfer, and is also skilled at Dance Dance Revolution. Further, Bobby can be pushed into spontaneous anger, as when he punched the larger, more muscular Joseph for kissing Connie. Bobby has many of his irritating grandfather's more positive traits, such as joviality, body design and the knack of romancing girls with surprising ease.
Bobby has also shown numerous times throughout the series that he is easily influenced. Characters he has been influenced by and mimicked his behavior after include Cotton Hill, Junie Harper, Cane Skretteburg, Gary Kasner, Booda Sack, Rad Thibodeaux, and Buck Strickland.
Despite differences, Bobby and Hank's relationship is close and Bobby considers his father to be his hero. He is also friends with Joseph Gribble and next-door neighbor Connie Souphanousinphone. Bobby wants more than anything to be a prop comic like his hero "Celery Head", but has also aspired to be a "ladies' man", plus-size model, Lama, stand-up comic, caddie, paper boy, leasing agent, panhandler, urologist, proctologist, and a salesman of "propane and propane accessories". The London Free Press once stated that he "might be the most complex, fully formed kid in TV history."
In later seasons he served as the mascot for his middle school football team, the Tom Landry Longhorns. His father Hank Hill is occasionally embarrassed by Bobby's ineptitude in other sports, activities, and in his behavior often stating ("That boy ain't right"), but Bobby most of all wants his father to be proud of him. Hank spent years thinking Bobby was gay, or possibly asexual, but this presumption was put to rest when Bobby got with the older teenage girl Marie and he learned from Connie's father that he caught her and Bobby together half-naked, and while Hank was obligated to yell at Bobby for these occasions, he was also subtly pleased by these developments. After being consulted by his neighbor Kahn Souphanousinphone about Bobby's actions, Hank breathes a sigh of relief, obviously realizing that his son is heterosexual. This revelation seems to have eased some tension between Hank and Bobby.
Although Hank wished to have Bobby follow in his athletic past, there have been times Hank realizes this is not the best idea for Bobby. When Bobby joined the track team, his out-of-shape physiology was used by the coach to punish slackers by having Bobby substitute for them. When a player suffers an injury, the coach is made to substitute Bobby for real, making him run a 1500-yard dash. Bobby wins the event when all the other players trip due to a freak accident. Although Bobby won by default, Hank is still proud of his rare win. There was a time when Bobby played on a suffocating baseball team and quit after he sees the rival team does not provide overwhelming encouragement. Another time Bobby actually agreed with Hank that the soccer team was run under a "sissy program" and tried out for the football team. It was actually Hank who ordered Bobby off the football team once he saw it was run by a sadistic coach who did extreme actions such as chase players on the field with a car. However, Hank supports Bobby's success with Powder Puff Football. There are other times that Hank has gotten Bobby interested in Football by taking him to a game by pretending to be from Nebraska. Other times that Hank is proud of Bobby is when Bobby rides a horse and when they build a boat together.
Hank also disapproved of Bobby studying Buddhism, as he dismissed this idea of reincarnation as hooey. Surprisingly, his attempts to get his pastor, Reverend Stroup, involved in this backfired when her liberal ideas indicated all religions are inherently good. Everything worked out for Hank, once Bobby realized Lamas cannot get married and that he cared too much for Connie with this choice being accepted by the lead monk despite it being the mirror that was owned by the previous llama.
As with Hank, Bobby has a close relationship with his mother. Though unlike Hank, Peggy is more understanding and accepting of Bobby's interests and mannerisms. She is shown often encouraging some of Bobby's more 'strange' interests, though it is shown to sometimes backfire as Bobby may get into trrouble with some of his newfound interests, such as when he was a plus-size model, and he was almost embarrassed on-stage by Dooley and Clark Peters. Peggy is seen to be more comfortable talking to him emotionally.
Connie is Bobby's neighbor, close friend, and occasional girlfriend. Despite dating on and off, the two are shown to be close and often hanging out and riding bikes together along with Joseph Gribble.
While he is the same age as Connie and Joseph, Bobby is a classic example of a late bloomer. He has not yet experienced puberty 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).
In the episode "Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do?" Connie's delinquent cousin, Tid Pao stays with the family due to some drug debts that she is hiding from back home. Bobby falls for her and makes Connie jealous. However, Tid Pao only sees Bobby as a young child and when Bobby drops Connie as his science partner to be Tid Pao's, problems pop-up: unknown to Bobby, Tid Pao manipulates him into making a meth lab for their science project, intending to deal the drugs they manufacture to get back to her old life by paying off her debts and flying back to Los Angeles first-class. Fortunately, Connie manages to pull Bobby out of getting into big mess with the authorities, and after one or both of them expose Tid Pao's scam and crimes to their parents and/or the police, she is (presumably) arrested and, by the end of the episode, is sent to live with another uncle in Wisconsin, under the threat of being sent to Laos to live with her grandmother if she doesn't shape up the coming time around.
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 stomach ache resulted in a fire that destroyed the church his family attends (albeit indirectly, as it was the matches he lit to cover the smell of the dish that burnt the church).
In "Peggy's Turtle Song", Bobby eats too much sugar one morning and is mistakenly diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. 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.
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. In the event, she failed.
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 "John Vitti Presents: Return to LaGrunta," 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.
See Episode outlines.
- Bobby is one of the few characters to appear in every episode, along with Hank, Peggy, Dale, Boomhauer, and Bill.
- 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.
- It is revealed in “Bobby Slam” by a drunk Peggy that Bobby’s middle name is Jeffrey. Bobby himself was unaware what his middle name was.
- However, some fans believe his middle name to be “Butch” due to it being etched into a trophy shelf made by Hank, though it was Hank merely hoping that Butch would end up being his nickname.
- Peggy admits Jeffrey was a dumb middle name for Bobby.
- 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, although he is gifted in golf but doesn't enjoy playing it that much. He does, however, own a letterman's jacket for Track and Field.
- Though Hank is usually the one to force Bobby into sports, he usually does not want his son actually playing the sport, as seen in several episodes, bringing the question as to why Hank has his son sign up for the sports.
- Bobby has great aim when it comes to target shooting.
- Besides his father Hank and his mother Peggy, Bobby seems to interact with Boomhauer the most out of all of the adults in the show.
- It is possible Bobby is named after Boomhauer, since his presumed middle name (Jeffrey) also happens to be Boomhauer's first name. Boomhauer has been friends with Hank for many years and he is the most responsible one out of the alley gang apart from Hank.
- Bobby really enjoys rock 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 the hole at the military academy he was sent to. He did so after seeing his grandfather Cotton went through two days at the same academy.
- 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 can speak the Southern Dialect of the Laotian language.
- Bobby appears to be a gamer and/or a Nintendo fan as he owns a Gameboy and a Nintendo 64.